Misericordia Community Mourns Loss of Faculty Member

Melissa Sgroi

The community is remembering Fulbright scholar, business chair, and faculty member Dr. John M. Sumansky who passed away Aug. 6.

According to his obituary, Sumansky as born June 17, 1944, in New Castle, PA. His parents, now deceased, John F. and Mary Sumansky were Czechoslovakian immigrants. Surviving is a daughter, three brothers, and one older sister.

He graduated from New Castle High School in 1962 and attended Youngstown University where he graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor’s degree in economics. He earned both a Masters and a Ph.D. in economics from Penn State University.

During his years of study, he spent some time working as an economist for the US Department of Labor both in Washington, DC, and Dallas, TX. After graduate school, Sumansky took a position as the first Director of the Urban Affairs Institute at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. Under his direction, The Urban Affairs Institute conducted a number of studies benefiting the Peoria community, including a forecast of tax revenues for the funding of the Peoria Civic Arena.

In 1979, he became research director at the Joint Council on Economic Education in New York. After rising to Vice President at the Joint Council, he moved to become President of the ASME Foundation in New York where he advanced programs and activities of the mechanical engineering profession. In 1989, he became the first President of the Toshiba American Foundation.

Through an Eisenhower Fellowship, he worked with developing non-profit organizations in the Czech and Slovak Republics. While in Prague, he addressed Prague Parliament on the topic of Corporate Philanthropy and Economic Development. He also served as a consultant to the Joint Council and conducted management training workshops for new NGO leaders in Russia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Romania, and New York City. John retired from Toshiba in 1999 and accepted a three-year position as President of the Kentucky Economics Council in Louisville, KY.

He served at Misericordia for a decade. He received a Fulbright Scholarship and lectured at the State University of Macedonia at Tetova. He was awarded a grant from the US Embassy to conduct a nationwide business plan competition for Macedonian college students.

He served on the Board of Trustees of the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH at the time of his death.