Year after year, it has been Pennsylvania Business Central’s honor to celebrate the top 100 people in business and economic development who have learned through failures and successes how to develop both their organizations and communities.

To gain insight into how these industry leaders have learned through experience, we asked each one to name a mistake they have made in the past and how they have learned from it. How each selectee reacted to the mistakes in the past reveals how important real-life experience is to developing both the acumen and wherewithal to make it in business. It is our hope that after reading the profiles, you will realize that people are not defined by their mistakes nearly as much as by their ability to recover and learn from them.

To see how they would like to apply their expertise to their community, we asked each selectee what they believe the hidden potential of their community is and how they will help to realize it. Pennsylvania is made up of hard-working communities and we believe that the Commonwealth will continue to grow with the leadership exemplified in this edition.

Our editorial team once again had hundreds of nominations to select from to form this year’s list. Narrowing the total number of nominees down to 100 proved to be as difficult as ever.

Wehopethatthefinallistrepresents corporations and organizations large and small while also covering every region of our readership. Readers will see that whether you are a small tech company in Centre County or a paper manufacturer in Lewistown, there are always ways to excel in your field and help your community grow.

Now that this latest edition of Top 100 People is finalized, Pennsylvania Business Central is moving on to finalizing the list of Top 100 Organizations, which will be published in February.

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2017-01-27 / Top 100 People

Robert J. Eyer


Wessel & Company

Robert J. Eyer is currently the president of Wessel & Company, the largest CPA firm between Pittsburgh and Harrisburg. After serving a tour of duty in the Army, Eyer obtained his bachelor of science in accounting. He has over 30 years of public accounting experiences and seven years of national firm experience where he worked on a Fortune 500 audit engagements.

As the managing shareholder of Wessel & Company, Eyer has embedded a culture of quality client service and has driven a firm-wide commitment to community service in order to develop future community leaders. When Eyer first joined the firm, there were only seven other people employed and an electric typewriter to use. He became managing shareholder at an early age, helping the firm survive the high unemployment rate in the country during the decline of the steel industry.

Under his leadership, the firm established new niches in defense, high technology and other specialty services, which spurred rapid expansion. While he has helped to successfully expand and grow his firm, he critiques his leadership style as something he has had to learn over time.

“In my attempts to motivate people, at times, I lose my patience and just do it myself,” Eyer said. “This is not the best approach.”

He continues to lead others outside of Wessel & Company and holds leadership positions in numerous not-for-profit organizations he cites to being “so important to the quality of life in our region.”

Eyer enjoys biking, skiing and windsurfing in his spare time.

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