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Meet Our 2021 Pride of Place Award Recipients!

Meet Our 2021 Pride of Place Award Recipients!

The 2021 Pride of Place Awards recognize and honor businesses, industries, and organizations that have improved the physical environment of the Greater Wyoming Valley area. Our honorees for this year include the Casterline, M.D. YMCA Early Learning Center, Residence Inn by Marriott Wilkes-Barre Arena, and Street Art Society of NEPA!

Casterline, M.D. YMCA Early Learning Center
The YMCA began its work here locally over 150 years ago, changing and adapting its services to meet the current needs of the community. Even coming through a really challenging time, their team is so proud to have continued to expand critical YMCA services like child care, with the opening of their fourth site called the Charlotte L. Casterline, M.D. YMCA Early Learning Center. Their original Wilkes-Barre location was operating at near capacity, and Dr. Charlotte Casterline took the opportunity to donate her previous office building as a new child care location, expanding into Kingston and Forty Fort. Thanks to her generosity, the YMCA now has the ability to serve 35 additional children and youth, and are working on phase II of the project which will include art & music education.

Residence Inn by Marriott Wilkes-Barre Arena
On October 8th, 2021, the Residence Inn by Marriott Wilkes-Barre Arena opened its doors for business. The property marked the sixth hotel to be opened by Onvo, a hospitality company based in Scranton, PA, and their first in the Wilkes-Barre area. The Residence Inn by Marriott Wilkes-Barre Arena is a 111-room all-suite hotel that caters to extended stay travelers by offering studio and one-bedroom suites that feature plush sleeping arrangements and fully equipped kitchens. As the leading brand in the extended stay segment, Residence Inn offers a comfortable and memorable experience for guests staying 5 or more nights with amenities including an indoor swimming pool, a 24-hour state of the art fitness center, a putting green, and an outdoor patio with a fire pit and gas grill for the guests. Onvo has been serving the travelers of Northeastern Pennsylvania with its unique mix of businesses since 1988. With over 35 travel plazas, 23 restaurants, and 6 hotels, Onvo employs over 1000 people in the region, and aims to provide travelers and locals with service that is -always quick, always kind, and always convenient. In August of 2020, the company, formerly known as Liberty, rebranded to Onvo. The mission of the rebrand was to develop a brand identity that reflected the company’s NEPA roots and its dedication to providing great customer service in a friendly environment.

Street Art Society of NEPA
The Street Art Society of NEPA (SAS NEPA) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 2018, by a group of four women, who share an interest in improving the aesthetic, cultural, and investment value of local communities in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Board members, Jenna Casaldi, Amy Bezek, Laura Holbrook, and Lisa Murphy, each contribute hundreds of volunteer hours behind-the-scenes, toward the planning, coordination and completion of vibrant public artworks. Through passionate advocacy, they secured an LSA grant for $50,000, and in the spring of 2019, launched The West Side Mural Revitalization Project (Phase 1), aspiring to complete 10 mural paintings on buildings within district 120. In just under 3 years they have reached their goal, facilitating 3 new murals in Edwardsville, 5 in Kingston, and 2 in Luzerne painted by both local, and nationally recognized mural artists Evan Lovett, Eric Bussart, Maggie Willis, Jason Kresock, Karilyn Alex, Monica Simon, Jamie Straw, Morgan Masters, Amandalynn Grazier, and Grayson Rogers. These beautiful works of art have the transformative power to uplift residents, spark conversation, create connections, attract tourists, and beautify the region. Not only do murals employ artists, and increase interest in local businesses; investment in public arts initiatives represent forward-thinking progress in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and reflect a region in which residents care about and take pride in their communities. The Street Art Society of NEPA is proud to have manifested this incredible accomplishment as an organization, and looks forward to beginning Phase 2 of the project this coming spring.

Make sure to join us for our Chamber Annual Dinner on November 18th to celebrate our honorees that night! Click here to register today! 
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