By Dee Longfellow

For The Elmhurst Independent

 

Ralph Pechanio (far right) is pictured here along with Elmhurst College President Troy VanAken & his wife Annette. On Friday, Oct. 25, the Elmhurst resident received an Elmhurst College Founders Medal in recognition of his 15 years of financial support for the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s student internship partnership with the College.

On Friday, Oct. 25, Elmhurst resident Ralph P. Pechanio received an Elmhurst College Founders Medal in recognition of his 15 years of financial support for the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ECCI)’s student internship partnership with the College, including his 2018 endowment fund for the program, which has been named in his honor. Pechanio currently serves as treasurer for the ECCI’s Board of Directors.

Established in 1978, the Founders Medal is one of Elmhurst College’s most prestigious honors.

Pechanio has served the Elmhurst community for nearly 50 years as a civic and business leader. As a generous supporter, first through a non-endowed fund, then with his $100,000 gift and subsequent endowment contributions, he has reimbursed the ECCI the 40 percent of student intern salaries not covered by an Illinois Board of Higher Education (BHE) program.

His long career of community involvement began soon after Pechanio joined the former Elmhurst Federal Savings Bank in 1970. He immediately became active in the Elmhurst Chamber, serving multiple terms on the Board of Directors, including Board Chair in 1992 and Treasurer appointee since 2015.

After a 23-year banking career at Elmhurst Federal as Controller, Vice President and Treasurer, and Chief Financial Officer, Pechanio retired in 1993, only to become even more active as a volunteer in the Elmhurst community and with the ECCI.

A United States Army veteran, Pechanio chaired the 1992 fundraising campaign to build the Elmhurst Veterans Memorial in Wilder Park and he has chaired the Elmhurst Veteran Memorial Commissioned since the Memorial’s dedication in 1993. Since 1997, he has co-chaired Elmhurst’s Memorial Day Parade Committee.

Pechanio has won numerous awards, including his 2015 induction into the ECCI’s Civic Hall of Fame and 2018 recognition by the State of Illinois as a Bicentennial HONOR 200 Veteran.

Some information was provided by the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

 

 

 

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