July 2015 Volunteer of the Month
Jerry Mrozinski – He Puts the “Human” in Human Resources
Every business has its own distinctive culture.
It’s the values, visions and systems of a group who work together. It’s the job of the company’s Human Resources Manager to implement this culture. Their role is at the core of a company’s success. Jerry Mrozinski, our July Volunteer of the Month parlayed his 30-year career in human resources into a bonanza for our Chapter.
Jerry is a true NE Pennsylvanian. He has lived most of his 80 years in Wilkes-Barre and Mountain Top, overlooking the beautiful Susquehanna River. After graduating from King’s College, he entered the military in 1957 and ultimately became a radio operator – think Morse Code! and then an athletic director. In 1959 he met Dorothy and together they and their sons enjoyed life in Wilkes- Barre.
Jerry furthered his career in Human Resources at RCA, and then at a subsidiary of Shell Oil, and C-tec. Subsequently he moved on to Paper Magic, a part of CSS Industries, where he became Corporate Director of Human Resources. Paper Magic Group is a creator and marketer of everyday and seasonal products. Paper Magic helps consumer connect and celebrate. Yes, think greeting cards, Christmas decorations, stickers and celebrations.
In 1995, Jerry began to feel ALS symptoms such a weakness in hands and legs. After his ALS diagnosis he retired, but kept very busy with his new task – raising money for the Northeast Pennsylvania Support Group. With the help of chapter nurses Paula Rich and then Jen LaRegina he reached out to all of his human resource colleagues throughout NE PA with a letter and “Wish List.” This Wish List consisted of the Services and Equipment ALS patients in NE PA needed which were generally not covered by insurance. Included were items such as communication devices, wheelchairs and in-home care services. In the first year of his campaign one letter landed on the desk of Jack Farber, Chairman of CSS Industries.
Jack called Jerry and told him that his wife Vickie’s father, Joseph Weinberg, lost his life to ALS in 1962. In memory of his father-in-law and in honor of his former employee Jerry and all those fighting ALS, Jack Farber instituted a “Match” in which he would match all donations to Jerry’s NE PA Campaign with a $50,000 match from the Farber Family Foundation, Inc. That was 18 years ago and Jack Farber is a man of his word. To date, Jerry Mrozinski’s Northeast PA Support Group mailing has raised well over one million dollars.
While Jerry no longer sends out his mailing, Jack Farber still honors his promise. But, the end of his mailing did not mean that Jerry “retired” from his commitment to the ALS cause. After his wife’s death in 2011, Jerry picked right up and continued attending every NE support group meeting and has volunteered for the Bloomsburg Jorge’s Walk to Defeat ALS® since its inception in 2011. In the past he and Dorothy and their son Gary also volunteered at the ALS event at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Red Barons affiliate (Phillies Triple A team at the time).
“I’m so lucky,” Jerry said. “I have weakness in the right hand, arm and leg and minor swallowing difficulties, but I am still doing well. I know that others are far less fortunate than I. That’s why I continue to volunteer because money raised, including the Farber Family Foundation contribution is vital for Chapter programs and services.” Jerry’s attitude and perseverance certainly puts the “human” in Human Resources.
We honor Jerry Mrozinski with the July 2015 Volunteer of the Month Award he so richly deserves.