Principal, Financial Advisor Franklin, Pa.
Christopher Rakow began his career as an Edward Jones financial advisor in 2003, opening a branch office in Jeanette, Pa. In 2007, he assumed responsibility for a branch office in Franklin, Pa., where he continues to serve individual investors today.
During his Edward Jones career, Rakow has helped his colleagues by volunteering in a number of roles, including serving as a mentor, field trainer, Level 2 support specialist and phone workshop coordinator. In addition, the growth of his business has been so robust that he has invited another financial advisor to join him in the community to better serve investors. In 2011, his staff was recognized as one of the firm’s top 50 branches in terms of both production and providing exceptional client service. He has attended six Managing Partner’s Conferences, an annual event held exclusively for the top 350 of the firm’s more than 13,000 financial advisors.
In 2009, Rakow was asked to serve as a regional leader for an area encompassing western Pennsylvania. In this role, he supports and guides nearly 60 branch teams and serves as a liaison between them and the firm’s St. Louis headquarters.
He was named a principal with the firm in 2012.
Rakow earned a bachelor’s degree from Gannon University in Erie, Pa., and an MBA from Point Park College in Pittsburgh. He also holds the Accredited Asset Management Specialist® professional designation.
An active member of the community, Rakow serves on the board of the Franklin Child Development Center Foundation, Franklin Meals on Wheels, the Visiting Nurses Association of Venango County Foundation and the Franklin Chamber of Commerce. He is a past board member of the Norwin Chamber of Commerce and the Franklin YMCA.
Maryann Fink – Vice Chair
Ruthanne, is a proud supporter of the Visiting Nurses Association of Venango County. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a nursing degree in 1960. Ruthanne, her husband Bernie, and two children Bern and Bethanne moved to Franklin, PA in 1965.
At the time Ruthanne joined the VNA, there were two agencies, an Oil City office and Franklin office. Both were separate organizations. Ruthanne has seen many changes to the organizations and in 1972 both agency merged to become Visiting Nurses Association of Venango County. Ruthanne became the director of the organization in 1973 and served that position until her retirement in 2003.
Ruthanne and her husband now live in Conneaut Lake, but continue to be involved in Venango County. In addition, to VNA of Venango, her other passion is animal welfare where she has assisted the local humane society to build a new shelter. Ruthanne has been blessed with 5 wonderful grandchildren.
Pam Niederriter, joins the VNA Foundation with years of expertise in PR/Marketing. For 26 years, Pam worked for UPMC Northwest as part of PR/marketing/community relations and education and now has continued to use her skills in the PR/marketing realm.
She was a former chairperson of Venango Area Chamber of Commerce and is very active in her community while volunteering at Venango Catholic HS and at St. Michaels Church in Fryburg. She resides in Fryburg with her husband, Ed and has two daughters. Pam enjoys reading, traveling and sampling area restaurant fare.
Kathy Cochran, has been a nurse for the Visiting Nurse Association of Venango County since July of 1980. She is committed to this great organization as evidenced by her longevity. Her current position is Senior Manager of Clinical Operations. Kathy, earned her MSN from Clarion University of PA in 2008 and is currently certified as a home health nurse.
In addition to her schedule at VNA; she is an evening Clinical Instructor for the ASN program at Venango College several nights a week. She enjoys facilitating the learning experiences for up and coming new nurses. She resides in the Franklin area with her husband, Frank and has two daughters as well as 5 grandchildren.
David P. Gibbons, MHA, RN
President, UPMC Northwest and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, UPMC Hamot
David P. Gibbons, MHA, RN holds a dual leadership role as the president of UPMC Northwest, and continues as UPMC Hamot’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. Mr. Gibbons was named president of UPMC Northwest in July of 2014, and joined UPMC Hamot in August of 2012. As president of UPMC Northwest, he has oversight of service lines including business and physician relationships. As COO of UPMC Hamot, he manages the majority of UPMC Hamot’s service lines and cultivates business relationships in the community. From 2009 until Mr. Gibbons was appointed at UPMC Hamot, he served as President of UPMC Northwest.
Prior to joining UPMC in 2009, Mr. Gibbons worked at Kennedy Health System in Voorhees, NJ, near Philadelphia, as chief operating officer and was responsible for the daily operations of the system’s three hospitals. Before joining Kennedy in 1997, he was director of managed care for the Visiting Nurses Association of Greater Philadelphia; regional director of operations, marketing and finance for Oncology Services Inc.; and served as director of oncology programs for U.S. Healthcare in Blue Bell, PA.
Mr. Gibbons holds an associate degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Clarion University, as well as a master’s degree in health administration from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia.
Jim is a Certified Public Accountant and a partner with May & Company in Oil City. Originally from Marienville, Jim received his Bachelor’s Degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Jim has been involved with the Venango VNA for many years, serving various positions on various VNA boards over the years.
Active in the community for over three decades, Jim is currently serving on the UPMC Northwest and United Way of Venango County boards, and is currently the Board President of the United Way. He also volunteers his services for Saint Joseph’s Church in Oil City as an usher and a member of the Finance Council. He resides in Oil City with his wife Donna and they have three grown sons.
Matthew Kirtland was born and raised in Franklin. After being away at college, receiving his law degree and master’s in business administration from Campbell University in North Carolina, he returned home to open a law practice in 2012 in downtown Franklin.
His father, Dr. Howard Kirtland, is very active in providing support and aid to individuals in the community who are in need and that inspires Matthew. Becoming a board member of the Venango VNA Foundation, Mathew is excited to be a part of a board that is able to provide support and programming to those in need in Venango County.
Patricia Kaufman retired in 2011 as UPMC VNA’s Vice President of Venango Operations. Over a 35 year career in home health care, she held various positions at the Visiting Nurses Association of Venango County including staff nurse, chief operating officer, and chief executive officer and also served as director of the Venango VNA Foundation.
Pat holds a master’s degree in health services administration from Gannon University and attained fellow status in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She previously served as president of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association and is currently a board member of UPMC Northwest and the UPMC Northwest Auxiliary.
Gail Welch is retired from Information Technology and Project Management at Quaker State Corporation as Manager of Application Support. She previously held the following positions: Mathematics Teacher at Shadyside Academy in Pittsburgh, PA, Mathematics Teacher at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, SC, and a Mathematics Lecturer at LaRoche College in Pittsburgh, PA.
Gail graduated from Waynesburgh University, in Waynesburgh, PA with her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She then continued her education at Carnegie-Mellon University of Pittsburgh, PA with her Master of Science in Mathematics.
Her current affiliations are as follows: UPMC Hamot Board member, Northwest Foundation Board member, Finance Committee chair, VNA Foundation Board member, Winnifred Tonkin Guild Board member, Treasurer and past President.
Gail’s past affiliations consist of: UPMC Northwest Board member, Board president, and Finance Committee chair, and Oil City YMCA Board member, Finance Committee chair.
Beth has been the working for Gardinier Funeral Home, Inc. since March of 2007. She is a 1979 graduate of Punxsutawney Senior High School and a 1983 graduate of Slippery Rock State College. Beth has a B.S.B.A. degree in Business Administration/Marketing.
At the Funeral Home, Beth assists families with Advanced Planning/Estate Planning Services. She carries an Insurance License with the State of Pennsylvania. She is a Certified Pre-Need Counselor Associate. Beth is also a Notary Public and handles insurance claims for our families. She is also the Continuing Care Ministry Provider at the Funeral Home and follows up with our families who have lost loved ones to assist them and provide them with many different resources.
Beth has three daughters, Emily, Rebecca, and Laura; and her dog, Puffin. She is a member of the Emlenton United Methodist Church; serves on the Advisory Council for the Venango County Older Adult Services. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening; spending time with family; fishing; and relaxing on her front porch.
Dave Ballard – Franklin Insurance
Pam Greenlee – Administrative Assistant at VNA of Venango County
Venango VNA Foundation Staff
Shelly Hart- Marketing Executive
Shelly is a young professional that is truly proud to call Venango County her home. She has recently returned home to take a position as a Marketing Representative with the Venango VNA Foundation. There she sets up health fairs, interacts with community members, organizes events, and helps to educate the public about the Venango VNA Foundation.
It was through an internship during her time at Clarion University where Shelly’s passion for marketing for the healthcare industry was realized. After graduation, Shelly accepted a position in marketing with Rex/UNC Healthcare in Raleigh, North Carolina. There she built a solid reputation in healthcare marketing as well as being recognized as 2013’s Regan’s Health Care Marketing and PR Award for best PR/Marketing Team at Rex/UNC Healthcare.
When Shelly is not at work she enjoys traveling and exploring new destinations. If they’re not traveling, she and her husband, Colt, like to take time to soak in the region’s beauty on nature walks with their Yellow Lab, Penny Lane. They also take advantage of the outdoors through camping, hunting, and capturing the local countryside through photography. Shelly’s family and friends play a large part in her life as well.
Looking to the future, Shelly is hoping to make a difference in this world. She says, “I was born to be a helper and giver; and if I can do that in any way, shape, or form; my mission here is accomplished.”