Dr. Dan Joseph named 2017 Light of the Valley

Photo Provided Dr. Daniel Joseph, shown with his wife Debbie, will be honored at this year’s Light of the Valley luncheon on Aug. 16.

WHEELING — Dr. Daniel Joseph has been making people smile for years, in both his dental practice and community wide. His work has not gone unnoticed.

Joseph, a Wheeling orthodontist, has been selected as the 2017 Dr. Lee Jones Patron of Youth award recipient. He will receive the honor at the annual Chambers YMCA Light of the Valley luncheon set for noon on Aug. 16 at the White Palace. The guest speaker will be Jim Rooney of the Rooney family and Steeler fame. Rooney is founder and owner of FirstLink, a company that conducts business research and analysis as a way to bring ideas to industry.

A respected leader in his dental profession, Joseph is known to keep 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.

He and his wife, Debbie Vanyo Joseph, 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 the downtown and benefits the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center in Wheeling, which provides services for children and adults with disabilities and developmental delays.

The Josephs 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 Joseph 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.”

Joseph 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,” Joseph said.

Joseph has served as a volunteer dentist with the Ohio County Dental Clinic since the 1980s. 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 is the recipient of numerous awards in his profession and for his support of WVU. A founding member of the Fort Henry Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution, Joseph 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.