CPBJ announces Best Places to Work in PA 2023 winners, holding event in December 

The Central Penn Business Journal, in partnership with Best Companies Group and Lehigh Valley Business, is once again hosting its annual Best Places to Work in PA event. 

Best Places to Work in PA 2023 will be held at the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square Hotel at 25 S. Queen St., Lancaster on Thursday, Dec. 7. 

CPBJ  recently announced this year’s winners, separated across three categories: small employers (15-99 U.S. employees; medium employers (100-249 U.S. employees); and large employers (250 or more U.S. employees). 

“This year’s 2023 Best Places to Work in PA winners make sure their teams feel appreciated, engaged and challenged. They foster a positive environment for innovative teams to thrive,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, managing director of BridgeTower Media/Central Penn Business Journal and Lehigh Valley Business. “These companies demonstrate consistent communication and recognize good work, important hallmarks of a great place to work. We at the Central Penn Business Journal and Lehigh Valley Business are pleased to join the Best Companies Group in celebrating this year’s honorees.” 

The rankings for this year’s Best Places to Work in PA will be revealed during the event.  

Companies were chosen as winners through a two-part survey process managed by Harrisburg-based Best Companies Group.  

Winning companies must be publicly or privately held, either for-profit or not-for profit; have a facility in Pennsylvania; have at least 15 employees in Pennsylvania; and be in business for a minimum of one year. 

There are various sponsorship levels available, which include the right to use the event logo, multimedia marketing, a table to share with co-workers and guests at the event, and much more. If seats are available after the sponsorship deadline, a limited number of individual tickets will go on sale. Tables are only available with sponsorship.

A full list of winners and sponsors can be found at the landing page detailing the December eventFor more information about the Best Places to Work in PA program, visit BestPlacestoWorkinPA.com 

Former Central Penn Business Journal building sells in Harrisburg

The former Central Penn Business Journal building at 1500 Paxton St., Harrisburg, recently sold for an undisclosed price.

Offering easy access to Interstate 83 and downtown Harrisburg, the 55,450-square-foot structure is “an ideal investment opportunity,” according to a press release from Landmark Commercial, which handled the transaction.

Michael Curran, Landmark’s president and executive managing director, and Senior Associate Nick Martin represented the seller, Paxton Street Properties LLC. The buyer, 1500 Paxton LP, was represented by Sean Fitzsimmons, director of sales and leasing, and Associate Trey Brakefield.

The property’s main building is a three-story concrete frame and brick edifice, featuring modern design elements and Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility.

Also, the tract includes a rear building measuring 40-by-17 feet, constructed with brick, and a concrete deck roof covered with built-up asphalt, providing flexibility.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

CPBJ health care webinar covers telehealth services, malpractice law and more

The Central Penn Business Journal took a deep dive into current health care topics with the help of three area experts in this year’s Health Care Trends and Updates Virtual Panel Discussion.

The panel, held on May 23, covered the latest developments in health care from recent changes in telehealth services to medical malpractice and more.

The panel’s experts included: Dr. Timothy Law, chief medical officer and vice president of integrative care delivery at Highmark, Katherine Betz Kravitz, partner and health industry group chair at Barley Snyder and John J. Herman, CEO at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health.

Questions covered the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency, current legislation in the works that could impact health care in the region and recent financial and staffing issues felt by providers.

The Health Care Trends and Updates Virtual Panel Discussion was sponsored by Barley Snyder and Highmark.

To view the entire panel discussion, register here.

Celebrating this year’s Nonprofit Innovation Awards winners

After a series of video rollouts announcing the top winners among five categories, leaders in the midstate’s nonprofit space met at Wyndridge Farm in Dallastown for the Central Penn Business Journal’s 2023 Nonprofit Innovation Awards.

The Nonprofit Innovation Awards are presented to nonprofits that work to improve Central Pennsylvania in pioneering new ways. The innovation must have taken place between July 2021 and December 2022 and cannot discriminate against any protected class.

Top winners and runner ups were initially announced through four video rollouts from May 15th through the 18th. Categories included: Branding Identity / Unique Marketing Campaign; Collaboration;  Management Operations; Nonprofit Leadership Excellence and Programs.

Finalists met at Wyndridge farm on the 18th following the rollout to receive awards for their accomplishments and to celebrate nonprofit innovation in the midstate.

Sponsors for last week’s event included: Presenting Sponsor, First National Bank; Major Sponsor, Community Aid; Foundation Sponsors, Lancaster County Community Foundation, The Foundation for Enhancing Communities and York County Community Foundation; Reception Sponsors, Ephrata National Bank and Excentia Human Services; Supporting Sponsor, Goodwill Keystone Area; Celebration Sponsors, Community Progress Council, UPMC Pinnacle Foundation, WellSpan Health and York County History Center.

To see a full list of winners, purchase photos from the event and nominate for next year’s awards, please visit the award’s landing page.

DEI Summit helps attendees become JEDIs

CPBJ and LVB Contributing Editor, Sloane Brown, speaks with Tyrone Russell, Joy Houck and Lynette Chappel-Williams during a panel titled Building Inclusive Work Environments during the 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit.
CPBJ and LVB Contributing Editor, Sloane Brown, speaks with Tyrone Russell, Joy Houck and Lynette Chappel-Williams during a panel titled Building Inclusive Work Environments during the 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit.

Keynote speaker Todd Snovel brought a “Star Wars” theme to his talk Wednesday at the third annual Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Summit, hosted online by Central Penn Business Journal and Lehigh Valley Business.

Snovel, chief leadership and engagement officer for the County Commissioners Association, focused on how participants can become trained JEDI – promoting Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion – in their workplaces.

He was followed by two panel discussions, “Building Inclusive Work Environments” and “Power, Privilege and Allyship,” with representatives from health care, engineering and other fields giving their tips and expertise on DEI (or JEDI).

When he went off to college, Snovel said, his worldview was very limited.

“I had been pretty much only exposed to people who looked like me, who sounded like me, who had similar beliefs and values as I. And it was only through those expanded opportunities in education that I started to realize, one, how big the world was, but two, really … understand how inequity (wasn’t just something in history books but was affecting people today) and not just other places, but in our own communities.”

DEI work is a challenge, Snovel said. “It can bring up some difficult conversations, and so there is sometimes a feeling of discomfort right around these JEDI ideas.”

Often, he’ll get asked if an employee should feel guilty belonging to a group that has discriminated.

“Am I supposed to feel bad about myself, especially if I hold some majority identities in the space, and I would tell you, please do not feel bad about yourselves, but let’s also be committed to a real understanding of knowledge because it is from that knowledge that we can then put that energy into action.”

Snovel explained the difference between equality and equity.

“It is when we do things that we then get to the ability to look beyond equality, to look beyond just let’s treat everybody the same way and give them all the same things. But to look to equity, which is, how are we equipping people to be successful, based on what they need?”

When thinking about launching a DEI initiative, companies should ask questions. And employee feedback is crucial.

Are they able to be fully themselves in the workplace? he queried. “So when I open that office door, do I believe that my full ideas and personalities and backgrounds and opinions are going to be welcomed and embraced? Or are there parts of me that I’m sort of shelving, checking, holding at bay because I’m just not sure how I’m going to be welcomed into that space?”

In the first panel, Lynette Chappell-Williams, vice president and diversity officer at Penn State Health, talked about changing circumstances.

“I would have said five years ago how we approach DEI … was radically different from where it is now. We’re dealing with severe … staffing shortages that reduce people’s ability to focus on anything that isn’t getting them through the day-to-day work that they need.”

“We’re dealing with financial challenges,” she said. “Organizations weren’t where they are … in terms of having a lot of additional funds … so you have to be far more strategic … .”

Tyrone J. Russell, CEO of Faces International Marketing and Development LLC, told summit attendees, “I always say this is really therapy. … I say, I’m a DEI therapist before I’m a practitioner, because I know that even if people pretend like it’s never ever personal that there’s deep-rooted stuff that they’re dealing with that’s not allowing them to understand what it is we’re trying to create.”

Productivity also comes into play, said Joy Houck, vice president of organizational development and chief learning officer at WellSpan Health. “… So if I don’t feel included on a team, if I don’t feel like I belong, my team may not be productive, and so if we’re not productive, we’re probably not meeting the business’ goals.”

In the second panel, George Fernandez, president and CEO of Color & Culture, spoke about the Latino population, health care and DEI.

“We understand that Hispanic demographic, and the Hispanic community are typically the No. 1s leading (where) we don’t want to be No. 1 in, whether it’s diabetes and obesity and cancer … . So I’m helping them connect to the resources that they ultimately need in order to allow them to live healthier, more active, engaged lives.”

Aaysha Noor, head of diversity, equity and inclusion at The Giant Co., is a Muslim immigrant to the U.S.

“I’m a strong believer that your personal experiences bring in a strong passion to what you do …  But when you actually lived those experiences, and when you work with those communities, when you are on the street, when you have marched with them, and you have shed tears with them …it’s a very different feeling, and it gives you that deeper empathy and compassion and drive to do that work, and it also helps you … to bring other people along to tell that story … .”

Masai Lawson, senior manager of talent acquisition and inclusion, Gannett Fleming, had her definition of equity, too.

“… It’s not about quotas. It’s not about compliance; frankly, defining equity in terms of quantifiable results is again, in my opinion, too narrow, and ultimately counterproductive because it encourages a focus around outcomes only rather than how equitable environments are really built and sustained … So … I think equity is more of a state, and it’s hard to strictly define what it looks like, since it’ll show up differently in every organization.”

The summit was presented by Giant, with presenting sponsor WellSpan Health. Supporting sponsors were First National Bank, Reading Hospital/Tower Health and UPMC and patron sponsors were Capital BlueCross, Highmark, Members First Federal Credit Union, Penn State Harrisburg and Penn State Health.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Meet the women chosen to receive CPBJ’s Women of Influence Awards 

The Central Penn Business Journal is celebrating 39 of the midstate’s most influential, up and coming and successful business leaders as part of its 2022 Women of Influence awards. 

This year’s honorees fall into three categories: Women of Influence, Women to Watch and Circle of Excellence. 

The Women of Influence award honors high-achieving women for their career accomplishments. The honorees are selected based on their professional experience, community involvement, leadership and sustained commitment to mentoring. 

Women to Watch honors women leaders 35 or younger who demonstrate outstanding professional accomplishments, community involvement and commitment to positive change. 

Circle of Excellence honorees are women of longstanding, notable success in the community who are leading the way for other women. 

See the full list here.

To be eligible for the awards, candidates must live or work in the central Pennsylvania area, which includes Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York counties. 

“The 2022 Women of Influence honorees are leading companies, creating new products, changing the way we do business and most importantly, paving the way for future generations of women. They are providing an incredible impact on the Central Pennsylvania region,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, senior group publisher of the Central Penn Business Journal. “The women being inducted into the Circle of Excellence have demonstrated longstanding, notable success in their industries and in the community, and the Women to Watch honorees are the next generation of women leaders in Central Pennsylvania. Central Penn Business Journal is honored to recognize the accomplishments of these incredible women.” 

As of May 24, sponsors for this year’s event include: 

Presenting Sponsor, Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz; Supporting Sponsor, Buchanon Ingersoll & Rooney PC; Awards Sponsor, UPMC; Social Media/Red Carpet Sponsors, Highmark and Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences; and Celebration Sponsors, Barley Snyder, Boyer & Ritter, Central Penn College, Conrad Siegel, McNees Wallace & Nurick, Mid Penn Bank, Pennian Bank, PeoplesBank, a Codorus Valley Company, RKL and WellSpan Health.

CPBJ names new editor, assistant editor

Ernest Long and Ioannis Pashakis

Central Penn Business Journal, Central Penn Parent and Lehigh Valley Business, have named a new editor and assistant editor. 

This week, Senior Group Publisher Suzanne Fischer-Huettner announced the promotion of Ernest Long to editor and Ioannis Pashakis to assistant editor. 

“We are excited to have these experienced leaders running our news operation for Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley,” said Suzanne Fischer-Huettner, group publisher at BridgeTower Media. 

Together, Long and Pashakis will have oversight of all editorial operations. 

The new promotions will allow the team to have a renewed focus on both the midstate and Lehigh Valley, which they plan to use to make connections with area business leaders and focus the team’s content to the needs of the business communities they serve. 

The move also brings an opportunity for the brands to push further into providing up-to-the-minute coverage on the complex issues that matter to our readers online, while continuing important conversations on those topics through print products, relevant webinars and in-person events. 

Long came to BridgeTowerMedia in early 2022 after 35 years as a journalist at The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa. 

His career included extensive stints as a reporter, copy editor, and manager, including a department head. 

The lifelong Lehigh Valley native has a passion for informing and entertaining readers. 

He is excited about the renaissances taking place in the region’s inner cities and enjoys being out in the community, whether attending events like Bethlehem’s Musikfest, The Great Allentown Fair and Allentown’s Blue, Brews and BBQ or attending Lehigh Valley IronPigs or Phantoms games. 

“I am excited for this opportunity, given the history of Lehigh Valley Business and the Central Penn Business Journal and the growth potential of our print and digital products,” said Long. 

“Our business communities – from Allentown to Reading to York and everywhere in between — are strong, diverse, important and growing. There are stories to be told and we look forward to telling them.” 

“Ernie brings more than 30 years’ experience to the role of Editor and has a successful history of print and digital news leadership and understands the importance of niche, local content for the business leaders in our markets,” said Fischer-Huettner. 

Pashakis, who goes by Yanni among friends and sources, joined the journal in 2018 as its health care beat reporter. 

In that time, he has expanded his coverage in the region to include nearly anything that impacts the region’s businesses, including state politics. 

A transplant from Lycoming County, Pashakis moved to Harrisburg in 2018 and currently lives in Lancaster. He has a passion for breaking news in the business community and is always up for an in-person meeting if it’s over coffee. 

“Working with area businesses during my time as a reporter has given me a passion for the region that I look forward to continuing into this new role,” said Pashakis. “Following the pandemic, we’ve really embraced a digital-first mindset and with a fully formed editorial team, it will really give us a chance to improve and expand on our quality journalism.” 

“Yanni led a newsroom during his time at Bloomsburg University and has provided top notch reporting for the past few years as a reporter with our brands,” said Fischer-Huettner. “Together Ernie and Yanni will grow our coverage in both markets and provide the business-to-business news that is critical for our readers to run and grow their business.” 

Celebrating 38 years of journalistic excellence, Central Penn Business Journal is a multimedia news source that publishes a regular print and online edition and breaks news daily on its website, CPBJ.com. 

In addition, Central Penn Business Journal publishes special focus sections and products throughout the year including Reader Rankings, Fastest Growing Companies and Best Places to Work in PA. Central Penn Business Journal also honors leading Pennsylvanians through nine annual awards events including Health Care Heroes, Women of Influence, Forty Under 40 and Game Changers and facilitates thoughtful discussion with market leaders through its webinar series. 

Central Penn Business Journal is part of BridgeTower Media, one of the country’s leading business-to-business media companies with more than 40 print and digital publications in more than 25 U.S. markets. 

Former CPBJ publisher and founder plans to run for Mayor of Harrisburg in 2021

Dave Schankweiler, founder and former publisher of the Central Penn Business Journal, plans to announce a run for Mayor of Harrisburg next year.

David A. Schankweiler

If he decides to run, Schankweiler will be up against incumbent Mayor Eric Papenfuse, who told PennLive on Monday that he will be seeking a third term in 2021.

The local entrepreneur rolled out a new website on Monday that asks residents, students and the business community to fill a short survey on what they would like to see if he were to run.

On the site, Schankweiler says he plans to officially announce his campaign in early 2021, but wants to first hear from the community through the survey.

“One of the things that city government needs to do a better job of is making sure those who may not be able to have opportunity, city government needs to be serving so that those opportunities are there.” Schankweiler said in a video on the site.

Schankweiler has lived in the Harrisburg region since he was a child and founded the Harrisburg-based Central Penn Business Journal in 1984 when he was 24. In 2016, Shankweiler sold the business to Minneapolis-based BridgeTower Media.

“As the founder and publisher of the Central Penn Business Journal, I was privileged to help tell the story of visionaries who saw the next Harrisburg—a diverse, energetic river town where every person is valued and has a fighting chance to succeed,” he said in a statement on the site.

Schankweiler declined to give additional information regarding his campaign until the official announcement early next year.

2020 Health Care Heroes finalists named

More than 30 leaders and organizations have been named finalists this year. Winners will be announced at a special morning event on March 13 at the Hershey Hotel in Harrisburg, Pa.

Let’s celebrate the health care heroes of Central Pennsylvania.

Each year the Central Penn Business Journal and Central Penn Parent recognizes excellence, promotes innovation and honors the efforts of individuals and organizations making significant positive impacts on the quality of health care

More than 30 leaders and organizations have been named finalists this year. Winners will be announced at a special morning event on March 13 at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey.

More information about the event can be found here.  Here are the 2020 finalists:

Advancements in Innovation and Healthcare:

Alder Health Services


WellSpan Health

Allied Health Hero:

Dr. Robert Blake of Blake Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Center

Nikki Marhefka of Central Penn College

Javier Muniz of Wellspan Health

Community Outreach/Education Hero:

Central Penn Business Group on Health

Jeanne McClintick LNP, CHPLN of Hospice of Central PA

Adam Marden of Susquehanna Valley EMS

Leigh-Ann Reitze of UPMC

Health Professional Hero:

Ali Washington of Gaudenzia, Inc.

Jonathan Ortiz, DO of UPMC Pinnacle Carlisle

Brian SChuler, MD of WellSpan Cardiology

Mental Health Hero:

Marian Echevarria of WellSpan Health

Kenia Perez-Gonzalez of WellSpan Philhaven – Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

Pediatrics Care Hero:

Johanna Vidal-Phelan, MD, MBA, FAAP of Hamilton Health Center

Aimee Friedrich of WellSpan York Hospital

Gabrielle Wallace of Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Senior Care Hero:

Julie Hurley of The Campus of the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg

Katherine Szala of Visiting Angels

Special Needs Advocate:

Jeannette Magaro of Autism in Classrooms

Cheryl D. Tierney, MD of Penn State Pediatric Rehabilitation and Development

Therapeutic Care Hero:

Denisha Roberts of Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development

Volunteer Hero:

Brett Ernst, MD of Schein Ernst Mishra Eye

Women’s Health and Wellness Hero:

Lynne M. Hopfl RN, BSN, M.ED. of Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Adriane Burgess of WellSpan York Hospital

Workplace Wellness Program of the Year:

County Commissioners Association of PA

Dickinson College

UTZ Quality Foods

Nurse of the Year *:

Tara Gardner of Geisinger Holy Spirit

Tammie Treibley of WellSpan Ephrata Cancer Center

Kelly Trynosky DNP, RN, ACNP-BC of WellSpan Ephrata Community Hospital – Center for Heart Care

Sarah Bosserman Matulewicz of WellSpan York Hospital

Physician of the Year *:

Bolanle A Limann MD, MPH, MBA of Hamilton Health Center

Mark L. Simmons of Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine

Patrick Moreno of  Lancaster General Health/Penn Medicine

Amber Billet, MD, FACEP of WellSpan York Hospital

Lifetime Achievement Hero:

Thomas R. McGann M.D. of WellSpan Health


* A top winner will be announced in these categories at the awards celebration in March.

Finalists named in CPBJ’s Nonprofit Innovation Awards

Let’s celebrate the nonprofit leaders.

Each year the Central Penn Business Journal celebrates individuals and organizations who go above and beyond in their work with nonprofit organizations in the midstate.

The awards highlight work in brand identity, collaboration, management operations, leadership and programs. More than 30 leaders and organizations have been named finalists this year. Winners will be announced at a special morning event on March 17 at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster County.

More information about the event can be found here.  Here are the 2020 finalists:

Brand Identity/Unique Marketing Campaign

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region

Community Progress Council

Cross Keys Village – The Brethren Home Community

Family Health Council of Central Pennsylvania

Music for Everyone

Vickie’s Angel Foundation

York Count Libraries


Catholic Harvest Food Pantry

Garden Spot Village

Hamilton Health Center

Harrisburg Beer Week

Paxton Ministries


York County Economic Alliance

Management Operations

Byrnes Health Education Center

Humane Society of Harrisburg Area

Mainstreet Waynesboro, Inc.

Nonprofit Leadership Excellence

Michael Fitzgibbons

Susquehanna Valley EMS

Jamien Harvey

Camp Curtin YMCA

Mark Pile

Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries & Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries

Darrel Reinford

Christian Churches United of the Tri-County Area

Christy Renjilian

Child Care Consultants

Julie Walker

The Peyton Walker Foundation

Jennifer Wintermyer

Tri County Community Action


Clinic for Special Children

Downtown Inc

Good Samaritan Services

Goodwill Keystone Area

The Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg

Messiah Lifeways

New Hope Ministries