My Pennsylvania Home My Pennsylvania Home


My Pennsylvania Home My Pennsylvania Home
My Pennsylvania Home
A publication of the Pennsylvania Homeowners Association
Volume 3, Issue 6 – Special Issue – Summer 2015 – Debra Meritt, Editor
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The Director’s
Hello PHA Friends!
Meet the PHA Staff and
June 2, 2015
Board Meeting highlights:
PHA Wellness Foundation
PHA Road Sign
“No one can whistle a symphony.
It takes a whole orchestra to play it.”
~H.E. Luccock
Progress is in the works in our efforts to
empower Pennsylvania homeowners to improve their lives
as citizens of this fine state.
Moving forward, we will be reaching out to you more as we
seek your opinions and ideas on our continuing – and
advancing – work. You will be hearing from us directly as
well as seeing the work of the organization in social media
and other outreach communications.
You had a chance to get to know me in the last issue of My
Pennsylvania Home, and in this special issue, I’m thrilled to
introduce you to my PHA colleagues, some new to this
important work and some who have been working diligently
over the past few years to serve you.
Please enjoy getting to know them as well!
Editor’s note:
Email me at [email protected]
with your comments about this new PDF
newsletter format. And, as always, let me
know which topics you’d like to see addressed
in upcoming newsletters. Thanks! DM
Teresa Beigay
Executive Director
My Pennsylvania Home – Volume 3, Issue 6 – Special Issue – Summer 2015
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TERESA BEIGAY comes to PHA after several years of service in the US Department of Health
and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration. Earlier in her career, she
was an occupational therapist at Johnstown’s Lee Hospital and later, the American Heart
Association Field Manager for Bedford, Cambria, and Somerset Counties. She holds a Bachelor’s
degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Health Related Professions, a Master’s degree from
Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Public Administration, a Doctorate in Public Health from the
University of Pittsburgh as well as a graduate certificate in Public Policy and Strategic Planning.
[email protected]
KATIE SMOLEN is a recent graduate of Edinboro University with a Bachelor’s degree in
journalism and mass communication and specializations in print journalism and public relations.
She comes to PHA as the Social Media and Communications Director from a background in
print journalism and also currently writes and does photography. She resides in Johnstown.
[email protected]
CECILIA HOUSER of Ebensburg joins PHA as the Business Membership Director. She
graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in communications in
2010. Houser also serves as the Community Outreach Director for Askew Houser Funeral Homes
Inc., is a member of the Ebensburg Borough Council and was recently elected Chair of the
Cambria County Republican Party.
[email protected]
MARIAN MORGAN is PHA’s photographer. Morgan currently serves on the Board of Trustees
of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Loretto, is a member of the Gala Leadership Circle
and has been Chairman of SAMA’s Gala Advertisement Program since 2013. Morgan has also
served on several nonprofit committees, photographing their fundraisers. Morgan’s business
experience includes renovating the Renaissance Plaza and several buildings in Duncansville,
as well as owning and managing a number of rental units and a collectible gift shop. Morgan
completed a real estate course of study at Penn State, Altoona.
DEB MERITT is the Editor of My Pennsylvania Home. She holds a Bachelor of Science
degree in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and is a National Science
Foundation Fellowship recipient, with published graduate studies in hydrogeology at the
University of Rhode Island. Meritt has taught various geology labs and courses to undergrads –
and for one fine year, taught science to fourth graders. She has five years’ experience as an
environmental scientist at a PA consulting firm. In her spare time, Meritt enjoys hiking the Laurel
Highlands, listening to NPR, traveling, and tackling projects on her “handyman special” house.
[email protected]
My Pennsylvania Home – Volume 3, Issue 6 – Special Issue – Summer 2015
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EDWARD SMITH is the Chairman of PHA. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business
from the University of Pittsburgh, an M.P.A. from Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and
International Affairs. Smith studied in The Hague as a Fulbright Fellow to the International Union
of Local Authorities, with doctoral studies at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands. Smith is a
former Special Agent of the FBI, an avid reader, a student of history, and an advocate of
homeowner rights. As a professional city manager, he managed three full-service Ohio cities, a
Florida city, and a Florida county. Smith enjoys exploring back roads and nature’s pathways with
his wife, Ann.
[email protected]
WALT BROSIUS is the Vice Chairman of PHA. Brosius holds a Bachelor of Science degree in
Mechanical Engineering from Tri-State College in Angola, Indiana. He was employed by
US Steel Corporation for six years, working his way from engineering trainee to fabricating
practice engineer. Brosius then sold industrial cutting tools throughout western PA. He was a
stockbroker for one year before turning his accumulated experience and talents to opening his
own business, The Kitchen Gallery in Johnstown, where for 40 years, he has created and/or
installed custom cabinets/countertops for residential and commercial clients. Brosius relaxes by
gardening and hiking the great outdoors.
DON KIRSCH is the Treasurer of PHA. Kirsch holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from
St. Francis University and is a Certified Public Accountant. He practices in Ebensburg as
D.F. Kirsch & Associates, CPA. Kirsch is a life member of the American Institute of Certified
Public Accountants and the Pennsylvania Society of Tax & Accounting Professionals. He also
serves as Assistant Secretary/Treasurer of the Cambria County Industrial Corporation, the
Cambria County Industrial Development Authority, and the Cambria County General Financing
Authority. In his spare time, Kirsch enjoys long-distance (read: cross-country) tandem bicycle
riding with his wife, Josie.
The Pennsylvania Homeowners Association (PHA) is committed to empowering individuals, families, and
businesses to support and address issues that affect their homes and lives. To that end, PHA recently established
the PHA Wellness Foundation to focus on topics related to the health of Pennsylvania families. The PHA Wellness
Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity, which allows donations to be tax deductible and increases the
organization’s eligibility for a variety of grant programs.
The PHA Wellness Foundation aligns with the World Health Organization’s definition of health: “Health is a state of
complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This concept
of health drives the foundation to address a comprehensive range of health topics that have an impact on the lives
of PHA members and Pennsylvanians in general. Lifestyle and environment have a profound influence on all
aspects of health and well-being – it is the PHA’s intent to determine members’ chief health concerns and to provide
learning opportunities to empower Pennsylvanians to develop a culture of well-being.
Possible focus areas are the serious, most common, health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and others that
can be influenced by life style, diet, and nutrition.
My Pennsylvania Home – Volume 3, Issue 6 – Special Issue – Summer 2015
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Harmony House, the
location of June 2, 2015
Board Meeting
Association June 2, 2015 Board Meeting (left to right):
Joe Inzana, Board Member; Wesley Speary, guest; Marian
Morgan, PHA Photographer; Katie Smolen, PHA Social
Marketing & Communications Director; Walt Brosius, PHA
Vice Chairman & Board Member; Cecilia Houser, PHA
Business Membership Director; Ann Jacobson, Board
Member; Edward Smith, PHA Chairman; Debra Meritt,
MPH Editor; Charles Cowan, Board Member; Teresa
Beigay, PHA Executive Director; Rita King, Board Member;
Donald Kirsch, PHA Treasurer & Board Member.
Frank Gay,
Parking Manager
Harmony House
Edward Smith with guests
Colleen Sherman and
Fred Buck of
First Commonwealth Bank.
PHA Chairman, Edward Smith, presented this new road sign to the June 2, 2015
Board Meeting attendees!
The combined image of the Liberty Bell backed by the US flag has been the PHA
logo since PHA’s inception. The vibrant green and reflective white will be eyecatching to motorists.
“EMPOWERING HOMEOWNERS” is the slogan of PHA, as a result of a vote of
the members who responded to the query.
PHA is accepting business sponsors of this sign, as well as volunteers to install
signs. Go to and click on “Contact Us” to learn more
about advertising opportunities with PHA!
All photographs in this Special Issue are Copyright © 2015 Marian Morgan, All Rights Reserved.
My Pennsylvania Home – Volume 3, Issue 6 – Special Issue – Summer 2015
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