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Allegheny Conference CEO, Dennis Yablonsky Will Deliver Point Park University’s 52nd Commencement Address

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Dennis Yablonsky, chief executive officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development will give Point Park University’s undergraduate Commencement address on Saturday, May 5, at 10 a.m. at Consol Energy Center in Downtown Pittsburgh. Point Park will graduate 817 undergraduate students.

“Dennis Yablonsky is an innovator in the Pittsburgh region and Pennsylvania. His accomplishments in both the public and private sectors have changed the Commonwealth for the better,” said Paul Hennigan, president of Point Park University. “Dennis is the consummate leader and we are thrilled he will be sharing this special day with our graduates.” 

Point Park will present Yablonsky with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree as part of the undergraduate Commencement ceremony.

A native of the Pittsburgh region, Yablonsky is an accomplished veteran of managing and leading dynamic business growth – as a business leader, a nonprofit economic development professional and a high-ranking appointed government official.

Prior to joining the Allegheny Conference, Yablonsky served as secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development.  As secretary, he played a lead role in the development and implementation of an economic stimulus program that featured more than $3 billion of investment in the Commonwealth’s infrastructure, core communities and job-producing businesses.

Yablonsky spent the first 24 years of his career working for and leading two successful software companies: Cincom Systems in Cincinnati, Ohio and the Carnegie Group in Pittsburgh. In 1999, Yablonsky became the founding CEO of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse and, in 2001, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, innovative models for doing technology-based economic development.

He serves on the boards of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation, the Strategic Investment Fund, the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, Vibrant Pittsburgh, the Senator John Heinz History Center and the Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Point Park will also hold its master’s degree Hooding and Degree Conferral for 236 graduates on Sunday, April 29 at 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Station Square. Maria Simbra, M.D., a 2003 graduate of the journalism and mass communication master’s program at Point Park, will provide the keynote address.

Simbra is a physician and Emmy award-winning medical journalist who brings a unique set of skills to her position as reporter on KDKA-TV. A member of the KDKA news team since 2002, she provides expert and informative reports on a range of health care issues.

Simbra has been recognized with the Award of Excellence from the National Association of Medical Communicators in 2006, two nominations for a Mid-Atlantic National Association of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Award in 2006 and 2007, and an Emmy award in 2008. She was named to Pittsburgh Magazine’s “40 Under 40″ list that recognizes influential young people in the region. She has also served on the board of directors for both the Association of Health Care Journalists and the National Association of Medical Communicators.

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