House Republican Leadership:
Speaker: Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny)
Mike Turzai was unanimously elected Speaker of the House on January 6, 2015 by his House Colleagues; he is now in his eighth term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Winning a special election in 2001 for a seat in the 28th Legislative District, Mike represents communities in the North Hills of Allegheny County.
Born in Sewickley and raised in Moon Township, Mike developed his tenacity and strong work ethic from his parents and family. After graduating from Our Lady of Sacred Heart High School in 1977, Mike earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame before earning his Juris Doctor from Duke University in 1987.
Leader: David Reed (R-Indiana)
Serving his seventh term in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Dave Reed represents the 62nd Legislative District. In November 2014, Reed was elected by his colleagues to be the Majority Leader of the 199th legislative session of the General Assembly, a position he assumed on December 1, 2014.
Dave graduated from Homer-Center High School, where he was on the baseball and football teams. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from the Robert E. Cook Honors College at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). He served as an intern for Gov. Tom Ridge’s Policy Office for Community and Economic Development, where he continued to demonstrate his strong work ethic.
Dave’s graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he received a Master of Governmental Administration Degree, focused on effective and efficient government. Dave, his wife, Heather, their son, Joshua, and their two daughters, Gracie and Ellie, live in White Township. The Reeds are members of Grace United Methodist Church and participate in numerous civic and community organizations.
Appropriations Chairman: Stan Saylor (R-York)
Stanley E. Saylor, state representative for the 94th Legislative District, York County, was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1992.
He has been appointed to serve on the Pennsylvania Higher Education Facilities Authority, the State Public School Building Authority and the Education Commission of the States by the Speaker of the House for the 2015-16 legislative sessions. Stan is also a member of Temple University’s Board of Trustees.
A member of St. John’s United Church of Christ in Red Lion, Stan also belongs to the Red Lion Library, Stewartstown Library, Red Lion and Mason-Dixon Business Associations, Red Lion Lions Club, Red Lion Masonic Lodge, York County Farmer’s Association, Pennsylvania Farmer’s Association, Red Lion Grange, Red Lion Historical Society, White Rose Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, and an Honorary Life Member of the Southern York County Forest Fire Crew. He is also a member of the National Association of Sportsmen Legislators and the Hopewell Fish and Game Club.
Stan graduated from Dallastown Area High School, and majored in political science at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He resides in Windsor Township, York County.
Whip: Brian Cutler (R-Lancaster)
Bryan Cutler was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2006 and began serving as the majority whip in 2015. As the whip, he is responsible for tracking House votes and informing his Republican colleagues on upcoming issues and legislation.
A lifelong resident of the Peach Bottom area and a graduate of Solanco High School, he has shaped his priorities and values as he works in his current position.
Prior to his election to the House, Bryan worked at Lancaster Regional Medical Center as an X-ray technologist, providing direct clinical care to patients, while attending law school. Prior to law school, he was the Support Services manager for Lancaster General Hospital, where he oversaw the budgets and daily operations of several sections in the radiology department.
Caucus Chair: Marcy Toepel (R-Montgomery)
Now into her third full term as state representative of the 147th Legislative District, Marcy Toepel was appointed to serve as a deputy policy chair for the House Policy Committee during the 2015-16 legislative session. In addition she has been re-appointed Deputy Whip for the 2015-16 session.
Prior to being elected to the House of Representatives, she served as first deputy to the Montgomery County Clerk of Courts and more recently to the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds, where she was recognized as Montgomery County Courthouse Employee of the Year in 2006. In addition to her work with the county courts, Marcy enhanced her business experience by having held positions as an executive assistant and office manager for locally owned businesses.
She also has served on the Boyertown Area School Board. Her work with area youth extends to serving as a former PTA president and a former volunteer coach and referee with the Boyertown Optimist Club Youth Sports Programs and the Boyertown Baseball League.
Marcy and her husband, Mark, reside in Douglass Township. They have five grown children and 10 grandchildren.
Caucus Secretary: Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion)
Rep. Donna Oberlander was sworn in to serve her fourth term as state representative for the 63rd Legislative District in January 2015.
A proud graduate of Clarion University where she actively serves as a member of the university’s Council of Trustees, in 2004 Donna was successfully elected to the Clarion County Board of Commissioners, where she aggressively worked to control local government spending and took an active role in strategic planning for economic development and growth.
Donna resides in Clarion with her husband, Derek, a United States Marine Corps veteran, and their two children, Tori and Tanner.
Caucus Administrator: Kurt Masser (R-Columbia)
State Rep. Kurt Masser was elected to represent the people of the 107th Legislative District in 2010. As their voice in Harrisburg, Kurt is focusing his legislative efforts on controlling state spending, keeping taxes low, fostering economic development, and protecting Pennsylvania’s children and senior citizens.
Kurt is active in the community, having served as president of the Elysburg Fire Company and a coach of the Ralpho Township Youth Sports Leagues. He is a life member of the Brady Fire Company and he is a member of the Free and Accepted Masons and the Reformed Church of Christ.
Kurt is a graduate of Line Mountain High School and Northumberland County Vocational Technical School.
Kurt believes his greatest achievement is his son, Glenn, who graduated from Bloomsburg University in 2010 and graduated from law school in 2013. Kurt raised his son in their Elysburg home, where Kurt still resides.
Policy Chair: Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre)
As a former hospital orderly and two-term Centre County coroner, Kerry has an interest in health care policies and has been an outspoken advocate for childhood cancer research. He is a founder and current chairman of the Cancer Caucus.
Kerry is a charter member of Leadership Centre County and formerly served on the board of directors of Easter Seals of Central Pennsylvania and the Bellefonte YMCA. He is a member of the Bellefonte Kiwanis Club, the Fraternal Order of Police, Bald Eagle Lodge No. 51, as well as an active member of Faith United Methodist Church in Bellefonte. He serves on the board of directors of Centre Home Care Inc. and also formerly served as co-chairman of the bicameral Penn State Forum on Higher Education.
Kerry is a graduate of State College Area High School and attended Pennsylvania State University. He also is a graduate of the Certified Coroners Training Program conducted in Hershey by the state of Pennsylvania.
Kerry resides in Bellefonte and is the father of five children – Michael, Heather, Amy, Kelley and Ryleigh. At the end of 2010, Ryleigh succumbed to cancer.
House Democratic Leadership:
Leader: Frank Dermody (D-Allegheny)
Frank was a talented three-sport athlete in high school and went on to play football at Columbia University in New York City. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Columbia in 1973 and then worked in sales in New York while saving money for law school.
Dermody succeeded in his first try at elected office, joining the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1990. He has been re-elected from the 33rd District every two years since then and served as chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts in the Judiciary Committee, chairman of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation, Caucus Secretary from 2006 to 2008 and chairman of the Urban Affairs Committee in 2009.
Frank and Debra Dermody reside in Oakmont. They have two children, Frank and Cara.
Appropriations Chairman: Joe Markosek (D-Allegheny)
Joe Markosek is serving a 17th term as the representative for the 25th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. During his 30-plus years in office, he has never missed a day when the House was in session.
Joe is a 1972 graduate of the University of Notre Dame. His son, Brandon, is a student at Duquesne University. Rep. Markosek is a life-long resident of Allegheny County and is also an avid Pittsburgh sports fan. He is active in his church, St. Bernadette Parish in Monroeville.
Before taking office in 1983, Joe worked with Westinghouse Water Reactor Division as a buyer of nuclear components. He was sent to Three Mile Island as part of the repair/recovery team immediately following the nuclear accident in 1979.
Whip: Mike Hanna (D-Clinton)
Born in Lock Haven, Representative Mike Hanna has served the people of the 76th Legislative District, which consists of Clinton County and parts of Centre County, since 1991. He and his wife Susan reside in Lock Haven and they are the proud parents of two sons, Michael, Jr. and Kevin.
Hanna graduated from Lock Haven High School in 1971 and went on to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree from Lock Haven University. Hanna went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980.
Rep. Hanna practiced law for 10 years before being elected to represent the 76th Legislative District. Hanna's full-time law practice focused on Family Law and Civil and Criminal trial work. Hanna maintains a small business, estate, and real estate practice.
Caucus Chair: Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny)
Frankel was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and returned a few years after finishing college to live and work in his home city. As chairman of the Pennsylvania Jewish Coalition, he initially worked with the Pennsylvania legislature as an advocate for appropriate funding for those non-profits caring for vulnerable residents, and he remains a strong advocate for those community organizations fulfilling one of government's critical roles – caring for citizens in need.
Other board service includes membership on the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees and the State Employee Retirement System board. Previously, Rep. Frankel served as a commonwealth trustee for the University of Pittsburgh; past president of the Jewish Family and Children's Services board, where he remains an emeritus member; and on the boards of Magee Women's Research Institute, WQED Multimedia and the Jewish Healthcare Foundation.
Frankel recently received an award as one of 12 male leaders promoting gender equity in Pennsylvania from the Women and Girls Foundation. Other awards include:
- Legislator of the Year, Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers
- Special Recognition Award, Greenfield Organization
- Citizen of the Year Award, Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition
- Stark Leadership and Levinson Community Relations Awards, Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh
- Marjorie H. Matson Award, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the ACLU
Frankel graduated from Pennington School in 1974. He earned his bachelor's degree in political science in 1978 from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. In 2000, he completed a certificate program for senior executives in state and local government at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Formerly an insurance executive, he served as vice president of Hilb, Rogal and Hamilton Co., and as vice president of the Frankel Co., a regional insurance brokerage firm.
Rep. Frankel was first elected to the legislature in 1998. He and his wife Debra have three children.
Caucus Secretary: Rosita Youngblood (D-Philadelphia)
State Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood was first elected to serve in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives on April 19, 1994. Throughout her tenure, Youngblood has focused on serving the constituents of the 198th Legislative District by introducing several issue-specific pieces of legislation and sponsoring a variety of community outreach programs and activities.
- B.A., Antioch University
In 2011, Rep. Youngblood was appointed Democratic chairwoman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee.
Caucus Administrator: Neal Goodman (D-Schuylkill)
State Rep. Neal P. Goodman is serving his seventh term representing residents of Schuylkill County’s 123rd Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
He is part of the House Democratic leadership team, elected by his colleagues to a second term as caucus administrator. In that role, he is responsible for ensuring caucus operations run smoothly.
A graduate of East Stroudsburg University, Goodman has served the public through state government for more than two decades.
He started his career in public service with the House Democratic research office, and served as chief of staff to former state Rep. Edward J. Lucyk from 1993 to 2002. During his tenure as top aide, he served as executive director for the Veterans Affairs Committee, as well as the Tourism and Recreational Development Committee.
Goodman served in the United States Marine Corps from 1982 to 1988 when he was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.
Policy Chair: Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster)
Michael Sturla, state representative for the 96th Legislative District (Lancaster County) was born and raised in Lancaster County. He graduated from Garden Spot High School in 1974 and from the University of Kansas in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in Environmental Design. While still in college, Mike started a small painting and renovating business with his brother that later became Sturla Brothers, Inc. Construction and Contracting. Mike would later form Aarchitrave, an architecture and design business with several partners.
Mike began his public service in 1987 when he was elected to Lancaster City Council. He also served as a member of the Lancaster County Planning Commission in 1990 until his election to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1991. For the past 20 years, Mike has diligently served the citizens of the 96th District, which includes Lancaster City and parts of Lancaster Township and Manheim Township. He also volunteers in the community and serves on various boards, including the Shreiner-Concord Cemetery, Lancaster County Workforce Investment Board and the Stevens College Community Advisory Council.