The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce to announce 2015 SAGE Awards recipients at Chamber Gala Nov. 11


SAGE Award winners to be announced at Chamber Gala

By Elizabeth Baumeister - ebaumeister@timesleader.com



Thirteen Olives, 222 Northern Blvd., South Abington Township, opened for business in May 2014 with 30 different oils and vinegars. The shop now offers more than 70. The business, owned by Eugene Litz, is a Small Business of the Year finalist in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce 2015 SAGE Awards.


Elizabeth Baumeister file photo | Abington Journal

Steve Farrell, owner, Classic Properties, 324 S. State St., Clarks Summit sits under one of the building’s most notable interior features, a hanging Chandelier. The business is a finalist in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce 2015 SAGE Awards for the Pride and Progress: Interior Renovations category.


Elizabeth Baumeister | Abington Journal

Metropolitan Life Insurance, 1028 Morgan Hwy., Clarks Summit is a Healthy Workplace of the Year finalist in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce 2015 SAGE Awards. The winners in all categories will be announced at the Chamber Gala on Nov. 11 at the Mellow Theater at Lackawanna College.


Elizabeth Baumeister | Abington Journal

2015 SAGE AWARD FINALISTS

Best practices in community involvement

Benco Dental Company

Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank

Toyota of Scranton

Best practices in customer service

DePietro’s Hometown Pharmacy

Northeast Title & Tag, Inc.

Toyota of Scranton

Best practices in marketing and communications

Design Done Right

Graham Public Relations and Advertising, LLC

Posture Interactive

Business of the year

DePietro’s Hometown Pharmacy

NET Federal Credit Union

New York Life Insurance Co.

Healthy workplace of the year

Dempsey Uniform and Linen Supply

Metropolitan Life Insurance

TMG Health

Hometown star

Lackawanna Heritage Valley for the Heritage Explorer Bike Tour and Festival

NAMI PA Scranton Area Chapter for Evening of Hope

Toyota of Scranton for Celebrating Heroes Day

New and emerging business of the year

Design-a-card.org

Graham Public Relations and Advertising, LLC

Japhy Creative

Non-profit organization of the year

The Center for Independent Living

The Greater Scranton YMCA

NAMI PA Scranton Area Chapter

Pride and progress: Exterior renovations

Geisinger-Community Medical Center for the 1800 block of Mulberry Street

Penn State Worthington/Scranton for its athletic fields

United Neighborhood Centers for Cedar Point Apartments

Pride and progress: Interior renovations

Classic Properties for 324 State St., Clarks Summit

Geisinger-Community Medical Center for their Multi-Specialty Clinics and Intensive Care Units

The University of Scranton for the Quincy Avenue Apartments and Learning Center

Pride and progress: New construction

Geisinger-Community Medical Center for the 1800 block of Mulberry Street

United Neighborhood Centers for Cedar Point Apartments

University of Scranton for Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall

Small business of the year

13 Olives

MCR Productions

Pine Hills Country Club

Excellence in leadership

Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank

Lackawanna College

NBT Bank

Women of excellence

Karen Clifford, TR Technology Solutions

Natalie Gelb, Lackawanna Heritage Valley

Jill Murray, PhD, Lackawanna College

SCRANTON — Three Abington area businesses are finalists in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and MetroAction’s 2015 SAGE (Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence) Awards.

Thirteen Olives, 222 Northern Blvd., South Abington Township, is a finalist for the Small Business of the Year Award; Classic Properties, 324 S. State St., Clarks Summit, is in the running for the Pride and Progress: Interior Renovations category and Metropolitan Life Insurance, 1028 Morgan Hwy., Clarks Summit is competing for Healthy Workplace of the Year.

More than 100 applications were received for this year’s awards, which celebrate talent, creativity and innovation in local businesses. There are three finalists in each of the 14 categories, and the recipient of each award will be announced at the Chamber Gala, set for 5:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 11 at the Theater at Lackawanna College. One People’s Choice Award, determined by a community wide online vote, will also be presented.

Business owner Steve Farrell, Classic Properties, said although he has another commitment the evening of the gala, Chief Operating Officer Carol Hosier will represent the company at the event and he is honored to be among the finalists.

“Considering our competition, it’s extremely flattering,” he said. “It’s kind of mind-boggling, in a sense.”

The other two finalists for the Pride and Progress: Interior Renovations award are Geisinger-Community Medical Center for its Multi-Specialty Clinics and Intensive Care Units and The University of Scranton for the Quincy Avenue Apartments and Learning Center.

Classic Properties completed the thorough renovations to the building about a year ago.

“We completely gutted the entire interior down to the studs and bricks,” Farrell said. “Everything you see is new.”

He said the goal for the interior design, which he modeled after a friend’s office on Park Avenue in New York City, was to give it a “home-like” feel, as opposed to a more “corporate” atmosphere. One way they accomplished this was with the lighting, including a lot of interior glass windows.

“It’s a bright building — bright and sunny,” he said.

And according Farrell, the new location and its modern design helped the business continue to grow, in that it stays in line with the character of the community.

“The professional look, being downtown and being part of the community is huge for us,” he said. “We’re more visible in the community.”

This emphasis on community is also key for Thirteen Olives owner Eugene Litz, who has been in business since May, 2014. He stressed the importance his business puts on things like hosting community events, donating products to local causes and getting involved in area organizations.

Most of his marketing strategies are community-focused.

“We’re trying to get out there and network, and we do it to to be in the community,” Litz said.

One example of that is the Thirteen Olives’ participation in the Rotary Club of the Abingtons’ Annual Taste of the Abingtons event. The shop also hosts various educational events.

Litz said some of the main challenges for small business owners today are regulatory constraints, taxes and marketing. For him, marketing is a strength, but he is still always looking for ways to improve in that area.

“Once you get them in the store, you’ve got them,” he said on the topic of acquiring new customers.

But getting them there is sometimes the hard part.

The key, he said, is in utilizing all of the various media outlets available, such as television, print and social media, in addition to in-person networking and special events.

Another key to his own success, he said, is his “well-educated and friendly staff,” who he looks forward to bringing with him to the Chamber Gala to celebrate all of their hard work.

“I look forward to hopefully winning,” he said, “and enjoying the evening with my family and staff.”

This year’s gala emcee is Scranton Fringe Festival co-founder and past SAGE Award recipient Conor O’Brien.

The regional actor, playwright and arts professional received the 2011 SAGE Award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year for his work with The Vintage, a performing arts space which operated from January 2009 through September 2014 in downtown Scranton.

Tickets for the event are $50 for members and $75 for guests and are available through Monday, Nov. 9 online at scrantonchamber.com. For more information, call 570-342-7711.

Thirteen Olives, 222 Northern Blvd., South Abington Township, opened for business in May 2014 with 30 different oils and vinegars. The shop now offers more than 70. The business, owned by Eugene Litz, is a Small Business of the Year finalist in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce 2015 SAGE Awards.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_ABJ-SAGE-1.jpgThirteen Olives, 222 Northern Blvd., South Abington Township, opened for business in May 2014 with 30 different oils and vinegars. The shop now offers more than 70. The business, owned by Eugene Litz, is a Small Business of the Year finalist in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce 2015 SAGE Awards. Elizabeth Baumeister file photo | Abington Journal

Steve Farrell, owner, Classic Properties, 324 S. State St., Clarks Summit sits under one of the building’s most notable interior features, a hanging Chandelier. The business is a finalist in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce 2015 SAGE Awards for the Pride and Progress: Interior Renovations category.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_ABJ-SAGE-2.jpgSteve Farrell, owner, Classic Properties, 324 S. State St., Clarks Summit sits under one of the building’s most notable interior features, a hanging Chandelier. The business is a finalist in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce 2015 SAGE Awards for the Pride and Progress: Interior Renovations category. Elizabeth Baumeister | Abington Journal

Metropolitan Life Insurance, 1028 Morgan Hwy., Clarks Summit is a Healthy Workplace of the Year finalist in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce 2015 SAGE Awards. The winners in all categories will be announced at the Chamber Gala on Nov. 11 at the Mellow Theater at Lackawanna College.
http://theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/web1_ABJ-SAGE-3.jpgMetropolitan Life Insurance, 1028 Morgan Hwy., Clarks Summit is a Healthy Workplace of the Year finalist in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce 2015 SAGE Awards. The winners in all categories will be announced at the Chamber Gala on Nov. 11 at the Mellow Theater at Lackawanna College. Elizabeth Baumeister | Abington Journal
SAGE Award winners to be announced at Chamber Gala

By Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@timesleader.com

2015 SAGE AWARD FINALISTS

Best practices in community involvement

Benco Dental Company

Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank

Toyota of Scranton

Best practices in customer service

DePietro’s Hometown Pharmacy

Northeast Title & Tag, Inc.

Toyota of Scranton

Best practices in marketing and communications

Design Done Right

Graham Public Relations and Advertising, LLC

Posture Interactive

Business of the year

DePietro’s Hometown Pharmacy

NET Federal Credit Union

New York Life Insurance Co.

Healthy workplace of the year

Dempsey Uniform and Linen Supply

Metropolitan Life Insurance

TMG Health

Hometown star

Lackawanna Heritage Valley for the Heritage Explorer Bike Tour and Festival

NAMI PA Scranton Area Chapter for Evening of Hope

Toyota of Scranton for Celebrating Heroes Day

New and emerging business of the year

Design-a-card.org

Graham Public Relations and Advertising, LLC

Japhy Creative

Non-profit organization of the year

The Center for Independent Living

The Greater Scranton YMCA

NAMI PA Scranton Area Chapter

Pride and progress: Exterior renovations

Geisinger-Community Medical Center for the 1800 block of Mulberry Street

Penn State Worthington/Scranton for its athletic fields

United Neighborhood Centers for Cedar Point Apartments

Pride and progress: Interior renovations

Classic Properties for 324 State St., Clarks Summit

Geisinger-Community Medical Center for their Multi-Specialty Clinics and Intensive Care Units

The University of Scranton for the Quincy Avenue Apartments and Learning Center

Pride and progress: New construction

Geisinger-Community Medical Center for the 1800 block of Mulberry Street

United Neighborhood Centers for Cedar Point Apartments

University of Scranton for Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall

Small business of the year

13 Olives

MCR Productions

Pine Hills Country Club

Excellence in leadership

Fidelity Deposit and Discount Bank

Lackawanna College

NBT Bank

Women of excellence

Karen Clifford, TR Technology Solutions

Natalie Gelb, Lackawanna Heritage Valley

Jill Murray, PhD, Lackawanna College

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal

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