Farrell – Ten alumni were inducted into the Farrell Alumni Hall of Fame on October 8 at the 16th Annual Gala at the Park Inn by Radisson. Dinner was the first after a two-year hiatus due to Covid.
This year’s winners are:
Elaine Douglas DeBerry ’57 has had an extensive nursing career spanning nearly 50 years with a focus on crisis management. She served as a clinical instructor at the Louisiana Tech School of Nursing. She has worked with high-risk suicide, drug overdose, alcoholic patients, and forensic patients in crisis. Her acute care/psychiatric experience included patients with acute psychiatric problems and medical/surgical complications.
Peter White ’59 has been a Hall of Famer for nearly 40 years in the classroom, especially hardwoods. He taught and coached at Williamsport (Pennsylvania) High School from 1976 until his 1997. At Williamsport, while playing in his 4-A, the highest classification at the time, his team won his 17th consecutive district championship, set a Pennsylvania schoolboy record, and his 12th consecutive PIAA Tournament. , achieving a state record. Williamsport High’s Millionaires is his first 4A big school to finish undefeated as state champions, 30-0. Retired after the 1997 season.
Janice Skiljo Haris ’68 is the Founder and CEO of MEDLink, a California-based company with 50 years of experience across a variety of healthcare, occupational health, and workers’ compensation medical/legal communities. In her 1992 she founded California MEDLink, Inc. to provide comprehensive scheduling, management, and training services for forensic physicians and their clients. Professionally, she has served on the board and treasurer of the National Board of Certified Nurse Life Care Planners since her 2009.
Dr. Ray Brodie Jr. ’69 has had a highly successful 20-year career as a leading urologist in Baltimore, Maryland. He has served as a Clinical Instructor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Regional Medical Director for Prison Health Services, Inc. , and as a policy expert for the Maryland Department of Mental Health and Hygiene. He continued his urology private practice from 1982 to his 2001 and retired in 2002. He has served as a urologist at several medical centers and hospitals in the Baltimore area. He was a urology consultant to numerous nursing homes.
Sam Beritch ’71 stepped away from a possible career in government and legal administration and followed his heart, leaving his mark on the community as a vital part of the Mercer County Regional Department on Aging for over 40 years and serving as Chief Executive Officer retired as For his local efforts to combat elder abuse, he was selected by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging as a representative to advocate for implementation of legislation to combat elder abuse in the state legislature. From 1995 until his retirement, he provided state-mandated training throughout the Union.
Edward Walczak ’71 has had a challenging 37-year career as a microbiologist in the animal health industry. In 1979, he joined the animal health division of Schering-Plough Company in Omaha, Nebraska, working at the assistant scientist level in the vaccine research and development division. While there, he worked on vaccines for several animal species and obtained a swine vaccine license. In 1984, he joined the R&D project of Intervet, Inc. in Millsboro, Delaware. He retired from his Merck Corp. animal health division in 2016. After his retirement, he continued semi-actively in the animal health business as a consultant before fully retiring in 2021.
Edward’s brother, John Walzac ’74, turned his appreciation and love for animals into an elite zoo management career that spanned over 40 years and was appointed Director of the Louisville Zoo in 2004. His career began at the Palm His Beach Zoo. He served as supervisor of the Oklahoma City Zoo before moving to Louisville in 1985 to design and build his HerpAquarium at the Louisville Zoo. During his tenure as director, he increased the zoo’s conservation fund to over his $800,000 and donated over $200,000 annually to frontline conservation efforts. He was able to leave the zoo with a healthy budget surplus and his more than $5 million in grants to be spent on improving the zoo before retiring in 2021.
Eric Gibbs II ’91 is Vice President and Project Management Manager for the Corporate Risk Division at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina. He has been with Wells Fargo for his 15 years and has held various progressive roles including project manager, technical he relationship manager and program manager. His responsibilities span program/project manager, scrum master, technology delivery, transformation, strategy, management of mergers and acquisitions teams. He played a key role in managing the merger of Wachovia into Wells Fargo. Additionally, he is also the owner and operator of his EZ Dumpster Rental, LLC.
Marlene Jones Gibbs ’94 was senior vice president of administration at Wells Fargo in Charlotte, North Carolina, and after a 25-year career in financial services, started her career at First National Bank Corp. in Hermitage. I was. An attorney, she has held various progressive roles with companies such as FNB Corporation, Seven Seventeen Credit Union in Warren, Ohio, Wells Fargo in Charlotte, and Bank of America.She has over 20 years of financial services experience. and eventually fulfills its current role. She has worked at Wells Fargo since 2014. Additionally, she is the owner of her Marlene Gibbs Consulting Services. She is the wife of Hall of Famer Eric Gibbs II.
The 2022 posthumous honor of the Farrell Alumni Hall of Fame is Russell C. Phillips, one of the most respected teachers and administrators in the history of the Farrell Area School District. He was a teacher at Hallen Hill in New York and was the principal of Farrell High School for a total of 36 years. He was the first African-American administrator in the history of the Mercer County School District.
For many years he was the assistant football coach of the national team and was the head track coach. He was an English teacher at Farrell Middle School for many years. His relationships with most students began during his middle school years and continued through high school. He died in 2017 at the age of 90.
In 16 years, FAHF has welcomed 159 graduates. This year’s dinner was dedicated to the late Ted Pedas, Hall’s founder and advisor, who passed away in 2021.