The Drexel University Alumni Association has awarded Aqua America Inc Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Nicholas DeBenedictis the A.J Drexel Paul Award for Service to his Alma Mater.
The award is the association's highest honor and was bestowed on DeBenedictis for his personal achievement reflecting credit on Drexel, including professional attainment, contributions to community life, and in recognition of his continued interest and active participation in University activities.
DeBenedictis earned two Drexel degrees, a bachelor of science in Commerce and Engineering (1968), and a master of science in Environmental Science (1969). He also holds an honorary doctorate from Drexel and an honorary doctorate from Widener University
Prior to joining Aqua America, DeBenedictis spent three years (1989-1992) as senior vice president of corporate and public affairs for PECO Energy, a $4 billion nuclear utility. He was responsible for government relations, economic development and environmental policies, and implementation of the utility's public policy positions.
From 1986 to 1989, DeBenedictis was president of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. He successfully designed and implemented various economic and business development programs to service the Chamber's growing membership, which dramatically increased to more than 5,500 businesses, putting it among the five largest in the nation.
In addition to his work in the private sector, DeBenedictis has held several distinguished government positions. He served in two cabinet positions in Pennsylvania government: Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources (1983-1986) and Director of the Office of Economic Development (1981-1983). Before joining the cabinet, he spent eight years (1973-1981) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, first as the Assistant Regional Administrator for Region 3, based in Philadelphia, before being transferred to Washington, D.C. from 1980-1981.
DeBenedictis is a member of the Drexel University Board of Trustees and has received numerous awards for public service and civic leadership.
Photo Caption (left to right):
Maria Mascioli Charlton '82, chair of the Alumni Association Board of Governors; Nick DeBenedictis, A.J. Drexel Paul Award recipient; Eileen DeBenedictis; Drexel President Constantine Papadakis.
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