New Castle News: Fitzgerald named as SPC executive director

Outgoing Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has a new role for the organization leading growth in this region.

Fitzgerald was named recently as the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission’s new executive director by its board.

Fitzgerald will assume this role on Jan. 2 when his tenure as Allegheny County Executive concludes.

The SPC is the federally certified metropolitan planning organization and local development district serving 10 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, including Lawrence County.

“While I’ve always had a regional focus, I look forward to putting my skills and relationships to work for all 10 of our counties,” Fitzgerald said.

“Together, we will continue to concentrate on infrastructure, communication, economic development, workforce and quality of life issues for our region,” he added.

Fitzgerald served as Allegheny County executive since 2012 and was term-limited. Before that, he was a city councilman for 11 years and was elected council president four times.

He will lead an SPC staff of 50 members across seven departments, including economic and workforce development, transportation planning, strategic initiatives and policy, information and data, finance, human resources and communications and public relations.

“The board is grateful to Vincent Valdes for positioning SPC to be the region’s leading agent of support to local governments for transportation, broadband, and economic development,” said Leslie Osche, SPC’s board chair and Butler County Commissioner.

“He laid the groundwork for Mr. Fitzgerald to carry the commission and our region to the next level. We are excited about the future of our region under Rich’s leadership,” Osche said.

Valdes is retiring at the end of the year.

Before entering public service, Fitzgerald spent many years in the private sector. He grew up in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield-Garfield neighborhood before attending Carnegie Mellon University, earning degrees in mechanical engineering with a minor in business.

He and his wife live in Squirrel Hill and are the parents of eight adult children.

The SPC board will welcome Fitzgerald at its Tuesday meeting.

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