The people of Industrial Archives & Library come with a variety of experiences. Click on each profile image to learn more about them and their roles.
Steve Donches is the Founder, President & CEO of the Industrial Archives & Library. Steve has extensive experience with non-profit organizations having served as a Trustee of Moravian College, while chairing its Property & Campus Planning Committee; he also served as a Board Member of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry, the Lehigh Valley Partnership, the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation, the United Way of the Lehigh Valley, Historic Bethlehem, Inc., and the Boys Club of Bethlehem. Steve served as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Bethlehem and was Chairman of the Bethlehem Water Authority. He was an Incorporator of the Lehigh River Foundation and served as Chairman of the PR Image Committee of the International Iron & Steel Institute, based in Brussels, Belgium.
Steve retired from Bethlehem Steel Corporation after a career of almost 35 years as an elected Officer and Vice President responsible for Public and Government Affairs, Corporate Communications, Community Affairs and News Media Relations. He was Chairman of the Bethlehem Steel Foundation and the Bethlehem Steel Good Government Committee. His last major assignment for the Company was to lead the redevelopment of the 1,800 acres of the former Bethlehem Plant to help revitalize the City of Bethlehem. On his watch, the Bethlehem Works and Bethlehem Commerce Center were established, which have since contributed significantly to the City’s economic recovery with historic, cultural, entertainment, education, residential, industrial and commercial activities.
When he retired from Bethlehem Steel, he was elected President & CEO and an original Board Member of the National Museum of Industrial History, where his work with the Smithsonian Institution resulted in the establishment of Smithsonian Affiliations, now a nationwide museum program with more than 216 Smithsonian Affiliates in 46 States, Puerto Rico and Panama.
Steve graduated from Bethlehem Catholic High School in 1963 and St. Joseph’s College, in Philadelphia, in 1967. He later completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business. He served in the United States Army in 1968 and 1969 in Georgia, California and Germany.
Steve and his wife, Sally, live in the Bethlehem area and have two children, Stephen II and Cara Sehring; and three grandchildren, Taylor, Stephen III, and Darcy.
Bob Bilheimer joined the staff of the Industrial Archives & Library in October 2016 after serving as one of the founding Trustees of the organization. Bob’s responsibilities include being the chief operations person for the IAL, other than the management of the archives and library. He manages the day-to-day functions including communications, human resources, facilities, records management and programs, such as, oral history, educational outreach, lectures and special events.
Bob comes to the Industrial Archives & Library with over 40 years of experience in government, public and community relations, non-profit management, development and membership sales with Bethlehem Steel Corporation, Air Products, Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation and the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
He is a 1978 graduate of Gettysburg College with a BA in business administration, magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Bob also earned an MBA from Lehigh University in 1982. Bob has three children and resides in the Bethlehem area where he enjoys raising Seeing Eye puppies.
Nick has worked for IAL since 2017, having worked at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania in its archives since 2007. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Wilkes University and is pursuing a Masters in Archives and Records Management from San Jose State University. Nick has been published in Railfan and Railroad as well as The Milepost and considers industrial history both his vocation and avocation, having spent much of his childhood with his father’s paper and photo collection, when not visiting railroad facilities and abandoned mines.
He is a member of the Society of American Archivists and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), where he serves as the vendor coordinator, and is the former chair of the ArchivesSpace Governance Board. Nick grew up in Cranford, N.J., and now resides in Lancaster, Pa., with his wife, Allison, and their two children, Zoe and Logan.
Missy joined the IAL staff in 2017 as the Associate Archivist & Librarian, before moving to the role of Digital Archivist & Librarian in early 2022. Missy earned a BA in History and Historical Communications from Lebanon Valley College and an MS in Communications from Purdue University, with a certificate in Strategic Communication Management. She also earned a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree with a concentration in archives from the University of Pittsburgh.
Prior to joining the Industrial Archives & Library, Missy interned at the Pennsylvania State Archives and the Lebanon County Historical Society and also worked at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
Missy actively participates in several archival organizations, including the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), where she is the current co-chair of the Communications Committee, and the Society of American Archivists (SAA), where she serves on the Publications Board. Prior to these positions, Missy served as the editor for MARAC’s quarterly newsletter, Mid-Atlantic Archivist, among other volunteer positions. Missy resides in the Lehigh Valley with her husband and daughter.
Dave joined the IAL staff in July 2019 as a contractor, prior to moving into the role of Archives Assistant in January 2023. He earned a BA in History from Temple University and an MA in Museum Studies from Syracuse University.
Before joining the Industrial Archives & Library, Dave interned at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and at the Eisenhower National Historic Site for the National Park Service. He has also worked at the Special Collections Research Center of the Syracuse University Archives.
Dave has been published in The Milepost and is a member of Temple University’s chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, the history honor society. He grew up in Sewell, N.J., and now resides in Allentown.