WCU’s Fiorentino to be inducted into Chester County Hall of Fame

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Christopher M. Fiorentino

The leader of the largest university within Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education will soon be inducted into the Chester County Hall of Fame by the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC).

CCEDC is announcing that West Chester University (WCU) President Christopher M. Fiorentino will be honored on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 before an anticipated audience of more than 400 business leaders at the Phoenixville Foundry. Sponsorship packages including tickets are available starting today at https://ccedcpa.com/event/ccedc-hall-of-fame-celebration/ or contact Tracey Oberholtzer at toberholtzer@ccedcpa.com. Individual tickets will be available starting March 20.

“From his days as Dean of WCU’s Business School, when he made the game-changing decision to pursue AACSB accreditation, to the remarkable synergy he has developed between the university and its surrounding communities, President Fiorentino is a leader whose commitment to mutual success has truly elevated our entire community,” said Mike Grigalonis, CCEDC President and Chief Operating Officer. “At CCEDC, alone, the list of partnerships goes on and on, but they all have one thing in common: Dedication to creating an ongoing pipeline of support between emerging and established business leaders in pivotal areas including workforce development, innovation and entrepreneurship, financing solutions and location services.”

Fiorentino is the 15th president of WCU, leading the university through a nationwide shift in high school demographics as well as a pandemic, strengthening enrollment to more than 17,000 total students, and welcoming the largest incoming first-year class in 2023. He grew up in Langhorne and Levittown, Bucks County, with a father who was a World War II veteran and a mother who was a native of Barbados. Fiorentino’s life in Chester County began in 1983 when at age 29, he accepted a one-year position teaching economics at West Chester University that became a tenured faculty position and eventually Dean of Business and Public Affairs, less than a decade later.

“I loved teaching and didn’t expect to be an administrator, but I took that leap when I was asked, as dean, to put WCU’s business school on the map,” said Fiorentino “I knew it was a high-profile risk, with a lot of sleepless nights. But I have a sign in my office that says ‘Take some risks,’ and it’s something I try to instill in my leadership team and students.”

Under his leadership, West Chester University achieved international AACSB accreditation for West Chester University’s College of Business and Public Management in 2006. “We were determined to achieve the standards to ensure we had the curriculum to support the greater business community, and it has been a game changer for recruiting students and faculty, as well as taking the university in a different direction,” said Fiorentino.

Through it all, Fiorentino and WCU have collaborated with CCEDC on more than two dozen key initiatives, including recent endeavors like the Business Resource Center in Coatesville, post-secondary education opportunities through CCEDC’s Project Reconnect initiative, industry partnership advancement through the Innovation Technology Action Group (ITAG), entrepreneurship though CCEDC’s Ideas x Innovation Network (i2n) and ongoing participation in CCEDC’s Global Business Advisory Group.

“Under President Fiorentino’s leadership, West Chester University has become a portal of excellence, bringing great pride to West Chester University alumni and distinguishing Chester County with an internationally acclaimed state university,” said Gary Smith, CCEDC’s Chief Executive Officer. “It is our pleasure to honor President Fiorentino’s more than 40 years of service.”

To join CCEDC’s Chester County Hall of Fame celebration, sponsorship packages including tickets are available at https://ccedcpa.com/event/ccedc-hall-of-fame-celebration/ or contact Tracey Oberholtzer at toberholtzer@ccedcpa.com. Individual tickets will be available starting March 20.

Recent Chester County Hall of Fame inductees include Patti Brennan of Key Financial, Inc. (2023), Chris Annas of Meridian Bank (2022), James E. McErlane of Lamb McErlane, PC (2021); Bill Covaleski and Ron Barchet of Victory Brewing Company (2020); Michael L. Pia of South Mill Champs (2019); Claudia P. Hellebush of United Way of Chester County (2018); Dr. Jerry Parker of Delaware County Community College (2017); W. Thomas Musser of The Tri-M Group, LLC (2016) and more.

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