LVEDC Staff Directory
President & CEO
Don Cunningham is President and CEO of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation. Prior to leading the region’s economic development organization, Cunningham served in a variety of key public and private positions for three decades in the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania. He was twice-elected Mayor of Bethlehem, twice-elected Lehigh County Executive, and the appointed Pennsylvania Secretary of the Department of General Services in Governor Ed Rendell’s administration… Read more…
Ms. Whalen is responsible for managing support services and the finance group at LVEDC, which includes staffing to several economic development organizations that provide access to credit and incentives available through the economic development community. She is also responsible for managing human resources, information systems, and financial functions including accounting, audit, corporate finance and investor relations as well as providing assistance with corporate strategy. Ms. Whalen first joined LVEDC in 2013 as Finance Administrator and later served as Director of Regional Finance Programs, where she was responsible for executing a business development plan for the organization’s regional financing programs, as well as leading administrative services to economic development financing organizations and providing senior relationship management services to related clients of the finance department. Prior to joining LVEDC, she served as an economic development analyst in the Northampton County community and economic development department and served as legislative staff in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for 12 years. Ms. Whalen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Bloomsburg University.
Ms. Cahayla-Hoffman leads LVEDC’s business attraction, expansion, and retention initiatives. This includes implementing strategic marketing campaigns to attract companies from targeted industry sectors to Lehigh Valley, and reaching out to existing companies to understand their successes and challenges and support them in staying and growing here. She came to LVEDC in 2022 after more than a decade of experience in corporate real estate at Air Products. She also worked as a financial analyst at Air Products and an economic support analyst at Mack Trucks. She is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and has an MBA from Lehigh University. She is a member of the International Asset Management Council (IAMC), a leading industrial real estate trade association.
Ms. Gelinas leads LVEDC’s regional talent strategies coalition and directs initiatives that fortify Lehigh Valley’s talent pipeline. She is responsible for building and strengthening regional partnerships, including the Education and Talent Supply Council and the coalition driving the Made Possible in Lehigh Valley marketing initiative, among others. She previously worked at Lehigh Carbon Community College, most recently as Assistant Director of Literacy and Job Training. Ms. Gelinas has a Master in Education with a focus in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science from Vassar College.
Mr. Lewis is responsible for developing and executing strategic marketing and communications that position Lehigh Valley to recruit businesses, create jobs, and attract and retain talent. He also directs the research and analysis function that provides insights into regional economic, demographic, and labor market trends. He joined LVEDC in 2017 as Director of Research and Analysis, leading projects that broadened general knowledge about the Lehigh Valley economy. He is a seasoned professional with 30 years of strategic planning and corporate communications experience at PPL Corp. and Talen Energy, having served as Director of Corporate Communications for both companies. He began his career as a journalist and editor at a central Pennsylvania newspaper. Mr. Lewis has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Penn State University.
Ms. Betters is responsible for general accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, benefits coordination, human resources-related duties for LVEDC and works closely with senior management in supporting and executing human resources strategy, in addition to managing LVEDC’s annual audit, and other essential duties. Ms. Betters also assists with the development and implementation of the organization’s policies and procedures. Prior to LVEDC, Betters spent 18 years at Community Services for Children, including nine years as payroll manager, as well as providing an integral role for the overall accounting operations, ensuring reliable and timely results. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh.
Mr. Kleiner is responsible for community outreach and the management of redevelopment priorities, which include the coordination of the Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative, and the city and urban revitalization focus of LVEDC’s strategic plan. Mr. Kleiner seeks to remove impediments to redevelopment across the Lehigh Valley and assists partners in their redevelopment and revitalization efforts. Through his community outreach work, he supports the LVEDC’s mission to engage in a permanent and sustained campaign of visitation, connection, and conversation with all 62 of the sovereign municipalities in Lehigh and Northampton counties. Mr. Kleiner is a graduate of Muhlenberg College’s Environmental Science program and has a multi-year background in environmental chemistry & toxicology research.
Mr. McEvoy is responsible for creating, managing and implementing the organization’s written communication agenda. He previously worked as a journalist for eight years, spending most of that time with The Express-Times, as well as The Patriot-News and the New Jersey Herald. Mr. McEvoy has also co-authored two non-fiction crime books, has received four Keystone Press Awards, and authored the LVEDC 2017 Annual Report that won an Excellence in Economic Development award from the International Economic Development Council. He earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Communications from East Stroudsburg University.
Ms. Radzievich Mertz is responsible for tracking economic “vital signs,” completing research projects, and analyzing data and market intelligence to gain insights into the regional economy. Prior to coming to the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. in 2020, she spent two decades in journalism and most recently wrote for The Morning Call in Allentown where she covered local development issues, city government and national politics. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with degrees in Journalism and Political Science and completed a media studies program at The University of Manchester, U.K.
Mr. Warfel demonstrates the value of the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley to prospect companies and also in-market companies that have displayed an interest in making an investment in the region, and assists with LVEDC’s lead generation effort by providing market knowledge and industry expertise in recruitment target sectors. Mr. Warfel previously worked as a commercial loan officer for ESSA Bank & Trust, as well as a branch manager and residential loan officer at First Star Bank. He has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Communication Studies from West Virginia University.
Ms. Weighknecht is responsible for coordinating the Lehigh Valley Lending Network and serves as the staff liaison for the Lehigh Valley Economic Investment Corporation. She also works as an underwriter and portfolio manager for the various state and federal loan programs administered by LVEDC and assists in the processing of grants for the organization. Ms. Weighknecht has more than 20 years of banking experience, having previously worked as a senior loan documentation specialist with Team Capital Bank and as small business lending department manager with Lafayette Ambassador Bank. A life-long Lehigh Valley resident, she holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Muhlenberg College.
With nearly a decade of experience in economic development, Mr. Witt directs prospects who are interested in locating or expanding their operations in the Lehigh Valley by assisting them with site selection, the acquisition of incentives, supplying them with demographic and economic data, and connecting them with various public and private resources. Mr. Witt earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography –Environmental Planning from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Alvarado is responsible for providing support to LVEDC’s Education and Talent Supply coalition and initiatives, which have strengthened the Lehigh Valley’s talent pipeline. He has experience in sales and customer service support and served as an LVEDC intern focusing on prospecting for business outreach. Mr. Alvarado earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from DeSales University and a Master of Business Administration from Fitchburg State University.
Ms. Milia manages administrative duties for LVEDC and serves as an executive assistant to the President and CEO and executive staff. She also provides support to investor relations and business outreach in addition to customer service and event support. Ms. Milia also serves as coordinator of the organization’s Wellness Program. Before joining the organization, she worked for 14 years at Community Services for Children, including eight years as a quality assurance program manager. A graduate of Northampton Community College, she also previously spent 18 years as a program director at St. Paul’s Child Care Center in Catasauqua.
Ms. Wean provides administrative and program support to both the Lehigh and Northampton County Industrial Development Authorities and the Lehigh Valley’s LVEIC. In addition, she is responsible for the administration of the Keystone Opportunity Zone and serves as administrator for the United States Foreign Trade Zone #272, which allows companies in the Lehigh Valley to become more competitive in the global marketplace by taking advantage of tax abatements and other incentives. Ms. Wean also lends support as needed to LVEDC’s Marketing and Economic Development department for events, sponsorships and marketing efforts and also assists the Business Outreach and Finance Programs and Strategic Initiatives and Research and Investor Relations departments. Prior to joining LVEDC in 2014, Ms. Wean worked in the community banking industry for 19 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.