REPOSTED from The Abington Journal by Elizabeth Baumeister –

Online voting for the People’s Choice Award open through Friday, Oct. 7

web1_abj-chamber-logoSCRANTON — Three businesses with locations in the Abingtons were named finalists by The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce for its 2016 SAGE (Scranton Awards for Growth and Excellence) Awards: Thirteen Olives, Allied Services and The Pines Senior Living.


Community members can vote for a People’s Choice Award winner in The Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 SAGE Awards online at Voting is open through Friday, Oct. 7.

The winners will be announced at the Chamber Gala, which is scheduled for Nov. 9 at The Theater at North in Scranton.

Community members can also vote for the winner of the People’s Choice Award, for which all finalists are eligible. Voting is open online at through Friday, Oct. 7.

The Pines Senior Living is a finalist in the “Pride and Progress: New Construction” category, for the facility which opened in April 2015.

According to Heidi George, director of marketing and admissions, The Pines has “up-to-date design and technology,” with electronic medical records and charting, a pendant system no other facility has, cupolas in the hallways and over-sized windows to provide an abundance of natural light, a private spa, a movie theater, public spaces designed to promote social interaction and more.

“We thrive on hospitality and care,” she said of the personal care home.

Of the SAGE Awards, she added The Pines is “honored” to be considered as a finalist.

“We’re so excited,” she said.

Allied Services is a finalist in the “Healthy Workplace of the Year” category.

According to Jim Brogna, Allied Services vice president of corporate advancement and communication, the organization strives to improve the quality of life of not only its patients and customers, but also of the people who work there.

“That same commitment is applied to the well-being of our employees, whether by providing a robust health plan for employees and their families, equipping staff to deal with life challenges through our Employee Assistance Program, or prioritizing employee engagement in internal communication,” he said via email. “We continue to make significant investments in our facilities to ensure a healthy and safe working environment.”

Thirteen Olives, which was the Small Business of the Year winner of the 2015 SAGE Awards, is a finalist in this year’s “Best Practices in Customer Service” category.

“We’re thrilled to be a finalist again,” said Eugene Litz, owner. “We’re definitely really excited, just to be a part of the event. We hope we win, but if we don’t, we’re thrilled to be nominated and recognized in the community again.”

Litz said one thing that stands out about the business’ customer service is its goal to “exceed the customer’s expectations.” A big part of that, he said, is education. He strives to educate those who want to learn more about the quality differences between various oils and the culinary uses and health benefits of the products he offers.

He added he also strives to create a friendly atmosphere that makes people feel at home in the tasting room.

“At some places you don’t even get greeted when you walk in the door,” he said. “I really try to go out of my way, make sure every customer is greeted, and try to figure out exactly what the customer needs.”

According to a Chamber news release, more than 100 applications were received for this year’s awards, which “honor outstanding local businesses for their talent, creativity and innovation.” More than 40 community leaders and professionals worked together to review the applications and select the finalists.

The complete list of finalists in each category is as follows:

Best Practices in Customer Service

• Thirteen Olives

• Admiral Management Services

• NET Credit Union

Best Practices in Community Involvement

• DePietro’s Pharmacy

• Munley Law

• NET Credit Union

Best Practices in Marketing and Communications

• NET Credit Union

• Posture Interactive

• Toyota of Scranton

Business of the Year


• Lockheed Martin

• NET Credit Union

Excellence in Leadership

• Lackawanna College

• Little Acres Learning Academy

• The Wright Center Medical Group

Healthy Workplace of the Year

• Benco Dental

• Prudential Financial

• Allied Services

Hometown Star

• Goodwill Industries of Northeastern Pennsylvania: Grand Opening Celebration

• Lackawanna College: Rocket Project

• Scranton Fringe Festival

New and Emerging Business of the Year

• Crystal Window and Door Systems PA, LLC

• On & On

• Terra Preta Restaurant

Non-profit Organization of the Year

• Meals on Wheels of NEPA

• The Greater Scranton YMCA

• Ronald McDonald House of Scranton

Pride and Progress: Exterior Renovations

• Goodwill Industries of Northeastern Pennsylvania: Goodwill at North Gerald T. Langan Apartments

• Steamtown 300 LLC: Lackawanna Avenue Bridge at the Marketplace at Steamtown

Pride and Progress: Interior Renovations

• Terra Preta Restaurant, 222 Wyoming Ave.

• BlackOut Design: 527 South Blakely Street

• Goodwill Industries of Northeastern Pennsylvania: Goodwill at North Gerald T. Langan Apartments

Pride and Progress: New Construction

• Marywood University: The Learning Commons

• Gibbons Ford, 704 Martin F. Gibbons Blvd.

• The Pines Senior Living

Small Business of the Year

• Graham Public Relations and Advertising

• Lavelle Strategy Group

• Posture Interactive

Woman of Excellence

• Marianne Gilmartin, Esq., Stevens and Lee, P.C.

• Mary Ann LaPorta, The Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA

• Mandy Pennington, Net Driven

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.