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 ScrantonChamber.com 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.

Chamber Names New Board and Office Administrator

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Amanda Byron as its board and office administrator, a newly established position within The Chamber.

As the board and office administrator, Byron will be the point of contact between The Chamber and its affiliate boards and committees. Her responsibilities encompass board management, communication, and reporting. In addition, Byron will provide essential administrative support to The Chamber office and affiliate organizations, Skills in Scranton and Leadership Lackawanna.

Byron received an associate degree in paralegal studies from Lackawanna College. She also served as a litigation paralegal at multiple law firms, worked as an insurance customer service representative, and later as a customer care office manager, where she managed a team, handled finances, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

With previous experience in office management and legal affairs, coupled with her understanding of the unique needs of organizations like Skills in Scranton and Leadership Lackawanna, Byron brings a wealth of experience to The Chamber.

Update Your Chamber Business Profile!

One of the many benefits of Chamber membership is your listing in our online and printed Membership Directory. To ensure we have accurate member information for our 2024 Membership Directory, we are asking you to log in and update your business information.

Click this link to Update Your Profile: view, add employees, and make changes to your membership account.


To make sure the correct person/department receives invoices, a billing contact must be added to your account. Under “EDITABLE PROFILES,” choose ONE employee listed or “ADD NEW PROFILE” as your billing contact and check the “BILLING CONTACT” option and “SAVE RELATIONSHIPS”.


Click the “PROFILE UPDATE” link (located in the middle column, second bullet). Click the “EDIT MY PROFILE” button. Please review each tab in the shaded section to the left to update your business information. Note the “DIRECTORY LISTING” section to be sure you are listed in your desired and proper “CATEGORY”.  You may also add keywords and phrases to distinguish your business from others. Make sure to “SAVE AND SUBMIT” when completed, and you will be returned to your “PROFILE” screen.

Please make all updates by Wednesday, October 25, to ensure your information is listed correctly in the 2024 Membership Directory.

If you have any questions, please contact Tina Bechaver at tbechaver@scrantonchamber.com or (570) 342-7711, extension 132.

Skills in Scranton Hosts First Like Mind Meet Up

Skills in Scranton, the workforce development affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, hosted its first Like Mind Meet Up on September 20 at the Scranton Enterprise Center, sponsored by Sho Technology Solution. The event featured an array of networking opportunities and a presentation on Artificial Intelligence (AI) by local tech experts Jason Washo and John George. Attendees comprised tech professionals, entrepreneurs, students, and AI enthusiasts, all eager to explore the limitless possibilities of AI technology.

Emily Pettinato, workforce development specialist, with The Chamber, expressed excitement about the prospect of future Like Mind Meet Up events. “We are thrilled with the attendance and engagement for our first Like Mind Meet Up,” Emily stated. “These events provide individuals with similar interests and careers an invaluable opportunity to connect and foster collaboration and knowledge sharing.”

For updates on upcoming Like Mind meet-ups, visit scrantonchamber.com.

The Chamber Announces the 2023 SAGE Awards Finalists

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce announces the finalists for the 2023 SAGE Awards, the Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence.

The SAGE Awards honor outstanding local businesses and nonprofits for their talent, creativity, and innovation. The winners will be announced on Friday, November 3, at The Chamber Gala, a black-tie optional event that will be held at the Scranton Art Haus.

More than 90 applications were received for this year’s awards, and nearly 40 community leaders and professionals volunteered to review applications and select finalists. The Chamber is proud to honor businesses and nonprofits that are making valuable contributions to the region and contributing to our overall quality of life.

The finalists, in each category, are:

Business of the Year

BDA Architects, LLC.

Titan Tree Service, Inc.

United Sports Academy

Community Involvement Excellence

Alter House Restaurant

Sordoni Construction Services, Inc.

Tobyhanna Army Depot

Customer Service Excellence

NET Credit Union

Tech42 LLC.


Marketing and Communications Excellence

Posture Interactive

The Honesdale National Bank                                                        

Wayne Bank

New and Emerging Business of the Year

LFG Life Fitness Goals

Market Share Consulting

Serenity Care Personal Care Community

Non-Profit Organization of the Year

Scranton Counseling Center

Scranton Jazz Festival


Products and Services Excellence


Merut Construction

Reed Advisory Group, LC.

Small Business of the Year

Blu Elefante Events

Ski Shack

The Training Loft

Workplace Excellence

Children’s Service Center of the Wyoming Valley

The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education

Woodloch Resort

2023 Milestone Award Recipients

New for 2023, the Member Milestone Award recognizes businesses and nonprofits celebrating an anniversary in 5-year increments. Each business and nonprofit will be recognized and presented with a certificate.

American Heart Association

BDA 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



Additionally, all SAGE Award finalists can also win the People’s Choice Award, where the winner will be chosen by a community wide online vote, available on www.scrantonchamber.com from Monday, October 9 through Friday, October 13.