Bill Lavage will be honored as a recipient of the Robert N. Pursel Award for Community Service, to be presented on Saturday, December 10, 2022 as part of the annual Holidays Happening event.
Bill was born in Wilkes-Barre, PA. He graduated from James F. Coughlin High School in 1972, and then from Wilkes University where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. After college, Bill worked for the National Credit Union Administration, a federal regulatory agency for credit unions.
Bill moved to Danville in 1981 after learning about a job opening to lead the Geisinger Employees Federal Credit Union. Bill met his wife, Cindy, in Danville—they have been married for 38 years. They have two children, Aaron and Dan, and four grandchildren—Elliot, Sammy, and twins Julia and Natalie.
Under Bill's leadership, the Geisinger Employees Federal Credit Union became Service 1st Federal Credit Union, and grew to over $620 million in assets and 11 locations throughout the region. It has grown from a business of 4 employees to 75 employees in Danville and 124 employees system wide.
One of the seven core values that guide the Service 1st team is "support community", and Bill leads this value by example in his professional and personal life. His board membership, service, and leadership with community organizations have included: Danville Area Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Montour Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Danville Area Little League, St. Joseph’s CYO Basketball Team, Danville Area Community Center, Danville Area Community Foundation, Danville Business Alliance, Columbia-Montour Partnership for Community Development, Montour Area Recreation Commission, ThinkBIG, and Going Gold Pediatric Cancer Awareness Campaign.
The Iron Heritage Festival benefited from Bill's leadership and support—one of the primary reasons the festival was as successful as it was for 15 years. When you realize that he "willingly" participated in the cemetery tours, you understand his commitment to the community.
Bill was responsible for creating the Service 1st annual charity golf tournament, in its 28th year in 2022. More than $600,000 has been raised through the tournament to benefit the following organizations: Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, Bridges Out of Poverty, Mifflinburg Hose Company, ThinkBIG Pediatric Cancer Fund, Geisinger’s Autism and Developmental Medicine Institute, Danville Little League, Heart-to-Hand Ministries, Danville Area Volunteer Fire Companies, Food BackPack Program, Montour Area Recreation Commission, Buffalo Valley Rail Trail, Montour County Veterans Affairs, Nolan’s Heart of Steel Fund, SUNCOM, DCDC, Ronald McDonald House, Stephen Hurst Recovery Fund, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, BTE, and the Wayne Hawley Recovery Fund. Service 1st also remains committed to sponsoring other community events throughout the region.
The community has continued to benefit from the leadership, dedication, and hard work modeled by Bill Lavage and in turn exemplified through the Service 1st organization and team.