Hometown: Harrisburg, Pa.
Role: Director of Archives and Reporting, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Years of legislative service: 14
The best advice he’s ever received: “Trust your staff. That’s why you hired them. In other words, don’t micromanage. Assign tasks but then step aside to let the staff become better employees by showing trust in their efforts.”
Why did you choose to work at the Legislature?
After working for approximately 13 years in various positions at a local, nonprofit history museum, I was ready for a change. I’ve always been interested in records management and archival work, and I had a friend who was working in the archives of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives who sent me the job posting of research analyst in that department. I must admit that I was not well versed on statewide politics, except for my local representatives. The first couple years was a learning experience. Since 2008, I moved up in position, and in 2019 I was promoted to director of the Archives.
What skill or talent are you most proud of?
Having a background in history and museum/archival work, I am decent at processing archival records. I work with the members of the House when they are leaving office to acquire their files, explaining to them the importance of preserving their legacy.
Who or what inspires you?
I’ve had mentors in my life that I, unfortunately, do not communicate with regularly anymore. I rely on colleagues in the field to enhance my knowledge of current archival trends and methods.
What’s one thing you love about your state?
The history. Pennsylvania, in my opinion, has the richest history of all the United States. From the Native American history dating back thousands of years, to the American Revolution, to the 21st century, it’s all here and it’s great.
What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?
Lately, much of my reading I do with my kids. We have been enjoying “The Land of Stories” series, by Chris Colfer, and the “Chronicles of Narnia,” by C.S. Lewis. Television-wise, you can’t go wrong with a “Harry Potter” marathon on the weekends.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.