Back

Interview Series with New Lehigh Valley Corporate Leaders Begins This Week

By Colin McEvoy on September 8, 2020

This week, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) will kick off its new weekly video series introducing the region to new corporate leaders at some of Lehigh Valley’s leading companies and largest employers.

Since 2019, more than a dozen companies and institutions have announced new leaders responsible for corporate or Lehigh Valley operations.

Don Cunningham

Don Cunningham

“There hasn’t been a period during the last 30 years with this much change at the same time in large employer leadership,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham. “A new generation of leaders is shaping the future of these companies, and by extension the broader Lehigh Valley economy.”

Cunningham has been conducting one-on-one, half-hour interviews with the new leaders in a socially distanced setting at SteelStacks at ArtsQuest. The series is being recorded and produced by Countess Communications, a Lehigh Valley video and media firm.

Many of these executives are newcomers to the Lehigh Valley. The interviews will introduce them for the first time to the region.

“The interviews have been very enlightening,” Cunningham said. “They are providing these very interesting leaders a platform to discuss their visions for their companies, their thoughts on leadership, and their perceptions of the region.”

The first video interview – featuring Rich Wuerthele, the new President & CEO of Crayola – will be released on Thursday, September 10, live on the LVEDC Facebook page at 3 p.m.

Future interviews are with new executives at BB&T, B Braun Medical Inc., Capital Blue Cross , Follett LLC, PPL Corp., Sharp Packaging U.S., Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, FLSmidth, and Health Network Laboratories. Specific interview subjects will be announced one week in advance of the release of each new video.

The interview can be watched live on LVEDC’s Facebook page, with no registration required. The entire video series will be available for viewing through LVEDC’s website.

Before joining Crayola in January, Wuerthele was CEO of Home Fragrance Division of Newell Brands, where he was responsible for the popularity of the Yankee Candle brand.

Wuerthele has worked with several iconic brands throughout his career, including Black & Decker, DeWalt, Coleman, and Rubbermaid. He has a degree in business management from Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y.

Other upcoming interviews will include:

ArtsQuest provided access to indoor space large enough for safe distancing for the interviews. There is no audience for the interviews, which will adhere to public health and social distancing standards.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network is the presenting sponsor for the series, with Capital Blue Cross as the premier sponsor. Gold sponsors include BB&T, now Truist and Fitzpatrick, Lentz & Bubba.

Crayola and Good Shepherd Rehabilitation are event sponsors for the series; Follett LLC is the interview sponsor, and Countess Communications is the production sponsor.

September 2020 Issue of LVStartup Has Been Released

The September 2020 issue of LVstartup, a monthly e-newsletter about entrepreneurs and startups in the Lehigh Valley, has been released. Click here to see the new issue,[...]

Continue to Next Page

Lehigh ValleyQuick Facts

By the Numbers
$41.2 Billion

2018 Gross Domestic Product

Investor Spotlight
City Center Lehigh Valley
Industry Spotlight

10.6% of Labor Force
Employed in Manufacturing

By the Numbers
$3.8 Billion

Exports in 2019

Investor Spotlight
Air Products
By the Numbers
$65,119

Median Household Income

Investor Spotlight
PPL Electric Utilities
By the Numbers
672,907

Population

Investor Spotlight
Olympus
By the Numbers
358,000

Labor Force

Investor Spotlight
Lutron Electronics
Industry Spotlight

26.1% of Labor Force
Employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
5,073

Technology Patents

Investor Spotlight
Mack Trucks
Investor Spotlight
UGI
Investor Spotlight
NFI
Industry Spotlight

14% of the total community college degrees awarded in PA

By the Numbers
$7.3 Billion

Manufacturing Contribution to GDP

Investor Spotlight
BB&T
Industry Spotlight

69th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. by population

Investor Spotlight
Seedcopa
Industry Spotlight

10,754 degrees awarded by Lehigh Valley colleges (2017-18 academic year)

Investor Spotlight
Fuling
Industry Spotlight

85,000 employed in "Eds & Meds" sectors

By the Numbers
149,000

Population between ages 18 and 34

Investor Spotlight
Workforce Board