University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown

Jerry Vitale

Happy Days, Always

Jerry Vitale ’93 has a knack for inspiration. He is not secretive about where he’s found it, and is not reluctant to share. Through his business ventures and motivational speeches, one may say he eats, sleeps, and breathes inspiration. He attributes his motivation to lessons learned while at Pitt-Johnstown. According to Jerry, it is the result of a personal transformation.

The Vital Vitale

Jerry Vitale

“I came to Pitt-Johnstown a decent student, but left prepared and ready to find my way in the world,” he said. Vitale is an entrepreneur, company vice president, indie rock musician, and motivational speaker.

“Because of my education at UPJ, I started my own business that I sold at age 29. That business led me to be the vice president for 12 years of one of the fastest startup direct-selling companies. Now, I speak and have a consulting business.”  

Since 2009, the Phoenixville, PA, resident has been an owner/partner in AwesVitale, along with business partner Mel Awes, and currently operates three businesses: Pixngo On-Line Publishing, a unique custom publishing firm that focuses on using personal photos for holiday cards, brochures and photo books; Jerry Vitale Platform Speaker, a public speaking service; and AwesVitale Consulting, which offers a range of services including sales and start-up consulting.

While at Pitt-Johnstown, Jerry met his wife, Courtney, and was a member of the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity. His campus band, Double Pane Glass Window, included fellow UPJ graduates Dave Raco on guitar, Jack Horner on vocals, Dave Swatzetzki on bass, and Vitale on drums. The group played gigs throughout campus. “When UPJ brought in John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band to perform, we had the opportunity to open for them; what a moment!”

In retrospect, that moment foreshadowed Jerry’s career, which is testament to the power of belief in one’s self.

“I entered college as an apathetic, semi-interested, average student, and emerged a self-reliant, curious, problem-solving, and enterprising individual,” he said. “I had a wonderfully fulfilling college social life, filled with moments of deep friendship in a close-knit community, be it through UPJ organized events such as Homecoming or Greek Week or simply on any given day, anywhere on the campus.

“Pitt-Johnstown gave the best of both worlds: a solid education coupled with a richly rewarding social atmosphere.”