THE HISTORY OF POWER
POWER! is an informal group whose mission is to promote the region as a vital and pleasurable place to live, work and play. POWER! was founded in 2000 by the Great Valley Technology Alliance in response to the continual loss of Northeastern PA's greatest asset..."its youth". POWER! was built as a support network to enhance the ability to attract and retain the knowledge and talent necessary to build a better economic future.
POWER! originated as three chapters among Northeast PA including Hazleton, Wilkes Barre and Scranton. In 2009 the Hazleton Chamber merged with the Wilkes Barre Chapter to become Luzerne County POWER! In March of 2012 several forward-thinking individuals within our community realized that if we want to continue our mission, which is to make Greater Hazleton thrive along with the rest of NEPA we need to re-establish what was once Hazleton P.O.W.E.R.
In 2012, Hazleton P.O.W.E.R. became an official committee of The Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce, which is a non-profit organization under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The organization, funded primarily through the support of individual member businesses, was formed as the Hazleton Board of Trade in 1892 for the purpose of advancing the commercial, professional, industrial, civic and general interests of the Greater Hazleton Area.
As of July 2013, Hazleton P.O.W.E.R., restructured to form a non-profit status and is now proud member of The Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jennifer Sanchez-Torres graduated from Luzerne County Community College with her Associates in General Studies. She will be graduating this June from Joseph F. McCloskey School of Nursing at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Pottsville and will be working locally as an RN. Jennifer has 10+ years in management positions, including 5 years as a visual merchandising manager in flagship Gap Inc. stores throughout Manhattan where she managed product placement and flow for maximum profitability while staying true to Gap’s aesthetic. Currently, Jennifer is involved with the National Association of Hispanic Nurses and the Society of Hispanic Professionals of the Hazleton Area, where she spearheaded the first ever Women’s Health and Empowerment Expo at the HIP Community Center.
Jennifer has a passion for both women’s and community health, a passion that flourished when she moved to Hazleton 5 years ago from NYC. She subsequently fell in love with the area, its people, and its tremendous potential. Jennifer believes that the POWER of the existing and growing community is an asset in promoting the area as a desirable place to live, work, and play.
Outside of her professional and community responsibilities, Jennifer enjoys spending time with her partner, Antonio, 2 daughters, Kayla & Bella, 3 dogs, and cat. She is an amateur handyman and carpenter, and enjoys all types of DIY activities, particularly those that involve updating her newly purchased home in Freedland, PA.
Greg Kurtz, Jr. joined the Code Services Department of Barry Isett & Associates (BIA) in 2014 after receiving his Associates Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. He is a Pennsylvania certified Building Code Official and has multiple ICC/PA UCC certifications which include Residential Building Inspector, Residential Electrical Inspector, Residential Mechanical Inspector, Residential Plumbing Inspector and Commercial Building inspector.
Greg is an entrepreneur with experience starting multiple small businesses and owning rental properties. He currently resides in Drums PA and looks forward to working with Hazleton POWER to network and promote social wellness.
Anela Saracina is a well-spoken entrepreneur, who had begun her career in cosmetology as a stylist by joining her sister in business at Sanela’s Beauty Salon. From there, she had decided to take her certification in a different direction. She currently has successfully began her own business as a Licensed Lash Extension Artist with a dedicated and broad number of clientele, and also aspires to expand her business in the upcoming years.
Anela considers herself very family oriented and a “people person”, and enjoyed her time managing her family’s business, Dano’s Pub.
Lisa Molendini is a West Hazleton, PA native who graduated cum laude from Susquehanna University with a major in Communications- Public Relations and minors in American History and Advertising.
She is marketing and events coordinator at Whole Life Center for Health in Drums, PA. In addition to Whole Life, Lisa is a correspondent journalist with the Standard-Speaker, covering local government meetings of several neighboring municipalities.
In her (very rare) spare time, she enjoys crafting of all kinds, reading, music, and basically anything nerdy. She and her partner Marc reside in West Hazleton with their small zoo.....Stella the beagle mix, who came from a Texas shelter via NEPA Pet Fund and Rescue, Byrd the cat, Loki the ball python, and Toro the cockatiel, who literally landed in their yard!
Lou Mattioli, III