PPL Corp. promotes two executives to senior roles

From left to right: Stephanie R. Raymond, Gregory N. Dudkin


PPL Corp. of Allentown named Gregory Dudkin executive vice president and COO.

Dudkin brings 40 years of experience in energy and telecommunications operations to his new role. He has been serving as president of PPL Electric Utilities, the company’s electric utility subsidiary, since 2012. He joined PPL Electric Utilities in 2009 as senior vice president of operations.

Prior to joining PPL, he served as Comcast’s senior vice president of technical operations and fulfillment and as a regional senior vice president for the telecommunications company.

Stephanie Raymond, vice president of distribution operations, will succeed Dudkin as president of PPL Electric Utilities.

She joined PPL Electric Utilities in 2011 as director of project and contract management.

Before PPL Electric Utilities, she served as chief operating officer of CablenetServices Inc. and in numerous senior leadership positions for Comcast Cable Communications, General Fiber Communications, International Fibercom Inc. and All Star Telecom.

“As we strategically reposition PPL to focus squarely on high-performing energy companies in the U.S., the promotions of Greg and Stephanie will help us build on our strong performance record and create additional value for all stakeholders,” said Vincent Sorgi, PPL’s president and CEO.

In his new role, Dudkin will report to Sorgi and oversee PPL’s regulated utility operations in the U.S., with the heads of PPL’s Pennsylvania and Kentucky utility operations reporting to him.

In her new role, Raymond will oversee electricity delivery and customer service to 1.4 million homes and businesses in eastern and central Pennsylvania, as well as PPL Electric Utilities’ continued investments in infrastructure and technology to improve service to customers.

Bethlehem ShopRite workers get faces on cereal box

Joe Colalillo, chairman and CEO of ShopRite, speaks at the ShopRite of Bethlehem. PHOTO/SUBMITTED


Many young athletes dream of growing up and having their picture on a Wheaties box, but for staff at ShopRite stores, getting on a Cheerios box is the big honor.

Photos of 100 ShopRite associates will appear on limited-edition Cheerios boxes as part of an annual tradition recognizing associates for fighting hunger in the communities where ShopRite stores operate.

This year two Lehigh Valley staffers, Bethlehem ShopRite associates Kira Freeman and Terri Gudzinas of Easton, will be featured on the box.

The store associates are featured on the box, which was unveiled at in-store ceremonies, in recognition of their fundraising efforts to support regional food banks.

To earn a spot on the cereal box, ShopRite associates participate in the annual ShopRite Partners In Caring Cheerios Contest competition sponsored by ShopRite and General Mills.

The staffers helped to collect donations at check-out and in-store. The campaign also encouraged customers to round their grocery purchases up to the nearest dollar to help in the effort.

ShopRite and General Mills recognize the 45 top fundraising ShopRite stores. These winning stores then select two ShopRite associates to be featured on the Cheerios box. The customized cereal boxes are sold exclusively at ShopRite.

“This past year we saw food banks working overtime as more families found themselves facing food insecurity during the pandemic,” said Rob Zuehlke, ShopRite’s manager of Corporate Social Responsibility. “We’re proud to be able to support these regional food banks in the Feeding America network and extend a sincere thank you to our hardworking associates and generous customers who sustain this annual contest and make a difference in our communities.”

In addition to the unveiling, each ShopRite location presented a $500 donation to a local food bank, made possible by the prize money received from the contest.

The company-wide fundraising efforts this year raised $1 million for regional food banks.

NovaTech names Conrad Oakey as new CEO

Conrad Oakey


The next generation is taking over at NovaTech in Quakertown.

Conrad Oakey will assume the role of CEO from his father, Volker Oakey, who will stay on as chair of the board of directors.

Volker Oakley has owned and led NovaTech since 1979. The company provides automation solutions for electric utilities and process manufacturers around the world. Over the years it has acquired companies such as GSE Systems in 2003 and Bitronics in 2008.

Recently, NovaTech made changes to integrate its power and process divisions to increase its ability to sell across its traditional market segments and streamline operations.

“With these changes, the time to introduce a new CEO felt right,” said Volker Oakey. “We have a strong and energetic group of leaders. Conrad has been preparing for this for most of his life. I could not be more proud to make this handoff. I am confident and excited about the future of the company.”

He noted that Conrad Oakey has been involved in the company since he was a young boy and has worked for NovaTech in a variety of positions for the past 23 years.

He was instrumental in developing the company’s digital presence, helped establish succession planning and increased the company’s media presence.

Since 2018 he has served as NovaTech’s vice president of strategy and communications.

He received a dual B.A. in Chemistry and Studio Art from Williams College in 1998. In 2013, he received an MBA from Duke University, Fuqua School of Business.

St. Luke’s lab service nationally recognized

St. Luke’s University Health network Laboratory Services has been named the 2021 Lab of the Year by Medical Laboratory Observer.

MLO is a national peer-reviewed management source for lab professionals.

According to MLO Network Laboratory Services at St. Luke’s was judged on customer service, productivity, teamwork, education and training, strategic outlook and lab inspections and excelled in the criteria.

Laboratory Service has 469 employees performing more than five million tests per year through ten rapid response labs, which serve inpatient units and emergency departments. There is one core and one specialty lab and patient specimens are collected at 50 patient service centers around the Lehigh Valley as well as a mobile phlebotomy program. It also has 14 pathologists analyzing more than 50,000 specimens a year.

MLO cited such reasons as productivity and work to improve customer service as reasons for the honor.

2021’s MLO Lab of the Year also named one runner up: U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine’s Epidemiology Laboratory, which is located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

St. Luke’s Laboratory Services and Epi Lab will be featured in the April edition of MLO.

LVIA hires firm to develop space for increased air cargo demand

Since 2016 Lehigh Valley International Airport has seen a 165% increase in cargo traffic — going from processing 47 million pounds of cargo to more than 126 pounds in 2019 and 210 million during the COVID-19 bump last year.

With the steady pace of air cargo growth expected to continue at the airport, the Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority is looking to develop a range of facility and infrastructure, including cargo, logistics and other airport facilities to help meet the demand.

The LNNA selected Aviation Facilities Company Management LLC of Dulles, Virginia, to plan and develop portions of the airport’s property for such use.

“Developing air cargo infrastructure remains a strategic goal for the Airport Authority,” said Thomas R. Stoudt, executive director, LNAA.  “Partnering with the AFCO team on this important initiative will allow Lehigh Valley International to better serve our current air cargo demand, while providing expansion opportunities for new and existing businesses. This partnership will increase the ability of cargo carriers to serve the growing demand in our region.”

Over the last several years, the authority has evaluated a number of alternatives and reviewed proposals focused on air cargo growth options for undeveloped land on the airfield, he said.

The Airport Authority agreed that AFCO presented a strong vision that compliments the ABE Masterplan.

He said AFCO provides an experienced team and an established communication network for coordinating projects of this scope with the various regulatory agencies associated with on-airport development.

Peoples Security names commercial lending officer for Lehigh Valley

Carmen Flosdorf


Peoples Security Bank & Trust Co. has hired Carmen Flosdorf as vice president commercial lending officer. She will be based at the West Tilghman Street branch office in Allentown.

In her new role, Flosdorf will be responsible for organizing and generating new commercial business activity in the form of lending, advisory and treasury services for privately-held, family-owned companies in the greater Lehigh Valley region.

“We’re very excited to have Carmen join the Peoples Security Bank & Trust team in the Lehigh Valley. With her impressive experience and track record in building long-term, meaningful relationships, we hold every confidence that she will be a valuable asset to the Bank in the years to come,” said Jeffrey Drobins, senior vice president and Lehigh Valley Market president.

Flosdorf comes to people security after 20 years with BB&T/Truist Bank, where she served as a Middle Market Banker.

During her tenure at BB&T/Truist Bank, she oversaw the strategic identification and delivery of integrated lending solutions across functional areas for mid-sized companies from various business sectors.

Flosdorf was recently named as one of LVB’s 2021 Women of Influence recipients.

Bio Med expects growth, new products with move to larger facility

Bio Med Science’s existing manufacturing line at its facility on Morris Court in Allentown. PHOTO/SUBMITTED


Bio Med Sciences Inc. is more than tripling its size as it moves its headquarters and manufacturing from its current space on Morris Court to a more than 40,000-square-foot space at 999 Postal Road in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.

The company manufactures products for burn treatment, plastic surgery and aesthetic skin care under name brands including Silon, Oleeva and SeaAllure.

Mark Dillon, president of the company, said the Bio Med has had great opportunities for growth in recent years that have been hampered by a lack of space and production equipment.

“We’ve been bulging at the seams,” Dillon said. “We’ve been hampered on working on new technologies because we can’t interrupt our production.”

As Bio Med moves into the new facility it will be adding newer, faster and more efficient production line, which will be used for ramping up production of the company’s major existing product lines. The existing equipment can then be dedicated to some of their smaller product lines and for research and development work.

“With the extra space and production lines we should have five to six fold the capacity we have now,” Dillon said. “That’s going to open up new opportunities for us.”

One area in particular of growth will be in providing products to the U.S. Military, which has been difficult to fulfil with the company’s existing space.

Dillon said Bio Med will also be looking to expand into new products and research new second-generation burn treatment and wrinkle reduction technology with the new production capability.

While adding the new production equipment won’t directly lead to new jobs as it is more efficient and automated than the current equipment, Dillon said the growth he expects with new product lines and markets should lead to hiring.

“We’re going to be staffing up in a couple of departments,” he said.

Renovations on the new space has begun and Dillon hopes to have office staff moved in by mid-May  with production work up and running by early September.

NAI Summit represented Bio Med in the long-term lease of the new space.

Dawn Godshall to replace Alan Jennings as executive director of CACLV

Dawn Godshall


The Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, which oversees many of the area’ social service programs, including the Rising Tide Community Loan Fund, now has a new executive director.

Dawn Godshall has been tapped by the agency’s board of directors to replace Alan Jennings, who served the agency for more than 40 years, but will be retiring in May.

She’s taking the reins of an agency that has grown substantially under Jennings’ leadership and currently has a budget of $30 million and oversees more than $9 million in real estate. That real estate includes the buildings that make up the Sixth Street Shelter, Sharon’s Pantry, the home of the Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Forte Building, which serves as the agency’s headquarters in Bethlehem.

Godshall, who has been with the organization since March 2014, currently serves as the CACLV’s deputy director of operations and has held a number of leadership positions in the community services field including serving as director of the Sixth Street Shelter in Allentown.

Godshall also managed fundraising and communications at the Allentown Rescue Mission, directed the Ways to Work Family Loan Program at Family Answers, Inc., and managed volunteers at the Children’s Home of Easton.

She spent several years working as a journalist, as well as working for ABC Sports and as a producer for ABC News.

“Dawn Godshall inspires confidence in the board, staff, and community we serve. Her comprehensive knowledge of our agency, her first-person understanding of the causes and effects of poverty, and her unflappable presence draw people in,” said Wayne Barz, Community Action’s board president. “Given the year we’ve just been through as a nation and community, we think everyone who meets her will feel inspired by the future of what this agency and community can accomplish.”

Godshall, who grew up in Buffalo, New York, said as a woman of color who grew up in the foster system, she has used and understands the value of many of the services that the CACLV offers in the community.

“This agency gives me a platform to speak up for those left behind and serve all people who face obstacles to economic opportunity. I understand their struggles and I will fight for the kind of fairness to which each and every one of us should be entitled,” she said.

According to a press release, one of her first acts as executive director will be to hire her replacement. She then plans to take on a capital campaign to build a youth center in the City of Allentown as part of Community Action Development Corporation of Allentown’s Neighborhood Partnership Program.

Godshall will officially assume the role on June 1, but will spend the next two months working closely with the CACLV board of directors and current executive director Alan Jennings on the transition.

A Conversation with Donna LoStocco, president and CEO of First Commonwealth Federal Credit Union

Donna LoStocco


First Commonwealth Federal Credit Union started in 1959 serving the manufacturing segment of AT&T, which was then known as Western Electric. Donna LoStocco joined the credit union in 2016 as president and CEO with a mission to grow membership.

LVB: There has been a great deal of activity at First Commonwealth, you recently opened a new headquarters in Lower Macungie Township. Tell me about that move.

LoStocco: We had two buildings, one in Allentown and one in Bethlehem. They were both pretty old and hadn’t been very well maintained over the years. When we looked at the cost…we found out it was more cost effective and made more sense to build, especially in a part of the Lehigh Valley that is growing so dramatically.

We were thinking of the staffing growth in the future. We have 81,000 square feet and we’re not using that all right away. So, we’ve leased out the first floor and we’ve taken over the second and third floors of the building.

We have lots of sustainable features in the building. There’s lots of natural light being let in. (There are also many employee wellness features and initiatives including water bottle filling stations, UV light cleaning the HVAC system and a workout center for employees.)

LVB: You’ve also opened an urban branch in Allentown. Tell me about that.

LoStocco: We didn’t really have an Allentown presence. Even our Union Boulevard location wasn’t downtown. We already have a lot of members that were downtown and while the Union Boulevard location did have public transportation, we were interested in being walkable so those communities could easily get to us.

Having accessible branches is important because the Lehigh Valley is a pretty face to face place. I spent much of my career in New Jersey and it wasn’t so much so. Getting to know the people you’re working with is extremely important here.

In fact, when I arrived here in 2016 the board told me they felt we needed to have more physical locations and in the last four years we’ve grown from six branches to 11.

We are also involved in the Bank On Allentown movement – in fact I believe were the first to sign up — so we were very happy to add a physical location to Allentown

LVB: First Commonwealth has also made some leadership changes and now has women as 50% of its leadership? Was that planned?

LoStocco: When I arrived at the credit union I had an all-male report staff and an all-male board. It was important to me and to the board to have a more diverse staff.

We were looking for as much diversity we could find, it didn’t have to be female. All things being equal we tried to find a more diverse [management team] and many of them happened to be women.

LVB: What role do you think a diverse management team has in creating a better institution?

LoStocco: First and foremost we get diversity of thought. You can say that about any diversity but men and women do think differently. They make different decisions. Of course, I’m making a lot of generalizations, but it’s a totally different atmosphere. People want to have a work life balance.

The one thing that might be different is the lactation rooms. With all male management it might have been a last thought instead of a first thought.

We also have a high percentage of bilingual workforce which will help us better serve a diverse community. We serve a diverse community and our employees should reflect that.

LVB: What’s next for the credit union?

LoStocco: Up through 2016, the credit union had done a great job surviving the recession and keeping its financials strong.  But, it did very little in terms of growth. I was charged with growth. We upgraded our online banking platform and grew our number of financial centers from six to 11 in four years when not much had been done in the decade before.

We’re going to be looking to support the communities and to increase efficiency. We’ve got all this great software that we’ve only just started to tap into to serve our members.  When our members do more with us we’re able to give back to our members.

We’re also very focused on the Bank On movement and to bringing accessibility to banking — to bring affordable, accessible banking to everyone.

Members 1st continues Berks expansion with Exeter Twp. branch

Members 1st Federal Credit Union has opened its second Berks County branch AT 4363 Perkiomen Ave. in Exeter Township. PHOTO/SUBMITTED


A Central Pennsylvania-based credit union is continuing its expansion into Berks County with its newest branch opening in Exeter Township.

Mike Wilson, chief experience officer at the Mechanicsburg-based Members 1st Federal Credit Union, said the credit union has opened its newest branch in Exeter Township. Located at 4363 Perkiomen Ave., the new branch’s doors opened for business March 22.

The new branch is Members 1st’s second location in Berks County. It opened a branch in Shillington late last year. It also plans to open a third branch in Sinking Spring this summer.

The credit union, which celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, had recently been concentrating much of its growth in the Lancaster County area, but with this 55 branch, it is now trying to bring a bigger footprint to Berks.

Wilson said the credit union, which has nearly 500,000 members, already had about 10,000 customers from Berks County, so the expansion made sense.

“We are a very large provider of mortgage loans, home equity loans and auto loans, so we already had many customers in Berks through that, but we had no branches,” Wilson said. “It was time to get out there.”

As a mortgage and auto loan provider, they reach well beyond their traditional borders, but Berks County seemed to be an area where many of its members were located, he said.

“A big part of what we do is look at where our existing members are,” Wilson said. “We offer a lot more services than mortgages and auto loans so we can expand our relationship with these members from there.”

Wilson said Members 1st plans to expand its Berks footprint beyond those three branches, but there are no additional details that can be released yet.

Berks also isn’t the end of the credit union’s expansion strategy. It also has eyes on the Lehigh Valley as its next area for expansion after Berks.

R&R Provisions names new leadership

R&R Provision Co., an Easton-based food manufacturer specializing in hand-cut meats, has named a new leadership team.

Company Chairman Scott V. Fainor announced that Harry Ludwick has been hired to serve as president and CEO effective immediately. Ludwick, who previously worked as R&R’s head butcher has more than 40 years in the meat and food service industries.

“Harry has been such an important part of our success over the past several decades,” said Fainor. “His attention to detail and knowledge of the industry and our customer base make him the ideal leader for our team.”

Ludwick led the production team in its day-to-day processing operations and is responsible for all USDA processes and policies for R&R.

In his new role, Ludwick will add new leadership responsibilities, including management of the sales and marketing department, financial oversight and spearheading the company’s strategic plan.

Fainor also announced that long-time employee Mark Fainor has been named vice president of operations, and Kelly Jo Lebish has joined the company as treasurer and controller.

Mark Fainor has been general manager of operations for R&R since 1996, implementing many changes to improve the company’s day-to-day operations. Prior to joining the R&R team, he was a supermarket and grocery manager for Laneco for nearly 15 years.

Lebish joins the company from Concannon Miller Certified Public Accountants where she served as a paraprofessional.

In her new role she will oversee all administrative functions, lead the accounting department and be responsible for accounts payable and receivable, financial forecasting and the R&R Retail Store.

LVEDC reports the tale of two Lehigh Valley economies at annual meeting

Don Cunningham, left, president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., Speaks with Jean-Claude Dubacher, CEO and chairman of B Braun during the LVEDC’s annual meeting.


More than 20 area corporate, government and economic development leaders told a tale of two different Lehigh Valley economies over a year that was dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The speakers were part of this year’s virtual LVEDC annual meeting Tuesday,

On one hand, said Don Cunningham, president and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp., coming off the region’s record-high gross domestic product of $43.3 billion in 2019, “the economic renaissance of the Lehigh Valley continues.”

He said online retailers, manufacturers, food and beverage producers, health care, and other parts of the nation’s supply chain based here boomed, with some reaching sales growth of 30%.

There were 41 major expansion and new development projects in 2020. Among them was the expansion of EchoTech Marine with a new facility in Bethlehem and Bowery Farms building an indoor vertical farm.

Life science research and manufacturing was among the sectors to experience growth over the past 12 months. The year 2020 marked the highest employment in the sector over the last two decades with about 6,300 workers with an average wage of $94,000 per year.

Lehigh Valley life sciences companies kept busy creating products to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, and the LVEDC helped those regional businesses with emergency financing applications, Cunningham said.

Sam Niedbala, founder & CEO of CryoConcepts, was among those who spoke with Cunningham during the annual report. The Lehigh Valley is an appealing location for companies in his sector due to the quality of the workforce and the community’s close connection to the many high-quality colleges and universities in the region, he said.

“We really have become this medical device area with a lot of people who were young when I was young (are now) growing up, becoming experts and now teaching other generations,” Niedbala said. “We’re starting to see the children of our first employees coming on board as employees.”

But while those industries prospered, the hospitality and entertainment industries were stymied by closures and reduced capacity throughout much of 2020.

Many restaurants failed to survive the pandemic and capacity restrictions left many workers on unemployment.

Despite that, industries involved in ecommerce had a difficult time finding enough help even with jobs advertised at $20-plus per hour for low-skilled, new hires.

“The whirlwind of economic headwinds and tailwinds has lifted some, deflated others, and held many in place,” he said. “The dust has yet to settle. If there’s any certainty, it’s that economic life will forever be changed,” Cunningham said.

He said that employment, overall, was a roller coaster ride in 2020.

Total employment in the Lehigh Valley dropped to a low of 322,100 in April, and unemployment reached a historic high of 16.6% that same month, according to the report. By the end of the year, employment had risen to 368,300 and the unemployment rate had dropped to 6.5%.

“The whirlwind of economic headwinds and tailwinds has lifted some, deflated others, and held many in place,” he said. “The dust has yet to settle. If there’s any certainty, it’s that economic life will forever be changed,” Cunningham said.

During the meeting, the LVEDC released its annual report detailing the development and trends in the local economy.