The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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January 21, 2013

Home run for Showcase

Senator to be lead congressional sponsor

— Another of Washington’s big hitters has agreed to be lead congressional sponsor when the world-class Showcase for Commerce convenes in Johnstown in late May.

Pennsylvania senior U.S. Sen. Bob Casey will be present to shake hands and schmooze with executives of defense industry giants and other businesses.

He’ll assume a role handled in the past by the “Father of Showcase,” the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha, and his successor, former Congressman Mark Critz, who lost his seat in the November election.

“When Sen. Casey committed to support the Showcase and to help us with all the things that he’s offered to help with, it really was a tremendous boost to this moving forward and to continue as a national event,” Linda Thomson, Johnstown Area Regional Industries president, said.

We suspect Casey’s decision to participate was an easy one to make. Members of his staff have attended past Showcase events.

“We came to know how important it was not only for the region, but really for the state and country,” Casey said.

“For me, it’s an honor to be able to be part of this and have the opportunity.”

No question, Showcase historically has been invaluable to our region’s economy, and particularly to our industries that produce products for America’s armed forces.

After last year’s 22nd edition, leaders were touting contract awards such as $31 million and $60 million, and one that could grow to $292 million.

“Not a bad day’s work,” Concurrent Technologies Corp. CEO and Showcase chairman Ed Sheehan said at the time.

Our readers will be seeing and hearing much more about Showcase planning over the next few months.

It’s an exciting and rewarding event we look forward to each spring. 

We would expect that Showcase organizers soon will be announcing that our new congressman, Keith Rothfus, will play a role in the activities.

In the days leading up to last fall’s election, Rothfus acknowledged meeting with several of our region’s defense industry leaders.

Showcase will be a wonderful opportunity for him to expand on those relationships and to witness firsthand the workmanship of some of our big players in business and industry.

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