Lackawanna College | Life-Changing College Education


Lackawanna College honors women during American Business Women’s Day

American Business Women's Day

For the last 73 years, Americans have recognized women who have opened their own businesses, doing work they love.

Lackawanna College is doing its part to honor female Falcons. The College recently recognized several local businesswomen during American Business Women’s Day, which was held Sept. 22.

The College asked female Falcons to submit their stories about their businesses and what they have done. Below is a collection of those stories.

The holiday was founded in 1949 with a mission “to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally.”

U.S. officials recognized the holiday in 1983 by a Congressional resolution and then in 1986 as a presidential proclamation.

Lexi Karayanis

Lexi’s Little Crosses

I started my small business because of the encouragement and support from my boyfriend, Jimmy. He helped me to believe in myself. I didn’t think I was any good and had no idea what I was doing, and I’m sure a lot of people out there are hesitant to try something new because they feel the same way! We can be so afraid of failure. But what I’ve learned is that it is okay to fail. Life is not just about success, but also about failure and what we can learn from it and use it as a chance to grow.

Cheila Gomes-Monteiro

CV Star Cleaning CO

When I started my business, I was a single mom of four young kids struggling to put food on the table. It was a challenge raising them while working full time and also going to school. It was then that I decided I wanted to better myself so that I could provide more for my children. My kids are my biggest motivator of all and the reason I work so hard. Being a business woman means a lot to me because when others believed I couldn’t do it, I turned around and proved them wrong. I proved that I could do it and actually be successful at it too! My message to all those who have a dream of being a business woman or man is: Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it or that you’re not good enough!

Lisa Padula

Northeast Theatre Dance Academy

For over 35 years Lisa Padula has been the Artistic Director of Northeast Theatre Dance Academy, located in Dunmore PA. After graduating from Sutton -Ramov School of Dance, where Lisa studied for 15 years she continued her training in New York City studying with the world-renowned teachers Phil Black, Jerry Ames and Luigi. Professionally, Lisa appeared in the ABC Made for TV motion picture For Lovers Only, was a featured dancer/model for Celanese & Ditto of California and danced in Atlantic casino hotel’s Cabaret in Atlantic City. Lisa’s studio hosted the NY City Rockettes and in 1984 Lisa represented NEPA in the nationally acclaimed TV show Dance Fever. Lisa served as associate/dance captain for Scranton Public Theater’s production of Paul Joey and Dam Yankees. She has conducted master classes in Jazz and Tap throughout the East Coast and has judged several national competitions. Lisa’s Studio opened in 1910 under the direction of Cecelia Fleischer until Sutton-Ramov took over. Lisa followed Sutton-Ramov’s lead and took over the studio in 1985. Most recently Lisa hosted the cast members from the Broadway show South Pacific at her studio in Dunmore PA.

Jennifer Heege

Heege Creations & Collectables

Throughout my life I have always been happiest creating something or working on various art projects. Back in 2013 I decided to start my first Etsy shop. I’ve been through quite a few business name changes, rebranding, producing successful products and not so successful products, etc. Through all the ups and downs of having a small business, I remained determined to create and move forward. I definitely wouldn’t change a thing. Today, I focus more on jewelry making and more recently included my love of retro items and thrifting to my brand.  If I had to give any advice to anyone thinking of starting a small business I would say to follow your passion. It can possibly lead you to new doors full of exciting opportunities. Take the plunge, trust the journey and have fun with it!

Rebecca Cerra & Sandra Muto

The Heritage Sisters

Our business started about 10 years ago with Sandy’s niece as inspiration. Sandy’s niece wanted mismatched Vintage China for her wedding and we delivered. From there, we started renting our Vintage China for events such as showers and weddings. Then, one day, a bride was talking about florals, Sandy and I looked at one another and said “We can do that” and that started our fresh florals adventure, as well as our day of coordinating. Over the past few years our love of day of coordinating, fresh, and forever (wooden) flowers, and décor quickly became our passion. Our goal is to build relationships with the couples we work with so they are comfortable with the planning process of their day. The most rewarding part of our business is showing the final result of their big day and seeing their vision come to life. We love what we do!

For other women that have any passion to start their own business, go for it! It is amazing the things that you can accomplish when you are passionate and willing to do the hard work. We believe we should all support each other in our business endeavors, like, share, and comment on social media to help fellow business owners.

Venture Lab

The Venture Lab offers services to the Lackawanna College and Scranton area communities. The services we offer include:

  • Business planning templates and guides, self-paced training videos, and access to industry experts and professionals.
  • Microloan, Grant Protoype, Ghost Kitchen programs.
  • Fabrication center with 3D printers, laser printers, cricruit, sewing, and embroidery machines.

To learn more or connect, you can email us at We can’t wait to support you!