UVF Honors Two Community Members on Leadership Award Day 2015

by Sarah Cushing - Office of Marketing | Dec 03, 2015
Leadership Award Day 2015
On Monday, Nov. 16, 2015, the University of Valley Forge (UVF) celebrated its second Leadership Award Day. University President Don Meyer, Ph.D., presented the awards to Sarah A. Strzelecki, Ed.D., RN, NEA-BC, and Louis J. Beccaria, Ph.D., two leaders whom Meyer said illustrate leadership from a "community perspective" that inspires others. More than 40 guests from the community were in attendance in the chapel service with UVF students and faculty.

The service opened with music by a UVF worship team. Afterward, Executive Vice President Dan Mortensen, Ph.D., prayed, and the University Choir performed "Ride On, King Jesus," directed by William DeSanto, D.M.A., chair of the Department of Music.

Strzelecki served with distinction at Phoenixville Hospital for 48 years. She began as a pediatric staff nurse and retired as chief nursing officer this past year. Her core responsibilities included oversight for nursing practice and staff development and promoting quality patient outcomes. She also served as an adjunct professor and published scholarly articles. Strzelecki continues to volunteer in organizations such as The Clinic, a free resource in Phoenixville for comprehensive medical care for the uninsured.

Phoenixville Hospital CEO, Steve Tullman, spoke of the quality of Strzelecki’s character, having worked alongside her for almost 12 years. “Sally [Sarah] reflects a number of values that are intrinsic in health care and has skills as a leader.” The values Tullman referred to included integrity, persistence, reliability and selflessness.

Strzelecki expressed her thankfulness for the award and reflected on her career. “The one key factor that drove my entire career was learning,” she said. She never stopped, and, through that, learned how to listen. “Certainly, as a leader if we do not listen to our staff or listen to what the needs of the patients are, we would not be able to be successful,” she said.

Beccaria is the president and CEO of The Phoenixville Community Health Foundation. He oversees its daily operations, which include grants, community involvement and program development. Beccaria hosts half-hour television and radio shows on the subject of Phoenixville. He served as an adjunct professor, is on a number of community boards and has published numerous articles.

Robert Ryan from Robert Ryan Catering and Design, a top-rated catering and event planning company, shared stories from their almost 16 years of friendship. Ryan described Beccaria as committed, inspiring, an effective communicator and a problem solver. “He’s a natural leader,” Ryan said. “He is constantly asked questions and sought out for his advice and his wisdom.”

Beccaria shared that his success is connected with the Foundation's staff and board. “I believe that leadership is a team effort,” he said. “As a team, we have been able to accomplish many goals.” His reflections to the students were based on the example his father gave him on leadership. “Have a vision for your own future,” he said. “Don’t just let life happen to you but be proactive as a leader of your own life.” He encouraged students to invest in themselves and find their passion.

UVF is honored to recognize these two respected and deeply appreciated community leaders for their service and leadership. They are true exemplary role models for university students and the aspiring leaders of tomorrow.