Entrepreneurship Institute Conference

Breakout Sessions

Emily Kopec
Manager, Reputation

Web Visibility 


Getting found online is the second most important online task for your business, short of creating your website. This large undertaking may seem overwhelming without 5 online visibility hacks to help you get started.
Hack #1 Link, Like, Blog
Hack #2 Learn SEO 101
Hack #3 Content. Content. Content.
Hack #4 Gain Customer Reviews
Hack #5 Get Social

As the Reputation Manager for Web.com, Emily is responsible for the company’s online sentiment and aims to improve customer and employee reviews. Emily has worked in different aspects of online marketing for the past five years, currently specializing in SEO and how websites look from SERPs. She also focuses on trend analysis for all things digital marketing with a primary focus on organic search, content marketing, and social media. Emily is a Coughlin High School and King’s College alumna who lives in West Pittston with her fiancé, David and their aggressively adorable cat, Duke.

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Paul Browne 
Executive Director 
Carbondale Technology Transfer Center

Food as a Business


Lots of people have a favorite family recipe. Who hasn’t wondered if that recipe could make for the next great breakout business?  Join Paul and Jordan as they discuss what it really takes to build a successful food processing business (and the common mistakes to avoid). Is that family recipe something that should stay a secret? Join this session to find out!

Paul Browne is the Executive Director of the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center’s Business Incubator. He developed and has been implementing the program since its inception in 1996. In 2017 he received a Partnership Award from Ben Franklin Technology Partners for his years of service to the incubator industry. The CTTC is home to the Kitchen Incubator, a shared equipment facility where people interested in a food business can get started without investing in a lot of expensive equipment. The CTTC offers guidance in navigating the regulatory requirements for food production companies and also provides business and technical assistance.

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Jordan Galasso 
Owner and Founder 
Fit AF Nutrition



As owner and founder of North East PA’s #1 meal prep company Fit AF, and the highly sought out weight loss program Fit AF Nutrition Coaching, Jordan went from struggling with substance abuse to becoming a sought out professional in the health, weight loss and performance feilds.Today aside from running Fit AF Nutrition he supports, coaches, and teaches hundreds of men and women to create measurable results in their health, energy, and body composition.

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Jerry Lisman 
Lisman Holdings 

Let’s Talk Pricing


The sad truth is that many entrepreneurs and early stage firms look at what their competitors are charging to determine what their product or service price will be. That’s a recipe for disaster (or at least heartache and missed opportunities).

“Let’s Talk Pricing” will explore the art and science of creating effective pricing models that start by understanding your product costs and then factoring in other considerations. What’s one area many entrepreneurs get wrong? Join the presentation to get a better understanding of how to factor in a product’s distribution strategy in order to create the margins you need to be successful.

Pricing can be hard to change once you establish it in the marketplace. Join this session to see how to build and test pricing strategies that work whether you are just getting started or already established.

Jerry Lisman is Chief Executive Officer of Lisman Holdings, a diversified operating company with lines of business focused on medical products, online retailing, and contract assembly. He started his career in medical product sales before adding marketing and operational experience with several large distribution companies.

Jerry is an Executive Business Mentor at the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Wilkes University where he helps students, faculty, and staff develop ideas from inception to commercialization. He was named Allan P. Kirby Center Mentor of the Year in 2015 and the McNally Mentor of the Year at the 2020 tecBRIDGE Business Plan Competition Awards Event.

Jerry has a passion for giving back to his community. He is a past Board Chair of Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania and was a Director Emeritus of Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bridge. He is a founding Board Member and Treasurer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeastern Pennsylvania. He also enjoys helping high school students prepare for the tecBRIDGE High School Business Plan Competition as well as assisting aspiring entrepreneurs for the Collegiate and Non-Collegiate Divisions of the traditional tecBRIDGE BPC.

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Jennifer Ciarimboli
Founder and CEO
studio BE

Managing Stress 


Hello Stress, I see you. Let’s have tea.
Join Jennifer Ciarimboli, an international recognized Mindfulness expert, for this 30-minute experiential workshop incorporating down-to-earth perspectives on stress and uncertainty including several short micro-practices.

  • How/why chronic stress taxes the system
  • Background on the neuroscience of mindfulness
  • Why developing awareness through mindfulness and compassion practices is the remedy
  • Learn simple methods and practical advice to cultivate calm and integrate practices into your daily routine.

Jennifer is studio BE’s founder and CEO. Jennifer began her career in corporate sales in 1999 in the telecommunications industry. After nearly a decade of success in that industry, she suffered from burnout, trained to be a yoga teacher and transformed her life.

Jennifer embraced her entrepreneurial spirit in December 2008 when she opened NE Pennsylvania’s premier yoga studio, Balance Yoga & Wellness. During her six years of owning, instructing, and managing Balance, Jennifer continued to advance her training, global network, and inner growth. In 2014 she enrolled in the Insight Yoga Institute.

Wanting to spend more time on deep studies in yoga, the teachings of the Buddha, spiritual inquiry, and mindfulness meditation, Jennifer sold Balance in 2015. Reflecting on her long career in corporate sales, she recognized that if she had learned some of the methods and techniques of mindfulness meditation years ago, she might have been better able to manage her stress in a healthier way.

From this insight, studio BE was born.

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Mandy Pennington 
Director of Digital Marketing
Wilkes University

Thriving as a Team of One


In many organizations, you’ll find professionals who are teams of one – but these roles are far from alone. In this session, we’ll explore how to be successful when you’re starting out in a newly created position, a small department, or an independent project. From organizational strategies and collaboration with other teams to accountability and better goal setting, there are actionable steps you can take to not just survive but thrive when you’re flying solo.

Mandy Pennington is a writer, marketer, and teacher with a passion for storytelling. She is the Director of Digital Marketing at Wilkes University and is actively involved with organizations that enrich our region, including the NEPA Tech Meetup and the Scranton Fringe Festival. Mandy is also an award-winning regional actress, playwright, and adjunct instructor at Marywood University in the Communication Arts Department. She co-founded NEPA BlogCon, Northeastern Pennsylvania’s blogging and social media conference, and Squirrel Girls Tech Camp, a STEM initiative for girls in grades 4-6. She lives in Scranton with her husband, Brent, and two mischievous cats.

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Michael Floren, PhD
Statistics Program Director
Misericordia University

Math Careers are Cool


Many people have heard the term “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). Many have also heard that, for some nameless reason, it is really important!
In this presentation, I’ll be focusing on the M in STEM – exploring why math is so important and how its value translates into diverse and interesting career opportunities. Starting from the beginning (what is “mathematics,” anyways?), I’ll take a closer look at several of the many career paths that mathematicians can take!

Dr. Michael Floren is a statistician and research methodologist. He currently serves as an assistant professor of mathematics and the Director of the Statistics Program and the Statistical Consulting Center at Misericordia University.

Michael works as a statistical consultant on a variety of research studies, including projects designed to model animal behavior, improve cross-cultural communication, create metrics to measure human performance, and investigate national education policy and provide research recommendations.

When not working, Michael enjoys playing video games, reading philosophy and fantasy novels, and spending time with his wife and new baby daughter (their first)!

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