PENNSYLVANIA PARKS AND FORESTS FOUNDATION WELCOMES THREE NEW MEMBERS TO THEIR BORAD OF DIRECTORSDecember 23, 2020
The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation (PPFF), the only non-profit whose mission is to inspire stewardship of Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests welcomes three new members to their Board of Directors; Paul Fogal, Josie Byzek, and Mary Hirst.
Paul Fogal is a founding partner of Pocono Whitewater, Skirmish, and Pocono Biking and has over 40 years of experience as a park concessionaire in the United States and Canada. An avid traveler, Fogal has visited and recreated in all 7 continents. Through his business actively, Fogal has been involved in Pocono Mts. Visitors Bureau, Discover Lehigh Valley, Carbon Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development, America Outdoors, Friends of the Lehigh River, Lehigh Outfitters Association, Jim Thorpe Tourist Agency, and Wildlands Conservancy. He currently serves on the board of the Jim Thorpe Tourist Agency and Penn Forest Zoning Board, and has previous experience as a board member with the Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Corridor and the Rails to Trails Conservancy regional board.
“I would like to thank PPFF for the opportunity to serve on the board and look forward to helping maintain the outstanding quality of our Parks and Forest resources for myself and future generations.” Said Fogal.
Josie Byzek is the Executive Editor for New Mobility Magazine, an award-winning lifestyle magazine for wheelchair users that covers topics like travel, health & wellness, and parenting. Josie is past secretary for the Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania, has served as a school board member of Susquehanna Township School District and has chaired the SPIL and Education Committee of the Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council.
“There are so many accessible opportunities available in our state parks and forests, and I’m looking forward to helping the board connect Pennsylvanians with disabilities to these venues.” Said Byzek.
Mary Hirst is a newly retired park manager from the Ole Bull State Park Complex, and the first female field park manager in the state park system. A lifelong park user, Hirst now volunteers as the chair and founding member of the Friends of Ole Bull State Park, is an EMT and the President of the Kettle Creek Ambulance Association. During the summer months, she can be found campground hosting, sharing her knowledge of the outdoors with visitors to state parks. With vast knowledge of the workings of our state parks system, her input will be valuable to the foundation.
“Parks have played an important role in my life and in the lives of so many people. PPFF provides an important service to parks, both through financial support and volunteer recruitment. I look forward to staying involved with, and lending my continued support to the state park system as a member of this board.” Said Hirst.
These three board members join the existing twelve members of the board, which include:
Chair, Brad Mallory, former Secretary, PaDot
Vice Chair, Tina Molski, Director of Operations – REI’s East Coast Distribution Center
Secretary, Mary Soderberg, Retired, Former State Budget Secretary
Treasurer, Dr. Jim Grace, retired, Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry
Brian Clark, esquire, Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney
George Fernandez, CEO, the Latino Connection
Kate Harper, esquire, Timoney Knox, LLP
Brad Jones, President and CEO, Harristown Enterprises Inc.
Rep. Mark Longietti, Member, PA House of Representatives
Eric Madden, Vice President/Deputy Chief Marketing Officer at Johnson, Mirmiran and Thompson, Inc
Maria Montero, External Affairs Manager at Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority
Eric Williams, Community Affairs Liaison for the City of Pittsburgh, Mayor Peduto’s Office
“We are excited to welcome these new members to the Board of Directors of the Foundation,” said Marci Mowery, President of the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. “Pennsylvania’s parks and forests benefit from the vast expertise the board of directors brings to the issues and challenges facing these special places.”
Brad Mallory, Board Chair had this to say about the additions. “We are thrilled to welcome Paul, Josie and Mary to our Board of Directors. They bring a diverse set of experiences and skills to the Board but are united in their passion for and commitment to Pennsylvania’s state parks and forests.”