NEPA Alliance Announces Promotion of Government Procurement Program Manager

Jeffrey Box, President & CEO of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, is pleased to announce the promotion of Kara Smith to Government Procurement Program Manager.

Kara will be responsible for providing technical assistance to clients and, and informational assistance to businesses regarding government contracting opportunities. In addition to helping these companies with their expansion and/or entry into contracting with federal, state, and local governments, she will be leading the administration of the APEX program.

Kara will succeed Frank Migneco who will retire July 31, 2024. “Frank has done a superb job managing the APEX Program and we will miss him, but we wish him well in his retirement,” said Jeffrey Box, President & CEO.

Kara has a Master of Business Administration, Carson-Newman University, Jefferson City, Tennessee and a Bachelor of Science, Criminal Justice, Minor in Psychology, Shippensburg University, Shippensburg, Pennsylvania. She resides in Dalton.

NEPA Alliance: Pennsylvania’s Authorized Trade Representatives to Visit Northeast Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s Authorized Trade Representatives will be in Scranton to meet one-on-one with businesses on Monday, March 11, 2024, at the The Venue / Culinary Creations by Metz, Dupont from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  The event, Bringing the World to Northeastern Pennsylvania, is organized by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development Office of International Business Development.

Pennsylvania businesses are fortunate to have access to one of the largest export development programs in the country.  The state’s global network of export assistance includes 13 Authorized Trade Representatives offering consultative services in 44 international markets.  Trade Representatives from Australia, Canada, China, Central and Eastern Europe, Germany, India, Mexico, Middle East Region, Netherlands, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom will be in attendance.

The event is for companies in all stages of export development. The Trade Representatives’ services are provided free of charge to Pennsylvania businesses.  Services include customized foreign market intelligence, regulatory information, agents and distributor candidates, industry and government contacts, in-country assistance when visiting these markets, and other export related assistance.

The event is free, but registration is required.  Bringing the World to Northeastern Pennsylvania is funded in part through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and sponsored by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Procurement Technical Assistance Center.

For more information and to register visit or contact Debbie Langan, Senior International Business Manager, at 570-891-4645 or

NEPA Alliance Announces New Staff Member

Jeffrey Box, President & CEO of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance, is pleased to announce that Madison Kuzdro has joined the NEPA staff as an Accountant.

Madison will be responsible for performing accounting functions for all of NEPA’s financial activities and subsidiaries.

Madison earned a dual major in Accounting and Financial Planning and a Minor in Forensic Accounting from Marywood University. She resides in Peckville.

NEPA Alliance to Host Export Training Webinars

NEPA Alliance is offering the following export training webinars in December and January. There is no fee to register.  The webinars will be presented by Mr. Bob Imbriani, Vice President-International Services, Team Worldwide.

Please feel free to share this information with your clients and contact Debbie Langan ( or 570-891-4645) if you have any questions or require additional information. 

Incoterms 2020 In Practice

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

10:00 – 11:00 am
Incoterms® (“INternational COmmercial TERMS”) are a set of 11 internationally recognized rules which define the responsibilities of sellers and buyers. Incoterms specify who is responsible for paying for and managing the shipment, insurance, documentation, customs clearance, and other logistical activities.

You may know of Incoterms 2020, but do you know how to apply them in an actual transaction?  Many programs present the definitions but only provide a few, if any, ways to apply them. This program will provide not only an understanding of the definitions but also actual examples of using them to your advantage in Purchase Orders, Sales Agreements, and even letters of credit.


Choosing the Correct Payment Option for Your Exports

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

10:00 – 11:00 am

In a global marketplace, exporters need to offer their customers attractive sales terms supported by the appropriate payment methods. Understand the payment process so you can choose correctly.

For most companies, it’s important to get paid for their exports. Of course, most companies would prefer payment up-front, before goods are shipped. However, the realities of making a sale—particularly when you are competing against other potential suppliers—mean you need to choose a payment option that minimizes your risk while accommodating the needs of the buyer and maximizing the competitiveness of your products.


Commonwealth of PA Holds Community Meeting to Discuss the Region’s Access to the Internet

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce’s government affairs and advocacy committee is committed to representing and being a voice for the business community to the local, state, and federal legislators. A priority for The Chamber’s government committee is access to broadband internet across the Wyoming Valley for its residents and businesses.

On Tuesday, July 11, at 11 a.m., The PA Broadband Development Authority (PBDA) is holding a community meeting to hear from the general public’s experience with internet access. The community meeting will be at the Lackawanna County Center for Public Safety in Jessup, PA.

NEPA Alliance Attend National Conference

NEPA Alliance President and CEO Jeff Box welcomed attendees to the 2023 National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) and Development District Association of Appalachia (DDAA) Washington Conference. The event featured a full day of learning and networking for regional development organizations and their stakeholders.

SBA Covid-19 Relief Programs and Services Webinar

The U.S. SBA Eastern PA District presents information on pandemic assistance and programs and services available for small businesses on October 6. This is a no cost webinar. Registration is required; register here.

Presenters: Steve Dixel, SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District Director, and Sonia Smith, Public Information Officer

Steven R. Dixel serves as the district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Eastern Pennsylvania District Office, where he is responsible for the delivery and leadership of the agency’s financial and business development programs throughout the eastern 40 counties of Pennsylvania. He has nearly 30 years of federal service, during which he has worked for three federal agencies in the Financial and Operations fields throughout his career. Prior to his appointment as district director, Dixel served as Business Operations Officer at the SBA’s Office of Field Operations, where he oversaw day-to-day financial operations, planning, and risk management affecting nearly 40% of the SBA’s workforce. Dixel also served as Senior Analyst with the SBA’s Office of Chief Financial Officer, where he provided technical financial research and analysis related to SBA’s loan portfolio and other programs. Dixel was awarded SBA’s 2014 Mission Support Award – the highest honor given to an SBA employee – by the SBA’s Administrator for demonstrating outstanding service in the successful accomplishment of SBA’s mission and strategic goals. Dixel holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Management and a Master of Business Administration. He is also a graduate of the Partnership for Public Services, Excellence in Government Program.

Sonia Smith joined the US Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania District Office in 2013. She is SBA’s Public Information Officer for the 40 counties in Eastern Pennsylvania as well as the Economic Development/Lender Relations Specialist for Wayne and Pike Counties. Sonia is a subject matter expert on women business owners, encore entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial reentry (ex-offenders) programs, microlending, and mission-focused community-based lending. Sonia has taken the lead in SBA programs for small business such as the Rural Initiative and the Pandemic Capital Programs. In addition, Sonia manages the official Twitter account for the district office – so follow the office @SBA_EasternPA. She previously served as the Economic & Business Development Program Administrator for the County of Bucks, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the government, she founded, financed, and directed a technology company and then structured its sale to a publicly traded company after more than 10 years of operation.  Ms. Smith has an extensive career in banking with Mellon Bank (now Citizens Bank) and CoreStates Bank (now Wells Fargo). Ms. Smith is a bilingual, first-generation American and holds a B.S. degree from Penn State in Quantitative Business Analysis with an Economics Minor. Sonia, a breast cancer survivor, volunteers with Fox Chase Cancer Center as an inspirational speaker.