John Blake is a life-long resident of Archbald, Pennsylvania where he lives with his wife of over 25 years, Louise Kubilis Blake, and their two children Vince and Katie. He was president of his senior class and captain of a championship football team at Valley View H.S. in 1978. He is a 1983 graduate of Villanova University where he played two years of NCAA Division I football.
In 1987 John completed a Masters Degree in Social Work(MSW) at Marywood College -- working his way through graduate school at the Lackawanna County Redevelopment Authority and completing internships at the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company and Moses Taylor Hospital. That same year he was appointed Executive Director of the Lackawanna County Redevelopment Authority and he continued in that capacity for nearly a decade. While at the Authority John stewarded over $50 million in public and private investment for housing, community and economic development in Lackawanna County.
He then served as a middle manager for the PA Department of Community Affairs(DCA) -- working out of DCA’s Scranton Regional Office and monitoring state housing and community development programs throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.
John served for a short time as Executive Director for Lackawanna County's tourism promotion agency where he was a founding partner and fiscal manager for the first Steamtown Marathon. John has successfully completed three Steamtown marathons. The marathon is now nationally acclaimed and it has raised over $500,000 for St Joseph’s Center in Scranton.
In 1998 John was selected from among 9,000 applicants nationwide for a 2-year Fellowship at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) -- serving Eastern Pennsylvania out of HUD's PA State Office in Philadelphia. While at HUD he completed Executive Education in Public Management at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.
In 2000 he left HUD to enter the private sector, serving for three years as Vice-President for PNC Bank where he managed a $35 million portfolio of community development loans and investments and where he closed and funded over $10 million in new business for the bank. John also stewarded PNC Foundation grant awards in the bank’s Central and Northeast PA markets.
In 2001 he completed a Masters in Business Administration(MBA) in Finance, from the Kania School of Management at the University of Scranton.
John returned to public service in 2003 working as Director of Governor Ed Rendell’s Northeast Regional Office -- serving as a key liaison for the administration to business, local government and the academic community in fifteen counties.
From 2007 to February 2010 he served as Chief Operating Officer for the PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) in Harrisburg. At DCED John managed 350 staff and over $1 billion in federal, and state funding annually. He also served as Acting Secretary of the Department between October 2008 and February 2009, stewarding the agency’s budget, its staff and its mission through one of the worst economic recessions ever visited upon the Commonwealth of PA.
John is currently a member of the Adjunct Faculty for the Economics and Finance Department at the University of Scranton’s Kania School of Management. He also serves as a Director and as Chair of the Corporate Governance Committee for Arista Power, Inc., formerly WindTamer Corporation, a Rochester NY-based wind energy company that produces custom-designed renewable energy storage and power management systems.
In November of 2010 he was elected to serve a 4-year term in the Pennsylvania State Senate for the 22nd Senatorial District, representing Lackawanna County and parts of Luzerne and Monroe Counties in Northeast PA. He currently serves on six Senate Standing Committees -- Appropriations; Community, Economic and Recreational Development; Urban Affairs and Housing; Labor and Industry; Local Government (Democratic Chair) and Intergovermental Operations (Democratic Chair). Senator Blake is also a member of the PA Local Government Commission and the Capitol Preservation Commission.