EDDC Team – EDDC | Erie Downtown Development Corporation

Meet Our Team

The EDDC Team

Chief Executive Officer

John Persinger

Persinger previously worked at MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton law firm, where he focused on business and commercial transactions. He also provided legal assistance and guidance on local government and municipal law matters and counseled local, national and international clients on a variety of corporate governance and regulatory matters, such as labor and employment, anti-corruption and export issues.

Prior to obtaining his juris doctorate, Persinger served in a number of government positions, including as attaché to the U.S. ambassador to Australia at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia. In that role, he advised the ambassador on embassy and consulate issues, as well as on American and Australian domestic and foreign affairs. He also served as executive assistant to the White House deputy counsel, where he assisted in the nomination and confirmation processes of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito.

Persinger holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard University and earned his juris doctorate from the University of Notre Dame.

Vice President, Finance & Development

Matthew B. Wachter

Wachter previously worked at MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton law firm as a transactional tax attorney with an emphasis on business and commercial transactions, mergers & acquisitions (M&A) and business succession matters.

Wachter is an Erie native and returned to his hometown in 2012. Prior to his return to Erie, he was a senior associate at the accounting firm KPMG, LLP in the M&A tax practice group in Philadelphia and New York City. At KPMG, Wachter undertook tax due diligence assistance services and tax structuring of domestic and cross-border acquisitions for private equity clients.

Wachter is Treasurer of the Erie County Bar Association and he also works with startup companies at the Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University.

Wachter holds a masters of law in taxation (L.L.M. Tax) degree from Villanova University School of Law, a juris doctorate from Duquesne University School of Law, and a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University – University Park.

Vice President, Community Engagement

Nicole Reitzell

Nicole has spent her career in the nonprofit sector, working to make the Erie community a safer, healthier, and more vibrant place.

Nicole first worked in public safety as a paramedic working with, and caring for, people from every walk of life and becoming intimately familiar with every part of the city. She found her passion in making a difference through fundraising at EmergyCare, and then joined Hamot Health Foundation where she was heavily involved in development of a School-Based Health Center in Erie’s lower east side. Nicole went on to lead the fundraising efforts at two of Erie’s favorite lead assets: the Erie Philharmonic and the Erie Zoo. In 2017, she earned her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) designation, a certification held by only about 16% of professional fundraisers.

In her role as VP of Community Engagement & Social Impact at the EDDC, Nicole works to build a diverse and inclusive downtown with the help of many community members & organizations. While the EDDC’s mission is to revitalize downtown Erie through property development, the organization’s board and staff work hard to ensure that this work has both an economic and social impact on the community. 

She currently serves on the Nonprofit Partnership and the Erie Catholic School System boards. She’s also a member of the Hamot Health Foundation board of corporators.

Nicole grew up in Clymer, NY and has lived her adult life in Erie, PA and considers Erie home, with her husband and two young boys.

Board of Directors

Tim NeCastro


Keith Taylor

Vice President

Dave Zimmer


Mike Batchelor


Board Members

Michael Edwards, senior executive vice president and secretary chief executive officer, Marquette Savings Bank
Cal Pifer, vice president for university advancement, Mercyhurst University
David Gibbons, president, UPMC Hamot
Tom Hagen, chairman of the board, Erie Insurance; chairman, Custom Group Industries
Pierre McCormick, president, Wisconsin Distributors
Jeffrey Szumigale, senior vice president and managing director of wealth management greater Pennsylvania region, PNC Bank
Carl Wolfrom, senior vice president and district manager, Northwest Bank

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