NEPA Scene Staff

Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber announces annual award recipients, dinner live stream on Nov. 19

Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber announces annual award recipients, dinner live stream on Nov. 19
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

The Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce will honor 13 local businesses and individuals and celebrate the community this Thursday, Nov. 19 at the 2020 Annual Dinner Celebration.

This live streamed event will be presented by Mohegan Sun Pocono. Attendees can register to receive a private YouTube viewing link for the stream at or they can tune in to the Facebook Live stream, which will be available to watch on the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber Facebook page. The live stream is made possible by DiscoverNEPA, powered by Mericle, and the event will also be re-aired on WBRE-TV on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 11 a.m.

The chamber encourages viewers to stay tuned until the end of the program for a special surprise announcement about the future of the Wyoming Valley.

In the arts and entertainment sector, the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township was recognized with one of the six Pride of Place Pivot Awards, specifically highlighting businesses that were able to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.

“As one of the first entities to be shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic, entertainment venues have had to find alternative and creative ways to provide content while reshaping the footprint in which they conduct business. Almost all of the events scheduled to take place inside Mohegan Sun Arena from mid-March until the present have been postponed or canceled. With their traditional space no longer an option, they turned their attention to providing content to their fans digitally and by repurposing their parking lot into a new multi-purpose venue space. They partnered with Karl Hall to produce an online concert series entitled ‘NEPA Live from Home,’ featuring artists with roots in our area to provide free online concerts each week direct from the artists’ homes,” the chamber wrote in a recent blog post.

“As the weather began to improve, their focus turned towards transforming their parking lot into a unique performance space. In late April, the PA Department of Health began utilizing their parking lot as a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site. Over the following 40 days, more than 2,000 PA residents were tested for coronavirus in their parking lot, saving many lives and keeping our community safe. In June, the venue announced plans to produce its first all-outdoor drive-in style concert series, entitled ‘NEPA Live from the Lot.’ Fans were able to enjoy entertainment from the comfort of their car or get out of their vehicle and dance the night away in their very own socially distant party pod. This series featured six different performers from June to September. Additionally, the Mohegan lot was used to host a socially distant job fair, and their indoor space was used for small-scale community trainings to support our community during this time.”

The awards recognize outstanding businesses moving the area forward. The 2020 award recipients are:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Rev. John Ryan, C.S.C., Ph.D.

Charitable Organization of the Year Award: Osterhout Free Library

Emerging Business of the Year Award: American Paper Bag

Legacy Business of the Year Award: Best Western Plus Genetti Hotel

Diversity Champion Business of the Year: PNC Bank

Healthy Workplace, Healthy Community Awards: Studio BE and DxDempsey

Pride of Place Pivot Awards:

The Accelerator Wilkes-Barre
The Canning House Restaurant & Grocer Collective
Coal Creative
Misericordia University
Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza
Times Leader Media Group

For more information or to register, visit or contact Lindsay Griffin, COO and vice president of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber, at 570-408-1724.

The mission statement of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce is to unite and support community-conscious business organizations and individuals in Luzerne County and to seek to enhance the business climate, business success, quality of life, and general welfare in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Photo of Mohegan Sun Arena by Rich Howells/NEPA Scene