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Checking in with the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber Councils – May 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.

What’s New with Our Chamber Volunteer Councils?


Be on the lookout for great Chamber Council events this May.

The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce wants to keep you updated each month with everything that their volunteer councils have planned this year, including some great community events and initiatives that you can join virtually from the comfort of your home!



The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council

The DEI Council just closed out Diversity Month with their 2nd Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Webinar Series, which featured seven video sessions highlighting some amazing minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in our community and educating attendees around building DEI practices in your workplace and in the community. You can watch them all here.

Additionally, the Council spotlighted amazing professionals in the community who are leading diversity efforts or who have diverse backgrounds in a special blog series that can check out here.



The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber’s Women’s Council

The Women’s Council just announced our 2021 Athena® Award recipient for our EPIC (Extraordinary People Inspiring Community) Awards on June 8th as Kathi Bankes, Director of Catering and Special Events at Culinary Creations by Metz & Ruth’s Chris Steak House. This award honors someone who has personified the highest level of professional excellence in her business or profession, has devoted time and energy to the community in a meaningful way, and, most especially, has generously assisted other women in attaining their full potential.

The Council will also be honoring five more individuals and seven community organizations at the socially distant event, which will be held at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.



The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber’s Young Professionals Council

The Young Professionals Council is hosting an upcoming virtual mini-series, “Elevate Your Morning: A Week-Long Mini-Series,” kicking off at 9AM on Monday, May 10th. Every morning that week, one of our very own YPs will be going LIVE on Facebook from the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber Elevate Young Professionals Network Group. All are welcome to tune in with their favorite morning beverage with us. Our next YP Council meeting will also be held on Wednesday, May 12th at noon! Sign up to join the Council to receive the next meeting invitation here.



The Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber’s Nonprofit Council, Government Affairs Council, and Ambassadors Council

The Nonprofit Council, the Government Affairs Council and the Ambassadors Council would love to welcome new members at their upcoming meetings. If you would like to join any of the councils mentioned above, or sign up to stay updated on their news and events, learn more here.


Spotlighting Our Amazing 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: Tyler Rice, Art Director/Partner at AxelRad Screen Printing!

According to Tyler, AxelRad Screen Printing is a family. It was created in a basement, and, through the power of some of the hardest working people Tyler says he has ever met, they have managed to grow into the facility they are in today. “A small business is only as strong as its employees, and we’ve been lucky enough to find a crew who have repeatedly shown that they will do whatever it takes to push us forward and succeed,” says Tyler.

Follow Axelrad on social media, or stop by their location at 1019 N. Washington Street, Wilkes-Barre PA 18705 Monday through Friday from 9-5.



Meet this month’s Women’s Network Small Business Highlight: Tara Mugford Wilson, President at Power Engineering Corporation and Owner of SHOOZE Contemporary Boutique!

Power Engineering Corporation is a Commercial/Industrial HVAC Construction and Service Company specializing in design build and plan spec work throughout the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. Turnkey projects include sheet metal ductwork, mechanical and process piping, plumbing, and controls. They perform work in the areas of higher education, hospital, nursing home, production plants, distribution, warehousing and office building markets.

SHOOZE is a boutique located in Kingston specializing in contemporary women’s and men’s clothing, shoes and accessories. Tara acquired it 2 years ago April 1, 2019. Stop by and see them; they carry brands to cover 3 generations of family members.

Tara says that “COVID has devastated so many of our small businesses owners, whether you shop at SHOOZE or one of the many other wonderful locally owned shops and restaurants in our community, please know how much your business means to each and every one of our small businesses. ‘Shop Local’ makes a huge difference in the landscape of our streets and our towns and it keeps our communities thriving.”

Visit Power Engineering Corp. online and don’t forget to check out SHOOZE.



Meet this month’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council Highlight: Bob Curry, Founding President, Hazleton Integration Project’s (HIP), Inc.

The mission of the Hazleton Integration Project’s (HIP), is to provide educational, cultural, and athletic opportunities to underserved children, thereby fostering trust and respect among all of our region’s ethnic cultures. The 2020 pandemic caused HIP to reimagine their role in the community, and to dedicate their efforts to solving local issues in the most efficient ways possible. This led us to become a force fighting food insecurity through their partnerships with the Joe Maddon’s Respect 90 Foundation, CEO and GIANT Foods.

Additionally, in order to serve children who lack either computers or connectivity in their homes, HIP’s community center became a remote learning center, allowing up to 60 children each day to utilize their computers and connect to their school classrooms. HIP’s biggest upcoming initiative will be the “Spectacular Summers” camp program designed to allow up to 100 children to resume feeling a sense of normalcy in their lives through shared educationally based fun activities. HIP can always use donations, either monetary and/ or supplies, and, of course, volunteers are always welcome.

To learn more or to get involved, visit Hazleton Integration Project, or follow them on social media.

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