Wow! What a Month - Social Media Specialist Jesse Macko

August has come and gone like an afternoon thunderstorm. As the clouds clear, the Coal Crew keeps cruising. Let’s check in with the team to see what they’re working on and where they’ve been this month.


Two Celebrations. One Farewell.

Our ultra-talented Post-production Manager Will McHale celebrated four years at Coal Creative on August 17. Thanks to Will for always rising to the moment with a creative idea or a good joke.

On August 11, super-star Business Development Manager Camaryn Lokuta marked her one-year anniversary. By the end of the month, she was promoted! Camaryn will now manage business development AND operations. Camaryn’s dedication to the crew and the community keeps us moving forward.

We had one bittersweet goodbye this month, as our Social Media Intern Vic Fini returned to the University of Scranton. Vic did great work this summer, especially on NEPA Creative social media. She also graced us with these NEPA Hidden Gems for her final video project. Good luck, Vic!


Third Round of NEPA Alliance ‘Get Connected’ Begins

Early in the pandemic, it became clear that a strong web presence was going to be essential to small businesses weathering the changing economy. Some brick and mortar operations needed to shift to e-commerce. Others needed to figure out how to reach their customers online with new information or services. 

The Northeastern Pennsylvania Alliance (NEPA) partnered with creative agencies including Coal Creative, BlackOut Design and Design Done Right, to meet the need. The Get Connected program allows local businesses to get custom solutions from area web developers and designers. Depending on their situation, they can focus on their website, e-commerce or social media. 

The program is currently in the third round. It’s been a great opportunity for us to use our expertise to help fellow NEPA small businesses. In the first round, we worked with the Peaceful Potter on an e-commerce project.

The Kingston-based pottery school, studio and gallery had a website, but needed to upgrade its shop. Web Specialist John Martin was tapped for the project. John worked with owner Eileen Keats to create an easy-to-use platform to schedule and pay for different courses.

“I realized how large an e-commerce project can become,” John said, looking back. “Even for small businesses, like a pottery class, there can be a lot of different product variables to manage.”

Visit to find all the courses available at the Peaceful Potter. We’re excited to keep the momentum going with round three of Get Connected.


Osterhout Free Library Gala is September 10

This month we released the Osterhout Free Library’s London Calling Gala Promo Video. Our video team collaborated on this stylistic explanation of the gala.

Last year, we presented a virtual gala. This year’s event will be in-person at the Westmoreland Club on September 10. While that portion of the event is sold out, a virtual silent auction will take place from September 7 to 10.
Our team is putting the finishing touches on a video for the London Calling Gala. It will highlight Evergreen Honorees Barbara Maculloch and Barbara O’Donnell along with the important work of the library. 

Submission Still Open for Live Out Proud Poetry Contest

NEPA Creative, our community arm, has partnered with Rainbow Alliance and NEPA Pride Project for the brand new “Live Out Proud” Poetry Contest. The contest invites the LGBTQ+ community to express themselves through poetry.

The first place entry will receive a $300 Visa gift card and a basket of local products as well as features in various news and culture publications. 

We’re excited to be part of this awesome creative contest. Our own Samantha Bucher, Content Manager & Design Specialist, stepped up to serve as one of the judges. Aside from the constant churn of excellent content Samantha creates for our collaborators, she is also a published poet. Her work has appeared in Aurora: The Allegory Ridge Poetry Anthology, The Northeast Poetry Review, Atomic No. 26, Poetry in Transit, the Delta Epsilon Sigma Journal and The Scop. 

The deadline for the “Live Out Proud” Poetry Contest is September 5 at 11:59 PM. We asked Samantha what she’d say to anyone considering entering the contest. 

Take it away Samantha:

“Poetry has this reputation of being lofty and unreachable. Some people think they can’t be poets. But at its core, I think poetry is about celebrating the moments that make us human. It aims to capture stories, moments, feelings, and experiences. Anyone can write poetry, and in terms of self-expression, I think everyone should.

The ‘Live Out Proud’ poetry contest aims to serve as a medium to elevate the voices and stories of NEPA’s LGBTQ+ community. We want to hear about you and your experiences. Whether you are a first-time poet or a seasoned professional, we want to hear from you. We want to hear your story.”

If that doesn’t get the creativity pumping, I don’t know what will. You can find the contest rules and entry form here.


Coal in the Community

If you follow us on Facebook or frequent this blog, you know that the Coal Crew gets around. Here’s a breakdown of some of the great community events we attended in August.



Coal Creative sent a foursome to the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber golf tournament. Our crew of Holly, Sam, Alex and Tatum Neiderhiser walked away with the Most Honest Team distinction.


The Coal Creative foursome at the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber golf tournament included, from left, Sam O’Connell, Alex Manganella, Holly K. Pilcavage and Tatum Neiderhiser.


Holly and Camaryn took another trip to the links for the Greater Pittston Chamber Women’s Network Golf Outing August 9. There were no awards, but I’m certain they were honest!



We were honored to participate in Storytime with WVIA. Throughout the pandemic different business people, educators and community leaders have read children’s books on the WVIA Education Facebook page.

Holly led off with an awesome reading of “Too Hot to Hug,” by Steve Smallman. Samantha shared a lovely reading of “Under the Same Sky” by Britta Teckentrup. Stay tuned for another storytime by Coal Creative next month. 



Young Professionals Cookout
Members of the Coal Creative team at the Young Professionals Cookout.


Thanks for checking in. We’ll see you around town. Remember, stay Coal!

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