Misericordia University names four to board of trustees

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DALLAS TWP. – Misericordia University and the Conference for Mercy Higher Education recently elected Rev. Michael Bryant, Sister Mary Ellen Fuhrman, RSM, Maureen Metz and Thomas Zesk, retired C.P.A., to the university’s Board of Trustees. They will begin their three-year terms in October.

The university also thanked retiring board members, John C. Metz, Sr. (1988-2018), Dr. Martha Hanlon, RSM (1994-2018), Sherry A. Manetta (2003-18) and Mary Beth McNamara Sullivan (1990-2007 and 2009-18) for their years of service and awarded them trustee emeritus status. Bob Soper (2006-18) and Scott Lynett (2009-18) retired from the board.

Father Bryant is an accomplished and energetic pastor with a solid history of achievement and service in ministry. A motivated leader with strong pastoral and strategizing abilities, he has been the pastor of Saint John Neumann Parish in the Diocese of Scranton since 2008 after serving Misericordia University as director of Campus Ministry from 1990-2007. He is the former director of the Ethics Institute of Northeastern Pennsylvania and was a member of the original Founders Council of Nativity-Miguel School in Scranton, where he continues to serve on the Board of Trustees.

In the community, Father Bryant has served as the director of youth ministry for the Diocese of Scranton, and director of youth retreats at and director of the former Fatima Renewal Center in Elmhurst and later Dalton from 1980-90. Ordained in 1978, his first assignment was as associate pastor at St. Jude’s, Mountain Top. Father Bryant holds a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University Scranton and a Masters in Pastoral Theology from Saint John’s Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts. He lives in Scranton.

A Religious Sister of Mercy, Sister Mary Ellen is the life coordinator at Mercy Center Nursing Unit, a skilled nursing and personal care facility in Dallas Township. She also previously served as the special assistant to the president for Mission Integration and Strategic Planning at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New Jersey. Sister Mary Ellen also completed terms as a trustee at Georgian Court University and Mount Aloysius College in Cresson. In addition, she also has held several leadership positions for the Sisters of Mercy, including director of development, community leadership and vice president for the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic.

A resident of Forty Fort, Sister Mary Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Misericordia University and a master’s degree in educational administration from Manhattan College in Bronx, New York. From Penn State University, she earned an advanced certification in bi-lingual/bi-cultural education. In addition, she also co-chaired the re-accreditation for Middles States at Georgian Court University.

Metz is the executive vice president for Metz Culinary Management. She oversees and manages the marketing, culinary and merchandising initiatives for the Dallas-based company. During her 17-year career at Metz Culinary Management, she has played a pivotal role in advancing the company’s recognition as a top on-site food service provider. Metz Culinary Management is ranked 14th on Food Management Magazine’s Top 50 Management Companies in the United States. Metz serves on the boards of The Wyoming Valley Children’s Association and Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.

Before joining Metz Culinary Management, Metz was a sales manager for pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis Pasteur. She also has held various positions in the restaurant and restaurant-equipment supply industries. A resident of Dallas, Metz has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and psychology with a minor in marketing from Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre.

Zesk, a resident of Morristown, New Jersey, previously served on the former Misericordia University Parents Advisory Council. His son, Andrew, graduated from Misericordia in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in history. Mr. Zesk and his wife, Lorrie, have been ardent supporters of the institution, establishing the Zesk Family Endowed Scholarship and supporting numerous campaigns.

A retired accountant and partner of Deloitte, LLP of New York, New York, he served many different roles during his 36 years at the accounting firm. As a staff accountant and senior manager Zesk oversaw the firm’s largest clients as an audit and tax staff person, manager and senior manager. In addition, he built a specialty group within the New York Office Tax Department that focused on retirement plans for employees. As a partner, he served as the lead partner providing tax and retirement plan services to a number of large Deloitte clients and was the national leader of Retirement Plan Services in the Tax Department. As the northeast leader of a division in the Tax Department, he provided tax services to corporations and oversaw the employees and financial operations of the division. From 2008-14, Zesk served on the Deloitte Retirement Committee, which was responsible for overseeing the investments of the Deloitte Pension Plan.

In the community, Zesk was a trustee and chairperson of the finance committee at the Craig School in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, an independent school for children with learning disabilities. He is also a trustee and board treasurer of the Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of New Jersey, and a trustee of the Barnegat Light Taxpayers Association. Zesk holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and a Master of Science in accounting and an MBA in taxation from New York University.