HARRISBURG (June 11, 2019) — The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation announced its new leadership team for the 2019-20 bar year. Its board of directors consists of 22 voting members that manage the foundation, including officers, elected directors and designated directors by appointment.
The following members began their positions at the close of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Annual Meeting in Lancaster on May 16.
Jeffrey M. Bower, of Bower Law Associates PLLC in State College, is serving his third and final year as president of the foundation. He is a former member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Board of Governors, the PABAR-PAC Board and the Centre County Bar Association Board of Governors as a past president. Bower’s practice focuses on estate planning and business law.
Samuel D. Miller III, a private practitioner in Lansdale, is vice president of the foundation. He previously served the foundation’s board of directors from 2007 to 2013 and is a Commonwealth Club Fellow. He is a past president of the Montgomery Bar Association and Montgomery Bar Foundation and the PBA Conference of County Bar Leaders. Miller represents lawyers and law firms in disciplinary matters.
Larry E. Coploff, of the Lock Haven law firm of Coploff, Ryan & Welch, is the foundation’s treasurer. A longtime member of the PBA House of Delegates, he most recently served as a PBA zone governor representing Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk and Potter county lawyers. Coploff handles transactional matters, such as residential and commercial real estate, organization of business entities, and contract review and drafting, in his law practice
Christine Hall McClure, of Knox McLaughlin Gornall & Sennett PC in Erie, is secretary of the foundation. A current member of the PBA House of Delegates, she previously served as the foundation’s vice president, as secretary of Pennsylvania Bar Trust & Insurance Fund and on the PBA Board of Governors. McClure’s practice includes estate planning, representation of borrowers or lenders in business transactions, general business counsel, municipal and school district law.
Tyrone A. Powell, Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, Harrisburg, is immediate past president. A former Dauphin County Bar Association board member and past president of the Keystone Bar Association, he continues to head Keystone’s Continuing Legal Education Committee and serves on its Executive Committee. In his current role with the state, Powell oversees regulatory enforcement and investigations of fraud, waste, abuse and misconduct in executive agencies.
The following board members are serving the first year of three-year terms.
Christopher Gvozdich, Gvozdich Law Offices, Ebensburg, previously served on the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Board of Directors from 2008-11 as a designated director. He is a member of the PBA House of Delegates and a former chair of the Cambria County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. Gvozdich was a former coordinator of Cambria County’s Mock Trial program and selected for the 2013-14 PBA Bar Leadership Institute. His practice focuses on the drafting of commercial loan documents and other transactional matters.
Rhodia D. Thomas, executive director of MidPenn Legal Services, Harrisburg, is president of the Pennsylvania Project Directors Association, a member of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association board of directors, a member of the PBA House of Delegates and a co-chair of the PBA Minority Bar Committee Minority Attorney Conference Planning Subcommittee. She is a former secretary of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute.
The following board members are serving the first year of their second of three-year terms.
Michael Jones, McMillen Urick Tocci & Jones, Aliquippa, is the immediate past president of the Beaver County Bar Association, a member of the PBA House of Delegates and vice chair of the PBA Bylaws Committee. He formerly was a member of the PBA Board of Governors representing members in Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Lawrence and Mercer counties. A civil litigator, Jones’ trial experience trial includes wrongful death, defective products, negligent security, professional negligence, insurance coverage disputes, municipal claims, employment disputes and commercial litigation.
Kelly A. Mroz, Penn State University, State College, serves on the PBA Board of Governors representing lawyer members in Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk and Potter counties lawyers. Since 2018, she has been a voting member of the PBA House of Delegates, the policymaking body of the association. Mroz was also a voting member of the House from 2003 to 2004 and 2006 to 2012. She directs student legal services at Penn State.
The following designated directors are serving one-year terms.
James R. Antoniono, DeBernardo Antoniono McCabe & Davis PC, Greensburg, is the immediate past president of PBA Conference of County Bar Leaders, a former zone governor on the PBA Board of Governors representing member lawyers from Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties and a member of the association’s House of Delegates. This is his second consecutive year serving as a designated director. Antoniono is a former president of the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, the Westmoreland Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Westmoreland Bar Association. He focuses his practice on personal injury with emphasis on construction accidents, aviation accidents, auto accidents and head injuries.
Alaina C. Koltash, executive director and senior legal counsel of the Education Committee of Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Harrisburg, is the immediate past chair of the PBA Young Lawyers Division where she a one-year term as incoming chair and a one-year term as treasurer. She is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Conference of County Bar Leaders and the PBA House of Delegates. Koltash is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Board of Directors and the Widener Law Commonwealth Alumni Association Board.
Anne N. John of Mt. Lebanon, a private practitioner in Uniontown, became PBA president at the close of its Annual Meeting on May 17. She previously served as PBA president-elect from 2018-19, vice president from 2017-18 and secretary for the PBA Board of Governors from 2013-16 and a zone governor, representing Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland County lawyers, from 2009-12. John represents Pennsylvania in the American Bar Association House of Delegates and is a Hearing Committee member serving the Disciplinary Board of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. She is former president and secretary of the Fayette County Bar Association and has served several terms on its board of directors. John’s diverse practice includes civil litigation, criminal law, family law, municipal law, real estate law and wills and estates.
Shelly R. Pagac, Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP, Pittsburgh, is a former member of the PBA Board of Governors representing lawyer members in Allegheny County and the Allegheny County Bar Association Board of Governors and chair of its Women in the Law Division. She is a current member Academy of Trial Lawyers of Western Pennsylvania and a board member of the Professional Liability Attorney Network. As her firm’s Employment & Labor Practice Group leader, Pagac’s practice involves counseling, training and defending employers.
William H. Pugh of Erdenheim, Kane, Pugh, Knoell, Troy & Kramer LLP in Norristown and Philadelphia, is a former president of the PBA, a former zone governor on its Board of Governors representing members from Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties and a former member of its House of Delegates. This is his second consecutive year serving as a designated director. Pugh is a former president of the Montgomery Bar Association and its Political Action Committee and the Montgomery Bar Foundation. He represents physicians and hospitals in the defense of medical malpractice litigation.
The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable affiliate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, was incorporated in 1984 in response to the organized bar’s desire to become more involved in public service. The foundation works to increase the public’s understanding of the law and its appreciation of democracy and strives to ensure that Pennsylvania’s citizens have full access to the legal system.