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Susquehanna Life

Erica Shames Named The Green Dragon Foundation’s Volunteer of the Year

Dec 19, 2014 01:33PM ● By Erica Shames

The Green Dragon Foundation recently recognized its volunteers and donors at a reception held at La Primavera Restaurant in Lewisburg. Thanking donors and honoring volunteers, Brooks Gronlund, president, recognized all volunteers and presented exceptional volunteer service awards.

According to Gronlund, “In 2014, 53 volunteers worked a total of 542 hours assisting the foundation in a variety of ways.” He continued, “Volunteers are essential components to the important work we are doing. Raising funds to benefit Lewisburg students requires a team of volunteers who help in a variety of ways such as gift processing, database maintenance, public relations, writing and editing newsletters and annual reports, photography, special event coordination, grant writing, mailings and letter writing.”

Culminating the awards portion of the reception was the presentation of the Volunteer of the Year Award. This award was created in 2011 to recognize a volunteer who went above and beyond in the scope of volunteer efforts. This year, the award was bestowed upon Erica Shames, founder and publisher of Susquehanna Life Magazine.

According to Gronlund, “Erica began volunteering in March 2010. Since that time, Erica has been the volunteer-editor of the foundation’s printed materials, specifically the semi-annual newsletter, The Green, and the Annual Report. In 2014, Erica also began serving on our organization’s marketing task force helping to fine tune our communications and messaging. We are very fortunate to benefit from her amazing writing and editing skills and dedication!”

Professionally, Erica is the founder and publisher of Susquehanna Life magazine, the region’s original lifestyle publication. She started the publication in 1993 to highlight the positive aspects of life in 27 PA counties, and the magazine has attracted subscribers nationwide. In 2013, the magazine celebrated its 20th anniversary.

Erica is a member of the Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau and Susquehanna University’s Weis Partners. She is a graduate of the Susquehanna Valley Chamber’s Leadership Susquehanna Valley and is frequently invited to talk to service groups, students and business people about the life of an entrepreneur.

Erica serves as a mentor for Susquehanna University’s Internship Program and as an advisor to students interested in careers in public relations, magazine publishing and writing. She speaks at Susquehanna University’s Public Relations Society of America Week, and to students at the Sigmund Weis School of Business and Bucknell University’s Arts Entrepreneurship Program. 

In 2013, Erica co-founded the Women’s Professional Partnership, a regional mentoring and leadership organization for professional women, and currently serves as its president. In October, she founded and convened the Empowering Our Region Through Mentoring and Leadership Conference, which took place at The Campus Theatre in Lewisburg. The goal of the conference, which was co-sponsored with Bucknell University, was to create a mentoring region. 

To commemorate Shames’ award, The Green Dragon Foundation will donate an extra $1,000 in her honor to LASD. Shames will determine where these funds will be directed to benefit Lewisburg students. Gronlund concludes, “We extend a warm thank you to Erica and all of our volunteers for their service and efforts on behalf of our students.”

Individuals or businesses wishing to volunteer or donate can visit The Green Dragon Foundation website at or call the Foundation office at 570-522-8433.

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