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PLNA e-News: Protecting Values In Pennsylvania

PDA Names Three New Regional Directors

Wednesday, September 9, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gregg Robertson
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Harrisburg - Beginning in late 2019, The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture welcomed Mark Critz, Sara Gligora, and Joshua Scheinberg to the Secretary of Agriculture's Executive Staff as Regional Directors assigned to the Western, Central, and Eastern Regions of Pennsylvania.  The Regional Directors will provide a critical link between the agricultural community and the Secretary of Agriculture, while advocating, facilitating and providing connections and support to farmers and agricultural stakeholders in their regions. PLNA members have been encouraged to reach out to these new regional staff to say "Hi" or talk to them about problems or concerns.

Mark Critz, Western Regional Director and Executive Director of the Rural Development Council is a former U.S. Representative for Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District, having served from a special election in May 2010 until January 2013.  Mark, a Westmoreland County native, spent several years on Congressman John Murtha's staff serving as District Director from 1995-2010.  Following his tenure in Congress, Mark went on to work for the campaign of Governor Tom Wolf, his Agriculture transition team, and in 2015 was appointed as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Rural Development Council/Governor's Advisory Council on Rural Affairs.  In 2019, Mark accepted the additional role of Western Regional Director for the PA Dept. of Agriculture. Mark is a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning a B.S. in Management Information Systems, and currently resides with his family in Johnstown, PA. Mark can be reached at or 717-743-8696.

Sara Gligora, Central Regional Director and Special Assistant for Workforce Development has been involved with Workforce Development for the last four years.  Sara began her career with the state as a William Penn Fellow spending two years with the PA Department of Labor & Industry.  She has worked with the Apprenticeship & Training Office and the State Workforce Development Board.  Prior to working for the state,  Sara spent many years working in social services focusing on victims and survivors of domestic violence and children in the foster care system.  In 2016 she earned her Master’s in Social Service (MSW equivalent) from Bryn Mawr College with a focus on community organizing and public policy.  Sara resides in Selinsgrove PA. Sara can be reached at or 717.798.5048.

Joshua Scheinberg, Ph.D., Eastern Regional Director has spent nearly 10 years working in the areas of food safety and technical support to the small meat processing and food industry.  Josh spent 5 years as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Food Science Department at Penn State University performing research and outreach in food microbiology and food safety Extension education.  After earning his M.S. and Ph.D. in Food Science in 2016, Josh served as Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance for Godshall's Quality Meats Inc., in Telford PA until 2020.  Prior to his work at Penn State, Josh served in the U.S. Air Force as a Missile Combat Crew Commander from 2006-2010, completing his service at the rank of Captain.  Josh continues to serve in volunteer leadership roles for the Institute of Food Science and International Association of Food Protection.  He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the VT Corps of Cadets, earning his B.S. in Biology in 2006.  Josh currently resides with his wife and daughter in Phoenixville, PA. He can be reached at or 717-919-0377.

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