E-town College High Center names new managing director of Lehigh Valley region

Nicole Dotta was recently named Managing Director of the Lehigh Valley region with The High Center at Elizabethtown College in Lancaster County. 

A Lehigh Valley native, Dotta has spent the past 25 years in the Lehigh Valley business community. 

“We are excited about the growth that we have seen for The High Center in the Lehigh Valley,” The High Center’s Managing Director of the Berks County Region, Scott Burky, said in a statement. “Under Nicole’s leadership in the Lehigh Valley, we look forward to continuing to build awareness of the resources The High Center provides to family-owned and privately held businesses in the region.” 

Dotta has served various roles with the Bethlehem-based nonprofit ArtsQuest since 2010. She initially aided the organization to develop new events with area nonprofits and transformed her role into one that led to new partnerships and sponsorships along with creating new programming. She was instrumental in ArtsQuest quadrupling its programming for the region. 

In 2016 Dotta was recognized as a Forty Under 40 honoree by Lehigh Valley Business. She was selected for her commitment to business growth, professional excellence, and the community. 

Dotta began her career in publishing at Lehigh Valley Business and The Morning Call, spending more than a decade in circulation sales, public relations, and marketing.

Meals on Wheels names new CEO

Erik McGaughey –

Meals on Wheels of the Greater Lehigh Valley has a new top executive. 

The nonprofit, which provides homebound seniors and adults with disabilities with meal delivery and other services, has named Erik McGaughey as its CEO. 

McGaughey has worked in nonprofit development at the American Cancer Society where he most recently served as the regional development director. 

During his 14 years at the American Cancer Society, he developed systematic approaches to fundraising and stewardship, managed the largest regional event/relationship portfolio, worked with volunteers to deliver organizational goals and exceeded national standards for membership recruitment expectations. 

“We are excited to have Erik join Meals on Wheels,” said Board President, David Romanelli. “His strong development skills, along with his commitment to helping others through non-profit work will ensure the continued positive impact Meals on Wheels makes on the lives of seniors throughout the Lehigh Valley.” 

McGaughey commented on his appointment. 

“I am thrilled to join this organization. Meals on Wheels has been improving the lives of vulnerable seniors for many years,” he said. “I look forward to expanding our corporate partnerships and funding opportunities to provide our vital services to even more at-risk and socially isolated adults who need them.” 

McGaughey has lived in the Lehigh Valley since 1984 and is a graduate of Moravian University where he received a BBA in Management/Marketing and a BBA in English. 


Lehigh Valley Community Foundation names director of donor services

Carrie Krug Nedick


The Lehigh Valley Community Foundation has named Carrie Krug Nedick as its new director of donor services.

Krug Nedick started with the foundation in January of last year as a donor services and program associate.

In her new role she will work with board members, donors, prospects and other members of the Community Foundation to develop the Foundation’s charitable fund pipeline.

She will focus on providing personalized service to steward relationships and implement family philanthropy initiatives.

Prior to joining the foundation, Krug Nedick worked in nonprofit administration and higher education fundraising, both on staff and as an independent consultant.

She served in marketing, development and outreach roles for the Allentown Symphony Association, and was a major gift officer for the College of Arts and Sciences at Lehigh University.

Krug Nedick is a member of the board of managers of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem and an officer of the board of Parkland Community Library.

She is also a Cub Scout den leader and sings with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem.

Truth for Women taps nonprofit Bloom director to be its CEO

Andersen –

Truth for Women, a Bethlehem-based nonprofit that helps survivors of sex trafficking, has hired a new CEO. Carol Andersen, who is coming from Bloom, a nonprofit in Bangor with a residential program for women, where she  is executive director.

Andersen is co-chair of Leigh Valley Anti-Trafficking Week 2020 and is a trained trauma-informed crisis counselor for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

“The realities of commercial sexual exploitation and its effect on our society and female victims are tragic and disturbing,” Andersen said in a release. “I look forward to working together and creating opportunities for women survivors to find refuge and begin the healing process.”

Truth for Women is a non-profit organization with the mission of providing sanctuary and emergency stabilization to survivors of sex trafficking.

Rite Aid Foundation donates $2M to fight racism, intolerance

The Rite Aid Foundation is launching a Racial Equity Awareness and Action Initiative to push for progress and sustainable change by donating $1 million to two nonprofit groups – EmbraceRace and United Way.

“Racism, injustice and intolerance have no home in the Rite Aid organization or in our communities,” Heyward Donigan, president and CEO of Rite Aid, said in a release. “We are committed to reflecting the diversity of the communities we serve.

“While this is a profoundly sad, difficult and important moment in our country, we also believe hope and progress is possible – one voice, one person, one family and one community at a time,” she said

EmbraceRace provides parents, grandparents, teachers and others the strategies and resources necessary to develop affirmative, race-conscious practices that nurture children with the tools and sensibilities to help end racial division.

“The work of realizing the true promise of multiracial democracy in the United States, where everyone feels they belong and where real opportunity exists for all, must start at the youngest ages with our children,” Andrew Grant-Thomas, co-founder of EmbraceRace, said in the release.

United Way released its Equity Framework to advance equity through data, community mobilization and engagement; communications and awareness building; fundraising, resource allocation and grantmaking; policy and advocacy; and local capacity building, according to its website.

“There isn’t a more important or urgent issue than dealing with institutional racism in America right now,” said Brian Gallagher, CEO of United Way Worldwide.

Acela Architects and Engineers to move into former Girl Scouts property

Acela Architects and Engineers will move into an Allentown property long occupied by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania. PHOTO/SUBMITTED) –

A local architect and engineering firm will move into an Allentown property long occupied by the Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania.

Acela Architects and Engineers, which has a location at 4969 Hamilton St. in Lower Macungie Township, will occupy the building.

Feinberg Real Estate Advisors LLC represented the Girl Scouts in the $610,000 sale of 2619 Moravian Ave., a 7,500-square-foot property in Allentown.

Cindy McDonnell Feinberg, principal of Feinberg Real Estate Advisors in South Whitehall Township, who represented the seller, said the transaction was completed last week.

James Balliet of KW Commercial of South Whitehall Township represented the buyer, HIWT LLC, an investment group that plans to redevelop the property for Acela Architects and Engineers, she said.

The firm plans to move into the new building within the next four weeks and use it for its new corporate headquarters in the Lehigh Valley, said Daniel Witczak, president of Acela Architects and Engineers.

“It’s a beautiful facility, it gives us a lot of room to grow,” Witczak said. “It’s an easy access on and off highway, it’s convenient for our clients.”

The property on Moravian Avenue was originally developed in 1977 as the headquarters for the Great Valley Girl Scouts and later became a service center with the merger of county-based programs, which led to the creation of Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania with headquarters in Miquon, Montgomery County, Feinberg said.

For now, Girls Scout employees are working remotely in different Girl Scouts locations, Feinberg said.

Acela has 18 employees and plans to add three more people at the  new location once the pandemic ends, Witczak said.

“We’ve been set up to work from home from the beginning,” he said. “Everybody has a laptop and docking station. That’s the way we started our company.”

Employees have the ability to work from home and take laptops home as needed.

Acela has been at its Lower Macungie office for three years and has three other locations in Ohio, New York and New Jersey.



Culinary etiquette program teaches confidence, professionalism

A culinary student etiquette program recently took place at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center. At 60 stories, the four-star luxury hotel is noteworthy for its expansive views of the city. PHOTO/SUBMITTED –

The growth of restaurants and dining out may be on hold because of COVID-19, but the need for young people schooled in the etiquette of dining, particularly at high-end establishments, remains.

When restaurants reopen, some hospitality professionals believe a culinary etiquette program could become popular with newbies to the dining scene. It’s a tool, they say, that is helpful whether one is looking to build a career in the food service industry, or simply gain an edge in the business world where many important meetings take place over a meal.

The idea for a culinary student etiquette program came from a member of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, said Ben Fileccia, director of operations and strategy for the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the PRLA, a nonprofit based in Harrisburg.

He held onto that idea and decided to make a go of it, launching the association’s first etiquette program in Philadelphia. Now, he plans to bring it into the Lehigh Valley.

And they’ll learn over lunch, with help from restaurant owners, schools and the association.

“We realized that, yes, there’s a need when you realize a lot of professional interviews happen over lunch or a college prep meeting could take place at dinner,” Fileccia said. “Even though we are at a time when we want people to express themselves, there are some times where you are judged based on how you look and professional settings are those times.”

Fileccia applied for a grant that would allow him to expand a program that highlights the hospitality industry and possibly attracts young people to the field.

Philadelphia’s etiquette program is a pillar of the Kitchen Cabinet program, said Lindsey Miller, manager of grassroots advocacy for the National Restaurant Association. Kitchen Cabinet is made up of restaurant operators, employees and supporters committed to growing and preserving opportunity in the restaurant industry, she said.

“We work closely with nonprofit organizations and government officials to ensure that restaurants remain a strong cornerstone in our economy and continue to create opportunities for all Americans,” she said.

Once the PRLA received the grant, Fileccia contacted officials at the Philadelphia School District to gauge their interest and they jumped at the chance.

PRLA gave all the students business cards and engraved metal business card holders to create a sense of professionalism. Then, with the school district, he coordinated a lunch with the owner of Star Restaurants for the program’s first event at The Love, a restaurant in Philadelphia.

Fileccia said the cost is between $120 and $200 per student, per luncheon, with the PRLA picking up the tab, including travel expenses. The PRLA can achieve that through a grant from the National Restaurant Association, he added.

The cost fluctuates depending on the lunch location. The program teaches participants a variety of skills, from proper utensil placement and use, to what to do with linen napkins when getting up from the table.

The program also helps build skills on when to use direct eye contact and how to show respect for the servers, other diners, and the food itself, he added. The school district chooses the students, and they’ve sent a full class of culinary students each time.

The second program took place at the Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center.

At 60 stories, the four-star luxury hotel is noteworthy for its glass elevator.

“It’s important for me to show the different areas where the industry can take you,” Fileccia said. “Hopefully, in the fall, the restaurants will be re-launched again and I can really kick it off in the Lehigh Valley.”

These culinary etiquette lunch programs could be done anywhere, Miller said.

“I think, once we know when people can go out to eat, we certainly would like to do more of them,” Miller said. “They are easy to replicate in other markets.”

One of the biggest benefits for students going into etiquette lunches is the experience of going out to eat, and learning how to be comfortable in diverse settings. Both build confidence, she said.

The program can also show students learning how to interact in a networking event, which can be helpful in securing a job, she said.


DLP Real Estate conducts blood drive amid COVID-19 pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, blood donor organizations are facing major blood shortages, but one local firm, DLP Real Estate Capital, hosted its first company-wide blood drive in Hanover Township, Northampton County on Monday. Organizations such as the Red Cross say it’s safe to donate blood during the pandemic. (PHOTO/SUBMITTED) –

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread, blood donor organizations are facing major blood shortages, but one local firm hosted its first company-wide blood drive shortly before Gov. Tom Wolf urged all non-essential businesses in the state to close.

DLP Real Estate Capital of Hanover Township, Northampton County, hosted a drive on that day at its Lehigh Valley headquarters and two other sites — its St. Augustine, Florida headquarters, and its DLP Brite Homes office in Orlando.

“If it was later this week, we would have had to cancel it,” said Jenn LoConte, communications and public relations manager for DLP Real Estate Capital.

The quandary organizations such as The Red Cross face is the need for blood ramping up as blood drives across the nation get cancelled. According to the Red Cross, each blood donation saves up to three lives.

Peter Brown, executive director of The American Red Cross Lehigh Valley-Bucks Chapter, said the Red Cross has canceled more than 1,700 blood drives nationwide.

DLP’s blood drive benefitted The American Red Cross in Pennsylvania and One Blood at the two Florida sites.

At Monday’s local event, which DLP hosted outdoors, 17 donors gave blood and at all three locations, they received 51 blood donations, she said.

“We were anticipating the event and then the coronavirus happened,” LoConte said.

She said the Red Cross incorporated pre-screening methods for all donors, including taking everyone’s temperature and asking general questions as well as coronavirus-related questions.

“They did put safeguards in place,” she said. “Even though the numbers were down from what we had originally hoped for, we’re thankful to be able to help those whose lives can be saved from these blood donations, especially now.”

LoConte said DLP is looking to do more community outreach efforts.

Allentown Art Museum president/CEO resigns

David Mickenberg, president and CEO of The Allentown Art Museum for nearly seven years has stepped down. (PHOTO/FILE) –

David Mickenberg, president and CEO of The Allentown Art Museum for nearly seven years, has resigned. The nonprofit museum’s board of directors hired Diane Scott, former superintendent of the Allentown School District, as interim executive director.

Mickenberg left to pursue other options, said Chris Potash, manager of marketing and public relations for the museum. He declined to provide further details.

Mickenberg has served as the president and CEO since October, 2013.
Although he could not confirm the salary for the position of the new president and CEO, Mickenberg’s salary was nearly $176,000.

The museum board will determine the salary of the new president and CEO, he said.

Potash said the search for the new person will start right away, with a candidate chosen within six months.

Scott is a past board member and helped the Allentown Symphony Association as the interim executive director on three occasions, said Michelle Stringer, chairperson of the museum’s board of directors, in a statement. Her service there makes her a knowledgeable and experienced leader to ensure the stable operation of the museum during the recruiting process and transition, Stringer said.

The board will conduct a national search for an executive director who can provide a balance of leadership, management, fundraising and other capabilities.