Senator Blake

About Me

Thank you for taking the time to visit my website! Below you can read my biography to learn more about me!

About John

About Me

I grew up in Archbald and live there today. My dad Jack was a WW2 Navy Vet who came home to work at the Tobyhanna Army Depot for more than 30 years. My mom, Theresa Maslar, was a hard-working mother of 5 and talented seamstress. My parents stressed faith, family, hard work and education. They inspired my calling to public service, and I really miss them.

I have 3 sisters who I count on for help and support — Pat Bianchi, Peggy Carrighan and Teresa Newberry — all who live in the area. We lost my older brother Vince in 1977.

School

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I went to Valley View High School; was president of my Senior Class; and played linebacker for legendary football coach Frank Pazzaglia. More important to my parents, I worked hard at being a good student.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to continue my academic career at Villanova University where I earned my undergraduate degree in 1983 and played defensive end for 2 years for the Division I Villanova Wildcats.

I continued in school and earned a Masters Degree in Social Work from Marywood College and an MBA in Finance from the University of Scranton’s Kania School of Management. I also completed Executive Education in Public Management at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Work

At the age of 27 I was appointed Executive Director of the Lackawanna County Redevelopment Authority. Over the next 10 years I secured and leveraged over $50 million in federal, state and private investment for housing, public works and infrastructure improvement projects to support regional business and job growth.

In 1998, I was selected from among 9,000 applicants nationwide for a two year Community Builders Fellowship with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

My experience in community and economic development then led me into the private sector. As vice-president and senior development advisor for PNC Bank’s community development division I managed and grew a $35 million portfolio of community development loans and investments and focused the bank’s community reinvestment activities.

I left PNC for a position as Director for the Northeast PA Office of the Governor. In that position I served as a Rendell Administration liaison to local government officials; to the academic and business community of the region; and to community and economic development professionals in 15 counties.

In 2007 I was appointed Executive Deputy Secretary for the PA Department of Community and Economic Development, serving as DCED’s Chief Operating Officer. I also served as Acting Secretary for the Department where I stewarded the state’s community and economic development mission through one of the worst recessions ever visited upon the Commonwealth. While at DCED, I worked with the PA Base Development Commission to sustain and protect defense industry jobs and our state’s military installations including Tobyhanna Army Depot.

Currently, I serve as a member of the Adjunct Faculty for the Economics and Finance Department of the University of Scranton’s Kania School of Management.

Family

This year my wife, Louise Kubilis Blake, and I celebrated 27 years of marriage. Louise graduated from Bishop O’Hara and then graduated in the first class of a new dental hygiene program at Luzerne County Community College. She has worked as a dental hygienist for over 30 years.

We have two great children. Vince recently graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology and works for Siemens Corp based in Malvern, PA. Katie studied for two years at Marywood and in 2013 will complete her degree in communications at Pace University in New York City. Katie is a very talented vocalist and was a former lead singer for “The Window Shoppers”, a local indie rock band.

My aspiration to a seat in the Senate of Pennsylvania is motivated by my determination to help others — to help my hometown and my region — in achieving a better quality of life.

My education, experience and local roots inform and guide my beliefs about the value of public service and about the significant, profound duties and responsibilities of holding public office.

 

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Gallery

May 19, 2016: Senator Blake hosted area students for a legislative competition at the University of Scranton as the final event of this year’s Student Ambassador Program. Front Row (L to R): Kyle Mullins, Legislative Director for Senator Blake; State Senator John Blake; State Representative Eddie Day Pashinski. Second Row: Sydney Toy, Carbondale Area; Trevor Lamb, Pocono Mountain West; Tyler Brady, Mid Valley; Dr. Jean Harris, Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies at the University of Scranton. Third Row: Enis Murtaj, Abington Heights; Kyle Kolcharno, Valley View; Sarah Sporko, Holy Cross; Riley McNally, Dunmore. Fourth Row: Delmar Guziewicz, Pittston Area; Antonio Cerminaro, Lakeland; Kate Reilly, Scranton Prep; and Paul McNally, West Scranton. May 12, 2016: Senator Blake joined a number of local elected officials and leaders in business and education at the annual Lackawanna & Luzerne Regional Indicators meeting hosted by The Institute for Public Policy & Economic Development at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Sen. Blake presented the findings of the financial literacy research study completed by the Institute's Jobs, Economy, and Economic Development Task Force. April 29, 2016: Senator Blake joined Bob Durkin, President of the Great Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and the Lackawanna County Commissioners for an announcement that the County will purchase the Globe Store and consolidate county services to the taxpayers of Lackawanna County at that location in Scranton's core business district. April 28, 2016: Sen. Blake joined state Rep. Mike Carroll, PennDOT Deputy Secretary Jim Ritzman, PA Turnpike Commission CEO Mark Compton and others to announce the conclusion of the feasibility analysis and the beginning of preliminary research and design for the Scranton Beltway initiative. This project, a collaborative effort between the PA Turnpike and PennDOT, will involve the construction of high speed access ramps to better connect Interstate 81 with the PA Turnpike Northeast Extension, I-476.

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