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Vayda to lead Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania

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Melissa Vayda, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Pennsylvania.
Melissa Vayda, president and CEO of Volunteers of America Pennsylvania. - (Photo / )

Melissa Vayda, a longtime leader at Central Penn College, has been named president and CEO of Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania.

She replaces Alan Garner, who is retiring after more than 30 years with VOA, having held the role here since 1995.

VOAP has a budget of approximately $7 million and 175 dedicated employees, serving more than 28,000 Pennsylvanians annually through more than two dozen programs, according to a news release from VOAP. The services are delivered through regional offices in Allentown, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre.

“We would like to thank Alan for his long and distinguished leadership of Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania,” said John Gilliland, vice chairman of the VOAP board. “His energetic efforts on behalf of the organization have been instrumental in sustaining and growing our ability to serve our fellow citizens. The board wishes him well in his well-earned retirement and looks forward to the leadership of Dr. Vayda in the coming years.”

“I am looking forward to developing and implementing strategies that will significantly expand programming to allow us to double the number of Pennsylvanians served by our organization,” Vayda said.

Vayda comes to VOAP after 15 years at Central Penn College, where her roles included chief academic officer, vice president and interim president. During her time there, the college grew from $5 million in revenue to more than $20 million and from about 300 students to 1,500; she also helped guide the transition from the original family ownership to being wholly owned by employees and helped it attain graduate degree-granting status.

Vayda also served two terms with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education as an institutional reviewer and consultant, advising more than 100 organizations nationally.

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