Linda R. Thomson has served as president and CEO of Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI) since July 2000. She is currently responsible for managing a robust economic development organization in Johnstown, Pennsylvania with services extending into Cambria and Somerset Counties, and small business financing programs throughout the Southern Alleghenies region.
Core services include financing, site selection, business retention and recruitment, procurement technical assistance, small business technical assistance, and workforce development.
With 37 years of experience serving small cities and rural counties, Linda has emerged as a leader in economic development in Pennsylvania. She was awarded the “Economic Developer of the Year” from the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association in 1999. Linda serves on the ECAC Committee of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, the Southern Alleghenies Workforce Development Board, the North/South Highway Coalition, the I-68 Alliance, the Vison Together 2025 Steering and Executive Committees, and the Penn Highlands Community College Board of Trustees. She serves in advisory roles at Pitt-Johnstown, Mt. Aloysius College and St. Francis University. Linda is also a past recipient of the Johnstown YWCA’s Yellow Rose Award and recently received the Joyce Murtha Award for Community Service from Girl Scouts Western PA.
Linda is active in her profession, serving as the first president of the PA Economic Development Institute; past president and member of the PA Economic Development Association; past director and member of the Northeastern Economic Development Association; and member of the International Economic Development Council.
A graduate of Waynesburg (University) College (BA) and Lehigh University (MPA), Linda has also completed various programs in economic development and chamber of commerce management over the course of her career. Linda is active in the community as a member of the Session at Westmont Presbyterian Church and as a member of the Sunnehanna Country Club Board of Governors. She is married to David Thomson, has two adult daughters, Emma and Molly, and resides in Westmont.