Nominations for the 2024 ATHENA Award are Open!

Nominations for the 2024 ATHENA Awards are now open at

The ATHENA Award is presented to an exceptional individual who has achieved excellence in her/his business or profession, has served the community in a meaningful way, and has assisted women in their attainment of professional goals and leadership skills.

The ATHENA Award is sponsored by Michael A. Barbetti LLC Certified Public Accountants and will be presented at the Chamber’s International Women’s Day breakfast, sponsored by The Honesdale National Bank. The event will be held at The Hilton Scranton and Conference Center on Friday, March 8, 2024.

Nominations must be received by 4:00 pm on Friday, January 19. Apply online at

Be a Speaker at EMPOWER

Have you enjoyed Empower Women’s Leadership Conference?  Ever want to be on the stage sharing your story, your expertise, motivating others? This is your year and your opportunity! 

EMPOWER Women’s Leadership Conference is now EMPOWER, The Leadership Experience!  EMPOWER will be held on Thursday, April 25, 2024, at Kalahari Resorts, Mount Pocono. We are accepting submissions for “Breakout Room Speakers, Wellness Presenters & Instructors, Panelists and Panel Moderators” through January 12, 2024. The 2024 theme is “PURPOSE” (to be interpreted by Speakers/Presenters in their presentation).

EMPOWER 2024 consists of four (4) Breakout Room tracks:

1.) Professional Development
2.) Personal Development
3.) Leadership Development
4.) Panel Discussions (final topics/titles tbd):

a.) Non-Traditional Industry Leaders
b.) Young Professionals: What To Do or Know
c.) Poise & Public Speaking
d.) Career Building

Breakout Room Speakers must prepare a 45 minute presentation inclusive of Q&A to typically includes a PowerPoint presentation.
Panelists offer their expertise on specific topics managed by the Panel Moderator.

Wellness Studio Presenters/Instructors.  The Wellness Studio runs every 30 minutes. We are currently looking for Presenters/Instructors to offer 20 minute sessions covering “Mind, Body and Spirit”.  This an be a fitness class, mindfulness, meditation, nutrition counseling, etc.

If EMPOWER is for you and you’re ready to get on stage and share your expertise please complete this “Speaker Submission Form” by January 12, 2024 to be considered for EMPOWER.  (No calls or direct emails please.)

We look forward to reviewing your submission and seeing you at EMPOWER, The Leadership Experience!

Skills in Scranton Receives Grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation

Skills in Scranton Business Education Partnership, the workforce development affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, is proud to announce that it has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Robert H. Spitz Foundation, administered by the Scranton Area Community Foundation. This grant will support facilitation of career awareness programs, facilitate collaboration between educational partners and the business community to empower students and job seekers to deepen their knowledge of diverse career pathways.

Business leaders across northeastern Pennsylvania have recognized that workforce development is critical to our economic future, and the long-term success of our youth. Skills in Scranton has established the framework for an industry-led, sector-based approach for addressing skills shortages, developing talent pipelines, and creating meaningful career pathways for a range of workers in these leading industry sectors

“This funding is instrumental in advancing our mission of fostering career awareness and developing a talent pipeline in Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Emily Pettinato, workforce development specialist, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. “This grant will allow us to strengthen our efforts in connecting with students and job seekers to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to make informed career decisions.”

“Workforce development and career readiness are among the region’s most pressing needs, affecting regional employers and job seekers alike,” said Laura Ducceschi, President & CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “With its robust connection between education, training, and employment, the Business Education Partnership’s community-based approach is an important component in ensuring every individual has access to family-sustaining jobs, creating a thriving community. The Robert H. Spitz Foundation and the Scranton Area Community Foundation are proud to support this very important endeavor.”

Chamber Leadership Applauds the Future of Amtrak in Scranton

The leadership of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce applauds the decision announced today by the Federal Railroad Administration to move forward with establishing an Amtrak connection between the City of Scranton and New York City.

The Chamber and its affiliate organizations have been on record in support of this concept and pledged to work with federal, state, and local officials to establish this line to promote economic development along the corridors in Lackawanna and Monroe counties and all of northeastern Pennsylvania.

“The Amtrak service will add to the already vibrant network of transportation infrastructure that is critical to our regional economy. Furthermore, this action will continue solidifying growing regional connections for the workforce, business, and recreational purposes,” commented Bob Durkin, president of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber’s leadership wants to acknowledge the vision and hard work of the Pennsylvania Northeast Regional Railroad Authority, Congressman Matt Cartwright, Senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman, Governor Shapiro, the county commissioners and the Visitors Bureaus of Lackawanna and Monroe Counties, municipal officials along the corridor, and the myriad community-based supporters who together made this dream a reality.

READ ONLINE: Supporters celebrate federal planning money for Scranton to NYC passenger train | News |

Leadership Fundamentals 2.0 Level Program Now Accepting Applications

Leadership Lackawanna, the community leadership and professional development affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, is now accepting applications for the Leadership Fundamentals 2.0 Level Program.

Leadership Fundamentals 2.0 Level Program is an 8-week virtual course providing advanced leaders with all the fundamentals of leadership – but at a 2.0 level! This innovative and flexible online learning experience begins on January 30, 2024, and ends on March 19, 2024. Participants work on weekly course content at their own pace. There are eight mandatory Zoom meetings: January 30, February 6, 13, 20, 27, March 5, 12, and 19 (every Tuesday from 12-1 pm. Noble Biomaterials and FNCB Bank proudly sponsor LF 2.0.

The cost is $355 (Early Bird rate – ends 12/31/23) and $425. Tuition assistance and payment plans are available to all applicants.

Applications are due by January 16, 2024. Upon submitting the application, a confirmation will be sent.

Questions? Contact Nicole A. Morristell at 570-342-7711 or


Weeks 1 & 2: A Leadership Primer

  • The Power of Perception
  • Addressing the H-Factor
  • Prioritizing Your Natural Leadership
  • Addressing the “Right” Goals
  • Action Orientation
  • Prioritizing Your Purpose
  • Addressing Your Leadership Brand

Week 3 & 4: Leadership Identity

  • Truly Utilizing Differences
  • The Myers Briggs Type Indicator in Action
  • The Power of Personality Leading Different Personalities
  • Understanding Others to Lead More Effectively
  • The Power of Generational Differences
  • Managing Workplace Diversity

Weeks 5 & 6: Leadership and Relationships

  • Appreciation as a Tool for Passion
  • Utilizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
  • The Necessity of Effective Communication
  • Action Oriented Powerful Communication Practice
  • Addressing Conflict Management
  • Running an Effective Meeting
  • Growing as a Team

Weeks 7 & 8: Keys to Leadership

  • The Power of Environment and Culture
  • Utilizing Reframing to Address Opportunities
  • Reframing Recognition
  • The Power of Motivation, Goal Setting and Change
  • Producing Meaningful Change
  • Moving Forward and Continual Growth

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.