About Jef

Just a Regular Working Guy

My eclectic employment history makes me a uniquely qualified candidate for the Penn State Board of Trustees.

Following graduation, my employment history includes both the public and private sector. My career began as Assistant Dean of Students at Bethany College, Bethany, WV, giving me exposure to higher education management and operational issues, including the managerial interaction of the administration, faculty and students. I had first-hand knowledge of how families cope with the costs of higher education when I served as Financial Aid Officer at Bethany.

I left Bethany College to take over ownership/management of the family lawn and garden business for over seventeen years in my hometown of Ambridge, PA.  I honed my financial skills, including inventory planning and management, marketing, payroll, employee benefits…everything that goes into making a business profitable.

I served over 20 years on the ESB Bank Board of Directors, a $2 billion community bank headquartered in Ellwood City, PA.  I gained valuable experience with the workings of a multi-billion dollar corporation, along with the advisory and management responsibilities of board membership.

I re-entered education management as Assistant Business Manager for the Ambridge Area School District and Business Manager for Beginning with Books, a non-profit literacy organization in Pittsburgh.   Dealing with public education and private funding initiatives helped to provide me with added insight into what makes education tick, financially.

As Vice President-Operations for R. J. Rhodes Transit, a transportation company based in Ambridge, I managed a 150 vehicle school bus business.  Bus contracting for public schools provides the opportunity to understand how a private organization with hundreds of employees is run, while learning to interface with the operation and finances of public school districts.

Back to public employment as Business Manager for the Rochester Area School District, I currently serve as Business Manager for the Penns Valley Area School District, Spring Mills, PA.  I am involved on a daily basis with state mandates and funding difficulties.

So, how does all this qualify me to be a Penn State Trustee Board member?  I have been active in both the public and private sector.  Half of my working life has been related to education, but I also understand what it takes to make a payroll and manage spending to turn a profit.   I have served on a board of directors and have learned how to get things done in a group setting, without being overbearing.  I communicate well with people from all walks of life and have a strong work ethic (You know what they say about owning a family business…you only have to work half a day…pick any 12 hours you like!).  I have served Penn State in the past (see “In Service to Penn State” section of the website), and hope to continue doing so as a Trustee.  I will insist upon a new, open leadership that incorporates the views of the entire University community.  I will strive for a reduction in the cost of a Penn State education, maintaining the University’s land grant heritage.

And as Creedance Clearwater Revival sang in my collegiate days, “I ain’t no millionaire’s son…I ain’t no fortunate one”.   I’m just a regular working guy, trying to do the best for my family, community, and hopefully, in the near future, for Penn State University.

I would be honored to have your vote for my election to the Penn State Board of Trustees.


2 thoughts on “About Jef

  1. Jef,is Bill your brother?
    He and I graduated from AAHS together in 1973.
    Good luck with your PSU BOT effort.
    You have my vote,

    • Jeff;
      Yes, Bill is my brother. Remember, I owned Wall’s Lawn & Garden in the 80s & 90s. Thanks for the vote and well wishes.

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