Pedri announces Luzerne County COVID-19 crisis committee

Pedri announces Luzerne County COVID-19 crisis committee


By Kevin Carroll

Luzerne County Manager C. David Pedri on Saturday announced the formation of a county crisis management team to address key issues as the COVID-19 outbreak escalates.

The group is comprised of county officials, first responders and members of the community.

“I have built a team equipped in every aspect of this crisis to work together and help lead our community through this difficult time,” Pedri said. “The men and women on this team have expressed a willingness to avail their particular backgrounds to work together expeditiously to help our community.”

The crisis management team has been broken into various subcommittees, with each committee charged with specific tasks regarding issues including availability of medical supplies, assistance to the emergency management community, support for schools and a path to recovery for small businesse

“I have built a team equipped in every aspect of this crisis to work together and help lead our community through this difficult time” Pedri said. “The men and women on this team have expressed a willingness to avail their particular backgrounds to work together expeditiously to help our community.”

The committees will accept other citizen volunteers, questions or suggestions.

“I am calling on every citizen in the county — if you believe you can provide assistance to our respective groups please reach out to that chair or to my office and we will be in touch. It’s all hands on deck,” Pedri said.

Citizens can email questions, suggestions or offers of assistance to, or contact Pedri with any questions at 570-825-1635 or by emailing

“While Luzerne County will continue to work with all outside entities, we must look within when everyone else is looking outward. We have the resources here to keep our citizens safe and cared for and that’s exactly what we are going to do,” Pedri said.

“Times like these bring out the best in Luzerne County, and the members of this team are some of the best of Luzerne County. We will handle this crisis and more importantly, when we are through this crisis, we will recover,” he added.

The committees and members are:


Chair: Tim McGinley, Chairman, Luzerne County Council.

Members: Geisinger representative; Lehigh Valley Health Network representative; Commonwealth Health representative; Brian Rinker, Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield; Frank Hacken, Luzerne County Coroner.

Local Government

Chair: Mike Lombardo, Mayor, City of Pittston.

Members: Robert Schnee, Luzerne County Council; Jeff Cusat, Mayor, City of Hazleton; George Brown, Mayor, City of Wilkes-Barre; Kevin Coughlin, Mayor, City of Nanticoke; John Jay Wilkes, Jr., Chairman, Jackson Township; Alec Ryncavage, Councilman, Plymouth Borough; Andy Reilly, Director, Luzerne County Community Development.

Human Services/Nonprofits

Chair: Charles Barber, President and CEO, Luzerne Foundation.

Services subcommittee: Matt Vough, Luzerne County Councilman; Lynn Hill, Luzerne County Division Head-Human Services; Bill Jones, President and CEO, United Way of Wyoming Valley;

John Cosgrove, Executive Director, AllOne Foundation; Jim Gallagher, CEO, NBHCC.

At-risk population subcommittee: Harry Haas, Luzerne County Councilman; Gene Brady, Executive Director, Commission On Economic Opportunity; Jim Brogna, Vice President, Allied Services; Mary Roselle, Executive Director, Luzerne County Area Agency on the Aging; Lori Orgurkis, Esq., Co-Founder, Brandon’s Forever Home; Bob Curry, President, Hazleton Integration Project.

Public Outreach

Chair: Chris Perry, Vice Chair, Luzerne County Council.

Members: Mary Kolessar, Executive Director, Discover NEPA; Ted Wampole, Executive Director, Luzerne County Tourism; Susan Magnotta, Institute for Public Policy; Kathy Bozinski, United Way of Wyoming Valley.

Private Sector

Chair: Lee Ann McDermott, Luzerne County Council.

Members: Ricky Rose, CEO, Mountain Productions, Mountain Emergency Services; Robert Bresnahan, CEO, Kuharchik Construction; Robert Stella, Stell Enterprises; Gerry O’Donnell; Warren Faust, President, NEPA Building and Construction Trades.


Chair: Tom Blaskiewicz, Mayor, Borough of West Pittston.

Members: Kendra Radle, Luzerne County Council; Chuck Cohen, Managing Director, Benco Dental; Dave Schwager, Esq.; Tim Evans, President, Colours Inc.; Lew Sebia, Mericle Commercial Real Estate; Jack Nackley, President/CEO InterMetro; Paul Keating, Municipal Administrator, Kingston Borough.


Chair: Linda McClosky Houck, Luzerne County Council.

Members: Brian Uplinger, Superintendent, Hazleton Area School District; Robert Mehalick, Superintendent, Crestwood School District; Brian Costello, Superintendent, Wilkes-Barre Area School District; Anthony Grieco, Executive Director, Luzerne Intermediate Unit; Thomas Leary, President, Luzerne County Community College; Diocese of Scranton Education representative; Private/independent school representative.

Emergency Management

Chair: Michael Lombardo, Esq., Greater Pittston Regional Ambulance Association.

Members: Walter Griffith, Luzerne County Council; Jay Delaney, Chief, Wilkes-Barre Fire/EMS; David Elmore, Luzerne County EMA; Donald Leshko, Chief, Hazleton Fire Department; Mike Moravec, Chief, Kingston Township Police; Megan Hannon, Luzerne County 911; Frank Guido, Chief, Kingston Fire Department.


Chair: Kris Jones, Founder and CEO, Accelerator Wilkes-Barre, KBJ Capital, Special Guest App.

Members: Stephen J. Urban, Luzerne County Council; Jeff Box, President and CEO, NEPA Alliance; John Augustine, President and CEO, Penn’s Northeast; Wico Van Genderen, President and CEO, Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce.


Chair: Jarrett Ferentino, Esq.

Members: Romilda Crocamo, Esq.; Shelia Saidman, Esq., Luzerne County Council; Cathy O’Donnell, Esq. Greg Fellerman, Esq.