Caleb Pifer serves as the Vice President for External Relations at Mercyhurst University. He oversees the university's advancement, alumni, and community relations efforts. Pifer began working on the Erie Innovation District project early in his tenure, which resulted in the largest single gift to Mercyhurst in the school's history. Prior to joining Mercyhurst, Pifer served as the Executive Director of the Historical Society of Erie County. During his tenure, he led a three year multi-million dollar project that built and developed a history campus in the heart of Erie's historic district, known as the Thomas B. Hagen History Center. Pifer also held key leadership roles at the Erie Maritime Museum, Educational Partner-Ships, and West Island College.
Mr. Joel Deuterman is the Founder, President, and CEO of Velocity Network, a corporation which provides a network of technology-based business services including IT Services, Internet Services, Telecommunications, Innovative Solutions, and Internet Protocol Video Services throughout Western Pennsylvania.
Mr. Deuterman has served in this professional capacity since founding SOFTEK in 1990 and Velocity.Net in 1996. Since that time, his companies have become the largest IT services firm and Internet Service Provider in the Erie region. With the acquisition of DSA IT services in 2006 and both DSA Payroll services and Fishtank Creative in 2007, the company’s continued growth prompted a consolidation and rebranding as Velocity Network in January 2008.
Mr. Deuterman has worked in the technology services industry for over two decades, concentrating primarily on improving company-wide efficiency. He is an expert in developing technology solutions to enhance productivity through improved workflow.
Over the past three decads, Mr. Deuterman has led Northwest Pennsylvania’s IT industry, having been the driving force behind creating and developing IT and Internet services for the region.
From his humble roots selling personal computers in his home-based storefront to pioneering $9.95 monthly Internet service to offering enterprise-grade IT consulting, high-speed broadband connectivity and beyond, Mr. Deuterman has improved the region’s access to world-class technology, facilitated economic development, and enabled individuals and businesses to communicate with each other and function in the global electronic economy.
In addition, Mr. Deuterman is involved with several organizations that work to enhance technology deployment and economic development throughout the region. Mr. Deuterman serves as past Chairman of the Technology Council of Northwest Pennsylvania, the board for the Economic Development Corporation of Erie County and Greater Erie Industrial Development Corporation (EDCEC/GEIDC), the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, the eGovernment subcommittee of the Erie Area Council of Governments, the Villa Maria Elementary Technology committee, and the Financial Advisory board for Erie School District.
Mr. Deuterman earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Mr. Deuterman lives in Erie with his wife Jamie and their two children.
Sean Dugan, CPCU, CIC, ARe, AU, API, AIS, serves as the Vice President of Recruiting & Community Outreach at Erie Insurance. In his role he is responsible for all permanent and contract labor for the organization, as well as external charitable giving through the Erie Insurance Giving Network. Over his twenty–five year career with ERIE, Sean has held a variety of positions within Personal Underwriting, Commercial Underwriting, and Human Resources.
A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Sean attended the United States Naval Academy and holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Gannon University. Sean has earned designations as a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC), Associate in Reinsurance (ARe), Associate in Underwriting (AU), Associate in Personal Insurance (API), and Associate in Insurance Services (AIS). Sean serves on the Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows, City of Erie Housing Authority, and the Erie Innovation District.
Sean has coached athletics at Saint Luke School and the Millcreek Youth Athletic Association (MYAA). Sean and his wife, Becky, reside in Erie and are the parents of three daughters, Megan, Allison, and Caitlin.
Karl H. Sanchack
Karl Sanchack is the President and CEO of Erie Innovation District, LLC, a public/private partnership focused on transforming the City of Erie into a center of excellence for cybersecurity, data sciences and IT. As an experienced leader and speaker on exponential technology and innovation, Mr. Sanchack has established partnerships across academia, national laboratories, government agencies, and industry that created mission impact and jobs. Outcomes ranged from joint development agreements through successful fielding of new products and services with a high return on investment.
Over nearly three decades of technology and development experience, Mr. Sanchack has offered practical leadership and guidance at small businesses through large corporations. Across a series of increasingly senior leadership roles, Mr. Sanchack advanced the state-of-the-art in a range of technology areas, as well as engaged in intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial initiatives. Mr. Sanchack received a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Print Journalism from Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Technology Management from the University of Phoenix.