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Erica L. Shames | WVIA News

Erica Shames is the emeritus founder and publisher of Susquehanna Life magazine, Central Pennsylvania’s original lifestyle publication. She started the magazine, which attracted subscribers nationwide, in 1993 to highlight the “positive aspects of life” in 27 PA counties. The magazine celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2018 and in December 2021, Shames shut down the business to pursue other interests.

Erica was recognized as one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business by PA’s Department of Community and Economic Development, and was featured on WVIA-TV’s Northeast PA Business Journal recognizing outstanding entrepreneurs. She was host to WVIA-TV’s State of PA television show, viewed by 194,000 people weekly.

Erica received national recognition when she was named to Folio’s 2016 class of Top Women in Media, honoring a select group of women hand-picked by the Folio team to represent the best and brightest magazine entrepreneurs nationwide. In 2018 and 2019, Susquehanna Life magazine was awarded Honorable Mention in Folio’s prestigious Eddie and Ozzie national magazine awards.

Erica has been a Focus Central PA Ambassador to represent Central PA as a great place to start or grow a business. She is the Volunteer-Editor of The Green Dragon Foundation’s annual report and serves on the Susquehanna Greenway Partnership’s Communications committee.

Erica is a graduate of the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce Leadership Susquehanna Valley and frequently is invited to talk to service groups, students and businesspeople about the life of an entrepreneur.

She has served as a Mentor for Susquehanna University’s Internship Program, and as an Advisor to students interested in careers in magazine publishing and writing. She speaks at Susquehanna University’s Public Relations Society of America Week, to classes at the Sigmund Weis School of Business and she taught at class for Bucknell University’s Arts Entrepreneurship Program.

In 2013, Erica co-founded the Women’s Professional Partnership and was the founder and convener, in conjunction with Bucknell University, of the Empowering Our Region through Mentoring and Leadership Conference in 2015.

In Fall 2016, Erica was Susquehanna University’s first Professional-in-Residence, for which she taught a course on magazine publishing.

In 2018 Shames expanded her business with the launch of the Susquehanna Life Custom Publishing Division. The entity leveraged Susquehanna Life magazine’s high-quality reputation for creating award-winning graphic design and content to create print and digital communications pieces—ranging from magazines, guides and brochures to corporate profiles, newsletters and brochures—for businesses and organizations.

Currently, Shames works as a freelance communicator for clients that include WVIA, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre-based PBS affiliate.

Erica can be reached at erica_shames@yahoo.com.

  • A thoughtful partnership between business, nonprofit and educational institutions is helping preserve the Montandon Marsh in Northumberland County. The collaborative benefits the local environment and Susquehanna River, expands knowledge of the environment, and preserves the plant and animal kingdom.