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Alumni Awards Presented at Commencement


In commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport, Pennsylvania College of Technology presented a Distinguished Citizenship/Humanitarian Award to Dan Vilello and a Mentorship Award to Susquehanna Bancshares Inc./Edward Balderston Jr.

The Distinguished Citizenship/Humanitarian Award recognizes alumni for distinguished civic service after graduation and promotes the practice of volunteerism for graduates. The Mentorship Award recognizes alumni and/or businesses that have made significant or ongoing contributions to the education and development of Penn College students.

Dan Vilello, this year's Distinguished Citizenship%2FHumanitarian Award winner, with college President Davie Jane Gilmour.Vilello, this year’s Distinguished Citizenship/Humanitarian Award honoree, is a former Clinton County commissioner, having served in that elected post from 1996-2003. As a commissioner, Vilello oversaw 21 department heads and more than 200 employees.

A 1974 alumnus of the Penn College forerunner Williamsport Area Community College, Vilello also has been a successful businessman, with 29 years’ experience owning and operating a plumbing, heating and air-conditioning company with 22 employees. At one point, 10 of his employees − plumbers, pipefitters and HVAC technicians − were Penn College graduates.

Vilello has traveled throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, New York and West Virginia, overseeing multimillion-dollar federal housing projects. His firm worked on numerous building projects at Penn State University’s main campus and at state Department of General Services facilities throughout Pennsylvania.

Currently, Vilello is employed by the state Department of Environmental Protection as local government liaison for the Northcentral Region.

He is a former chairman of the Central Counties Youth Detention Center, former director of the Clinton County Conservation Board, former chairman of the Clinton County Correctional Facility, former president of the Lycoming-Clinton Mental Health/Mental Retardation Joinder Board and former chairman of the board of trustees for Susque-View Home. He has served on the Clinton County Solid Waste Authority, the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp. and the operating committee of the Clinton County Economic Partnership.

Vilello has been part of several significant statewide initiatives, including the governor’s voter modernization task force and the governor’s advisory board for statewide uniform registry of electors. In 2003, he served as first vice president of the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. He was treasurer for the association in 2002.

In 2003, Vilello received the Pennsylvania Association of County Human Services Administrators’ President’s Award for his support of human services in Lycoming and Clinton counties. A former board member of Clinton County United Way, he received the organization’s Volunteer of the Year honor in 1999.

Mentorship honoree Edward Balderston Jr. and President Gilmour.The Mentorship Award recipient, Susquehanna Bancshares Inc., a regional financial services holding company headquartered in Lititz, was represented at the ceremonies by Balderston, the firm’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer.

With offices in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia, the company operates numerous commercial-banking, wealth-management, insurance and leasing companies. It employs Penn College students in cooperative-education arrangements and has hired the college’s graduates as permanent employees.

Balderston has spoken to Management of Organizational Behavior classes at Penn College since 1998. He and others at Susquehanna Bancshares have allowed Penn College students (as many as 25 per semester) to take the Activity Vector Analysis − a behavioral-assessment system − and have provided in-person “readbacks,” a valuable benefit.

He also serves on Penn College’s Business Management Advisory Committee, providing an important connection to industry practices.

Balderston began his banking career in 1968 at Conestoga National Bank, Lancaster, which later became Commonwealth National Bank. In 1980, he joined Farmers First Bank, Lititz, as vice president of administrative services. In 1982, Farmers First became a wholly owned subsidiary of Susquehanna Bancshares Inc.

In 1997, Balderston became senior vice president of marketing and human resources at Farmers First and director of marketing at Susquehanna Bancshares. In 1998, he was named vice president of marketing and human resources at Susquehanna Bancshares. In 2000, he became senior vice president and group executive at Susquehanna Bancshares. He was appointed to his current position in 2004.

Balderston was awarded a Life Designation as a Senior Professional in Human Resources by the Human Resource Certification Institute and a Lifetime Certificate of Excellence as a Certified Behavioral Analyst by The Bizet Group. He has received numerous awards for community service.

He holds a master of business administration degree, with marketing and human resource concentrations, from Southwest Louisiana University. He is a graduate of Bucks County College, the Pennsylvania School of Banking at Bucknell University, the American Institute of Banking and the New Jersey Data Processing School. He holds a management certification from Franklin & Marshall College.

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