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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Monday, January 20, 2014

A Voice Over Artist as Economic Development Czar?

Northampton County Executive Director John Brown has nominated Diane Donaher the County's fist Economic Development Director since the days of Glenn Reibman. But just who is she?

Well, for one thing, she's a voice over artist.

Non-union, of course.

Creative Sound Studios describes her as "[m]iddle aged, a voice you can trust, [with] approachable narrations." In fact, in this little audio segment, Donaher shills for the "country wineries" and "working farms" of Bucks County.

Now she can shill for our country wineries and working farms. And for more money.

During the Executive race, Brown complained that the County focuses too much of its economic development energy on the cities. "We have to get away from Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, and focus on the rest of the community," he argued. So naturally, he hired a Bethlehem resident for the job. Not only that, but one who served for three years as Bethlehem's Deputy Director of Economic Development before she decided to become a radio star.

As it happens, that's the only economic development job she ever had.

Some say she left after only three years because she didn't care much for newly elected Mayor John Callahan.. That may be, but her job history is full of short stays:  United Way - 2 1/2 years; LV Business Education Partnership - two years; and Skills USA for just a year.

She recently formed 3D Non-Profit Resources, which apparently gives nonprofits advice on how to raise money.

She did spend one long stint before her job in Bethlehem - 15 years with SkillsUSA. That outfit seems to specialize in training kids for jobs, as opposed to actually educating them.

Incidentally, her husband Dean Donaher just happens to be Director of Student Services at the Bethlehem Area School District.

Very convenient.

You could make the case Donaher knows a lot about nonprofits, or fundraising, or even our educational system. You could claim she's a great voice over artist. But economic development? That's a tough sell.

Council will confirm her, probably unanimously. They'll defer to the Executive, even though there are loads of people out there who are more qualified, like Pete Reinke or Steve Melnick.

Reinke even plays golf! ... And speaks fluent Republican.

I am turned off by her listing of Georgetown as part of her educational background on her LinkedIn page. She was there a week, kinda' like Brown's $7,400 taxpayer-funded junket to Notre Dame. In both cases, this has nothing to do with education. It is resume-padding.

Why did Brown pick her?

Probably the statue of her patron saint, Elmer [all Republicans please bow your heads] Gates, sitting in her back yard, helped. It's no secret she's tight with this Lehigh Valley Partnership heavyweight. And it's no secret that Brown is a puppet for the unelected bluebloods.

Donaher should never have been nominated. LVEDC CEO Don Cunningham passed on her. But she'll get the job, and we will pay a ridiculous salary for a voice over artist.

In her defense, I'm told she has a bubbly personality, is very nice, is an accomplished public speaker, i.e. bullshitter, and will work very hard.

I believe she will ... For about two years.


Anonymous said...

Table for 2 Do Nothing Donaher's

Anonymous said...

How do you find these things out and people who interview them for these jobs don`t?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Everything I wrote about here, with the exception of the Elmer Gates connection, could be learned by simply reading about Donaher on the Internet. I suspect Brown already knows about the Elmer Gates connection.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a lightweight. Thought we'd see someone from the slate belt in this position. Karner will be missed.

been there/done that said...

she left bethlum because she had to carry hanna's weight - which is significant. hanna was nothing but a figure head. Diane did all the heavy lifting that made him look good. She did all the public relations as he has zero people skills.

Anonymous said...

Another person with ties to one specific constituency and no real solid experience. Bet you can find interesting connections to more than Gates too.

Anonymous said...

You lost me at "We have to get away from Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, and focus on the rest of the community." That has to be the most frightening thing this guy has ever said. Good job, Repubs!

Anonymous said...

wonder what your mancrush dana thinks. he worked with her

Anonymous said...

been there/done that: The only thing Donaher every lifted was everyone elses work. She took credit for everything. During one visit by some prominent visitors she opined the " goose is loose and raising the roof" as an example of Bethlehms economic development. True story, I was there.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Notice how "been there"is quick to anonymously attack Tony Hanna, but not so quick to ID himself. He obviously supports bad government bc he is fighting for a weak ED candidate and do so by trashing one of the people who actually turned Bethlehem around. She should beg and pray that she learned something ... anything ... from Tony.

Now I'll leave her to the country wineries and working farms of Bucks County.

Anonymous said...

Why not? Brown evidently wants her to concentrate on the farms and rust of the Slate Belt.

Anonymous said...

She is a city and girl and will drown in the countryside.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I know you like Mr. Hana but you should look into his latest job. I understand that there is discord and dissention in the Redevelopment Authority.
Never heard of this before, in fact never. However, now in the past few years there appears to be some real issues related to Mr. Hana's way of doing things.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Considering that you are unable to spell his name properly, I doubt you have any idea what is going on there.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem Hanna has is he still plays the Callahan type political game but there is no more Callahan or Kelly to give him cover.

With Donchez picking the new members things may shake up quite a bit.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I see. With Hanna being so bad, I guess the Rs better reject Donaher.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The truth is there are three visionaries who transformed Bethlehem , and they did not have to sell the City's water assets to do it. They are Jeff Parks, Alan Jennings and Tony Hanna. Of the three, Tony is the least recognized.

Great men will always attract haters.

Anonymous said...

"Great men will always attract haters."

Oh come on Bern. You are being a bit of a drama queen with that one. I'll give you Parks but Jennings and Hanna?

You are out there. Jennings is no prophet but one who has made a great living on the poor and breaks laws and does what he wants. He has done nothing to improve Bethlehem or the Valley much less the ever increasing poor.

Hanna is well known as the mouthpiece of the Cunningham/Callahan team and they are gone. He is hanging on but his ways will eventually catch-up to him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You prove my point. Thanks. Jeff Parks brought us Artsquest. Alan Jennings almost single-handed kept the south side afloat when the steel collapsed, though he could have based himself in Allentown. He started a dizzying array of programs that would and has enabled people to turn their lives around, from first time homebuyers to affordable housing to Rising Tide. But the man who set the wheels in motion to resurrect the largest brownfield on the nation is Tony Hanna. Cunningham and Callahan will both tell you that themselves. When the Visitor Center was dedicated, Callahan made a special point of recognizing Tony and everything he has done to improve the City.

These are three human beings, so it is easy to pick away at them. They have human failings, just as you do. Unlike you, they are out there, not hiding anonymously. This area would be far more desolate if any one of them had not been here.

Anonymous said...

Jennings spends money on a Stoffa hack that could be spent on the poor. He jeopardizes needed contracts for the poor to do it. His response, I don't care.

Hanna has never had an original thought that was not from Cunningham and Callahan's developer pals. Of course they praise him.

Two phoonis.

You keep klissin, most people know the truth.

A Bethlehem Merchant said...

WOW! I know you aren't a John Brown fan,but to attack Diane Donaher? When Diane was at the city,Economic Development became very user friendly. All businesses,both small and large, were welcome to utilize funding,grants,programs and any other tools needed to ensure growth. Diane put a good face on for the city. She made time for every business owner who walked through that door. She made every meeting,every event-to show her support. She is a brilliant woman who made Tony H look good.While he is very smart-Tony is NOT a warm and fuzzy guy and had a reputation for "dismissing" the downtown merchants with few exceptions. Diane D,Kathy V, Laura B-all talented,bright dedicated women who held that position(and loved it) and then left after only a few years...why? Was it the job?,or was it the administration? Diane is an excellent choice for the county. She is smart,moral,driven, person who has a real sense of growth and vision and will do great things!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am not attacking Diane Donaher. I am being honest about her. She has very weak qualifications and a terrible job history. She'll be confirmed bc that's who Brown wants. This decision is a reflection on him, not her.

I find it interesting that you anonymously, like the coward you are, attack the only person who could have given Donaher any kind of understanding at all. If he is so bad, and her exposure to economic development is limited to the work she did under him, then it necessarily follows that she must be even worse and should not be confirmed.

You can't trash Tony and laud her bc she knows nothing about the topic except what she learned under him.

But the truth is that Tony has a remarkable record., and in addition to being an anonymous coward, you can't even get your facts right. You blame Tony for the departure of three women. Kathy Vossough is one of them. i hate to break this to you, but she left AFTER Tony, so you are necessarily full of shit. Donaher left to go into the voice over biz, where she apparently failed. Laura Burtner just wanted to spend more time with her family. So you are 0 for 3 there.

You also claim Hanna was dismissive of local downtown businesses, which is absolute rubbish.

I can list them if you want.

But you seem intent on trashing a good man and argue that he sucks. Then you better tell Donaher to withdraw her nomination bc she doesn't know anything about ED except what he taught her.

Have a nice day, anonymous coward.

Anonymous said...

Actually your logic is flawed but then you were a shitty lawyer.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, there is no such thing as "flawed" logic. Something either is logical or it is not. According to you, Tony is a shitty economic development guy. Yet according to Donaher herself, as well as her own job history, we know that her knowledge of economic development comes directly from Tony. It necessarily follows, therefore, that she would be lousy in an economic development role.

Or could it be that you are lying about Tony?

Could it also be that you resort to cheap shots when things don't go your way?