Attorney Ruthanne Beighley, Chair
Attorney Ruthanne Beighley chairs the Buhl Regional Health Foundation. As chair, Attorney Beighley: Partners with board members and the Executive Director to lead the organization and achieve the foundation’s mission; Prepares for and chairs board meetings; Establishes and assigns members to committees; Addresses board goals and work plans; Assures the board of its compliance with by-laws and any state, local and federal laws pertaining to governing the board of directors; And serves as the spokesperson for the foundation.
Attorney Beighley is General Counsel for Joy Cone Co., Hermitage, and operates a private law practice limited to estate planning and administration, wills and trusts. Attorney Beighley is a frequent speaker on estate planning and family law topics. Recent community participation includes co-chairing with her husband, Joseph A. George, the United Way of Mercer County Campaign; board memberships of the Primary Health Network Foundation, Community Counseling Center, Shenango Valley Urban League, and The Sanctuary, Inc. She served as Chair of the Thiel College Board of Trustees and has been named a Trustee Emerita. Previously, Attorney Beighley served as president of the Sharon College Club, president of the Quota Club of Sharon, and president of the Greenville Area United Way. Honors include the Distinguished Citizen Award, French Creek Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Attorney Beighley earned a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a BA in Philosophy from Thiel College.
James E. Feeney, Vice Chair
James E. Feeney retired as chief operating officer in 2001 from Wheatland Tube Corp., Wheatland, PA. He was with the company for 41 years. Some of Mr. Feeney’s extensive community leadership and involvement includes: 39 years on the board of Sharon Regional Health System, including 14 ½ as chair; F.H. Buhl Trustees; Shenango Valley Foundation; United Way of Mercer County; PA Economy League; Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce; and being a co-founder of Penn Northwest Development Corp. Some honors for Mr. Feeney include: Buhl Day Honoree in 2013; Distinguished Citizen Award, French Creek Council, Boy Scouts of America; Thiel College Distinguished Service Award; Knight of St. Gregory from Pope Benedict VI; Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce—Person of the Year; and Sharon High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
Mr. Feeney earned a BS in Business Administration from Youngstown State University and served three years in a U.S. Army Artillery Nike Guided Missile Program.
Angela Palumbo, Secretary
Angela Palumbo is retired from state employment at the Pennsylvania CareerLink Mercer County after 34 years of service including the last 15 years as administrator. She also held the position of Manager of State Employment staff at CareerLink for the Department of Labor, Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership. Ms. Palumbo’s numerous community service commitments include board memberships presently with the United Way of Mercer County, Sharon Regional Health System, Christian H. Buhl Legacy Trust, MCAR, ARC Foundation, and the Hermitage Community and Economic Development Commission.
Ms. Palumbo graduated from Bradford Business College, Pittsburgh, and also completed the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Management Development Institute and the Pennsylvania State University’s Workforce Development Training Program.
Kenneth R. James, Treasurer
Kenneth R. James is chief financial officer at Windsor House Inc., a group founded in 1959 and today operates 11 skilled nursing homes and four assisted living centers in northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania. Mr. James oversees Medicaid reimbursement, financial planning and financing. He previously served as a board member of First National Bank of PA, Sharon Regional Health System, and the non-profit organization Community Skilled Nursing Centre, Warren, OH. Mr. James also belonged to the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountant’s and the American Health Care Lawyers Association.
Mr. James earned a BS in Business Administration with majors in Accounting and Economics and a minor in Finance from Youngstown State University.
Attorney James P. Epstein, Chair, Public Relations Committee
Attorney James P. Epstein retired in 2008 after serving 22 years as District Attorney of Mercer County. Attorney Epstein previously served 10 years in that office as first assistant district attorney and assistant district attorney. He currently is a volunteer assistant district attorney/consultant in the Mercer County office. Extensive involvement in the community for Attorney Epstein includes: President, Mercer County Bar Association; President, ARC of Mercer County Board of Directors; President, MCAR Board of Directors; Chair, Mercer County Human Rights Committee; Chair, Sharon Regional Health System Advisory Board Quality Review Committee; and is a trustee emeritus, Community Library of the Shenango Valley.
Attorney Epstein earned his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a BA in History from Westminster College.
Mark Ferrara, Chair, Government Committee
Mark Ferrara is superintendent of the Greenville Area School District, which has 1,400 students and 194 employees. Mr. Ferrara launched “Pennsylvania Business Week, an experience for seniors. The A.C.E.S. of Erie named Mr. Ferrara “Educator of the Year 2014.” He previously held a similar position with the Sharpsville Area School District, was director of curriculum for the Neshannock School District, and was principal at George Junior Republic, Grove City. Board memberships include Joshua’s Haven, Penn State University Advisory Board, Greenville Rotary Club, Greenville Kiwanis Club, and George Junior Republic. Mr. Ferrara’s is certified to be a superintendent, assistant superintendent, elementary principal and secondary principal.
He earned a Masters of Education from Westminster College, a degree in Vocational Director Studies from California University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Education from Kent State University.
Robert G. Liptak, Jr., Chair, Audit Committee
Robert G. Liptak retired in 2010 as president, Northern Operations for Aqua America, Inc. He was responsible for the overall operations of each of the water company’s subsidiaries in seven states serving more than 250,000 households. Mr. Liptak served 11 years in that position; previously for 19 years he was president of Consumers Pennsylvania Water Co., formerly known as Shenango Valley Water Co. Mr. Liptak in the past was chair or president of several community and business organizations, including the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce, Shenango Valley Industrial Development Corp. and the Northwest PA Cooperation Council. He also served for 20 years on the Board of the Sharon Regional Health System. Honors include a Distinguished Citizen Award from the French Creek Council, Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Liptak earned a BS in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University.
Lizette Olsen, Chair, Operations Committee
Lizette Olsen is Executive Director of AWARE, Inc., a Mercer County-based domestic and sexual violence victim services agency that operates 24/7, every day of the year. Previous positions include Vice President of Education and Training for Planned Parenthood of Maryland; part-time lecturer at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Project Director, Women’s Health Advantage, four-county breast and cervical cancer program, Youngstown, Ohio. Current board memberships for Ms. Olsen include: President, Pennsylvania Association of Sexual Assault Centers; Treasurer, NorthWest Commission; President, Community Health Partnership of Mercer County; Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce; and Penn State-Shenango Advisory Board.
Ms. Olsen earned a MS in Health Education and a BA in Liberal Arts from the Pennsylvania State University.
Joann Bisson Joann Bisson currently is a management consultant for medical practices on a limited basis. Ms. Bisson most recently volunteered at the non-profit Sharon Regional Health System in its Physicians Services division where she consulted with physicians and the director of Physicians Services to improve daily operations. Previously, Ms. Bisson was Secretary of the former Sharon Regional Health System Auxiliary Board and was a board member for AWARE, Inc. Extensive professional experience for Ms. Bisson includes being Co-Founder and President of Medical Monetary Consulting, Inc., and a practice management consulting company. Ms. Bisson also studied at the Cleveland Clinic and attended Akron University and the Ohio State University.
Mary Ann Daniels
Mary Ann Daniels is chief executive director of the Mercer County Behavioral Health Commission. The commission serves on behalf of Mercer County for integrated mental health and intellectual disability administration, intake and case management functions with a staff of 100 persons and annual budget of $12 million. Ms. Daniels previously served as executive director of the Erie County Office of Children and Youth, director of Mercer County Human Services, and human services associate director of Crawford County Human Service.
She earned a Masters of Education in Educational/School Psychology and a BA in Early Childhood Education and Psychology from Edinboro University.
George C. Garrow, M.D.
George C. Garrow, M.D., is Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for the Primary Health Network. Primary Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center, provides primary care services and access to specialty care commensurate with the needs of the people in 16 counties. Previously, Dr. Garrow was Director of Medical Oncology and Director of Hospice at Sharon Regional Health System and CMO for Western Maryland Health System.
Dr. Garrow earned his medical degree from the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine Milton S. Hershey Medical School and a BAS from the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science. Post-doctoral training includes pursuing a Masters in Medical Management from the American College of Physician Executives and serving an American Cancer Society fellowship in medical oncology and a medical oncology fellowship from Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Stephen J. Gurgovits
Stephen J. Gurgovits was elected Chairman of the F.N.B. Corporation board in January 2012 and has been a First National Bank of Pennsylvania director since 1981. Mr. Gurgovits served as Chief Executive Officer in every year from 2004 until January 2012, and is Chairman of the Executive Committee. Mr. Gurgovits also is Chairman of the F.N.B. of PA Board. Mr. Gurgovits began his banking career with F.N.B. in 1961, serving in various capacities with the company. A recognized community leader in economic development, Mr. Gurgovits currently serves or previously served on the boards of various educational, developmental, and health care organizations, including Penn-Northwest Development Corporation and the Community Foundation of Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio. Mr. Gurgovits is President of the F.H. Buhl Trustees and a member of the Youngstown State University Foundation board. Mr. Gurgovits has served as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Bankers Association and was a director of the American Bankers Association. He is a member of the American Banker Council.
Mr. Gurgovits is a graduate of Youngstown State University and completed the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin.
John M. Hudson
John M. Hudson is founder and President of the Hudson Companies, a group of Hermitage, PA based real estate investment and development companies, and genera contractor. The foundation of the enterprise began with commercial construction, and currently specializes in educational facilities in Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. As a developer, Hudson has business properties throughout Pennsylvania that serve the state and federal government, as well as private sector clientele. Mr. Hudson also spearheaded growth through reinvestment opportunities in upscale multi-family holdings in Florida and Texas.
Mr. Hudson is serving his second term as a Trustee at Thiel College, where he is a member of the Executive Committee and is the Chair of the Facilities, Physical Plant, and Information Technology Committee. He is serving as the current Chair of the Christian H. Buhl Legacy Trust, and was a two term president and is a current board member for the F.H. Buhl Club. He is a board member and Chair of the Nominating Committee for the Catholic Charities Adoption Agency of Mercer County. He was past president and served as a board member of the Prince of Peace Mission, and also served as a board member for Penn State Shenango, both for nine year terms. During his years of service as a board member for Sharon Regional Health System, he was the Chair of Governance and Nomination, Vice Chair, and Chair of the Health System. He was also a past board member for Kennedy Catholic High School, Shenango Valley Industrial Development Corporation, Penn Northwest Development Agency, Sharon Historical Society, and the United Way of Mercer County. Mr. Hudson also serves as a Director on the Synergy Insurance, Inc. Board of Directors, and is also a shareholder.
Honors include: Haller Enterprise Institute Entrepreneur of the Yar Award from Thiel College; Gannon University’s Small Business Award; Distinguished Citizen Award, Boy Scouts of America French Creek Council; Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Volunteer of the Year Award; and the Caritas Award, the Bishop of the Diocese of Erie’s annual award for charity. Mr. Hudson was also a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Pittsburgh/Western Pennsylvania Region, and the Katz School of Business Western Pennsylvania Family Business of the Year Award. As the founding member of the Hudson Charitable Trust Fund, Mr. Hudson initiated the first International adoption through an American family, resulting in 15 subsequent adoptions.
Rev. Dr. Glenn M. Hink
Rev. Dr. Glenn M. Hink has been the senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Sharon since 2001. The church was founded in 1844 and moved in 1927 to its present location of 600 E. State Street. With a community involvement focus on education and literacy, housing, hunger, and cultural understanding and respect,
Rev. Dr. Hink is president of the Sharon Rotary Club where he has been a member since 2001, and is a board member of the Community Food Warehouse, Community Back Pack Food Program, Glasses for Kids Mission, and Arts@1st, which is a monthly arts program at the church. He also has held various positions with The Presbytery of Shenango and the Shenango Valley Clergy Association. Rev. Dr. Hink has made mission trips to Ghana, Sudan, and Mexico.
Rev. Dr. Hink earned his Doctorate of Ministry and Masters of Divinity from Union Seminary, Richmond, VA., and a BA from Whitworth College, Spokane, WA.
Lew G. Kachulis, CPCU, CIC, CWCA
Lew G. Kachulis, CPCU, CIC, CWCA, is president and co-owner of Gilbert’s Risk Solutions, a risk management and insurance agency of more than 150 years in Sharon. Mr. Kachulis has served on the following community boards of directors: American Cancer Society; Buhl Park Corp.; Buhl Community Recreation Center; John XXIII Nursing Home; Keystone Blind Association; Penn-Northwest Development Corp.; Salvation Army; and the United Way. Personal honors include being recognized as one of the “25 Most Innovative Agents in America” by the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research.
Mr. Kachulis earned a Master’s in Business Administration from the Case Western Reserve Whitehead School of Business, earned both the CPCU (Charter Property Casualty Underwriter) and CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor) designation, and earned a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Michigan.
Attorney Mary Ann Odem
Attorney Mary Ann Odem has been an Assistant District Attorney in Mercer County for the past eight years. She is an experienced trial attorney, advocating at all levels of the justice system, including prosecuting murder and child rape cases, as well as arguing before the PA Supreme and Superior Courts. Attorney Odem previously clerked for Mercer County Common Pleas Court Judge Thomas Dobson, externed with PA Superior Court Judge Maureen Lally-Green, and interned at different law firms. Current community service for Attorney Odem includes serving on the boards of Sharon Regional Health System and George Junior Republic. Attorney Odem also participates in Career Week at Hickory High, has been an honorary speaker at several Shenango Valley schools, is an Assistant Coach for girls’ JV and Varsity basketball at Sharon High School, and is very active at Community Missionary Baptist Church in Farrell.
Attorney Odem earned her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and a BA in Political Science from the Pennsylvania State University.
Riley Smoot, Jr.
Riley Smoot, Jr. served 36 years as a police officer, including 13 as Chief of Police for the Southwest Regional Police Department. During his tenure as chief, Southwest Regional increased in size and secured several “COPS” grants that allowed the department to stave off layoffs and hire additional officers. As an officer, Mr. Smoot held positions of juvenile officer, detective, patrol sergeant, school resource officer, and DARE officer. He was involved with the Sharon/Farrell Communities that Care grant program and worked in the Farrell Schools as a Family Center Specialist. Mr. Smoot served on the PA State Advisory Board for Communities That Care and the Sharon-Farrell’s Weed and Seed Grant Program. He also served on the PA State Weed and Seed Law Enforcement Committee. Grants of more than $1.5 million supported numerous school, police and athletic programs initiatives in the Sharon – Farrell communities. Among his community boards are: Shenango Valley Urban League; City of Farrell Recreation Board; United Way of Mercer County; Mercer County Criminal Advisory Board; Mercer County Communities that Care Advisory Board; and the Mercer County Community Health Partnership Board. Mr. Smoot has been a PIAA official in both basketball and football since 1987.
Mr. Smoot attended Milliken University and Penn State University-Shenango campus.
Michael L. Wright
Michael L. Wright served as President/Chief Executive Officer of the Shenango Valley Urban League for 10 years until retiring in August 2015. Previously for 22 years he was executive director of the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County, a non-profit food bank affiliated with the national organization Feeding America. Mr. Wright received numerous awards for community service including the NAACP Image Award and the Paul Harris Fellow Rotary International Award. He is a current board member of the Farrell Planning Commission and served on the boards of the Laurel Technical Institute, the Farrell Area School District Board of Education, the FEMA Board, and State Food Purchase Board of Mercer County.
Mr. Wright holds an MBA from Geneva College and a BS from Point Park University. His motto for success is the quote: “Do not go where the path may lead, start your own path and leave a trail.”