UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Jonathan Laughner, an extension educator based in Beaver County, has been named district director for Penn State Extension's District 1, which encompasses Erie, Crawford and Mercer counties in northwestern Pennsylvania. The appointment is effective immediately.
As district director, Laughner will oversee administrative services -- such as budget and finances, human resources, and communications and marketing -- and will serve as a liaison to county commissioners, extension advisory boards, human service agencies, community groups, local businesses and industry organizations.
Laughner began his Penn State Extension career in 2004 as an economic development educator. In that role, he planned, created and implemented entrepreneurial programs for economic development and value-added activities.
Since 2007, Laughner has been co-leader of the Marcellus Education Team, a group of county-based extension educators who have developed and delivered programs on a wide range of issues arising from shale-gas exploration and development in the state. From 2007 until 2011, when Penn State Extension implemented a district administrative structure, he served as interim county extension director in Beaver County.
Prior to joining Penn State Extension, Laughner was vice president of marketing and sales for Tudi Mechanical Systems Inc., of Pittsburgh. Previously, he held several positions with First Energy Corp., of Akron, Ohio, including national sales manager, sales and marketing manager for residential and commercial accounts, and senior representative for residential and agricultural accounts.
Laughner has been active in several professional and community organizations. He is a member of the Beaver County Transportation and Development Committee, the Indiana County Revolving Loan Fund Committee, the Mohawk Area School District Board of Education, the United Way of Lawrence County Budget and Allocation Committee, and the Association of Energy Engineers.
Laughner earned a bachelor's degree in agricultural and extension education from Penn State and a master's degree in public administration from Slippery Rock University.