Johnson College has chosen Ken Okrepkie, Regional Manager of Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania to give their 2017 commencement address to graduates on Sunday, May 14th, 2017 at 10 a.m.
As the Regional Manager for Ben Franklin Technology Partners, he oversees investments in a portfolio of Northeastern PA companies that in 2016 generated more than $1B in revenue in the region. At Ben Franklin Technology Partners he also connects manufacturing companies to college and university resources. As a result, today a project with Johnson College is creating a new programmable logic controller (PLC) for a local company that employs 148 people in Carbondale that will drive significant additional revenue to the firm.
Mr. Okrepkie’s career blends a variety of experiences from higher education to the world of the entrepreneur. He started his career at the University of Scranton ultimately serving as Assistant Dean of Admissions followed by Junior Achievement of Northeastern Pennsylvania where he held the position of President leading an organization that teaches life skills and the American free enterprise system to 12,000 young people a year. Ken then transitioned to founding member of an internet start-up company, CollegeRecruiting.com, where he led the sales and strategic initiatives. Prior to Ben Franklin in 2004, he joined the Great Valley Technology Alliance, now TecBridge, as a Vice-President.
He is credited with creating the Lackawanna and Luzerne County Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ) Program that generates more than $2M each year for technology companies, now totaling $17.4M since the inception of the program. In support of regional economic development and local nonprofits, he continues to serve the community as Chairman of the Boards for SLIBCO- the Scranton Chamber’s Economic Development arm and Scranton Tomorrow, an organization that is leading the revitalization of downtown Scranton. Mr. Okrepkie also serves as Treasurer for United Neighborhood Centers and Chairs the Hazleton based CAN BE Business Incubator and Penn State University Wilkes-Barre Engineering Advisory Committee. He serves as Vice-President for the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center’s Board while participating on the Scranton Chamber Executive Board, CAN DO Board, Wilkes University Engineering Advisory Board, Wilkes-Barre Connect, Penn’s Northeast, TecBridge and the 9 Business Incubator Boards in the region. He has been both Commissioner and/or Coach for girls’ basketball and soccer in the Abington Youth programs and coached his daughter’s Holy Cross High School winter and summer league girls’ soccer team.
A graduate of the University of Scranton, Ken holds an undergraduate degree in marketing and a master’s degree in human resources. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Scranton Kania School of Management teaching in the Entrepreneurship program while being recognized as the 2013 TecBridge Bill McNally Mentor of the Year and a 2016 Wilkes University Allan P. Kirby Center Mentor of the Year recipient.
He resides in Scott Township with his wife, Dr. Kim Pavlick, and two daughters, Emily and Grace.
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