Focus Central Pennsylvania Industrial Development Forum was held on Tuesday, June 6th, 2017 at Bucknell University, Elaine Langone Center at 700 Moore Ave, Lewisburg PA. Over 140 attendees were immersed in the topic of industrial development from economics to infrastructure to corporate investment. Many thanks to our event sponsors, speakers and panelists for providing valuable content and actionable information!
Forum was made possible by the following Sponsors
Event Speakers and Panelists
Executive Director, Mifflin County Industrial Development Corporation; Focus Central Pennsylvania Chair
Central Pennsylvania Industrial Economy & Economic Drivers: Speaker
Dr. Jim Robey
Director, Regional Economic Planning Services
W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research
Jim Robey’s research and technical assistance on economic issues and in economic and workforce development has assisted corporate, nonprofit, and economic and workforce development entities in problem resolution and strategic decision making, from the local to the national levels. Spanning more than three decades, his expertise includes industry studies, applied occupational analysis, economic impact modeling and analysis, economic and workforce development research and analysis, and site selection assistance.
Robey’s research focuses on regional economic, education, economic development, and workforce development issues across Michigan and the nation. He prepares annual employment forecasts for southwest Michigan’s metropolitan areas, directs the production of Business Outlook for West Michigan, and provides economic insights for regional economic development across northwest Ohio, and the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, New York, and New Jersey. He has additionally coauthored research on a variety of national and regional issues.
He received his Ph.D. in Urban Studies (1997), with an emphasis on Economic Development, and his Master’s degree in Public Administration (1993) from the Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology (1979) from Edinboro State College. Prior to joining Upjohn, Robey was an Associate Vice President with Southwest Michigan First in Kalamazoo, MI, where he directed local economic development efforts in Marshall, MI and served as a site consultant. Prior to working in Kalamazoo, Robey was Managing Director at Mohr Partners, Inc., where he focused on site selection and economic and workforce development strategies, and was Vice President of Research at TeamNEO, where he oversaw and developed economic research across 16 northeast Ohio counties.
Central Pennsylvania Industrial Infrastructure Panel
President, Team Pennsylvania Foundation - Infrastructure Panel MODERATOR
Ryan C. Unger joined the staff at of the Team Pennsylvania Foundation in May of 2011 as the Director of Policy & Programs. He was appointed as the organization’s fifth President & CEO in December 2015 after serving as Interim President & CEO for the preceding six months. Prior to that he was Vice President & COO. Created in 1997 by Governor Tom Ridge, Team Pennsylvania Foundation was one of the first organizations in the nation to develop a public-private economic development partnership. Its board is actively co-chaired by the state’s CEO – the governor – and comprised of leaders from the public, business, education, and economic development sectors.
Through his various roles at Team Pennsylvania Ryan has both developed nationally recognized policy documents and provided direct economic development support to the Commonwealth’s economic and workforce development efforts. Over the last few years this has included the development of the state’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission and Governor’s Manufacturing Advisory Council Reports. Ryan also participated and assisted in the coordination of the Governor’s Business Development Missions to France and Germany and Brazil and Chile. These missions have led to over $1 million in new export sales for Commonwealth companies along with $60 million in foreign direct investment. He served on the planning team for the Pennsylvania Tourism Partnership, the Commonwealth’s initiative to develop a new statewide tourism brand through a public-private partnership.
Prior to joining Team Pennsylvania, Ryan worked in regional economic and community development at SEDA-Council of Governments in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania and the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce in Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania.
Ryan has been active in the community on several non-profit boards. He has served as the President for Leadership Susquehanna Valley and is a past president for the Pennsylvania Young Professionals and the Degenstein Community Library. He is a former elder at First Reformed United Church of Christ in Sunbury and is a past Board Member and Finance Committee Chair of the Penn Central Conference of the U.C.C. He was the 2013 recipient of Leadership Susquehanna Valley’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association and the Harrisburg Young Professionals.
Ryan graduated from Elizabethtown College and is currently President of the Alumni Association for his alma mater. He resides in Midtown Harrisburg.
President, Sunbury Generation - Industrial Infrastructure PANELIST
President of Sunbury Generation LP. Led development team to convert Sunbury’s shuttered 400 MW coal-fired power generation facility to burn natural gas. This project, ultimately becoming Panda Hummel Station, a ~1100 MW natural gas-fired combined cycle facility, is under construction. Currently leading early development team for a potential second facility (+ 1,200 MW) to be located on Sunbury’s property. Dave has 40+ years’ general management and professional experience with emphasis on engineering, procurement, construction, project management, business development, and operations for the power, shipbuilding, process, and mining & metals industries. Dave specializes in all phases of EPC/EPCM project execution, has led high performance teams on projects successfully executed in Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Canada as well as domestic US.
Dave has a B.S., Civil Engineering from Pennsylvania State University, Named Outstanding Engineering Alumnus, 2005.
Dave’s professional affiliations include:
- Past Board Member, Signal Mutual Indemnity Association, Ltd.
- Past Board Member, Shipbuilders Association of America
- Past Board Member, American Shipping Corporation.
- Past Board Member, Engineering Society of Western Pennsylvania
- Elected Member, American Bureau of Shipping
Margaret A. Jackson, P.E.
Project Manager, PA Department of Transportation, Engineering District 3-0 - Industrial Infrastructure PANELIST
Maggie Jackson, project manager for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation Project, a 13-mile, four-lane highway construction project that is expected to take eight years from groundbreaking to completion. Jackson, who received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology from Penn College in 2008, encouraged students to follow their passion and to explore every opportunity without fear of failure. Maggie received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering technology from Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Executive Director, SEDA-Cog Joint Rail Authority - Industrial Infrastructure PANELIST
Jeff Stover has been with the SEDA-Council of Governments in Lewisburg, PA for nearly thirty-two years and heads up its Transportation staff. In that capacity he is serves as the Executive Director of the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority. The Authority owns over 200 miles of railroad in central PA that, through a private contract operator, serves 80 freight customers spread over six short line operations.
Stover was appointed by Governor Tom Corbett to sit on the Pennsylvania Transportation Funding Advisory Commission. He is an officer of the Keystone State Railroad Association, one of the largest statewide railroad trade organizations in the U.S. For many years, he served on the Pennsylvania Rail Freight Advisory Committee under Governors Ridge, Rendell and Corbett.
Originally from Michigan, he received a B.S. from Michigan State and pursued graduate work in Geography at the University of Georgia. He lives in Lock Haven, PA.
Business Development Manager, North Shore Railroad Company - Industrial Infrastructure PANELIST
Joe has been instrumental in driving economic growth in Central Pennsylvania in his role with North Shore by working with companies to get efficient, effective freight needs met and working to expand businesses sites with rail service. In addition to his role with North Shore, Joe serves as one of three County Commissioners for Sndyer County, Pennsylvania and is a singer with True Heart Ministries out of Milton. Joe has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication/Broadcasting from Susquehanna University.
Business Development, UGI Utilities Inc. - Industrial Infrastructure PANELIST
Don has spent his entire 27 year professional career with UGI Utilities in varying capacities in both the Gas and Electric Divisions. He is currently the Director of Business Development and is excited to see the opportunities that have presented themselves in Pennsylvania due to the production of Marcellus Shale gas.
Key Account Manager, PPL Electric Utilities - Industrial Infrastructure PANELIST
Matt Connor has been a Key Account Manager with PPL Electric Utilities (PPL-EU) for ten years and specializes in the utility coordination of large Industrial / Commercial Customer Service Projects. These projects include: electric service upgrades, installation of customer power generation, and economic service modeling for potential customers considering the PPL-EU service area. Matt is an electrical engineer with over 30 years of utility experience in a wide range of roles including: Power Distribution Planning, Electric Line Construction, Project Management, and Regulatory. Matt and his family reside in Harleysville Pennsylvania.
President, Myers Environmental Services, LLC - Industrial Infrastructure PANELIST
George retired in May of this year as Plant Superintendent for MRSA, a wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) under National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit #PA0020273 serving the areas of the Borough of Milton, West Chillisquaque Township and Turbot Township. George was involved in the $65 million project to renovate the wastewater plant to make it the first publicly owned plant with secondary treatment in the nation to be 100 percent energy independent. The MRSA WWTP Wastewater to Energy Project (Ww2E) provides enough energy to power itself, as well as a multipronged approach to waste management that generates revenue for the plant. George is now President of Myers Environmental Services, LLC established in 1995 to provide contract operations and consulting services for water and wastewater treatment facilities in six counties including Northumberland, Snyder, Schuylkill, Columbia, Luzern and Sullivan.
PenteleData - Industrial Infrastructure PANELIST
Al Quimby has been a Corporate Account Executive with PenTeleData, a regional Internet Service Provider, since 1999. In this position, Al is responsible for Commercial Sales of High Speed Internet Access and networking services for a ten county region in North Central Pennsylvania and maintaining customer relations with a large account customer base. Prior to working at PenTeleData, Al worked for Blue Ridge Communications and the United States Air Force and has also had his own computer consulting business for over 20 years. Over the years, Al has served on several Chamber of Commerce boards and Broadband advisory committees in the Central Pennsylvania Region. He and his wife, Sharon live in Wellsboro, PA. Al is currently a Board member of the Tioga County Development Corporation and the Wellsboro Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the National Ski Patrol and can be found on the ski slopes during the winter months.
Central Pennsylvania Industrial Development & Corporate Investment Panel
Central Region Director - Central Pennsylvania Industrial Development - Corporate Investment Panel MODERATOR
Jill is the Central Regional Director for the Governor’s Action Team (GAT) and assists businesses located within the Central Region (13 counties) with projects involving significant investment and job creation opportunities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As part of our assistance to your firm, GAT works closely with every agency in state government to help coordinate resources and provide technical assistance that will help your company to achieve its business goals.
COO & President, Sekisui SPI - Central Pennsylvania Industrial Development - Corporate Investment PANELIST
Ronn Cort has been COO and President of SEKISUI SPI, a global leader in polymer manufacturing, located in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania since 2012. For over 25 years he has served in senior leadership positions for global manufacturing companies to help them develop and implement their international expansion strategies. Mr. Cort began his tenure at SEKISUI SPI in 1991 leading the customer service department until he joined Ohio-based PVC manufacturer RJF International as Sales Manager in 1994. He then spent five years as international Business Manager at FLM, a polyurethane technology company in Appenzell, Switzerland. During that time he developed the company’s market expansion plan in, Japan, and later, China. In 2005 he was invited to return to SEKISUI SPI to grow the company globally, ultimately moving to the role of Vice President, Sales and Marketing. He was appointed President in 2012 and COO & President in 2014.
SEKISUI SPI exports to 33 countries and is owned by SEKISUI Chemical Co., Ltd., an $11 billion global leader in plastics and chemicals. In 1962, SEKISUI Chemical Co. was the first Japanese manufacturer to establish operations in North America – prior to Toyota or Honda and before Sony came to the United States. In 1963 they made history by opening their first plant in America, in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, just 25 miles from SPI’s present-day Bloomsburg headquarters.
In August, SEKISUI SPI celebrated the opening of its third manufacturing facility in North America. The second facility in Bloomsburg, PA is the new North American corporate headquarters of SEKISUI Chemical’s global sheet business that includes businesses in Pennsylvania and Michigan. All locations operate 24/7 to support the ongoing growth of SPI’s customers and markets.
Director of Human Resources, Autoneum North America, Inc. - Central Pennsylvania Industrial Development - Corporate Investment PANELIST
Jim is currently the Director of Human Resources for Autoneum North America, Inc. and is based out of their facility in Bloomsburg. Autoneum is headquartered in Winterthur Switzerland and is a global leader producing vehicle acoustics, floor systems and thermal management systems for the global original equipment automotive market.
Jim has over 30 years experience in human resources and labor relations. Prior to joining Autoneum, Jim has held positions with several mutli national global companies in both Canada and the United States, including Ford Motor Company, Magna International, Thomson Reuters and Coca-Cola. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a M.B.A.
In addition to his corporate activities, Jim is involved with the Columbia Montour Chamber of Commerce, , the Columbia Montour Alliance for Economic Growth , the Central PA Workforce Development Corporation and the Columbia County Water Mitigation Authority.
President, Kreamer Feed, Inc. - Central Pennsylvania Industrial Development - Corporate Investment PANELIST
Jason C. Robinson is President of Administration and member of the Board of Directors of Kreamer Feed, Inc. and BJ&E Realty and is a member of the company’s executive management team. In his role, he is responsible for a diverse group of functions that include IT, risk management, human resources, and quality. Jason had been a consultant to the board of directors since 2011. After a 19 year absence, he rejoined the organization as a full-time employee on October 29th, 2012,
Previously, Jason was Vice President in Risk Control for Global Consumer Banking for Bank of America. His responsibility was to manage risks identified by regulators including the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom, and Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions in Canada. Prior to that, Jason held various leadership positions in collections, vendor management, underwriting, new product development, and mergers and acquisitions. He joined the bank as a collector in June of 1996.
Jason graduated from Millersville University with a Bachelor of Science in Education for Biology. Later, he earned his Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership from Wilmington University.
Jason serves on the Penn State Extension for the Snyder County Board of Directors and the local Boy Scout Council. He was previously Chairman for Bank of America Community Volunteers for the state of Delaware. During his tenure, associates volunteered over 100,000 hours of service every year. He has been recognized six times by the Corporation for National and Community Service and received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for contributing in excess of 200 hours of community service each of those years.
Central Pennsylvania Industrial Developers Panel
President, HEPCO Construction; Focus Central PA Board Member - Industrial Developers MODERATOR
Larry is the President and CEO of HEPCO Construction, one of the leading construction companies in central Pennsylvania based Selinsgrove, PA. HEPCO is a well-established firm engaged in design and construction of commercial, industrial, institutional and residential buildings. HEPCO projects include pre-engineered, design-build, and conventionally designed structures. Larry is actively involved on the Board of many organizations working to advance the region including SIDCO, Focus Central Pennsylvania, Suncom Industries and Susquehanna Valley Board of Directors.
Other organizations Larry is affiliated with include: Lan Avon HOA Board of Directors, SIDCO Visions Group, Central Susquehanna Valley Chamber Facilities Committee, Central Susquehanna Valley Chamber Business & Education Committee, Central Susquehanna Valley Chamber School & Business Partnership, Susquehanna Valley Chorale Board of Directors, President’s Council, American Buildings Company, East Buffalo Township, Union County, Pennsylvania Council on Vocational Education, Joint Operating Committee, SUN Area Technical School, Lewisburg Area School Board of Directors, and Greencastle Area Jaycees. Larry is an Honors Graduate of Penn State University.
President/Owner, Grayston Enterprises LLC - Industrial Developers PANELIST
Grayston Enterprises relocated from West Chester, PA to the Central PA region and is committed to repurposing and expanding Industrial, Commercial and Warehouse operations. Grayston has been a key driving factor of several developments in the region. These developments have been providing job opportunities and growth throughout the region. Grayston Enterprise currently has provided roughly 200 jobs throughout the region and expects that number to double within the next 12 months with some incoming companies that have recently committed to the region. Some of the developments that Grayston has been behind are listed below and are new additions to the Central PA Region that have relocated or are new startup companies. Grayston Developments to date include Fresh Roasted Coffee( coffee roaster), Crossfit, Retail Distribution, Perfume manufacturer, Stone Veneer manufacturer, Auto Parts Distributor, Tire Distributor, Family Fun Center, Bath Salts manufacturer, Medical Equipment Distributor, Physical Therapy, Heavy Equipment Wheel Distributor, Telecommunication Distributor & Office, Animal Feed Bag Distributor, Climate Control Storage, Boat & RV Storage, U Haul Center, Landscape Garden Center, Water Distributor, and Automotive Repairs.
Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services, Broker - Industrial Developers PANELIST
Michael Adams is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. degree in Accounting. In 1999 he obtained designation as a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) form the Institute of Real Estate Management.
Prior to joining Mericle, Mike served as the Director of Real Estate for the Department of General Services. Through that position, he represented the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in multiple large scale lease transactions. Adams also served as the vice president for a general contractor in central Pennsylvania. During his tenure, Mike appeared before various state, local and county boards to obtain permits and approvals for client land development projects. In addition, Adams serves on the Next Century Board of Directors and is a junior high football coach for Selinsgrove Area School District.
Principal, JVI, Inc. - Industrial Developers PANELIST
Jim is the Principal of JVI LLC and founded the company in 2012. He is a Senior Business Development Professional with over 20 years of progressive career growth in commercial real estate development and construction. Jim has extensive experience in all areas of real estate, including site selection, economic development, due diligence, project management and the design build process from inception through construction phases.
CFO, Norlin Warehousing, Owner: Noerr Trucking - Industrial Developers PANELIST
Scott Noerr – Founder/President
Since 2006, Scott has been the General Manager of a Mifflin County based logistics, transportation and warehousing company. Within a year of taking over this business, he initiated a 40% shareholder buyout, increased gross sales by 50% and net income by 200%. He continued to excel in the business, expanding business relationships and moving forward in new ventures even during negative economic cycles. By 2010 he had secured the buyout of the remaining 20% owner, and was offered the position of Chief Financial Officer as well as General Manager. His responsibilities now included financial management and controls, and complete day-to-day operations, as well as sales and economic development.
Scott graduated from Juniata College with a degree in finance and communication. He is a successful entrepreneur, having started 3 successful companies and in the midst of multiple ventures moving forward. He has deep local connections, understands the regulatory requirements of business and he has the expertise to navigate the complex requirements of licensing at the state and federal level.
· 10 years of industrial and commercial real estate management & development.
· 12 years of sales, development, HR and employee management.
· Secured company buyout of $2M at a 60% discount.
· Signed multiple tenants throughout career to maintain an average 95% capacity of 200,000+ sqft.
· Management of $5M in yearly revenue streams, including 20+ employees, and payroll over $1M.
Local Real Estate Market & Industry Site Selection Decision Making
President, Juniper CRE Solutions
Juniper CRE Solutions
Dennis is President of Juniper CRE Solutions, has 30+ years of experience delivering value to corporate and government clients. His expertise is tenant representation; advisory services, site selection, transaction and portfolio management have made him a sought after consultant to a diverse range of industries and clients in the United States and abroad. Now, as head of Juniper CRE, Dennis is leading a team of experts who intend to take this experience and knowledge and apply it to the challenges faced by rapidly growing entrepreneurial companies and communities who seek to attract these businesses.
Affiliations/Boards: International Economic Development Council (IEDC), CoreNet Global, Trustee-Cleveland Zoological Society, Trustee, North Coast Community Homes.
Education: Slippery Rock State University, Bachelor of Science, History
Marketing Central Pennsylvania To Attract Corporate Investment
Executive Director, Focus Central Pennsylvania
Lauren is responsible for developing and implementing strategies for generating unique business attraction leads for Central PA; growing the organization to ensure it remains sustainable and viable for the region’s future; and reinvigorate the mission through effective, innovative marketing and communication activities.
Lauren Bryson re-joined Focus Central Pennsylvania in June 2014. Lauren brings to Focus a wealth of experience from within the economic development arena and a thorough knowledge of both the organization’s mission and the region’s strengths and assets for attracting business investments. Lauren was born and raised in Elimsport, Pennsylvania and is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI with a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, an Associate’s degree in Sales Management, a concentration in Sociology, and an International Marketing Certificate from Brugge, Belgium.
Event Organized By:
Focus Central Pennsylvania
The Region’s Resource for Promoting New Corporate Investment
2859 N Susquehanna Trail – Shamokin Dam, PA 17876 USA
844.293.8719 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Focus Central Pennsylvania is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), regional economic development marketing alliance committed to promoting new corporate investment in Central Pennsylvania resulting in the growth and creation of family sustaining jobs. Focus Central Pennsylvania supports a constituency of partners fully committed to regional cooperation. Focus promotes seven (7) contiguous counties in the central part of Pennsylvania, USA including Columbia (Bloomsburg, Berwick); Montour (Danville); Union (Lewisburg, Mifflinburg); Snyder (Selinsgrove); Northumberland (Sunbury, Milton); Mifflin (Lewistown); and Centre (State College).