Dawood Engineering founder joins bank’s effort to expand in the Capital Region

Bony Dawood, president and CEO of Dawood Engineering in Harrisburg, has been added to the Board of Directors for PB Bankshares, Inc., the holding company for Presence Bank, to help Presence Bank better tailor its services to midstate businesses and small business owners in general. PHOTO/IOANNIS PASHAKIS
Bony Dawood, president and CEO of Dawood Engineering in Harrisburg, has been added to the Board of Directors for PB Bankshares, Inc., the holding company for Presence Bank. PHOTO/IOANNIS PASHAKIS

A Chester County-based bank has enlisted the help of a Harrisburg business owner as its loaning arm reaches out to more midstate business owners.

Presence Bank said it is partnering with influential business leaders to assist in the bank’s expansion to the Capital Region in an effort that it says will help it better the lives of the people who choose to bank with them.

The Coatsville bank recently announced that it will be adding president and CEO of Dawood Engineering, Bony Dawood, to its Board of Directors. Dawood will sit on the board for PB Bankshares, Inc., the holding company for Presence Bank.

Dawood founded Dawood Engineering in 1992 and during that time, has been actively involved in various levels of the community, from collaborating with fellow business owners to sitting on boards and interacting with municipal leaders.

“As a small business owner, the benefits of working in a community bank and that relationship was very important in those years,” Dawood said. “[I have been] involved in a lot of projects that have impacted Central Pennsylvania communities [and] really had a pretty active role in creating a lot of jobs in Central PA for many years, and enjoyed that aspect of it.”

When Dawood was approached about the opportunity to join the board of PB Bankshares, Inc., he was intrigued by the opportunity to come alongside fledgling entrepreneurs from the perspective of a lender.

“I’ve been in the business world for years, and I’ve worked with a lot of lenders in the marketplace, and it really gives me a different understanding [and] different perspective.”

Dawood was an integral part of the design-build team for the West Shore Hospital, which was completed/opened in 2014. The company was responsible for surveying, civil engineering, and site design, including geotechnical engineering, wetlands delineation, and a traffic impact study. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Having been an entrepreneur owner that experienced the challenges of growing a business, Dawood says he understands the common struggles business owners face including cash flow, the fundamentals of building a business and navigating how they will make payroll. With this perspective in mind, he says he views community banks as being a fundamental part of entrepreneur welfare.

“Having a lender really work with them through that is really important,” Dawood said. “We know a lot of businesses, and we know a lot of people that want to start businesses. Having lenders that understand the challenges [is] where the community banks come.”

Presence Bank was founded in 1919. The state-chartered FDIC bank has approximately $300 million in assets.

The bank currently has an office in Lancaster County and loan production offices in Lancaster and Dauphin Counties.

Dawood’s inclusion to the board is expected to help Presence Bank better tailor its services to midstate businesses and small business owners in general. It also comes at a time of growth for the company.

President and CEO of Presence Bank, Janak Amin, believed Dawood was a natural fit for the bank’s board. Amin said he perceived Dawood as a professional with strong ethics, a family-oriented posture, and as being a person of faith—all of which are qualities that Presence Bank prioritizes when recruiting new members.

“We look at people who are obviously well regarded in their local community,” Amin said, asserting how Dawood personified the skills his team was searching for when considering how to solidify Presence Bank’s brand in the Capital Region.

Amin applauded Dawood’s business acumen and extensive experience in corporate governance through his history of building a company in the heavily-regulated engineering industry. For Amin, the regulatory experience will be a welcome asset as the board navigates regulations that also accompany the financial industry.

Thomas Bream, market executive for Presence Bank’s Capital Region emphasized Presence Bank’s current initiative to invest resources into the region, specifically in the form of collaborating with leaders who can assist in the success of the expansion effort.

With Dawood’s experience and community influence in the Capital Region, Bream said that it made sense for Presence Bank to leverage Dawood’s skills and network to help increase the brand’s reputation as it moves into the Capital Region.

“We were looking for people with [business] experience [and] someone that had visibility in this community,” Bream said.

For Bream, Dawood will not only bring experience and positive qualities of leadership to the board room, but will also be able to offer wisdom and advice on what he is seeing play out in the region’s marketplace as a business owner.

Dawood believes it is important for business owners to leverage their influence for the good of the communities they work within.

“Business owners to some degree [become] role models, and people watch them very closely in terms of their actions. I think it’s very important for business owners to take ownership and provide strong leadership,” Dawood said.

Dawood has held seats on a number of boards over the years including on the Harrisburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, the American Council of Engineering Consultants, and holding a Governor appointed position on the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Industrial Board.

In addition to his involvement with PB Bankshares Inc., Dawood currently serves as director of Milton S. Hershey Medical Center’s Quality Committee, senior advisory member of Asian Indian Americans of Central Pennsylvania and board member of the American Islamic Cultural Center.

Dawood sees board involvement as a responsibility that requires a high degree of focus and engagement. In recent years, Dawood has limited the number of boards he participates in, so he is able to fully engage and dedicate adequate time to offer a valuable contribution to the organizations he partners with.

“As owners, we have to set a tone in terms of how it is to be a good citizen. There’s no right or wrong way, it’s a message being sent, but it starts from the top and you have to let the employees know how important it is.”

Like Presence Bank, Dawood Engineering pays close attention to the culture that is fostered within the organization. Dawood is deliberate in developing a strong employee culture and prioritizing positive community impact.

“The culture of the company is [that] we try to do the right thing,” Dawood said. “We’ve tried to understand what the needs are and be part of it and create careers for individuals and also provide a benefit to the community that we’re working in.”

Three in central Pa. among top liquor license bidders

Following the latest restaurant license auction, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has issued Notices of Selection to the top bidders on 20 licenses, three of which are in central Pennsylvania.

The local top bidders, with the license’s municipality and county, are:

· Specialty Lenders Ltd., Steelton, Dauphin County, $110,000

· Byler Holdings LP, Lebanon, Lebanon County, $151,001

· CHR Corp., Spring Garden Township, York County, $300,000

The deadline for submitting bids was Oct. 31. Winning bids ranged from $25,111 for a license in Benezette Township, Elk County, to $460,751 for a license in Uwchlan, Chester County. The average winning bid was $154,833.

A total of 69 bids were received, and one license in Cambria County received no bids.

Top bidders have 14 days from the date of each Notice of Selection to submit full bid payment to the Liquor Control Board. If payment is not received in a timely manner, the second-highest bidder will have the opportunity to purchase the license.

Each auction winner has six months from the issuance of the Notice of Selection to file a license application with the Liquor Control Board. Bids are held in escrow pending approval of the license application.

Revenue from previous license auctions is $32.9 million, with another $100,000 in escrow.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer

Lancaster County Workforce Development Board chooses new leader

After a nationwide search, the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board has selected Anna Ramos as its next executive director.

Ramos has been chief operating officer at LCWDB for two-and-a-half years, where her responsibilities include the overall management, implementation and oversight of federal, state and locally funded programs and services administered by the state Department of Labor & Industry, among other duties. Previously, she was business initiatives director with the Lancaster Chamber.

The Lancaster County Workforce Development Board was founded in 1999 to align fiscal resources and provide strategic direction for county job seekers and employers.

The hiring process for executive director began with the creation of a search committee, which chose Samaritan Consulting Group to oversee the process.

Samaritan Consulting Group then held conversations with 16 key stakeholders that included Lancaster County and city public officials, as well as local educational and business leaders.

A job description and profile was developed to fully encompass the duties of the position, as well as the qualities needed for success. Four final candidates were selected, final interviews were held the second week of June, and a recommendation to the LCWDB executive committee was made.

“I am excited and grateful for this opportunity to continue to serve my community as the new executive director of the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board,” Ramos said in a release. “With workforce being one of our county’s top issues, my vision for our organization is to be a leader, convener and consistently part of the conversation in addressing these challenges. I look forward to working with my team and elevating us to the next level as your workforce community partner.”

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer.

Penn Medicine LGH’s Ripchinski named to state medical board 

Michael Ripchinski. PHOTO/PROVIDED

Dr. Michael Ripchinski, chief clinical officer at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, was recently appointed to the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine. He was nominated by Gov. Tom Wolf and unanimously confirmed by the state Senate on Feb. 9. 

The board regulates the practice of medicine through the licensure, registration and certification of members of the medical profession in Pennsylvania, including medical doctors, physician assistants, radiology technicians, respiratory therapists, nurse-midwives, acupuncturists, practitioners of oriental medicine, perfusionists, behavioral specialists and athletic trainers. 

In addition, the board reviews the facilities and qualifications of medical colleges, and other medical facilities outside the commonwealth whose trainees or graduates seek licensure, certification or graduate medical training in the commonwealth. 

“Dr. Ripchinski brings an array of practical knowledge to the board and has done an outstanding job of communicating to the public throughout the pandemic, including his efforts to promote the availability, safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine,” Pennsylvania’s Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter said in a release. 

Ripchinski is board-certified in family medicine and clinical informatics, and practices at Walter L. Aument Family Health Center in Quarryville. 

York restaurant receives economic development liquor license 

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has approved an economic development liquor license for Hamir’s Indian Fusion in downtown York. 

The licenses are an economic development tool to support small business growth and community revitalization. Hamir’s Indian Fusion began its application more than two years ago, assisted by the York County Economic Alliance, Downtown Inc. and Better York. 

Based upon York County’s population, two economic development liquor licenses may be issued per year in the county. 

“These liquor licenses are designed for small businesses to be able to serve and generate revenue and attract more business,” Kevin Schreiber, president and CEO of York County Economic Alliance, said in a release. In October, the Liquor Control Board granted an economic development liquor license to Willow Valley Communities for Southern Market Food Hall in downtown Lancaster. 

Schreiber added that the applicant pays a one-time fee of approximately $50,000 for a nontransferable license, versus acquiring a license on the open market, a much more competitive and costly process. 

Hamir’s Indian Fusion debuted in the Taste Test pop series in downtown York before opening a full restaurant in 2018. 

“Having this liquor license is a game changer,” Hamir Patel, owner and chef of Hamir’s Fusion, said. “… Now we can fully participate in the events of downtown York, the community we are blessed to be a part of.” 

Dauphin County Bar Association names new 2022 board president 

The Dauphin County Bar Association has appointed Scott Cooper as board president for 2022. 

Cooper, a partner of personal injury law firm, Schmidt Kramer P.C., has worked at the firm for over 29 years. He replaces the Dauphin County Bar Association’s 2021 board president Paula McDermott. 

Cooper specializes in personal injury law in addition to motor vehicle accident and insurance cases. He has held an adjunct professor position at Widener University School of Law since 2015 and has been a member of the school’s Board of Advisors since 2016. 

Cooper has been named by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for the past 11 years, has consistently earned the title of Top 100 lawyers in Philadelphia and the commonwealth and was named a Top Lawyer by the Central Penn Business Journal in 2014 and 2015. 

Each president of the bar association serves a one-year term. The rest of the association’s 2022 executive committee includes:
      Kimberly Selemba, president-elect (senior counsel; Saxton and Stump) 

  • Jonathan Koltash, vice president (chief counsel; Pennsylvania Governor’s Office of General Counsel)
  • Fawn Kehler, secretary (children and youth assistant solicitor; The Law Offices of Fawn E. Kehler)
  • Thomas Gacki, treasurer (real estate, business and estate planning; Law Office of Thomas P. Gacki)

The following directors were selected to serve a two-year term on the board: 

  • Anthony Cox (Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.)
  • Jason Giurintano (Office of Hearing Examiners)
  • Sarah Hyser-Staub (McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC)
  • Grant Malleus (Dauphin County Public Defender’s Office)


York County Economic Alliance announces new board members, executive committee

The York County Economic Alliance announced changes to its board leadership and executive committee and the appointment of seven board members.

Jeffrey Vermeulen, assistant vice president for external relations with York College of Pennsylvania, is the 2022-2023 chair of the board of directors. He was vice chair for the past year, previously chaired the Advocacy Committee, and has over 10 years of involvement with the alliance.

“It is an incredible honor to serve as the chair for an organization that truly makes things happen every day in York County; furthermore, it is particularly humbling to have the reins of leadership handed to me by the past chair, Bill Yanavitch,” Vermeulen said in a release.

Grace Quartey returns to the Executive Committee as treasurer and Finance Committee chair, along with Bev Mackereth as Advocacy Committee chair.

John Mocny and Oliver Hoar are joining the Executive Committee as secretary and York County Industrial Development Authority designee, respectively.

Mocny oversees plant operations as general manager of Harley-Davidson York Vehicle Operations and Hoar is the proprietor of Hoar Investments.

William T. Yanavitch II will continue as immediate past chair of the board.

In addition to Hoar, the other six new board members are:

· Laura Buczkowski, senior vice president and chief financial officer of WellSpan Health.

· Todd Davies, superintendent of West York Area School District.

· Michael Gaskins, president of UPMC Memorial and UPMC Hanover.

· Joe Malda, an economic development consultant with FirstEnergy.

· Casey “Kat” Rossum, owner of Kat Choreography.

· Ruben Warren, general manager of Hollywood Casino York

Fulton Financial Corp. declares quarterly common and preferred dividends 

Lancaster-based financial holding company, Fulton Financial Corp., declared a quarterly cash dividend of 14 cents per share on its common stock, payable to shareholders on Jan. 14, 2022. 

Fulton’s Board of Directors also declared a quarterly dividend of $12.81 per share on its Fixed Rate Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A, payable on Jan. 18. The share is equivalent to $0.32025 per depositary share. 

Fulton has more than 3,200 employees and operates more than 200 branches in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Virginia through Fulton Bank. The financial holding company is worth $26 billion. 

New PA House Bill signed into law provides more resources for restaurants, bars 

Restaurants and bars can now offer seating within 1,000 feet from their main location and serve alcohol to those customers under legislation signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday. 

The legislation, known as House Bill 425, also allows liquor license holders to cater an unlimited number of events until the end of 2024. 

House Bill 425 is part of a greater effort to provide resources for restaurants and bars looking to recover following months of shuttered business in 2020, said Melissa Bova, vice president of government affairs of Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association (PRLA). 

The bill was introduced by Rep. Matthew Dowling, R- Fayette and Somerset. The biggest impact the bill will have on Pennsylvanian restaurants and bars is its expansion of outdoor seating, according to Bova. 

“The rules before said if you wanted to expand outdoor seating, it had to be attached to your current licensed facility,” she said, noting that a business would need to apply to the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to serve alcohol in a space attached to the building with the license, such as a sidewalk. 

House Bill 425 takes away the need for an application and allows a business to offer outdoor seating anywhere within 1,000 feet of the licensed business. 

“The 1000 feet allows businesses to be more creative especially for businesses that don’t have the sidewalk space,” said Bova. “They can go around the corner and be more flexible to expand their seating.” 

The bill also makes it easier for businesses to cater events like weddings without a limitation on the length of the event or how many can be held in a year. Prior to House Bill 425, a business could only host up to 52 events a year, capped at five hours per event.  

Those restrictions have been eliminated until the end of 2024. 

The legislation’s remaining two changes may affect less businesses but will still prove beneficial for restaurants and bars that needed to close as a result of the pandemic, said Bova. 

If a liquor licensee had to close during the pandemic and is safekeeping their liquor, they now have an additional year to keep that liquor under safekeeping before they would need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to pay for additional safekeeping. 

House Bill 425 also allows businesses selling liquor and wine to sell their remaining products to other businesses if they were shut down during the pandemic. Previously, a business that was forced to close was unable to sell their product after shutting the business down. 

The PRLA continues to work with legislators to provide avenues for the Pennsylvania restaurant industry to make money back after 2020 put many businesses in the service industry in the red. 

Two remaining legal changes the association is working toward include legalizing cocktails-to-go across the state and a 15% discount on liquor and wine purchases for licensees. 

“These help recovery. Will this save the day for everyone? No. But it provides resources to licensees still struggling to come back after a year of mitigation,” said Bova. “Anything we can cobble together to give businesses resources to recover is a win for the industry right now.” 


WellSpan Health leader joins Traditions Bank’s board

Roxanna Gapstur. PHOTO PROVIDED.

WellSpan Health president and CEO Dr. Roxanna Gapstur will join York-based Traditions Bank’s Board of Directors and the board of Traditions Bancorp on Wednesday. 

Gapstur has led the York-based health system since moving to the region in early 2019. She has more than 25 years of health care leadership experience in group practice, academic and integrated health care systems. 

“We are honored to have Dr. Gapstur become part of our leadership. She is an innovative thinker with a demonstrated track record of driving growth and transformation through strategic planning, business development, and operational excellence,” said Eugene Draganosky, president and CEO of Traditions Bank. “In addition to the depth of her experiences, her alignment with many of the bank’s key target markets makes her an outstanding fit for our organization.” 

Traditions Bank opened in 2002 and currently has more than $700 million in assets. The bank operates seven branches throughout York and Lancaster counties and a loan production office in Cumberland County. 

Along with the announcement of Gapstur’s inclusion on the board, Traditions also announced a series of promotions for bank associates this week. 

Suzanne Becker, director of Marketing and Communications at Traditions, was promoted to executive administrative officer and assistant corporate secretary. 

As part of the role, Becker will oversee corporate communications, investor relations, office management, governance support and more. 

Director of Information Technology, Joseph Lombardi, will be taking over the role of chief technology officer. He has more than 25 years of experience in the IT field. 

Justin Mann, the company’s treasurer, will take on the additional role of managing director, managing financial risks for the company including liquidity, interest rate risk and capital. 

“Well-deserved congratulations are in order for all three of these capable leaders,” said Draganosky. “Their expertise, ongoing development, performance, and proven commitment to our core values make them uniquely qualified to serve alongside our other leadership. This is an important milestone for each of them and for our organization as we plan for future growth and succession.” 

Cargas Systems’ Board of Directors elects new chair

Keith Kuzio, former CEO of Williamsport-based Larson Design Group, will be succeeding Chip Cargas as chair of the Cargas Board of Directors.

Lancaster-based software company Cargas Systems announced this week that its founder, Chip Cargas, will be stepping down as the board’s chair but will remain as one of the company’s eight board directors.

Kuzio’s election marks the first change in board chair for Cargas Systems since Chip Cargas incorporated the company in 1991.

A former president and CEO of Larson Design Group, Kuzio retired from the architectural, engineering and survey firm earlier this year. The Williamsport, Lycoming County native joined the firm in 1992 as a project engineer.

Prior to joining Larson, he held a number of positions in both the private sector and in the government, primarily designing highways and bridges.

Nate Scott, president and CEO of Cargas, said that Kuzio is a good fit for the position and noted that the board wanted someone who understood Cargas’ culture.

“We want someone in the board chair role who is living our culture, understands our core values, and understands our vision for the future to be built to last,” he said. “Keith really embodies that and has done a great job of introducing concepts to us that we can take advantage of to help us be built to last.”

As board chair, Kuzio will be looking to grow the organization and fulfill the board’s fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders, according to the release.

Along with scaling the company, Kuzio said he will be looking to increase the diversity of the board and at all levels of the business. Kuzio said that as the company grows, it will be important to evolve how Cargas manages risk, evaluates opportunities in the marketplace and creates value for its customers.

“I’ve really appreciated the job that Chip has done to help our company, our board, and me personally. I’m glad that he’s not going anywhere and we are approaching this in an incremental way. It just makes these types of transitions easier,” he said. “At the same time, I’m also appreciative of Keith’s approach to the transition of the chair role and his focus on that evolution, not revolution.”