Thursday, November 13, 2014

Gov.-Elect Wolf Names Transition Team Leadership

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf Thursday announced his Transition Team leadership. John A. Fry, President of Drexel University, will serve as Transition Chair. Serving as Vice-Chairs will be York Mayor Kim Bracey, Community Leader Cindy Shapira, and Jim Brown, Sen. Robert Casey, Jr.'s Chief of Staff. Denise Smyler will serve as legal counsel to the steering committee.
Wolf also named the heads of the Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force that will work to address the looming budget deficit. Mary Soderberg, former secretary of the budget, will serve as Chair and Josh Shapiro, Chairman of the Montgomery County Commission, will serve as Vice Chair.
"I am looking forward to working with a diverse group of leaders to move Pennsylvania forward," said Gov.-elect Tom Wolf. "My Transition Team leadership will help me address the major issues facing our Commonwealth, and they will help make Pennsylvania work for middle-class families."
"I'm honored to chair the Transition Steering Committee and work with so many outstanding leaders to help Gov.-elect Wolf serve Pennsylvanians effectively from day one of his administration,” said Transition Chair John A. Fry.
John A. Fry - Transition Chair
John A. Fry, Drexel University's 14th president, has served in higher education for his entire professional life, as a consultant, board member, chief operating officer, and chief executive.
Fry has positioned Drexel to become the "modern urban university of the future,” harnessing both long-established and still-emerging strengths to serve its students, its neighborhood, its city, and the nation. Drexel is setting a new standard for cooperative education, investing in its research capacity and becoming a major force for economic development.
Fry previously was president of Franklin & Marshall College, where his leadership was instrumental in an unprecedented period of academic growth, campus and neighborhood development, and improved finances. As executive vice president of the University of Pennsylvania, he helped develop and implement Penn's "Agenda for Excellence” and built a coalition to address challenges facing the University City neighborhood in West Philadelphia.
Mayor C. Kim Bracey - Transition Vice-Chair
C. Kim Bracey was elected the first African-American Mayor of the City of York on November 3, 2009. As the City's chief executive officer, she is responsible for all aspects of the general management of the City, including its $98 million budget and the enforcement of all City laws and ordinances.
Previously, Bracey was the appointed director of the Department of Community Development for the City of York from June 2003 until January 2009 under Mayor John S. Brenner.
Jim Brown - Transition Vice-Chair
Jim Brown currently serves as Chief of Staff to United States Senator Robert Casey, Jr. Brown served as Chief of Staff to Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey, Sr. from 1989 to 1994. Brown has also served as Pennsylvania Secretary of General Services and was a partner at the law firm Dilworth Paxson, LLP. Brown was a founding partner of SCP Partners, a family of venture capital funds. He worked on Capitol Hill for five years as Staff Director and General Counsel for the Subcommittee on Oversight of the Committee on Banking, Finance, and Urban Affairs in the U.S. House of Representatives (now the Committee on Financial Services).
Cynthia Shapira - Transition Vice-Chair
Cynthia D. Shapira is a community activist at the local, state, and national levels. She serves on the board of the Allegheny County Airport Authority and chairs the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics at Chatham University.
She also serves on the boards of Brandeis University, Point Park University, United Way of Allegheny County Pittsburgh Promise, WQED Pittsburgh, Vibrant Pittsburgh, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
Shapira is secretary of the Jewish Federations of North America and the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, as well as a commissioner of the Pennsylvania Commission on Women.
Previously, Shapira was a management consultant for over twenty years in the non-profit and education sectors. She has an MPA from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Wellesley College.
Denise Smyler - Counsel to the Transition
Denise Joy Smyler is the founding attorney and owner of the Smyler Firm, which joined with Wadud Ahmad and Joseph Zaffarese to form Ahmad, Zaffarese & Smyler, LLC in September 2013.
Denise is a well-respected commercial litigator and public finance attorney who has successfully represented municipalities, corporations, and government entities for over twenty years.
Previously, Denise worked as an Assistant District Attorney and as Legal Counsel to the Philadelphia Prison Commissioner before being appointed Chief Legal Counsel to the Philadelphia Police Commissioner.
Mary Soderberg - Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force Chair
Mary A. Soderberg is the former secretary of the budget appointed by Governor Edward G. Rendell and began serving in the position on July 7, 2008. Prior to her appointment as secretary of the budget, Soderberg had served since August 2005 as executive deputy secretary of the budget and chief financial officer of the Commonwealth.
Before joining the budget office, Soderberg was vice chancellor for finance and administration of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education for two years. Soderberg also served as the executive director of the House Democratic Appropriations Committee from 1992 to 2003.
Montgomery County Commission Chairman Josh Shapiro - Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force Vice Chair
Josh Shapiro was elected Montgomery County Commissioner in 2011 and was elected unanimously to Chair the three-member Board on January 3, 2012. As the Commission Chairman, Josh helped lead a dramatic turnaround in Montgomery County by eliminating a large budget deficit, reducing overall debt, and replenishing the County reserve fund.
Prior to his election in Montgomery County, Shapiro represented the 153rd Legislative District in the state House for seven years. Before serving in the state legislature, Josh served as a Congressional staffer in Washington, D.C. where at age 25 he became, at the time, the youngest person on Capitol Hill to serve as a Congressional Chief of Staff.
For more information, visit  Gov.-Elect Wolf's Transition website.

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