A Light in our Valley

Dr. Dan Joseph receives the Dr. Lee Jones Patron of Youth award at the annual J.B. Chambers YMCA Light of the Valley luncheon set for noon, today at Wheeling Park’s White Palace.

Daniel Irwin Joseph has been a resident of Wheeling most of his life. A well-known orthodontist, Dr. Dan Joseph (as he is better known) welcomes patients and families daily in the smiling manner that is his trademark.

A respected leader in his profession, Dan even keeps his animation art collection featuring Looney Tunes, Disney, and other cartoon treasures on display at his office to entertain patients and families when they visit to have their teeth straightened and smiles brightened.

Actually, Dan makes folks smile in lots of ways. For example, he and his wife Debbie are the co-founders of the annual Labor Day Weekend Vintage Raceboat Regatta, a fun event held at Wheeling’s Heritage Port and now in its 12th year.

Free and open to the public, the Regatta draws thousands of visitors to downtown and benefits the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center in Wheeling, which provides services for children and adults with disabilities and developmental delays.

Dan and Debbie both support Easter Seals and are VIP fundraisers for its yearly telethon since 1985. He is also a strong supporter of West Liberty University and West Virginia University athletic teams, as well as those of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins.

Born in Pittsburgh, Dan earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery at West Virginia University in 1978, and his Master’s Degree in Orthodontics at Washington University in St. Louis in 1980.

He is a 1975 graduate of West Liberty State College (now West Liberty University) where he earned his undergraduate degree. He never forgot his time on the hilltop and gives back by serving on the WLU Foundation Board and being an active alumnus. He also previously served on the WLU Board of Governors and multiple presidential search committees.

He is a co-founder of the Edward J. Joseph Scholarship Fund at WLU, named after his father, also an orthodontist, who died when Dan was 18 years old. He and his brother Brian also established a fund for endowed faculty fellowships at the WVU School of Dentistry Department of Orthodontics in honor of their father.

“Dan tirelessly gives back to our community in many ways. I’m amazed that he can find the time to do as much as he does. He’s often behind the scenes working,” said Angela Zambito Hill, executive director of the WLU Foundation and member of the YMCA Board of Directors. “He is a very giving leader and is passionate about helping young people. He mentors youth and helps them as they consider careers and college decisions.”

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He also serves on the Board of Directors for the WLU Regional Science and Engineering Fair and the WLU Science Advisory Committee. His was inducted into the WLU Alumni Wall of Honor in 2011, and has helped secure funding for the WLU Dental Hygiene Clinic.

“My father was an orthodontist and a leader in his profession and he instilled valuable lessons in me. One that always stuck with me is to give back more than you take. I have tried to use that lesson and apply it in my family, my relationships, my profession and my community. He set very high standards for me to achieve. My lifelong goal is to honor him. I am grateful for the Light of the Valley Award and thankful for a chance to shine the light on him and our community,” Dan said.

Joseph has served as a volunteer dentist with the Ohio County Dental Clinic since the 1980’s. He is very active in the Wheeling District Dental Society, West Virginia Dental Association, American Dental Association, West Virginia Association of Orthodontists, Southern Association of Orthodontists, and American Association of Orthodontists.

He has chaired the West Virginia Board of Dental Examiners’ Orthodontic Examining Committee. He received the Southern Association of Orthodontists’ Citizenship Award in 2004, and the Oren Oliver Distinguished Service Award from the same organization in 2007.

He also received the WVU Outstanding Philanthropy Award in 2010, and the WVU School of Dentistry’s Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2013. He received the Pierre Fauchard Academy Distinguished Dentist Award in 2014. Dan is also a diplomat of the International College of Dentists and the American College of Dentists. Dan has been voted by his fellow dentists as one of the region’s top dentists in Pittsburgh Magazine every year since the rankings were established.

A founding member of the Fort Henry Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, he also is a regional representative for the Vintage and Historic Division of the American Power Boat Association, and is a board member of the Historical Society of the same organization.

He has been married to Deborah “Debbie” Vanyo Joseph for 42 years, and they will celebrate their anniversary the same day as the luncheon, Aug. 16. They have four adult children, Kristen Cox, and triplets David Joseph, Craig Joseph and Annie Bernacki.  They are also the proud grandparents of three little ones, Kylie Cox, Samuel Joseph and Daniel Bernacki.

The festive luncheon fundraiser also will welcome guest speaker Jim Rooney, a member of the Rooney family of Pittsburgh Steelers fame. Rooney is founder and owner of FirstLink, a company that conducts business research and analysis as a way to bring ideas to industry.