The Leader Times: SPC Board announces the election of new officers

The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) board this week elected Armstrong County Commissioner Pat Fabian to serve as Chair, Fayette County Commissioner Vince Vicites to serve as Vice-Chair, and Greene County Commissioner Betsy McClure to serve as Secretary-Treasurer. Commissioners Fabian, Vicites, and McClure were elected by their fellow board members to these positions, and will serve a two-year term.

The board’s new officers will shape the commission’s work for the next several years and intend to focus on workforce and economic development, transportation planning, and other initiatives like investments in broadband, water resources, attracting business investments, and expanding pedestrian and bicycle trails throughout the region.

“Together, Commissioners Fabian, Vicites, and McClure make a dynamic team, and we are fortunate to have their leadership,” Executive Director of the SPC Rich Fitzgerald said.

“Our organization functions as a consensus builder and we work in a collaborative manner in order to support the needs of the entire region. We bring entities from the public and private sectors together to discuss wide-ranging issues that impact our 10 counties. By having Armstrong, Fayette, and Greene counties at the helm of our Board, I know that the Commissioners will elevate the priorities of all of our urban, suburban, and rural communities.”

Commissioner Fabian has served as County Commissioner since 2016. During his time as Commissioner, he has increased the County’s operating reserve fund from $600,000 to $8 million and led efforts to significantly change the County’s pension funds from $60 million to $85 million. Additionally, he has worked diligently to reduce the County’s debt by 20 percent since he was first elected. Prior to serving as County Commissioner, Fabian was a Supervisor in Manor Township. Before entering public serve, he spent more than 15 years as an outpatient and family therapist at the Family Counseling Center of Armstrong County where he was responsible for providing counseling to patients and creating individualized treatment plans. He has his Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Gannon University and his Master’s degree in Community Counseling from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

“I cannot wait to hit the ground running and serve the Board in this leadership role,” Chair of the SPC Pat Fabian said. “The entire region is well-positioned to work collectively as a team with one voice on major issues like job creation and broadband connectivity. While our approach to challenges may, at times, be different, we all have one goal—and that is to improve the overall quality of life for Southwestern Pennsylvania’s residents. We are able to advocate better for them when we all work together.”

Commissioner Vicites has served as Fayette County Commissioner two separate times. The Commissioner first served County residents from 1996 to 2011 and then again from 2016 till the present day. He was born and raised in Uniontown and has worked in county government for over 30 years. Prior to serving as County Commissioner, Vicites was the Fayette County Recycling Coordinator and started the Hard to Recycle Events at the County’s Fairgrounds, which has continued for over 30 years.

As County Commissioner, he has been instrumental in creating and retaining over 10,000 jobs and securing over $200 million in economic and infrastructure projects for Fayette County residents. He graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Human Resources from St. Francis University.

“I am excited to work with my fellow officers and board members on initiatives that will benefit Fayette County residents and the entire region,” Vice-Chair of the SPC Vince Vicites said. “We’ve made a lot of tangible progress in recent years on issues like economic investments and the expansion of trails, but there is still more work to do and we are ready for it.”

Commissioner McClure has served as Greene County Commissioner since 2020. She has been a lifelong resident of Greene County and prior to serving as County Commissioner, McClure was a registered nurse for over 25 years. As Commissioner, McClure has been focused on making the county a better place to live and work.

She is deeply committed to attracting businesses and industry development that strengthens the economic livelihood of Greene County, while ensuring that residents are still able to maintain the advantages of living in a rural community. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing and her Master’s degree in Education from California University of Pennsylvania.

“I am looking forward to serving in this new role, and advocating for the needs of our residents,” Secretary-Treasurer of the SPC Betsy McClure said.

“Whether it is workforce development, increased access to transportation options, or outdoor recreational sites that spur local economies, our entire region is on the precipice of exciting growth.”

SPC employs 50 individuals that work on behalf the 10 county region in Southwestern Pennsylvania. As the federally designated metropolitan planning organization (MPO), local development district (LDD), and economic development district (EDA), the organization works to keep the region connected and moving forward. As part of this work, SPC helps counties, cities, municipalities and townships access approximately $39 billion in state and federal transportation and economic development funding that has been allocated to the region through 2045.

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