April Breakfast Meeting of the NBA

The Newtown Business Association will hold its April Membership Breakfast on Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 7:30 AM at Chandler Hall, 99 Barclay Street, Newtown.  Representatives from Newtown Township and Newtown Borough will give a “State of Newtown” address. 

Also come hear all about what is happening in the Newtown Business Association and how it can help your business.  Meet with colleagues and make new contacts at this early morning get-together.  The meeting starts promptly at 7:30am and is held in the Wrights Room; NBA members are encouraged to bring a guest.  Online Registration, at www.NewtownBA.org, for this event will close at 12pm the day prior.  The cost to attend this event is $15 payable at the door or online.  Monthly NBA Breakfast meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of each month except December.

The mission of the NBA is to promote Newtown as a great place to live, work, shop and do business, thereby enhancing the economic vitality of the community for member businesses through networking, education, community involvement and coop advertising opportunities.


MBA hosts networking dinner meeting

On Monday, April 7th, the Morrisville Business Association will host a general networking dinner meeting at 6:30pm at Café Antonio, located at 107 E. Trenton Avenue, Morrisville.

The purpose of this meeting is to vote in and introduce Board members, meet new members, distribute information regarding the upcoming Business & Visitors Guide, and provide an atmosphere where people can network and promote their businesses. The cost of the dinner is $25 for members and $30 for non-members. It’s easy to become a member by going to their website and signing up!

Contact the MBA by e-mail at MVBusAssoc@gmail.com or by calling 215-736-1320. Visit their website at www.MorrisvilleBusiness.org where you can join as a member, make a dinner reservation, or purchase an ad in the upcoming Business & Visitors Guide coming out in May.


Invest for the future, not the past

submitted by Michael Garry, CFP®, JD/MBA, Yardley Wealth Management, LLC

Much financial news purports to be about the future but is really just an account of the past. When stocks have fallen heavily in price, this is routinely reported as, “More bad news for investors today…” In fact, if you are a long-term investor, that could be good news unless you had to sell then. The key is how your portfolio performs from now on, not what happened yesterday. Investment is about the future, not the past. Because the future is unknown, you should strive to manage the uncertainty by diversifying across stocks, sectors, asset classes, and countries.

Everyone’s individual future is different, which means the investment strategy each of you adopts will vary. Some will want a strategy that delivers regular income; others will be more focused on capital growth. Some will be risk takers, others risk-averse.

This is why an assessment of the future and the uncertainty surrounding it should not just be approached from the level of the overall market but from the needs of each individual. That is the role of a qualified financial advisor: to help connect each individual’s circumstances and needs to their goals.

Nobody can control the future. One response to future uncertainty is to speculate and try to position one’s portfolio to take advantage of one possible outcome or another. Another response is to stay highly diversified and to use the information in market prices to stay focused on dimensions of expected return.

By hoping to diversify against risk and ensuring that your portfolio addresses your individual circumstances, this can help ensure that you are making the most of your investment. While you cannot prepare the future for your portfolios, you can still strive to prepare your portfolios for the future.


Hatboro Federal Savings: Your hometown community bank


by June Portnoy 

Many people envision a bank as a cold, all-business operation with marble walls and a bank president you’ll never see, let alone talk to in person. And forget about having your call answered by a live person!

In contrast, Hatboro Federal Savings offers a warm, friendly environment with an accessible bank president on-site, as well as the conveniences of telephone banking, online banking and bill pay, and the worldwide Allpoint ATM network. During business hours, your calls will be answered immediately by a human voice without dealing with an automated phone line.

“Our primary focus is to provide exemplary service to families and residents in the communities that we serve,” says Joe J. Tyron, Jr., bank president and CEO.

Joe started working at this bank in 1970 as a teller, and ovimer the years has held practically every position. Hatboro Federal’s Senior Vice President Connie Wood has been with the bank since 1959, and together they have more than 100 years of dedicated service to this institution.

“Very few banks offer clients and customers the opportunity to come in and talk with the president and senior management, but I’m based in our Hatboro headquarters with an office visible to anyone passing by,” says Joe.  “I’m here to greet you, answer your questions, and will go to our other branches to meet with you if that’s more convenient.”

Hatboro Federal, established 73 years ago, has branches in Hatboro, Warminster and Warrington. Four years ago the bank opened its newest branch in Jamison. The Jamison branch has a unique appearance from its other offices, resembling a classic Colonial Williamsburg style that you would see around Independence Hall. All four locations offer the same welcoming feel with the Warrington branch including a museum room with antiques from the early 1800s.

“When you walk into our lobby, you’ll feel like you’re walking into someone’s home,” says Joe. “We want folks to feel comfortable here.”

There is minimal turnover of staff at Hatboro Federal, and most employees live within a five-mile radius from the branch at which they work. As a result, tellers and service representatives will know you by name and go out of their way to help you in anyway they can.

“What truly sets us apart is that when you take out a loan or mortgage with us, we won’t sell it to a third party,” says Joe. “So, if you ever have a question or concern, you can stop in and speak with us directly.”

Hatboro Federal takes a conservative approach, and as a result, is one of the strongest financial institutions in the region in terms of net worth. The bank posts assets of more than $514 million, and is considered one of the healthiest banks in the country earning a five-star rating from Bauer Financial year after year.

Hatboro Federal donates financial support, as well as countless hours of volunteer time annually to more than 50 nonprofit organizations. In 2013, the bank donated $222,222 to eight Bucks County and Eastern Montgomery County educational and community groups, including CB Cares, Centennial Education Foundation, Hatboro-Horsham Educational Foundation, Mercer Museum, Cradle of Liberty Council Boy Scouts of America, Upper Moreland Education Foundation, Outdoor School in Horsham/College Settlement Camp, and Union Library of Hatboro.

In 2013, the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce recognized Hatboro Federal with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Joe is president of the Greater Hatboro Chamber of Commerce, and he and many officers and directors on the board serve as Rotarians including Executive Vice President and COO, Linda Roehner.

Hatboro Federal truly offers the best of both worlds; large enough to provide the latest products and services, but small enough to offer personalized attention and community support.

For more information about Hatboro Federal Savings, go to www.hatborofed.com, or call 215.675.4000.

PHOTO CAP: Hatboro Federal donates $222,222 to eight Bucks County and Eastern Montgomery County educational and community groups. Front row center is Hatboro Federal Savings President and CEO, Joe J. Tryon, Jr. Photo by Aaron Mitchell Photography.


Williams & Scheetz: A client-focused law firm


by June Portnoy

The Law Offices of Williams & Scheetz is a trusted, client-focused, results-driven law firm located in Richboro, Pennsylvania. Williams & Scheetz was founded by Lawrence R. Scheetz, Sr., Esquire in 1977. Williams & Scheetz has been located in the heart of Richboro, Bucks County where it has earned a reputation for providing superior legal representation and counsel to clients for over 35 years.

Sadly, Lawrence R. Scheetz, Sr. passed away on December 7th, 2007. Today, Mr. Scheetz’s daughter and son, Anne Scheetz Damon, Esquire and Lawrence R. Scheetz, Jr., Esquire, continue the outstanding legacy left behind by their father. Anne and Larry remain very proud of the firm’s excellent reputation and continue to work to represent its tradition of excellence. 

Anne joined the firm in 2004 following four years of service as an Assistant District Attorney in Bucks County. Anne maintains a highly regarded practice in Family Law and Wills, Trusts and Estates. Anne also has an extensive Criminal Law and DUI defense practice.  

Anne has recently been named a Bucks County Forty Under 40 awardee.  This award was given to select community leaders who have made a name for themselves in business, education and community service. Anne has also been recognized by her colleagues and clients as a Suburban Life Magazine Awesome Attorney in Divorce/Family Law and Criminal Defense in 2012 and 2013.  

Larry joined the firm in 2011 following three years as a civil litigation associate at one of the top civil litigation firms in Philadelphia and a federal judicial clerkship in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Larry’s main area of practice is personal injury law, focusing on motor vehicle accidents, slip and falls and wrongful death cases. Larry also maintains a highly regarded Business/Contract Law, Insurance and Wills practice.

Larry has recently been chosen as a Rising Star in Personal Injury by his peers for being among the top up-and-coming lawyers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Larry has also been recognized by his colleagues and clients as a Suburban Life Magazine Awesome Attorney in Personal Injury and Business Law in 2012 and 2013.  

Together, Anne and Larry strive to build long-term professional relationships with clients. “We work closely with each and every client because quality client service is most important to Williams & Scheetz” stated Larry. “We offer skilled legal counsel while making our clients feel secure and informed when making important life decisions. We provide our clients with prompt, comprehensive and skilled legal representation. Our success is directly dependent on the success of our clients.”  

Williams & Scheetz’s approach in representing clients is predicated on providing the desired result as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.  “Our father established such a successful law firm by listening, caring and counseling people from the local community with every issue they brought to him,” explains Anne. “Our goal is to emulate his personalized and skilled approach.”

Williams & Scheetz is a client and community focused law firm that is in business to help local people during some of their most challenging times. Therefore, if you want a law firm who will empathize with your emotions, while aggressively advocating for your legal rights, William & Scheetz is the law firm for you.

For more information about William & Scheetz, located at 935 Second Street Pike in Richboro, call 215-322-7340. Also visit www.wslawpa.com.

PHOTO CAP: Lawrence R. Scheetz, Jr. and Anne Scheetz Damon


Blue Flame Gas Service: A family business offering premier customer service


by June Portnoy

In 1964, Eugene “Chuck” Charlton worked as a truck driver delivering coal. He worked his way up and throughout the years bought several area fuel companies specializing in home heating oil delivery and service, as well as diesel and gasoline delivery. Ultimately he added propane to his list of specialty services when purchasing Blue Flame Gas Service in 1988.

Today, he owns and operates this business with his sons, Chuck Jr. and Mike.

“Our family has been in the energy business our entire lives,” says Chuck Jr. “Unlike natural gas companies, in which you’re dealing with a large conglomerate, we are a small family business.”

As opposed to servicing 25,000-plus customers that are treated like just another number, Blue Flame makes a point of getting to know each customer by name. It has very loyal, long-term customers, many of whom have been with them since Chuck Sr. bought the business.

Blue Flame Gas is truly a business of local family owners, all of whom live in Bucks County. “We live in the area we service,” adds Chuck Jr. “You’ll see us in the grocery store and at your local bank. We are not living in some distant, remote location; we are your neighbors.”

Customer service is, and has always been, the cornerstone of the Charlton’s business. “That’s what we’re all about,” explains Chuck Jr. “We are here for our customers.”

Blue Flame is a full service propane gas company providing propane delivery, service, and installation. It offers continued automatic delivery, meaning its drivers will come to your house when it’s time to replenish your propane, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Service technicians are available 24/7, every day of the year for emergency needs, such as a disruption to your heat or hot water service. Many of Blue Flame’s employees have worked there for 15- to 20-plus years, developing a comfortable rapport with their customers.

Service technicians and drivers arrive in uniform, clean and professional, and are trained to answer any of your questions. 

“We have no hidden costs or gimmicks,” says Chuck Jr. “We are kind, courteous professionals. What you see is what you get, and most importantly, we are a local business that stands by our work.”

Blue Flame Gas Service meets your propane needs throughout Bucks County and in portions of Montgomery County. In addition to residential service, the Blue Flame staff are experts in all uses of propane, including forklift cylinders, gas grill exchanges, bottle and bulk deliveries, and service for commercial and agricultural needs as well, servicing many local retail stores, restaurants, and small businesses you probably frequent. Lastly, through its sister companies, the Charltons can handle your heating oil, diesel, and gasoline needs, as well.

If you’re looking for a quality company to handle your propane needs, contact Blue Flame Gas Service, a local family business located right in your own community.

Call 215-249-3575 or visit www.blueflamegasservice.com.

PHOTO CAP: The folks at Blue Flame Gas Service, from left, Josh Knepper, Loren Byelich, Dave Patton, Ben Cheshire, Nate Knepper, Debbie Mayes, Chuck Charlton, Jr., Donna Snider-Sitler, and Chris Fulk.


Give tax records a mid-year tune-up

submitted by Martin H. Abo, CPA/ABV/CVA/CFF, Abo and Company, LLC

Here are some tips on tax recordkeeping.

  • Keep copies of your filed tax returns as part of your tax records. They can help you prepare future tax returns. You’ll also need them if you need to file an amended return.
  • You must keep records to support items reported on your tax return. You should keep basic records that prove your income and expenses that relate to your federal tax return for at least three years. This includes income information such as Forms W-2 and 1099. It also includes information that supports tax credits or deductions you claimed. This might include sales slips, credit card receipts and other proofs of payment, invoices, cancelled checks, bank statements and mileage logs.
  • If you own a home or investment property, you should keep records of your purchases and other records related to those items. You should typically keep these records, including home improvements, at least three years after you have sold or disposed of the property. Actually, because the statute of limitations runs for six years if they find there is a “material omission of income or excess deductions,” it is suggested retaining such records for seven years to be on the safe side.
  • If you own a business, you should keep records that show total receipts, proof of purchases of business expenses and assets. These may include cash register tapes, bank deposit slips, receipt books, purchase and sales invoices. Also include credit card receipts, sales slips, canceled checks, account statements and petty cash slips. Electronic records can include databases, saved files, emails, instant messages, faxes and voice messages.
  • If you own a business with employees, you should generally keep all employment-related tax records for at least four years after the tax is due, or after the tax is paid, whichever is later.
  • The IRS doesn’t require any special method to keep records, but it’s a good idea to keep them organized and in one place. This will make it easier for you to prepare and file a complete and accurate return. You’ll also be better able to respond if there are questions about your tax return after you file.

Can I change my annuity for one with a better interest rate?

submitted by Rosemary G. Caligiuri, CASL™, President, Harvest Group Financial Services

Yes. However, to receive favorable tax treatment, the exchange must satisfy the requirements of a Section 1035 exchange. According to Section 1035 of the Internal Revenue Code, you can exchange one annuity for another without the immediate recognition of any gain or loss, as long as the following requirements are met:

  • The annuity cannot be cashed in and the proceeds then used to purchase a new annuity contract. Rather, the value of the old annuity must be transferred to the new annuity, usually by assigning rights to the old annuity to the company issuing the new annuity.
  • The exchange must involve like-kind property (i.e., property that is similar in nature or class and of equal value). If the annuitant receives cash or a payment in kind of cash or property, then that part of the exchange involves property that is not like-kind and may be taxable.
  • Under the new contract, the owner, along with the annuitant, must be the same as under the old contract. Both contracts must also be payable to the same person(s) (the beneficiary).

Also, be aware that surrender charges may reduce the value of the annuity you transfer. In addition, the new annuity likely will impose a new set of surrender charges.

Any information contained herein should not be construed as tax or legal advice. It is always recommended that you consult a qualified tax or legal professional regarding your personal situation.

Registered representative offering securities and advisory services through CentaurusFinancial Inc, a Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA & SIPC,Supervisory Branch: 3902 State Street, Suite 101, Santa Barbara, CA 93105,1-888-569-1982, Harvest Group Financial Services, Corp and Centaurus Financial, Inc Are Not Affiliated Companies.


FBA announces new officers for 2014

Rose McMenamin, vice president, business development officer, of Third FED Bank in Feasterville, has been elected president of the Feasterville Business Association, it was announced recently. She replaces attorney Theodore Hauptman, also of Feasterville, who will take up a position as a director on the association’s executive board.

Also elected were: Stu Coren, president of Rosen Coren Marketing, Public Relations & Advertising Agency, Langhorne, vice president; Linda Pupkiewicz, assistant director of the Lower Southampton Township Library, recording secretary; Diane Fetscher, financial advisor for Oppenheimer & Co., Jenkintown, correspondence secretary; Dennis Markowitz, founder and COO of the Financial Group Plus family of companies, Southampton, treasurer; and William Wiegman, Jr., Lower Southampton Township Chief of Police, sergeant-at-arms.

Also elected to the position of director were: Stu Gritz, owner of the Wireless Zone Verizon Store, Feasterville; Michael R. Lesher, senior project manager for Regal Properties, Inc, Langhorne; and Susan Harrison, co-owner and title agent of the Greater Philadelphia Abstract Agency, Trevose. Retained for a second year as directors were, Ray Greenberg, president of Financial Expertise, Feasterville; Ed Shannon, Lower Southampton Township supervisor; Michael J, Hughes, realtor and partner in Olde Towne Real Estate, Feasterville; and Michael Wielehowski, president of Northern Mechanical, Trevose.

PHOTO CAP: New president of the Feasterville Business Association, Rose McMenamin.


Hatboro Federal announces staff promotions

Hatboro Federal Savings President and CEO Joseph J. Tryon, Jr. recently announced the promotions of Thomas B. Carpenter, Christine M. Heiser, and Jack R. Rookstool.

“Tom Carpenter, Tina Heiser and Jack Rookstool have combined years of excellent performance and achievement with Hatboro Federal, and we are pleased to recognize their growth and success,” says Tryon. “We also take great pride in their focus on, and dedication to, customer service.”

Tom Carpenter has been promoted to vice president (VP) of compliance from his previous position as assistant vice president. He resides in Willow Grove with his family, and volunteers his time with The Boy Scouts of America.

A resident of Chalfont, Tina Heiser has been promoted to assistant vice president (AVP) of human resources and will develop the bank’s human resource department. She is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Jack Rookstool has been promoted to assistant vice president (AVP) of information technology. He resides in Bedminster Township with his family, is a member of the Greater Jamison Business Association, and is a “big brother” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County.


PHOTO CAPS: 1. Jack Rookstool

2. Tina Heiser

3. Tom Carpenter