Lianne Waller Recognized

Lianne Waller was recently awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence at Wayne Bank. This award is presented to employees who show exceptional levels of dedication and service in their positions. Ms. Waller started her banking career in 2015 as a teller in the Honesdale Main Street Community Office and currently holds the position of Wealth Management Administrative Assistant.

Healthy Kids Day 2019

Wells Fargo recently presented the Greater Scranton YMCA with a $2,500 check to support its 2019 “Healthy Kids Day” celebration, which is a national initiative by the YMCA to improve the health and well-being of children. “Healthy Kids Day” 2019 will be celebrated on April 27.

Wright Center Organizes Morning of Service

Dr. Jennifer Chen, a third-year Family Medicine resident with The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education, recently organized a morning of service at the St. Vincent de Paul Kitchen. In what has become an annual organizational tradition, team members and doctors from all Wright Center programs prepared and served lunch to more than 100 individuals within the Wyoming Valley community.

The Wright Center Receives Grant

From left, Maria Kolcharno, Director of Addiction Services, The Wright Center for Community Health; Cindy Kennedy, Director COC and DSS Operations, Maternal and Family Health Services; Yurii Lynn Harden, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Maternal and Family Health Services; Bette Saxton, President and CEO, Maternal and Family Health Services; Dr. Linda Thomas-Hemak, Chief Executive Officer, The Wright Center for Community Health; John Menapace, Board Member, AllOne Foundation and Charities; John Cosgrove, Executive Director, AllOne Foundation and Charities; Mary Carroll Donahoe, Program Officer, AllOne Foundation and Charities; Dr. Maria Montoro-Edwards, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, The Wright Center for Community Health; and Scott Constantini, Director of Behavioral Health, The Wright Center for Community Health

The Wright Center for Community Health and The Wright Center for Maternal and Family Health Services were recently awarded a $500,000 grant from AllOne Foundation to support the organizations’ work within the community-based Healthy MOMS (Maternal Opiate Medical Support) Pregnancy-Recovery initiative. The Healthy MOMS program launched in 2018 with the goal of organizing regional players in the healthcare, legal and social services sectors to care for pre- and post-natal women with Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) and reduce their babies’ risk of neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).


Craters, Concrete and Construction: An update on area roads, courtesy of PennDOT

This year, April will be the start of an extremely busy construction season for PennDOT. With 2018 being the wettest year on record for many counties in our region, numerous areas have seen washouts and slides. As the weather finally gets warmer, crews will begin to repair the damage that was caused by all that water.

Water is also the cause of the most notorious and annoying of road conditions – potholes! A pothole is created when water seeps into the roadway, and then begins to expand and contract with temperature fluctuations. This past winter was filled with numerous days that were fluctuating between temperatures above 32 degrees and below 32 degrees. Combine that with one of the wettest years on record, and we’ve got the perfect recipe for creating a pothole.

Motorists will not only see PennDOT crews hard at work this year, they will also see a lot of work done by private contractors who work for PennDOT. Most of the time, many of the larger, long-term projects are completed by private contractors. The most noticeable of these in 2019 will be along Interstate 81.

This year, three different construction projects will begin, starting in Dunmore and going to Nuangola. The good news is that PennDOT is requiring the contractor to maintain two lanes of traffic during the day. With few exceptions, work that requires a lane closure will occur at night.

Projects will not only take place on major highways, like Interstate 81, but will also happen on many lesser-traveled roads in rural areas. You may see crews doing “oil and chip” on rural roads that don’t appear to be in poor condition. Oil and chip works like a driveway sealant – it helps preserve and protect a road that is in good condition, giving it longer life moving forward.

With all the work taking place on our roads this year, it is critically important to remember to use extreme caution when driving. Put down the phone and focus on the task at hand so that we can all make it home at the end of the day. This year will be one of the busiest years ever on our roads here in NEPA. Let’s also work together to make it the safest.

Official Notice to Chamber Members

In accordance with the by-laws of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, the Governance Committee has presented a slate of candidates for election to the Board of Directors.  The names of the candidates are herewith submitted for your review:

Donna Barbetti, Office Manager, Michael Barbetti, LLC; Ryan Flynn, Senior Vice President & Market Manager, Entercom Wilkes-Barre/Scranton; Bridget Goryeb, Business Development, Highland Associates; Attorney P. Timothy Kelly, Needle Law PC; Katie Leonard, President & CEO, Johnson College; Abbie Maseychik, Co-owner, Robert S. Maseychik Agency, Inc.; Ryan McGowan, Government Banking/Relationship Manager, M&T Bank; Timothy B. McGrath, General Manager, Viewmont Mall; Laurie M. Schwager, Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Dr. Marwan A. Wafa, Chancellor, Penn State Scranton.

Additional candidates for directors can be nominated by petition bearing the genuine signature of at least 15 members of the Chamber, in good standing.  Such petition must be filed with the Governance Committee by April 22, 2019. The determination of the Governance Committee as to the legality of the petition(s) shall be final.

If no legal petition is filed by April 22nd nominations shall be closed and the candidates declared elected by the Board of Directors at its May meeting.

If a legal petition presents additional candidates, you will be notified and an election by ballot initiated.

Members of the Governance Committee are: Laurie Schwager, Chair; Laureen Cadden, Patrick Fricchione, Alex J. Hazzouri, P. Timothy Kelly, Sister Mary Perisco IHM, John Phillips, Robert Ufberg, Marwan Wafa, and Lisa Zielinski; John Wiercinski and Robert F. Durkin, Ex-Officio.

Ask the Expert: Lackawanna College Esports

Jill Murray, Ph.D.

Executive Vice President/Chief Innovation Officer

Lackawanna College, (570) 961-7898

Do you have kids or grandkids who are constantly playing Fortnite or League of Legends? Or are you wondering how your gaming hobby can help your career? Dr. Jill Murray has had this conversation with people of all ages since Lackawanna College became the first institution of higher education in the region to have a varsity esports team. In this month’s Ask the Expert, she discusses how participating in electronic sports (called “esports”) can help players develop the skills they need to be successful at school or in the workplace.

Teamwork and accountability. Esports is like any other sport in many ways. Whether it is a group of friends or a team at school, these players must work well together. At Lackawanna College, we offer scholarships for esports student-athletes and hold them to a high standard. The players must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA, stay enrolled as a full-time student, participate in four hours of study hall per week, participate in weekly grade checks and attend all tutoring sessions.

Inclusivity. Esports is unique in the sporting world due to the fact that men and women can play together, all ages can participate and there are special controllers so people with disabilities can partake. This allows people of many different backgrounds and abilities to come together over a common interest. Also, since it is all online, there are no geographical barriers or restrictions due to traveling expenses. This allows for interactions of people from all over the world who probably would not have had the chance to get to know each other if it weren’t for esports.

Focus. Despite certain stereotypes of who a gamer is, many reports have found that people involved in gaming actually improve their memory, attention and decision-making skills. Players learn how to focus on relevant information while disregarding distractions. This is evident at Lackawanna College when the players go over footage of past games to see how they can improve their performance by either becoming more efficient or handling scenarios differently.

Problem Solving. This isn’t just people playing solo games like video games of the past; it is extremely interactive. These players are constantly collaborating by giving each other real-time advice through their headphones and working together to come up with strategies to beat their opponents. It requires players to know their team members’ individual strengths and weaknesses and how to overcome their shortcomings.

Fresh Faces: Veloce

Fresh Faces

Scranton, PA
Member since 2018

Hello my name is…  Aaron McNany

What inspired you to start your business?

There is so much potential in our area for outdoor recreational activities and fitness, that I wanted to be a part of that culture.

What do you like about doing business locally?

I am motivated by the thought that my efforts may positively impact our community, resulting in a better future for all.

Why did you decide to join the Chamber?

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce offers a surprising amount of opportunities for its members. Already, our business has seen a benefit just from networking alone. We’re also excited to have been accepted as a participant in the Ignite incubator program, giving us the chance to develop unique online programming for regional cycling.

How Kiki Got ‘Flustered’: Meet Kiki’s Flustered Mustard


For Kristen “Kiki” Langan, a culinary fluke led to a booming business.

“Mustard was always my go-to snack on carrots, because it keeps the more unhealthy options at bay,” she recalled. “I thought to myself, ‘How hard could it be to make?’ and decided to experiment with different recipes, but they all lacked texture.”

Langan’s search for that elusive ingredient led her to her kitchen cupboard, where she spotted a can of chickpeas.

“Chickpeas don’t have an overwhelming flavor, so I knew their addition wouldn’t take away from the recipe I created,” she said. “The chickpeas have been one of the most notable risks of my mustard-making journey.”

Langan’s journey took her from Colorado, where she made her fateful culinary discovery, back home to northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as from giving her product away to friends and family to establishing her own business, with the addition of several new flavors, such as “The OG” (original flavor), “Smokey Peppers Mustard Dip,” and “Taste Bud Terminator.”

“We try to take people on a little flavor journey,” she said. “We want our flavors to excite the palate and give people the opportunity to explore their culinary abilities and use our product in ways that are just as unique as our flavors.”

“People have an expectation about what mustard is going to—or should—taste like,” she continued. “Famous last words I hear a lot are, ‘I don’t like mustard.’ Everyone has a preference and I totally respect that, but when someone tastes our mustard, the response is usually, ‘Oh yeah, I can eat that.’ We break the craft mustard mold because we take taste bud expectations, turn them on their heads, and bring something new to people’s plates.”


For Langan, it’s the opportunity to introduce people to something new that brings her the most pride in her business.

“My greatest joy is seeing people try Kiki’s Flustered Mustard for the first time, seeing their surprise at the flavors or texture and then seeing them smile, that’s what it’s all about,” she said. “When you can bring happiness to someone with something you’ve made, that’s a true privilege.”

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