Meet Ryan Bizzarro

ryan bizzarro erie pa state representative

Meet Ryan -- an Erie native, alumnus of two local universities, and active political leader. Ryan is the eldest of three sons to Joseph Bizzarro and Denise Wieczorek Bizzarro, and one of 18 grandchildren of former Erie contender for the world lightweight boxing championship, Lou Bizzarro. At a young age, Ryan was no stranger to hard work. His first job was in the kitchen of the family restaurant, where he worked side by side with his Uncle Louie. By working for the family business, Ryan quickly learned the value of a dollar and continued to develop the strong work ethic and determination he has today.

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Career History

Throughout his career, Ryan Bizzarro has served the Erie community with demonstrated leadership, forward-thinking strategies, and detailed execution. Each point in his career has taught him invaluable lessons about the greater needs of the Erie community. Currently, Ryan creates sales and business development initiatives for the Erie County Convention Center Authority (ECCCA). These initiatives are integrated strategies, crafted with the sole purpose of bringing business to Erie and fostering long-term, multi-dimensional partnerships with organizations statewide that have a positive economic impact on our community. Through his work with the ECCCA, Ryan considers the needs of large organizations with those of local small businesses by designing proposals that encourage clients to invest locally.

Ryan began his career as the victim/witness coordinator and advocate for the Office of the Erie County District Attorney and the Crime Victim Center, where he identified and streamlined processes where few existed before. Originally, the belabored victim and witness notification process often resulted in duplicating services and resources, costing time and money. Ryan worked with the attorneys and developed new protocols to assist victims of crimes in a more efficient manner and helped ease victim frustration with the criminal justice system.

Ryan continued to pursue opportunities where he could be of service to those in the community. As a behavioral health specialist at McKinley Elementary school, Ryan initiated school-wide programs focused on bullying and community awareness in an effort to identify common problems among students and facilitate an open dialogue. He coordinated efforts with state and local social services and government agencies regarding cases of child abuse, social work cases, and additional third party support programs.

Soon, Ryan found himself in the classroom, getting the students interested in government and about the people who have a true effect on their lives. Teachers noticed the students were more engaged when Ryan was in the classroom, so he collaborated with the teachers to hold mock elections and other activities that would continue to interest students. It wasn’t long, however, until Ryan noticed patterns in most at-risk students’ behavior. After speaking with the school principal, Ryan proposed bringing in a local organization known for its success at mentoring at-risk youth--the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) organization. He worked with McKinley teachers and BBBS to implement a program to give students positive role models, not only to do actiivites with students, but to instill in them a sense of citizenship, specifically about playing a positive role within the community. Ryan continued to go above and beyond for the students, and by the end of the first year of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in conjunction with other initiatives he led by Ryan, the school saw a reduction in the number of behavior and delinquency incidents by more than 25 percent.

Civic Engagement: On the Campaign Trail

During the 2008 presidential primaries, Ryan worked diligently as the liaison between the national campaign and local field office for Hillary Clinton as well as coordinating events for other state and local races. Over the next several months, he continued to go above and beyond the call of duty, building momentum for candidates--both Republican and Democrat--he believed had Erie’s best interest at heart.

Ryan quickly emerged as an active leader in politics over the last several years, his hard work and dedication clearly well received and recognized by the party leadership.  In 2010, Ryan was the youngest vice-chairman elected to the Erie County Democratic Party. Soon after, he was approached to run Representative Hornaman’s re-election campaign during the 2010 cycle and to be the campaign director for Erie City Councilman Bob Merski, Jr.--both successful campaigns.

Community Involvement

Ryan serves as a board member for Northwestern Pennsylvania Big Brothers Big Sisters and was recently appointed to the Erie County Industrial Development Authority, a municipal authority formed by Erie County government to help existing firms expand and to attract new firms to the Erie area.  He is a committee member of the Erie County Truancy Task Force and co-chairman of the Young Erie Professionals civic engagement committee. Ryan is a former vice-chairman of the Erie County Democratic Party, the youngest to ever be elected for the position. Ryan Bizzarro For Pa State Rep


Ryan earned both associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from Edinboro University in political science and criminal justice, respectively, and obtained his master’s in public administration from Gannon University. He currently lives in Millcreek and is a regular patron at Our Lady of Peace in Millcreek and St. Peter’s Cathedral in downtown Erie.

Ryan has demonstrated the kind of leadership and strategic thinking that is exactly what is needed to serve you - the people of Erie - as the State Representative for the Third Legislative District and new voice for Pennsylvania’s future. Visit the Get Involved page for more information on how you can work with Ryan being the new voice for Pennsylvania’s future and making Erie County a better place for our families.
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