The dinner was centered around the success that CAN DO has seen over the past several years with its strategic plan. Chairman of the board, Dr. John Madden reflected on how CAN DO has succeeded in accomplishing many components of the plan through initiatives such as bringing stable and well-paying employment to the region by pursuing firms in the food processing industry, developing the CAN DO Corporate Center in Drums, fostering entrepreneurship through the CAN BE Business Innovation Center in the Valmont Industrial Park and partnering on many of the downtown Hazleton revitalization efforts.
Madden said, “CAN DO’s mission is ‘to improve the quality of life in the Greater Hazleton area through the creation and retention of a full range of employment opportunities.’ We are in the second year of a recently updated strategic plan that was much needed when we built it and that will continue to change as our environment and the needs of the Greater Hazleton area change. I am happy to report that it is a true blueprint for action and that it provides a yardstick for measuring performance. We are following our community-based strategic plan and, in the big picture, we are successfully using it to determine our direction.”
During the dinner, the 2017 Chairman’s Award was presented to former CAN DO Board of Directors President Eugene M. Dougherty and the CAN DO 2017 Partner of the Year Award was presented to Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress and accepted by Executive Director Krista Schneider.
President and CEO Kevin O’Donnell, along with Nancy Stasko and Charles Burkhardt, the Student Action Committee co-advisers, also recognized the graduating students of the CAN DO Student Action Committee, which is involved in developing and planning community service projects such as CAN DO Community Christmas and “Operation: CAN DO.” Burkhardt thanked the students for their dedication to the two projects and said it was a pleasure working with them throughout the year.
Stasko added, “These projects would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the members of CAN DO’s Student Action Committee, who are some of the best and brightest juniors and seniors from schools throughout Greater Hazleton. The students routinely express that their experience working with CAN DO allows them to gain valuable insights into economic development, as well as having opportunities to give back to Greater Hazleton through these community service projects.”
Student Action Committee graduates are: Samantha DeSpirito, Jerry Gasser, Pemely Guzman, Kayla Leonard, Joshua Narrow, Jenna O’Donnell, Lauren Pataki and Dominic Yannuzzi.
Sponsors for the 61st Annual Dinner were: Biros Septic & Drain Cleaning Inc., Karchner Warehousing & Logistics Co., Coordinated Health, Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services, First National Bank, Lehigh Valley Health Network, PPL, Leib Well Drilling, Borton Lawson, Meiser & Earl Inc., Northeast PA Manufacturers & Employers Association, BEKIDS Property Management LLC, Penn State Hazleton, BB&T, and Miners Bank A Division of Mid Penn Bank.
During last month’s annual meeting, the organization’s board of directors elected officers and at-large board members.
CAN DO officers approved for 2017-2018 include: John Madden PhD, chairman of the board of directors; Lisa Finkelstein, vice chairman; Daniel Jorgensen, vice chairman; Patrick J. Ward, vice chairman; Kevin O’Donnell, president; William Magnotta, secretary; David M. McCarthy, treasurer; Joseph F. Lettiere, vice president; Nancy R. Stasko, assistant secretary; and Patricia Gendler, CPA, assistant secretary.
Timothy Genetti, Maryanne Petrilla and John Schwear Jr. were elected to the CAN DO Board of Directors as executive committee at-large members and William Genetti was named an honorary board member for his 21 years of service to the board.
Those elected to the CAN DO Board of Directors as at-large members were: Dorothy Anderson, Anthony Badamo, Joseph Baran, Charles Burkhardt, Craig Butler D.Ed, Barbara Caccise, Neal DeAngelo III, Anthony J. Dixon Esq., Lani Drobnock, Peter J. Fagan Esq., Finkelstein, John Fletcher, Timothy Genetti, Adam Hoover, Jorgensen, Elaine Judd, Tracy Karchner, Madden, Magnotta, Paul Malone, McCarthy, Rick Morelli, Ken Okrepkie, Donna Palermo, John Patton CPA, Petrilla, Lonnie Polli, Rodney Ridley PhD, Schwear, Robert Sensky Esq., Alexander Sloot, Jocelyn Sterenchock, Ward and Joseph Zeller.
CAN DO’s board of directors also consists of members of organizations who have been involved with CAN DO since its beginning. Educational and municipal representatives, along with students, also serve on the board as non-voting members. The board is made up of nearly 100 volunteers.
Located directly along the I-81 corridor in Northeast Pennsylvania and just minutes from I-80, Greater Hazleton offers an ideal location, just two hours to New York City and Philadelphia and within a day's drive of half the nation's population.