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President’s Message

I love telling people the really great things that are happening in our local business community and the way we can celebrate such successes through our annual SAGE Awards!

“Get Your Applications Ready!”

The Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence (SAGE) are in their seventh year of celebrating you – our members. Each year, we have the privilege of telling your story and sharing what makes you special with our community. Since 2010, more than 100 individuals and businesses have received a SAGE award and hundreds more have been recognized as finalists. Applications can be found on our website and are due on Friday, Sept. 16. I urge you to apply or to suggest to a fellow member business to submit an application. An important thing to note is that all applications are reviewed and scored by volunteers, with no staff members participating in the judging . When the results are tabulated, the finalists in each category are announced. Even I don’t know who the winners are until the night of the Gala, where the SAGE Awards are presented.

Watch more of Bob’s message in this video. Click here to watch.

For information on the application process, or if you are interested in serving as one of our judges, please contact Nicole Morristell at the Chamber ( And please toot your own horn by applying for a SAGE!

Chamber Jump Day


An afternoon at the

An exclusive networking event.

Sunday, August 7

Thursday, August 18

12:00-8:00 PM $10 Tickets, 90 minute jump

Business Card Exchange

Tuesday September 13 2 • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce

Thursday, September 8

Save the Date:

Harness Success from Within Wednesday, September 21

September 23

Member Welcome

September 30

Member Appreciation Day


AWARD APPLICATIONS ARE BEING ACCEPTED FOR THE FOLLOWING Best Practices in Community Involvement Best Practices in Customer Service

SCRANTON AWARDS FOR GROWTH & EXCELLENCE The SAGE Awards celebrate the outstanding efforts of our local business community through their talent, creativity and innovation. All SAGE Award finalists will be entered into the People’s Choice Award category. The recipient will be determined by an online community-wide popular vote from Friday, September 30 to Friday, October 7. All award recipients will be announced at the Chamber Gala on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at The Theater at North.

Best Practices in Marketing and Communications Business of the Year Excellence in Leadership Healthy Workplace of the Year Hometown Star New and Emerging Business of the Year Non-Profit Organization of the Year Pride and Progress: Exterior Renovations

The application, instructions, and judging criteria for the SAGE Awards are available at

Application Deadline

Save the Date

Pride and Progress: Interior Renovations

The deadline for applications is Friday, September 16, 2016 by 4:00 p.m.

Pride and Progress: New Construction Small Business of the Year

The 7th Annual Chamber Gala is Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at The Theater at North, 1539 North Main Ave., Scranton.

Woman of Excellence

Presented by The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce • 3

Grow in emotional intelligence.


Owner YarCorte Acres (570) 756-3036

Today’s leaders are faced with unprecedented challenges. They often have packed schedules that cause a lack of focus and are often working on a stiff deadline. According to Gina Yarrish, owner of YarCorte Acres, the biggest problem in leadership and society is a lack of emotional maturity; because people rely so heavily on technology to get their jobs done, they often forget about the “human” side of leadership. This month, she is providing her suggestions on how leaders can harness their personal power.

How you communicate with people is important. We need to give our teams techniques on what success means, why the main goal is important and what to do with setbacks. Learning to speak the truth is of utmost importance. Leaders should speak without sarcasm or criticism, yet in a way that others can easily understand. Too often people take what is said as a personal affront instead of constructively.

Impulse control.

How we do one thing is how we do everything—what is the reason behind our actions? What is it we really want but are not getting? How do we ask for what we want? Learning clear communication and behavioral actions will lead to the results we want.

Building better relationships.

By first learning self-respect, we can offer productive and supportive relationships to our teams. How do we respect ourselves? We lead by example—we cannot expect others to do what we won’t do for ourselves. Self-awareness is a huge stepping stone in building better relationships.

Change your thinking strategies.

Regardless of our situation, we always have the ability to change it. What can we do with what we have so we move in the direction of our goals? We have to think of the results in order to achieve them. Our philosophy at YarCorte Acres is that we can do whatever we set our minds to if we first think it.

Move forward.

Leaders get caught up in thinking about what was or what could have been. Life is ever-evolving and time still moves. History tells us that when change is needed, 80 percent of people fail because they haven’t been taught what they will face or they haven’t been provided with the resources, such as a life coach or a mentor, to succeed.

#ScrantonChamber See what we have been up to this month on behalf of our members and community! Share your #ChamberMoments with us on social media. We’ll spread the word and you could be featured in Momentum!

Representatives from Wells Fargo Bank recently presented a check for $1,900 to Leadership Lackawanna, an affiliate of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, to support its various programming efforts. 4 • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce

@ScrantonChamber president Bob Durkin discusses the revitalization of Scranton with Sen. John Blake and Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin during a recent walking tour of Downtown Scranton.


@ScrantonChamber President Bob Durkin recently appeared on Fidelity Bank’s “On Business” on 94.3 “The Talker,” where he discussed economic development in our region.


(570) 483-4429 Member since 2016

For any restaurant, setting itself apart from the competition is key. At OTOWN Craft House in Olyphant, co-owners Kristen and Ed Shandra and Tracy Bradshaw believe that giving time-tested staples such as burgers, flatbreads, wings and other traditional entrees their own twist not only attracts customers, it also helps put their business on the culinary map. Having recently celebrated its first anniversary, OTOWN Craft House is poised to become one of the region’s most popular options for dining out.

many other fun food items, like chicken and waffle sliders, stuffed gourmet burgers, lobster macaroni and cheese, Thai chili calamari and many more items, ranging from starters to entrees and desserts. Everything we make has a twist.

fundraisers where we donate 10 percent of our entire day’s sales to any organization or family looking to raise funds for a worthy cause. We are so grateful for the love and support from our local community. We love to give back and help in any way we can.

What makes your restaurant different from the rest?

How do you see your Chamber membership helping your business?  

We offer local, made-from-scratch food. We are not a franchise or a chain, and we Can you tell us why you decided to start get to know our customers personally. We your business? are open for lunch, dinner, and late night. We also have a banquet room located on Kristen Shandra (KS): We have been friends our second floor for catered events, private for about 10 years. Before we started parties, meetings, and/or fantasy drafts. our families, Tracy worked in the restaurant Our bar features a large variety of drinks – industry and my husband and I owned a small we even offer chocolate corner bar. The property in shots where you can drink Olyphant came up for sale, the shot and eat the glass. so we decided to jump into it We try to think way, way, together and create OTOWN “THE CHAMBER way outside of the box. Craft House. After we come up with an IS A NETWORK idea, we take a lot of time OF GREAT to perfect it. What are some menu items PEOPLE AND you offer that can’t be found anywhere else?  BUSINESSES What are some We offer our customers ALL TRYING community activities you ‘cheddar bacon mac ‘n’ are involved in? TO ACHIEVE cheese’ stuffed wings. These We sponsor many youth THE SAME wings are not the traditional sports organizations in chicken wing that we GOAL, WHICH the Mid-Valley area and all know—they have a unique we are a participant in IS TO PROVIDE twist because the cheddarmany other activities. bacon macaroni and cheese A QUALITY We offer event night is stuffed inside a traditional PRODUCT.” chicken wing. We also offer

The Chamber is a network of great people and businesses all trying to achieve the same goal, which is to provide a quality product. In our case, it is serving the highest level of local made-from-scratch food and spirits while providing hospitality to our customers, guests, and vendors.

Get in the Spotlight! Every month, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce features a member small business in the Small Business Spotlight. Don’t miss your chance to be seen! Visit to apply for membership or to fill out a Small Business Spotlight application today! The Small Business Spotlight is sponsored by: • 5



Three individuals received awards for their service to the organization during the annual Celebration of Leadership recognition event.

Area non-profit organizations are invited to submit a Request for Proposals (RFP) to Leadership Lackawanna for possible implementation as a class community service project. The Leadership Lackawanna organization will select three projects for the incoming class to work on throughout the program year (October 2016 through June 2017). For non-profit organizations and community groups, this invitation to submit a proposal presents an opportunity to use the services of a talented team of 10 professionals. The group can assist with a project that the organization or group may lack the resources to accomplish. This is a mutually beneficial experience for agencies and emerging professionals. Past projects have included renovations to the Electric City Trolley Museum Association’s “Bay 4;” the creation of a preteen/teenager room at the Nancy K. Holmes branch of the Scranton Public Library; the restoration of Hanlon’s Grove inside Nay Aug Park; the creation of an online webgame for the Lackawanna Historical Society; and an online database of historic buildings for the City of Scranton. Projects must have a reasonable scope and budget and cannot include capital campaigns or raising sums of money. For more information on submitting a proposal to Leadership Lackawanna, visit Questions may be directed to Leadership Lackawanna director, Nicole Morristell at (570) 342-7711 or The deadline to submit is Thursday, Aug. 18. 6 • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce

Meegan Possemato of On & On received the “Alumni Leader of the Year” award. This award is presented to the person who best carries on the legacy of the Leadership Lackawanna organization and who consistently works toward the betterment of our community and its citizens. Luke Menifee of the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center received the “Shining Star” award. This award is presented to a member of the Core Program who exemplifies above-average dedication to the program, including improving it, expanding it and spreading its message to others. Andrea Vozzi of the Tobyhanna Army Depot received the “Class Leader of the Year” award. This award is presented to someone who exemplifies the desired outcomes of the Core Program by acting with integrity, honesty and trustworthiness and having superior communication skills. The recipient of this award also assists other Core Program class members with their own leadership development through coaching and mentorship.

A RARE FIND A BIG HELP Jack’s Northeast Music sponsors fundraiser for animal shelter

It’s a chance to own a piece of history while supporting one of the area’s major non-profit organizations.

“It is a different fundraiser, completely different from the norm,” Gretz said. “I didn’t know it when we began, but we found out Carlos is a huge animal guy. We had been waiting for the right time to raffle it off and we decided that it is summer and it is the time when people are going out to concerts.”

For Jack Gretz, owner of Jack’s Northeast Music Center in Dickson City, part of his business’s mission is to give back to the community at large. From helping area bands when a member is stricken ill to Carlos Santana, the legendary guitar supporting area school sports, Gretz virtuoso believes that the known for We want to support more a business hits as participates in the the community because such “Evil Ways” community it calls we’re a part of the and “Black home, the better it Magic community, too. is for everyone. Woman,” was one of “We want to support the community Paul Reed Smith’s original customers because we’re a part of the when he began building guitars in community, too,” he said. “It is the 1980s. The model that Gretz will important to give back.” raffle off is called a “Santana” model and is even in his signature color, a This month, Gretz is providing music bright yellow stain known as “Santana lovers with the chance to own a yellow.” piece of music history and help the Griffin Pond Animal Shelter in South “To this day, Carlos is still one of Paul’s Abington Township acquire muchmain artists,” Gretz said. “It is a great needed resources. He is raffling off guitar, people still demand it. We a Paul Reed Smith Santana electric thought it would be the right guitar to guitar hand-signed by Carlos Santana. go with.”

“When I told Paul what we wanted to do with the guitar, he offered to send it out to Carlos to sign it,” he added. “We are very fortunate to have him as an artist and as a member of the Paul Reed Smith family.” According to Gretz, if this guitar were sold in stores, it would sell at $4,200. Tickets for the raffle are available nationwide via the store’s website at and are $10 for a single ticket, $100 for 12. The raffle will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10, and tickets are limited. You can also visit the store in Dickson City and purchase the tickets in person. “I am an animal lover and my kids are animal lovers,” Gretz said. “It’s not a bad thing to be grateful for what you have and it is not a bad thing to help someone out, and that’s what we’re trying to do. In this case, it just happens to be animals.” • 7

Creating Links to the Classroom Skills in Scranton program seeks to unite educators and healthcare workers

For any teacher, the chance to bring real-life experience to the classroom is worth its weight in gold. Skills in Scranton, the Chamber’s workforce development affiliate, seeks to help teachers make those useful connections with its Educator in the Workplace program. The five-day initiative is designed to strengthen interactions between teachers and healthcare industry professionals by placing educators in various hospitals and medical facilities throughout Lackawanna County. A group of ten educators recently spent June 23-29 in facilities that included

“Being an educator for more than 20 years, I was never aware of all the opportunities that are in the medical field”

Allied Services, Geisinger Community Medical Center, Moses Taylor Hospital and Regional Hospital of Scranton. "The program is designed to give classroom teachers on the job familiarity within key industry sectors so they could convey important career information to their students,” said Bill Schoen, Skills in Scranton administrator. “The program also allows the classroom teachers to develop worksite contacts who can then become guest lecturers in their classrooms." According to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, healthcare-sector jobs are number one of the list of high-priority occupations for Lackawanna County for 2015-16. The Chamber, through Skills in Scranton, sought to leverage that for this year’s Educator in the Workplace program. “This is the way to positively impact workforce development, so the educators and work sites can learn from each other,” Schoen said. Lori Pawluck, a math teacher at Holy Cross High School in Dunmore, was stationed at Geisinger Community Medical Center, where she discovered just how much her chosen subject matter is integral to the healthcare profession.

8 • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce

“The one experience I will take back to my students is that all of the health fields require proficiency in mathematics,” she said. “I plan on incorporating health field-related questions into all of my math classes, in order for my students to be able to relate math to those fields.” “The most beneficial part of the program was getting to talk to the professionals in the health field,” she continued. “I learned that even if a student does not want to be a nurse or a doctor, they can work in the health field. For example, a student who is interested in the information technology field can also find many jobs in the healthcare industry.” Chris Buckley, a special education teacher for the Carbondale Area School District, was stationed at Allied Services, where he discovered a plethora of possible positions for his students upon graduation. “Being an educator for more than 20 years, I was never aware of all the opportunities that are in the medical field,” he said. “I have always been aware of the professional positions, but through this program I have come to realize that there are many positions in maintenance, kitchen help, aids and others. The opportunities are endless.” Skills in Scranton is already starting to plan next year’s session, which will focus on another high-priority occupation for the region.

Educator in the Workplace Teachers Chris Calautti

Carbondale Area Jr./Sr. High School

Chris Buckley

Carbondale Area Jr./Sr. High School

Lori Pawluck

Holy Cross High School

Welcome new members

Cardinal LG Dunmore Health Care Center/Saber Health Green Ridge Health Care Center/ Saber Health Home Health Care Professionals idGroup Kingston Health Care Center/Saber Health Lackawanna Health and Rehab Center Luscious Layers by Lisa LUX Personal Training Mayer’s Place MidValley Health Care Center/ Saber Health Nerium International Personal Chiropractic Service and Rehabilitation Pierre’s Fine Clothing ProCare Physical Therapy/ProCare Kids Scranton Health Care Center/Saber Health Select Tissue of Pennsylvania

Ttohank You our sponsor Chamber Day: Montage Mountain

Brad Turi

West Scranton High School

Lisa Dorunda

Abington Heights High School

Maura Kirchner Scranton High School

Kim Bochicchio Dunmore High School


Michelle Higgins Mid Valley Secondary Center

Learn more about the Educators in the Workplace Program by viewing a video here.

Brooke Frable Scranton High School

Laura Mayer

Lakeland Jr./Sr. High School • 9

PERSONNEL REPORT Fidelity Bank Announces Promotions Heather K. Kazinetz, Esq., special assets manager, was recently promoted to vice president at Fidelity Bank. John Pash, vice president and financial analyst was appointed as shareholder services officer of Fidelity D&D Bancorp, Inc. Kazinetz joined Fidelity Bank in 2012 and manages the special assets area, including management of impaired credits and development of credit and risk policies. Pash joined Fidelity Bank in 2015 as vice president and financial analyst, overseeing and analyzing the bank’s financial and economic performance. Pash will add the responsibility of overseeing all aspects of shareholder accounting and reporting for the Fidelity D&D Bancorp, Inc., the bank’s holding company.

Frontier Communications Names PA Vice President/ General Manager

Frontier Communications recently announced that Richard O’Brien was named vice president and general manager of its Pennsylvania operations. O’Brien oversees field operations, residential and commercial sales, and every aspect of the customer experience in Pennsylvania.

10 • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce

Munley Speaks at Annual Convention

Attorney Marion Munley of Munley Law recently spoke at the Ohio Association for Justice (OAJ) Annual Convention. Drawing on her 30 years of experience with motor vehicle accident cases, Attorney Munley discussed how to locate the parties involved and how to find all possible sources of recovery on behalf of accident victims.

Clarks Summit University Names Vice President

Thomas Bevan will be the new vice president for business administration and finance at Clarks Summit University (CSU). Bevin previously worked at the university from 2011 to 2014 as the executive director of the BBC Foundation, which provides financial planning options to benefit both the investor and CSU students.

Members on the Move! FNCB announces staff promotions FNCB recently announced several staff promotions: Michael Cummings, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Marketing. He will oversee all marketing, public relations and social media activities for the Bank. Nadine Limongelli, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Community Office Manager where she is responsible for managing the daily operations of the FNCB Community Office in Pittston.

Sara Matusinski, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Customer Care Center Supervisor where she is responsible for managing the daily operations of the FNCB Customer Care Center in Exeter. Ellen Pritchard, has been promoted to Assistant Vice President, Community Office Manager where she is responsible for managing the daily operations of the FNCB Community Offices on Route 6 and Main St. in Honesdale.

Stephanie Abraham, has been promoted to Commercial Officer where she is responsible for developing and expanding business banking relationships in Wayne, Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties. Igor Bodnar, has been promoted to Banking Officer, Community Office Manager where he is responsible for managing the daily operations of the FNCB Back Mountain Community Office. Nicoline Evans, has been promoted to Banking Officer, Community Office Manager where she is responsible for managing the daily operations of the FNCB Community Office in Hazleton.

FNCB Honors Longtime Employees

FNCB recently recognized employees with 10 or more years of service. The following employees were honored: 30 years of service: Russell Argust and Michael Germano. 20 years of service: Cathy Conrad, Lisa Gambo, Sheila Hallinan, Ron Shimsky and Mary Ann Sobuto. 15 years of service: Lynn Britt, Nancy Jeffers, Karen Smith and Linda Welsch. 10 years of service:  Roger Anderson, Kathleen Getek, JoAnna Grasso, Karin Kreinberg, Tara Montini, Pamela Phillips, Debra Skurkis, Jack Tigue and Diane Van Ness. • 11


Former Mayor and Family Honored

Jewish Family Service (JFS) of Northeastern Pennsylvania recently honored former Scranton mayor Jim Connors and his wife, Susie Blum Connors, for their dedication to Jewish Family Service and the local community at its inaugural JFS Community Matters Recognition Event.

NBT Bank Supports NeighborWorks® Northeastern Pennsylvania

NBT Bank recently made a contribution to NeighborWorks® Northeastern Pennsylvania to be used for the organization’s neighborhood redevelopment initiatives. The bank donated its remaining loan shares in NWNEPA’s Home Loan Lender’s Consortium back to the organization for use in future projects that support the organization’s efforts to provide meaningful and effective homeownership services for families throughout the City of Scranton, Lackawanna County and Northeastern Pennsylvania.

TekRidge Incubator Tenant Receives Funding

Channel Ape recently received funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, whose mission is to boost northeastern Pennsylvania’s economy with new and retained jobs, new technology companies and established manufacturers that are more competitive. Channel Ape is an incubator tenant at TekRidge, a property owned by SLIBCO, the industrial development arm of the Chamber. Channel Ape received $100,000 from Ben Franklin to launch marketing and sales efforts for a software platform for e-commerce store owners. Channel Ape offers a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud-based platform that helps e-commerce stores automate and integrate their redundant inventory, order and fulfillment management tasks. The product connects associated channels across numerous platforms into a single point of access.

Lackawanna College Introduces Its First Bachelor’s Degrees

Lackawanna College recently announced

12 • The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce

that it will offer the first-ever bachelor’s degree program in its 122-year history beginning in the Fall 2017 semester. The first program offered will be a bachelor’s of science degree in Business. Students will have the opportunity to take part in an accelerated program and graduate in just three years by utilizing summer and intersession classes, which feature reduced tuition rates.

Momentum Magazine, August 2016  
Momentum Magazine, August 2016