Board of Directors

The CCFA Board of Directors is comprised of community members who are dedicated to bettering the lives of children. Their backgrounds and expertise range from education, business, banking, and law, all with the common goal of chaperoning the school into the future.

 

Gregg Shaffer

Gregg Shaffer

President

Gregg Shaffer is a innovative results-driven business leader with more than 20 years of experience. He has positively affected corporate bottom lines through expert development and execution of business strategies for a diverse array of organizations, including start-ups, multi-billion dollar global corporations, and non-profit associations.
Joseph Panaro

Joseph Panaro

Treasurer, CCFA Board and CCFA Foundation Board

Joe is currently Vice President of Commercial Lending at Centric Bank. His professional background includes both retail and commercial banking. In his current position, he is responsible for developing financial relationships that support the growth of local businesses that, in turn, advance the local economy, as well as its residents.

Over his career he has been an active partner in the volunteer and non-profit community, having served on numerous boards both locally and in western Pennsylvania where he began his career. Joe has been a committed and involved Rotarian for more than 30 years. He is a past President of the Johnstown Rotary Club and is a current member and committee chairperson of the West Chester Rotary Club. Joe is an Honors graduate of Penn State (B.S.) and St. Francis University (M.S. Finance).

Carla M. Messikomer, PhD

Carla M. Messikomer, PhD

CCFA Board Secretary and CCFA Foundation Board Secretary & Vice President

Carla has been affiliated with the school in a volunteer capacity for the past 20 years, first as a volunteer who organized special science-based programs for CCFA students and established reciprocal relationships between CCFA and private schools in the West Chester.  A sociologist by training, she has taught at the university level and has worked exclusively in the non-profit sector throughout her career.  Most recently, she headed the academic teaching and research division of a global professional

 

organization, working with engineering and business school faculties across the world. She has published numerous articles in the fields of organizational ethics, project management and health care.

 

Patrick Barron

Patrick Barron

Member

Patrick Barron has been a private consultant to the banking industry since 1985. He is an Austrian school economist, with dozens of important essays disseminated worldwide.  He has spoken internationally for several years, most recently at the European Parliament offices in Brussels, Strasbourg, and Rome and at the Institute of Economic Affairs, London. Recently Mr. Barron was interviewed by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation due to his widely disseminated essay questioning the long term viability of the dollar as the world’s premier reserve currency. 

Mr. Barron taught an introductory course in Austrian school economics at the University of Iowa for four years.  For over thirty years, he has taught at the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin and currently is section leader of the school’s capstone bank management simulation course. He is a patron of St. Andrews University, Scotland.  For five years Mr. Barron was economic columnist for The Bulletin, Philadelphia, with hundreds of published essays.  Mr. Barron and his wife, Ellen, celebrated their forty-ninth wedding anniversary in 2018.  Mrs. Barron is a nationally recognized healthcare executive and retired in 2015 as associate dean at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.  Their son and daughter-in-law are  attorneys in Philadelphia with two grandsons and one granddaughter, the light of all their lives.

Mr. Barron is a free market economist in the classical nineteenth century mode.  He favors limited government that acts solely as a protector of individual liberty and private property.  He favors a free market monetary system, free trade, low taxes, and the application of normal commercial and criminal law as the sole regulators of business.  He favors a strong national defense and non-interventionist foreign policy.

 

Jim Gasho Jr.

Jim Gasho Jr.

Member

For more than thirty years Jim has been connected to his West-Chester based family company, Gasho, Inc., initially in sales and, then, as the President for the past two decades.  A graduate of Ursinus College, he was active in the financial services industry earlier in his career. He brings significant non-profit experience to the CCFA Board, having served on a number of community boards as a member and officer, including the West Chester Rotary Club, the Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery and Brian’s Run.  He is also a past Elder and Trustee of the First Presbyterian Church of West Chester.

Anthony Poluch

Anthony Poluch

Member

A lifelong resident of Chester County, Tony has had a long and distinguished career in the local banking industry and is currently a Senior Vice President at Bryn Mawr Trust Company. His experience crosscuts many departments including cash management, retail banking and loan servicing with commercial, consumer and governmental clients. He also brings strong marketing, sales and product development experience to the Board. Tony has served as an officer of several local non-profit organizations including the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce. He currently sits on the Board of the Philadelphia Urban Affairs Committee and the Land Conservancy of Southern Chester County.

Sheriff Bunny Welsh

Sheriff Bunny Welsh

Member

Carolyn Bunny Welsh, the first woman to be elected Sheriff of Chester County, has served since January 2000. She is one of only 38 female sheriffs in the nation and the recipient of myriad awards, including the prestigious “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” award from the National Center for Women and Policing and “30 Remarkable Women Making Domestic Violence History” from the Pennsylvania Coalition against Domestic Violence. 

 

Sheriff Welsh was elected the first female president of the Pennsylvania Sheriffs Association and currently sits as the first woman on the National Sheriffs’ Association board. Besides the Chester County Family Academy, where she enjoys hosting the annual “Shop with the Sheriff,” she is a board member for the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School and the Chester County Industrial Development Authority. She is active in many other community organizations, including the Rotary Club of West Chester and the Chester County Hero Fund. Among her many achievements, Welsh is most proud of being the mother of four and grandmother of nine.

Kathleen Potts

Kathleen Potts

Advisory Member

Kathy Potts is a beloved volunteer at Chester County Family Academy. She works with the second grade students on science projects, math, and art. Kathy was a third grade teacher at Goshen Friends School for 11 years. She is the mother of a special needs child. Kathy has served on the board of the Arc and various committees. She has recently illustrated a children’s book called, It’s OK, Everybody’s Different.
Steven J. Reto, O.D.

Steven J. Reto, O.D.

CCFA Board Advisory Member and CCFA Foundation Board Treasurer

Steven Reto is recognized as a leader in the contact lens and practice management field. He has published in numerous journals, both nationally and internationally, and has lectured on many topics of optometric care. Dr. Reto remains active in the community, donating his time and efforts to the Chester County Family Academy and various school districts.

The future of our world is linked to the natural development of our most precious resource - children!