PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards of Whitemarsh Township was named chair of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) as part of a reorganization commissioners approved during a bimonthly meeting of the five-member panel.
Pittsburgh businessman William K. Lieberman was appointed vice chairman of the PTC, and former Senator John N. Wozniak of Johnstown attended his first meeting as a Turnpike commissioner. In addition, PTC Commissioner Barry Drew of Mechanicsburg was named secretary-treasurer.
“I have had the honor of serving as the commonwealth’s first female transportation secretary since I was named to that post by Governor Tom Wolf in January 2015, and becoming the first female PA Turnpike chair is an equally remarkable privilege,” Richards said. “The first Turnpike commissioners were appointed in the spring of 1937, and accomplishing a milestone like this in an organization that was started more than 80 years ago is undoubtedly historic. I’d like to thank my fellow commissioners for the faith they have shown in me.”
Secretary Richards began her career in civil engineering and project management before being elected to the Whitemarsh Township Board in 2007 and the Montgomery County Board in 2011. A graduate of Brown University, Providence, R.I., and the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, she was vice chair of the Montgomery County Board and chair and vice chair of the Whitemarsh Township Board. In addition, she served on the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) board and was chair of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) board.