The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 2, 2011

Business people: Repak joins Andrews and Beard


The Tribune-Democrat

— Andrews and Beard announced that Ronald N. Repak of Johnstown has joined the firm.

Repak will concentrate his practice in education law, labor and employment law, and municipal law for Andrews and Beard, which has offices in Johnstown and Altoona.

 A graduate of Richland High School, Repak received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Duquesne University cum laude in 2007 and his Juris Doctor from Duquesne’s School of Law in 2010.

 Before joining Andrews and Beard, Repak was a government affairs and economic development associate at Duane Morris Government Affairs and a government contracts specialist at Concurrent Technologies Corp., both in Johnstown. He also interned for U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle of the Pittsburgh area.

Repak is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Cambria County and Blair County bar associations.

He is admitted to practice in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Schmidt accepts Conemaugh position

Wesley Schmidt has joined Conemaugh Health System as vice president of human resources.

He comes from Simi Valley, Calif., where he most recently served as director of human resources at Mee Memorial Hospital in King City.

“The decision to join the Conemaugh Health System was really a family decision,” said Schmidt, who is married with a one-year-old son. “Southern California is a hectic place to raise a family, and my wife and I are looking forward to joining a family friendly community and organization.”

Schmidt will oversee all aspects of human resources. He plans to spend his first few weeks traveling to all three hospitals, Conemaugh Memorial, Miners and Meyersdale medical centers to get to know the organization and the needs of the employees.

Prior to his position at Mee Memorial, Schmidt served as human resources director at Encino Hospital Medical Center and Sherman Oaks Hospital. There, Schmidt oversaw the hiring and recruitment process.

His duties also included talent acquisition, performance management, training, leadership development, planning and employee relations.

Prior to that, Schmidt served as vice president of human resources at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, Calif.

There he helped restructure the human resources department while directing hospital-wide education and training and a robust volunteer program.

In addition to his MBA, Schmidt has a bachelor of business administration from Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas. He is a member of several professional organizations including the American Society for Healthcare Human Resources Administration and the Society of Human Resource Management.

Health Net recognizes three employees

Health Net Federal Services, located in the Crown American Building in Johns-

town, has announced its employees of the month. The purpose of the award is to recognize outstanding contributions of commitment, extraordinary customer service and teamwork.

Mary Jo Hockensmith was named employee of the month for December.

A resident of Geistown, she has been with Health Net since April 2007.

She is a certified microcomputer specialist and has competed vocational training as well as all mandated Tricare training.

Rostina Martin of Johnstown was given the designation for January.

Martin has been with the company since November 2005.

She has an associate degree in medical billing and coding and is working on a bachelor’s degree in health information management.

Shannon Wills has been named employee of the month for February.

A resident of Somerset, Wills has been with the company since September 2008.

She has an associate degree in business and medical office administration from Cambria-Rowe Business College. In November, she was promoted to a customer service position.

JWF’s Polacek on leaders’ list

Bill Polacek, CEO of JWF Industries of Johnstown, has been named to PA Business Central’s Top 100 business people. Honorees are selected by the publication’s editorial board.

JWF is a 450-employee operation with annual revenues exceeding $100 million in 2010. The company manufactures fabricated metal products for commercial and defense industry customers at six locations, five of which are in Johnstown.

“It’s no secret that manufacturers across the country have faced some unique challenges in recent years,” Polacek said.

“That we’ve not only survived but continued to thrive and grow is directly attributable to our outstanding work force.

“And as a result of their efforts, we expect continued growth and success in 2011.”

PA Business Central is a biweekly periodical based in State College. The publication covers business news within a 16-county area of central Pennsylvania.

WJAC names promotions manager

David Tallarico has been selected to join WJAC as promotions manager.

A native of Lower Burrell and graduate of Pitt-Johnstown, Tallarico started his career at WJAC-TV in  2003 as a promotion assistant. He moved to sister-station WPXI –TV Channel 11 in Pittsburgh in 2008, where he gained technical experience and expanded his creative skills.

“I’m excited to return to WJAC and feel great about having the opportunity to once again work at the station where my career began,” Tallarico said.

His responsibilities will be creating and producing marketing campaigns for WJAC-TV with an emphasis on news.

Publication honors retired UPJ professor

Nancy Grove has been named an executive professional of the year by Cambridge Who’s Who and is included in their 2010-2011 registry of executives, professionals and entrepreneurs.

She was recognized for her professional achievements and expertise in nursing education and higher education administration.

The Moxham resident is a professor emeritus of Pitt-

Johnstown and a retired director of UPJ’s nursing program and an associate professor of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing.

Laurel Kidney welcomes physician

Dr. Suneeta Gadde has joined the practice of Drs. Sunil K. Soi and Rekha N. Karumuri at Laurel Kidney Specialists, 350 Budfield St., Richland Township.

Specializing in kidney disease, hypertension and dialysis, Gadde is certified in nephrology and internal medicine through the American Board of Internal Medicine.

She is a graduate of Siddharta Medical College in India and completed a residency in internal medicine and fellowship in nephrology at Maimonides Medical Center in New York.

UPJ grad joins watershed association

The Loyalhanna Watershed Association, with an office located in Ligonier, welcomed Josh Penatzer as full-time project manager.

A native of Johnstown and 2005 graduate of Richland High School, Penatzer holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies with a minor in geology from Pitt-Johnstown.  

He previously worked as an intern with Natural Biodiversity, a nonprofit program created to control invasive, non-native plants such as Japanese knotweed and to restore native plants within area watersheds.  

While working there, he performed site assessments, wrote invasive species management guides and aided in developing an environmental education curriculum on invasive species.  

Upon graduating from UPJ, Penatzer worked as an AmeriCorps member with the Somerset Conservation District and the Somerset County Conservancy.

He worked on key projects such as electrofishing surveys, macroinvertebrate sampling and identification, passive treatment system maintenance, and assisted with the district’s notable Marcellus Shale data logger installation and monitoring project.

Administrator named at The Atrium

Paula A. Bracken of Affinity Health Services Inc. of Indiana recently was named the administrator of The Atrium personal care home in downtown Johnstown.

The Atrium has been providing personal care services to the Johnstown community since 1985.

Bracken has more than 21 years of experience in the long-term care field, including 10 years with the Department of Health as a health facilities inspector and several years as a clinical consultant with Affinity Health Services.

She has extensive experience working with both personal care homes and skilled nursing facilities.

She has also served as faculty for various trade organizations such as the Pennsylvania Association of County Affiliated Homes, Pennsylvania Health Care Association, Pennsylvania Assisted Living Association and other professional organizations.

Bracken holds a bachelor’s degree from IUP and a master’s in health administration.

AmeriServ Financial announces promotion

Charlene Tessari of Richland has been promoted to assistant vice president, deposit manager at AmeriServ Financial.

Her office is located in the downtown Johnstown AmeriServ building on Franklin Street.

Tessari has been with AmeriServ for 28 years.

In her new position, she will be responsible for new product development, compliance as it relates to deposit products and implementing regulatory changes with regards to deposit accounts.

Tessari holds a bachelor’s degree in business, management information systems from IUP.

She is president of the Richland High School After Prom Party Committee and the Richland High School Volleyball Boosters.