From teens to business owners, Pennstar helps its customers to ‘strive’ and ‘shine brighter’

Pennstar Bank believes in building a culture of success by challenging its employees to exceed expectations every day. Because of this approach, the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and Metro Action recognized Pennstar Bank and it employees in November 2012 for its company-wide Shine Brighter! philosophy.
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20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

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Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

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Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

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Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

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For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

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20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

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William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

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Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

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At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

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William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

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20 Under 40: Heather Davis

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Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

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Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

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John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

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“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

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Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

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David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

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Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

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Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

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Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

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As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

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Best and worst side jobs for extra holiday cash

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The holidays are a time for giving, but giving can be expensive. The season can put tremendous financial pressure and stress on average families. The good news, however, is that it’s also a great time to make some extra cash and pad your annual income wit (read more)

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At Pennstar Bank, we are dedicated to putting customers first and committed to actively investing in the communities where we do business. This has been our business model for more than a century and a direction we will continue to perfect to help our customers work toward their financial goals.
Headquartered in Scranton, Pennstar Bank is an independent community bank that provides personal banking, asset management and business services and maintains 35 offices across Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Susquehanna and Wayne counties.
NBT Bancorp, our parent company, provides Pennstar with the opportunity to balance and deliver the best benefits of a larger institution with a true community bank operating philosophy. In fact, NBT Bancorp has remained true to its community bank approach since its inception in 1856.
Pennstar Bank believes in building a culture of success by challenging its employees to exceed expectations every day. We believe in leading by example. We encourage our employees to think like owners and exhibit the initiative necessary to ensure our growth and continued success. Their leadership provides greater opportunity to think strategically to develop superior products and services underscored by unmatched customer service.
Because of this approach, the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and Metro Action recognized Pennstar Bank and it employees in November 2012 for its company-wide Shine Brighter! philosophy to deliver extraordinary customer service. At the chamber’s annual gala, held November 12th, the bank was awarded the Best Practices in Customer Service SAGE Award.
Our team is continually taking action to help our customers. This past year, the nationwide concern about extreme deficits in financial literacy led the bank to the launch a new financial education program and banking products that will help today’s youth grow into financially responsible, independent adults.
Do you have a credit card? Have you taken out a loan? The majority of us have done so successfully, but many others end up overwhelmed with debt because they don’t fully understand credit and how to use it wisely. Especially with young adults, they underestimate the value of good credit until they are in a situation where they need it, like buying a home or car, obtaining a good job, and even signing up for various utility services. Pennstar Bank hopes to change that by helping kids, teens and young adults grow their money skills earlier in life through Strive®, its youth and young adult financial education program. Because developing smart financial habits at a young age often helps build a brighter financial future, it’s never too early to establish a good understanding of your finances and a good credit history.
Pennstar Bank provides tools for parents, teachers and employers to have financial discussions with youth and young adults. For example, the bank offers the following quick credit tips that you can share:
1. Only borrow what you know you can afford to pay back.
2. Be aware of all the terms and conditions and be sure to meet all requirements.
3. Process all of your payments within the timeframes specified to remain in good credit standing and to avoid penalties and fees.
4. Develop a budget plan and use credit carefully to help you stay away from a bad debt situation.
5. Closing your credit card can actually hurt your credit. Find out how it affects your credit report.
One of the top community initiatives in 2012, Strive® is much more than credit awareness. It focuses on building skills and enhancing the learning process as youth and young adults progress from one life stage to the next. This includes dozens of customized educational programs in local classrooms, as well as participation in America Saves Week in February, Teach Children to Save Day in April, and Get Smart About Credit Day in October. The bank also launched iStrive® banking products in 2012 for youth and young adults to gain first-hand experience managing a bank account including services like check cashing, debit cards and online banking.
As part of the bank’s Strive Financial Literacy program, Pennstar branch managers visited several classrooms throughout northeast Pennsylvania. In February, Tammy Jackson and Gail Rees taught students in grades 11 and 12 about the pitfalls and predicaments of automated financial services during a program for Leadership Lackawanna’s “Tomorrow’s Leaders Today.” In local classrooms, Pennstar branch managers participated in the Dunmore Elementary School back to school night and presented to the St. Jude’s School Parent-Teacher Group. The bank also provided Strive financial education material to the Valley View School District, Ms. Myra’s Preschool, A-Z Learning Center and Tobyhanna Kids Day Care Center.
Our financial education doesn’t stop with students, though. Representatives from Pennstar Bank visited the Pike County Center for the Aging in August 2012 to talk with the Center’s counselors about different forms of identity theft and fraud targeted at senior citizens. These experts taught best practices for the counselors to share with senior citizens to help them protect themselves from elder fraud and other forms of identity theft. The program’s attendees were instructed on how to help senior citizens better understand how their identities can be stolen so that they can be better prepared to protect themselves from future threats.
Pennstar bank also sponsored “Start UP,” a six-week certificate program for women entrepreneurs offered by the University of Scranton Women’s Entrepreneurship Center and Small Business Development Center.
In addition to our commitment to helping customers and our extensive corporate giving practices, our employees across our footprint and lines of business give back to the communities they call home and invest in their future. We’re proud to be active members and leaders in numerous community organizations to further demonstrate our commitment to the area’s advancement and well-being.
Beyond northeastern Pennsylvania, NBT Bancorp enjoyed continued growth in 2012, expanding its Norwich campus in NY; adding branches in Greene and Schoharie counties in NY; and acquiring all five branches of Hampshire First Bank in NH. NBT Bank also announced plans in 2012 to acquire all 26 branches of Alliance Bank in Syracuse, N.Y., scheduled for 2013.
These successes have been recognized by several national media. For the fourth year in a row, has ranked NBT Bank in the top 25 in its annual “America’s Best and Worst Banks” feature published December 2012. SNL Financial, a premier provider of breaking news, financial data and expert analysis on the banking industry, ranked NBT Bank as #17 on its list of top regional banks published April 2012. And, Bank Director magazine ranked NBT Bank as #19 in its Bank Performance Scorecard for banks with assets between $5 and $50 billion published third quarter of 2012.
In 2013, we promise to continue to support the best interests of Northeastern Pennsylvania every single day. Pennstar Bank offers more than just great rates, convenient locations and excellent customer service. Working together, you can rely on our knowledge, service and value to deliver a business banking relationship that exceeds your expectations. Stop by, call or visit us online today.
Pennstar bank is a division of Norwich, N.Y.-based NBT Bank, N.A. NBT operates from 135 banking locations in five states, including New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. The bank reported total assets of $6 billion for the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2012.