Good Shepherd names president, CEO

Michael Spigel –


There will soon be a new president and CEO at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network in Allentown.

Its board of trustees has named Michael Spigel to the position. Spigel currently services as president and COO of Brooks Rehabilitation in Jacksonville, Florida.

He will start in the position Aug. 3.

Spigel replaces Gary Schmidt, chair of the board of trustees, who has been serving as interim president and CEO since 2018. Schmidt will continue to serve as board chair.

“Good Shepherd conducted an extensive national search to find a leader with the experience, expertise, passion and purpose befitting a world-class rehabilitation network,” said Schmidt in a release. “Most recently, Michael led a post-acute network with a continuum of care and growth trajectory that closely mirrors that of Good Shepherd, having grown from a mid-sized hospital with regional recognition to a large, nationally recognized provider.”

Spigel had been with Brooks Rehabilitation since 2004. Before that he worked at the RehabCare: Group in St. Louis, Missouri.

Spigel earned his master’s degree in Health Administration from Chapman University in Orange County, California, and his bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Maryland.

Good Shepherd is a not-for-profit health-care network founded in 1908. It has a staff of 2,100 that treats patients at more than 70 locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


Air Products promotes Serhan to COO

Samir Serhan –


Air Products of Trexlertown has named Samir J. Serhan, executive vice president, as COO of the company.

The appointment comes a little less than a week after the company announced it had extended the contract of Seifi Ghasemi as chairman, president and CEO through 2025.

Serhan joined Air Products in 2016 as executive vice president leading the company’s technology, engineering, project execution, procurement, manufacturing, construction and start-up functions.

In 2019 he assumed full responsibility for the company’s business in the Middle East.

In January, he assumed reporting responsibility for Americas Operations and HyCO franchises and stand-alone plants.

With his appointment as COO, Serhan further assumes full profit and loss responsibility for the Americas, Air Products’ largest operating region, representing 45 percent of total company sales in fiscal 2019.

Serhan brings more than 25 years of industry experience over his career at Air Products and with previous companies. He holds a Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech.

ArtsQuest to offer ‘curbside pickup’ of favorite fest food

Musikfest food fans can get curbside pickup of some of their festival favorites on the SteelStacks campus in Bethlehem. PHOTO/SUMBITTED –


As summer officially begins, now would be the time of the year when people get to enjoy their favorite festival food, but like with many things, the COVID-19 pandemic is cancelling most fairs and festivals in the area at least for the short term.

Of course that’s also a huge bust to those small local businesses that sell food on the festival circuit, which make most of their money this time of the year.

ArtsQuest has come up with a solution for both. Starting May 30 on its South Side Bethlehem campus, it will be hosting festival favorite foods with to-go service on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. while the Lehigh Valley remains under red or yellow shutdown.

“SteelStacks Curbside Pickup” will feature a rotating selection of three or more area vendors and food trucks,

“We provide a lot of opportunities for small businesses and food vendors at Musikfest and other events,” said Mark Demko, spokesman for ArtsQuest. “We wanted to create an opportunity to support these small businesses and provide an opportunity for people who love these fair favorites during this down time.”

Different food vendors will be featured each weekend. May 30-31 it will be Take a Taco, the Flying V and Levy. Other food vendors that will take part over the coming weeks include Lehigh University’s FUD Truck, Heaven on a Bun, Simply Skewered and Bull and Bear.

There will also be non-alcoholic beverages for sale and Musikfest merchandise.

“It’s an opportunity for people to come together and support some of these businesses and ArtsQuest,” Demko said, noting that having been shut down since March 16 has seriously impacted the nonprofit’s revenue as well.

“We went from expecting a busy summer season to having nothing,” he said.

SteelStacks Curbside food and merchandise orders can be placed at www.steelstacks.org/curbside.  ArtsQuest will alert patrons when their orders are ready for pick up, and people can drive up to PNC Plaza at SteelStacks, 645 E. First St., Bethlehem.  ArtsQuest staff will deliver the order and any merchandise items to their vehicles.



Air Products extends CEO Ghasemi’s contract

Seifi Ghasemi, chairman, president and chief executive officer at Air Products PHOTO/FILE –


Seifi Ghasemi will remain president, chairman and CEO of Air Products in Trexlertown for at least the next five years. The company’s board of directors has extended his contract through Sept. 30, 2025.

Ghasemi was named president, chairman and CEO of Air Products in 2012. In 2017 his contract was extended through 2022.

“Under Seifi’s strong leadership, Air Products continues to perform at an exceptional level and deliver on its commitments in numerous areas, including financial performance, global growth, inclusion, technology, employee development and shareholder returns, to name a few,” said Chad Deaton, lead director of the board of directors. “The board understands the importance of maintaining continuity as the company pursues even greater growth globally, and clearly, Seifi Ghasemi provides that strong leadership and direction.”

Air Products had fiscal 2019 sales of $8.9 billion from operations in 50 countries and has a current market capitalization of about $50 billion.

LVHN relaxes hospital visitation guidelines

Lehigh Valley Health Network is relaxing some of its hospital visitation guidelines.

In a press release, the network said the following guidelines are now in place.

  • Labor and delivery and postpartum areas: One partner/support person may stay the duration of the hospitalization.
  • Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU): One set of parents or authorized representatives may visit.
  • Hospitalized patients age 18 and younger: One set of parents or authorized representatives may visit.
  • Patients with developmental disability, major neurocognitive disorder or dementia: one designated support person essential to patient care may visit.
  • Non-COVID-19 medical surgical/low-level monitoring units: One healthy support person may visit daily for the duration of the hospitalization.
  • Patients ready to be discharged from the hospital: One healthy support person may visit to assist as necessary.
  • Emergency department: One healthy visitor may accompany a patient.
  • Non-COVID-19 patients who are at end-of-life: Two healthy visitors may visit at a time.
  • COVID-19 patients who are at end-of-life: Two healthy visitors my visit at a time.

Before being allowed into hospital facilities, visitors will have their temperature taken and be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.

Those who have had COVID-19 must be free of fever for at least three days and it must be at least 10 days since symptoms began.

All visitors must wear a mask and will be provided with one if they do not have one.

Visitors will only be allowed in the patient room and not other parts of the hospital.

No one under 18 will be allowed to visit unless it is an end-of-life situation.

No visitors will be allowed in intensive care units, same-day surgery centers, or the networks three designated COVID-19 Free facilities, LVHN Tilghman and the two Coordinated Health facilities.

LVHN said the visitation guidelines and restrictions will be reviewed weekly and will be updated based on the latest information.

Light industrial buildings near LVIA sell for $26.7M

100 Cascade Drive was one of three buildings recently sold for $26.7 million. PHOTO SUBMITTED –

A three-building 380,000-square-foot portfolio of light industrial buildings on Cascade Drive in Hanover Township, Lehigh County has been sold to an investor for $26.7 million.

Michael Hines, Brad Ruppel, Brian Fiumra and Lauren Dawicki of CBRE National Partners of Upper Macungie negotiated the sale to the Brennan Investment Group on behalf of the seller, which was a joint venture between the Magellan Group and Drake Real Estate Partners.

“Even during these unprecedented times, we are seeing a demand for functional infill space and no or minimal price adjustment,” Michael Hines vice chairman of CBRE said in a press release. “The sale of the Lehigh Valley light industrial portfolio further proves the desire to own in the Lehigh Valley.”

The buildings, 100, 202-208 and 212 Cascade Drive are near the Lehigh Valley International Airport and FedEx Ground’s Lehigh Valley Distribution Hub. All three are currently fully leased.

Trump praises Owens & Minor employees during Lehigh Valley visit

President Donald Trump speaks at Owens & Minor in Upper Macungie Township. SOURCE/WHITEHOUSE.GOV –


As Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Rachel Levine reported that the number of people infected with the COVID-19 virus in the state was approaching 60,000, President Donald Trump made a trip to the Lehigh Valley today to tour Owens & Minor, an Upper Macungie Township distribution center for health care personal protection equipment.

After arriving at Lehigh Valley International Airport, the president’s motorcade made its way to the facility that distributes gear like N-95 masks, gloves and protective gowns.

Standing in front of a stockpile of protective medical gowns at Owens & Minor, the president thanked the workers for their tireless efforts to get medical  supplies to where they are needed in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

“The pandemic has inflicted terrible hardship. We thank God for the courage of the people on the front lines, and you make it possible for them,” he said.

He noted that Owens & Minor  had provided the federal government with 1.7 million N-95 masks, 3.5 million gowns  and 80 million gloves.

“This was the greatest mobilization in American history since World War II and everyone here was a part of that,” he said.

He also unveiled plans to rebuild the strategic national stockpile by working with suppliers, like Owens & Minor, and others around the country to make sure there would be enough supplies if there was another wave of COVID-19, which he assured he didn’t expect to happen.

He also noted that the U.S. has conducted 10 million tests  for the virus to date and that the country was doing the best job of testing of any country in the world, however he added that he did feel that the need for testing was “overrated.”

He said the final phase of his plans was to bring critical manufacturing back to the U.S. permanently and that work has already begun to make that happen.

While most of his remarks were in praise of the work at Owens & Minor, Trump did take the opportunity to take a few jabs at his 2020 Democratic  presidential competition, Joe Biden, former president Barack  Obama and democratic  Pennsylvania governor, Tom Wolf.

“We’ve got to get your governor to start opening up a little bit ,” he told the crowd.

But democrats  from Pennsylvania weren’t silent either on their displeasure with the way Trump has been handling the crisis.

State Rep. Peter Schweyer, D-Allentown, criticized the president for making the trip to his district at all, saying Trump was putting the public at a greater risk for transmitting the virus by making a public appearance during the shutdown.

Trump, indeed, did not wear a face mask during his appearance, although most Owens & Minor employees in attendance  for the speech did.

The visit also drew a large crowd of supporters and protesters along the president’s motorcade route. Many of them were not wearing masks and people were gathered together in tight groups with little social distancing.

Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills was also critical of the visit and released a statement.

“Donald Trump’s visit was nothing more than a photo op to distract from the fact that his administration doesn’t have this virus under control. The number of infections is still growing and he still hasn’t provided us the tests and PPE we need,” she said.

Trump visits Upper Macungie PPE distribution center of Owens & Minor today

President Donald Trump on a 2019 visit to Hershey. PHOTO/FILE –

President Donald Trump is scheduled to be in the Lehigh Valley today for a brief visit to a personal protection equipment distributor, Owens & Minor in Upper Macungie Township.

The president will arrive at the Lehigh Valley International Airport just after 1 p.m. and will head to the facility for a tour that is set to begin at 1:45 p.m. The tour is private and the public is not invited. He is expected to talk about the PPE supply chain and other issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and shut down.

After the tour, the president will give remarks and is expected leave the Lehigh Valley by 3:30 p.m. to return to Washington, D.C.

The distribution center, which handles such items as N-95 face masks, has been working with the White House on obtaining PPE gear needed in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.

According to its website, Owens & Minor is a member of White House COVID-19 Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force, which is working with FEMA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide healthcare customers with PPE.

It was one of five manufacturers awarded a portion of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ recent purchase order that will supply the U.S. with approximately 600 million N95 respirator masks over the next 18 months. Trump is expected to talk about the U.S. medical supply chain.

The Richmond, Virginia-based company has made no public statement about the president’s tour of its Lehigh Valley distribution Center.

President Trump to visit Lehigh Valley PPE distributer

President Donald Trump is planning his first visit to the Lehigh Valley on Thursday.

President Donald Trump on a 2019 visit to Hershey. PHOTO/FILE –

According to a number of published reports he will be visiting a personal protection equipment distribution center in Upper Macungie Township for Richmond, Virginia-based Owens and Minor Inc., a medical supplies supplier.

According to its website, Owens & Minor is a member of White House COVID-19 Supply Chain Stabilization Task Force, which is working with FEMA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide healthcare customers with PPE.

It was one of five manufacturers awarded a portion of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ recent purchase order that will supply the U.S. with approximately 600 million N95 respirator masks over the next 18 months. Trump is expected to talk about the U.S. medical supply chain.

His visit comes at a time when Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is receiving push back from some county and municipal government officials and business leaders who want to speed up the reopening of the state.

It’s an issue he’s taken a position on. He recently tweeted a statement on the issue saying “The great people of Pennsylvania want their freedom now, and they are fully aware of what that entails.”

He urged the state to move more quickly on its reopening process.

Details on the president’s visit have not yet been released.

Allentown COVID-19 test center to move to historic courthouse

Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Allentown COVID-19 testing site will move to the Old Lehigh County Courthouse on Tuesday. PHOTO/FILES

The Lehigh Valley Health Network, in partnership with Lehigh County, is relocating its Allentown COVID-19 testing site to the Old Lehigh County Courthouse on Tuesday.

Operations will begin May 11 at the historic courthouse, 501 Hamilton St., Allentown. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Assess and Test Center is located on the first floor and is accessible through the rear of the building. Signage will direct patients where to go for COVID-19 testing.

“COVID testing remains a critical part of continuing to reduce the spread of the virus as more areas start to reopen,” said Dr. Jennifer Stephens, Chief Medical Officer at Lehigh Valley Physician Group. “With COVID-19 still in our community, we want to make sure that we remain vigilant by identifying positive cases and ensuring those patients get the care they need, or recover at home, without further spreading the virus.”

Individuals are sent to LVHN COVID-19 Assess and Test locations in a number of ways, including by their primary care provider, if they have been pre-identified as having symptoms of COVID-19 when seeking care at a LVHN or LVPG location. Patients can also secure a telehealth video visit with a provider or complete a questionnaire-based assessment at LVHN.org. Over-the-phone COVID-19 screening with a nurse is available at 888-402-5846.

The Assess and Test Center that was located at the Family Health Center, 1730 Chew St., Allentown, was temporarily moved to 401 N. 17th St. recently when the Lehigh Valley Physician Group re-opened the Family Health Center along with more than 50 practices and select ExpressCARE locations in the region May 1 as part of the pandemic recovery efforts.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network alerted Lehigh County’s Emergency Management Agency about the need for a new testing location in Allentown. The Old Courthouse facility, destined for a major renovation, was made available for LVHN.

Real estate agent launches business brokerage firm

Tejas Gosai –

A Lehigh Valley real estate agent is launching a business brokerage firm. Tejas Gosai and his team, who work for Century 21 Keim Realtors in Allentown, have formed Lehigh Valley Business Brokerage to help consult and assist businesses in the valuation and the sale of their businesses.

Gosai said he originally planned to launch the full-service business brokerage firm in December, but decided to hold off until spring, and then the coronarvirus pandemic hit.

He decided to go ahead with opening the business because there is still a great deal of consulting work that can be done now, to prepare businesses for when they are able and ready to sell. He also noted that some transactions that don’t involve real estate can be conducted even under the current restrictions.

While the brokerage will handle all varieties of businesses, Gosai said with his ethnic heritage he has many contacts in industries that are traditionally owned by the Indian population, so he will specialize in hotels, gas stations and small markets.

Lehigh Valley Business Brokerage will work with tax advisers, CPAs, financial advisers, attorneys, law firms, auditing firms, physicians, and industry-specific advisors to streamline the process.


Major Route 22 surfacing project to begin today

Work was expected to begin today on a $6.7 million resurfacing project on Route 22 in Northampton County.

The work will be conducted on Route 22 between Route 191 and 25th Street in Bethlehem and Palmer Townships. The project includes work on all ramps at the Route 22 and 33 interchange.

Richard E. Pierson Construction Co. Inc. of Woodstown is the general contractor on the project.

The contractor intends to work first on 22 west, then move to 22 east followed by the ramps at the 22 and PA 33 interchange.

Work will be done primarily at night and on weekends. Road restrictions will be in place 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.

PennDOT noted work on this project will be in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidance. The project-specific COVID-19 safety plan, includes protocols for social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, management of entries to the jobsite, and relevant training.