NANTY GLO —
The Cambria County commissioners formally approved the appointment of AmeriServ CEO Glenn Wilson to the newly formed county Economic Development Authority during a Thursday meeting at the Blacklick Valley Elementary Center.
Wilson is the sixth member to be appointed to the authority and President Commissioner Douglas Lengenfelder said the board is still reviewing the seventh appointee to round out the authority.
He said Wilson’s appointment came on recommendation from authority members.
According to a Bloomberg Businessweek profile, the Towson State University business management grad has more than 30 years of banking experience. He joined AmeriServ in 2004 and was named CEO in 2009.
Locally, Wilson also stands on the Johnstown Regional Partnership board, the Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board, the Lift Johnstown Initiative board and is assistant treasurer on the Johnstown Area Regional Industries board of directors.
According to Lengenfelder, the authority is still in the early administrative process – it established bank accounts and appointed a committee chair at its first meeting earlier this month. When Wilson joins, he will begin to help shape the authority, which is charged with establishing a foreign trade zone at the Johnstown/Cambria County Airport.
“This next meeting will be a discussion more in terms of what sort of structure do they want,” he said. “Who do they believe they’re going to hire for expertise in terms of legal advice, advice in terms of economic development.”
Lengenfelder named attorney Jose Latour as a legal aide the authority was considering. Latour’s expertise is in EB-5, or an employment-based immigration program that offers special federal considerations for foreign investors.
“This Economic Development Authority will actually provide information proposals and a conduit for some of these investors and it will work both ways,” Lengenfelder said. “Of course, the foreign trade zone is rather than just getting a completed product into the United States.”
“You bring in a partial product and create U.S. jobs in completing the product.”
Commissioner Mark Wissinger said that after attending a Southern Alleghenies Planning Commission meeting in Altoona, he was emboldened by at least 23 representatives from different countries that were interested in U.S. investing.
“We are certainly still in the business of shipping goods out from our country,” he said.
Justin Dennis is a multimedia reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/JustinDennis.