For Ridgway native Louis Dussia, the opportunity to purchase a Warren-based boat dealership has paid off in dividends over time.
In 1984, Louis bought Dell's Marine in Warren, changed the name to Dreamboat Marine, and then watched the business evolve for over 25 years.
When St. Marys native Brian Calla began considering career options, he decided that he wanted to have a job where he could make a bigger contribution and help people. For the past nine years, he has done that through his job at the law firm of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC in PIttsburgh.
With his diploma fresh in hand, a move to the Big Apple is on the spreadsheet for Bradley Coppella, a St. Marys native who has graduated in the top of his class at the Pennsylvania State University's Smeal College of Business. This fall, he will begin employment with KPMG LLP's Transaction Services Advisory group in New York City.
"I like the job I have chosen because, first of all, it is in New York City, which is the mergers and acquisitions capital of the world. The biggest, most important deals flow through the financial services and consulting firms in Manhattan," Bradley said.
Eight years ago, Emily (Frank) Kleps was planning to pursue her masters degree at Gannon University in Erie when she heard about an opening in the school's Admissions Office. Kleps, a native of St. Marys, still refers to the incident as "a happy accident."
"I felt that would be a good move for me at the time, and working there while taking classes seemed like a natural fit. And it must have been, because eight years later I am still here," Kleps said.
As an attending veterinarian for agricultural animals and wildlife at the Pennsylvania State University, as well as an assistant professor of veterinary medicine and dairy and animal science, 35-year-old Jacob Werner ensures the proper care of a variety of animals used in teaching, testing and research.
He oversees the health and welfare of Penn State's agricultural animals and wildlife, or as he likes to tell people, "I get to take care of the Nittany Lion."
"If you end up picking something that you love to do as your career, it's not work," said Duane Rieder, a former St. Marys native who now resides in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughters.
These words particularly hold true for Rieder's career, which has allowed him to combine his love of photography, baseball, and winemaking.
As the assistant director of the Newman Catholic Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Jeff Klein, 36, continues to stay in touch with his religious roots established in St. Marys and honed through the local Catholic school system.
"I do a little bit of everything, but the things that occupy most of my energy would be counseling and leadership development of college students," Klein said of his duties at UPenn, where he is now in his fourth year. "I enjoy being a positive influence in the lives of young people."
Force native Jim Brunelli has been involved with basketball since his childhood days on the playground. Throughout his high school and college years, he never lost his connection with the sport, and now helps others develop their own skills and love of the game as head women's basketball coach at Anderson University in Anderson, S.C.
"I love basketball. I love college athletics. There is nothing more pure than college sports," Jim said.
From conferences to cocktail parties, Amy (Miller) Medawar, 31, coordinates all aspects of such events as the Director of Conference Services and Events at The Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia boutique hotel, and adjoining Art & Soul restaurant in Washington, D.C.
Over the past nine years at the hotel, Medawar has held numerous positions including those in group sales, catering sales and conference services. She has worked in her current capacity for the last five years.