It was in 2003 that Barry Cassidy came to be Phoenixville’s director of the Main Street Community Development Corp. He nurtured the growth of the downtown to a 22.25% occupancy rate.
In 2010 he moved on to be a consultant for the Phoenixville Steel Redevelopment Project. Along the way he added his expertise as director or manager to the redevelopment of the area.
Some of a few events under his direction were First Friday, the Firebird — now the Rail Train to Philadelphia. Barry say “it is going to happen.” The projection for the train will be up and running in approximately three to four years
He labels himself as a “professional trouble maker.” It seems you either love him or hate him — either way is fine with Barry.
He was born in Pittsburgh and reared in Fords, New Jersey. His family returned to Pittsburgh. A few years back his dad’s health was failing and he needed help. Every week for three years Barry drove from his home in Downingtown to Pittsburgh to help him out. One round trip racked up about 457-miles.
With the end of his first marriage he became a single at home dad to his daughter Ellen. At this time, he had to revisit his priories. He home schooled her for two years. When she mainstreams into the school system — he was there to meet her bus every day.
He and Karen Lynn McMichael were married January 7, 2010 at St. Malachy Catholic Church in North Philadelphia, making their home in Downingtown.
She is the director of international programs at Temple University Beasley School of Law. She is as well as an emergency hearing master for the Philadelphia Municipal Court.
Barry graduated from the West Virginia State College with a BA. Moving on Carnegie Mellon University working on his to master's of public management. Currently he commutes to England attending London School of Economics & Political Science. The commute consists of periodical trips to London for continuing learning and networking.
Barry has received many awards and approximately 60 or so grants aiding his works. He has received the Keystone Laurate as an Agent of Change by Gov. Ed Rendell, personally.
His single father’s time turned Barry in a good cook. He shares with us a favorite sauce recipe he likes to make.
BARRY’S OH SO EASY SAUCE TO GRAVY
2 (29 oz.) cans tomato puree
4 (29 oz.) cold water
1 (12 oz.) tomato puree
2 bay leaves*
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
several fresh basil leaves
salt & pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients in large pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to simmer for about one hour — until it reduces. Sauce will become gravy after adding prepared meatballs or/and sausage meat. Once meat is put in to the sauce — stir slowly on occasion. Throw in a few inch-long pieces of pepperoni. Continue to simmer until desired consistency (at least another two hours). Serve over favorite pasta.
*Note from Bette — A reminder to remove the bay leaves before serving. As when ingested they could get caught in your throat.