LVEDC Staff Directory
President & CEO
Don Cunningham, President & CEO of LVEDC, has had a 22-year career in the Lehigh Valley’s public and private sectors working for or leading some of the most respected companies, institutions and governments in the region and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Along with serving two terms as Mayor of Bethlehem and as a Cabinet Secretary in Pennsylvania… read more…
Ms. Gelinas is responsible for research and analysis, outreach to Lehigh Valley businesses and local governments, and directing initiatives to support retention and growth of companies in the region. She works closely with LVEDC’s Education and Talent Supply Council, and helps develop plans to obtain workforce supply and demand data from educational institutions and employers within the Lehigh Valley. She previously worked for seven years at Lehigh Carbon Community College, most recently as Assistant Director of Literacy and Job Training. Ms. Gelinas has a Masters 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. Tuerk is responsible for attracting 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. He is also responsible for overseeing the marketing of the Lehigh Valley region’s collective economic assets. Prior to coming to LVEDC in 2013, he served five years as assistant director of the Allentown Economic Development Corp., where he helped found a coworking and hackerspace in an existing manufacturing facility and led an effort to improve business retention and incubation. Mr. Tuerk holds a Bachelor of Science degree in International Business from the College of Charleston and a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in international economic development from The Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.
Ms. Whalen is responsible for managing support services at LVEDC, including corporate finance, human resources and information systems, as well as providing assistance with corporate strategy. In addition to those duties, she is responsible for managing investor relations for the organization. Ms. Whalen first joined LVEDC in 2013 in the position of 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. Ms. Whalen earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Bloomsburg University.
Ms. Betters is responsible for general accounting, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, benefits coordination, managing LVEDC’s annual audit, and other essential duties. 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.
Ms. Bradford is responsible for executing LVEDC’s business retention and expansion program, ensuring the needs of Lehigh Valley businesses are understood and met, and working with economic development partners to maximize outreach to companies and identify obstacles to growth. Ms. Bradford was previously a sales director with the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS, and also worked with Rodale Inc. and with Young & Rubicam Inc., a top marketing firm in Manhattan. Ms. Bradford has a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications from Mansfield University.
Mr. Keller is responsible for communicating the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley to companies looking to relocate, start, or expand, and ensuring LVEDC’s marketing efforts are aligned with the initiatives in the organization’s strategic plan. He previously served as Director of Media Communications & Technology and Administrator of Government Affairs for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Interactive Marketing Representative for Discover Lehigh Valley. Mr. Keller earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Bloomsburg University.
Mr. Kleiner is responsible for community outreach and the management of redevelopment priorities, which include the coordination of the region’s Keystone Opportunity Zone program, 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. Lewis directs LVEDC’s research and analysis activities to improve stakeholders’ understanding of the Lehigh Valley economy and improve the organization’s ability to market the economic assets of the region. He is a seasoned professional with three decades of strategic planning and corporate communications experience at PPL Corp. and Talen Energy, having served as Director of Corporate Communications at both companies. Mr. Lewis has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Penn State University.
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 and received four Keystone Press Awards. He earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Communications from East Stroudsburg University.
Mr. Warfel demonstrates the value of the economic assets of the Lehigh Valley to prospect 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 assists in the processing of grants for LVEDC. She also serves as the staff liaison for the Lehigh Valley Economic Investment Corporation and works as an underwriter and portfolio manager for the various state and federal loan programs administered by LVEDC. 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. He also administers 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. 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 the Community Outreach and Business Outreach teams. He also assists in the gathering and interpretation of data for Strategic Initiatives and Research. He has experience in customer service support and sales and also served as an intern focusing on investment outreach for LVEDC’s Administration department. Mr. Alvarado earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from DeSales University and is pursuing a Master of Business Administration from Fitchburg State University.
Ms. Milia provides administrative and secretarial support for LVEDC. 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. Schneider is in charge of all office administration duties for LVEDC. Prior to her tenure with the organization, she served as a reporter and editor for three different publications, most recently with Lehigh Valley Business. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Penn State University and holds a Master of Science degree in Counseling Studies from Capella University.
Ms. Wean provides administrative support to both the Lehigh and Northampton County Industrial Development Authorities and the Lehigh Valley’s Certified Area Loan Organization. In addition, she is responsible for the administration of the Keystone Opportunity Zone and Federal Trade Zone programs and LVEDC’s sponsorship program. Ms. Wean also lends support to LVEDC’s Business Outreach and Finance Programs. 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.