Introducing the Leadership Venango Class of 2023

Leadership Venango is a nine-month program designed to identify, educate, involve and motivate individuals who desire to become more effective leaders. This is the fifth year of the program and there are 15 people in the Class of 2023.

Learn more about the program at

Class of 2023

Amanda Barber works for Patterson Auto Wrecking, She is a FLEX member and has also volunteered with Venango County 4H, the Izaak Walton League, and VARHA.

Amanda Barker is the Branch manager of the Cooperstown Library. She has a bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in Library Science, both from Clarion University. She was nominated for FLEX Young Professional of the Year in 2021,  started a German Speaking Club in Franklin, and works with the Heritage Society in Oil City.

Jeanne Best is Marketing and Training Coordinator and WEDnetPA Partner for the PennWest Clarion Small Business Development Center. She is also a business owner of 10 years with a bachelor’s degree in business management. Jeanne has also volunteered for Clarion County ABATE, CASA of Venango County,  and been a member of Rotary.

Jess Funk is the Economic Development Specialist for the Clarion County Economic Development Corporation. She has a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University. Jess is a Board member of Clarion Blueprint, and serves as Secretary/Treasurer for Clarion Area Young Professionals.

Stacy Ginkel is the President of KJ Consulting & Environmental Services, which she founded in 2018. Stacy has been involved with the American Society of Highway Engineers since 2002. She currently serves on the Board of the Oil Region Alliance and ARTinCC, and is an avid runner with a love for working with trail groups to develop local trail systems.

Seth Herrick is a Project Analyst at UPMC Northwest. He began his career with UPMC as a Radiologic Technologist, then became the Clinical Coordinator of the Radiologic Technological Program, and now serves as an analyst in Operations and Administration. He has a master’s in Health Services Administration and is working on his doctorate.

Heather Hondel is the Marketing Assistant for the Venango Chamber as well as the Entrepreneurship Program Manager for Venango eAcademy, where she teaches local seniors. She enjoys being involved in her church, choreographing musicals for Cranberry High School, and being involved in shows at the Barrow Civic Theatre. 

Bill Hricsina is a Diesel Technician at Klapec Trucking  Company in Reno where he inspects, repairs, and maintains the fleet of around 80 trucks and 175 trailers. He earned his diesel technician certification from WyoTech  Blairsville and earned his CDL through Klapec Trucking Company. Bill is also a member of the Franklin Elks Club.

Bridey Keller is the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Venango County where she is responsible for recruitment for all County positions as well as day-to-day functions. She previously worked in marketing for the Punxsutawney Spirit Newspaper for 6 years and has volunteered with the Girl Scout Troop #26493.

Daniel Newbury is a Real Estate Entrepreneur who focuses on property renovation and development in Venango County. He was formerly a biology teacher in the United Arab Emirates and has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education in biology. Daniel is also involved in Youth Connection and a member of FLEX.

Deb Shevitz is a General Ledger Accounting Manager with North Carolina-based business called The Logistics Company. She  has earned bachelor’s degrees in both Accounting and Finance from Penn State Behrend. Deb was elected Jackson Township Auditor and volunteers as a Cooperstown softball coach and with a Relay for Life team.

Christian Snyder is the Human Resources Manager for the Crawford Area Transportation Authority. Christian has 12 years of experience in the Human Resources field, working previously for Vanderbilt University and the University of Pittsburgh.  He spends some of his free time coaching the Franklin Middle School baseball team.

Ben Vincent is a Senior Civil Engineer Supervisor in the Maintenance Unit with PennDOT, where he has worked for 11 years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Ben started volunteering with Cranberry Little League this Summer when his son started T-Ball.

Kate Whitling is the Project Manager at Schake Industries where she is responsible for scheduling, customer relations, risk management, business development, budgeting, and more. She has a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Slippery Rock and is working on her master’s degree in Project Management from Penn State University.

Kaitlinn Young is the Human Resources Coordinator at Webco Industries, who has locations locally in Oil City and Reno. She is currently working towards earning a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management. Kaitlinn is responsible for setting up interviews and assisting with the hiring process, as well as coordinating events.

These bios were also published in the Venango Chamber’s November 2022 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

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