Leadership Lackawanna Applications Open for Executive Program

Leadership Lackawanna, the premier community leadership and professional development affiliate of the Chamber, is now accepting applications for its Executive Program.

This five-week Executive Program engages high-level professionals more deeply in the greater Scranton region, broadening their social network, and increasing their overall knowledge of the community. 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 are held one evening per week for five consecutive weeks at various locations and include cocktails and dinner. Leadership Lackawanna’s Executive Program accepts applications from public and private sector administrators and professionals in an executive level position who live or work in Lackawanna County. Sessions start in September.

To apply, visit www.leadershiplackawanna.com. Applications will be accepted through September 8, 2021.

SLIBCO Receives $100,000 for Talent Attraction Campaign

From left to right: Bob Durkin, president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Rep. Kyle Mullins, Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski, Senator Marty Flynn, Rep. Mike Carroll, and P. Timothy Kelly, Esq., Needle Law, attend a meeting and luncheon at the Chamber.

The Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO) – the economic development affiliate of the Chamber – received a $100,000 Local Share Account (LSA) grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for a national advertising campaign targeted at remote workers and talent attraction. The goal is to draw awareness of career opportunities available and recruit new talent to Lackawanna County.

The campaign, which will be managed by The Scranton Plan, the economic development marketing arm of the Chamber and SLIBCO, will consist of digital marketing – including web, social media, and video – in the metro areas of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Audience segments will include remote workers, corporate executives, real estate professionals, entrepreneurs, millennials, retirees, and more.

“The demand for a highly-skilled workforce has never been greater. We are grateful to have the engaged support of our local state-elected officials in these efforts to attract and retain talented individuals for career opportunities in Lackawanna County,” said Bob Durkin, president, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

As an extension of The Scranton Plan’s Rediscover Scranton campaign from earlier this year, the messaging will highlight Lackawanna County’s affordability, lifestyle, and location benefits for young professionals, families and retirees, as well as the advantages for being a well-positioned region for real estate development and company relocation or expansion.

The Chamber would like to thank our local state-elected officials for their support in receiving the grant, including Senator Marty Flynn and state representatives Mike Carroll, Bridget M. Kosierowski, and Kyle Mullins.

Leadership Lackawanna Core Team Celebrates Keystone Mission Project

Leadership Lackawanna Core class members meet with Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti and Justin Behrens, executive director, Keystone Mission.
Front row, left to right: Justin Marino of United Neighborhood Centers; Mayor Paige Cognetti, City of Scranton; Vivian Williams, Scranton Area Foundation; Justin Behrens, Keystone Mission; Meredith Mercuri, Barry Callebaut; Jennifer Shoemaker, Outreach Center for Community Resources; Robert Welsch, Tobyhanna Army Depot; and Michelle Cook, Community Bank, N.A.
Back row, left to right: Jesse Novatski, Penn State Scranton; and Patrick Keehan, University of Scranton Small Business Development Center.

One of this year’s Leadership Lackawanna Core Program teams recently celebrated their community service project for Keystone Mission in Scranton.

Homeless individuals without identification have difficulty accessing the critical services and benefits that can move them out of homelessness and poverty. To help Keystone Mission serve these individuals, the Leadership team worked with the organization to design, outfit, and equip a utility van that provides opportunities for homeless individuals to receive photo identification, social security cards, and birth certificates. 

This “mobile office” van is stocked with essential items, but more importantly, allows the Keystone Mission staff to conduct on-site outreach to homeless individuals. The team marketed the van to the community, secured community partners to obtain more supplies, and secured donations to pay for the project.

“On behalf of Team Keystone, I would like to thank all our community members who generously donated their time, items, and resources to this great cause. It has been our pleasure working with Keystone Mission in assisting them to be able to do such important work in our community,” said Justin Marino, Core Program participant from Team Keystone.

Each year, the Leadership Lackawanna Core Program class completes various service projects helping to fulfill a need in our community. By working with fellow non-profit organizations, class participants expand their leadership abilities and further develop their skills.

“I am truly thankful to the Leadership Lackawanna class of 2021 for supporting our effort to build relationships and a community of hope across NEPA. To help the homeless men and women takes the community to come together. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!” said Justin Behrens, CEO, Keystone Mission.

Natalie O’Hara – Empower Conference Speaker

Natalie O’Hara is the president of D&O Enterprises, a construction company that has been family owned for three generations. In her tole, she brings the experience she received at Turner Construction Co., a large international firm, where she acted as field engineer and cost engineer on projects ranging in size between $11MM and $108MM. Natalie also has extensive project coordination, estimating, and management experience from her role at PACE/CM, Inc.

Some of her more prominent projects include:

  • NET Credit Union Olyphant Branch Renovation, Olyphant, PA
  • Pediatric Dental Specialists Office Renovation, Clarks Summit, PA
  • Ricketts Glen State Park Development, Fairmont, PA
  • Tobyhanna State Park Rehabilitation of Day Use Area, Tobyhanna, PA
  • Lackawanna County Courthouse Renovations, Scranton, PA
  • Scranton Police Headquarters, Scranton, PA
  • Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple, Scranton, PA
  • Allied Services Personal Care Facility (Allied Terrace), Scranton, PA

Natalie graduated with a degree in civil engineering from Lehigh University in 1993 and has completed the Engineer-in-Training certificate program.

Elizabeth Graham – Empower Conference Speaker

Elizabeth “Liz” Graham is chief operating officer and co-owner of Riggs Asset Management Company, Inc. Riggs is one of Northeast Pennsylvania’s largest independent investment advisory firms building and preserving wealth for families and institutions for more than 30 years. Ms. Graham works with individuals and families to manage their investments as well as serve as a financial sounding board during periods of transition from selling a business to retirement or career change to death or divorce.  Devoted to her clients, she endeavors to help clients understand the financial dynamics at play in the investment markets and bring a strategic and common-sense approach to growing their wealth.   

With a passion for giving back to the community, Ms. Graham is the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry, the first woman to Chair that Board in the Organization’s 135-year history. She has served as Chair of the Boards of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce; The Diamond City Partnership; and The Nuangola Lake Association and the Bear Creek Association.   In June 2009, Ms. Graham was recognized by the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce with the ATHENA Award.  This award is given out once a year to the woman who has made significant contributions to the business and local community.  In March 2009, the Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal recognized her as one of the “Top 25 Women in Business” and in 2001 that same publication recognized her as one of the “Top 20 Executives Under 40.”  In 2003, she co-founded Circle 200 a by-invitation only forum for senior executive women in Northeastern Pennsylvania where she continues to serve as an Advisor and Member of its Board.  Today, Circle 200 counts more than 100 women leaders in its membership.  In 2021, Ms. Graham was asked to help develop Fork Over Love, a non-profit organization geared toward providing financial support to restaurants hit hard by the pandemic and providing food to those dealing with food insecurity.  In five months, Fork Over Love has reinvested more than $80,000 into local restaurants and provided more than 8,000 meals to families in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Ms. Graham speaks regularly on topics centered around finance and leadership.

Carla Romo – Empower Conference Keynote Speaker

Carla is a speaker, author, co-host of The Love Fix, and certified life coach. She helps people push through their BS (blind sides) so they can thrive in all aspects of their life. Basically, she’s your cheerleader, here to watch win at any stage in life.

She’s watched clients get married, change careers, get over their ex/heartbreak, start a business, fall in love, and follow their life’s purpose. Nothing is off limits – from debunking the fear of “never finding love again” to switching to a career path you’ve been itching for. Anything that has to do with pushing past B.S. (AKA your sneaky inner voice)…she’s your girl!

At age 24, Carla hit rock bottom when she found herself in another toxic codependent relationship and in a cycle of burnout from her career in TV. But, this time, she got up and learned how to break free from codependency and get out of burnout. Inspired by her own self-growth journey, Carla took lemons and made the best damn lemonade she ever tasted.

Today, Carla coaches clients one-on-one or in groups via phone or video call and leads highly sought-after in person/virtual talks and workshops worldwide. You may have seen her featured in collaboration with Milwaukee Bucks, BRAVO, Verizon, Cosmopolitan, Bumble, Simon Business School, Lifetime, Nissan, as well as the high-rated iTunes Podcasts.

Carla is here to let you know that the most important relationship you will ever have is with your damn self – so it’s time you push past BS (blind sides) stopping you.