Last updated: February 20. 2013 3:16AM - 490 Views

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City businesses turned up their industrial power on Wednesday, Jan. 16 with the re-launch of Wilkes-Barre POWER! at the River Grille (670 North River St., Plains).

Over 100 business owners and professionals attended the first networking mixer of the newly reorganized Wilkes-Barre POWER!, a membership association ??providing opportunities for networking, community and civic improvement,? and ??professional and leadership development and advancement,? according to its website. The acronym stands for ??Professionals Organized and Working to Enrich the Region.?

??We have a group of individuals that volunteer their time after hours, weekends. They are committed, dedicated, passionate about bringing POWER! to the next level,? President Ed Troy, who is also the owner of the Ed Troy Insurance Agency, commented as he introduced the new board members to the crowd.

Among them was Vice President Mike Toma, who serves as the chief marketing officer at Kuhcoon, a local social media management service. Responding to past criticism, he said the group, which is affiliated with Scranton and Hazleton POWER! chapters, is looking to become more than just a social gathering.

??We??re looking to change that a little bit. We have the next, I would say, five to six months planned out, and what we want to do, our collective vision for what we??re doing here, is more than a mixer. It??s more than a social hour. What we want to do is really provide value our members and our community,? Toma explained.

??You??re in a spot with the movers and the shakers of Wilkes-Barre, so it??s a great place to share ideas and exchange business cards, talk about the different economic developments, political issues ?? anything that??s affecting W-B to this day. We really look forward to that and also providing value to our community, trying to stimulate growth.?

Guest speaker Jill Price, an education coordinator at Wilkes University, brought the crowd together through team building exercises, including funny ways to encourage introductions and beanbag tossing.

Troy said the next meeting of Wilkes-Barre POWER! will be Tuesday, Feb. 12 at Uptown II (215 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre), and the guest speaker will be Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis. For more information, visit facebook.com/gwbyp and nepapower.com.

Wilkes-Barre POWER! board members

? President: Ed Troy

? Vice President: Mike Toma

? Secretary: Therese Maxfield

? Treasurer: Angela Gavlick

? Corporate Relations: Robert Bouika

? Membership: Aaron Haydu

? Social Media: Chris Nash and Jeff Conway

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