Tuesday, December 11, 2018

PLS was established in 2001 and has grown over the years to become the most powerful Pennsylvania online legislative research, tracking, media, and analysis service providing unique and exceptional access to Pennsylvania's policy making process. PLS's clients run the full gamut and include Pennsylvania's most influential legislative participants - lobbying firms, law firms, associations, corporations, state and local governments, educational institutions, health systems, state agencies, the entire General Assembly, and Pennsylvania's courts. PLS provides subscribers with more news and information than any other source.

Pennsylvania Legislative Services's online subscription service covers it all. PLS delivers the relevant news, data, and analysis through one centralized resource. The PLS system is fully customizable and accessible from anywhere, anytime and provides you with new opportunities and a competitive edge by using the PLS time saving, productivity enhancing, features developed by people with over 150 + years of combined state government experience.

Lynn Deary

President, Founder

Lynn Deary has been professionally involved in following Pennsylvania state government for more than 20 years. She began her legislative career in 1992 when she became a partner in the Pennsylvania Letter, a hard copy subscription newsletter which reports on Pennsylvania government for business interests. The Pennsylvania Letter provides the state's most influential business leaders with decision-making intelligence on committee meetings and hearings along with the legislative actions taken by the General Assembly.

In early 2000, Lynn recognized the need for legislative information to be provided electronically and in real time, leading her to found Pennsylvania Legislative Services (PLS) in 2001. Since the company's inception, Lynn has developed PLS into a comprehensive non-partisan reporting service covering Pennsylvania state government from both a legislative and media perspective. Over the course of its sixteen-year history, PLS has grown from three clients to more than 2,000. PLS services corporations, universities, statewide and national trade associations, hospitals, medical schools and health care institutions, the state General Assembly, current and past administrations, law firms, public utilities, and many others.

Lynn is widely recognized as a unique innovator in monitoring state government operations. She is a member of the Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce, West Shore Chamber of Commerce, PA Association for Government Relations, and an affiliate member of Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association. She holds a master's degree from Penn State and an undergraduate degree, with honors, from the University of Mexico majoring in foreign languages (yes, she speaks Spanish). She has been a teacher of English as a Second Language, French, and Spanish. Lynn's bilingual skills have enabled her to serve as a translator in judicial proceedings and other court-related matters. Her extensive "south of the border" experience has also led her into the group travel and convention business throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

In 2014 she co-founded the first "Capitol All Star Game" which featured our state legislators, both chambers, both parties, playing a softball game at First National Bank Park while raising funds for the food banks and food pantries across our state.

Lynn continues to focus on growing PLS into an even more diversified information service that leverages the talents of PLS's team of employees to develop new systems and services that will give clients the best advantage possible.

To contact Lynn, click here.

Kimberly (Hess) Howells

Managing Vice President

Kimberly joined PLS as an intern the day after she graduated from college and was hired full time later that year, taking over as editor of the Pennsylvania Letter (now Pennsylvania Business Recap). She now serves as Managing Vice President of PLS, ensuring that the company's daily operations function seamlessly. She also oversees PLS' growing reporting team and is editor of the Pennsylvania Business Recap and Capitol Recap, as well as the weekly subject recap publications.

Kimberly brings a wealth of political and public policy knowledge to PLS from her past experiences working and volunteering at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Her experiences have taught her, beyond a doubt, that all politics truly are local. Her political experience began in the Washington, DC, office of Maine Congressman John Baldacci, who later served two terms as governor of Maine. While interning in Washington, DC, she researched issues, wrote speeches, and managed constituent correspondence. Kimberly later returned home to Maine and volunteered on a successful Maine State House campaign for John Piotti, who went on to serve as majority leader. During her final semester of college, Kimberly was a Bipartisan Management Committee fellow, where she worked full time with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Local Government Committee. During her time with the committee she assisted in writing legislation and summarizing bills. She also wrote and defended an original piece of legislation, which would have legalized no-excuse absentee voting.

A native Mainer, Kimberly grew up in the small town of Freedom and moved to Pennsylvania to attend Dickinson College, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science. She now lives in Mechanicsburg with her husband and Siberian Husky/Basset Hound mix, Bo; Maine Coon, Casey; and the mischievous Gunner. New in 2015, she is also fumbling her way through motherhood to an adorable little girl. Kimberly enjoys reading, hanging out with her pets, rollerblading, driving Mini Coopers, and following politics. Although a fierce Mainer, she does not like lobster!

Kimberly is a member of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association and the Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association.

To contact Kim, click here.

Jeff Cox

E-WARN Editor, Legislative Reporter

Jeff joined the staff at PLS in November 2005, bringing over 30 years of experience in state government. He takes over as editor of E-WARN and is a part of the PLS legislative reporting staff.

Prior to joining PLS, Jeff served as the Legislative Liaison for the Pennsylvania Department of State and as Director of Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors. An Altoona native, he began his career as District Administrative Assistant to Senator Robert C. Jubelirer.

Jeff enjoys reading, especially American history, and touring Civil War battlefield sites with his son. He served as a volunteer historical interpreter for eight years at the Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg and he has written several book reviews for Civil War magazine. Jeff resides in Shippensburg with his wife, Mary, and his son, John.

To contact Jeff, click here.

Mike Howells

Associate Editor, Special Projects Coordinator

Mike has been with PLS since the autumn of 2005, and currently serves as Associate Editor and Special Projects Coordinator. Engaged in the day-to-day reporting and political coverage PLS is prized for, Mike is also responsible for a number of company-wide initiatives - notably the highly successful blog, FYI by PLS. He also coordinates PLS's internship program.

A graduate of Gettysburg College, Mike brings a political science degree and experience in writing, editing and new media to PLS, as well as a knack for thinking outside the box.

Born and raised in St. Albans, England, Mike moved to New Jersey and now lives in Mechanicsburg. He is a published author, an unabashed Yankees and Arsenal fan, a VW enthusiast, a music lover and always enjoys traveling. Mike is a member of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, the Specialized Information Publishers Association, and the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania.

To contact Mike, click here.

Matt Hess

Senior Legislative Reporter and Commonwealth Clips Editor

Matt Hess joined PLS in September 2008 as a Legislative Reporter. He is a resident of Harrisburg and a Bishop McDevitt graduate.

Matt graduated from California University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Public Relations. He was an active member of the Cal U of PA chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Matt was Treasurer for two years and his responsibilities included creating an annual budget, and organizing fundraisers and charity events. He received the "Distinguished Graduating Senior" award given by the Communications Department.

Prior to PLS, Matt gained legislative experience with three internships with the National Federation of Independent Business. During his tenure at NFIB, he assisted the state director and assistant director with a variety of legislative, political, and grassroots projects. His responsibilities included writing general news releases and articles for the NFIB website, researching issues of interest to NFIB members, and drafting member communications.

Matt enjoys spending time with family and friends and reading. He is a passionate Philadelphia Eagles fan.

To contact Matt, click here.

Nina Lehr

Vice President of Legislative Information

Nina began her career at PLS as an intern in September 2011 and formally joined the staff in May of 2012 as a Legislative Information Specialist.

Nina received her BA degree in Political Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in May 2009. She gained firsthand political experience as an intern in Washington D.C. in the US House of Representatives where she was responsible for writing press releases, constituent correspondence, and researching issues.

Nina was born and raised in Northern York County and in her free time she can generally be found outdoors, either kayaking in the summer or skiing in the winter, taking trips to her family cabin in Potter County, or spending quality time with family and friends. She loves to travel and her goal is to visit all 50 states.

To contact Nina, click here.

Deborah Hannon

Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Deborah recently rejoined PLS's Sales and Marketing team in 2015 after previously being employed at PLS from 2006 to 2011. Having a degree in Education and a passion for politics, Deborah enjoys working in Harrisburg alongside many other professionals involved in the political arena. Her involvement in state politics began with her employment with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and continued with her employment with a national consulting company where she worked as a Legislative Policy Specialist monitoring both state and federal legislation. In her spare time, Deborah also enjoys real estate and became a Pennsylvania licensed RealtorΠin 2010. Deborah continues to work in sales, develop seminars and give presentations while also being an active member of the Dillsburg Women's Club providing assistance to the community on special projects.

To contact Deborah, click here.

Kara Barmoy

Senior Multimedia Reporter

Kara joined The PLS Reporter just days after she graduated from Towson University in May 2016. She graduated with degrees in Journalism & New Media as well as Electronic Media Film. Kara joined the team as the Multimedia Reporter and enjoys covering press events and conducting on camera interviews.

Kara was born and raised in Westminster, MD and lived there until she moved to Towson for college. While in school, Kara was an intern for Baltimore local TV stations WBAL 11 News and also WJZ Channel 13 News. She enjoys being with her friends and family, traveling, and anything beach or lake related.

To contact Kara, click here.

Aaron Rider

Aaron Rider

Commonwealth Clips Contributor and Legislative Reporter

Aaron joined PLS in January of 2017 as a legislative reporter and contributor to the Commonwealth Clips. He resides in Butler Township, Adams County.

Aaron is a 2015 graduate of Houghton College, where he studied political science, theology, and history. He was also a member of student government. Prior to joining PLS, he worked as a sports correspondent for The Gettysburg Times newspaper, and still occasionally covers high school sports and local auto racing events.

A ninth-generation native of Adams County, Aaron loves rural life and agricultural issues as well as history. He enjoys hiking, hunting, researching genealogy, farming, and visiting historical places. A supporter of college and high school wrestling, he is a registered PIAA wrestling official and a frequent attendee of Penn State wrestling home meets. He is a member of Mater Dei Latin Mass Community in Harrisburg.

To contact Aaron, click here.

Becky Mehringer

Legislative Data Specialist

Becky joined PLS as a Legislative Data Specialist in February of 2017. Becky has worked in government affairs for multiple associations since 2012, focusing mainly on education and healthcare. Before joining PLS, she worked as a Government Affairs Specialist at LeadingAge PA. She also previously worked for the National Association for Gifted Children and the PA School Boards Association.

Becky earned a Bachelor's degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a big Terps fan and continues to attend football and basketball games in College Park. In her spare time, she enjoys playing volleyball, various outdoor activity, and traveling.

To contact Becky, click here.

Amyra Nadberazny

Client Services Representative and Graphic Designer

Amyra joined PLS in the Spring of 2017, after being previously employed as a legal assistant specializing in civil rights and appellate litigation. She brings her strengths of working with clients and managing a fast paced environment to the Sales and Marketing Team. She was born and raised in Connecticut, and holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Connecticut, where she was a division one rower.

Amyra enjoys traveling to visit family in Egypt or visiting other beach destinations, antiquing, and spending her time with her husband and daughter.

To contact Amyra, click here.

Jessica Richardson

Commonwealth Clips Contributor and Legislative Reporter

Jessica joined PLS as an intern in the spring of 2017 and was hired fulltime later that year as a legislative reporter. She was born and raised in York County.

Jessica is a 2017 graduate of Shippensburg University with a degree in Journalism and a concentration in Political Science. While attending Shippensburg University, she was a member of student government, assistant news editor of the school's paper and an intern for Shippensburg University magazine. She worked hard during her academic experience at Shippensburg and graduated summa cum laude.

Jessica enjoys spending time with her parents, older brother, older sister, niece and nephew. She is an avid animal lover and adores her golden retriever. If not found playing with her dog, she enjoys running, being with friends or cheering on her favorite football team: the Steelers.

To contact Jessica, click here.

Stephen Caruso

Harrisburg Bureau Chief

Stephen joined The PLS Reporter in Fall 2017 to cover Pittsburgh and Allegheny county politics. A native of Poughkeepsie, New York, Stephen graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in Spring 2017 with a degree in economics.

He discovered a passion for journalism at Pitt’s student newspaper, The Pitt News, where he worked all four years, covering campus protests, national politics and anything else to fill the pages. He has also interned at Pittsburgh City Paper, PublicSource and the Pittsburgh Business Times.

When he’s not reporting, you’ll find Stephen cooking, reading about history and politics, or vigorously cheering for the New York Yankees.

To contact Stephen, click here.

Nicole Trayer

Legislative Reporter

After interning with PLS in the summer of 2017, Nicole officially joined the staff as a legislative reporter in January 2018.

Nicole received dual degrees in Public Relations and International Politics from Penn State University in 2017. While attending Penn State, Nicole was involved in the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON), The Daily Collegian, the Penn State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and Army ROTC. Upon graduation, she commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Reserve where she serves as an Adjutant General Officer.

During college, Nicole also completed internships with the Penn State Office of Government and Community Relations as well as the American Enterprise Institute, a prominent public policy think tank in Washington, D.C. Through these experiences she found her passion for combining her love of writing with her interest in government and policy.

Nicole was born and raised in Lancaster County. In her free time, she enjoys CrossFit, being with her friends and taking care of her fur baby, Tucker.

To contact Nicole, click here.

Robert Cochran

Legislative Reporter

Robert interned at PLS in the fall of 2017 before returning as part-time legislative reporter in May of 2018.

Born and raised in Harrisburg, Robert attended Central Dauphin High School before graduating from Temple University with a Bachelor’s degree in journalism while also studying political science and public policy. During his time in Philadelphia, Robert participated in political campaigns, reported on Temple basketball games and bartended at the Chinese Lantern Festival before returning back to his hometown.

When not at the Capitol, Robert enjoys listening to podcasts, collecting vinyl records and cheering on the New York Giants.

To contact Robert, click here.

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell

Staff Writer

Atiya Irvin-Mitchell joined PLS in March 2018 as a part-time reporter for local government in Pittsburgh. Atiya grew up mostly in Pittsburgh, but doesn’t have an ounce of town spirit. She graduated from Chatham University in 2017 after studying Communications and Political Science with a focus in journalism.

At the end of her undergraduate experience she and her advisor turned her senior thesis into an academic article published in the Journal of Media Critics. Over the years she’s interned for The Student Guide to Pittsburgh, Planned Parenthood, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and Public Source

When Atiya’s not writing, she loves obsessing over musicals, spending time with animals, nostalgia watching anime, learning about mythology and feminist theory, and spends most of her time folded between the pages of books.

To contact Atiya, click here.