Mission & History


PMA’s mission which is to improve Pennsylvania’s economic competitiveness by advancing pro-growth public policies that reduce the baseline costs of creating and keeping jobs in the commonwealth, including spending restraint, tax relief, limits on lawsuit abuse, regulatory reform and a prepared workforce.


For nearly a century, the hallmarks of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association have been consistency, integrity, and leadership in the representation of manufacturing and business interests in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

Since its founding in 1909 by Bucks County industrialist Joseph R. Grundy to the 21st century under the leadership of Frederick W. Anton III, PMA has been a strong and consistent voice for business on matters ranging from economic freedom to the attraction of high-tech industries. Through wars, depressions, economic booms, and busts, PMA has been a steady and unyielding force in defending free enterprise against its adversaries.

The philosophy first expressed by Joseph R. Grundy at one of the Association’s early annual meetings still rings true today:

“We the members of the Association shall support any measure we think will promote industry and improve the conditions of the individual workers without endangering that first essential to their comfort and happiness—wages. We shall continue to emphasize the indubitable truth that if the source of wages be impoverished, the flow of wages will be diminished!”

Tradition of Leadership

William Howard Taft was President of the United States and Edwin Sydney Stuart was Governor of Pennsylvania when PMA was founded in October 1909.

Now in its tenth decade of service, PMA remains a political and legislative force in Harrisburg. Whether leading on an issue, creating or joining a coalition of like-minded organizations or standing alone on principle, PMA's voice is bound to be heard, and heard clearly, by legislative and political leaders in Harrisburg and around the state.

Those who have aligned themselves with PMA, or availed themselves of the organization's services over the years, have never been disappointed with the effort, professionalism and commitment of PMA's staff.

Frederick W. Anton III, 1934-2017

Frederick W. Anton III was the longtime President, CEO, and Chairman of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association (PMA).

Since joining PMA in 1962, Mr. Anton continued the association’s long tradition of political action, which was begun by its founder, U.S. Senator Joseph Grundy.  Mr. Anton began working for the PMA Insurance Company in 1962, rising in 1975 to become President of what is today known as the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association and PMA Foundation. Senator Grundy founded PMA, but Mr. Anton built it to stand for all time.

Beginning in 1981, Mr. Anton hosted a bipartisan seminar and luncheon at the Metropolitan Club in New York City on the Saturday of The Pennsylvania Society’s annual dinner.  Pennsylvania governors, U.S. senators, and other leading political figures from both major parties attend the event each year.

Mr. Anton was a friend and mentor to the most powerful and influential decision makers in Pennsylvania. And while he was dedicated to pushing a pro-growth agenda both in Harrisburg and in Washington, D.C., he possessed what is perhaps the rarest of qualities: that you could be powerful and influential, yet still have time and listen to the weakest of voices.  You could be highly principled, yet honor friendship.  You could fight passionately for your cause, yet do so in a respectful and proper manner.

A native of Philadelphia, Mr. Anton lived in southeastern Pennsylvania all his life.  He was a graduate of Haverford High School, Villanova University, and the Villanova School of Law, and was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps.