PLS was established in 2001 and has grown over the years to become the most powerful Pennsylvania online legislative research, tracking, media, and analysis service – providing unique and exceptional access to Pennsylvania’s policy making process. PLS’s clients run the full gamut and include Pennsylvania’s most influential legislative participants -- lobbying firms, law firms, associations, corporations, state and local governments, educational institutions, health systems, state agencies, the entire General Assembly, and Pennsylvania’s courts. PLS provides subscribers with more news and information than any other source.
Pennsylvania Legislative Services’s online subscription service covers it all. PLS delivers the relevant news, data, and analysis through one centralized resource. The PLS system is fully customizable and accessible from anywhere, anytime and provides you with new opportunities and a competitive edge by using the PLS time saving, productivity enhancing, features developed by people with over 150 + years of combined state government experience.
Lynn Deary has been professionally involved in following Pennsylvania state government for more than 20 years. She began her legislative career in 1992 when she became a partner in the Pennsylvania Letter, a hard copy subscription newsletter which reports on Pennsylvania government for business interests. The Pennsylvania Letter provides the state's most influential business leaders with decision-making intelligence on committee meetings and hearings along with the legislative actions taken by the General Assembly.
In early 2000, Lynn recognized the need for legislative information to be provided electronically and in real time, leading her to found Pennsylvania Legislative Services (PLS) in 2001. Since the company’s inception, Lynn has developed PLS into a comprehensive non-partisan reporting service covering Pennsylvania state government from both a legislative and media perspective. Over the course of its ten-year history, PLS has grown from three clients to more than 2,000. PLS services corporations, universities, statewide and national trade associations, hospitals, medical schools and health care institutions, the state General Assembly, current and past administrations, law firms, public utilities, and many others.
Lynn is widely recognized as a unique innovator in monitoring state government operations. She is a member of the Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce, West Shore Chamber of Commerce, PA Association for Government Relations, and an affiliate member of Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. She holds a master's degree from Penn State and an undergraduate degree, with honors, from the University of Mexico majoring in foreign languages (yes, she speaks Spanish). She has been a teacher of English as a Second Language, French, and Spanish. Lynn's bilingual skills have enabled her to serve as a translator in judicial proceedings and other court-related matters. Her extensive "south of the border" experience has also led her into the group travel and convention business throughout Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.
In 2013 she co-founded the first “Capitol All Star Game” which has now become an annual event featuring our state legislators, both chambers, both parties, playing a softball game at Metro Bank Park while raising funds for the food banks and food pantries across our state.
Lynn continues to focus on growing PLS into an even more diversified information service that leverages the talents of PLS’s team of employees to develop new systems and services that will give clients the best advantage possible.
To contact Lynn, click here.
Kimberly (Hess) Howells
Managing Vice President
Kimberly joined PLS as an intern the day after she graduated from college and was hired full time later that year, taking over as editor of the Pennsylvania Letter (now Pennsylvania Business Recap). She now serves as Managing Vice President of PLS, ensuring that the company’s daily operations function seamlessly. She also oversees PLS' growing reporting team and is editor of the Pennsylvania Business Recap and Capitol Recap, as well as the weekly subject recap publications.
Kimberly brings a wealth of political and public policy knowledge to PLS from her past experiences working and volunteering at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Her experiences have taught her, beyond a doubt, that all politics truly are local. Her political experience began in the Washington, DC, office of Maine Congressman John Baldacci, who later served two terms as governor of Maine. While interning in Washington, DC, she researched issues, wrote speeches, and managed constituent correspondence. Kimberly later returned home to Maine and volunteered on a successful Maine State House campaign for John Piotti, who went on to serve as majority leader. During her final semester of college, Kimberly was a Bipartisan Management Committee fellow, where she worked full time with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Local Government Committee. During her time with the committee she assisted in writing legislation and summarizing bills. She also wrote and defended an original piece of legislation, which would have legalized no-excuse absentee voting.
A native Mainer, Kimberly grew up in the small town of Freedom and moved to Pennsylvania to attend Dickinson College, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science. She now lives in Mechanicsburg with her husband and Siberian Husky/Basset Hound mix, Bo; Maine Coon, Casey; and the mischievous Gunner. New in 2015, she is also fumbling her way through motherhood to an adorable little girl. Kimberly enjoys reading, hanging out with her pets, rollerblading, driving Mini Coopers, and following politics. Although a fierce Mainer, she does not like lobster!
Kimberly is a member of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association and the Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association.
To contact Kim, click here.
Commonwealth Clips Editor
Steve joined PLS in 2004 as Editor of the Commonwealth Clips, PLS’ news and media service.
Steve brings a strong background in politics and state government to the position. During the 2002 election cycle, Steven was a Field Director for a State House Campaign Committee. As Field Director, he had a wide range of responsibilities, including campaign fund-raising, organizing campaign events, serving as a liaison between local and state parties, and coordinating volunteer activities. Prior to that, Steven served on several local and state campaigns.
A graduate of Clarion University with a B.A. in Political Science, Steve was born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in New Castle, Pennsylvania. He currently resides in Hummelstown with his wife, Lindsey. He enjoys reading, sports, and being outdoors. He is a devoted Pittsburgh sports fan, especially the Steelers. Steve is a member of the Palmyra Sportsmen's Association and the Hummelstown Field & Stream Association.
To contact Steve, click here.
Vice President of Development, Sales and Marketing
Eric joined PLS in March of 2005. He brings a strong background in policy and legislation as well as association and small business management. Prior to joining PLS, Eric served as the Executive Director for the Maryland-National Capitol Homecare Association where he was responsible for advancing all aspects of the association including legislative and regulatory representation, affinity development programs, and marketing. In addition to representing businesses before government officials in Annapolis, the District Council and Congress, Eric has also represented interests before the Pennsylvania General Assembly. He began his career in politics working for a Pennsylvania State Senator before switching branches to work for the Administration.
Eric has Bachelor of Art degrees in Political Science and English Literature from West Chester University and a Juris Doctorate from the Widener University School of Law. He is an avid fly fisherman and hunter and can generally be found in a creek or on the game lands during his free time. Eric lives in Wellsville with his wife Brenda. Their son Alex followed in Eric's footsteps and attends West Chester University. Eric is a member of numerous service organizations.
To contact Eric, click here.
E-WARN Editor, Legislative Reporter
Jeff joined the staff at PLS in November 2005, bringing over 30 years of experience in state government. He takes over as editor of E-WARN and will also be part of the PLS legislative reporting staff.
Prior to joining PLS, Jeff served as the Legislative Liaison for the Pennsylvania Department of State and as Director of Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors. An Altoona native, he began his career as District Administrative Assistant to Senator Robert C. Jubelirer.
Jeff enjoys reading, especially American history, and touring Civil War battlefield sites with his son. He served as a volunteer historical interpreter for eight years at the Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg and he has written several book reviews for Civil War magazine. Jeff resides in Shippensburg with his wife, Mary, and his son, John.
To contact Jeff, click here.
Associate Editor, Special Projects Coordinator
Mike has been with PLS since the autumn of 2005, and currently serves as Associate Editor and Special Projects Coordinator. Engaged in the day-to-day reporting and political coverage PLS is prized for, Mike is also responsible for a number of company-wide initiatives - notably the highly successful blog, FYI by PLS. He also coordinates PLS's internship program.
A graduate of Gettysburg College, Mike brings a political science degree and experience in writing, editing and new media to PLS, as well as a knack for thinking outside the box.
Born and raised in St. Albans, England, Mike moved to New Jersey and now lives in Mechanicsburg. He is a published author, an unabashed Yankees and Arsenal fan, a VW enthusiast, a music lover and always enjoys traveling. Mike is a member of the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, the Specialized Information Publishers Association, and the Blues Society of Central Pennsylvania.
To contact Mike, click here.
Matt Hess joined PLS in September 2008 as a Legislative Reporter. He is a resident of Harrisburg and a Bishop McDevitt graduate.
Matt graduated from California University of Pennsylvania where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. He was an active member of the Cal U of PA chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America. Matt was Treasurer for two years and his responsibilities included creating an annual budget, and organizing fundraisers and charity events. He received the “Distinguished Graduating Senior” award given by the Communications Department.
Prior to PLS, Matt gained legislative experience with three internships with the National Federation of Independent Business. During his tenure at NFIB, he assisted the state director and assistant director with a variety of legislative, political, and grassroots projects. His responsibilities included writing general news releases and articles for the NFIB website, researching issues of interest to NFIB members, and drafting member communications.
Matt enjoys spending time with family and friends and reading. He is a passionate Philadelphia Eagles fan.
To contact Matt, click here.
Bureau Chief, The PLS Reporter
After being a summer intern with PLS in 2008, Jason formally joined the staff in January 2010.
Jason received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Montana in 2006 and, in 2009, his J.D. from the Widener University School of Law—Harrisburg cum laude, where he is also a graduate of the Widener Law and Government Institute.
Jason enjoys golfing, hunting, fishing, and foosball. He is also a diehard Philadelphia Phillies fan.
To contact Jason, click here.
Director of Legislative Information
Virginia joined PLS in 2011 as a Legislative Information Specialist. Prior to joining PLS, Virginia gained invaluable legislative and public policy experience serving as a Government Affairs Specialist for the Pennsylvania School Boards Association where she was responsible for representing member interests before the Pennsylvania General Assembly, analyzing and drafting legislation, and performing extensive legislative research.
Virginia graduated from the University of Virginia in 2003 with a B.A. in English and Anthropology and went on to earn her J.D. from the Penn State University Dickinson School of Law in 2007. Born and raised in a small town just outside of Richmond, Virginia, she now lives on the West Shore with her husband John. Virginia spends any free time she has hiking, running, cooking, and dabbling in photography.
To contact Virginia, click here.
Senior Legislative Information Specialist
Nina began her career at PLS as an intern in September 2011 and formally joined the staff in May of 2012 as a Legislative Information Specialist.
Nina received her BA degree in Political Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania in May 2009. She gained firsthand political experience as an intern in Washington D.C. in the US House of Representatives where she was responsible for writing press releases, constituent correspondence, and researching issues.
Nina was born and raised in Northern York County and in her free time she can generally be found outdoors, either kayaking in the summer or skiing in the winter, taking trips to her family cabin in Potter County, or spending quality time with family and friends. She loves to travel and her goal is to visit all 50 states.
To contact Nina, click here.
Alanna joined PLS in April 2014 as a Multimedia Reporter for The PLS Reporter. She brings a background of television and video production as well as Pennsylvania state government knowledge. Prior to joining PLS, Alanna worked as a producer at the Pennsylvania Cable Network where she daily produced and created state public affairs content, conducted on-air interviews with state officials and produced and edited various video projects.
Alanna has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications with a concentration in Broadcast Production from Messiah College. She enjoys running, cooking, travelling and binge watching TV shows on Netflix.
To contact Alanna, click here.
Trevor J. Monk
Trevor joined PLS in September 2014 as a Legislative Reporter. His broad array of responsibilities includes covering committee meetings and press conferences, summarizing new legislation, and helping to maintain PLS’s many databases.
Trevor was born in raised in Pittsburgh, where he attended North Hills High school. He received his BA degree in Political Science with a focus in Journalism from the University of Pittsburgh- Johnstown. While attending Pitt-Johnstown, Trevor was a member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity, worked as a staff writer for the Pitt-Johnstown Advocate, and was later appointed as the Advertising Director and Circulation Director for the publication.
Trevor’s political experience began in the district office of Rep. Bryan Barbin, where he performed various clerical duties, including extensive work addressing questions and concerns of constituents, handling correspondence, and speech writing. Trevor moved to Harrisburg in January 2014 after being accepted as a Bipartisan Management Committee fellow, where he drafted legislation and resolutions, and conducted high-quality research in the form of clearly written policy papers on behalf of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. Trevor also wrote and defended an original piece of legislation, which would implement the use of energy storage systems throughout the Commonwealth to help stabilize the PJM grid system and help reach the standards set by the Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act of 2004. Immediately prior to Joining PLS, Trevor gained in-depth knowledge about state and federal energy policy while working with the Electric Power Generation Association as a Government Affairs Intern.
In his free time, Trevor enjoys discovering up and coming musicians, practicing Baptiste yoga, defending the Oxford Comma, and watching the Pittsburgh Pirates and Penguins.
To contact Trevor, click here.
Client Services Representative
Deborah recently rejoined PLS’s Sales and Marketing team in 2015 after previously being employed at PLS from 2006 to 2011. Having a degree in Education and a passion for politics, Deborah enjoys working in Harrisburg alongside many other professionals involved in the political arena. Her involvement in state politics began with her employment with the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and continued with her employment with a national consulting company where she worked as a Legislative Policy Specialist monitoring both state and federal legislation. In her spare time, Deborah also enjoys real estate and became a Pennsylvania licensed Realtor® in 2010. Deborah continues to work in sales, develop seminars and give presentations while also being an active member of the Dillsburg Women’s Club providing assistance to the community on special projects.
To contact Deborah, click here.
Legislative Information Specialist
Kayla joined PLS in 2015 as a Legislative Information Specialist. Kayla started her political career as an intern with Greenlee Partners, LLC. She gained most of her legislative experience as an intern. Prior to working with PLS, Kayla worked for the Department of Revenue.
Kayla graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Policy. She’s looking to return and finish her second major in Psychology in the near future. Kayla was born in Northumberland County and raised in Middletown, PA. She enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, cooking for guests, and traveling. She hopes to see the Egyptian pyramids, the Aurora Borealis, and would like to travel to Europe.
To contact Kayla, click here.
Sarah Di Leo
Sarah joined PLS in May 2016, bringing her eye for detail to the legislative reporting team. She holds a B.A. in Communications with a focus in Human Relations from Purdue University. Through a brief, but meaningful, detour attending New England Law | Boston she acquired valuable knowledge of the nation’s legal system as well as the ability to comprehensively research a variety of subjects.
Prior to joining PLS, Sarah held administrative-heavy positions in a variety of firms with a strong emphasis on balancing the many aspects of an organization.
In her free time, Sarah participates in a variety of activities. She can either be found running around to different states watching her step-daughter race motorcycles, taking family vacations in their RV, or hanging out at home binging on Hulu.
To contact Sarah, click here.
Andre joined PLS as an intern in the fall of 2015. After earning his BA in journalism and political science from Temple University he returned to Harrisburg to join the PLS staff. He began as a Legislative Reporter in June 2016, responsible for covering committee meetings and press conferences, tracking and summarizing legislation, and helping keep PLS’s reports and services running smoothly.
Andre was born and raised in Lancaster where he attended Lampeter-Strasburg High School. While taking journalism classes and writing for several university publications at Temple, he discovered his passion for politics and the legislative process. Andre began his political experience with a political campaign internship and went on to complete an internship with the Philadelphia Public School Notebook.
While living in Philadelphia, Andre spent his time working and eating at Reading Terminal Market, biking around the city, and getting angry at Philadelphia sports teams. He also enjoys reading and being outdoors.
To contact Andre, click here.
Kara joined The PLS Reporter just days after she graduated from Towson University in May 2016. She graduated with degrees in Journalism & New Media as well as Electronic Media Film. Kara joined the team as the Multimedia Reporter and enjoys covering press events and conducting on camera interviews.
Kara was born and raised in Westminster, MD and lived there until she moved to Towson for college. While in school, Kara was an intern for Baltimore local TV stations WBAL 11 News and also WJZ Channel 13 News. She enjoys being with her friends and family, traveling, and anything beach or lake related.
To contact Kara, click here.
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