Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania



The board of directors has announced the appointment of Angelo J. Valletta as president and chief operating officer. Valletta will succeed R. Chadwick Paul Jr., who will retire on March 31. In his new role, Valletta will have full operating responsibilities for the company.

Valletta is a multiple award-winning senior business executive with comprehensive organizational leadership experience in areas including operations, technology and P&L. He has held positions of increasing responsibility in the financial services, information technology and human services sectors.

Commonwealth Health Physician Network



Tara McGraw, D.O., joined the network’s surgical team. McGraw is a member of the medical staff of Commonwealth Health Moses Taylor Hospital and Regional Hospital of Scranton.

McGraw specializes in minimally invasive and traditional surgery procedures. She received her medical degree in 2015 from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed residency in general surgery at Geisinger Health System Residency Program, Wilkes-Barre.

McGraw is accepting new patients in her office at 743 Jefferson Ave., Suite 303, Scranton. To schedule an appointment, call 570-207-0433. Most major insurances are accepted, including GHP.

Cummins Law



Attorney Daniel E. Cummins, managing partner of the Clarks Summit law firm, was recently invited by the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys for membership on its list of one of the 10 Best Attorneys in Pennsylvania for Client Satisfaction in the practice area of personal injury law.

Cummins focuses his practice of law on the handling of car accident and trucking accident matters, medical malpractice cases, product liability claims, and slip or trip and fall injuries.

According to the institute, Cummins was recognized for attaining the highest degree of professional achievement in this field of law and as a result of his impeccable client satisfaction rating.

Cummins also recently published two separate year-end review articles in the Pennsylvania Law Weekly, a statewide legal news publication.

The first article was titled “Shutdown Makes for a Quiet Year in Civil Litigation.”

The second year-end review article was titled “The Wheels Stopped Turning: An Unsettled Year in MVA Law.”

Cummins is a cum laude graduate of Villanova University with a degree in English literature and is also a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle. He focuses on civil litigation.

Dime Bank



William R. Boyle, senior vice president and chief lending officer at the bank, has been appointed to the Pennsylvania Bankers Association’s lending advisory committee. As part of the Government Relations Council of the association, the advisory unit will review and recommend proactive legislation in respective areas, on behalf of member banks, to the Government Relations Policy Committee. Boyle will serve a two-year term, which started Dec. 1.

Boyle has held community banking positions for more than 35 years and has been with the bank since 2011.

ESSA Bank & Trust

The bank announced attorney Carolyn P. Stennett and Dr. Tina Q. Richardson have been appointed to the board of directors. The appointments increase the size of the board of directors to 10 members.

Stennett is vice president, human resources at Victaulic Co. She leads the global human resources team and is responsible for all aspects of Victaulic’s people strategy that supports Victaulic’s strategic growth and corporate objectives. She was formerly the deputy director and general counsel for the National Head Start Association and assistant general counsel for United Technologies Corp.

Stennett received her juris doctor from Boston College Law School. She currently serves on the board of trustees for the Allentown Art Museum and Cedar Crest College.

Richardson is chancellor of Penn State University’s Lehigh Valley campus. As CEO of the campus, she is responsible for all managerial decisions related to strategic planning, academics, student experiences, financial resource management and facilities management. She was formerly associate dean of academic affairs at Drexel University School of Education and served 20 years as a faculty member at Lehigh University.

Richardson received a doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Maryland. She currently serves on several boards of directors, including Good Shepard Penn Partners.




The health system has appointed Don Thomas Rosini, a native of the Shamokin area and president of Shamokin Carbons in Coal Twp., to its board of directors

Previously, Rosini, who is a second-generation board member, managed the European fixed income derivative trading operation for the Bank of New York in London.

Additionally, Rosini is a board member of Together We Can, a nonprofit focused on fighting food insecurity. After growing up in Northumberland County, Rosini earned his undergraduate degree in finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

John Conte, M.D., has joined the health system as chair of cardiothoracic surgery and vice chair of the Geisinger Heart Institute.

Conte brings more than 25 years of clinical practice to the team and he provides surgical care in addition to serving in his leadership capacity. He currently cares for adult patients at Geisinger Medical Center, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and Geisinger Community Medical Center.

Conte specializes in minimally invasive aortic and mitral-valve surgery. He is an expert in valve repair and replacement, and — in patients with abnormalities of the aorta, such as aortic aneurysms — valve-sparing aortic root surgery.

Geisinger Health Plan



Karena Weikel, chief actuary, has been invited to join the Carol Emmott Fellowship program. She joins 20 other women representing 19 health care organizations across the country in the fellowship’s class of 2021.

The Carol Emmott Fellowship, a program of the Carol Emmott Foundation, accelerates the leadership capacity and national visibility of women in health. The program provides unique support and powerful resources to exceptional women leaders. Fellowship recipients complete a 14-month program with hand-selected mentors and a nationwide network of senior executive leaders in the field.

Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn PC



The National Board of Trial Advocacy announced attorney Joseph A. Quinn Jr. has successfully achieved recertification as a board-certified civil practice advocate. The NBTA was formed out of a strong conviction that both the law profession and its clients would benefit from an organization designed specifically to create an objective set of standards illustrating an attorney’s experience and expertise in the practice of trial law.

Board certification is the highest, most stringent and most reliable honor an attorney can achieve.

Quinn has set an exemplary standard for trial lawyers throughout Pennsylvania for more than five decades.

Lackawanna College



Stephanie Decker was named associate vice president of social and economic impact and a member of the president’s Cabinet. Decker previously served as the executive director of social and economic impact and as the program director for the Kiesendahl School of Hospitality. Under her leadership, her colleagues opened the student-run restaurant, 409 on Adams, which distinguished Lackawanna’s School of Hospitality as a school of choice for students to advance their careers in the hospitality industry.

Decker has served in a leadership role on specialized teams dedicated to driving the formation of new and innovative programs at the college.

Marywood University







Collier Parker, professor of art, exhibited five paintings in the Borders Festival Future Landscapes, ITSLIQUID International Art and Architecture Festival in Venice, Italy. The exhibition ran Oct. 16 to Nov. 29.

Parker earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Delta State University, Cleveland, Miss., and earned his Master of Fine Arts from the Rosary Graduate School of Fine Arts, Villa Schifanoia, Florence, Italy. His works have been selected for numerous local, national and international exhibitions.

Raul Santana Nunez, Hazleton, was recently named the director of military and veteran services at the university. Responsibilities as director include planning, organizing and directing activities related to student veterans, instituting initiatives according to identified needs and serving as a liaison for the university and larger community regarding working with student veterans.

Nunez earned his Bachelor of Arts and his Master of Education degrees from Bloomsburg University.

Nunez serves in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

An article addressing advanced saxophone instructional techniques by Fred David Romines, D.M.A., associate professor of music education, director of bands and co-chairman of the Music, Theatre and Dance department, was published in the November issue of the National Band Association Journal. The submission reveals several instructional insights routinely addressed in the university’s course, “MUSC 303A Woodwind Methods I” (a course required of all music education majors).

Romines has been a member of the National Band Association (NBA) since 1977 and presently serves the NBA as Pennsylvania state chairman.

McGrail Merkel Quinn & Associates PCEmily Clifford, CPA, has been promoted to manager. Clifford joined the company in January 2014 and has extensive accounting, audit and tax experience in not-for-profit organizations and family-owned businesses in various industries. As manager, Emily will be training and supervising staff while leading client engagements. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration from Wilkes University. Clifford is a member of the AICPA and the PICPA.

Anthony J. Gangemi has been promoted to senior associate. He has been a member of the team for more than three years. As a senior associate, Gangemi will provide accounting, audit and tax services for nonprofit organizations, employee benefit plans and small-business clients. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and a Master’s in Business Administration, accounting from Misericordia University. He is currently working toward the completion of his CPA license requirements.

MJ Travel



Owner Melanie Jascoviez, CTC/DS, recently earned her fourth Circle of Excellence Award from host agency Nexion LLC, which celebrates top agents who excel in their field. She has been a full-time travel adviser for 31 years and started MJ Travel, a home-based agency in the Abingtons, 10 years ago.

Munley Law



Attorney Marion Munley of the Scranton personal injury firm completed a week of speaking events at legal conferences around the country on Dec. 10. Munley was invited to share her expertise on trucking law and commercial vehicle accident litigation at virtual events based in California, South Carolina and Washington State.

On Dec. 3, Munley served on a panel of experts for the Superstar A-Z series hosted by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles.

On Dec. 4, Munley spoke at the South Carolina Association for Justice Advanced Trial Lawyer College Auto Tort Seminar and, on Dec. 11, Munley delivered a presentation at the Washington State Association for Justice Winter Conference.

Munley has also been named to the Board of Regents for the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys.

The ATAA is a leading nonprofit trucking safety advocate organization that counts more than 600 attorney and legal professional members across the United States.

Munley has represented victims of commercial truck and tractor-trailer crashes for more than 30 years. She is triple board certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in civil trial, civil practice and truck law. She has earned an AV-Preeminent designation from Martindale-Hubbell, the industry’s highest ethical and client satisfaction rating.

Realty Network Group





Wendy Dennis, a Realtor with a reputation for protecting her clients and their assets, is the newest agent with the company. She’s knowledgeable, hardworking and compassionate.

Dennis was drawn into real estate years ago because she loved people and she loved helping them get connected to a home where memories are made. She strongly believes a home is so vital considering it’s where families are created, provides a sense of security and also acts as an oasis of serenity, an escape from the world. While she enjoys assisting clients in a variety of ways, there’s nothing she appreciates more than being on the front lines with each and every buyer.

Sarah Farrell has joined the realty firm. As a native of Northeast Pennsylvania and a current resident of the Abingtons, she is very familiar with the areas in and around Lackawanna and Luzerne counties. She looks forward to connecting buyers and sellers in a variety of ways as she begins her real estate career.

Her skill set includes, but is not limited to, more than 12 years’ experience in marketing, sales and management for industries pertaining to resorts and travel. She also has a background in creative design, which will inevitably enhance her sellers’ ability to showcase their homes, especially when staging.

Riggs Asset Management



Former U.S. Air Force demonstration pilot and successful entrepreneur John “Slick” Baum joined the boutique investment firm in Wilkes-Barre this month. He brings a rich business history and strategic expertise to the team.

Baum, a resident of Shavertown, retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel. He co-founded and served as vice president for private contract air support company Draken International in Lakeland, Florida. Blackstone Tactical Opportunities invested in Draken as a strategic partner. After growing the company as a leader in the sector, Baum founded the Baum Group in Wilkes-Barre.

Step By Step Inc.



Lesley Corey, who brings with her a 29-year career in behavioral health care and developmental disabilities, became the executive vice president/chief operating officer effective Jan. 4.

She recently served as vice president of operations for a nationwide provider and was responsible for the oversight of six different states and a multitude of treatment programs, including substance abuse, applied behavioral analysis, outpatient therapy, case management, home health services and treatment foster care.

Corey is also an adjunct professor, teaching courses in the disciplines of psychology, education, sociology, human services and behavioral health.

Swift Kennedy & AssociatesSusan Guzo has been promoted to the position of public relations/marketing manager at the Scranton branch of the insurance brokerage firm. Her responsibilities will include writing press releases and other marketing materials, as well as publicizing the firm’s employee benefit services.

Before joining the company in 2014 as a client service representative, she and her husband David owned a small public relations firm that promoted businesses and nonprofits. Prior to that, she publicized television programs for PBS and books for HarperCollins, Macmillan and other publishers.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Tobyhanna Army Depot





Information technology specialist James Lentz and electronics mechanic John McHale were named Employee of the Quarter for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2020, junior and senior categories, respectively.

McHale is described by co-workers as a natural leader and his constant motivation is contagious. His innovative ideas have transformed how they repair military system components.

McHale’s other noteworthy attributes include mentoring less-experienced technicians and volunteering to partner with other depot organizations to improve how the team does business.

Lentz has faced his share of challenges this year keeping the team connected as the world responded to a health care emergency. He played a key role in helping to distribute hundreds of laptops to personnel authorized to work from home in accordance with existing mandates.

Lentz was praised by co-workers for his positive attitude and high quality of work despite the challenging conditions.

The quarterly awards program identifies and rewards junior-, senior- and supervisor-level employees who, in the performance of their assigned duties, have established a pattern of excellence.

University of Scranton



Research on mass spectrometry imaging by Katherine Stumpo, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry, and two of her students, now graduates, was published in an academic journal. They also have a patent pending on their imaging technique.

Stumpo, who leads a research group of 12 undergraduate and 10 graduate students at the university, focuses their research on mass spectrometry, which is an analytical technique that essentially weighs molecules.

Stumpo and then-University of Scranton students Nolan McLaughlin ‘20, Moscow, and Tyler Bielinski ‘18, ‘G20, Dunmore; along with colleagues Caitlin Tressler, Ph.D.; Eric Barton; and Kristine Glunde, Ph.D.; published an article titled “Pneumatically Sprayed Gold Nanoparticles for Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Neurotransmitters,” in the Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry.

Stumpo, McLaughlin, Bielinski, Glunde and Tressler have a patent pending for their “Method of Comprehensive Neurotransmitter Detection using Citrate-Capped AuNPs for Imaging Mass Spectrometry.”

Stumpo also published a chapter titled “Mass Spectrometry Imaging of Neurotransmitters,” in Mass Spectrometry, edited by Goran Mitulovic, in InTechOpen in 2020.

McLaughlin is pursuing a doctorate at Washington University in St. Louis and Bielinski is applying for admission to medical school.

Stumpo joined the faculty at Scranton in 2015. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa and a doctorate from Texas A&M University.

Wayne Bank





William S. Lance, executive vice president and chief financial officer, has been appointed to the Pennsylvania Bankers Association’s Financial Institution Advisory Committee.

The committee reviews and recommends proposed tax legislation and regulations and recommends policy positions to the association.

A graduate of the University of Scranton, Lance has served the banking industry for 40 years, including the last 10 years at the bank. In his current position, he is responsible for managing the finance division of the bank. His duties include finance and accounting activities, interest rate risk management, and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Francis E. “Trip” Crowley has joined the bank as a vice president and commercial loan officer. Crowley will be working with Lackawanna County’s team of business lenders in the Central Scranton Community Office to serve the needs of local businesses across the region.

He earned a degree in banking and finance from Wilkes University. He is an active member of the National Ski Patrol at Elk Mountain, a member and former president of the Rotary Club of the Abingtons, and is a regular volunteer at Our Lady of the Snows’ Annual Country Bazaar.

Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers







Board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist Alexis Felsman, DO, FACOOG, has joined the Women’s Health Center. In addition to seeing patients at both the Honesdale and Hamlin office sites, Felsman will facilitate births and perform surgical procedures at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale.

Felsman earned her medical degree from the Midwestern University’s Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine, Downers Grove, Illinois. She completed her OB/GYN residency at Inspira Health Network, Vineland, New Jersey, where she served as chief resident. She was previously a partner of OB/GYN Associates LLC, Wilkes-Barre, for four years.

Apurva Jain, M.D., pediatrician at the Sterling Pediatric Center, has been awarded board certification as a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatrics.

In addition to successfully passing the board’s General Pediatrics Certifying Exam covering all aspects of health care for infants, children and adolescents, Jain was also required to complete three years of pediatric training in an accredited residency program, prove clinical competence as well as demonstrate professional and ethical conduct in order to become a board-certified pediatrician.

The health system welcomes certified physician assistant Marci Kowalewski, PA-C, to its staff and announces the reopening of the Waymart Family Health Center at 29 Woodlands Drive in Waymart.

The primary care office is expected to open in early January. Kowalewski, who has been seeing patients in Waymart for more than 25 years with a practice originally founded by Marian Community Hospital and later acquired by Commonwealth Health Physician Network, will now be practicing under the direction of T.J. Luma, M.D. Luma is a board-certified family medicine physician who joined Carbondale Family Health Center this past summer.

Wayne Memorial Hospital



Keith Cordischi is joining the hospital staff this month. Cordischi completed a fellowship in orthopedic surgery sports medicine and arthroscopy at the University of Massachusetts, Worcester.

In his practice, he places an emphasis on the diagnosis and treatment of sports-related injuries, maladies of the shoulder and knee and general orthopedic trauma, with a surgical emphasis on arthroscopy of the shoulder and knee and reconstructive procedures of the shoulder.

Since 2013, Cordischi has worked at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lebanon, where he was instrumental in bringing biologic treatment (PRP injection therapy) to the veteran population.

Wilkes University

Wilkes University is honoring eight faculty members with the title of professor emeriti. Seven of the faculty members retired from the university this year. Steven Thomas is receiving the honor posthumously.

Emeriti status is an honor bestowed by the university to show respect for a distinguished career. The title acknowledges that though one may not be part of the institution any longer, the individual will always be part of the university community.

Nominated by colleagues and peers, eligible faculty members are presented to the board of trustees for consideration. Each of the eight faculty members received unanimous support.

The following retiring faculty members were honored in November:

Dale Bruns, professor of environmental science and former dean of the College of Science and Engineering; Bonnie Culver, associate professor and founder/director of the Maslow Graduate Creative Writing Program; John Gilmer, professor of electrical engineering; Sid Halsor, professor of geology; Mary Anne Merrigan, associate professor of nursing; Jacqueline Stewart, associate professor of nursing; and Bridgette Zielinski, associate professor of nursing.

Steven Thomas, professor of music and chair of the Division of Performing Arts, was honored posthumously. Thomas passed away July 12 at age 49 after a yearlong battle with cancer. In addition to his work at the university, Thomas was well known in the Greater Wilkes-Barre community as the music director of the Arcadia Chorale, the premier Northeast Pennsylvania chamber choir.

Wright Center







Linda Thomas-Hemak, M.D., has been named recipient of the Dr. Ann Preston Women in Medicine Award by the Pennsylvania Eastern Region Chapter of the American College of Physicians.

Thomas-Hemak is the chief executive officer of the Wright Center for Community Health and president of its affiliated entity, the Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education. Thomas-Hemak is a graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and the University of Scranton. After graduating as a Michael DeBakey Scholar from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and completing Harvard’s Combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency in Boston, she returned to NEPA to practice primary care.

Sister Ruth Neely, a certified registered nurse practitioner at the Wright Center for Community Health’s Ryan White HIV Clinic, recently received recognition from a national health care advocacy organization as part of its “Year of the Nurse” campaign.

Neely, a member of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, has devoted her life to serving the vulnerable and underserved. A graduate of Misericordia University, she started offering HIV outreach services back in 1997, years before the Wright Center’s clinic was formally established. The Wright Center received its federal Ryan White designation in 2000.

Walter Wanas, a registered and licensed dietitian and nutritionist, has been named director of lifestyle modification and preventive medicine for the Wright Center for Community Health.

In this newly developed role, Wanas will create wellness and prevention programs for patients, employees and community partners. He’ll work closely with the primary care teams and fellow clinicians to incorporate innovative lifestyle medicine guidelines — focused on preventing, and even reversing, chronic diseases such as diabetes, certain cancers, hypertension and obesity — into patient care, community outreach and employee wellness programs.

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