Pittsburgh—The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) has elected Westmoreland County Commissioner Charles Anderson as its new Chairman, Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi as Vice Chairman, and Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald as Secretary-Treasurer.
“Commissioner Anderson, Commissioner Maggi and County Executive Fitzgerald are committed to regionalism and dedicated to public service,” said Jim Hassinger, SPC Executive Director. “With these qualities and the leadership they have each shown in their respective counties, I believe that they will truly be champions for the people of Southwestern Pennsylvania.”
As SPC Chairman and Vice Chairman, Commissioners Anderson and Maggi, along with County Executive Fitzgerald, Secretary-Treasurer, will play integral roles in coordinating economic development and transportation infrastructure investment decisions in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald has been elected as SPC’s Secretary-Treasurer. Rich Fitzgerald is Allegheny County’s third Chief Executive since the County moved to a Home Rule form of government on January 1, 2000. He is currently serving his second term, after having been elected as County Executive in 2011 and, again, in 2015.
Raised in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield-Garfield neighborhood, Rich earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a business minor from Carnegie Mellon University. Shortly after graduation, he started his own business, which provides water treatment equipment and services for industry in the Western Pennsylvania region.
When his children went to school, Rich and his wife, Cathy, began to engage in issues related to the schools and zoning and quickly became interested and engaged in other local government matters. His interests led him to work on the campaign to change the form of government in Allegheny County and, in 1999, he ran for one of the district council seats on the newly-formed County Council. Rich was elected Council Member in District 11, a district that included suburban municipalities and city neighborhoods. He held the seat for twelve years and was elected as Council President four times before leaving to run for the office of County Executive.
As County Executive, Rich has stabilized County finances by making operational adjustments to make government more efficient, has held the line on property taxes and has made smart decisions in refinancing existing debt. Recognizing that investments must be made in public transportation and infrastructure in order for our region to grow, Rich worked on a local and state level to negotiate savings and stabilize funding of the Port Authority. He has led efforts to build on the current growth of the airport corridor by focusing on the needs of the business community for flights to and from Pittsburgh. The County Executive has also focused on ensuring that County government reflects the diverse population of our community within County employment, its boards and authorities, its leadership and its contractors. All of this work has only added to the County’s strong economy. Our region continues to see the creation of jobs, particularly in hospitality, education, health and finance.
County Executive Fitzgerald is quick to point out that we have not done this on our own. We have always seen successes when we work together for the greater good of the County and Rich is continuing to use that model today. That collaboration is the key to our success, and one that Rich focuses on daily with those who share our goals so that we may continue moving the county forward.
Rich and Cathy, a pharmacist, live in Squirrel Hill. They have eight children.
As the new Chairman of SPC, Commissioner Anderson brings considerable experience as a regional leader. Commissioner Anderson was born in Greensburg PA and is a graduate from Hempfield High School and Waynesburg University. He was commissioned an Officer of the United States Marines in May 1965, is a Vietnam Veteran and a carrier-qualified jet and helicopter pilot. Highlights of his military assignments include Headquarters US Marine Corps; USMC representative to the Joint Staff, Pentagon, on Strategic and Tactical Nuclear Weapons, Space and Arms Control; Aide de Camp to the Chief of Naval Operations; Head, Marine Corps Aviation Training; Chief of Staff, Caribbean Anti-Drug Task Force, Key West; Chief of Staff, G-3 Operations, Second Marine Air Wing, Operation Desert Storm; Chief of Staff, 9th Marine Brigade, Japan; Commander, US Marine Forces Thailand—Cobra Gold. He retired as a Colonel of United States Marines.
Colonel Anderson is authorized to wear the wings of a Naval Aviator. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Date Bar, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation w/Palm, and the Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation.
Charles Anderson’s many activities and honors include serving as a Commissioner on the Westmoreland County Board of Commissioners; Director, National Board of Directors, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA); Member, Board of Trustees, University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg; Board Member, Westmoreland/Frick Hospital Foundation; Board of Directors (Emeritus), Westmoreland County Historical Society; Board Member of the Greensburg Salvation Army; Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion – Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, Greenburg; Past Pennsylvania State President, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) – Pennsylvania Council of Chapters (2008 – 2010); Past Chairman (2007–2009), Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), McKenna School of Business, Economics and Government, Saint Vincent College; Past Treasurer, Board of Trustees (2001 – 2011) – Catholic Charities, Diocese of Greensburg; Past President (2008-2009) Greensburg Rotary Club, District’s oldest Rotary Club; 2010 Distinguished Citizen of the Year – Boy Scouts Westmoreland Fayette Council; 2010 Volunteer of the Year – US Small Business Administration W. Pennsylvania; 2010 inductee to the Hempfield High School Wall of Fame, commencement speaker; and, Inducted as a Knight of Malta (Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem) 2011.
Charles has been married for 40 years to Colonel Nancy Anderson USMC (Ret). They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
Commissioner Larry Maggi has been elected as SPC’s Vice Chairman. Commissioner Maggi is currently serving his fourth term on the Board of Commissioners of Washington County. He is a life-long resident of Washington County and currently lives in Buffalo Township with his wife, Mary Jeanne. They are the proud parents of four children and six grandchildren.
Commissioner Maggi served in the United States Marine Corps and graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education. Prior to being elected commissioner in 2003, he was the sheriff of Washington County for six years. He served for 24 years with the Pennsylvania State Police as a state trooper.
Commissioner Maggi is active in his church in Claysville, serving on the Board of Trustees and as a Sunday school teacher. Larry is active in numerous Veterans’ and community service groups. He also serves as the chairman of the Council of Trustees, California University of Pennsylvania and Board Member of Community Action Southwest.
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) is the region’s forum for collaboration, planning and public decision-making. As the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the ten-county region including the City of Pittsburgh and the counties of Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Washington, and Westmoreland, SPC is responsible for planning and prioritizing the use of all state and federal transportation funds allocated to the region. As the Local Development District (LDD) and Economic Development District for Southwestern Pennsylvania (as designated by the U.S. Appalachian Regional Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce), SPC establishes regional economic development priorities and provides a wide range of public services to the region.