Press Club Luncheon – Monday, June 26, 2023

Ron Hetrick, WITF 

 Robert Krasne, Steinman Communications

For nearly 158 years and four generations, the Steinman family of Lancaster has owned and operated what today is LNP | LancasterOnline. Founded by educators in 1963, WITF has been an essential part of the civic, educational and cultural fabric of Central Pennsylvania for 60 years. Now LNP and WITF are marking a new era in how they serve all who call Central Pennsylvania home.

Steinman Communications, which is owned by the Steinman family, is gifting LNP to WITF as a capstone to the family’s two centuries of community service and philanthropy. Together, WITF and LNP are creating a new mission-driven and sustainable model for local news, community education and civic engagement in the region.

Join Ron Hetrick, President & CEO of WITF, and Robert Krasne, Chair & CEO of Steinman Communications, to hear how this new model will seek to foster a more informed and engaged citizenry – and inspire other local media organizations nationwide.

Ron Hetrick became WITF’s President & CEO in April 2019, only the sixth executive to lead the 56-year-old public media organization. Ron works to enrich civic life in Pennsylvania by connecting WITF’s worthwhile information, entertainment and educational services to the region and ensuring that WITF’s content remains accessible and relevant to the community it serves. From 2000 to 2019, Hetrick served in increasingly critical roles in WITF, with a key responsibility to strategically align WITF services and activities with the organization’s vision and mission. As Senior VP of Finance and Administration from 2015 onward, Ron supervised finance, philanthropy, corporate sponsorship and human resources, serving as a member of the senior team tasked with content development, operations, business strategy and information technology. A Pennsylvania native, Ron grew up in Harrisburg and helped to run a family-owned technology business, ultimately preparing the company for acquisition. Prior to coming to WITF, Ron worked for Flight Systems, a Daimler-Chrysler electronics manufacturer, in an information technology management role. Ron earned a Doctorate in Business Administration from Temple University, an MBA from Villanova University, a BS in Computer Science and an AS in Electrical Engineering Technology from the Pennsylvania State University. Ron’s doctoral research explored the effects of corporate governance practices on nonprofit financial performance in institutions with accumulated wealth. Recently elected to the board of the Community Development Partnership (CDP), Ron is also co-founder and board member of the Information Equity Initiative and previously served as board chair of the Public Media Business Association and board member and finance chair for Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg, then engaged in a major capital campaign and construction project.

Robert M. Krasne is Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Steinman Communications, an organization the roots of which date back nearly 230 years. Initially a print newspaper, the organization has been at the cutting edge of radio, television, cable and state-of-theart commercial printing. Today, its holdings include LNP | LancasterOnline, Lancaster County’s daily newspaper; Lancaster Farming, the preeminent agricultural publication in the mid-Atlantic; Susquehanna Printing of Lancaster, LLC, a commercial printing and mailing operation; The Caucus, the award-winning watchdog publication serving the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; several hyperlocal newspapers serving communities in Lancaster County; and an array of real estate assets. Bob is also the co-chair of The Steinman Foundation, among the largest private charitable foundations in Lancaster County. Bob initiated creation of the Lancaster County STEM Alliance, a nationally recognized STEM ecosystem. The Alliance engages business and education to work together on workforce development-related issues. Bob is active in various nonprofit or civic arenas. He currently serves as a commissioner on Pennsylvania’s Early Learning Investment Commission and is a member of the Lancaster City Alliance’s Advocacy Executive Leadership Team. Bob previously served on the Board of the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County and its Foundation Board. He was a member of the Governor of Pennsylvania’s Advisory Board on Education & Workforce Development, a councilor of The Pennsylvania Society, and served on the steering committee for Lancaster Farmland Trust’s capital campaign. Bob was also a member of the board of the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design and a trustee of Lancaster Farmland Trust. Before assuming leadership of the Steinman enterprises in 2012, Bob spent ten years as principal in The Krasne Group, Inc., a strategic business-consulting firm in Washington, D.C. He was also an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business where he taught corporate governance to MBA candidates. Previously, Bob was a partner in the Washington, D.C.lawfirm of Williams & Connolly, L.L.P., where he represented clients in complex legal matters. His clients included business leaders, government officials, corporations, law firms and others facing criminal, civil and/or administrative legal issues in various jurisdictions around the globe. Bob joined Williams & Connolly from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency where he served as a lawyer in their Enforcement & Compliance and Legal Advisory Services divisions. While at the OCC, Bob was appointed Special Assistant United States Attorney for Western District of Louisiana to assist with the investigation and prosecution of bank fraud cases. Bob had previously worked at the OCC as a national bank examiner. Bob earned an A.B. in Economics from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. He also received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Service from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and an Honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design. Bob is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and has been admitted to practice before a variety of federal courts including the United States Supreme Court.

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.