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YSU Foundation gets new trustees, officer

YOUNGSTOWN — The Youngstown State University Foundation has a new board of trustees chairman and three new board members.

Founded in 1966, the YSU Foundation is the university’s nonprofit philanthropic entity. In the upcoming 2020-21 academic year, the foundation will provide a record $9.9 million in scholarship and program support for YSU students.

The new appointees are Frank Hierro, board chairman; Dr. Sergul Erzurum; John Moliterno; and Elba Navarro.

The 2020-2022 foundation officers are Hierro, chairman; Ed Muransky, vice chair; Mary Beth Houser, secretary; Pete Asimakopoulos, treasurer; Nader Atway, assistant secretary; and Doug Sweeney, assistant treasurer.

• Hierro, whose experience spans more than 40 years in the banking industry, is a YSU business and finance graduate and the Home Savings EVP and Mahoning Valley regional president.

His tenure on the YSU Foundation board began in 2001. Hierro’s appointed chair position follows Rick Schiraldi, formerly of Cohen and Company.

“Rick displayed many strong leadership skills while chair of the board the last two years, and his transparency and inclusion resulted in a very active board and governance process,” Hierro said.

The foundation, like many nonprofits, faced a plethora of organizational changes. What never wavered is the board’s commitment to help support YSU students.

Hierro said Schiraldi’s “long-standing dedication and service to the foundation, the university and most importantly the students is readily evident in many accomplishments the past two years, along with his recent role in the foundation’s approval of emergency scholarships for students impacted by COVID-19.”

• Dr. Sergul Erzurum, an ophthalmologist, and Eye Care Associates partner in Youngstown, joins the board with roots in the nonprofit sector and higher education. In 2016, Erzurum co-founded and is the current president for Sight for all United, a not-for-profit whose mission is to help all members of our community see, regardless of their ability to pay. Erzurum received her graduate education from Northeast Ohio Medical University, where she also is a full professor of surgery. Additionally, she is a proud Penguin, graduating from YSU in the six-year BS / MD program.

• John Moliterno is executive director of the Western Reserve Port Authority. Moliterno, who earned a bachelor of arts in psychology at The Ohio State University, also was a past president at Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber and the Youngstown Chamber of Commerce. His community involvement includes the Youngstown State University Penguin Club, board member for the Youngstown Symphony and on the board of directors for the Better Business Bureau of the Mahoning Valley.

• Local philanthropist and former educator Elba Navarro graduated from YSU and earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Spanish, reading and education. She retired from Youngstown City Schools, where she taught at Chaney High School and Roosevelt Elementary. She and her husband, Shorty, fund numerous scholarships for YSU students through the YSU Foundation.

Three new trustees, Hierro said, “bring many years of expertise in business, health, education, and philanthropy. Their experience and passion for helping YSU and its students will enhance the future and mission of the YSU Foundation and Board of Trustees. Their willingness to serve during such an important period for our university is very much appreciated.”

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