“They say ‘you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone,’ and I think a lot us have realized just how much we relied on our time with other people in person to give us energy and joy and meaning. I’m looking forward to 2021 as the year that brings back all that we have been missing so dearly during this pandemic, including the magic of hearing music live and in person.”

James Blachly

Music director

Johnstown Symphony Orchestra

“2021 is a symbol of new promising opportunities. The Community Arts Center of Cambria County is wildly optimistic about what the new year will bring, as the M. Josephine Paul Museum will be completed. There will be a spectacular grand opening with wonderful programming to follow! The excitement is blossoming for what the future will bring, and I am delighted to be a part of something so monumental.

In regard to professional versus personal, my wish is simple – memories. There is nothing more powerful or special than creating memories, during the good times and/or bad, with the people with whom you share your life.”  

Angela R. Godin

Executive Director

Community Arts Center of Cambria County

“My wish is that special events come back within the Greater Johnstown community – larger and better than they were prior to 2020.  

For decades, our community has hosted events that draw crowds in the thousands. This encourages tourists to visit our area and gives our local residents many reasons to enjoy their hometown. We are a social society and it is so very important to be with others celebrating music, the holidays, festivals and more.  

I look forward to 2021 being the year that we don’t take for granted the homegrown events that are so important to economic viability and our social environment.”  

Melissa Radavonic


Discover Downtown Johnstown Partnership

“Equity … a culture of fair treatment for all people, access to advancement, understanding root causes of outcome disparities and identifying and eliminating barriers for our community.”

Amy Arcurio


Greater Johnstown School District

“I wish that the new year will see the Johnstown area continue its progress in developing the green infrastructure of trails and parks that can continue to build our new identity as a Mountain Town.

The economics and demographics of our area can change as this new identity takes hold over 2021.”  

Brad Clemenson

Board member and project manager

Conemaugh Valley Conservancy

Stonycreek-Quemahoning Initiative

“As a local physician, 2020 has brought unprecedented stresses and concerns related to COVID-19.

As we move into 2021, I wish for the return of the day when we don’t have to wear masks outside of the OR. For good reason, we are forced to protect our patients and ourselves by wearing masks. As a surgeon, I am used to the mask, but I long to see the faces of my patients again during examinations and ordinary interactions.

I miss the most personal aspects of my work and, most importantly, I am eager to again share a smile.

Another wish for 2021 is the end of the bitterness among individuals within our country. While it has recently been catalyzed by the presidential election, I wish for an America that can approach any issue with civility.

I long for honest and trustworthy news and an end to the political toxicity that exists at this time.”  

Dr. Vince Vena

Board certified in orthopedic surgery and sports medicine

“My wish for 2021 is that more residents of Cambria County and the region visit our hiking, walking, running and biking trails and become aware of what a tremendous resource they are.

These assets are for everyone to use and are drivers of economic growth.

We are all hoping that we can return to a normal way of life.

We will need to remain vigilant and take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The challenges will remains for a season, but each day means we will be closer to a better future.

My hope is that Cambria County remains strong and becomes stronger.”  

Thomas Chernisky

Cambria County Commissioner

“Everyone wants to see an end to the pandemic, our economy return to its pre-pandemic performance and a return to life as we knew it; without face masks and with large crowds at games, parties and family gatherings; I am no different in this regard.

However, my hope for 2021 is for everyone to remember we are all children of one God, we are in this life together to do good things and serve our collective God.  There is only one enemy and it is not one another.  

I hope people will continue to fight for issues, disagree, compromise, move forward and respect one another along the way.  

In challenging times, we sometimes forget the respect and dignity due and owed to every person. I believe most Americans are moderate, centrists, who agree on 70 to 80 percent of issues and debate the balance. Our political agenda needs to move to the middle, not further in either a liberal or conservative direction. United, we will overcome every adversity and prevail against any enemy.  This is my hope in 2021.”

Edward J. Sheehan, Jr.

CTC President and CEO

“My wish for 2021 is that we focus on the simpler things in life and take time to remember what being a child is like.

As I reflect on life and 2020, I look to 2021 with optimism and hope that we can get back to the simpler things in life.  

As a father of three small boys, I often find myself viewing life through their young eyes and it takes me back to my childhood and a simpler time. Children often find a way to put things into perspective and keep adults grounded and focused on what truly matters in life, family, friends and FUN!”

Josh Yoder

Assistant executive director/chief operating officer


“My wish for 2021 is that our beloved orchestra continues to be our community’s source of the comfort we need, the unity we want and the inspiration we seek.

That we can look to the past for the reassurance that we’ve weathered storms before and come out stronger, look to each other for strength in the present and look to the future with the courage to think big and bigger still.”  

Jessica Satava

Executive director

Johnstown Symphony Orchestra

“Since COVID will likely be around for awhile, my first wish is that more people would treat this virus with respect. Masking, social distancing and hand washing are all important. I continue to see too many people that ignore these common-sense approaches. Too many people dismiss the ‘science’ until they are sick and then expect science to fix them due to their poor choices.

Said another way, take care of yourself and your family … wear the mask!

A second wish, and in many respects as important as the first, is that all of us make an effort to recognize that we have much more in a common with one another than our differences would seem to suggest.

We all desire, and need, friendships and people to love. We celebrate the birth of a child, we mourn the death of a friend or loved one. We aspire to be more and do more.

Also, be grateful for what we do have, even when longing for more.”  

William E. Caldwell

Market president, Conemaugh Health System

Chief executive officer, Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center

“My wishes are that we maintain and enhance civic unity in Johnstown and Cambria County that allows us to get good things done and that the voters of Johnstown continue to elect responsible representative of their city to Johnstown City Council.”  

Mark Pasquerilla

President & CEO

Pasquerilla Enterprises

“My wish list for 2021 is pretty long.

I would like to see the healing of America after a divisive election. May we become more united and celebrate what we have in common while respecting our differences.

I hope the coronavirus will diminish greatly as vaccines and treatments are introduced, allowing us to go back to a more normal life.

I wish for a growing economy in Greater Johns-town and Cambria County that will add good paying jobs that can support families. I would love to see new retail, dining and recreational options that would attract people to this area.

I wish for the continuing redevelopment of Downtown Johnstown as well as a new refurbished Johnstown Galleria.

I wish for the completion of U.S. Rt. 219 to I-68 in Maryland and new infrastructure projects that will help the economy.

Lastly, I wish for everyone to find happiness, good health, peace and prosperity in the new year and to focus on what is truly important in life . . . faith, family and friends.

May God bless America in the coming year!”  

Dave Hirko

Jackson Township manager

“Peace and transformation are my wishes for 2021.

Nobody saw 2020 coming … but I do see some light shining out of this terrible pandemic we are in. We have been a ‘me’ society for many years and most of us have lost touch with other people’s views or concerns, nature and our friends and families.

This coming year, I am hopeful for some form of peace and understanding when it comes to everybody’s opinions and views. All of us need to get back to respecting alternative views and thoughts. We need to be able to discuss science, medicine and politics with an open mind to help us control COVID-19 and realize that we are not always right and it’s ok to change (our) views or outlooks on any situation.

I think we all need to slow down and ‘smell the roses.’ Take a bike ride, grow a garden, start hiking, get a kayak and just paddle out to the middle of the lake and relax.

Get that record player out, listen to your favorite song as it was meant to be – on vinyl.

We have some of the best natural resources around us and until the ‘shutdown’ happened I do not think a lot of us, me included, realized how much we have been missing in our lives.

Everyone needs to put down the phone, relax and spend more time with our loved ones!”

Eric J Miller

Firefighter/ Paramedic

Union President

City of Johnstown Fire Dept.

“I would like to see more people fall back in love with our beautiful Downtown Johnstown.

It’s not a shopping hub anymore, but it could be a residential hub.

The buildings are spectacular, affordable and convenient.

The move is on – join us in beautiful downtown Johnstown.”  

Sharyn Spinelli

Downtown resident and volunteer

“For 2021, I wish that people could experience more peace in their hearts, less stress from the world around them and joy and beauty in simplicity.”  

Karen Struble Myers

President and chief executive officer

United Way of the Laurel Highlands

“My wish for 2021 is for much health and happiness to all and a prayer for peace and unity throughout the USA and the entire world.

May joy return, bringing with it the appreciation of the things that matter most – the wonderful people in our lives.

I hope to again enable people to fulfill their travel dreams. The world awaits our return!”  

Cynthia Watters

Epic Journeys, LLC

‘My dad used to say that there has never been so many ways to communicate, and yet, people are saying so little to each other. He said that, when he was growing up, you would know everyone in your neighborhood. People would sit on their front porch after supper and talk with their neighbors while kids played together in the streets. You knew the names of the milkman and the mailman, the police officer walking the beat and the folks who ran the corner store. Nowadays, he would say, most of us don’t even know the names of the people living right next door. It’s easy to glorify the past. I know it wasn’t all wine and roses. But somewhere along the way we lost our sense of the world around us.

Head down, buried in our phones, we look to see what’s going on elsewhere and to what comes next, instead of living in the moment we are in.  

We shout our opinions into the electronic echo chamber so we can feel relevant in the world, while blindly running into other people coming the other way who are doing the same thing.  

Complexity bores us as does the future. All that matters is the here and now and the temporary affirmation of a social media ‘like.’

So what’s my wish for the coming year?

For all of us to stop, take a deep breath, put down our phones and take in the world around us. To realize that those people and places we’re trying to reach electronically are real and they are all around us. And do something that we rarely do anymore – listen.

Only then do we have a chance to understand each other so we can focus more on what unites us instead of what divides us as we try to heal our self-inflicted wounds.

A little more focus on ‘us’ instead of ‘me.’”

Doug Meagher

RE/MAX POWER Associates

10. That we see more new businesses open.

9. That the “red” and “blue” people can get along and work together.

8. That more people realize that they need God in their lives

7. That everyone’s portfolio grows substantially (mine too).

6. That people support our new baseball team. Go Mill Rats.

5. That the area drug problem improves.

4. That the Flood City Music Festival, Thunder in the Valley, and all the other great events return in a BIG WAY!

3. That we all have plenty of toilet paper.

2. Good health for everyone.

1. That my golf game can somehow improve.  

Jack Michaels

Retired radio personality

Former Top 10 list writer

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