The People Behind StateCations
Almost 30 years ago, we connected as students – some through Blue Band, all as brothers of Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. Now, as Penn State Alums, we are excited to be in business together, and to give back to the community we love so much.
Despite the fact that the places we now call home stretch across the United States, our love for our Alma Mater, and for everything about Central Pennsylvania, runs deep – and it is that love which motivated us to join together in a venture that supports local business, and affords others the opportunity to come and experience this unique place.
We bring a range of professional skills into our partnership. Herb Toplan (Blue Band sousaphone) majored in Hotel and Restaurant Management, and following graduation was promptly recruited by Hilton, for whom he has worked in Operations, Sales, and Revenue Management for the Four Diamond Hilton in Short Hills, NJ, and the prestigious Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles (site of the Golden Globe Awards). He lived in Los Angeles for 18 years, then moved to Colorado with his partner CJ, and is now an independent consultant in Operations, Communications, Talent Development and Talent Management. Although he is tucked away in the Rocky Mountains, we talk him into coming back to hang with us a few times a year!
In addition to his Penn State Finance degree, Michael Rapach (Blue Band trumpet) holds an MBA from Carnegie Mellon; he has served as Consultant, Project/Program Manager, Project Director, and Vice President for a host of financial and healthcare companies. He is currently Director of Business Implementations and Medicare with PA Health & Wellness. Mike and his wife Jennifer live in Pittsburgh.
Our resident tech wizard John Mansi holds a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. He works as an IT Consultant and Project Manager with IT Solutions Consulting, Inc. in Fort Washington, PA. His wife, Kim, has tremendous experience in retail management, having worked for Wendell August, Barnes & Noble, and Coldwater Creek. They live in Allentown, PA.
Sharon and Lew Lazarow both started out with careers in Education; after 19 years of teaching high school, Lew (Blue Band mellophone) is now an Instructor with the Penn State English Department's Program in Writing and Rhetoric at University Park. Sharon left teaching for management and front-desk work (something she did throughout her college career); students see her welcoming face when they enter the undergraduate office of the Penn State College of Information Science and Technology.
Over the past several years, many things have changed about Penn State and the football program in particular; we've seen those changes turn out for the better for students, alumni and the residents of Centre County. But what will never change is our love for Penn State and everything about the surrounding area. From Beaver Stadium to antique shops, from fly fishing to wine tasting, from Grange Fair to concerts at the BJC, we love Central PA – and we'd love nothing more than to help you love it too. We are excited to put our skills and talents to work for you, our clients.
Most sincerely yours, the members of StateCations LLC: Lew & Sharon Lazarow, John & Kim Mansi, Michael Rapach, Herb Toplan