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Councilors Emeriti

Curtis H. Barnette

Curtis H. Barnette was Chairman and CEO of Bethlehem Steel Corporation from 1992 to 2000, and today continues to serve as Chairman Emeritus to the company he first joined as an attorney in 1967. Mr. Barnette served as a member of the President’s Trade Advisory Committee under three presidents and was appointed by Governor Tom Ridge to Pennsylvania’s 21st Century Environmental Commission. He was a Fulbright Scholar in International Law at the University of Manchester, England, and is a graduate of West Virginia University, Yale Law School and Harvard Business School.

Andrew C. Fisher

Andrew C. Fisher is President and Chief Investment Officer of CIM Investment Management, Inc., a registered Investment Advisory Firm in Pittsburgh, which specializes in the public sector. CIM manages portfolios ranging in size from three to sixty three million dollars and works extensively with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, local municipalities, counties and other clients. He participates in many community projects, including serving as President of the Carriage House Children’s Center at Wightman School Community Center. Mr. Fisher is a graduate of the University of Colorado where he played on the varsity squad of that university’s nationally ranked rugby team.  

David F. Girard-diCarlo

Ambassador David F. Girard-diCarlo, a past president of the Society. He joined the international law firm Cozen O’Connor in May 2009 as a partner in the business law department and the government relations group. He is also a member of Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies. From 2008-2009, he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Austria, among the largest U.S. diplomatic missions in the world. Prior to assuming his duties as U.S. Ambassador, Mr. Girard-diCarlo had served for twenty-two years as managing partner and then chairman of Blank Rome LLP, headquartered in Philadelphia. He was also chairman and CEO of Blank Rome Government Relations LLC, headquartered in Washington, DC. Ambassador Girard-diCarlo was a member of the board of Saint Joseph's University and the board of consultors of Villanova University School of Law. He is the recipient of many honors, including the Americanism Award from the Anti-Defamation League and the Pontifical Honor of Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great for his work with Business Leaders Organized for Catholic Schools (BLOCS). He was Pennsylvania chairman of the national finance committee of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and a member of the executive roundtable of the Republican Governors Association.

Thomas B. Hagen

Thomas B. Hagen, a recognized business and civic leader for more than 40 years, is Chairman and owner of Custom Group Industries in Erie. He served as the 28th and last Secretary of Commerce and the first Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development in the Ridge Administration. Mr. Hagen began his career as a file clerk with the Erie Insurance Group, where he eventually became Chairman and CEO. Long active in community revitalization and historic restoration, he has received numerous awards and honors for his public service. A former President of the Society, serving from 1995-1997, Mr. Hagen attended Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, and graduated in 1957 from Ohio State University.

S. Dale High

S. Dale High is Chairman of the Board of the High Companies, a family business that encompasses 15 entities and employs more than 2400 people. After graduating from Elizabethtown College in 1963, Mr. High joined the company and has helped to strategically grow the High Companies’ interests in the steel and concrete industries, architecture and planning and real estate among others. Mr. High was instrumental in establishing the Family Business Center at Elizabethtown College. He serves on numerous boards, and received the Central Penn Business Journal’s 2004 Hall of Fame Award.

James E. Nevels

James E. Nevels was the 42nd President of the Society, serving from 2012-2014. He is Chairman of The Swarthmore Group, an investment advisory firm which he founded in 1991. Mr. Nevels served on the Board of Directors of four public companies and as a Lead Independent Director of The Hershey Company (Chairman from 2009-2015). Mr. Nevels was appointed by President Bush to the Advisory Committee to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and served a three year term, 2004-2007 and served as Chairman 2005-2007. He also served as Chair and member of the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank if Philadelphia, member of the Board of Hershey Trust Company and Milton Hershey School, member of the Board of The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, member of the Board of Tasty Baking Company, member of the Board of Trustees of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, member of the Board of Trustees of the Gettysburg Foundation, member of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, member of the Board of Berea College, member of the Board of St. Joseph’s University, member of the Board of Visitors for Temple University-Fox School of Business and Management, member of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and member of the Advisory Board of Drexel University, LeBow College of Business, Baiada Center. He is an honors (cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa) graduate of Bucknell University and holds an M.B.A. degree from The Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Mr. Nevels has also received four honorary degrees and a plethora of awards and honors. 

Patrick J. O’Connor

Patrick J. O’Connor is Vice Chairman of Cozen O’Connor and for three consecutive years, he was named is one of the top 100 lawyers in Pennsylvania. He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, the American College of Trial Lawyers, and the American Bar Foundation. A graduate of King’s College (magna cum laude) and Villanova University School of Law, Mr. O’Connor serves on the Board of Consultors for the Villanova University School of Law, and is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Temple University. He received honorary doctorates from all three institutions. He is Chairman of the Board of Mellon Private Asset Management Mutual Funds, Chairman of Franklin Security Bank and serves on the board of the Philadelphia Police Foundation and the advisory Board for Litigation Council of America.

Roger W. Richards

Roger W. Richards was the 44th President of the Pennsylvania Society. He is the founder and President of Richards & Associates, P.C., a firm which specializes in corporate and municipal finance, commercial banking and mergers and acquisitions. He is also the owner of Bliley Technologies, Inc., which designs and manufactures crystal oscillators and quartz crystals, and its subsidiary Sunburst Electronics, Inc., an electronic contract manufacturer serving the aerospace, military, medical device and industrial equipment sectors. A graduate of Westminster College and Dickinson School of Law, Mr. Richards is an active member of the business community in Erie.

Arthur J. Rothkopf

Arthur J. Rothkopf is the retired Senior Vice President and Counselor to the President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with special responsibilities in education and workforce development. From 1993 until 2005, he was the President of Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. There, under Mr. Rothkopf’s guidance, more than $250 million in new construction was completed and the college’s endowment more than doubled. Prior to his tenure at Lafayette, he was appointed Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation by President George H.W. Bush. He serves as a member of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education, as well as a member of the Board of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. A former president of the Society, serving from 2006-2008, Arthur J. Rothkopf graduated from Lafayette College and earned his law degree from Harvard University.

Andrew J. Sordoni, III

Andrew J. Sordoni, III, was the youngest President of The Pennsylvania Society, serving from 1988 to 1991. He has been an officer of Sordoni Construction Services, Inc. since 1967 and simultaneously held executive responsibilities in manufacturing, hotel management and real estate development. He was Chairman or President of C-TEC Corporation, a diversified telecommunications company, from 1979 until 1993 and has cumulated more than 50 years as an independent director of public corporations. Mr. Sordoni has been active in business, civic and political affairs and is the recipient of numerous awards including the Grand Prix du Disque du Jazz from France, the Medal of the Westmoreland Museum of Art and an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

C. Alan Walker

C. Alan Walker is a former President of the Society, serving from 2004-2006. He is Chief Executive Officer of Bradford Energy Company. He is also past President of the following incorporated companies: Walcoal, Synergen, Inc., and Roaring Run Transport, LLC. Prior to working in the coal industry, he was employed by E.I. DuPont de Nemours. Mr. Walker served as Secretary of the Department of Community & Economic Development for the Corbett Administration from 2011 until 2015. Mr. Walker is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Coal Association and a past Chairman of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry. He is a past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Pennsylvanians for Effective Government, a past member of the Leadership Committee of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, and a past Board Member of Team Pennsylvania. His civic activities include Treasurer of the Bigler Civic and Recreation Association and Advisory Director of the Clearfield YMCA. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including: Distinguished Alumni Award for Service to Humanity, by Bucknell University, the Distinguished Citizen Award, Legion of Honor Investiture, and the Award for Outstanding Individual Contribution to the Moshannon Valley area. Mr. Walker obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Bucknell University in 1966 where he is a Trustee and serves as a member of the Executive committee. He received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Penn State University in 1968.

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Executive Director Emeritus

Carol McC. Fitzgerald

Carol McC. Fitzgerald served as the fifth Executive Director of The Pennsylvania Society and the first woman to hold that post. Prior to that, she produced and organized programs and major special events, managed political campaigns, and planned highly successful fundraising strategies. In conjunction with the Republican National Convention of 2000, she developed and produced an interactive celebration of the American presidency called PoliticalFest. Prior to Politicalfest, Ms. Fitzgerald was the Assistant Vice President of Alumni Relations at Drexel University, and the Senior Associate Director of Alumni Relations at the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Fitzgerald has served on numerous boards and commissions, including Historic Philadelphia, Inc., Girl Scouts of Eastern Pennsylvania, the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women and the Board of Trustees of Chestnut Hill College where she received an honorary doctorate in 2016. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Masters degree from Drexel University.

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