Rocco Pugliese founded the firm of Pugliese Associates in 1980.  He not only brings leadership and direction to the firm, but more than 29 years of lobbying and state government experience.

In his years of lobbying, Rocco has been active on a number of highly visible, diverse and complex issues. They include such topics as horseracing funding, corporate takeovers, appropriations, stadiums, tobacco settlement, capital budget appropriations, workers compensation, state procurement, and a variety of other policy or legislative issues. He began working in the mid-70s employed in the State Senate and he was later hired as an aide to the House Transportation Committee.

Regarded as intense and having an astute political sense, Rocco brings to the table, an immeasurable amount of experience and political understanding. He maintains relationships with key decision makers, earning him a genuine respect with legislators. This wealth of knowledge serves as a definitive asset when applied to the firms clients. Rocco was recently cited by the Pennsylvania Report, as one of the 100 political movers and shakers in Pennsylvania. In a Patriot-News article, Rocco was cited as, one who gives 100% to his clients.

Rocco graduated from Gannon University in 1975 with a BA in Political Science, and also holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from Penn State University.


Jim joined Pugliese Associates on October 1, 2003 as the firms Director of IT Consulting and Procurement.  He brings 32 years of high-level state government experience he gained under 6 Governors - Shapp, Thornburgh, Casey, Ridge, Schweiker and Rendell.

Before joining the firm, Jim was appointed the Director of the Commonwealth Technology Center in Office of Administration by Governor Tom Ridge, where he was responsible for the day-to-day operation of the center, which hosted the large mission critical Information Technology systems of the state.  This included all of the Commonwealths E-government and web systems, the ERP system known as Imagine PA, the email system for all Commonwealth employees, the Commonwealth network including the firewall, intrusion detection and anti-virus system.  The center also hosted the Statewide Radio System and JNET.  In addition, Jim was responsible for the day-to-day development and maintenance of the legacy administrative systems know as the Integrated Commonwealth System or ICS.

During his state tenure, Jim also directed some of the largest RFPs ever undertaken by state government and as such brings invaluable expertise not only to IT clients but to general Procurement clients as well. 

Jim earned a Bachelors degree from Mount Saint Mary's College in 1971; a Masters degree from St. Francis University in 1977; and a Certificate in Management Analysis and Computer Support from the University of Colorado in 1981; and a Certificate from the John F. Kennedy School of Government of the Harvard University in 1996.  Jim, who was born and raised in Phoenixville, PA, lives in Mechanicsburg with his wife Jan and twin daughters Amanda and Kate and son Liam.


Dan joined the firm on March 14, 2005 as an associate. Dan served 14 years as a member of the state House of Representatives. Since leaving the state House of Representatives in late 2002, he has kept a hand in state government as a member of the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC).  The IRRC is the state agency that reviews and determines which regulations promulgated by the various branches of state government will pass. He was appointed to that position by House Speaker John Perzel. 

While serving in the General Assembly, Dan continued his private practice of law. In addition, he developed interests in commercial real estate developments in Juniata County. He also served as the county's district attorney from 1984 until his election to the state House in 1988.  During his tenure in the state House, he served on the Commerce and Economic Development Committee, the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and the Judiciary Committee. In 1994, he used his legal skills as one of the House managers in the successful impeachment trial of former State Supreme Court Justice Rolf Larsen. Dan was also instrumental in having improvements made to Route 22/322, the main highway artery through the 82nd House district, which led to easier travel for residents to State College and Harrisburg.

Dan received his bachelors degree in accounting from Lycoming College in Williamsport and he is a graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh. A father of three, Clark resides in Mifflintown. 


ROBERT CRANMER    bob@puglieseassociates.com


Bob Cranmer is a native of Pittsburgh, growing up in the borough of Brentwood where he still resides with his wife Lesa. He graduated from Brentwood High School in 1974 and Duquesne University in 1978, upon which he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Army. Bob went on to serve nine years in the active army, several of which as a Company Commander in the 101st Airborne Division. He also served in the United States Army Reserve with the rank of Major during the Persian Gulf War commanding a Military Intelligence unit. Bobs employment has included positions with AT&T Bell Laboratories, AT&T Corporate Marketing, and Communications Technologies Group, LTD. In the past five years, Bob was a Vice President with L. Robert Kimball & Associates as a client relations specialist.

In politics, Bob was elected to Brentwood Council in 1991 where he initiated an economic development corporation, which generated over 30 million dollars of new development. It now serves several municipalities and is a model for other communities. In 1994, he was elected Chairman of the Republican Party of Allegheny County and went on to be elected County Commissioner the following year. As a Commissioner Bob ushered in sweeping changes to county government, reducing county taxes in excess of 50 million dollars per year, reducing county personnel by 18%, reorganizing county government from forty-one departments to six, creating the position of County Manager, a county 911 system, and forming a city/county economic development organization which generated over five billion dollars worth of new projects and businesses.

He led the effort to establish home rule in Allegheny County, which created the position of County Executive and County Council. His other notable accomplishments include the formulation of Plan B, a watershed plan for the construction of two new sports stadiums and a new convention center. He was also a driving force behind the creation of the Allegheny County Airport Authority to manage the Pittsburgh International Airport.

Bob's hobbies are military history, genealogy, and canoe building. Bob is also the former President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution. 

JOANN BELL    joann@puglieseassociates.com


Joann Bell has established a distinguished record of achievement in her professional life, which has accrued to the direct benefit of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its citizens.  She is a former Special Projects Manager for Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation.  In her role as Special Project Manager, Joann participated in the development of private and public works projects with a collective value of over fifty million dollars.  Joann is an expert in communication, management and public affairs.


Joann was the first appointed Executive Director of the Governor€™s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs in 1992 under then Governor Robert P. Casey. The commission is one of only three such commissions in the United States .  Ms. Bell coordinated the activities of a twenty-five-member commission, and served as an important liaison between the Governor€™s office and the African American community in Pennsylvania . The commission through Ms. Bell€™s leadership is one of the Commonwealth€™s most effective advocates for African Americans in areas such as legislation, education, economic development, health, housing, and human services.

Prior to joining the Governor€™s Office, Ms. Bell was the Director of the Mayor€™s Office of Affirmative Action in Philadelphia . As the Affirmative Action Officer for the City of Philadelphia, Ms. Bell was responsible for a number of duties including the review of hiring and promotion practices of all city departments, boards, and commissions as well as assisting in the drafting of policy and procedures for adoption and implementation of affirmative action plans.  Ms. Bell also served as a Special Assistant to the Honorable W. Wilson Goode, the former Mayor of the City of Philadelphia.


MARY M. KEENAN    mary@puglieseassociates.com


Mary Keenan joined Pugliese Associates in September 2006.  She brings with her over 25 years of lobbying, public affairs, and political experience in both the public and private sectors.

In the private sector, Mary has been a contract lobbyist for the firm of Greenlee Partners; worked for a government relations & public affairs firm, Tierney Strategic Communications; and lobbied on behalf of major oil companies at the Pennsylvania affiliate of the American Petroleum Institute.  In the public sector, Mary served as the Executive Director of the House Consumer Affairs Committee where she participated in a stakeholder process to deregulate the residential natural gas industry.  Prior to that, she served as Executive Director of the House Agriculture Committee.   

Mary's in-depth knowledge of the legislative, budgetary, and regulatory maze of state government adds considerable value to the strategic advice she provides her clients.  She has been active on a broad array of issues ranging from managing grassroots campaigns on environmental and general business issues, to lobbying for passage of the EZ Pass Toll Collection System, and obtaining a  $20 Million Tobacco Venture Investment for a client. Mary also has extensive experience in navigating clients through the general fund and capital budget processes.

Mary received both Bachelors and Masters Degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. 


JOSEPH T. LEIGHTON  joe@puglieseassociates.com

Joseph Leighton joined Pugliese Associates in March of 2007 with over 15 years of legislative and administration experience.  Most recently, Joe served as Director of Legislative Affairs for the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) where he worked closely with Secretary Kathleen McGinty, the Governor's Office and the legislature on a variety of issues; including, Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards and Growing    Greener 2. 

A US Army veteran, Joe founded Leighton Consulting Services in Moscow, Russia in 1998; providing public policy advice and consult on US law.  From 1995 to 1998 he was the Director of Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.  Joe was senior vice president for public affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary for the Insurance Agents and Brokers of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware, where he managed policy and lobbying operations and worked with regulatory authorities in the three states. 

Joe graduated magna cum laude from Temple University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1991.  He received his juris doctorate from Widener University School of Law in 1996, when he was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar. 


LINDA S. TULLY    linda@puglieseassociates.com

Linda joined the staff at Pugliese Associates in July of 2003 as the Administrative Assistant and currently serves as the firm's Office Manager.

Linda's diverse employment background and skills complement our administrative staff. Over the past 20 years her experience has included: Administrative Assistant and Treasurer of the Borough of West Reading Pennsylvania; Customer Service/Sales Rep for True Temper Hardware in Camp Hill and Tri Starr Metals in Charlotte, NC; and Circulation Department Manager at the Hershey Public Library. Linda also worked for a short time for the House of Representatives as an intern in the Legislative Office for Research Liaison.

Linda graduated magna cum laude from Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Policy.   She resides in Derry Township with her husband and four children.



MEGAN A. MILFORD   megan@puglieseassociates.com


Megan joined Pugliese Associates in April 2006. She brings experience and knowledge of Pennsylvania state government from her previous work within the public, corporate and state trade association sectors.  Her responsibilities include monitoring clients' issues and tracking pertinent legislative activity.


Prior to joining the firm, Megan served six years as Vice President of the Pennsylvania Business Roundtable. In that capacity she was responsible for managing the organizations' Environmental, Health Care and Economic Development Subcommittees as well as researching and developing business related public policy positions. She also was the Regulatory Specialist for the Pennsylvania Builders Association, Regulatory Affairs Coordinator for Waste Management of North America, Inc., and, began her career with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources.


Megan is a graduate of Penn State University with a BS in biology. She serves on the Board of the YMCA Youth and Government. Her interests include boating, golf and college football.   


JENNIE E. SHADE   jennie@puglieseassociates.com

Jennie joined Pugliese Associates in October of 2008. Prior to joining the firm, she was the Accounting Administrator and Administrative Assistant for the Dauphin County Office of Tax Assessment. Jennie also interned at the Legislative Office for Research Liaison, Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Jennie graduated with honors, receiving a bachelors degree in political science from Penn State University. As a sophomore, she was accepted into the Schreyer Honors College, which consists of approximately two percent of the undergraduate population. The thesis requirement for all Schreyer scholars is a major piece of original research rendered in publishable form. Jennie's thesis was titled: Campaign Finance: A study of the 2002 Pennsylvania Race for Governor. She was inducted into the Golden Key International Honor Society and Phi Beta Kappa. Jennie serves on the Social Committee for the Harrisburg Young Professionals.

 KAREN SWANSON    karen@puglieseassociates.com

Karen Swanson joined Pugliese Associates in May of 2006 as the administrative assistant.  Originally from Bucks County PA , Karen has spent the last 4 years in a Government Affairs Office in Washington DC as an Executive Assistant. 

Karen has a BA in International Relations and German from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA where she spent a summer interning for Senator Joe Conti.  While working in Washington , she also received a Certificate of Graduate Study in International Relations from the Institute of World Politics (a Boston University Affiliate).  She now resides in Harrisburg with her husband Nate.






Tom McCormac, who joined the firm as a Partner in February of 2001 after serving as the Chief-of-Staff to the House Majority Leader, John Perzel for six and one-half years, died in a car accident on July 18. Tom was traveling with Rocco Pugliese from a legislative fundraiser in the Scranton area. Tom was 36 years of age. Tom was an inspiration to all of us; and, from a personal and professional perspective, Tom will be missed greatly. Tom's spirit will always be with us and will always be part of Pugliese Associates.