Monday, December 29, 2014

Business Matters- Allentown Revitalization: Opportunities & Challenges

Tune in tonight at 7:30 for Business Matters on WFMZ! Tonight's episode is titled "Allentown Revitalization: Opportunities and Challenges." 

This episode will feature: 

Mike Schlossberg - PA Representative (D-132) 
Ed Pawlowski - Mayor of Allentown 
Latisha Keels - The Hamilton Kitchen 
Ce-Ce Gerlach - Allentown School Board 
Christiana Dominguez - Neighborhood Partnership Program

Don't forget to share your thoughts on Twitter using #BusinessMattersTV! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Post-Christmas Recycling Ideas

During and after the holidays, trash and waste disposal increases 25% in the United States, creating billions of pounds of waste in the landfills.  

Are you looking for some tips to not be a part of the waste stream this season? A more environmentally responsible Post-Christmas lifestyle can save you money. 

Back to Nature.  Trees can, and should be, mulched.  Check with your local city or county to find out whether they do curbside pickup or where to find your closest drop- off location. 

Consider the Lifecycle of Electronic Gifts.  The Recycled Video Games Network is a great resource for buying recycled games and systems for less, and reducing the amount of new materials used in the process. . Also see sites such as the below for Tech Recycling suggestions:

Recycle and Reuse Packaging From Gifts.  To reduce environmental impacts, recycle all cardboard packaging and peanuts or other packing material that comes with gifts or purchases, as these items will not decompose in a landfill.  Most can be used over and over again for packaging and shipping.

Recycling your Holiday Decorations.  Consider if someone else may appreciate them. Donate them to a thrift store like the Salvation Army or other organizations if they are in acceptable condition. Your old Christmas lights can be recycled at  

Wrapping Accessories: Re-use ribbons, bows, gift bags, and boxes whenever you can. 

Now – don’t we all feel better? 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

EBC is Hiring!

Part Time: Retail Associate
Express Business Center is looking for an associate to work on the retail side of its operations related to Pack, Ship, Copy, Notary and Signs.
Experience in this type of business environment is a plus
Strong computer skills preferred with excellent customer service relations
We are looking for a reliable and flexible person with a long term commitment
Retail store hours are Monday – Friday 8am to 6pmSaturday 9-3
               Part-time schedule: during business hours approx 20 hours per week
Please email your resume to

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Member News: Bohler Engineering

Bohler Engineering has announced the opening of its newest office in Manhattan, NY.  Located directly across from Penn Station, the new office will strengthen the firm’s New York City Permitting Division. This move provides an opportunity for Bohler to expand its permitting services and better serve the firm’s existing clients within the City.

Joseph Deal, PE, Principal of Bohler’s New York Metro operations, and Tom Tabone, Director of Permitting, will lead the new office.  Having worked in the five boroughs for over three decades, Tabone’s team will continue to work closely with all New York City regulatory agencies and departments to expedite the process of securing approvals and permits.

In addition to news of the new office location, Bohler announced that its Permitting Division has expanded its building code and fire department consulting services.  Additional licensed and professional experts have joined their team, enabling Bohler to provide enhanced building code, zoning and drawing reviews. “New York City is unlike any other place in the world and development here is no exception,” said Tabone.  “The accessibility of a Manhattan location coupled with our bolstered menu of services will allow our team to provide full service permitting solutions in the heart of the City.”

On opening an office in the East Coast’s largest city, Deal said, “Our team has worked in the five boroughs for years and we’ve built a solid foundation here.  A local presence with expanded permitting and civil engineering consulting services will enable our team to meet the growing demands of our clients.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Member News: Butz Family of Companies

Butz Family of Companies earns spot on ENR’s Top Contractors in General Building list

Allentown, PA, November 17, 2014 . . . The Butz Family of Companies, consisting of Alexander Building Construction Co., Alvin H. Butz, Inc., and Shoemaker Construction Co., earned a spot on Engineering News-Record’s (ENR) 2014 Top 400 Sourcebook list of the Top Contractors in General Building for their work on sports-related construction projects.  They placed sixth on the list.

The construction management entity also ranked #209 on ENR’s list of the Top 400 Contractors and #84 on the Top 100 Construction Management-at-Risk Firms in 2014.

“In addition to our expertise in the education, healthcare, parking garages and corporate office markets, this ranking demonstrates we can effectively translate construction management experience and knowledge across a multitude of fields including the sports industry,” says Greg L. Butz, President and CEO of the Butz Family of Companies. 

ENR uses construction revenue from the previous year as its primary grading criteria, making this list a showcase of only the best and most sought-after construction management firms.  The Butz Family of Companies earned their spot on this list primarily due to their work on the new PPL Center in Allentown, PA and PNC Field in Moosic, PA.

The Butz family has a long, successful tradition of building in the Lehigh Valley that dates back to the mid-1800s.  Alvin H. Butz, Inc. has been continuously owned and operated in the Lehigh Valley by the Butz family, with the 6th generation in line to preserve the tradition and reputation of the organization.  Butz pioneered the Construction Management concept in the Lehigh Valley in 1973. 

In 2003, two new construction management companies, Alexander Building Construction Co. and Shoemaker Construction Co., were formed and together as The Butz Family of Companies, they provide construction management services in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware and Maryland. 


ABOUT THE BUTZ FAMILY OF COMPANIES:  The Butz Family of Companies, consisting of Alexander Building Construction Co., Alvin H. Butz, Inc. and Shoemaker Construction Co., provides exceptional, comprehensive construction management and design/build services, led by a strong commitment to complete customer satisfaction with special attention to safety, quality and value.  The firm possesses significant experience in the construction of healthcare facilities, colleges/universities, corporate office buildings, manufacturing facilities, sports and entertainment venues, government buildings, K-12 schools and retail buildings serving Pennsylvania, New Jersey and northern Delaware.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Guest Blog: Klunk & Millan

A Different Perspective on Data: Implications on Marketing

Laura Kaufmann
Marketing Data Analyst
Klunk & Millan Advertising

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology allows businesses to engage with data on a map in order to conduct more thorough analyses to better understand customer profiles, competitors, and existing and/or potential markets. These insights ultimately aid in identifying responsive consumer segments and determining the most cost- effective marketing plan. 

How It Works
GIS allows users to operate at any scale, from single neighborhoods to the entire globe, making it a useful analysis tool for any sized business. GIS can reveal more thorough and nuanced business trends than a dashboard full of one or two variable charts and graphs.

Over the last 20 years, businesses and industries have seen an exponential growth in digital resources, including the storage and transmission of large data sets. Even moderately sized businesses can afford to implement off-the-shelf customer relationship management (CRM) software, which documents not just sales but customer details and contact records as well. All CRMs frequently record geographic information, including IP locations, customer addresses, or address parts (e.g., zip codes). 

A company’s CRM system is the first and most valuable data repository, but it is not the only one available. Many government agencies and international organizations publish open-source data, which is freely available to any organization. A national census can provide essential information regarding demographic patterns, while World Bank data can speak to the distribution of wealth across a region. If the necessary data sets aren’t freely available, there are many research and aggregation firms that can pull data for a nominal fee. 

It is possible to combine the data sources, both open-source and client-owned, to identify the most responsive consumer segments—who they are, where they live, what they are looking for, and how businesses can best connect with them. These insights are then applied across all marketing tactics.

Customer-Focused Communications: Whether crafting a feature article or designing a billboard, understanding key demographics, including gender proportions or ethnic distributions, grab the attention of target audiences who are more likely to make purchases or engage positively with your services.

Media: By understanding where your audiences live, work, and travel, you can intelligently select the best media placements for each unique client we serve. 

Web: A company’s website is an essential tool for corporate branding, thought leadership, and customer service. Leverage every available resource to ensure that each site functions at peak performance. Customer insights and internal diagnostics provide valuable insight to make navigational recommendations that result in best-in-class user experience.

To learn more on how GIS can benefit your business, register for a free 1-hour webinar here

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

PHONE CALL ALERT: Copier Toner Scam

Several customers in and around the Lehigh Valley have reported receiving suspicious phone calls recently. Area businesses are being told that toner cost for their office equipment is expected to skyrocket. Callers then inform the representative on the phone that they can provide a large quantity of toner at a reduced price, but only if they agree to buy immediately. This is a high-pressure sale tactic and the caller makes it appear as though they are a current office equipment or supply provider. They often know which equipment manufacturer and models are located in an office based on prior phone calls.

The reality here is that the "bargain" toner offered in this scam is typically several times more expensive than retail price. In addition, many local businesses have service agreements in place that include toner for their office equipment. Unfortunately, once the local phone representative agrees to receive an order, there seem to be few opportunities to avoid the hefty bill.
The best approach to prevent becoming a victim of this toner scam is to make sure that all representatives answering the phone at your business are prepared for a call of this type. If an all-inclusive service contract is in place, then they should understand that the organization does not pay for toner. At the very least, have them transfer calls of this nature to the person in your organization responsible for purchasing/procurement, as they will be most knowledgeable about acquisition. If an order is accidentally agreed to, then be sure to make note of shipper information and refuse the package at delivery. From what we understand, it can be very difficult to arrange a return - and avoid the associated invoice - once a package has been accepted.
Should you receive a questionable phone call, there is a simple way to verify that the caller is affiliated with your current service provider. Simply tell the caller that you have the phone number of your local provider on your machine, on your phone list, etc. and that you will give them a call back. In our experience, this tactic elicits a quick disconnect.
It is unfortunate that we have to write about a topic like this, but we want local businesses to be aware and to be prepared. We always encourage our customers to contact us if they have any questions about their office equipment as well as the associated supplies and service. As Mom always said, "Better to be safe, than sorry."

ISP Office Solutions

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Member News: Promotions Announced at L.R. Costanzo Co., Inc

               In keeping with the company’s commitment to continue building the finest construction-services company while fostering long-term, solid relationships with both clients and team members, Vice President of Operations Matthew D. Michalek proudly announces the following promotions and new hires. 

Louis E. Costanzo, Clarks Summit, has been promoted to President.  As a fourth generation Costanzo, Louis E. symbolizes the passion and knowledge of L.R. Costanzo’s traditional core values set forth by his predecessors. 

Louis E. holds a Master of Business Administration from Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management, Ithaca, New York and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. He currently sits as Vice Chairman of the Lackawanna County Redevelopment Authority and board member of the Lackawanna Industrial Fund Enterprise (LIFE).  He is a past board member of the Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO), United Way of Lackawanna County, and the Lackawanna County Work Force Investment Board. He is also a past founding member of Marley’s Mission.

Having grown up in his great-grandfather’s company, Louis worked summers throughout his high school and college years.  He has worked in virtually every area of the firm, most recently serving as its Vice President.  Louis’ vision for the future is to continue to grow L.R. Costanzo’s existing relationships with local and regional clients, cultivate new affiliations, and steadily expand its newer operations in New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley.  

Nicholas Costanzo, Clarks Summit, has been named Vice President.  A fourth generation Costanzo, Nicholas has been involved in the family business since he was a young man.  He most recently served as an Estimator.  Nicholas’ strong business background and dedicated work ethic found within the Costanzo family has equipped him well for this new position. 

Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Languages/Business and Philosophy from the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA and is pursuing his Master of Business degree. He has spent time studying abroad in Florence, Italy and Guadalajara, Mexico.  Currently, Nicholas serves on the United Way Allocations committee and is a graduate of Scranton Chamber of Commerce program, Leadership Lackawanna.

Monday, November 3, 2014

From Constellation: Why the Most Valuable Customer Feedback Isn’t What You Want to Hear

Check out this great article from Constellation about identifying unhappy customers and listening to their feedback.

"ow do you find success? Focus on identifying your unhappy customers because they hold the key to your success. Understanding their issues and turning their experience around will build trust and loyalty."

You can find the full article HERE

Business Matters 10/3

Be sure to tune in tonight to Business Matters on WFMZ at 7:30! 

Tonight's episode: "Your high school, your challenges!"

This program will feature four guests, weighing in on tough questions!

Charlie Thiel, Allentown School BoardRich Sniscak, Parkland SuperintendentJoanne Barnett, PA Virtual Charter SchoolJoanne Egan Bauer, Retired Bethlehem Teacher

Tweet along with us using #BusinessMattersTV and share your thoughts!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Member News: St. Luke's School of Nursing Celebrates 130 Years!

Congratulations to the St. Luke's School of Nursing for celebrating 130 years of Excellence in Nursing Education! Today, St. Luke’s School of Nursing is the oldest nursing school in the United States.The Alumni Association held its 130th Homecoming in mid-October and honored seventeen 50th Anniversary graduates attending the event!

To learn more, visit their website:


Friday, October 24, 2014

Feinberg Real Estate Advisors- Global Award for Excellence

Congratulations to Gregg Feinberg of Feinberg Real Estate Advisors! Gregg served as the principal consultant and project manager for the SteelStacks project that has won the Urban Land Institute's Global Award for Excellence! 

SteelStacks, the arts and cultural campus located on the site of Bethlehem's former Bethlehem Steel plant, has been honored with an Urban Land Institute (ULI) Global Award for Excellence for its role in helping to redevelop one of the largest Brownfields in the nation.  The award was presented to Bethlehem Redevelopment Authority Executive Director Tony Hanna and ArtsQuest President Jeff Parks during ULI's Fall Meeting in New York City Oct. 22.

SteelStacks was among the 13 real estate developments from around the world selected as winners in the 2014 ULI Global Awards for Excellence competition, widely recognized as the land use industry's most prestigious recognition program.  The winners included six projects in North America, four in Europe and three in Asia.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Business Matters- Regulating the Minimum Wage

Tune in to WFMZ tonight at 7:30 for Business Matters! Tonight's episode will be titled "Should the Government Regulate Minimum Wage?" Use the Hashtag #BusinessMattersTV to follow along and give us your opinions!

Featured Guests: 

Wendell Young, UFCW Local 1776
Thomas Sestak
Amy Dech
Katrina Anderson, PA Commonwealth Foundation
Joe Ruffino, Biaggio Pizzeria & Family Restaurant

Monday, October 6, 2014

Business Matters 10/6

Racial Profiling vs. Justice Served

Kim Sharif
Daylin Leach
Joe Hilliard

Ron Angle

Special Guest – Retired Police Officer, Timothy Brooks
Special Guest – Brian Anthony

Don’t forget to watch Business Matters with Tony Iannelli tonight at 7:30 pm!! We are debating racial profiling and the justice system behind it.

Is this a race issue or a human issue? Should police training change? Are we looking too much into the past? We want to hear your thoughts! Use the hashtag #BusinessMattersTV

Monday, September 29, 2014

Member of the Day- Eastern Surfaces Counters for a Cause

Our Member of the Day is Eastern Surfaces! Check out their Counters for a Cause event this Saturday, October 4th! 

Business Matters- Is ISIS a US Crisis?

TITLE: Is ISIS a US Crisis? 
Ziad Munson, Lehigh University
Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Brooks, PA Army National Guard
AJ ElChaar, Chaar
Ryan Tack-Hooper, Council on American-Islamic Relations | Philadelphia 
Special guest ~ Sandra Soliman, The Chamber

Tune-in to Business Matters TONIGHT at 7:30 p.m. on WFMZ with host Tony Iannelli to hear from our expert guests on their thoughts on the ISIS crisis and how America should respond. Don’t miss it! What are the reasons for ISIS’ success? Is ISIS a greater threat to the Middle East to the West than al-Qaeda? How aggressive should America be in terms of our response to ISIS?

Friday, September 26, 2014

Member of the Day- CMorganelli Designs

Our member of the day is CMorganelli Designs, a Lehigh Valley Web Agency! 

 Web Strategy & Usability Consulting 
 Web Design & Development 
 Web Marketing (SEO & SMM)
 Mobile Application Design & Development
 Corporate Branding & Print 

Contact us and we will get back to you within one business day! 
This will not be your typical client-agency relationship!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Phillipsburg Area Chamber of Commerce- Letter from the President

Robert Pruznick, The Arc – Warren County Chapter
Phillipsburg Area Chamber Chair
908-689-7525 •

Tempus fugit - time flies.  The first leg of my two year term as chairman of the Phillipsburg Area Council is ending in what feels like a blink of an eye.  My enthusiasm for this leadership exercise has only increased over the last twelve months.  There is so much productive energy and optimism evident throughout the entire organization - from our resurgent downtown to the exciting economic dynamism of the Greater Lehigh Valley.

I leave our council board meetings and the monthly gatherings of the Board of Governors inspired by a sense of accomplishment.  On both levels we have recruited a very dedicated, competent and charismatic group of volunteers who are very well complemented by talented and driven professionals. Together we have produced a sophisticated agenda of informative and convivial networking events that not only address the business needs of our members and but which also enrich the fabric of our communities.

So I look forward to another year of spirited collaboration in the name of prosperity!   

P.S. I’m thrilled to see the construction progress on the Route 22 Bridge.   The green paint matches the “Free Bridge” nicely. And hopefully the traffic bottleneck will soon be eliminated.  

Health Insurance Outlook

Benjamin Faesel, Capital BlueCross
Senior Manager, Healthcare Reform

Capital BlueCross, St. Luke’s University Health Network bring Accountable Care Arrangement to the Lehigh Valley

Since the inception of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, Capital BlueCross has worked diligently on behalf of its customers and the community to implement the many provisions that seek to improve access to healthcare and reduce health care costs. One way the ACA works to enhance access and lower costs is by encouraging healthcare providers and health insurers to collaborate together in Accountable Care Arrangements.

Capital BlueCross has implemented a number of Accountable Care Arrangements throughout central Pennsylvania, and recently announced its first one in the Lehigh Valley, with St. Luke’s University Health Network. Under this model, Capital BlueCross is partnering with St. Luke’s Physician Group primary care and specialist physician practices to provide dedicated nursing resources and technology to deliver patient-centered, holistic care. St Luke’s Physician Group is a network of physician practices affiliated with St. Luke’s University Health Network.

Through an Accountable Care Arrangement, customers with complex and chronic medical conditions or those at risk for such a medical condition will be identified for outreach, education, and clinical, wellness, or community-based intervention services through the use of chronic disease registries, St. Luke’s Physician Group’s electronic medical record system, and Capital BlueCross’ technology-enabled predictive modeling tool. The partnership also will identify customers who are eligible, but have not received, preventive services appropriate for their age and medical condition.

Capital BlueCross and St. Luke’s University Health Network recently issued comments about their new Accountable Care Arrangement in a press release:

“St. Luke’s University Health Network is committed to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life of the people living in our community,” said Dean Evans, President, St. Luke’s Physician Group. “We look forward to working with Capital  BlueCross and business leaders to deliver high quality outcomes to patients in a cost-effective, efficient, and measurable manner.” 

“Capital BlueCross is excited to partner with St. Luke’s, which has a strong reputation of delivering quality care to the Lehigh Valley community,” said Dr. Jennifer Chambers, Capital BlueCross Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “We have had great success coordinating Accountable Care Arrangements, and look forward to providing this high level of care to our customers through the St. Luke’s network.”

Tom Croyle, President of the Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare, also praised the effort, saying, “Employers support efforts to move from a healthcare system paid on volume of services performed to one that’s rewarded for value. This requires serious discussions about changing not just business models and how we pay for health care, but the culture of clinical practices and measures. The Coalition applauds two trusted partners, St. Luke’s and Capital BlueCross, for the approach they have taken and appreciate the opportunity for Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare’s input into the process.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Economic Outlook

Kamran Afshar, Ph.D., Chamber Economist 
The Chamber’s Finance Committee
610-691-3272 •

Local businesses are planning to hire a lot more people in the next 6 months

The Kamran Afshar - Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce survey of Lehigh Valley businesses is done on a quarterly basis and collects about one thousand observations per year. The Employment and Purchasing Index for the Lehigh Valley highlights the results of these surveys. 

In July 2014, we conducted our 59th survey of this series which recorded continued cautious optimism in the local economy. 

Who do we survey? We survey businesses large and small and in a variety of different lines of business; around a third of our respondents are businesses with less than 6 employees. Half of the respondents have between 6 and 50 employees, and a quarter of our them have more than 50 employees.

The average business participating in the survey hired 0.7 new employees in the last 6 months. Local businesses have also raised their hiring levels from around 0.4 employees, which prevailed between 2012 and 2013, to 0.7 employees as of July 2014. 

When it comes to how many people you are planning to hire in the next 6 months, the picture improves even further. The average participant in the survey is planning to hire 1.1 new employees in the next 6 months. This is a significant increase and promises higher employment levels for the 2014 and 2015, which makes the outlook  positive. Something we haven’t seen since 2007.

The largest gain in July was in the index of plans for future expenditures, this index soared by 12.5% over its April level. This is the third highest level for this index since the 2007.

Participants’ expectations of the future rose by a strong 10.9%, while their assessment of the past recorded a slight drop in July.

Based on the data over the last 12 months we expect the Valley’s economy to show moderate growth over the next 6 months. Companies with 21 to 50 employees will lead the growth, expanding at a higher rate than others, and employment to show significant increases over the next 6 months.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Genealogy Project for PBS Philadelphia

Do you have a unique story, question or interesting lore you want verified about your family history?

Are you related to a famous or infamous historical figure?

What have you heard? What do you want to know? What would uncovering this information mean to you, your family, your community, the Country?

Genealogy Roadshow is a detective story mixed with an emotional journey. This unique show combines history and science to uncover diverse, historical stories of the American experience.

Looking for Philadelphia residents (or within a 200 mile radius, must be willing to travel to Philadelphia for the shoot) with fascinating stories to explore and share their family’s history.

Our team of experts will reveal the cultural tapestry of the Philadelphia region. DNA experts use heirlooms, letters, pictures and historical documents to piece together clues of the past to unearth family and community secrets revealed on camera before a local audience.

The deadline for casting for the Philadelphia episode has been extended to the end of this month. So if you would like to submit your story, visit our website here:­roadshow/

This is a quick turnaround as we will probably be shooting in the beginning of October!

Growing UR Biz in 2014 - Three Wishes

Once a year, I go with one of my former clients to NYC.  The trip is well planned and always includes a Broadway show.  We arrived in NYC at 10am and off we went to explore this crowded, crazy, charismatic town.  The hide & seek vendors were on the streets.  I didn’t buy a thing, instead decided to explore the side streets.  I remember hearing from friends, ‘you must eat at Sardi’s, it’s where the stars eat.’  I just happened to run into it and walked in the door.  The service was impeccable, the food was delicious and the bathrooms were spotless.  (a lot of businesses don’t value a spotless bathroom, but your cusotmers do)  After this wonderful, restaurant experience, we head to the show - ALADDIN!  Yes, there was a magic carpet ride! Yes, the special effects were beyond amazing and the music... well, it was Broadway!  It was toe-tappin’ and kept you on the edge of your seat.  You may know the story.  Aladdin, a poor street rat, came to meet the princess Jasmine, who was disquised as a street person and the love story began.  The palace gatekeepers were horrified at the thought of the princess not marrying royalty and the plotting began.  Aladdin ends up in a cave and finds the MAGIC LAMP.  He rubs it and the Genie appears and what a Genie he was!  He grants Aladdin three wishes.  One, he wants to be a prince so he can marry Jasmine.  The second wish is that he could be freed from the chains that held him and he makes a promise that the third wish will set the genie free from the lamp.  

What are your three wishes?  If you could have anything you wanted for your business what would it be?  The first thought might be tons of customers and tons of money, but does that truly measure success?

If I had three wishes for my biz it might be - to provide extraordinary service to my clients, to be able to help people achieve their goals and, third, to have a reputation that sings integrity, trust and delivery.  

Wishin’ and hopin’ are not the way to implement change in your business, however there is nothing wrong with dreamin’.  If your wishes come true, you may have tons of loyal customers and the revenue that follows.  If not, might want to look for a MAGIC LAMP in a cave somewhere!

Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer 610-442-4545


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

Member of the Day- Forge3!

Our Member of the Day is Forge3!

Feeling behind and wondering how to leverage the web, social media and mobile apps? This is the event for you! #ForgeAhead2014 is being hosted by Forge3 on October 22, 2014 in Bethlehem, PA. Registration is now open (early bird pricing ends soon)!

You can check out more information about their event below!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Young Professionals Council- Letter from the President

Bret Ludlow, Liquid Interactive
Chair, Young Professionals Council
484-397-4179 •

The YPC’s Downtown Allentown Arena Tour

Summer will officially come to an end this month and the YPC is sending it out with a bang.  

On September 18, we will host our third event in the ‘Sneak Peek at the Revitalization of Downtown Allentown’ series. This time we’ve lined up a behind the scenes tour of the new PPL Center in the heart of the city. This tour is taking place even before the Phantoms begin preseason play so for most people it will be an exclusive first look at the exciting project. 

In our first ‘Sneak Peek’ event, city developers discussed plans, blueprints and renderings as most projects were still in the planning stage. In our second ‘Sneak Peek’ event we took attendees on a behind the scenes tour of National Penn’s new headquarters before construction was completed and talked in detail about other projects like the LVHN facility at One City Center. This third event is sure to but just as exciting. 

As the largest young professional organization in the Lehigh Valley, we are dedicated to the revitalization of Allentown as a great place for people of all ages to live work and play. 

Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or The Chamber’s website for more information about the event and stay tuned for much more from the YPC in coming months.

Growing UR Biz in 2014 - JAW DROPPING

Good Morning,  America!  I put the show on last week while I was getting ready for work and I hear, “Jaw Dropping Story after the break.”  I’m in!  I hurried to get back to the TV before the news broke.  I sat down, got comfy and listened with anticipation.  FIRST MAN TO JUMP INTO A LIVE VOLCANO.  I thought it must be Evil Knivel or Las Vegas Magician Criss Angel.  Then I thought who would be that crazy to jump into a hot volcano.  Still, it had my interest, looking for the jump, watching for the big moment.  Well, what really happened is he dressed up in a fire resistant suit and walked into the volcano not into the lava.  On the internet it states, ‘man jumps inside active erupting volcano.”  “Man dives into volcano.” My point is, yes, it was dangerous and, yes, it was the first time this every happened and, yes, he managed to take one of the coolest selfies ever but was it jaw-dropping and did he jump?  Not really!

Is your business “JAW DROPPING”?  Are you the first business to try something new? Are you ready to jump into a jaw-dropping marketing plan?  Or are you coasting - hopefully someone will buy today, hopefully I will make money - hopefully I provide awesome customer service.  And, even more, hopefully I have a Jaw-Dropping Marketing Plan......or do I?

Jaw Dropping Marketing Plan 101

1. Do it and budget dollars for it!

2. You may have to jump or dive or stand by a live volcano on occasion

3. Marketing cannot be an afterthought, there are few businesses that just take off upon opening their doors

4. And, even if you did take off like that, you can take all the selfies in the world but DON’T EVER REST ON YOU LAURELS because there is always a competitor right behind you on the way down to the hot lava volcano.

You may never be JAW-DROPPING, but you can be successful, productive and have a “HOT LAVA” reputation, just DO IT!

Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer 610-442-4545


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

Friday, September 12, 2014

East Penn Chamber of Commerce- Letter from the President

East Penn Chamber of Commerce
Letter from the President

Kate Hart Zayaitz, National Penn Bank
East Penn Chamber Chair
610-861-5029 •

Hopefully you have enjoyed summer - relaxing, reflecting, and recharging for the upcoming fall.  Every summer, the East Penn Chamber holds its annual strategic planning meeting.  We use this time to reflect on the past year and plan for the upcoming year.  Our Board wants to keep our focus on engagement.  We want to be engaged with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber, engaged with our community, and engaged with our business owners.  We will strive to continue with our local public policy efforts, as we believe we are the voice to speak for the interests of our local businesses.

If you would like to become more involved with the East Penn area, please reach out to me directly at 610-861-5029.  I would be happy to hear from you with any ideas!

Be sure to join us as we kick off our monthly lunch programs on September 17 at the Lower Macungie Library.  Our fall lineup of programs will be excellent, including a few tours of our local businesses.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Speed Coaching Lehigh Valley, PA

The Rising Tide Community Loan Fund invites you to attend the upcoming “Lehigh Valley Speed Coaching Event” hosted by the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program in conjunction with microlender Accion.

When: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 from 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM (EST)
Where: The Boston Beer Company at 7880 Penn Drive, Breinigsville, PA 18031 
What: The event will give participants the opportunity to engage in 20-minute workshop sessions with experts in their respective fields, ranging among the food, beverage and hospitality industries and beyond, all free of cost!

This annual opportunity is be open to any and all local small business owners and entrepreneurs and will provide attendees with ample networking opportunitiesas well as the chance to expand their knowledge of:

  • Marketing & PR
  • E-Commerce
  • Packaging
  • Food Sourcing
  • Sales and Distribution
  • Accounting and Financing... and more!
To register, click HERE.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Emmaus Main Street Partners

Jeff McElhaney, Edward Jones - Emmaus
Emmaus Main Street Partners President
610-965-9734 •

Emmaus is a wonderful place! As we plan many events and projects ahead, we find a renewed sense of energy within our organization. The Emmaus Main Street Partners (EMSP) was started in 1995 with a focus on revitalizing the Emmaus historic downtown.  This goal remains, but with an enhanced vision to strengthen the economic vitality of the entire town.  This can only be accomplished through a unified effort among business and community members.

We appreciate the generous support we’ve received from our members.  As we move forward, I ask that we unite even more as a community to support the EMSP, a program that brings life and prosperity to Emmaus through grants,  committee work and events. If you are a GLVCC member you are also a member of Emmaus Main Street Partners. Unite with us to revitalize Emmaus and create more economic opportunity.  Our mission, along with relationships we build and the value added from our enhanced membership benefits, are a compelling reason to align with the EMSP!

Thank you to The Chamber Foundation for its generous grant of $2,000 that was awarded to support our marketing efforts.

Upcoming events include Farewell to Summer Festival to be held throughout downtown Emmaus on Saturday, September 13. The EMSP Beer Truck will be at Emmaus Community Park for the Emmaus Special Entertainment Commission’s Bluegrass Festival, Saturday, September 27. For these and upcoming events, visit

Thank you all for your support and let’s make the coming months the best of the year!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Growing UR Biz in 2014- Get Social

Is social media really social?  I took my mom to breakfast this week and as I was walking into the restaurant I noticed a picture album on a shelf.  The album had a note on it that indicated that the album was found in a nearby street.  There was a picture of 8 adults on the outside cover.   The note asked that if you knew anyone in this picture to let the restaurant know and it would be returned to the owner.  I took a double take!  I knew one of the men pictured on the cover of the book.... I graduated with him and he lives in Florida now.  I didn’t have his phone number so I jumped on Facebook, found him and sent Pete a private message.  I told him the story and he immediately said, “That’s my uncle’s book, I’ll call him and tell him where he can pick it up.”   All is well, he got the book back the same day and Facebook saved the day.  

So many people say to me with rightous indignation, “I’m not on Facebook, I hate Twitter and I don’t even know what Instagram is!!”  I used to think that way, too,  UNTIL SOMEONE INVITED ME TO A FACEBOOK CLASS.  Curiosity got the best of me and I went.  After learning how social media can ‘Grow ur Biz’ and also help you connect with people you would never have the time to find, I was hooked. In this case, it served as a conduit for a very good deed, the return of a treasured photo album.  And, if you don’t believe all of this,  ALS just raised millions of dollars with people all over the country dumping ice water on their heads - genius idea!  Facebook was the conduit. 

Facebook Facts: 

*30 million businesses now have a Facebook Fan page.

*1.5 million businesses now spend money on Facebook ads.

*Facebook users bought $234 million dollars worth of goods and gifts in just the last quarter. 

Ritter’s on Twitter, growing my audience one tweet at a time.  Why?  Because I want to grow my biz and the biz of my clients.  

You also could join Facebook or Twitter just for the news, fun, nosiness or if you just want to see what your kids or family are doing.  

Twitter Boot Camp coming up on October 23, 2014 8:30-9:30 am at the Bethlehem Campus of East Stroudsburg University on Broad Street. Be There Be Square, sponsored by Nazareth Business Council. Call Laurel 610-216-5343.

There is social in social media, just ask Peter!

Carol S. Ritter, Motivational Speaker Results Only Business Coach & Featured Writer 610-442-4545


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