Penn State Lehigh Valley hosts second International Food and Entrepreneur Series

November 03, 2015

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. — Students, faculty and staff interested in learning about local small businesses and their economic and cultural contributions are invited to the second Penn State Lehigh Valley International Food and Entrepreneur Series event at 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, at Las Palmas restaurant in Allentown.

The event will be held in two parts. First, a dinner will be served highlighting the restaurant's specialties, followed by a seminar discussion with the restaurant owners and creative producers.

Penn State Lehigh Valley's International Food and Entrepreneur Series is intended to bring together the Lehigh Valley campus and community partners in order to promote an intellectual, community-oriented project around issues of immigration, entrepreneurship, small business development, global and local economic transformations, and cultural diversity. Additionally, the event is designed to contribute to and foster international understanding and relationships with small businesses and entrepreneurs in the Lehigh Valley. The series was created to recognize and promote the valuable economic, creative and cultural contributions made by Lehigh Valley’s small businesses and entrepreneurs through business patronage, campus promotion and coverage, and fostering long-term relationships.

The first International Food and Entrepreneur Series event was held on Sept. 23. Approximately 20 students, faculty and staff, including Tina Q. Richardson, chancellor of Penn State Lehigh Valley, and Kenneth Thigpen, director of academic affairs, were hosted by the owners of Aci Halal Meat and Turkish restaurant in downtown Allentown. The series stems from a coordinating committee of about 12 students, staff and faculty.

Penn State Lehigh Valley's International Food and Entrepreneur Series

International Food and Entrepreneur Series club members enjoyed the food and culture at Aci Halal Meat and Turkish restaurant in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The first event of the series, held on Sept. 23, began with a dinner featuring exquisite Turkish cuisine and then a seminar discussion with the restaurant owners. 

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"The evening was spent enjoying a variety of delicious Turkish foods and learning about the restaurant's cultural influences, the owners' business trajectories and practices, and the owners' ongoing relationships in Turkey," said Jennifer Parker, associate professor of sociology and one of the coordinators of the series.

Las Palmas restaurant, the site of the series' second event, is located between 9th and 10th streets at 959 W. Turner Street in Allentown. The owners, Santiago and Ana Pena, opened Las Palmas several years ago. The menu is influenced by their country of origin, the Dominican Republic. Over the years they have been successful in expanding their popular, small, sit-down restaurant into a catering enterprise. They are part of the growing Hispanic business community in Allentown that is contributing to the city's revitalization. The owners will be on hand to talk with attendees about their business, global plans, and personal and professional perspectives.  

In order to promote a diverse contingency from Penn State Lehigh Valley, students from the Business Society, Club International and State of the Valley will attend this second series. The event is open to everyone on campus. The cost is $12 for faculty and staff and $8 for students.

This series is sponsored by the International Club, Teaching International, Club International, the Corporate Communications program, State of the Valley, Penn State Lehigh Valley TV, Student Business Society and the civic and community engagement minor.

The registration deadline for the event is Friday, Nov. 6. For more information or to register for the event, contact Jennifer Parker at or 610-285-5052.

Last Updated November 04, 2015