Hard work pays off for business administration alumni


Frank Hierro said he was humbled when he heard that he’d be receiving the Outstanding Business Alumnus Award from the Williamson College of Business Administration.

“I know there are many terrific Williamson school graduates who make terrific contributions to our community every day,” Hierro said.

The WCBA at Youngstown State University is preparing to hold its 17th Annual WCBA Alumni Banquet.

Hierro, Eric Shuster and Kimberly Pleva are the three recipients being honored at the WCBA ceremony.

Hierro, part of the class of ‘77, is the president of Huntington National Bank’s Mahoning Valley Region. Since 1999, Hierro has overseen the activity and operations of six counties in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. He’s been with Huntington Bank and its predecessor banks since 1978. 

Hierro said he made sacrifices to enjoy both academic and professional success.

“I worked to help pay my way through school, and didn’t enjoy as many of the on-campus opportunities as I should have,” Hierro said.

Several of Hierro’s courses at YSU sparked his interest in business and banking. “Those early interests were pursued, and I’ve spent all of my adult life working in banking and financial services,” Hierro said.

Hierro said he appreciates the university even more over time.

Hierro is a cum laude graduate of YSU. He serves as a board member of theYSU Foundation, the Youngstown Business Incubator, the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corporation.

The WCBA banquet will showcase Hierro’s success story, as well as his contributions to YSU.

“The banquet is set up to recognize alumni who have given the college their time, talent and treasure on a continual basis,” said Christine Shelton, the coordinator of external relations for the WCBA. 

Eric Shuster has received the honor of Outstanding MBA Alumnus.

Shuster earned his Master of Business Administration from YSU in 2005. He is the general manager of steelmaking and multi-stand pipe mill operations at V&M Star. Shuster is a graduate of YSU’s Executive MBA program. He received honors from Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi.

Kimberly Pleva will be presented with the Outstanding Recent Alumna award.

Pleva received her bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2000 and her MBA in 2005. She is the division human resource manager for the Parker Hannifin Corporation.

Pleva is a summa cum laude graduate and left YSU with a 3.87 GPA. The WCBA Alumni Banquet will take place on Nov. 2 inside Williamson Hall at YSU. Reservations are available by contacting Shelton at 330-941-3068 or [email protected].

The dinner requires a $45 reservation fee.

“Students, alumni and campus employees are all welcome to come,” Shelton said.