Skills in Scranton Awarded 2023 American Water Charitable Foundation Workforce Readiness Grant

Skills in Scranton announced today it was awarded a 2023 American Water Charitable Foundation Workforce Readiness Grant, focusing on developing and promoting career pathway education resources and community outreach.

‘This grant will fuel Skills in Scranton’s mission to develop impactful career pathway educational resources, empowering individuals to explore diverse career opportunities and chart their own paths to success,” said Emily Pettinato, workforce development specialist, Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. “We believe this grant will be instrumental in furthering our mission to develop a talent pipeline into our region’s leading industry sectors.”

The Workforces Readiness grant is part of the American Water Charitable Foundation’s Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program.  The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization established by American Water, the largest regulated water and wastewater utility company in the U.S., and aims to support high-impact projects and initiatives that further American Water’s commitment to ESG, as well as inclusion, diversity and equity.

“The American Water Charitable Foundation is dedicated to engaging and investing in initiatives that improve the wellbeing of communities served by American Water,” said Carrie Williams, President, American Water Charitable Foundation. We take pride in supporting American Water’s continued efforts to be a responsible neighbor and reliable partner in the community.”
Learn more about our mission and community impact at

Chamber Celebrates the Retirement of Virginia “Ginger” Goodrich

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce announces that Virginia “Ginger” Goodrich of Scranton will retire on December 31, 2023, after 58 years of employment with the organization. A retirement celebration in her honor will be held at the Scranton Country Club.

Goodrich, the longest-tenured employee in the organization’s history, joined the Chamber’s staff in 1965 as a secretary in the industrial development department. After a series of promotions, she has held the position of executive secretary to the president since 1979. In addition, she has served as board secretary for the Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO), a Chamber affiliate organization, since 1994. 

“To say that Ginger is an icon of this organization is an understatement,” said Robert Durkin, president of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. ”She has played integral roles in support of the most important initiatives in Chamber history—and by extension, some of the most impactful projects in northeastern Pennsylvania history!”

The salutatorian of the class of 1964 at Dickson City High School, Goodrich continued her education at Lackawanna Junior College. In 1965, she graduated with honors and a diploma in the Executive Secretarial Course.

An avid learner, Goodrich completed the United States Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management certificate program for Chamber of Commerce Management in 1995 and the 12-week Dale Carnegie program in 2000.

“Little did I know when Hoyle Seeley, President of Lackawanna Junior College, sent me to interview at the Chamber of Commerce that it would become my “home” for over 58 years,” Goodrich said. “I will certainly miss it, but new experiences await.”

A lifelong supporter of the Girl Scouts, Goodrich served as a troop leader for 30 years. She has also held committee and board positions with Girl Scouts in the Heart of Pennsylvania and its predecessor, Girl Scouts Scranton Pocono Council. Goodrich served on the Board of the Anthracite Heritage Museum Associates for several years. She also volunteered for the Holiday Express at the Steamtown National Historic Site from 2001–2014.

Named “Volunteer of the Year” in 2013 for her work at the Anthracite Heritage Museum and Scranton Iron Furnaces, Goodrich received numerous awards from the Girl Scouts, including “Woman of Distinction” in 2001. She was featured in the Scranton Times-Tribune for “Northeast Woman” in 1992 and again in 2021, and she received a Certificate of Recognition—the Roseann Smith Alperin Award in 2008.

Goodrich is a member of the Dickson City Primitive Methodist Church and has volunteered her time for its adult Sunday school classes since 2002. She was also a member of the church’s Ladies Aid Society and has served as a member of the church’s board of trustees and the assistant Sunday school superintendent.

In honor of her contributions to the Girl Scouts and Camp Archbald, a tribute gift will be made in Goodrich’s honor to support revitalization efforts at Camp Archbald.

Leadership Lackawanna Executive Program Class of 2023 Graduates

Leadership Lackawanna is proud to announce the 2023 graduates of its Executive Program.

Leadership Lackawanna’s six-week Executive Program deeply engages high-level professionals in the greater Scranton region, broadens their social network, and increases their overall knowledge of the community. It accepts applications from professionals in an executive-level (director or higher) position with extensive industry experience and demonstrated career progression.

“Our mission at Leadership Lackawanna is to enhance the skills, connections, and knowledge of our participants,” said Nicole Morristell, executive director of Leadership Lackawanna. “I’m confident the 14 individuals in this year’s Executive Level Program gained valuable insight into our mission and that they forged lasting connections that will strengthen them, both personally and professionally. It is my sincere hope that they will take these benefits and use them to positively impact the community!”

This year, participants meet key business and community leaders as they receive an overview of Lackawanna County’s history and culture, economic and political structures, community events, civic groups, recreational activities, and nonprofit organizations. Sessions were held one evening per week for six consecutive weeks at various locations in the greater Scranton community, including cocktails and dinner. 

The 2022 Executive Program graduates include:

  1. Danielle Breslin, Moses Taylor Foundation
  2. Michelle Hamilton, The Waverly Community House
  3. Megan Walbeck, Geisinger
  4. Sarah Marie Thomas, NativityMiguel School of Scranton
  5. Tricia Zilaitis, City of Scranton
  6. Meghan Lennox Gagorik, American Heart Association
  7. Kristyn Smith, Tobyhanna Army Depot
  8. Bethany Staples, Market Share Consulting
  9. Ron Augelli, Talk Shirty to me
  10. Jason Berger 
  11. Brian Ross, Tobyhanna Army Depot
  12. Neil Bresnahan, Big Bass Lake Community Association, Inc.
  13. Kyle Lennon, Schulte Hospitality
  14. Andrew Kudasik, PNC Bank

The Scranton Chamber Marks a Century of Business Excellence as a Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce has announced its 100th-year milestone as a chartered Chamber of Commerce, celebrating a century of unwavering commitment to fostering economic growth, supporting local businesses, and championing the vibrant community of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Chartered on November 21, 1923, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, previously known as the Board of Trade, has been at the forefront of driving innovation, collaboration, and prosperity for businesses large and small. As a trusted partner to the local business community, the Chamber has been instrumental in providing resources, advocacy, and networking opportunities to its members.

To commemorate this historic occasion, The Chamber hosted Ryan Gleason, senior manager of government affairs with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, at a recent meeting of the board of directors. Gleason presented a proclamation from Suzanne Clark, CEO and president of the US Chamber of Commerce, in recognition of the Chamber’s 100 years as a charted Chamber of Commerce, highlighting significant contributions to the economic development of Scranton and its longstanding commitment to fostering a thriving business environment.

“It is rewarding to look back on a century of work representing the diverse business interests of Scranton, Lackawanna County, and all of northeastern Pennsylvania. And looking with excitement and optimism to the road ahead, paving the way for even greater success for our members and the entire business community,” shared Bob Durkin, president of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

Gleason also presented a proclamation to Chamber icon Virgina Goodrich. Goodrich is set to retire after 58 years of service to The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber expresses its gratitude to Ginger for more than a half-century dedication to the greater Scranton business community.

Leadership Lackawanna Announces Tomorrow’s Leaders Today Class of 2023-24

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce community leadership and professional development affiliate, Leadership Lackawanna’s youth program, Tomorrow’s Leaders Today, announces the program class of 2023–24.

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today (TLT) is a seven-month program that develops high school juniors’ leadership, interpersonal, and managerial skills in the greater Scranton region. Program participants will be provided with real-world experiences in financial literacy, health care, STEAM, philanthropy, crime and corrections, nonprofit organizations, and community service instructed by partnering organizations. NBT Bank proudly sponsors the 2023–24 program year.

TLT participants:

  1. Abigail Harshbarger
  2. Abygale Plevyak
  3. Akhilesh Velaga
  4. Anthony John Piestrak
  5. Ashley Bossick
  6. Ava Page
  7. Caroline Luyster
  8. Chloe Dong
  9. Clinton Muir
  10. Cole Johnston
  11. Dante Pallazari
  12. Declan Moran
  13. Dhruv D. Amin
  14. Elizabeth Schneider
  15. Elizabeth Washine
  16. Gabriella Estadt
  17. Gabriella Potis
  18. Gia Ann Serge
  19. Giada Costa
  20. Hope Polishan
  21. Isabella Moher
  22. Isabelle Maurer
  23. Ivy Neureuter
  24. Jack Maloney
  25. Jacob Antolick
  26. Jordan Robert Malar
  27. Joseph DiStasi
  28. Jospeh T. Healey
  29. Justin Osman
  30. Kylie Krzak
  31. Lily Rozzi
  32. Makayla Walto
  33. Mandie Martin
  34. Margaret Pegula
  35. Matthew Hill
  36. Nicholas Giumento
  37. Nico Warhola
  38. Reese Morgan
  39. Roland McLaine
  40. Sarah McCullon
  41. Sarah O’Brien
  42. Zavhary Kovaleski

Tomorrow’s Leaders Today accepts applications from sophomores who attend high school in Lackawanna County and its surrounding areas, as well as all charter, technical schools, and homeschool students.

PHOTO: Front Row: Ashley Bossick, Nicholas Giumento, Kylie Krzak, Isabella Moher, Ava Page, Dante Pallazari, Abygale Plevyak, Gabriella Potis, Lily Rozzi, Gia An Serge, Faith Wormuth. Second Row: Abigail Harshbarger, Chloe Dong, Cole Johnston, Giada Costa, Joseph T. Healey, Matthew Hill, Mandie Martin, Reese Morgan, Justin Osman, Margaret Pegula, Nico Warhola. Third Row: Gabriella Estadt, Jordan Robert Malar, Isabelle Maurer, Sarah McCullon, Declan Moran, Ivy Neureuter, Sarah O’Brien, Hope Polishan, Elizabeth Schneider, Makayla Walton, Elizabeth Washine. Back Row: Dhruv D. Amin, Jacon Antolick, Joseph DiStasi, Zachary Kobaleski, Caroline Luyster, Jack Maloney, Roland McLaine, Clinton Muir, Anthony John Piestrak, Akhilesh Velaga.


The Chamber Celebrates 2023 SAGE Award Winners at Chamber Gala

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce hosted its Chamber Gala on Friday, November 3, where they presented the 2023 SAGE Awards—the Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence. Verizon presented this year’s event at the Scranton Art Haus Theater and Cinema Club.

Chamber board chair, Jerry Musheno, opened the ceremony by thanking all finalists, award sponsors, and Gala sponsors for their dedication to the NEPA community. The following were presenters for the evening—John Basalyga, owner of Scranton Art Haus, Marketplace at Steamtown, and JBAS Realty, and Robert McGuckin, manager–state and local government affairs for Verzion. Mike Castellano, special projects manager, United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne, and Pike Counties, served as the emcee for the evening.

The SAGE Awards honor outstanding local businesses for their talent, creativity, and innovation.

The Chamber received nearly 90 SAGE Award applications. A team of volunteers scored the applications. The top three scoring applications were named finalists.

The 2023 SAGE Awards offered a new category to highlight businesses and their significant milestones, the Milestone Awards. 14 businesses were recognized throughout the award show: DBA Architects, LLC, Fidelity Bank, Goodwill Industries of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Highland Associates, Ltd., Inspired Studio, Montage Mountain Resorts, Needle Law, PC, Outreach – Center for Community Resources, Ski Shack, Space Time Mead & Cider Works, Talerico’s Tropical Winery, Tobyhanna Army Depot, WVIA, and WNEP.

The Chamber congratulates all finalists and winners of the 2023 SAGE Awards. The winners in each category are:

• Titan Tree Service, Inc.

• Tobyhanna Army Depot

• Tech42, LLC.

• The Honesdale National Bank

• LFG Life Fitness Goals


• Merut Construction

• United Sports Academy

• Ski Shack

• Woodloch Resorts

The Second TechCelerator Cohort Selects the Eight Participants

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Lackawanna County, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of NEPA, The Chamber’s IGNITE program, and tecBRIDGE announce the start of the second cohort and participants of TechCelerator @LackawannaCounty.

“We are really excited to again partner with Lackawanna County, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of NEPA, and tecBRIDGE on this initiative that opens the door for aspiring entrepreneurs to advance their dreams of business ownership,” shares Bob Durkin, president and CEO of The Chamber.

In another round of competitive application process, eight new participants were chosen. All eight were selected for their unique for-profit, tech-based business ideas, commitment to completing the 10-week program, and creating a company and jobs based in Lackawanna County.

The eight participants are: BarBase, INAS (I Need a Speaker), KM Arms, NEPA Lifestyle, Rentchexx, LLC, STAIPUT, The Brian Trust, and Washboard.

The second cohort started on Tuesday, October 3, at the Chamber’s TekRidge Center in the Jessup Small Business Park. Participants will walk away with solid networking skills and a foundational understanding of finances, marketing, business strategy, and more. For those who successfully meet the requirements, $10,000 reimbursement of business expenses will assist the participants in launching their venture.

PHOTO: Front Row from Left to Right: Don Webster, Executive Director of tecBRIDGE & TechCelerator @ Lackawanna County Program Administrator; Larry Puleo, TechCelerator @ Lackawanna County Program Instructor; Paul Capoccia, TechCelerator Participant; Robert Durkin, CEO and president of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Chris Chermak, Lackawanna County Commissioner; Frank Sorokach, TechCelerator Participant; Michael Smitchell, TechCelerator Participant; Aileen Exeter, TechCelerator Participant; Nick Rosati, TechCelerator Participant; Brianna Florovito, IGNITE program manager; Back Row from Left to Right: Ken Okrepkie, Regional Manager for Ben Franklin Technology Partners of NEPA; Austin Dembesky, TechCelerator Participant

Leadership Lackawanna Announces Core Program Class of 2023–24

The Leadership Lackawanna core program class of 2023–24 met on Thursday, September 14, 2023, for their first session, which included an orientation and an introduction to leadership basics. Leadership Lackawanna strives to enhance emerging and established leaders’ skills, connections, and knowledge, strengthening our communities, workplaces, and organizations.

Core Program class:

  • Cali Rose Nataloni, Nunzi’s Advertising
  • Hannah Shurtleff, First National Bank
  • Rachael Santoro, Goodwill Industries of NEPA
  • Amber Trunzo, Catherine McAuley Center
  • Kelli McCullough, The Wright Centers
  • Rachel Brummet, The Honesdale National Bank
  • Abbey Merker, Montage Mountain Resorts
  • Isabelle Ceccoli, Scranton Area Community Foundation
  • Michaela Martines, The Wright Centers
  • April James, Allied Services Home Health
  • Jenn Sosa, Penn East Federal Credit Union
  • Kim Lazuka, Greater Scranton YMCA
  • Chelsea Cadwalder, NBT Bank
  • Emily Pettinato, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
  • Dana Force, United Neighborhood Centers
  • Tara Floyd, Tobyhanna Army Depot
  • Jacob Torba, Griffin Pond Animal Shelter
  • Megan Kolis, Condron Sweda Advertising
  • Scott Burti, Tobyhanna Army Depot
  • Stever Brown, LCBC Church
  • Kristi Cleveland, Fidelity Bank
  • Pam Fischer, Benco Dental
  • Parker Dorsey, NeighborWorks NEPA
  • Megan Benedict, Wells Fargo
  • Thomas Swope, The AZEK Company
  • Kaitlin Allard, Barry Callebaut
  • Jason Pozniak, Nibbles & Bits
  • Christoper Moshinskie, FNCB Bank
  • Tara Jones, Lackawanna River Conservation Association
  • Matthew Jones, Tobyhanna Army Depot
  • Richard Peters, Alleima USA LLC
  • Shaun Young, Tobyhanna Army Depot
  • Stacy Cognetti, Lackawanna College
  • Emily Glodzik, Penn State Scranton

Nicole A. Morristell, executive director, shares, “I’m excited for the adventures and opportunities that lie ahead. This year’s participants have accomplished great things in their past and I look forward to seeing how they will utilize the leadership skills they acquire over the next ten months.”

In Leadership Lackawanna’s 10-month Core Program, participants gain direct and indirect leadership, interpersonal and managerial skills, as well as an enhanced understanding of the issues relevant to the Greater Scranton region, through monthly sessions. Areas of focus can include community development, economic development, government, health care, law, education, quality of life, sustainability, history and media, with sessions featuring widely recognized specialists. Members of the class also devote a large portion of their time to develop and implement community projects, hence enhancing their leadership abilities, fostering teamwork and benefiting local nonprofit organizations. Leadership Lackawanna’s Core Program accepts applications from candidates who live, work or play in Lackawanna County.

Front row, left to right

Cali Rose Nataloni, Nunzi’s Advertising; Hannah Shurtleff, First National Bank; Rachel Santoro, Goodwill Industries of NEPA Amber Trunzo, Catherine McAuley Center Kelli McCullough, The Wright Center Rachel Brummett, The Honesdale National Bank Abbey Merker, Montage Mountain Resorts Isabella Ceccoli, Scranton Area Community Foundation Michaela Martines, The Wright Center April James, Allied Services Home Health Jenn Sosa, Penn East Federal Credit Union

Second row, left to right

Philip Zvirblis, NET Federal Credit Union Kim Lazuka, Greater Scranton YMCA Chelsea Cadwalder, NBT Bank Emily Pettinato, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Dana Force, United Neighborhood Centers Tara Floyd, Tobyhanna Army Depot Stacy Cognetti, Lackawanna College Emily Glodzik, Penn State Scranton Jacob Torba, Griffin Pond Animal Shelter Megan Kolis, Condron Sweda Advertising Scott Burti, Tobyhanna Army Depot

Back row, left to right

Steve Brown, LCBC Church; Kristi Cleveland, Fidelity Bank; Pam Fischer, Benco Dental; Parker Dorsey, NeighborWorks NEPA; Megan Benedict, Wells Fargo; Thomas Swope, The AZEK Company; Kaitlin Allard, Barry Callebaut; Jason Pozniak, Nibbles & Bits; Christopher Moshinskie, FNCB Bank; Tara Jones, Lackawanna River Conservation Association Matthew Jones, Tobyhanna Army Depot Richard Peters, Alleima USA LLC

Absent from photo: Shaun Young, Tobyhanna Army Depot

Leadership Lackawanna Holding “Howl at the Moon” Dueling Pianos Fundraiser

Leadership Lackawanna will host another amazing “Howl at the Moon” Dueling Pianos Fundraiser on Friday, October 20 at 7 PM at The Radisson Lackawanna Station in Scranton.

The event will feature live entertainment, courtesy of the national “Howl At The Moon” dueling pianos group. Attendees are invited to sing, dance and howl as versatile and talented musicians perform their favorite songs from 80’s rock, 90’s pop and today’s dance hits on pianos and more in a high-energy show!

The event will also feature basket raffles, a selfie station, and other ways for attendees to get their spooky on! Tickets are available now at and a limited number of tickets will be sold at the door. All tickets include event admission and five raffle tickets for a variety of fantastic prizes.

Attendees can “tip” the musicians to play their favorite song. The higher the tip, the sooner their song plays. All tips go directly to Leadership Lackawanna.

Danielle Weinschenk, Leadership Lackawanna Board of Directors Vice Chair, says the event will be the best one yet. “Our new location at the Radisson will allow more people to enjoy this fantastic night of dancing, singing and supporting a great cause! Come for the music, stay for the opportunity to win amazing prizes and dance the night away. The Howl at the Moon musicians will play anything from ‘Ghostbusters’ to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ – and beyond!”

All proceeds from the event will support Leadership Lackawanna’s mission of enhancing the skills, connections and knowledge of emerging and established leaders in Northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as supporting community service projects conducted by Leadership Lackawanna participants.

The Chamber Announces Promotion of Employee

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, the region’s premier member-based business organization, is pleased to announce the promotion of Stephanie Juarez-Ventura to manager, content and strategic communications.

Juarez-Ventura will continue working closely with the director of marketing and communications to generate and maintain The Chamber and its affiliate organization’s print and digital content. Expanding on her previous role as communications manager, Juarez-Ventura will train and mentor the communications interns, create and manage content calendars for social media and the monthly Momentum Magazine, and develop content and strategies to increase community engagement and awareness of The Chamber and its affiliates. The new title reflects the additional responsibilities Juarez-Ventura acquired last fall.

Juarez-Ventura joined the Chamber’s marketing and communications team as an intern in January 2020. Amidst the global pandemic, Juarez-Ventura assisted in gathering and creating resources to support the business community, including written and graphic content for social media, Chamber and member eBlast, and Momentum Magazine.

Originally from Washington State, Juarez-Ventura is a graduate of Marywood University, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts double majoring in graphic design and advertising and public relations, and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in communication and leadership studies from Gonzaga University.