The Chamber Welcomes New Employees: Day and Gambucci

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce announces the hire of Maria Day as the new IGNITE Program Manager. IGNITE is the entrepreneurship program of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce

As the IGNITE Program Manager, Day will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of entrepreneurship in Lackawanna County. Her primary responsibility will include orchestrating strategic vision through innovative education, counseling, influential networking, and mentorship support.

“The Chamber is thrilled to welcome Maria as the new IGNITE Program Manager,” shared Aaron Whitney, director of facilities and asset management. “With her understanding of entrepreneurship, she will propel the program to new heights, significantly contributing to the growth of businesses and job opportunities within our community.”

Day holds a master’s degree in public administration from Marywood University. Prior to joining The Chamber, she worked as the Senior Undergraduate Admissions Counselor at Marywood University. She brings expertise and passion for fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems to her new role.

Day shares, “I am very excited to be joining the Chamber! I am eager to work with The Chamber and IGNITE Program to expand local entrepreneurship and business opportunities.”

Under Day’s leadership, the IGNITE program aims to provide comprehensive support to entrepreneurs and startups in the greater Scranton area, accomplishing The Chamber’s mission of attracting, sustaining, and growing businesses in northeastern PA.

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the hire of Marla Gambucci as the new Communications Manager. In this role, Gambucci will serve as the primary graphic designer for The Chamber and its affiliate organizations, oversee content creation and management of social media accounts, maintain and update Chamber and affiliates’ websites, and provide invaluable support to Chamber events and programming. An alumna of Marywood University, Gambucci holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design.

“We are excited to welcome Marla to our Chamber team where she brings a fresh perspective to the every changing communications work space,” shared Bob Durkin, president of The Chamber.

Gambucci is a dance instructor and choreographer outside the Chamber at Carmel Ardito School of Dance. With Stephanie Ventura-Juarez’s departure, Gambucci assumes the role of communications manager.

“The Chamber has allowed me to create art that makes a difference. I am excited to utilize my skills to impact the community, promote important values of business development, and help more people learn about The Chamber,” shared Marla Gambucci.

Gambucci officially assumed her role as Communications Manager on February 26, 2024.

Deborah Kolsovsky Honored as ATHENA recipient at The Chamber’s International Women’s Day Breakfast

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce hosted the International Women’s Day Breakfast on March 8, 2024, at the Hilton Scranton and Conference Center. Sponsored by The Honesdale National Bank, the event brought together 300 distinguished business leaders and advocates to celebrate the achievements of women in business and honor their contributions to the community.

The largest regional International Women’s Day Celebration, the Chamber partnered with Dress For Success Lackawanna to recognize the recipients of the organization’s “Women Making an Impact” campaign.

In addition, Deborah Kolsovsky, executive vice president and regional director for PNC Institutional Asset Management®, was recognized as the 2024 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient. Sponsored by Michael A. Barbetti, LLC, CPA, the ATHENA Award symbolizes excellence in leadership and mentorship bestowed upon an outstanding individual who exemplifies these qualities. Donna Barbetti, presenting this year’s award to Kolsovsky, whose leadership, dedication to empowering women, and commitment to community service have made a lasting impact on our community.

“This was the perfect way to celebrate International Women’s Day. We honored one of our region’s most successful women in business, Debbie Kolsovsky, and shined a light on the valuable role of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and Dress for Success have in promoting the professional development of women in the workplace,” shared Bob Durkin, president of The Chamber.

Senator Rosemary Brown (R) and State Representative Bridget Kosierowski (D) presented Kolsovsky with an official resolution recognizing her professional and community contributions. 

The event served as a testament to women’s collective strength, resilience, and achievements across industries and professions. It provided a platform for networking, mentorship, and collaboration, fostering an environment where women can thrive and succeed.

Chamber Hosts Lackawanna County Commissioners

On Thursday, February 29, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce hosted Lackawanna County Commissioners Chris Chermak, Bill Gaughan, and Matt McGloin at a breakfast meet and greet. The County Commissioners interacted with Chamber and affiliate organizations’ board members. Bob Durkin, president of The Chamber, Jerry Musheno, chair of the board for The Chamber, and Vince Galko, chair of the Government Affairs and Advocacy Committee for The Chamber, provided remarks to guests and welcomed County Commissioners. The county commissioners gave short salutations and spoke on the County’s and The Chamber’s strong connection in attracting, sustaining, and growing businesses to Lackawanna County.

The Chamber Announces Land Sale by SLIBCO to PNK Group

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, through its business development affiliate, Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Business Company (SLIBCO), is pleased to announce the sale of 88.73 acres of prime industrial land in Jessup and Archbald, to PNK Group, with the intent to develop industrial facilities totaling 765,000 square feet.

PNK Group, an investor with expertise in financing, development, engineering, and construction, has identified northeastern Pennsylvania as a strategic location for its latest investment. Recognizing the region’s proximity to major markets and its exceptional labor force, PNK Group seized the opportunity to acquire these parcels of land to implement its industrial development projects.

This transaction highlights the region’s appeal to prominent investors seeking to capitalize on its economic and workforce potential and The Chamber’s commitment to fostering economic growth and attracting investment to the area.

“The acquisition of prime industrial land in Jessup and Archbald marks a significant step forward for our expansion efforts in northeastern Pennsylvania. We are excited to bring our expertise in financing, development, engineering, and construction to this strategic location. This investment underscores our confidence in the region’s economic prospects and our commitment to driving growth and innovation. We look forward to bringing our industrial development projects to fruition and contribute to the continued success of the local economy” shared Mark Stiles from PNK Group.

PNK Group specializes in constructing multipurpose industrial buildings for large-unit blocks, leveraging their expertise to create state-of-the-art facilities that meet the needs of modern industries. With this acquisition, PNK Group aims to enhance the region’s industrial infrastructure while creating opportunities for job growth and economic advancement.

Bob Durkin, president of The Chamber shares, “The PNK Group has a reputation for high quality developments that attract a balance of industry types to their facilities. This perspective fits well into the commitment of the Chamber and SLIBCO to diversify our economy in Lackawanna County and our region.”

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is committed to facilitating further business development initiatives and fostering partnerships that drive prosperity and innovation in Lackawanna County and Northeastern Pennsylvania.

For more information regarding the sale to PNK Group or on The Chamber’s business development affiliate, SLIBCO, please contact Bruce Reddock, director of business development, at breddock@scrantonchamber.com or (570) 342–7711 ext. 136.

About The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life by offering programs and services which stimulate economic growth, promote business prosperity and nurture educational opportunities. For more information about the Chamber, visit www.scrantonchamber.com.

Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Business Company (SLIBCO)

Scranton-Lackawanna Industrial Business Company (SLIBCO), an affiliate of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, develops multi-tenant buildings and industrial and office parks in northeastern Pennsylvania. SLIBCO also owns and manages two technology incubator facilities to start-up and expand small businesses. For more information, visit www.SLIBCO.com.

2024 ATHENA Leadership Award Recipient Announced

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Deborah Kolsovsky, executive vice president and regional director for PNC Institutional Asset Management®, as the 2024 ATHENA Leadership Award recipient.

The ATHENA Award, sponsored locally by Michael A. Barbetti LLC Certified Public Accountants, honors an exceptional individual who has achieved excellence in their business or profession, has served the community in a meaningful way, and has assisted women in their attainment of professional goals, and leadership skills. Kolsovsky embodies these characteristics wholeheartedly.

For 34 years, Kolsovsky has made significant strides as a leader, mentor, and strategic partner at PNC and in the greater Scranton community. As the Northeast regional director, Kolsovsky leads teams in Boston, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Pennsylvania; one-third of PNC’s Institutional business revenue is generated under her direction. She provided the solution to build out PNC’s Outsourced Chief Investment Officer. A champion for women in the workplace, she has hired and mentored several who now hold leadership positions throughout the financial institution.

“I can think of no more deserving recipient of this prestigious award than Debbie Kolsovsky,” shared Bob Durkin, president of The Chamber. “Her accomplishments in the professional arena are only matched by her long and rich history of community service throughout northeastern Pennsylvania. Congratulations Debbie!”

In the community, Kolsovsky is the immediate past chair of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the executive and DEI committees. She is the senior vice chair of the United Way of Lackawanna, Wayne, and Pike Counites; a vice chair for The Wright Center for Community Health; a board member for Johnson College and Geisinger Northeast; and a Circle 200 member. Kolsovsky is active with the Girl Scouts in the Heart of PA, taking opportunities to turn girls into young women.

The ATHENA Award will be presented to Kolsovsky at The Chamber’s International Women’s Day Breakfast on Friday, March 8. This event is sponsored by The Honesdale National Bank and will be in partnership with Dress for Success Lackawanna. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ScrantonChamber.com.

The ATHENA Award was first presented in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan, and has grown to include presentations to more than 5,000 individuals in hundreds of cities in the United States as well as in Canada, China, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The award takes the form of a hand-cast bronze sculpture, symbolizing the strength, courage, and wisdom of the recipient.

The ATHENA Award® Program is nationally underwritten by General Motors and National City Bank.

PHOTO: Bob Durkin, president of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Donna Barbetti; Deborah Kolsovsky, ATHENA Award recipient; Mari Potis, director of membership and events, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce; Kristine Augustine, Vice President of Membership and Marketing, The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

Byron Transitions to Executive Assistant Position

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Amanda Byron’s transition to Executive Assistant to the President.

As the executive assistant, Byron will serve as a liaison to The Chamber and its various affiliate boards and committees. She will also be responsible for board management, communications, and reporting requirements.

Byron originally joined The Chamber as the board and office administrator, where she acted as the point of contact between The Chamber and its affiliate organizations, Skills in Scranton and Leadership Lackawanna. Her transition to executive assistant will allow her to use her communicative skills to assist Durkin with the progression of The Chamber’s mission, goals, and strategic plan.

“Amanda brings a unique perspective to this important position in Chamber operations. I am looking forward to the changes she will bring based on her background and experience,” says Durkin.

Byron graduated from Lackawanna College where she received an associate degree in paralegal studies. She has worked as a customer care office manager, an insurance customer service representative, and as a paralegal for multiple law firms, including her most recent position as a litigation paralegal. 

Luyster Promoted to Vice President of Business and Workforce Development at The Chamber

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce leadership has announced the promotion of Amy S. Luyster to Vice President of Business and Workforce Development. With 25 years of service to The Chamber and its members, Luyster brings to the position a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the organization’s mission and goals.

In her new role, Luyster will oversee the Business and Workforce Development affiliates: the Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Business Company (SLIBCO), The Scranton Plan, the IGNITE program, Skills in Scranton, and Leadership Lackawanna.

“Amy has played a crucial role in advancing the region’s business, economic, and workforce growth. This promotion reflects her exemplary contributions to The Chamber’s commitment to fostering a thriving business community,” shared Bob Durkin, president of The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

A graduate of Wilkes University, Luyster holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in organizational communications with a concentration in public relations and a minor in business marketing. In addition, she is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management at Villanova University; the Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program at The Kania School of Management, The University of Scranton; the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Business Leads Fellowship Program; and The Economic Development in Pennsylvania course, accredited by the International Economic Development Council.

During her tenure at The Chamber, Luyster has directed economic and industrial development marketing under The Scranton Plan; workforce development through Skills in Scranton; Legislative affairs under the Government Affairs and Advocacy Committee; and provided organizational and program direction as a member of the Chamber’s Executive Leadership Team.

The key responsibilities of Luyster’s new role will be to facilitate a comprehensive understanding of Lackawanna County’s business, workforce, and leadership assets and liabilities. Using her experience, Luyster will leverage this knowledge to identify opportunities to address challenges in the local business landscape. Luyster will establish and implement business development strategies that align with the Chamber’s mission, goals, and objectives. This includes fostering collaborations with and among SLIBCO, The Scranton Plan, the IGNITE program, Skills in Scranton, and Leadership Lackawanna in concert with Chamber membership, communications, and lending operations to promote economic development and workforce growth in the greater Scranton region.

“I am thankful and excited for this expanded role and eager to lead initiatives that drive business and workforce development in Lackawanna County, said Luyster. I look forward to collaborating with our talented team to achieve continued success and make a lasting impact in our community.”

NRCI Spirit of Hope Celebration Finalize Event Details

The Board of Ambassadors met last week at Montage Mountain to finalize plans for the upcoming Spirit of Hope Celebration set for Friday, November 11, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Pocono. The 2022 Spirit of Hope Tribute to Courage Honoree is Bob Durkin, President of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. 

The Board of Ambassadors is a group of individuals and business leaders in northeast Pennsylvania whose purpose is to raise funds and promote a gala event in support of cancer screening awareness throughout the region.  

The Board of Ambassadors Announce 2022 Tribute to Courage Honoree for Spirit of Hope Celebration

The Board of Ambassadors will honor Bob Durkin as the 2022 Tribute to Courage Honoree at their upcoming Spirit of Hope Celebration set for Friday, November 11, 2022, at Mohegan Sun Pocono.  

Bob is President and CEO of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, overseeing planning, finances, staffing and programing of the Chamber and its affiliates – Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company, Lackawanna Industrial Fund Enterprises, MetroAction, Inc., Leadership Lackawanna, Skills in Scranton, and The Scranton Plan.  

He previously served as President of the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute; founding Director of the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority; Vice-President of the Chamber; and has worked in various capacities in the non-profit and regional government arenas. Bob is a 1981 graduate of Penn State University and undertook advanced studies at the PSU Institute for Public Administration and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute of Organizational Management at the University of Delaware. He and his family are active in several special needs related programs, including Challenger Baseball and Special Olympics. Bob resides in his native Olyphant with his wife Sherry.  They are the parents of a daughter (Jessica) and son (Kevin).