After Graduating College, Lehigh Valley ‘Offered Exactly What I Was Looking For’

After completing her undergraduate degree at Kutztown University, Krista Berardelli was looking for the right place to take the next steps in her life, and it didn’t take her long to choose the Lehigh Valley.

It was the perfect location between her alma mater and her childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, but she quickly realized the region was perfect for her in more ways than one: from its restaurants and fun events, to its many career opportunities, to its close proximity to major cities like New York City and Philadelphia.

“The Lehigh Valley offered exactly what I was looking for, a bigger city than I grew up in with plenty of events going on throughout the entire week,” Berardelli said.

Now, Berardelli is deeply embedded in the community. She currently works as Marketing Director at The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley, having previously started her marketing career at the Lehigh Valley International Airport.

She is also the Vice Chair of the Young Professionals Council with the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. Not knowing anyone in the Lehigh Valley upon first moving here, she decided to attend a free meet-and-greet hosted by the council, and soon found herself meeting lots of people and becoming involved with the organization.

Then last summer, Berardelli purchased her first home in Freemansburg, and so, in her own words: “It looks like I will be in the Lehigh Valley for a long while!”

“There’s always a lot to do here,” Berardelli said. “I really enjoy the festivals and events that happen very often in the Lehigh Valley. There is not a week that goes by that I go through the Morning Call Go Guide and don’t see something I’d like to do. Also, the musical talent in this area is out of this world. Checking out some of my favorite local artists is always a great way to spend a weekday or weekend evening with family and friends.”

The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley is the Lehigh Valley’s premier, outdoor center featuring a unique blend of favorite fashion stores, one-of-a-kind boutiques, a 16-screen movie theater, and an exceptional mix of restaurants, all based in a beautiful, mountain-side setting.

The Center’s Main Street is reminiscent of old-fashioned downtown-style shopping. A beautifully appointed sidewalk walkway or “promenade” is complete with old-fashioned street lamps, up-close parking, fire pits, water fountains, and seating areas that make it a perfect place for strolling, shopping, and dining.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit retail particularly hard, but Berardelli said The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to realign with businesses and companies that offer a special experience for guests.

“We are a lifestyle center; this means that we offer many amenities you wouldn’t find at a typical shopping mall,” Berardelli said. “We have two common area spaces that are used for leisure activities, concerts, and even students and employees that now work from home. As we continue to grow through the pains of the pandemic, we are doing more to reach the community with free events as well.”

Berardelli believes the term “Made Possible in Lehigh Valley” couldn’t be more appropriate, because ever since coming here herself, she has seen first-hand the many things possible here from recreational, residential, and professional perspectives.

“It helps highlight the champions that are a part of this community such as Crayola and Just Born while also highlighting the many things there are to do in the area,” she said. “It helps tell the story of why the Lehigh Valley is a great place to live, work and play for all generations.”