When Jim Caliendo enrolled at CCAC Boyce Campus after graduating from Central Catholic High School in 1971, the college was virtually unknown as an outstanding educational institution where every student could develop their full potential. With an interest in banking, Jim pursued an associate’s degree in banking and finance. To gain work experience, he accepted a job as a teller at the savings and loan near campus. He became passionate about his banking job and for the next few years, worked at the bank part time while attending CCAC full time.
Caliendo identifies Dr. Fred Bartok, who formerly taught banking and finance at Boyce Campus, as his favorite professor. Dr. Bartok was a 20-year veteran of Mellon Bank who combined classroom lectures and textbook exercises with his practical banking experience. Dr. Bartok served as his mentor and helped him to make entree into the banking industry, where he would spend 22 years with a local bank.
In 1973, Jim completed his degree at CCAC and his career took off. Thanks to his experiences at the bank, Jim learned quickly how to succeed in a business environment. With more than 29 years of experience in business and bank management, Jim now serves as president and Chief Operating Officer of PW Campbell, where his education in banking, finance and business administration serve him well.
Jim serves in a top post of one of the leading design/build firms that provides comprehensive facilities expertise for financial institutions and consistently strives to learn and grow in his job. He is committed to building on the success of PW Campbell, promising to help the company grow wealthier and even more successful over the course of his career. “I no longer have a big checklist of aspirations,” he admits, “except to be the best at what I do and ensure that I am always happy doing it.”
Throughout his distinguished career, Jim has been actively involved in the educational community. Fifteen years after leaving CCAC, he earned his bachelor’s degree from Robert Morris College (now Robert Morris University). He taught business administration courses as an adjunct professor at CCAC. He served on the Board of Spring Hill Savings Bank and was an elected member of the Plum Borough School Board for 8 years. In 1988, Robert Morris College recognized him with the Robert Morris College Heritage Distinguished Alumnus of the Year award.
Jim’s commitment to CCAC is ongoing and exemplary. During his tenure of more than a decade as the Chairman of the Educational Foundation’s Board of Directors, he was instrumental in initiating the college’s first capital campaign. In recognition of his dedication and service to the college, Jim received the CCAC Educational Foundation’s 2006 Legendary Alumnus Award, given annually to an alumnus who has made a positive and lasting impact on CCAC.
Today, as a member of the President’s Advisory Council, Jim is carving a legacy and bringing his commitment to CCAC full circle. “CCAC opened me up to other worlds,” he says. “Now I would like students who strive to better themselves to have the opportunity to benefit from a CCAC education.”
Based on his own experience, Jim knows that CCAC is a cost-effective institution that provides quality education and the flexibility for students to “learn and work” in their industry of choice. He is confident in the value of a CCAC education and proud that a second Caliendo generation is following in his CCAC footsteps. Two of his five children attended CCAC, learning firsthand the tremendous educational opportunity that the college provides.