Jackie Kerekes – EMPOWER Wellness Presenter

Owner, The Training Loft

Wellness Presentation: POUND

Pound is a fun, energizing workout developed through playing the drums. We use light-weight drumsticks to make some noise with a cardio jam session. This workout has you sweating while moving to the beat of energy-filled music. Whatever your fitness level is, join us! We sit, stand, and get on the floor to rock out and burn yours legs, arms, and abs.


Jackie Kerekes is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer and NASM certified fitness nutrition specialist. She is also group fitness certified through the Athletics and Fitness Association of America and has taught many different classes throughout the area. Her specialties include strength training, core strength, HIIT, Fit Factor, and Pound. Jackie has a life-long passion for fitness and nutrition and loves coaching individual clients and embracing positive results with them. 

Jackie’s personal training boutique, The Training Loft, located in Clarks Summit, offers one-on-one personal training, small group training, nutrition coaching, and some group classes. Recently relocating her studio and adding a smoothie bar that is open to the public, Jackie is excited to offer healthy, delicious options for a meal or snack on the go!

Jackie believes fitness and nutrition fits into everyone’s life, no matter how busy. Exercise in some form every day helps the mind, as well as the body! Whatever your age or gender, there is a fit for you!

As a proud mom to four amazing kids, Jackie has the drive and energy to pursue her dream of sharing a passion for fitness, nutrition, and wellness with the community.  

Applications Open for Leadership Collegiate Program

Leadership Lackawanna, the premier community leadership and professional development affiliate of the Chamber, has opened applications for its Leadership Collegiate program.

The program is open to students currently enrolled in a trade school, college, or university anywhere in the United States. The courses will be offered March 7 through April 18 and participants work on weekly course content at their own pace. There are six mandatory, one-hour Zoom meetings throughout the course.

This 6-week virtual program, consisting of online modules, will provide current and aspiring leaders with an innovative and flexible online learning experience – complete with a variety of personal and professional development skills that are ideal for building a solid resume and honing leadership, interview, and career readiness skills. In addition, the opportunity to connect with students from around the state and build connections via a private LinkedIn group will be plentiful. This program is co-facilitated by Leadership Lackawanna executive director, Nicole Morristell and 68 Rising leadership consultant, Dr. Matthew Sowcik.

Cost for Leadership Collegiate is $300 per person with payment plans and scholarships available. Applications close on February 25. Apply at www.LeadershipLackawanna.com.

DaKor Furniture and theKimmy Hosting Pop Up Shop This Weekend

Visit DaKor Furniture – 306 S. State St. in Clarks Summit – will be hosting a pop up shop this weekend on Saturday, January 29 and Sunday, January 30 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Stop by to visit local small businesses including theKIMMY and more!

You’re Invited: We Are Alaska

An inspiring, fun, and interactive online experience with Ebersmith Travel and Holland America Line

You’re invited to explore Holland America Line’s Alaska Cruises and Land+Sea Journeys from the comfort of your own home with an expert resident guide who knows all things Alaska. 

Ask questions or listen in as others share experiences and tips about cruising this incredible region. We’ll also discuss special promotions that will be available only to those who join us!

Register: www.ebersmithtravel.com/virtual-alaska

NET Credit Union Expands Partnership with Lackawanna College

NET Credit Union recently furthered their partnership with their Preferred Partner Group, Lackawanna College, by offering tuition-free classes to NET employees.  

Under the agreement, qualifying NET Credit Union employees can pursue an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree at Lackawanna College. Lackawanna College offers over thirty different degrees, majors, and certificates.

“We are excited to further our relationship with NET Credit Union with this free tuition announcement.  We are also grateful for NET’s investment in their employees as well as their trust in us to offer them an amazing opportunity to continue their education,” said Dr. Jill Murray, Lackawanna College President. Our programs are designed to meet the relevant needs of today’s workforce by making college affordable and accessible for everyone.”

“The Lackawanna College Business Partnership Scholarship Initiative helps businesses of all sizes develop and retain employees,” said Jeff Gregory, Director of College Enrollment Partnerships. “A partnership with Lackawanna College includes a tuition scholarship that can be offered to employees, allowing the workforce to pursue a bachelor’s or associate degree.”

“This program will simultaneously help grow our employees’ personal development, as well as the capabilities of our business. NET Credit Union is thrilled to partner with Lackawanna College in this program,” states Clarence Baltrusaitis, NET Credit Union CEO.

Lackawanna College is a Preferred Partner Group of NET Credit Union. This means all students, staff, and faculty are eligible to Bank on NET.  The tuition program not only benefits our relationship with Lackawanna College, but it also strengthens our employee benefits. NET Credit Union looks forward to furthering our partnership with Lackawanna College.

Marywood University Featuring Two Art Exhibits

Marywood University’s art galleries, including the Mahady Gallery and the Suraci Gallery, both located in the Shields Center for Visual Arts, are featuring two art exhibits from January 29-March 4. Both have opening receptions on January 29, 2-4 p.m., with each exhibit featuring gallery talks in February. Details include:

Mahady Gallery: Paul Plumadore: PaperWorks

Opening Reception, January 29, 2-4 p.m.; Gallery Talk, February 2, 2 p.m.

Paul Plumadore’s solo exhibition, PaperWorks, will consist of hand cut paper montages, shadowboxes, archival giclee prints, and books; a total of 90 works in all. Mr. Plumadore has been creating collage and related artworks since the late 1970s. He has been a professional dancer (The Paul Taylor Dance Company) and an illustrator (The New York Times, RCA Records).  He first started showing his art in gallery settings at The 2015 Northeastern Biennial which was held at Marywood University. In 2021, his artwork was presented for the fourth time at Art of the State held at The Pennsylvania State Museum in Harrisburg, PA.

Suraci Gallery: Julie Stark: Revisiting Beginnings NYC Streets 1983-1985

Opening Reception, January 29, 2-4 p.m.; Gallery Talk, February 17, 2 p.m.

Julie Stark, a native of Kutztown Pennsylvania, moved to New York City in 1983 for her last BFA semester to intern with the Artist-Photographer Cindy Sherman. As an apprentice for Sherman, Stark worked in the photo industry learning and honing skills in set and location lighting, darkroom film processing, and worked as a fine printer. Stark went on to receive a BFA degree from Kutztown University with a concentration in photography and film.

Eventually, she sought a job in video post-production to have access to editing equipment, early digital compositing and motion graphics. She worked at National Video Center in New York City for five years learning video post-production, which led her to a position of Post-production Art Director for USA Networks. It was here that she began combining all these skills into compositing live action, with computer generated elements and entered the world of film visual effects. Stark moved to the west coast in 1990 and began working in the film industry. She worked as a film compositor, and compositing and lighting supervisor on many feature films such as, Life of Pi (which won an Oscar for VFX in 2013), Happy Feet, Golden Compass, Django Unchained, Harry Potter, Fast and Furious, and countless others, until leaving the industry in 2013 to work on her artistic endeavors full time. Presently, Julie is the owner/operator of Stark Juice, a cold press juice company.

For additional information about art exhibits at Marywood University, please visit marywood.edu/galleries/exhibitions or call (570) 348-6278.

University of Scranton Online Programs Among Best in Nation

U.S. News & World Report’s 2022 “Best Online Graduate Programs” ranked The University of Scranton’s online master’s degree programs in business (excluding MBA) at No. 55 and its online MBA program at No. 98 in the nation. U.S. News also ranked Scranton at No. 65 in the country for “Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans.”

This is the 11th consecutive year that U.S. News ranked the University’s online programs among the best in the nation. The methodology used by U.S. News to determine the ranking has changed several times throughout the years.

For the 2022 Best Online Programs ranking, which published January 25, U.S. News reviewed statistical information submitted by schools. The ranking criteria differed by category. The criteria used by U.S. News to rank online business and MBA programs included student engagement (30 percent), which looked at graduation rates, class size, one-year retention rates, and best practices such as accreditation by AACSB International, among other factors. The ranking criteria also included peer reputation score (25 percent); faculty credentials and training (15 percent); admission selectivity (15 percent); and student services and technology (15 percent).

In addition to offering distance education programs that incorporate coursework that is predominantly online, colleges and universities making the “Best Online Program for Veterans” list must have ranked in top half of 2022 Best Online Program rankings; be regionally accredited; be certified for the GI Bill and participate in the Yellow Ribbon Program; and enroll a “critical mass of veterans” as defined by U.S. News based on the size of the college.

Scranton offers online MBA degrees in general business, accounting, business analytics, enterprise resource planning, finance, healthcare management, human resources, international business and operations management; master’s degrees in accountancy, business analytics, finance, health administration, health informatics and human resources and a dual MBA/MHA degree, in addition to graduate certificates. For technology, recruitment and marketing support, the University partners with Wiley for the online programs.

In other rankings published by U.S. News, Scranton has been ranked among the top 10 “Best Regional Universities in the North” for 28 consecutive years. Scranton is ranked No. 5 in the 2022 edition of the guidebook. U.S. News also ranked Scranton No. 14 in its category for “Best Undergraduate Teaching.” U.S. News also ranked Scranton No. 14 in its category in its “Best Undergraduate Teaching” listing of the top colleges in the nation expressing “a strong commitment to undergraduate teaching,” among other rankings.

RailRiders add 13 Employees to Front Office for 2022 Season

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Triple-A affiliate of the New York Yankees, are pleased to announce key additions to their front office staff as the start of the 2022 season approaches. With the first pitch of the new campaign less than 100 days away, the RailRiders have added 13 new employees to the front office roster.

“We are excited to grow our staff in several key areas and in ways that positively impact our operation,” stated John Adams, Team President of the RailRiders. “We have had a strong core in place and are excited to add new energy to the front office. These new hires are spread across several departments like ticket sales, corporate partnerships and marketing, and should allow everyone on staff to reach their fullest potential.”

Matt Hamilton is the RailRiders new Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. He graduated from West Texas A&M University in 2010 and spent seven years as a news reporter and anchor before a transition to media sales. He joined the Amarillo Sod Poodles in 2018. In three seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks Double-A affiliate, Hamilton advanced from serving as a corporate partnerships executive to heading up the department. Under his leadership, the Sod Poodles corporate partnerships grew revenue by over 25% while also retaining 99% of their partners despite the global pandemic.

Chris Hutson joined the RailRiders front office in October as the VP of Ticket Sales, Service and Operations. A native New Yorker, he has a wealth of sales and marketing experience at the team, league office, event and venue levels. He was the principal and co-founder of Turnstyles USA, the first-of-its-kind, multi-dimensional sales support agency that served clients across all major sports. Hutson has also worked for the NFL in a variety of roles as well as Spectacor Management Group, the Philadelphia 76ers and Madison Square Garden, where he directed sales for the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.

Holly Gumble is the new senior staff accountant. She is a graduate of Dallas High School and a 2010 graduate of West Chester University, where she earned her degree in Accounting.

Jordan Calvey is the RailRiders new Director of Marketing. She attended Abington Heights High School and is a 2014 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She built her marketing and sports industry experience through working several Olympic Games with NBC Sports, and at marketing agencies, Inspira and Match Marketing. Calvey most recently spent two years with the U.S. Figure Skating Association in Colorado Springs as the Marketing Manager, where she led ticket sales growth and marketing for their tent pole events, managed organizational campaigns and drove brand awareness locally and nationally.

Katherine Arata has joined the staff as the Marketing Manager. She graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2019 and interned with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers and at the Astros/Nationals Spring Training Complex in West Palm Beach, Florida, after graduation. Arata spent the 2021 season with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies as the Director of Marketing and Promotions for the New York Mets Double-A affiliate.

Taylor Moy is the new Video Production Manager. A Queens, NYC native, she graduated from the University at Buffalo in 2019 with degrees in media and psychology. Before the start of her career in minor league baseball, she studied abroad in Spain and completed the Disney College Program. Moy spent 2021 with the Rumble Ponies as their video production assistant before becoming a production intern for the New York Giants.

Kirsten Peters is the RailRiders Social Media and Special Events Manager. She is a 2021 graduate of Wilkes University with degrees in communication studies, sports management and creative writing. While at Wilkes, Peters was the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The Beacon. She was also the program director of Wilkes’ student-run television show, Wilkes Now! She served as the baseball team’s intern for four seasons, keeping the scorebook, recording stats and acting as the team photographer. She added baseball social media director to her list of responsibilities in 2018.

Joshua Klein is a new Corporate Partnerships Manager for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. A native of Montville, NJ, he attended Susquehanna University, where he majored in broadcasting and was a member of the River Hawks Crew Club. After graduating in 2019, Klein worked for the Reading Fightin Phils as their Media Relations Intern/Social Media Coordinator. Following his time with Reading, he moved to Nevada and was the Communications Coordinator for the Reno Aces before the cancelation of the 2020 season.

Kate Mummert joins the front office as a Corporate Services Manager. She is a native of Dover, PA, and attended York College of Pennsylvania, graduating in 2021 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sport Management. Mummert spent the last three years in the Atlantic League working for the York Revolution in retail, ticketing and client services.

Anthony D’Andrea and Chris Kunzmann have joined the front office as group sales executives.

D’Andrea is a 2021 graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. The Norwalk, CT native completed social media and marketing internships with Adapting Social and Crowdpac, and served as an Athletics Marketing and Promotions intern for Monmouth University in 2021.

Kunzmann is a New Jersey native and a 2021 graduate of  Penn State. He has previously worked for the Penn State basketball team, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs as a Game Day Intern and the Philadelphia Eagles as a Ticket and Fan Services Intern.  

Brandon Brzenski is the club’s new Stadium Operations Manager after spending three seasons with the club as an intern. Brzenski attended Kutztown University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sport Management in 2020. He also attended East Stroudsburg University and graduated in 2021 with a master’s degree in Sport Management.

In addition to the recent hires, Kyle Davis joined the RailRiders last summer as Account Executive Season Ticket Sales. A NEPA native, Davis was previously a Marketing/Services Intern with the team in 2018. He also interned with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins as the Game Day operations Intern and the Washington Wild Things as the Event/Operations Intern. Davis attended Temple University and graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Sport and Recreation Management.

For more information on these personnel moves or the upcoming season, please contact the RailRiders front office at (570) 969-2255 or visit swbrailriders.com.  

Get 22% Off Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is offering a 22% reduction on price for any of the 4 performances for selected seating. Use code “CHARLIE” at all points of purchase. Valid January 26 through January 30.

  • General orchestra and mezzanine seats will be  $51.35 instead of $65
  • Rear orchestra and front balcony seats will be $43.55 instead of $55

*Offer valid 12:01AM Wed,. Jan. 26 thru 11:59PM Sunday, Jan. 30. Available online and in person. Select seats only. Subject to ticket availability and does not apply to previously purchased tickets.

House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee Advances Proposals to Benefit Female Veterans and Children of Military Families

Rep. Karen Boback (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming), chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, on Monday led a voting meeting at which six pieces of legislation to benefit Pennsylvania’s military members, veterans and emergency responders were unanimously approved.

The proposals included House Resolution 129, sponsored by Rep. Tracy Pennycuick (R-Montgomery), which would require the Joint State Government Commission to study and report findings and recommendations on prominent issues facing female veterans, including post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, military sexual trauma, and alcohol and substance abuse.

“Pennsylvania’s more than 71,000 women veterans often have different needs and issues when it comes to their health care. Whether it be how they process and deal with trauma and other mental health issues, they are not being adequately served under the current male-focused health care model in place,” Pennycuick told the committee.

“This legislation is long overdue. Our female veterans deserve the same kind of quality health care benefits as their male counterparts,” said Boback. “I am pleased we were able to move this important bill through the committee and look forward to its consideration in the House.”

Boback is the prime sponsor of House Bill 1867, legislation that would establish the Purple Star School Program. Under the proposal, Pennsylvania schools would be designated as Purple Star campuses if they demonstrate military-friendly practices and meet certain requirements such as: having a military liaison staff member; a webpage that includes resources for military students and families; and professional development training opportunities for staff members on issues relating to military students. The program is voluntary.

“This program would recognize schools that provide strong services for any educational transition issues encountered by military families and their children, who may experience multiple moves during their school-aged years,” Boback explained. “The Purple Star designation would signal that a school supports the social and emotional well-being of military children who are adjusting to new schools.”

Other measures advanced by the committee include:   

  • House Bill 1962, sponsored by Rep. Lou Schmitt (R-Blair), which would place a Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association member on the state 911 Advisory Board.
  • House Bill 2096, sponsored by Rep. Todd Polinchock (R-Bucks) which would authorize certain medals and awards to be presented to civilians and military members of a friendly foreign nation.
  • House Resolution 166, sponsored by Boback, which would urge the State Council on Interstate Education Opportunity for Military Children and the National Compact Commission to make National Guard/reserve members eligible for the Military Interstate Children’s Compact.
  • Senate Bill 739, sponsored by Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32), which would authorize the Pennsylvania Professional Firefighters Association, Pennsylvania Career Fire Chiefs Association, Department of Community and Economic Development secretary or designee, and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources secretary or designee, as voting members of the application review committee for the state Fire and Emergency Medical Services Loan Program. 

All six measures will next be considered by the full House of Representatives.