Mercyhurst Magazine Summer 2016

Agency owner focuses on service Simon Arias joined the sales force with American Income Life right after his 2005 graduation from Mercyhurst. AIL provides life and supplemental health insurance benefts to members of credit unions, labor unions and associations. Today, at 32, he’s an agency owner with 11 locations in fve states and sits on the company’s executive council. In 2011 and 2012 he was named AIL’s agency owner of the year internationally. His rise through the company ranks has been quick, but Simon would rather focus on what that success has allowed him to do for others. “The way you continue to be blessed is to be a blessing to others,” he says. One of his biggest commitments is to Inspiring Minds, which works to inspire at-risk youth to reach their full potential by providing education and other life-changing experiences. Simon partnered with founder Deryck Toles to establish a branch in his hometown of Youngstown, Ohio, and serves as its board chair. Another passion is the nonproft Hydrating Humanity. “Did you know that $10,000 can build a well for children in Africa who now have to walk miles to get fresh water?” he asks. Every Saturday, Simon contributes a video blog entry to The Daily Locker Room (visit ), which ofers positive insights on business and on life. The blog was founded by Eric Giglione, one Athena honors pair of ‘Hurst alums In a ftting piece of symmetry, to violence, HIV/AIDS or extreme two women who graduated poverty; and with Noah's Ark from Mercyhurst 50 years apart Hands on Training Center, a home received the major awards at the and education center for disabled 2015 Athena Awards in Erie. The orphans.

of Simon’s early mentors at American Income Life and now one of his closest friends.

Simon describes his 2- to 4-minute posts as “like a shot of espresso for your mind in the morning,” a quick inspirational message you can listen to while brushing your teeth or driving to work. Simon maintains close ties with Mercyhurst and with President Michael Victor, who was dean of the Walker School of Business when Simon was a business and marketing student. Simon’s donations helped develop the viewing area to the south of Tullio Field, now known as Arias Agencies Alumni Hill. “I have great memories of practicing and playing on that feld, so it was a project I was delighted to support,” he says. He played on the Laker football team from 2001 to 2005 and was captain as a senior. Simon and his wife, Natalie, have a 1-year-old daughter named Sienna. In his down time, he enjoys traveling and working out and is a student of jiujitsu and mixed martial arts.

Athena Leadership Award went to former Erie Mayor Joyce Savocchio ’65, while the Athena Young Professional Award was presented A dual major in intelligence and public health, Emily earned the Bishop’s Award for Academic Excellence at her Mercyhurst to Emily Francis ’15. master’s degree in international development from the Graduate School of International Afairs (GSPIA) at the University of Pittsburgh. Her focus is on Non- governmental Organizations and graduation. She’s working toward a

Emily served last year on the GSPIA Student Cabinet and was a member of the Ford Institute for Human Security working group for Gender Equality in Public Administration. She expects to begin work this fall with the Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership, while beginning a job search for after her Joyce taught history and social studies in Erie for 24 years and spent four years as an assistant principal at Strong Vincent High School, but is best known as the frst woman to serve on Erie City Council and later the frst woman May 2017 graduation.

Research Project, the Regional Cancer Center, the LECOM Institute for Successful Aging and the Jeferson Educational Society of Erie. More quietly, though, she's been an important role model for other women, said Linda Stevenson, chairwoman and founder of the Erie Athena program. Above, Provost David Dausey, Emily Francis ’15 and President Michael T. Victor. At right, Emily Francis ’15 and Joyce Savocchio ’65 (photo by Jennifer Dworek).

Civil Society.

elected mayor of Erie.

She’s interning in Uganda this summer with Bright Kids Uganda, a home for children orphaned due

In later years, she's been active in what became the Kanzius Cancer


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