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Way Above the Curve

A few years back, shortly before he left us, I had Father John Manno out for a drive around town. I wanted to show him the progress that had been made in the Historic District and around the Annunciation Parish. From there, we rode on up to Historic Bowman Field, which was recently remodeled. As most of you know, Father Manno’s Dad played professional baseball, and he was more than impressed by the new Historic Bowman Field makeover. On the way back, I figured I’d show him all that had been done at Penn College. We went in the main entrance and then basically went up and down every street inside the campus.

Out of everywhere we went that day, the biggest Wow! from Father John was at Penn College; he could not believe the progress, new construction, and how beautiful it was. He had seen it personally as Williamsport High School when I believe he said it became Williamsport Trade School which became Williamsport Area Community College (or WACC) and watched the transformation into Penn College.

He was simply amazed at how this old City high school had been nurtured and developed into this beautiful college campus. I wish he could see what it looks like today and be explained the most important effect the graduates are having on the current world we live in.

What triggered my thoughts last week about this was when the Pennsylvania College of Technology named its new President, Michael J. Reed. Which I believe is an outstanding choice. I’ll cover this a little later. What I want to begin with is that amazing transformation from WACC to the Pennsylvania College of Technology. We cannot forget the foresight, commitment to educating young people and preparing them for the American workforce, and just the flat-out determination former President Robert Breuder exhibited to make this happen. He took WACC and turned it into a first-class educational facility.

We also need to recognize and honor outgoing President Dr. Davy Jane Gilmore. She continued on full speed ahead with a plan for Penn College that has made it one of the best educational facilities in the Country in applied technology education. It’s hard for me to believe 24 years have passed since she was appointed. That time truly flew by in the blink of an eye.

That leads us up to the new headman on campus, Michael J. Reed. A true born, raised and committed to what’s best in Penns Woods gentleman. He is a native of Glenshaw just outside of Pittsburgh. He’s been involved in education at almost every possible level, from William Penn Harrisburg to Upper Dauphin Area High School and some time spent as the principal at the Williamsport Area High School. I’m probably leaving a few out; his resume goes on and on.

His college and continued education are completely rooted in the Keystone State. Drexel University, IUP, Clarion, Penn State, He even completed a 9-month Executive Leadership Series Training Course offered by the Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce.

All that being said, what makes him the right man at the right time for the job is the fact that he’s a proven winner as a businessman. In a day when all colleges and universities need to move away from the purely academia leadership card into the real world, that’s exactly what the Pennsylvania College of Technology has done.

Mr. Reed is a managing partner at RSY Real Estate, which stands for the Reed and Shutey Team. More importantly than being the managing partner is that he is hands-on and has an impeccable reputation. In previous years he had great sales success working for AT&T, Wheeling Engineering, Protective Products International, and in his own landscaping project, The Lawn Barbers.

A college president that understands sales are the lifeblood of any business and how to budget and balance a P&L. Amazing.

Tip of my Pittsburgh Steeler Military Appreciation cap with the American Flag on the side to Senator Gene Yaw, Chair, and Penn College Board of Directors along with the Presidential Search Committee for bringing Mr. Reed to Williamsport. Did I mention that the new President has the same love of all that is Black and Gold that I do? Congrats, and go get ’em, President Reed.

In closing things out, a couple of tips of my orange Webb Weekly hunting cap with the American Flag on the side to the father/son duo of John and Tom Notor. They stopped by my office a couple of weeks back to get their bucks registered in the Uncle Ron’s Monster Buck Contest.

Papa John shot a beautiful 7-point. It marked the 25th year in a row that he has harvested a buck. He loves God, family, Country, and hunting, especially with his son. My kind of guy.
Tom harvested a 5-point, which had almost a 16” spread. It’s probably the nicest 5-point I’ve ever seen, just missing a little genetics. He had a streak of 11 seasons in a row with a buck snapped a couple of seasons back. He’s now begun a new one. The father/son tandem shot their bucks the same day. Congrats, and keep on hunting.

By getting registered, Tom and John are entered into our random rifle drawing and will have a donation made on their behalf to help fight MS. You can get your buck entered now thru January 18, 2022.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb