LVEDC’s Fall Signature Event Will Feature Powerhouse Panel Discussions
By Nicole Radzievich Mertz on August 8, 2022
Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation’s Fall Signature Event will feature a powerhouse panel of top executives who will share their insights on why the Lehigh Valley, among the nation’s top 50 manufacturing markets, continues to grow.
Confirmed panelists at the Sept. 20 event at the State Theatre in Easton include B. Braun Medical President and CEO Jean-Claude Dubacher, Victaulic President and CEO Rick Bucher, Stuffed Puffs founder and CEO Michael Tierney, and A.P. Deauville President and CEO Frederick Horowitz. LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham will moderate the discussion. Crayola President and CEO Rich Wuerthele will deliver the keynote remarks.
A separate panel discussion, moderated by State Theatre CEO and President Shelley Brown, will feature the change-makers behind the dramatic transformation of Easton. With restaurants flush with patrons and apartment buildings rising, Easton has reimagined itself as a trendy, entertainment, arts, and culinary destination and shining example of why the Lehigh Valley is Pennsylvania’s fastest growing destination for young adults.
“The Lehigh Valley commands a strong economic position because of a rich tradition in manufacturing that continues to grow and evolve to deliver the products the next generation demands,” LVEDC President and CEO Don Cunningham said. “Easton, which has undergone its own transformation, is a fitting place to celebrate that.”
LVEDC has opened registration for the event, which starts at 4 p.m. A networking event will follow the formal portion of the program until 6 p.m.
About the Confirmed Speakers
Jean-Claude Dubacher, who has more than 15 years of experience in the health care industry, became president of B. Braun Medical in 2019 and was named CEO in 2020. A global leader in medical devices, B. Braun Medical has its U.S. headquarters and production facilities in the Lehigh Valley. It is completing a 310,000-square-foot expansion that will add 250 employs to its local workforce, now at 2,000.
Rich Bucher, an inventor and co-inventor behind 21 patents and patent applications, became President of Victaulic in 2020 and was named CEO in 2021. Victaulic, the leading manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining solutions and grooved pipe joining systems, is one of the largest employers in the Lehigh Valley, with about 1,200 employees in the region.
Michael Tierney, whose background is in the culinary arts, founded Stuffed Puffs, a confectionary company that developed a proprietary process to stuff marshmallows with chocolate. He scaled up his business at the Factory, a Lehigh Valley business accelerator that specializes in the food industry. Last year, Stuffed Puffs opened a $65 million production facility in the Lehigh Valley where more than 150 people are employed.
Frederick Horowitz, an experienced executive and founder of multiple, fast-growing consumer product brands, is CEO of A.P. Deauville, a personal care product company that moved to Forks Township from New Jersey in 2021. A.P. Deauville, which manufactures shampoos, antiperspirants, body washes, and other health and beauty products.
Rich Wuerthele, a veteran executive who has worked with America’s most iconic brands from Yankee Candle to DeWalt, became CEO of Crayola in 2020. Crayola, a Hallmark company that sets the standard for popular art supplies worldwide, makes 90% of its products in the Lehigh Valley. It has a facility in Forks Township that churns out 13 million crayons and 2 million markers a day and a facility in Bethlehem that makes modeling clay and 20,000 Silly Putty eggs a day. The company also operates the Crayola Experience for visitors in Easton.
Shelley Brown, an award-winning producer, is president and CEO of the State Theatre, the nonprofit that runs the restored 1,500-seat theatre for live performances and community events. The State Theatre has hosted performances including Tony-winning musicals, popular musicians, and the Emmy-winning Freddy Awards, which recognizes the best of Lehigh Valley high school musical theater.
The presenting sponsor of the LVEDC’s Fall Signature Event is Capital Blue Cross.
Gold sponsor is The Morning Call.
Silver sponsors are Lehigh Valley Health Network, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Boyle Construction Management, Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, Moravian University, D’Huy Engineering, St. Luke’s University Health Network, and Herbert, Rowland & Grubic, Inc.
Community sponsors are Unity Bank, Penn Community Bank, DGI, Barry Isett & Associates, Manufacturers Resource Center, MKSD architects, HMK Insurance, LaBella Associates, Goodwill Keystone Area, Earthres, Vastex International Inc., Service Electric, and Keystone Food Products
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