Pennsylvania’s statewide business chamber has tapped a local banking executive as its next leader.
- Luke Bernstein, an executive at Shippensburg-based Orrstown Financial Services, is poised to become the next president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
- As of June 15, he will be taking over for Gene Barr, who announced his retirement last fall after more than a decade leading the Harrisburg-based voice of business.
- “I couldn’t be more pleased to see Luke named as my successor, and he has my utmost support,” Barr said in a statement. “With his diversified experience in the public and private sectors, he knows how to effect the change needed to drive our economy forward.”
What experience: Bernstein, 43, joined Orrstown in 2017 as a senior vice president and chief communications officer.
- In 2018, he was promoted to executive vice president and named the bank’s chief retail officer.
- Last year, he became the bank’s chief operations and technology officer.
- Before coming to Orrstown, Bernstein spent two years as senior vice president of external affairs for the Pennsylvania Bankers Association.
- He also has held several public-sector jobs, including stints as deputy chief of staff for former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett and as an adviser in the administration of former President George W. Bush.
What’s next: Bernstein is taking the Chamber’s top job at a pivotal time.
- Gov. Tom Wolf and lawmakers are on the verge of delivering significant cuts to business taxes, a longtime priority for the chamber.
- And the state economy faces challenges from inflation and a shortage of workers.
- In six months, meanwhile, Pennsylvania voters head to the polls to pick a new governor.
- The chamber hosted the only debate in the 2018 race between Wolf, a Democrat, and his GOP challenger, former state Sen. Scott Wagner.
- “I’m eager to get started and to continue the incredible work done during Gene’s tenure to accelerate our post-pandemic recovery with a focus on attracting and retaining both world-class employers and skilled employees, which are vital to creating the competitive and thriving economy we know the Commonwealth can, should, and will be,” Bernstein said in a statement.
Who made the pick: A seven-person committee led by Nicholas Bertram, president of Carlisle-based The Giant Co., and Brion Lieberman, chief human resources officer at Geisinger, the Danville-based health system.
- The committee’s other members included:
- David Kleppinger, chairman emeritus of Harrisburg law firm McNees Wallace & Nurick.
- John Lawn, chairman, president and CEO of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.
- Manuel Mar, a senior vice president in commercial banking for Bank of America.
- Christina Marsh, chief diversity and community development officer at Erie Insurance.
- Kim Van Utrecht, a district president for shipping giant UPS.
- They were assisted by Chicago-based executive search firm Spencer Stuart.