ShareThis Page

Prominent New Kensington man, Murrysville mayor honored for community works

Jeff Himler
| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 10:39 p.m.
New Kensington resident David Hanna addresses guests at the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland's Oct. 3, 2017 dinner in Hempfield. He was honored for his volunteer service on the boards of several county organizations and his past role chairing the Economic Growth Connection.
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
New Kensington resident David Hanna addresses guests at the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland's Oct. 3, 2017 dinner in Hempfield. He was honored for his volunteer service on the boards of several county organizations and his past role chairing the Economic Growth Connection.
Murrysville Mayor Robert J. Brooks (left), who has investment interests in Pittsburgh's Pirates and Penguins professional sports teams, compares his ring for the Penguins' recent Stanley Cup victory with the 1979 World Series ring worn by former Pirates player and retired broadcaster Kent Tekulve. Tekulve introduced Brooks, who was honored at the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland's annual dinner Oct. 3, 2017 at the Ramada Greensburg Hotel and Conference Center in Hempfield.
Jeff Himler | Tribune-Review
Murrysville Mayor Robert J. Brooks (left), who has investment interests in Pittsburgh's Pirates and Penguins professional sports teams, compares his ring for the Penguins' recent Stanley Cup victory with the 1979 World Series ring worn by former Pirates player and retired broadcaster Kent Tekulve. Tekulve introduced Brooks, who was honored at the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland's annual dinner Oct. 3, 2017 at the Ramada Greensburg Hotel and Conference Center in Hempfield.

Prominent community leaders from New Kensington and Murrysville were honored Tuesday night at the Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland's annual dinner.

David Hanna is a lifelong New Kensington resident and former Southwest Region president of First Commonwealth Bank. He is past chairman of the Economic Growth Connection's board of directors.

After retiring from the bank in 2010, he continued to serve the institution through last year as an adviser.

Economic Growth Connection President James L. Smith said Hanna's volunteer efforts serving on boards for numerous human service and cultural organizations have bolstered the county's quality of life.

Hanna has served on the boards of Penn State New Kensington; and the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg; the Greensburg YMCA; the Westmoreland Arthritis Foundation; Westmoreland Historical Society and Westmoreland Symphony.

He played a key role in local fundraising campaigns for the United Way, March of Dimes, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Westmoreland Cultural Trust.

The night's other honoree was Murrysville Mayor Robert J. Brooks, who officials said has helped his community develop the assets that can attract residents and employers.

Smith agreed.

“Murrysville sets a phenomenal example for us all to follow,” Smith said.

In a tribute video, community officials praised Brooks' contributions, initially as a councilman, to development of parks, a library and a new shopping plaza in Murrysville.

Murrysville “used to be a place you come from. Now it's a place you go to,” said Brooks, who also was praised for being among investors who have kept the Penguins and Pirates teams in Pittsburgh, adding to the region's economy.

Attracting skilled workers

Economic development involves more than attracting employers.

Smith said the organization and its local partners have taken steps to provide the skilled workers that employers need and the places that those workers will want to live.

Smith introduced Jane Heiple of Ligonier, who is starting the new role of director of the Westmoreland Forum for Workforce Development. It's a position made possible by contributions from other county agencies and from area school districts.

Heiple has worked for school districts in the Somerset, Bedford and Philadelphia areas, including as a school public school administrator.

“If we can't supply companies with the things that they need, then they'll move,” Smith said. “How do we find that next generation of workers? We've got to offer them the kinds of things they want. If we don't, they'll go somewhere else.”

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6622, jhimler@tribweb.com or via Twitter @jhimler_news. Staff writer Patrick Varine contributed to this report.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.