LVEDC Representatives Honored at Lehigh Valley Business Women of Influence Awards

By Colin McEvoy on May 10, 2018

LVB Women of Influence honorees Jaime Whalen (left) and Jane Long (center) stand with LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.

LVB Women of Influence honorees Jaime Whalen (left) and Jane Long (center) stand with LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham.

Two representatives from the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC) were among the honorees at this year’s Lehigh Valley Business Women of Influence Awards.

Jaime Whalen, LVEDC Vice President of Administration and Investor Relations, was one of the winners at the sixth annual event, which honors women for their professional success, community involvement, and advocacy for women in the Lehigh Valley.

Additionally, Jane Long of Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, who serves as Chair of the LVEDC Board of Directors, received the Lifetime Achievement Award during the May 9 ceremony, which drew a crowd of more than 400 people at Cedar Crest College in Allentown.

“I believe strongly in the power of the ordinary, and I think the Lehigh Valley is a great example of that,” Long said. “It’s filled with ordinary people who are doing really extraordinary things within their own spheres of influence, and these Women of Influence Awards really illustrate that.”

Whalen said she is honored to be affiliated with so many strong female leaders from the Lehigh Valley.

“I would like to congratulate my peers who are being honored this year, and I would also like to acknowledge all of the other professional female leaders and mentors around the Lehigh Valley,” she said. “The message I hope that all women receive from me is whether you are honored at events like these or not, your hard work is recognized and so very important.”

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.

All of the honorees of the 2018 Lehigh Valley Business Women of Influence Awards.

All of the honorees of the 2018 Lehigh Valley Business Women of Influence Awards.

In addition to those duties, she is responsible for managing investor relations for the organization. Whalen first joined LVEDC in 2013 in the position of Director of Regional Finance Programs, and was promoted to her current position in 2016.

Whalen said her mother and father were her earliest and strongest influences, having always stressed for her the importance of education, respect, and hard work. She said her advice to young women just starting their careers is to always be respectful, kind, conscientious, and hard-working.

“I have found myself many times the only female in a room, and often the youngest,” she said. “While it may have been intimidating in the beginning, I realized over time if you are respectful, show interest in the subject matter, while projecting knowledge and the desire to be a team player, you will be welcomed by any group.”

LVEDC President & CEO Don Cunningham, who nominated Whalen for the award, said she has had a very distinguished nearly 20-year career in public service and community and economic development in various capacities in the Lehigh Valley.

“Jaime is the type of skilled and dedicated worker who quickly changes the culture and professionalism of any task she is assigned,” Cunningham said. “Her knowledge and experience in community and economic development and state and federal government is extensive, making her one of the top in her field, in both the Lehigh Valley and in Pennsylvania.”

With a career in law spanning nearly 40 years, Long is a shareholder at Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, and chair of the firm’s Corporate, Business & Banking Group. Her area of practice includes commercial real estate, financing, leasing, business entity formation and organization, business acquisitions and sales, and contracts.

Long began her term as Chair of the LVEDC Board of Directors in 2017, and has served on the board as a member since 2009. She had also previously held the positions of board secretary starting in 2013, and vice chair starting in 2015.

Accepting her award, Long said she hopes her legacy will be the success of the young lawyers she has worked with, as well as the immigrant and refugee families she has helped in her career.

“We are living in very difficult times, where we are encouraged to be fearful, angry, and to not feel welcome,” she said. “I would encourage everybody, in your own sphere of influence: if you refuse to accept a life filled with fear and intolerance, and instead live a life that has a  spirit of generosity, tolerance, and encouragement of each other, then I think we will be great.”

Other 2018 Lehigh Valley Business Women of Influence Award Winners included:

  • Emily Massaro, Liquid Interactive (Woman to Watch Award)
  • Marci Ronald-Lesko, United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley (Community Achievement Award)
  • Christine Biege, Coordinated Health
  • Donna J. Conley, Fellowship Community
  • Paula Di Marco Young, Young Medical Spa
  • Susan M. Drexinger, ArtsQuest
  • Laura Eppler, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
  • Kym Faylor, Azzur Labs LLC
  • Nicola D. Gutgold, Penn State Lehigh Valley
  • Teri Haddad, PBS39
  • Kristin Holmes, Holmes Cunningham Engineering
  • Mary Kotch, Validus Holdings Ltd.
  • Cynthia A. Lambert, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network
  • Michelle Lawall, PPL Electric Utilities
  • Amy Leslie, Olympus Corp. of the Americas
  • Gretchen Grieb Naso, RKL LLP
  • Courtnie Nein, Good Life Companies
  • Katherine Riess, KingSpry
  • Beth Rokus, Health Network Laboratories
  • Jennifer Sisler, Aesculap Inc.
  • Loren Speziale, Gross McGinley LLP
  • Tricia Szurgot, First Commonwealth Federal Credit Union
  • Joanne P. Tangney, Success Rehabilitation Inc.
  • Kathleen Weber, OraSure Technologies Inc.
  • June Webre, ESSA Bank & Trust
  • Judith Oravec Yanacek, New Vitae Wellness and Recovery
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