LATROBE, PA – Saint Vincent College has announced its 2022 Alumni of Distinction in recognition of exemplary service, commitment and the ways in which their accomplishments, affiliations and careers have honored the legacy of Saint Vincent.
The 2022 honorees include Jeffrey P. Holtzman, C’77, of Tequesta, FL; Charles “Charlie” Cleveland, C’72, of Pembroke Pines, FL; Dr. Dana Winters, C’06, of Irwin; W. Richard “Dick” Howe, C’67, of Freedom; M. Robert “Bob” Racko, C’68, of McMurray; John J. Hutchinson Jr., C’67, of Ocean Gate, NJ; and Timothy J. Waxenfelter, C’69, of Crescent.
The Alumni of Distinction will be honored this year as part of Homecoming Weekend during a ceremony on Friday, Sept. 16, at the Fred M. Rogers Center on campus.
Jeffrey P. Holtzman, C’77
A native of Blairsville and an Eagle Boy Scout, Jeffrey Holtzman matriculated at Saint Vincent to study accounting. As a student, Mr. Holtzman enjoyed being involved in the College’s intramural sports program, and during his senior year, he was the president of the SVC Business Forum. Prior to graduating in 1977 with highest honors and receiving the Accounting Department Award for Excellence, Mr. Holtzman passed the Pennsylvania CPA exam on his first attempt.
Mr. Holtzman continued is academic career at Harvard Business School, earning his MBA. He has had a successful career in accounting and finance with Ernst & Young, Gulf Oil, Mellon Bank, and NextEra Energy before retiring from B/E Aerospace where he was Vice President – Finance and Treasurer. He also taught night classes in Business Policy and Accounting at Saint Vincent.
He has been a lifelong volunteer at church, from serving as an altar boy in his youth to taking on various roles as an adult including lector, eucharistic minister, Sunday school teacher, and church finance committee member.
Extending his volunteerism into his community, Mr. Holtzman has served as Academic Affairs chairperson for both Palm Beach County School District and Suncoast High School. During his role as Vice President for the Suncoast High School Foundation, he started an ongoing program to provide SAT and college preparation to underserved students. To date, more than 2,000 minority students have enrolled in this program. He has also served as a Take Stock in Children Mentor and an AARP tax preparer volunteer.
Currently residing in Tequesta, Florida, Mr. Holtzman and his wife, Mari Lee, are members of St. Jude Catholic Church and are proud parents of two daughters, Alexandra and Gabrielle, and grandparents of Martin. In his free time, Holtzman enjoys golfing, biking, hiking, reading, and spending time with his family.
Charles “Charlie” Cleveland, C’72
From the time he first arrived at Saint Vincent in 1968, Charlie Cleveland has been a staple in the Saint Vincent Community. He graduated in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and later would go on to earn his MBA from the University of Miami in 1975 and study dispute resolution at the PhD level until 2000.
Upon his graduation from Saint Vincent, Mr. Cleveland began a career in finance at County National Bank. After receiving his MBA, he started a job at Central Bank and Trust as a loan officer, though soon recognized a passion for real estate and became a real estate appraiser.
Outside of work, Mr. Cleveland has always taken great enjoyment in being involved in the community. He has been involved with Memorial West Hospital in various volunteer capacities since 2010, currently serving on the hospital’s Patient Family Advisory Council, for which he has been both President and Vice President, while also having been a member of the hospital’s stroke committee. In the past, Mr. Cleveland was on the Orange Bowl Festival Staging Committee and for a time served as the Director of Orange Bowl Band Ambassadors. He has also been heavily involved with his church, St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church, as the church carnival director.
Throughout his life, Mr. Cleveland has shown a true dedication to Saint Vincent. In addition to financial gifts to the College, he has aided with recruiting, supported SVC students in whatever way he can if they find themselves in Florida or during his trips to campus, and currently is a member of the Alumni Council.
Mr. Cleveland and his wife, Joan, reside in Pembroke Pines, Florida. When not reconnecting with former classmates or fostering relationships with current students, faculty, and staff at Saint Vincent, he enjoys supporting the Miami Heat and the Miami Dolphins, playing poker, shooting pool, and reading.
Dr. Dana Winters, C’06
Before Dr. Dana Winters became the Executive Director of the Fred Rogers Institute, she was a sociology and political science double major at Saint Vincent College. While studying at Saint Vincent, she became very active in the campus community, being involved in many programs including Campus Ministry, Student Government Association, Orientation Committee, and the Activities Programming Board (of which she was a founding chairperson). She was inducted into the Alpha Chi Honor Society and was a “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities” recipient for two years in a row.
Following her graduation from Saint Vincent in 2006, Dr. Winters went on to receive her Master of Arts in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2008, and in 2016, she received her doctorate in administrative and policy studies with a focus on social and comparative analysis in education from the University of Pittsburgh. Throughout that time, she worked at Lock Haven University, Penn State University, and the University of Pittsburgh before finally returning to Saint Vincent College in 2015.
Throughout her career, Dr. Winters has become well known in her field, presenting the keynote address at numerous conferences, winning awards for her research both nationally and internationally, authoring and coauthoring several books and invited book chapters, and acting as a reviewer for many scholarly publications. As the Executive Director of the Fred Rogers Institute, she works to apply and advance the legacy of Fred Rogers in serving children and their helpers through various programs and initiatives and recently has spearheaded the new Educators Symposium, a two-day learning experience designed to help educators apply the life and work of Fred Rogers into practice with children, families, and fellow educators.
Dr. Winters and her husband, Jason, C’04, live in Irwin with their daughters, Clare (12) and Anna (8), and labradoodle, Icy. Often found with a good book in hand, she enjoys traveling with her family, mostly to different Major League and Minor League Baseball stadiums, and would someday like to get her private pilot’s license.
Richard “Dick” Howe, C’67
During his time as a student at Saint Vincent College, Dick Howe was a familiar face around campus, being involved in several clubs; participating in intramurals and managing the basketball and baseball teams; and serving on the Student Government Faculty-Administration Board, Student Senate, Dorm Council, and Fall Weekend Committee. Though he graduated from Saint Vincent in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, he would stick around until 1970 as a professor of chemistry.
Mr. Howe left Saint Vincent in 1970 to join the chemistry department at the University of Pittsburgh. He rose through the administrative ranks to become the Associate Dean of Pitt’s School of Arts and Sciences, a position he would hold until his retirement in 2016. During his tenure at Pitt, he received his Master of Education in chemistry from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Howe demonstrated dedication to his profession through his involvement in numerous professional organizations, including the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Chemical Society and the Pennsylvania Association of College Chemistry Teachers.
In recognition of his contributions to science education and science outreach, Mr. Howe was awarded the 2008 Distinguished Service Award by the Pittsburgh section of the American Chemical Society. Also in 2008, he was presented with the Distinguished Service Award by Kuntu Repertory Theatre, and in 2021, he received the Pittsburgh Award, presented by the Pittsburgh Section of the American Chemical Society.
An active member of his community, Mr. Howe has been involved with various arts and sciences outreach programs such as the North Allegheny Fine Arts Coalition, the Western Pennsylvania Writing Project, and the Pittsburgh Public School’s Science Institute’s Advisory Board. He currently serves as the chair of the Foundation Board for Beaver County Community College.
Mr. Howe and his wife, Betsy, live in Freedom, happily within driving distance of their three daughters¾Michelle, Melissa, and Heather¾and eight grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, doing community service and outreach, and cheering on the Panthers and Steelers.
Robert “Bob” Racko, C’68
Upon his graduation from Saint Vincent College with a bachelor’s in mathematics, Bob Racko enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving the country until being honorably discharged in 1970. During his service, he was assigned to the Data Processing Center of the Presidio of San Francisco, 6th Army Headquarters.
Just a few months after his discharge, Mr. Racko landed his first professional job, and in 1975, he earned his MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. He had an expansive career, which included serving as the Senior Vice President and CFO of Lender Services, Inc., and as the Managing Director and CFO of ValuAmerica, the company from which he would retire in 2011.
Most notably, Mr. Racko designed, developed, and implemented the world’s first online, real-time credit scoring system, based on a theory advanced by William Fair and Earl Issac of the Stanford Research Institute. Lenders currently use the theory and contemporary versions of the system to calculate a FICO score to assess credit worthiness of borrowers. Additionally, as the CFO of Lender Services, Inc., he developed a discounted cash flow model and successfully implemented it using then-state-of-the-art computing technology, a feat that garnered him the title of “the father of vendor management accounting.”
As an active member of his community, Mr. Racko volunteers for Meals-on-Wheels and Food Pantry community programs in and around McMurray while also remaining highly involved in his church, Saint Benedict the Abbot Church, as a member of the church’s finance committee and an officer of the church’s Men’s Club, which he founded.
Mr. Racko has continued to give back to Saint Vincent College every year since he graduated. He joined the Class of 1968 Gorka Scholarship Committee in 2010 and became its chair in 2012. Under his leadership, the market value of the scholarship fund grew from $260,000 to $385,000, which enabled the three scholarships awarded annually to increase from $9,000 to $20,000. He has organized multiple reunion golf outings and was a member of the Class of 1968 committee that organized a class gift of $200,000 to the College in honor of the 50-year graduation anniversary.
Mr. Racko and his wife, Janet, reside in McMurray. They enjoy spending time with their daughter, son-in-law, three grandchildren, two great-grandsons, and grand-niece and are presently the guardians of two teenage siblings, DeJanee and Zaccheous. In his free time, Mr. Racko can be found on the golf course or cheering on the Steelers.
John J. Hutchinson, Jr., C’67
John J. Hutchinson, Jr., was a history major at Saint Vincent, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in 1967. While a student, he was active in many extracurricular activities, including serving two terms on the Freshmen Orientation Committee, being a member of the Metropolitan Club, serving as Vice President of the Student Government Association, and playing many intramural sports.
Inspired by his favorite professor, Mr. Charlies Manoli, Mr. Hutchinson would spend 47 years as a respected teacher, coach, supervisor, and principal at several high schools in New Jersey following his graduation. As a reflection of his high standing in the education community, Mr. Hutchinson received the Man of the Year award from the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference in 2002, delivered the commencement address at his high school alma mater for its 10th and 50th anniversary classes, and was selected by the Saint Vincent College administration to represent the College at two collegiate presidential nominations: Seton Hall University and Georgian Court College, the former being the institution from which he received his Master of Arts in teaching.
Mr. Hutchinson has enjoyed being an active member of his community, being involved in several youth basketball programs, delivering talks to different groups about the effects of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and being a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus.
Mr. Hutchinson lives with his wife, Arleen, in Ocean Gate, New Jersey. When not spending time with his four adult sons and seven grandchildren, he enjoys reading, watching college basketball, and cheering on the Yankees and Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish.
Timothy J. Waxenfelter, C’69
After graduating from Saint Vincent College in 1969 with a bachelor’s in political science, Timothy J. Waxenfelter began teaching at Quigley Catholic High School in Baden. He taught for two years before serving his country with the distinction of the United States Army Police Corps from 1971-1973. After his service, however, Mr. Waxenfelter returned to Quigley Catholic and stayed there until he retired in 2020. While teaching, he also received his master’s degree in industrial relations from Saint Francis University.
During his tenure at Quigley Catholic, Mr. Waxenfelter taught various history and government courses and coached several sports. He is most noted, though, for his 37 years coaching speech and debate and 28 years coaching the mock trial team, leading the team to nine state championships¾the most in Pennsylvania history. In his final year, Mr. Waxenfelter was named acting principal and was presented with the Spirit of Quigly award for his endless dedication to the school. Additionally, throughout his career, Mr. Waxenfelter has received numerous awards that speak to his educational excellence, including the Saint Vincent College Certificate of Honor for Excellence in Teaching and the Council on American Private Education PA Secondary School Teacher of the Year award.
Beyond his service to his school and his students, Mr. Waxenfelter has been a steadfast advocate for his church and community. He has served as a member of the Ambridge Borough Council, was a member of the Ambridge Municipal Authority and Beaver County Redevelopment Authority, and was the Director of the Beaver County CYO basketball league. As a parishioner at Saint Luke the Evangelist Parish, Good Samaritan Church, Mr. Waxenfelter has enjoyed being a member of the church’s choir, being a eucharistic minister, and volunteering at various parish functions. He is also an active member of the Beaver Valley Choral Society and helps with gardening and yardwork for individuals in his community in need.
Mr. Waxenfelter and his wife, Barb, reside in Crescent. They are the proud parents of Heidi, Holly, and Timothy, and grandparents of Luca, Cella, Cesa, James, Jonathan, and Zane. In addition to traveling and spending time with his family, Mr. Waxenfelter enjoys winemaking, singing, gardening, and golfing.