John J. “Ski” Sygielski
President & CEO
Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC)
The primary responsibilities of his job focus on leadership: forwarding the college’s goals; planning all aspects of the college’s programs and services; and procuring resources through the government entities or philanthropy. “Today, the role of a president is much more of a town minister than an academic philosopher,” Sygielski said.
He became the seventh president of HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, in July 2011. He is known as “Dr. Ski” or “Ski”.
He said his greatest accomplishment is expanding the image and reputation of HACC beyond central Pennsylvania. Other accomplishments: Conferring over 40,000 certificates, diplomas and degrees. Raising over $20.2 million for students and employees. Hiring diverse senior leadership. Being elected chairman of the board of the American Association of Community Colleges.
Life lessons he’s learned: Courageously believe in yourself. “If you want others to believe in you, you have to believe in yourself and that you are capable, worthy and deserving,” he said., People will treat you based on what you think of yourself, how you treat yourself and how you act and behave in the world.”
Sygielski enjoys biking in central Pennsylvania and around the world. “Bicycling affords me an incredible sense of freedom to explore and be adventurous. It connects me to my inner self, providing opportunities to think and center myself. It also affords me an opportunity to raise money for the HACC community,” he said.
This profile is part of Central Penn Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. See the full list at cpbj.com or in our digital edition.