Royal Square Development Scores More Stores For Downtown York City

It isn’t supposed to be official yet, but a map of the Royal Square district in downtown York includes four new businesses expected to open later this year.

The map of the district was being distributed Sunday at district businesses during the annual Olde York Street Fair.

Dylan Bauer, the vice president of real estate development for the company, said the maps were not supposed to be released yet, but that he would soon be able to comment on the new businesses.

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CEO Takes The Blame As Sales Continue To Fall At Vitamin Retailer GNC

Mike Archbold fell on his sword Thursday, calling an unexpected drop in first-quarter sales at GNC a “self-inflicted wound.”

Archbold, who was hired as CEO in August to turn around a yearlong slump in sales and profit, said he mistakenly cut the Downtown-based vitamin and supplement retailer’s advertising budget by $5 million.

“We intentionally did not deploy a full slate of marketing. … This caused us to talk to our customers less, a lot less,” he told analysts. “To be clear, this was a mistake.”

Not a factor in the decline, he said, was negative publicity from a probe by the attorney general of New York that questioned the purity and authenticity of some herbal supplements sold by GNC and other retailers.

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Crowdfunding: What It Means For The Arts

In the increasingly competitive environment for arts funding, artists and emerging organizations are finding both access and success through crowdsourcing platforms.

As part of its Professional Development Series, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council is presenting a crowdfunding seminar, featuring the largest arts fiscal sponsor in the country, Fractured Atlas, on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at Penn State Lehigh Valley from 5:30 to 8:00PM.

Fractured Atlas helps more than 3,500 artists and organizations in every discipline to find funding and other resources to support their creative projects. With fiscal sponsorship, one can solicit tax-deductible donations and apply for grants; the sponsored “project” might be a one-time collaboration or an independent artist or even an arts organization that does not have its own 501(c)(3) status.

“The popularity of crowdfunding is definitely on the rise,” says Randall Forte, executive director of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. “We are pleased to offer the arts community this opportunity to learn first-hand how it works.”

Fractured Atlas Project Specialist Theresa Hubbard from the New York office will serve on a panel with local arts professionals who have used the program. Hubbard will explain the application process and the many of the ancillary benefits that the company provides, such as marketing and ticketing services.

The basic criteria for eligibility to attain a fiscal sponsorship are:
1. You must be a Professional or Organizational member of Fractured Atlas.
2. You must submit the online application.
3. Your project must be artistic.
4. Your project must have some public benefit and be non-commercial in nature.

Refreshments will be provided. The fee is $30 for Lehigh Valley Arts Council members, $50 for nonmembers. Registration is required. To order tickets, visit

About the Lehigh Valley Arts Council

The Lehigh Valley Arts Council is the region’s central voice for the arts, promoting arts awareness and advocating its value while strengthening access to the arts for all citizens in our community. The Arts Council’s mission is to promote the arts; to encourage and support artists and their development; to assist arts organizations; and to facilitate communication and cooperation among artists, arts organizations, and the community. Services include arts research and advocacy, professional development seminars, publications, and cooperative regional marketing initiatives.


Lehigh Valley Arts Council

840 Hamilton Street, Suite 201
Allentown, PA 18101
610-437-5915 / /

Phila. Roofs Are Sprouting Greenery

When Esta Schwartz moved into her sixth-floor condominium at the Philadelphian, the view was not its best selling point.

The condos in the front of the building look out onto the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and the Art Museum, but her balcony, at the back, offered views of a black roof studded with large air-conditioning units.

Not anymore. Last week, workers began spreading dirt atop the roof, then planting it with sedum and other greenery that will be pink in June, ocher come November. Tall grasses will hide the air handlers.

“In some ways, it’s like a view out of a suburban window,” she said. Perhaps a third of the building’s condos now overlook, in effect, a huge lawn.


Arline Stephan Named Vice President Of Development, External Relations At MCCC

Montgomery County Community College Foundation

Montgomery County Community College Foundation

Blue Bell/Pottstown, Pa.— Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) welcomes Arline Stephan, of Yardley, as its new vice president of development and external relations. In that capacity, she oversees the College’s Foundation, as well as the areas of alumni relations, marketing and communications, public grants, lively arts and fine arts galleries.

Stephan first came to MCCC in 2012 as the executive director of the College’s Foundation. In that role, she managed the Foundation’s first-ever comprehensive campaign, Futures Rising, which launched in November 2014. The campaign runs through June 2015 and has already exceeded its $9 million goal.

With more than 24 years of development experience, Stephan has served in leadership positions at major universities and health care systems, including Rutgers University, Thomas Jefferson University and Capital Health System. She became involved nationally with the women and philanthropy movement in the early 1990s, has started three successful women’s giving circles and has been a speaker at many conferences and to groups about the power of women and giving. She has also served on numerous fundraising and community boards throughout her career.

Prior to working in the field of development, Stephan held administrative and management positions in health care and higher education. She attended Austin Community College and earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.

About the Montgomery County Community College Foundation

Established in 1983, the Montgomery County Community College Foundation operates exclusively to provide support and assistance to the College in developing the programs, facilities and services to carry out the mission and functions of the College. The Foundation carries out this purpose by encoura­ging, soliciting, receiving, holding, investing and administer­ing gifts of funds and property, and making expenditures to, or for the benefit of, the College. For more information, visit

Naturi Startup Of Pittsburgh Created Out Of Desire For Better Yogurt

Aditya Dhere and Anes Dracic got their idea for a yogurt company when they couldn’t find what they wanted on supermarket shelves.

The recent MBA graduates of Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business ate a lot of yogurt and enjoyed making up recipes with fruit and nuts, but they wanted an organic, high-protein option.

“By being both active and engaged in physical activities … (we) thought, ‘Hey, why not give food a try and change the landscape a bit?’ ” Dracic said. “So we came up with our own brand.”

Naturi, based in the Strip District, was incorporated in February. The pair envision their yogurt as an artisanal alternative to Stonyfield, Chobani, Fage and Yoplait Greek yogurts filling grocery shelves. It tastes better, they said, because it is made with milk from grass-fed cows.

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Lancaster Promotions Office Hiring Special Events Manager

Lancaster City is hiring a special-events manager for the Lancaster Office of Promotion.

LOOP, successor to the Mayor’s Office of Special Events, is creating the new position because of the office’s expanded role. The arts and entertainment events organization now promotes the city as a destination for the arts, shopping, cultural attractions, dining and special events.

The special-events manager will handle event and activity permitting and coordinate with community organizations, sponsors and city departments, according to the job description.

You can see the job description here: (We’ll cut to the chase: It pays between about $39,300 and $45,200.)

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Belovich Announces Bid For 4th Ward Council Seat In Pottstown

Editor’s note:  We endorse Ross Belovich for 4th Ward Councilor.  We think he would be a wonderful addition to the borough government and brings may good ideas on how to move Pottstown forward.  Something that is desperately needed!

POTTSTOWN, PA = Within days of Pottstown Borough Council President Stephen Toroney announcing he will not seek another term representing the Fourth Ward, another Democrat has announced his candidacy.

North Hanover Street resident Ross Belovich, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for mayor in 2013, has thrown his hat into the ring.

In an announcement posted on Facebook, Belovich wrote that “I believe that individually we can do good, but together we can do great.”

Toroney announced he would not seek a fifth term at the end of the Jan. 12 council meeting.

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Tourism District Proposed For Pottstown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA – Officials are hoping that as the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, a collective effort of the borough’s revitalization efforts will result in greater sums of grant money and tourist dollars.

Steve Bamford, executive director of Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. outlined a plan to borough council Tuesday that would see the many attractions clustered near Pottstown’s western gateway joining together in pursuit of funding and marketing.

The joint undertaking as part of a “tourism and recreation district” includes: Pottsgrove Manor, the Carousel at Pottstown, theColebrookdale Railroad, Manatawny Green miniature golf, Memorial Park with the splash park and Trilogy Park BMX track, Montgomery County Community College’s art gallery, the Schuylkill River Trail,Riverfront Park and the Schuylkill Heritage Area’s River of Revolutions interpretive center.

“There are some in place, some underway and some nearly ready,” Bamford told The Mercury Friday, referring to the state of the various sites.

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Turning Up The Lights On Gray Market St. East

English: Lit Brothers Department Store, 701-39...

English: Lit Brothers Department Store, 701-39 Market Street (block bounded by Market, 7th, Filbert, 8th Streets) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (33 buildings built between 1859 and 1918, unified by a brick & iron facade). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Times Square-ification of Market Street East in central Philadelphia is underway, and it is starting at one of the most treasured buildings on one of the most stubbornly seedy thoroughfares in Center City.

Construction scaffolding has begun its crawl up the cake-frosting-white facade of the former Lit Bros. department store, a century-old architectural wonder that will be home to the city’s first flashy, high-tech video billboard screens.

Over the next three months, crews will work to install stadiumlike, wraparound LED signs rising 14 feet above the roofline of both corners of the landmark structure on the 700 block of Market Street.

Officials hope to light up Lits for the first time on New Year’s Eve – the holiday synonymous with Times Square, the Manhattan billboard mecca whose mojo Market Street’s boosters and investors are hoping to mimic.


Downtown Inc Using “Destination Branding” To Market York Neighborhoods

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you name it, they will come.

Sonia Huntzinger, executive director of Downtown Inc, said that’s the theory behind York’s recent push to brand pockets of its 26-block downtown business district, creating a patchwork of neighborhoods that will each offer something different to regional visitors.

In the last two years, the nonprofit, which promotes revitalization of the city, has partnered with grassroots groups to demarcate several sections, including Royal Square, the Market District, Beaver Street and the latest, Weco.

The growth in destination branding, as the strategy is called, has coincided with Downtown Inc’s “Who Knew” campaign, a YouTube ad effort that highlights shopping and eatery options with the goal of bringing more foot traffic into local businesses.

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Online Survey Will Help Redesign Downtown Hazleton

Downtown Hazleton, PA

Downtown Hazleton, PA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hazleton residents can help remodel the downtown by voting in a survey for their favorite style of banners, buildings, crosswalks, lights, landscaping, benches and bike racks.

They will find the survey at through the end of September. Photos show examples, and residents can click a thumbs-up for the styles they like.

Derck and Edson, a design firm in Lititz, Lancaster County, posted the survey after winning a commission to write a strategic plan for the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress.

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Downtown First Awards – York PA

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  We like how they roll in York.  Their Downtown Inc. organization has been doing some awesome things and downtown York is becoming a destination again.   Color us impressed.

The Downtown First Awards recognize businesses, organizations, and individuals who put downtown York first through their commitments of time, advocacy and resources.

See the list of  nominees:

ArtsQuest Announces Next President & CEO‏

Kassie-HilgertOver the past 30 years, ArtsQuest has been honored to share some huge news with the community, most recently through the development of the SteelStacks arts and cultural campus. Today, we’re excited to share one of the biggest announcements in our history.

This afternoon, we announced that ArtsQuest Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advancement Kassie Hilgert will be named the next President & CEO of ArtsQuest.

Since joining ArtsQuest in 2008, Kassie has demonstrated amazing leadership abilities, an incredible passion for our arts and cultural mission and a thorough understanding of the Lehigh Valley and the many elements that make it so special. Kassie has developed numerous partnerships with local, regional and national corporate partners, community organizations and foundations, helping ArtsQuest greatly expand its arts and cultural programming in recent years. As Senior Vice President of Marketing and Advancement, she is responsible for overseeing the sponsorship, marketing, development, ticketing, public relations and volunteer departments, which include 27 full- and part-time employees dedicated to supporting our mission.

Over the next several months, Kassie will work closely with ArtsQuest Founder and current President Jeff Parks while meeting with ArtsQuest staff, board members, volunteers, sponsors, partners and members of our community. She will officially assume the President & CEO’s responsibilities when Jeff retires in January 2015.

As for Jeff, while he may be retiring after three decades dedicated to arts, culture and our community, he won’t be riding off into the sunset just yet. Starting in May 2015, Jeff will assume the part-time role as the new Executive Director of the ArtsQuest Foundation, the nonprofit foundation established to help ensure the long-term sustainability of our organization as we continue to grow and expand our programming for the region.

I invite you to congratulate Kassie on this great accomplishment when you see her. Under her leadership, along with the support of our dedicated and creative staff, board and volunteers, ArtsQuest will continue be a national leader in providing access to exceptional arts and cultural programs and events.

Joe Pietrantonio
President, ArtsQuest Board of Trustees

York City’s West End Gets New Name

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There’s a new brand in town.

York City’s west end has been given the nickname “Weco,” which is short for “west of the Codorus.”

Weco includes the four-block area bordered by the Codorus, Penn Street, and West Market and West Philadelphia streets.

It’s the latest marketing effort from Downtown Inc, a York-based nonprofit tasked with supporting downtown businesses.

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Lancaster County Tourism: Report Shows Economic Impact

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tourism industry contributed $2.5 billion to the Lancaster County economy in 2013, supporting nearly 23,700 jobs here, according to a report released Friday by the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Without tourism, and the revenue it generates, Lancaster County residents would have to pay an additional $924 in taxes per household to maintain current levels of government services, the bureau said.

The report, prepared by international firm Tourism Economics, was released Friday (with an accompanying video) at a legislative breakfast the bureau hosted at Eden Resort.

It paints a picture of a vital local industry — and one that depends on a coordinated ongoing marketing effort to thrive.

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Pottstown Area Industrial Development, Inc. Debuts New E-Zine In Collaboration With Major Borough Stakeholders

Momentum - One Good Things Leads to Another


WELCOME TO MOMENTUM, a quarterly publication from Partners for Success, a collaborative of organizations with the common objective of celebrating the stories that make us proud of Pottstown. We salute the residents, business owners, and other stakeholders making Pottstown better every day. In Momentum, you’ll discover stories about business development; recreation and healthy lifestyles; education; and arts and culture.

Founding Partners

To read the first edition, click here:

Scroll down to Latest Edition:  Spring 2014 – Download (PDF file)


To visit PAID’s website, click here:


We give two Roy’s Rants thumbs up for the collaboration between stakeholders and for getting serious about marketing Pottstown to potential businesses and investors.  This is a welcome step forward!

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