STEVE ERTLE

Front Line Leadership

With a proven record of positive community impact, I am committed to a continuation of balanced and effective leadership.

Let me introduce myself, my name is Steve Ertle and I am humbled to be a 2021 Red Cross Community Impact Hero award recipient for the Poconos during the Covid-19 pandemic. I'm what you would call a true son of the Poconos with deep family roots that go back over 100 years. My grandfather farmed the mountains of Mt. Nebo overlooking Shawnee and the Delaware river, my mother was born on that property, in the family home. When looking for a home in the Poconos ironically I found one on the same land that my mother once roamed as a little girl. Quite the full circle. 

I'm proud to have grown up in the family business that my father and mother, Steve and May Ertle, started over 50 years ago.  Growing up in this environment taught me the lessons of hard work, customer service, and the fundamentals of business.

Having attended Stroudsburg High School, like my father I was proficient in music at an early age. I am still the first national cub scout to ever win the Boy Scouts "Silver Bugle Contest" true story.

I attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music on scholarship and graduated with a degree in Professional Music focusing on music business.

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Wanting to get back to our musical roots my wife and I left for New York City to pursue our careers. By this time I had begun working in studios as well as my own recording studio producing commercial spots and playing on national ad campaigns. I also got involved with artist development and producing, working with major labels. My wife became a working actress with different jobs on SVU, As the World Turns, Saturday Night Live, Serendipity, Stepford Wives and Sex in the City to name a few.

 

One experience I witnessed first-hand that I will never forget was the morning of 911. We got the call from my mother in Pa that one of the towers was on fire. At the time we had a place on Staten Island and sure enough as the second plane hit you could feel the windows vibrate from miles away. As we watched the first tower fall from the ferry landing, camera in hand I will never forget that moment.  Because in that moment, time stood still, people forgot their differences, their party bickering, their hate for each other and came together, they became one in a mission, determined to help others in need. That one life lesson is what drove me during Covid. If we can all just work together in a positive way and realize we are all Pocono people first we can accomplish so much. Sorry to sidetrack, but it is a part of my story. 

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While attending Berklee in Boston I met my future wife who was

a vocal major. My classmates and friends I attended school with are Grammy award winners like Susan Tadeski, Lalah Hathaway and Delfeo Marsalis to name a few. As a top call horn player, I would be out at least three nights a week backing national acts that would tour up and down the east coast. 

Believe it or not at the same time I was also working at a furniture company located in Cambridge, Mass. developing my sales, marketing and management skills. Before long I was the main buyer for the company and managing four locations. I traveled the world setting up factories in south east Asia negotiating containers of goods to be brought from abroad. Working with manufacturers in the states I witnessed the ever- growing challenge of being able to produce products at home. I have been featured in magazines as well as guest speaking at conventions showing others ways to better market their stores. The lessons in supply chains, manufacturing, marketing and cost analysis have helped me to this day as I still consult with retail and hospitality businesses.​

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My wife and I wanted to start a family and decided we wanted to bring up our children in the beautiful Pocono Mountains.

 

Around the same time, I began working on projects like the Bartonsville Truck Stop redevelopment that would eventually transform the area and create over 1200 new jobs and millions in tax base revenue for the Poconos. I also managed different properties like the famous Big Daddys Restaurant in Mt. Pocono and the Comfort Inn, now Baymont by Wyndham in Bartonsville where I developed the concept, The LOUNGE. Having organized over 1000 events and entertained 100,000's of guests over the years I have become proficient in multi-tasking, business and organizational skills. When people ask me how I get so much done, my answer is simple. Don't talk the talk, walk the walk! Until you have done the work hundreds of times over you will not understand what it takes to get things accomplished. That's why when you put those that talk the talk to the test, they never get anything accomplished. Remember that when it comes time to vote.

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In business you are also tested with the toughest challenges, say like a restaurant catching fire going into a busy season with 60 employees. Yes, that did happen. 

Having worked a full 16-hour day between Big Daddy's then running down to the Lounge to finish up, I got home at 2:30 am to be awakened at 3am of a fire call at one of the businesses. Fully engulfed our staff assisted the local volunteer fire companies only to lose the whole structure by morning. There is where you have to jump into action and work the real issue, the building was a total loss, but our experience staff was not. I remember that morning assembling the press at 10:30 and saying I want to cover 3 points and 3 points only. I wanted to thank our loyal patrons, I wanted to thank the brave volunteer fire companies that gave their time for us and most importantly I needed jobs for 60 people that have families that depend on them. I immediately called Mt Airy Casino and asked them to please hold a job fair, I then pulled out my phone and called every hospitality contact I had asking for help. In addition, we made flyers with all employees contact and distributed them throughout the Pocono hospitality community. Good news within a week almost all were working again. Life lesson learned from this, in times of tragedy think of others before yourself, focus on the problem and solve it because nobody else will.

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That night showed me what our amazing first responders do for this community without pay, without the appreciation they deserve or the funding. When I cooked and delivered meals to our first responders during Covid all 1150 of them, I always made sure our men and women knew the community supported them.  

So fast forward to Covid, businesses shut down, trying to explain to my two beautiful daughters that everything is going to be alright in a world full of darkness was a tough task to pull off.  So, I decided to just be positive. To have a purpose each day waking up, I told my wife I wanted to do something positive for the community. Not be trapped by negativity and depression like so many others, I wanted purpose, a reason to move forward. Using every skill that I developed over decades of experience I realized if Government was not going to step up and help, I would.

Proven, Effective and Balanced Leadership