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News: Styer Wins Statewide Leadership Award

April 22, 2015

Ginni Linn
PSATS Director of Communications
Cell: (717) 805-3588 (through April 23, 2015)
Office: (717) 763-0930, ext. 127 (after April 23, 2015)

Berks County Township Manager Wins Statewide Leadership Award

Terry Styer, manager of Lower Alsace Township in Berks County, received the Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors’ 26th Annual President’s Leadership Award this morning at the association’s 93rd Annual Educational Conference and Trade Show in Hershey. Today is the final day of the conference, which attracted attendees from every county in Pennsylvania except Philadelphia, which has no townships.

Each year, the association presents the award, established in 1990, to a township supervisor and a township administrator, such as a secretary or manager, whose outstanding projects or programs have benefited their communities.

Styer, who has more than two decades of municipal management experience, was honored for being a proactive leader who understands the value of working with neighboring communities and others to secure grants, save money, and improve programs and services for local taxpayers.

James Oswald, chair of the township’s board of supervisors, nominated Styer for the award and said that she has made quite an impact on the community in the five years she’s been its manager. Before that, Styer was the chief clerk for Lancaster and Berks counties and manager of Caernarvon Township in Lancaster County.

“Since Terry Styer became manager of Lower Alsace Township, she has led it from a municipality that was run like a ‘mom-and-pop’ shop to a professional organization focused on providing citizens with high-quality public services and facilities at the lowest possible cost,” Oswald said. “In my opinion, and the opinion of the entire board of supervisors, Terry exemplifies the leadership qualities, management talents, and experience that all townships would be thrilled to see in their managers.”

Township solicitor Michael Setley agreed: “Terry is exactly the sort of person that Pennsylvania local governments need at the helm.”

Calling Styer “tireless and mission-oriented,” Setley praised the township manager for not only taking care of the day-to-day details in the municipality but also for encouraging the supervisors and other local officials to focus on the bigger picture.

Under her leadership, the township and neighboring Mount Penn Borough have been working together on several initiatives, including police protection, code enforcement, water, sewer, and fire service, and zoning to curb urban blight. She also secured state funding and widespread community support to revitalize the 27-acre Carsonia Park, a project that has helped to unify area officials and residents.

“Not only has Ms. Styer’s work on this project resulted in an exceptional plan, but it has also galvanized civic leadership and municipal cooperation that, frankly, has been absent from our community,” said Jay Worrall, president of the Antietam Valley Community Partnership. “These are giant steps forward for our community, and it is Terry Styer’s tireless work that has made them possible.”

Worrall noted that although Styer is a dynamic force in the community, much of the manager’s work is done behind the scenes and goes unrecognized.

“Though these [strides] would not have been possible without her, Ms. Styer’s name is rarely mentioned when we celebrate them,” he said. “This is perhaps the most striking feature of her leadership and is an essential characteristic of an outstanding municipal manager.

“Terry has an amazing ability to deflect recognition and give credit to the political and civic leaders with whom she works. I am hopeful that with this nomination, we can give her the credit that she so greatly deserves.”

In addition to managing Lower Alsace Township, Styer is active in several professional organizations and is a member of PSATS’ Secretary-Manager Committee.

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The Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors represents Pennsylvania’s 1,454 townships of the second class and is committed to preserving and strengthening township government and securing greater visibility and involvement for townships in the state and federal political arenas. Townships of the second class cover 95 percent of Pennsylvania’s land mass and represent more residents — 5.5 million — than any other type of political subdivision in the commonwealth.