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Lehigh County executive elected to national board of directors

On Feb. 8, Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong was elected to the National Association of Regional Councils Board of Directors.

The National Association of Regional Councils serves as the national voice for regions by advocating for regional cooperation as the most effective way to address a variety of community planning and development opportunities and issues.

Armstrong now represents all the councils of governments, development agencies, regional and metropolitan planning organizations in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware. He will represent the northeastern United States during the National Conference of Regions to be held virtually from Washington, D.C.

Along with Armstrong, Connecticut Sen. Steve Cassano; Jesse Arreguin, mayor of Berkley, Calif.; and Commissioner Karen Keith, of Tulsa, Okla., were among the cross governmental leaders elected to the board of directors.

This is the first time any Lehigh Valley elected official has represented the cross governmental needs of the more than 27 million people living in the four states comprising the northeastern United States.

“This is a tremendous time for the Lehigh Valley, especially because our success is focused, coordinated and planned across counties,” Armstrong said. “The National Association of Regional Councils reinforces our region’s and the Northeast’s voice in shaping federal policy.”

The National Association of Regional Councils is a nationally recognized professional advocacy organization supporting effective intergovernmental cooperation across the United States. Working closely with the National Association of Counties and the National League of Cities, the National Association of Regional Councils brings together leaders of federal, county, state and local governments to advocate for cross-governmental partnerships through regional councils like Lehigh Valley Planning Commission and Workforce Board of the Lehigh Valley.

“I look forward to increasing new resources for regions through intergovernmental cooperation,” Armstrong said, “especially as the need for quality, consistent planning and implementation are so great. It’s an honor to be trusted to represent the needs of the most economically active area of the nation.”

Armstrong is an active member of his community, serving on the board of directors for the Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Whitehall Lions Club.

He graduated from Kutztown University in 1971 with a degree in secondary education and a minor in social studies. He earned his master’s degree in education in 1975 and taught social studies for more than 40 years in the Whitehall-Coplay School District.

During his time in WCSD, he was chair of the social studies department. He was also selected to serve as the secondary education chairperson for the Middle States Council on Social Studies, where he worked to develop a standardized exam for social studies.

Armstrong also served as the girls’ basketball coach, where he worked hard to ensure the school provided girls equal access to equipment and training facilities. He is a member of the Lehigh Valley Sports Hall of Fame and the Whitehall High School Hall of Fame.

Armstrong, who is in his first term as Lehigh County executive, has announced he is running for a second term.

Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong was elected Feb. 8 to the National Association of Regional Councils Board of Directors. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO