Friday, March 23, 2007

Do want to learn how to swing dance?

I have received a few inquiries if the Swing Lesson and Dance on March 31st is a once and done event. I can organize a NET beginner swing dance class this spring/summer if there is enough interest.

If you are interested please contact me at



Love! Valour! Compassion!

The Winner of the 1995 Tony Award for Best Play is "a big, generous, haunted comedy that is both very funny and filled with intimations of time's passage, of loss and death. "(The New York Times). At a beautiful country farmhouse, eight men hash out their passions, resentments and fears over the course of three summer weekends. By turns hilarious and tragic, celebratory and cruel, this thoroughly engaging play will leave you hopeful and heartbroken all at once. Presented in the intimacy of our Theatre524 studio space.

Sponsored by Pride of the Greater Lehigh Valley

When: Wednesday, April 4, reception 7 p.m., performance 8 p.m.

Where: Civic Theater, Allentown

Cost: $25 includes wine & cheese reception

Ricketts Glen Hike with AMC’s Young Members

Did you know Ricketts Glenn State Park was once considered for a National Park? Come see why as NET members join the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Young Members (self describe as 21-39ish) for a spectacular 7 mile loop falls trail hike with 21 named waterfalls! The falls range in heights from 11 to 94 feet. The terrain is rocky, can be slippery and descends steeply. This hike is at a moderate pace with some steep hills and scrambles at a distance of 7 miles. Contact leaders for more details.

Sponsored by the AMC’s Young Members

When: Saturday, April 7

Where: Ricketts Glen State Park

Cost: FREE!!

Contact: Craig Smith at

Thursday, March 22, 2007

April NET First Thursday

If you've heard about the NET and would like to see what it’s about, this is the event for you. Refreshments will be served.

Come alone, bring your friends, introduce someone new to the NET, introduce yourself to someone new. Expand your network.

When: Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m.

Where: Starters Riverport, 17 W. 2nd Street, Bethlehem

Admission: FREE to NET members, $3 for non-members. Not a member yet? Join now.

Contact: Wendy Gerlach at

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Guy's Night Out Cooking Class

It's the gentleman's turn to enjoy an evening filled with foods they love to prepare and eat. Burgers and Fries.

Sponsored by Sagra Cooking.

When: Tuesday, March 27, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Where: Sagra Cooking

Cost: $25, you must RSVP and pay in advance

Volunteer Opportunity: Allentown Youth Soccer needs coaches

The Allentown Youth Soccer Club is looking for coaches for the spring season. Coaching the kids is a lot of fun and very rewarding! If you are interested please contact either Katie Gilhool ( or Delwin Elder (

The spring season is Saturday mornings April 21-June 9 at the Lehigh County Sports Fields. No previous soccer knowledge or coaching experience is necessary.

The Allentown Youth Soccer Club is a nonprofit, educational organization whose purpose is to promote, foster and perpetuate the game of soccer for the children of the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania. The program is designed to introduce the Game to the children and develop their athletic skills, promote sportsmanship and foster teamwork. Additionally, we stress academic achievement and physical well being.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

NET needs you!

Many of the new faces at the Organizational Meeting this month asked how to get more involved.

If you want to start out small, NET needs event hosts. Event hosts, do just that, host events. Usually, all that is required is your e-mail to RSVP and for you to show up at the event. Some more complex events require reservations or site/presenter coordination, but usually only a few hours of your time are needed. If you are interested in hosting or organizing an event please e-mail Wendy at

If you want to get further involved the NET is actively seeking people for the following positions:
  • NET Marketing Committee
If you're in the advertising, marketing or public relations sector help form the Marketing Committee and get the word out about the NET. Possible tasks include: design and execution of advertisements, flyers, signs and other print materials; oversee the website reformat and redesign; promote the NET through PR efforts including press releases and media events. Expand your portfolio with professional pieces for a worthy cause. There is a special need for graphic designers. Interested parties please contact marketing chair, Vanessa Williams at
  • NET Sales Associates
Through the next year one of the NET's primary goals is to raise enough funds to increase the quality of the events and for the first time retain staff support. And we're off to a good start with a $5,000 sponsorship from PPL. NET is currently seeking Sales Associates to meet with top area companies to recruit funds and help us meet our financial goals through the next year. If you are a talented young sales professional and want to help with this crucial effort please contact our treasurer, Patric Dublin at
  • Professional Development Chair
Coordinate the monthly business card exchange with sponsors and locations. Organize quarterly business workshops. We have sponsors and speakers already lined up, we just need someone to make a few phone calls and coordinate. If interested contact vice president Wendy Gerlach, at
  • Sports Coordinator
It has always been the goal of NET to create intramural sports teams like softball, frisbee, and volleyball. In addition, the sports coordinator could organize group outings like hiking, biking, and running as well as trips to sports venues. If interested contact vice president Wendy Gerlach, at
  • Government Relations representative
Through the next year one of the NET's primary goals is to raise enough funds to increase the quality of the events and for the first time retain staff support. And we're off to a good start with a $10,000 community initiative grant secured by Sen. Pat Browne. NET is currently seeking a Government Relations Representative to meet with community leaders to recruit funds and help us meet our financial goals through the next year. In addition, government community revitalization efforts could be coordinated through this individual. If you are a talented politico and want to help please contact our president, Abraham Nemitz at
  • Grant writer
Grant writers are needed to help apply for local, state and federal grants. Please contact our treasurer, Patric Dublin at if you possess this unique talent.

NET Book Club

NET is seeking one individual to host a NET book club on a weeknight once a month. In the past, NET book club met in Barnes and Nobles in Whitehall, but any free literary-oriented location would do (ie libraries, other bookstores etc.). Please contact Wendy at if you are interested in hosting and/or joining the NET book club.

Betcha didn't know...

Local band, Settle recently played at MTVs Spring Break.

Nazareth creates downtown association

NewsOverCoffee Reports:
The Nazareth Downtown Association (aka the Main Street Program) meeting got underway at 7:30 p.m. with 25 people in attendance at the Nazareth YMCA.

Frank Frey opened the meeting welcoming everyone who had turned out to learn more about the organization that is now forming. After everyone introduced themselves, Ken Trionfo presented an overview of the program.

Jeff Brace, of the PA Downtown Center spoke to the group about what they can expect as their organization is formed and moves forward. He spoke of the roles and responsibilities of the Board and phases of development organizations typically go through.

Year one requirements were reviewed as well as next steps. The primary next steps are to identify individuals interested in serving on the Board of Directors and Committees. The Board will then need to finalize the vision, by-laws, community profile, and begin to secure local matching funds, create a detailed project area map, and a five year action strategy.

Karen Trionfo provided an update on developing a brochure for the organization based on one's developed by the Easton organization. She emphasized the need to identifying specific distinguishing factors that set Nazareth apart from other communities.

It was determined that the next meeting of the Nazareth Downtown Association will take place on Monday, April 16, 2007 at the Nazareth YMCA at 7:30 p.m.

If you are interested in learning more or serving on the Board or a Committee contact me,

Score another one for light rail

LVEDC reports:

Seven thousand cars per hour. Forty thousand Lehigh Valley residents commuting outside the region to work. I-78 is congested and likely to get worse unless more drivers trade their wheels for buses and trains.

That was the message Lois Goldman brought to the Valley when she addressed the LVEDC membership in late February on the I-78 Corridor Transit Study. Lois is manager of corridor studies and project planning for the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority Inc.

The study is assessing the need, impact and feasibility of various transit strategies along the I-78 corridor between Lehigh County and Somerset County in New Jersey. It included a web-based survey to capture public feedback.

Lois was barely into her presentation when she took the most obvious solution off the table and framed the challenge planners in both states face. “In New Jersey, we are broke. We can’t be expanding I-78. We have to look at how to use the facilities we have and get the most out of them. We have to get people out of cars and into mass transit.”

While traffic density is higher in New Jersey than in Pennsylvania, that challenge will have an outsized impact on the Lehigh Valley. The I-78 corridor stretches for 65 miles through two states and affects 650,000 people, with two-thirds of those people living in Pennsylvania.

In the long term, the planners foresee a need for denser, mixed-use development so people don’t have to travel so far to work. They also suggest construction of a light rail line through the Lehigh Valley.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Join NET for online social networking

The NET has groups on both facebook and myspace. Please join and make new friends!

What is NET?

For those of you who missed the new member orientation last week here's a brief look at what NET is:

Formally, the Lehigh Valley Network of Young Professionals "fosters awareness of employment possibilities, welcomes new young professionals, supports community organizations, provides professional development opportunities, and engages in social networking."

Yeah, yeah you say. But what exactly does that mean? Let's look at it piece by piece.

One of the most active parts of our organization is social networking. Our First Thursday events consistently draw 40-60 people, sometimes more. Although we don't define "young professional" generally NET members hover in age between 22 and 35, with the average age being 28. We are a good mix of locals, and many imports who are just getting acquainted to the area. Most of us are working and just cutting our teeth in our given businesses which range from engineering, to sales, to graphic design.

Although we are not a dating service, most of our members are single, and many romantic connections have been made through the NET. In fact all of our presidents have met their wives through the organization, so we have a pretty good track record.

Our other strong consistent social opportunity is our monthly dine-outs in which we get together at various restaurants throughout the Lehigh Valley. This is a bit more intimate setting than First Thursday and draws anywhere between 12 and 30 people.

Although we certainly like to cut loose and have a good time, we are not a party or drinking club. However, many members go out together after our events which generally let out around 9 p.m.

We provide employment and professional development opportunities through events like our Connect Business Card Exchanges. Held at art galleries, lofts and other unique places around the Valley, these events provide a more formal, business atmosphere which usually attract 20-40 people. Other professional development events we have held include business lunch etiquette and entrepreneurial events.

In addition to professional development, we also occasionally host educational classes of interest to young professionals like first time home-buying seminars.

As far as supporting community organizations, we have consistently volunteered at Musikfest. And every year we collect cans for our November First Thursday for a local food bank. In addition, we have become involved with Renew Lehigh Valley, an initiative to promote smart growth and revitalization in the Lehigh Valley. Community leaders are listening to young professionals, since we are vital to the future of this region.

Finally, the NET is the unofficial welcoming committee for all young professionals new to the area. The NET is a great way to meet friendly, like-minded people and get out into the region. We hold activities at a variety of locations, and will be able to help orient you in no time.

So what exactly is NET? It's what you make of it. If you just want to hang out, make friends and have a good time, fine. If you want to further your career, beef up your resume, and impress your boss, you can. Or if you want to get involved in the community and make a difference great! You can do all of the above. It's up to you.