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Centre Daily Times to Convene Pennsylvania Priorities Summit


Panel and Audience Discussion Focuses on Rural Broadband Crisis
Governor Tom Wolf to Issue Opening Remarks

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. April 22, 2019 -- The Center Daily Times will bring together thought leaders from across Pennsylvania and community members from in and around Centre County on Wednesday, April 24 at The State Theatre for a Pennsylvania Priorities Summit focused on Pennsylvania’s rural broadband crisis.

The summit marks the culmination of CDT’s month-long Pennsylvania Influencer Series which took an in-depth look at the state’s digital divide, how it developed and potential fixes. Fourteen influential Pennsylvanians contributed their views on the commonwealth’s broadband challenges for the series. Those influencers will participate in panel discussions at the summit. Attendees from the public will also have the opportunity to join in the conversation.

Governor Tom Wolf is scheduled to kick off the Pennsylvania Priorities Summit with opening remarks. McClatchy’s East region editor, Kristin Roberts, and Jessica McAllister, executive editor of Centre Daily Times, will serve as panel moderators.

“From students to seniors, from farmers to pharmacists, all parts of our rural population are deeply affected when internet connectivity is unreliable,” said Janet Santostefano, president and publisher of Centre Daily Times. “Tackling this problem will take a community-wide commitment. We’re proud to have sparked these thoughtful conversations among people who are passionate about improving broadband access, and we look forward to reporting on needed policy and infrastructure changes that we believe will result from this effort.”

Panel One: The problem (Kristin Roberts moderates)


  • Tom Charles, Mount Nittany Health executive vice president, system development and chief strategy officer
  • Tammy Gentzel, Centre County United Way executive director
  • Sascha Meinrath, Palmer Chair in telecommunications, Penn State
  • Brian Griffith, Penns Valley Area School District superintendent
  • Matt Nussbaum, Geisinger Health System associate vice president-regional operations
  • Denise Sticha, Centre County Libraries executive director


Panel Two: Private sector solutions (Jessica McAllister moderates)

  • Michael Kubit, Penn State vice president for information technology and chief information officer
  • Steve Samara, President, Pennsylvania Telephone Association
  • Vern Squier, Centre County Chamber of Business & Industry president and CEO
  • Wayne Campbell, Pennsylvania State Grange president


Panel Three: Public sector solutions (Kristin Roberts moderates)

  • Curt Coccodrilli, USDA Rural Development in Pennsylvania state director
  • Margaret Gray, Centre County government administrator
  • Norman Kennard, Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission
  • Charima Young, Penn State director of local government and community relations

Funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports The Influencer Series and the Pennsylvania Priorities Summit.

Limited seating for the event is still available. Attendees must register at this link.

Doors open at 9:45am. Program begins at 10am. The State Theatre address: 130 West College Avenue, State College, PA 16801

About Centre Daily Times
The Centre Daily Times is the number one source for local news for Centre County, Pennsylvania. Centre County is home to Pennsylvania State University, one of the most well-known and largest universities in the country with more than 45,000 students attending the University Park campus.

Media contact:
Melanie Jensen | mjensen@mcclatchy.com | (o) 916-694-7205 | (c) 503-310-4539