Nearly 20 Lehigh Valley Leaders to be Featured in LVEDC Virtual Annual Meeting Program

By Colin McEvoy on March 2, 2021

It has been a challenging last year for many businesses in the Lehigh Valley, but the pandemic and quarantine has not stopped the economic renaissance of the region.

Dozens of companies have come to or expanded in the region over the past 12 months, and the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) has undertaken several initiatives to help the region continue to recover from these unprecedented challenges.

While not all the dust has settled on an unprecedented and historic last year, LVEDC will highlight the changing Lehigh Valley economy at its 2021 Annual Meeting, to be held virtually for the first time.

The one-hour program will air Tuesday, March 16 at 11 a.m. and feature nearly 20 Lehigh Valley corporate, government and LVEDC leaders. It will highlight some of the region’s new and exciting life sciences businesses and corporate leadership, and explain the changes that took place in the Lehigh Valley economy last year.

For the first time, the organization’s annual presentation on the Lehigh Valley economy will be broadcast live on Service Electric Cable Television and available to a broad, general audience.

For non-Service Electric subscribers, the program also will broadcast live on LVEDC’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel. It will also be broadcast live on Service Electric’s YouTube channel.

The program is free to view but pre-registration is encouraged. It’s made possible by presenting sponsor Capital BlueCross and supporting sponsors Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, Fulton Bank, Boyle Construction, Crayola, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Klunk & Milan Advertising, NAI Summit, OraSure Technologies, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, and EarthRes Group.

To register or for more information, visit our events page. Service Electric plans to re-broadcast the program at later undetermined dates, which will be made available on LVEDC’s website after the initial broadcast. Countess Communications is LVEDC’s video partner and is producing the program.

“While it’s unfortunate that we can’t gather in person, LVEDC has taken the opportunity to re-envision its annual meeting and to produce a program that allows us to feature many leaders and companies in a fast-paced program aimed at better understanding our economy today,” said LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.

The growth of the Lehigh Valley continued during the pandemic. There were 41 major expansion or new development projects in the year 2020, resulting in the creation or retention of more than 6,000 jobs last year, Cunningham said.

These new projects and growth in life sciences and manufacturing will be highlighted during the annual meeting and in the LVEDC 2020 Annual Report, which will be released digitally following the conclusion of the event.

Over an 18-month span in 2019 and 2020, more than a dozen new executives were named to run major companies or institutions in the Lehigh Valley, the highest amount of large employer leadership changeover the region has seen in decades.

Some of these new leaders were featured in LVEDC’s recent executive video series, and will appear in the program, including Rich Wuerthele of Crayola,  Jean-Claude Dubacher of B. Braun, Vince Sorgi of PPL, Todd Shamash of Capital BlueCross, Korey Kohl of Follett, Kevin Orfan of Sharp and Michael Spigel of Good Shepherd.

Life Sciences is a growth sector in the Lehigh Valley and many companies in the region have played a role in supporting the country’s medical and technical response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The program will feature a fascinating discussion with the leaders of three Lehigh Valley life science companies: Sam Niedbala, founder and CEO of CryoConcepts, Kyle Flanigan, CEO of U.S. Specialty Formulations, and Sal Salamone, president and CEO of Saladax BioMedical.

In addition, Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure and Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong will be thanked and featured for their joint financial support last year of Lehigh Valley regional entities like LVEDC with federal emergency funds during the pandemic.

The program will include an update on Made Possible in Lehigh Valley, the marketing initiative led by a coalition including LVEDC, Discover Lehigh Valley, and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, which saw tremendous growth in 2020 despite the pandemic.

LVEDC’s talent supply initiative will also be highlighted. The COVID-19 crisis has done nothing to change the fact that Lehigh Valley’s continued success depends on a workforce with the education and skills that employers value in a rapidly changing world.

Additionally, LVEDC will welcome new members and leadership to its Board of Directors during the event. Jane Long, Of Counsel with Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, is departing as Board Chair after four years in the position, and Ed Dougherty, Senior Vice President & Chief Business Development Officer with the Lehigh Valley Health Network, will be succeeding her as Board Chair.

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