PA Press Club Luncheon Monday May 15, 2023

Cate Barron

President, PA Media Group

After 44 years in Pennsylvania journalism, Cate Barron is stepping down next month as President of PA Media Group. She’ll share some classic tales from the newsroom trenches as well as thoughts about the ever-changing media industry on May 15th at the Press Club.

The Lewistown native began her career in her hometown as news director of WMRF Radio just weeks before the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. After several years with The Lewistown Sentinel, Cate joined The Patriot-News in 1985. She held a variety of newsroom positions during her long tenure, leading up to appointment as company president in 2019. During her years in editorial, she served as president of the state APME and ASNE chapters, spent two terms on the national APME board, and was an adjunct journalism instructor.

Cate served as a senior editor on many major stories, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the Penn State/Sandusky scandal. During her tenure, PennLive/The Patriot-News repeatedly won PA NewsMedia of the Year and Keystone Sweepstakes honors.

In 2017, she launched Penn Studios to handle commercial video and creative work. Seven months after being named president, she led the PAMG Sales and Content teams through the COVID shutdown and pivot to a virtual workplace.

In looking back, Cate counts guiding the newsroom through the transition from a print-based to a digitally-focused operation as one of the biggest challenges of her career. She still hears from readers disappointed in the move from a daily to three-days-a week newspaper in 2013.

But today, PennLive ranks among the nation’s news websites with highest market reach. With an average 10 million unique visitors monthly, it consistently tops the list of most read Pennsylvania-based news and information sites.


Press Club Luncheon Monday, April 17, 2023

Senator Joe Pittman

Majority Leader, State Senate of Pennsylvania

Senate Majority Leader Joe Pittman is serving his first full term in the Pennsylvania Senate. Joe is a lifelong resident of Indiana County, and represents the 41st Senatorial District in Armstrong, Indiana, Jefferson and Westmoreland counties.

As leader of the Senate Republican Caucus, Joe works with his colleagues to ensure the rights of Pennsylvania citizens remain safeguarded. He has been a champion for advancing legislative initiatives to create jobs, implement infrastructure improvements, support law enforcement and limit government overreach.

Prior to being elected by his colleagues to serve as majority leader in 2022, Joe served as chairman of the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee, vice chairman of the Senate Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, and as a member of the Appropriations, Banking & Insurance, Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure,and Judiciary committees. He was also a member of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) Board of Directors.

Thanks in large part to his parents, John and Mary Ann (Yevchak), Joe learned the importance of service and civic leadership at a young age. He has carried on the enduring tradition of working to better his community by serving as a past board member of the United Way of Indiana and as a member of the Purchase Line Red Dragon Foundation. Joe is also a life-member of the NRA, as well as a member of the Indiana County Republican Committee, Ford City Sportsmen’s Association and the Indiana-Franklin Lodge #313.

Prior to joining the Senate, Joe served as former Sen. Don White’s chief of staff. In that role, he developed strong working relationships with members of the General Assembly, legislative staff and officials across several state agencies.

Joe holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Penn State University.
Joe resides in Indiana County with his wife Gina (DiMaio) and their four children: Joe Jr., Sam, Rosie and Frannie. He and Gina are members of the St. Thomas More University Parish in Indiana

Press Club Luncheon Monday March 13, 2023

Marc Stier, PhD
Director, PA Budget & Policy Center

Marc Stier has had an illustrious career as an activist, teacher, and writer. Before joining PBPC as director in 2015, Marc served as the executive director of Penn Action, where he worked to protect funding for education and women’s health care and expand Social Security; the Pennsylvania Director of Health Care for America Now, which led the grassroots effort in support of what became the Affordable Care Act in the state; and the Health Care campaign manager for SEIU Pennsylvania State Council. Stier was an academic for 25 years.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and a doctorate from Harvard University, both in political science. He has taught at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; City College of New York; the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; and Temple University, where he was the associate director and internet coordinator of the Intellectual Heritage Program. Stier is the author of numerous papers on political philosophy, the history of political thought, and American politics. He is the author of the book Grassroots Advocacy and Health Care Reform, published in 2013. He recently finished two new books, Liberalism and Communitarianism Revisited and Civilization and Its Contents: Reflections on Sex and the Culture Wars. He also is co-editor of Ambiguity in the Western Tradition.

Press Club Luncheon Monday February 27, 2023

Austin Davis
Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania

Growing up in the Mon Valley in western Pennsylvania – a longtime industrial center outside Pittsburgh – Austin Davis saw the struggles of working families firsthand. He watched his mom – a hairdresser in McKeesport for more than 40 years – juggle raising a family with putting food on the table, and he watched his dad work hard every day as an ATU bus driver.

Austin knew from an early age he wanted to dedicate his life and career to public service. Throughout his career, he has fought for economic equality, worked to lift people out of poverty and secure fair funding for education, and has been committed to bettering the lives of people in western Pennsylvania.

In high school, when he felt young people needed a voice in city government, Austin founded and served as chairman of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council under McKeesport Mayor Jim Brewster. Working with city leaders, Austin helped combat rising youth violence and provided the young people of McKeesport with more opportunities to get involved in civic life.

Austin is a first generation college graduate in his family, and after studying political science at the University of Pittsburgh, he began pursuing a career in public service. By the age of 21, the Tribune-Review called him “a veteran at the politics of helping others.”

Beginning in 2012, Austin joined Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s team, spearheading the office’s vision and transition teams in the early days of the administration and serving as Fitzgerald’s representative on the Jail Oversight Board; the Kane Foundation; the Minority, Women, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Advisory Board; and the Shuman Detention Center Advisory Board.

Then in 2018, Austin successfully ran for the state House of Representatives to represent the Mon Valley and his hometown of McKeesport.

Rep. Austin Davis took the oath of office to serve the people of the Mon Valley on February 5, 2018. When he was sworn in, Austin became the first African American to serve as state representative for the 35th Legislative District in Allegheny County, and he became one of only four African American lawmakers to represent a majority-white district.

Currently, Austin serves as chair of the Allegheny County House Democratic Delegation and vice chair of the House Democratic Policy Committee, as well as serving on the House Appropriations Committee, House Consumer Affairs Committee, House Insurance Committee, and House Transportation Committee. Austin is also a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, Climate Caucus, and PA SAFE Caucus.

Austin remains committed to the Mon Valley and McKeesport, serving as a board member of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh, Communities in Schools of Pittsburgh, and Auberle.

In November 2022, Austin made history and was elected as the first Black Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, and as the youngest Lieutenant Governor elected in the country. Austin is proud to work alongside Josh to move Pennsylvania forward in Harrisburg.

Austin currently resides in McKeesport with his wife, Blayre Holmes Davis.