Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania
The partnership has announced the promotion of Kathy Ann B. Minnich to executive vice president and chief administrative officer, in addition to her role as chief financial officer. Previously, Minnich served as chief financial officer.
Her role includes primary responsibility for planning, implementing and managing all of BFTP/NEP’s finance activities, including business planning, budgeting and compliance, and serving as the treasurer/secretary of the board of directors.
City and State Pennsylvania
State Rep. Bridget M. Kosierowski, D-Lackawanna, has been named to the “Pennsylvania Healthcare Power 100” by the news firm covering state and local government and politics in Pennsylvania.
Kosierowski shares the 36th spot on the publication’s list with fellow COVID-19 Vaccine Joint Task Force members state Sens. Ryan Aument, Art Haywood and Tim O’Neal.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Joint Task Force is comprised of the following: co-chairs Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield, state Sen. Art Haywood from the Pa. Senate Democratic Caucus, state Sen. Ryan Aument from the Pa. Senate Republican Caucus and state Rep. Tim O’Neal from the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus.
Claverack Rural Electric Cooperative
Nicholas Berger has been hired as the senior director/vice president of engineering and operations.
Berger brings nearly 20 years of experience in the electric utility industry to the cooperative. He most recently served as director of operations and safety for Pioneer Electric Cooperative in Piqua, Ohio. Prior to that, he had served as the assistant director for the City of Piqua Municipal Power System, where his main responsibilities involved engineering and technical services.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Berger holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Dayton.
Commonwealth Health Physician Network
Dr. Vikas Khurana, board-certified in gastroenterology and internal medicine, has joined the physician network. He specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the GI tract. This includes the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine (colon) and biliary system. He is experienced in upper endoscopies, colonoscopies and advanced endoscopy procedures.
His office at 743 Jefferson Ave, Suite 104, accepts most major insurance plans, including Geisinger Health Plan.
Stephen T. Kopko, an associate attorney at the Clarks Summit law firm, recently published an article in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly, a statewide legal news publication.
The article, titled “Use of Police Reports in State and Federal Court in Auto Accident Matters,” provided an analysis and guidance on how a police report can be used in litigating automobile accident cases in various trial courts.
Kopko is a magna cum laude graduate of King’s College and is also a graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law. He focuses his practice on civil litigation matters.
Joann Marsili, senior vice president, has been promoted to chief marketing officer. Under her direction, the marketing division has created a robust and competitive brand. Her emphasis on promoting the bank as the Best Bank, and her innovative approach to marketing, drives sales in all divisions. Marsili holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech communications/broadcasting from the Pennsylvania State University. She is also a graduate of the American Bankers Association School of Bank Marketing, where she is an instructor. She is a Certified Financial Marketing Professional.
Michelle Carr has been named senior vice president, retail banking director. A 15-year banker, Carr has directed multiple branches, offering guidance to managers and branch bankers to continuously enhance the client experience. She oversees the integration of the Landmark branches into the bank’s retail banking model to ensure that new clients experience the exemplary service to which longtime customers are accustomed. In her new role, she oversees an expanded branch network and the Customer Care Center. Carr holds Bachelor of Science and MBA degrees in business management, both from the University of Scranton. She resides in Covington Twp.
Jill Valentini has been promoted to vice president, regional retail sales manager for Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. Valentini has served the bank community for 13 years, fulfilling various roles throughout her career. Most recently, she served as retail branch manager of Dunmore, the largest Fidelity Bank office. Valentini holds an associate degree in accounting and finance from the Pennsylvania State University. A resident of Peckville, she is chairperson of the board of directors for Leadership Lackawanna, and a board member of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.
Hamlin Family Health Center
Ebi Rowshanshad, D.O., has joined the practice. As a physician specializing in family medicine, Rowshanshad will see patients ranging from newborn to geriatric as their primary care provider. The practice, part of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers, has been offering primary care and walk-in services in Lake Ariel since 2014.
After earning a medical degree from Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York City, Rowshanshad relocated to Scranton to complete his family medicine residency at the Wright Center for Primary Care. During this time, he served in leadership roles including chief resident as well as first- and second-year class leader.
Brianne Frascella, FNP-C, a certified family nurse practitioner who joined the practice in May, is accepting new primary care patients of all ages. The center provides primary and walk-in care at 543 Easton Turnpike in Lake Ariel and is part of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers.
Frascella holds a Master of Science degree in nursing as a family nurse practitioner from Chamberlin College of Nursing and a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Wilkes University. She formerly worked as a pediatric home health RN for Bayada Pediatrics and an ICU RN at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital.
Adrienne Mellott, program director of the college’s sport and recreation management major, successfully completed her doctoral degree (Ed.D.) at Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri.
Mellott’s dissertation is titled, “Comparing the Determinants of Student Intent to Return between College Students and College Student-Athletes at an Open-Enrollment, NCAA DIII Institution.”
Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station and Environmental Education Center celebrated its sixth annual Farm to Plate fundraising gala Aug. 14 at the historic Watres Lodge at Lacawac.
Each year, Lacawac chooses to honor community members and those who have helped shaped Lacawac’s future. This year, Lacawac’s dinner committee and board of trustees have chosen to honor the following:
Bruce Hargreaves, Ph.D., received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Research. Hargreaves earned his BA degree (zoology) from Pomona College in 1970 and Ph.D. from University of California Berkeley (zoology) in 1977. He started research at Lacawac Sanctuary in 1988 as a founding member of Craig Williamson’s Pocono Comparative Lakes Program.
In 2015, he retired from the Earth & Environmental Sciences Department of Lehigh University and moved back to his native California, but makes semiannual trips to Pennsylvania during which he works to maintain the environmental monitoring equipment.
Grimm Construction Inc., a family-owned and operated business organization specializing in commercial building construction, additions, renovations and retrofits, received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Education. The company was established in 1975 by Charles Grimm and in 1985 it was incorporated under the name Charles W. Grimm Construction Inc., an already trusted name in the construction business and which is now owned by his son, Rob Grimm.
Attorneys Melissa A. Scartelli and Peter Paul Olszewski Jr. received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Preservation.
Scartelli has represented seriously injured plaintiffs in the state and federal courts of Pennsylvania for nearly 30 years. She is one of the leading trial lawyers in Northeast Pennsylvania and won a record $10 million jury verdict for a young man injured by medical malpractice at Geisinger Clinic. It remains the highest jury verdict in a medical malpractice case in Luzerne County history.
Olszewski brings a unique blend of 37 years of litigation experience to the firm. Olszewski’s primary practice areas include medical malpractice, personal injury and criminal defense. He routinely serves as private counsel for local, state and federal law enforcement officers and also represents multiple law enforcement agencies in labor negotiations. In addition, he regularly serves as an expert commentator to both the television and print media on issues involving civil and criminal litigation.
From 1992-1999, Olszewski served as the district attorney of Luzerne County, and from 2000-2009, he served as a judge in the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas.
Ryanne Jennings, recipient of the Watres Community Service Award, has been the executive director of the Wayne County Community Foundation since fall 2019. She has her Bachelor of Science in public health from Temple University and certificate of nonprofit leadership from the University of Scranton, certificate in nonprofit management and certificate in nonprofit fundraising from Temple University. Jennings participated in the Leadership Northern Poconos program class of 2019. She was also recently awarded the 2020 Community Achievement Award by the Chamber of the Northern Poconos.
She formerly served as executive director at the Cooperage Project for nearly four years.
William McDonald has been appointed by the board of trustees as the university’s new vice president for finance and administration, effective July 1.
In his new role, McDonald will serve as the university’s chief financial officer and will oversee a range of administrative and business operations that support the university and facilitate the advancement of its academic mission.
He will be a key member of the executive leadership team, helping to define the strategic direction of the institution and providing leadership in the development and implementation of its financial and administrative infrastructure, along with its operational procedures.
Sunny Sinha, Ph.D., associate professor in the School of Social Work, recently co-authored an article titled, “Community-Based Strategies for Harm Reduction Among Sex Workers in Kolkata, India.”
In the article, Sinha and her co-author explore research that was conducted with diverse groups of sex workers in India as well as around the globe, which has shown that decriminalizing sex work can promote the health, safety and security of sex workers.
Sinha is also a Fahs-Beck Scholar, a doctoral dissertation grant program that helps support dissertation expenses of students in the U.S. and Canada.
Moses Taylor Foundation
Effective July 1, Jeff Smith and Christine Marcos have each been promoted to the position of senior program officer.
Smith, senior program officer for community grantmaking and capacity building, joined the foundation in 2016. Under Smith’s leadership, the foundation streamlined its grantmaking approach to strengthen partnerships with nonprofit organizations. He helped expand its focus on capacity building through partnerships with Scranton Area Community Foundation’s Center for Community Leadership and Nonprofit Excellence, the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development’s Sparking Transformation Using Information and Research Initiative and the Fund for Shared Insight’s Listen for Good Program.
Marcos, senior program officer for strategic initiatives, joined the foundation in 2018 to direct the planning process that determined the foundation’s strategic plan. Under her leadership, the foundation identified and refined its focus on expanding school-based health and reducing older adult isolation. Through a partnership with the National Association of School Nurses, Marcos commissioned a needs assessment and developed a plan to support school nurses across the foundation’s 11-county footprint. In partnership with United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, Marcos convened a broad group of local organizations to develop a plan for reducing older adult isolation in Lackawanna County.
Attorney Bruce S. Zero, a partner in the Scranton law firm, has been named to the 2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers list. He has been named to the list every year since 2007. Only 5% of the attorneys in Pennsylvania are named to the Pa. Super Lawyers list. Zero has been with the firm for 29 years concentrating on personal injury litigation, workers compensation and municipal law. He is board-certified as a civil trial specialist and pre-trial civil practice attorney by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He has also been the Moscow borough solicitor for 28 years. Zero currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Lawyers Fund for Client Security.
Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald LLC
Super Lawyers picked three Northeast Pennsylvania attorneys with the law firm for its list of outstanding attorneys in Pennsylvania.
The rating service recognized attorneys Richard A. Russo, Robert D. Schaub and James P. Valentine as 2021 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. Fewer than 5% of attorneys Pennsylvania receive the honor.
Russo, a personal injury attorney, has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for four consecutive years. He has also been recognized in the Best Lawyers of America.
Schaub, a business litigation attorney and chairman of the firm’s litigation practice group, was recognized for the ninth consecutive year.
Valentine, a labor and employment attorney and chairman of the firm’s labor and employment law practice group, was recognized for the second consecutive year.
Super Lawyers rates outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
Lee S. Piatt, an attorney with the law firm’s business and finance department, recently presented during a webinar titled “Keeping Your Nonprofit Afloat During Challenging Times.”
The presentation was part of a Wilkes University continuing education course on July 14. Among other topics, Piatt addressed alternative management and tax structures for nonprofits; changing mission or purpose; and tips on managing COVID-19 or similar crises.
Attorneys in the firm’s business and finance department routinely help nonprofit clients with a variety of issues, including those covered by Piatt’s presentation. Nonprofit leaders may contact Piatt at email@example.com or 570-826-5600.
The Wright Center
The Wright Centers for Community Health and Graduate Medical Education have appointed Allison LaRussa, Scranton, as director of health humanities.
In this newly introduced position, LaRussa will promote emotional wellness by engaging the organization’s physician trainees, employees, patients and community members in artistic activities.
A 2010 Marywood University graduate, LaRussa has long been active in the region’s arts scene, including First Friday Scranton.
United States Navy
A Lake Ariel native is serving with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), one of seven Marine Expeditionary Units, in the United States Marine Corps.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Louis Bouchard is a 2009 Western Wayne High School graduate. Today, Bouchard serves as a hospital corpsman.
Bouchard joined the Navy 12 years ago to continue a tradition of family service.
According to Bouchard, the values required to succeed in the Navy are similar to those found in Lake Ariel.
The 24th MEU is a Marine Air Ground Task Force currently based out of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
University of Scranton
Nine faculty members were honored with Provost Faculty Enhancement awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship or service. The Office of the Provost and the Provost Advisory Group selected the recipients from a pool of candidates nominated by academic deans and department chairs.
Douglas Boyle, D.B.A., received the Excellence for University Service and Leadership Award, which recognizes faculty members who have contributed service to the university community, particularly those who demonstrate academic leadership by effectively mentoring their junior colleagues. Boyle, chair of the accounting department and director of the DBA program at Scranton, joined the faculty at Scranton in 2009. He is the founder and director of the University’s Nonprofit Leadership Certificate Program. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Scranton, his master’s degree from Columbia University and his doctorate from Kennesaw State University.
Paul Datti, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Integrating Diversity in Learning Award, which recognizes a faculty member whose efforts to integrate diversity in the curriculum have enriched the students’ learning experiences. Datti, professor of counseling and human services, joined the faculty at Scranton in 2009. He earned his bachelor’s degree and doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University, and his master’s degree from the University of Scranton.
LeeAnn Eschbach, Ph.D., received the Faculty Senate Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, which recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates dedication to teaching graduate students in a manner that creates an encouraging and intellectually stimulating environment that promotes critical thinking and learning. Eschbach, associate professor of counseling and human services, joined the faculty at Scranton in 1986. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Washington State University.
Virginia Picchietti, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Advancing Global Learning Award, which recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated noteworthy academic leadership in integrating international issues/perspectives into the curriculum and through whose efforts, students have acquired the competencies, attributes and insights required to meaningfully and successfully participate in an increasingly interdependent world. Picchietti, professor of world languages and cultures, joined the faculty at Scranton in 1995. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Rosary College and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the Indiana University.
Charles Pinches, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Advancing Interdisciplinary Study Award, which recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates noteworthy academic leadership in promoting and strengthening cross-disciplinary or interdepartmental teaching and learning endeavors. Pinches, professor of theology ad religions studies, joined Scranton’s faculty in 1990. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
Rose Sebastinelli, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Integrating Sustainability into the Curriculum Award, which recognizes the efforts of faculty who make extraordinary efforts to introduce that sustainability into the curriculum. Sebastinelli, professor of operations and information management and Alperin Professor of Business Administration, joined the faculty at Scranton in 1988. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the Pennsylvania State University.
Lori Walton, Ph.D., D.P.T., received the Excellence in Integrating Mission and Justice into the Curriculum Award. This award honors a faculty members whose special efforts ensure that students have a keen understanding and appreciation of the realities of the world, including pressing justice issues in a local, national and global context. Walton, professor of physical therapy, joined the faculty at Scranton in 2020. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Andrews University, her D.P.T. from Creighton University and her Ph.D. from Nova Southern University.
Jill Warker, Ph.D., received the Excellence in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, presented to faculty members who make extraordinary efforts to enhance student learning and who practice teaching as a form of scholarship. Warker, associate professor of psychology, joined the faculty at Scranton in 2011. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the Bucknell University and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois.
Patricia Wright, Ph.D., received the Excellence in Scholarly Publication Award, presented to faculty members who have attained distinction in scholarship or creative activity. Wright, professor of nursing, joined the faculty at Scranton in 2007. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from College Misericordia and her Ph.D. from Loyola University of Chicago.