PA Press Club – Monday, June 13, 2024

Senator Scott Martin

Chair, Appropriation Committee

Scott Martin is a lifelong Lancaster County resident with deep roots in the community.  He was elected to his first term representing the 13th Senatorial District in November 2016 and re-elected in 2020.

While in the Senate, dozens of Scott’s bills have become law as well as a Constitutional Amendment which was approved by Pennsylvania voters in May 2021 that limited the power of a governor to issue open-ended emergency declarations that last longer than necessary.

Scott currently serves as Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which plays a crucial role in negotiating and developing the state budget and is responsible for reviewing all legislation for its fiscal impact. He previously served as Chair of the Senate Education Committee and Senate Local Government Committee.

Outside of his regular Senate responsibilities, Scott also serves as Chairman of the PA Athletic Oversight Committee and was elected to serve as Chair of the Chesapeake Bay Commission (CBC) for 2023. 

Prior to his election to the state Senate, Scott served as a Lancaster County Commissioner and helped to clean up what had become a dysfunctional and ineffective government.  As Commissioner, Scott never voted for a tax increase, downsized government by cutting duplicative agencies and departments, reduced debt by $40 million, and lowered costs for taxpayers through privatization and public employee benefit reform.

He led many statewide reform efforts through the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and was elected Chair of the Republican Caucus of County Commissioners for 8 years.  Before entering public service, Scott was successful in the private sector as a licensed Realtor and local landlord.  In addition, for 13 years, he worked in the Juvenile Justice system, including serving as Director of the Lancaster County Youth Intervention Center.

Running the county’s juvenile detention and emergency shelter-care facilities, he oversaw the effective operation of a $5.5 million budget and 150 employee organization.  Scott was also the elected Vice President of the Juvenile Detention Centers Association of Pennsylvania and served on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency’s Detention Steering Committee.

Scott served on the Board of Directors of the Dr. Gene A. Carpenter Football Foundation, volunteers as a youth sports coach in wrestling and football, and gave his time and effort to groups like the United Way of Lancaster County and the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Scott is a graduate of Lancaster Catholic High School where he was a PIAA & National Heavyweight wrestling champion, and Millersville University, where he graduated with a degree in Sociology/Criminal Justice and became a three-time 1st Team PSAC Defensive Tackle and two-time All-American.  After his college career, Scott was a free agent camp invitee of the New York Giants in the NFL and had three different stints in the Arena Football league. 

Scott has been inducted into the Lancaster Catholic Athletic Hall of Honor, the Millersville University Athletic Hall of Fame, the Lancaster-Lebanon League Wrestling Hall of Fame, the District III Wrestling Hall of Fame, the Lancaster County Sports Hall of Fame and the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Susquehanna Valley Chapter.   Recently, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of college football, Scott was named one of the 150 greatest players/contributors in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference history, one of ten Millersville Marauders to earn that honor.

Scott and his wife Amber are the proud parents of four children: Alexia, Hayden, Alivia and Gavin.

PA Press Club – April 29, 2024

The Honorable Khalid Mumin

Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Education

For over 25 years, Dr. Khalid N. Mumin has served in various capacities as a teacher, dean of students, principal and central administrator. Most recently, Dr. Mumin served as the Superintendent of Schools at Lower Merion School District. Prior to Lower Merion, Dr. Mumin was the Superintendent of Reading School District for seven years. Beginning as a Secondary English teacher in Scotland, Pennsylvania in 1997, Dr. Mumin rose through the leadership ranks of the education system in Pennsylvania. Dr. Mumin is committed to promoting and sustaining student achievement, equity and access to educational programming for all students, as well as creating plans that are fiscally responsible. He has been recognized nationally as a “School Board Savvy Superintendent,” and is the author of the book entitled Problem Child: Leading Students Living in Poverty Towards Infinite Possibilities of Success.

Dr. Mumin earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Education in Teaching & Curriculum from Pennsylvania State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Education from Shippensburg University, and an Associate of Arts in English from Northeastern Christian Junior College.

Follow Secretary Dr. Khalid N. Mumin on twitter: @PDESecretary

 

PA Press Club – Monday, March 25, 2024

James Lee, President & CEO

Susquehanna Polling & Research

Susquehanna Polling and Research (SP&R) is a nationally recognized, survey research and polling firm headquartered in Pennsylvania, and specializes in a full range of research services for businesses and state agencies, national and state trade associations, hospitals and health systems, candidates for public office and media outlets. The firm conducts polling in more than thirty states. Founded in 2000, SP&R includes a team of research associates with more than 50 years of combined experience, including telephone agents, focus group recruiters and other consultants. Susquehanna Polling and Research acquired The Bartlett Research Group in 2016, a Harrisburg-area focus group company that has been conducting qualitative research and focus group services for a wide range of national and state clients since 1986.

SP&R’s publicly released polling has been quoted in numerous national platforms including FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, the Rush Limbaugh radio program, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and USA Today. SP&R was profiled by CBS’s Inside Edition on two separate episodes for its unmatched accuracy in the 2020 battleground polling, and the nationally acclaimed, polling aggregator Real Clear Politics (www.realclearpolitics.com) rated SP&R the #1 most accurate polling firm in the nation for its accuracy in the 2020 presidential election in multiple states.

Jim earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lycoming College, and has 12 credits earned towards an M.P.A. program at Shippensburg University. Jim resides in Thompsontown, Juniata County, with his wife Dr. Megan Kurlychek, and has two daughters, Ava and Alexis, ages 19 and 15.

PA Press Club – Monday February 26, 2024

Secretary Al Schmidt

Secretary of the Commonwealth

Gov. Josh Shapiro appointed Al Schmidt as Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth on Jan. 17, 2023, and Schmidt officially became Secretary on June 29, 2023. Prior to his appointment, Schmidt was president and chief executive officer at the Committee of Seventy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan good-government organization focused on strengthening democracy and combatting political corruption.

Before joining the Committee of Seventy, Schmidt served for 10 years as a Philadelphia City Commissioner. As a commissioner, Schmidt was one of three members on the bipartisan Board of Elections, where he was vice chairman. Since first being elected as city commissioner in November 2011, Schmidt worked to modernize election operations, improve efficiency, and bring greater integrity to the election process.

Secretary Schmidt was also a senior performance analyst at the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office, where he conducted performance audits of federal programs on behalf of Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate. He also served as a policy analyst for the Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Schmidt holds a doctorate in history from Brandeis University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Allegheny College.

Commonwealth on Jan. 17, 2023, and Schmidt officially became Secretary on June 29, 2023. Prior to his appointment, Schmidt was president and chief executive officer at the Committee of Seventy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan good-government organization focused on strengthening democracy and combatting political corruption.

Before joining the Committee of Seventy, Schmidt served for 10 years as a Philadelphia City Commissioner. As a commissioner, Schmidt was one of three members on the bipartisan Board of Elections, where he was vice chairman. Since first being elected as city commissioner in November 2011, Schmidt worked to modernize election operations, improve efficiency, and bring greater integrity to the election process.

Secretary Schmidt was also a senior performance analyst at the nonpartisan U.S. Government Accountability Office, where he conducted performance audits of federal programs on behalf of Democratic and Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate. He also served as a policy analyst for the Presidential Commission on Holocaust Assets in the United States.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Schmidt holds a doctorate in history from Brandeis University and a bachelor’s degree in history from Allegheny College.