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. 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. 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 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 and information systems in addition to all of the organizations 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.
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 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. 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 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 and 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.
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 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 prospecting for business outreach for LVEDC’s Marketing and Development 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 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. Schneider is in charge of all office administration duties for LVEDC including purchasing office supplies and IT and database management. Additionally, she contributes as a writer and provides website support for the Marketing and Development department and supports LVEDC’s Investor Relations efforts. Ms. Schneider also serves as secretary to the Board of Directors and Lehigh Valley Land Recycling Initiative Program. She joined LVEDC in 2013 as an office assistant and prior to her tenure with the organization, she served as a reporter for The Express-Times and associate editor for Garden Solutions. She most recently worked as a staff writer 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 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.