Capital Blue Cross & Variety the Children’s Charity donate adaptive bikes for children with disabilities and more

Mechanicsburg-based West Shore Home, one of the fastest-growing home remodeling companies in the nation, will gift Army veteran Walter Puff with a new walk-in shower as part of its West Shore for Warriors initiative. Puff served in the Pacific Theater during World War II as an airplane armorer. 

York-based Community Progress Council announced it has been awarded a $50,000, two-year grant from Santander Bank, in support of the Self-Sufficiency Program and participants’ ability to secure reliable transportation to work, school or other needs. 

Weis Markets has committed $61,000 to Penn State Health Children’s Hospital in Hershey to support expert medical care for children in local communities. Funds were generated through customer round-up donations at checkouts in December and a corporate contribution. 

Capital Blue Cross and Variety the Children’s Charity presented adaptive bikes and strollers to several central Pennsylvania children living with disabilities during an event March 28 at Capital Blue Cross headquarters in Harrisburg. A donation from Capital Blue Cross helped provide the customized bikes and strollers. 

Jonestown Bank & Trust Co. recently contributed $25,000 to Lebanon Family Health Services to aid its efforts to meet the need for vital health programs and services to those in need throughout the Lebanon Valley. 

Compiled by freelance writer Paula Wolf 

Giving back

Plants & Pints, the family-friendly, plant-based community event held in Harrisburg’s Strawberry Square in late August, presented checks for $2,000 each to Downtown Daily Bread and Harrisburg River Rescue & Emergency Services from event proceeds. 

Hershey-based Pennsylvania American Water awarded $71,000 in grants to 142 fire and rescue organizations across the commonwealth through its annual Firefighting Support Grant Program. 

Harrisburg-based Central Pennsylvania Food Bank announced that it is receiving a $127,000 grant from Sheetz for the Kidz, a charitable organization driven by the employees of Sheetz Inc., to help provide hunger-relief to children in central Pennsylvania through the food bank’s summer feeding and youth hunger programs. 

Walmart is making it easy for nonprofits to rally support as well as for customers and associates to give back by launching Spark Good, a new way of community giving. Spark Good Round Up allows customers to round up their purchase total and donate their change at checkout on Walmart.com and in the Walmart app year-round. 

The American Land Title Association Good Deeds Foundation announced that it was awarding a $5,000 grant to the Workforce NOW Foundation of the York Builders Association. Shonna Cardello, president of White Rose Settlement Services Inc., York, nominated the nonprofit to receive the grant because of the organization’s efforts to address the local workforce gap in the building industry. 

Harrisburg-based MITER Foundation will once again recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October by making a series of financial donations totaling more than $80,000. The foundation will present a $40,000 check to both the National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

In the third quarter of 2022, York-based First Capital Federal Credit Union donated $1,050 to Autism York. This money was raised through various fundraisers throughout First Capital’s branches, including jeans days and soft pretzel sales. 

West Shore Home and MI Windows and Doors donated $100,000 to Four Diamonds to assist in childhood cancer care, treatment and innovative research. The Oct. 27 donation capped off their Childhood Cancer Awareness month fundraiser. 

United Concordia Dental recently presented The Nativity School of Harrisburg with a $15,000 donation in support of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit program offered through Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development. The funds will be used to provide need-based scholarships to students attending the school. 

Harrisburg-based MITER Foundation, the charitable arm of MITER Brands, MI Windows and Doors and Milgard Windows and Doors, raised a record $2.3 million at its annual golf outings in Hershey and in Prescott, Arizona. 

Access Insurance Agency, based in Harrisburg, gave a $10,000 donation to Harrisburg’s Bro2Go, an organization dedicated to providing human and social services to under-served individuals, such as veterans, at-risk youth, low- to moderate-income families, ex-offenders and people in recovery. 

Compiled by Paula Wolf 

A month for awards, giving back, and moving!



The Community of Lebanon Association selected Vincent Garcia as 2022 CLA Merritt Marks Businessperson of the Year. Garcia is president of CPA firm Garcia Garman & Shea PC. 


A senior vice president, wealth management in Morgan Stanley‘s Camp Hill office, Meron Yemane was recognized by the Association of African American Financial Advisors as a top 50 under 50 performer, with special distinction as the top producer, Wire House. 

Patti Husic, president and CEO of Harrisburg-based Centric Financial Corp. and Centric Bank, has been selected from hundreds of national top-tier female bankers as one of American Banker’s Most Powerful Women to Watch. 


Elizabethtown College Dean of the School of Engineering, Math and Computer Science and Associate Professor of Engineering Sara Atwood was named winner of the 2022 Women in Tech Diversity/Inclusion Award. The announcement was made at the sixth annual WIT Awards event, presented Sept. 14 in Harrisburg by the Technology Council of Central Pennsylvania. 


The Pennsylvania Treasury’s Transparency Portal has received the 2022 Government Experience Project Award from the Center for Digital Government. Presented at the virtual GovX Summit, the award recognizes the achievements and best practices of states, cities and counties that are improving the experience of government and how citizen services are delivered. 

Health Care 

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Lebanon VA Medical Center announced that it was named the top VA Medical Center in the country for patient experience. The medical center and its five associated community clinics received the award during the VA’s annual Customer Experience Symposium held Sept. 7-8 in Washington, D.C. This is the second consecutive year the local veterans’ health care system received the prestigious national honor for patient and employee satisfaction. 

Mechanicsburg-based Select Medical announced that 16 of its inpatient rehabilitation hospitals have been named to Newsweek’s 2022 list of America’s Best Physical Rehab Centers, including Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital in Hummelstown. 

Jenna Davis, an assistant professor of nursing at York College’s Dr. Donald E. and Lois J. Myers School of Nursing and Health Professions and a neonatal intensive care registered nurse at WellSpan York Hospital, earned the Robyn Main Excellence in Clinical Practice Award from the National Association of Neonatal Nurses. 


The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented the 2022 Mid-Atlantic Regional Emmy Awards during its in-person gala at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia. A total of 86 entries in 80 categories were recognized, honoring excellence in television news, programming and achievement in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. 

WHP CBS21, Harrisburg, was awarded the Emmy for Newscast – Evening – Smaller Markets, while WGAL-TV, Lancaster, and WPMT Fox43, York, won three awards each and WHTM abc27, Harrisburg, captured two awards. 



Penn State University College of Medicine in Hershey received a $300,000 Hyundai Scholar Hope Grant and a $200,000 Young Investigator Grant Hyundai from Hope On Wheels, a nonprofit supported by Hyundai Motor America and its more than 820 U.S. dealers. The 2022 annual research and programmatic grants from the organization totaled $15 million. 

Fulton Bank, a subsidiary of Fulton Financial Corp., donated $10,000 to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank. 

Regional premier advisory firm Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz raised $3,535 to benefit the United Way of the Capital Region through the BSSF 2022 Mini Golf Tournament. The tournament was held Aug. 24 at BSSF’s Camp Hill office, with 20 teams comprised of more than 80 players participating in the event. 

Mechanicsburg-based West Shore Home installed a new shower for 96-year-old World War II veteran Donald Shank of Manheim as part of itsWest Shore for Warriorsinitiative, dedicated to serving U.S. veterans, active military members and their families. West Shore Home removed Shank’s old cast iron tub and replaced it with a walk-in shower with grab bars and a teak shower seat for safety. 

Midwest Food Bank, Middletown, was the recipient of a donation from Mechanicsburg-based Pennsylvania American Water. The utility made $40,000 in donations to community food banks across the commonwealth, supporting more than 200,000 meals. 

Chambersburg-based F&M Trust recently donated $5,000 to the American Heart Association, Capital Region, which serves Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Perry and York counties. 

Plants & Pints, the family-friendly, plant-based, community event held in Strawberry Square in late August, presented checks for $2,000 each to Downtown Daily Bread and Harrisburg River Rescue & Emergency Services from the event proceeds. 



RDL Property LLC purchased Route 15 Beverage Express at 9 Tristan Drive, Carroll Township. The sale included the malt or brewed beverage license, real estate and other assets of the business. The new owners plan to operate Dillsburg’s local beverage store as usual. NAI CIR represented both parties. 

Edwin L. Heim Co. purchased industrial properties at 1001 S. 14th St., Harrisburg, for $1.65 million. The sale comprised four buildings totaling 27,521 square feet and on 18 parcels. NAI CIR represented the buyer. 

Skulsky Properties LLC purchased an 18,985-square-foot building at 3301 Hoffman St., Harrisburg, as an investment property. Both tenants, Focal Point and Levin Promotional, will remain. NAI CIR handled the transaction. 

Cumberland County Veterans Affairs will now be known as the Office of Veterans Affairs and Services to better reflect the county’s role in serving and advocating for veterans. While the office does not provide state and federal services, it will assist veterans in applying for benefits and advocate on their behalf. 

Hometown Refurnishing, a used furniture and home decor store in an historic building in downtown Ephrata, will be moving in January from the former Sprecher’s Hardware, 24 E. Main St., to 20 Snyder Lane in Clay Township. 

Above Da Rim LLC has purchased 140 Paxton St. and 406 River St., Harrisburg, from 1524 Cedar Cliff Dr LP. Its current location on Paxton Street in Harrisburg specializes in commercial vehicle window tint and body shop services, car audio, sound systems, tire, rims and car detailing. The 140 Paxton St. and River Street sites will be additional locations for the business. Campbell Commercial Real Estate Inc. handled the transaction. 

Fernandez Realty LLC purchased the 4,216-square-foot mixed-use building at 308 N. Second St., Harrisburg. This investment property is comprised of a retail storefront on the first floor and three apartments above. NAI CIR represented the buyer. 

Peters & Wasilefski leased the 2,629-square-foot garden-level suite at 1035 Mumma Road, Wormleysburg. The law firm relocated from its former office on North Front Street in Harrisburg. NAI CIR handled the transaction. 

Hanover Terminal Inc. leased 48,360 square feet of warehouse space at 1700 Harrisburg Pike, Middlesex Township. The space will be used for overflow storage. NAI CIR and NAI Robert Lynn handled the transaction. 

Straight Mind Way LLC leased 1,800 square feet of retail space at 1274 Lititz Pike, Manheim Township, from Cedar Golden Triangle LLC. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the tenant. 

Dragon Marett LLC leased 2,400 square feet of retail space at 4346-4348 N. George St., East Manchester Township, from Debra and Elwood McManus Jr. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the landlord. 

Kritunga LLC leased 7,200 square feet of retail space at 4900 Carlisle Pike, Hampden Township, from Hampden Center Inc. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the landlord. 

Hess Fitness Enterprises LLC leased 7,610 square feet of retail space at 241 W. Roseville Road, Lancaster, Manheim Township, from GNJ Roseville LP. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the landlord. 

H&R Block Eastern Enterprises Inc. leased 1,500 square feet of retail space at East Main Street and Pleasant Valley Road, Ephrata Township, from Property Investing and Management Inc. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the landlord. 

Let’s Get It Pizza Co. LLC leased 2,000 square feet of retail space at 1234 Millersville Pike, Lancaster Township, from Montgomery ACQ LLC. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the tenant. 

BK Cakery LLC leased 2,450 square feet of retail space at 3548 Gettysburg Road, Lower Allen Township, from 44 N. Queen Street LLC. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the landlord. 

Edward D. Jones & Co. LP leased 1,040 square feet of retail space at 2900 Whiteford Road, Springettsbury Township, from LAW Meadowbrook LLC. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the landlord. 

ManeClass HairHealth and HairStyle LLC leased 1,078 square feet of retail space at 320 Market St., Harrisburg, from Strawberry Square Associates. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the landlord. 

Susquehanna Apparel LLC leased 3,000 square feet of industrial space at 75 Acco Drive, York Township, from ACCO Properties LP. Bennett Williams Commercial represented both parties. 

  1. Troyer leased 1,493 square feet of office space at 2 Waterford Professional Center, York Township, from Waterford Associates. Bennett Williams Commercial represented both parties.

Leonhardt Metal Worx Inc. leased 6,547 square feet of industrial space at 555 Centennial Ave., Penn Township (York County), from H.B.H. Management Inc. Bennett Williams Commercial represented both parties. 

Auto Paint Revolution leased 1,800 square feet of retail space at 1820 Columbia Ave., Manor Township, from A. Kontis and E. Kontis. Bennett Williams Commercial represented both parties. 

RE Rosemont Holdings GP LP purchased 6,400 square feet of retail space at 530 N. Progress Ave., Susquehanna Township, from Progress Elmerton LP. Bennett Williams Commercial represented both parties. 

130 W. King LLC purchased 21,400 square feet of mixed-use space at 130 W. King St., East Berlin, from T.R. and M.L. Nell. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the seller. 

267 Cherry St. LLC purchased 5,100 square feet of industrial space at 267 Cherry St., Red Lion, from H.A. and C.J. Lohss. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the seller. 

Colletti Inc. purchased 1,568 square feet of retail space at 100 N. Broad St., York, from F.A. Poff. Bennett Williams Commercial represented both parties. 

Viking Mill Associates LP purchased 2,170 square feet of retail space at 152 S. Antrim Way, Greencastle, from ADC Atlantic Properties LLC. Bennett Williams Commercial represented the seller. 

Natural Lands Trust Inc. purchased 158 acres in Rapho, South Londonderry and West Cornwall townships from Murry Development Co. Bennett Williams Commercial represented both parties. 

Giving Back: Capital Blue Cross, Pennsylvania American Water and more

Capital Blue Cross Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility Susan Hubley, Community Relations Coordinator Courtney Levengood, and Senior Community Relations Consultant Breann Snyder are seen here with “Malcom,” one of the Susquehanna Service Dogs being trained at the recently opened Robin C. Reedy Training Center in Grantville. Capital has provided a generous contribution in support of the construction of the facility, run by Keystone Human Services.
Capital Blue Cross Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility Susan Hubley, Community Relations Coordinator Courtney Levengood, and Senior Community Relations Consultant Breann Snyder are seen here with “Malcom,” one of the Susquehanna Service Dogs being trained at the recently opened Robin C. Reedy Training Center in Grantville.  PHOTO/PROVIDED

Mechanicsburg-based Pennsylvania American Water donated $19,470 to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Keystone 10 Million Trees Partnership. This spring, the company committed to donating $10 for every customer who switched from paper to electronic bills during April, enough to underwrite the cost of planting one tree. The campaign led to 1,947 customer conversions to paperless billing.

The Society for Marketing Professional Services Central PA Chapter presented a $7,000 check to The Children’s Miracle Network on July 26. The money was raised from the chapter’s 2022 golf outing at Regents’ Glen Country Club in York, which had the highest number of participants in its history.

Main Street Gettysburg announced the next step in the $1.4 million Gettysburg Welcome Center project, a $12,000 grant from the Robert C. Hoffman Charitable Trust Grant that will be used for professional architecture and design services. The building site at 340 Baltimore St., in the heart of historic Gettysburg, was donated to the borough for the purpose of creating a downtown welcome center.

The Rotary Veterans Initiative, Penn State Harrisburg and Douglas W. Pollock Center for Addiction Outreach and Research are collaborating to help military veterans transform their lives, support their families, strengthen communities, and address the complex societal problem of addiction. On Aug. 4, a project of The Foundation for Enhancing Communities will present $25,000 to Penn State Harrisburg, to support veterans’ scholarships, textbook vouchers and stipends for student veterans performing Pollock Center unpaid internships.

Capital Blue Cross staff recently celebrated the health insurer’s contribution to Susquehanna Service Dogs in support of the construction of the program’s new assistance-dog training facility in Grantville. The gift to the newly opened Robin C. Reedy Training Center helped provide a state-of-the-art facility that readies dogs to make a difference for thousands with disabilities, as well as for veterans, schools, hospitals, courthouses and cancer centers.

(Photo caption: Capital Blue Cross Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility Susan Hubley, Community Relations Coordinator Courtney Levengood and Senior Community Relations Consultant Breann Snyder are shown with service dog Malcolm.)

The Society for Science has awarded a $4,000 STEM Action Grant to the community-based STEM organization Pennsylvania Society for Biomedical Research in Camp Hill. The society, which offers educational programs to promote a better understanding of biomedical research and its contributions to human and animal health, will apply the grant toward the expansion of its SPARC (Science Program and Research Coach) program at Esperanza Academy Charter School in Philadelphia, which will provide around 30 underserved middle school students with intensive, hands-on biomedical science programming.

The York County Community Foundation bestowed three grants to support land and water preservation and downtown revitalization efforts.

They are:

  • $60,000 from the foundation’s Agriculture and Land Preservation Program Fund to the Farm and Natural Lands Trust. This will support the hiring of a full-time land stewardship manager.
  • $71,595 from foundation’s Codorus Watershed Program Fund to the Watershed Alliance of York for a West Branch Codorus Creek Ecological Restoration Study. This will support the creation of an assessment of two degraded reaches of the West Branch and provide needed data.
  • $20,000 to the Y Community Development Corp. for the South Penn Street Physical Vision Plan. This will support engagement and revitalization efforts for the South Penn Street community.

Compiled by Paula Wolf

The Giant Company donates $100,000 to community organizations 

The Giant Company donated $100,000 to nine organizations as part of Giving Tuesday. The recipients included the nonprofits Lancaster County Project for the Needy, and Harrisburg-based Keystone Human Services. 

“This Giving Tuesday donation is our largest to date and reflects the important and unique work each of these nine organizations are doing in our communities to help eliminate hunger,” said Jessica Groves, community impact manager at Giant. 

Other organizations receiving donations from the Carlisle-based company include: Between Friends Outreach, Doylestown; Caring for Friends, Philadelphia; Harrisburg University and Keystone Human Services, Harrisburg; Keystone Kidspace, York; The Miller Center, Lewisburg; and the YMCA of Bucks County. 

Giant’s contributions to Keystone Kidspace will supply the organization’s Kitchen Lab for three years, and Giant dietitians will provide on-site programming, according to a company press release. 

“Their sponsorship support makes it possible for our programs to go beyond traditional education about healthy nutrition and wellness to truly empower the next generation of Yorkers to feed themselves, their families and their communities,”” said Jessica Brubaker, co-founder and executive director at Keystone Kidspace. 

At Keystone Human Services, Giant’s donation will support the organization’s Capital Area Head Start nutrition impact program. 

“Partnerships like this are what continue to make Head Start a great place to both work and learn. This collaboration will help reduce food insecurities, increase nutrition experiences in the classroom, and introduce children to the concept of farm to table,” said Amber Coleman, director of operations at Capital Area Head Start. 

She’s all about beating cancer


The 2020 race for “Man and Woman of the Year” is one time when it’s acceptable to buy your way to the top. In fact, it’s expected.

As one of the biggest annual fundraisers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, this philanthropic competition has raised thousands of dollars in the race for blood cancer cures.

To be a candidate for the title, you have to know how to raise mountains of money. That includes surrounding yourself with a team of that also knows how to make money, because in this competition, the winner is the person who can bring home the most dough.

The candidates have 10 weeks to raise as much money as they can and every dollar counts as a vote.

Tara Reyka, Camp Hill, is the Senior Director of Development for the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and it’s her task to find good potential candidates for this fundraising competition.

Tara Reyka, Camp Hill, of Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with Tara, a blood cancer survivor and the 2018 Girl of the Year. PHOTO/SUBMITTED

“They’re typically influential members of the community,” she said. “It’s a small but elite group of people; about 10 to 12 candidates.”

Finding these special people takes teamwork, so the LLS has an executive leadership team to develop a list of potential candidates.

Reyka works with each candidate to develop a strategic fundraising plan.

“They all have very busy schedules so we look at what we can do around their lifestyle,” she said.

Candidates for Man or Woman of the Year can be self-nominated or nominated by a peer.

This coming year, 2020, coincidentally marks the 20th anniversary of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Reyka said.

After candidates are chosen, they build their own teams to help raise funds, whether that’s through marketing, corporate sponsorships or other means.

The 10-week challenge will begin March 27 this year and continue ’til June 5.

At the finale of the challenge, the two who have raised the most money will be announced Man and Woman of the Year, and receive a plaque marking their accomplishment.

The Boy and Girl of the Year will be honored at the finale, too. They are two of the children for whom the money is being raised. “They are our honored heroes; patients and survivors,” Reyka said.

In total, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has raised 1.2 billion dollars for research to eradicate blood cancers.

“LLS is at the forefront of cancer cures, but we’ve still got work to do,” Reyka said, noting that about every three minutes someone in the United States is diagnosed with a type of blood cancer.

“It’s absolutely incredible what we’re doing; the treatments we’re funding and the advancements being made,” she said.

In the last two years, the FDA has approved 50 treatments to fight blood cancers and 43 of those were through research funded by the LLS.

“I love that we have these tangibles to show we are making progress,” Reyka said.

LLS’s motto is “beating cancer is in our blood.”

Originally from central Pennsylvania, Reyka was in San Diego visiting her mother a few years ago when she learned about the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Her mom, in her 50s at the time, was training to run in a marathon for LLS to raise money for the Society.

Reyka was both proud of her mom and got interested in the cause.

Funds raised by the “Man and Woman of the Year” challenge go directly to the LLS mission and funding research is a priority.

“Another big focus is supporting our patients locally,” Reyka said.

That includes several support groups and an information center that is a free resource for patients and their families.

LLS also supports patients financially, distributing close to $700,000 in financial assistance to blood cancer patients in central Pennsylvania, she said.

Whether you come out on top or a few rungs further down on the ladder, everyone who raises money for the LLS is a winner, Reyka said.


How an emphasis on community service led to a career with Harrisburg police

Blake Lynch, community policing coordinator for the Harrisburg Bureau of Police has carried a love for community and relationship building into the position he joined last year. PHOTO/IOANNIS PASHAKIS

On Sept. 3, a criminal investigation into a shooting on Harrisburg’s North Sixth Street kept the staff of the Camp Curtin YMCA from getting into work.

Unsure when they would be able to enter the building, the local nonprofit called the Harrisburg Bureau of Police’s community policing coordinator, Blake Lynch.

As the liaison between the bureau and the city’s residents and businesses, Lynch is often the information resource for groups like the YMCA when the bureau has its hands tied with high-priority calls.

“Unfortunately, the things that are quality of life matters, like illegal dumping or parking, can take a while to get to,” Lynch said. “The side of our vehicles say ‘protect and serve.’ My job is to try and make sure that our officers can serve as much as possible.”

Lynch took the call from the Y’s executive director and helped get them an answer from the bureau. He also spoke with local businesses to get video footage of the crime taken by a nearby security camera.

Acting as the bridge between the community and city police has given Lynch such a huge network of sources that it isn’t uncommon for someone say “just call Blake.”

Those relationships are important to Lynch, a Harrisburg area resident that emphasizes community and volunteerism. Lynch is a volunteer board member of the South-Central Pennsylvania sector of the Boy Scouts of America, a member of the board of directors for the Harrisburg-based Hamilton Health Center and a member of the Agency Services Committee for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.

“I feel that we were all created to help someone else if we have the opportunity to do so,” he said. “To have these relationships and to use those to help an organization, help a business leader or help an officer; that is my response to (that opportunity).”

The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank invited Lynch to join its committee two years ago and Joe Arthur, the food bank’s executive director, said that he is one of the food bank’s most engaged partners.

“We need people to trust the food bank and trust our partners and Blake is very good at helping us engage in Harrisburg in a way that brings out both people in need of help and people willing to offer help,” Arthur said.

Arthur, who knew Lynch before he joined the bureau, but said his connections with the city’s police helped form a partnership between the two organizations that didn’t exist before. The department invited the food bank to participate in its annual National Night Out event on Aug. 6.

“The very fact that our organization is working constructively with the police department is really because of Blake,” Arthur said.

It took time for Lynch to learn how to juggle his career, family and nonprofit work. Lynch attributed his ability to balance his life, to keeping himself from feeling forced to do something and being aware of his own decisions.

“Self-awareness is key if you want to serve and help others,” he said. “If it is something you want to do and you find pleasure in it, it will lead you to be more successful.”

Lynch, 31, attended Messiah College for a major in public relations and crisis communications and left the school before receiving his degree. It took him over a decade to find the right career in his field.

Lynch spent years in the hospitality industry, then was hired as the director of development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harrisburg, a job he left in 2018 to pursue his current position.

During that time working outside of his field, Lynch learned the importance of coming to terms with rejection.

“You have to go through this process of being slow cooked,” he said. “It’s the meals that take a long time that are what you remember.”

Correction: The story previously mentioned that Lynch was a graduate of Messiah College. Lynch attended Messiah College but left the school before receiving his degree. 

United Way of Lancaster County is looking for its next leader

Sue Suter is leaving the United Way of Lancaster County after five years as its president and CEO. After helping the organization completely change how it funded local nonprofits, she will be joining the Peace Corps. PHOTO/IOANNIS PASHAKIS –

For 40 years Sue Suter’s license plate has read “Give” and Suter, the president and CEO of the United Way of Lancaster County, has spent her career doing just that.

After leading Lancaster’s United Way for the last five years through one of its biggest changes to date, she intends to retire early next year and continue her trend of giving by joining the Peace Corps.

The United Way’s current leader joined the Manheim Township nonprofit in 2014 as it was dealing with high CEO turnover and on the brink of changing how it funded local nonprofits.

Five years later, the organization and the county have embraced the new funding model and Suter is preparing to leave the organization soon after its board finds a new president and CEO.

Leading many United Way organizations

Before moving to Lancaster, Suter had already amassed over 24 years of experience in different leadership roles with United Ways in a number of states. Suter had made a name for herself as someone an organization wanted on its team after leading the United Way of South Mississippi’s recovery efforts during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Suter also held a 13-year tenure as the executive director of the United Way of the Greater Seacoast in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and spent four years as director of United Way of America’s National Corporate Leadership division.

The year Suter joined was an important one for the United Way of Lancaster County. Since its inception, the organization funded individual groups throughout the county on projects the organizations pitched. When Suter was hired to take on the role of president and CEO, the United Way was preparing to be the first in the country to give up that method of funding and instead rely completely on a collective impact model.

The new model would allow the United Way to have a stronger role in its funding of nonprofits by working with those organizations to ensure they were addressing a series of goals set out by the United Way of Lancaster County while also ensuring that nonprofits in any given area weren’t duplicating their services.

The model was to be fully integrated into the Lancaster United Way’s funding by 2015 and the community was initially wary of the change. One of Suter’s first responsibilities as she entered her role was to help ease a transition into the model that the region had no experience with.

“The change to collective impact was difficult because people didn’t want change,” Suter said. “The fear was that United Way would abandon these organizations because no one understood the model.”

Following in the footprints of other nonprofits that had gone through with the model, the organization pushed forward, confident that the collective impact model’s focus on collaboration would provide better outcomes than projects done by only one organization.

Andrea Heberlein, the United Way’s vice president of strategic impact, said that for the method to succeed, there needed to be a leader that trusted in the model.

“One of the main reasons (Suter) was interested in our United Way was because we already had made that decision to evolve into the new model,” Heberlein said. “She really was supportive of that and did what she could to help others be supportive as well.”

The organization is happy with its progress of the collective impact model as it begins its search for a new leader. The model works on a cycle of three years with organizations applying to receive funding under one of 10 different partnerships, each with their own goals.

“We are sitting right now at a significant inflection point for the United Way,” said Donald Maier, the chairman of the United Way of Lancaster County’s board of directors. “We now have four years of results (with the model) and we are seeing the needle move on our goals.”

Suter was also a key player in ridding the United Way of a series of “legacy issues” that put financial stress on the organization. Those issues included ending a multi-employer pension program that the nonprofit had entered with other local nonprofits in the 60’s and the selling of the United Way’s headquarters on Janet Avenue in Manheim Township.

This year the organization leased a new headquarters off of West Roseville Road in Manheim Township. With the new location settled, the setting up of the collective impact model sailing through its fourth year and the legacy issues put to rest, Suter said the United Way of Lancaster’s new leader will be able to turn their attention to raising more money to continue funding its partnerships.

“The focus now has to be fundraising and marketing because we have the product,” Suter said. “If we had more money we could have more of an impact on the community.”

A national search is underway to find a new president and CEO but the nonprofit’s leadership hopes to find a local candidate with deep ties to the county that can help realize the goal of finding more local funding.

Funding was difficult in the first four years of the new model but the organization is confident that its partnerships have made visible strides in their goals that a new leader could use to accelerate funding.

“We are looking for someone with significant experience in renovating a philanthropic model,” Maier said. “Nationwide, we are seeing investments decline and yet other organizations are being creative in how they attract new donors and investors.”

Suter is willing to wait the search out and stay as long as she needs to until the United Way can find a suitable replacement. However, the organization’s board of directors have known of Suter’s plan to join the Peace Corps since she took the job.

“When I was being interviewed I promised them five years. They knew that I planned to go into the Peace Corps in 2020,” she said. “People are living so much longer, your life isn’t over at 65 and there are so many opportunities.”