Meeting Minutes

Lancaster City Merchant Meeting Minutes

July 19, 2023 – 8:30 am to 9:45 am

The Ware Center – Binns Room

44  meeting attendees


Marshall Snively welcomed everyone to the meeting. He welcomed any new merchants in the room and invited everyone to bring a neighbor or peer with them to the next meeting in August. Our August 16th meeting will feature Lancaster City Bureau of Police Chief Richard Mendez and Mayor Danene Sorace.


Marshall thanked our Legacy Sponsors for their generous support, which makes these meetings possible, along with our Visionary Sponsors listed on the agenda. Dave Aichele thanked our community partner Millersville University at The Ware Center, for providing this wonderful meeting space and Colonial Parking for providing parking vouchers for free parking in the lot across from The Ware Center.   



Anne Williams, Director of Communications with Lancaster City Alliance and Co-Chair of the VeloCity Planning Team, was excited to invite everyone to be part of VeloCity on September 28, 2023. She referenced the “Save the Date” flyers, highlighting sponsorship opportunities and silent auction donations. Tickets go on sale August 1. The event celebrates the City and is a fundraiser for Lancaster City Alliance. Marshall Snively added that funds from this event are reinvested into the merchant community by supporting Restaurant Week, merchant meetings, milestone awards, and more.  Discover information on VeloCity here.



Alex Otthofer, Community Engagement Manager with Lancaster City Alliance, was pleased to share that Cultivate Lancaster will be held on August 4 (First Friday) in the new Lancaster Public Library at Ewell Plaza. Join small business owners and organizations to learn more about the exciting future of Cultivate. The Lancaster Parking Authority offers $5.00 parking after 5:00 pm on August 4.   Register for the Future of Cultivate here.




  • Tony Gorick with Decades Lancaster invited everyone to attend their Christmas in July Event on July 28 – 30. They are part of the Lancaster Gift Box Giving Trail, so there will be an opportunity to donate to nonprofit organizations all weekend while enjoying exciting specials.
  • Diana Smedley with Lancaster Gift Box invited everyone to be part of the Christmas in July Giving Trail on July 28 & 29. Begin your journey at Lancaster Gift Box (317 N. Queen St.). Make a non-perishable food donation, grab your Giving Trail Passport, and get it stamped. Move on to The Common Wheel (324 N. Queen St.). Make another food donation, stamp your passport, and keep the momentum going! Finally, swing by Decades Lancaster (438 N. Queen St.) for your last food donation. Get your passport stamped and drop it into the raffle box. Lancaster Gift Box is raffling off a $500 gift box tower for everyone who submits their fully stamped Giving Trail Passport! All food collected during the trail will be donated to the Community Action Partnership of Lancaster County, supporting those in need within our community.
  • Elizabeth Peters of Read Rose Books was excited to announce they recently celebrated their 3rd anniversary!
  • Kris Bradley of NameSpark announced that the One World Festival will partner this year with Lancaster County Community Foundation and will hold their Festival on November 17th (same day as ExtraGive). The Festival will be held from 12 Noon until 8 pm at the Lancaster County Convention Center.
  • Chris Dreisbach with Blueprints Recovery invited everyone to participate in The Nicole Conway Memorial Volleyball Tournament started as a way to raise money for Kaayson after his mother passed away from a drug overdose. Now in its 10th year, the tournament has grown to honor not just Nicole but all those lost to addiction and mental illness. Join us in this mission, celebrate their lives with us, and give back to those left behind on August 26 at Fairview Park in Columbia. 
  • Jesus Rodriguez with Three Legacies Wrestling invited everyone to attend the Red Rose Rumble on August 19th at Clipper Magazine Stadium. Doors open at 5:30 pm, and the show begins at 7:00 pm. See him or Ronnie Ramone for a supply of flyers to place in your businesses.
  • Paul Kremp introduced himself to the group as the General Manager of the Holiday Inn.
  • Carol Gifford with Vision Corps thanked everyone for supporting last month’s Eye Drop event.
  • Alex Otthofer with Lancaster City Alliance reminded everyone we are still interested in hearing your feedback on the Round Up Program App for small businesses to opt-in to raise funds to support the social service agencies in our community. Take the brief Round Up survey here.
  • Jean-Marie Merkle introduced herself to the group as the owner of Dig Digital, a design and marketing services company.
  • Carla Good with LNP Media Group reported she is working with the City of Lancaster to create a full newspaper wrap for Indie Retail Week. She encouraged local businesses to participate. Find all the details here.
  • Dave Aichele with the Downtown Investment District was pleased to report that the Clean and Safe Team have successfully completed mulching 600 tree wells in the downtown area, equivalent to 8 tons of mulch.
  • Tyler Graybeal of Sweetish was excited to announce he’ll be opening a new store next to him at 305 North Queen Street called Dröm. It will feature Scandinavian-inspired home goods, barware, etc.
  • Jessica Trump introduced herself to the group as the Manager of Sweetish.
  • Kate Farbo was pleased to share that FARBO Co is celebrating its 5th anniversary!


Kathlene Sullivan introduced Andrew Silvius, one of the founders of ESOArts. View the full presentation here.
Andrew announced a meet and greet being planned with Red Rose Film Festival, Lancaster Distilleries, and Zoetropolis for July 27, from 7 pm to 9 pm at ESOArts. 




Marshall Snively shared that Lancaster City Alliance is a proud founding sponsor of Indie Retail Week. This year, the City of Lancaster will be handling the promotion and execution of this event.  DJ Ramsey, with City of Lancaster LOOP, encouraged businesses to sign up for Indie Retail Week, which will take place August 18 – 26. The deadline to sign up is TODAY. The event is free to participate.



Are You Leaving Money On The Table

Marshall Snively welcomed Hans Schreiber, Director of Sales & Marketing at Lancaster County Convention Center, Josh Funk, President and CFO of TFB Hospitality (includes Annie Bailey’s and Conway Social Club), and Tony Gorick, Sales and Events Manager at Decades Lancaster. View the full presentation here.

Cheila Huettner with the City of Lancaster Welcome Center offered Visit Lancaster City maps that are available at the Welcome Center for businesses and merchants.




Kathlene Sullivan highlighted upcoming Special Presentations:

• August 16: Meet the Chief – A Conversation with Police Chief Mendez and Mayor Sorace
• September 20: Discover Lancaster – President  & CEO Ed Harris
• October 18: AI-Powered Marketing – Unleashing the Potential for Local Business Owners
• November 15: Milestone Anniversary Awards


A Shop Small Season subcommittee was formed to begin preparation for holiday events for our merchant community. Kris Bradley will chair the committee, with DJ Ramsey, Gabriel Luber, and Matt Hannigan serving on the committee. If anyone is interested in sponsoring the tote bags for this holiday season, please contact Kathlene Sullivan at


Marshall Snively thanked Decades Lancaster for hosting the recent Merchant Mixer, which was very successful. Kathlene Sullivan thanked Michael Chiodo for organizing the event. The next Merchant Mixer will be planned for November. 




Marshall Snively thanked everyone for their attendance and encouraged everyone to come next month. He reminded everyone to take the Round Up Program Survey and sign-up for a Velocity sponsorship or donation item. 



Next Merchant Meeting – August 16, 2023 – The Ware Center

Please let us know the Anniversary of your business by completing
the following short

Add value to your business with Downtown Dollars Gift Certificates!  Merchants interested in participating in the program should contact Lancaster City Alliance via email at or by calling 717.394.0783.

As a non-profit organization, the Lancaster City Alliance relies on the commitment of our generous corporate sponsors. Our 17 Visionary Sponsors demonstrate their commitment to the City’s collective good through their contribution to the Lancaster City Alliance. Thank you to Baker Tilly, Barley Snyder, City of Lancaster, Discover Lancaster, Ecklin Development, Irex Contracting Group, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, Murray, Orrstown Bank, PNC Financial Services, PPL Electric Utilities, The M&T Charitable Foundation, S&T Bank, UGI Utilities, Inc., Warehouse DistrictWillow Valley Communities, and Woodstream.