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LVEDC to Welcome New Board Members at 2017 Annual Meeting

By Colin McEvoy on March 17, 2017

Kassie Hilgert, Silvia Hoffman, Eric Luftig, and Stuart Shaw (respectively) will be joining the LVEDC Board of Directors.

Kassie Hilgert, Silvia Hoffman, Eric Luftig, and Stuart Shaw (respectively) will be joining the LVEDC Board of Directors.

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) will welcome four new members to its Board of Directors during the organization’s 2017 Annual Meeting on Thursday, March 23.

Kassie Hilgert, President of ArtsQuest; Silvia Hoffman, President of MKSD Architects; Eric Luftig, Vice President of Victaulic; and Stuart Shaw, Vice President and Chief Actuary at Guardian Life Insurance; will be joining the 35-member LVEDC Board of Directors.

“We are very pleased to welcome our new board members,” said Don Cunningham, LVEDC President and CEO. “All of these individuals are very dedicated to economic growth in the Lehigh Valley, and their guidance, expertise, and support will be welcome additions to the Board of Directors.”

The 2017 LVEDC Annual Meeting will be held at the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks in Bethlehem starting at 5 p.m. Attendance is free, but pre-registration is required.

The new board members will replace outgoing members Tom Garrity, Managing Partner with Compass Point Consulting; Michael Gigler, Senior Vice President, Senior Relationship Manager with Wells Fargo Bank; and Sally Handlon, Founder and President of Handlon Business Resources.

“We deeply appreciate the service of our outgoing board members,” Cunningham said. “They’ve helped our organization make great strides over the past few years, and have never wavered in their commitment to the Lehigh Valley or to our common goal of creating jobs here and growing the regional economy.”

Hilgert has been with ArtsQuest since 2008, previously holding positions of Vice President of Advancement and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advancement, before becoming President and CEO in 2014. She described LVEDC as a strategically-important regional organization focused on recruiting high quality companies to the area.

“In today’s global competition to recruit and retain employees, we at ArtsQuest are focused on programming that appeals to that demographic and many others,” Hilgert said. “For those reasons and so many others, including the strength of the current board, staff and leadership, I am excited to join the LVEDC Board of Trustees and look forward to adding to their many successes.”

Luftig is is responsible for leading an international team at Victaulic that develops and delivers customer-centric marketing solutions, supporting the company’s growth worldwide. Victaulic is the global leader in mechanical pipe-joining and fluid management system solutions for the commercial and industrial construction markets.

“I have been a big fan and supporter of the work that the LVEDC team does to help market the value of the Lehigh Valley to prospective companies,” Luftig said. “We have great resources to offer both in people and services and I am excited to help support them in this new board capacity.”

Shaw has nearly 30 years of insurance industry experience and has been with Guardian Life Insurance since 1992. He has been involved in a wide range of activities in the group insurance business, including strategic planning, market intelligence, liability valuations, product pricing, and product development.

“As one of the largest employers in the area, Guardian is excited to be a new LVEDC investor,” Shaw said. “On a personal note, having lived in the Lehigh valley over 20 years, I am grateful for the opportunity to help influence the continued economic growth of the area.”

Hoffman has been with MKSD Architects since January 2005, and has also served as a Foundation Board Member at the Northampton Community College since 2006. Additionally, she has been a member of the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park Board of Directors since 2011.

Tom Garrity, a past President of the LVEDC Board of Directors, is one of three outgoing board members this year.

Tom Garrity, a past President of the LVEDC Board of Directors, is one of three outgoing board members this year.

Garrity, a past president of the LVEDC board, said it has been a honor to have served on the board and he is proud of the organization and the results it is driving in economic development.

“We have become a best in class organization among EDOs, and with CEO Don Cunningham’s leadership and the strong team he is leading, that drive towards excellence continues every day,” Garrity said. “The Lehigh Valley has become one of the nation’s top areas to live, work, and play.”

Handlon said: “My two terms on the board have been very enriching, and I’ve appreciated to opportunity to offer a small business voice to the strategic discussions about the Lehigh Valley’s business community. It’s also been very rewarding to chair and help evolve a unique concept for EDCs – a local sourcing and business diversity component.”

Gigler, who had most recently served as treasurer on the LVEDC board, said he has enjoyed participating in the growth and development of the organization during his years of board service.

“The leadership, staff and board have been instrumental in promoting the economic assets of the region, embracing the key challenges involved in today’s competitive economic development landscape and positioning LVEDC as conduit to economic prosperity for the entire Lehigh Valley,” Gigler said. “I wish them all the best for continued success.”

The following new LVEDC Board of Directors officer appointments will also be announced at the meeting:

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