EMPOWER 2024 Speaker’s and Presenter’s Bios

Breakfast Keynote Speaker

Dr. Lauren Hazzouri is a licensed psychologist, speaker, and founder of Hazzouri Psychology, a full-service psychology practice, and Hey Lauren, an entity that encompasses her public-education work.

Over the past fifteen years, she’s developed her signature method, drawing from the most effective elements of western psychology and eastern philosophy.

Dr. Hazzouri is most known for her candid talks on confidence and self-esteem. She was named one of the top five women in the world inspiring girls by German Glamour Magazine and her work has appeared in Teen Vogue, Forbes, and British Vogue.

Dr. Hazzouri has partnered with reputable brands like Dove and Tresseme, and has contributed to a number of publications and apps that help people make daily behavioral changes to live better lives, including Always You Period Tracker.

Dr. Hazzouri earned a bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University, and a master’s and a doctorate degree from Marywood University. She is a member of The American Psychological Association and has received multiple honors, including The Pennsylvania Psychological Association’s Psychology in the Media Award.

Patrice Banks is the founder of Girls Auto Clinic (GAC). Established in 2013, Girls Auto Clinic offers automotive buying and repair resources, products, and services based on trust, education, inclusion, and empowerment.

Banks, a self-described auto airhead, hated the automotive buying and repair experience. Frustrated with lack of resources educating women on car care and her inability to find a female mechanic in the Philadelphia area, Banks enrolled in automotive technology school to learn how to work on cars. Her mission with GAC was to create a place she wanted to bring her car for repair and maintenance. She has since made it her mission to educate and empower women through their cars.

Passionate about equality and empowerment of women, business leadership, innovation, technology and STEM education, Banks promotes positive messages for female inclusion and empowerment in the auto industry through her #sheCANic movement. Whether speaking to a room full of middle school girls, or national conferences with executives and CEO’s, Banks inspires individuals, groups, and businesses alike, to push boundaries, redefine success and tap into their full potential.

Prior to establishing GAC, Patrice worked for more than 12 years as an engineer, manager, and leader at DuPont, a science and technology company. Banks holds a bachelor’s degree in Lehigh University and an Automotive Technology Diploma from Delaware Technical Community College. She is the author of the book, The Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide.

Special Guests

Mayor Cognetti was sworn in as Mayor of Scranton on January 6, 2020. She won re-election to a full term in November 2021.

Prior to becoming Mayor, she advised the Pennsylvania Auditor General on oversight of public school districts and care for older adults. Mayor Cognetti previously served as a director on the Scranton School Board.

Mayor Cognetti served in the Obama administration as a senior advisor to the Under Secretary for International Affairs at the U.S. Treasury Department. She was a fundraiser and project director on numerous political campaigns. She also worked as an investment advisor in New York City.

Mayor Cognetti grew up in Beaverton, Oregon. She lives in Scranton with her husband and their two daughters. Mayor Cognetti received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Oregon Clark Honors College and a master’s from Harvard University.

State Representative Bridget M. Kosierowski was elected to serve the people of the 114th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives following a special election in March 2019, becoming the first woman to represent Lackawanna County in the General Assembly in more than 50 years.

State Rep. Kosierowski has spent her professional life in the healthcare sector working as a registered nurse. For more than 25 years, she helped patients live long and healthy lives, while also witnessing families struggle to afford quality health care. As a mother who has raised a survivor of a devastating leukemia diagnosis, she knows firsthand the hardship that too many families face. Through these experiences, she understands the impact compassionate leadership can have.

As state representative, Kosierowski’s legislative priorities include preserving and enhancing health care services for all. She will work to preserve the state’s Children Health Insurance Program, expand Medicaid access and protect those with pre-existing conditions from higher insurance premiums. She also plans to take steps to address the burden of school property taxes, as well as support efforts to impose a tax on natural-gas extractions and to close legal loopholes that allow multi-state corporations to pay lower income taxes.

State Rep. Kosierowski is committed to focusing on the needs of her constituents through assistance provided by her office and through community outreach. She will work with members of both parties to find common ground that benefits the local area and communities across Pennsylvania.

She resides with her husband Joe and their four children in Waverly Township, raising her family in the same neighborhood where she and her 5 siblings were raised.

State Rep. Kosierowski is a lifelong Pennsylvanian, and graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and Villanova University.

Professional Development Track

Lori Moran is the director of the Roche Family Center for Career Development at The University of Scranton. With over 20 years of experience in higher education, she leads a dynamic team of career development professionals, and she is a coach for students and alumni regarding career and professional development. This includes career decision-making, resume and cover letter writing, job and internship search, networking, interviewing, LinkedIn, and salary negotiation.

Moran is also an adjunct instructor in the Counseling & Human Services department at The University of Scranton and teaches career seminar. She serves on the board of directors and on the program effectiveness committee at the Catherine McAuley Center and is on the selection committee of Leadership Lackawanna. In March 2023, Moran was featured as the Northeast Woman in the Scranton Times.

Moran received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The University of Scranton. She is also a National Certified Counselor.

Kathryn Bondi is the design manager at Posture Interactive, a creative agency in Scranton that focuses on website design and digital marketing. She has been building brands online with this group of incredibly creative minds for more than seven years.

Bondi was previously the creative director for the web team at Net Driven, an internet marketing company where she mastered the art of making the tire industry look fun.

Bondi is currently the Lt. Governor on the American Advertising Federation (AAF) of NEPA District 2 Board. She previously served on the AAF of NEPA board of directors for nine years. In addition, Bondi has been an adjunct instructor at Marywood University and the University of Scranton. 

Bondi has previously presented at TEDx Scranton, the Young Professionals Conference, and the Entrepreneurship Institute Conference.

In her spare time, she makes her own cheese and enjoys homebrew beer with her husband.

Bondi holds a bachelor’s degree from Marywood University.

Dr. Andrea DiMattia is the vice provost for education administration and assistant professor of medical education at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. With more than 25 years of higher education experience, she is a certified life coach and emotional intelligence facilitator.

Dr. DiMattia’s scholarly interests include leadership, organizational change management, institutional accreditation, and resilience. She has presented at the American Associate of Medical Colleges Specialty Group Meetings on Regional Medical Campuses, Generalist in Education, Faculty Affairs, Business Affairs, and Institutional Planning.

Dr. DiMattia received a bachelor’s degree from Clarion University, a master’s degree from Clemson University, and a doctorate from the University of Southern California.

Dr. Michelle Schmude is the vice provost for enrollment management and associate professor at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. She is a faculty member in the Harvard Macy Institute’s Program for Health Professions Educators and President-elect of the Academy for Professionalism in Health Care. Dr. Schmude’s scholarly activities focus on professionalism, professional identity formation, admission trends, advising, mentoring, and coaching, and the use of ePortfolios to promote and assess competency.

Dr. Schmude received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree from Point Park University, and a doctorate from Wilkes University.

Bethany Staples is the CEO and owner of Market Share Consulting. She strategically develops strong and effective marketing and advertising plans for her clients to help them identify and take their market share.

Staples is the vice president of Education for the American Advertising Federation Board of Directors. She was a 2023 nominee of the Young Professionals Awards Women’s Leadership Award by Athena® International. In addition, Market Share Consulting was awarded the SAGE Best Practices in Marketing and Communications Award from The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce in 2022.

When Staples is not busy consulting or strategizing, you can find her spending time traveling with her husband and daughters, flying her drone, or getting her hands dirty in her next DIY home improvement project.

Staples holds a bachelor’s degree from The University of Scranton.

Brittany Watt is the executive creative director for Market Share Consulting. With more than 13 years of experience in marketing and advertising, she crafts compelling narratives and effective creatives across diverse channels that is a purposeful blend of business acumen and creative expression.

Running parallel to her corporate pursuits is a creative journey of more than 20 years of experience in freelance artistry, infusing a unique creative perspective into my professional landscape. Watt actively engages in pro bono projects, driven by a commitment to making a positive impact in the community.

Watt received an associate degree from Illinois Central College and a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University. 

Personal Development Track

Dr. Carrie Demers is the medical director for PureRejuv Wellness Center. She has practiced integrative medicine for more than 25 years.

After earning her medical degree, Dr. Demers went on to study massage, homeopathy, yoga, meditation, nutrition, herbal medicine, and ayurveda. She uses all these modalities to support patients’ inherent ability to heal.

Dr. Demers sees patients, writes articles, and lectures nationally on integrative medicine.

Dr. Demers received her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She is board-certified in both integrative medicine and internal medicine.

Jennifer Lutsey is the director of employee development at The Children’s Service Center (CSC) of Wyoming Valley, Inc. She is responsible for the oversight of all training programs, wellness-related retention strategies, employee development initiatives, and leadership development workshops.

Lutsey has been employed with CSC for 20 years and is passionate about helping individuals and teams achieve success through her engaging collaboration, mindful strategic planning, and dynamic instructor-led trainings.

Lutsey resides in Luzerne County with her husband and two sons. She enjoys playing sports, reading, painting, and exploring the outdoors.

Lutsey holds a bachelor’s degree from Misericordia University, a master’s degree from Marywood University, and is a licensed social worker. She is also an outpatient therapist and certified in numerous clinical treatment modalities.

Shane Powers is the chief operating officer for NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania. With more than 29 years of experience, she is a demonstrated leader who has diverse skills in manufacturing, logistics, education, and nonprofit operations. Powers has a passion for people and finds motivation through collaboration, strategic planning, and implementing the processes needed to deliver challenging objectives.

Powers holds board positions with MetroAction and the Wyoming County Community Alliance. She is a member of the AllOne Charities Community Strategies Group and the Wyoming County Cultural Center Strategic Planning Committee.

Powers enjoys spending time with her husband and three children (ages 24, 18, and 14) while experiencing the adventures of travel, food, reading, and live music.  

Powers holds a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She completed the Leadership Lackawanna Executive Program and the Nonprofit Leadership Certificate program through The University of Scranton.

Jenna Urban once immersed in suits, now thrives in sweatpants. As the owner of Urban Mac Media, she spent 17 years teaching before transitioning to higher education—which didn’t unfold as expected. This ultimately led Urban to pivot towards her family’s businesses – Lawn and Order Landscaping and LMJ Sheds.

Urban’s online journey started back in 2009, when she started a money-saving blog and amplified her media presence in local newspapers and live TV segments. She is a fierce advocate for local businesses and side hustles, providing expert marketing consulting in email, and content creation.

Urban also co-hosts the “Sole Sisters Podcast” with her sister where they empower their audience with relatable stories from women in leadership roles.

Whether seeking direction, contemplating a career change, or aiming for self-fulfillment, Urban strives to instill clarity, confidence, and courage, enabling clients to recognize their unique and impactful purposes. She writes about her transformative shift from traditional work to entrepreneurial success on JennaUrban.net.

Urban holds an associate degree from Lackawanna College and bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree from East Stroudsburg University.

Leadership Development Track

Dr. Elizabeth Carter is a distinguished leader, award-winning speaker, and seven time best-selling author, has over 25 years in the insurance industry with pivotal roles at Allstate, The Hartford, AIG, and Farmers. As a Vice President in Clinical Services at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pittsburgh, PA, Dr. Carter leverages her extensive expertise in corporate finance, product management, technology, distribution, and market segments. As a trailblazer in her journey of ensuring everyone has equitable access to the tools and skills to be successful in the corporate environment, Dr. Carter overcame obstacles: scraping her childhood dream of being a lawyer, transitioning from retail and banking to corporate finance, and staying resilient while being ‘the only’ in several rooms in her career journey.

Dr. Carter is the treasurer for two Pittsburgh boards; Gwen’s Girls and Silver Eye Photography. She is a 2021 New Pittsburgh Courier Women of Excellence Award recipient, and a 2023 Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.

Dr. Carter holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Capella University, and an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology. She is a Distinguished Toastmaster and holds the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation. She is a Certified Virtual Learning Trainer, and an Authorized DISC Administrator Behavioral Consultant.

Dr. Katie P. Desiderio is a tenured faculty member at Moravian University and a principal partner in Learning of Proximal Development, LLC, an authorized DiSC partner, specializing in leadership development and performance through learning.

Dr. Desiderio chose a second career in higher education, where she celebrates the honor of being the first female chairperson of the Economics and Business Department at the sixth oldest institution in America and first to educate women.

As a scholar-practitioner, she recently co-authored Wall Street Journal Best-Selling Business book, The Beekeeper: Pollinating Your Organization for Transformative Growth.

Dr. Desiderio is a proud alumna of Wilkes University, where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and Barry University, where she earned her doctorate degree.

Olivia Eaddy is a vice president of claims on Prudential’s US Customer Service Team. Her team consists of more than 300 associates located both domestically and internationally, and she is responsible for the administration of millions of life insurance solutions.

A true student of leadership, Eaddy is known as an engaging and inspirational leader who gets work done, the right way, and inspires followership along the way. As the president and founder of Will-Liv Ministries, Inc. she is passionate about people development and actively facilitates conferences and leadership training for nonprofit organizations.

In addition, Eaddy is an advisory board member for Montclair State University and its College of Education and Human Services.

Eaddy lives in Montgomery County with her husband and two sons. She enjoys spending time with her family, supporting her local church, and traveling.

Eaddy received a bachelor’s degree from Messiah University, a master’s degree from Liberty University, and is NASD Series 6 licensed. She also has earned certificates in LSS Green Belt, LOMA FLMI, Women Unlimited Impact, and Business Architecture.

Kristyn Smith is the chief of staff at Tobyhanna Army Depot. In this position since 2021, she serves as the senior advisor to the commanding officer and deputy commander. During her career, she held leadership positions at the depot overseeing acquisition transitions to sustainment and served as the principal communication advisor to the commander on the depot’s communication strategy.

A former employee of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Smith continues to support various community organizations, including Leadership Lackawanna.

Her awards and decorations include the Army Superior Civilian Service Award, Army Commander’s Award for Civilian Service, and Tobyhanna Army Depot Supervisor of the Quarter.

Smith earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at Wilkes University. In 2020, she achieved level II certification in Life Cycle Logistics from Defense Acquisition University. She also studied leadership decision making and negotiation strategy at the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Program. In 2021, Smith completed Institute for Defense & Business Aviation and Industrial Readiness Program’s, Lean Six Sigma Executive Champion Certification training at North Carolina State University.

PANEL DISCUSSION TRACK

Shanie Mohamed is the director of economic development for the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce. In this role, she oversees “Connect”—the entrepreneurial and economic development arm of the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce. She designs unique, customized projects, and programs to create a positive impact in NEPA.

A Certified Enterprise Design Thinking Practitioner through IBM, Mohamed spearheads collaborative efforts to address skills gaps and enhance the quality of the workforce in the region. With a passion for people, design, and social innovation, she spurs business growth and builds solutions for social, economic, and workforce-related issues.

Mohamed serves on the board of directors for Dress for Success Luzerne County and Penn’s Northeast, and the Advisory Board for the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine PAsmart STEM Medical Pathway Program. She is the recipient of the 2023 Wilkes-Barre NAACP Freedom Fund Diversity Leadership Award, and she is a current fellow of the Microsoft TechSpark Community Engagement Fellowship Program.

Mohamed received her bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University.

Glynis Johns is the founder and CEO of Black Scranton Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving black history in northeastern Pennsylvania. Collaborating with officials and community leaders statewide, John’s is a New America, Us@250 Fellow and her impactful work has established a vital African-American presence in Lackawanna County.

Johns served on Governor Tom Wolf’s Commission on African American Affairs and was recognized by U.S. Senator Bob Casey for transformative leadership. As a TEDx Scranton speaker, she explored ‘Why Local Black History Matters.’ Her achievements extend to a regional Emmy-winning documentary, showcasing institutions preserving black history in northeastern Pennsylvania. Currently, she guides the Black Scranton Project Center for Arts and Culture, poised to be a hub for local BIPOC arts, culture, and entertainment in North Scranton.

Johns holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Saint John’s University.

Kaitlin Scott is the executive assistant to Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti, where she oversees event planning, scheduling, and communications for the Mayor’s Office. She previously interned for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Indiana University Alumni Association, Municipalidad de Peñalolén in Santiago, Chile, AmeriCorps, and the State of Indiana.

Scott lives in Scranton and enjoys coaching volleyball, graphic design, and shopping at local businesses.

Scott received a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University where she received the Stahr Distinguished Senior Award, and the Arabic Outstanding Senior Award. While at IU, she led presentations on networking and professionalism for fellow students. As a member of the Dean’s advisory board, she led the student engagement portion of the annual America’s Role in the World Conference and advocated for more service-learning coursework.

Kelley Laird is the retail branch manager II for Fidelity Bank. She has been with Fidelity since 2021 and has been recognized within the organization as a leader in customer service excellence.

Laird previously held positions in hospitality management, working at several hotel brands such as Radisson, Marriott, and various other independent properties. With more than 10 years of experience, she started as an intern and worked her way through the ranks of the sales department, finishing as an area director of sales, overseeing two properties.

In her spare time, Laird teaches dance to kids ages eight through 18 at The Dance Studio/Ballet Theatre of Scranton. Kelley also enjoys being involved within the community through several organizations such as Ballet Theatre, Scranton Tomorrow, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce Influencers Club, Rotary Club, Leadership Lackawanna, and The Society of Irish Women. Laird received a bachelor’s degree from Temple University. She is also a graduate of the Leadership Lackawanna Core Program.

Mandie Hendricks is a financial advisor with Janney Montgomery Scott. Since 2009, she has worked with clients to gain financial independence by motivating them to save and invest for the future.

Hendricks serves on the Luzerne County Community College foundation board of directors and is a graduate of the Leadership Northeast Core Program.

Hendricks resides in Conyngham with her husband and two sons.

Hendricks graduated from Bloomsburg University with a bachelor’s degree and has earned the Certified Financial Planner™ professional designation.

Dr. Tricia Richards-Service is the founder and president of I Need a Speaker, an online platform that connects speakers with the people who want to book them. She has more than 20 years of experience as a communication professional and has taught public presentation to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as executives.

Dr. Richards-Service has spoken at multiple international, national, and regional conferences on the subjects of marketing, communications, leadership, education, and healthcare. To date, she has led presentations and workshops in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, and multiple locations in the United States.

A native of northeastern Pennsylvania, Dr. Richards-Service is active in her community. She lives in Clarks Summit with her husband, Kevin, and their two children.

Dr. Richards-Service earned a bachelor’s degree from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from The University of Scranton, and a doctorate from Marywood University. She is a two-time Fulbright grantee who has conducted research through Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland) and the University of Economic Studies (Bucharest, Romania).

Senator Rosemary Brown was elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in November of 2022 after serving in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for six terms.

Brown represents the 40th Senatorial District, which includes Lackawanna, Monroe, and Wayne Counties.

Senator Brown is an accessible, hard-working, and common-sense problem-solver. She was appointed to serve as majority Chairwoman of the Senate’s Local Government Committee. She was also appointed to the Governor’s Commission on Women, the Gino Merli Veterans Advisory Commission, and the Local Government Commission.

Prior to public service, she began her career in the private sector as an executive sales manager and assistant buyer with Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bon-Ton. She then transferred her skills into the field of pharmaceutical sales.

Senator Brown has been happily married to her high school sweetheart, Joe, for 29 years. Together, they have three children.

A longtime Pocono resident, Senator Brown earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Scranton.

Marie Beggin is the chief executive officer for Penn East Federal Credit Union. She has more than 35 years of experience in the financial services industry and most recently held the position of commercial loan officer at Penn East prior to being named CEO in 2023.

Beggin serves on two of The Chamber’s affiliate organizations boards, the Lackawanna Industrial Fund Enterprise (LIFE) and Leadership Lackawanna. 

Beggin received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of Scranton.

Chelsey Coslett is the manager of marketing & stakeholder engagement for NEPIRC (Northeastern Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Center).  She is responsible for overseeing the marketing department and its initiatives. She also manages NEPIRC’s annual Manufacturing Day Summit & Expo.

Coslett is the former board president of the American Advertising Federation of NEPA. She is a member of the marketing steering committee of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST’s) Manufacturing Extension Partnership National Network (MEPNN). She is a current member of the Leadership Northeast’s Core Class of 2024; participates in the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee; and a 2022 graduate of Leadership Northeast’s Amplify Women’s Leadership Program. She was named Top 20 Under 40 Professional in NEPA by the NEPA Business Journal in December 2023

Coslett received a bachelor’s degree from Flagler College. She also holds a management certificate from Cornell University and received a social media marketing certificate through HubSpot.

Stephanie Mihal is a partner at MMQ & Associates, P.C. in Scranton, PA. With more than 18 years of experience with the firm, Mihal has expertise in nonprofit, for-profit manufacturing, construction, and retail, employee benefit plan and governmental audits, as well as tax and consulting work. She manages firm recruiting for internships, new hires, and oversees career development for the firm.

Mihal is on the board of directors of Outreach—Center for Community Resources and has held various board positions including president, finance chair, and audit committee chair. She has been a member of The University of Scranton Accounting Department Professional Council since its inception in 2015. Mihal volunteers her time with The University of Scranton Career Coaches Program and student mentor programs.

Mihal resides in Clarks Summit with her husband Nayt and sons Noah and Nathan. She enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Mihal received a bachelor’s degree from The University of Scranton. She is a Licensed CPA in Pennsylvania and New York.

Dr. Sarah Wodder is the president and CEO of Scranton Counseling Center (SCC), a licensed psychologist, and a licensed professional counselor. She is responsible for developing and executing the strategic initiatives of SCC, and maintaining a culture of excellence that ensures the community is receiving the highest quality of behavioral and mental health services.

Prior to joining Scranton Counseling Center in 2021, Dr. Wodder served as the executive director of Edison Court, Inc., located in Doylestown, PA, with a focus on forensic behavioral health.

Beyond her roles in leadership, Dr. Wodder has enjoyed working with children, adolescents, and adults in private practice. She is passionate about providing equal access to quality mental and behavioral health services in order to promote resilience and recovery.

In her free time, Dr. Wodder enjoys spending time with her husband and son, traveling, hiking, running, and reading.

Dr. Wodder holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Joseph’s University, a master’s degree The University of Scranton, and a master’s and doctorate from The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Jennifer Davis is the director of design and development for Sordoni Construction Services, Inc. With more than two decades of experience in architecture and construction, Davis aligns client visions with resources to deliver exceptional results.

Committed to innovation and collaboration, her goal is to advance the design and construction industries, creating value for stakeholders and exceeding client expectations. Davis’s extensive portfolio includes successful contributions to diverse projects, from education and healthcare to commercial and industrial facilities. This includes the iconic “Welcome to the Electric City” mural in Scranton that graced the Biden Expressway from 2006 to 2023.

Davis is the president of Chamber affiliate Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO).  She also serves on the City of Scranton Planning Commission; she is a Board Member for Johnson College and serves on the Campaign Committee for the United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne, and Pike Counties. 

Davis received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

Patricia O’Rourke Cummings is a licensed clinical mental health counselor and owner of Patricia O Cummings Therapy, LLC, a private practice in South Abington Township, PA. Through a holistic approach linking mind, body, and spirit, she helps adults navigate issues related to anxiety, depression, and trauma. Her areas of interest include women’s issues, trauma, and eating disorders.

Cummings received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from The University of Scranton. She is also certified in trauma yoga therapy.

Christie Estadt is the owner and head trainer of Body Blueprint Fitness, Health, and Wellness Center in Clarks Summit. With more than 30 years of experience in the fitness industry, she has helped hundreds of people achieve better health and fitness.

Estadt holds the only certification in Functional Nutrition and Metabolism Specialization in the Abington’s and surrounding area. She has learned how your metabolic, digestive, and hormonal health impacts your body, can work against you, and how to solve it. Estadt became certified from discovering the disconnect between her clients and their pursuit of better health and fitness.

Estadt received a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University. She is a Functional Nutrition and Metabolism Specialist, C.H.E.K. Practitioner, C.H.E.K. Exercise Coach, and USAW LEVEL 1. She has additional certifications ranging from Step Aerobics to Pilates to CrossFit.

Dr. Barbara Plucknett owners a gynecology practice in Scranton. She has worked in the fields of gynecology and urogynecology for nearly 25 years.

Dr. Plucknett enjoys supporting women in their health journey by addressing their needs one step at a time. She is focused on helping her patients find their center. The place where they feel good about themselves. The place where they are motivated to keep moving forward and confident that they can reach their health goals.

Dr. Plucknett and her nurse practitioners hold the core value that care is patient-centered care rather than disease-focused treatment. This includes an optimal balance of physiological, psychological, and environmental factors. Recognizing that to treat “the part,” we must treat “the whole”. Understanding that disease is about re-creating balance in the body.

Dr. Plucknett received her bachelor’s degree from Temple University and her Doctor of Medicine degree from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine. Dr. Plucknett is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology; a member of the Fellowship for Anti-Aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine; a member of the Metabolic Medicine Institute; and a member of BodyLogicMD. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a member of American Urogynecology Society.

Brianna Strunk is the public relations officer for the Pocono Mountains Visitor’s Bureau and senior correspondent for Pocono Television Network, a 24/7 travel channel. In addition, she co-hosts and produces Pocono Mountains Magazine, a one-hour monthly show airing on TV stations across the tri-state.

Born and raised in the Pocono Mountains, Strunk is a storyteller at heart and is passionate about the Pocono Mountains.

Prior to joining the PMVB/PTN in 2019, Strunk was the Pocono reporter and weekend morning anchor at WBRE-TV (NBC) & WYOU-TV (CBS). On occasion, Strunk continues to fill in at the station, anchoring newscasts or co-hosting the area’s only lifestyle program, PALive.

Strunk is a board member for two nonprofits, the Kettle Creek Environmental Fund and Go Collaborative. She also co-organizes Winterfest in downtown Stroudsburg.

Strunk received her bachelor’s degree from East Stroudsburg University. 

Wellness Studio Presenters

Kailin Bouse is the owner of Kailin of Earth Wellness Studio in Clarks Summit. She offers workshops, classes, and services to help people reverse the symptoms of chronic stress, rebalance the nervous system, and find empowerment within to feel at home in their own bodies.

Bouse has partnered with many of NEPA’s leading impactful institutions such as the Lackawanna Blind Association, Penn State Scranton & Wilkes-Barre, Lackawanna College, Keystone College, The University of Scranton, Abington Heights School District, Forest City High School, WellKind Early Learning Center, Scranton JCC, Greater Scranton YMCA, Scranton Turning Point Alternative Living Solutions (TPALS), Scranton Drug and Alcohol Treatment Service (DATS), and more.

Bouse was featured as “Northeast Woman” in May 2023 by The Scranton Times in honor of her inspiring story and heartfelt efforts in serving her community.

She spent over two years studying at the Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy and is a 500-Hour Yoga & Meditation Instructor, Certified Sound Therapist, and Reiki Master Practitioner.

Jackie Kerekes is the owner and head trainer at The Training Loft, LLC where she works with clients from young teens to their 70’s. She has a passion for fitness, nutrition, and wellness while helping her clients feel their best and reach their goals.

Kerekes is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Stretch and Flexibility Coach, AAFA Certified Group Fitness, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist.

Jeannine Luby is the founder and president of Laugh to Live!  Since 2006, she has led stress-reducing, mental alertness, and wellness-boosting laughter yoga for more than 100 clients in NEPA and beyond.  Her clients include Geisinger, Prudential, NAMI, Misericordia University, Marywood University, and The University of Scranton. In 2023, Luby facilitated sessions at the Wild Women of NEPA Winter Wellness Expo & Festival with more than 1,000 women in attendance.

Luby left healthcare communications in 2010 to grow her business. She is a producer and performer in “Funny Wine Girl” stand-up comedy shows for women; she produces a weekly podcast “Uncorked with Funny Wine Girl,” highlighting women of NEPA and beyond; and has teaches part-time at King’s College.

Luby received a bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree from Marywood University. She recently earned a certificate from eCornell for “Using Humor in the Workplace.” She also received  certificates from the University of Pennsylvania, the American School of Laughter Yoga, and the World Laughter Tour.

Chelsea Manganaro is the owner and founder of Nearme Yoga, Nearme Café, and NEPA Yoga Festival. Previously employed in the private sector, Manganaro wanted to share her passion for yoga and hospitality. She opened Nearme Yoga & Café in 2014, and in 2015 she established the NEPA Yoga Festival. The event brings together business owners, yoga instructors, and participants looking to create better versions of themselves. The event is for all ages and fitness levels and invites vendors and artists to share their passions.

She is a master in reiki, 500 hour registered yoga instructor, health and wellness coach, Shaman certified, certified chef, and children’s yoga instructor.

Manganaro received two bachelor’s degrees from The University of Scranton.

Dawn Marino, owner of Heal by Dawn, is a spiritual medium and channeler, certified crystal energy healer, intuitive healer, and tarot reader. She is also an artist who creates channeled healing art infused with energy.

Marino is the author of two published tarot books, “Tarot Journal for Beginners” and “The Complete Guide to Tarot.” Her healings focus on working through the Dark Night of the Soul and the Void space, reconnecting you to your Higher Self and helping you to feel empowered again.

Marino uses crystal healing by tapping into the energy and consciousness of different crystals and drawing their energy and wisdom. Her work is a unique blend of channeled messages, crystals, tarot, art, and healing techniques. She enjoys connecting with people in-person and remotely to support them on their healing journeys, working with them as they rebuild their sense of self and purpose.

Marino is a Certified Professional Crystal Energy Healer, Certified Level II Reiki Practitioner, Certified in intuitive tarot and mediumship studies, and an ordained minister.

Diane Rixner is the owner of Cultivate Well Being. Her journey into the well-being arts started when she was a student at Bloomsburg University and first learned about yoga.

Rixner was an elementary teacher and insurance professional for several years and then realized a diversion was needed from those careers to find her passion in life.

Rixner was fascinated by the mind, body, and spirit connection, she became a part-time yoga instructor.  She later received a master/instructor Reiki certification. 

Rixner is retired and now teaches yoga and leads Reiki sessions in her home studio. She also instructs at the local library, residential community centers, resorts, churches, and spas.

Rixner is a mother to two wonderful human beings and lives near Lake Wallenpaupack with her husband and dog.

Rixner has a bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University, a master/instructor of Usui Reiki, Method of Natural Healing Advanced Level Integrated Energy Therapy Certification, and Registered Yoga School 200 Certified Yoga Teacher of Hatha Yoga.

Melissa Roberts is the owner of the Ski Shack in Moosic. She is a mom-on-a mission to share her passion for nature and make the outdoors accessible for everyone. She regularly organizes educational workshops, classes, litter cleanups, meetups, and fundraising events to support the growing outdoor community and raise awareness for local conservation organizations and nonprofits.

In 2023, Roberts was a recipient of the national Blizzard Tecnica W2W Education Scholarship, a Top 3 Finalist for Young Professional of the Year by the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce, and named the 2023 SAGE Small Business of the Year Award winner by The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

Roberts is the co-founder of Wild Women NEPA, an organization dedicated to empowering, supporting and connecting women in Northeast PA. Through a variety of events, Wild Women NEPA fosters collaboration, personal growth, and community engagement and was recognized with the “Regional Collaboration Award” by the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce in 2023.

Roberts received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She is also a in Certified Holistic Nutrition Consultant and RYT-200 Certified Yoga Instructor.

Leora Sanchez is the hospitality director of the Himalayan Institute and a certified yoga teacher at the Himalayan Institute’s PureRejuv Wellness Center.

Sanchez is an E-RYT 500hr Hatha yoga teacher and Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist. She is a student of Yoga Philosophy and Ayurveda of the Himalayan Tradition, completing her 200 and 300-hour Yoga Teacher Training, and Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist Training at the Himalayan Institute.

Through a yogic lifestyle, the continued practices of asana and meditation, and the world-view experiences of travel, Sanchez has developed an inner depth and richness that has eased and softened her heart, stabilized a health imbalance, and opened the door to an inner world of peace, love, and simplicity.

As a student at the Himalayan Institute, Sanchez has worked with and studied under some of the world’s leading Yoga philosophers and educators, including Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Rolf Sovik, Ishan Tiguanit, Sandra Anderson, Shari Friedrichsen, Judy Moulton, and Kathryn Templeton.

Deborah Shurtleff is the owner of Cloverknoll, a nonprofit community organization. She consults with businesses, nonprofits, and individuals to offer transformational training, and manages a delightful project, Wyoming County Community Heart & Soul®.

Shurtleff is a C-IAYT Certified Yoga Therapist and has developed a liminal space access tool, Nidra Prajna®.  She loves blending work with wellness.

Shurtleff received a bachelor’s degree from Wilkes University, a master’s degree from Drexel University, an Inner MBA Certificate in Conscious Leadership from NYU, and is completing her Ph.D. in Transformational Business Leadership.

Talia Walsh is the owner of Quest Studio, a specialty fitness studio and wellness center located in Jessup, PA. The business is comprised of three studios—a fitness studio and wellness center, yoga studio, and stretch and recovery center.

Walsh is NEPA’s first Fascial Stretch Therapy Practitioner (Level 3 & Sports Specific) with additional training in Thai Massage. As an exercise physiologist, entrepreneur, and business owner, she focuses on empowering others to reach their goals by using multiple tools touching on health, fitness, nutrition, recovery, and behavior change and mindset. She has made it her mission to help others become their best self and achieve optimum levels of health and wealth in all aspects of their lives.

Quest Studio received the Chamber’s SAGE Award for New & Emerging Business of the Year and Small Business of the Year Award. Walsh received the Chamber’s SAGE Woman of Excellence Award.

Walsh has raised more than $425,000 to support injured and homeless veterans in our community in honor of her late fiancé killed in Afghanistan in 2007.

Walsh received a master’s degree from Bloomsburg University, and in addition, has earned more than 40 certifications that include several specialty fitness certifications, personal and group training, nutrition and wellness coaching certifications, 300RYT in Vinyasa Yoga, prenatal yoga, adaptive yoga, kid’s yoga, Thai Massage, and more.