Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Daily Briefing, 12/28/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Unemployment in the Valley remained at 8.6% in November.  George Hitcho, who killed Freemansburg police officer Robert Lasso earlier this year, may use the insanity defense.  In Palmer Township, Supervisors held the line on taxes in their 2012 budget.  Cable rates are going to increase an average of 10% in the Valley in 2012.

In national news, Sears and Kmart are set to close 120 stores after a slow holiday season.  Ben Nelson (D-NE) announced yesterday that he will retire in 2012.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Daily Briefing, 12/27/2011

Good morning everyone, and welcome back to work after what we hope was a great Christmas!  Here is your Daily Briefing.

Tougher teenager driving are going into effect in Pennsylvania.  In Upper Saucon Township, supervisors adopted their 2012 budget that calls for no tax increases.  In national news, some good news when it comes to post-Christmas shopping: online shopping traffic on Christmas day increased 16.4%, while mall traffic on the day after Christmas also increased.

No surprise here, but it's been a slow news day, and that's it for now.  Have a good one, and we'll see you later!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Good economic news...yes, you read that right....

Over the past few years, we've gotten way, way to used to reading bad economic news.  Well, of late, there has been a spate of pretty good economic news, and it seemed worth summarizing.

It started with a record-setting Black Friday in late November, but it didn't end there.  Unemployment tanked in the latest report, dropping from 9% to 8.6%.  Combine that with the fact that the latest report on first-time unemployment claims hit 366,000 (lowest level since May 366,000), and there is reason to hope that the jobs market might, just might, be improving.

And there's more.  Manufacturing indexes are on the rise, as is housing construction.

This isn't to say that we are out of the woods yet, many dangers remain, particularly the ongoing debt crisis in Europe.  But, the news, for once, seems generally positive.

By the way, we will be out of the office on Thursday, Friday and Monday.  For those of you who celebrate, have an outstanding Christmas, and we'll see you again on Tuesday!

Daily Briefing, 12/21/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The House of Representatives approved a Congressional redistricting map yesterday that gives the Valley two Congressman; Governor Corbett still has to sign the legislation, but he is expected to do so.  PoliticsPA has a great breakdown of who crossed party-lines on the vote and their likely reasoning.

In national news, the House of Representatives voted against the two-month extension of the payroll tax-cut.  Republican Presidential candidate Gary Johnson has announced that he will now seek the Libertarian Presidential nomination.

We have one Chamber event today: a joint East Penn/Western Lehigh lunch featuring the Parkland Charole.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll be back later.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Daily Briefing, 12/20/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Easton, members of the Greater Easton Development Partnership have vowed to keep the Main Street and Ambassadors programs running despite the fact that the Neighborhood Improvement District, or NID, was voted down.  Bethlehem Township approved its budget yesterday; the budget keeps taxes steady.

In state-wide news, the State House shot down a Democratic redistricting map; a final vote on the Republican version of the map is expected today.

In national news, AT&T has dropped its bid to purchase T-Mobile.  House Republicans will vote today on a Senate bill to extend the payroll tax for two months after Speaker Boehner came out in opposition to the plan.

And that's it for now!  See you later today.

Monday, December 19, 2011

How to update your Chamber listing

If you are a Chamber member, you are probably familiar with our online business directory that lists every member.  One of the nicer features of our website is you can change and update your business information anytime you want, something that is obviously important for a variety of reasons, including Search Engine Optimization.  In the video below, I conducted a screen-cast that walks you through how to log-in and update your information.

As always, This Week With Tony is sponsored by our friends at M&T Bank.

Daily Briefing, 12/19/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

First, the top story of the day is the death of North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Il, who died yesterday at 69.  Kim Jong Un, Il's son, is the new leader of North Korea.

An Express-Times story notes that Lehigh Valley cities are taking a big hit when it comes to federal funding this year.

In national news, House Republicans have rejected a deal struck by the White House and Senate to extend the payroll tax cut by two months.  Google has unveiled the top searches of the year: #1 was internet sensation Rebecca Black.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Daily Briefing, 12/16/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In local news, the fight over redistricting and war of words between Senator Lisa Boscola and Congressman Charlie Dent continues.  Northampton Community College has selected Mark Erickson, current President of Wittenberg University in Ohio, as its next President.  Police in Allentown evicted the Occupy Allentown protesters.

In national news, initial filings for unemployment dropped to their lowest levels since May 2008.  Republicans held their final Presidential debate before the Iowa caucuses yesterday.  Democrats and Republicans have apparently reached a deal that would keep the government funded through October 2012.  Fitch's has downgraded many of the world's largest banks.

That's it for now!  We probably will not be back with another entry later today, so if we don't get back, have a great weekend!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Chamber on Redistricting

We've made a couple of previous blog entries, outlining the new State House & Senate districts in Lehigh & Northampton counties.  However, as has been made public recently, the Congressional redistricting maps have been released - and it brings terrible news for the Valley.


We will no longer be represented by one Congressman, but instead two: Charlie Dent and Tim Holden.  Easton, parts of Bethlehem and more than 20 Northampton municipalities are no longer in the 15th Congressional District.  The plan itself was approved by the State Senate yesterday by a 26-24 vote.

The Chamber opposes this plan.   From Michelle Griffin-Young, our Executive VP of Government & External Affairs:

"Our 5,000 members --employing 140,000 individuals-- are committed to the Lehigh Valley as a unified constituency.  The Chamber’s regionalization efforts have proven successful to our members time and time again.  Breaking up the Valley with two different Congressmen will be a detriment to the continuation of our region’s growth and prosperity.  We urge the House & Senate to work together as the Lehigh Valley delegation to replace Easton and the large portion of central and northeastern Northampton County back into the 15th District to keep our Valley strong!"


The legislation must still be approved by the House and signed into law by the Governor.  We urge our members - and every Lehigh Valley resident - to contact their Representative and tell them to oppose this plan.

Redistricting: Northampton Edition

We covered the Lehigh County redistricting on Tuesday - now, here's a look at how redistricting will affect the Valley in Northampton County, at least on a state-wide level:


  • Allen:  In the House, 183rd Legislative District (Julie Harhart).  In the Senate, 14th Senate District (John Yudichak).
  • Bangor:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • Bath:  In the House, 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • Bethlehem City:  In the House, split between 133rd Legislative District (Joeseph Brennan) who has portions of the Southside) and 135th Legislative District (Steve Samuelson) who has portions of the entire city.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Bethlehem Township:  In the House, split between 135th Legislative District (Steve Samuelson), who has Ward 2 and part of Ward 3, and 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn), who has the remainder.
  • Bushkill:  In the House, 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • Chapman:  In the House, 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • East Allen:  In the House, 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn).  In the Senate, 14th Senate District (John Yudichak).
  • East Bangor:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • Easton:  In the House, 136th Legislative District (Bob Freeman).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Forks:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • Freemansburg:  In the House, 136th Legislative District (Bob Freeman).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Glendon:  In the House, 136th Legislative District (Bob Freeman).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Hanover:  In the House, 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn).  In the Senate, 14th Senate District (John Yudichak).
  • Hellertown:  In the House, 136th Legislative District (Bob Freeman).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Lehigh:  In the House, 183rd Legislative District (Julie Harhart).  In the Senate, 14th Senate District (John Yudichak).
  • Lower Mt. Bethel:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • Lower Nazareth:  In the House, 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn).
  • Lower Saucon:  In the House, split between the 136th Legislative District (Bob Freeman) and 131st Legislative District (Justin Simmons).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Moore:  In the House, split between 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn) and 183rd Legislative District (Julie Harhart).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • Nazareth:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • North Catasauqua:  In the House, 183rd Legislative District (Julie Harhart).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola)  
  • Northampton:  In the House, 183rd Legislative District (Julie Harhart).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Palmer: In the House, split between the 136th Legislative District (Bob Freeman) and 137th Legislative District (Joe Emrick).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Pen Argyl:  In the House, 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn).
  • Plainfield:  In the House, 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).  
  • Portland:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).
  • Roseto:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).
  • Stockertown:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Tatamy:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Upper Mt. Bethel:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • Upper Nazareth:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • Walnutport:  In the House, 183rd Legislative District (Julie Harhart).  In the Senate, 14th Senate District (John Yudichak).
  • Washington:  In the House, 137th Legislative District (Joseph Emrick).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).
  • West Easton:  In the House, 136th Legislative District (Bob Freeman).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Williams:  In the House, 136th Legislative District (Bob Freeman).  In the Senate, 24th Senate District (Bob Mensch).
  • Wilson:  In the House, 136th Legislative District (Bob Freeman).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District (Lisa Boscola).
  • Wind Gap:  In the House, 138th Legislative District (Marcia Hahn).  In the Senate, 45th Senate District (Jim Brewster).

Daily Briefing, 12/15/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Allentown, developer J.B. Reilly unveiled proposals for a $50 million office complex near the incoming arena.  Allentown City Council also reviewed a waste-to-energy proposal yesterday. In Whitehall, property and earned income taxes are slightly increasing.  In Easton, taxes have been held steady.  Businessman Elmer Gates spoke at a Chamber event yesterday.

In national news, the Iraqi war has officially come to an end.  President Obama has dropped his demand for a surtax on millionaires in exchange for a payroll tax extension.

We have two Chamber events today: a Grand Opening at Tilted Kilt in Allentown and a Holiday Vendor Night at the Main Street Commons in Bethlehem.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll be back later.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Daily Briefing, 12/14/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Allentown, a fence has gone up around the arena site, preparing the area for demolition.  A new hiring survey shows that 7 in 10 Valley employers expect to do no hiring or firing in the first quarter of 2012.  In Easton, Met-Ed met with Easton City Council yesterday to discuss power outages during the freak October snowstorm.

In state-wide news, the Congressional redistricting map was revealed yesterday.  The Valley is now in two Congressional districts, with the Easton area going to Congressman Tim Holden.  The map has to be approved by the State House and Senate, then signed by the Governor.  In other news, Jerry Sandusky waved his preliminary hearing yesterday.

In national news, the National Transportation Safety Board has recommended that states ban cell phone use while driving.  Donald Trump has cancelled his plans to moderate a Republican debate after only Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich accepted the debate invitation.  The House of Representatives approved payroll tax extension legislation, combined with a bill that would speed up government approval for the Keystone XL pipeline.  The Federal Reserve announced yesterday that they were keeping interest rates at record lows.

And that's it for now!  Have a good one, and we'll be back later today.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Redistricting: Lehigh County edition

As an article from John Micek of the Morning Call noted earlier today, redistricting is making its impact felt in the Valley.  Assuming the current map holds, below is a quick guide to who will represent the various municipalities in the Valley.  Today we'll run Lehigh County:

Alburtis:  In the House, 134th Legislative District, currently held by Representative Doug Reichley.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Allentown:  In the House, split between 132nd Legislative District (currently held by Representative Mann) for parts of the Center City, the entire West End and most of the East Side and the new 22nd Legislative District (currently vacant), containing the entire South Side and most of Center City.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Bethlehem:  In the House, split between the 133rd Legislative District currently held by Joseph Brennan  (10th, 12th and portions of the 13th Ward) and 135th Legislative District currently held by Representative Steve Samuelson (11th and portions of the 13th ward).  In the Senate, 18th Legislative District, currently held by Senator Lisa Boscola.
Catasauqua:  In the House, 133rd Legislative District, currently held by Representative Joseph Brennan.  In the Senate, 18th Legislative District, currently held by Senator Lisa Boscola.
Coopersburg:  In the House, 131st Legislative District, currently held by Representative Justin Simmons.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Coplay:  In the House, 133rd Legislative District, currently held by Representative Joseph Brennan.  In the Senate, 18th Legislative District, currently held by Senator Lisa Boscola.
Emmaus:  In the House, 131st Legislative District, currently held by Representative Justin Simmons.  In the Senate, 18th Legislative District, currently held by Senator Lisa Boscola.
Fountain Hill:  In the House, 133rd Legislative District, currently held by Representative Joseph Brennan.  In the Senate, 18th Legislative District, currently held by Senator Lisa Boscola.
Hanover:  In the House, 133rd Legislative District, currently held by Representative Joseph Brennan.  In the Senate, 18th Legislative District, currently held by Senator Lisa Boscola.
Heidelberg:  In the House, 187th Legislative District, currently held by Representative Gary Day.  In the Senate, 14th Senate District, currently held by John Yudichak.
Lower Macungie:  In the House, 134th Legislative District, currently held by Representative Doug Reichley.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Lower Milford:  In the House, 131st Legislative District, currently held by Representative Justin Simmons.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Lowhill:  In the House, 187th Legislative District, currently held by Representative Gary Day.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Lynn:  In the House, 187th Legislative District, currently held by Representative Gary Day.  In the Senate, 14th Senate District, currently held by John Yudichak.
Macungie:  In the House, 134th Legislative District, currently held by Representative Doug Reichley.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
North Whitehall:  In the House, split between 183rd Legislative District currently held by Representative Julie Harhart (4th Ward) and 187th Legislative District currently held by Representative Julie Harhart (Wards 1, 2 and 3).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Salisbury:  In the House, split between 131st Legislative District currently held by Representative Justin Simmons (3rd Ward and 4-1), 133rd Legislative District held by Representative Joseph Brennan (1st and 2nd Ward) and 134th Legislative District held by Doug Reichley (4-2 and 5th Ward).   In the Senate, 18th Legislative District, currently held by Senator Lisa Boscola.
Slatington:  In the House, 183rd Legislative District currently held by Representative Julie Harhart.  In the Senate, 14th Senate District, currently held by John Yudichak.
South Whitehall:  In the House, split between the 132nd Legislative District held by Jennifer Mann (Wards 2, 4, 5 and 7), 134th Legislative District held by Doug Reichley (Ward 3) and 183rd Legislative District currently held by Representative Julie Harhart (Wards 1, 6 and 8).  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Upper Macungie:  In the House, 187th Legislative District, currently held by Representative Gary Day.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Upper Milford:  In the House, 131st Legislative District, currently held by Representative Justin Simmons.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Upper Saucon:  In the House, 131st Legislative District, currently held by Representative Justin Simmons.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Washington:  In the House, 183rd Legislative District currently held by Representative Julie Harhart.  In the Senate, 14th Senate District, currently held by John Yudichak.
Weisenberg:  In the House, 187th Legislative District, currently held by Representative Gary Day.  In the Senate, 16th Senate District, currently held by Senator Pat Browne.
Whitehall:  Split between the 133rd Legislative District, currently held by Representative Joseph Brennan (all of Whitehall except the 7th and 10th Wards) and 183rd Legislative District currently held by Representative Julie Harhart (7th and 10th Wards).  In the Senate, 18th Legislative District, currently held by Senator Lisa Boscola.

Wow.  We'll be back with Northampton County tomorrow!

Daily Briefing, 12/13/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Salisbury, it appears that the township will slightly raise taxes to pay for new fire trucks.

In state-wide news, a Morning Call article looks at the effects that redistricting will have on the state, noting that Allentown will gain a legislative seat.  Today will be the first preliminary hearing in the Jerry Sandusky case.  In Harrisburg, City Council has announced that they will appeal a ruling that denies them the right to file for bankruptcy.

In national news, U.S. Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will hear a case on the constitutionality of Arizona's controversial immigration laws.  Occupy protesters successfully closed down ports on the West Cost.

We have one Chamber event today: the Women Business Council's 3rd Annual Tea & Tree event.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Pennsylvania is the 26th Best State for Business

Forbes Magazine has come out with its annual ranking of the best states for business.  It bases its rankings on a variety of criteria, including:

  • Business costs
  • Labor supply
  • Regulatory environment
  • Economic climate
  • Growth prospects
  • Quality of life
  • Population
Pennsylvania came in 26th.  Hurting the state was its relatively low business costs and labor supply ranking, though the state does have the 6th best quality of life in the survey.

As for the rest of the survey: Utah is the best while Maine is the worst (for the 2nd year in a row).  In general, the West ranked best in the entire region.  

A companion piece, the best states for jobs, showed similar rankings.

Daily Briefing, 12/12/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing (though I warn you, sorry, it's a slow Monday!).

Home sales in the Valley increased 13% compared to November last year.  As noted by WFMZ, heating assistance programs are in jeopardy this year.

Yeah...that's it for now.  Really.  I'm not being lazy, I swear.  Anyway, we'll be back later today.  Have a great day!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Daily Briefing, 12/9/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

With a few weeks still to go, the Lehigh Valley has set an all-time participation record for the year.  Occupy Bethlehem was removed from its encampment yesterday after failing to get a permit.  In Northampton County, County Council voted to increase spending without increasing taxes, despite the objections of County Executive John Stoffa.

In national news, Democratic efforts to pass a payroll tax cut extension failed in the Senate yesterday.  The Senate also blocked President Obama's nominee to head the Consumer Protection Agency.  

We have two Chamber events today: a Grand Opening at Elaine Zelker Photography and a webinar on Identity Theft.

And that's it for now!  Have a good one, and we'll be back later today.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Chamber on Prevailing Wage

We wanted to let you know about the public policy position that The Chamber is taking - this one on the need to reform state's prevailing wage laws.

A Prevailing Wage is the rate at which public employees must be paid when state funding is involved in a project. The goal of a prevailing wage is to ensure that workers on public projects receive a fair wage for their work. This prevailing wage must be tied closely to the wage paid in a competitive market for labor whether the work is performed for either public or private project owners. A mechanism needs to be exercised to set prevailing wages which more closely represent the actual wage rates for both public and private projects across the different regions of the state as well as the fluctuations in the labor market.

The Chamber signed onto the following letter that was sent to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives:

On behalf of our thousands of statewide member businesses of all sizes and crossing all industry
sectors, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry writes to express support for bills to reform the PA Prevailing Wage Act that the House may consider this week.

The PA Prevailing Wage Act (the Act) mandates that workers on public construction projects costing over $25,000 be paid the local “prevailing minimum wage”. The problem is the set wage is typically tied to union wages and therefore often grossly inflated, which burdens the Commonwealth and local governments with higher costs and triggers increases to property taxes while providing no real public benefit. Local governments and school districts are operating under increasingly restrictive budgets and the prevailing wage mandate is one more obstacle impeding efforts to balance budgets and improve communities through vital construction projects and infrastructure improvements.

The PA Chamber supports abolishing the Act. Short of full repeal, we support bills that aim to help mitigate the adverse impact of this archaic and harmful mandate:

HB 1271: Exempts certain road maintenance, which until a recent court decision, had usually fallen under the Act’s exemption for maintenance work. This court decision has forced municipalities to curtail regular roadwork, such as resurfacing, replacing guide rails and painting lines, when they cannot afford the inflated wages that result from the prevailing wage mandate;

HB 1685: Directs the PA Department of Labor and Industry to adopt classifications and definitions for jobs subject to the Act. No such standard guidance currently exists, which creates uncertainty for contractors who face potentially devastating penalties for even accidental violations;

HB 1329: Raises the threshold for a project to be subject to the Act to $185,000; up from the current threshold of $25,000 that was established nearly 50 years ago.

Daily Briefing, 12/8/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Allentown, the Arena project demolition has been delayed by a few weeks.  Also in Allentown, City Council reversed itself and decided to hire EMTs; it's budget passed last night with increases to water, sewer and garbage fees.  In Hanover Township, a sinkhole is threatening properties.  Occupy Bethlehem has said that they will get the required paperwork necessary to stay in their current encampment.  In the Southern Lehigh School District, teachers and the board have agreed to a new four-year contract.

In state wide news, Jerry Sandusky was arrested once again on additional sexual abuse charges.

In national news, former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been sentenced to fourteen years of prison on public corruption charges.

Today is an extremely busy day in Chamber world, with four events: a Grand Opening celebration at the Pennsylvania School of Business, a Hispanic Chamber celebration of Fiesta de Navidad, a Hellertown-Lower Saucon Holiday Dinner Mixer and a Holiday & Movie Mixer at the Roxy in Northampton.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day and we'll be back later.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Expand your network with Connections

If you are a Chamber member, you receive Connections.  Connections is our 48-page monthly publication.  We print about 6,000 copies that are sent throughout the entire Lehigh Valley, and it is one of the Valley's premiere sources of information for the latest business happenings in the area.  If used properly, it is also an outstanding way in which Chamber members can expand their business network.  Here are some thoughts on how you can specifically use Connections to do just that.

1.  Member News: Every month, we print news items that we are given by our members (this is totally free, and if you want to submit news, please send it along to me at mikes@lehighvalleychamber.org).  Make sure to check out the news items and drop the printed businesses a note, saying congrats.

2.  New Members:  New Members, and their contact information, are listed in Connections every month.  If you have a second, make sure to drop a note to the new members, saying welcome and describing your services.  Don't just sell, but use the new member section as a chance to build a relationship.

3.  Event attendance:  Connections always contains a flier that lists the latest events you can attend and RSVP.  On a budget?  No problem - in this month's Connections, eight of the events are totally free!

4.  Advertise:  You can get the word out about your business by advertising in Connections for as little as $75 per month.  Make sure to check out our rates.

Daily Briefing, 12/7/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

This should be fun: expect 1-4 inches of snow later today.  In Hellertown, two police officers will keep their jobs after Borough Council decided to use $60,000 in casino money from the previous budget year.  In Bethlehem, the city appears set to start charging for police escorts at funerals.  New school board members were sworn in in the Parkland and Easton Area School Districts.

In state-wide news, former Montgomery County Commissioner and Lt. Governor candidate Jim Matthews has been arrested on perjury charges.

We have two Chamber events today: a workshop on Transmedia Marketing and a Grand Opening at Regus.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll be back later.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Daily Briefing, 12/6/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The Bethlehem Area School District could raise taxes by 4% and cut more programs and staff.  In Allentown, the city has settled an excessive force lawsuit involving their police department.  In Nazareth, the Mayor Daugherty has stopped his efforts to join the Colonial Regional police department.  The Northampton County Courthouse celebrated its 150th anniversary yesterday.  In Bethlehem Township, tax and sewer rates appear set to hold steady this year.  New school board members were sworn in yesterday in the Allentown and East Penn School Districts.

In state-wide news, the House of Representatives is set to upgrade it's Megan's Law regulations.  State Senator Dominic Pileggi has said that he will not run against Senator Bob Casey.

In worldwide news, the S&P has put every Eurozone government on notice for a credit downgrade.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll be back later.

Monday, December 5, 2011

How to promote your Facebook page

I was chatting with a friend the other day about how awesome Facebook is (yes, I realize how corny that sounds, and yes, I actually have these conversations in real life) when he mentioned his dilemma to me.  He had just started a business page on Facebook and was happy to finally get around to it...but, he wasn't sure how to promote it to the masses.  After all, what good is a business page if you cannot get anyone to actually like it?

Fair point.  How do you get someone to discover your Facebook page?  Here are five easy ways:

1)  Your Website:  If you have Social Media, you need to link to it on your website.  Fortunately, there are plenty of different ways to do so: something as simple as a hyperlink that leads to your Facebook page, a logo that says "Find me on Facebook" or a Facebook widget that shows viewers a snapshot of your page.


2)  Google:  Google loves Social Media.  Need proof?  Type in "Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce" in Google, and four of the top ten results are links to Social Media.  How do you make your Facebook profile Google friendly?  Fill out every field - including address, description (make sure to laden it with words that are SEO-friendly to your business), phone number, the works.  From there, update constantly. Google loves fresh, interesting content.

3)  Your business card:  Check out the back of Chamber business card:


On the back of all of our business cards, we have links to our Social Media.  We also have a QR code that leads to our webpage, but that's a whole other blog survey.


4)  Your E-mail signature:  This is what my E-mail signature looks like:


Mike Schlossberg
Vice President, Member Relations & Applied Technology
Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce
Bethlehem Office
561 Main Street, Suite 200
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Phone:  484-809-1796
Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce
Fax:  610-758-9533

Follow the Chamber on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, The Chamber's Blog


Yup - we link to our Social Media in every E-mail that we send.  And why not?  Think about how many E-mails you send a day.  This is an easy one!


5)  A big old E-mail blast:  Like most businesses, you probably have a collection of E-mails or some sort of e-Newsletter.  Make sure to E-mail the entire list and let them know where to find you.  From there, make sure to include links to your Social Media presence in every E-mail.

6)  Your own network:  If you are the administrator of a page, you can "suggest" that others like your page from your personal profile.  Some people aren't comfortable with bridging their personal & professional lives like this, and that makes sense, but this is a pretty easy way to instantly get likes.

Any tips to share with us?  Let us know in the comments!

Daily Briefing, 12/5/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Bethlehem, the city has told members of Occupy Bethlehem that it has to get a permit for the city site on which they have been camping.  Members of the Southern Lehigh School District held a memorial service for their recently deceased former superintendent, Joseph Liberati.

In national news, the U.S. Postal Service will be announcing $3 billion in reductions.  According to published reports, Hermain Cain is set to endorse Newt Gingrich today.  Senate Democrats will be introducing a new version of the payroll tax cut extension.  European leaders will be meeting again today in an effort to draft  new fiscal union in an effort to save the Euro.

Business Matters airs today at 8pm on WFMZ, featuring a debate on whether or not Queen City Airport should be sold for redevelopment.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll be back later.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Economic new: More jobs & the Fed to the rescue

Two particularly important pieces of economic news came out today that are worth noting, as they could have an effect on Lehigh Valley businesses.

First, on the jobs front: good and bad news.

  • Good news: Private sector jobs shot up in November, with the private sector creating 206,000 jobs.  Analysts had expected the creation of only 125,000.
  • More good news: Approximately 42,000 job layoffs were announced in November - the good news here is that the number shrunk by .7% from October.
  • Now the bad news: overall job layoffs are up this year - over 560,000, compared with 2010's 530,000 - and there is still a month to go.
Now for the global news: the Federal Reserve, along with the central banks of the Eurozone, England, Japan, Switzerland and Canada, have announced coordinated action that will make it easier for countries around the world to trade the US Dollar for foreign currency.  This is being characterized as a "contingency measure" so that central banks can use other forms of currency in the event of a crisis.  The likely trigger of such a contingency is the European Debt Crisis, which may cause foreign banks to need to use other currency in order to be able to conduct normal business.  

The fact that such a measure is even necessary should speak volumes about the severity of the crisis in Europe.  

Daily Briefing, 11/30/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing,

The first of three public meetings was held yesterday on the Allentown Arena project.  PPL is promising better communication during the next major weather event.  In Northampton County, elected officials are working to minimize a tax increase that they say is unavoidable.  The Northampton County Gaming Revenue Authority again rejected a request from the Borough of Hellertown for two new patrol officers.  In Bethlehem, Councilman David DiGiacinto has proposed keeping the Dewberry Fire Station open for at least another six months while emergency services in the city are studied.

In national news, American Airlines filed for bankruptcy yesterday.  After an allegation of a thirteen-year extra-marital affair, Herman Cain said yesterday that he would reassess his candidacy.  The S&P has downgraded 37 banks, using new credit-rating criteria.

We have one Chamber event today: a C.E. Roth Grand Re-Opening in downtown Allentown.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Daily Briefing, 11/29/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The big news story of the day is that State Representative Jennifer Mann (D-132) announced yesterday that she will not seek reelection.  Southern Lehigh Superintendent Joseph Liberati died yesterday at 57.  In Northampton County, fee hikes at the Center for Animal Health and Welfare have angered municipal officials.  According to a new survey, local employers are less likely to hire more employees and purchase more equipment in the next six months.

In state-wide news, the State Senate Majority Leader, Dominic Pileggi, is reportedly considering a run against Senator Bob Casey.

In national news, President Obama is pushing for an extension of the his payroll tax cut.  Good news for Cyber Monday sales, which increased around 15% compared to last year.

We have one Chamber event today: a Women's Business Council lunch on how to get noticed.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day and we'll be back later.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Black Friday a success!

Good economic news to report.  Black Friday was a huge success.  According to published reports:


  • Sales rose 6.6% compared to last year, totaling a massive $11.4 billion.
  • Retail traffic rose 5.1%.
  • 226 million shoppers went online on Friday and over the weekend, up 14 million from the same time last year.
  • The average shopper spent about $400, up from $365 the year prior.
This is great news...Black Friday is typically seen as a statement of consumer confidence, which as of October, was on the decline.

Unless, just in case you haven't been bombarded with advertisements via E-mail and Social Media today and managed to miss this, today is Cyber Monday, which is the biggest online sales day of the year.  Surveys have noted that 123 million Americans expect to shop online today...thus begging the question...does your small business have a website with an eCommerce component?

Daily Briefing, 11/28/2011

Good morning everyone, and welcome back to work!  We hope you had a great Thanksgiving vacation.  Anyway, here is today's Daily Briefing.

An Express Time story takes a look at the additional funding cuts facing local libraries.  A Morning Call story takes a look at the declining funding available to the Ben Franklin Technology Partners' business incubator.  Proposed legislation would make it easier for public utilities to raise prices.

In national news, today is Cyber Monday, the biggest online sales day of the year, and record sales are expected.  Fortunately, Black Friday was a huge success, breaking new spending records.  The New Hampshire Union-Leader endorsed Newt Gingrich for President this weekend, a major prize in the Presidential race.

Business Matters airs today at 8pm on WFMZ, featuring a debate on whether or not Gay-Straight Alliances should be allowed in schools.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll be back later.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Job Openings

Here are today's job openings - as always, if you have any job openings you wish to promote and you are a Chamber member, just E-mail them to me at mikes@lehighvalleychamber.org.
--

Account Executive, Interactive Marketing and Advertising

Metter Interactive has a great opportunity for a driven, internet marketing-savvy individual to help grow new business, while managing and creating marketing and advertising solutions for new and existing accounts.

You must thoroughly understand both interactive/online and traditional marketing, and should have at least 3 to 5 years of experience in an agency, fast-paced marketing department, or in an ad sales/consulting role. Experience in B2B marketing is preferred. The ability to write is essential.

You possess leadership skills and can confidently present ideas and marketing recommendations in front of clients articulately. You have a knack for quickly understanding client needs and enjoy developing strategies and solutions to meet them.

You have the ability to problem solve, multi-task, think critically, and are extremely organized and detail-oriented.​ In addition, you have experience both selling and working on campaigns that include elements of Branding, Website Development, SEO, PPC, Social Media, Public Relations, and Traditional Advertising. You are just as comfortable writing a proposal or press release as you are making a sales pitch.​

This position offers the opportunity to showcase your sales, account management, consulting, and creative skills, while making immediate contributions to our growing agency. You will be selling, managing, and creating web-centric marketing solutions including online marketing, web development, branding, PR, SEO, PPC and more.

We need our next great account executive to help us keep up with, and continue our growth!

REQUIRED SKILLS:


  • Experience in sales and/or account management in a marketing or advertising capacity.
  • Must be able to write copy (presentations, proposals, marketing and ad copy).
  • Demonstrated experience working with online/​interactive marketing initiatives (web development, SEO, PPC, online branding).
  • Web savvy, understanding of the Internet, search, and website usability.
  • Strong presentation skills.
  • Self-motivated, resourceful and able to work independently with little supervision.
  • Superior organizational and time management skills with a strong attention to detail.
  • Strategic thinker with ability to take the lead on projects.
  • Solid understanding of the creative process.
  • Established relationships with businesses in the B2B and/or industrial marketplace is preferred.

RESPONSIBILITIES:


  • Identify and develop relationships with prospective clients, ultimately driving new business growth.
  • Grow revenue from existing accounts.
  • Development and presentation of proposals, pitches, and solutions.
  • Day-to-day account management and correspondence with clients and prospects.
  • Defines client advertising and marketing objectives, campaigns, and budgets through marketing plans, consulting, etc.
  • Develops client advertising and marketing programs by utilizing online marketing, content development, branding, web development, SEO, PPC, social media, media advertising, publicity, and other in-bound and out-bound marketing vehicles.
  • Manages projects, working with in-house staff and freelance assets.
  • Hands-on production of content development, press releases, website planning, marketing materials, ad campaigns, etc.
  • Obtains client acceptance on projects; preparing and presenting proposals, concepts, storyboards, and other copy and print mock-ups.
  • Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
  • Maintains thorough understanding of client’s products and/or services.
  • Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; participating in professional societies.
  • Contributes to Metter Interactive’s internal marketing, branding, and growth initiatives.
  • Travel to client locations as needed.

COMPENSATION:


  • Salary: 65k-85k, uncapped commissions
  • Benefits: Health, paid vacation and holidays, flexible hours, possibility for telecommuting

Metter Interactive is a web-centric advertising and marketing firm specializing in delivering online solutions blended with traditional ad agency services. We deliver measurable results for clients by developing creative and strategic solutions from branding, campaign management, and design, to search engine marketing, online advertising, and public relations campaigns.

We have experienced steady growth, serving clients in the business-to-business and industrial market places in the Northeast. We offer a casual work environment and opportunities for self-starters to become directly involved with the agency’s growth.

Sound interesting?​  If the above description sounds like you, give us a sense of why you would be a great fit and how you could help us grow.
--

Assistant Account Manager / Marketing Coordinator

Metter Interactive is seeking a detail-oriented marketing coordinator to work in our Bethlehem, PA office. We are searching for an energetic team player interested in learning the many aspects of our business, while handling many copy writing, reporting, and research duties for our clients. This position allow you to be involved in many different accounts and to work with both the production and management teams.

JOB DESCRIPTION

The ability to write copy and develop content is a must for this position. Your primary responsibilities will be carrying out online marketing initiatives, content develop, and campaign reporting for a number of clients. You will be responsible for assisting in the development and execution of creative projects, website content, email marketing, public relations, search engine optimization, and online advertising.

You will need to demonstrate the ability to write copy, think strategically, quickly learn client’s key products and services, and should be familiar with SEO, PPC, email marketing, PR, and web analytics. You’ll need to juggle multiple priorities and be comfortable in a team environment, that sometimes calls for you to work independently.

REQUIRED SKILLS:


  • Must be able to write copy
  • Experience with online campaigns such as SEO, PPC, e-mail, search, etc.​
  • Web savvy, understanding of the Internet, search, and website usability
  • Strong written communication skills
  • Self-motivated, resourceful and able to work independently with little supervision as needed
  • Superior organizational and time management skills with a strong attention to detail
  • Demonstrated strategic thinker with ability to problem solve
  • Ability to understand technical/detailed products and services (most of our clients are B2B and industrial)
  • Solid understanding of the creative process
  • Proficient in MS Office
  • Knowledge of Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and HTML is a plus

COMPENSATION:


  • Salary: DOE, this is an entry-level position
  • Benefits: Health, paid vacation and holidays, flexible hours

Metter Interactive is a web-centric advertising and marketing firm specializing in delivering online solutions blended with traditional ad agency services. We have experienced steady growth, serving clients in the business-to-business and industrial market places in the Northeast. Our relaxed office provides a casual, creative environment that rewards hard work and innovation. If you meet most of the requirements above we’d like to hear from you!

Daily Briefing, 11/22/11

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The Valley has been awarded a $3.4 million grant from the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.  The City of Bethlehem is receiving an additional $475,400 in revenue from the Sands casino.  Home sales in the Valley increased compared to the same time last October, but the average price dropped.  U.S. Senator Bob Casey visited St. Luke's new Anderson Campus.

In state-wide news, former FBI Director Robert Freeh will head an independent panel that will investigate what happened at Penn State.  In national news, as expected, the debt super committee formally announced yesterday that it had failed to reach an agreement.

We have one Chamber event today: a pre-game pep rally for the Phillipsburg & Easton High School football games.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Super Committee...not so much

It appears all but certain that the Congressional Super Committee charged with finding an additional $1.2 trillion in deficit spending cuts will fail.  With the deadline less than 48 hours away, no one has said anything positive about the ability of the Super Committee to actually come to any sort of agreement.

What does this mean?  Theoretically, sequestration will kick in, per the agreement to raise the deficit ceiling of this summer.  This means that automatic cuts will occur to defense and non-defense spending, $600 billion each, exempting Social Security and Medicaid.

But, here's the kicker: the cuts don't go into place until 2013.  Despite being ratified by Congressional passage last year, it appears almost certain that Congress will try to find a way around these cuts.  Congressional Republicans, for example, are already looking to try and block the automatic defense cuts.

All that's left, for now, is for the Super Committee to formally announce that it has failed, and we'll be waiting that announcement.

Sources:

Daily Briefing, 11/21/2011

Good morning everyone, and welcome back to work after the weekend.  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The big news today is national.  The Congressional Supercommittee has failed and will likely release a statement today admitting as such.  In New Hampshire, Mitt Romney picked up two big endorsements: Senator Kelly Ayotte and Congressman Charlie Bass.  In New York, a lone-wolf bomber, Jose Pimentel, was arrested after planning to build bombs and blow them up around the city.

Business Matters airs tonight at 8pm on WFMZ, featuring an interview with Mayor John Callahan of Bethlehem.

And that's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What is the Stop Online Piracy Act?

A particular piece of federal legislation has been making waves lately, and it seemed to be a perfect time to review it and discuss its potential impacts.

What it is:  The Stop Internet Piracy Act is an effort to stop internet piracy.  It would do so by allowing the government to shut down websites that it believed were hosting pirated content and allow the government to require that search engines remove the affected sites.

Arguments for:  According to proponents, the US loses $135 billion to internet piracy every year.  Proponents argue that this costs jobs and acts as a deterrent to investment.  Those lobbying for the bills passage include trial lawyers, record producers and movie studios.


Arguments against:  Opponents argue that this bill will grant the government too much power and cause too many innocent websites to be censored.  Opponents include major internet giants (Facebook, Google, Twitter and more) as well as civil libertarians.


Current status in Congress:  The legislation has already cleared the House of Representatives.  In the Senate, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has placed a hold on the bill because of his concerns that it would limit free speech.

Sources:

Daily Briefing, 11/17/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The Easton Area School District has settled a racial bias lawsuit.  In Whitehall, Township Commissioners are considering raising property taxes and income taxes.  In Upper Nazareth, township officials have proposed an 83% tax hike.  In the latest news at Penn State, contrary to coach Mike McQueary's claims, a police report was never filed by McQueary after he allegedly witnessed former coach Sandusky raping a ten year old boy.  In national news, a new survey shows that Americans are expecting to work longer before retirement.

We have two Chamber events today: a Young Professional Council event on goal setting and an Easton Area Chamber of Commerce Sam's Club mixer.

And that's it for now.  See you later today!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Economic Impact of the Penn State Scandal

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have been watching, likely with horror, as the Penn State scandal continues to blossom and accelerate.  The charges against former coach Jerry Sandusky are, of course, of the most appalling nature, and the scandal has already taken down four high-level Penn State staffers, including former President Graham Spainer and legendary coach Joe Paterno.

A CNNMoney article reviews a facet of the scandal that hasn't received quite as much attention - the potential economic impact of the scandal, which is extremely large and potentially long-lasting.  Penn State generated $72.7 million in revenue as a result of its football program, one of the highest levels in the nation, and that revenue is now very much at risk.  The school will even be undergoing a bond review by Moody's in the wake of the scandal, as there is a potential for major lawsuits and legal costs.

What the article doesn't touch on too much is the potential affect on those outside of the school, and it also leaves out some potential scholastic impacts.  How many students will not apply, or attend, Penn State, as a result of the scandal?  Will this affect Penn State's many satellite campuses? The school's image has been tarnished, and the answer to that question remains to be seen.

Of course, this crisis could also impact merchandisers of Penn State memorabilia and clothing, of which there are many.  Is Penn State merchandise now less likely to sell?  The answer is certainly yes - at least in the short-term.  It's the long-term impacts that are really questionable, and how Penn State handles the issue from here on in will have a big impact on the answer to these questions.

Daily Briefing, 11/16/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In Northampton County, Gracedale remains in serious financial trouble, with County Council members set to vote on a $2.7 million payment to keep the facility from going into debt.  ArtsQuest is fighting a $122,000 property tax bill for SteelStacks, saying the property should be tax exempt.

In state-wide news, Penn State coach Mike McQueary claims that he did stop an alleged shower rape of a ten-year old boy by former coach Jerry Sandusky.  He also says he went to the police after the incident.  Lawmakers have proposed a variety of measures in the wake of the Penn State scandal, including bills dealing with mandatory reporting laws and statutes of limitations.

In national news, a judge has upheld the eviction of Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti park, saying that New York could ban protesters from sleeping in the park and from bringing tents and sleeping bags.  The post office has reported a loss of $5 billion.

We have two Chamber events today: an East Penn/Western Lehigh lunch on Act 32 and a Hispanic Chamber/Ambassador joint Speed Networking event.

That's it for now!  Have a good one, and we'll be back later.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Chamber: On Every Main Street

If you were at our Annual Meeting on Tuesday, than you probably caught this video (which, incidentally, has been getting rave reviews): The Chamber, On Every Main Street.  It was produced by our friends at Rocky Urich Productions.  If you haven't seen it yet, check it our below.



Small Business Council Event

Our Small Business Council has a great event coming up this Friday, and a particularly relevant one.  The event is on Customer Engagement - specifically, how employees can better engage with your customers.  It features national speaker & author Sybil Stershic.  For more details, see the flier below.


November 2011 Email Blast

Daily Briefing, 11/15/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

In a court ruling issued yesterday, Judge Michelle Varricchio ruled that Macungie Mayor Rick Hoffman can continue to have access to police records.

In state-wide news, in an interview on NBC yesterday, former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky claimed innocence in the child molestation charges brought up against him.  Governor Corbett signed into law legislation that is designed to prevent students who may have a concussion from playing again until they receive medical clearance 

In national news, the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday announced that it would hear a challenge to President Obama's health care reform law.  In New York, police have cleared out Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park to clean it; officials say protesters will be allowed back in once the park has been cleaned.  Oil prices have jumped 20% in the past six weeks.

We have one Chamber event today: a Grand Opening of a new ESSA Bank branch in Bethlehem.

And that's it for now!  Have a good one and we'll be back later.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Daily Briefing, 11/14/2011

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

Palmer Township is considering allowing digital billboards.  An Express-Times article reviews the huge amount of upcoming Christmas-related events in Bethlehem, including some run by The Chamber's own Downtown Bethlehem Association.

In national news, hopes are dwindling for the debt Super Committee to come to an agreement.  Gloria Cain, Herman Cain's wife, came to his defense in an interview yesterday.  Mario Monti has been nominated to replace Silvio Berlusconi as Italy's Prime Minister.

Business Matters airs today, featuring a debate on the incoming arena in Allentown.

That's it for now!  Have a great day, and we'll see you later.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Goal setting

Anyone in business knows that you have to set goals and plan in order to be successful at anything.  As part of the Chamber's new Young Professional Council, we are holding an event on Goal Setting, lead by our own Connie Challingsworth of Positive Life Decisions.


This event will be focused on bridging the gap between personal and professional fitness.  Connie will give tips on how to integrate the important skill of goal setting into all aspects of life to improve your results every time!

This is actually the first of three events that we are having on "Business Fitness."  The second one will be held on January 19 and is on Fitness & Stress relief, while the third event will be held in March on Nutrition.  If you register for all three programs, you pay only $30 (a single program pricing of $15 per member or $30 per future member).  To register, E-mail Melody at melodyg@lehighvalleychamber.org.

Hope to see you there!

Thank you to our Sponsors!

If you were at our Annual Meeting, you probably caught this there, but we did want to say thank you to our Sponsors that day.  They are:

Presenting Sponsor: Capital BlueCross

Titanium Sponsor: AT&T

Platinum Sponsors: 69-WFMZ-TV & wfmz.com, Adams Outdoor Advertising, Air Products, Caruso Benefits Group, Constellation Energy, HaydenFilms Institute , Lehigh Valley Easy Pages, Lehigh Valley International Airport, Lehigh Valley Magazine, Morning Call, PenTeleData, Rocky Urich Productions, Service Master by Round the Clock Cleaning, SmileKrafters, Sovereign Bank, St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network, and Viamedia

Gold Sponsors:, Lehigh University, Accuweather Channel, Bennett Automotive, Brookside Country Club, Coca-Cola Bottling of the Lehigh Valley, Crystal Signatures, Embassy Bank, First Niagara, Frederick Group, Liberty Property Trust, Lutron Electronics, Nacci Printing, Sacred Heart Hospital, West Side Hammer Electric

Silver Sponsors: Alvin H. Butz, American Bank, B. Braun Medical Inc., Brown Daub Dealerships, Concannon, Miller & Company, Easton Hospital, East Coast Touring Company, EWMI / Rapid Response, Express-Times/lehighvalleylive.com, First Generation, Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, Good Shepherd, Highmark Blue Shield, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of the Lehigh Valley, Ironton Telephone, John Yurconic Agency, KNBT, Langan Engineering & Environmental Services, LANta, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment Board, M&T Bank, Mack Trucks, Penn Cap Properties, Penn National Insurance, Pepsi Beverages, QNB, Samuel Adams Pennsylvania Brewery, Spotless Services Inc., Stotz & Fatzinger Office Supply, Tallman, Hudders & Sorrentino, TD Bank, UGI, Valleywide Property Management, Verizon Wireless, and Wells Fargo

Bronze Sponsors: Martin's Chips, AFC First, Arbor Insurance Group, AvPORTS, Central Penn College, Comfort Suites Bethlehem, Crayola, Discover Lehigh Valley, Easton Coach, Emerson, Reid & Company, Lafayette Ambassador Bank, Lehigh Valley Industrial Parks, MKSD Architects, Northampton Community College, PNC Bank, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, UnitedHealthcare, and Zator Law.

And special thanks to TechniCom Audio & Visual!

Daily Briefing, 11/11/11

Good morning everyone!  Here is today's Daily Briefing.

The median home price in the Valley dropped 7% to $155,000.  In Lehigh County, Commissioners are considering the approval of a new union contract that would require employees to pay more while lowering pay raises.  In Bethlehem, Mayor Callahan will cut ten positions from the 2012 budget.  Charlie Dent has a new challenger: Attorney Jackson Eaton IV.  Lehigh Valley Health Network has been honored for their efforts to eliminate hospital infections.

Here's the latest at Penn State: Mike McQueary, who allegedly witnesssed former coach Sandusky rape a child (yet did not intervene directly or call police), will not coach this Saturday against Nebraska.  Senators Toomey and Casey have rescinded their support to give Joe Paterno a Presidential Medal of Freedom.  In other news, former Senator Vince Fumo was sentenced yesterday to 61 months in prison after being convicted of misusing state funds.

That's it for now!  Have a great day and we'll see you later.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Presidential debates - the best and the worst

Presidential debates are now essentially common-place in elections.  They have featured some amazing moments that have both positively and negatively affected the participants.  In light of Rick Perry's stumble yesterday, we thought this would be a good time to share some of the best - and worst - moments of Presidential debates.

Best


There you go again, Ronald Reagan:  The quip, directed at Jimmy Carter, was the perfect line at the perfect moment.  Ronald Reagan used it against Jimmy Carter to disarm Carter's attack on Reagan's Medicare record.  Delivered with classic Reagan style and charm, it was a moment most viewers would remember.



Senator, You're No Kennedy:  Vice Presidential debates are rarely as memorable as this one.  In the deabte, Lloyd Bensen (Michael Dukakis' running mate) destroyed Dan Quayle's attempt to compare himself to JFK:



Are you better off today than you were four years ago?  Again, back to Reagan-Carter.  Reagan used the rhetorical question to ask if voters thought Carter should be elected to another four years.  The line is still used today:



Worst


Don't look at your watch, George W. Bush:  In a 1992 debate featuring questions from regular Americans, George H.W. Bush twice looked at his watch, giving the impression that he'd rather be elsewhere.



Al, stop sighing, Al Gore:  Apparently bored or too good for the responses of George W. Bush, Al Gore signed, many times, during his debate against George W. Bush.  The signs made Gore look arrogant and helped promote the idea that he was not like the average American.

Really?  No Soviet domination?:  In a debate against Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford asserted that there was no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.  Apparently, Ford wasn't living in the same world as the rest of us, because indeed there was.  Ford even had a chance to correct himself, but instead doubled down on the line.



I have no emotions, Michael Dukakis:  When running for President against George H.W. Bush in 1988, Dukakis coldly told an audience that he wouldn't favor the death penalty for someone who killed his wife.  Appearing to have no emotions, blood, heart, whatever, the comments and calculated way in which they were delivered pushed the image of Dukakis as someone who had no emotions.

Job Openings

We have one Job Opening today, courtesy of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley.  If you are a Chamber Member and have a job opening to share, please E-mail it to me at mikes@lehighvalleychamber.org.
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Easton Area Outreach and Engagement Associate 

The Easton Area Outreach and Engagement Associate is responsible for engagement with the Easton Jewish community as the representative of the Jewish Federation and will serve as staff liaison to the Easton Leadership Council of the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley. The program’s goals include the identification, recruitment, education, training and motivation of individuals to build connections among Jews in the Easton area, as well as build bridges to the greater Lehigh Valley Jewish community. 

Responsibilities include supporting current Easton Leadership Council initiatives and working to develop new social, cultural, and educational activities appealing to different age groups. Additional responsibility for implementing the management information systems necessary to track and promote volunteer involvement in community based activities. He/she will also engage the Easton Area community with the activities of the Jewish Federation and its annual Campaign for Jewish Needs. The Easton Area Outreach and Engagement Associate will be based in the Easton area. 

We seek a highly motivated self starter with the following preferred skills/experience: 

1. 2-3 years successful sales / fundraising experience 

2. Friend-raising /constituency development/volunteer recruitment 

3. Familiar with Easton and/or Lehigh Valley Jewish community 

4. Excellent organizational and time management skills 

5. Creative thinker who can design, implement and complete projects 

6. Strong oral and written communication skills, including public speaking 

7. Comfortable working with all ages/ generations 

8. E-mail, Word, Excel and Power Point computer skills 

9. Must be able to travel within the region 

10. College degree preferred 

This new “pilot” position is part-time at 20+ hours per week. The Easton Area Outreach and Engagement Associate will report to the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley’s Assistant Executive Director. 

Duration: part-time 
Salary Range: Not Posted
Other Benefits:
Preferred Experience: 2 Years Experience
Preferred Degree: Bachelors
Job posted on: 2011-11-09
This job has been viewed: 56 times
Job is posted for: 60 days
 
Job Location: Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley
702 N. 22nd Street
Allentown, Pennsylvania 18104