PCEDA Board of Directors

Martha Roberts, Chairperson, 

Morgan Tressler, Vice Chairperson

John Gerner, Secretary

Patti McLaughlin, Treasurer

Russ Hoover, Asst Secretary/Treasurer

Rich Pluta, At Large

Frank Campbell, At Large

Kevin Fitzpatrick

James Fuller

Greg Gordon

Duane Hertlzer

Mike Lawler

Dawn Lowe

Steve Peters, Sr.

June Reisinger

Paul Rudy

Brenda Watson

Shawna Weller

Derek Whitesel

Emery Yoder


Michelle Jones, Program Director

Board meetings are on the second Thursday of each month at 8 a.m.  at the Perry Business and Tourism Center in New Bloomfield. Meetings are open to the public and guests are welcome. 



In many areas, economic development means facilitating land development and courting industrial business. That is not ideal for Perry County. In an area like ours, where residents value open space and agriculture, industrial development is not the goal. And practically speaking, such development is not feasible without massive infrastructure investments in natural gas, high speed internet, easier access to rail, and public water and sewer.  In addition, we face negative population growth and an aging population. If we don’t address these trends, those of us who choose to live, farm and work here will ultimately bear the burden of higher taxes.

Asset-based economic development strategies have been shown to have a direct and positive impact on existing businesses in other areas like ours. The concept is simple – stop focusing on what we lack and concentrate on our existing assets. 

Perry County has innumerable assets; there are arts and cultural programs, historical sites, quilt barn trails, and covered bridge trails. In addition, our state park, state forest, game lands and the Appalachian Trail provide outdoor recreational activities.  We have large farms and small farms that produce table ready goods like wine, small batch ice cream, cured meats and cheese direct to customers.  Our business is to create business. As we move forward, we will promote existing business, offer support and education, and assist with finding funding and planning expansions. We will also collaborate with businesses and other community organizations to create the economic development strategy to best facilitate smart, sustainable growth in our county.

A comprehensive economic development plan for the county is going to take time, fact finding, analysis of data, outreach, discussion and dollars to prepare.  The Authority’s strategic plan has created a roadmap to a smart growth plan.  

To be fair, the work ahead is daunting. But, the Board is committed and enthusiastic. We have been met with encouragement and excitement wherever we present our plans. We have strong momentum and good resources in our business community.