Mark Schweiker

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Mark Schweiker
Mark S Schweiker 2001.jpg
44th Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
October 5, 2001 – January 21, 2003
Lieutenant Robert Jubelirer
Preceded by Tom Ridge
Succeeded by Ed Rendell
28th Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
In office
January 17, 1995 – October 5, 2001
Acting Governor
September 20 – October 5, 2001
Governor Tom Ridge
Preceded by Mark Singel
Succeeded by Robert Jubelirer
Member of the Bucks County
Board of Commissioners
In office
January 4, 1988 – January 17, 1995
Preceded by Carl F. Fonash
Succeeded by Mike Fitzpatrick
Personal details
Born (1953-01-31) January 31, 1953 (age 65)
Levittown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Katherine Schweiker
Children 3
Mother Mary Schweiker
Alma mater
Profession Businessman, Politician
a. ^ Office vacant from December 13, 1993 – September 20, 2001

Mark Stephen Schweiker[1][2] (born January 31, 1953) is an American businessman and politician who served as the 44th Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from October 5, 2001 to January 21, 2003. Schweiker, a Republican, became Governor of Pennsylvania in 2001, when his predecessor, Tom Ridge, resigned to become Homeland Security Advisor to President George W. Bush. Schweiker serves as the SVP and Chief Relationship Officer of Renmatix.[3]

Early life[edit]

Mark Schweiker, second son of John and Mary Schweiker, was born in Levittown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.[4] He is of German and Irish descent. He attended Bishop Egan High School in Bucks County and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. He holds a master's degree in administration from Rider University. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Rider University in 2004. After college he entered the business world and held positions at Sadlier Oxford and McGraw Hill. Later, he formed his own management consulting firm.

Political career[edit]

Bucks County politics[edit]

Schweiker entered politics in 1979 when he successfully ran for supervisor of Middletown Township. In 1987, he was elected Bucks County Commissioner. Schweiker and fellow Republican Andrew Warren overturned a Democratic majority on the board, largely on the strength of opposition to a water project planned for Point Pleasant.[5][6]

Lieutenant governor[edit]

In 1994, Schweiker successfully ran for the Republican nomination for Lieutenant Governor. Schweiker ran in the fall general election alongside Congressman Tom Ridge, the gubernatorial nominee. The Ridge/Schweiker ticket won the election, beating the Democratic ticket of incumbent Lieutenant Governor Mark Singel (the gubernatorial nominee), and State Labor and Industry Secretary Tom Foley (the nominee for Lieutenant Governor) by a margin of 45.40% to 39.89%. Constitution Party candidate Peg Luksik captured 12.8 percent of the vote. The Ridge–Schweiker ticket easily won reelection in 1998.[citation needed]

As lieutenant governor, Schweiker chaired the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council, The Board of Pardons, The Governor's Council on Recycling Development and Waste Reduction, oversaw the Statewide Radio Network, and was involved with Pennsylvania's anti-terrorism task force and the "Weed and Seed" anti-crime initiative.[citation needed]

In a 2002 PoliticsPA feature story designating politicians with yearbook superlatives, he was named "Missing in Action".[7]

Governor[edit]

Mark Schweiker far right in 2002

Schweiker had decided against a run for the governor's office in 2002 and was preparing to finish out his term when the September 11th terrorist attack occurred. Ridge resigned as governor on October 5, 2001, to join the Bush administration as Homeland Security Advisor.

Schweiker, from the far right, watches as President George W. Bush signs the Brownfields Bill.

Schweiker began preparing for the transition as acting governor on September 20, and was formally sworn in as Pennsylvania's 44th governor on the day of Ridge's resignation.[8][9][10][11] By provision of the Pennsylvania Constitution, Robert Jubelirer, the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate, became Lieutenant Governor. This became a matter of some controversy as Jubelirer retained his leadership position and seat in the state senate.[12]

In the wake of the terrorist attacks, Schweiker moved to secure Pennsylvania's five nuclear reactors, created the Governor's Task Force on Security by executive order, and expanded the ranks of the Pennsylvania State Police.[13] Schweiker also faced budget shortfalls due to the economic collapse following the attacks and a crisis in the School District of Philadelphia.[citation needed]

Schweiker negotiated the state takeover of the school district and also was the first governor of Pennsylvania to put state funds into pre-school activities. He also passed the most significant[according to whom?] tort reform measures in recent decades, when he replaced Ridge, a former trial lawyer less inclined to push those measures.[citation needed]

Schweiker's most famous contribution[according to whom?] as governor came in July 2002, during the Quecreek Mine rescue in Somerset County, when he personally oversaw the 77-hour operation that saved the lives of all nine trapped coal miners from the Quecreek mine. Following the rescue, Schweiker implemented a series of new safety procedures to provide better protection for miners.[citation needed]

Schweiker held to his decision not to stand for the 2002 governor's race despite several polls[citation needed] that showed him with a comfortable lead in a hypothetical match-up with eventual Democratic nominee Ed Rendell. However, he did send out a news release as a joke on April Fools' Day announcing his intention to run.[14] Rendell won the election and was sworn in as Schweiker's successor on January 21, 2003.[citation needed]

Schweiker was named to the PoliticsPA list of "Sy Snyder's Power 50" list of influential individuals in Pennsylvania politics in 2003.[15]

After governorship[edit]

Schweiker left office when his term expired on January 21, 2003. He became president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce in February 2003 and served until 2009 when he announced his resignation to join Philadelphia-area pharmaceutical manufacturer PRWT as president of business process outsourcing. Schweiker is also a consultant to the law firm of Stradley Ronon.[16]

His commitment to the Pennsylvania business community led him to his current position as the Chief Relationship Officer and SVP of the King of Prussia-based technology company Renmatix. Working closely with the company's technical team and board of directors, Schweiker has been instrumental[according to whom?] in driving key initiatives with public and private sector stakeholders across several business areas including: site selection for production facilities, financial partnerships, feedstock procurement, commercial programs, and public affairs. He plays a critical cross-functional role[according to whom?] in accelerating corporate development in the United States and abroad.[3]

Schweiker has been a vocal advocate of the United States' opportunity to take a leadership role in building a bio-economy, while revitalizing rural economies. A trusted voice[according to whom?] in the industry, Schweiker is a frequent speaker, addressing opportunities the bio-economy and green manufacturing can have in developing robust, economies centered around agricultural communities. His career has earned him many honors and awards, including Life Sciences Public Official of the Year, Speaker of the Year for Communications Excellence and Technology Advocate of the Year for Technology Innovation. Schweiker has also presented to Congress a number of times and appeared as a guest on CNN,[17] FOX Business,[18] PBS's Charlie Rose Show[19] and NBC's Tonight Show. He has spoken at: the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, the Atlantic's Town Hall Gathering[20] and AgBiomass Canada.[21]

In a 2016 article in The Huffington Post, Schweiker brought attention to the Indian government's renewed focus on bioethanol as a sustainable energy source for the country. He explained that, "As the country emerges as a pivotal actor in international energy discussions, India's bio-energy strategy will provide a blueprint for other countries with plentiful agricultural waste to leverage and spur economic growth."[22]

In January 2016, Schweiker endorsed state representative Scott Petri for the 8th District of Pennsylvania for Congress.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Governor Mark Stephen Schweiker". Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The State of Pennsylvania. 
  2. ^ Mark S. Schweiker Papers, 1992–2003. Bloomu.edu. Retrieved on 2011-06-02.
  3. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 22, 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  4. ^ Association, National Governors. "Mark Schweiker". www.nga.org. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  5. ^ Marcovitz, Hal (November 4, 1987). "Warren, Schweiker Win Commission Seats". The Allentown Morning Call. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  6. ^ Marcovitz, Hal (January 5, 1988). "Schweiker Urges End to County Pay Delay". The Allentown Morning Call. Retrieved November 13, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Keystone State Yearbook Committee". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2001. Archived from the original on August 3, 2002. 
  8. ^ "Schweiker plans to visit public schools across state". The Reading Eagle. October 9, 2001. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  9. ^ May, Timothy D. (September 25, 2001). "Schweiker begins formally preparing for governorship". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  10. ^ "In Harrisburg, Schweiker steps in as Ridge steps up, Pa.'s next governor vows to stay the course". The Philadelphia Inquirer. September 22, 2001. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Ridge tapped to direct homeland security". The Vindicator. September 21, 2001. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  12. ^ "State senator to handle two roles, Republican officials say the new lieutenant governor will be able to keep his seat. The decision has critics". The Philadelphia Inquirer. September 29, 2001. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  13. ^ Association, National Governor's. "Mark Schweiker". www.nga.org. Retrieved 2016-10-07. 
  14. ^ Bureau, M. Bradford Grabowski, Times Capital. "Schweiker plays joke on capitol's reporters". timesonline.com. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Power 50". PoliticsPA. The Publius Group. 2003. Archived from the original on April 17, 2004. 
  16. ^ "Schweiker: Senate Run "Not in the Cards"". politicspa.com. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  17. ^ "CNN.com - Gov. Schweiker: Mine probe to seek answers - July 29, 2002". cnn.com. July 29, 2002. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 22, 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 19, 2013. Retrieved 2013-12-24. 
  20. ^ "An American Town Hall: Philadelphia". theatlantic.com. 2014. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  21. ^ http://www.biomass.cloverpad.org/Conferencea[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ Pennsylvania, Mark Schweiker Former Governor of; Renmatix, SVP at; Sugars, A. Technology Licensing Company for the Conversion of Biomass into Cellulosic (March 16, 2016). "Cultivating a Bio-Based Future in India". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved December 19, 2016. 
  23. ^ News, Bucks Local (December 28, 2015). "State Rep. Scott Petri receives endorsement of former governor Mark Schweiker in his bid for Congress - Bucks News - BucksLocalNews.com". Bucks Local News. Retrieved October 7, 2016 – via http://buckslocalnews.com/articles/2015/12/28/bucks_news/doc5673c5b62c801909531692.txt. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Singel
Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
1995–2001
Succeeded by
Robert Jubelirer
Preceded by
Tom Ridge
Governor of Pennsylvania
2001–2003
Succeeded by
Ed Rendell
Preceded by
Mark Singel1
Acting Governor of Pennsylvania
2001
Succeeded by
Jim Cawley
Preceded by
Carl Fonash
Member of the Bucks County Board of Commissioners
1988–1995
Succeeded by
Mike Fitzpatrick
Party political offices
Preceded by
Harold Mowery
Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
1994, 1998
Succeeded by
Jane Earll
Business positions
Preceded by
Charles P. Pizzi
President and CEO of Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce
2003–2009
Succeeded by
Rob Wonderling
Notes and references
1. Office vacant from December 13, 1993–September 20, 2001