Cerminara (‘70 BS)
As a small child emigrating from Italy, Frank Cerminara overcame both language and culture barriers to become a very successful businessman. He was a first-generation college student and in 1970 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from the Industrial and Management Systems Engineering (IMSE) Department of WVU. He then went on to earn his MBA in corporate finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Cerminara started his long career at Hershey Foods in 1972 as a budget analyst, and through the years moved his way up the corporate ladder to the position of chief financial officer where he was not only responsible for all of the company’s financial activity, but also served as the chief spokesman to Wall Street. He retired from The Hershey Food Company in December of 2005.
Throughout his distinguished career Cerminara served on various boards and has been honored with awards for both his abilities in business as well as his work in the community. He served on the Board of Managers of the Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange and on multiple committees of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association as well as the advisory board of the FM Global Insurance Company.
In 2005, Cerminara was named among “America’s Best CFOs,” by Institutional Investor magazine. He was given a key to the city in his hometown of Follansbee, W.Va., in 2002 and also served as the grand marshal of the annual Community Days Parade. Cerminara was inducted into the Academy of Industrial Engineers at WVU in 1994.
Throughout his career Cerminara has stayed true to his Mountaineer roots and is happy to help his alma mater in any way he can. In 2003, Frank and his wife, the former Susan Klatskin, a 1969 WVU grad, established the Frank and Susan Cerminara Opportunity Fund, the largest endowment ever given to the department. The endowment provides recognition scholarships for sophomore, junior and senior students, as well as supports the faculty in WVU’s IMSE Department.
Cerminara has provided not only financial support to WVU, but has also given generously of his time. He has been a guest lecturer, performed mock interviews with senior IMSE students, aided in evaluating course content and has also been a part of making The Hershey Food Company one of the largest employers of WVU IMSE graduates.
The Cerminaras live in Hummelstown, Pa., where they are both very active in the community.