Erie Innovation District announces new board of directors

Joseph G. NeCastro named chairman

ERIE, Pa., May 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Erie Innovation District (EID), once merely an idea, has generated so much momentum in

recent months that organizers are reconstituting its Board of Directors to reflect more broad-based representation.

At the helm is Erie native and Cleveland resident Joseph G. NeCastro. In assuming the chairmanship of the EID Board, NeCastro said, “Now that we are moving forward, it is important to ensure that we are representing the entire city and receiving strategic guidance from a diverse group of board members.”

NeCastro said the new directors represent entrepreneurship, philanthropy, higher education, business and industry and provide assorted pathways to innovate and grow a modern, digital economy focused on safety and security in the City of Erie.

NeCastro retired in February 2016 from Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. During his 13 years with the Scripps group of media companies, he served as chief financial & administrative officer and chief development officer.   

Prior to joining Scripps, NeCastro was chief financial officer for Penton Media, Inc., where he played a leading role in the execution of Penton's spin-off and initial stock offering, as well as more than 20 acquisitions. He previously held senior financial positions at Reader's Digest and U.S. News & World Report.

NeCastro earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree in Accounting from Mercyhurst University, where he is vice chair of the university’s Board of Trustees.

“I left Erie when I was 23 and was lucky enough to do well for myself,” NeCastro said. “This is an opportunity to give back at a time when I hope I can make a real contribution.”

The fact that his brother, Tim NeCastro, CEO of Erie Insurance and chair of the Erie Downtown Development Corp., is heavily involved in Erie’s transformation is definitely an incentive for him.

“Having him in such an important role and with the ability to elicit meaningful change gives me confidence in what we are all trying to accomplish,” he said.

Joe NeCastro replaces David Dausey as EID chair. Dausey, former provost of Mercyhurst University, has returned to his hometown of Pittsburgh to assume the provost post at Duquesne University.

“Some of the original board members like Marco Monsalve and Joel Deuterman are remaining on the board, which will provide a smooth transition

for our new members,” NeCastro said. “I’d also like to give credit to Erie Innovation District CEO Karl Sanchack for the tremendous role he has played

in moving this important initiative forward."


Ann Beauchesne - Chief Executive Officer, Ridge Global Education

Joel Deuterman – President and CEO, Velocity Network

Michelle Griffith-Aresco – Vice President, Rick Griffith Properties

Tal Happenstall – Executive Vice President, Treasurer and President, UPMC Enterprises

Keith Kennedy – Senior Vice President for Strategic and Integrated Services, Erie Insurance

Matt Lechner – Region Vice President of Sales, MCPc

Douglas Lieberman – Director of Global Alliances, Dell EMC

Tim McNulty – Associate Vice President for Government Relations, Carnegie Mellon

James Martin – Erie Region President, Northwest Bank

Marco Monsalve – Chairman, McManis & Monsalve Associates

Paul Kenny – President and CEO, McManis & Monsalve Associates

Caleb Pifer – Vice President for External Relations and Advancement, Mercyhurst University

Leanne Roberts – Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Mercyhurst University.

The newly organized board will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, May 29.



In September 2016, with support from an Erie Community Foundation $4 million Shaping Tomorrow grant, Mercyhurst University and corporate partners Erie Insurance, McManis & Monsalve Associates and Velocity Network, Inc., began development of the Erie Innovation District to revitalize the region’s economy. The partners intend to execute joint projects related to the high-demand fields of safety and security, focused particularly on cyber security, data science and intelligence analysis, where their skills, combined with those of additional corporate and university partners, will create a powerful business alliance and serve as a catalyst for economic growth.



Joseph G. NeCastro, Chairman of the Board, Erie Innovation District

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