A Northumberland County businessman with ties to Pennsylvania’s gas industry will accompany Governor Corbett on an upcoming 10-day trade mission to Brazil and Chile.
John Moran Jr. is co-chair of the Team Pennsylvania foundation, which is sponsoring the trip.
StateImpact Pennsylvania first reported Moran paid for expensive private flights and a yacht vacation to Rhode Island for the governor and his wife Susan in 2011.
Moran owns a Watsontown-based trucking and logistics company. He has said about 10 percent of his business is related to gas drilling activities.
Moran accompanied Corbett on another Team PA trade mission a year ago to France and Germany and gave two presentations to foreign government officials and business leaders on the value of the Marcellus Shale and the advantages of doing business in Pennsylvania.
This year’s mission will make stops in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, along with Santiago, Chile. The itinerary lists several meetings related to energy issues, although none are specifically geared toward the Marcellus Shale.
Moran told the Patriot News he hopes the upcoming South American trip will help him obtain information that could help his business with an “undisclosed project in its infancy”.
Although he has become close to Corbett over the years, he said Moran Industries does not do any business with the commonwealth. “I don’t expect anything but the governor’s friendship,” he said.
Corbett says he did not know Moran before he took public office.
A few months after the 2011 Rhode Island trip, Corbett appointed Moran to a 24-member advisory panel he created to look into privatizing state services.
The Sunbury Daily Item reports that around the same time, Moran’s wife Ann was appointed to an unpaid position at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.
Together, the couple donated more than $75,000 to Corbett’s 2010 run for governor, according to campaign finance records.
Moran was named co-chair of the Team PA Foundation last summer. Corbett is the other co-chair and his office was involved in naming Moran to the unpaid position, along with the foundation’s board.
The organization was established in 1997 as a public-private partnership devoted to economic development.
Team PA president Matt Zieger says the trade mission is privately funded and Moran will pay his own way.
“The companies pay for their own travel and lodging and meals. Our foundation funds the public officials’ travel costs.”
Public officials joining the delegation include First Lady Susan Corbett, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Alan Walker, Department of Labor and Industry Secretary Julia Hearthway and Public Utility Commission Chairman Rob Powelson.
Here is a full list of companies and organizations participating in the trade mission:
- Braskem America, Marcus Hook
- Brookville Equipment, Brookville
- Dancing Dots, Valley Forge
- Dbi Services, Hazleton
- Fluortek, Easton
- GasBraker, Malvern *Chile only
- Greenville Neuromodulation Services, Greenville
- Green Filter USA, Mt. Braddock
- Holt Logistics, Philadelphia
- ITSI BioSciences, Johnstown
- Logistics Plus, Erie
- New Pig Corporation, Tipton
- NovaTech LLC, Quakertown
- Rajant Corporation, Malvern
- Regenex Corporation, West Middlesex
- Urban Translations, Jamison – *Brazil only
- Walmart, Statewide
- Wharton Research Data Services, Philadelphia
- XTL, Inc., Philadelphia
Economic Development Groups
- Allegheny Conference *Brazil only
- Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce *Chile only
- Franklin County Economic Development Corporation *Brazil only
- PA Chamber of Business and Industry
- Philadelphia Regional Port Authority
- Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber *Chile only
- Select Greater Philadelphia *Brazil only
- Team Pennsylvania Foundation
Philadelphia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Philadelphia
Drexel University, Philadelphia