First Posted: 11/19/2014
Misericordia University and the Conference for Mercy Higher Education recently elected Tina Polachek Gartley ‘88, J.D., of Plains Twp..; Philip H. Johnson, M.B.A., of Williamsport; and Lt. Mark A. Van Loon, Retired, J.D., LL.M., of Dallas, to three-year terms on the Misericordia University Board of Trustees.
A native of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Gartley has been a Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas judge since 2010. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude in history and English with minors in writing and Russian area studies from Misericordia University in 1988. Judge Gartley received her Juris Doctorate degree from Syracuse University College of Law in 1991. Misericordia University presented her with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree in 2013. She was elected to a 10-year term on the bench in November 2009, and currently serves as the co-administrating judge of Criminal Court and administrating judge of Protection From Abuse (PFA) Court.
During her 18 years as a prosecutor and attorney, Judge Gartley worked to convict criminals who threatened the security of families and communities. She also worked to ensure that victims were given a voice in legal proceedings. In 1996, Judge Gartley became the first STOP (Stop Violence Against Women) grant prosecutor in the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office. As a STOP grant prosecutor, she specialized in prosecuting crimes of sexual assault and domestic violence. She also handled PFA Court and prosecuted hundreds of PFA violations. During this time, she also instructed law enforcement officials, and medical and legal professionals on the protocols and procedures of sexual assault and domestic violence crimes and investigations.
In 2002, Judge Gartley parlayed her work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to the Barbara J. Hart Justice Center. The Justice Center provides civil legal representation to survivors of domestic violence and assaults in Lackawanna and Susquehanna counties. As the managing and senior attorney, she continued to promote the rights of survivors through her legal work and public speaking until her election to the bench.
In the community, Judge Gartley is a member of the Luzerne County Juvenile Justice Task Force, Luzerne County Domestic Violence Task Force and the Luzerne County Elder Abuse Task Force. She is also a member of the statewide Dependency Bench Book Committee, the Pennsylvania Trial Judge Association Criminal Law Committee, and the Luzerne County Policy Board. Judge Gartley also served as a member of the Wilkes-Barre Area Solomon Accreditation Committee and as president of the Solomon Plains Elementary PTA.
Johnson is the group vice president for M&T Bank Corp. and regional president for the M&T Bank Northern Pennsylvania Region that encompasses 20 counties in north-central and northeastern Pennsylvania. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Master of Business Administration with a specialization in finance from The Pennsylvania State University.
He has been the regional president and group vice president for M&T Bank since 2007. In this role, he leads the community banking initiative in northern Pennsylvania and also directs commercial banking business in the region, delivering M&T Bank’s products and services to larger commercial clients across his territory. Mr. Johnson is also responsible for coordinating the delivery of all M&T Bank services for all business lines regionally in addition to the coordination of annual charitable giving in the area.
Prior to his current position, Johnson served as the regional executive and administrative vice president of M&T Bank from 2000-07. He was responsible for the bank’s commercial banking business in north-central Pennsylvania and for directing its community banking efforts in the region. From 1991 to 2000, he was the market manager and senior vice president.
In the community, Johnson is a board and executive committee member of the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, where he is also a past chair. At Susquehanna Health, he is a board member and also sits on the finance, governance and investment committees. Mr. Johnson is the chair of Susquehanna Ventures. In Wilkes-Barre, Mr. Johnson serves as on the board and finance committee of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce and is a Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA trustee. He also is a board and finance committee member of the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corp.
Van Loon is a partner at Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, L.L.P., Wilkes-Barre. The attorney and counselor at law is chairman of the Real Estate & Banking Department, a member of the Labor Department, and chair of the Environmental Practice Group at the law firm. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree summa cum laude in economics and political science from Wilkes College. He received his Juris Doctor and Master of Laws degrees from Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia.
His practice is engaged in commercial and residential real estate, including representation of banks, thrifts, borrowers and commercial developers relative to bank qualified and public offering bond tax free financing, new market tax credit financing, construction lending, tax infrastructure bond financing, mortgage financing, zoning, condominium documentation, construction documentation and commercial leasing. Van Loon’s environmental practice involves the representation of owners, operators and lenders before regulatory agencies, counseling clients regarding compliance matters and transactional issues. He also is experienced in collective bargaining and labor arbitration issues under collective bargaining agreements, unemployment compensation, and employment discrimination matters.
A retired Navy Judge Advocate General Corps or JAG Corps officer, Van Loon was the primary legal advisor to 12 Navy commands in New Jersey from 1978-82. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal by the Secretary of the Navy for performance of his duties as a legal officer and for his leadership role in base-wide labor negotiations. Mr. Van Loon also served as defense counsel and counsel to the reviewing authority in courts-martial.
In the community, Van Loon is a member of the Allan P. Kirby Center for Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Board of Managers. Salvation Army Advisory Board, and the Kiwanis Club of Wilkes-Barre. He also has recently served with the Wilkes-Barre Family YMCA, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, St. Vincent De Paul Kitchen, Greater Wilkes-Barre Development Corp., and others.