Kaplin Stewart, Blue Mountain Resort and more name new hires, promotions


Spring Township, Berks County-based Herbein + Co. Inc. named Mark Gallagher, Rachelle Gordon and Lyle Loeb partners. They will be part of the leadership team of Herbein | FOS Risk Management, which specializes in the banking industry.

Banking and finance

Ithaca, New York-based Tompkins Community Bank named Michael K. Pearson a member of its community bank board for the Pennsylvania market. Pearson is principal of Michael K. Pearson Consulting and a partner with Iron Stone Real Estate Partners. He was an officer in the U.S. Army and received a Bronze Star for his Persian Gulf War service. Mary Ann Moffitt was named senior vice president, middle market leader and deputy credit administration officer. Moffitt will drive commercial lending and credit strategy for the Pennsylvania market.

Lower Macungie Township, Lehigh County-based National Energy Improvement Fund named Trey Muffet senior director of business development for national accounts. Muffet will expand outreach to contractors and others to integrate financing for energy efficiency and upgrades to roofing, windows and heating, ventilation and air conditioning for homeowners and businesses.

Stroudsburg, Monroe County-based ESSA Bank & Trust named Rachel Burbank fair lending officer. Burbank, who has been employed in banking for 20 years, will help to ensure that the bank is compliant with all fair lending laws, regulations and guidance, and will also conduct employee training.


Kutztown University named Rebecca West Burns Dean of the College of Education, effective Aug. 1. Burns has 20 years of teaching and leadership experience in education.

Berks County Intermediate Unit named Lucille Gallis chief financial officer. Angel Green was named assistant director of finance. Green has more than 21 years of financial experience, including 14 in Pennsylvania school district business operations. Rob Rosenberry was named chief operating officer. Mary Franciscus was named director of human resources.


Lower Towamensing Township, Carbon County-based Blue Mountain Resort named Luke Wynen director of sales. Wynen will develop, oversee and coordinate all sales initiatives.


Whitpain Township, Montgomery County-based Kaplin Stewart named Benjamin Picker a principal in the commercial litigation group. Picker represents clients in legal disputes, including contracts, real estate and leases, mechanics’ liens, consumer protection, insurance, constitutional rights, securities, class actions, intellectual property and business law.

Lancaster-based Barley Snyder named Brandon D. Pack an attorney with its creditors’ rights practice group. Pack will work in the Wyomissing office in Spring Township, Berks County, and concentrate his practice in financial services litigation, banking litigation and residential and commercial mortgage foreclosures.


Cumru Township, Berks County-based MADJ Marketing named Olivia Massaro account executive. Massaro will oversee and execute client and account management, project and production management, copywriting and social media administration for several accounts.

Upper Macungie Township, Lehigh County-based Liquid named Maegen Kuztman project management team lead. Kuztman will oversee project management, processes and project management employees. Emily Massaro was named vice president of marketing. Massaro will continue to oversee the digital marketing team and the firm’s internal and external marketing communication.


Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Policy Center named Levana Layendecker deputy director and chief operating officer. Layendecker has more than 15 years of legislative advocacy and organizing experience.

Springfield Township, Montgomery County-based Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania elected Nicole LeVine chair of its board of directors. LeVine is senior vice president and chief operating officer for PECO. Mary Beth Biddle, Kathy Killian, Olubunmi Ojikutu and Ashley Russo were named board members. Biddle is a mechanical engineer. Killian is vice president of administration for the Philadelphia Phillies. Ojikutu is chair of the department of pediatrics at Reading Hospital. Russo is president of ASR Media Productions.

Reading-based Berks Community Health Center named Dr. Karen Wang chief medical officer. Wang will coordinate and oversee medical care, clinical policies, protocols and the quality and peer review processes.

Berks County-based Olivet Boys & Girls Club named Kristy Brown chief financial officer. Brown has more than 10 years of experience in accounting and finance. BK McDonough was named chief development officer.

Compiled by Amy DiNunzio

PA Lt. Gov. highlights Shapiro Administration’s investments in workforce in Tec Centro visit

Investments in workforce development, technical training, and apprenticeships highlighted Lt. Gov. Austin Davis’s visit Thursday to Tec Centro SW in Lancaster. 

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s budget proposes to increase funding by $23.8 million to build partnerships between career and technical education and industries, trades and entities seeking skilled workers. 

“The governor and I want to make Pennsylvania a leader in innovation, job creation and economic development,” Davis said in a statement. “If we’re going to address the workforce shortages facing our communities, we must empower Pennsylvanians to pursue their dreams, no matter what they may be. 

“That’s why the Shapiro-Davis budget invests more into apprenticeship programs, expands vo-tech and brings career and technical training back into the classroom, to give students that freedom and help prepare them for the future.” 

A provider of bilingual education and skill training for those who are unemployed and under-employed, Tec Centro operates two workforce centers in Lancaster and one in Reading. The Tec Centro centers in Lancaster train more than 1,200 workers. 

Tec Centro plans to open a facility in Lebanon this summer, one in York later this year, and another in Harrisburg in 2024. 

State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El said the proposed budget increase in partnerships between education and industry will build an information bridge between workers, educational institutions, and industries. 

“Workers will know what skills they need to get the jobs they want; educational institutions will design programs that teach workers the in-demand skills they need to thrive; and businesses will be able to fill their talent pipeline with highly skilled workers,” said Smith-Wade-El. “This is a smart and necessary investment in our people, our communities, and our industries that will pay dividends in the years to come.”

200,000-plus-SF warehouse to be built next to Coca-Cola Park

Indus Realty Group, a New York City-based real estate investment trust, is building a 205,800-square-foot industrial warehouse in Allentown, next to Coca-Cola Park.

The Class A facility, on 23 acres at 1115 American Parkway, is available for lease.

Lee Fittipaldi, of Lee & Associates, which is the brokerage agency handling the listing, said possible tenants are being interviewed. The building is well under construction and should be completed near the end of July.

“It’s a great project,” he said, with ideal size for this market. The warehouse offers easy access to Route 22 and Lehigh Valley International Airport and can draw from a large potential workforce population.

Fittipaldi said any traffic issues with the ballpark, where the minor league Lehigh Valley IronPigs play, are being “mitigated.”

On its website, Indus said it completed a complex master plan for 1115 American Parkway that included assembling multiple parcels, remediating the site, “and collaboration with the City of Allentown as well as owners of the adjacent IronPigs minor league baseball stadium to construct additional stadium parking, capacity, and a realignment of American Parkway and IronPigs Way.”

The listing for the building said it will feature 36-foot clear height, 28 dock high doors, two drive-in doors and a separate on-site trailer parking lot.

Indus said it seeks to be “a leading logistics real estate company focused on select high-growth, supply-constrained markets that can satisfy the demand of ever-changing supply chain requirements.”

Its portfolio includes properties in Connecticut, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina as well as 11 in Pennsylvania – all of which are in the Lehigh Valley.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Lehigh Valley college gets new funding for manufacturing training programs

Northampton Community College in Bethlehem has received $336,024 in new funding to support manufacturing programs, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Rick Siger announced Wednesday. 

Two Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career (MTTC) grants were awarded to Northampton Community College. The school’s Industrial Skills for Manufacturing training program received $199,996, and the Precision Machine training program was granted $136,028. 

Siger visited the Bethlehem-based college on Wednesday and spoke of the “enormous impact” the training programs were having on students. 

“The people in these training programs are learning valuable skills that prepare them to enter the workforce and build strong, sustainable careers,” Siger said in a statement. “The investment that the Shapiro Administration is making here at Northampton Community College is an investment in Pennsylvania’s economic future.” 

The college’s Industrial Skills for Manufacturing training program curriculum includes introduction to manufacturing, workplace safety, measurement, blueprint fundamentals, basic electricity, electric relay control/programmable logic controllers, and mechanical maintenance concepts.

The aim of the Precision Machining training program is for students to learn and master the skill sets to safely and effectively operate the typical machines found in manufacturing environments. The career exploration components of the program will see students identify and align personal strengths and interests with manufacturing occupations to better understand the educational requirements, regional demand, and salaries for each.

Projects that result in short-term work-readiness, job placement, or the advancement of manufacturing are supported by the Manufacturing PA Training-to-Career grants program. The program works with area manufacturers to identify and teach essential skills for entry level applicants seeking manufacturing employment, engage youth or those with barriers to career opportunities in manufacturing, and or advance capacity for local or regional manufacturers.

Lauren Loeffler, vice president of Workforce Development, Northampton Community College, said the school is delighted to expand its relationship with DCED.

“Their support of these programs has been instrumental in helping our students, our college, and local employers to grow and move forward,” said Loeffler. “These high priority occupations are critical to the success of these businesses and our local economy long-term.”

More than 560,000 Pennsylvanians are currently employed in the state’s manufacturing industry.

Redner’s Markets director details hiring, employee retention

A Conversation with: Randy Kostelac, director of corporate training and education for Redner’s Markets Inc. 

LVB: Redner’s Markets is one of Berks County’s largest employers. How many people work for you and what are some of the jobs with the company? 

Kostelac: Redner’s currently employs around 5,300 wonderful associates which includes our supermarkets, convenience stores, warehouses, central kitchen, and corporate office. We offer a wide variety of positions throughout the company from entry level store associates, skilled position apprenticeships, department managers, store management, truck drivers, warehouse selectors, just to name a few. 

LVB: Many retailers are having trouble finding the right workers? What is Redner’s doing to attract top talent? 

Kostelac: Yes, it is very difficult to find the right workers these days. Over the past few years we have placed more emphasis on providing more benefits to our part-time associates. Including offering healthcare benefits to employees who average 30+ hours per week, accruing vacation time within the first year of employment, but our staple has always been providing a very flexible, family friendly work environment. We hear from employees every day about their appreciation of our flexibility to work around their family’s needs. We have a wonderful culture throughout our company and provides us the ability to attract the best of the best. 

LVB: What is it that Redner’s looks for in an employee? 

Kostelac: The most important quality we look for in a perspective employee is someone who puts the guest first. Providing first-class customer service is what we do and it is a priority each and every day We are interested in candidates who are service minded with outgoing personalities. Our guests love to interact with our employees and appreciate the genuine care and service they receive when they shop at any Redner’s. Of course, we also look for a commitment to working their shifts and providing an honest day’s work. We try to keep it simple. 

LVB: What makes Redner’s a good company to work for? 

Kostelac: Redner’s is committed to working around the needs of each employee. Everyone has a different situation, and we approach this on an individual basis. It’s no longer a one size fits all approach. Every employee provides significant value to the success of our company. We offer top-notch benefits and flexibility which makes us a great company to work for.  

Pa. nurses rally at State Capitol to address workforce crisis

Seeking to solve their workforce crisis, hundreds of Pennsylvania nurses from eight of the region’s largest nurses’ unions and advocacy groups rallied with patients, families, community advocates, and elected officials Tuesday at the State Capitol. 

Nurses met with legislators and testified before the Pennsylvania House Health Committee on the need for safe nurse staffing legislation and to urge passage of the Patient Safety Act (HB 106).  

Rebecca Hartman, a registered nurse from Allentown, said nurses are happy to work hard and happy to do hard work but want to be able to do the work safely. 

“If you make the job doable, more nurses will do it,” she said in a statement. “That’s why we’re here, asking our elected leaders to please help us and pass the Patient Safety Act here in Pennsylvania.” 

The bill was introduced in the PA House last Friday in bipartisan cooperation by state Reps. Tom Mehaffie, R-Dauphin, K.C. Tomlinson, R-Bucks, and Bridget Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna, who is a nurse. A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate by state Sen. Maria Collett, D-Montgomery, who is a nurse as well. 

“As a legislator, a mom, and a registered nurse of 29 years, I have many concerns about some current healthcare issues,” Kosierowski said. “This proposed legislation that we have worked so hard on allows our nurses to give patients the care that they deserve in a safer environment for all.” 

The House Health Committee held a hearing Tuesday to discuss the bill and took testimony from nurses and stakeholders. Among those testifying was Denelle Weller, a registered nurse from Central Pennsylvania. 

“When I discuss the needs of our patients, I want this committee to fully understand what it really looks like when staffing is not appropriate or safe,” Weller said. “Basic needs like bathing, toileting, eating, and even drinking cannot be met, especially when a patient is relying on you to assist with these needs.” 

Weller said patients can lay in their own urine and feces and develop deep ulcerations on their bodies if not turned and repositioned in bed. The wounds, she added, can become so large and deep that an adult can fit their first into them. 

Supporters feel the legislation will help fix the nurse workforce crisis and save lives, as well as saving hospitals and health systems millions of dollars. 

Robert Williams, a registered nurse from Northeast Pennsylvania, said studies have shown that safer staffing levels correlate directly to better quality of care and patient outcomes. 

“One University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing study in 2021 estimated that the savings due to fewer readmissions and shorter lengths of hospital stays is about $70 million, more than twice what the safe nurse staffing levels would cost,” said Williams. 

Nurses believe chronic unsafe staffing has led to high turnover rates at hospitals and unsafe conditions for patients. A recent survey of current and former hospital workers revealed that 90% of respondents reported that their hospitals do not have sufficient staff to handle the workload. 

Myra Taylor, a registered nurse, said the problem facing nurses is not new. Even prior to the pandemic, short staffing was cited as the single biggest driver of nurse burnout and turnovers. 

“This is something I have seen building over the course of my career and when the pandemic hit, it exposed the long-growing cracks in our healthcare system,” said Taylor. “But we can fix these cracks. We can solve this crisis. We can save our hospitals money and we can save lives while we’re doing it. We just need to pass the Patient Safety Act.” 

Among the nurses and others rallying at the Capitol was a coalition of organizations, including the Nurse Alliance of SEIU Healthcare PA, Nurses of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses & Allied Professionals (PASNAP), the Jersey Nurses Economic Security Organization (JNESO), the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), Council 13 of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Health Professionals and Allied Employees (HPAE), and the Pennsylvania Health Access Network (PHAN).

New hires and promotions in accounting, banking, health care and nonprofit sectors


Spring Township, Berks County-based Herbein + Co. Inc. named Merle Dunkelberger a senior consultant and member of the tax department. Dunkelberger has more than 40 years of public accounting, tax and leadership experience.

Banking and finance

Ithaca, New York-based Tompkins Community Bank named Laurie Grube community banking division manager of its Pennsylvania market. Grube has 33 years of banking industry experience and will oversee retail and business development strategies and manage branch operations. Paula Barron, who was senior vice president and community banking division manager of its Pennsylvania market, retired. Barron had 34 years of banking experience, 24 with Tompkins.

Health care

Lehigh Valley Health Network named Dr. Ravi Samy chief of the division of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery. Samy treats pediatric and adult otology and neurotology and specializes in skull-base tumor resection, hearing loss, working with cochlear implantation, auditory brainstem implementation and implantable hearing devices.


Bethlehem, Northampton County-based New Bethany Ministries named Michael J. Fischer vice president of its board of directors. He will serve on the organization’s executive, finance and development committees. Fischer is president and CEO of Upper Macungie Township, Lehigh County-based Client 1st Financial.

-Compiled by Amy DiNunzio

Lehigh lawmaker looks to make esports available to all Pa. students

Electronic sports (esports) are introducing students in high school and higher education to careers in gaming, software, and STEM-related jobs, and a Lehigh lawmaker looks to make esports accessible to every student across the state. 

Rep. Mike Schlossberg, D-Lehigh, was part of a roundtable discussion held Wednesday by the House Majority Policy Committee to learn more about the billion-dollar industry and its impact on the state’s economy and education. While esports teams exist throughout Pennsylvania at the high school level, the cost of these programs includes thousands of dollars in equipment and supervisors and poses challenges to economically disadvantaged school districts. 

Schlossberg has authored legislation to create a sustainable funding stream to support extracurricular programs for students across the state. 

“At first glance, esports might look like only video games, but one of the greatest aspects of extracurricular activities is to create an atmosphere where students build friendships and learn outside a classroom,” Schlossberg said in a statement. “Esports not only provides those opportunities, but it also exposes students to new digital technology and presents the possibility – like traditional sports – for students to earn college scholarships.”

Rep. Danilo Burgos, D-Philadelphia, said esports can provide the spark that encourages academic and emotional development in students.

“One of the most exciting aspects about esports, for me as a legislator and Latino, is its potential for an equitable solution to our strikingly low number of Black and Hispanic workers in STEM-related careers,” said Burgos, chairman of the Policy Subcommittee on Progressive Policies for Working People.

“Esports attract a diverse group of students, regardless of race or gender, and it has proven itself as a gateway into encouraging young people to pursue STEM education as well as STEM-related careers.”

Developing familiarity with digital technology at a young age is another aspect of esports. Studies show that Black youth make up the largest portion of the gaming teenage community, yet Black workers account for only 9% of the jobs in STEM-related fields.

“Esports offer students another chance to interact and learn alongside their peers,” said House Majority Policy Committee Chairman Ryan Bizzarro, D-Erie. “It also has the potential to bring together a diverse group of students, and it encourages an interest and understanding of the science and digital technology being used at their fingertips. Esports also offer a tremendous economic opportunity for Pennsylvania.”

During the roundtable discussion, the House Majority Policy Committee heard from experts and business leaders on the esports industry and its potential positive effects on Pennsylvania’s economy and workforce.