On behalf of the CAN DO staff, past leaders and our volunteer board members, we all graciously honor Dr. Dessen and his lasting legacy of contributions to Greater Hazleton, both as a caring doctor and an astute business professional.
Dr. Dessen was the driving force behind CAN DO's creation in the 1950s, believing in this area and its residents at a time when Hazleton's economy was in severe decline and the unemployment rate stood at nearly 23 percent. As president of the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce, he noted the decline of the coal industry and came up with the idea – and name – for CAN DO when others said, "It can't be done." He chaired three fund drives that raised more than $2 million to establish CAN DO as the economic development organization serving the people of Greater Hazleton.
Since our founding in 1956, thousands of jobs have been created for men and women in the Hazleton area. CAN DO has developed Valmont Industrial Park, Humboldt Industrial Park (where more than 7,000 people are employed today), McAdoo Industrial Park, the CAN DO Corporate Center and Humboldt Station. Without Dr. Dessen and his vision, none of this would have been possible.
When it comes to Dr. Dessen, "thank you" can never say enough. We will miss his vision, drive and determination tremendously.
CAN DO, Inc.