‘LaunchBox Ladies: From Passion to Profit’ May event announced

Lehigh Valley LaunchBox (LVLB) continues its educational event series focusing on the unique challenges and victories of female entrepreneurs called “LaunchBox Ladies: From Passion to Profit” with a program on Wednesday, May 23. 

Using multiple formats including conversational interviews, videos and events, LaunchBox Ladies will share the stories of women at all stages of their businesses and careers. The event is free with donations taken at the door, and open to students and the public on a limited first-come, first-served basis. Networking and the program are from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus and includes wine tasting and light fare provided by Healthy You Café at Capital Blue.

The May 23 event features the following speakers and interviewer:

Elaine Pivinski
Owner, Franklin Hill Vineyards

Woman sitting at table in vineyard

Elaine Pivinski, Owner, Franklin Hill Vineyards

Credit: Elaine Pivinski

Pivinski began her vineyard and winery nearly 40 years ago while raising her children in Bangor. She farmed, harvested, produced, marketed and sold 3,000 gallons of wine in her initial year and, today, produces over 50,000 gallons sold at four locations in Bangor, Bethlehem, Easton and Tannersville.

Kristina Warner
Co-owner/gardens and events, Black River Farms

Head shot of woman

Kristina Warner, co-owner, Gardens and Events, Black River Farms

Credit: Kristina Warner

Warner, a former teacher and mother of two, assists with all aspects of vineyard operations including vine care, winery duties, and preparing, and caring for the sustainable vegetable and floral gardens on the property. She also oversees tasting room activities and manages their private events.  

Sarah Rhodes-Troxell

Co-owner/Winemaker, Galen Glen Winery

Woman drinking out of wine glass

Sarah Rhodes-Troxell, co-owner/winemaker, Galen Glen Winery.

Credit: Sarah Rhodes-Troxell

Rhodes-Troxell and her husband, Galen, left lucrative corporate jobs to start a vineyard and winery, and raise three young children. Her background as a chemist helped to produce numerous winery accolades including Best Woman Winemaker and “highest scored wine” in Pennsylvania for Riesling, Fossil Vineyard. 

Ashley Russo

headshot of woman in black dress

Ashley Russo will serve as the interviewer for LaunchBox Ladies in May.

Credit: Ashley Russo

Russo is a three-time, Emmy award-winning executive producer, president of ASR Media Productions, and host of The PEAK TV and St. Luke’s HealthNow. 

The event is sponsored in part by the Penn State Lehigh Valley Student Business Society.

To register, visit the registration website. For more information about the events, visit the LaunchBox Ladies website, email [email protected] or Valerie Peters at [email protected].

Lehigh Valley LaunchBox (LVLB) is an early-stage business accelerator program for entrepreneurs. As a signature program of Invent Penn State, LVLB partners with a network of community and university partners to offer continuing support to small business owners and guides them through every step of their startup journey.

Information regarding the Invent Penn State initiative is available online.


Dennille Schuler

Public Relations Specialist
Penn State Lehigh Valley

Work Phone