Joseph Kovalchick is the president of Kovalchick Corporation and the East Broad
Top Railroad, a national historic landmark in Huntingdon County in central
The Kovalchicks have been pillars of the Indiana County community for nearly 90
years. Joe’s parents, Nick and Fannie Kovalchick, started the family business in 1928,
and Joe has continued to build and diversify the company with great success.
Joe and his wife of almost 50 years, the former Judy Geyer, have three children.
Their son, Nathan, joined the business in the 1990s.
In the early 1960s, Joe and his father saved the Kinzua Bridge in McKean County
from demolition and sold it to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which incorporated it
into Kinzua State Park.
The United States Railroad Association board of directors appointed Joe
Kovalchick in the 1970s to help place values on the six railroads that were combined to
Along with Nathan, Joe owns the Franklin Industries steel mill, one of the largest
employers in Venango County. Joe also is a co-owner of Prime Metals and Alloys, a hot
metal melt shop in Center Township that produces high-end alloy ingots. The Kovalchick
Corporation over the years also has acquired the 416-mile Texas and Oklahoma Railroad,
the 15,000-acre West Penn Coal Company, and the 70-mile Knox and Kane Railroad.
Joe and Judy donated the 16-mile long former railroad corridor that became the
Ghost Town Trail in southeastern Indiana County, and provided a segment of land that
forms the Hoodlebug Trail in the Homer City area. They also donated former rail
corridors for the Roaring Run Watershed Trail near Apollo and the Huntingdon and
Broad Top rail trail near Bedford.
Joe has devoted more than 30 years to the board of Indiana Regional Medical
Center and has served as chairman and in various other positions. He has actively
supported every major charity in the area and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The
university’s Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex, which was built on a former
major Kovalchick Corporation property, is named for Joe’s parents.