“The Bedford County Development Association’s board of directors’ newest members bring with them a mosaic business and economic development expertise,” said James Gonsman, the board’s newly appointed chair.
“Bedford County is growing,” he said. “And together, we’ll cultivate an environment of entrepreneurial success.”
The senior vice president of Hometown Bank of PA, Gonsman said the board plans to focus on supporting the local business community, creating marketplace opportunities for young entrepreneurs and laying the foundation for new businesses to call Bedford County home.
“I appreciate the confidence the board has placed in me,” he said. “The BCDA has a legacy of attracting job-producing businesses through marketing and building strong relationships, and I am honored to lead our board as we continue that tradition.”
Gonsman previously served as the board’s assistant treasurer.
Additionally, five new members are joining the board in 2020:
Crowsnest IT Support founder Dwayne Zimmerman, of Woodbury, started his telecommunications career with Fibercom in 2009, before trying his hand at entrepreneurship.
“I started Crowsnest IT Support in 2013, and we expanded to offer broadband in 2019,” Zimmerman said. “Today, we are a full-service IT company and wireless Internet Service Provider.”
JLG Bedford Director of Operations Carl Barnhart, of Bedford, said he worked his way from assembler to upper management of a globally recognized manufacturer through hard work and dedication over a period of 35 years.
UPMC Altoona and Bedford President Jan Fisher, of Hollidaysburg, formerly served as chief operating officer of Susquehanna Health Systems and president of Soldiers + Sailors Memorial Hospital.
Fisher has served as the past chair of the Hospital and Health System Association of Pennsylvania and a past board member of the Citizens and North Bank.
Jeff Crist, of Alum Bank, is president of both Gatter & Diehl, Inc., and Gatter & Diehl Services as well as a managing partner at JLRL Associates.
Crist said he’s proud to have been honored with the Paul Detwiler III Junior Achievement Award, the Bedford County Sports Hall of Fame Volunteer of the Year Award and Bedford County Chamber Small Business Award. He’s previously served on the BCDA board as both a member and chair.
Trudy Mitchell, of Altoona, is the director of business lending at Southern Alleghenies Planning & Development Commission and previously served as the vice president of economic development at the Centre County Industrial Development Corporation.
Photo credited to Leonardis Photography