Sustainability and economic development

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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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Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

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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As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

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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Value of inherited Caddy is dubious

Q: I am now the owner of a 1978 Cadillac Seville Grand Opera Coupe. This was my grandmother’s car and one of a few hundred made of this model. It is not running, but I believe that is due to it sitting. It is all original and has very few miles. What is t (read more)

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Murnin

By Cheryl Scandale Murnin, LEED, AP

Economic development seeks to improve the wellbeing and quality of life in a community by creating, and then retaining jobs with the goal of growing incomes and the tax base. The broader the tax base, the lower the tax burden per capita, and the more conducive to growth is a community.

The ability to accomplish these base activities addresses both the health of a community, and the productivity of the business climate. There is always room for improvement. Businesses, during the site selection phase seek communities with transparent governance, high quality of life, an equitable, modern taxing structure and an opportunity to become involved in the community. Economic and community development is successful fostering business when it creates sustained growth. Sustained growth can be accomplished through leadership in good, forward-looking policy making, and through thoughtful policy administration. A strong, pro-growth business environment supported by a high quality of life occurs when both good policy making and administration happen equally on a regular basis.

Sophisticated business leaders seek communities that demonstrate a long-term commitment to place-based economic development because it illustrates that community understands how important the triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit is. A place-based strategy leverages a community’s amenities to increase economic progress; it ties jobs directly to specific places helping to prevent global outsourcing.

Three things must happen in order to make this strategy work.

First, the old corruptions of governments and policy makers must be mitigated; that speaks to profits. A corrupt and inept elected class and tax structure is an obstacle to business profits and healthy job growth.

Second, the reluctance of mainstream acceptance of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility must be outgrown; that speaks to planet. High-performing companies have already made a commitment to reporting their considerable investment in environmental stewardship successes, and they don’t want to locate in a community that creates obstacles to protecting natural resources.

Third, companies seek communities that support a high quality of life beyond just basic amenities; that speaks to people. Companies seek highly educated, highly skilled professionals for management positions, and high performing managers’ families anticipate a robust cultural, educational and recreational place to live and work.

Sustainable, placed-based economic development differs from conventional economic development because the emphasis is on building upon existing community assets and growing the economic impact of businesses rather than simply pursuing jobs by creating tax break packages used by local governments to lure and poach companies from another community.

Recognizing the synergies between the three elements of the triple bottom line, and community assets can make a community very attractive to a site-selection team. Creating a successful development strategy requires the efforts of multiple stakeholders coming together around a common goal in order to attract a team that will bring diverse, high-paying wages. Warehouse jobs are fine, however innovations in technology have reduced the number of workers actually needed to accomplish tasks at each facility.

Renowned urban planner and Scranton native Jane Jacobs suggests that the healthiest communities enjoy a vast diversity of business types, and diversity of thought is the thing that now attracts the most forward-leaning, high-paying employers. That means the old way of thinking which aims to preserve the status quo creates an environment that is not conducive to economic growth. Enhancing fiscal responsibility of policymakers and increasing transparency goes a long way to empower current community members and stakeholders to take the risk of creating new home-grown business activity and jobs from current community assets.

Cheryl Scandale-Murnin, LEED, AP, is an adjunct faculty member in the School of Business and Global Innovation at Marywood University. As a LEED AP, she is an Accredited Professional in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, demonstrating a high level of professional expertise in issues of sustainability. She served both as a former vice president of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and member of the Small Business Advisory Board of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

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