News and information about CAN DO for the community, investors, volunteers and board members.
On behalf of the CAN DO staff, past leaders and our volunteer board members, we all graciously honor Dr. Dessen and his lasting legacy of contributions to Greater Hazleton, both as a caring doctor and an astute business professional.
Dr. Dessen was the driving force behind CAN DO's creation in the 1950s, believing in this area and its residents at a time when Hazleton's economy was in severe decline and the unemployment rate stood at nearly 23 percent. As president of the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce, he noted the decline of the coal industry and came up with the idea – and name – for CAN DO when others said, "It can't be done." He chaired three fund drives that raised more than $2 million to establish CAN DO as the economic development organization serving the people of Greater Hazleton.
Since our founding in 1956, thousands of jobs have been created for men and women in the Hazleton area. CAN DO has developed Valmont Industrial Park, Humboldt Industrial Park (where more than 7,000 people are employed today), McAdoo Industrial Park, the CAN DO Corporate Center and Humboldt Station. Without Dr. Dessen and his vision, none of this would have been possible.
When it comes to Dr. Dessen, "thank you" can never say enough. We will miss his vision, drive and determination tremendously.
CAN DO, Inc.
CAN DO, Inc., Greater Hazleton’s economic development organization, marked another year during its 57th annual dinner held Tuesday at Capriotti’s in McAdoo.
During last month’s annual meeting, the organization’s board of directors elected officers and at-large board members.
CAN DO officers approved for 2013-2014 include: Llewellyn F. Dryfoos III, chairman of the board of directors; Daniel C. Jorgensen, vice chairman; Dr. John Madden, vice chairman; Patrick J. Ward, vice chairman; W. Kevin O’Donnell, president; David M. McCarthy, secretary; James Edwards, CPA, treasurer; Joseph F. Lettiere, vice president of sales and marketing; Nancy R. Stasko, assistant secretary; and Patricia Gendler, CPA, assistant secretary.
The CAN DO Community Foundation recently presented the fifth annual Joseph Yenchko Awards - scholarships named for the first CAN DO employee – to three area students to attend Ferrwood Music Camp.
Foundation President Gary F. Lamont announced that the awards were presented to:
Melissa Clatch of Drums, a student at Drums Elementary Middle School; Sarah Habel of Hazleton, a student at Heights Terrace Elementary Middle School; Hannah Kunetz of Hazle Township, a student at McAdoo Kelayres; Megan Novak of Freeland, a student at Freeland Elementary Middle School; Dustin Snyder of White Haven, a student at Freeland Elementary Middle School; and Angelina Umbriac of Hazleton, a student at Heights Terrace Elementary Middle School.
The selection committee, chaired by Nancy Stasko, included Phil Latella, Jerry Panisak and Chris Stamatopolous.
CAN DO, Greater Hazleton’s economic development agency, presented the sixth annual Curb Appeal Awards on Thursday to industrial park tenants who have beautified and maintained their properties. The awards were presented to companies in Humboldt, Humboldt North, McAdoo and Valmont industrial parks and the CAN DO Corporate Center during an industry mixer at Residence Inn by Marriott in Humboldt Station.
CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell said, “These winners deserve to be recognized for the efforts they have put in to creating attractive properties and continuing to maintain them. CAN DO appreciates the dedication of the Curb Appeal Awards winners to ensuring their properties look great.”
CAN DO, Inc., Greater Hazleton’s economic development organization, released its strategic plan on Tuesday during its board meeting.
CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell said, “To continue our progress as we move toward a future in which we will encounter different challenges, we set forward to determine a strategic plan for our organization. Although we recognize that we live in a rapidly changing world, we wanted to create a strategic plan to let others know the direction we are taking and hold ourselves accountable to staying on course.”
The strategic plan was developed in conjunction with consulting firm Tweed-Weber of Reading. Throughout the process, Tweed-Weber conducted extensive research of Greater Hazleton and sought input from community leaders, focusing on both qualitative data (personal perceptions, descriptions and meaning) and quantitative data (numbers and statistics).
The plan includes goals and strategies for meeting those goals as CAN DO continues its work to help improve the local economy and increase prosperity for the Hazleton area’s residents. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of and progress toward the goals of the plan, CAN DO will track certain measures of success, with the organization’s leadership team reviewing results on a regular basis.
With the help of students at Drums Elementary/Middle School, local military personnel stationed abroad will enjoy a brighter holiday season this year.
Members of the National Junior Honor Society and Student Council at the school have been helping collect items for "Operation: CAN DO," a project of the CAN DO Student Action Committee to collect food, entertainment and hygiene items for servicemen and women.
On Monday, the items the students have collected were gathered and taken to the CAN DO offices in downtown Hazleton. The collection included items such as crossword puzzle books, soap, pens, toothpaste, first aid kits, tissues, trail mix, Ramen noodles and many other items.
"Our National Junior Honor Society and Student Council wanted to bring awareness to all our students about the needs of our troops. Both clubs felt it was important to give back to those that serve. Students in kindergarten through eighth grade collected much-needed items throughout the month of October. We are happy to have the opportunity to work with CAN DO and thank them for their assistance in making this a big success," said Melissa Stauffer, a teacher at the school and NJHS adviser.
With the help of students at Freeland Elementary/Middle School, local military personnel stationed abroad will enjoy a brighter holiday season this year.
Members of the Builders' Club at the school have been helping collect items for "Operation: CAN DO," a project of the CAN DO Student Action Committee to collect food, entertainment and hygiene items for servicemen and women.
On Tuesday, the items the students have collected were gathered and taken to the CAN DO offices in downtown Hazleton. The collection included items such as snacks, coffee, powdered drink mixes, baby wipes, lip balm, toothbrushes, personal-sized toothpaste, magazines, playing cards, puzzle books and other items.
After months of planning and weeks of collecting donations, members of the CAN DO Student Action Committee on Thursday delivered thousands of items donated by businesses and individuals throughout Greater Hazleton as part of the annual “Operation: CAN DO” drive.
The food, books and personal care items, delivered to American Legion Post 473 in Freeland, will be used to create care packages that will be delivered to soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines serving abroad who have ties to Greater Hazleton.
This is the ninth year of the Operation: CAN DO program. CAN DO has partnered with the Freeland American Legion since the drive’s inception, and members of the Student Action Committee once again expressed their thanks on Thursday to Commander Gerald Gaffney and other members of the Freeland American Legion in recognition of their continued assistance with the program and their dedication to the men and women of the United States military.
The event, which features music from several school groups, will be held at Christ Lutheran Church in downtown Hazleton. Admission to Community Christmas is free and light refreshments will be served.
“The CAN DO Community Christmas is a longstanding downtown holiday Christmas tradition and a great way for us to showcase talent from our own community. We’re sure the community will enjoy hearing the festive music these students will share,” said CAN DO President Kevin O’Donnell.
Hundreds of children and adults enjoyed a festive kickoff to the holiday season during the 21st annual CAN DO Community Christmas on Wednesday evening.
The event was held at Christ Lutheran Church in downtown Hazleton. CAN DO Community Christmas is coordinated by CAN DO’s Student Action Committee, which is made up of local high school students who plan and assist with special community projects throughout the year. Committee members Mary Susan McAndrew, Marian Catholic High School, and Haylee Kirschner, MMI Preparatory School, served as this year’s co-chairs for CAN DO Community Christmas.
The event included music from the following school groups: the MMI Chamber Ensemble, the Hazleton Area High School Chamber Singers, the Hazleton Area High School Jazz Ensemble and the Heights-Terrace Elementary/Middle School third-grade chorus.