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CAN DO officers elected include, front row from left: William Genetti, vice chairman of facilities management; John J. Spevak, chairman of the board of directors; W. Kevin O’Donnell, president; and David McCarthy, vice chairman of sales and marketing. Back row, from left: Llewellyn Dryfoos III, vice chairman of internal operations; Robert Judd, treasurer; and Lonnie Polli, secretary. CAN DO, Inc., Greater Hazleton’s economic development organization, marked another year during its 54th annual dinner meeting Wednesday at Best Western Genetti Inn & Suites, Hazleton.

Before the dinner, the organization’s board of directors met to discuss the highlights of the last fiscal year and to elect officers and at-large board members.

CAN DO officers approved for 2010-2011 include: Edgar L. Dessen, M.D., chairman emeritus; John J. Spevak, chairman of the board of directors; W. Kevin O’Donnell, president; Llewellyn Dryfoos III, vice chairman of internal operations; David McCarthy, vice chairman of sales and marketing; William Genetti, vice chairman of facilities management; Robert Judd, treasurer; Lonnie Polli, secretary; Nancy R. Stasko, assistant secretary; Patricia Gendler, CPA, assistant secretary; and Bernadette J. DeBias, assistant secretary.

Arthur A. Tarone, Daniel Jorgensen and Gary Danish were elected as at-large members of the executive committee.

Those elected to the CAN DO board of directors as at-large members were: George Andrews; Amilcar Arroyo; Charles Burkhardt; Tim Cole; Anthony J. Dixon, Esq.; Brian Earley; James Edwards; Peter J. Fagan, Esq.; Eugene F. Gallagher; William Genetti; Frank George; George F. Hayden; Martha Herron; Daniel Jorgensen; Robert Judd; John Madden, Ph.D.; Paul Malone; David M. McCarthy; Rick Morelli; W. Kevin O’Donnell; Jerry Panisak; Jan Pasdon; Lonnie Polli; John Schwear; Alexander Sloot; John J. Spevak; Arthur A. Tarone; Matt Turowski, Esq.; Patrick Ward and Joseph Zeller.

Martin D. Cohn, Esq.; William Flood; George J. Hayden; Robert J. Miorelli and John Sacco were elected as honorary board members.

CAN DO’s Board of Directors also consists of members of organizations who have been involved with CAN DO since its very 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.

The past fiscal year was Spevak’s first as chairman of the organization.

“We continue to see signs of hope in our parks, despite a difficult economy across the nation. For one, U.S. Cold Storage held its grand opening late last summer for its facility in Humboldt North, which distributes refrigerated and frozen foods to grocery chains and restaurants throughout the northeastern United States and Canada,” he said.

“It has been another beneficial, yet transitional, year for CAN DO. We’re seeking additional means of doing business as we work toward CAN DO’s long-term sustainability,” Spevak said. “We’ve introduced CAN DO Energy Solutions, which helps employers in Greater Hazleton save money on energy through a variety of renewable and energy efficiency options.

“Also, as another way to create local jobs, we are also focusing on helping entrepreneurs by giving them the tools to help start their own businesses. These home-grown businesses help boost the local economy,” he said.
Spevak also said that CAN DO has been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as an Area Loan Organization (ALO).

“As an ALO, we have been certified to evaluate, approve and administer loans through DCED’s Small Business First and First Industries programs,” he said. “We have already been offering several types of traditional business loans. This will also allow us to offer small business loans in the areas of agriculture and tourism.”

CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell noted in particular the growth of Humboldt Station, CAN DO’s first commercial real estate development.

“This week, both Burger King and Sonic opened their new restaurants at Humboldt Station. These restaurants will provide new dining options for the 7,000 employees in Humboldt Industrial Park, as well as travelers along the busy Interstate 81 corridor,” he said.

O’Donnell said the demolition and remediation of the former Barletta asphalt plant at Humboldt Station is nearly complete at Humboldt Station.

“CAN DO is in the process of choosing an architect to help us construct a multi-tenant retail building on that property,” he said.

At the dinner, Spevak and Charles Burkhardt, Community Relations Committee chairman and Student Action Committee adviser, recognized the graduating students of the CAN DO Student Action Committee, which is involved in developing and planning events such as CAN DO Community Christmas and “Operation: CAN DO.”

“Our students are more than willing to get involved in serving their community. I’m proud to say that some of the finest students in the area are members of the CAN DO Student Action Subcommittee,” Burkhardt said.

Gary Lamont, president of the CAN DO Community Foundation, then honored the students who completed the Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Award program. Designated Dessen Scholar Graduates, the students were honored for their completion of the program.

The awards are granted to community-minded area high school students entering their junior year. Recipients are awarded a scholarship to the Junior Leadership of Hazleton program through the Community Foundation.

This year’s Dessen Scholar Graduates are Thomas Anthony Delahanty (Hazleton Area High School), son of Karla and Tom Delahanty, Drums; Laura Rose Vinatieri (Immanuel Christian School), daughter of Ted and Genean Vinatieri, Hazleton; Christine Carmela Valente (Marian Catholic High School), daughter of Lucy and Anthony Valente, Hazleton; and Susan Darlene Funk (Weatherly Area High School), Brian and Ellen Busher, guardians, Weatherly.

Lamont then presented the Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Awards for the students who will be funded to attend Junior Leadership during the 2010-2011 school year. This year’s award recipients are Michael Lee Kimmel (Hazleton Area Career Center), son of Michelle and Marty Kimmel, Freeland; Scott Christopher Boehret (ICS), son of Daniel and Traci Boehret, Wapwallopen; Emily Jane Burger (MCHS), daughter of Glen and Jane Burger, Drums; George Michael Gera (MMI), son of George and Lee Ann Gera, Freeland; and Karlee Sue Ursta (WAHS), daughter of John and Lori Ursta, Weatherly.

“The Edgar L. Dessen Community Service Awards were established to honor Dr. Dessen for his vision, leadership, determination and dedication to community service in founding CAN DO. Each year, we recognize students who embody these same characteristics,” Lamont said.

On behalf of the Foundation, Lamont also announced the recipients of the second annual Joseph Yenchko Awards. Kayla Davies, Susan Funk and Audrey Graham were selected as recipients of the awards, which provide scholarships to attend Ferrwood Music Camp. The program was created in memory of CAN DO’s first employee, who passed away in 2008.

Sponsors for the 54th Annual Dinner Meeting were: TRAC: The Railroad Associates Corp.; Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP; Mericle Commercial Real Estate; PPL Electric Utilities; Northeastern Pennsylvania Manufacturers and Employers Association; SmartWatt Energy; Slusser Brothers; QEI Construction Group; H.T. Lyons; Borton Lawson; Sordoni Construction Services and Schumacher Engineering.