Young Professionals honored for career, community work

FORTY FORT — More than 300 people were on hand Tuesday to honor the area’s best and brightest at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce’s third annual Young Professionals Awards.

“It’s very important for the Chamber to get young professionals involved in the community,” said Chamber chief operating officer Lindsay Bezick. “For us, seeing what they are doing and hearing how they are making an impact is important.”

Bezick, who was later surprised with the 2018 Inspiration of the Year Award, added: “People were excited for the opportunity to nominate people who run a business or people they work with and show their appreciation for them.”

Over 40 young professionals under age 40 were nominated for 11 awards during the event at The Room at 900 on Rutter Avenue.

The winners were not announced before the event because the Chamber wanted to showcase every professional nominated and to give everyone some publicity.

Even those who were not nominated had a lot to gain by just showing up.

“This is a great way to network with other young professionals,” explained Wilkes University graduate assistant Kimberly Hein.

The NEPA Influencer of the Year Award, the top honor of the night, went to Dan Landesberg, administrative director of Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre.

“It was exhilarating when I heard my name called,” said Landesberg, a Queens, New York native. “But I couldn’t help think about all of the employees at the hospital. Without them, this award isn’t possible.”

He continued: “It’s huge for young people to get involved in their community. There were a lot of great innovators in the room tonight.”

“The true test of leadership is mentoring the next generation to help move us forward.”

The Times Leader Media Group was the official media sponsor for the Young Professionals Awards.

Here were all of Tuesday’s award winners:

• Intern of the Year: Katharine Marianacci, 23, of PA CareerLink

• Educator of the Year: Dr. Robert Makaravage, 44, Wilkes-Barre Area School District

• Entrepreneur of the Year: Natalie Lynn, 31, Counterpart Kombucha

• Community Advocate of the Year: Jean Holmgren, 34, Maternal and Family Health Services

• STEM Professional of the Year: Dr. Kaitlyn Connors, 30, Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates, Pittston Chiropractic Clinic

• Young Professional Development Award: Navient, Union + Main Hair Design, and Pepperjam

• Hero of the Year Award: Captain William Court, 29, Wilkes-Barre Fire Department, Ian C. Hughes, 34, Commission on Economic Opportunity

• Cultural Ambassador of the Year Award: Anne E. Rodella, 39, F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts

• Philanthropist of the Year Award: Alana Roberts, 38, PPL Electric Utilities

• Voluntary Leader of the Year Award: Mary Kate Lambert, 28, McCarthy Tire Service

Times Leader vice president of sales and marketing Kerry Miscavage, left, along with Alana Roberts, PPL Electric Utilities Regional Affairs director, present the 2018 STEM Professional of the Year Award to Dr. Kaitlyn Connors, chiropractor, Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates, Pittston Chiropratic Clinic.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-5-1-1-2.jpgTimes Leader vice president of sales and marketing Kerry Miscavage, left, along with Alana Roberts, PPL Electric Utilities Regional Affairs director, present the 2018 STEM Professional of the Year Award to Dr. Kaitlyn Connors, chiropractor, Northeastern Rehabilitation Associates, Pittston Chiropratic Clinic. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

One of the organizations to receive the 2018 Young Professional Development Award on Tuesday was Pepperjam, of Wilkes-Barre. Staff members were presented the award from Don Brominski, UGI Utilities’ director of business development, far left, and Lindsay Bezick, of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, far right.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-8-1-1-2.jpgOne of the organizations to receive the 2018 Young Professional Development Award on Tuesday was Pepperjam, of Wilkes-Barre. Staff members were presented the award from Don Brominski, UGI Utilities’ director of business development, far left, and Lindsay Bezick, of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, far right. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Carl Witkowsky, of Bershire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies, presents the 2018 Intern of the Year Award to Katherine Marianacci, of Dallas, who interned at PA CareerLink.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-1-1-1-1-2.jpgCarl Witkowsky, of Bershire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Companies, presents the 2018 Intern of the Year Award to Katherine Marianacci, of Dallas, who interned at PA CareerLink. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

The 2018 Young Professional Inspiration of the Year Award was presented to Lindsay Bezick, the chief operating officer at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. Bezick, whose award was a surprise announcement, is shown with parents Charles Griffin and Therese Spagnola.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-14-1-1-2.jpgThe 2018 Young Professional Inspiration of the Year Award was presented to Lindsay Bezick, the chief operating officer at the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce. Bezick, whose award was a surprise announcement, is shown with parents Charles Griffin and Therese Spagnola. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Wilkes-Barre Fire Captain William Court was the recipient of the 2018 Hero of the Year Award presented by Community Bank President Barbara Maculloch, left, and Lindsay Bezick, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, COO.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-9-1-1-1.jpgWilkes-Barre Fire Captain William Court was the recipient of the 2018 Hero of the Year Award presented by Community Bank President Barbara Maculloch, left, and Lindsay Bezick, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, COO. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Representatives of Pepperjam, of Wilkes-Barre, were honored with the 2018 Young Professional Development Award. Presenting are Don Brominski, UGI Utilities’ director of business development, far left, and Lindsay Bezick, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, COO, far right.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-7-1-1-1.jpgRepresentatives of Union + Main Hair Design, of Wilkes-Barre, were honored with the 2018 Young Professional Development Award. Presenting are Don Brominski, UGI Utilities’ director of business development, far left, and Lindsay Bezick, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, COO, far right. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

The 2018 Cultural Ambassador of the Year Award went to Anne E. Rodella of F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts. Presenting was Will Beekman, F.M. Kirby Center executive director, left, and Mike McGinley, Times Leader major accounts executive/digital strategist.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-10-1-1-1.jpgThe 2018 Cultural Ambassador of the Year Award went to Anne E. Rodella of F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts. Presenting was Will Beekman, F.M. Kirby Center executive director, left, and Mike McGinley, Times Leader major accounts executive/digital strategist. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Mary Kate Lambert, human resources manager at McCarthy Tire Service, was the recipient of the 2018 Voluntary Leader of the Year Award presented by Ben Eaton, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, Membership Development and Retention manager, left, and Bill Jones, United Way of Wyoming Valley, president and CEO.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-12-1-1-1.jpgMary Kate Lambert, human resources manager at McCarthy Tire Service, was the recipient of the 2018 Voluntary Leader of the Year Award presented by Ben Eaton, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, Membership Development and Retention manager, left, and Bill Jones, United Way of Wyoming Valley, president and CEO. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce programs and events coordinator Ahmad Ali, left, and Pat Barrett, FNCB Bank, senior vice president of commercial lending, present the 2018 Community Advocate of the Year Award to Jean Holmgren, Maternal & Family Health Services, communications and digital specialist.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-4-1-1-1.jpgGreater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce programs and events coordinator Ahmad Ali, left, and Pat Barrett, FNCB Bank, senior vice president of commercial lending, present the 2018 Community Advocate of the Year Award to Jean Holmgren, Maternal & Family Health Services, communications and digital specialist. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

Zubeen Saeed, president and CEO at Building Blocks Learning Center, left, and Lake Ryan Gemzik, far right, CAO at Building Blocks Learning Center, present the 2018 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Robert Makaravage, director of instruction and special education, Wilkes-Barre Area School District.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-2-1-1-1.jpgZubeen Saeed, president and CEO at Building Blocks Learning Center, left, and Lake Ryan Gemzik, far right, CAO at Building Blocks Learning Center, present the 2018 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Robert Makaravage, director of instruction and special education, Wilkes-Barre Area School District. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

The 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Natalie Lynn, Counterpart Kombucha, by Joe Boylan, executive director of Wilkes-Barre Connect, left, and John Phillips, owner MCR Productions.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards-3-1-1-1.jpgThe 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Natalie Lynn, Counterpart Kombucha, by Joe Boylan, executive director of Wilkes-Barre Connect, left, and John Phillips, owner MCR Productions. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader

The 2018 NEPA Influencer of the Year Award went to Dan Landsberg, Geisinger Wyoming Valley and Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre, administrative director, center, presented by Don Brominski, UGI Utilities’ director of Business Development, left, and Mohegan Sun general manager, Brian Sipe. Tony Callaio | For Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/web1_2018-Young-Professional-Awards.webonly.jpgThe 2018 NEPA Influencer of the Year Award went to Dan Landsberg, Geisinger Wyoming Valley and Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre, administrative director, center, presented by Don Brominski, UGI Utilities’ director of Business Development, left, and Mohegan Sun general manager, Brian Sipe. Tony Callaio | For Times LeaderTony Callaio | For Times Leader
Under-40 standouts awardedfor career, community work

 

By Dan Stokes

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Reach Dan Stokes at 570-991-6389 0r 0n Twitter @ByDanStokes