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.

Maria Traino – EMPOWER Conference Speaker

Owner, Inspired Studio

Maria Traino is an award-winning, professional brand designer of nearly two decades. She founded Inspired Studio, a design and marketing agency, and is a certified NeuroCoach who works with entrepreneurs to intentionally define and design their version of success… from the inside out.

Maria developed The Designer’s Approach, a step-by-step framework for brain-based transformation. Maria naturally approaches life and business challenges the exact same way she would approach a design challenge: with curiosity, creativity, and knowing that a solution always exists.

Part of Maria’s secret for success has been understanding that her clients already have answers inside of them—it’s her honor, as a designer and a coach, to help them realize their uniqueness, shatter limiting beliefs, and intentionally create lasting transformation using the power of neuroscience.

Jennifer Ciarimboli – EMPOWER Conference Speaker

Owner, studio BE

Suffering from burnout after nearly a decade in corporate sales, Jennifer Ciarimboli walked away from her career and her successes to transform her life. 

She embarked on a journey of deep study, training with world-renowned experts in yoga, the teachings of the Buddha, spiritual inquiry, and mindfulness meditation, opening her heart and mind to a new way of serving the world.

Jennifer recognized that if she had access to mindfulness meditation years ago, she might have been better able to manage stress—and from this insight, studio BE was born. 

studio BE specializes in well-being based on mindfulness and mindfulness-based practices—including meditation, psychological inquiry, body integration, breathwork, and other alternative modalities—taught both on-site and virtually.  The goal of the company is simple: to reduce suffering in the world. This is achieved by helping individuals cultivate their own inner-resources, resulting in happier, more resilient people. When these practices are embraced wholeheartedly within organizational culture, it opens the door to unlimited potential for better connection, deeper trust, and renewed creativity—this is the new face of the 21st-century workplace.

Chelsea Manganaro – EMPOWER Wellness Presenter

Owner, Nearme Yoga & Nearme Cafe

Chelsea Manganaro (500RYT) is the owner of Nearme Yoga in Moosic & Peckville, Nearme Cafe, and NEPA Yoga Festival. She has created and expanded her businesses with the idea of connecting a community with the goal to spread as much love and knowledge of yoga and wellness as she can. 

Nearme Yoga & Cafe creates an environment where inclusion, consistency and community take priority – one yoga class, one coffee cup & Buddha Bowl at a time.

Behind every small business there’s a real family, and Nearme Yoga & Cafe is no exception. Owner Chelsea Manganaro always had passion for hospitality in her professional and personal life, and brought her ambitious vision to the local community with the first location of Nearme Yoga & Cafe here in Moosic.

Nearme Yoga is a creation sparked by passion and community needs. It is and will continue to grow and morph into what is needed in each and every community it makes it way to. Chelsea left her career with Lockheed Martin in 2019 to pursue this vision 100%. She believes that in a world of ceaseless innovation, sometimes taking the most basic of human needs and providing it to the community can make the most fulfilling life. Healthy, affordable and attainable food mixed with mindfulness and keeping our bodies healthy allows so many people to make their way to better versions of themselves. 

We have been able to help and change so many peoples lives for the better. This spirals way beyond a yoga class, it is just the start. Having the Cafe and store has allowed people to come and experience the look and feel of the yoga studio without the fear of actually committing to a class. Many people have started yoga because they were able to see the space before hand. Although the goal for the business was always to franchise, it really took COVID to shake up the business model and create what we call is our ecosystem. 

Find out all studio information at nearmeyoga.com and nearmecafe.com for cafe info.

Talia Walsh – EMPOWER Wellness Presenter

Owner, Quest Studio

Talia is on a Quest to inspire others, using her life experiences and knowledge, to become their best self in all aspects of their lives.

As an exercise physiologist, entrepreneur, and business owner of two fitness studios, she focuses on empowering others to reach their goals using multiple tools touching on health, fitness, nutrition, goal setting, and mindset.

Talia has a passion for speaking in corporate settings, understanding the importance of a healthy work environment, as well as empowering women and college students. Her audiences are captivated by her engaging style. She inspires, motivates, and ignites her audiences to embrace life and reach for their highest potential.

Quest Studio is a specialty fitness studio and wellness center that’s been operating for 5 years. The newest location is a yoga studio located in a refurbished church. Talia also created Quest Studio On Demand to be able to impact others around the world.

Edna Cementina – EMPOWER Wellness Presenter

Owner, Emobile Gym Fitness

Edna is a certified group fitness Instructor who has been leading0 fellow NEPA clients in fitness for the past five years. Her gym – Emobile Gym Fitness – offers a range of classes including core, strength training, cardio, HIIT, STRONG Nation™, and ZUMBA!

Currently, Edna holds certification for group fitness and personal training in American Sports & Fitness Association (ASFA), as well as certification in Zumba, Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba, and the most challenging of them all, STRONG Nation™.

Edna has taught classes in numerous fitness centers and gyms in the area, but nowadays, she’s only teaching at her studio located in Dunmore. “Teaching is not a job for me, it’s a fun way to get to workout and interact with a great group of people. I love my clients and the positive energy they bring to class,” Edna says.

She believes there is never a bad day at the gym. Working out is not just to look good on the outside, but it makes everyone feel great on the inside. Edna is glad that now she can share this passion with others in her own fitness studio so they can experience great and challenging workouts in a more intimate setting, with 100% focus on them.

Tina Welch – EMPOWER Conference Speaker

Founder, Welch Performance Consulting

Tina Welch is the founder of Welch Performance Consulting, a strategic human resources consulting firm that helps employers create great workplaces! Known for putting her heart and soul into the organization, Tina takes a practical approach when evaluating any HR system or process, ensuring that it is tailored to achieve the business strategy desired.

Tina has more than 30 years of senior leadership experience working with for-profit, employee owned, non-profit, and public institutions in a variety of industries helping shape their organization’s culture and value system through strategic HR and OD practices. She brings all of this experience to bear when working with her clients so that organizations can learn from this experience and adapt the best ideas to suit their needs.

Tina holds a B.S. in health policy and administration and an M.S. in human resources training and development from Penn State University, as well as the Senior Certified Professional certification from the Society for Human Resource Management. She has taught human resources management courses for various colleges and universities and is a frequent invited speaker for HR and career development courses, symposiums, and conferences. Tina continues her service to organizations through board membership with several private and community organizations.

Stacey Nybeck – EMPOWER Conference Speaker

Chief Operating Officer, Serve, Inc.

Stacey Nybeck lives in the small town of New Albany, Pennsylvania…known for being the wreath capital of the world, and most recently, famous for when its library was washed into the middle of the road due to a flood that struck most of the town and local area.

Currently, Stacey is the chief operating officer at Serve, Inc. – a day training facility for individuals with varying disabilities. Her ultimate goal is to add value to people to help them see their own value. She has worked for Serve, Inc. for 32 years, proud to have worked her way up as the secretary and now the chief operating officer. Stacey earned her bachelor’s degree and MBA while working full-time and raising kids. She loves learning new things and recently became a certified leadership trainer and coach, as well as a certified diversity trainer.

Stacey’s proudest achievement (along with her husband of 31 years) is raising two boys who have become wonderful human beings and are now adding value to other people. She’s also proud to be a Mimi to four beautiful grandchildren.

Sarah Effertz – EMPOWER Conference Speaker

Owner, Blu Elefante Events

Sarah Effertz, owner of Blu Elefante Events, has a passion for creating unforgettable experiences! With over 18 years of event planning and marketing experience, Sarah has helped create powerful and profitable fundraisers for community partners, helped companies celebrate key milestones with cocktail receptions and golf tournaments, gathered like-minded individuals for intimate dinner parties, blown the roof off of venues for concerts and music festivals, and glammed up the runway with striking fashion shows. Blu Elefante Events has also helped families and friends come together to celebrate some of life’s greatest moments! What makes Blu Elefante stand out is Sarah’s passion and creativity, her love of community, and seeing the magic that happens when everything comes together to give you and your guests an amazing experience that you won’t soon forget!

Sarah is a dynamic professional with a bachelor’s in business administration, with a focus on marketing and finance, along with a master’s degree in project management. Her home base is Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, and services the greater NEPA region, along with Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York. Her history of service includes: past board of directors for Dress For Success Lackawanna, past regional director for the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and past school board member for Summit Christian Academy. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Scranton Jazz Festival, a Director of Community Relations for Here 4 A Reason, a worship team vocalist at The Grove Church in Scranton, a wife and mother to three wonderful children (and 4 dogs, 1 cat)!

Michele Morgan – EMPOWER Conference Speaker

Executive Director, NiUG International

In association management for over 25 years, Michele began her career first with a trade association – the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) – and then as an association manager and executive director of NiUG International. Little did Michele know her career at NKBA would give her the foundation needed to run NiUG International.   

Michele worked in a hands-on environment within several areas of the business, including; meeting/conference planning, membership, production, accounting, customer service, marketing, database management, reporting/analytics, and content/website management before becoming the Assistant Director of Operations. All of that experience and motivation, as well as her move to learning more about database management, set her up to become the first employee of NiUG International, as their association manager and then executive director beginning in 2004 where she continues to run the company today. Needless to say, association management has NEVER been a dull moment and she continues to learn as she wears the many hats needed as the ED!

She truly enjoys what she does, but when not working, she fulfills her role as a mother of three amazing boys (now men) and a grandmother of seven beautiful grandchildren!  Life is a blessing, be thankful for what you have and never take it for granted! And always remember… you are in charge of your own destiny, so dream big and work hard!