Midstate businesses announce over $300k in donations in Jan.

The American Water Charitable Foundation recently partnered with Hershey-based Pennsylvania American Water to present a $25,000 State Strategic Impact Grant to York City Parks Conservancy. Funds will be used for improvements to Williams Park. 

Mechanicsburg-based West Shore Home donated $10,000 to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program. The donation caps off the company’s toy drive where employees corporate-wide donated over 3,250 toys. 

Millersburg-based Mid Penn Bank and the Penn State Health Department of Urology recently completed their seventh annual “No Shave November” campaign and raised $241,000 for the Division of Urology at Penn State Health. Since its inception, the campaign has contributed more than $622,000 in support of prostate cancer research. 

On Dec. 19, Mid Penn employees volunteered at the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank and presented the organization with a $25,000 grant through the state’s Neighborhood Assistance Program. 

With a matching donation, Lebanon-based APR Supply Co. raised just under $15,000 for the “No Shave November” campaign. APR Supply Co.’s young leaders also collected $2,100 for Homes For Our Troops, a nonprofit that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post-9/11 veterans. 

Camp Hill-based LeTort Trust wrapped up a year-long celebration of its 20th anniversary by completing a 20 Acts of Kindness initiative. Among the projects were a food and coat drive for Capital Area Head Start; a blood drive for Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank with McConkey Insurance & Benefits; and a financial literacy project with pre-k and kindergarten students at the Joshua Group. 

Compiled by Paula Wolf 

York-based McConkey Insurance & Benefits names vice president/principal

Kurt Gehman has been named vice president and principal of McConkey Insurance & Benefits, a provider of financial security and risk management solutions. 

Gehman’s promotion became effective on Jan. 1. 

“I’m truly blessed to be a part of such a great, hardworking team whose core mission is above all to serve others by providing our clients with the expertise and peace of mind to navigate today’s growingly complex risks,” Gehman said in a statement. 

McConkey Insurance & Benefits has provided financial security for individuals and businesses since 1890 and serves clients on a national and international basis. Gehman joined McConkey in 2015 as a business insurance executive. 

Having close to 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, Gehman adds extensive workers’ compensation experience. He started in the insurance industry as an underwriter and wrote several of the captive insurance programs to which McConkey serves as program administrator. 

Gehman developed custom tailored workers’ compensation programs that addressed the specific needs of individual mid-large market businesses throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Since joining McConkey, Gehman has been instrumental in serving some of the agency’s more complex clients and developing solutions that provide them with the resources and financial stability to successfully operate their organizations. 

“It is a pleasure to have Kurt join the ownership team at McConkey,” McConkey Insurance & Benefits’ CEO and President Mike Harter said. “He is a key part in our ability to perpetuate the agency from within and remain locally owned and independent. Kurt has also been a key contributor in improving processes and procedures for the betterment of employees and clients.”

Gehman received his BSBA Degree from The University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Finance with a minor in Economics. He holds a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation and is a member, and past Board of Director, for the PA Dutch Chapter of CPCU. 

Gehman currently serves as a board member of the Lancaster City Fire Foundation and is an active member of the Lancaster County Fire Chiefs Association.

Deadline approaching for REAL ID compliance

Are business travelers or government contractors ready for REAL ID?

Without a REAL ID, valid U.S. passport or military identification, individuals – including business employees or contractors doing work for the government – won’t be able to board federally regulated commercial airline flights, access secure government buildings, enter nuclear power plants or gain entry to military installations.

You have until Oct. 1, 2020 to comply.

“I don’t think people are prepared for it,” said Saleem Mawji, an attorney and principal at Norris McLaughlin PA, a law firm in Allentown.

While some employers have been proactive about REAL ID compliance by offering assistance, resources and reminders, others are leaving it up to individuals to make sure they have the proper identification to do their jobs, Mawji said.

A driver’s license had long been considered the de facto ID in the U.S. But that changed with the REAL ID Act, enacted in the wake of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The act is a phased enforcement program aiming to create standardized identification across the country, according to the Department of Homeland Security.

States were asked to follow certain standards for the IDs they issued, largely affecting driver’s licenses. In 2012 Pennsylvania lawmakers approved legislation declining to participate in the REAL ID program, said Alexis Campbell, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in Harrisburg.

State legislators repealed the 2012 legislation in 2017, making REAL ID an option for residents, rather than a state mandate. As a result, Pennsylvania residents will be able to pay $30 to have their existing non-commercial licenses upgraded to a REAL ID, plus a renewal fee (see sidebar).

No exceptions

PennDOT has spearheaded a push to promote REAL ID ahead of the Oct. 1, 2020 deadline, with efforts to educate the public, business travelers and government contractors, Campbell said.

Nonetheless, Mawji said most people probably aren’t thinking about REAL ID and the impact it could have on their ability to do business with the federal government, as military contractors or to board commercial flights for business trips.

As an attorney, he’ll be required to show a valid U.S. passport or a REAL ID to enter secure federal buildings during the course of his work.

“There aren’t any exceptions,” Mawji said.

Gary Warren, president and principal of Valley Forge Captive Advisors said because many of his firm’s employees already use passports to travel domestically and internationally, REAL ID isn’t a major business concern yet.

Valley Forge Captive Advisors is a commercial insurance broker and risk management company in King of Prussia.

But for those without passports or who do not fly regularly, REAL ID would make air travel easier, said Jennifer Schwarz, marketing communications coordinator for McConkey Insurance & Benefits in York.

“We’ve received a lot of calls from our clients about it, and there’s a lot of confusion around what it means,” Schwarz said.

Some businesses that require employees to travel on company time are reimbursing their passport or REAL ID costs, she said.