LVHN Community Partner George Wacker
George Wacker, of Bethlehem, along with his wife Crystal, is owner of the small boutique marketing agency Lehigh Valley with Love Media.
His limited liability corporation, though, is not just his livelihood, Wacker said.
“Everything I do, in digital and print media, and in traditional public relations endeavors, is based on my love for the Lehigh Valley and my desire to be a cheerleader for the place I have chosen to live, work and play,” he said.
Wacker was born in Carbondale, Lackawanna County, and grew up in Honesdale, Wayne County, near Lake Wallenpaupack.
He came to Moravian College to earn his undergraduate degree and fell in love with the Lehigh Valley.
“I decided that I wanted to plant my roots here,” Wacker said.
As an aspiring writer, he worked for the Express-Times newspaper, in Easton, for a while. But “when traditional print media started to take a hit” and go into decline, Wacker said, he started to transition to social media and public relations.
During a stint with Discover Lehigh Valley, a regional tourist information provider, Wacker said he came to realize, “I can do this on my own.”
That was the genesis of Lehigh Valley with Love Media. Wacker had been using the name on his lovingly satirical commentary blog, which he wrote in his spare time. He used the name when he established it as his corporate entity in 2008.
“My blog drew some attention and following - and sort of snowballed into what it is today,” he said.
What Wacker refers to as “a small boutique media company” relies heavily on social media and digital video clips to publicize the efforts of both for-profit and nonprofit entities that are his clients.
Wacker says he is the “outside guy” who is often seen with his small high-definition video rig getting up close and personal with activities across the Valley, while his wife Crystal does the “in-house” video design work.
“I taught myself video editing,” Wacker said, “but without my wife’s input, none of this would work.”
Wacker admits the past months, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, have been challenging.
But, he says, that challenge has had its beneficial aspects.
“I’ve learned a lot more about myself and about my community,” Wacker said. “Although the last 10 months have been in many ways horrible, it has undoubtedly allowed my wife and I, and our 4-year-old daughter, to spend more time together than would have been the case if the pandemic had not happened.
“I have also seen how this pandemic adversity has fostered a stronger sense of community in the Lehigh Valley.
“Especially in the retail, restaurant and small-business sectors, I have seen a sense of sharing ideas of business survival and helping one another supersede what might have previously been a sense of competition and self-interest,” he said. “That has really been admirable and exciting to be part of.
“This situation is not something I would have ever wished on anyone, but there have been positive outcomes that would not have been evident otherwise,” he said.
Perhaps Wacker has been seeing, on an ever-broadening basis, what made him fall in love with the greater Lehigh Valley community in the first place.
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