United Way names winner of annual award

Thomas O’Connell, director of major and planned gifts for the Susquehanna Health Foundation, has been named as this year’s Douglas C. Dickey Humanitarian Award recipient, according to Scott N. Lowery, executive director of the Lycoming County United Way.

O’Connell will be honored at the organization’s annual meeting April 9 at the Holiday Inn, 100 Pine St.

Named in honor of Dickey, a past LCUW president who perished in the crash of TWA Flight 800, the award is presented to an individual whose dedication, commitment and outstanding leadership have made a significant contribution to the welfare of Lycoming County.

The award first was presented in 1947 as the Lycoming United Way Award and renamed in 1997 to honor Dickey’s memory and contributions to the local United Way.

O’Connell becomes the 67th person to receive the award.

“The selection committee for this award is comprised of individuals who themselves have been past recipients of the award,” Lowery said. “These volunteers are in the best position to understand the importance of this award to our United Way and have previously exhibited the credentials necessary to achieve the honor. Tom has been very generous to both the community and our United Way. The committee was quick to agree he deserves the special recognition.”

O’Connell has had a long career in banking, trust and investments with local banks including Citizens & Northern, M&T Bank, Keystone Financial and Northern Central Bank. He is a member of the Financial Planners Association and serves on the board of the Northern Central PA Estate Planners Association.

His community service includes membership on the LCUW board and chairman of funds distribution.

“He volunteers with St. Boniface and has served as an usher with the Little League World Series for 20 years,” Lowery added. “It is no coincidence that many of the recent progressive changes implemented within our organization were fulfilled under Tom’s leadership. He has a genuine concern for others and a management style conducive to positive action.”

O’Connell also has served on the boards of Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, Williamsport/Lycoming Arts Council and the Community Arts Center.

O’Connell will receive the Dickey Award from George Tsunis, founder, chairman and CEO of Chartwell Hotels, who received the award in 2011.