Monday, September 30, 2013

Is the Minimum Wage a Living Wage? Tonight on Business Matters

Tune-in tonight with Business Matters host Tony Iannelli as he explores this very hot topic with four passionate panelists on the pros and cons of raising minimum wage.

Would raising minimum wage hurt or harm our economy?
Is minimizing the pay equality gap how we get our economy back on track?
Will an increase in the minimum wage hinder the creation of new jobs? How will a raise in the minimum wage affect businesses, both large and small?

Guests include: 
Senator Vincent Hughes (D-7)
Frank Snyder (AFL-CIO)
Gene Barr (PA State Chamber)
Suzanne Collins (NFIB)

Friday, September 27, 2013

ProJect of Easton - Member of the Day

Enjoy an evening of fabulous food, wine, and beer sampling at ProJeCt of Easton’s October 7 Simply Savory — all to benefit ProJeCt! 

Our culinary participants include: Baker Street Bakeshop, Beyond Cakes, Blue Grillhouse, Constantino’s, Cozze Cakes, deLorenzo’s, Divine Dining, Elizabeth Mulrine Culinary Events, Franklin Hill Vineyards, Green Harvest Food Emporium, Leaf Restaurant & Cigar Bar, Marblehead Chowder House, Marianna’s Pizza Café, Maxim’s 22, Miguel’s, Northstar Catering, Pearly Baker’s Alehouse, Sette Luna, Thyme Restaurant & Bar, Two Rivers Brewing Company, Valenca, Vintage, Vintner’s Circle and Weyerbacher Brewery. 

Guests will also enjoy a silent auction and raffle with great prizes including gift certificates to area restaurants and attractions, jewelry from Beverly Palm Jewelers and an iPad, and music provided by the Easton High School Flute Quartet.  

Join us on Monday, October 7th from 5:30 - 9 p.m. at the Hampton Inn on Route 248. Reservations are $75, available at or 610-258-4361, ext. 18. 

ProJeCt of Easton is a community benefit human service agency that provides tiers of service including an emergency assistance and food program, case management support services as well as educational and literacy programs such as ESL, GED preparation, family literacy and more.

Totts Gap Arts Institute Unveils 2nd Heritage Mural

Chamber member Totts Gap Arts Institute (TGAI) in collaboration with the BBRP Main Street Program unveiled its 2nd “Heritage Mural” on Saturday.  The “Soda Shop” depicts Bangor High School Graduates as they were in the 1950’s.  Each of the “teens” depicted were present at the dedication and met the young artists who created the painting under the direction of TGAI’s director, Jim Gloria.

The project was funded in part by a Main Streel Lehigh Valley grant. The dedication was an opportunity to introduce the upcoming SBCP Main Street program, an outgrowth of the BBRP.  The SBCP will be hosted through TGAI under the management of Sharon Davis, former BBRP coordinator.

Chamber Foundation Representatives Anne Baum and Luann Larussa with Bangor BBRP Coordinator, Sharon J. Davis present a GLVCC Foundation check to Bangor Council President, Catherine Allen, and TGAI Director, Jim Gloria

Job Openings at Northampton Community College


Listed below is a listing of our current job openings. 
Please visit our website at for additional information.

Full Time:
Art Faculty
English Faculty
Computer Electronics Faculty
Career Coach
Director, Industrial Technologies
Program Manager, Mechanical Technology
Director, Alumni Engagement & Annual Fund

Part Time:
CAD Adjunct Faculty with Program Coordination
Clinical Pediatric Instructor – RN Program
Instructors – Non-Credit
Mental Health Clinical Instructor – RN Program
PT Dance & Fitness Instructors – Monroe Campus

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lafayette Ambassador Bank Announces Appointments and Promotions

Contact: Wendy Evans Totani
Phone: 610–332-7400
Fax: 610-758-7398

(September 24, 2013) – -  Rocco A. Del Vecchio, President and COO, is pleased to announce the following promotion and appointments at Lafayette Ambassador Bank.

Amanda E. Bates has been promoted to Branch Manager for the bank’s 19th Street Office in Allentown.  Bates joined the bank in 2003 as a Teller in the bank’s Downtown Bethlehem Office and has progressed through the bank’s retail group including positions of Senior Teller, Head Teller and most recently as Assistant Manager at the bank’s Tilghman Street Office.  Eager to help her community, Bates has served on the bank’s United Way Committee for the last two years.

Sharon J. Fontana has joined Lafayette Ambassador Bank as an Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager for the bank’s Downtown Bethlehem Office.  Fontana attained her Associates of Science Management from Thomas Edison State College.  She brings over 30 years of experience in financial services, most recently as an Assistant Vice President/Business Banker for PNC.  A past Board Member of the Stroudsburg YMCA, United Way of Monroe County and the VNA/Hospice in Monroe County, Fontana looks forward to getting involved in Bethlehem area organizations.

Four new additions have been appointed to the Board of Directors of Lafayette Ambassador Bank. In this position, they will be responsible for ensuring that the management and performance of the bank is conducted in a way that represents the interests of Fulton Financial Corporation. The Board of Directors also appoints senior management and ensures that the bank operates, using safe and sound business practices.

John Crampsie is principal owner of NAI Summit, a full service Commercial Real Estate firm. Crampsie is a former executive of the March Development Company, and lent his expertise to develop over 3 million square feet of office warehouse space in the Lehigh Valley and Delaware.   Crampsie was also affiliated with the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority, where he established international status for the airport.  Crampsie attained his B.A. in Communications from Kutztown University and his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Lehigh University.  He is a member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors.  Crampsie also has taught English as Second Language in Medellin, Columbia.

Active in his community, he serves on the Board of Directors for Via of the Lehigh Valley and as Chair of their Marathon.  A founding member of Turning Point of Lehigh Valley’s Board of Directors, Crampsie volunteers his time in both the St. Luke’s Emergency Room and with the Good Shepherd Pediatric Rehabilitation.

Thomas A. Daub is a partner in four Brown Daub automobile dealerships, started by William J. Daub and Thomas Brown in 1936.  His primary focus is the Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat dealership on Hecktown Rd., and the Volvo store on Jandy Boulevard in Nazareth.  Daub attained his B.A. in Economics from St. Lawrence University in New York.  Mr. Daub currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Home of Easton, Community Services for Children, Equilibrium, and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Easton Council.  He also actively advocates for the United Way.

Robert E. Gadomski is the Founder and Managing Director of Napowan Associates L.L.C. which provides consulting services and guidance on business development and best practice implementation.  Gadomski is the former CEO of Taylor Wharton International L.L.C and former Executive Vice President for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.   Gadomski attained his B.S. in Chemical Engineering and M.S. in Industrial Administration from Purdue University and also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Gadomski presently serves on the Board of Directors for both Reeb Millwork and Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network.  Active in his community, Gadomski has lent his time and expertise to local organizations including: United Way, Boy Scouts, Allentown Art Museum and Valley Youth House.  He’s received an Honorary Ph.D. in Engineering and the Krannert School of Business Leadership Award from Purdue, as well as serving as a Halsey Distinguished Visiting Professor at University of Virginia.

Delores A. Laputka is an attorney with the firm Norris McLaughlin and Marcus, P.A. (formerly Tallman, Hudders and Sorrentino, P.C.)  She serves as Chair of the Business Law Group, and Vice Chair of the Estate/Tax Law Group.  Laputka, a graduate of Boston College (Magna cum laude), received her J.D. from the Law School of Duquesne University.  Laputka has been admitted to the Bar of Pennsylvania Supreme Court, United States Tax Court, United States District Court, Eastern District.  She is also a Certified Public Accountant.

Laputka has been involved in many organizations in the community serving as General Counsel and past Chair of the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley,
Chairman of Board of Directors of the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley,
Board of Directors of the Lehigh Valley Estate Planning Council, past President and
past Board Member of the Allentown Rotary Club, and past Board Member of the Lehigh County Community College Foundation.  Awards of distinction include: 1999 Good Shepherd Home Raker Memorial Award, 2006 Great Valley Girl Scouts Council Lehigh Valley Woman of Distinction Award, 2007 Women’s Leadership Initiative of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Philanthropist of the Year, and the 2007 National Arthritis Foundation Spirit of Philanthropy Award.

Fulton Financial Corporation is a Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based financial holding company which has 3,800 employees and operates more than 292 banking offices in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia through the following affiliates: Fulton Bank, N.A., Lancaster, PA; Swineford National Bank, Middleburg, PA; Lafayette Ambassador Bank, Easton, PA; FNB Bank, N.A., Danville, PA; Fulton Bank of New Jersey, Mt. Laurel, NJ; and The Columbia Bank, Columbia, MD.
The Corporation’s investment management and trust services are offered at all banks through Fulton Financial Advisors, a division of Fulton Bank, N.A. Residential mortgage lending is offered by all banks through Fulton Mortgage Company.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Member of the Day - Office of Vocational Rehabilitation

Today's Member of the Day is the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR). They will be hosting a box lunch event, "Equal to the Task" from 12 noon to 1:30 PM on October 24, 2013. 

They will discuss the advantages to our business partners when utilizing OVR services and hiring people with disabilities.  The event will continue with a panel discussion featuring three employers who have utilized our services successfully. The program will conclude with a brief roundtable discussion to determine what our district office can do to better serve their needs for pre-screened qualified employees. Seating space is limited and registrations are on a first come, first served basis. 

Find more information and register here

Monday, September 23, 2013

TONIGHT on Business Matters - "Is Right to Work Anti-Middle Class?"

Is “Right to Work” Anti-Middle Class?

SIDE 1--
•             Wendell Young, UFCW Local 1776
•             Tom Tosti , AFSCME District Council 88
•             Gregg Potter, Lehigh Valley Labor Council

SIDE 2---
•             Katrina Anderson, PA Commonwealth Foundation
•             Simon Campbell, Pennsylvanians for Union Reform

Tune-in tonight with Business Matters host Tony Iannelli to hear from both sides of the this hotly contested topic on “Right to Work” legislation. 

Do unions hurt or help our state’s economy? Would right-to-legislation make PA more competitive for businesses and jobs? Tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 69-WFMZ-TV hear from our panelists.

Member of the Day - Phoebe Ministries

Today's Member of the Day is Phoebe Ministries in Allentown! 

The Phoebe Institute on Aging fall conference presents The Age of Champions: Promoting Senior Wellness on Friday, October 18, 2013 at Lehigh Carbon Community College Community Services Center from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The conference will feature PBS Film Producer, Kieth Ochwat and a special screening of his film, Age of Champions, an inspirational documentary about five competitors who go for the gold in the National Senior Olympics.

Here is a link to the event information page - 

Find Phoebe Ministries on Facebook at

Friday, September 20, 2013

Citizens’ Christmas City Committee seeking donation of large Christmas Trees

The Citizens’ Christmas City Committee is seeking donations of tall trees for the Christmas holiday season.   Although the request is made early, the committee found the time to be appropriate since it is a time of year when homeowners are addressing landscape issues and may be want to replace an oversized fir tree.

The trees need to be nicely shaped, 40-50 feet in height, must be accessible by the roadway, and within no more than 10 miles of the city center.  City Electrician Greg Cryder, will come out to the location and inspect the tree for acceptability.

Donation of these trees will be recognized at the annual Christmas City Tree Lighting Ceremony, which will take place on Friday, November 29, 2013, at 4:30PM on Payrow Plaza.

Anyone wishing to donate a tree should call Greg Cryder or Chris Lenhart at 610-865-7108.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Member of the Day - The Heritage Guild in Easton

Today's Member of the Day is The Heritage Guild! They are new Chamber members and we will be helping them celebrate their 2-year anniversary this Friday from 5:30 - 7:30. Celebrate with us, all are invited!

The Heritage Guild of Easton is located at 70 Hilton Street.  Celebrating our 2-year anniversary and grand opening of our new archery range & archery retail, expanded static ranges and addition of a tactical range - September 20, 21, 22.  Demos by the Oxford school archery team on Saturday and Sunday, firearms and archery vendors, prizes, giveaways, demos, and  some great shoots on the range to benefit Hunters Helping the Hungry and Boy Scouts Troop 31!  

The Heritage Guild is a family of centers that include firearms retail, indoor and outdoor ranges, archery retail and service, training academy, gunsmiths & bowsmiths.  Our mission is to provide new and potential gun owners and archers with modern, safe and dynamic facilities in which to maximize the experience and enjoyment of their pastimes.  

The Heritage Guild has three locations:  Easton, PA;  Branchburg, NJ; and Rahway, NJ -

Advertising and the Art of War: Part 2

Guest blog from Kelly Joffe of Cliff Ross - Advertising - Web Design. Originally appears at

“Use the orthodox to engage, the extraordinary to attain Victory” – Sun Tzu

In Advertising and the Art of War Part 1, we talked about how the advertising and marketing world is a battle field – and only the strong survive. It is important to keep that in mind as you move forward with your advertising and marketing efforts. This week, we talk about the difference between engaging your customers and attaining victory.

In the Art of War, Sun Tzu said we should use the orthodox to engage, and the extraordinary to attain victory. The same is true with your marketing efforts – lets take social media for example. Through the use of social media, you want to engage your fans and followers in order to nurture your current customers and to gain new ones. Using social media as a tool to leverage your business is a very general, orthodox approach to engaging your current and potential customers. By utilizing different social media platforms, you are putting your business out in the social landscape to get recognized.

The goal, however, is to do more than engage. Engagement is just one step on the road to victory. Victory is attained when these social media fans and followers turn into repeat customers and new business. As Sun Tzu said, use the extraordinary to attain victory. Now that you have your fans and followers engaged, you must know and master the capabilities of each individual social media platform to bring in business.

It’s more than just making posts. That’s ordinary. Everyone does that. Your efforts need to be extraordinary. That’s where Cliff Ross comes in. We know what it takes to turn orthodox customer engagement into extraordinary use of social media that leads to new business and victory. Sometimes, to truly attain victory in this advertising and marketing war – you need an ally. That is where we come in.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Growing Your Biz in 2013 - Jelly Fish, Sharks, and Wind oh MY!

“Find a Way,” said Diana Nyad all year long when her team would tell her reasons why she couldn't swim from Cuba to Florida.  That 64 year old woman is now the first woman to swim in shark and jellyfish infested waters for over 50 hours.  She battled the elements, the sharks, the jelly fish and swallowing all that salt water, but she did it.  This was her 5th attempt. Prior to this accomplishment, the other trips included excruciating stings, an asthma attack, sun, wind and waves.  She not only did it, she did it without a shark cage.  She repeated to herself that she was pushing Cuba away and pushing towards Florida, she sang her favorite nursery rhymes and lullabies to relax her. 

The real question is WHY?  Why does someone want to break a swimming record and, even more, what is inside of her at 64 years old that makes her still want to realize her dream?

What are the qualities she posesses that are simalar to a successful business? 
          Risk Taker - Visionary - Dreamer - Tenacity - Commitment and Talent

Many of us would say she’s crazy.  But hasn’t someone in your life said you were crazy when you decided to turn your dream into a reality.  Risk taking is the hardest for most to take on, the fear of failure is powerful and the fear of lost revenue is even more powerful.  If you have a great idea, do your homework,  build your “TRIBE” and wake up every morning working towards your goal, you will do it.  The sharks and jellyfish will swarm around you, the wind will knock you over, the salt water won’t taste good and the waves may come crushing down on you but after your 4th try, the 5th one will be the charm.

Diana, the first woman to swim around Manhattan and winning many marathons is now the first woman to swim 49 hours from Cuba to Florida.  As she recovers from the swim she wants the world to know, “you can dream at any age” and so can you and no matter what obstacles you face FIND A WAY to GROW UR BIZ!

Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker 
Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer
Watch for my new website launch coming soon.

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 TER LEADERS. 610-442-4545  Like Carol on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Monday, September 16, 2013

Business Matters – Channel 69 WFMZ-TV
TITLE:    Race & the Trayvon Martin aftermath

Side One:
·         John Morganelli, Northampton County District Attorney
·         Jerry Pugh, Independent

Side Two:
·  Jason Vanderburg, Moravian College
·    Alisa Williams, NAACP
·    Brian Anthony, The B-Radio Show

Join host Tony Iannelli tonight for a “don’t miss” Business Matters at 7:30 p.m. as he discusses with guests the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, the acquittal of George Zimmerman, and how both events impacted racial equality discussions both locally and nationally.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Advertising and the Art of War: Part 1

Guest blog from Kelly Joffe of Cliff Ross - Advertising - Web Design. Originally appears at

The General is knowledge, courage, strictness, and trustworthiness.

As we begin this series of Advertising and the Art of War, it is important to note the purpose. The advertising and marketing world is a battle field. Brands across the world are competing for the attention of consumers. Only the strong survive. How you position yourself, plan your attack, and approach this Advertising war will determine if you stand out from the competition and gain the attention of your customers.

In the Art of War, Sun Tzu said that the most important traits of the General are knowledge, courage, strictness, and trustworthiness. You are a business owner, your brand is the general, and there is an army of consumers out there looking to be guided in the right direction. In all your advertising and marketing efforts, your brand must display the same characteristics as Tzu’s general. Here is how:

Knowledge: In all aspects of marketing and advertising, your brand must know-all. A good brand knows how their customers feel, what they want, and what they need. You must do your research and find out what makes your customers tick. You must use your knowledge about your product to guide consumers in your direction. A nutritionist, for example, will appeal to mothers by sharing factual information about healthy choices for their kids. This will make a mother (the consumer) feel as if the nutritionist really understands what she needs for her family.

Courage: your brand must be willing to take certain risks, and have the courage to fight for what you believe in. If you are a nutritionist selling a healthy life style, you have to stand up for what you believe in. It might be risky to criticize fast food restaurants, but you believe it’s hurting people. By having certain morals and beliefs – and sticking by them no matter what – consumers will respect you. Have the courage to take advertising and marketing risks, to step outside of “what’s normal.” You have an opportunity to lead the way – so take it. What is the opposite of courage? Fear. Do not fear your opponents (the competition),  but know that if you stay true to your brand standards – you will come out on top.

Strictness: Stay firm with your beliefs and be consistent with your advertising approach. Your brand represents your business or product that you wholeheartedly support – do not let there ever be any doubt about that. If you make a decision to start some marketing efforts via social media – stick with it and be consistent. Write a blog every week, consistently interact with your customers, send a monthly newsletter – be strict with your advertising schedule and people will have no choice but to notice. Your consistent and disciplined message will strongly position your brand in their mind.

Trustworthiness: You always want people to trust your brand and the products you sell. Always be honest and sell the facts. People are more likely to purchase products or services from a brand they trust. These days, advertising and marketing is not all about the hard sell. You have to share information that people can relate to – reach your customers on a personal level. This humanizes your brand and makes people trust you.

Guest blog from Kelly Joffe of Cliff Ross - Advertising - Web Design. Originally appears at

Main Street Initiatives - September Connections Article

On every Main Street. These are more than just words to us, they represent who we are and what we do,  as proven by our most recent round of Main Street Lehigh Valley (MSLV) grant projects:

Our four cities are the hub of the Lehigh Valley, and by funding projects in their neighborhoods we are making a difference one small project at a time - projects that encourage community bonding or tourism - many achieve both. Grants were awarded in the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton and Phillipsburg to civic groups for events with tourism appeal  and accompanying site furnishings at event locations; downtown cleanliness and sidewalk flower bed plantings; way-finding, identity, and historic house signage; alleyway string lighting; holiday décor; and a restaurant guide.

Alburtis is touting their history, their story, by applying for National Historic District designation, and the Foundation is helping them on this path by helping to fund a professional architectural property inventory. Thousands of people attend the Walnutport Canal Festival, an educational celebration of history and heritage; we are now a contributor towards this tradition. We are part of preserving this history.

Coopersburg and Bath previously received MSLV money to fund aesthetic enhancements in their towns. Coopersburg is replacing decade old street banners and Bath is  pursuing the purchase of 3 illuminated American flags in the downtown. Coplay is eagerly anticipating both welcome signs and pole banners this year. A series of eight signs will be installed along Fogelsville’s business corridor to create identity and consistency in a rapidly expanding area. We are part of these high quality visual enhancements, where a little change goes a long way.

We are thrilled to support billboard advertising for Nazareth area library’s “touch a truck” event, a family friendly and educational opportunity for kids that is also  a fundraiser for the library. Emmaus needs financial support in marketing their businesses, as does Forks Township and the Foundation is stepping in to help.

Hellertown benefitted from MSLV funds last year to help construct the band-shell at Dimmick Park. This year, they are investing in the restoration of an historic fountain at Authority Park.

Slatington is pursuing the finishing touches on their Memorial Park, established in 2010.

Northampton plans to purchase a gazebo to be their centerpiece for a new park uptown that will be built on a borough vacant lot. We are part of this enhancement and maintenance of recreational assets.

Bangor Heritage Mural number two is in the works – a follow up to the renowned first mural featuring real people and real places. Catasauqua is following in the success of Bangor – with the installation of their own community-driven mural. Pen Argyl is promoting last year’s MSLV project with a film on their Wisdom Walk: an inspiring, painted sidewalk trail through the business district. We are part of learning and being healthy through art.

Macungie created a $50,000 Streetscape Plan several years ago and they are now ready to take it to the next level; but first, they need a re-evaluation of the proposed improvements. Fountain Hill is making updates to a decade old plan for Stanley Avenue recreation area, which will bring the plan from to completion. The chamber is part of this project for which improves quality of life.

We ARE on every Main Street and these projects are our legacy – join us in making Main Street Lehigh Valley great. 

Anne Baum, Capital BlueCross
Chair, The Chamber Foundation

Buddy Lesavoy, Lesavoy Butz & Seitz, LLC, Co Chair

Women Out Working - Presented by Lehigh Carbon Community College

The event will be held on Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 at LCCC's Main Campus in Schnecksville from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  We are looking for female owned and/or operated businesses who are interested in promoting their businesses and networking with students as well as the general public.  

Tables are available, for an "information fair" where businesses can promote their services, meet potential clients, network, etc. There will also be 5 different female speakers sharing their journey as entrepreneurs including a Lunch and Learn free of charge!  Click this link to learn more:

Lehigh Carbon Community College's Business Enterprise Center sponsors an annual Entrepreneurship week from September 16th-19th.  This year, in partnership with Career Development Center September 18th 2013 will showcase the women in business in our area.

If you are interested in registering for a table and would like to attend the day's events including a free Lunch & Learn please fill out the WOW! Registration Form 2013 or call the LCCC Career Development Center at 610-799-1090

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Woodstone Country Club - Member of the Day

Written by Mike Keller, Director of Media Communications & Technology for The Chamber

A little over a week ago I had the chance to golf at Woodstone Country Club in Danielsville, an 18-hole championship golf course with 2 award-winning PGA Professionals and a newly renovated driving range. I received an invitation from Judy Parrey, Woodstone's Director of Sales & Marketing, also letting me know about their Membership Drive. I hadn't been out much at all this season (only twice actually, both times at Bethlehem Muni) so naturally I was a bit anxious and excited to play a long course. Woodstone has 7,091 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72 . The course rating is 75.5 and it has a slope rating of 141 on Bent grass.

It turned out to be a near perfect morning, exactly what I like to consider 'golf weather' - foggy, somewhat cool, dew on the ground and not too much sun in the sky. I went out with my colleague Frank Facchiano and we tried to scramble and 'beat the course.' It actually worked out quite well in the morning; since there was a bit of dew on the greens, we were able to see the lines that our putts took and base the next putt off of that. By the back 9 the sun had come out, the greens picked up speed, and we had to rework our game plan. We ended up hitting 7 over par as we alternated shots throughout the day.

I don't get out nearly as much as I'd like to, but I think I could get used to playing at Woodstone. It was a long and challenging course (for me, at least!) and the food at the Oaks Restuarant afterwards was delicious after a round of golf. I had the burger of the day with mushroom and swiss. Side note- if a place ever has a burger (or soup) of the day, get it. You can probably bet it's delicious.

It’s a great time to join the Woodstone Country Club in nearby Danielsville. The pricing seems very reasonable, and if I had the time I think I'd go for it myself. Through their New Membership Drive they are inviting you to play now but pay no initiation fee and no dues until June 2014! How many tee times can you get in this year?  Go to for more info.

Click here for a quick video about Woodstone.

Growing Your Biz in 2013 - Deadheads

Guest blog from Carol Ritter of

I’ve always wondered where the greatest ideas come from.  What makes an idea work and why do some people have great ideas but somehow they just never leave the ‘great idea’ gate?  

I like to look back on the minimal success of some and the over the top success of others.  It’s always the same, the greatest ideas in the world cannot be great without the TRIBE.  I have worked for some brillant people over the years, watched them manuver through their goals, have plans that are wildly focused but yet sometimes two things were missing;

  1. They have no idea how to gather a TRIBE, in some cases they didn’t even want to
  2. And, they don’t focus on surrounding themselves with and taking care of great people
If you look up the many definitions of  the word TRIBE, you will find they have one thing in common, a TRIBE is a community, a social group with simular values, interests or common bond.  A good example of this are the Dead Heads who were commited to and followed The Grateful Dead’s music in the 70’s.  The Dead Heads were loyal, obsessed and completely committed to following, listening to and, most importantly, spending money on the Grateful Dead.  

All businesses need Dead Heads.  Loyal, obessed and willing to spend dollars on that obsession.  

So, how do you go from having an out of this world product or service with no 
Dead Heads to a business with an out of this world product or service and a TRIBE?  

Building the CLAN or gathering the TRIBE is not a science but takes complete focus and commitment.

Here we go:

Remember this...the founding members of your TRIBE are your employees! If they don’t have the Dead Head passion and loyalty, there will be no TRIBE

  1. Listen to your customers, learn why they love what you do
  2. Create situations where your customers feel valued - ask them for advice
  3. Take care of people - give them something once and in a while, pay attention to               their needs
  4. Just like your plan to improve your product, create a plan for growing your TRIBE
  5. Take the focus off of you and your service and put it on them
  6. Learn everything about what makes your customer tick so you can transfer that       loyalty to new TRIBE members
  7. Don’t ever assume TRIBE members will stay forever, you must nuture them, create new services or products  (or new songs like the Greatful Dead)
  8. Recognize creative people and surround yourself with them (creative people sometimes aren’t great rule followers, so you will have to cope)
  9. Embrace a true entreprenurial spirit, if you are not passionate about what you do how would you expect the gather a TRIBE
  10. Always prioritize, 


Check out my new You Tube page at
          Watch for Carol’s New Website Launch 

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 TER LEADERS. 610-442-4545  Like Carol on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Up Close and Personal with the Blast Furnaces

Written by Lynn Collins Cunningham, VP, Bethlehem Initiatives

Okay. I KNOW that there are a ton of you Bethlehem-ites out there that have contemplated it. There are some that have attempted it….and a few that have even succeeded. As illegal as it is, you've wanted to climb up on the rusted tracks that run the length of the blast furnaces and get a closer look at those massive structures that have been an integral part of our heritage, and for years, our identity. Those tracks actually have a name: The Hoover Mason Trestle.

The Hoover Mason Trestle, named after the two engineers that designed it back in the early 1900’s, was the linchpin to getting the raw materials to the blast furnaces. Before the HMT, the raw iron ore, limestone and coke were physically transferred in vessels to the Stock House where they were stored as needed. To expedite the travel of these raw materials from the Ore Yard to the furnaces, Hoover and Mason were consulted. The result was the trestle and its ability to efficiently accelerate the movement of these resources, transformed Bethlehem Steel into the second largest steel company in the world.

And although it is a little thrilling to do something you’re not supposed to do, (I have a friend who, pre-redevelopment era -  climbed up onto the blast furnaces with a camera and took a shot… posing naked) come late summer of 2014, it will no longer be forbidden to get that closer look. The Redevelopment Authority of the City of Bethlehem and Mayor John Callahan announced in April that the Hoover Mason Trestle will now move people – not product – throughout the SteelStacks/ Beth Works area. From the Sands Casino Resort (the former Ore Yard site) to the Visitor Center (the former Stock House), visitors, tourists, and residents alike will be able to walk the length and get a first-hand look at the furnaces and structures that  churned out iron and steel from the American Civil War to 1995.

This $10.1 million project will be based on the plans and designs of Wallace Roberts and Todd, LLC, who were the master planners for the SteelStacks Campus and the designers of the SteelStacks’ Levitt Pavilion. To ensure that this undertaking will assist with the illumination of our history there was collaborative input from a group of representatives from various Bethlehem Historical organizations. The construction of the trestle will be managed by Boyle Construction Inc., who built the Levitt Pavilion.

The Sands Casino Resort, PBS Channel 39, the ArtsQuest Center, The Stock House Visitor Center all will be connected by the Hoover Mason Trestle giving pedestrians access that previously, only former steelworkers (and a few thrill seeking trespassers) had before: an up close and personal experience with the iconic structures that helped “build America.”                            

By Lynn Collins Cunningham

Monday, September 9, 2013

Growing Your Biz in 2013 - Honey Boo Boo

Guest Blog from Carol Ritter of

I had the pleasure of attending an educational lecture this week, sponsored by King Spry Herman Freund Faul law firm and Lehigh University’s Center for Developing Urban Education.  Dr. Yong Zhao, internationally known scholar, author and speaker presented Valuing Customization and Creativity in Education in an Era of Standardization.  I thought I was going to an educational lecture, but, in fact, I was at a “Grow UR Biz” with the entrepreneurship spirit lecture.

Dr. Zhao began by sharing with the audience the focus of public education on test scores.  He cited that Asian countries have been outscoring the US in math and science for years.  Interestingly, the countries with the higher Program for International Student Assessment or PISA scores lacked the confidence and creativity to express their entrepreneurial capabilities.  “China wants to be like the US, producing entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates and the US wants to be like China with high test scores.” said Dr. Zhao.

I wondered if the job market is out of touch with education or is education out of touch with today’s and tomorrow’s job market. Jobs in the US have changed from the standard farming and  manufacturing to creating services and consulting.

His research shows that a very high percentage of college graduates are not working today and are living in their parent’s basements.  Many because the jobs today don’t match the education they received.

He used the example of Kim Kardashian, what does she do?  What is her talent and how was she prepared for the workforce?  Or maybe Honey Boo Boo, what does she do?  What is her talent?  The thing they both have in common is that they have created value which leads to creating jobs.  Honey’s mom and Kim’s mom share Dr. Zhoa’s non-cognitive factors for entrepreneurial success.  They have confidence, they are risk takers, they have passion, they are creative, they are alert to opportunities, unique, and emphatic.  Do their test scores count? Have their scores brought them success and financial comfort?

Three Qualities the New Business owner must have...
1. Creativity
2. An Entrepreneurial Spirit
3. Globally Competency

Three Qualities not necessary for starting a business
1. High Test Scores
2. High Test Scores
3. High Test Scores

A sign hangs high in the human resources department of Apple.  “If you want to be managed, you’re not employable.”  Think about that.   You can learn more about Dr.  Zhao at

If you want to learn more about Honey Boo Boo, just don’t!

Check out my new You Tube page at Watch for my new website launch coming soon.

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  Like Carol on  Facebook at Caroltalks and CarolCoaches!  Carol S. Ritter, Immediate Past President, National Speakers Association Philadelphia

Tonight on Business Matters - A Special Double Header

Update: View the shows anytime online at

Tonight on Business Matters: A special double header- 

Business News in the Lehigh Valley, September 9, 2013

Good morning, and happy Monday Lehigh Valley!

In local news over the weekend, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski officially announced he will be making a run for Pennsylvania Governor in 2014. Pawlowski pointed to Pennsylvania's stagnant job growth, crumbling infrastructure, and massive cuts in the state's public education system as reasons he's running for Harrisburg.

Bethlehem held its third annual VegFest over the weekend on the South Bethlehem Greenway. This was the first year the festival went entirely vegan, and thousands of hungry vegetable lovers came out to celebrate on Saturday.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network Via Marathon took place this weekend, raising more then $200,000 for children and adults with disabilities. There were 3,538 runners from 37 different states and several countries competing in the race, as this is a qualifier for next year's Boston Marathon.

Tonight on Business Matters: A special double feature with Two special editions of "Business Matters" dealing with Syria. At 7:00, host Tony Iannelli will speak with local members of the Syrian community discussing the current situation. At 7:30, he will interview Sen. Pat Toomey on various issues, including Syria. Tune in and watch WFMZ tonight, and make sure to leave your comments here or on our other social media outlets.

Today’s Member of the Day is Delaware Valley College, who will be holding The 18th Annual DelVal Scholarship Golf Classic on Monday, October 7 at Saucon Valley Country Club.

The Annual Golf Classic is a full day of golf and goodwill, with all fees and sponsorships going directly to college scholarships. Enjoy a round on the Famed Old Course or Grace Course, both ranked in the top 100 courses in the country.

Register online at

Friday, September 6, 2013

Home-Based Business Ideas - Velocity Business Innovators

Guest blog post from Velocity Business Innovators

As technology finds new ways to connect the world, it does not make the entrepreneur's world smaller, but adds an ever-growing layer of business possibilities that were previously unavailable. Because we can now effectively communicate, access information, and broadcast our services from anywhere, we can often conduct business from anywhere, including the privacy of our own homes. The idea of a home office is no longer limited to a desk and a chair, but can actually serve as the primary location of a successful, reputable business.

Below are some home-based business ideas that can thrive in the digital age.

Consultants take many forms and can create quite lucrative businesses for themselves. Although the idea of the consultant is not new, the way they market themselves via the Internet makes it possible for them to have high visibility in the business community without a commercial location.

Editorial Services
Content is becoming the driving force behind the success of many companies, which means they need professional word wizards to create and edit quality material. Working on freelance or contractual terms can allow an organized individual to serve multiple clients at a time.

Event Planner
Those who can listen effectively to someone's wants and needs and turn them into reality can find success as event planners. Weddings, business meetings, conventions, and similar events require a great deal of planning and an eye for detail, and many businesses and individuals do not have the time or know-how to make it all happen.

Graphic Designer
Because the nature of graphic design revolves around digital designing and editing software, such as Photoshop, a graphic designer can reasonably conduct all business from a home computer.

Certified accountants can branch out on their own and set up a home-based accounting service. Many find success in a consulting role for businesses, setting up their books and offering financial advice. Those who specialize in tax preparation enjoy a nice boost during tax season from professional and personal clients.

Online Retailer
With e-commerce, the future is here. People with a knack for selling and the space to store inventory can sell their products to anyone in the world and accept payment right over the computer.

Private Teacher
If there is a skill worth knowing, odds are people are willing to pay to learn it. With little overhead and start-up costs, experts can share their knowledge through private lessons in their own or their clients' homes.

IT Specialist
Those with exceptional computer knowledge can find success as independent IT specialists, either out of their homes or making on-site visits.

Virtual Assistant
The popularity of virtual assistants grows daily, so those who are computer savvy, with strong communication and administrative skills, can market themselves through many reputable online directories and find a steady stream of incoming work.

Like any business, a home-based business comes with a level of risk and requires strategic planning and preparation. For pointers, read Things to Consider When Starting a Home-Based Business

Guest blog post from Velocity Business Innovators

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Member of the Day - Marianna's Restaurant and Banquet Center, Phillipsburg

Today's Member of the Day is Marianna's Restaurant & Banquet Center in Phillipsburg, New Jersey!

Marianna's will be hosting a bridal show at their Banquet Center on Tuesday, September 24th.  It will be free to enter and will showcase their food, Sangria Bar, and Chocolate Fountain!

They have even invited one vendor in each "wedding tool" area to come and set up. They have reached out to fellow Warren County businesses and have everything you need right here in Warren County! There will be a DJ from Washington, a Photo booth vendor from Washington, a Florist from Phillipsburg, a favor designer from Phillipsburg, and other local merchants.

Marianna's specializes in hand-crafted, made-to-order, authentic Italian cuisine, taking pride in using only the freshest ingredients. "At Marianna's, you can enjoy the peace of mind and confidence that our commitment to excellence in food and service will guarantee the success of your event."

Their beautiful new Banquet Center allows them to showcase their fresh, authentic food and dedicated service staff for your next event.