LHU alumni businessmen discuss success

By Erin Tierney

April 18, 2013

Photo courtesy of Erin Tierney.  From left to right: Dr. George A. Durrwachter, Daniel P. Elby and Robert C. Lomison.

Photo courtesy of Erin Tierney.
From left to right: Dr. George A. Durrwachter, Daniel P. Elby and Robert C. Lomison.

There is more to a businessman than a pressed suit and number expertise. It is those with genuine people skills who go above and beyond.

Meet three of these men.

Lock Haven University inducted Dr. George A. Durrwachter, Daniel P. Elby and Robert C. Lomison into their Hall of Fame on Thursday, April 11, in recognition of their career accomplishments and generosity towards the university.

The panel granted students and the community an opportunity to hear about the alumni’s success stories and get tips on how to get ahead in their career.

“It’s not about money or anything like that. If you feel good about your work and helping people, you’ll get more satisfaction from that than anything you’ll ever do,” said Durrwachter, class of 1961, a retired orthodontist and business owner of 32 years, philanthropist and volunteer.

His motto being “do it right the first time,” Durrwachter said he has never missed a day of work in his life, and loved going to work everyday.

The panelists were asked how to manage people within their occupation.

“Be tough enough to make the right decisions,” said Elby, class of 1971, co-founder and CEO of Alternative Rehabilitation Communities Inc. “Tell them the real deal, or you’ll only hurt them more.”

A man who works with the most difficult youth in the Pennsylvania juvenile justice system, Elby said, “you have to be able to demonstrate tough love,” in order to make a difference in people’s lives.

The panelists offered a heads-up on what to expect when job searching.

“If you have your party hat on and your can of beer in your hand [on your Facebook page], you may not be considered for employment. Your nickname in college may not be appropriate for your career,” Lomison said, class of 1977, leader of Letum, Inc., owning and operating cemeteries, crematories, and funeral homes in five states.

Along with proper online etiquette, the panelists offered ways on how to act in an interview situation.

“I want a person to confident, but not cocky,” said Elby. “I want a person to look me in the eye when talking to me,“ and said a firm handshake can tell a lot about a person.

“Relax. Let your personality shine through,” said Lomison, and stressed that sincerity trumps all. “If you don’t know the answer to a question, just say you don’t know. It shows that you’re sincere by not trying to make something up.”

The panelists all agreed that keeping drive and morals intact guides success.

“You get nothing unless you earn it,” said Elby. He said that when first started, he had no idea how to manage a business, but “education has thought me how to think critically.”

Overall, all the panelists demonstrated their resiliency as businessmen. When asked how success is measured, Durrwachter said “success means different things to different people. To me, success is being comfortable in my own skin. Do what’s right and everything else will work out.”


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