Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors meets monthly to share reports, make decisions, and plan the overall operations of PWAC with the goal of furthering our mission, growing our community impact, and mapping out our future. Our board is comprised of men and women who come from a range of professional backgrounds who collectively contribute a variety of experiences, talents, and personal and professional knowledge to our organization.
Ms. Lynn Sibley joined the PWAC Board of Directors in 2012 and currently serves as the Board President. Ms. Sibley obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree and Master of Education Degree from Slippery Rock University. She retired from the Armstrong School District where she was a Health and Physical Education Teacher. In her free time, Ms. Sibley volunteers as County Coordinator for Ramps of Hope, serves as treasurer and gardener for the Ford City Garden Club, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Family Counseling Center. Ms. Sibley also enjoys gardening, reading, kayaking, and playing pickleball.
“As a teacher, I always enjoyed seeing my students with special needs making the most of their abilities,” she said. “Now, as a member of the PWAC Board, I am continually impressed with how this organization helps people to foster and improve on their abilities and move into productive and meaningful jobs in the community. I am thrilled to be a part of helping to make that happen.”
Mr. Robert (Rob) Watt has served on the PWAC Board for more than 20 years. Mr. Watt is the President of Watt Insurance Agency in Ford City, PA. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting. Mr. Watt also volunteers as the Curator for the Armstrong County Historical Museum and is a Board Member for Family A.C.T.S. In his free time, Mr. Watt enjoys spending time with his wife, Rajshree, their children Nathan and Lydia, and niece, Marissa. Mr. Watt says “My sister, Debra, was on the staff at a workshop in Cincinnati, Ohio for many years. When she passed away, I wanted to do something to contribute and carry on her legacy. I believe the Workshop is a tremendously positive experience for those individuals it serves.”
Chris Yanoff joined the PWAC Board of Directors in 2019. Prior to joining the board, Mr. Yanoff retired from the Pennsylvania State Police after 31 years of service. Mr. Yanoff is a graduate of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology. In his free time, Mr. Yanoff enjoys spending time with his wife, Alice, and daughters, Michelle and Natalie. He volunteers his time with the PSP Armstrong County Camp Cadet. Mr. Yanoff also enjoys hunting, fishing and physical fitness. “I joined the PWAC Board of Directors to honor my Godson, Damian. Because I am so involved in physical fitness, I knew that it was important to bring physical fitness education to him and others with special needs. As a police officer, I have also received special training in engaging individuals who have been diagnosed with mental illness and special needs and wanted to bring that to the table.”
Ms. Sonie Mervis joined the PWAC Board of Directors in 2008. She currently serves as the Board Treasurer and is a member of the Board’s membership committee. She retired as the Armstrong County Treasurer after serving the County for 20 years. Her first love is her family, as she has been married to her husband, Bob, for 55 years. Together they have three daughters, four granddaughters, one grandson and two great-granddaughters. Prior to COVID, Ms. Mervis volunteered for five years at the Richard G. Laube Cancer Center and for four years as an usher at the Benedum Center for the Performing Arts. She attends the First Baptist Church – Kittanning where she serves as a Sunday School teacher and does women’s work. In her free time, Ms. Mervis is an avid gardener with a great love for flowers. She enjoys traveling and has traveled to Europe, Asia, and recently went to the Holy Land.
“It is a privilege to serve as a Board Member and see how PWAC has changed the lives of people with disabilities,” she said. “PWAC is dedicated to assisting them to find dignity and self-worth through vocational training and work opportunities.”
Ms. LuAnn Frerotte joined the PWAC Board of Directors in 2010 and currently serves on the Activity Fundraising Committee. Ms. Frerotte retired from Windstream Communications after 43 years as an Engineering-Construction Analyst. Ms. Frerotte also volunteers her time for Relay for Life, serving on the Banking Committee. In her free time, Ms. Frerotte enjoys crafting and gardening.
“The Progressive Workshop is a great place for our clients to grow socially and intellectually as they reach their goals and become active members in the community," said LuAnn. "It gives me the opportunity to provide support to the staff in helping the clients learn new skills so that they can find jobs in the community and spread their wings.”
Mr. Gene Hughes joined the PWAC Board of Directors in 2011. He has previously served as Board Chair.
Mr. Hughes holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering, which he obtained from the University of Washington. He has almost 40 years’ experience working in environmental laboratories, mostly recently at CWM Environmental where he was Laboratory Director before his semi-retirement in August of 2019. Mr. Hughes is active at his church, St. John’s Lutheran in Kittanning, where he serves as Assisting Minister and Lector and is a member of the senior vocal choir, senior bell choir, and the Worship and Music Committee. He also serves his church as master of ceremonies for worship services. In his free time, Mr. Hughes enjoys riding his bicycle, walking, reading, and is an avid solver of the New York Times crossword puzzles. He also travels a few times a year to visit family in Connecticut and Washington, D.C.
Mr. Hughes believes that “Having a job one enjoys is a key factor in having a sense of self-esteem, life fulfillment and happiness, as well as social connections with others that can’t be obtained elsewhere. It is my great pleasure to serve on the Board, which helps the Progressive Workshop as it works towards helping our clients achieve these life goals."
Ms. McMeekin joined the PWAC Board of Directors in February 2023. She is a Senior Talent Acquisition Consultant at IDL in East Butler, PA and has been working in Western PA as a recruiter for 15+ years. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in human resources and marketing from Gannon University. She and her husband, Dave, have two daughters. After first connecting with PWAC in the fall of 2022, Jill helped foster a new relationship between PWAC and IDL that led to several crews of trainees working in production at IDL’s local facility. When asked about her interest in PWAC, she said, “Since first learning about PWAC, I have been committed to helping to spread the word about this amazing organization. I can whole-heartedly say that seeing two PWAC crews of trainees working onsite at IDL has been such a rewarding moment in my career; I would say it is a top 5 moment.”
Mr. Justin Snow joined the PWAC Board of Directors in September 2018.
“PWAC is an amazing organization and it has done so many positive things for this community," said Justin. "I truly feel that PWAC is setting a positive and uplifting example of what it means to care for one another and it makes me extremely proud to utilize my experience to serve as a board member of PWAC.”
Ms. Lee Walker joined the PWAC Board of Directors in 2008 and currently serves on the Fundraising Committee. She obtained a degree from the West Penn School of Nursing and is the owner of The Meredith Inn in Kittanning, PA. In her free time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her husband. Together, they share three children, one grandson, and one granddaughter.
Ms. Walker feels strongly about the importance of being on the PWAC Board: “My mother-in-law helped to start PWAC and I have a brother who is living with Autism and used to attend PWAC regularly. I feel very passionately about supporting and helping individuals who live with a disability and believe that we should focus more on their abilities.”
Ms. Linda Kuruc joined the PWAC Board of Directors more than 20 years ago and serves on the Personnel Committee. She is a retired learning support teacher for the Freeport Area School District. She volunteers at the Bishop Morrow Assisted Living Home in Leechburg and, in her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, David, their two daughters, and her twin granddaughters. Linda holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and also continued with her graduate studies at Duquesne University.
"By believing that all work has worth, I want to help people of different abilities be successful through the continuation of programs that help achieve that goal," said Linda. "The Progressive Workshop, with its many dedicated staff members, has been an agency that has provided meaningful and realistic services to our community of differently abled citizens for many years. I am proud to be a member on our board of like-minded members working toward our clients’ success."
Mr. Jim Swast is a lifelong member of the community. He joined the PWAC Board of Directors more than 25 years ago. Jim is a retired employee of Windstream Corp. where he held multiple positions over the years and retired as a Local Operations Manager. Jim is an active member of his church, St. Mary Our Lady of Guadalupe in Kittanning. Jim enjoys spending time with his wife, Amy, and daughters, Lindsay and Erica, along with grandchildren Alice, Sydney, Vince and Riley. In his free time, Jim enjoys bow hunting, fishing, golf, woodworking, skiing, and traveling.
"I find it very rewarding to serve on the Board of Directors for PWAC. This organization provides much needed programs and services for some of the most vulnerable members of our community. The management and staff here are completely invested in serving our clients and employees with disabilities. I have personally witnessed the joy and sense of self-worth our clients and employees have experienced when successfully completing a project or task. Payday at PWAC is a great day for people with disabilities in our community, who otherwise, without PWAC programs and services, would never experience the satisfaction of a payday!”
Amy works as the Branch Office Administrator for Edward Jones financial advisors in Kittanning. She received her degree from the Sawyer College of Business in Cleveland, Ohio. She has done mission work in Casa Grande, Arizona, and Diriamba, Nicaragua. She has also volunteered with the Alzheimer's Association and the Armstrong County Community Foundation.
Amy lives in Sarver, PA with her husband, Joe. Joe and Amy were high school sweethearts and have been married for more than 35 years. They have four children, two grandchildren, and two cocker spaniels. When asked why she wanted to serve PWAC by being on the Board of Directors, she said, "I always leave PWAC feeling better than when I went in and I feel blessed to be able to serve this organization."
Joseph Felschow joined the PWAC Board of Directors in February 2024. He is a Senior Machinist Technician and Social Impact and Sustainability representative at Cook Medical in Vandergrift, PA. He serves on PWAC's fundraising committee.
Joe graduated from Leechburg High School in 2006 and earned multiple certificates in the machining trade. He also attended Lenape Tech Adult Education programs as part of his schooling.
Joe has volunteered in a variety of capacities. He has been the president of the Leechburg Cemetery Company since 2012 and has held numerous officer positions as a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose. He also volunteers for Semper Gratus, and for Cook Vandergrift's Community Engagement Team, which gives back to the communities where Cook does business.
Joe has organized dozens of benefits to address a range of needs in his community, including raising funds for medical expenses, helping families who have lost their homes in house fires, and other causes. Since 2014, he has helped local families in vulnerable positions around Thanksgiving receive full meals; 143 families have been blessed by these efforts in that time.
In his free time, Joe enjoys fishing and barbecuing. He uses his love of BBQ to put on many of the benefits of which he is part. He also enjoys traveling back to Buffalo, NY, to visit his family and eat buffalo wings. He has two nephews, Jon and Ashton, who he loves dearly.
"I have had a working relationship with PWAC for the past year and a half through my position at Cook Medical, and I totally fell in love with their mission and message," said Joe. "From the first day I met Michelle, Bogie, and the PWAC employees and clients, I knew this was a special place, and something I wanted to be part of. I am grateful and honored to be asked to serve on the board for this prestigious organization, and I look forward to using my skills and resources to further their mission of 'Moving People Toward Jobs.'"
Dr. Nancy Kennedy joined the PWAC Board of Directors in November 2020. She currently serves as a Clinical Psychologist and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Drexel University School of Medicine, Allegheny Campus, where she teaches and supervises doctoral and post-doctoral psychology trainees and psychiatric residents. She also serves as Chief of Psychological Science and Clinical Practice for the Allegheny Health Network’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Institute.
Dr. Kennedy first obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Biology from Grove City College. She then went on to obtain a Master of Arts degree in Professional Psychology from Edinboro University and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kennedy previously volunteered as the Board President of the Armstrong/Indiana Drug and Alcohol Commission. In her free time, Dr. Kennedy enjoys reading, cooking, and cats. She also loves to travel and has a particular fondness for Northern California, Napa, Sonoma Valley, and the Mexican Riviera.
“PWAC is and has been an invaluable source of training, support, and community connection for many years," said Dr. Kennedy. "Clients of PWAC have unique needs that are met comprehensively through the programs and services of the agency. The skills of the clients are showcased and supported, increasing confidence and self-esteem for individuals."
Mr. Chris Evans joined the PWAC Board of Directors in 2022. He grew up in England where he earned a degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Nottingham Trent University. Chris currently works as the General Manager for Cook Medical in Vandergrift, PA. He enjoys spending time with his two daughters, and he enjoys watching, occasionally playing, and coaching soccer for them.
When asked why he chooses to serve on the PWAC Board, Chris said that “Cook Medical wants to engage and support the communities in which we are based. PWAC has such a positive impact in our community, and we want to do all we can to support their mission. I am personally honored to be asked to serve on the board.”
Mr. A. Ted Breuer joined the Board of Directors in 1982 and is fondly known as the “longest living member of the Board." Mr. Breuer attended Clarion and Penn State Universities where he received a degree in Safety Management. He retired from the position of Corporate Manager of Safety and Health and OSHA Regulatory Compliance at Allegheny Ludlum ATI. Mr. Breuer volunteers his time with the Ford City Fire Department, Ford City Ambulance, ACMH, Armstrong County Sports Hall of Fame and the Ford City Garden Club. In his free time, Mr. Breuer enjoys woodworking, trap shooting, shooting sporting clays, and gardening. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, Janet, who retired as an English teacher from Ford City High School, and their daughter, Dr. Gwen Breuer, who is the Medical Director of Hospital Medicine at UPMC St. Margaret. Mr. Breuer loves to see the progress that the clients make over the years while at PWAC. He felt compelled to serve on the Board because he has a niece in New York who has special needs and “saw early on what their workshop has done for her," so he "wanted to be a part of it."