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In the News: Science Center Honored with New Commitment Award from Allentown Chamber

May 31, 2024

Excerpt from story by Phil Gianficaro from

Santo Napoli noted that good things take time.

Napoli, an Allentown City Council member and business owner, upon receiving an award addressed the 130 attendees Thursday at the Allentown Chamber of Commerce annual awards reception at the Renaissance Allentown Hotel.

Napoli got the Good Neighbor Award in recognition of his two men’s and women’s clothing stores — assembly88 and assembly88 For Her.

But Napoli looked back — back when he opened his first clothing store in 1999.

“It took a while, but things got better,” he said.

Napoli’s words also could describe Allentown’s continued growth.

“Things have changed in Allentown,” he said. “But what has not changed is my passion for the city.”

Tony Iannelli, chief executive officer of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, opened the event celebrating the business honorees for their long commitment to the city’s continued growth.

Honored were four Allentown businesses in their respective categories:

Businesses were nominated for the awards. Winners were selected by the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

The Da Vinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion was called a glimmering jewel of Downtown Allentown.

The new world-class science center at 815 W. Hamilton St. opened last week to rave reviews. The 67,000-square-foot facility features more than 30,000 square feet of exhibit space designed to interest visitors of all ages.

More than 50 interactive exhibits are showcased in four main galleries: Curiosity Hall, Science in the Making, Lehigh Valley Health Network My Body and Lehigh River Watershed.

The lower level of the new science center is home to the da Vinci STEAM Learning Center, the incubator for on-site and community-based STEAM programming — the integration of the Arts with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Vicki Doule, vice president of distribution channels and Lehigh Valley Executive of Capital Blue Cross, said the Da Vinci Science Center is committed to bringing science to life.

“Their being in Allentown is a testament to bringing continued life to the city,” Doule said.

In accepting the award, da Vinci CEO Lin Erickson credited its talented team for its success.

“We are thrilled to be in Downtown Allentown,” Erickson said.

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