Monday 18 June 2018
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As we begin a new month, we also turn the page on some exciting changes here at the Manufacturer & Business Association. Starting April 1, I proudly assume the role as president and chief executive officer of the MBA, while
recognizing the mentoring and leadership that has helped us reach this moment thanks to Ralph Pontillo, who is retiring after an incredible, 30-year career. During his time at the Association, Ralph has been a champion for small business and manufacturing, and I believe the foundation that he has set will remain strong for years to come.

As MBA Board Chairman Don Hester so aptly stated, “Ralph is extremely passionate about his job. He has always valued leaving something better than when it started, as can be clearly seen in the day-to-day operations of the Association. Ralph will be leaving the MBA financially sound and with a legacy of having built a great culture and organization that will continue to operate at extremely high levels of business and community involvement.”

ralph-pontilloRalph indeed has left an indelible mark. During his tenure, Ralph is credited with spearheading one of the Association’s most visible community outreach programs, the annual Roar on the Shore® charitable motorcycle rally. Over the past 10 years, the rally has generated more than $840,000 for local charities while providing an annual economic boost of more than $25 million thanks to its more than 100,000 visitors each year. We are proud that Ralph will take an active role in the leadership of Roar®, including the 2017 rally, set for July 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16.

See Pontillo’s final For What It’s Worth column.

I would personally like to thank Ralph for his leadership and the opportunities he’s given me to grow and develop in my role within the MBA. We are so proud of what we’ve accomplished and are excited and anxious to continue to serve our members in the fashion they’ve become accustomed.

Congratulations, Ralph! Your retirement is well-deserved!

And, speaking of leadership, it’s fitting that in this edition of the Business Magazine, we are taking a look at leadership and the future. Here, we’ll focus on the 10th anniversary of the Gannon SBDC’s Women in Leadership Development Conference, scheduled for April 27, at the Ambassador Banquet & Conference Center in Erie. We’ll also hear from Peg Tuttle of the White Turkey Drive-In in Conneaut, Ohio, about her best practices in training the next generation of workers, a program that we are now offering here for MBA members.

Also, be sure to view our special section celebrating the more than 100 graduates of the Association’s training programs. These participants and their employers recognize that the pursuit of knowledge on a continuous basis is what will help differentiate them as individuals and collectively as organizations from the competition. Here, at the MBA, we are proud to recognize their accomplishments, and we are excited about what the future has in store. I look forward to working with all of you on this next chapter!

John Krahe,
President and CEO
Manufacturer & Business Association