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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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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2014:01:16 18:00:49

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By Jeff Blackman

In November of 2014, I had a short, yet successful business trip to Bend, Oregon. It was incredibly enhanced by my stay at The Oxford Hotel. (A tale worth sharing, especially since this month’s issue of the Business Journal, has stories related to tourism and vacations.)

While I was there for only two nights and less than 48 hours, The Oxford and my experience were truly unforgettable.

How come?

Like many boutique hotels I’ve had the privilege to stay at across the U.S., Canada and Europe, The Oxford delivers big time; i.e., an inviting lobby, a spacious bright room with a comfy sitting area and roomy work space, complimentary Wi-Fi, plentiful amenities, two monster in-room flat screens, a “welcome” in-room goodies bag, enough pillows to build a dam, plenty of pint-sized shampoo, conditioner and bath and shower gel bottles to start your own retail store, and a quality on-premise restaurant.

Plus, it’s literally within a walking distance of seconds or minutes of downtown Bend’s coffee shops, restaurants, pubs, antique stores, art galleries, theatres, shopping, parks, water and scenery.

Yet what really distinguishes this gem, is its people. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is helpful, attentive and sincere in their desire to make your visit memorable.

Does a Ritz-Carlton deliver? You bet.

Every time.

Can other “non-luxury” hotels also deliver? Absolutely.

Yet at The Oxford, it happens in an intimate setting and in a personal way. Folks are friendly and focused. I knew their drivers, concierges, front-desk team and bellmen by name. They of course, always greeted me by name.

While at many hotels, even the boutiques, a polite request is answered with a polite “No,” or a “Wish we could, but that’s against our policy.”

At The Oxford, EVERY request was greeted with a “Yes,” or “Absolutely,” or “We’ll see how we can make that work or happen.”

Oh, while most of these talented Oxford hospitality pros walk on two legs, one of ’em welcomes you from four legs. The owner’s dog, Remington, is a gorgeous Bernese mountain dog, that’s perched smack dab in the middle of the small, inviting lobby and greets you upon arrival.

Remington is almost a metaphor for this fine property, giving you a little hint, this sojourn will be unlike any other. The only thing missing, was my wife. She’s already asking, “When are WE going to Bend and staying at The Oxford?”

Ten lessons for your business:

1. Know a customer’s name and use it.

2. Smile and show sincere interest in a customer or client.

3. Provide individualized attention.

4. Ask polite questions, that always help you discover how you can make a difference in one’s personal or professional life.

5. Surprise people and exceed expectations. For example, I asked one of the concierges, Connie, in the morning before I left for a speaking engagement, if it was okay for me to get one more complimentary copy of the in-room magazine on Bend. (I wanted to send it to a valued friend and client, yet I also wanted it mailed from Bend.)

When I returned in the afternoon, she handed me the magazine along with an Oxford Hotel 9x12 envelope to mail it. AND she already added stamps! AND she then refused my offer to pay for postage!

6. Make the answer to any reasonable request, “Yes.” or “Absolutely.”

7. Be punctual. Jason, a gracious and personable bellman, who drove me in the hotel van to and from meetings, was always on-time.

8. Hire people of strong character, who are passionate and committed. (You can always teach skills.)

9. Be willing to “give” in return, not just “take.” Connie asked, “If you were pleased with your stay, would you mind submitting a review to TripAdvisor?” I quickly answered, “Have never done it before, yet it’ll be my pleasure.”

Within 15 hours of my return home, it was done. (And as of this writing, it has been read by more than 1,102 readers.)

10. Immediately buy a Bernese mountain dog! They make quite a first impression.

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