Friday, November 30, 2012

How to Eat Your Way through the Holiday!

Today's guest blog is from Dr. Kristen Bentson is the creator and owner of YouAnew Lifestyle Nutrition.

Caution—Holidays Ahead. Okay, get ready; here comes Santa, Sleigh Rides, Snow and all that food, glorious food!! If there was one question I answer the most, it’s how to get through holidays. Why? Because every holiday (whether it be Valentine’s Day, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas) revolves around food. I've got a couple tips to get you through (and of course you are always welcome to join the YouAnew Program and get one-on-one coaching individualized to meet your needs!!).
Here we go!
Tip 1: SMALL PLATES!! Face it, you’re gonna fill it, right?!? I’m guessing you won’t want to appear piggy, so you don’t load your plate to the point that mashed potatoes and gravy overflow onto the holiday table cloth. If you have a small plate, you will probably eat just the right amount. If grandma already set the table with mondo sized dinner platters, envision that your plate has a border and is half the size.
Tip 2: GO SLOW!! The tendency is to wolf food down. I know, I know…It’s all your favorites and in anticipation of the feast, you haven’t eaten for days. Here’s the deal, if you move slowly, savor your food and enjoy the company, you will not only enhance your holiday experience, you will eat less. When you eat less, you have less work to do to shed those post party pounds.
Tip 3: MORNING RUN!! If you know you are going to eat (a little) more than a typical day, add an ADDITIONAL ½ hour or 45 minutes of morning exercise. This will help to offset the extra calories. Plus, you’ll have more energy, feel happier and better enjoy your day!
Tip 4: STEER CLEAR OF MARSHMALLOWS!! Most holidays feasts are made up of super nutrient rich foods! I LOVE turkey, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes, and pearl onions. YUMMY and HEALTHY! Here’s what I don’t love is the “enhancers” like gravy, butter, French fried onions, candied topping and cream. Skip those add-ons and avoid the post party pooch.
Tip 5: DON’T STUFF YOURSELF!! Stuffing is for turkey only. Don’t ever allow yourself to get totally full. Shoot for comfortable satisfaction.
Keep calm, stay in control and focus on your family! Enjoy every minute with those you love the most.
About The Author: Dr. Kristen Bentson is the creator and owner of YouAnew Lifestyle Nutrition. Her mission is to show people how to change their lives, how they look and how they feel by changing their approach to food. 

Today's Business News in the Lehigh Valley - 11/30/12

Good morning and happy Friday, Lehigh Valley! Today is already the last day of November.

The city of Springfield, Massachusetts was once a bustling industrial town, akin to what we once had here in Lehigh Valley. They have another thing in common too: The city is looking at the model of Bethlehem in Allentown as it 'reinvents' itself in the post-industrial age, specifically the building of a casino. Mayor Callahan stressed the importance of the many factors that contributed to Bethlehem's redevelopment, including the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks and the new Sands Bethlehem Event Center.

Ice River Springs Bottling Co., a Canadian based producer of bottled water in recycled bottles, has recently opened up a plant in Hanover Township. The family owned company will bring about 49 jobs to the Lehigh Valley region over the next three years.

The Allentown Arena project at 7th & Hamilton has resulted in real estate prices rising in the city, with higher demand due to the tax benefits offered to businesses by the Neighborhood Improvement Zone (NIZ). Many of these businesses moving in believe this arena will help put Allentown back on the map. Yesterday was the official ground-breaking for the arena, which will host The Lehigh Valley Phantoms (Philadelphia Flyers' minor league team) beginning in the 2014-2015 season.

If you haven't been to the Christmas City Village yet, this weekend is a great chance to get started on any holiday shopping you have to do. Tomorrow is the first day of December, after all!

Have a great weekend Lehigh Valley!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Job Opening - Assistant Business Manager at DME Alliance

Assistant Business Manager (Technology, Entry Level)

An immediate opportunity is available for an entry level assistant business manager to join a rapidly growing
engineering services firm.  DME Alliance is seeking a motivated yet focused individual to support the recent
expansion.  This is an excellent opportunity to start or expand a career in a dynamic work environment with
clients on the cutting edge of technology. The person in this position will have administrative & office system
responsibilities, including reception area, as well as provide sales & marketing support.  This is a full-time
salaried position.

 Management of office systems, including break room, IT, printing & reproduction, and office
 Administrative assistance for on-going operations, ensuring accurate and high quality work
 Cover reception area including but not limited to: answering phones, greeting visitors, signing for
 Coordinate maintenance of computer server, printing & reproduction equipment, and pbx telephone
 Scheduling & coordination of meetings, interviews, and travel arrangements
 Execute ongoing sales and marketing tasks including, but not limited to: client list maintenance,
coordination of programmed advertising, direct mailings
 Sales & marketing support including trade show registrations, meeting coordination, presentation
and proposal preparation, press releases
 Represent DME Alliance at trade shows and industry events, as needed

 4 year degree or equivalent experience.
 At least two years relevant work experience.
 Desire to learn technical and project delivery concepts associated with process sciences industries.
 Proficient with Microsoft Outlook, Publisher, Word and Excel.
 Strong organization and time management skills.
 Ability to work independently and multitask.
 Excellent communication skills.
 Desire to take initiative and ownership of assigned tasks.

DME Alliance is an expanding engineering firm that specializes in facility design for advanced technology
industries.  Visit our website at for further information.  We offer competitive
compensation packages with performance incentives, health/dental/vision insurance, employer-paid long
term disability, and Simple IRA retirement plan (with 100% company match to legal limit); EOE.  Join our
outstanding team of professionals and grow with us!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Growing Your Business in 2012 - Ding Dong

Today's guest blog is from Carol Ritter, of

Oh, BLACK FRIDAY, the crowds, the deals, the craziness, the free samples and even more. If you are a “super shopper” this is your big day of the year. The bags and bags of stuff followed by SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY and CYBER MONDAY. One might think this is marketing genius and it is.

I decided to venture out in the afternoon, not looking for anything special, just browsing. Parking was at a premium and after 20 minutes I found my spot for the day. I moseyed into a women’s clothing shop which advertised everything on sale. I was there about 10 minutes and heard a cow bell ring, perked up big time and began to wonder what was this about? I found the bargain of the day a beautiful camel jacket $200, marked down to $50 and then 50% off of that and it was in my size. I scooped it up and headed towards the cashier. I’m feeling like I won the bargain of the day. There were about 10 people in line and as I a patiently waited I heard a big ding and a big dong. The chatter began! What’s that noise? It’s so unusual for a dress shop. Ding dong, ding dong, ding dong! It’s almost bordering on annoying. As I make it to the front of the line, I overhear the cashier saying the magic words, “Thank you for shopping with us.” “Did you find everything you were looking for?” Ding dong, ding dong!! I’m right there and the cashier greets me with, “Thank you for shopping with us.” I felt so welcomed and so appreciated. Then she said, Our store is committed to children would you be so kind to donate to St. Jude's Children’s Hospital?’ I said, ‘Sure” (never say no to kids)...DING DONG, she proclaimed another generous person in our store. By the time I left I felt like this store really cared not only about the sale but about the greater community.
How do your customers feel when they leave your business? Do you teach them how to treat you? Friendliness breeds friendliness. Charitable hearts are irresistible and in this store they created an atmosphere that was much more than selling. 
It’s the holiday season, how are you ringing your bell?? 
Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog 
Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country. Carol’s creative leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND BETTER LEADERS. 610-442-4545 Visit Carol on Facebook at Caroltalks

Today's Business News in the Lehigh Valley, 11/27/12

Good morning, and happy Tuesday! We're seeing our first bit of accumulation of snow here in Lehigh Valley this morning, with the forecast calling for between 1 - 3 inches.

In local news, President Obama will be visiting a local Montgomery County small business today to discuss his plans to get the country over the fiscal cliff. He will be meeting with various small business owners in his first public event outside the nation's capital since the election.

Real estate prices are on the rise near Allentown's arena project, showing a stable real estate climate in the Neighborhood Improvement Zone.

Unique Pretzels Bakery Inc. broke ground on an $8.5 million manufacturing and warehouse expansion in Muhlenberg Township, which will bring at least 24 new jobs to the region.

Sam Adams will host a 'speed coaching' event at their Lehigh Valley brewery on December 5 from 6 - 8:30 p.m. to help food and beverage business owners learn to effectively grow their operations. Experts will advise participants on practically every aspect of managing a food and beverage business.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Job Opening - Junior Web Developer / Programmer

      AFC Header 

Position Available: 
Junior Web Developer/Programmer  
AFC First Financial Corporation, a Lehigh Valley, PA based private financial 
institution which specializes in lending for residential energy efficiency 
projects nationwide, is looking for a talented, detail-oriented and upbeat 
individual for the position of Junior Web Developer/Programmer, working 
in concert with our affiliated company, EnergyWeb Solutions.
The ideal candidate will fit into a smaller company team environment, 
while working on a variety of interesting projects that support "green" 
 lending programs for energy efficiency across the country as well as 
web, database and other projects for the energy and contracting industry.  

AFC First, founded in 1947, is one of three Fannie Mae approved 
energy-lenders nationwide and administrator of state and utility 
 programs including Pennsylvania's Keystone Home Energy Loan program, 
in partnership with the Pennsylvania Treasury, and the Connecticut Solar 
Lease Program among others.  

EnergyWeb Solutions is a leading provider of on-line tools for energy 

Job Overview:

- Managing new database and web development projects & end-user feature request including: identifying & communicating needs, implementation planning, execution, testing and releases.

- Coordinating projects with third-party IT partners and vendors.

Assisting the marketing team with basic HTML/CSS issues related to their content-management-system.

- Creating and maintaining documentation, procedures and controls for integration and implementation on web development projects.

- Scheduled after-hours 'on-call' responsibilities to remotely investigate and respond to server outages.

- Other duties as assigned as part of a dynamic and growing company with a reputation for integrity and excellence since 1947

This position is a key part of AFC First's and EnergyWeb Solutions operations teams. You will work closely with senior management and be involved in the project planning and implementation processes. The position is based at AFC First's headquarter in the AFC First Energy Center on Brookside Road in the West Allentown/Lower Macungie Township area, with scheduled time at EnergyWeb Solutions, Fleetwood, PA offices.

Technical Skills and Experience:

- Expertise PHP programming, including object oriented PHP5 development, procedural, and a knowledge of data structures and design patterns

- Experience with MySQL and/or MS SQL

- Comfortable working with and implementing CSS, HTML, Javascript and Ajax

- Familiarity of MVC design patterns and common frameworks (CodeIgniter, Zend Framework or Rails)

- Experience with jQuery or other Javascript frameworks

- Understanding of common security practices including XSS and preventing SQL injections

- Experience with modern software development tools such as issues tracking systems (ex. JIRA), distributed source control (ex. SVN or GIT) and unit testing

- Understanding of RESTful and SOAP/XML web service concepts


- Strong communication skills and ability to translate technical scenarios to non-technical team members

- Previous experience writing clear/concise documentation at the 'code' and 'end-user' level
- Experience with Amazon Web Services
- Basic understanding of Linux/Apache/PHP/MySQL configurations and administration

Full time, salaried position. Compensation, including medical and other benefits commensurate to experience. 

Please submit resumes to Peter Krajsa, CEO,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Business News in Lehigh Valley - 11/20/12

Good morning, and happy Tuesday! Hopefully you didn't have to scrape too much ice off your car this morning, it sure is getting cold out there!

In local business news, Senator Pat Toomey was in Lehigh Valley yesterday, providing more than 200 business professionals with a D.C. Update on the state of the Congress, the rising concerns over the "fiscal cliff", state pensions and taxes, among other issues.

Bethlehem merchants have launched a "Buy Local" campaign in an attempt to encourage shoppers to support local businesses, called ShopLocalLV. Adams Outdoor Advertising is helping the effort by putting up billboards on Routes 22 and 378. Remember to try to shop local this holiday season, because it benefits the community within which you live!

Although money might not buy happiness, the opposite was recently found to be true. A study by the National Academy of Sciences found that those who express more positivity as teenagers and young adults find higher incomes by the time they're 29.

That's all for now, we hope everyone is having a great holiday week so far. Be safe!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Growing Your Business in 2012 - Lamb Stew

Today's guest blog is from Carol Ritter, of

Have you ever walked into an establishment, event or organization and been IGNORED? Why do people like this go into business, or why do they hire folks who have no intention or ability to see that a welcoming environment is not only necessary but a vital part of building reputation?  Why do we always remember when someone treated  me badly? I worked in Bristol, Rhode Island last week, a beautiful town where you can barely turn the corner without a hello or a smile. I would definitely call it a friendly town. In my free time I decided to visit a working farm, mirroring the 1700’s. When you entered the farm, in the near distance was a butchering class, you could smell the wood burning stove and a women dressed in 18th century garb greeted us. She said it’s basically a self guided walking tour feel free to visit the activities, she was very welcoming. So, I decided to visit the house first, two women were preparing lamb stew and the third gal was just watching. As I entered one girl said before she said hello, “You cant’ go to the butchering area those people paid to see it” (first negative response). The three women were talking to each other and completely ignoring us, on top of that the conversation was not about the farm but about some mutual friend. The sweet smell of lamb stew wasn't’ enough to keep me in a house where I was not welcome. So, I left!

I decided to visit the garden, it was magnificent, beautifully trimmed with all sorts of lettuce, beets and onions surrounding the fence. A woman was shoveling compost, I asked about the garden and she gently began to explain. After the garden lesson, I went over to see Clark, the wood chopper, he was amazing. He launched into an explanation of what he does and why he does it.  He just went on and on about the value of keeping this historical farm alive.  He stated that the great reward of the day would be the lamb stew cooked on an open fire with vegetables from the garden. Throughout his talk he mentioned many times “if we could only raise enough money, we will....”

The moral of the story is that if the ultimate goal of this non-profit is to raise money they need to train their employees, train their volunteers and teach the community how to fall in love with them, most importantly, hire a leader who inspires this kind of behavior.  People don’t give money from their wallets they give it from their hearts and when your heart is in the game, trust and generosity follows. 

How will this non-profit ever grow? What can they do the CHANGE the way they do business? Is there a secret to growing your non-profit?  And, are you dealing with these same issues?  Watch for my next article entitled 16 ways to GROW UR Non-Profit. 

Or, you could continue business as usual and receive the “GREAT REWARD” lamb stew or you might consider “Changing Your Mind”.

Carol serves as a featured writer for the Home News and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Blog

Carol is an accomplished professional speaker, coach and educational consultant specializing in innovative leadership, outrageous fundraising, million dollar marketing, and building organizational alliances throughout the country.  Carol’s creative  leadership with bullet proof ideas for recruiting MORE MEMBERS, MORE MONEY AND BETTER LEADERS. 610-442-4545  Visit Carol on Facebook at Caroltalks

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Job Opening - IT Data Analyst / IT Support Specialist

Wolper Information Services is currently seeking an IT Data Analyst/IT Support Specialist

Wolper Information Services seeks talented, independent thinkers who understand the power of collaboration and imagination -- people who thrive in a hard-working and fun corporate culture. You must be able to work independently within defined goals and strategies and communicate your ideas quickly and clearly. We are located in Easton, PA.

The primary objective of this position is to provide expertise to acquire, manage, manipulate, and analyze data and report results and to help support the infrastructure of the operation. It demands a solution-oriented professional with the knowledge, skills and experience to provide timely, effective support to help keep operations running smoothly.
Primary Responsibilities:
     Provide leadership and technical expertise in the conceptualization, design, implementation, and maintenance of technology used for analysis of data
     Act in a lead role with cross-functional teams to understand metrics and reporting needs.
     Accurate and timely reports need to be provided to various cross-functional teams and management to analyze and to make decisions.
     Use existing applications and coding languages to build and maintain tools needed for effective analysis of the company’s revenues, expenses, and key statistics
     Build and modify periodic budgets/forecasts
     Respond to ad hoc reporting requests of internal client and management
     Thorough functional understanding of IT Support
     Provide first-line response for users requiring assistance with information technology issues and problems
     Setup, configuration, and deployment of end-user equipment including workstations, desk phones, cell phones, peripherals, printers, etc.
     Create documentation and provide basic training to end-users
     Minimal travel
     On-call availability for emergency technical support

Basic Qualifications:
     Ability to develop and deliver metrics representative of the needs of Operations
     Ability to execute the development of reports
     Ability to automate generation of reports
     An ability to understand complex IT metrics and communicate metrics via reports to the internal client, and to Management, is essential for success in this role.
     Strong SQL and Excel skills
     A solid understanding of desktop hardware, and peripheral troubleshooting.
     Familiarity with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office Applications

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of all the duties of the IT Data Analyst/IT Support Specialist, but an outline of the general nature of work and major responsibilities for this position. Wolper Information Services reserves the right to change this job description, as needed, in the future.
Wolper Information Services prides itself on its friendly, dedicated and knowledgeable staff. So to ensure that we hire only the best, we offer competitive pay rates and benefits.
How to Apply:
     Please submit your resume, and detailed cover letter to

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce - Letter from the President

- Dave Dyson, Hampson Mowrer Kreitz Agency
BCC President
Main: 610-868-8507 •

Christmas preparation is in full gear right now. With the Christmas City designation in its 75th year, we wanted to do something special to celebrate this milestone. Our tree lighting ceremony will be filled with surprises - none of which I am able to reveal today - but be sure to attend on Friday, November 23. It will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Payrow Plaza just outside on the steps of the Public Library. The Bethlehem Catholic High School Band will be playing, there will be a Christmas carol singing and FREE treats and hot chocolate. Headed by Natalie Miller, owner of Looper’s Grille and Bar, The Christmas tree lighting ceremony involves the entire community from the high school musicians to the elementary school children who decorate the Mayor’s Christmas Tree the week before the ceremony (and a few who actually flip the switch to turn on the lights). In addition, area businesses contribute free treats to attendees and sponsor the event. Natalie is assisted by Beverly Bradley from the Cops-n- Kids program and the Citizens Christmas City Committee.

Before and after the ceremony, be sure to go into the downtowns to take in the Christmas atmosphere. The Bethlehem downtowns will be decorated for the holiday season.Christmas music fills the air, there is an abundance of places to shop and dine, and for the second year in a row, we will have two German inspired Christmas markets: Christkindlmarkt at Steel Stacks and the DBA’s Christmas City Village in the Historic District Downtown. Ride the Christmas Trolley - for no charge - and you can experience all of Bethlehem’s Christmas offerings.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Business News & Upcoming Events in Lehigh Valley

Good morning, and T.G.I.F! There are 52 days remaining in the year 2012.

In local news,
Easton will begin testing credit card parking meters to determine the feasibility of installing the meters throughout the city. The system is now employed in Bethlehem, where hundreds are already in use across the city. Bethlehem Mayor Callahan addressed business leaders yesterday during a breakfast meeting hosted by The Chamber. The discussion focused on managing the city budget and the economic outlook of the city for 2013. The Urban Land Institute held a panel at Cosmopolitan yesterday, where it was said that "As 'Generation Y', people in their late twenties and early thirties, becomes the new executive workforce, more and more of these young people want to live and work in cities." Full article here. Creditsafe, a European business credit report company, has recently opened their world headquarters in South Whitehall Township in September. It employs 50 salespeople and expects to grow to more than 300 employees in the next four years.

Upcoming Chamber Events:

The Chamber's 2012 Annual Meeting - Tuesday, November 13 at Sands Bethlehem Event Center

D.C. Update with U.S. Senator Pat Toomey - Monday, November 19 at DeSales University Center

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Local Election Roundup, 11/7/12

Last night, President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney and was elected to a second term as President of the United States. This is the first time since that the United States elected three presidents in a row to a second term since 1816, with Jefferson, then Madison and then Monroe. President Obama won with 50.3% of the popular vote and 303 electoral votes, compared to Romney's 48.1% of the popular vote and 206 electoral votes.

Local election results (via The Morning Call):

118th District (western Monroe County) - (D) Mike Carroll defeated (R) Terrence O'Connor by 66 percent to 34 percent.

122nd District (Carbon County) - (R) Doyle Heffley defeated (D) Ronald Rabenold by 59 percent to 41 percent.

124th District (Berks / Schuylkill Counties) - (R) Jerry Knowles defeated (I) Dante Picciano by 79 percent to 21 percent.

131st District ( Lehigh / Northampton Counties) - (D) Kevin Deely was leading incumbent (R) Justin Simmons by 437 votes with 30 of 31 precincts reporting.

132nd District (Allentown) - (D) Mike Schlossberg of Allentown was unopposed Tuesday. Congratulations Mike!

134th District (Lehigh / Berks Counties) - (R) Ryan Mackenzie defeated (D) John Reynard of Emmaus, 60 percent to 40 percent.

135th District ( Lehigh / Northampton Counties) - (D) incumbent Steve Samuelson defeated (R) Kenneth Baretto by 70 percent to 30 percent.

136th  District (Northampton County) - Democrat Bob Freeman of Easton was unopposed Tuesday. 

137th  District (Northampton County) - (R) Joe Emrick defeated (D) Joseph Capozzolo by 61 percent to 39 percent. 

138th  District (Northampton County) - (R) Joe Emrick defeated (D) Joseph Capozzolo by 61 percent to 39 percent. 

143rd District (Bucks County) - (R) incumbent Marguerite Quinn defeated (D) Joe Frederick by 62 percent to 38 percent.

145th District (Bucks County) - (R) incumbent Paul Clymer defeated (D) Mary Whitesell by 65 percent to 35 percent. 

147th District (Montgomery County) - (R) Marcy Toepel defeated (D) Betty White by 61 percent to 39 percent.

183rd District (Lehigh / Northampton Counties) - (R) Julie Harhart was unopposed Tuesday. 

187th District (Berks / Lehigh Counties) - (R) Gary Day defeated (D) Joe Haas by 63 percent to 37 percent.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Tomorrow's the big day, America! It's finally time to vote for the 2012 elections!

Both presidential candidates have been visiting key battleground states in the last few days, hoping to rally support for their parties just days before the 2012 presidential election.

We cannot stress this enough Lehigh Valley ... No matter who you decide to vote for in this election, just make sure you get out and vote!

For voting information in Pennsylvania, click here.

For voting information in New Jersey, click here.

For voting information in New York, click here.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Business News in Lehigh Valley, 11/2/12

Good morning and happy Friday, Lehigh Valley. There are only 4 days left until the 2012 election.

U.S. employers added 171,000 jobs during the month of October, and the jobless rate inched up to 7.9% from 7.8% last month. Since July, the economy has created an average of 173,000 jobs a month, up from 67,000 a month from April through June.

Several retail stores and malls reopened in Lehigh Valley yesterday, welcoming swarms of shoppers stricken with cabin fever and ready to spend their money. After a few days without power, it's no surprise that the malls saw a larger than average crowd of people. Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem posted a record earning quarter, bringing in $24.3 million in revenue this past quarter, shattering the previous record of $18.2 million.

First Friday festivities in Bethlehem will be postponed until the second Friday, 11/9, when more of the downtown shops will be back up and running.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Daily Briefing, 11/1/12

Good morning and happy Thursday. Today is the first day of November, and we hope everyone had a nice Halloween yesterday. The 2012 election is just 5 days away.

Lehigh Valley and the rest of the region began the long process yesterday of getting back to normal following the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Many thousands of residents of the area are still without power, and a spokesman for PPL stated that power may not be fully restored until Saturday afternoon, although they expect most power to be restored by Friday night. PPL has more than 4,300 people involved in the restoration effort.

The New York Stock Exchange reopened on generator power after the first weather related two-day closure since a blizzard back in 1888. President Obama visited devastated towns of New Jersey yesterday with Gov. Christie, putting aside party differences to assess damages and begin to rebuild.