Rob Gleason, Chairman
Rob Gleason brings unmatched enthusiasm and experience to the chairmanship of the Republican Party unparalleled. Rob was unanimously re-elected Chairman in 2013 to a four-year term as Chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.
Rob joined his family’s business in 1965, after four years of active duty as a Captain in the United States Air Force. The grandson of company founder, Gus M. Gleason, Rob has held virtually every position at Gleason, Inc. Upon the retirement of his father, Robert A. Gleason, Sr. in 1970, Rob served as the Agency’s President until 1994, at which time he was named Chairman and CEO. Under his skilled leadership, Gleason was ranked among the 150 largest property and casualty insurance brokers in the United States. In 2010, The Gleason Agency and Gleason Financial merged with Arthur J. Gallagher & Co, the fourth largest brokerage in the world. Rob Gleason is well known throughout the country in his field and is considered one of the leading brokers in the insurance industry.
In 1985, Rob took a sabbatical to serve as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Appointed to a two-year term by former Pennsylvania Governor and United States Attorney General, Dick Thornburgh, Rob resigned from his position at Gleason and moved to Harrisburg, PA to assume the new role. Rob’s appointment and his unanimous approval by the Senate were due to what Thornburgh referred to as his “excellence and commitment to good, clean, hard-hitting politics, solid government and devotion to the community.”
He returned to Gleason in 1987 and still remains extremely active in politics on the national, state and county levels. In 1996 he succeeded his father, Robert A. Gleason Sr. as Chairman of the Cambria County Republican Committee. Robert A. Gleason Sr. was the longest tenured County Chairman in the history of the Republican Party. Rob Gleason was unanimously re-elected as Chairman in 1998 and served until stepping down in 2011.
In May 1993, Gleason was nominated to be a member of the five-person Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission. The Pennsylvania State Senate unanimously confirmed him. He served on the Commission until September 1997, during which time he helped determine policy on construction, operation, and maintenance issues, as well as addressing finance and contract concerns.
In September 1997, Pennsylvania Governor Thomas J. Ridge appointed Rob to the State Transportation Commission. The Commission gathers and studies information relating to the needs of highways and all types of mass transportation to determine the need and the recommended order of priority for their construction or reconstruction. Among his many political accomplishments Rob Gleason is proud to have led gubernatorial candidate Mike Fisher to victory in Cambria County. Despite an overwhelming 2:1 Democratic edge, Mike Fisher won Cambria County with 57% of the vote. Again in 2004 with the same registration statistics, Rob Gleason pulled off a huge win for President Bush, and for the first time in over 50 years, a Republican presidential candidate carried Cambria County with a 2.2% margin.
A 1961 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Rob remains very active in the University. In 1998, he was appointed a Trustee of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Gleason has also served as a trustee of St. Francis College, Loretto, PA from 1978-1988 and was the Vice Chair from 1991-1992.
In October 1999, he was elected Chairman of The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, an organization that represents the 300 largest insurance brokers in the United States. The Council places 80% – more than $90 billion of the commercial property/casualty insurance premiums in the United States. They also provide industry leadership, visible and effective representation before government, executive training and agency management programs.
Rob has always believed in community involvement and is affiliated with various civic, philanthropic and professional organizations. He currently serves as Chairman of the Parish Finance Council of the Church of Our Mother of Sorrows. He formerly served as director and secretary for the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, as trustee and Chairman of Memorial Medical Center and as a trustee of Conemaugh Health System.
In 2004 Rob was named Co-Chairman for the Catholics for Bush in PA. He traveled the state extensively, meeting with the Catholic leadership. This effort and increased the Catholic vote for President Bush in the Commonwealth by 4% (increase from 2000).
In May 2006, President George W. Bush announced his intentions to nominate Mr. Gleason to the Commission on Presidential Scholars. The members of the Commission on Presidential Scholars are charged with honoring, on behalf of President of the United States, some our of Nation’s future leaders. The Commissioners are appointed by the President and come from across the country, representing a variety of fields, including: education, medicine, law, public service, business, and other professions.
After his election as Chairman of the Republican Party in June of 2006, Rob was tasked with completely rebuilding the Republican Party of Pennsylvania. In 2009, Republicans won 6 of 7 statewide judicial races.
In 2010, under Gleason’s leadership, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania celebrated the most successful cycle in its history, winning the Governor’s mansion, a U.S. Senate seat, five new Congressional seats, retaining control of the State Senate and retaking majority control of the State House.
In 2011, Republicans won another statewide judicial race and expanded their majority control of county courthouses by securing 51 of 67 courthouses.
The Republican Party of Pennsylvania received national attention thanks to Gleason’s efforts, as Pennsylvania Republicans won more takeaways than any other state. Assuming a greater role in the Republican Party’s national affairs, Gleason serves on the Republican National Committee’s Executive Budget Committee.
Despite a difficult cycle for Republicans nationally in 2012, Gleason helped Republicans also expanded their already dominant Congressional majority by winning an additional seat in Western Pennsylvania.
Rob Gleason has been married to Jeanne for 45 years. They have four children and six grandchildren.