Author Archive for John Dawe – Page 2

News Release: Patrice Persico to receive 2016 ATHENA Award

WILKES-BARRE (April 28, 2016) – The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce recently announced that it has selected Patrice Persico, Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving at King’s College, as the 2016 ATHENA™ Award recipient. The international award, sponsored locally by Riggs Asset Management, honors an individual for professional excellence, community service and assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

Patrice-BlogPersico will receive the award at the Chamber’s Extraordinary People Inspiring Community (EPIC) Celebration, sponsored by Wells Fargo, at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 at the F.M. Kirby Center, Public Square.

“Patrice’s active participation in both professional and volunteer endeavors exhibits her keen sense of pride for the region and her desire to advance Northeastern Pennsylvania as a place for all to live and prosper,” said Chamber of Commerce Vice Chair and nominator Mary Erwine, President of Erwine Home Health & Hospice.

“She has quietly served our community for many years,” added co-nominator Sue Kluger, former executive director of Leadership Wilkes-Barre. “She is an example to emerging women leaders and confidant and peer to current women leaders. From the YMCA to Community Health System, she has supported and aided other women in the region to move into leadership roles.”

“Patrice’s business accomplishments reflect three decades of leadership in all three of our community’s key sectors – Academia, Business, and Community,” said Chamber CEO Wico van Genderen. “Her contributions to the community are indeed Epic!”

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Media Contact: John Dawe, CFRE – 570-408-1741 –

News Release: Chamber opens technology workshop, launches Wilkes-Barre Connect

Picture2April 20, 2016 – WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – On Wednesday night, the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber officially opened the Wilkes-Barre THINK Center – a state-of-the-art technology workshop and multimedia center at its Innovation Center building at 7 South Main Street in Downtown Wilkes-Barre.

“The nearly 6,000 square foot facility provides individuals with the tools and support they need to turn a concept into a business,” according to Joseph Boylan, Chamber Vice President of Economic Development, “The facility features three tech-driven private conference rooms, a co-working space with plug-and-play tables for students and entrepreneurs to meet, work, network, share ideas, and collaborate.”

“A fifty-seat theatre and lecture hall is the focal point of the center,” Boylan added. “With equipment to host virtual meetings, podcasts, lectures, competitions, training programs, mentoring sessions, and teleconferences, this is something brand new for the region.”

In addition the Chamber launched its new Wilkes-Barre Connect initiative. Connect brings together partner service providers to ensure that all start-up and existing businesses have access to the resources, services, and facilities they need to grow their business in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Picture1“The connect program brings the best mentoring, training, networking, technical assistance, and financial opportunity curation into one system,” said Chamber President Wico van Genderen, “The program brings together the resources of seven initial partners all working to help both new and existing businesses grow and thrive.”

The program has been in development over the past year that Boylan says has been “ensuring we understand what each partner does and leveraging it accordingly, all while adopting a common language to assist entrepreneurs.”

Partners include the Wilkes University SBDC, Family Business Alliance, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise & Entrepreneurship, Diamond City Partnership (DCP), Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development; and the Chamber. The Chamber serves as administrator of the initiative.

“Connect is designed to handle the needs for all businesses and industry sectors and requires now membership or fee – it is absolutely FREE to join,” added Boylan. Information is available at

About The Name:
The name “THINK Center” was created by King’s College Junior Accounting Major Andrew Coco.  “THINK means Technology Helping to Inspire New Knowledge. Technology is the ticket to new opportunities and is essential in keeping the world connected. The T.H.I.N.K. Center allows for individuals to better themselves whether it be learning new technical skills, learning more about what makes them curious, or creating connections with leaders in the Wyoming Valley and around the world. With the knowledge gained at the T.H.I.N.K. center, people in the Wyoming Valley will see a brighter future for themselves, their families, and their communities,” said Coco.



Media Contact: John Dawe, CNP, CFRE, Chief Information Officer (

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Chamber unveils new video promoting area pride

People who attended Wednesday night’s Chamber dinner were encouraged to check out the chamber’s upgraded website at and social media sites.

Chamber CEO Wico Van Genderen displayed a video highlighting the greater Wilkes-Barre area as a great place to live, work and experience and asked others to share it.

“This is a fabulous place we all live in,” he said. “We all need to be really proud of that because it’s really an amazing place.”