Checking in with the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber Councils – June 2021
Posted: June 8, 2021
We’re teaming up with community partners all over Northeastern Pennsylvania to bring you a closer look at what makes our amazing counties, cities, towns and villages so unique. Keep your eye on this space for regular contributions from local organizations, visitors’ bureaus, tourism boards, chambers and so much more.
Check Out What’s Going On With Our Chamber Volunteer Councils
Be on the lookout for great Chamber Council events this June.
The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce wants to keep you updated each month with everything that our volunteer councils have planned this year, including some great community events and initiatives!
This month, all of our Chamber councils are coming together to celebrate the community for our 2021 EPIC (Extraordinary People Inspiring Community) Awards. The award ceremony will take place on Tuesday, June 8th, at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza at 5:30 PM. This year’s event is getting each council involved in our EPIC program, as our council leaders take the stage to talk about this year’s honorees. The 2021 award recipients include:
- Athena® Award: Kathi Bankes, Director of Catering and Special Events at Culinary Creations by Metz & Ruth’s Chris Steak House
- Innovator of the Year Award: Theodore Wampole – Executive Director, Luzerne County Convention & Visitors Bureau; David Pedri – County Manager, Luzerne County; and Will Beekman – General Manager, Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
- Volunteer of the Year Award: Mary Erwine – President of Erwine Home Health and Hospice, Inc. and Sandy Insalaco, Sr. – Owner/Director of Insalaco Development Group
- Community Celebration Award: Family Service Association of NEPA (celebrating 125 years), Greater Pittston Chamber (celebrating 100 years), United Way of Wyoming Valley (celebrating 100 years), Maternal and Family Health Services, Inc. (celebrating 50 years), Leadership Wilkes-Barre (celebrating 40 years), Diamond City Partnership (celebrating 20 years), and Dress For Success Luzerne County (celebrating 10 years)
We will be capping off our EPIC night with a special video highlight of each of our councils, spotlighting how they have all grown in size and reach, and their community impact in our region. Check back next month for the full video piece and get more information on the 2021 EPIC Awards here to find out how to attend!
All of our Chamber councils would love to welcome new members. If you would like to join the Young Professionals Council; Women’s Council; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council; Ambassadors Council; Government Affairs Council; Nonprofit Council; or sign up to stay updated on their news and events, click here.
Spotlighting Our Amazing Chamber Members
The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber councils have also started to highlight some of the amazing small businesses and nonprofits in our community that make our area unique. The Young Professionals Council; Women’s Council; and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council have three amazing organizations and their leaders spotlighted below!
Meet this month’s Young Professionals Network Small Business Highlight: Lafe Isaacson, Pastor of Abide Coffeehouse!
At Abide, their goal is to bring you more than great tasting specialty coffee — they want to bring you a place that feels like home. Nestled in downtown Wilkes-Barre, they believe that they have been gifted with a special opportunity to take part in paying homage to our city’s history while still offering a modernity that appeal to all generations.
They are rooted in community and want their space to be one that you truly “abide” at, and hang out, talk, and visit for events. They love that they are located between two major colleges and within the heart of a working district in Wilkes-Barre. They want to be a place that you make a part of your everyday.
Connect with Abide Coffeehouse on on social media. Or, stop by the shop at 23 W Market St, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701 Monday through Friday from 7:45 AM – 1:00 PM.
Meet this month’s Women’s Network Small Business Highlight: Abby Singh, Owner and Operator of Canteen Park!
Abby Singh was born and raised in Pennsylvania. She graduated from Wyoming Valley West high school and moved to New York City in 2000. She graduated from NYU, Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Food Studies and Management in 2004. After graduating from NYU, she worked at The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) from 2004-2008. While working at ICE, she worked with and learned from several high profile culinary influencers and celebrity chefs. In 2010, Abby returned to her hometown in Northeastern PA to open her first restaurant, Canteen 900, in Forty Fort, PA.
Her current restaurant, Canteen Park, in Kingston offers lunch and dinner menus. The popular spot also features cocktails, craft beer, all natural smoothies and a fresh espresso bar. Their location has become a hub of local music, art, and charitable outreach. Canteen Park regularly host local bands and artists. They have even turned the fence surrounding their property into a grab and go spot for those in need of clothing items and warm accessories.
Stop by Canteen Park at 181 Market St, Kingston, PA. They are open on Tuesdays from 10:30 AM -4 PM and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:30 AM -6:30 PM.
Meet this month’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council Highlight: Sara Peperno, President/CEO of Northeast Sight Services.
The mission of the Northeast Sight Services is to help blind and visually impaired individuals achieve the best possible quality of life by providing compassionate services and to prevent vision loss through education and early detection for people of all ages. The nonprofit organization has served Northeastern Pennsylvania, including Luzerne, Wyoming, Wayne, and Pike Counties since 1918.
“It has been a challenging year for Northeast Sight Services and for our clients – much like everyone else, as we did our best to navigate through a global pandemic. But, I can’t tell you how proud I am of our staff and volunteers, who have developed such innovative changes and made incredible sacrifices to ensure that those who are in need of the most critical services receive them. I look forward to getting back to business as usual in 2021, with lots of new initiatives and expansions planned for our local community,” says Peperno.
To learn more or get involved, visit Northeast Sight Services, or check them out on social media.