Friday, September 29, 2017

End of summer signals increased energy demands for manufacturers

Scott Palochik, Enterprise Systems Partners, Manufacturing Council Vice Chair

It is sad to write the words that summer is over. Not too sad though knowing that football, hockey and basketball seasons all restart, as well as the holidays rapidly approaching. The end of summer also gives way to colder temperatures and more inclement weather. For manufacturers, this signals an increase in the energy demands in most cases. As energy consumption from 2000-2010 increased 28% and worldwide industrial energy consumption is expected to increase by approximately 50% from 191 quadrillion Btu in 2008 to 288 quadrillion Btu in 2035, manufacturers need to develop an energy-management culture.

More and more production facilities rely heavily on automated equipment and processes requiring equipment to follow strict scheduling and routines, with few changes to accommodate different parts or products. Organizations are looking now at how automation is assuming a new critical role in improving operations influencing not only safety and OEE (quality, yield, and uptime) but energy consumption as well. Manufacturers are investing in systems that provide answers to questions like; When and why did a machine exceed typical energy draw? Why did an equipment changeover cause start-up surges? Why did a component change extend the production cycle into a peak-draw period?

Join us for the 14th Manufacturing Summit on October 11, 2017, at the Bethlehem ArtsQuest Center from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm as we discuss this issue and the economic impact it has on manufacturers. Learn from Industry experts about industrial technologies, such as variable-frequency drives (VFD) VFDs, as an alternative to fixed-speed controllers and throttling devices, improve operating performance, control capability, and provide measurable energy savings. Hear from our manufacturing panel about equipment installed and programs they have taken advantage of to provide significant savings and ROI.

If you have any topic suggestions, questions or to be added to the e-mail list please contact Scott Palochik – for more information.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Chamber of Commerce ~ A Chamber of Communities

Lori Richardson, Haven House, Nonprofit & Business Partners Council Chair

‘A Chamber of Commerce ~ A Chamber of Communities.’ This was a theme that resonated throughout the recent new member orientation for the Board of Governors for our Chamber. These communities are not just geographic boundaries but communities of people who are all striving for economic growth, opportunities and improved quality of life.

One of the things I walked away with was a reaffirming belief that every individual can benefit our community and their organization if they get involved and participate. We have developed Affinity Groups in the areas of Arts, Education, Health and Human Services, Environment and Funders to allow more opportunities for more people to engage on a deeper level with the work of this Council. Each group determines their focus area to bring more awareness and support to their sector.

We have working committees that welcome new participants with skills or interest in; Membership, Marketing, Sponsorship, and Public Policy. These committees will ensure that the programs we are presenting have the maximum impact. If you are looking for ways to further engage, network and build some powerful working relationships, please reach out to me or Lorie Reinert,

It’s not too late to register for the Wednesday, October 4, Collaboration Breakfast ‘Best in Show’ at Coca Cola Park, highlighting some unique business relationships. Let’s build some new partnerships this year!

Monday, September 25, 2017

YPC Revitalization Series heads to Easton restaurant scene

Austin S. Peters, BB&T, Young Professionals Council VP

Our Board keeps a pretty strong pulse on The Valley’s latest and greatest additions to the area. We constantly strive to be at the forefront of highlighting and promoting these newest establishments, which gives our young professional members the ability to immerse themselves into this community. As part of the YPC mission, we aim to open our future leaders to opportunities where they can live, play and do business.

We are revving up our Revitalization Series yet again and heading to Easton! Join us on Tuesday,  October 3 at 5 p.m. for a fun evening of tasting the new sites of downtown and hearing from community leaders on current and future developments. It is an exciting time to call the Lehigh Valley home and this event will help our members see what great additions have made their way into their downtown. Not only does this drive business to the establishments, but it also shows our commitment to community and championing for their success. There is no need to wait to schedule a ‘date night’ to check them out, but rather get a ‘taste’ of a few of them all in one night while networking with other area professionals. Our Revitalization events bring professionals from  all age groups and parts of the valley. It shows great comradery for supporting future development in our towns - a future that is bright and booming!

Speaking of fresh and new; our October meet and greet will be held at Hardball Cider in Bethlehem on Wednesday October 18 at 5:30 p.m. We plan to kick off the holiday ‘spirit’ in more ways than one!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Lead Like A Girl

Gladys Wiles, Snyder & Wiles PC, Women’s Business Council Chair

All too often any phrase ending in “like a girl” was perceived as weak or not good enough. Why is doing something “like a girl” an insult? Florence Griffith-Joyner runs like a girl but is dubbed the fastest women in the history. Jen Welter coaches like a girl, as an assistant coach for the Arizona Cardinals football team. Serena Williams hits like a girl, at speeds of 122 mph, when serving a tennis ball. Leading like a girl is exemplified by power-women such as Ellen Kullman, CEO of DuPont, Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, Mary Barra, CEO General Motors Co., and Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox.

Without having to emulate a man, these women, like many others, have found success in just being themselves, with traits such as empathizing and building relationships with those around them were their strengths. Studies across the board are finding that increasing the number of women on a company’s board or in leadership positions creates greater profits and enhanced problem-solving. Think of it this way; the more diversity in any given board, the more the board mirrors its customer and client base.

Each woman leads in her own successful way. Clearly the proof is in the proverbial pudding, because we know that women-owned businesses generated $1.4 trillion in sales and employed over 8.4 million workers. So the next time you do something, do it “like a girl” and be proud!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Samantha Cartagena sworn in for Governor's Advisory Commission for Latino Affairs

Victor Salicetti, AmericaVen, Hispanic Chamber Chair

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce continuously strives to bring value to our members. This year, we are focusing more on working together within the community. One great example was July’s Hispanic Cultural Festival in Easton, which allowed us to serve the community and also branch out from the typical business crowd and raise awareness of our mission. We have plans to partner with several councils of the Chamber this year, as well.

A special congratulations to our very own Chamber liaison, Samantha Cartagena! Samantha was nominated and accepted to serve on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Latino Affairs. We are very proud of her for representing our Latino community in the best light. We know she will be a true asset to the commission, as she is to our Chamber!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Understand the stages of the "Business Lifecycle"

Mario Carannante, Peerless Business Advisors, Small Business Council Chair

As soon as you say “I am going into business for myself,” you are in the “business lifecycle.” This begins the journey from idea to startup, and hopefully, through to the growth and maturity phases.

Owning a business is always challenging, but understanding each of the stages of the business lifecycle and the unique set of obstacles to deal with and overcome will help you be prepared to thrive. It is important to be flexible in your thinking and adapt your strategy as you move along by learning from your mistakes and from those who have been there already.

Understanding your stage in the cycle might help you stay ahead of the curve. Anticipating the potential challenges and obstacles that are on the way, depending on what phase you are in or about to transition to, might help you defy the odds of failure. As your business grows and develops, so do your business objectives, focuses, obstacles and strategies; an awareness of what stage of the business lifecycle you are currently in can be helpful.

To help with this awareness, the Small Business Council will host the 2017 Small Business Summit on October 20, 2017. Join us as three owners discuss their journey through the phases of their businesses from Startup to Growth and Expansion through acquisition, then exiting a business through sale only to reinvest in new businesses. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from those who have navigated the ups and downs of owning a business.

Friday, September 15, 2017

African American Business Leaders Council recognizes outgoing Chairman Charles Everett

Marc Troutman, Met-Ed, a FirstEnergy Company
African American Business Leaders Council Chair

I want to start this month’s message by recognizing our former Chairman Charles Everett. Charles has been a dedicated board member and subsequent Chairman of the African American Business Leaders Council since its conception. Charles has accepted a position in New York and has relinquished his duties as Chairman of the AABLC.

While managing the significant financial and regulatory challenges of the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority, Charles still managed to be a dedicated team member and leader. His leadership will be missed.

A little about his career; Charles is a non-traditional Aviation Executive/Lehigh Valley Executive. In his position of Executive Director of the LNAA Charles was responsible for the Lehigh Valley International Airport, Queen City Airport and Braden Airpark. In his tenure, Charles was able to bring the airport success, visibility and recognition that it hasn’t seen in over a decade.

Charles put a face on the airport. Many requests for interviews and speaking engagements were made and accepted. He always responded with professionalism and integrity, regardless of the topic of discussion. The Authority and its employees have become committed to community involvement initiatives as well. These are a
ll significant achievements of which Charles should be proud.

Regardless of race, color or creed, top professionals are hard to find and even harder to retain. It must be our mission (all of us) to create an environment where both young and mature professionals become part of the fabric of the Lehigh Valley and thrive.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

How to get value out of your Chamber Membership

Interview with Brian Panella, Account Executive, Edwards Business Systems

Why did you get involved in the Chamber?

Fellow Ambassador, Joe Facchiano, shared a quote from his brother Frank Facchiano with me. It went something like “being a chamber member is a lot like having a gym membership. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.” I have found this to be true.

Like most, I became involved with the Chamber in hopes of ultimately building relationships and getting better acquainted with the local business community. However, the more events I went to, the more great people I met and got to know, the more I wanted to get involved.

What is your favorite aspect of the Chamber?

I am grateful for the relationships I have built over the years and always enjoy seeing familiar (and smiling) faces at Chamber events. This is my favorite aspect of the Chamber.

How have you benefited from being a Chamber member either personally, professionally or from a company level?

We all hope to grow our businesses through networking at Chamber events. I have found if your focus is on meeting new people and building relationships, the business will come. People prefer to know the person before doing business with them, myself included. On a personal level, I have made many friends, who, regardless of what I do professionally, will remain friends for a long time.

How do you recommend others get involved to get the value out of their membership?

Whether you are a new Chamber member or a long-time member, my first bit of advice would be to get involved. As the Chamber always has something going on, this is easy to do. Flip through Connections or go to the events section of the website, find events that interest you and sign up! Many are free!

Once you are at an event, if you would like some help meeting new people, a “wingman” if you will, find an Ambassador! We will be more than happy to introduce you to friendly faces all around the room!

I look forward to seeing you at a Chamber event soon!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Lehigh Valley sees increased road improvements, congestion

Kevin Lenover, Traffic Engineering Services, Transportation Committee Member

There has never been a time in the history of the Lehigh Valley that so many road and bridge projects were going on at once. Utility companies are hard at work upgrading power lines, underground gas, sewer and water systems. Our bridges, streets, lanes, roads and highways are being inundated from every direction, all to improve our world. Of course, that improvement comes with some of the most frustrating congestion and delays.

All this work also brings with it a significant increase in humans working closely to traffic. Yes, I know everyone drives through a construction site and never sees one person. Rest assured the people are there, hard at work finding innovative ways to make your commute harder! All kidding aside, the people truly are there; the bright orange signs, cones, and those concrete barriers that seem to make your nice wide highway into a narrow goat path are all there to provide protection for those workers, protection from you and your fellow motorists. Even those sadistic, make-no-sense lower speed limits in the work zones are there to calm traffic to provide better reaction times. You are now driving through someone else’s office, their place of work, their means to provide for the family and they want to go home again each night, just like you.

The next time you approach a work zone, the traffic slows and your blood pressure starts to rise, think of the below infographic, think about what would happen to one of those workers willing to take the extra risk to earn a living if you were the one to hit them all because you could not spare and extra few minutes from your day to assure a fellow human could go home. Slow down, breath and remember there are people working!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Chamber Main Street Foundation celebrates 10 years of success

Laurie G. Hackett, Air Products, Chamber Foundation Chair

Community development is critical to the vibrancy of our sidewalks and business corridors and we joined together in August to share the stories of success and honor the communities who received grants because of their work; what a celebration we had! We love this unique event because it celebrates our business members who give back and shines a light on volunteers and communities throughout the Lehigh Valley. The Chamber Foundation grants spur other support, instill neighborhood pride, and create a unique sense of place in each community. Congratulations to all of the 2017 honorees!

The Chamber Main Street Foundation is celebrating 10 years of amazing success – and it is all because of our community partners who support the Foundation! We were honored to receive such commitment from so many including Air Products, Alvin H. Butz, Inc. Bennett Automotive, Capital BlueCross, Easton Coach, First Commonwealth Credit Union, LV Building Trades Council, NE Regional Council of Carpenters, Vision Accomplished, Concannon Miller & Company, King Spry, WFMZ TV-69, FNFB, Feinberg Real Estate Advisors, John Yurconic Agency, Buckno, Lisicky and Co, People First Credit Union, QNB Bank, Viamedia, Image Transfers West, and Sherry Clewell Photography. What a lists of community partners and we are so grateful for their continued dedication to our Lehigh Valley community!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Chamber's Public Policy Committee shifts attention to focus on supporting specific legislation, legislator initiatives

John Hayes, New Tripoli Bank, Public Policy Committee Chair

There is an old Chinese proverb (or curse, depending on your point of view): “May You Live in Interesting Times.” No matter what side of the political spectrum you reside, I think we can all agree that we have this one covered pretty well.

Our responsibility as The Chamber is to represent the interests of business. Through our Public Policy initiatives, we have successfully crossed many lines and political philosophies and found common ground with a diverse group of interests, all to move the discussion forward. We have found that there is more commonality out there than we may realize.

Over the past several years, this effort has been focused on the policy side - drafting policy statements and meeting with legislators to explain our point of view. In areas such as Minimum Wage, Transportation Funding, Environmental Matters, and Tax Reform, The Chamber has led the way in working with both sides of the aisle to create policy that is acceptable to business and moves the Lehigh Valley and the country forward.

As we move closer to 2018, our attention will shift a bit, and focus more on supporting or opposing specific legislation and legislator initiatives. We believe this is a key to extending The Chamber’s reach and influence, and will create more opportunities to work directly with our state and federal legislators as well as other advocacy groups where there is commonality of interest.

We are now the 6th largest Chamber in the Country – we have a strong voice, and we will work to make it even stronger, and always focus on protecting the interests of the Lehigh Valley business community.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce celebrates its Centennial at Chamber Annual Meeting

Dorota Gasienica-Kozak
Esquire, King, Spry, Herman, Freund, & Faul, LLC
Chair, The Chamber Board of Governors

This year, your Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce celebrates its Centennial at The Chamber Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 9 at The Sands Bethlehem Event Center!

Going back about 20 years, before any of the Lehigh Valley chambers joined efforts, each one, as they still do today, had its own individual annual meeting, celebrating business and the local community. However, very rarely were local borders crossed, with only local attendance.

Today, not only do these individual events continue to thrive and grow, our members have the opportunity to experience the Chamber’s all-inclusive annual meeting. This is an entertaining, informative, and fast-moving super event that brings together businesses, members and volunteers from across the Valley from every segment and every chamber, council, and committee.

More than 1,200 people will gather at the Sands Bethlehem Event Center for the event that this year will showcase, among others, the Lehigh Valley Partnership ( and its long history of initiatives that, much like our own, promote regionalism, improve the business climate and enhance the quality of life in the Lehigh Valley.

It is a once-a-year opportunity to connect with your business contacts, customers, prospects, and competitors and celebrate the Lehigh Valley business community all in one place. It is like no other event in the valley!

Annual Meeting has also become known for the opening number and the grand entrance of Chamber President and CEO, Tony Iannelli. As this is Tony’s 20th year anniversary, who knows what could happen? You will have to experience it first hand and we invite you to this fast-paced, 90-minute extravaganza. Be prepared to be entertained and informed about member accomplishments while being a part of a great celebration of our Lehigh Valley!

Mark your calendars for Thursday, November 9th, 2017!