Gov. Wolf Appoints Nedia Ralston to the Gaming Control Board, Announces Denise J. Smyler as Chairwoman

July 14, 2021

Governor Tom Wolf announced the appointment of Nedia Ralston to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Ralston most recently served as Director of the Southeast Regional Office for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The governor also announced that Commissioner Denise J. Smyler will become chair​woman following the retirement of David Barasch.

“Nedia has been a great asset to the commonwealth over the years and I am confident she will continue to be so in her new position,” Governor Wolf said.

Before taking on her role in the Southeast Region, Ralston worked as a deputy finance director on the Tom Wolf for Governor Campaign and Citizens to Elect Dwight Evans Campaign. Ralston is a board member for the Southeastern Regional Big Brother Big Sisters of America, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Community College of Philadelphia.

Ralston is a graduate of John W. Hallahan High School. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Hampton University in 2006.

Additionally, Governor Tom Wolf announced today that Denise J. Smyler will replace David Barasch as PGCB chairman. Barasch retired today after nearly six years leading the board, which limits Members to two three-year terms.

Governor Wolf originally appointed Smyler to the PGCB in 2019. Prior to her appointment to the Board, Smyler served as General Counsel of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. As General Counsel, Smyler oversaw the provision of legal services to the governor, his senior staff, and more than 30 executive branch and independent agencies.


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