History

Penn State Alumni Association, Central Florida Chapter Logo

The Central Florida Chapter was reorganized around 1995 by a small group of approximately 12 devoted and dedicated alumni in the Central Florida area. The Chapter works to establish a close network of fellowship, cooperation and friendship among members of the Penn State family (including alumni, parents of students, friends and fans) residing in the Central Florida area.

The Chapter provides various fundraising opportunities to support its annual scholarship awarded to a local student attending Penn State University. The Chapter also provides networking opportunities including football viewing parties, dinners, sporting events and other activities. We look forward to expanding our presence in the community in the future and hope that you will decide to join.

Mission

The mission of the Central Florida Chapter follows that of the parent organization, the Penn State Alumni Association. As stated in their mission and bylaws, the mission is:

To connect alumni of the University (“Alumni”) to the University and to each other, to provide valued service to members of the Association (each, an “Association member”), and to support the University’s mission of teaching, research and service.

Furthermore, as a Chapter, our purpose, as stated in Article XI of the bylaws, is:

  • To assist the University in promoting its programs under the direction of the Association;
  • To promote the fellowship and welfare of Alumni, students, parents of students, and other friends of the University residing in the chapter area by providing information and services to them;
  • To recruit volunteer assistance for the various programs of the Association and the University;

The Central Florida Chapter will work to carry out the mission and purpose as a Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association.

Penn State University Logo

Officers

The Central Florida Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association is currently seeking for new, enthusiastic individuals to take leadership roles in an effort to continue the Chapter’s mission. If you are unsure if becoming an officer or chairperson is right for you, feel free to contact us. Still unsure? Join a committee or volunteer at one of our activities. It is a great way to give back while showing what it means to be a Penn Stater!

Photo of Dawson C. Wright IVDawson C. Wright IV ’02

Dawson graduated from Penn State University in 2002 with a Bachelors of Science in Earth Sciences. Originally from the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, he moved to Orlando in 2007. In 2013, Dawson graduated from the web design and development program at Winter Park Tech and established DCW4 Web Solutions, a DCW4 Enterprises, Inc. company, so that he can work from home while caring for his son. Dawson also spends much of his time volunteering with several non-profit organizations in central Florida.

He is a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association and became the webmaster of the Central Florida Chapter in late 2015.

 

Photo of Jodi Lupp

Jodi Lupp ’97

Originally from south central Pennsylvania just outside of Gettysburg, she moved to Orlando in 2004 during one of the most active hurricane season in the decade. She jokes that she traded the extreme winters for extreme summers.

Jodi, an alumnus of Penn State University, earned her Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice in 1997. She expanded her post-graduate education as she attended Shippensburg University for her Masters in Administration of Justice and also received an Associates degree in Legal Studies – Paralegal from Florida Gulf Coast University. Jodi has worked in Juvenile Corrections in a maximum secure facility, a Security Specialist at Walt Disney World and currently a Florida State Certified Emergency Telecommunicator for Reedy Creek Emergency Services. With a playful smirk, she offers that her “work number is still 911”.

Jodi loves being a part of the Penn State community. There’s a sense of being a family around other Penn Staters. #WeAre

Photo of Lindsey ManningLindsey Manning ’05

Lindsey is a 2005 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and currently works as a District Mental Health Counselor for Seminole County Public Schools. She grew up in Longwood, Florida and when it was time to decide on college she decided she wanted to go out of state.

Lindsey continually gets asked, “Why Penn State?” All she knew was that she wanted to go to a football school. Her family has all graduated from various Big Ten Schools (Purdue, Wisconsin, and University of Illinois) so why not add to the list. As of today, deciding to attend Penn State has been one of her BEST decisions!

Lindsey is a Lifetime Member of the Penn State Alumni Association. She has become more active in the chapter during the past few years by helping to coordinate and organize events, such as the Citrus Bowl tailgate, and now serving as the Chapter Secretary.

 

Photo of Helen AdlerHelen Adler ’78

Helen Adler graduated from Penn State in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in LEC. Originally from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, Helen moved to the Washington DC area after college where she was involved in the DC chapter’s social committee and was President of the chapter for two years. She became involved in Alumni Recruiting at that time and continues to be involved today.

Helen has served as the Charter’s scholarship chair, membership co-chair and has been involved in organizing events including the Citrus Bowl tailgate. She currently serves as the Chapter Treasurer and is responsible for all financial aspects of the Chapter, including maintaining its bank accounts, distribution of scholarship funds, and the filing of any necessary tax-related documents. Helen lives in Ocoee, Florida with her daughter, Allison, who is attending UCF.

 

Photo of Frank RaikeFrank Raike ’96

Frank is one of our chapter’s Trustee and serves as the Membership Co-Chairperson. He is a Lieutenant / Paramedic and local firefighter residing in Longwood, Florida. Frank earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Film, but he left behind the limelight and rock & roll adventures some 30 years ago to fight fires and save lives.

Besides his service responding to fire, medical, and trauma emergencies, Frank is also a State of Florida Life Safety Educator, Fire Safety Inspector, and Fire Investigator. His passion is to prevent and avert fires, traumas, medical emergencies, and any unnecessary hazardous events.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
— Fire Chief Benjamin Franklin of the Union Fire Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1737.

 

Photo of Amanda KlieglAmanda Kliegl ’99

Amanda is one of our chapter’s Trustees and is currently serving as Marketing Chair. She is a 2003 graduate of the College of Communications (Adv/PR) and Lifetime Member of the Penn State Alumni Association. During her time at Penn State, Amanda interned with the Walt Disney Company where she met her husband. Upon graduation, she moved to Orlando, Florida permanently.

Amanda currently is the Vice President of Public Relations for PRINTING United Alliance, the largest trade association in North America serving the printing and graphic arts industries. With headquarters outside of Washington, D.C. she frequently travels to the D.C. area. She is very involved in roles at her kids’ schools and enjoys swimming, cycling, camping, fishing, and traveling with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. Let’s Go State!

 

Penn State University LogoJeff “Doc” Ecker ’97

Jeff graduated from Penn State in 1997 in Journalism, Policital Science and Natural Science. He is the owner and CEO of Hedoncast, a media and marketing company, which as been in operation since 2001. “Doc”, as he is frequently called, has been a staple with several radio stations in both State College (the Lion 90.7FM) and here in Orlando as the executive producer and co-host of a sports-talk radio show. Many from our chapter know Doc, not just as one of our chapter’s Trustees, but also as the voice of the Central Florida Chapter’s Penn State football watch parties. Whether it be helping our chapter on the back-end or belting out “WE ARE” after a Penn State touchdown, his love and passion for Penn State has resonated in our chapter and provided added spirit for Penn Staters here in central Florida for many years now and into the future.

 

Photo of Katie BartooKatie Bartoo ’92

Katie is a 1992 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and currently works as a Project Manager and a Construction Contract and Litigation Paralegal in Orlando. She grew up in Canton, Ohio and moved to central Florida after graduation in 1992.

Katie has served as the Chapter’s President and in other Chapter officer roles for 19 years. She officially “retired” as a Chapter officer in 2017. Katie is a Lifetime Member of the Penn State Alumni Association, served on the Alumni Council from 2010 to 2016, and served on the Executive Board for the Alumni Association from 2014-2016. In 2018, Katie received the Kay and Ernie Salvino Volunteer of the Year award by the Penn State Alumni Association. She was active as the manager of the Men’s Varsity Soccer Team while attending Penn State and has worked as a college football bowl scout on behalf of the Florida Citrus Sports organization for more than 15 years.

Katie’s father, Donald Bartoo, was a 1961 graduate of Penn State and she has many Bartoo family members still connected to Happy Valley. In her spare time, Katie loves to travel internationally, and of course, travel to cheer on the Nittany Lions and Pittsburgh Steelers any chance she gets.

The Immediate Past President (IPP) serves as an advisor to the Chapter President. The IPP also builds relationships between the Chapter and other local Penn State, B1G, and other college/university alumni associations.

 

Committee Chairs

Photo of Laurie FarkasLaurie Farkas

Laurie Farkas graduated from main campus in 2003 with a degree in Marketing and International Business. While at PSU, she taught gymnastics at a local gym and was a member of Delta Gamma sorority. Laurie has a career in project/product management for a large hospitality company here in Orlando. In her free time, she enjoys the beach, Jimmy Buffett music, and world travel.

 

Penn State University LogoDr. Kate Clark ’75

Fundraising Chair profile is coming soon.

 

Photo of Amanda KlieglAmanda Kliegl ’99

Amanda is our 2-year trustee and currently serving as Marketing Chair. She is a 2003 graduate of the College of Communications (Adv/PR) and Lifetime Member of the Penn State Alumni Association. During her time at Penn State, Amanda interned with the Walt Disney Company where she met her husband. Upon graduation, she moved to Orlando, Florida permanently.

Amanda currently is the Vice President of Public Relations for PRINTING United Alliance, the largest trade association in North America serving the printing and graphic arts industries. With headquarters outside of Washington, D.C. she frequently travels to the D.C. area. She is very involved in roles at her kids’ schools and enjoys swimming, cycling, camping, fishing, and traveling with her husband, two sons, and two dogs. Let’s Go State!

 

Photo of Frank RaikeFrank Raike ’96

Frank is our 3-year Trustee and serving as the Membership Co-Chairperson. He is a Lieutenant / Paramedic and local firefighter residing in Longwood, Florida. Frank earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Film, but he left behind the limelight and rock & roll adventures some 30 years ago to fight fires and save lives.

Besides his service responding to fire, medical, and trauma emergencies, Frank is also a State of Florida Life Safety Educator, Fire Safety Inspector, and Fire Investigator. His passion is to prevent and avert fires, traumas, medical emergencies, and any unnecessary hazardous events.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
— Fire Chief Benjamin Franklin of the Union Fire Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1737.

 

Photo of Helen AdlerHelen Adler ’78

Helen Adler graduated from Penn State in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in LEC. Originally from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, Helen moved to the Washington DC area after college where she was involved in the DC chapter’s social committee and was President of the chapter for two years. She became involved in Alumni Recruiting at that time and continues to be involved today.

Helen has served as the Charter’s scholarship chair, membership co-chair and has been involved in organizing events including the Citrus Bowl tailgate. She currently serves as the Chapter Treasurer and is responsible for all financial aspects of the Chapter, including maintaining its bank accounts, distribution of scholarship funds, and the filing of any necessary tax-related documents. Helen lives in Ocoee, Florida with her daughter, Allison, who is attending UCF.

 

Become a Member

Membership in the Central Florida Chapter is open to alumni, friends or fans of the Pennsylvania State University. Annual dues are currently $25 per household, which are normally collected in connection with the Chapter’s fiscal year (Aug 1 – July 31).
BigTen Picnic, Picture 5 - 2017