Erie's Thomas Hagen to help oversee Pa. Governor-Elect Josh Shapiro's transition

Governor-elect Josh Shapiro has tapped Erie's Thomas Hagen, the chairman of the board of Erie Indemnity Company and the former CEO of Erie Insurance, to his transition leadership board, which will oversee all aspects of the transition process as current Gov. Tom Wolf hands over the reins of state government to Shapiro.

Hagen, a former Pennsylvania secretary of commerce and secretary of economic and community development under former Gov. Tom Ridge, said he's served on transition teams in the past, but those teams focused on specific issues or areas of government.

"This board is responsible for overseeing all the transition that goes on," Hagen said.

More:Shapiro and Pa. Dems played a dangerous game with GOP voters and won big. Here's how.

Having served in state government, as a CEO of a Fortune 500 company and founder of various small businesses, Hagen, whom Forbes recently ranked as the 522nd wealthiest person in the world with a real-time net worth of $5 billion, joked that he "has some experience" that he brings to the leadership board.

"Most importantly, though, I'm from this corner of the state," Hagen, 86, said. "Governor-Elect Shapiro has been very deliberate in saying he wants representation from all geographic areas of Pennsylvania."

Thomas Hagen, chairman of Erie Insurance speaks, on Sept. 15, 2021, during a dedication of the new $147 million Thomas B. Hagen Building.
Thomas Hagen, chairman of Erie Insurance speaks, on Sept. 15, 2021, during a dedication of the new $147 million Thomas B. Hagen Building.

Hagen was among Shapiro's top individual donors in his gubernatorial campaign, giving $500,000 in two separate donations in 2021. Shapiro handily beat Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano in the Nov. 8 general election.

Hagen won't be the only person with ties to Erie on the transition leadership board. Erie native Angela Ferritto, president of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO, was also named to the group. Ferritto was elected secretary/treasurer of the labor organization in March, but her running mate Frank Snyder, who was set to become president, stepped down from the post amid a misconduct investigation. Ferritto replaced Snyder in June, becoming the first female president of the state labor organization.

More:Erie native tabbed to lead state AFL-CIO after president-elect retires amid investigation

Joining Hagen and Ferritto on Shapiro's leadership group:

  • William Sasso, chairman Emeritus of Stradley Ronon. Sasso will serve as chairman of the board.

  • Ryan Boyer, business manager of the Philadelphia Building and Construction Trades Council.

  • Gregory E. Deavens, president and CEO of Independence Health Group.

  • Laura Karet, CEO of Giant Eagle and chair of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.

  • Jannie K. Lau, lawyer and retired technology company executive.

  • Charisse Lillie, CEO of CRL Consulting, former assistant United States Attorney on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, city solicitor for the city of Philadelphia.

  • Neil T. O’Donnell, founder of O’Donnell Law Offices.

  • Michelle Singer, senior vice president at Comcast

  • State Rep. Pam Snyder, D-50th Dist., which includes Greene and Washington counties.

Matthew Rink can be reached at or on Twitter at @ETNRink.

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Shapiro taps Hagen to serve on transition leadership board