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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2018:04:12 12:18:04


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Laurie Granville celebrated her 38th anniversary with the company. She is a senior accounting and service director, working directly with camps on accounting issues. Granville joined as a claims assistant April 14, 1980.


Three new associates joined the multidiscipline engineering firm with offices in Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton. They are:

Clinton “Clint” Newton III, CSI, CDT, LEED AP BD+C, of Easton, joined the PMCS Group as a senior project manager. With nearly 20 years of experience in the architectural field, he has worked on numerous projects within the commercial, institutional, educational and residential sectors.

David Backenstoes of Germansville has joined the Codes Department as a code specialist. He has 25 years of experience in code enforcement and maintains several Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code certificates within the residential and commercial sectors.

Todd Gerhart, PE, SE, of Exton, joined the Forensics Department as a senior forensic engineer. As a structural engineer for nearly 35 years, he has experience in preparing structural assessments and forensic studies of various facilities and building envelopes. He is a licensed professional engineer in numerous states, including Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and Florida.


Simone Thomas was named the new memory care coordinator. In this position, she oversees the memory care community and ensures residents are receiving optimal care, implements and manages new programs, and trains incoming staff.

Thomas gained valuable experience through her former position as a resident care aide, which she applies in her new position. She has established relationships with residents, and their families are accustomed to her compassionate care model.


The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has recognized the exceptional performance of family law attorney Brian J. Cali as Three Years 10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction.

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass AIOFLA’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research, and AIOFLA’s independent evaluation. AIOFLA’s annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.


The American College of Real Estate Lawyers announced David E. Schwager, a partner in the Wilkes-Barre law firm, has been elected a fellow of the college. Schwager’s practice focuses on real estate transactions, creditors rights, title insurance, real estate taxation, land use and zoning, business law, commercial litigation and municipal law. Schwager is one of only 43 attorneys from around the country elected to the college this year and the only fellow from Northeast Pennsylvania.


Joseph Ferris, Dunmore, recently joined the bank in the position of senior vice president of lending. Ferris brings a wealth of banking experience in all aspects of mortgage banking operations, mortgage and retail lending, sales, origination, underwriting, processing and secondary market operations. Ferris has held several banking positions during his career. He has been a featured speaker and presenter for numerous banking webinars and conferences relating to mortgage banking products and services. He has been chairman of Maine Bankers Association Retail Lending Committee and speaker for Wealth Building Home Loan Panel in Washington.


Philip V. Savia Jr., M.D., has joined the physician network and will practice neurology at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. Savia specializes in headache medicine and will see patients in the Waterfront Complex, 670 S. River St., Suite 203, Plains Twp. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology with a sub-specialty board certification in headache medicine by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties.

■ Surgical Specialists, a group of six longtime physicians, has joined the physician network. They will continue to see patients at 200 S. River St., Plains Twp. All are on the medical staff at Commonwealth Health Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. They include Juan DeRojas, general/vascular surgeon; Barry Pernikoff and Imran Saeed, general surgeons; Chester Yavorski, vascular surgery; Clark Gerhart and Gary Neale, bariatric/general surgeons. Other providers in the practice are physician assistants Kelsey Griesback and Kyle Landis.

■ Three medical professionals have joined the medical staff of Berwick Hospital Center.

They are Ryan Hawley, D.O., a general surgeon; Rebecca Long, M.D., family medicine physician, and Michelle Hall, a certified nurse practitioner.

All three will see patients at Berwick Medical Professionals, 751 E. 16th St., Suite 400, Berwick. Long also will have office hours at 3151 Columbia Blvd., Bloomsburg.


Mayur Amin, M.D., a musculoskeletal and wound care specialist, has joined the medical staff as a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician.

Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians — also called physiatrists — are trained to treat a wide variety of medical conditions affecting the nerves, bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, brain and spinal cord.

He will see patients at Geisinger Community Medical Center’s Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine in Scranton and Geisinger Medical Center’s Wound Care and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Danville.

■ Michael Sobieraj, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon trained in complex adult reconstruction, including robotic-arm assisted joint replacement procedures, has joined the medical staff at Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre. Sobieraj specializes in primary and revision total hip and total knee arthroplasty as well as infections of total hips and total knees. He performs robotic-assisted joint replacement using highly advanced technology including Stryker’s MAKO System. He has been a first author or co-author on more than a dozen academic journal publications, has had multiple posters and presentations at national academic meetings, and has also been the first author of three book chapters.



Michelle Schmude, Ed.D., M.B.A., associate dean for admissions, enrollment management and financial aid, as well as an assistant professor at the school’s Department of Clinical Sciences, was invited to teach a session at the Harvard Macy Institute. Schmude presented “Communication Styles: How to Better Understand and Effectively Communicate with Others” with Brian Sharp, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Loma Linda University’s School of Allied Health Professions.

Schmude taught the session at Harvard Macy’s Program for Educators in Health Professions, held in May 14-18 at Harvard Macy Institute, Boston.


Stephen C. Daiute, PE, LEED AP has been promoted to executive vice president/branch manager of the Scranton office.

Daiute started his career with the company in 2003 and served as director of building engineering for the last seven years. In that role, he oversaw the MEP and Structural departments. In his new role, he will oversee all building, transportation and land development divisions within the Scranton branch, along with satellite offices in Allentown, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.



The health center, part of Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers (WMCHC), welcomes board certified family physician Charles Kovalchick, D.O. Kovalchick treats patients of all ages, from newborn to geriatric. He is accepting new patients for primary care and will cover walk-in patients as needed at the 543 Easton Turnpike site in Lake Ariel.


A certified registered nurse practitioner with more than three decades of medical experience has joined Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers. Lisa Miller, MSN, CRNP, FNP-BC sees patients from age 2 to adult at the Honesdale Family Health Center. She joins James Cruse, M.D., and Melissa Rickard, CRNP, DNP, FNP-BC, family nurse practitioner, at the Stourbridge Professional Complex office.



Jeffrey Witts has joined the bank as a vice president and deposit and loan operations officer. He has more than 17 years of banking experience and will be responsible for managing and directly supervising all of the bank’s deposit operations and loan processing functions.



Attorney Nicole M. Santo has been named to the Top 10 Under 40 in Pennsylvania by the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys. The academy awards the best personal injury attorneys in each state with a prestigious honor of being named “Top 10,” after a rigorous, independent selection process. A principal in the firm, Santo joined in 2010. Her practice is focused on litigating all types of personal injury claims, including medical malpractice claims, motor vehicle accidents, trucking accidents, product liability and crashworthiness claims.


Two executives, Robert S. Rolland and Amy Lynott, have joined the company.

Rolland, of Dallas, joined in February as a wealth management adviser and will be responsible for originating new business and relationships for the firm. He will be located in the firm’s Wilkes-Barre headquarters.

Lynott, of Clarks Summit, joined in March as a senior client services associate and will support the firm’s operational, financial planning and client services activities. She will be located in the firm’s Wilkes-Barre headquarters.

■ Michael Hirthler, a Shavertown resident, of the Wilkes-Barre branch was recently recognized among the Top 1,200 Financial Advisers in America by Barron’s. According to Barron’s, its annual list highlights esteemed financial advisers who were assessed on varying factors contributing to the quality of their practice. He has worked in the financial services industry for more than 30 years. He is founder and chief investment officer of the firm. Hirthler, who has been named to the list for the third time (2011, 2012 and 2018), is the only adviser in the region to receive this recognition.


A faculty member and two administrators from the college were presenters at the Fifth Summit on Global Service Learning held recently at the University of Notre Dame.

Dr. Margarita Rose, professor of economics, and Dr. William Bolan, director of the Shoval Center for Community Engagement and Learning, were presenters for the workshop titled “Dignity and Justice in Global Service Learning.” Two of the four goals of the session were to present evidence to attendees that “global” service learning can be effective domestically and does not have to occur overseas, and to review strategies of developing effective community partners.

Margaret Kowalsky, director of the Study Abroad Program, was a presenter for the “Transformative Service Learning Programs: Tools from the Catholic Relief Services Approach to Partnership.” Participants learned how the Catholic Relief Services campus partnerships allow students to advocate in the United States for policies that address the root causes of poverty and violence overseas.

■ Dr. Brian Mangan, director of the Environmental Program and professor of environmental science and biology, has received a $10,000 research grant from the Degenstein Foundation. The grant will fund Mangan’s ongoing research of salamander use of riparian forests and mercury contamination of the Susquehanna River and various terrestrial ecosystems. Mangan’s research has been funded by grants totaling in excess of $900,000.


Attorney Lawrence A.J. Spegar was recognized by Finance Monthly with the 2018 Social Security Disability Law Firm of the Year award. The publication recognizes attorneys in various areas of law with annual awards. Spegar has an extensive social security disability practice with more than 30 years of experience. His offices are located in Jessup and Pocono Summit.


Christina R. Brundage, M.S., Ph.D. student, of Mount Cobb, was named to the role of career engagement specialist. Brundage began her career at the university working with students, staff and faculty in the role of technology trainer. The Career Development Center, formerly the Career Services Office, works with various student clubs and organizations, holds live webinars, and uses software that enhances student, alumni and employer engagement, as well as showcasing alumni achievements.



Heidi L.K. Manning, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, recently presented at the inaugural “Women in Science Spring Symposium” presented by the Greater Hazleton Partners in Education. The symposium brought together professional women in the science, technology, engineering and math fields to share their experiences and expertise about women’s careers in STEM areas. Manning spoke about her career in planetary science, in which she has developed an instrument for the space shuttle and worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

■ Dallas resident Lisa Shustack, Ed.D., M.S.N., M.S.Ed., R.N., assistant professor of nursing, has been selected to participate in the inaugural “Digital Innovation Bootcamp: From Concept to Action,” sponsored by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and Apple in July. Shustack, a first-year faculty member in the undergraduate nursing program, is one of 30 individuals chosen for the highly competitive program through a nationwide application process. Apple will host the boot camp at its campus in Austin, Texas, from July 9-12. Shustack will join other nurse educators from across the country to learn about the leading technologies that are available to transform the higher education learning experience.

■ Susan McDonald, Ph.D., L.S.W., of Kingston, assistant professor and chair of the Department of Social Work, had her article, “Long-Term Care: Narrative Medicine With Older Adults,’’ published in the March-April issue of Today’s Geriatric Medicine.

In the article, McDonald examines the importance of narrative medicine for adults 65 and older, and the dichotomy of narrative medicine when compared to empirically based medicine. The narrative approach — the relationship between health and healing, patients and their illnesses, physicians and patients, physicians and their colleagues, and physicians and society — gives a voice to these relationships and encourages an understanding and articulation of the “human dimension’’ in health care.


The world’s largest tissue bank recently named Joe Yaccarino its president and chief executive officer. Yaccarino joined in 1997 as its first development engineer, creating new spinal grafts, which led to significant growth for the organization. He previously served as executive vice president of processing operations. He replaces Bruce Stroever, who retired after leading the nonprofit organization for 30 years.


Super Lawyers chose attorney Michael A. O’Donnell for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Rising Star Lawyer list for 2018. This is the second year he has been recognized with this prestigious designation.

Rising Star Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement and either 40 years old or younger or in practice 10 years or less.

Attorney Catherine R. O’Donnell was selected, once again, as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2018. This marks the eighth time she has been selected for this recognition. Each year, only five percent of the Pennsylvania Bar receives this distinguished honor.

The Super Lawyers selection process is multistage and includes peer nominations by attorneys and peer evaluations by practice area. Lawyers may not self-nominate or pay to be included on the Super Lawyers listing.

Super Lawyers chose attorney Neil T. O’Donnell, owner and founder, for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Super Lawyer list for 2018, and has also been recognized as a Pennsylvania Top 100 Super Lawyer. This is the 15th consecutive year O’Donnell has been recognized with these prestigious designations.

The annual selections are made using a multiphased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice areas.


Kevin E. Harchar of the Scranton firm was one of 11 lawyers newly certified by the Pennsylvania Bar Association Workers’ Compensation Law Section as specialists in the practice of workers’ compensation law. They comprise the fourth group of lawyers to have successfully completed the workers’ compensation certification process and join 199 additional lawyers currently holding certification.


Daniel Mahoney, Ph.D. ’81, G’85, a resident of Clarks Summit, professor of accounting, was selected by the university’s Business Club as the Kania School of Management Professor of the Year, marking the fifth time he has received this honor. An award-winning teacher and scholar, Mahoney joined the faculty in 1990. He was named Kania School of Management’s Professor of the Year in 2001, 2006, 2010 and 2014. He was also named the university’s CASE Professor of the Year, and received the university’s Alpha Sigma Nu University Award for Teaching Excellence and the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants Outstanding Educator Award. Mahoney also held a three-year position as the business school’s Alperin Teaching Fellow. Mahoney is a certified public accountant who previously worked as an internal auditor for the Prudential Insurance Co.


The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys recognized the exceptional performance of Pennsylvania’s family law attorney Brian M. Vinsko, who has offices in Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia, as “Three Years 10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction.”

The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state. Attorneys who are selected to the “10 Best” list must pass AIOFLA’s rigorous selection process, which is passed on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research and AIOFLA’s independent evaluation. AIOFLA’s annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.


Robert J. Mancuso, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the bank, was recently recognized by the Pennsylvania Bankers Association for his 40 years of service to the banking industry. A new inductee to the 40-Year Club, Mancuso was honored at the Pennsylvania Bankers Association Group 3 meeting that was held April 5 at the Scranton Cultural Center in Scranton.

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