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20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

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Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

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Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

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Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

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For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

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Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

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William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

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Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

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At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

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William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

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As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

20 Under 40: Heather Davis

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Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

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Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

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John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

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“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

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Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

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David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

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Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

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Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

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Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

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As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

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Value of inherited Caddy is dubious

Q: I am now the owner of a 1978 Cadillac Seville Grand Opera Coupe. This was my grandmother’s car and one of a few hundred made of this model. It is not running, but I believe that is due to it sitting. It is all original and has very few miles. What is t (read more)

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There has been much conversation in business and government about the future of the American work force. Ready Nation Council for A Strong America endorses pre-Kindergarten education because the foundation of adult character skills is built in early childhood.

Those social-emotional skills known as soft skills involve managing emotions and impulses, solving problems, taking initiative, being flexible, communicating in teams, perseverance and resilience and empathy.

Data from the National Survey of Children’s Health show that many young children in Pennsylvania experience adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) (including poverty, divorce, death and violence) which hinder emotional growth and later success in the workforce.

A Wall Street Journal survey of 900 business executives, reported that 93 percent hold character skills as important, or more so, than technical skills and 89 percent reported difficulties in finding employees with these abilities.

Speaking out on the importance of investing in early learning programs is a governor-appointed group of about 70 Pennsylvania business leaders with members in NEPA and Lehigh Valley. The PA Early Learning Investment Commission (PA - ELIC) is co-chaired by Pete Danchak, president of PNC Bank.

Studies show that 3-to 4-years- old who participate in high-quality pre-kindergarten perform better in school, graduate at higher rates and earn more throughout their working lives compared to peers that do not have access to early learning programs, Danchak said.

“Statistics show kids are ready to learn, are more apt to stay in school, out of drugs, go to college and be productive citizens if they have high-quality early childhood education. And a huge payback is that for every $1 spent in keeping kids out of the system, $17 returns to society.

This is an issue dear to employers everywhere who are intent on building a healthy workforce of “employees who play well with others.”

“I’ll tell you why those social-emotional skills matter to my business, said Jack Brennan, chairman emeritus, former CEO and senior advisor of Vanguard. “Above all else, successful financial professionals must have a genuine sense of empathy that enables them to understand each client’s individual needs and goals. They must also work well with all of the other people who are instrumental to meeting these goals.”

Since 2003, PNC has supported early learning through “Grow Up Great,” a $350 million program dedicated to helping prepare America’s youngest learners for great things in school –- and life.

In 2003 the company focused its philanthropy on early learning. “It’s heavily data driven and its benefits affect all of us,” he said. The program involves advocacy; financial partnerships with organizations PNC serves, for example Head Start; Education: since PNC began the program in 2004, PNC Grow Up Great has distributed more than $121 million in grants to help young children prepare for school by focusing on readiness in vocabulary development, math, science, financial education and the arts; and volunteerism: PNC employees who volunteer get paid time off.

“It’s important to invest in kids, Danchak said. Write to the governor, your state senator and representative.”

This is especially important now since the Pennsylvania house has voted to move the budget bill to the senate with cuts to the governor’s $75 million boost to pre-Kindergarten programs.

Learn about the early education efforts of PNC at pnc.com and Ready Nation Council For A Strong America at strongnation.org.

— Christine

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