NEPA BlogCon 2015


NEPA BlogCon 2015 was held on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at the East Stroudsburg University Hoeffner Science & Technology Center in East Stroudsburg, PA. Over $4000 was raised for the selected charity NEPA BlogCon Squirrel Girls Tech Camp which will be held in the summer of 2016 for girls in grades 4-6.

Presenter Info:


Ashley Ambirge - Ash Ambirge, CEO House of Moxie, Inc., M.A. Linguistics & brand language expert is the creator of the very irreverent, 2015 Webby Award Honoree Business Blog The Middle Finger Project, a wildly popular (entirely not safe for work) blog dedicated to keeping small business owners & freelancers SANE. (AKA strategies for making great money, handling clients with grace, and trying not to drink too much.) Yet, The Middle Finger Project isn't just any blog--it's also the blog that saved her life. A native of Susquehanna County, Ambirge grew up living in a My Name is Earl style trailer with a disabled mom on $8,000 a year, wondering if she'd ever make anything of herself. Fast forward a decade and Ambirge found herself turning to her blog when she needed it most--a tactic that has singlehandedly allowed her to escape all odds, travel the world, make her first million, get pitched by book agents, almost make it only 14 reality TV shows, and create her own career from nothing--instead of waiting for someone to give her one.

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Presentation: KEYNOTE: The Middle Finger Project
Ashley Ambirge
Christopher Barrows is a digital marketer currently serving as Social Media and Mobile Product Coordinator for New York University. Chris received his Masters of Science in Instructional Media from Wilkes University and a Bachelors Degree in Digital Media Communications from Marywood University in Scranton PA.

Chris is creator and host of the Why I Social Podcast, co-host of #JVMChat (twitter chat and podcast) and contributor to a variety of websites including Millennial CEO. He has spent 7+ years in digital marketing and social media with a focus in higher education.

Chris also serves as Chairperson for the Edu Web Digital Summit.

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Presentation: Building a Community for Your Podcast
Christopher Barrows
Mario Bevilacqua 27, founder of What The FORK, put into practice what most only preach: follow your dreams. Three years ago he launched his restaurant brand to wild success and acclaim, locally and now nationally. Trained at the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill, Mario has always had passion for food and has proven that determination, creativity and a lot of hard work can yield amazing results.

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Presentation: Not available.
Mario Bevilacqua
Dee Culp is a transgender woman with a background in creative writing, journalism, technology, art, music, computer and cell phone repair.

She is an active member of the community and heads up the Activities Committee as part of the Rainbow Alliance, which seeks to increase visibility of the LGBT community through public works and volunteerism.

In addition to her blog, she also writes Living Your Truth, an LGBT-focused column appearing every Friday in

Her life’s goal is to educate, inform and involve those seeking to embrace diversity to help gain equality for all — not just those in the LGBT community, but everyone.

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Presentation: How Cycling, Blogging and Social Networking Saved My Life
Dee Culp
Clay LePard joined Newswatch 16 in October 2014 after spending several years reporting for WHBF in Rock Island, Illinois.

While in the Quad Cities, Clay brought viewers along to witness everything from a rare look inside the nation’s largest weapons manufacturer to following the largest case of municipal fraud in U.S. history.

Like many other proud alums at the station, Clay is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Clay also worked as a reporter for ABC News’ On Campus program, where he covered stories in upstate New York for a national audience. He also interned with NBC for the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and with ABC News Nightline in New York City.

When he isn’t working, you can probably find Clay at the closest golf course or watching any of his favorite sports teams like the Syracuse Orange or New England Patriots.

Raised in Wenham, Mass., Clay currently lives in Dunmore and if you see him around, please say hello.

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Presentation: Working the Camera, Professional Secrets for Video Success
Clay LePard
Matt Lynch is one half of the duo that makes up The Wing Men. Comprised of Matt Lynch and Matt Serniak, The Wing Men started as an attempt to discover the best wings in NEPA. Since beginning in 2012, the two have rated and reviewed over 80 different locations spanning from Nanticoke to Waymart. The goal of their website is to provide a one-stop resource for all things wings in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and the rest of NEPA. As a part of The Wing Men, Matt Lynch contributes to written reviews and audio podcasts about the wing establishments visited each week.

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Presentation: Not available.
Matt Lynch
Elspeth Misiaszek thought she was broken: she just couldn't seem to find happiness in a gray cube working the 9 to 5. In 2008 she left her career to join a start-up corporation where, candidly, if she didn't sell, she didn't eat.

Recognizing her true passions for copywriting, sales & marketing, Elspeth founded her virtual studio, eMarketing Copywriter, in 2011. She has successfully written for hundreds of coaches & entrepreneurs (a few names that just might drop your jaw), regularly earning over five-figures from each contract.

Now it's your turn. Elspeth believes that you deserve to profit from your passions. And she's extensively mentoring experts just like you to do what you love and love what you do. Join her community and learn to connect with your true desire to, finally, embrace a life - and job - you love.

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Presentation: Profiting From Your Passions
Elspeth Misiaszek
Matthew Serniak is one half of the duo that makes up The Wing Men. Comprised of Matt Lynch and Matt Serniak, The Wing Men started as an attempt to discover the best wings in NEPA. Since beginning in 2012, the two have rated and reviewed over 80 different locations spanning from Nanticoke to Waymart. The goal of their website is to provide a one-stop resource for all things wings in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and the rest of NEPA. As a part of The Wing Men, Matt Lynch contributes to written reviews and audio podcasts about the wing establishments visited each week.

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Presentation: Not available.
Matthew Serniak
Catherine Shefski - As one of the original mommy-bloggers, Catherine Shefski ran a preschool education website and networked with many other stay-at-home-moms who were designing websites and online start-ups over fifteen years ago.

After selling that website, she ran a community website designing individual business sites, a neighborhood forum and a virtual photo tour of the Upper Perkiomen Valley area. Later she developed an online piano coaching business, teaching adult piano students as far away as Kuwait and Turkey, answering their questions and keeping them on track via email.

Since then she's blogged about street fashion and teaching the 21st century pianist. She currently works with women who are in the midst of designing their Second Act and helps them to develop their online presence, social media strategy and information products. Along with her coaching and e-courses she's interviewing creative women for her blog "50OrdinaryWomen (doing extraordinary things)." She's published PDF downloads as well as e-books.

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Presentation: Don't Be Just A Blogger, Become an Infopreneur
Video: Not available.
Catherine Shefski
Jason Startari is the Director of Business Development for the Shawnee Holding family of companies, overseeing its real estate endeavors and (the part he admits is the most fun!) the ShawneeCraft Brewery. After playing four seasons of professional baseball, Jason earned his MBA in Finance from Lehigh University, where he also received a Martindale Fellowship to study corporate social responsibility in the UK. Jason admits he doesn’t use social media at home (much to his wife’s chagrin!), though he is excited to explain how it has become an increasingly important piece of the ShawneeCraft growth strategy in an industry so driven by consumer interaction and feedback.

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Presentation: Not available.
Jason Startari
Donna Talarico spent about five years telling the Elizabethtown College story through a variety of mediums as part of an award-winning marketing and communications team. Always a storyteller, before higher ed she worked in print and broadcast media, and for a leading eCommerce company. She is the founder and publisher of Hippocampus Magazine, a monthly creative nonfiction journal, which produced its first conference in August 2015. Since May 2015, post E-town, she's a freelance writer/consultant, and runs an online store with her husband Kevin.

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Presentation: Words, Words, Words.
Donna Talarico
Brittany Thomas is the Coordinator of External Affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation where she has worked since 2011. In this role, she is responsible for coordinating outreach and education efforts, large-scale event planning and managing the company’s social media presence. She also oversees the internship program for the External Affairs department. Brittany has presented at conferences around the country on topics ranging from natural gas utilization in operations to digital media strategies to corporate branding.

In 2013, Brittany was honored with the Shale Media Group’s WING (Women in Natural Gas) Award for Service and Leadership. She currently sits on the Business/Education Advisory Council for the Challenge Program, Inc. and in January became a member of the Leadership Committee of Women Helping Women which serves the Endless Mountains region in northeastern Pennsylvania. Brittany is also a member of the Emerging Leaders Council for Pittsburgh Botanic Garden where she assists in the Staff and Board of Directors in marketing, event planning and outreach wherever possible.

Prior to working for Cabot, Brittany studied at Pennsylvania State University where she graduated with degrees in Public Relations and Psychology. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Sociology at Sam Houston State University.

Brittany lives in the Pittsburgh suburbs with her boyfriend, Matt, and new puppy, Jesen. You can follow her on Twitter at @britt_thomas for her musings on social media, the natural gas industry, chocolate cupcakes and life in general.

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Presentation: The Content You Didn't Even Know You Had
Brittany Thomas


Other people and local news sources have been kind enough to write about us on their websites and blogs. Here’s a list of those articles!


09.29.15 Blogging for the future: Students attend national conference Source: The Wilkes Beacon
09.23.15 NEPA BlogCon 2015: Words. Words. Words. Source: Donna Talarico’s Storify
09.21.15 The LuLac Edition #3033, September 27th, 2015 Source: Lu Lac Political Letter
09.21.15 BOTY and Unsolicited Advice Source: Andy Palumbo
09.18.15 LIVING YOUR TRUTH: Nervous and vindicated – speaking my truth, publicly, at NEPA BlogCon Source: NEPA Scene
09.17.15 Window of Opportunity (knowing when to say yes!) Source: Catherine Shefski
09.17.15 Profiting From Your Passions: NEPA Blog Con 2015 Source: Rooted
09.14.15 Photos from NEPA BlogCon 2015 Source: Colin Devroe
09.14.15 Engagement and Change Through Vision, Passion and Commitment Source: Karla Porter
09.12.15 PensFans4Ever Captures Second NEPA BOTY Source: PensFans4Ever
09.11.15 One More Sleep ‘Til BlogCon! Source: Mandy Boyle
09.11.15 TGIF: Entertainment and events in Northeast Pa. Source: The Times-Tribune
09.10.15 Bulletin board, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 Source: Pocono Record
09.10.15 Blogcon this Saturday Source: Gort42
09.08.15 Events Listings: Sept. 9 to 15, 2015 Source: The Weekender
09.05.15 The LuLac Edition #3022, September 5th, 2015 Source: Lu Lac Political Letter
09.04.15 Blog of the Year Nomination Source: Chirps from Center Ice
09.04.15 NEPA BOTY + PensFans4Ever = WOOO HOOO Source: PensFans4Ever
09.04.15 Vote for your favorite NEPA blogs now in 2015 Blog of the Year Awards, exclusively on NEPA Scene! Source: NEPA Scene
09.03.15 NEPA BlogCon 2015 Source: Wilkes University
09.03.15 What to do in Wilkes-Barre, Sept. 3-13 Source: The Citizens’ Voice
09.02.15 NEPA BlogCon 2015 Source: TecBridge
09.01.15 PA Live: Blog of the Week “It’s Personal” September 1, 2015 Source: PA Live
09.01.15 PA Live: Your Community Live- Blog Con Source: PA Live
09.01.15 BlogCon is back and some squirrels are helping with promotion Source: The Weekender
09.01.15 PA Live! Blog of the Week: It’s Personal Source:
09.01.15 Why I Social – Episode 38 (Mandy Boyle) Source: Why I Social / Chris Barrows
09.01.15 Holy September Source: Karla Porter
08.31.15 NEPA BlogCon KRZ Interview Source: 98.5 KRZ
08.25.15 Keep your weekend affordable with these suggestions of things to do for $20 or less Source: The Weekender
08.22.15 Places to go and things to do in Northeast Pa. Source: The Times-Tribune
08.22.15 NEPA BlogCon 2015 Source: The West Side Bulletin
08.21.15 2015 NEPA BOTY (Blog Of The Year) Source: PensFans4Ever
08.20.15 Nonprofits Invited to Learn to Enhance Digital Storytelling and Marketing Skills Through Blogs and Social Media Source: Pennsylvania Disability News
08.19.15 NEPA BlogCon Announces Speaker Roster And Open Ticket Sales Source: Pocono Business Journal
08.18.15 PA Live: Blog of the Week- Mandy Boyle’s Blog August 18, 2015 Source: PA Live
08.18.15 NEPA BlogCon Announces Speaker Roster And Open Ticket Sales Source: AAF NEPA
08.18.15 Mandy & Michelle on Prospector’s Show Source: Rock 107
08.17.15 PA Live! Blog of the Week: Mandy Boyle Source:
08.17.15 Mandy Boyle discusses NEPA BlogCon Source: David Madiera The Show
08.16.15 East Stroudsburg University to host NEPA BlogCon 2015 Source: Pocono Record
08.15.15 NEPA BlogCon 2015 Source: NEPA WordPress
08.11.15 Events Listings: Aug. 12 to 18, 2015 Source: The Weekender
08.10.15 PA Live: Blog of the Week with Harold Jenkins- August 11 2015 Source: WBRE-TV
08.10.15 PA Live! Blog of the Week: NEPA Blog Con blog Source:
08.10.15 NEPA Blog Con 2015 is Saturday, September 12 Source:
08.10.15 The LuLac Edition #3011, August 10th, 2015 Source: Lu Lac Political Letter
08.08.15 Business Leaders Radio Show 8/8/15 Source: 94.3 The Talker
08.07.15 NEPA BlogCon PSA on Bold Gold Media Source: Bold Gold Media
08.05.15 Support Local Everything Source: Coal Creative
08.04.15 Events Listings: Aug. 5 to 11, 2015 Source: The Weekender
08.04.15 2015 Marketing Conference Guide Source: Square 2 Marketing
08.03.15 NEPA BlogCon announces speakers and opens ticket sales for Sept. 12 in East Stroudsburg Source: NEPA Scene
08.03.15 NEPA BlogCon 2015 Source: Colin Devroe
08.02.15 The LuLac Edition #3005, August 2nd, 2015 Source: Lu Lac Political Letter
07.29.15 NEPA BlogCon 2015 PSA Source: WNEP-TV & BRCTV13
07.28.15 NEPA BlogCon announces speaker roster, ticket sales Source:
07.25.15 Upcoming business events in the Lehigh Valley Source: The Morning Call
07.23.15 The Future of Coding: Squirrel Girls Tech Camp Source: Rooted
07.23.15 Seasonal SEO 101: Look Ahead Without Fear Source: Search Engine People Inc.
07.19.15 WordPress training offered at Scranton area’s first WordCamp Source: The Times-Tribune
07.09.15 NEPA BlogCon, NEPA’s Only Blogging & Social Media Conference, To Return September 12 at East Stroudsburg University Source:
07.09.15 The Blogger Network Launches #Blogopedia and Blog Conference Ticket Giveaway Source: The Blogger Network / EIN Presswire
07.06.15 Squirrel Girls Tech Camp, In Your Neighborhood Source: WNEP-TV
06.27.15 Places to go and things to do in Northeast Pa. Source: The Times-Tribune
06.19.15 Blue Ridge Community Bulletin Board: Squirrel Girls Tech Camp Source: Blue Ridge Communications
06.19.15 PALive: Girl’s Tech Camp Source: PA Live
06.17.15 Mandy Boyle discusses SGTC Source: David Madiera The Show
06.15.15 NEPA BlogCon launches Squirrel Girls Tech Camp in July for young girls interested in technology Source: NEPA Scene
06.04.15 Annual blogging, social media event NEPA BlogCon comes to East Stroudsburg University on Sept. 12 Source: NEPA Scene
05.14.15 NEPA’s Only Blogging, Social Media Conference comes to East Stroudsburg University, September 12 Source: ESU Insider
05.11.15 Caring Enough to Give Back to Your Community Source:
05.06.15 How to Develop a Social Media Brand Standards Guide Source: Search Engine People Inc.
03.05.15 Meet five Pennsylvania-based bloggers turning an internet connection into wild success Source: KeystoneEdge


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Disclaimer: Our sponsors are generous organizations who have donated either services or monetarily to help out with this community enhancing event and charity benefit. While we totally appreciate and love their contribution, we do not necessarily agree with or represent their company, services, or ideals.