Business Hall of fame honors Murtha
Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, and Scott Becker, CEO of Conemaugh Health Systems and the 2011 chairman of the 20th annual Greater Johnstown/Cambria County Business Hall of Fame, speak after announcing that John P. Murtha will be this year¿¿¿s sole inductee. (Christine Schirato)
“We are humbled and proud to announce today our late Congressman John P. Murtha is this year’s award winner,” said Scott Becker, CEO of Conemaugh Health Systems and the 2011 awards ceremony chairman.
Becker said Murtha was a good choice for the honor.
“Mr. Murtha’s business was Johnstown, Cambria County and Pennsylvania,” he said.
“He ran that business successfully for many years.”
Rep. Mark Critz, D-Johnstown, said the committee couldn’t have chosen a better person to induct.
“When the steel industry and coal industry were declining, Jack Murtha grabbed the local economy, stuck it on his shoulders and carried it forward,” said Critz, a former Murtha staffer who filled Murtha’s shoes after he passed away last year following complications from gallbladder surgery.
“He did that because of the strong belief he had in the local people.”
Critz said Murtha’s belief in his constituents’ work ethic helped him get a lot of the funding and work approved for the area.
“He knew the work coming back here was going to be done well and at the right price,” Critz said.
Murtha knew the key to sparking the area’s economy was infrastructure, Critz continued.
“Mr. Murtha also recognized it is not just about the jobs, it is about creating an environment to allow us to excel,” he said. “It allows the rest of the community to rise up and come out of the doldrums we were in.”
Established in 1992, the hall of fame chooses inductees based on their contributions to the business community. This is the second time that one person has been the sole inductee since its inception and the first since Frank Pasquerilla was the lone inductee in 2000.
“My personal opinion is that you couldn’t have picked a better laureate,” Critz said.
The black tie event will be held April 29 at the Sunnehanna Country Club. The reception begins at 6:15 p.m., with dinner beginning at 7 p.m.
For more information, contact the chamber of commerce at 536-5107 or Junior Achievement of Western Pa. Inc. at 266-2125 ext. 198.