Campus Advisory Board adds three new members, elects chairs

Josh McAuliffe
December 18, 2019

Penn State Scranton has added three community leaders to its Advisory Board and elected a new chair and vice chair, Chancellor Marwan Wafa announced.

The new members are Michael A. Rescigno, Nancy Sarno de los Rios and Jahan Tabatabaie. Meanwhile, current board members Corey D. O’Brien and Katrina Foster have been named its new chair and vice chair, respectively.

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to advise and assist the chancellor in the functioning of the campus as an essential part of Penn State, and to serve as an advocate for Penn State Scranton within the local community.

The appointees bring to the board a wealth of knowledge and experience in their respective fields.

New members

Michael A. Rescigno

A 1979 graduate of Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Rescigno also has a master’s degree in finance from the University of Scranton. He is currently managing partner/owner of MRR Realty LLC, a real estate investment business.

Previously, Rescigno held several key management positions at WEA Manufacturing, including manager of financial planning and analysis. He also was a principal at the Ryan Group, where he worked as a recruiter and consultant.

Rescigno is a member of the Penn State Scranton Campaign Committee and a board member and past president of the Scranton Chapter of UNICO National, where he serves on national committees. He is currently a board member and past president of the Greater Scranton Chapter Penn State Alumni Association, and was its 2008 Alumnus of the Year. A 1992 Leadership Lackawanna graduate, he was chairman of its Alumni Council board for four years.

Rescigno resides in Olyphant with his wife of 34 years, the former Virginia Kester. The couple has two children, Michael and Stephanie.

Nancy Sarno de los Rios

A lifelong Scranton area resident, Sarno de los Rios is a Penn State graduate and the part owner of Este Tux, Inc., d/b/a Tuxedo by Sarno. The company, which in 2020 will celebrate its 80th anniversary, has grown to become the premier tuxedo rental company in the Northeast United States, with more than 300 employees during peak season.

Sarno de los Rios plays many roles within the company, with her primary responsibilities administering the accounts payable, accounts receivable and human resources departments. She also oversees its growing retail department, and still thoroughly enjoys being out on the floor during the company’s “busy season,” producing rentals for prom and wedding customers.

An avid volunteer, Sarno de los Rios currently serves on the executive board of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and previously served on the boards of the Susan G. Komen Northeastern Pennsylvania Race for the Cure and the Waverly Community House, where she and a group of mothers ran its children’s activities. Several years ago, she spearheaded the One Stop Donation Drop event that allowed people to donate household items to various local agencies.

The mother of two teenage boys, Sarno de los Rios also volunteers at their schools.

Jahan Tabatabaie

A campus alumnus and former Student Government Association (SGA) president, Tabatabaie graduated from Penn State’s Schreyer Honors College in 1999, attending the University Park campus and earning a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in political science. There, he also served for two years as the academic affairs director for the Council of Commonwealth Student Governments (CCSG). Later, he received his master’s degree in economic policy management from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

A real estate veteran with more than 15 years of experience in the field, Tabatabaie is the former manager of Summit by the Lake Apartments. Currently, he manages his family’s business, Dunmore-based Bellefonte Associates LP, which owns a number of residential, multi-family and commercial properties. In addition, he is a longtime associate broker for ERA One Source Realty.

Since 2010, Tabatabaie has been an adjunct professor of economics at the University of Scranton, where earlier this year he received its Part-Time Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. He has also been an adjunct instructor of economics at Penn State Scranton, where he recently established the Tabatabaie Family Math and Science Award.

He is a current board member and former vice president of the Penn State Scranton Alumni Society, as well as a member of the Lackawanna County Workforce Investment Board, the Greater Scranton Board of Realtors, the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce.

Tabatabaie and his wife, Leanna, reside in Moscow with their two children.

New chairs

Corey D. O’Brien, chair

A 1996 Penn State graduate, O’Brien received his law degree from Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. He is currently the vice president and chief strategy officer at AllOne Health, where he serves as in-house corporate legal counsel, leads the acquisitions division of the company and oversees the strategic project management office.

Prior to joining AllOne Health, he served as a Lackawanna County Commissioner from 2008 to 2015. He also served as a mergers and acquisition attorney in the financial services sector at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Kilpatrick, Townsend & Stockton.

O’Brien is authorized to practice law in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, District of Columbia and before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Federal and District of Columbia Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and District of Columbia.

Katrina Foster, vice chair

A 2006 graduate of Penn State Scranton, where she received a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing, Foster founded Milford-based KKPR Marketing & Public Relations, Inc., at age 23. Since then, she has gone on to found three more businesses -- Lacquer Nail Bar, Chick’s Cleaning, and Konnect, a female-empowered co-working space.

Foster is the recipient of an ADDY Award; was named one of the 25 Women in Business by the Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal, as well as one of its 20 Under 40 in 2012; and was named the Scranton Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

She has served as a board member and president of the Northeast Pennsylvania American Advertising Federation, and on the board of directors of both the Bon Secours Community Hospital Foundation and the Milford Music Festival.

Currently, Foster serves as a councilwoman for Milford borough.

Last Updated December 18, 2019