University adds local financial executive & Bernardine Sisters; honors emeritus members
"We appreciate Ginger’s willingness to join our transformational mission,” said Alvernia University President-Elect Glynis A. Fitzgerald, Ph.D. “She brings a wealth of expertise and a shared passion for driving positive change within the community. Her invaluable insights will play a vital role in shaping the future of Alvernia University."
A career Pennsylvania banker, Kunkel is well-known throughout the financial services community for her commercial, retail, operational, and executive management expertise. She has extensive experience driving a full spectrum of revenue-generating businesses. Most recently, she was SEVP, chief operating officer for Riverview Bank & Riverview Financial Corporation, headquartered in Harrisburg.
“I am honored to join the board of Alvernia University and to help support them as they continue to focus on creating educational pathways with a focus on community-based learning”, said Kunkel. “I am excited about the impact I can have as a part of this storied university and growing access to quality higher education in our local communities.”
Kunkel also serves as a Board Member for the Pennsylvania Bankers Association, Hawk Mountain Council, and St. Joseph Center for Special Learning. She previously served the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce, West Brunswick Township Planning Commission, The Fresh Air Fund, Habitat for Humanity of Berks, Eagle Foundation of Blue Mountain School District, Soroptimist International of the Americas, Inc.
In September, Sister Mary Sninsky and Sister Mary Joseph Tirpak, OSF, will join the Board. The board of trustees and Alvernia leadership sincerely appreciate the valued service of departing board members Sister Antoinette Keiser and Sister Shaun Kathleen Wilson.
“Sister Antoinette Keiser and Sister Shaun Kathleen Wilson have collectively contributed over 30 years of service to the Alvernia Board of Trustees,” said Fitzgerald. “Individually and collectively, they assumed important roles at a transformational time in Alvernia’s history. They helped build the exceptionally strong foundation we enjoy today.”
Retired Investment Banker Angel Helm and Managing Partner at Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors, Robert (Bob) McCormack, were also named Trustee Emeriti.
About Sister Sninsky
Sister Sninsky is a Bernardine Franciscan Sister and serves as the Director of the Bernardine Franciscan Associates, the congregation that sponsors Alvernia University. She previously served as the Provincial Minister in the US Province and a Member of the Redemptorist Mission Team. Sister Sninsky was also an Elementary School Principal and teacher at the Diocese of Allentown, Harrisburg & Philadelphia and the Media Specialist for Elementary Schools at the Diocese of Allentown.
She has served on Board for Mary Immaculate Hospital in Newport News, Va. and a member of the advisory Board for Villa of Our Lady Retreat House in Mount Pocono, Pa. And the Villa Maria Retreat House in Stamford, Ct. Sister Sninsky holds her Master of Education from Temple University and a Bachelor of Arts Education from Alvernia.
About Sister Tirpak
Sister Tirpak has served as the Ongoing Formation Director for the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters, Assistant Congregational Minister and served on the Provincial Leadership Team. She has also served on Board of Trustees for Villa Maria School, the Bernardine Franciscan Sisters Congregational Leadership Team & Renewal Team, the Cabrini College Educational Council, Middle States Evaluation Visiting Teams and the Council of Religious Teachers for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Sister Tirpak received her Master of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Scranton and received grants from the National Science Foundation at the University of Scranton and Villanova University, the Philadelphia Electric Grant from The Pennsylvania State University. She received her bachelor's degree in biology from Alvernia. Sister Tirpak also studied at the University of Scranton’s Institute for Contemporary Spirituality and St. Louis University’s Institute of Religious Formation.
Helm serves on the Tower Health and Reading Education Foundation Boards and previously served on the Reading Public Museum, Berks Visiting Nurse Association and the Police Athletic League boards. Additionally, she served as interim executive director for Olivet Boys and Girls Club and Safe Berks. Alvernia University has also been a beneficiary of her service to the community. Helm served as co-chair for the PLEX Campaign. She and her husband, Scott, made a significant philanthropic commitment, hosted events, and made several solicitations.
She emerged as a leader from the start of her service in 2012 on the board with her mantra of, “How Alvernia goes, so goes Reading” until the end of her term in 2019, which many current and former trustees have copied. She served on the finance committee and the Philanthropy and Community Engagement committee. Angel was an advocate and donor for the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program, her alma mater's transformational program that benefits Reading High School and Berks County students.
Since graduating from Alvernia in the spring of 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, McCormack served as a trustee for three terms and returned for his MBA degree. He chaired the Finance Committee, and he and his wife Theresa, also an Alvernia alumna, were Co-Chairs, along with Kathy Herbein and her late husband Carl, of the Values and Vision campaign, the university’s first comprehensive campaign that raised over $31 million in support of Alvernia students. During that campaign, the McCormack’s made a planned giving commitment, joining the St. Clare Society.
In 2000, Alvernia recognized McCormack with the prestigious Ellen Frei Gruber Award, presented to an alumnus who has given outstanding service to his/her alma mater and exemplified continued commitment and support of the mission of Alvernia University. Since leaving the Board, McCormack has remained involved in teaching as an adjunct professor at the Header School of Business. He and Theresa are also joining other Alvernia alums on a pilgrimage to Camino De Santiago.