Regional Manager of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of NEP to Deliver Commencement Address

Johnson College has chosen Ken Okrepkie, Regional Manager of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania to give their 2017 commencement address to graduates on Sunday, May 14th, 2017 at 10 a.m.

As the Regional Manager for Ben Franklin Technology Partners, he oversees investments in a portfolio of Northeastern PA companies that in 2016 generated more than $1B in revenue in the region. At Ben Franklin Technology Partners he also connects manufacturing companies to college and university resources. As a result, today a project with Johnson College is creating a new programmable logic controller (PLC) for a local company that employs 148 people in Carbondale that will drive significant additional revenue to the firm.

Mr. Okrepkie’s career blends a variety of experiences from higher education to the world of the entrepreneur. He started his career at the University of Scranton ultimately serving as Assistant Dean of Admissions followed by Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania where he held the position of President leading an organization that teaches life skills and the American free enterprise system to 12,000 young people a year. Ken then transitioned to founding member of an internet start-up company,, where he led the sales and strategic initiatives. Prior to Ben Franklin in 2004, he joined the Great Valley Technology Alliance, now TecBridge, as a Vice-President.

He is credited with creating the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) Program that generates more than $2M each year for technology companies, now totaling $17.4M since the inception of the program. In support of regional economic development and local nonprofits, he continues to serve the community as Chairman of the Boards for SLIBCO- the Scranton Chamber’s Economic Development arm and Scranton Tomorrow, an organization that is leading the revitalization of downtown Scranton. Mr. Okrepkie also serves as Treasurer for United Neighborhood Centers and Chairs the Hazleton based CAN BE Business Incubator and Penn State University Wilkes-Barre Engineering Advisory Committee. He serves as Vice-President for the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center’s Board while participating on the Scranton Chamber Executive Board, CAN DO Board, Wilkes University Engineering Advisory Board, Wilkes-Barre Connect, Penn’s Northeast, TecBridge and the 9 Business Incubator Boards in the region. He has been both Commissioner and/or Coach for girls’ basketball and soccer in the Abington Youth programs and coached his daughter’s Holy Cross High School winter and summer league girls’ soccer team.

A graduate of the University of Scranton, Ken holds an undergraduate degree in marketing and a master’s degree in human resources. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Scranton Kania School of Management teaching in the Entrepreneurship program while being recognized as the 2013 TecBridge Bill McNally Mentor of the Year and a 2016 Wilkes University Allan P. Kirby Center Mentor of the Year recipient.

He resides in Scott Township with his wife, Dr. Kim Pavlick, and two daughters, Emily and Grace.

Munley Law Establishes Veterinary Technology Scholarship in Memory of Colleague

Kneeling: Laurie Cole (Dandy) Donna Boyko (Bates). 1st Row: Tracey Pratt (Advancement Specialist, Johnson College), Morgan Booth, Colleen Gembitski, Rosanne Cherney, Dr. Ann Pipinski (President & CEO, Johnson College). 2nd Row: Sherry Jenkins, Paula Walsh, Sue Dule, Jerry Levans, Debbie Kell, Anne Erickson, Bettie Laskosky, Frank Wenzel. 3rd Row: Lindsay Swick, Patricia Buskey, Dan Munley, Mike Simon, Chris Munley

Johnson College recently received $1,000 from Munley Law for a scholarship to be given to a student pursuing Veterinary Technology. The scholarship comes to the College in remembrance of Janie Lamberton, an employee of Munley Law for more than ten years, who passed away in 2014.

Janie’s true love was rescuing dogs. She organized fundraisers to benefit local shelters, transported dogs to no-kill shelters, and loved taking photos of them. She even had her own therapy dog, which she would bring to visits at local nursing homes. When it came to animals, Janie had so much compassion. The staff at Munley Law thought the best way to honor her legacy would be through supporting students who care about animals just as much as Janie did.

The Veterinary Technology program at Johnson College prepares students to join an animal-care team as entry-level technicians.  Technicians collect samples, perform lab tests, take radiographs, prepare the surgical suite, assist in surgery, monitor anesthesia, provide general nursing care to patients, and assume other clinical duties.  Second-year students complete clinical rotations in the Animal Care Center, a pet wellness center on the campus of Johnson College.  The program prepares students to become Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVT) upon passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). For more information about the program, please click here.

Dr. Ann L. Pipinski, President & Chief Executive Officer Announces Retirement

“Thanks to Johnson College’s outstanding students, faculty and staff, board members, industry partners, and alumni I feel that it is well positioned for continued growth.” 

Dr. Ann L. Pipinski, President and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson College today announced her retirement, which will be effective June 30, 2018.  The announcement was made earlier today at a special all-college gathering of board members, students, faculty, and staff.

Dr. Pipinski was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson College in 2003. She served as acting President of the College from August 2002 and previously as Vice President of Continuing Education since 1989.  She has been with the College for over 27 years and her leadership has had a profound impact on the institution and greater Scranton community.

Dave Boniello, ’84, Chair of the Johnson College Board Directors shares, “I always remember Ann sharing that as President she wanted to laugh, have fun and could be a bit of a rebel.  I am proud to say that she has remained true to this statement throughout her tenure and it has served us well.  The College has grown in so many ways thanks to her leadership and our students are all the better for it.  As the first female President and Chief Executive Officer she has been an outstanding role model to all and has created an institution that is student-focused and industry-driven.”

Since becoming President and Chief Executive Officer of Johnson College Dr. Pipinski has led the College in growth of program development, friendraising and fundraising, and enrollment.  After years of an inactive alumni association she gave voice to this important constituent group by actively engaging them in activities related to their alma mater.  She reached out and they reached back and together, they began to shape the future of the institution, including a successful capital campaign that exceeded its comprehensive goal.  This was the first capital campaign for the College and resulted in its largest building project to date, the 12,600 square foot Health Science Technology Center.

The Health Science Technology Center houses the College’s Physical Therapist Assistant program, the newest program addition at the institution.  Dr. Pipinski also oversaw the development of the Woolworth Flex space, a 4,400 square foot building that houses the College’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning program.  Other building renovations under Dr. Pipinski’s tenure include the College’s first Collaborative Learning Space, a remodel of the Moffat Student Center, and a remodel of Woolworth Hall to house the College’s Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology program and 3-D print lab.

These additions, along with program development have helped to enhance the overall student experience.  Students have always been the focus for Dr. Pipinski and hearing feedback from them remains one of her favorite activities as President.  Listening to direct input from students has led to record-setting enrollment during Dr. Pipinski’s tenure.  Program enhancements and new program development have been a result of student, industry, and board input.

The new programs introduced under Dr. Pipinski’s leadership are Distribution, Supply & Logistics (in 2006 with a 2014 name change to Business Management with tracks in Project Management and Supply Chain Management), Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Technology (2008), Diesel Preventative Maintenance Technology Certificate Program (2009), Welding Technology Certificate (2012), Physical Therapist Assistant (2013), and Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Technology (2015).  The diversification of offerings has led the College to a 20% increase in enrollment since 2003.  The overall net assets of the College (Value of the College) has grown 204% and the operating budget has doubled during Dr. Pipinski’s tenure.  Thanks to this dynamic leadership, Dr. Pipinski has helped to change the landscape of higher education in Northeastern Pennsylvania and how people view technical education.  She enhanced the College’s presence in the community and increased its profile throughout the region through strategic public relations and branding.

As a lifelong resident of Scranton, PA, Dr. Pipinski, who is affectionately called Dr. Ann by the community, has also provided great service to professional and community organizations.  She serves on the boards of the United Way of Lackawanna County, currently serving as Treasurer; the Child Advocacy Center; and formerly the Everhart Museum.  Dr. Pipinski had also been on the board for over 15 years of the Women’s Resource Center and is past Chair.

She has also served as a commissioner with the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology (ACCSCT). She has served as an evaluator for the Division of Academic Approval for the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). She is past president of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Continuing Education Council. She is a member and past chair of Northeast Pennsylvania Association of Colleges and Universities (NEPACU), which consists of regional college and university presidents.

Dr. Pipinski is also active in regional economic development activities including the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, serving as a member of the Board of Directors.  She currently serves on the Executive Board as vice president, on the board of the Lackawanna Industrial Fund Enterprises (LIFE), and is past chairperson of the Higher Education Committee. Dr. Pipinski previously served as Chairperson of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Technology Institute (NPTI), an initiative sponsored by Northeastern Pennsylvania colleges, universities, economic development groups, private foundations, and industry. She has been appointed by the Lackawanna County Board of Commissioners as a member of the Lackawanna County Workforce Investment Board (WIB).

In 2014 Dr. Pipinski received a diversity award from the Council for Community Affairs Inc.  In 2012 Dr. Pipinski received the Woman of Excellence Award from the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, recognizing her years of service to the greater Scranton community.  In 2007 she was selected as one of Seven Women at the Pinnacle of their Careers by the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal.

“The College is in a great place and I feel it is the right time for me to retire,” Dr. Pipinski shared earlier today.  She went on to say, “Thanks to Johnson College’s outstanding students, faculty and staff, board members, industry partners, and alumni I feel that it is well positioned for continued growth.  It is as true today as it was back in 2001 when I first stated it – human capital is the primary source of competitive advantage.  Our employees and graduates demonstrate this every day.”

Chair of the Board of Directors Dave Boniello ‘84 is Johnson College’s first alumnus board chairperson.  As part of the special all-college meeting today, he also shared that a national search will be conducted for Johnson College’s next President & Chief Executive Officer and will commence over the next few months.  A timeline for the search process will be released soon.