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Signature Staffing celebrating quarter century of staffing PA workforce

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Signature Staffing is hosting an event today in Lemoyne recognizing a quarter century of staffing Pennsylvania’s workforce. 

Signature Staffing Founder and CEO Pamela Hill said it’s important to recognize partners and leaders who have paved the way for a woman-owned business in central Pennsylvania. 

“From access to financing to growing my network to choosing a business address, I am grateful for the opportunities our region provides to thrive and succeed here,” Hill said in a statement. 

Signature Staffing places employees for more than 100 corporations and businesses. According to a company press release, many of the state’s leading accounting, banking, IT, legal, manufacturing, and warehouse companies are staffed with Signature Staffing clients. 

The celebration is scheduled to include: 

Rep. Patty Kim; Gwen Ross, Director of Workforce Development Initiatives, PA DCED; Dauphin County Commissioner George Hartwick; Cumberland County Commissioner Jean Foschi; Lemoyne Borough Council; Solomon Wheeler, Eastern District SBA; and Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation (CAEDC). 

M&T Bank, business colleagues, friends, and the Harrisburg Chamber are expected to join Hill as she speaks to the impact of mentoring on her success as a woman-owned small business and opportunities in today’s region. A single mother who did not return to college, Hill had a mentor who she said changed her life, and she credits her success to the value of mentorship.

Rite Aid sued over use of new logo font 

Rite Aid updated its branding in 2020. The font used in the new logo is now embroiled in a recent lawsuit. PHOTO/PROVIDED

A Delaware-based type foundry and design studio has filed a suit against Rite Aid and its creative and advertising agencies, alleging that the Camp Hill pharmaceutical chain violated a license agreement with the company when it used one of its fonts as part of a $700 million rebranding campaign. 

Brand Design Co., doing business as House Industries, alleges in the suit that Rite Aid, along with its creative and advertising agencies PureRED Creative and Burns Group, used a font licensed to them by House Industries in Rite Aid’s new logo when the licensing agreement expressly prohibited use of the font in a logo. 

Rite Aid unveiled a brand refresh in May 2020 featuring the new logo. The new design featured a change from its former red coloring to a blue and green color scheme and the lettering was changed to House’s Neutraface font. 

In the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court Eastern District of Pennsylvania, House wrote that it avoids licensing its fonts in ways that would allow them to be exclusively associated with a single license. 

“House’s font designs are intended to evoke a mood or an aesthetic that anyone can license; its designs are not intended and are not licensed to evoke an exclusive association with any one company,” House wrote in the complaint. 

House alleges that all agreements between it and either Rite Aid or its agencies prohibit the use of Neutraface in a logo and both Rite Aid and PureRED signed the same license agreements containing the same logo prohibitions. 

Rite Aid has gone on to use the new logo across its store brand product packaging and has updated its store fronts with the new logo. Use of the Neutraface font in this way has decreased the licensable value of the font, according to House. 

“Not only did Rite Aid take for its own what House does not license, it also fundamentally undermined the licensable value of Neutraface,” the company wrote in the complaint. “This harm is magnified by the incredibly broad scope of Rite Aid’s unauthorized uses. By using Neutraface so extensively as its own brand, Rite Aid threatens to destroy the present and future licensable value of the font.” 

The Neutraface font is one of House’s proprietary fonts that it licenses to clients for limited use. Companies that purchase a license for the font can access it using a font generating software that they download. 

The font software’s value comes in House’s ability to license it repeatedly to different licensees over an extended period, which it has done with Neutraface since 2002. 

The complaint states that upon learning of Rite Aid’s use of Neutraface outside of its licenses, the company has made numerous attempts to work with PureRED and Rite Aid to reach a resolution, but after failing to come to an agreement, Rite Aid eventually stopped responding. 

In a statement regarding the suit, Andy Cruz, founder of House Industries, said that Rite Aid’s failure to respond forced the company’s hand. 

“As we detailed in our complaint, Rite Aid and its agents have misappropriated our company’s intellectual property and filed a trademark for their company logo without our approval as part of a complete brand makeover,” said Cruz. “We are a small company, and have attempted to resolve this matter amicably, without resorting to litigation against a much larger corporation, but Rite Aid’s actions have forced us to take appropriate steps to protect our company’s artwork and rights. We look forward to establishing our claims in court.” 

Rite Aid was not immediately available for comment. 

Armstrong Flooring faces deadline to sell or refinance business 

Following its announcement last year that it was looking to sell the company, Lancaster-based Armstrong Flooring wrote in an annual report that it will need to either sell the company or refinance to stay solvent. 

In its annual 10-K form submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Armstrong Flooring wrote: “failure to complete a sale of the company or to obtain sufficient financing could adversely affect our ability to achieve our business objectives and continue as a going concern.” 

In the report, Armstrong Flooring lists several risks the company is currently facing, including the possibility that it may not reach an agreement of sale, stating that “there can be no assurance that we will reach agreement on any sale of the company or any other strategic transaction.” 

The flooring manufacturer reported a loss of $53 million in 2021, adding to the company’s accumulated deficit of $356.2 million. The report states that Armstrong Flooring’s auditor has raised substantial doubts about its ability to continue. 

“The Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm on our consolidated financial statements includes an explanatory paragraph related to our recurring losses from operations and notes the ability of the company to continue as a going concern is dependent on the company maintaining adequate capital and liquidity to fund operating losses until it returns to profitability or is sold,” the company wrote. 

If Armstrong Flooring is unable to sell the company, it will need to refinance by June 30, according to the report. 

Armstrong Flooring operates seven manufacturing plants in three countries and employs over 1,500 people. 

The company became independent in 2016 after splitting from Armstrong World Industries. As part of the split, Armstrong Flooring took ownership of Armstrong World’s resilient flooring and wood flooring segments. 

Armstrong Flooring sold its wood flooring business in 2018. 

It announced that it would be looking for a buyer on Dec. 31, 2021 and that it had amended its ABL Credit Facility and Term Loan Facility and would be receiving an additional $35 million aggregate principal amount of term loans from its term loan lender, Pathlight Capital LP. 

Armstrong Flooring wrote in the report that its credit agreements contain covenants that impose significant operating and financial restrictions and the failure to comply with those covenants could impact its access to liquidity. 

Other risks currently facing the company include certain business lines and markets depending on a small number of key customers, supply chain issues and a highly competitive flooring market. 

The company stated in a separate report that it will not be responding to questions regarding its financial and operational performance, or the sale of the company. 

Black-owned businesses to receive year’s worth of free legal services 

“Everybody loves coffee,” says entrepreneur Stefan Hawkins outside Good Brotha’s Book Café in Harrisburg, where he grinds and makes his own blends. He wanted to be the first Black-owned coffee shop and bookstore. PHOTO / MARKELL DELOATCH

Six Black-owned businesses in the region are 2022 recipients of grants for a year’s worth of legal services from McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC, courtesy of the Legal Equity Advancement Program.  

The law firm made the announcement at the Black is Beautiful Expo hosted by Urban Revolution Marketing & Branding. 

The businesses are:  

  • Arcana Recovery, a drug and alcohol recovery support app that helps with relapse prevention.
  • Cece’s Cake Shop, an in-home bakery in Harrisburg specializing in custom cakes, cupcakes and cookies.
  • Four Squares Development, an affordable housing company in York focused on developing the “four squares” around the Royal Square District.
  • Good Brotha’s Book Café, a Harrisburg-area coffee shop and bookstore offering coffee, teas and other beverages, pastries and a broad selection of books by Black authors.
  • Health Check Juice Bar, an Annville enterprise serving fresh juice, acai/smoothie bowls, avocado toast, salad and more.
  • Identity Learning, an adoption support application and consulting business specializing in interracial adoptions and their unique circumstances.

The Legal Equity Advancement Program – aimed at helping Black-owned and Black-operated businesses overcome certain barriers to entry caused partly by institutional racism – is in its second year. Recipients have access to nearly every practice area at McNees. 

This year, LEAP expanded to Ohio, and there are plans for the program to stay in growth mode. 

McNees Wallace & Nurick has more than 130 attorneys representing clients from offices in Devon, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Scranton, State College and York, as well as Columbus, Ohio; Frederick, Maryland; and Washington, D.C. 

McNees Wallace & Nurick partners with Boyer & Ritter to open new company 

Law firm McNees Wallace & Nurick and CPA firm Boyer & Ritter launched a new company as part of a joint venture that the two firms say will provide comprehensive services for companies looking to buy or sell auto dealerships. 

Keystone Advisors officially launched on Tuesday at its new headquarters at 211 House Ave., Suite 101 in Camp Hill. The company offers the joint expertise of McNees’ attorneys and Boyer & Ritter’s CPA’s, the two companies wrote in a press release this week. 

“For decades, auto dealerships have turned to McNees for trusted legal counsel related to buying, selling or expanding their businesses,” said Brian Jackson, McNees chair. “Now, by partnering with Boyer & Ritter, we can offer clients a dedicated legal and accounting team to meet their needs through Keystone Advisors.” 

McNees employs more than 130 attorneys across offices in Harrisburg, Devon, Lancaster York, State College and Scranton, Pa.; Columbus, Ohio; Frederick, Md.; and Washington, D.C. 

Boyer & Ritter provides accounting, auditing, tax and consulting services from its offices in Camp Hill, Carlisle, Chambersburg and State College. 

“Buying or selling a business can be a taxing decision in more ways than one,” said Bob Murphy, CEO of Boyer & Ritter, who also is a senior member of the firm’s Dealership Services Group. “With the combined power of McNees’ legal counsel and our accounting and tax advice, dealerships know they’re not in this alone.” 

Harrisburg restaurateur faces fines, jail for pandemic-related fraud charges

A Dauphin County restaurant owner faces $2.6 million in fines and up to 90 years in prison after allegedly defrauding the federal government out of $237,500 in loans from the Small Business Administration.

Scott Levy, owner of the Hershey Road Family Restaurant in Harrisburg, applied for $227,500 in loans through the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) before spending a majority of the money on personal expenses and transferring $125,000 to his mother in Florida, according to federal prosecutors.

Levy, 58, was charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday.

According to allegations filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Levy was approved for $159,900 in EIDL proceeds in June 2020 and a $77,600 PPP loan in May 2020 on behalf of his Harrisburg restaurant.

The court alleges that Levy did not use the funds for their intended purpose when he gave half the funds to his mother to place in safe deposit boxes and spent the rest on personal expenditures.

His business, Hershey Road Family Restaurant, closed last July.

The case is to be consolidated with another tax fraud case that Levy plead guilty to last November.

Levy admitted late last year to tax fraud and related offenses after he failed to pay more than $230,000 in federal income and payroll taxes from Jan. 1, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2018.

Levy’s attorney, Joshua Lock of Harrisburg-based Law Offices of Joshua D. Lock, said that the firm will not be commenting on the case at this time.

State College contractor accused of stealing thousands from employees

A State College-based contractor was charged with four counts of theft in one of the largest prevailing wage criminal cases on record, Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced on Thursday.

Glenn O. Hawbaker, Inc., one of the largest contractors to complete projects for the state, was charged with four counts of theft relating to violations of the Pennsylvania Prevailing Wage Act and the Federal Davis-Bacon Act after allegedly stealing its workers’ retirement, health and welfare money.

The alleged theft resulted in Hawbaker’s workers losing millions of dollars from their retirement, which the company used to lower its costs and increase profits, Shapiro’s office wrote in a press release.

“This is the third in a series of prosecutions related to wage theft and misclassification over the last few months – and it isn’t the last,” said Shapiro. “Too often, the workers that get stolen from are underpaid, have been denied benefits, and have been put into dangerous situations without appropriate training. My office is committed, with our partners in law enforcement, to keep fighting until workers are treated right.”

The charges come after a three-year investigation into the company’s practices. According to investigators, Hawbaker took wages from its workers by using money for prevailing wage workers’ retirement funds to contribute to retirement accounts of all of its workers, including its top brass.

Hawbaker also allegedly took funds intended for prevailing wage workers’ health and welfare benefits, to subsidize the cost of its self-funded health insurance plan.

Investigators said the company disguised the theft for decades by inflating its records of benefit spending.

The charges however, only account for the last five years due to the statute of limitations.

McNees offers pro bono legal help to five Black-controlled businesses

Harrisburg law firm McNees Wallace & Nurick will be offering pro bono legal services to five black-owned or controlled businesses.

The firm is now taking applications for its new Legal Equity Advancement Program, or LEAP.

The program was created to give businesses that historically lack access to legal services a link to legal assistance through legal services in real estate, employment law and tax, licensing and permitting and more, the company wrote in a statement.

The five businesses chosen for the program will each receive $50,000 of free legal services in 2021. Awardees will also have access to educational opportunities in certain areas of the law.

“LEAP is consistent with McNees’ historical support for diversity initiatives and is intended to break down barriers to legal services and build bridges for black-owned or black-controlled businesses in south central Pennsylvania,” the company wrote.

McNees is based in Harrisburg and operates offices in Columbus, Ohio; Frederick, Maryland; Washington D.C.; and Lancaster, York, State College and Scranton. The firm employs over 130 attorneys.

State AG cites Cumberland County used-car dealer for failure to pay restitution

A Mechanicsburg used-car dealership is facing legal action from the state for allegedly failing to pay restitution following a settlement with Pennsylvania’s Attorney General.

New Kingston Auto and its owner, Harry Laughman, were ordered in June to pay $25,000 in restitution to customers for various dealership law violations, some involving improper licensing, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said.

Shapiro’s office is now seeking an additional $27,000 in restitution the dealership’ former clients, and a ban on the dealership from selling cars in Pennsylvania.

The motion for contempt filed in Cumberland County Court also states that the dealership sold a vehicle to a customer knowing that it wouldn’t pass inspection after the consent order was issued in June. The customer later lost control of the vehicle, and a repair shop later said it was unfit to drive.

“This business’s ongoing, blatant disregard for the law is a bumper argument for our demand that the Court of Common Pleas hit the brakes on the dealership and its owner’s ability to sell more vehicles,” Shapiro said. “As Attorney General, I will work to keep consumers on a healthy highway and bad actors, like this company, off the road.”

An attorney for Laughman said the dealership planned to contest the action, arguing that some payments were made but not registered by the state. The attorney, John Glace of Shiremanstown, Cumberland County, said a recent medical emergency kept Laughman from raising the money for the payments.

New Kingstown Auto is currently looking at shifting to auto repairs as it continues to make the restitution payments and plans to stop its sale of cars even if the court doesn’t decide to ban its sales.

“Since the consent order happened in the summer, (Laughman) gave up leasing cars and without having the money to operate, he isn’t selling cars,” said Glace.

 

Crisis mode: Experts hone in on preventative company measures

Mandy Arnold, president and CEO, Gavin, Stuart O’Neal, Esq., Burns White, LLC, and Lisa Myers, Boyer & Ritter, LLC, pose following a panel discussion in September at Central Penn Business Journal. PHOTO/Markell DeLoatch

 

Central Penn Business Journal played host to a crisis roundtable discussion earlier this fall.

Experts in litigation, accounting and public relations took part in the hour-long discussion at CPBJ’s office in Harrisburg.

Contributing were Stuart O’Neal, a partner at the Law Firm of Burns White; Lisa Myers, principal with Boyer and Ritter; and Mandy Arnold, CEO of Gavin.  CPBJ’s associate publisher/editorial director, Cathy Hirko, moderated the panel.

The conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.

HIRKO:  Crisis can mean different things to different companies. So what does a crisis look like to you and can you share some examples?

STUART O’NEAL: It really does depend on the industry. Crisis to me means any type of adverse event that has a connotation of really going sideways for either the company or the individual. In the healthcare industry, it usually has the connotation of a bad outcome on either the procedure or some sort of treatment.  In the entertainment industry, there is a litany of things there that can be classified as a crisis.

HIRKO:  Do you have any examples?

O’NEAL:  Crisis is a very wide, wide definition.  A typical situation has to be figured out, so to speak, and how you react to it. What pieces need to be in place? In our world, there is nothing worse than thinking that you know it all. You really have to get your resources in line. Because you can’t be like, yes, we do PR. Yes, we do HR. No, you don’t. So you need to be able to get a forensic accountant, that PR person.

HIRKO:  I’m assuming you see a lot of people at the time where they’re under the most stress. How do you coach and what’s your strategy on that?

O’NEAL: So you try to bring a human element to it very quickly and you turn into a counselor, not a lawyer or not an attorney. And you explain to those making the decisions, or having the crisis, that this is what we’re going to do and this is how we’re going to do it and, really, that basic communication of we’re here to help. And I think it doesn’t work all the time, obviously, because, again, we’re dealing with human nature.  And so anytime you can lay out a plan that can communicate effectively it will work pretty well.

Lisa Myers, Boyer Ritter, LLC, speaks during a panel discussion. PHOTO/Markell DeLoatch –

LISA MYERS:  In our crisis, it’s usually that a financial element is involved. So I have the owner of a large corporation in a closely held business feels that their CFO is stealing from them, or they’re seeing some type of embezzlement or the CFO calls and says, you know, I have X I’m missing. Crisis can be $100,000 loss to one entity or $100 million loss to another one. They need to know that we have confidence in what we’re going to be able to do. They need to have confidence in the team that they’ve pulled together, because it literally is a team.

We’re called in more in the front end instead of in the back … The majority are reactive. What we’re trying to teach, though, is to be proactive and think about these things ahead of time, and we’ll help you with that element, too. Not that I can prevent a crisis, but I can mitigate the risk of a crisis occurring.

HIRKO:  But I’m assuming a lot of you feel you’re in the reactive market, right?

MANDY ARNOLD:  Yes, like probably 80 percent.

MYERS:  I was going to say 90.

ARNOLD: Because we work in a variety of industries, we see a really wide array of situations. We’ve had situations where a school district has an issue where a superintendent did something they weren’t supposed to. Because you’re dealing with a public entity, everything is public. How do we manage this? So we’re called in behind the scenes.

You have to really think through where do you want your public affairs agency being seen, where do you not want them to be seen. There are actually situations where we’re working behind the scenes. And then there are situations where there is a death in a food factory. And the manufacturer is calling the police. It’s over the radio, instantly you’re going to have media here.

And then there is much smaller situations where there is a leadership change, because of, let’s say, some poor decisions that were made. How do we mitigate this to make sure that we end up OK financially?

Crises can look a lot of different ways?

HIRKO: So what advice do you give clients immediately when they’re in trouble?

O’NEAL: From my perspective, don’t hesitate to make the call. Because the sooner that we’re involved, the sooner that evidence can be controlled, witnesses can be corralled.  You know, really we can make a true assessment as to what is going on. And not only that, but what else do you need?

ARNOLD:  It’s often a partnership…and a lot of times we’re hired by the attorneys. We’ll often recommend that our clients go through an attorney. We know there are specific details that we want to protect them legally. We can’t give you legal advice.

HIRKO: Lisa, what do you think people would be surprised to know what you do with your position and how you help your clients?

MYERS: If I can’t get the evidence electronically and work externally, then (I’m working discreetly onsite). Typically, we will meet with the attorney and the client somewhere offsite. And then we’ll figure out a plan, bring the PR people in. I’m part of the offensive line. We need to get to the facts to be able to bring the evidence back to the attorney, back to the PR, and kind of talk that way. A lot of times, when you’re following the money, it’s black and white. Here is the evidence. All I do is I present the evidence. But as I’m finding the evidence, I want to be able to talk with the legal counsel and the legal counsel then will share with the client. So we want to make sure that everything is covered by attorney-client privilege.

ARNOLD:  There are situations where you want to keep it quiet and you want to stay out of sight, take it offsite. There are also situations that we’ve seen how the executive team manages the rumors or the information of what’s happening.

More often than not employees know something is up and they fill that vacuum pretty quickly with misinformation if they’re not given the facts. And so we’re often talking to our clients about what communications are going to be with your internal team. It doesn’t mean you’re giving all the details, but it’s perhaps something has happened and they’re going to see people onsite or you want to make sure they know you’re taking precautionary measures. There is a level of appropriate transparency. It’s a trust.  A trust relationship is the big thing. If you have that communication cadence, you’re not leaving it up to people to fill in the void of information.

HIRKO:  What would you recommend for the proactive steps for that 10 percent who will reach out and say ‘I want to avoid this?’ What are some of the tips that you can share?

MYERS: We’ve actually built a tool. How can we go in and help clients to mitigate whatever risks they may have? It gives a scorecard. We go into 12 different categories within their firm or within their company and talk about internal controls. People will say they have internal controls, but they really don’t. Most of the time they may have controls in place but things change, technology changes, right?  And they may not go back and reevaluate. Is that control still in place or are they monitoring those controls?  Looking at insurance coverage, IT security, etc. And then they can look at their scorecard and basically you can see where the risk is. We’ll rank it as high, moderate, or low. And then they have to evaluate. What is their tolerance for risk? We encourage clients to engage to be proactive versus reactive.

HIRKO: What’s been their reaction to that scorecard? Because, we all tend to think we’re doing very well, right?

MYERS:  Yes. They’re actually shocked. It’s an educational process then. The cost of this may be too much to mitigate. But you need to understand you have this risk. What’s the worst case scenario that can happen? It may never happen. Many clients would say, no, I can’t live with that risk, fix it.

Stuart O’Neal, Esq., Burns White, LLC, speaks during a panel discussion. PHOTO/Markell DeLoatch –

O’NEAL:  I would say 80 percent of what we encounter with clients, maybe a little bit more, didn’t come out of left field. It just doesn’t. So when you get everyone around the table and you say ‘Tell me everything you know about this,’ and you have everyone going “I had no idea, I had no idea.” There is that one person that is fidgeting a little bit, looking down, and you look at them like this. And you say  “Can you talk to me?” And then that’s where everything comes out. “I knew about it, you know, three months ago. X Y and Z was going on then…” That’s what you really drill down to.

We give that example during presentations. The more you know ahead of time the better off you can prepare. But it just doesn’t come out of left field. Mandy [Arnold}, you used the term communication cadence … (O’NEAL asks her to elaborate on that phrase).

ARNOLD: I just came from a leadership military training at West Point for a couple of days, so it’s hot on my mind building this culture of trust. When people see something, they share it. They feel comfortable.

O’NEAL: Right.

ARNOLD:  I do think part of creating that culture of trust is communication cadence.  It’s this ongoing schedule of information and this relationship between the leadership team and the employees and the management team that there is an exchange of details at a certain level where you know what’s going on. I’m keeping you in the loop. But then also externally making sure that you have scheduled communications that are not just managing the issue, but proactively setting the tone to build your brand equity. We developed a plan.

And as an example, we work with a lot of authorities that are regulated by environmental agencies and so what we run into is that people don’t want to share information, because they’re concerned that the public doesn’t know how to interpret it. And it’s quite the opposite. If they’re not receiving information from you, they think you’re ignoring issues versus you sharing proactively these things are happening or making improvements or making investments.

HIRKO: What kind of advice would you give to a company when it comes to social media?

O’NEAL: Social media is generally a good thing if you have the right folks that know what they’re doing and marketing appropriately. From my angle, it’s terrible usually in a crisis, because you’re reacting to a post or a Tweet of some sort that is ill advised in a particular situation. We have counseled companies to have a social media liaison. One person in the company or two, depending on how big you are, who oversees and monitors. But you need to keep tabs on social media at this point. Really need to pay attention to it, and that’s from a proactive point of view.

MYERS: You have to have the right element, the right folks inside your firm managing that or inside the company, that external resource. Because depending on what environment or industry you’re in, you’re going to need a Mandy, right?

I think the key is being proactive, having those conversations internally. If you’re going to have a situation, pull together the right individuals within the firm who’s going to manage that message working with the C suite folks, right?

Social media is more proactive. Once you’re in the reactive…

ARNOLD: You’re in trouble.

MYERS: You’re in trouble.

ARNOLD: I mean, definitely having a social media policy so that every employee that comes on, anyone that is coming in on the factory floor, to an engineer to somebody is in the marketing

Mandy Arnold, president and CEO, Gavin, speaks during a panel discussion. PHOTO/Markell DeLoatch –

department, has a clear understanding of your social media policy.

There are a couple of things I recommend. One is active social media monitoring. There are some great tools like Sprout Social where you can monitor hash tags and tagging and conversations and influencers. But then just making sure that it is not a reactive approach, because there is nothing worse than a company with zero social media presence — and that goes back to that communication cadence. Social media can be a powerful tool when reaching audiences. Let’s say if you are a public entity or you’re a health organization, you have to get a public service announcement out.  Well, public service announcements from social media are very important … posting information, posting video tutorials. It educates them both visually and conceptually.

HIRKO: What would you say keeps you up at night that you think your clients really should be worrying about and maybe they aren’t?

ARNOLD: It’s understanding what tools and resources do you have in house, because there is nothing worse than getting a call in the middle of the night from a client. Who is on your contact list?  Who is your core management team?  And having those resources right at your fingertips … What’s your phone train, as an example. What’s your relationship with the local hospitals, with the schools?  Where is that contact list?

And not only having just the basics, but the fundamentals to an effective communications plan being implemented … writing the plan, test, stress-testing it, tearing that muscle a little bit in the sense that they’re learning how to be better communicators every time.  And so those tools and resources are what’s always on my mind. That’s the first thing I have to ask them. One, tell me all the skeletons. I need to know what I’m dealing with so I can really help you. And, two, I need to know what you’ve got in place. You know, what can I do to jump in quickly?

MYERS: So what I’d like to say about accounting is there are no accounting emergencies or there shouldn’t be, right? While you may have some really good processes in place, they need to go back and reevaluate that and have a third party look at that. People are not always communicating because they may stay in their silo within their organization.

O’NEAL:  Not to hesitate to ask for help. It’s a lot cleaner, for lack of a much better term, if we’re involved from minute one. That way we know we’re on the ground floor right then and there as opposed to 48 hours after the fact.

Law firms announce leadership changes in Harrisburg offices

Attorney Anthony Foschi left Tucker Arensberg to chair the hospitality group at Saxton & Stump. (Photo: Submitted)

Two longtime Harrisburg attorneys have found new leadership roles, one prompted by the other’s departure to another law firm.

Manheim Township-based Saxton & Stump this week announced that seasoned hospitality attorney Anthony Foschi is now leading the firm’s 10-attorney hospitality group. He will serve clients from the firm’s Lower Paxton Township office in Dauphin County.

Foschi, who has been practicing law since 1990, was the managing shareholder for Pittsburgh-based Tucker Arensberg‘s office in Lemoyne.  He has been serving the hospitality sector for about 20 years, representing buyers and sellers of hotels, food service organizations, restaurants and public recreation businesses.

“I’m joining an impressive team of M&A lawyers,” he said of a national practice with current clients as far north as Connecticut, south to Florida and west to Texas.

As the Harrisburg area experiences more hotel and restaurant expansion to support a growing population, Foschi said he expects the hospitality practice will get bigger and help fuel the firm’s Dauphin County office expansion. Saxton & Stump moved to Lower Paxton last year from Susquehanna Township. The firm also expanded its Lancaster office and opened a Malvern office.

Attorney Jerry Russo has been named the managing shareholder of Tucker Arensberg’s Harrisburg office, replacing Anthony Foschi. (Photo: Submitted)

After Foschi’s departure, Tucker Arensberg announced that white-collar criminal defense attorney Jerry Russo has been named the new managing shareholder of the Cumberland County office.

Russo joined Tucker Arensberg in 2017. His practice concentrates on representing medical professionals, internal corporate investigations, corporate compliance and civil and administrative actions.

From 1989 to 1992, Russo served as senior deputy district attorney in Dauphin County.

“Jerry is a highly skilled and dedicated attorney who is an aggressive advocate for his clients,” said Tom Peterson, managing shareholder of Tucker Arensberg. “We are pleased to have Jerry leading our Harrisburg office as we look to expand in the Harrisburg area.”

Tucker Arensberg has more than 75 attorneys between Pittsburgh, Lemoyne and New York City.