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Board of Directors

Gene Hughes

Gene Hughes

President

Gene earned his BS in Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington in 1971 and has worked as an analyst at water testing laboratories since 1983. He is currently Senior Technical Analyst and Technical Director for Chemistry at CWM Environmental, where he has been since 2003.

Gene's interests include participation in the Sr. Vocal and Sr. Bell choirs and also serving as the VP of the Congregation at St. John's Lutheran Church in Kittanning.

Gene has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Progressive Workshop since 2008, and has served as President of the Board since September 2011.

Although he did not have a solid knowledge of the work of the Progressive Workshop prior to coming onto the Board of Directors, he has since formed a strong commitment to its mission and purpose to help those who could not otherwise do so find support and employment, either at the workshop or in the communities of Armstrong County.

A. Ted Breuer

A. Ted Breuer

Vice President

Ted is currently known as the "longest living member of the Board". He is retired from his position as Corporate Manager of Safety and Health and OSHA Regulatory Compliance at Allegheny Ludlum. Ted has a niece in NY State who has a disability. Ted is proud to see the changes that PWAC makes in the lives of the individuals served.

Jim Swast

Jim Swast

Treasurer

Jim is the Local Manager at Windstream. He has been on the Board for 17 years and is proud to serve PWAC. Jim states “This organization has provided an essential service to our community for over 47 years.

Lynn Sibley, Secretary

Lynn Sibley, Secretary

Lynn is retired from Armstrong School District where she was a Health and Physical Education teacher. Lynn has been a member of the Board of PWAC for 4 years. As a teacher, she worked with disabled students who struggled academically and/or physically but had so much to offer to others. Lynn enjoys seeing the trainees in the Workshop setting where they are working, thriving, and happily producing goods and materials and contributing to their community. Lynn states “this is a joy and a privilege for me. It amazes me to watch this viable organization accomplish all it does in their lives and for Armstrong County.”

Roger Elkin

Roger Elkin

LuAnn Frerotte

LuAnn Frerotte

LuAnn has been employed as an Engineering and Construction Coordinator at Windstream for 42 years. She has been a member of the Board for 8 years. LuAnn states, "The Progressive Workshop is a great place for our clients to grow socially and intellectually as they reach their goals and become active members in the community. It gives me the opportunity to provide support to the staff in helping the clients learn new skills so that they can find jobs in the community and spread their wings".

Linda Yurchick Kuruc

Linda Yurchick Kuruc

Linda is a Learning Support Teacher at Freeport High School. She has been on the PWAC Board of Directors since 2000.

Being in education allows her to get to know students and help them become aware of their abilities for transition to life after school.

“I am honored to be a member of this board with people who promote growth for people with “different” abilities.”

Sonie Mervis

Sonie Mervis

I admire the dedication the entire staff of the Progressive Workshop has for the people with disabilities in our community. They are dedicated to assisting them find dignity and self-worth through providing vocational training and work opportunities. I consider it an honor to be associated with people who wish to enhance the lives of others. I have served on the Board of the Progressive Workshop since 2008 and am retired from the office of Armstrong County Treasurer.

Dr. Ryan Olsen

Dr. Ryan Olsen

Dr. Olsen currently owns and operates Olsen Chiropractic in West Kittanning. He has been a member of the Progressive Workshop Board of Directors for four years and states, "It's been an amazing experience thus far. To be a part of a program and board that focuses on the heart of Armstrong County is nothing but self-fulfilling. Each and every day this workshop strives to not only help but provide a nurturing, yet hard-working and loving environment for individuals to grow. The ultimate goal is to enable individuals that aren't as fortunate as many to live mainstream lives and the Progressive Workshop has done their part to do just that".

Rob Watt

Rob Watt

Robb is the owner of Watt Insurance Agency in Ford City. He has been on the board for 10 years. Rob says “My sister Debra was on the staff at a Workshop in Cincinnati OH for many years. When she passed away I wanted to do something to contribute and carry on her legacy. I believe the Workshop is a tremendously positive experience for those individuals it serves.”

Lee Walker

Lee Walker

Lee has been on the Board since 2014. She is currently an RN and has a brother-in-law, who does not reside in the area, with special needs.

Lee states “The Workshop has been such a blessing to me that I wanted to give back by being on the Board and seeing the Progressive Workshop continue forward movement in the future.”


Kara Shirley

Kara Shirley

Kara is an optometrist and partner at Armstrong Eye Care Associates. She has been there for 5 years. Kara has been on the PWC board of directors for 4 years. Kara says “I first wanted to join the PWAC board because my mom was a learning support teacher for 31 years and I was always inspired by her students. I thought the Progressive Workshop was an amazing organization that was able to support and provide jobs for the adults with disabilities and I wanted to be a part of that.”


Andy Sacco

Andy Sacco

Sharon Febinger

Sharon Febinger