Prior to earning his bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Counseling, from then Gannon College, Joe Tarquinio attended seminary for six years at Saint Mark Seminary. He taught math at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Erie and then accepted a position at the Harborcreek School for Boys, now known as Harborcreek Youth Services (HYS). For 31 years, Tarquinio was a teacher, counselor, program director and administrator of Human Resources before becoming the Executive Director of HYS.
In 2000, under the ministry of Monsignor James Peterson, Tarquinio became Executive Director of Maria House Project. While serving that role, he also worked for four years as the Director of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program for Family Services of Northwestern Pennsylvania.
Maria House Project is a ministry in the Diocese of Erie. Founded in 1971 by Fr. James Peterson, the organization provides small-group living and community assistance for men on a daily basis. Maria House Project serves residents who are suffering from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse, incarceration, homelessness, gambling, and/or mental and emotional illness. Maria House Project is a non-profit organization with more than 100 dedicated volunteers who over the years have served more than 20,000 men.
Annually, Maria House Project has finished among the top 12 nonprofits in Erie County during Erie Gives Day, which began in 2011 as a community day of giving.
In addition to his current position, Tarquinio has served on the boards of The American Red Cross and Villa Maria Academy. He also has served as president of the Cursillo Movement of the Diocese of Erie, president of PROBUS (Italian Businessmen Association), president of the Personnel Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania and as district director for the Western Pennsylvania Society of Human Resources and Management.
In 2015, Tarquinio received the “Outstanding Layperson” award from the Erie Serra Club. In 2017, he received the “Susan P. Esper Award” from the Erie National Recovery Committee.
(published Sept. 2019)