Sam Greenberg – President / Interim Executive Director
Sam Greenberg is past president of the Senior Men’s Bowling Association; Topper Award recipient; past JCC Camp committee member; past Boy Scout committee chairman; member of House & Ground Committee; past JCC board member; contributed flags that have flown over the Capitol for use at the JCC; created Greenberg’s Gardens at Holiday House; decorates veterans graves for Memorial Day with the help of Post #212 members; responsible for collecting monies for the JCC and day camps; created and presented Menorahs to many local houses of worship, municipal buildings, senior citizens facilities and JCC’s throughout the area; past T.I. school board member; commander of the Irving R. Rutstein Post #212; past department commander of PA Jewish War Veterans, past national commander of the National Jewish War Veterans of the USA; Veterans Administration voluntary service board member of Wilkes-Barre VA Hospital and a member of its executive committee; Department of PA Man of the Year; founded the Allied Veterans Council in Luzerne County; chaplain of Four Chaplains Bronze Medal of Merit recipient; lifelong member of the National Museum of American Jewish Military History and executive board member; served on selection committee for obtaining a National Veterans Cemetery in Pennsylvania; president of council at Gino J. Merli Veterans Center of Scranton; president and founder of NEPA Veterans Multicare Alliance Committee for homeless veterans; a member of the annual Veteran’s Day Parade Committee since 1948; a member of the American Legion, VFW and AmVets; founded the Allied Veterans Council in Luzerne County and started the brotherhood program, which has been in existence for more than 25 years; served eight years on council at Gino J. Merli State Veterans Home in Scranton; served as a VAVS representative for more than 30 years and continue to do so at the VA Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre; and current member of the executive board, VAVS at the vet’s center.
Karla Porter – Vice President
Karla Porter is a USAF Veteran who served in the European theater in telecommunications operations during the Lebanon/Grenada era. She has a career in domestic and international for and nonprofit management. Since returning from Europe to the Wyoming Valley in 2001, Karla is an active community volunteer and advocate for diversity in and growth of the region. She serves as Co-Chair of Tri-Vets Community Action Team of Family Service Association of Wyoming Valley and on a variety of community boards and committees. She is Principle at Karla Porter Human Capital & New Media and on staff at The Arc of Luzerne County as Director of Program Development and Marketing. Karla is a member of American Legion Post 673, in Ashley.
Gerard Gurnari, PDC- Legislative Liaison
Jerry graduated from West Side Area Vocational Technical School, where he studied building construction, blueprints and electrical construction, and upholstery. This would later help him to complete an apprenticeship program in the U.S. Army as a journeyman in heavy construction equipment repair. He was also a combat engineer in the United States Army. His military career lasted 21 years leading to his retirement as a staff sergeant. Jerry’s tours of duty included being stationed at Fort Jackson, S.C. (Basic Combat Training), Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. (Advanced Individual Training and Combat Engineer Training), Fort Bragg, N.C., Fort Rucker, Ala., Frankfurt, Hanau, and Wiesbaden in West Germany (three European tours), Soul Korea, and the Persian Gulf. He served in the Active Army Reserves 365th Engineers then the 828th Quartermaster in Wilkes-Barre to conclude his career. During his assignment at the 317th Engineers in Frankfurt West Germany, he was sent to the Persian Gulf. There he participated in Desert Shield, Desert Storm, and Provide Comfort Campaigns and maneuvers with his unit included Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, and Turkey.
During the Gulf War, Jerry was responsible for minefield clearing where he and his men were under enemy fire. After the cease-fire, Jerry and his squad continued to perform minefield and ordinance cleanup, and destroying enemy positions in Iraq and Kuwait.
Gerard has been awarded the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal with three Oak Clusters, three Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Medal, Kuwait Liberation Medal, Non-commissioned Officers Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon Five Award, and South-West Asia Ribbon with three Bronze Stars, Expert Marksmanship Badge for M-16, Expert Range Grenade Badge, Driver and Mechanic Badges.
He is a member of VFW Post #4909 and AMVETS Post #189, where he held various offices including post commander. Gerard was elected to the highest office of AMVETS (American Veterans) Department Commander at the Bethlehem Convention June 2009. He is the only AMVETS Post #189 Greater Pittston member to hold the highest office in the state as department commander. He attended the Penn State Main Campus ROTC Awards Ceremony, where he presented the AMVETS ROTC Medal to Cadets from the Army, Navy and Air Force. He presented the Silver Saber Award to the Air Reserve Airman and Air Force NCO of the Year as well as the Pennsylvania National Guard Soldier and NCO of the Year in Pittsburgh last April. For three years, he was the Department of Pa. Persian Gulf War representative to AMVETS National Convention. As chairman of the PGW committee, Anthrax Poison and Depleted Uranium Radiation Poison Resolutions were passed. He received recognition from the following: Sen. Robert J. Mellow, House of Representatives Michael B. Carroll, and Gov. Edward Rendell. Also, by order of the governor, Commander Gerard Gurnari was awarded the Pennsylvania Commendation Medal from Major Gen. Jessica L. Wright, PA. ARNG adjutant general. He was awarded for commendable service to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was a voting member of the Pennsylvania State Veterans Commission and the Pennsylvania Veteran War Council as a trustee. While serving as a member of the State Veterans’ Commission, Commander Gurnari aided the passage of numerous Legislative Bills benefiting commonwealth veterans.
Jerry is an advisory committee representative at the W-B VAMC for the NEPA-VMA (Northeastern Pennsylvania Veterans Multicare Alliance), the legislative liaison and a board member. He is also AMVETS National District II judge advocate, AMVETS Department of Pennsylvania 1st vice commander, Greater Pittston AMVETS Post #189 adjutant, VFW District #11 senior vice commander, post service officer for VFW Post #4909 in Dupont and vice president of their home association.
Larry Rinish – Secretary Treasurer
SFC John Paul Karpovich – Advisor