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County historical society hires new director [Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa. :: ]
[February 25, 2014]

County historical society hires new director [Republican & Herald, Pottsville, Pa. :: ]

(Republican & Herald (Pottsville, PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Feb. 25--The Schuylkill County Historical Society recently hired Thomas B. Drogalis, Orwigsburg, as its executive director.

On Monday, Drogalis, 54, said one of his first goals is to develop a business plan for the nonprofit organization.

"It was one of the questions I asked during my interview, 'Did the society have a business plan?' They have a business plan in place in the sense that they have a mission statement, and they have a very well established set of by-laws that govern their activities. But in my definition of a business plan, they didn't have one in place," Drogalis said at the society's 305 N. Centre St. headquarters.

The society has had a volunteer executive director in place since 2011, Peter Yasenchak, 83, of Pottsville. In October 2012, David Derbes, society president, and Kris Miller-Siple, a member of the society's board of directors, said the society had grown to the point where it needed a full-time executive director, and new blood to survive.

"I'm running out of gas and he's the same way," Derbes said in October 2012, referring to Yasenchak.

"We need somebody to take over the historical society," Derbes said Monday.

The society has more than 400 members and an annual budget of between $65,000 to $75,000. It acquires its income from fundraisers, grants and membership dues, according to Derbes, 77, who has been president since June 2008.

On Monday, Yasenchak said he has been the society's executive director since 2000. He said initially he was paid a salary of $20,000 a year. When the society suffered financial trouble "around 2008," Yasenchak said he volunteered to cut his salary in half. And since 2011, Yasenchak said he worked free of charge. He said he still volunteers there "28 hours a week." In late 2013, the society's board of directors advertised for a new executive director, offering a salary of $28,800 but no benefits, Derbes said.

"We had 30 candidates. We interviewed seven," Derbes said.

On Feb. 12, the board hired Drogalis, who was chief operating officer for Burns Logistics Solutions, Mohrsville, Berks County, from 2012 to 2013.

Derbes said Monday he did not have the Feb. 12 meeting minutes and could not confirm the attendance at the meeting.

According to a press release Derbes issued Friday, the vote to hire Drogalis was "unanimous." "Drogalis will serve as the primary manager and spokesperson for Schuylkill County Historical Society. Drogalis brings to the SCHS a diverse background of experiences in both the Fortune 500 and nonprofit business sectors," Derbes said in the release.

"My entire career has been spent in service oriented environments and I look forward to continuing that tradition by providing our members and our community with a vibrant and educational experience," Drogalis said in the release.

Born in West Wyoming, Luzerne County, Oct. 27, 1959, Drogalis graduated from Wyoming Area High School in 1977. He earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education from East Stroudsburg University in 1980.

He moved to Schuylkill County in 1985, when he became a training specialist/machine operator for Reneer Films Corp., Auburn.

From 1999 to 2012, he worked in a variety of administrative positions for World Resources Co., Pottsville. In particular, he was senior vice president/director of North American Operations for World Resources Co. from 2008 to 2012, according to his resume.

His family includes his wife, Lori Drogalis, an administrative aide at Hamburg Center, Hamburg; and two children, Ashley, 27, and Ben, 24.

___ (c)2014 the Republican & Herald (Pottsville, Pa.) Visit the Republican & Herald (Pottsville, Pa.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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