HGTV star is commencement speaker

John Colaneri, co-host of popular HGTV programs Kitchen Cousins, Cousins on Call, Cousins Undercover and America's Most Desperate Kitchens, will be the commencement speaker at Penn State Hazleton on Friday, May 8. Commencement will begin at 7 p.m. in the Dr. Thomas M. Caccese Gymnasium.

Colaneri is a 2003 graduate of Penn State with a bachelor of science degree in labor and industrial relations and a minor in business management. He attended Penn State Hazleton for his first two years of study.

Colaneri is a senior project manager and designer at his family's construction business, Brunelleschi Construction. Colaneri and his cousin, Anthony Carrino, were discovered by HGTV in early 2011 and were asked to film a television series. The show launched to great success and "The Cousins" brand was born.

After earning his degree from Penn State, Colaneri accepted a position with Fisher Scientific, a Fortune 500 company. Next, he joined Faital S.p.A., an international manufacturer of OEM speakers for the automotive industry, as the United States operations manager. Several years later, his uncle and cousin, Alfonso and Anthony Carrino, invited him to become part of the family business of Brunelleschi Construction in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Colaneri had previously worked as a laborer during the summers when he was in college, doing construction with his uncle's company, Prismatic Development. His construction experience, coupled with the business skills he had developed, made him a natural fit with the team at Brunelleschi Construction.

As the business grew and more support was needed in the field, Colaneri transitioned into the role of project manager for various projects. With the expansion of the company, he was named senior project manager overseeing all the company's construction projects for general contractors and private clients.

In early 2011, HGTV came calling after taking notice of the cousins. The network asked them to shoot a television series, which quickly became a success. Since their initial show, Colaneri and Carrino have been asked to be part of other television projects. Now on their third series, the pair has been the driving creative force behind Kitchen Cousins, Cousins on Call, Cousins Undercover and their newest show, America's Most Desperate Kitchens. Their shows can be seen both on HGTV and the DIY Network.

Colaneri resides in Hoboken, New Jersey, with his family. He is finishing his master's degree in construction management at Stevens Institute of Technology.