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CCEDC Board of Directors & Staff

The backbone of the Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corporation are our Board of Directors and staff, who keep our organization strong and operating according to the bylaws of our organization. They are our leaders and decision makers, who are responsible for our tremendous growth over the years in both membership and in the programs and services we offer.

CCEDC Executive Board of Directors:

Patrick Reilly


Mauch Chunk Trust

Ronald Tirpak

Vice President

Independent Business Owner

Jared McEvoy


Miers Insurance

Barbara Green



Blue Mountain Resort

CCEDC Board of Directors:

Marshall Walters


Architectural Polymers

Joe Russo



Girvin Janicki



Mark Sverchek


Spott-Sverchek Insurance Agency

John Nespoli headshot.


St. Luke’s Lehighton Campus / Palmerton Campus

Terrence J. Purcell headhot


Lehigh Valley Health Network

Wayne Nothstein


Carbon County Board of Commissioners

Maureen Donovan


Lehigh Carbon Community College

Jane George, PPL Electric Utilities


PPL Electric Utilities

Marlyn Kissner


Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau

Samuel Hellen


Pocono Counties Workforce Development Area


Kathy Henderson

KATHY HENDERSON, Director of Economic Development & Acting CCEDC Executive Director


Kathy Henderson is the director of economic development and the acting executive director for the CCEDC. She has been with the Chamber since 2014. In her position, Kathy consults with mentors, business operators, and owners to assist them with starting, growing, or relocating their businesses to Carbon County. She also administrates state-funded PIDA loans as well as two in-house, low-interest loan programs along with the Carbon County Industrial Development Authority. In addition, she oversees the newly formed Nature and Commerce Committee for the CCEDC. A member of the PA Economic Development Association (PEDA), Kathy continues to grow and bring best practices back to the county. Kathy serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the NE PA Alliance where she chairs the Multimodal Transportation Organization (MPO) Policy Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Carbon Training Center (CTC) and the Wildlands Conservancy. Kathy is a member of the PEDA Public Policy Committee and the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Political Advocacy Committee. She has been recognized as a Friend of the Lehigh River by the Wildlands Conservancy, and in 2022, received the Environmental Partnership Award presented by the NE PA Environmental Partners. Kathy’s vision for Carbon County is the revitalization of our small towns and making them walkable destinations for residents and visitors alike. This can be accomplished by renovating and re-imagining existing buildings to provide affordable housing and bring businesses back to our downtowns.

Jessica Kohutka, CCEDC's Member Relations Manager

JESSICA KOHUTKA, Member Relations Manager

E-MAIL JESSICA | Call CCEDC Office-570-952-5453

Jessica comes to the Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp. with several years of experience in business and financial services. She was born and raised in Penn Forest Township. Following high school, Jessica moved to Rhode Island where she attended Johnson & Wales University and gained her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Jessica returned to Carbon County in 2020 while pursuing her MBA. Upon graduating earlier in 2023, she began working on her Doctorate of Business Administration, which she is still currently pursuing. In Jessica's spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Matt, and their four dogs. Her favorite activities include hiking, fishing, wakeboarding, snowboarding and gardening. She is eager to serve the Carbon County Community and businesses with her determined attitude and extensive skill set.

Linda Rex

LINDA REX, Administrative Assistant

E-MAIL LINDA | Call CCEDC Office- 610-379-5000

Linda Rex is the administrative assistant for the CCEDC and has been with the organization since 2013. In her position, Linda works directly with members and the general public providing information, event assistance, and program administration. She is also the program coordinator for Leadership Carbon and works directly with the students, instructors, and various organizations involved in the program. In addition, Linda coordinates the “First Step” Program for Carbon County through Wilkes University Small Business Development Center allowing business owners and future entrepreneurs to receive free business consulting at the CCEDC office.

Jessica O'Donnell

JESSICA O'DONNELL-GOWER, EVP of Affiliated Chambers for The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corp.

Jessica O’Donnell-Gower is the executive vice president of Affiliated Chambers for The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, a top ten Chamber in the Nation, and the Carbon Chamber & Economic Corporation. Jessica began her nine-year tenure with the Chamber in February 2014, playing an integral role in leading several of the Chamber’s partnerships and mergers to support its regionalization strategy, including Emmaus Main Street Partners, Whitehall Area Chamber, and most recently, the Nazareth Area Chamber. The efforts of Jessica, her team, and volunteer board members prove that the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber is not just a Chamber of Commerce, but also a Chamber of Communities. Jessica and her team of four work with the East Penn, Greater Bath Area, Greater Northern Lehigh Area, Hellertown-Lower Saucon, Nazareth Area, Northampton Area, Southern Lehigh, Western Lehigh, and Whitehall Area Chambers of Commerce, along with the Emmaus Main Street Partners and the Carbon Chamber & Economic Development Corporation. Jessica strives to carry out the Chamber’s mission of improving the economy and quality of life throughout the entire Lehigh Valley by connecting key business and community leaders across her Affiliated Chambers footprint. Originally from Carbon County, Jessica received a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology from East Stroudsburg University and her Master’s Degree at Cedar Crest College. Her most recent accomplishment included being named one of the Lehigh Valley Business’ 2021 “Forty Under 40” and Lehigh Valley Business’ 2021 “Women of Influence.” She was also awarded an official key to the Borough of Hellertown at their 2019 Saucon Valley Community Center Annual Dinner for her leadership and advancements in the Hellertown-Lower Saucon area. In 2015, Pennsylvania State Representative Justin Simmons invited Jessica to Harrisburg to recognize and acknowledge her for her impact in the Borough of Emmaus.

Corporate Sponsors & Partners