Sunday, December 8, 2019

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.

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

Vice President of Content

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.

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

Vice President of Media

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

Vice President of Legislative Information

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.

Nicole Trayer

Legislative Data Specialist

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

Vice President of Reporting Operations

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.

Marco Cerino

Philadelphia Bureau Chief

Marco Cerino is the Philadelphia correspondent for PLS Reporter, covering City Council, along with representatives and senators from the Delaware Valley. He can be often be found at the press table in Council Chambers taking copious notes. A lifelong Philadelphia-area resident, he's convinced Jim's has the best cheesesteaks but he wishes more people knew how good Marra's Pizza on Passyunk Avenue is.

Marco joins PLS from Temple University, where he completed his Master's in Fall 2017. He wrote for Temple Athletics, the College of Engineering, and The Temple News. He went to the University of Pennsylvania for undergraduate, completing his BA in History in 2007. He also writes for Catena Media in coverage of sports betting in New Jersey. Previously, he has written for Elite Daily and other freelance outlets.

To contact Marco, click here.

Emily Mistishen

Associate Editor

Emily joined PLS in October 2018 as a legislative reporter and editor. She graduated from Shippensburg University in 2017 as an English major with an Art minor, and while initially studying to be an English teacher, Emily decided to pursue her interests in writing and editing instead. She was born and raised in Harrisburg, and has been a band geek from middle school through college, participating in both concert band and marching band as a flutist. She enjoys exploring antique stores with her family, watching superhero movies, and reading.

To contact Emily, click here.

Andrew Bahl

State Government Reporter

Andrew joined The PLS Reporter in January 2019 to cover the General Assembly. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied journalism, political science and French. While at UW, he covered the Wisconsin State Legislature for the campus’ student newspaper, The Daily Cardinal, before rising to managing editor. After getting his degree in May, 2018, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Comoros, teaching English in a rural middle school.

When not in the Capitol, Andrew enjoys rooting on his beloved Tottenham Hotspur F.C. and the Baltimore Orioles. He also likes to travel, eat good food and burn off that good food by running.

To contact Andrew, click here.

Justin Sweitzer

State Government Reporter

Justin joined The PLS Reporter in February 2019 to cover the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Prior to joining PLS, Justin worked as a web reporter for WFMZ-TV and a content writer for Strunk Media Group. He is a graduate of Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, with a bachelor's degree in Professional Writing and minors in Digital Communication & New Media and Public Relations. When not in the Capitol, Justin can be found cheering on Philadelphia sports teams, eating good food, and spending time with his girlfriend.

To contact Justin, click here.

Sheri Melnick

Legislative Reporter

Sheri joined the staff at PLS in March of 2019 as a Legislative Reporter.

Sheri received her JD from The Marshall–Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary and received her BA in Justice from American University in Washington, DC. Her experience in state government includes previous work with the Office of Legislative Affairs with the Department of Human Services where she tracked legislation, met with legislators to resolve their issues, wrote testimony for testifiers, and worked on child protection bills. She also had writing experience through her work in freelance journalism and wrote book reviews for a major book review publication.

Born and raised in Maine and Virginia, Sheri enjoys spending her free time keeping up with her four grown children. She also likes to run, read, research her family history, and take her dog for long walks.

To contact Sheri, click here.

Harrison Cann

Legislative Reporter

Harrison joined PLS as a legislative reporter in June 2019 after graduating from the University of Maryland, College Park. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Multiplatform Journalism with a Public Leadership minor. While at UMD, Harrison covered Maryland sports for Terps Watch, a part of the campus’ student newspaper, The Diamondback. He also completed two internships covering the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis, and a news internship with The Morning Call in Allentown.

Born and raised in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, he has a love for both Pennsylvania and Maryland sports. When not at the Capitol, Harrison enjoys watching the Terps and Philadelphia 76ers, discovering new music, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

To contact Harrison, click here.

Sarah Fertsch

Legislative Data Specialist

Sarah joined PLS in September 2019 after graduating from Messiah College, earning a degree in public relations and politics.

While she was a student, Sarah interned at The Arc of Pennsylvania, Dauphin County Parks and Recreation, and the Office of Senator Bob Casey. She was also an active member in student government and the restoration sustainable living community.

She grew up outside Ocean City, NJ and loves the beach. You can count on finding Sarah with an iced coffee in hand, no matter the weather outside. She loves political philosophy, French cooking, reading, and painting with her friends.

In her spare time, Sarah works as a freelance journalist, writes grants for local nonprofits, and volunteers at the Susquehanna Art Museum.

To contact Sarah, click here.

John Dusablon

Sales and Marketing Associate

John joined the PLS Sales and Marketing team in late 2019, after overseeing a legislative service in Illinois. He has also operated services in Missouri and Hawaii, bringing with him decades of experience. Additionally, his background includes eleven years as an intelligence Analyst in the U.S. Army, serving in Bosnia, Germany, Korea, Colorado and Hawaii.

John was born in Anchorage, Alaska but was raised in Long Island, New York. He spends his free time reading, watching hockey and gaming.

To contact John, click here.