There is passion in the voice of Nicole Miele when she refers to the family-owned Miele Group.
It is a genuine tone of expression of love of what being a leader in the fourth-generation business does for her each day.
Headquartered at 66 Mall Parkway, Muncy Township, Nicole can be found at the modern facility, site of the former Gander Mountain.
Today, the facility consists of a 66,000 square foot, state-of-the-art manufacturing and operations center – with an environmentally-conscious power source – solar panels affixed to the roof.
“Our roof is solar,” Nicole said, adding, “We’re off the grid.”
It consists of Miele Manufacturing, Miele Amusements, Fastsigns, Virginia Amusements, Skillco Gaming, Miele Development, and their charitable foundation – Angelina’s Song.
Tradition is what first comes to mind with this family-owned enterprise.
Established in 1935, today the Miele Group leadership team consists of Lou Miele, president of Miele Manufacturing and the third-generation operator of Miele Amusements.
With nearly three decades in the industry, Lou Miele is an innovator.
Lou began his manufacturing career after designing and manufacturing jukebox conversion kits for TouchTunes. These kits were built to convert a standard CD jukebox into a digitally downloading jukebox using the same cabinet.
He also helped bring Pace-O-Matic’s products to the market by distributing and manufacturing Pennsylvania Skill games.
Nicole, meanwhile, joined Miele Manufacturing in 2010.
Nicole joined Lou to help with the family business after having a 15-year career in radio advertising sales and management.
Nicole began managing Fastsigns, of Williamsport, and has since brought her public relations, marketing, and advertising expertise to Miele Manufacturing and the rest of Miele Group.
Other team members include: Bob Hager, CFO; Jeff Millay, Director of Sales and Service for Miele Manufacturing; Brent Peace, General Manager of Miele Manufacturing; Ed Pinkerton, Sales Manager Miele Manufacturing; Mark Stiller, Regional Sales Manager for Miele Amusements.
Most of the products that are used in the manufacturing of skill games are made in the Keystone State.
“We are extremely proud that many of the parts to make the machines are sourced from Pennsylvania companies,” Nicole said.
For example, the wood is from Lancaster County, Tioga Container provides the boxes and Miele gets critical materials made at Radiant Steel in Williamsport.
The income generated by skill games also creates jobs and the revenue is used by locations that have skill games to pay bills, boost wages, pay for health care, make business updates, provide charitable donations, and more.
This revenue provides a huge contribution to the economy, by bolstering small businesses, assisting fraternal organizations, helping fund critical needs for volunteer fire companies and supporting the financial needs of veterans groups throughout Pennsylvania.
Because of this contribution to the economy, skill game supporters have the backing of the area’s state lawmakers to regulate and tax skill games which would benefit the state’s residents and would generate millions of extra tax dollars for the commonwealth.
Miele Amusements, begun in 1935 by Lou’s grandfather, supplies jukeboxes, pool tables, dart boards and automatic teller machines to businesses like restaurants, bars and fraternal clubs at hundreds of locations throughout Pennsylvania, Nicole added. “It’s incredible to believe that now the 4th generation is coming up in the business! I can’t wait to see how they put fresh eyes on the business and take it to the next level!” said Nicole.
Signs and graphics
Another component of Miele Group is Fastsigns, which opened in 2010, and is a locally owned franchise. FASTSIGNS began by printing graphics for Miele Manufacturing, then opened their store to provide other companies within a 60-mile radius signage and graphics.
Clearly, one of the best aspects of the Miele Group is how the company and its employees help to improve lives and make a difference in the communities they serve. For example, revenue generated by the skill games is used as part of the nonprofit Pennsylvania Skill Charitable Giving.
Nicole is the director of Pennsylvania Skill’s Charitable Giving. These donated funds are granted to all kinds of Pennsylvania non-profits, like volunteer fire companies, community organizations and veterans groups, she said. On any given month, the Miele’s and their team can be seen out and about Pennsylvania communities proudly raising the big checks – made possible by the revenue from the skill games.
Additionally, Nicole is the president of Angelina’s Song. This will tug at anyone’s heart. Founded by Lou and Nicole in 2017 in memory of Angelina Miele, who succumbed at age 11 to cancer, the Miele’s raise funding for music therapy programs.
“Angelina loved music,” Nicole said. The charity allows children in hospitals throughout the United States to have access to music and music therapies, she said. “Music is such a powerful tool in helping children cope with the uncertainty of being in the hospital and the discomfort of treatments and procedures they need to endure”.
Music can lower heart rates in premature and newborn babies, can be used as a distraction during painful procedures in which very often the amount of medicine needed can be lessened. Music therapy is used to regain speech after brain traumas, and playing instruments is often used as physical therapy to motivate patients to achieve physical goals and milestones.
Using music-delivery devices such as jukeboxes, donated by TouchTunes, the children can hear music of their choice while they undergo therapy and treatment at medical facilities such as the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and UPMC Pittsburgh, and their newest jukebox installation location, Children’s Minnesota.
“It is a charity that we feel strongly about and it is truly our “therapy“. Helping children in Angelina’s memory helps us to deal with the pain of losing her,” Nicole said.
For those who want to contribute to Angelina’s Song, you can visit the website angelinassong.org.
This article was originally published on Dec. 6, 2023, in the Williamsport Sun-Gazette's Chamber Connection.
SUN-GAZETTE FILE PHOTO Nicole Miele, public relations, right, and Louis Miele, president of Miele Manufacturing, right, at Miele Manufacturing in Muncy Township.