Wednesday, March 22, 2017

New Business on the Block: 36e Fitness

By: Sara Weidner 
Bethlehem is home to many business from elegant clothing boutiques to the famous Moravian Bookstore, the oldest in the world! However, despite all the culture and commerce that can be found in the Christmas City, there was a need that Evan Robinson, owner and founder of 36e Fitness, saw for Bethlehem, and knew that he could fill it. Robinson’s new business is a unique fitness organization that is unlike any other chain fitness group.

Located in the basement of the Bethlehem Commons, 36e Fitness officially opened to the public on January 5, 2017. The small, privately owned gym is perfect for those who are looking for a more intimate and private setting to start their exercise journey.

“You can’t force a person to sign up to go to the gym and work out-you just can’t. When a person goes to the gym, it’s cause they’re about 80 percent of the way there and they’re ready to work out,” said Robinson.

Robinson strongly believes that the unique aspect about 36e Fitness is that it’s a whole gym created just for the client.

“There’s no having to worry about somebody else being on a piece of equipment or you being stuck in someone else’s selfie,” Robinson laughed. “Whatever you like to do when you’re working out we can do to help you achieve whatever your fitness goal is.”

To Robinson, having one-on-one instruction is always better than being in a group environment.

“I’m here to answer any questions; I’m also here to lead you through any exercise. You always have somebody watching you. It’s kind of like having a private tutor. You get that individualized attention.”

Right now, Robinson offers packages that occur three times a week, twice a week, or once a week. Prices are as follows:
  • 3 X weekly=12 Sessions a Month=$ 480 / month=​$40/hr
  • Twice weekly=8 Sessions a Month=$ 400 / month=$​50/hr
  • Once Weekly=4 Sessions a Month=$ 240 / month=​60/hr

“I put together programs for the client’s goals. You get a personalized program for your fitness needs,” said Robinson.

With his program, you get a warm-up, workout, cooldown, decompress if you want to talk, or cardio if you’d like. And another perk-water and towels are free!

“If you’re working out, you need water. If you’re not working out, you need water. You need water to live! I don’t feel that it’s right to charge someone for water,” said Robinson smiling.

Starting next month, Robinson plans to expand upon his small studio and offer a spin class in the new expansion. He also wants to turn the back half of the room into a boot camp so people can drop by and work out over their lunch break.

Robinson, a New York native, mainly attributed his return to a smaller town because of the American Dream.

Beginning with the martial art of jujutsu, Robinson has always had a passion for exercise and an ambition to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Being in and out of the gym has always been a part of me,” said Robinson.

Previously an employee at a commercial gym’s sales department, Robinson found that the quota was not being met, and this caused internal problems regarding financial matters.

“It was right then and there that I said, ‘when I get the opportunity or when I feel the time is right to open my own gym, I said I will never be stuck in a situation again like this.”

This roadblock in his career led him to thinking about opening his own business where he would do his best to run a fair, transparent company centered around helping people achieve their fitness goals.

“I just felt like, I can do better. I can offer a better service at a cheaper price and I feel people get robbed in commercial gyms.”  

Working out can be fun when you are in a comfortable setting. With Evan Robinson who proudly considers himself a social butterfly, he said the best part of his job is getting to talk to his clients. With his bright, fun, and outgoing personality, no one could feel self-conscious or awkward when working with him.

Make an appointment today and check it out for yourself! Even if you’re not an exercise buff, tell friends, neighbors, or relatives that a new business has arrived and that its programs have one focus-you! Visit their website  or call 610-756-7700 for a free consultation.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Spring Events with Young Professionals Council

Emily Ascani, Liquid Interactive, Vice-President of Young Professionals Council

Hello everyone! We are very excited about how this month has shaped up and how the next few months are coming together for the Young Professionals Council.

Our Lead to Succeed Panel will be held on March 23rd at Theatre 514 in Allentown. Listen to 5 big names in the Lehigh Valley discuss how they gained their success over the course of their career and what advice they have for young professionals in the Lehigh Valley. PBS39’s Brittany Garzillo will be moderating this year’s panel.

As spring nears, we are anxiously awaiting our Kentucky Derby Benefit on May 6th at Iron Lakes Country Club, in hopes of giving a sizable donation to The Children’s Home of Easton. If you are interested in sponsoring or attending, please register on the Chamber website or feel free to send me an email! There are plenty of ways to get involved with this great cause. Don’t forget that any money from purchasing one of our YPC Benefit Cards will go towards our donation.

There is lots to keep up with! Make sure you like our Facebook page, follow us on LinkedIn, and check out our Twitter & Instagram @lehighvalleyypc to receive event information, articles relevant to young professionals, and opportunities to get involved.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Best Practices for Sales and Marketing

Karen Duerholz, Boyle Construction, Inc., Small Business Council Board Member

Having been in the sales and marketing side of companies in the Lehigh Valley for over 20 years, I am sometimes asked if there are best practices when it comes to achieving top performing results in sales and marketing. I wish my answer sounded more profound, but it is simple, effective and available to every company large and small.

Market intelligence boils down to having your finger on the pulse of your current and potential customers, understanding their challenges, what is keeping them up at night, and how you can be a true and trusted partner for them in solving their problems and helping them achieve their goals.

Large corporations spend millions of dollars on this every year, but for the vast majority of companies, an army of market intelligence experts is not in the cards. Here is a three-step framework for how you can create a Market Listening structure of your own:

  1. Start internally with your management team, brainstorm the issues your customers are facing, match your solution sets, and identify gaps.
  2. Collaborate with other business owners in an informal, broad discussion of challenges facing your particular market segment(s). I have to do a Chamber MasterMinds plug, because they are an excellent resource on this front!
  3. Once you have done the above homework, reach out to your customer base and ask them questions: How is business going for you in general? What are your goals for this year? What are the issues and business risks you are facing? What value do we provide? What can we be doing better? What do you need that we are not providing?

Creating your own Market Listening capability will make your entire organization more customer focused, able to stay ahead of market needs, and lead you on the path to business excellence.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Legislative Orientation....the LVWDB way!

Nancy Dischinat, Executive Director, Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board

We recently hosted an Interactive Strategic Planning Session and Workforce System Legislative Orientation.  Sounds very formal but it was really an excellent opportunity to speak one-on-one with our legislators and their staff about the work we do here at the Lehigh Valley Workforce Development Board and PA CareerLink Lehigh Valley.

Our agenda was packed!  We took this time to present our Job and Labor Market data and statistics, the Governor's Budget update, current Grant Opportunities we are seeking, upcoming events and more!

 Our guest of honor was Owen O'Neil, Executive Director, of LANta who explained the ins and out of public transportation in the Lehigh Valley and how LANta works with employers to help employees get to work.

We ended our time together by hearing from the legislative offices how we can better serve them and their constituents.  Part of our mission is to help Lehigh Valley residents become employed!

Every year we look forward to this meeting.  Giving and getting perspective is a key component in our strategic planning.  We are lucky to have strong relationships with our legislators and never take that for granted.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Warm up to Collaboration with Nonprofit & Business Partners Council

Matthew J. Pye, Just Born, Nonprofit & Business Partners Council Chair

The Non-Profit and Business Partner’s Council has always tried to get more non-profit board members out to our events. We purposefully developed the 21st-Century Board Development “Changing the Table” Event specifically for board leadership, board members and those interested in joining boards. We had a great turnout for this event held January 18th which was sponsored by the NPBP Council and the Volunteer Center of the Lehigh Valley. The focus was on developing non-profit boards to be more inclusive, responsive and reflective of the culturally diverse communities they serve. Many thanks to Sharon Zondag, NPBP Council Member, and Karen Smith, Volunteer Center CEO, for spearheading the program.

We have another great event coming soon:

4th Annual Collaboration Conference “Moving Forward” on April 19, 2017 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown This event features breakfast and networking on the stage, special guests Melba Tolliver, “Accidental Anchorwoman - Chance, Choice and Change,” Seth Price,” The Road to Recognition: Collaboration, Trust and Diversity,” LV Collaboration Award Presentation, and Funder Fair. Fight the cold winter and warm up to collaboration!

Monday, March 13, 2017

New Year, New Growth for the Hispanic Chamber

Luis Campos, City of Easton Chair, Hispanic Chamber of the Lehigh Valley
The Hispanic Chamber is coming out of the 2017 gate with all cylinders blazing!  A very relevant and passionate discussion was held at a recent board meeting regarding strategies to increase community engagement efforts with Hispanic businesses. The debate centered on ways to continuously engage and recruit new members to the Chamber. Board members Julio Guridy and Juan Vidal offered strategies that would augment membership and further highlight the benefits of joining the Hispanic Chamber. The Chamber continues to take on managing growth as a challenge. While managing growth is a good problem to have, it will require greater board, staff, and membership participation.  In 2016, a new staff member and several board members were added to the team. All have jumped into their roles contributing to the Chambers momentum. 

Most recently, the Hispanic Chamber Board voted unanimously for Carolina Martinez to serve as a new board member. Ms. Martinez is currently the Founder and CEO of the Puentes group and has served on various boards throughout the region. In January, the Hispanic Chamber attended the grand opening of the Northeast Carpenters Council New Training Facility in Allentown.  Many more good things are to come in 2017! As always, stay tuned! For more information regarding the Hispanic Chamber or how you can get involved, please contact Samantha CartageƱa at

Friday, March 10, 2017

Black History Month Theme for 2017 Focuses on Equality in Education

Charles Everett, Lehigh Valley International Airport, African American Business Leaders Council Chair

National African American History Month began in February 1926 as Negro History Week by Carter G. Woodson. The purpose of Negro History Week was for Americans to study and celebrate the heritage and contributions made by people of African descent to the nation. February was chosen because of the birthdays of two famous Americans who played a significant role in African American history, Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. In 1976, as part of the nation’s bicentennial and a desire to increase awareness, the week was expanded into Black History Month. President Gerald R. Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”

Today, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History continues to promote African American history and sets the annual theme. The theme for 2017 focuses on the crucial role of education in the history of African Americans. Much still needs to be done to support equality in education through the allocation of resources and the delivery of opportunities. One of the program areas for the African American Business Leaders Council is education, including workforce training and professional development. The Council encourages all business and government leaders to explore what can be done specifically to support African American entrepreneurs and businesses and to help individuals and firms who may be interested in starting or expanding a business.