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Mars attorney appointed to development authority

Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review
Roy Powell, an attorney for the Jones Day law firm, has been appointed to the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority by the governor. He is shown at the BNY Mellon building, Downtown, Thursday, March, 13, 2014, where his law firm has an office.

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By Emily Balser
Saturday, March 15, 2014, 2:26 p.m.

Roy Powell has a passion for economic and industrial development in Pennsylvania.

“I am really excited about really high-paying, technical, high-tech, cutting-edge manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania,” he said.

Gov. Tom Corbett recently appointed Powell of Mars to the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, a public board that provides low-interest loan financing to companies seeking to bring business to the state.

An attorney who's known the governor for many years, Powell said he was honored to be chosen for the volunteer position.

“He knows what my practice is in terms of work-related infrastructure and development, and he asked me if I'd consider sitting on the board of the Industrial Development Authority,” Powell said. “I immediately responded I'd be honored to do it.”

Powell's roots run deep in Pennsylvania. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh and graduated from Taylor Allderdice High School in 1975, graduated with a bachelor's degree from Penn State in 1979, and earned his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1982. He has remained committed to working and living here since.

Powell, 57, is a partner at the Downtown office of the Jones Day international law firm, which is celebrating its 25th year in the city. He represents companies looking to expand and assists with everything from getting the right permits to representing the company if a problem arises.

“I chair our construction practice globally, and I am the coordinator for our energy practice in the Appalachian Basin,” Powell said. “I've done a lot of work in infrastructure and development and energy and power plants.”

Powell, who was appointed to the authority board at the end of February, said he believes his professional experience working with manufacturing and infrastructure has prepared him to serve.

“Having represented businesses that are building and expanding new facilities ... I think I have some insight that will help me evaluate on the board the viability of the plan, the viability of the company and its prospects for growth,” he said.

Luke Bernstein, deputy chief of staff for Corbett, said that the governor has great confidence in Powell and his ability, and thinks he will be a great asset to the board.

“He has the background, experience and knowledge that will enable him to be a perfect fit for the Industrial Development Authority,” Bernstein said.

Powell said his role will include reviewing projects that are being proposed for loans of up to $2 million, looking at the job creation commitment and looking at the investment by the company. After reviewing these factors, Powell and the rest of the board will determine on a case-by-case basis whether to grant low-interest loans for job creation.

Powell moved to Mars about 10 years ago, drawn by ample room and a relatively easy commute to the city and to Pittsburgh International Airport.

The authority board meets quarterly, and Powell said he is looking forward to getting started.

“I love Pittsburgh, I love Pennsylvania, and I'm excited about the opportunity to participate in what I think is one of the very best programs that we have to spur job creation,” he said.

Emily Balser is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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