Live painting demonstration at Chamber dinner

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First Posted: 6/19/2013

Erik Wahl, artist, author, entrepreneur and philanthropist was the keynote speaker at The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce’s 145th Annual Dinner June 18, at Hilton Scranton & Conference Center, Scranton.

Wahl spoke about uncovering new ways to make your organization more creative, innovative and profitable. He also encouraged attendees to become better storytellers for their companies and industries. During his presentation, Wahl performed two live painting demonstrations.

In addition to Wahl’s presentation, immediate past Chamber Board Chair, Paula Mackarey, president of Happenings Communications Group, Inc., shared the accomplishments and milestones that the Chamber, and its affiliates, achieved this year. These included:

The Chamber continues to help each of its 1,700 plus members grow. A newly designed membership campaign recruited 60 new members. During the past year, more than 6,000 chamber members attended Chamber events.

Metro Action has provided 31 loans totaling nearly $2 million to regional businesses. To date, The Luzerne County Small Business Loan Program has assisted six businesses with funding totaling $202,500. MetroAction also surpassed $5 million in loans to small businesses throughout its nine county service area. MetroAction’s staff provided over 1,000 hours of counseling its borrowers this year.

SLIBCO recently opened the doors to its brand new technology incubator facility, TekRidge Center, located in in the Jessup Small Business Center. The facility can house 11 incubator tenants and up to eight anchor tenants.

The Scranton Plan is coordinating the Northeast PA Regional Bioscience Initiative (NEPA RBI). The initiative’s goal is to locate and or grow life science businesses in the region; the location of the Commonwealth Medical College is one of many factors making the development of the bioscience industry in northeast Pennsylvania a logical step. The initiative has been focused on training efforts and facilitating seven industry-sectored roundtable discussions.

Leadership Lackawanna adds to the community. Twenty- one individuals from the Core Programs class of 2013 will graduate this month and 20 individuals graduated this past fall from the executive program. The Tomorrow’s Leaders Today program hosted 34 teens from 16 schools to teach them skills and insight into the professional world.

Skills in Scranton continues to work with the local high school principals and administrators and the local workforce to define the skills set needed in our region. Skills in Scranton works to ensure there are training programs and resources for the high school students to prepare them for the workforce. to Skills in Scranton has been working with The Scranton Plan to educate the business community about The NEPA Regional Bioscience initiative as well as attending special events and roundtable discussions related to the initiative.

The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the area’s economic environment and quality of life. For more information about the Chamber, visit