Kathi Flack and her late husband, Rusty, receive 2012 Trustee Associates Award|
“This is such a prestigious award and although I’m certain he’d argue with me, I truly believe no one is more worthy of it, than Rusty,’’ said Mrs. Flack. “When I think about the outgrowth of his achievements, I am reminded of a quote by Emerson: ‘Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.’
“Surely, this is his legacy,’’ she added about her late husband.
The award is given annually to friends of the University who have demonstrated outstanding dedication, service and generous support to Misericordia University. “Rusty and I worked very closely on many issues that had a big impact on the University. It was obvious, time and again, that Misericordia and its mission each held a special place in his heart,’’ said Michael A. MacDowell, president of Misericordia University. “His compassionate leadership and his humanitarian efforts went hand-in-glove with our charisms of Mercy, Service, Justice and Hospitality.
“It’s because of leaders like Rusty, Kathi, and others who serve and who have served on our Board of Trustees, that Misericordia continues to prosper and grow in influence in the region and in higher education,’’ the president added. “Misericordia, our students and the greater community are better off because of Rusty, Kathi and their family.’’
Mr. and Mrs. Flack have been loyal, ardent supports of Misericordia, the Ruth Matthews Bourger Women with Children Program and the Religious Sisters of Mercy, the founders and sponsors of the University, for many years. Mr. Flack will receive the award posthumously after he lost his battle with cancer in May 2011 — five days after the University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the 85th annual Commencement ceremony. Mr. Flack was a member of the Misericordia University Board of Trustees from 1988-93 and from 2000-09, serving as the vice chair of the financial stability committee. He continued to serve the University as the chair of the board’s investment committee up until the time of his death.
“Kathi and Rusty Flack’s dedication and support of worthy causes in northeastern Pennsylvania serves as an example for all to follow,’’ added President MacDowell. “Their willingness to pitch in to help those in need, and to leverage the work of various institutions which serve this community and its people with their own time and treasures serve as a beacon to those who seek to do the right thing.
“Their dedication to Misericordia, to our students and, most especially to our Women with Children Program, has been inspirational. The Flacks were involved because they wanted to be. They were caring because it was in their nature. They were supportive because it is indeed the right thing to do.’’
Mrs. Flack has served her community and Misericordia in many capacities. In 2003, she was elected president of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic’s Board of Directors. She joined the Philharmonic’s board in 2000 and served on its development and governance committees. As an avid fundraiser, Mrs. Flack served as the chair of the Philharmonic’s 2000-01 Conductor’s Circle Campaign in Luzerne County. She also was instrumental in helping the organization raise more than $250,000, which helped the Philharmonic achieve financial stability. Mrs. Flack retired as president in 2007, but remains a member of the board today.
Mrs. Flack served on the advisory board when Misericordia University established the novel Women with Children Program in 2000. The program provides academically eligible single mothers an opportunity to earn their undergraduate degree while living on campus with their children. Mrs. Flack served on the program’s board until 2009. She also serves her and Mr. Flack’s alma mater, Susquehanna University, as a trustee, where she chairs the Learning Committee and is a member of the Alumni Engagement Resource Development Committee. Susquehanna University presented her with the Alumni Award for Service in 2009. Most recently, Mrs. Flack was elected to the Board of Trustees of Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School, Kingston, Pa., where she serves on the marketing committee.
In the local community, Mrs. Flack is active with The Luzerne Foundation, the Back Mountain Chamber and Grace Episcopal Church Vestry. She is also a founding board member of the Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
Mr. Flack was the chairman of Diamond Consolidated Industries in Wyoming, Pa. His business expertise and leadership were vital to Misericordia during pivotal years in the institution’s history as it transitioned to university status and to the nationally recognized and regionally acclaimed University it is today.
In addition to Misericordia, Mr. Flack was a founding board member of The Luzerne Foundation, and also served as chair for the Board of Trustees of Wyoming Seminary Preparatory School and the former Wyoming Valley Health Care System. He was the past president of the Westmoreland Club, and also sat on the board of Oak Lawn Cemetery, the Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry, and served as the finance chair of the Luzerne County Republican Party.
Mr. Flack also served several industrial associations, acting as president of the Industrial Perforators Association and as chair of the World Perforators Conference five different times.
His philanthropy and leadership were also acknowledged in notable awards and honors. He and his family received the Outstanding Philanthropist Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Northeastern Pennsylvania in 2001; the Community Service Award from the Seligman J. Strauss Lodge No. 139 of B’nai B’rith in 2004; the Outstanding Alumni Award from Susquehanna University in 2005; the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from Junior Achievement in 2007, and the Mary Bevevino Community Service Award from The Luzerne Foundation in 2009.
In addition to his wife, Kathi, Mr. Flack is survived by the couple’s three children, Chad, Jamie and Alex; his mother, Joan Flack Nusbaum; sister, Janet Flack, and his brother, Hal, a member of the Misericordia University Board of Trustees.
The Misericordia University Board of Trustees presented the 2012 Trustee Associates Award to Kathi Flack and her late husband, Rusty Flack, during the annual Trustee Associates Gala. Participating in the event, from left, are Christopher L. Borton, vice chair, Board of Trustees; Chad Flack, Alex Flack, Kathi Flack, award recipient; Jamie Flack, Robert Clements, D.D.S., member, Council Misericordia; Tina MacDowell and President Michael A. MacDowell, Misericordia University.