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Central Pennsylvania Power Players

Central Penn Business Journal is pleased to introduce 28 people who are leaders in their field. You may not know their names, but their colleagues do. They were selected by our reporters and editors based on our reporting and in consultation with knowledgeable people in their fields. We know there are many who, like them, do their best with no expectation of public recognition, but we believe it is important to highlight the bright lights in our community. We hope you will join us in congratulating all of our honorees.

Banking and Finance Power Players

Luke Bernstein, Executive Vice President, Orrstown Bank

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

I am very proud of how our entire organization rallied together this year.  Our front-line teammates have become “financial first responders,” working tirelessly through adversity and challenging circumstances to effectively serve our clients and communities.  I am especially proud of the work we did through the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, helping more than 3,000 small businesses get the support and relief they needed. Additionally, as Chairman of Orrstown’s Pandemic Committee, I am very proud that, while we accomplished a great deal, we did so by putting the health and safety of our employees first.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

I believe that we all have a shared responsibility to leave our community stronger than the one we inherited.  Even though this year has been challenging, I am very proud that Orrstown has been able to significantly support the communities we serve.  There are so many ways we can work together to strengthen our community — whether that’s through contributing financially, raising awareness, or volunteering, one person and one organization has the power to make a huge impact.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

We all want to put the COVID-19 pandemic in the rearview mirror in 2021 so we can begin to move forward in a post-pandemic world.  Many local businesses, charitable organizations, and non-profits will need significant support coming out of the pandemic. Orrstown will continue to support our communities, as best we can, in the hope that we all come through the pandemic stronger than ever.  If there’s one thing we learned in 2020, it’s that we are stronger together.

Eugene Draganosky, President & CEO, York Traditions Bank

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What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges?

York Traditions Bank has a distinct culture of exquisite service, and we differentiate ourselves by focusing on relationships. Throughout the challenges this year, our dedicated associates have found ways to deliver an uncompromising experience which transcends face-to-face interactions and handshakes. In spite of COVID, we haven’t lost that touch and focus. Our branch associates helped customers adjust to new technologies and provided individualized support to meet their needs. Our business team supported local businesses and helped to save jobs through delivery of the Paycheck Protection Program. Our residential mortgage team continued to be a leader in making home ownership dreams a reality and assisted with refinancing to help households save needed funds. And all of our support teams kept up with unprecedented volume while adapting to changing work conditions to ensure safety. Through it all, we’ve maintained full employment, experienced record profitability, and are preparing to grow in Central PA beyond our York County borders. I’m extremely proud of our team. 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Staying true to our traditions: investment in community, close relationships, real solutions, and exquisite service. These are the traditions we’re built on. For us, there’s really no other way to do banking and these traditions will remain fundamental to our identity no matter how much we grow or how the world around us changes.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

It’s easy to feel like you’re at the mercy of the pandemic, but there is a lot within our control. In 2021, the banking industry will be facing margin compression, strained credit quality, and limited growth opportunities. Despite these factors, we remain cautiously optimistic. I believe high performers will successfully navigate these turbulent waters and thrive. For York Traditions Bank, it’s about maintaining a steadfast course and not straying from our Core Values.

Scott Fritz, President & CEO, Pennian Bank

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

Our management team was quickly able to adapt our Pandemic Plan to address how to safely service our customers, protect our employees and set up employees in productive remote work situations.  We adapted quickly to the constraints of working in a pandemic. We went from two remote employees, to about 75% of our workforce. During this time, our team has been able to service customers, open accounts, advance new initiatives, and continue lending to our community and customers. As the government rapidly released relief programs, it was our job to adapt to ensure our customers could receive financial assistance in a timely manner. We had our team working overtime to ensure our business customers were well-educated about the Paycheck Protection Program and that applications were processed and submitted as quickly as possible.

 As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

We have a dual mandate as a Community Bank.   First, we believe that our role in providing financial services and funding to the businesses, farms and families is our paramount responsibility.  Our job is to support the economic base and wellbeing of the communities we serve.  Of equal importance is our role as a community partner.  This includes our responsibility as a donor and volunteer to our local food banks, volunteer fire and ambulance companies, and many other community organizations. Pennian Bank truly believes in the spirit of “Local First” when it comes to our community. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

With the change in the White House, and the uncertainty in the Senate, we will see economic shifts as new policies, regulations and tax plans come forth. We are hopeful, yet remain cautious, given the unpredictability of the pandemic and the resulting economic repercussions.  We anticipate maintaining much of our remote work posture into the new year.  

Brett Fulk, President & CEO, Riverview Financial Corporation

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

The ability of our team to rally in an extremely challenging environment to successfully deliver significant Payroll Protection Program loan funds to small businesses, helping to ensure continued operations and jobs.  Our team worked tirelessly to deliver over $270 million in PPP loans in a very short period of time.  Additionally, our ability to transition in the pandemic to a delivery model that provided uninterrupted service to our customers and communities, while ensuring a safe environment, is a source of pride all of our team members can enjoy. 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

To continue developing and delivering innovative, relevant and competitive products and services.  The communities we serve support us, and we have an obligation to invest back into our communities through our normal business model, through involvement in community service organizations, as well as through direct cash donations by Riverview and its employees.  As a community bank we strive to ensure that everything we do will positively impact the communities we serve.  We place community impact at the heart of every decision we make. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

Despite preparing for a potentially difficult 2021, I am hopeful that the fallout from 2020’s economic slowdown/shutdowns of businesses will not be severe. I believe our industry could experience increased delinquency and loan losses in 2021 as sources of liquidity erode from personal and business customer balance sheets before any meaningful economic recovery can restore historical cash flows.  Riverview is well positioned to weather the potential credit challenges that could surface as a result of this pandemic, as is the banking industry in general with higher capital levels and greater liquidity when compared to the last crisis (The Great Recession).  We are prepared for the worst, hoping for the best, and recognizing that reality most likely lies somewhere in between!

Jim Hoehn, Regional President, PNC in Central Pa.

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

Whether it was working to secure PPP funding for local businesses,  working with our consumer clients to help them address their financial challenges, or supporting our community partners to provide food to those in need, or access to internet and technology for students conducting school work virtually, our PNC associates went above and beyond. While this didn’t surprise me, it did impress me, and I am both grateful to and proud of everyone who worked to help make life easier for our neighbors and customers this year.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Our top priority is to deliver high-quality financial services with integrity and expertise. Another key priority is demonstrated through our critical work in the community. As a bank, the work we do naturally lends itself to economic and community development across Central Pa. We are dedicated to increasing access to high-quality early learning opportunities for preschoolers through PNC Grow Up Great. We focus on providing resources, volunteers and corporate advocacy to prepare kids from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. In turn, we believe that over time this work will improve the quality of life for our entire community. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

At PNC, it will always be important to understand our clients’ needs and to provide insight and solutions to help them achieve their goals. That means we will continue to deliver world-class financial services at the local level through our Main Street bank approach. Importantly, we continue to see our customers’ preferences trending towards alternative and digital delivery banking channels, and these trends have only been accelerated by the pandemic. While branches continue to play a key role for important financial conversations and specific types of transactions, we’ve seen increasing usage of digital and alternative channels by customers to meet basic banking needs. Businesses in our market will continue to prioritize resiliency, efficiency and security through PNC’s enhanced delivery of treasury management, payment system and information system solutions.

 

George Nahodil, President & CEO, Members 1st Federal Credit Union

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges?

I have been most proud of how our associates adapted and continued to serve each other, our members and our communities amidst many challenges. We have shifted our efforts to focus on providing relief options to both business and consumer members to help them get through these unprecedented times.  We have been able to assist over 10,000 members with relief options such as skip-a-payment, personal hardship requests and loan adjustments. Through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, we were able to help 1,600 businesses. The Small Business Administration ranked us ninth in the country for number of loans of $150,000 and above. 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Corporate responsibility and community involvement are of paramount importance to Members 1st. In the very fabric of Members 1st’s principles are cornerstone values related to supporting community engagement and diversity. The recent impact of the pandemic has challenged the credit union to shift community involvement efforts, but it has not changed our commitment to continue delivering unparalleled experiences to our community partners. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

We continue to make progress with our future headquarters building project. As we prepare to move to Hampden Township in 2022, we have begun conducting tours for prospective buyers at our current Mechanicsburg campus. Our plan is to sell these buildings so we can move our administrative associates under one roof. Consolidating in one building will be the most fiscally responsible option so we can be mindful of our members’ dollars and maintain the safety and soundness of the credit union. We are also expanding our footprint to serve members in our branches. We are pleased to have our first branch in the borough of Shillington in Berks County. The financial industry may continue to face challenges in 2021. At Members 1st, we need to continue to educate our members that we can help guide them. At the end of the day, that is what credit unions are all about – people helping people.

Tony Sacco, Market Executive and President, FNB’s Capital Region, First National Bank

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

Our company established a global strategy to drive our success through the pandemic, with a focus on employee protection and assistance, operational response and preparedness, customer and community support, and risk management and actions taken to preserve shareholder value. This approach ensured we were able move quickly and efficiently to establish the appropriate safety measures and act with a sense of urgency and purpose to support each of our constituents. We leveraged our commitment to digital technology to set up an online portal to process applications to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. This resulted in $2.6 billion in PPP loans to nearly 20,000 businesses that protected hundreds of thousands of jobs. Because of these efforts and more, FNB was recognized by Greenwich Associates as a Standout Bank for its COVID-19 response, based on client feedback. Forbes named FNB one of “10 Companies Putting People Above Profits During COVID-19.” 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

As a corporate leader and citizen, our biggest responsibility is to support the companies, organizations and individuals in the regions where we do business. We do this by offering a wide range of financial products and services to help our customers reach their financial goals. We also strive to have a positive impact on our communities through a wide range of initiatives that provide resources so everyone can overcome challenges and thrive. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

We may continue to experience lingering uncertainty due to the pandemic, among other factors. I anticipate many banks will maintain a risk-averse philosophy. I also anticipate investments in technology and innovation as customers shift to digital channels. My expectation for FNB is that we will continue doing what we do best: act in the best interest of our customers and communities. We will maintain our focus on the banking relationship to provide the support our customers need to navigate challenges, pursue opportunities and achieve their goals. And we will continue to invest our resources and expertise in the projects and partnerships that shape the regions where we do business.

Jordan Space, Eastern Pennsylvania Market President, S&T Bank

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

The statewide shutdown impacted both our clients and our own employees. Seeing the collaboration, communication and teamwork of everyone during this period is something I am proud of. Many of our clients needed help this year, whether it was the PPP program, payment deferrals, or general support, we were there to assist, and continue to be. It is hard to articulate how complex the PPP program roll-out for financial institutions was, but overall the industry did a phenomenal job mobilizing workforce, understanding the PPP, and supporting clients in this time of need. Lastly, we have worked hard to keep a focus on the positives for our company in 2020 – deposit growth is strong, mortgage volumes are at their peak and wealth management growth has been steady. 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Being a servant leader within S&T Bank and the community is my biggest responsibility. This includes serving on community boards (Penn Medicine/Lancaster General Health, Lancaster City Alliance), while being an advocate, supporter and positive influence in the community. It is my strong belief that the financial services industry has a tremendous responsibility to support the communities that we serve; creating integral community partnerships.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

With the expected continuation of COVID-19 and the subsequent economic impact, industries (including banking) will continue to face headwinds in 2021.The credit environment and low interest rates, require banks to engage a broader focus on all revenue sources. There are also opportunities that exist for organic growth and we have had conversations with many clients who are cautiously optimistic heading into the new year.

Construction and Real Estate Power Players

David Bode, Managing Partner, ROCK Commercial Real Estate

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges?

This year’s challenges reinforced the value of ROCK’s team approach as our associates were able to seamlessly transition into a remote working environment with the utilization of our centralized filing systems, electronic storage, processes and systems.  We never skipped a beat.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

ROCK’s spirits and values include serving clients, community, team and self in that order.  ROCK believes it is our responsibility to be actively involved in improving the communities we serve through financial giving and volunteer efforts.  We would not be a successful organization without the support of our communities in which we live and work. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

ROCK will continue to adapt to the challenges of the pandemic which we anticipate to impact us in some fashion through the entire year.  We have continued to remain very busy.  As financial institutions and investors gain a clearer vision of the economic landscape, we anticipate that business will pick up and eventually return to pre-COVID levels once a successful vaccine is available to the general public.

Aaron Camara, President, Monarch Enterprise, Inc.

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges?

I am most proud of the fact that I did not have to let go of any employees. We communicated with them as if they were owners themselves so they could get a level of comfort that we were doing everything possible to protect their incomes and health.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

I feel it is very important to pass on the knowledge gained over the years to new entrepreneurs. Having a successful business opens many doors to improve communities. All of our projects we are currently working on are based on bringing living wage jobs, services and amenities to areas that don’t have them.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

This is the million dollar question. There is a $4 trillion tax hike proposed and if it goes through, I expect it to crush the economy as it is beginning to roll again. Here is a simple truth that nonbusiness owners should know about taxes. Increased taxes are rarely paid by business. Example: Let’s say there is a new 10% tax on corn. The corn farmer is not going to eat that tax so he raises his price per bushel and passes it on to the dairy farmer to feed his cows. The dairy farmer does not want to lose money so he increases his cost per gallon of milk to the supermarket. The supermarket can’t take that loss so they increase the cost of a gallon of milk to you the consumer. A tax levied anywhere in the supply chain is ultimately paid by the consumer in any industry.

Tarik Casteel, Owner, TLC Construction & Renovations

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges?

I am most proud of how our organization was able to: 1. Maintain our health and care for one another while respecting CDC Guidelines. 2. Maintain a steady flow of projects to remain in business while not missing a payroll. 3. Moving forward with redeveloping a major part of inner city Harrisburg by way of a 50 Unit Affordable Housing Tax Credit Project.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

As the leader of TLC Construction and Renovations as well as TLC Work based Training, the biggest responsibility I carry with me daily is to ensure our Harrisburg-based business serves as a model of perseverance and giving back for our city’s youth, reentering citizen and those with entrepreneurial spirits.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

I am hopeful that our industry continues to thrive post Covid-19 in 2021, by embracing MBEs statewide and nationally as prime bidders and partners in lieu of just as subcontractors.

Joy Daniels, Broker/Owner, Joy Daniels Real Estate Group

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

I am most proud of the resilience our team has shown throughout this challenging year. Each member of our team has had their own unique challenges during this pandemic, but collectively we have come together to make sure we are still providing world-class service. COVID-19 challenged us with something that no one had ever experienced.  We came together as professionals and worked quickly to find new ways to utilize our virtual tools to market and sell homes.  We had to create practical guidelines to keep our clients and our fellow Realtors safe.  We had to adapt to many, often daily changes in the market, and we have become exceptional at communicating important information to our clients.  We recognize that a big part of our job is to keep our clients informed of market conditions so we can help them achieve their real estate needs and goals, and we take that responsibility seriously. 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Buying and selling a home is a personal and, many times, an emotional experience.  It brings me great joy to be a part of that process and share my knowledge and experience with my clients.  I want to build consumer confidence by teaching and inspiring confidence in our local economy and helping to encourage people to live in and love Central PA!  By showcasing the best and brightest our hometown has to offer, we are energizing new residents to explore the community, patronize local business, and keep our community vibrant.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

Cumberland County and the surrounding areas will remain the fastest growing area in Pennsylvania. We will remain on the forefront of this incredible growth and continue to look for opportunities to enhance the lives of our clients, friends, family, and neighbors. I am excited to see what our future holds!

Mark Fitzgerald, President and Chief Operating Officer, High Real Estate Group

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

We became singularly focused on developing policies and protocols keep our co-workers safe while continuing to serve our tenants in our residential, commercial, retail and hospitality portfolios. We proactively worked with our tenants to ensure each resident and business was able to stay in their home and operated their business. We adapted to the new way of working, we were able to find new opportunities for growth during the pandemic. I am so proud of the way our team of dedicated co-workers rose to the challenge, following the safety protocols to ensure our companies and community mitigating the spread of the virus while serving the needs of our customers. 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

One of the tenets of the High philosophy is “contributing to a world of beauty, prosperity, and peace.” As servant leaders, we believe that by putting the needs of our co-workers first, we create a stronger organization and a stronger community. As a real estate development and management company, we have a unique opportunity and a responsibility to make our community more economically, environmentally, and socially strong. We do this by collaborating with municipal leaders to ensure that each new development adds to the fabric of the community, is developed with the best management practices and offers diversity and inclusion for all members of the community. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

Multiple vaccines are on the horizon and should be distributed throughout the country by mid-year. We are cautiously optimistic that 2021 will be a year in transition, moving from crisis to recovery. Our commercial/industrial and multi-family portfolios will continue to perform well as the economy rebounds, while our hospitality portfolio recovers as leisure travel continues to gain steam and business travel slowly returns.

Lowell Gates, President and CEO, Linlo Properties

 

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

While Linlo Properties was not insulated from difficult decisions, we can proudly say that we kept 100% of our employees on payroll and working in a safe and efficient manner since the start of this pandemic without reductions in hours or rate. The continuity of our staff’s employment has been a source of important stability on both a financial and personal level. We also wanted to make sure our tenants received any necessary financial support.  We worked with some by restructuring or delaying their rental payments.  As a result of this strategy, not a single tenant within our portfolio has gone out of business due to the pandemic. 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Our biggest responsibility to the community is to provide well-maintained commercial and medical office space at an affordable price. We typically purchase older or value-add commercial office buildings that require significant capital improvement and. By acquiring and modernizing these buildings we not only provide a quality product to house local businesses, but we increase the value of the property, which benefits the surrounding community and neighborhood.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

Linlo Properties has experienced tremendous growth over the last several years, and we anticipate a similar growth trend to continue.  We are confident that the Central Pennsylvania area will still have a significant demand for commercial and medical office space, especially for small to mid-size businesses where in-person customized personal service is essential. The interim issues of COVID aside, we continue to focus on our real strength: underperforming assets. We are highly optimistic and enthusiastic about our recent acquisition of 200 and 300 Corporate Center Drive, Camp Hill. These assets are two of the last commercial office buildings in the Harrisburg area that have been operating under bank receivership. 

 Lisa Greener, Executive Director, Community Basics, Inc.

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges?

Our team’s immediate response to the ever-changing directives from the Governor’s office and the CDC.  We became electronically portable as our budget permitted us to purchase some new equipment.  We quickly responded to work at home orders and managed to process applications for future residents and lease apartments with new creative methods while following guidelines from Pennsylvania Association of Realtors.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Housing people!  We need to increase the availability of affordable housing, especially during this challenging time. The Area Median Income continues to increase but not all wages are increasing at the same rate creating more disparity and causing additional strain on family budgets.  We need to coordinate with other local agencies to find ways to assist residents to help with their needs, whether it be rental payments to avoid eviction, food boxes because they are food insecure, quarantine guidance should they contract COVID, budgeting help as their income has changed and many more.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

We are excited to begin construction of Saxony Ridge Apartments at Warwick Woodlands in early summer.  This project will provide 62 units of affordable housing for seniors 62 and over and will provide supportive services.  Providing affordable housing within a mixed-income neighborhood, such as Warwick Woodlands community by Moravian Manor, is compatible with Lancaster County Planning Commission’s Places 2040.  The development will mitigate the potentially negative social consequences associated with high concentrations of poverty.

 Craig Hartranft, Realtor, The Craig Hartranft Team, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

I am most proud of our team for maintaining a focus on our client’s safety this year. We were able to utilize various technologies such as Zoom, FaceTime, and virtual tours, to meet with clients, present offers, and even show them homes. In addition to keeping our clients safety and best interests top of mind, our team was able to face this year with optimism, which happens to be one of our team’s core values.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?
As a leader, I find my biggest responsibility to be giving back to the community. I serve on the board of Lancaster’s food pantry, Lancaster County Food Hub, which provides Lancaster with the resources our neighbors need most: food, clothing, and shelter. Our team also donates to Schreiber Pediatric each year, a local organization that helps children in our area. Beyond these two wonderful organizations, our everyday business is certainly one that we approach with a great sense of responsibility: helping people obtain housing for themselves and their families. Our team works their hardest to make the real estate process as smooth as possible for all involved. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

I expect that 2021 will see us continue to use a variety of solutions to help clients achieve their home buying and selling needs. Our clients and team members’ safety will remain our number one priority. We’ve always focused on helping our clients accomplish their goals, and we will continue to do so in 2021 which using whatever tools necessary.

Jonathan Kinsley, President and CEO, Kinsley Construction, Inc.

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges?

Kinsley’s philosophy has always been to give back to the communities that have supported our business over the years, and those in which our employees live and work. It was humbling to see our employees embrace that philosophy and collectively donate N95 face masks to healthcare workers, create handwashing stations for our job sites, sew masks for fellow employees, participate in blood drives and much more. Our employees really came together to help us and each other through these tough times.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Our biggest responsibilities to the community include providing sustainable jobs to the local workforce, giving back whenever we can, delivering projects that help build a stronger community and being a supportive partner. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

In 2021, we’re looking to overcome the current challenges and return to some sense of normalcy so we can focus on developing and promoting the construction industry and attracting tradespeople to construction through training and job opportunities.

Noah Miller, Owner, IF Real Estate

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges?

I am very proud of how we have worked with our tenants and employees throughout 2020. We have always strived to create a safe and interesting place for people to live, work and play while also having a socially responsible edge in the community. We took COVID seriously and acted early. We have been able to keep our tenants safe, created our own COVID relief program, and kept our staff employed!

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

We maintain about 20% of our portfolio as affordable housing at the poverty level while providing the same level of service we do for tenants in our most expensive properties. Real estate allows me to bring some of my skills and passions to the larger community. I enjoy mentoring young landlords to create a socially responsible generation of property owners. I strive to bring the connection and clout I have gained through my work with the Global Shaper Community, an initiative of the World Economic Forum, to the Lancaster area so the whole world knows what we are about.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

I expect to continue to grow, improve our neighborhoods, support the community, and create a great place for people to live and work. It might sound a bit cliché, but my goal in life is to leave the world a bit better every day and I feel like I have been able to do that through IF Real Estate. Moving forward I would like to be able to employ a few more people so that we can expand our social impacts by making sure tenants not only have a great place to live and work, but also to have a buffer to protect them against years like 2020.

 Bob Whalen, President and Chief Executive Officer, HB Global, LLC

 

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

I am incredibly proud of our employee owners and our leadership. In the beginning we were facing everything from mandatory government shutdowns and layoffs to daily employee and client safety issues. One of the key successes for us early on was our internal communication plan and our employee-centric approach. The other key for our success was the amount grit, teamwork, and trust our people demonstrated in the field. We also helped employees by paying out their earned bonuses early, paying them sick time to get tested or stay home if they were exposed or a family member was ill. When crisis hits an organization, the soul of your company is laid bare. They determine how well and how safely we serve businesses and our communities. Our employee owners continue to persevere through this bizarre situation. This is what I am most proud of. 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what is your biggest responsibility to the community?

My number one responsibility in our organization is providing the groundwork for improving the lives of our 1,800+ employee owners, which in turn improves our communities. This includes changing things that don’t work, listening, removing obstacles, improving their long-term wealth strategies, and supporting the community charities our employees are passionate about. We help build better communities because of our people.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

My expectation for the special contracting industry in 2021 is that it will be a mixed bag. For example, industries such as logistics and ecommerce will prosper. Other industries such as hospitality will struggle. My expectation of our organization is to adjust to this and any changing environment. There will be opportunities for those organizations that are flexible and plan according to market trends. Those who continue to do business as they always have will suffer. Those who look for ways to do things differently and adjust will succeed. I believe our organization will thrive.

Healthcare Power Players

James DeBord, President, Schreiber Center for Pediatric Development

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

I am most proud of the incredible team of people I get to work with every day at Schreiber, as well as the amazing community supporters who have come together to make certain that we can keep serving the children and families who depend on us even through this pandemic. 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Without Schreiber there would be thousands of children who would have nowhere else to turn for the services we provide at Schreiber. I believe my primary responsibility is to make certain that we strengthen Schreiber’s long-term financial position given how little Medicaid pays to provide our life changing services for 95% of the children and families we serve. All while making sure we never compromise on the world class quality of care we offer.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

To continue stringently following public health guidelines to protect the health and wellbeing of our clients and our staff until we get past the worst of this pandemic. Every year 4,000 children come through our doors and their long-term health and success can never be compromised in the face of any challenges that might come our way.

 Roxanna Gapstur, President and CEO, WellSpan Health

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

I am most proud of the ongoing heroic and resilient efforts of our 20,000 team members in response to COVID-19 and WellSpan’s commitment to supporting our team and communities. We’ve come together amidst unprecedented challenges to develop innovative solutions, providing the very best care for all. We have harnessed technology to provide more than 400,000 remote patient visits; distributed tablets to homeless shelters with free access to WellSpan Online Urgent Care; and developed new ways to use the strength of our entire system to address COVID-19. Simultaneously, we’ve expanded our health and wellbeing benefits, creating new means for financial assistance to support our teams with childcare, utility bills and their own healthcare premiums.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Our greatest responsibility is to deliver greater value to our communities. We do this by providing the highest quality care and exceptional experiences at an affordable price; it applies to leading our community through the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients continue to choose WellSpan because they trust we’re doing everything we can to ensure their care isn’t interrupted. Finding new ways to deliver value and be the leading choice for care, no matter the circumstances, is the promise we’ve made to be a trusted partner for our communities. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

I expect we will continue to challenge ourselves to innovate, explore new ideas and leverage partnerships and technology to create better health outcomes. We will remain intently focused on digital health, expanding our primary care, urgent care and specialty service online platforms. We’ll continue to partner with payers such as Capital BlueCross and Highmark to lower healthcare costs and create healthier populations; and we’ll renew our longstanding focus on removing the social, demographic, behavioral and economic barriers to care.

Dr. Steve Groff, Founder/Chairman, Wnydridge Farm and Groff North America

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

We have weathered the storms of 2020 through our team’s resilience, creativity and passion to achieve our goals. The need to be able to pivot in business has been illustrated to us multiple times in the history of our businesses and especially this year.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Certainly, this year customer safety and confidence has been paramount and I believe we have taken the right balance to health and business with the COVID crisis. We have also been aggressive in re-booting where needed and always looking for that silver lining. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

Groff North America will become the country’s first federally-legal Cannabis health system and pharmaceutical manufacturing company. We will lead the science and data-driven side of cannabis as a medicine, as the entire world know has begun to legitimize the cultivation and research of it for precise medicinal purposes. We will supply researchers and manufacturers around the world with raw ingredients from cannabis. Wyndridge Farm will continue to flourish as a premium event center, beverage production facility, lodging and restaurant. Hemp/Cannabis education, cultivation and meetings will also take place there as the companies benefit from additional synergies.

 Dr. John Goldman, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Infectious Disease Specialist, UPMC Pinnacle

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

I’m proud of UPMC’s response to this novel virus. The level of engagement, research and education that’s been happening at the system has been incredible. I also cannot say enough about all my colleagues who work in health care right now across the globe. People are fighting every day on prevention and treatment. They are innovating in clinical trials and rapidly identifying best practices. Of course, I’m also proud of our local team at UPMC Pinnacle. Everyone has been giving so much of themselves in every aspect of our operations to support the people of south central Pa.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

We’ve undertaken many steps to care for patients with COVID-19 and also to keep our patients and staff from getting it. We want people to feel reassured that they can safely get the care they need, and this also goes for vital emergency care. Providing that education has been important to us. I’ve also felt great responsibility for sharing evidence-based information in our community and doing everything I can to encourage people to prevent the spread of this virus. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

We have a great medical community and infrastructure in our region. I see us all continuing to support one another and work together as needed to support good health in our community as we tackle this surge in COVID-19 cases. Precautions and safety measures are going to remain crucial so everyone can get the care they need, whether it’s related to COVID or other conditions. UPMC is continuing its clinical trials, and we will continue to share what we learn and adapt best practices as they are identified. As COVID-19 vaccines become available, we will have a role in getting them distributed to our patients and providers. 

Phillip W. Guarneschelli, President, UPMC Pinnacle

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

We have an amazing team that continually rises to the challenges they face, and I cannot be prouder of their response to COVID-19. Every single person in our organization has been impacted by this novel virus personally and professionally. Yet, here they are working for our patients while adapting to different working conditions, hours, workloads and ways of working, and in some cases, new roles and responsibilities. In these conditions, they have gone the extra mile to provide the highest quality of care to our patients with safety a top priority.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

I’ve often said the UPMC Pinnacle is an anchor institution in our community. We are an employer, educator, financial contributor, caregiver and so much more. I feel our biggest responsibility is to remain strong, engaged with community members and businesses, and supportive of the health and well-being of the communities and people we serve. Bringing UPMC’s life-changing medicine to south central Pennsylvania is our mission, and delivering on that mission is our highest priority. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

Continuing to innovate and being responsive and flexible are going to be priorities for health care providers and most businesses in 2021. In health care, I also see technology and video communications continuing to play a major role in ensuring that people have access to needed care. With COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon and all the safety precautions we have in place, I hope people continue to put their health care first and receive necessary care to maintain their health and prevent problems in the future. At UPMC, we look forward to continuing to grow access to UPMC’s nationally ranked care for families in our area, and to expand services by continuing to bring in UPMC experts and technology that will enhance our compassionate, high-quality patient care.

Christopher LaCoe, Vice President Virtual Care, Penn State Health

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges?

I am most proud of the way our organization was able to pivot in response to the challenges that the pandemic emergency presented.  As stay-at-home orders were implemented we quickly saw a significant shift in our in-person hospital and clinic visits and recognized that pivoting to telehealth would be critical to providing continuity of care to our patients across the state.  Providers, staff and leadership came together in a matter of weeks to onboard over 4,600 providers and staff on our telehealth platform and enabled the delivery of primary and specialty care to patients, which has now exceeded over 60,000 visits.  These visits were provided to patients who may have otherwise been unable to access care or would have put off care out of fear and due to physical distancing requirements.  Additionally as a health system we established a virtual COVID 19 screening app in which symptomatic patients are connected to registered nurses who screen for symptoms and, if needed, direct patients to testing centers throughout the community.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

As a healthcare leader my responsibility is multifaceted and encompasses: increasing access to care, improving the health status of the community and addressing issues that create health disparities or contribute to poor health.  In my current role I work with our care providers to identify and develop innovative solutions and technologies to reduce health disparities and expand access to care.

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021?

As an industry, telehealth and virtual care have taken a giant step forward in the past several months and I would expect to see a continuation of this evolution in the near term, and further disruption in the traditional model of care in the future.  Virtual care will be a key component of our future health vision and over the next year we will be working to expand our programs and services that enhance the coordination of care and expand patient and provider access.

Megan Lecas, Senior Vice President, Service Lines, WellSpan Health

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges?

I’m most proud of our commitment to keep our patients and consumers at the center of our decisions. For us, that means we haven’t taken our focus away from improving access to the highest-quality care at the most affordable price – even during a pandemic. The challenges we’ve faced this year could have been a reasonable distraction, but we haven’t slowed down. In fact, our ability to rapidly expand our digital health offerings to meet the healthcare needs of our community was extraordinary; and our pace to scale was six times faster than the national average.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Equitable access to the highest quality and most affordable care is the driving force for my team. We recognize there are disparities in care that systematically and negatively affect people based on their race, age, gender, ethnicity and language; and our goal is to consistently deliver on the promises we make to every member of our communities. We’ve launched innovative solutions for women, including MadelineRX and Babyscripts, which create new digital access points for birth control and obstetrical care; and we’ve established a cross-functional health equity workgroup to identify and address healthcare disparities in the care we provide. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

I expect that we maintain our agility and ability to thrive within a rapidly changing environment – whether externally driven, as we’ve experienced through the pandemic, or internally motivated.  Consumers have made it clear they expect convenient access to high quality, affordable health care, and so far, we’ve delivered. Our innovative, digital health offerings provide us a great foundation to build on as we respond to evolving needs. Yet, we must stay intimately connected to our consumers and be willing to disrupt our care delivery models to deliver the greatest value.

Sharee Livingston-Anderson, DO, Patients R Waiting

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

I am most proud of our impact on the Lancaster community during the COVID pandemic. The COVID pandemic has affected Black, Brown, Indigenous and Asian and Pacific Islander communities disproportionately. Patients R Waiting created the Diversifying Doula Initiative (DDI) to address Black and Brown maternal morbidity and mortality by increasing access to Doula care. The DDI also trains Black and Latinx people in Lancaster to become certified Doulas, increasing diversity among Doulas and supporting entrepreneurship for Black and Latinx people in Lancaster. The skills, educational background, and experience of our team will lend itself to the success of our initiative.

As a leader in your organization and industry, what do you feel is your biggest responsibility to the community?

My biggest responsibility to the community is to make the path of those coming after me less narrow. The proportion of medical students who identified as African-American or black rose from 5.6 percent in 1980 to 7.7 percent in 2016, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. That is a substantial increase but still short of the 13.2 percent in the general population. The benefits of greater medical school enrollment could be considerable: Studies show that having more black doctors would likely improve black health in the United States. Many African-Americans remain mistrustful of the health care system, with some historic justification, and so are less likely than others to seek preventative or other care. (USA Today, March 2019). Patients are literally waiting for doctors of color.  There is no time for students of color to live in self-doubt. 

What are your expectations for your organization and your industry in 2021? 

I am excited for 2021.  As tough as 2020 has been, our normal human behavior wants us to transcend the events of this year. With our current resources, we have already started training 77 women of color in our free Doula training program. DDI is currently in the process of providing free Doula services to 22 expectant low-income women of color in the Lancaster area. Moreover, as advertising and visualization of our services continue to grow through developing organizational partnerships, we anticipate a steep incline in interest and subsequent participation in the near future. 

Steve Massini, CEO, Penn State Health

 

What are you most proud of in terms of how you and your organization responded to this year’s challenges? 

I’m tremendously proud of how Penn State Health responded to the COVID pandemic. We innovated in ways that a university health system should. We made clinical trials and leading-edge therapies available to patients, we partnered with local companies and our university engineers to produce protective gear for our employees, we found novel ways to safely care for patients and quickly expanded options for virtual care. 

We took care of our community and they took care of us by donating much-needed supplies, free meals and cheering on our health care heroes. I’m deeply grateful for that and so proud to call this community my home.

 

As a leader in your organization and industry, what is your biggest responsibility to the community?

Our number one job is to provide access to the right care at the right time, in the right place and at the right cost. It’s a principle that is the driving force behind our “10/20/30 strategy,” which aims to put patients within 10 minutes of Penn State Health primary care providers, 20 minutes of our specialty care and 30 minutes of a hospital. We need to keep patients close to home. Cancer, heart disease and other challenging health conditions don’t travel well. No parent should have to make their sick child travel long distances to see a pediatric specialist.

 

What expectations do you have for your industry in 2021?

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we have to rethink the way we deliver care. The needs and convenience of patients and families have to be at center of what we do. We also have to collaborate with community physicians, employers and payers to deliver maximum value for each health care dollar.

CPBJ Staff
Contact the Editorial Department at [email protected]

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