January 25th, 2005


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
Commonwealth Tower, Strawberry Square
303 Walnut Street, 5th Floor
Harrisburg, PA 17101


Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey (717) 346-8321

Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Hires First 2 Staff Members

HARRISBURG: The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, charged by statute with overseeing the implementation of expanded gaming in the Commonwealth, today hired its first two staff members.
In unanimous votes, the Board approved the hiring of Susan Hensel as a Special Assistant to the Board and Michelle Afragola as a Staff Attorney.

Before joining the Board, Hensel worked on gaming implementation issues as a Special Assistant to Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue Gregory C. Fajt, who is an ex-officio member of the Board. Afragola was a clerk to the Honorable Mary DiGiacomo Colins, a Judge on the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, before Colins resigned to join the Board. Both appointments are subject to the successful completion of background investigations on Hensel and Afragola.

“Susan was instrumental in getting this Board off the ground during her tenure at the Department of Revenue, and I’m pleased that she will be joining us as we move forward,” said Board Chairman Thomas A. Decker. “Michelle has been doing outstanding work helping Judge Colins prepare complex material on gaming regulations for the Board to consider in coming weeks.

Before joining the Revenue Department, Hensel was an Assistant General Counsel in the state Office of General Counsel; a Staff Attorney at the state Office of Inspector General; and Executive Assistant to the Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor & Industry. She was also a general assignment reporter at WHP-TV in Harrisburg and a news producer at WISN in Milwaukee.

Hensel earned her J.D. degree from Widener University Law School in Harrisburg, where she was on the staff of the Law Review. She earned a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She lives in Dillsburg.

Afragola earned her J.D. degree from Villanova Law School in Villanova, Pa., and a B.A. in English from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y. She has worked as an Associate Account Executive for Travelers Insurance and was a clerk the law firm of Beltz, Ruth, Magazine, Newman & Kohl in St. Petersburg, Fla. She lives in Wayne.

Hensel will earn $90,000 a year while Afragola will earn $63,844.

In addition to the appointments of Hensel and Afragola, the Gaming Board today adopted a travel policy based on Commonwealth Management Directive 230.10 and an automobile policy based on the programs used by the General Assembly.

Also, Pennsylvania state Treasurer Robert P. Casey Jr. was sworn in as an ex-officio member of the Board by Secretary of the Commonwealth Pedro A. Cortes.

The Board also announced that it will hold its next meeting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday Feb. 9, 2005, in Harrisburg, in a location to be determined.