Forcey chosen as executive director for Vision Together 2025

Feb. 9—JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — Robert Forcey has left his position as The Tribune-Democrat's publisher to become the executive director of Vision Together 2025, a nonprofit involved in Greater Johnstown community development and government.

Forcey, a Vision board member for now, will begin his full-time position with the organization on Monday. Chip Minemyer, editor of The Tribune-Democrat, will become the newspaper's publisher.

"I took the position because I have fallen in love with Johnstown," said Forcey, who grew up in Clearfield County before graduating from Duquesne University. "It's definitely the community where I want to spend the rest of my life."

Forcey said he wants to give back to the city by "helping them to direct Vision in the way that it should be" with a focus on "trying to do good things in the communities."

"That's my plan going forward," he said.

Vision board member Mark Pasquerilla said, in his opinion, Forcey is "an awesome hire."

"He's a good communicator," Pasquerilla said. "He's an excellent executive. He knows the area. He wants to get things done and leave very positive marks on the community. I'm quite enthusiastic about him joining Vision."

Forcey started as The Tribune-Democrat's publisher in March 2019, overseeing the business side of operations for the newspaper, and Johnstown Magazine. He was also publisher of The Times-News of Cumberland, Maryland, which, like The Tribune-Democrat, is part of CNHI, a Montgomery, Alabama-based company with print and digital products in more than 20 states.

"I believe this and I will continue to believe it — local newspapers are a vital part of any community," Forcey said. "I think that over the last four years, we've seen an incredible amount of changes, leading the organization through the pandemic, continuing to try to make sure that we're making a positive impact on the community and doing really what we're supposed to do."

Vision was formed in 2015 with the mission of improving the Greater Johnstown region over the ensuing decade.

Capture teams have worked on numerous projects with the goals of developing future leaders, improving health and wellness, growing the economy, investing in activities, promoting the city, supporting the arts and advancing best practices.

Vision has become increasingly involved in politics over time, with several board members being either elected officials or members of government agencies. The organization helped Johnstown acquire a $24.4 million U.S. Department of Transportation Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant to make improvements to the Johnstown Train Station, Johnstown Inclined Plane, Cambria County Transit Authority's Downtown Intermodal Transportation Center and Johnstown's Main Street.

The group has been without a CEO since Mike Tedesco resigned from the position in September.

"The biggest thing that I see in front of me right now is that it's kind of been without a leader for the last six months," Forcey said. "I need to kind of get dug in and find out really exactly what needs to be done to make sure that the capture teams are doing what they need to do."

Tedesco was heading the organization when it was involved in a controversy regarding a plan to resettle Afghanistan War refugees in the city and region. Vision denied any plan was being developed, but then information became public that showed the organization explored the idea in detail, including contacting the White House and outlining ways to gain local support.