2017-02-01 / Spotlight

City CEO

Thomas Fountaine, State College Borough Manager
Maggie Anderson | photos by Matt Fern

Thomas Fountaine runs this town — literally. As State College borough manager for more than 13 years, Fountaine has found that what he loves about this community can also be its most challenging asset. “We have a community full of really smart, engaged residents,” he says. “It’s kept me on my toes.” In December, he was named the 2016 Economic Development Champion by the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County, an honor he does not take lightly. “It’s an award that has been given out twice, and Eric Barron was the other recipient,” he says. “I’m incredibly honored. One of the things that is a huge challenge for us is to make sure that we have a diverse economy.” Fountaine will keep pushing to create economic opportunities in the Centre Region, but he took a break to share what, besides his wife, Tamra, three sons and two granddaughters, helps him manage his own life.

1. On The Record
“I’ve been a music lover for a long time, way back to Meet the Beatles! Music is a big part of my life. I’ve always enjoyed it since I was a little kid. My wife and I go to a ton of live shows, especially Bruce Springsteen. We go see Bruce all the time.”

2. Page Turner
“I’m an avid reader; I read constantly. I read a lot of everything. A lot of the time I’m reading work-related things all day so I like to just read Stephen King or David Baldacci or novels that don’t require a lot of thought but have good stories.”

3. May as Well
“We go to Cape May and love it there. We rent the same place for the same weeks; that’s a great time for us. We really enjoy getting away, and the community is a great place. It’s busy but it’s not overrun. We can go relax and I can sit on the beach and listen to music and read.”

4. Having a Ball
“Sports are huge for me. I referee high school basketball, which I love. It gets me a little exercise that I don’t have time to get otherwise.” Having grown up in Indiana, Fountaine retains his love of Indiana basketball and Braves baseball (he first became a fan when they were in Milwaukee) while adding Pennsylvania teams to his list. “Probably of all the things that I do if I had to do one thing the rest of my life it would be sit at the baseball park every night and watch baseball games.”

5. Extra Credit
“I feel really passionate about local government and the work that I do and I’ve been pretty involved in professional associations through the years, like the International City/County Management Association and the International Town & Gown Association.” As president of ITGA, Fountaine threw out the opening pitch at a Buffalo Bisons game. Fountaine has traveled around the country and the world through his involvement in various organizations.

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