& Abrahamsen P.C.
The National Board of Trial Advocacy announced that Chip Abrahamsen, Ned Abrahamsen, Jim Conaboy and Kevin Conaboy of the Scranton law firm have all achieved board certification as civil trial advocates. Approximately 3% of American lawyers are board certified, putting the firm in a very select group who have taken the time to prove competence in their specialty area and earn board certification.
NBTA Board certification requires attorneys to be held to a higher standard of professional and personal conduct. The certification process includes an extensive review of credentials including demonstration of substantial trial experience, submission of judicial and peer references to attest to their competency, attendance of continuing legal education courses, and proof of good standing. Board certification is one of the highest accolades a trial attorney can achieve.
Diane Jason, OTR/L, CLT/LANA, recently earned re-certification as a Lymphology Association of North American (LANA) accredited therapist. She is the only LANA certified therapist in Northeast Pennsylvania. Recertification takes place every six years and is dependent on successful completion of continuing education, teaching, or publication related to field of lymphedema treatment.
Jason treats patients at Allied Services Wilkes-Barre Rehab Center. She received her certified lymphedema therapist certificate in 1999 from the Academy of Lymphatic Studies. In 2003, she obtained her Lymphology Association of North America certification.
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons
Nancy Naughton, an occupational therapist and certified hand therapist from Clarks Summit, has been chosen by the academy to serve on the writing panel of Appropriate Use Criteria for distal radius fractures, an updated set of guidelines for surgeons who treat fractures of the wrist.
Naughton, research division director for the American Society of Hand Therapists, has authored a book chapter in Rehabilitation of the Hand on distal radius fractures along with several publications in the Journal of Hand Therapy and Journal of Hand Surgery.
Century 21 Jack Ruddy Real Estate
Sales affiliate Aaron Pierce was recognized with the Century 21 2020 Quality Service Pinnacle Producer Award.
The annual award is based on results from the Century 21 Quality Service Survey which is emailed to consumers immediately after the purchase or sale of a home. To earn the award, an agent must receive completed customer surveys for at least 50% of their transactions surveyed from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, with an average survey score of at least 95% or better for two consecutive years.
Pierce will receive a customized glass trophy.
Ceremonies by Lori
Owner and founder Lori Prashker-Thomas has achieved Wedding MBA Certification, the gold standard for wedding professional education. Certification is awarded by attending and testing on in-person or online seminars.
As a wedding officiant, she performs joyful, meaningful and personalized nondenominational wedding ceremonies for all couples. This Wedding MBA certification enhances her abilities and demonstrates her commitment to offering the most up-to-date and personalized nuptials to couples seeking a wedding officiant.
Couples seeking a nondenominational and inclusive wedding officiant should contact her at www.ceremoniesbylori.com.
Cynthia Kordsmeier has joined the Kingston office. She resides in Harveys Lake, in the Back Mountain area. Kordsmeier was lead teller at a local bank, and currently works in the restaurant industry when not focusing on her real estate career.
Paul Orzel has joined the Kingston office after working for 30 years in the financial services industry. He has spent his entire life in Northeast Pennsylvania where he attained his undergraduate degree from King’s College and MBA from Wilkes University; he is just short of a Ph.D. from Marywood University. Orzel resides in West Wyoming and holds positions as an adjunct university instructor and a PIAA basketball official.
Ryan Janov has joined the Kingston office. A Forty Fort resident, born and raised in Wilkes-Barre, Janov fell in love with real estate while buying his first home. Janov got his real estate education through the Real Estate Academy.
Stephen Fowler, a resident of Wilkes-Barre Twp., has joined the Kingston office. He grew up in Wilkes-Barre, was educated at Luzerne County Community College with a degree in hospitality management and has had a career with Dunkin Donuts. He received his real estate education from the Pa. Real Estate Academy.
He has chosen this real estate firm because of the focus on change in technology and the implementation on using that tech to help everyone buy and sell property.
Valerie Sheaman has joined the Kingston office. Born and raised in Hazleton, she received her BSBA in marketing from King’s College. She currently resides in the Wyoming Valley area. Sheaman spent years in retail management, honing in on her clientele’s needs to provide them the best service possible. She later made a shift to the insurance industry, gaining strong knowledge in both personal and commercial lines, where she was able to connect with clients on a personal and professional level.
Franco Forgione has joined the Clarks Summit office. He has more than 10 years of real estate investing and mortgage industry experience in Northeast Pennsylvania. Forgione is a coordinator for the Student Assistance Program, which helps school-age students with mental health and/or drug and alcohol issues by connecting them with support programs. He combines his passion for supporting families and real estate to ensure a positive real estate transaction experience for buyers and sellers. He earned a BA from Pennsylvania State University and his MS from Wilkes University. He currently lives in South Abington Twp.
Katie Spurkeland has joined the Clarks Summit office. She grew up in Clarks Summit and received a degree in public relations from Susquehanna University. Spurkeland has had a career in product marketing at Pepperjam. She completed her real estate education at Penn State University. Spurkeland joined the firm to become a part of the same prestigious agency that helped her find and purchase her first home. She currently resides in Clarks Summit.
Daniel E. Cummins, who recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the opening of the Clarks Summit law firm, was selected for inclusion, for the sixth year in a row, in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America under the category of “Personal Injury — Defense.” This directory is one of the legal profession’s oldest and most respected peer-reviewed publications. Cummins is the only attorney in Northeast Pennsylvania listed under that category. He was also named a 2020 Pennsylvania Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters. He has been named a super lawyer for the past six years in a row.
The bank announced the promotion of Ferdinand Feola to senior vice president, chief technology officer and a member of the bank’s senior officer team.
Feola joined the management team in 2019 as vice president, chief technology officer. Within this role, Feola leads a strategic, cohesive bankwide technology program to align technology goals to other departmental and organizational objectives. Feola evaluates and implements new systems and upgrades existing infrastructure for the optimal use of data, information and digital technology platforms.
Feola holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Valley Forge and has completed FEMA Incident Command Training.
ESSA Bank & Trust
Amanda Haab was promoted to mortgage professional in the consumer lending division. Haab will play a key role within the division and further position the bank to expand its residential loan presence and capabilities throughout the eastern Pennsylvania region.
Haab has more than 14 years of experience with the bank, most recently working with the executive team as banking administration coordinator. Haab began her career serving customers through the branch network in a variety of positions including teller, customer service representative and assistant branch manager.
She’s attended both University of Phoenix and Northampton Community College.
The bank recently continued an annual tradition of honoring bankers for exemplary service and achievements with a virtual celebration. Three professionals earned prestigious awards. George Czajkowski was awarded Outstanding Service Partner; Shawna Halley was recognized for Excellence in Customer Service; and Michelle Carr was named Banker of the Year.
Czajkowski is assistant vice president and facilities manager. He was recognized as Outstanding Service Partner for his extraordinary commitment to the safety and well-being of Fidelity bankers and customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the onset of the public health crisis, he immediately addressed the needs of bankers. He ensured bankers were supplied with personal protective equipment, and created work spaces in compliance with CDC and Pennsylvania Department of Health guidelines. Workplace adjustments included installing barriers, adding signage, and implementing sanitation processes in all offices.
Halley is a customer care center specialist. Committed to providing exceptional service, she personifies the Fidelity Model Experience with every client and banker interaction. She is dedicated to providing an extraordinary client experience, and has proven to be a valuable team player who remains positive and productive in a fast-paced, demanding environment.
Carr is vice president and regional retail sales manager. She was named Banker of the Year in honor of her exceptional leadership skills, and the ability to incorporate the standards of the Fidelity Model experience into everything she does. The Fidelity Model Experience is focused on relationship banking, encouraging bankers to fulfill their unique roles with integrity, innovation, passion and commitment. Carr continuously seeks ways to improve processes, and she leads by example. She encourages her team to pursue their goals and strive to reach their greatest potential. A role model to fellow bankers, her positive outlook helps boost morale and inspire others.
Flitter Milz PC
Andy Milz, a trial attorney at the firm, has been named co-chair of the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) annual “Spring Training” conference; it began April 5 and will conclude May 7. Originally slated as a live event in New Orleans, the conference transitioned to fully virtual as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Milz is lecturing on conducting virtual Zoom trials at the conference, which educates consumer protection lawyers on developments in auto fraud, repossessions and credit reporting litigation. The firm (www.consumerslaw.com) has offices in Dunmore, Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York, and represents consumers in individual and class action matters.
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
Michelle Schmude, Ed.D., of Mountain Top, associate dean for admissions, enrollment management and financial aid, and an associate professor of medical education, was recently named to several boards of directors.
The Academy for Professionalism in Health Care, headquartered in La Crosse, Wisconsin, appointed her to its board and named her a co-chair of its education committee.
Luzerne County Community College named Schmude to its Scranton Center Advisory Board. In that capacity, she will advise LCCC on the educational needs and priorities in the Lackawanna County area.
The Northeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center (NEPA AHEC) announced that Schmude will serve as treasurer on its board of directors.
Growth Coach in the Poconos
The Growth Coach, the international business and sales coaching franchise, announced that franchise owner Rick Franzo has been recognized with the company’s international Summit Award.
The Growth Coach is the largest provider of affordable group coaching workshops in the nation, but coaches also offer group and one-on-one coaching. The company’s mission is to help business leaders build more successful business and more balanced lives. Franzo’s location works with clients in Scranton, Mount Pocono, Stroudsburg, Bangor, Moscow, Delaware Water Gap, Belvidere (New Jersey) and the surrounding areas.
Honesdale National Bank
Scott P. Prebich has joined the bank as vice president, commercial loan officer.
Prebich will be in charge of lending operations while working closely with the customers of the bank. In addition to offering a variety of lending services, he is charged with not only promoting the growing presence of the bank in Lackawanna County, but the evolution of the company entirely.
Prebich began his career in banking as a commercial lender with NBT Bank from 1999-2008. He then went on to continue his career as a commercial lender with First National Bank from 2009-2021.
Prebich received a Bachelor of Science in finance from the University of Scranton.
Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn P.C.
Attorney Lars H. Anderson, a principal on the business team at the firm, has recently been reelected president of the Wilkes-Barre Little League for 2021.
Anderson is very active in the community. Most recently, he was named to the board of directors of Luzerne County Head Start. He sits on the board of directors for the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. He has also served as chair of the personnel committee and member of the parish council at the Church of Christ Uniting in Kingston and is a member of the Wilkes-Barre Rotary Club.
Anderson graduated cum laude from the New England School of Law, receiving his Juris Doctorate degree.
The college has announced the recent appointment of three new members to its board of trustees: Debra Leftkowitz, Mark DeStefano and Thomas R. DePietro.
Lefkowitz is the president and CEO of Hocsocx Inc., a line of bestselling protective shin guard socks for sports. Prior to the creation of Hocsocx Inc., Lefkowitz owned a private practice working with patients on weight loss and nutrition for disease states. She has served on the board of directors for Temple Israel Wilkes-Barre, Jewish Community Center of Wyoming Valley, Maternal and Family Health Association and the Wyoming Seminary Parents Association.
DeStefano serves as the CFO of Pagnotti Enterprises Inc. and for the Latona Group of companies. DeStefano serves as a trustee and was the former president of the board of the Women’s Resource Center. He also serves as trustee and was the former chair of the Everhart Museum, trustee of Broadway Theater League of Northeast Pennsylvania, and has served on the boards of the United Way of Wyoming Valley, Scranton Cultural Center, Keystone College and several other local nonprofit organizations.
DePietro is a pharmacist and owner of DiPietro’s Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy located in Dunmore. The pharmacy has received numerous awards and recognitions over the past eight years from the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. DePietro has been recognized for his philanthropy by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, NEPA Chapter. He is actively involved in promoting the pharmacy profession and serves on the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association Independent Pharmacy Owner Committee and on the board of directors for the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Care Network.
Kayla Guilford, associate director of institutional research, has been named the director of the new satellite center located in Tunkhannock. The Tunkhannock center is slated to open in fall 2021 and will offer traditional bachelor’s and associate degrees and certificate programs and will be the future home of the School of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Guilford has more than a decade of experience in institutional research, compliance and accounting. Specifically, most of her professional experience has been in institutions of higher education.
Guilford was a 2018 Leadership Lackawanna Core Program graduate and currently serves on the board of directors as secretary.
District Attorney Mark Powell has been appointed to the executive committee of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, joining a dozen other top prosecutors from across the commonwealth in leading the state association.
Powell will replace Stefanie Salavantis, who recently resigned her position as Luzerne County district attorney to run for the Court of Common Pleas, on the PDAA Executive Committee.
Since he began serving as district attorney in 2018, Powell has risen through the ranks of the PDAA. He has taught a number of continuing legal education courses for the association and will make another presentation, “Blood Evidence from the Crime Scene to the Courtroom,” on May 4 in State College. It will be Powell’s eighth statewide presentation since becoming district attorney.
Maternal and Family Health Services
The organization has welcomed five new members to its board of directors. The new members are: Erica Acosta, associate director of diversity at Wilkes University; Dr. Lynn Coslett-Charlton, managing partner at OBGYN Associates; Suzanne Fletcher, independent finance executive; George Rable, chief culture and people officer at Benco Dental; and Gary Taroli, attorney, of Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald.
All are excited for the opportunity to consult on the agency’s board of directors by offering their expertise and insights on further developing the MFHS mission of care in the community.
Mohegan Sun Pocono
Michael Zullinger has been promoted to director of race and sportsbook operations. In this role, Zullinger will oversee racing operations, including live racing, at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, as well as onsite sportsbook operations at both the Downs at MSP and MSP at Lehigh Valley Race and Sportsbook, located in Allentown.
Zullinger has 27 years of experience with off-track wagering, starting his career as a part-time mutuelcq teller in 1994. He became a facility manager in 1997, and used his expertise to facilitate operations at off-track wagering sites in Carbondale, Hazleton and East Stroudsburg over the course of 23 years. In July 2020, Zullinger joined the team, where his guidance and dedicated work during the COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact, resulting in his recent promotion.
Thomas Sohns has rejoined the bank as vice president and commercial banking relationship manager.
Sohns has 10 years of experience in the financial services industry. Before rejoining the bank, he worked as vice president in commercial lending for Landmark Community Bank in Pittston. A resident of Dunmore, Sohns earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Scranton. He is also a graduate of the Pennsylvania Bankers Association Commercial Lending School and the Emerging Leaders Program.
Active in his community, Sohns serves on the board for Dress for Success Lackawanna and the Jog for Jude Planning Committee.
NET Credit Union
The credit union recently hired indirect lending manager Kim Kramer to begin their Indirect Lending Program. Kramer has previous experience working in the program’s industry at other financial institutions. Indirect lending will help increase both the membership and loan portfolios.
The credit union’s personalized service, next-day funding and competitive rates are just a few reasons why dealerships should enroll in the Indirect Lending Program. Indirect lending offers the convenience to prospective and existing members to sign all of the required loan documentation at the dealership without making a trip to the branch.
The board of directors has appointed Wendy E. Stark senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary. Stark will replace Joanne Raphael effective April 12, at which time Raphael will become executive vice president and chief legal officer until she retires on June 1.
In her new role, Stark will lead the corporation’s legal department and oversee the company’s ethics and compliance program. She brings more than two decades of legal experience to the company, with the vast majority of her service in the public utility sector. She joins from Pepco Holdings LLC, where she was senior vice president, Legal and Regulatory Strategy, and general counsel.
David Wintermute has joined the bank as senior credit officer. He will be a vice president for the bank.
Wintermute has spent more than 10 years working in banking and brings a strong background of credit analysis, underwriting and commercial lending. In this position, he will hold a leadership role in the areas of credit analysis, credit monitoring and commercial lending.
Wintermute earned a bachelor of science degree from East Stroudsburg University. He resides in Waverly Twp.
Quandel Construction Group Inc.
Michael Karcutskie was recently named president of the construction group, a Quandel Enterprises Co.
Based in Harrisburg, Karcutskie is responsible for overseeing the firm’s operations and developing its corporate strategy. Previously, he served as vice president of pre-construction and estimating.
Karcutskie began his career with the company in 1999 and over the past 22 years has demonstrated a deep understanding of the construction industry, starting out in the field, working on the operations side as a project manager, and contributing to the business development and estimating side of the business.
Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald LLP
Attorney Jack Zelinka, a member of the firm’s litigation team, joined a recent effort to draft wills and estate plans for our nation’s heroes.
He joined fellow attorneys and paralegals to draft estate documents for military veterans and first responders free of charge during several weeks in February. The Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association hosted the event Wills for Heroes, and participants signed and received their documents at Luzerne County Community College.
Zelinka currently serves as a command services and trial attorney in the U.S. Navy Reserves.
Attorney Paul T. Rushton, chair of the firm’s business and finance department, was published recently in the winter 2021 newsletter of the Business Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Rushton offered practical tips on how home improvement contractors can comply with a state consumer protection law in his article titled, “More than a Handshake Required: Practical Tips for Efficient Compliance with the Contractual Requirements of Pennsylvania’s Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act.”
Contractors who wish to learn more about HICPA and how to comply with it may contact Rushton at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 570-826-5623.
Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center
Welding program instructors Adam Kavka and Brian Pennypacker were hired for the 2020-21 school year. They are also joined by James Johnson as their lab assistant. All three bring years of experience in the welding industry.
Kavka brings 10 years of pipe welding experience in industrial construction. He was previously certified to weld on boilers, pressure vessels and other high energy piping. Kavka possesses an OSHA 10 training certificate.
Pennypacker has 11 years of experience with Pennypacker Welding. He also possesses a D1.1 unlimited certification from the America Welding Society.
Johnson, a new welding lab assistant, has been employed in the welding industry since 2013. He worked at Pleasant Mount Welding and Fabrication Inc. as a welder fabricator, press break operator, beam line operator and inventory manager. Johnson has been a sole proprietor operating his own welder fabricator business since 2015.
University of Scranton
The American Advertising Federation of NEPA recognized Stacy Smulowitz, Ph.D., associate professor of communication and media, with the Silver Medal Award at a virtual ceremony on March 12.
Smulowitz is president of Smulowitz Communications, a strategic communication and leadership consulting firm. She also serves as executive director of the Eastern Communication Association and education chair of Boost Business NEPA.
At the university, Smulowitz teaches courses in advertising, leadership and organizational communication. She often includes community-based learning projects for students in her classes.
Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, was among the distinguished panelists who participated in “The Francis Factor at Eight Years: Global Impacts, U.S. Challenges” discussion hosted by Georgetown University. The virtual March 18 event was part of Georgetown University’s Dahlgren Dialogues and was co-sponsored by its Office of Mission and Ministry and the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life.
Georgetown’s Francis Factor dialogues focus on Pope Francis’ mission and message, his priorities and leadership, his impact and the challenges he offers to U.S. Catholics.
Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers
The health system announced that Jessica Woodmansee, MSN, FNP-BC, is the newest primary care provider at the Honesdale VA Outpatient Clinic. The clinic, located at 600 Maple Ave., Honesdale, was established in 2014 to offer eligible veterans a continuum of care within their own community.
While earning her Master of Science degree in nursing as a family nurse practitioner from Chamberlain University, Woodmansee completed all clinic rotations — primary care, pediatrics and women’s health — at WMCHC offices.
Woodmansee was most recently employed as a family nurse practitioner at United Health Services Dermatology in Vestal, New York.
The Wright Center
The Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education recently welcomed four new community members with diverse backgrounds in education, public service and business to its board of directors.
Board members provide oversight of academic excellence and programming efforts to support the center’s mission of training caring primary care physicians who connect with and plant roots in the communities they serve.
Teri Ooms is the executive director of the Institute, an applied social science research and economic consulting organizations formed through a collaborative of higher education and business. Based in NEPA, the Institute produces community-based research and client solutions that provide strategies for growing organizational impact and sustainability. Ooms earned her master’s degree in finance and her bachelor’s degree in public administration from the University of Scranton.
Attorney Gertrude C. McGowan is the chief executive officer of Family Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania, a nonprofit agency that provides professional counseling, guardianship and operational services and programs to vulnerable populations in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe and Wyoming counties. McGowan is a graduate of Villanova University School of Law and earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and English from King’s College, Wilkes-Barre.
Debra Youngfelt is the executive director of the East Central and Northeast Pennsylvania Area Health Education Centers, a nonprofit agency that aims to enhance access to health care and improve the distribution of health care professionals through academic and community partnerships, and offering programs that are designed to recruit, train and retain a diverse health care workforce. Youngfelt earned her bachelor’s degree in health and safety education from Indiana University School of Health, Bloomington, Indiana.
Ronald Bukowski is a retired math and engineering educator, having taught high school and college for 40 years. He currently serves on the school boards for Mid Valley School District and Career Technology Center of Lackawanna County. Bukowski earned bachelor’s degrees in engineering/physics from the Pennsylvania State University and education/mathematics and psychology from the College of William and Mary, and Old Dominion University.