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Jeffrey McKinnon, CRC, a financial adviser with the Nanticoke office, recently obtained the Certified Financial Planner certification. McKinnon completed course work and a series of examinations covering financial planning, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning.

Individuals with CFP certification agree to meet ongoing continuing education requirements and uphold the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct developed by the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards Inc.




Lucia Piccolino of Scranton is celebrating one year with her company, which she opened with her boyfriend, Glynn D. Murphy, on June 1, 2018.



Attorney John A. Bednarz Jr., a resident of Shavertown who maintains a Wilkes-Barre office, has again been selected a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2019.

The firm also announced Philadelphia Magazine has for 11 consecutive years named Bednarz as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in the field of workers’ compensation law. Since 1991, Bednarz has been a board-certified civil trial attorney as recognized by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and is the only claimant’s attorney practicing in Wilkes-Barre named a Super Lawyer in the practice area of workers’ compensation. He represents only injured workers.



Kacey Conaty and Elyse Nehring were recently hired as Realtors working from the Stroudsburg office at the BHG Business Campus.

Conaty, originally from Queens, New York, has lived in the Poconos for 30 years and currently resides in the West End area. Conaty is a 2018 graduate of the Pocono Real Estate Academy. Prior to real estate, she worked as a bartender.

Nehring, originally from Shabbona, Ill., has lived in the Poconos for five years in the Long Pond area. Nehring is a December graduate of the Pocono Real Estate Academy. Prior to real estate, Nehring worked as an associate teacher in special needs classrooms.

Conaty and Nehring are now members of the Pocono Mountains Association of Realtors, PAR and NAR.



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

The institute 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 the institute’s rigorous selection process, which is based on client and/or peer nominations, thorough research and the institute’s independent evaluation. The institute’s annual list was created to be used as a resource for clients during the attorney selection process.



Mike Show has been named the university’s recruitment and relations administrator.

Show will develop relationships with churches, schools, camps and organizations to connect with students who want to join the school’s undergraduate residential community to become Christ-centered, career-ready graduates.

After Show earned his bachelor’s degree from the university in 1992, he accepted a job in the school’s admissions department, where he worked for 10 years. In 2003, he became assistant athletic director and was soon promoted to athletic director, where he served until early 2015.



Lori Spencer joined the Kingston office. She completed her real estate education at PA Real Estate Academy and is a multimillion-dollar producer. Spencer chose the realty firm because she felt it has the positive family atmosphere that will not only assist her to excel in her business, but will also allow her to help her clients achieve their real estate goals.



John J. Pekarovsky III has been promoted to vice president, commercial banking officer, in Wilkes-Barre.

In his expanded role, Pekarovsky will manage existing commercial banking relationships, as well as develop and grow new commercial relationships in the region. He will be responsible for training, guiding and assisting branch lenders in the commercial lending field. He brings to the position 12 years of experience in the financial industry.

Pekarovsky joined the bank as a credit analyst in 2007. He was promoted to the commercial lending team in 2012 and most recently served as assistant vice president for commercial lending.



The bank celebrated the milestones of 15 individuals marking five, 15, 20, 30 and 35 years with the bank. During the dinner celebration, each honoree was presented with a gift commemorating their anniversary.

Employees honored were: Karen Brown and Cheryl Smith, 35 years; Gary Beilman, 30 years; Sue Keesler, 20 years; Barb Marsicano, Michelle Urban, Lisa Steiner and Simone Palmer, 15 years; Lisa Cavage, Raynell Lenz, Gwynn Bartholomay, Justin Mikolaski, Amanda Waldron, Gail Ketcham and Donna Sangster, five years.



The Wilkes-Barre personal injury law firm announced that attorneys Daniel J. Distasio and Michael J. Kowalski have been named 2019 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers.

Distasio and Kowalski are receiving the honor for the 11th consecutive year. Both have been top rated in the category of Personal Injury Attorney. Super Lawyers are composed of outstanding attorneys who have achieved the highest level of peer recognition and professional achievement.

No more than 5% of all Pennsylvania lawyers receive the honor bestowed by Super Lawyers magazine each year. Super Lawyers is a rating of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas. The annual selections are made using a multiphase process that includes nominations, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews and evaluation by practice area.



The self-performing facilities maintenance firm, specializing in the maintenance and support of commercial and industrial facilities, recently announced the promotion of Nick Bair to senior account manager.

Bair joined the team in 2004 as a landscape and lawn maintenance laborer. After graduating from college, he rejoined the team as recruitment manager in the fall of 2015. His skills in sales and recruiting, along with his strong knowledge of operations, helped him quickly move into an account manager role.



Doreen Rakowski, the Exercise Lady and certified group exercise instructor, has been awarded three certificates in tai chi from Dr. Paul Lam’s Tai Chi for Health Institute. Rakowski is now board certified to teach tai chi for arthritis, seated tai chi for arthritis, and tai chi for arthritis and fall prevention. She is a tai chi instructor at the community center in Kingston.



Employees Kathryn Bommer and Julianna Leco received awards April 24 at the American Trauma Society PA Division conference in Harrisburg. Bommer, a trauma education and injury prevention outreach coordinator at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, was honored with the 2019 ATSPA Trauma Prevention Recognition Award, presented to an individual or group who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in trauma prevention. Leco, a registered nurse in the progressive care unit at GCMC, received the Barbara Esposito Excellence in Trauma Nursing Award, which honors a trauma staff nurse who has displayed excellence in any of the following areas: clinical expertise, leadership, research, education, prevention, outreach and patient advocacy.

David K. Vawdrey, Ph.D., a biomedical informatics executive, has been named the health system’s chief data informatics officer. In his role, Vawdrey will be responsible for implementing transformational technologies and bringing value by harmonizing data across the clinical care, research and health plan enterprise.

Previously of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University, he joins with more than a decade of experience developing and evaluating innovative clinical information systems interventions that have benefited clinicians and patients across the country. His research has resulted in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications.



Five providers have been added to the Women’s Health department, whose services have strengthened care in the areas of obstetrics/gynecology, maternal-fetal medicine and perinatology.

Alexandria Betz, D.O., is certified in obstetrics and gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She specializes in maternal-fetal medicine and practices at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville and Geisinger Maternal-Fetal Medicine in Forty Fort.

Betz completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at GMC, and was fellowship-trained in maternal-fetal medicine at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City, Iowa.

She is a professional member of the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Fereshteh Boozarjomehri, M.D., is a board-certified perinatologist who specializes in maternal-fetal medicine. She is certified in obstetrics and gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and she practices at Geisinger Maternal Fetal Medicine in Forty Fort.

She completed residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, and the Wisconsin University Sinai Samaritan Medical Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was fellowship trained in obstetrics and gynecology and maternal-fetal medicine at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Lucinda Mirra, D.O., is certified in obstetrics and gynecology by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and practices at the Geisinger East Mountain Specialty Clinic and Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Twp.

Mirra completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood. She also attained a certificate in psychology of leadership from Cornell University Johnson Graduate School of Management.

She is a professional member of the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association and a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Akhila Rajaram, D.O., is an obstetrician and gynecologist who practices at Geisinger East Mountain Specialty Clinic and GWV in Wilkes-Barre.

Rajaram earned her degree in osteopathic medicine from the William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at GMC.

She is a professional member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Shivani Shah, M.D., is a board-eligible obstetrician and gynecologist who practices at Geisinger East Mountain Specialty Clinic and GWV in Wilkes-Barre.

Shah earned her degree in medicine from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit and completed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Christiana Care Health Systems in Newark, Delaware.

She is a professional member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.



Amy S. Luyster, vice president of the chamber, was selected to participate in the third cohort of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s premiere business leadership program. The Business Leads Fellowship Program trains and equips leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.

Following a competitive application and selection process, Luyster was selected along with 33 other state and local chamber executives to participate in the third class of this program.



John T. Cognetti, CCIM, SIOR, was recognized at the SIOR World Conference in Washington, D.C., for his 30-year membership in the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors.

SIOR is an international professional organization of more than 3,200 commercial real estate professionals who have earned the coveted designation.

Cognetti has more than 40 years of commercial real estate experience. As president of the firm, he is responsible for molding the company and its people in a direction that creates growth while striving to provide competent, professional and ethical commercial real estate services to the region.




Ted Radu, trust specialist, is now vetted as a Certified Financial Planner professional. The CFP is a formal recognition of expertise in the areas of financial planning, taxes, insurance, estate planning and retirement. In his current role, Radu is a member of the HNB Financial Group, which works closely with customers to support their daily financial planning needs as well as their long-term goals and strategies.

Radu began his career with the bank in November 2009, gaining experience as a teller and in the bookkeeping department, before joining the trust department in 2015.

Michelle Kowalewski has joined the bank as a mortgage adviser in Susquehanna County. Kowalewski gained lending experience through agricultural financial institutions before joining the bank. Along with her time in banking, Kowalewski also worked as an Agricultural Enterprise Extension educator for Pennsylvania State University, developing and delivering educational programs for youth and adults in the areas of agricultural entrepreneurship, business planning, marketing and financial analysis.



Six of the firm’s lawyers have been named to the 2019 Super Lawyers List. No more than 5% of the lawyers in Pennsylvania are selected by Super Lawyers.

Super Lawyers, part of Thomson Reuters, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Named were: Joseph A. Quinn Jr., medical malpractice law; Donald C. Ligorio, workers’ compensation law; and Michael A. Lombardo III, general litigation.

Additionally, Quinn has been named to the 2019 Top 100 Lawyers in Pennsylvania list. He has appeared on the Super Lawyers list every year since the program began.

The following lawyers of the firm have been named to the 2019 Super Lawyers Rising Stars list: Brian Q. McDonnell, personal injury, plaintiff; Nicole M. Santo, personal injury, plaintiff; and Brian P. Stahl, business/corporate law.

The foundation held a private dinner at the Colonnade on June 5 to honor Douglas G. Allen, R.Ph., who has served as chairman of the board of directors for 35 years, since its inception in 1984.

Allen is a registered pharmacist, and owner and president of Allen’s Pharmacy in Scranton. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Moses Taylor Hospital and is a member of the board of Regional Hospital. He was instrumental in leading the 2012 sale of Moses Taylor Hospital System to Community Health Systems of Franklin, Tennessee. The net proceeds from the sale endowed the foundation.



Pittston-based lawyer Jennifer Menichini became the chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division at the PBA Annual Meeting held May 17 in Lancaster.

Active at both the state and local levels of the bar, she is the current chairwoman of the PBA Federal Practice Committee’s Outreach and Diversity Subcommittee.

Since 2015, Menichini has been a voting member of the PBA House of Delegates. She was also a member of the PBA Bar Leadership Institute, class of 2015-16.

Menichini also is a member of the Wilkes-Barre Law and Library Association and the Monroe County Bar Association.



The third-party logistics provider has named Richard McDuffie chief operating officer, effective immediately. McDuffie brings close to 30 years of supply chain expertise spanning the retail, manufacturing and 3PL industries. He is an accomplished operations and supply chain executive with extensive knowledge in strategic planning, transportation and fleet management, warehouse operations management, supply chain systems integration and collaborative program development. He was formerly chief operating officer and board member of Dunavant Enterprises Inc.

Stan Schrader was named chief commercial officer, effective immediately. Schrader brings more than 35 years of supply chain experience with a strong background in building and scaling highly successful logistics sales organizations. His expertise includes strategic planning, business integration, solutions design, continuous improvement, customer relationship building and the management of national sales teams. Most recently, Schrader served as the chief sales officer at MXD Group, which Ryder purchased in 2018.



Jeffrey A. Marshall, certified elder law attorney Matthew J. Parker and certified elder law attorney Tammy A. Weber at the local elder law and estate planning firm, were named to the 2019 Super Lawyers list by the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers organization. Marshall has been named to the Super Lawyers list each year since the list was founded in 2004. This is the 10th year that Parker has been named to the list.

The Super Lawyers designation is based on peer recognition and professional achievement. No more than 5% of the lawyers in each state are selected by the research team to receive this honor.



Matthew P. Keris, shareholder in the health care department in the Scranton office, has been appointed to the editorial board of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority’s new Patient Safety journal. The quarterly, peer-reviewed journal will highlight advancements in clinical practice that have reduced patient harm, and will blend the latest scientific research with real-life, practice-based solutions.

The editorial board includes some of the country’s leading doctors, medical and safety professionals, as well as distinguished members of academia who teach and research patient safety outcomes.



David Palmiter, Ph.D., professor of psychology, was recently approved for fellow status with the American Psychological Association for two divisions: Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (division 53) and Society of Media Psychology and Technology (division 46). Palmiter is also a fellow for APA’s largest division, Psychologists in Independent Practice (division 42).

Palmiter has more than 25 years of experience as a psychologist. In addition to being a fellow of the association, he is an author, past president of the Pa. Psychological Association and a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Psychology and PPA.



Lawrence J. Moran Sr. of the Scranton law firm has achieved recertification as a civil trial and criminal trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Moran is one of only two attorneys nationwide to have held dual certification in civil and criminal trial advocacy since 1994. In addition, he was also appointed as a member of the Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners for a term of three years.



Melinda C. Ghilardi of the law firm will serve a three-year term as the unit county governor on the Pennsylvania Bar Association Board of Governors. Her term began at the PBA Annual Meeting held May 17 in Lancaster.

Prior to joining the law firm in March, Ghilardi worked as an assistant federal public defender for more than three decades, with 29 of those years as the first assistant.

Ghilardi is a voting member of the PBA House of Delegates for Zone 5, which includes Bradford, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties. She serves on the PBA Credentials and Admission Committee.



Attorney Catherine R. O’Donnell has been selected as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for 2019. This marks the ninth time she has been selected for this recognition. Each year, only 5% of the Pennsylvania Bar receives this distinguished honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

Attorney Michael A. O’Donnell has been chosen for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Rising Star Lawyer list for 2019. This is the third year he has been recognized with the prestigious designation. Rising Star Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, and are either 40 years old or younger or in practice 10 years or less.

Attorney Neil T. O’Donnell, owner and founder at the law firm, has been chosen for inclusion in the Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Top 10 list for 2019. He has also been recognized as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer. This is the second time O’Donnell has been named Top 10 and the 16th consecutive year he has been recognized with the 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.



Nicole T. Buckman, a certified public accountant, was elected president of the Northeastern Chapter of PICPA for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.

Buckman is a senior tax accountant at Kohanski & Co. PC in Moosic, specializing in bookkeeping, taxation and forensic accounting. She is secretary of the Northeast Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants.

Other 2019-2020 officers elected at PICPA’s Northeastern Chapter annual meeting include:

David J. Marsiglio, CPA, president-elect, is the business administrator of Bloomsburg Area School District. He serves on the PICPA Northeastern Chapter Schools and Colleges Committee. Marguerite M. Donato, CPA, secretary, is the controller at Penn East Federal Credit Union in Scranton. She is a member of the PICPA Northeastern Chapter Emerging CPAs Committee. Diana L. Davis, CPA, treasurer, is a partner with Eckersley and Ostrowski LLP in Scranton. She is a member of the PICPA Northeastern Chapter Emerging CPAs Committee.



Robin Lee Medeiros, a 27-year resident of the Abingtons, joined the real estate firm. She has been an agent for roughly 14 years. She is currently a member of the Scranton board of directors and volunteers for various causes in the community.



Stephanie J. Etter has been promoted to chief compliance officer. In this role, Etter is responsible for developing and monitoring the firm’s compliance program, ensuring that all activities of the firm meet regulatory requirements and acting as a liaison with legal and regulatory bodies on compliance-related issues.

Etter most recently served as the firm’s operations manager, where she oversaw the daily operations activities, served as a liaison between the operations team and top management while establishing and implementing processes and procedures.

Etter is a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries.



The foundation announced three elected members of the board of governors. Ellen Burkey, David Price and Bobby Lynett, all of Lackawanna County, have joined 13 other board members this year to serve as stewards of the Foundation to carry out the mission of enhancing the quality of life for all people in the Lackawanna County region through the development of organized philanthropy.

Burkey is a financial adviser with Ameriprise Financial in Clarks Summit. In addition to serving on the board at St. Mary’s Villa in Elmhurst, Burkey is a member of the Abington Lions Club as well as a former basketball commissioner and coach. She teaches financial confidence classes through the Women in Philanthropy initiative at the foundation in conjunction with the SBDC at the University of Scranton. She resides in Dalton.

Price is the former president/CEO and current owner and consultant of PDQ Print Center in Taylor, and owner of a commercial real estate company. He serves on the board of Geisinger Marworth and has served on the board for Johnson College, the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Scranton, Wilkes College MBA Advisory Council, Metro Action, Waverly Country Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of NEPA and the Salvation Army Advisory Board. He resides in Clarks Summit.

Lynett is current owner and president of Pa. Signs LLC of Scranton and Sekula Signs of DuBois. Recently, Lynett was publisher of The Times-Tribune, CEO of Times-Shamrock Communications and managing director of Elk Lake Capital, from 2009 to 2018. Lynett has served on the board for Scranton Tomorrow, the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, the ARC of Northeastern Pa., Northeastern Pa. Council Boy Scouts of America, United Neighborhood Centers and the Lackawanna County Workforce Investment Board. He resides in Scranton.



The advisory board elected Betsy Storey-Bono as the new board chairwoman. Storey-Bono joined the advisory board in May 2016 and succeeds Michael Tukeva, president and CEO of Pocono Mountains United Way.

Storey-Bono is the director of business development and marketing for Concannon Miller, the Lehigh Valley’s leading certified public accounting and business consulting firm. Storey-Bono started with the firm in 2003 as its first marketing professional and has since added three members to her team.

In addition to her new role as chairwoman, Storey-Bono is a member of the ArtsQuest marketing committee and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) — Lehigh Valley.

The advisory board also named Lisa Higgins co-chairwoman. Higgins joined the advisory board in January 2018. She serves as an editorial assistant for retire




After more than 20 years leading the credit union, John Hayduk announced his retirement in March. He has served as the CEO since 1995. His successor, 38-year credit union veteran and CFO Kim DeAngelo, accepted the position as CEO, effective April 1.




A project by Ana Ugarte, Ph.D., assistant professor of world languages and cultures, was among the just 233 humanities projects from across the country to be awarded National Endowment for the Humanities grants. Her proposal is among 16 projects in Pennsylvania to receive funding.

Ugarte received a NEH Humanities Connections Planning Grant of $34,958 for her project to “support academic programs that integrate multiple disciplines.”

She joined the faculty in the fall of 2018. She previously taught at Duke University, where she completed her doctorate in romance studies and Spanish.



COO Dave Devereaux, a Scranton native, was recently honored by Temple University’s Fox School of Business as a Centennial Honoree. Centennial Honorees are recognized as the most influential people in the school’s lineage, highlighting individuals who have made a significant impact on the school, the community or the business world at large.

Joining the company in June 2017, Devereaux brought with him 40 years of health care experience.



Scranton native Gabrielle Giombetti, an associate in the firm’s Philadelphia office, has been selected as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer.

Each year, The Legal Intelligencer presents the Professional Excellence Awards, including “Lawyers on the Fast Track,” which celebrates “the next generation of legal leaders.” Honorees are selected by a panel of judges from the local legal community. Giombetti is among a select group of only 25 attorneys that received the recognition in 2019. She joined the firm in 2015. Since this time, she has successfully advocated for clients in both jury trials and arbitration proceedings.



Katrina Maurer, FNP-CRNP-BC joined the staff of the Honesdale VA Outpatient Clinic. Maurer, a board certified family nurse practitioner, provides primary care to eligible veterans.

Maurer’s more than 25-year nursing career includes serving as a hospitalist with Advanced Inpatient Medicine managing high-caliber acute care at various local medical facilities — Wayne Memorial Hospital among them.

Maurer earned a Master of Science degree in nursing with a focus on critical care from DeSales University and received post-graduate certificates as a family nurse practitioner from Misericordia University and a geriatric nurse practitioner from Neumann College.



Interventional and nuclear cardiologist Sabu J. George, M.D., FACC, has been appointed medical director of the Heart & Vascular Center. Since opening in June 2016, the center has provided comprehensive, lifesaving heart procedures, including cardiac catheterizations with angioplasty and stenting, to more than 1,000 patients.

George has been practicing interventional cardiology for more than a decade. He completed his residency as well as several fellowships at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, including interventional cardiology and general cardiology. He was also an American Society of Nuclear Cardiology Research Fellow.

Board-certified cardiologist Nicholas Brodyn, D.O., FACC, FCCP, FACP, FSCCT, has joined the medical staff. Brodyn provides general cardiology services, including electrocardiography, Holter monitoring, stress tests, transesophageal echocardiography and nuclear cardiac scanning exclusively at Wayne Memorial.

Brodyn completed his internal medical residency and cardiology fellowship at St. Michael’s Medical Center, Seton Hall University, Newark, New Jersey, where he served as chief fellow in cardiology. Brodyn is board-certified in internal medicine, adult cardiovascular diseases and nuclear cardiology.

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