2024 Young Professional of the Year Nominees

Nominations were put forward by community members based on the young professionals’ contributions to the community through civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and leadership.

All nominees will be recognized at FLEX Presents on Friday, April 19 at Wanango Country Club.

The 2023 nominees are:

ELI BUSCH a Part Owner at Kingdom Guard Financial Group/Excellence Accounting Solutions, collaborates with business owners and individuals to achieve financial and personal goals. With two teammates, he co -owns and operates the businesses. Notable achievements include expanding his team during his tenure at Western and Southern Life, founding a financial brokerage shop, renovating a business complex, and expanding operations to include additional services and employees. Eli is also actively involved in various community organizations and initiatives.

DEVIN FORGEY serves as a second-grade teacher at Hasson Heights Elementary in the Oil City Area School District, aiming to nurture academic growth and character development in young learners. He mentors new teachers and holds leadership roles in the teachers union. Devin actively participates in school events, coaches Junior High Golf, and previously coached football. Outside of school, he contributes to Guardian Grappling, works as a personal trainer, teaches Brazilian JiuJitsu, and leads STEM summer programs at the Venango County Museum.

MIRANDA HELLER serves as an Educational Representative at Northern Pennsylvania Regional College, advocating for accessible academic programs and workforce training in Venango County. With bachelor’s degrees in Geology, Environmental Science, and secondary Earth and Space Science, she brings expertise to her role. Miranda has been a member of the Oil Region Astronomical Society for 13 years, organizing numerous astronomy education programs for both children and adults. 

THOMAS HOLOMAN serves as the Franklin Jr./Sr. High School Principal, dedicated to fostering a culture of learning and providing professional development for staff. He ensures students have diverse academic, athletic, and social opportunities, overseeing curriculum, budgeting, safety, and planning. Under his leadership, the Franklin Area School District earned recognition as a Pennsylvania Great School. Thomas is completing a doctorate and will teach graduate courses at Westminster College. He also serves as a PIAA Football Official and supports various school clubs to enrich student experiences. 

AMARILIZ SANCHEZ serves as Administrative Assistant at PennWest Venango Campus, supporting various initiatives like the Viability Focus Group and campus transfer to the Oil Region Alliance. She advises the Venango Campus Activities Board and is pursuing a Conflict Resolutions Master’s with a 4.0 GPA. A founding member of Together We Can of Venango, she’s active in DEI education events and serves on boards including Youth Connections and Pellere Foundation, earning the 2021 Volunteer of the Year Award. 

SAVANHA SCOTT works as an Accounts Payable Specialist at Deets Mechanical, managing all payables, receivables, and daily business operations. Beyond her role, she serves as Vice President of the Cranberry Cheerleading Booster Club and volunteers at community events like wine walks and clean-up days. Additionally, she actively participates in church activities, assisting with kids programs, retreats, Vacation Bible School, and youth groups.

KAT THOMPSON serves as the Membership & Education Manager at the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce, focusing on expanding membership and fostering relationships with current members. She oversees VenangoREADY and ForestREADY career programs, collaborating with local schools and businesses to prepare students for the workforce. Kat is active in Oil City’s Main Street Program and Friends of Oil Creek State Park. She recently completed her second year at the Institute for Organization Management at Villanova.

TYLER VANWORMER serves as the Personal Lines Producer at Franklin Insurance, specializing in acquiring new business and addressing community members’ personal insurance requirements. Franklin Insurance Agency earned Erie Insurance’s Giving Agency of the Year Award in 2022. Tyler actively participates in various community activities including Franklin Rotary, Flex, Oil City YMCA Dek Hockey, Franklin’s Light Up Night Parade, and volunteering for the annual apple pancake breakfast at St. Patrick’s Church in Franklin. 

DEANNA WOLFGONG wears multiple hats as the owner and music therapist of DS Music Therapy, and a lead music instructor at Porch Music Store. In her therapeutic role, she assesses, evaluates, and treats clients, while also pursuing licensure as a Professional Counselor. As an instructor, she offers music lessons for all ages, teaching piano, voice, ukulele, and guitar. Deanna is also active in the community, serving on the FCOA Board of Directors at Barrow Civic Theatre and chairing the Education Committee while coordinating the Barrow Theatre Institute. 

KELSEY ZIEGLER serves as a Legal Services Initiative Paralegal at Voce, focusing on aiding Venango County in securing permanency for children in the welfare system. Beyond her professional role, she’s deeply engaged in 4-H, holding leadership positions in various capacities. Kelsey actively volunteers for community initiatives such as distributing milk with the United Way during the pandemic and supporting fundraising events for the Emlenton Volunteer Fire Department. She’s recently honored for three years of leadership in the Venango County 4-H program.

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