Want to learn more?


Heard about the Empowering Our Region Through Mentoring and Leadership conference and want to learn more?

Tune in to WKOK 1070 AM tomorrow morning — Oct. 2 — at 7:10 and 7:40 a.m. to hear Kathy Scullin, CIO, Geisinger, and Dan Rockwell, conference keynote speaker, give compelling reasons why you need to attend the conference.

And you can learn even more, and register for the conference, at EmpoweringOurRegion.com.


Documentary Film/Silent Auction is First Fundraiser for Baker Fund — Donations Sought for Silent Auction



The documentary film, “Mike Baker: Love, Community and Friendship,” and a Silent Auction at The Campus Theatre, Lewisburg, on July 15, starting at 6 p.m., will be the first fundraiser for the newly established Michael P. Baker Community Impact Fund.
The documentary film, sponsored by Susquehanna Life magazine and created by filmmaker Caroline Pogust, is designed to illustrate the positive impact Lewisburg chiropractor Mike Baker had on the region, and how the people in the communities he served came together to support him and his family when he was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer in January 2013. Baker passed away two months later.

Funds collected at the July 15 movie premiere and accompanying Silent Auction will be used to support the work of the Michael P. Baker Community Impact Fund, a fund that both memorializes Baker and provides money to area families coping with catastrophic illness or events. The fund is administered by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Williamsport and, when fully endowed at $25,000, the fund will award $1000 a year to area families.

Businesses who wish to donate an item for the Silent Auction can call (570) 522-0149.

When the doors open at 6 p.m. for the Silent Auction, attendees will be able to bid on items donated by area businesses. Items include: gift certificates from Elizabeth’s An American Bistro, Isle of Que Adventures, Trey Casimir Acupuncture and Exercise, Lewisburg Hotel, and Fetch and Play; jewelry from Rebecca Mohr Jewelry; a “Take One” membership to The Campus Theatre; a Bulova Lewisburg clock from Wolf’s Jewelry; a 1/3 page color ad in Susquehanna Life magazine; and tickets to the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University. Dwellings will donate 10 percent of its July 15 sales to the Michael P. Baker Community Impact Fund.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for the Silent Auction; the film will start promptly at 7 p.m. After the film, there will be a short Q&A and reception with filmmaker Caroline Pogust.

Admission is free, and donations to the Michael P. Baker Community Impact Fund will be accepted at the door. Contributions to the fund, which are tax deductible, also can be made out to the Michael P. Baker Community Impact Fund and sent to the First Community Foundation Partnership, 330 Pine Street, Suite 400, Williamsport, PA 17701. More information is at (570) 522-0149. ###

Who knew?

I walked out of the American Red Cross heroes breakfast this morning, at the Country Cupboard in Lewisburg, with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.

Who knew we lived among so many courageous heroes who didn’t hesitate to help — an injured friend, entire communities, a family, a stranger, veterans, orphans, warriors, abused children, victims of disasters — in times of need?

Next Friday, the heroes breakfast takes place at the Genetti Hotel in Williamsport, where another list of honorees will be feted.

This event was put together by Annie Smith, communications director for the north and central pa region chapter of the American Red Cross, and her committee. The Lewisburg event was emceed with style and humor by Sunbury Broadcasting’s Mark Lawrence, and a host of business and education sponsors helped make the event a reality.

Do you know a hero? Someone who has stepped out of their comfort zone to assist others in need? If so, contact Annie at Anne.Smith@redcross.org to nominate him or her for the organization’s hero award. There’s nothing else like it.

The “Dead” of Winter?


Last night, the temperature was 18 degrees, minus the wind chill — a clear indication we are in the throes of what can be called the “dead” of winter. But inside, The Campus Theatre in Lewisburg bathed us in warmth, and people were very much alive, thanks to the joyous music of Romano Drum, of Hungary.

The theatre was filled to capacity with people of all ages, from very young children to senior citizens, and most were clapping, dancing or running around to the spirited rhythms of Romano Drom’s Gypsy music! Many had gathered before the concert to partake of the free dance class, led by Stephen Kotansky, and their enthusiasm was palpable as the rest of us entered the theatre.

Romano Drom is one of the most prominent representatives of the contemporary Gypsy culture in Hungary. The band, whose name literally means “Gypsy’s road,” plays in original Olah Gypsy language with modern musical scoring.
Whether or not you’re familiar with Gypsy music, know this: the ensemble’s renditions are electrifying. They uniquely fuse their own centuries-old musical culture with Catalan rumba, Arabic, Balkan and even pop rhythms to emerge with a style all their own!

They utilize guitar, bass, and an eclectic array of percussion instruments that range from Bongo-like drums to the traditional pot and spoon to achieve a captivating sound. It was inspiring to witness the artistry of people who play their instruments with a speed, alacrity and skill that is nothing short of amazing.

For an hour and a half, and a couple of encores, they held us spellbound with their music and the joy with which they played and shared it — egging us on with arm gestures to get up and dance, or at least clap, to the music. But it wasn’t long into the performance before the band had us laughing with their infectiously positive spirit.

The music was inspirational for other reasons —

It reminds us how lucky we are to live in and around the Lewisburg community, whose proximity to Bucknell University offers us urban-caliber experiences we’d otherwise have to drive three hours away to access.

It reminds us how lucky we are that Bucknell University spared no expense in renovating The Campus Theatre into a beautiful, acoustically sound venue that allows us to enjoy in comfort everything from movies, talks and seminars to live entertainment.

And it reminds us how lucky we are that The Weis Center has blossomed under the direction of executive director Kathryn Maguet, community outreach and marketing director Lisa Leighton, assistant director of operations Johanna Kodlick (whose yoga classes in the Weis Center lobby are amazing – more on that later) and the rest of their staff.

It’s not an exaggeration to say the performing arts center has experienced a rebirth of originality and inspiration in the variety and caliber of music and entertainment experiences they bring to us.
The concert at The Campus Theatre last night was just one more reminder how fortunate we are to call this region home.
I clapped and laughed all the way home, the spirit of Romano Drom still with me. The concert was just what I needed, after a two-day migraine, to remind me that life is wonderful, that this “dead” of winter, too, shall pass, and I have so much to be grateful for. What are you grateful for?

It’s an Exciting Time

It’s an exciting time, here at Susquehanna Life magazine. We just celebrated our 20th anniversary, a milestone for any business but particularly significant for a high-risk venture, of which magazines are one.

At significant milestones, it’s common to assess where you are and what’s ahead. I can honestly say I get as much — and probably more — satisfaction and joy out of producing each issue of Susquehanna Life magazine as I did the very first issue. That component of my life is satisfying and flourishing.

However, at this juncture, I want to give back to the region that has been so good to me. The hard work and energy I put into the magazine has borne fruit, but I can’t take all the credit. The people who have worked/do work for the magazine, the communities in which the magazine circulates, and of course the readers and advertisers that support us have been instrumental to our success.

So what, besides a magazine, do I have to offer?

Knowledge. Enthusiasm. Passion. Information. Cheerleading. Mentoring. Support. Encouragement. Ideas. Business savvy. Advice.

These concepts are playing a role in the development of the Women’s Professional Partnership (formerly the Women’s Business Collective). I, together with Liz Furia of Elizabeth’s An American Bistro, are putting together an organization to support women and help them succeed.

To quote from our Mission Statement: Women’s Professional Partnership is the lead organization for helping women take responsibility for their own success.

Our Business Strategy is to hold monthly meetings and organize educational events, match mentors with mentees, direct women to helpful resources, and more.

But, more importantly, we want to change the business dynamic/climate in this region to be more about mentoring and support than ostracism and exclusion.

As such, we are putting together a business conference — for men and women, because women don’t exist in a vacuum —  dubbed Empowering Our Community Through Mentoring and Leadership.

The purpose of the conference is to be a first step in creating a “mentoring community–”
— a community wherein professional people feel compelled to help one another,
share and build strengths, and empower each other by helping address and strengthen
perceived weaknesses. To encourage those with more experience and power to reach out to those with less with support, encouragement and mentoring.

We view “our community” as stretching to Williamsport, State College and,
as possible, Harrisburg. And, in fact, we have connected with a women’s business group
in Williamsport headed up by Janet Harris (executive director of the Williamsport Sympony) and Jill Morrissey (Compliance Specialist II at The Muncy Bank & Trust Co.) to extend our sphere of influence.
More formally, we have partnered with Bucknell University — including the management dept, alumni relations, HR, career development and the BU SBDC — to put this event together. A steering committee has been meeting since Oct. 2013.
Stay tuned to learn more!

The Leadership Freak is Coming

Dan in teeThe Women’s Business Collective is sponsoring, in conjunction with Elizabeth’s – An American Bistro, a seminar with the Leadership Freak, Dan Rockwell, Oct. 1
from 5 to 7:15 PM, at Elizabeth’s – An American Bistro, 412 Market St., Lewisburg.

Dan went from, by his own reckoning, influencing zero people to reaching an audience of over 1 million people who follow his daily blog, The Leadership Freak (leadershipfreak.wordpress.com). He is paid to speak at leadership conferences all over the globe, and has hobnobbed with the CEOs of the nation’s largest
and most prestigious firms, and is a recognized expert on leadership issues and effective social media execution.

Three years ago, feeling dissatisfied with his lack of positive impact on others, Dan Rockwell made the decision to walk away from his full time job as a workforce development consultant, and enter the world of social media. Rockwell is passionate, and moved perhaps too quickly, but after a few slip-ups and a few false starts, he emerged as a leadership freak—someone whose words and ideas have impact on a large and very influential audience.

Rockwell has attracted nearly 80,000 Twitter followers (@leadershipfreak), and his blog, Leadership Freak (http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com), is on track to exceed a million views this year. His ideas have caught the attention of the world’s top leadership experts. He’s interviewed and interacted with Jim Collins, author of Good to Great; Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of GE; A.G. Lafley, former Chairman of the Board, president and CEO of P&G; Bob Herbold, former COO of Microsoft; Denny Strigl, retired president and COO of Verizon Wireless; James Quigley, senior partner at Deloitte; and Ken Blanchard, author of over 50 leadership books.

Rockwell has book offers, speaking engagements, writing opportunities and webinars to share his leadership skills. Yet a separate audience is just as eager to learn the mechanics of how he leveraged social media.

At the Women’s Business Collective seminar, Rockwell will focus on The Importance of Leadership and Easy Tips for Creating Your Social Media Platform.

The seminar is free, but seating is limited. You must make a reservation to attend. Please call Susquehanna Life magazine at 570-522-0149 to reserve a seat.

Have You Heard?





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Camille A. Brown and Dancers will bring modern dance to the Weis Center stage on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m. The event is sponsored, in part, by Susquehanna Life magazine.

Known for high theatricality, gutsy moves and virtuosic musicality, Camille A. Brown and Dancers soar through history like a whirlwind. The company’s work explores typical, real-life situations ranging from literal relationships to more complex themes with an eye on the past and present.

Camille A. Brown leads her dancers through dazzling excavations of ancestral stories, both timeless and traditional, as well as immediate contemporary issues. The work is strongly character-based, expressing whatever the topic is by building from little moments, modeling a filmic sensibility.

The New York Times says, “Every aspect of the dance-making here is thoroughly accomplished.”

Theater, poetry, visual art and music of all genres merge to inject each performance with energy and urgency. Camille A. Brown and Dancers seek to connect with people, make them feel good, provoke, engage and inspire. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.bucknell.edu/BoxOffice or by calling the Campus Box Office at (570) 577-1000. Join us!Image

Look Around You

Take a moment to look around you. If you like what you see, it’s likely that the people charged with the development of your community understand and care about issues that contribute to making it livable. “Good” planning is an issue that’s gotten a lot of attention over the years as people have striven to reverse suburban sprawl and make cities more robust.

We’re lucky that in Union County, forward-thinking planners like Shawn McLaughlin have taken the time to infuse their already-evolved thinking with input from visionaries like Thomas Hylton about what our communities can and should look like. The result is comprehensive plans that really do plan for the future–in a humanistic, positive, recreation-oriented, smart-growth kind of way.

Communities planned in this way are infused with attributes that make them more user-friendly. They include trees, sidewalks, playgrounds and parks welcoming recreators, and rail-trails with protected spaces for jogging, bicycling and strolling, as well as the re-use of existing structures. But beyond that, such communities have worked to prevent or at least minimize the paving over and obliteration of open spaces.

This crusade for good planning was taken on by Pennsylvania newsman Tom Hylton in the mid 1980s, as he watched his small town decline while the surrounding countryside was paved over for a jumble of roads, stores, parking lots, and tract housing.

This crusade led to a Pulitzer Prize, his influential book, Save Our Land, Save Our Towns, the charitable corporation with the same name and a public television documentary.

I remember feeling uplifted and hopeful while reading the book, and hearing Hylton speak in Sept. 2007 when he was invited to Lewisburg to kick off “Cultivating Community,” the Union County Comprehensive Plan.

You have the opportunity to hear Hylton speak when he leads off the “Green it Up Harrisburg” Leadership Training series with a presentation on October 8th.

His presentation will center on the major issues confronting communities, the root causes, and what can be done to improve our communities and our environment. A focus of the discussion will be on the community benefits of
– green infrastructure, like trees
– and the positive impact trees can have on local water quality.

The event is being held at the Civic Club of Harrisburg and is open to the general public as well as program
participants. For more information on the event and the training, contact Andrew Bliss, Grassroots Coordinator, The
Chesapeake Bay Foundation, abliss@cbf.org. To RSVP to the Thomas Hylton presentation only, contact PAOutreach@cbf.org.IMG_9311

Did You Know?

Susquehanna Life Magazine’s office in Lewisburg is also a gallery where Photographic Images of Lewisburg and Beyond is an ongoing exhibit of high quality photographs of Bucknell, downtown Lewisburg, Selinsgrove and Sunbury and across the USA. The photographs are both printed on canvas and on glossy foamboard suitable for framing. Come in to browse! Also at the office you can subscribe to the magazine, purchase a current copy and view past magazine covers on display as part of Susquehanna Life Magazine’s 20th Anniversary celebration.  Gallery hours are Tues., Wed., Thurs, 10 am to 2 pm, and office hours are 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Call first, just to be sure we haven’t run out to the post office or to grab something to eat! (800) 232-1670Image

What’s Going On?

One of the many activities we like to profile in Susquehanna Life magazine is hiking opportunities throughout the state. We are lucky to have access to public lands through which many challenging hikes are blazed and maintained.

Due to my mother’s illness, and her passing in July, and my youngest son leaving for college in August, I spent a lot of time close to home this summer.

But every weekend, throughout the spring, summer and fall, the Otzinachson Lewisburg branch of the Sierra Club (and Sierra Clubs throughout the state) offer group hiking opportunities that offer a safe way to navigate through woods sometimes populated by poisonous snakes and wild animals (!) with a genuinely nice group of people.

Hiking through the beautiful state parks and forests, where trails abound, allows an appreciation for the natural beauty, open spaces and the pristine land and water formations Pennsylvania offers us. Plans to frack within these lands frightens and saddens many of us who enjoy and treasure what were once thought of as protected vestiges of woodlands.

On Sunday, Aug. 25, Joe Rebar will lead a 16.3 mile hike, rated moderate to strenuous, throughout RB Winter State Park, in Mifflinburg. There is, he assures us, only one tough climb. We’ll burn off hundreds of calories and get some much-needed aerobic exercise.

Joe will meet hikers at the breast of the dam, on Route 192, just outside the park entrance, at 8:30 a.m. Bring lunch and water, and plan to spend about 8 hours on this hike. A map is below. If you need more information, you can call Joe at (570) 259-0134. Join us!