We work hard to make sure Pennsylvania children get the best education possible. We realize education is vital to the future of our youth. With support from our donors and interested local citizens, Bridge Educational Foundation is boosting the educational achievement opportunities for children and families that would otherwise not be available to them.
Bridge raises funds through Pennsylvania’s Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program and Pennsylvania’s Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) Program. These landmark educational tax credit Programs afford businesses the chance to enrich the lives of Pennsylvania children by improving the quality of their education and better preparing them for a future in the workplace.
The EITC and OSTC Programs are simple: businesses receive tax credits for donations made to Commonwealth-approved, non-profit scholarship organizations, like Bridge, and families in need are able to choose the best education for their children.
Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Bridge has connected corporate partners with thousands of families who need their help. Our goal is to continue to serve as the bridge between good corporate citizens and families in need.
The Bridge Educational Foundation is governed by members of the Bridge Educational Foundation Corporation. The Corporate Members are responsible for guiding and directing the organization.
- Kelly GerdesDirector of Scholarship ProgramsKelly GerdesDirector of Scholarship Programs
Kelly is a founding member of Bridge Educational Foundation, serving as Bridge Educational Foundation's director of scholarship Programs. Kelly's experience includes working as an associate at one of Harrisburg's largest public affairs firms. Kelly was a vital part of the firms' grassroots lobbying efforts and daily client satisfaction and management. In this capacity, she was also instrumental in the firm's educational foundation, overseeing the daily administration of scholarship applications. During Kelly's tenure, the firm's educational foundation was one of the largest in the state. Kelly resides in Mechanicsburg, PA, with her husband and daughters.
- Natalie NuttExecutive DirectorNatalie NuttExecutive DirectorNatalie is a founding member of Bridge Educational Foundation and brings unparalleled experience in non-profit fundraising and administration expertise. As the Executive Director, Natalie serves many roles including management; budgeting; fundraising; compliance; and public and government relations. Natalie began her career as a fundraiser and event planner for the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. She then served as assistant state director to the nation's largest small business lobbyist, The National Federation of Independent Business. In this capacity, she advanced the small business legislative agenda, managed statewide grassroots activities, and developed the organization's political action committee. Before founding Bridge Educational Foundation, Natalie served as executive director of Bravo Educational Foundation where she was instrumental in its establishment, as well as development and management of its corporate outreach program. Natalie resides in Derry Township with her family.
- Peter A. Gleason, Esq.ChairmanPeter A. Gleason, Esq.Chairman
Peter Gleason has over 20 years of government relations expertise. Peter served under both Governor Tom Ridge and Mark Schweiker in Pennsylvania, which included a tenure as Governor Schweiker's Secretary of Legislative Affairs. In that capacity, he advised the governor, the governor's senior staff, and fellow cabinet secretaries on legislative, regulatory, and policy matters that affected all agencies under the governor's jurisdiction. In addition, Peter worked in the PA House of Representatives, PA Department of Labor and Industry, and the U.S. Senate. Currently, he is a partner at K&L Gates LLP and represents a diverse client base, including companies in industries such as manufacturing, rail freight transportation, emerging growth and technology, health care, and finance. He is a native of Johnstown, PA, and currently lives in Hershey with his family.
- James J. TricolliBridge Foundation Corporate MemberJames J. TricolliBridge Foundation Corporate Member
Jim Tricolli is Managing Director for Municipal Finance at Raymond James. Tricolli has over 30 years of experience in building and managing successful public finance businesses. Most recently, he was the co-head of Public Finance at RBC where he managed one of the largest municipal finance platforms in the country with operations based in New York City that included Municipal Banking, a top-five nationally ranked underwriter for municipal bonds, and a leading tax equity syndication team. . Prior to joining RBC Capital Markets, Mr. Tricolli was the head of public finance at Tucker Anthony Sutro Capital Markets. Mr. Tricolli is a registered securities representative, currently holding Series 7, 24, 50, 52, 53 and 79 securities licenses. Mr. Tricolli holds a B.A. in Economics and Policy and Management from Dickinson College.
- Dennis GiornoSenior AssociateDennis GiornoSenior Associate
Dennis has more than two decades experience in Pennsylvania government relations in various capacities. For five years, Dennis served as Executive Director of the REACH Alliance; Pennsylvania's leading school choice advocacy organization. During Dennis' tenure, REACH secured passage of the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program, which has been hailed as a national model for providing parents with choices in their children's education and funding innovative programs in public schools. Dennis is a native of Northeast Philadelphia and currently resides in Harrisburg with his wife Jill.
The Bridge Educational Foundation Board of Directors all served as advisors to the Corporate Membership. The Directors provide guidance and recommendations to the Members of the Corporation.
- Anthony C. Aliano, Esq.Anthony C. Aliano, Esq.
Chief of Staff
Office of the Majority Leader
A native of Susquehanna County, Tony Aliano has over 15 years of distinguished service with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. During the first five years of his tenure, Tony served as a Research Analyst to the House Education Committee, assisting with issues like athletic oversight, school choice, and accountability. Currently, as Chief of Staff, Tony is jointly responsible for most operating aspects of the House of Representatives, including Caucus and legislative agendas and session schedules. In addition, he is actively involved in state budget negotiations, member and media relations, and the development of the House's many policy initiatives.
- Gene BarrGene Barr
Gene Barr is the President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the state’s largest broad-based business advocacy association. In that capacity he oversees all operations of the PA Chamber and its’ for-profit subsidiary, PA Chamber Insurance. With over 40 years of business, government, and public affairs experience, he is a well known and respected leader in the Pennsylvania business community. He served as the Vice President of Government and Public Affairs for the PA Chamber, where he directed all legislative, regulatory, and PAC activity, marketing, membership, and external communications. Gene's extensive career includes positions at BP America, Associated Petroleum Institute of America, and the law firm of McNees Wallace Nurick, where he started a government relations practice. He previously served as a local elected official in the Philadelphia area for almost ten years. A graduate of St. Joseph's University, he has held many board positions over his career. He currently sits on the board of the United Way of PA and the National Civil War Museum.
President and CEO
Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry
- John T. DurbinJohn T. Durbin
John Durbin has over 27 years of public service in Pennsylvania's legislative and executive branches. John served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission for eight years. During his tenure as CEO of the Turnpike, John introduced a new toll collection system (E-Z Pass), an Advanced Traveler Information System, and the Turnpike's first website, in addition to adopting a 10-year capital spending plan — the first such planning initiative in the Commission's history. Currently, John served as President of Durbin Associates Inc., which provides consulting services, government and corporate relations support, and assists clients with the development of productive business strategies. John currently serves as Chariman of the Public Employee Retirement Commission and as the Vice Chairman of the Cumberland County Industrial Development Authority.
- William KellerWilliam Keller
A lifelong resident of South Philadelphia, Representative Bill Keller is a six-term incumbent state legislator representing the neighborhoods of South Philadelphia that border the Delaware River and Port facilities. He is widely credited for his leadership on the issue of school violence and forcing the School District of Philadelphia to institute a stricter code of student conduct and a new "zero tolerance" policy that mandates the quick removal of violent and disruptive students from the classroom.
Member, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Democrat, Philadelphia County
- Jennifer L. KesslerJennifer L. Kessler
Jennifer has over 15 years of extensive business, marketing, and leadership experience. Most recently she served as the President of AmeriChoice/Unison Health Plans of Pennsylvania. Jennifer's significant knowledge of the healthcare industry and the interworking of state government allowed her to lead the charge in PA, integrating AmeriChoice and Unison Health Plans. She also worked as the company's primary liaison to the Commonwealth's legislative and administrative branches. Residing in Pittsburgh, Jennifer is President of the Cedars Charitable Foundation and sits on the Advisory Board of North American Martyrs Catholic School. Jennifer holds an M.B.A. from St. Francis University and a B.A. from University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
- Chad ByersChad Byers
Founder and Managing Partner
The Symmetrical Group
Chad Byers is the Founder and Managing Partner of The Symmetrical Group, a merger & acquisition-focused merchant bank. Segmented into two divisions, he oversees Symmetrical Advisory, which provides sophisticated capital solutions to middle-market companies located throughout the United States. Typical transactions include recapitalizations, leveraged buyouts, management buyouts and strategic acquisitions associated with buy-and-build strategies. Additionally, Chad established Symmetrical Investments, an investment arm focused on partnering with established founder and family-owned businesses. Unlike traditional private equity, Symmetrical manages its’ own capital and has the ability to own an investment indefinitely. Over the last two decades, Chad has been involved in over 120 successful advisory transactions and has completed 17 principal acquisitions.
- Erika Deyarmin-YoungErika Deyarmin-Young
Western Pennsylvania Public Affairs Coordinator
Erika Deyarmin- Young is the Public Affairs Coordinator for Waste Management in Pittsburgh, Penn. She manages community affairs, customer communication and internal and external communication for the company’s Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia operations. Deyarmin-Young holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Public Relations from the West Virginia University. She is a native of Pennsylvania with roots in Johnstown and Pittsburgh.
Waste Management, Inc., based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America.
Locally, in Western Pennsylvania, the company employs more than 1,100 employees at 32 locations throughout the region, including the market area offices in Moon Township.
To learn more information about Waste Management visit www.wm.com.
- Robert KeyesRobert Keyes
Bobby has been a proven and successful leader at Enterprise Holdings for the past 33 years. During his successful career at Enterprise, he ascended the leadership ranks from Area Manager to Regional Vice President, and later to VP/GM for the greater Hartford area. In this capacity, he led a team of 600 employees across 60+ locations. Bobby later ascended to VP/GM of the Philadelphia Region, which consisted of 1600 employees and 160+ locations.
The teams that he has led have been consistent performance leaders in customer service, growth and profitability. He has been well recognized with 20 President’s Award and five Founding Values Awards. However, Bobby is most proud of the countless men and women that he has hired and trained, who now serve the company as executives throughout the world. Bobby led the company for 6 consecutive years, contributing developed talent to the leadership pipeline across the various teams of Enterprise Holdings. It is this distinctive set of achievements that speaks to his personal mandate to lift others.
Bobby has used his time and talents to serve the community. He has been a stalwart leader in the non-profit arena in the Philadelphia Region. Most notably, he was the Regional Campaign Chair for the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey in 2016, where he and his team set a new bar by raising $65M dollars. His board leadership includes serving as: The Urban League of Philadelphia as Board Chair since 2010. He continues to serve on the board of Father Judge High School, The Satell Institute, and Drexel Neumann Academy.
Bobby has been recognized with The United Way Regional Impact Award and Volunteer of the Year Award, Philadelphia Business Journal Outstanding Director Award, Urban League of Philadelphia Outstanding Business Leader Award, and Induction into the Father Judge Hall of Fame.
Bobby earned his Bachelor of Arts in Management from Hofstra University, where he was a four - year starter on the football team. His team finished his junior season undefeated and was ranked #3 in the country. Bobby was recognized with the Mayor’s Trophy. He was later inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.
He and his wife, Phyllis, have been married 28 years. They are the proud parents of 3 successful children: Stephanie, Bobby and Brittany.
- Judy ArchibaldJudy Archibald
- CHRISTOPHER J. MASCIANTONIO, Esq.CHRISTOPHER J. MASCIANTONIO, Esq.
Mr. Masciantonio began his career with U. S. Steel in 1989 as a management associate at the company’s Mon Valley Works. Later that year he began working as an attorney in the arbitration section of the company’s corporate labor relations department in Pittsburgh. In 1994, he was named department manager of labor relations, workers’ compensation and productivity improvement at the Clairton Plant of the Mon Valley Works, the largest coke production facility in North America.
In 1995, Mr. Masciantonio accepted an appointment by then Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge to serve as director of the governor’s Office of Labor-Management Cooperation. Two years later, the governor appointed him deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. In his role as deputy secretary, Mr. Masciantonio served as a senior advisor to Gov. Ridge and represented the governor before business, labor and government on all matters impacting labor-management relations and workplace safety in the Commonwealth.
In 2001, Mr. Masciantonio returned to United States Steel Corporation (then USX) as manager-governmental affairs and later advanced to director-governmental affairs and public policy. In January 2007, he was assigned responsibility for overseeing the state government affairs representation for all the company’s United States operating locations.
Mr. Masciantonio is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations, including; the Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, the Ohio Steel Council, and serves as the Industry Co-Chairman of the Pennsylvania Steel Alliance and the Minnesota Iron Ore Alliance. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Museum of Industrial History, the St. Vincent College, McKenna School of Business, Policy and Government, and the Clelian Heights School for Exceptional Children.
Mr. Masciantonio is a graduate of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., where he received a bachelor’s degree in political science. He also holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and a law degree from Capital University Law School. He and his wife, Kelly, reside in Jeannette, Pa. They are the proud parents of three children, Jillian, Chris Jr. and Sarah.