NEPIRC’s Annual Manufacturing Day Event

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center (NEPIRC) announced the return of its regional National Manufacturing Day (MFG DAY) 2021 Manufacturing Best Practices Summit & Expo. This year’s event will be at the Mohegan Sun Pocono Convention Center on October 1st, 2021. The event, which attracted nearly 400 participants in 2019 and garnered over 500 virtual event attendees in 2020, is open to manufacturers, suppliers, and local businesses that serve industrial customers and job seekers.

NEPIRC’s 2021 MFG DAY expo will feature four (4) timely-topic breakout sessions, a keynote speaker luncheon, an afternoon industry panel discussion on automation (robotics) implementation, a post-event reception and plenty of networking time for exhibitors and attendees. David Beurle, futurist and founder of Future iQ, will provide the keynote address – The World Ahead: A Decade of Turbulence, Transformation & Triumph – as a follow-up to his 2019 presentation to a capacity audience at NEPIRC’s 2019 gathering.

In addition to highlighting the region’s manufacturers, providing networking opportunities and offering world-class content, this year’s MFG DAY event will encourage the creation of localized supply chains and regional business-to-business commerce. “Our manufacturers learned a great deal during the pandemic – including the risks associated with distant supply chains and, conversely, the benefit of localized supplier and vendor relationships,” said Eric Joseph Esoda, NEPIRC’s President & CEO. “In response, our manufacturers are entering the post-pandemic economy eager to create new networks and business relationships with companies within the region and conduct more business locally,” he added.

Following NEPIRC’s 2019 MFG DAY event, 83% of attendees indicated that the likelihood of doing business with vendors, suppliers and fellow manufacturers that they met at the event had increased significantly. More than 92% of attendees stated that they planned to attend NEPIRC’s next MFG DAY event.

The full agenda for the event, as well as sponsorship, exhibitor and attendee registration information can be found at or obtained by calling Chelsey Coslett, NEPIRC’s Manager of Marketing & Stakeholder Engagement, at 570.704.0018.

Award Winning Journalist Tracey Matisak to Host WVIA Mental Health Initiative Mind Over Matter

Award winning journalist Tracey Matisak will host the WVIA and Geisinger presented mental health initiative Mind Over Matter

“We are excited to have Tracey guide conversations and increase awareness of mental illness prevention, treatment, and management in our area” said Ben Payavis II, WVIA’s Chief Content Officer. “Her extensive resume and inquisitive approach make her an ideal partner on this project to inform and engage the people of northeastern and central Pennsylvania.”

“Mental health is a topic that, until recently, has not gotten the attention it deserves. While we have all been (rightly) focused on COVID-19, the anxiety and depression that have come along with it have created something of a secondary pandemic. I’m encouraged by those in the public eye who have courageously come forward to share their challenges and spark a national and long overdue conversation around mental health. It’s a topic that has touched my own life, and one that I’m looking forward to exploring with WVIA viewers through Mind Over Matter. My hope is that the series will encourage and challenge us all, and heighten our awareness and sensitivity to this important topic” said Matisak.

With more than 30 years of major market television and radio experience, Tracey has anchored numerous special projects for WHYY-TV/PBS in Philadelphia; she also serves as a regular guest host on WHYY-FM’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane. In addition, Tracey serves as moderator for the Philadelphia Speakers Series, where she has shared the stage with the likes of NBC’s Tom Brokaw, former British Prime Minister David Cameron, Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson and acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns.

Tracey is a frequent moderator for the Author Events series at the Free Library of Philadelphia, where she has interviewed former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington and Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles, among others. 

In addition, Tracey travels nationwide hosting live, interactive executive leadership webcasts for Skillsoft Corporation. In that capacity, she regularly interviews some of the most widely respected authors and speakers in the business world, including Daniel Pink, Seth Godin, John Maxwell and Angela Duckworth.

Tracey is perhaps best known for her work in television news, having worked for 12 years at FOX 29, Philadelphia. There, she anchored the live morning show Good Day Philadelphia and served as an anchor and reporter for FOX 29’s Ten O’Clock News. She was also a contributor to the HGTV show Design Basics, and has served as a news anchor for a number of Philadelphia radio stations, including KYW Newsradio.

A graduate of Temple University, Tracey taught for several years there as an adjunct instructor in the Klein College of Media and Communication. A winner of several local Emmy awards, Tracey was among the first to be inducted into Temple University’s School of Media and Communications Hall of Fame. She has also won the Sarah Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from the Association for Women in Communications and was named Communicator of the Year by the National Black MBA Association.

Originally from Hazleton, PA, Tracey and her husband Daniel are the parents of three young adults; they live in suburban Philadelphia.

Mind Over Matter is a yearlong initiative which includes programs and presentations created by WVIA. The series goal is to combat the stigma and increase awareness, prevention, treatment and management of a range of mental Illnesses. Like WVIA’s successful Battling Opioids series, this public health initiative aims to improve the mental and physical health of our community through a multi-platform approach that will include TV, radio, and digital content.

Major funding for Mind Over Matter is provided by Geisinger.

On Thursday, August 26th at 8pm the initiative will present Living with Alzheimer’s & Dementia, a program that explores the effects these diseases have on individuals, families and communities. 

To find more information and to learn more about Mind Over Matter visit

Chamber Announces Promotion of Brianna Florovito

The Chamber is proud to announce the promotion of Brianna Florovito to IGNITE Program manager. IGNITE is the entrepreneurship and business incubation program of the Chamber, which helps new businesses grow in Lackawanna County.

In this role, Brianna will manage the IGNITE Program by fostering entrepreneurs and their companies through education, counseling, networking, and mentorship. Her responsibilities include overall program management, client development, funding, marketing, events, and more.

Brianna started at the Chamber in 2019 as the workforce and entrepreneurial development specialist where she focused on economic and workforce strategies for the Chamber and its affiliates – SLIBCO, The Scranton Plan, and Skills in Scranton.

Brianna is also an instructor at Lackawanna College teaching GED classes. She recently co-authored an article “Subject Position and Manifestations of Workplace Followership” that was published in the Journal of Organizational Psychology.

Johnson College Requiring Face Coverings Inside All On-Campus Buildings

Johnson College is re-establishing its on-campus face-covering policy due to the contagious delta COVID-19 variant and Lackawanna County’s substantial COVID-19 spread.  Effective immediately, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccinated status, must be masked at all times while inside on-campus buildings, classrooms, and labs.

The health and safety of our campus community continues to be our top priority as we deliver our mission of student-centered, real-world, hands-on learning in a caring and safe environment.

This plan is subject to change pending guidelines set forth by local, state, and national government officials and appropriate health agencies. For updated information, please visit our website,

Dentist Satya Upadhyayula, D.M.D., Joins the Wright Center for Community Health’s Mid Valley and Scranton Practices

Satya Upadhyayula, D.M.D., a board-certified general practice dentist, has joined the oral health team at The Wright Center for Community Health, which includes two additional board-certified dentists and five certified public health dental hygienists. Dr. Upadhyayula is accepting new patients of all ages at The Wright Center’s Mid Valley location, 5 S. Washington Ave., Jermyn, as well as the Scranton location, 501 S. Washington Ave.

Dr. Upadhyayula is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. He earned his master’s degree in oral biology from the University of Louisville School of Dentistry, Kentucky, and his bachelor’s degree in dental surgery from Dr. NTR University of Health Sciences, India.

Prior to joining The Wright Center, Dr. Upadhyayula completed his oral and maxillofacial surgery internship at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, as well as externships with the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

The Wright Center offers comprehensive dental services for the whole family, including emergency services and routine check-ups and cleanings, plus denture care, oral cancer screenings, extractions, fillings and X-rays. As a Federally Qualified Health Center Look-Alike, The Wright Center provides safety-net primary care — including dental, medical, behavioral/mental health, addiction and recovery, and Ryan White HIV services — regardless of insurance status or ability to pay, with a Sliding Fee Discount Scale available to eligible patients based on family size and income.

To schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Upadhyayula, visit or call 570-230-0019.

From Piggy Banks to Scholarships, Local Students Growing Up With FNCB

In 2014, FNCB Bank held a “piggy bank” contest in area elementary schools to teach children the importance of saving money. The contest encouraged children to use their creativity to design a piggy bank, which was then placed on display for employee and customer voting.

Several weeks ago, when the FNCB Bank Foundation announced the winners of the 2021 merit scholarship awards, two familiar names appeared — Danielle Lamberti of Lackawanna Trail High School and Sarah Stettler of Holy Redeemer High School — amazingly, both were winners of the piggy bank contest held seven years ago when they were in fifth grade, including Ms. Lamberti’s “Best in Show” entry.

In her scholarship entry, Ms. Lamberti, an incoming nursing major at Misericordia University, mentioned the importance of winning the piggy bank contest, saying it was “the start of her savings journey.”

When asked how she felt about going from winning the piggy bank contest to being awarded a college scholarship, she said, “Ever since I won the piggy bank contest, I have been using FNCB Bank for all my personal banking. It’s all very encouraging to see how far I have come since 2014 and that every penny is hard earned. To win the scholarship now just ties in the sense of community and belonging I’ve felt, especially since winning.” She added, “This experience brings me much happiness through old and new memories and is so appreciated for my nursing future in college and after.”

Similarly, Ms. Stettler, an incoming psychology major at King’s College, also opened her first savings account with FNCB after winning the piggy bank contest. “If it wasn’t for that piggy bank contest seven years ago, I may not have known about the scholarship opportunity,” she said. “There aren’t words strong enough to convey my deep appreciation for FNCB’s generosity.”

Michael Cummings, FNCB’s Marketing Manager added, “We were delighted when we pieced together the connection, and proud to award them with yet another accomplishment. We wish them both the best of luck in the fall.”

For more information on the FNCB Bank Foundation Scholarship program, please visit

13th Annual Pauly Friedman Family 5K Walk/Run Supports Family Service Association of NEPA’s PA 211 NE/Help Line

The 13th Annual Pauly Friedman Family 5K Walk/Run on Sunday, Aug. 29 is offering runners, walkers and families of all ages and abilities a new location, a scenic route, and added attractions as it continues to support Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s free Pennsylvania 211 Northeast / Help Line service in the region.

The Sidney and Pauline Friedman Jewish Community Center (JCC), 613 S.J. Strauss Lane, Kingston, under the direction of Gary Bernstein, CEO of the Friedman JCC, will host the annual event, which begins at 9 a.m. Participants can register for the walk/run online at Early registration for the walk and run costs $25 or $10 for students and participants age 21 and younger. Registration also is available the day of the event from 7:30-8:45 a.m. The cost is $30 per person. All pre-registrants will receive a T-shirt.

The overall first place male and female winners in the run and walk will receive medals. In addition, first, second and third place finishers in eight age categories will earn medals.

The new course for the Friedman Family 5K Walk/Run begins at the JCC (A map of the course is also available online at Athletes will bear right onto Third Avenue upon leaving the 13.4 acre Weinberg Campus of the community facility until arriving at the Kingston Recreational Center. They will follow a trailhead that will take everyone behind the center and onto the levee system.

Once on the levee system, participants will travel through the Riverfront Park Common Area and into Kirby Park. To complete the route, participants will retrace the route back along the levee system, past the Kingston Recreational Center and end at the JCC.

The annual event is in memory of the late Pauline “Pauly” Friedman, a long-time board member and chairperson of FSA’s board of directors. Her leadership and actions continue to benefit the nonprofit agency and the many people who utilize its services and programs. She organized the first fundraiser for the health and human services agency in modern history and formed the Friends Committee, the volunteer fundraising arm of FSA that continues to play an important role today. Proceeds from the run/walk benefit PA 211 / Help Line, which was her favorite program.

“Pauly was dedicated to her community and PA 211 Northeast,” said Remy Sweeney, a board member at FSA and chairperson of the 13th annual program. “The Friedman family continues to support her initiatives and many other worthwhile endeavors for the betterment of the Greater Wyoming Valley.”

The 13th Annual Friedman Walk/Run also features various auctions and raffles for baskets and prizes, live music by DJ Bouncin’ Bernie A(ll) D(a) H(its) DJ Productions, food vendors, health and learning initiatives with the Commission on Economic Opportunity (pre-diabetes screening) and PA Distance Learning Charter School (interactive learning van), massages for participants by Eleventh Element spa, and more.

“Pauly was always about inclusion and community,” said Tom O’Neill, a member of the organizing committee. “The Friedman Jewish Community Center is the perfect backdrop for an event held in her memory and in support of her favorite program at Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania.” 

The annual event has raised nearly $135,400 since its inception in 2009. Proceeds support the free services of FSA’s PA 211 NE / Help Line, which provides information and referral services that help people face life challenges by connecting them to the local resources they need. It is available year-round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. By dialing 211, texting 211 (898 211 and zip code) or utilizing the website (, it saves time and frustration by eliminating the need to navigate a maze of agencies by organizing all available resources in one, locally operated database.

Calling 211 connects people to professional caseworkers who address diverse needs, such as domestic violence, emergency shelters, vaccination clinics, food banks, crisis intervention, rent and utility payment assistance, drug and alcohol detoxification, and more.  

“211 is such a vital part of our community, especially now during the pandemic,” added Sweeney, who has been an FSA board member for three years. “With this being the 13th annual race, I wanted to make sure to raise awareness and reinforce the essential services it provides to everyone in Northeastern and North-Central Pennsylvania.”

A group of involved and concerned members of our community founded the Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania (FSA) in 1895 in order to provide diverse services to children, individuals, seniors and families that empower them to reach their full potential by building healthier relationships, and ultimately stronger communities.

Today, its 13 programs provide services to residents in 17 counties, including Bradford, Clinton, Columbia, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Lycoming, Monroe, Montour, Northumberland, Pike, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Union, Wayne and Wyoming counties. For more information about FSA or to support its programs, please log on to, call, (570) 823-5144, or email,

Luzerne County Passes C-PACE Resolution

On July 27, 2021, Luzerne County Council approved a Resolution to implement Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE). The Council approved C-PACE to help owners of commercial, industrial, nonprofit, and agricultural property with access to low-cost, long-term financing for energy and water conservation projects.

“By passing this resolution, Luzerne County has added another resource for businesses and non-profits to grow by investing in their operations while helping the environment at the same time, said Romilda Crocamo, acting County Manager.”

The approval of the C-PACE resolution authorizes Luzerne County to enter into a Cooperative Agreement with Sustainable Energy Fund for the administration of the Program.

Now that a Resolution has been passed, Luzerne County commercial and industrial businesses, agriculture interests, and nonprofits, with the aid of private capital providers, will be able to finance clean energy and water efficiency projects. The C-PACE program, offering as much as 100% financing, will save local constituencies money and energy, while providing even greater opportunity for growth and success with this initiative.

“Sustainable Energy Fund is proud to offer its 20 years of experience in clean energy lending to Luzerne County, allowing them to take advantage of this powerful new energy finance tool for bringing investment, jobs, and clean energy to their communities,” said John Costlow, President of SEF.

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is a financial tool for property owners to obtain low-cost, long-term financing for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and water conservation projects. C-PACE can facilitate a loan from private capital sources for a project by placing a voluntary specialpayment on the property’s annual tax bill that repays the cost of the upgrades. Nationally, more than $2 billion has been invested through PACE loans. In Pennsylvania, C-PACE investment could help retrofit one of the nation’s oldest building stocks and accelerate growth in a local energy efficiency industry that already accounts for 65,000 jobs.

For more information on program development, program guidelines, and links to the preapplication, visit If you have a project and would like assistance finding a contractor or capital provider, contact SEF at (610) 264-4440.

Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Chamber Deal

Come on out to PNC Field this Saturday August 14th for a great deal on Tickets! Bleacher ticker tickets are only $5 and field reserved seating is $10! Don’t miss out on this great deal to watch the RailRiders take on the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.

Game Highlight (2): Bud Light Seltzer Saturdays
Get $2 Black Cherry Bud Light Seltzers for two hours after gates open every Saturday this season. | Presented By Northeast Eagle & Times- Leader Media Group

Game Highlight: Post Game Fireworks!
Stick around after the final out to enjoy spectacular fireworks immediately following the game. Gates open at 5:00 P.M.

Promotion: Legends Race Bobblehead Giveaway
Our beloved Legends Racers will be honored in the first of a two-part giveaway. The first 2,500 fans through the gates at PNC Field will receive a Mickey Mantle and Thurman Munson dual bobblehead. This duo of revered racers will help your bobblehead collection make great strides. | Presented By PNC Bank | First 2,500 Fans

HRC Accolades: New “Masters” at HRC

The Human Resources Center of NEPA encourages an environment of continuous learning.  Sometimes there are staff who take it one step further. Such is the case for two HRC employees: Jaclyn Moser, Payroll Specialist, and JoHanna Wnenta Schultz, Program Specialist. Both of these driven women took it upon themselves to further their education and have recently graduated from their respective universities with Master’s degrees in their field.

Jaclyn recently celebrated her 7-year anniversary with HRC. While Jaclyn has grown with HRC professionally as a Payroll Specialist, her decision to return to school was purely a personal goal.

“I have always wanted to obtain my Master’s degree,” Jaclyn said. “I am a lifelong learner and love to learn.” She goes on to joke that if she could be paid to go to school, she might never leave.

Jaclyn received her Master’s in Human Resources and Employee Relations with concentrations in Benefits and Compensation and Employment and Labor Law from Penn State University.

JoHanna is currently the Community Participation Support Program Specialist of HRC’s Church Street location in Honesdale, PA. Her passion for the advocacy and support of individuals with disabilities comes from her late father, who was a dedicated advocate himself. JoHanna is widely regarded as an industry expert and recently presented as a panelist at the Maine Association for Community Service Provider’s 2-day webinar series.

“Jackie actually motivated me to get my Master’s,” JoHanna remarked with a chuckle. “True story! We are former officemates!” She goes on to add, “my dad was also a huge supporter. I could not have completed my degree in 2 years without the encouragement of my family.”

JoHanna Wnenta Schultz received her Master’s in Education: Curriculum and Instruction for Special Education from Liberty University and graduated with Highest Honors of Distinction.

On behalf of all of HRC, we would like to congratulate both Jaclyn and JoHanna on their successes. We are incredibly proud to proclaim them as valued HRC staff. We know they will continue to utilize their skills to assist HRC in continuing our mission to serve and support individuals with disabilities in NEPA. Congratulations, Jackie and JoHanna!