October 12, 2013

Pennsylvania Alliance Elects New Leaders at 2013 Triennial Convention

Delegates gathered in Grantville, PA elected Wayne Burton as the new President of PARA; Retiring President Jean Friday among those honored fortheir service to the organization

Grantville, PA:  On October 8th and 9th, 2013, at their Triennial Convention, the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans elected its new slate of officers for the next three years.  All four officers were sworn in by national Alliance President Barbara Easterling.

Wayne Burton, of West Chester, will serve as President.  Wayne was previously the Secretary of PARA, and was a volunteer Zone Coordinator as well.  In addition to PARA, Wayne is active in APSCURF, the retiree organization for the union of retired state university professors.  He is currently finishing his term as President of the statewide APSCURF, and is also President of the West Chester University chapter.  Wayne taught Political Science at WCU before retiring in 2000, when he made a run for the State House.  Wayne is PARA’s 3rd President.

“I’m thrilled to take on this new role as President of the Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans,” said Burton upon assuming his office.  “As we approach our 10th anniversary of being a chartered state organization within the Alliance for Retired Americans, PARA is seeing remarkable growth in our media presence, influence with decision-makers and grassroots activism.  Building on the strong foundation built by outgoing President Jean Friday and working with a great leadership team and committed volunteers around the Commonwealth, I know we can accomplish great things for Pennsylvania’s retirees.”

John White, a retired city worker from Philadelphia was elected Executive Vice President.  John was a heavy equipment operator and business agent for his AFSCME local.  The new Secretary of PARA is Dwayne Thomas of Fayette County.  Dwayne is a retired mine worker who is currently President of his local UMWA retiree chapter.  Mike Doyle of Bucks County was re-elected PARA Treasurer.

Also at the Convention banquet, two PARA leaders were honored for their years of service.  Outgoing President Jean Friday of Westmoreland County, who served in that role since 2007, was presented her award by President Easterling as well as by current and former staff members for her years of dedication to the organization.  Before becoming President, Jean was Executive Vice President of PARA since its chartering in 2004.  Jean will remain a PARA Board Member as President Emeritus.  Founding Board Member Charlie Kelly, of Northampton County, was also honored.  His award was presented by Jim Centner, the national director for the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR).  Charlie was the USW representative on the Board since PARA’s chartering.

“I really enjoyed my time as President of the Pennsylvania Alliance,” said President Emeritus Friday.  “I met so many amazing people who inspired me to work hard for our seniors.  I have every confidence in Wayne and his new leadership team and I look forward to staying involved to help them achieve new heights for PARA.  Our seniors are counting on us to win these important battles to preserve Social Security and Medicare for future generations so that we aren’t the last generation to retire!”

The Pennsylvania Alliance for Retired Americans, led by President Wayne Burton of Chester County, has over 300,000 members and 149 local affiliates across the Commonwealth.  PARA’s mission is to educate seniors and the public about retiree issues, and organize seniors to advocate for their interests in Harrisburg and Washington.  To learn more, visit www.pennretiredamericans.org.



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