MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Penn State Harrisburg will hold its 2019 fall commencement at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Heather Neary, president of Auntie Anne’s, the world’s largest soft-pretzel franchise firm, and a 2009 Penn State Harrisburg master of business administration graduate, will deliver the keynote address at the ceremony, at which approximately 787 degrees will be conferred.
Neary joined Auntie Anne’s in 2005 and has held various roles in the company in which she was responsible for the oversight of marketing, communications, operations, research and development, product innovation, and the franchisee advisory council. Prior to being named president in 2015, Neary served as vice president of global marketing. Before joining Auntie Anne’s, Neary held roles in marketing and as a managing editor for a business magazine.
Neary has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Forbes, QSR Magazine, and on Fox News, as well as other national networks where she speaks on such topics as leadership and innovation. Neary also serves on the board of advisers for Penn State Harrisburg, the board of directors for the Lancaster YMCA, the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation advisory board, and is a mentor for the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Women in Business program.
Neary was recently named a Penn State Alumni Fellow by the Penn State Alumni Association. In 2010, she received the Penn State Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award and in 2017 was the recipient of Penn State Harrisburg’s Alumni Achievement Award. She lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with her husband and has two adult children.