People in business

Man from region

joins national board

Curtin R. Rakestraw II, director for Sullivan Rural Electric Cooperative, was seated on the board of directors of the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. at its annual meeting in February in New Orleans.

Rakestraw was elected at a district meeting in Cincinnati on Sept. 6.

Rakestraw also serves as chairman of Allegheny Electric Cooperative and Continental Cooperative Services. He is past director and president of the Pennsylvania Corn Growers Association and a founding director of the Lycoming Farmland Preservation. He is a co-owner, with his wife Mary, of Rakestraw Farms and Promised Land Busing.

Milton insurance agent part of program

Dana Bellis, of The Coup?Agency, Milton, recently was selected as a “Pacesetter” by State Auto Insurance Cos.

“The goal of our PaceSetter program is to form a sales/marketing partnership with each agent to improve service to all our customers,” State Auto CEO and Chairman Robert Restrepo said. “We were very selective in choosing our PaceSetter agents who come from only our very top agencies.”

Insurance company

names vice president

First National Insurance Agency, a subsidiary of F.N.B. Corp., has announced the recent hiring of Jonathan P. McCauley as vice president and manager of bonds.

In this role, McCauley will manage business development efforts for the company’s surety bond department. He also will work with internal business partners in commercial lending, wealth management and other lines of business to provide full-service financial solutions to clients. Based in Pittsburgh’s North Shore, McCauley will report to Michael Barbarita, managing director and chief operating officer, First National Insurance Agency.

McCauley has more than 22 years of industry experience. Most recently, he served as vice president of construction and surety practices with Willis of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh, and previously as a senior account executive at NexTier Insurance Services in Wexford.

People in business

Professionals host

industry conference

Andrew Harris and Michael Kolb, of Williamsport, investment adviser representatives with ING Financial Partners, presented the Adviser Insight conference Feb. 4 to 8, according to a news release.

The annual conference gathered more than 1,000 financial professionals from across the country. Attendees received updates on the current economic and market forces impacting investment opportunities, heard from well-known industry speakers and engaged in timely workshops on retirement income planning and emotional investing.

“By attending Adviser Insight, our financial professionals stay on top of the latest industry trends to better serve their clients,” said Karl Lindberg, president of ING Financial Partners. “With a record number of attendees this year, there was an energetic and charged atmosphere that encouraged the sharing of best practices among advisers.”

Group recognizes

investment adviser

Bradley Hall, of Williamsport, has qualified for the exclusive “Court of the Table” of the Million Dollar Round Table – The Premier Association of Financial Professionals, according to a news release.

Hall is a 26-year MDRT member and a six-time Court of the Table qualifier.

The status recognizes Hall for demonstrating exceptional professional knowledge, client service and ethical conduct.

“Attaining Court of the Table membership in MDRT is a distinguishing career milestone reserved for a select few like Bradley who have proven that they are among the best of the best,” said MDRT President D. Scott Brennan.

Hall is an investment adviser representative and offers securities and investment advisory services through ING Financial Partners.

Bank honors 2

for years of service

Two Citizens & Northern Bank employees have been recognized for a combined 35 years of service to the financial institution.

Recognized during the March service awards luncheon were: Leslie Raymond, Wysox community office manager for 20 years; and Georgia Cary, Coudersport customer service representative for 15 years.

Service awards luncheons are held regularly and hosted by bank Chairman, President and CEO Charles H. Updegraff, Jr. In 2013, C&N will recognize 20 employees for a total of 300 years of service to Citizens & Northern Bank.

Man opens city

insurance agency

Steve Turzanski recently opened an insurance agency in Williamsport.

Turzanski, who has worked in insurance for several years throughout the region, earned a bachelor’s degree from Susquehanna University in 2002 and a master’s degree from Bloomsburg University. He is engaged to Dr. Emily Larson, of Danville.

People in business

New assistant vice

president named

First Citizens Community Bank announced that Diane Wilson has been appointed assistant vice president and office manager of the Wellsboro community office. In her position as manager, Wilson will focus on residential lending and small business development to meet the needs of her market while satisfying the growth objectives of her office, according to a news release from the bank.

Wilson began her banking career in 1988 as a CSC I at Star Savings and Loan. For the last 18 years, prior to joining First Citizens Community Bank, she worked at Citizens & Northern Bank in mortgage specialist, office manager, assistant manager and loan officer capacities in the Mansfield and Wellsboro areas.

She holds several diplomas from the American Institute of Banking, including general banking, mortgage lending, and consumer credit, and is also a graduate of the Central Atlantic Intermediate and Advanced Schools of Banking, and the Central Atlantic School of Commercial Lending.

“Diane comes to First Citizens with a great deal of lending experience and a proven track record of exceeding customer expectations,” said Jeff Carr, chief retail banking officer. “We are fortunate to have an individual with such talents join our team.”

Wilson is a member of the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce, Booster Club, Laurel Health Pro-Am, and Punisher Athletics. She resides in Wellsboro with her husband, Jeff, and their children, Brock and Peyton.

First Citizens Community Bank is headquartered in Mansfield and operates 17 community offices in Tioga, Bradford and Potter counties and in Alleghany County, N.Y., as well as loan processing offices in Lock Haven and Dallas, Pa.

Coordinator for

medical office


Terri Sheesley has been selected as The Eye Center of Central Pennsylvania’s February “Visions of Excellence” recipient.

Sheesley, a news release said, is recognized for outstanding commitment and dedication to ensuring patient satisfaction and her extensive knowledge of the multitude of responsibilities in her role as a front office coordinator with The Eye Center of Central Pennsylvania.

“Terri goes out of her way to make every patient feel welcome,” said Dr. Breezy Moyer at The Eye Center of Central Pennsylvania. “I feel that Terri is more than deserving of this award because not only does she go over the top performing her own job responsibilities, but she helps the rest of us all with a smile on her face.”

The Visions of Excellence recipient is nominated by their peers in The Eye Center family and selected by the director and management network.

9 real estate agents

honored with banquet

Weichert, Realtors -Premier has announced the company’s 2012 award winners. Nine high achievers will be honored by Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. at a banquet set for March 8.

The WREA 2012 Sales Achievement Award will be presented to Amber Kriger, Amy Lambert, Charlene Fischer, Christina Beiter, Jody Harlan, Lori Solomon, Melissa Goodell, Susan Masley, and Thomas Hartland of the Williamsport agency.

All awards, a news release said, are based on minimum requirement per award category in gross commission income or units earned in 2012. These agents earned their recognition from among associates in 35 states at year’s end.

People in business

City woman

honored in ‘Top 25’

Rettew announces the selection of Laura Templeton, regional manager for Rettew’s Williamsport office, as one of the Top 25 women in business by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal.

She is highlighted for her dedication to community engagement and the value she places on people, a news release from Rettew said.

“One of the best things about my job is that, at its core, my purpose is to help people both inside and outside my company to become more successful,” Templeton said.

Templeton is a principal of Rettew Associates Inc., and has been leading the Williamsport office since 2011. She is responsible for business development and operations, with an emphasis on public outreach, project management and client communications. She joined Rettew in 2001 and has 20 years of experience in the engineering industry, having worked as director of client services, communications leader, and bureau director.

The publication selected Templeton for her expertise, grit in an industry dominated by men, intentional communication and community involvement. As regional manager, she has moved the Rettew office into Williamsport’s Central Business District and grown the businesses local presence to 40 employees who pride themselves in giving back to the community. Templeton is a member of the Williamsport/Lycoming Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee and its Leadership Lycoming Class of 2013, the Manufacturer and Business Association government relations committee, PublicARTWORKS, a subcommittee of the Williamsport-Lycoming Arts Council and a board member and the special events finance chair for the Williamsport Business Association.

New counselor

for regional bank

Jeff Carr, chief retail banking officer for First Citizens Community Bank, has announced that Katie Haas has joined the bank’s Blossburg office as a customer service counselor.

Haas’ primary focus is to meet with loan customers to understand their borrowing needs and provide them with the loan solution that helps them buy a new home, remodel their existing home, buy a vehicle, or send their child to college, according to a news release. Although her primary focus will be lending, she will proactively help her customers with other financial services to assist them in achieving their personal goals.

Haas originally is from Enola, where she graduated from East Pennsboro Area High School before attending college at Mansfield University. In August 2012, she graduated magna cum laude, earning a B.S. degree in business administration in just three years, while working two part-time jobs and volunteering with AARP and the IRS as a tax return preparer at the Mansfield Senior Center.

“Graduating magna cum laude in just three years clearly illustrates Katie’s enthusiasm for learning and hard work,” said Carr. “We believe these characteristics make her a good fit for our Blossburg team.”

She is a new resident of Blossburg, and looks forward to becoming more involved with the community.

First Citizens Community Bank is headquartered in Mansfield and operates 18 offices in Tioga, Bradford and Potter counties and in Alleghany County, N.Y., as well as loan processing offices in Lock Haven and Dallas, Pa.

Insurance agent

completes training

Paul Schwarzer, agent for the Baltimore Life Co. in Montoursville, has earned the Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow professional designation. The designation, a news release said, is conferred only on upon those individuals who meet or exceed the exacting qualification standards determined by the two organizations that jointly sponsor the designation, The American College and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

The designation marks an agent’s long term commitment to professionalism on behalf of clients, establishes the agent’s competence and business experience, marks a commitment to The American College’s and NAIFA’s Code of Ethics and fosters additional professional development. In addition to the successful completion of five courses within a 10-course curriculum, candidates must also complete an ethics course and be a member in good standing of NAIFA.

Conferees are honored during The American College’s national Knowledge Summit and Commencement exercises. The event takes place Nov. 20-22 in Las Vegas.

Employees of the

year selected

First Citizens Community Bank named its 2012 Employees of the Year at their bi-annual winter party held at the Corning Radisson in January. Receiving the awards were Donna Williamee, loan accounting representative, and Wendy Southard, marketing officer.

To be eligible, a news release said, recipients must show an outstanding level of dedication, professional attitude, and concern for the customer and fellow employees of First Citizens Community Bank and both Williamee and Southard consistently embody these attributes.

Williamee joined First Citizens in 1989 as a part-time teller in the Blossburg office. She continued to work in the branch network until 2002, at which time she assumed the position of credit services representative in the bank’s Loan Central department. In 2003, she moved to her current loan accounting representative position. Williamee resides in Mansfield with her husband, Davis. They have two grown children, Lynn and Cheryl. She enjoys gardening, and is a doting grandmother to three girls, ages seven, twelve, and 19 months.

Southard joined First Citizens in 1991 as marketing department secretary, and was promoted to marketing officer in 1995, and to assistant vice president and marketing officer in 2008. She is a 2003 graduate of the American Banker’s Association School of Bank Marketing & Management, and is a certified financial marketing professional. She is a deaconess and treasurer at Covington Church of Christ, and enjoys spending time with her family. Southard and her husband Lou reside in Covington, and are parents to two grown children, Trisha and Chris.

People in business

New regional market

director for Blue Cross

George M. Johnson, Jr. has joined Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania as market director for its western region.

Johnson will oversee large and small group sales and account management for customers in Bradford, Clinton, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga and Wyoming counties. He will also manage the individual sales staff at the regional office in Williamsport.

Johnson has extensive experience in health insurance sales and account management, including previous positions as: manager for new business small group sales for Capital Blue Cross in Harrisburg; manager, Keystone Health Plan central HMO sales and marketing for Capital Blue Cross; and director for sales and marketing, Clarity Vision for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pittsburgh. He also is a licensed producer with the state Insurance Department.

Johnson received his B.A. in political science from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. He serves on the board of directors of the Kidney Foundation of Central Pennsylvania, and has volunteered his time as a musician with foundation’s Kidney Rock fundraiser and for the United Way’s annual day of caring.

Agent joins real

estate group

The Williamsport office of Weichert, Realtors – Premier has announced that real estate agent Julie Hughes has joined the agency’s sales team. A lifelong resident of Hughesville and a member of the West Branch Valley Association of Realtors, she will assist homebuyers and sellers in the Williamsport, Hughesville, and surrounding vicinities.

She is a member of the Muncy Valley Moose lodge and attends the Church of the Resurrection in Muncy.

Hughes holds an associate’s degree in horticulture from the Pennsylvania College of Technology and is an FTD master florist. With 20 years in retail floral ownership and wholesale floral sales, she also has taught floral design at her alma mater.

Planner earns


The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts announces that Deanna “Dee” L. Gephart, certified financial planner, a wealth consultant of Hudock Moyer Wealth Resources, recently completed a specialized educational program in professional divorce analysis and now is a certified divorce financial analyst.

Gephart spent several months studying for and testing various aspects of the divorce process including: financial issues, property distribution, tax and retirement issues. Her certification requires annual continuing education that will allow her to keep abreast of current trends in the industry. At the present time, Gephart is the only such analyst in Lycoming County.

An analyst works with clients individually or as couples, helping them to come to grips with the financial realities of their unique divorce situation. Developing comprehensive insight of the short and long-term financial effects of divorce can save valuable time, money and distress, especially if the process is conducted early in the legal proceedings. Gephart is trained to provide financial information and assistance to people going through a divorce. She evaluates the tax implications of dividing financial property and the financial impact of various settlement options for dividing marital property, including pensions, and child and spousal support payments.

“The financial ramifications of divorce can be devastating. But with proper planning, you can increase your chances of arriving at a settlement that addresses financial needs. At Hudock Moyer Wealth Resources, we project the financial impacts, both short-term and long-term, to a proposed divorce settlement,” said Gephart.

In addition to the designation, Gephart is also a certified financial planner who holds the Series 7 security registration as well as a state Life and Health Insurance license. Analysts train professional financial planners, accountants, and lawyers to determine the financial needs and outcomes for couples after divorce.