Business briefs

Geisinger enters into research collaboration

Geisinger Health System and Celera, an Applera Corp. business, have entered into a research collaboration to develop a diagnostic assay for the increased risk of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH.

The liver disease is usually asymptomatic and often is caught in its advanced stage when the accumulated fat results in significant inflammation and scarring.

The collaboration will evaluate Celera’s numerous genetic findings in liver diseases with the Geisinger birepository bank of more than 600 liver tissue and blood case-control samples donated from patients who have undergone bariatric weight loss surgery.

Two local firms retool Web sites

Optical Image Technology has a new Web site.

The site,, contains reference materials for businesses and literature about OIT’s DocFinity suite of imaging, document management, and workflow products.

TekResults Ltd., a State College-based computer, network and technology services company, has redesigned its Web site, The new site provides the user with more information about the company and includes examples of recent projects

Local motel receives top trade honor

Motel 6 State College has received the Franchise of the Year Award in the North America Division from Accor Lodging North America.

The award is given to the property that has consistently maintained the highest quality assurance scores, the highest occupancy percentages and received the lowest number of guest complaints.

The 98-room Motel 6 is at 1274 N. Atherton St., State College and is operated by Hospitality Asset Management Co. of State College. Heidi Pischke has been general manager at the facility since 2002.

AmeriServ reports increase in income

AmeriServ Financial Inc. reported first quarter 2008 net income of $1.229 million or 6 cents per diluted share for the quarter that ended March 31.

This represents an increase of $801,000 over the first quarter 2007 net income of $428,000 or 2 cents per diluted share. The company said in a news release that growth in earnings was driven by increased net interest income, higher non-interest revenue and continued good asset quality.

Net interest income in the first quarter of 2008 increased by $780,000 or 13.1 percent from the prior year’s first quarter and the net interest margin was up by 35 basis points over the same comparative period.

Law firm moves office to Innovation Park

The law firm of McNees Wallace Nurick LLC has moved its State College office to 330 Innovation Blvd.

It had previously been located on University Drive.

The law firm will occupy Suite 301, a nearly 6,000-square-foot space set to accommodate as many as nine attorneys and their staff. McNees is the first of the building’s tenants to move into the new space.

The phone numbers and e-mail addresses have not changed.

SPE credit union holds annual meeting

SPE Federal Credit Union, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2008, recently held its annual meeting.

Russell Brooks, president and CEO, Gary Stroschein, controller, and Jan Stuck, member service representative, were recognized for five years of service.

Others recognized for one year of service include: Michael Scott, small business lender and Jerie Kellogg, member service representative.

SPE Federal Credit Union presented the Peggy Lu Zimmerman Service award to Joseph Bernardo in recognition of outstanding service to the members of SPE Federal Credit Union as a volunteer.

First Commonwealth honored with Webby

First Commonwealth, a western and central Pennsylvania banking company, was selected as an official honoree in the banking/bill paying category of the 12th annual Webby Awards.

First Commonwealth won recognition out of a field totaling more than 10,000 entrants around the globe.The Webby Awards honor excellence on the Internet.

First Commonwealth is one of 11 official honoree companies worldwide, plus five finalists, whose Web sites achieved honoree status.

Mammography service at local clinic rated highly

The Mammography Services at Geisinger-Philipsburg recently passed an annual Mammography Quality Standard Act/FDA inspection with no observed deviations, giving them and “All Items in Compliance” rating, the highest rating possible, for 2008.

Kenneth J. Rogers, board-certified radiologist, manages the radiology department along with two full-time registered mammographers.

Fulton sells credit portfolio to Elan

Fulton Financial Corp. has entered into a definitive agreement with U. S. Bank National Association ND, doing business as Elan Financial Services, to enhance credit card services provided to customers of its affiliate banks.

Under the agreement, Fulton will sell its credit card portfolio, with a current outstanding balance of about $85 million, to Elan.

The transaction is expected to close within 45 days.

Fulton will continue to sell and support credit card products and services through its affiliate bank branches and the credit cards will continue to be issued under the name of each of the corporation’s 10 banks.

The sale component of the transaction is expected to result in a 2008 pre-tax gain of approximately $10 million. The actual gain will depend on the balance of the portfolio on the sale date, among other factors.

WJAC wins broadcasting award

WJAC-TV won the Excellence in Broadcasting Award from the state Association of Broadcasters for an Outstanding Television Documentary Program in 2007.

The award was received for the program, “Looking Back: The ’77 Flood.”

The documentary was produced in tribute to the 30th anniversary of the 1977 Johnstown Flood, highlighting the disaster and recovery efforts with first-hand accounts from survivors.