The list of speakers will be continuously updated. Scroll down for detailed bios of each speaker.


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Feyisola Akintola
Special Initiatives Manager, Allegheny County
Feyisola (Feyi) Akintola joined the Office of Mayor William Peduto in April 2017. As the Special Initiatives Manager, she oversees several efforts, including the Welcoming Pittsburgh Initiative -- an immigrant, refugee and internationals integration strategy for the city of Pittsburgh and the Sister Cities project -- a cultural, educational and economic development collaboration with cities across the world. As a Nigerian American, Feyi strongly values international collaboration and her work enables her to intentionally build bridges across cultures.

Additionally, Feyi represents the Office of Mayor Peduto in coordinating the local preparation efforts for the 2020 Census, in partnership with Allegheny County.

Feyi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of West Georgia, a dual Master’s in Business Administration and Sustainability from Chatham University, and a Women in Leadership certificate from CORO Pittsburgh.
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Priya Amin
Co-Founder, Flexable

Flexable was started by two moms on a mission to make work and life fit better for professional parents. Since 2017, we’ve provided on-demand, on-site childcare at hundreds of professional and personal events.

Priya, who holds an MBA from the University of Arizona, and worked as a product and brand manager at corporations such as IBM and Nestle, left her high powered career to be home with her two boys, and never looked back. After successfully launching and running a marketing consulting firm called ROKI, she began looking for ways to continue fostering creativity and entrepreneurship among women. When she and Jessica met in 2015, and realized how much their passions aligned, they knew they had to start something together.

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Jenna Baron
Executive Director, Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education (ARYSE)
Jenna Baron is the Executive Director of Alliance for Refugee Youth Support and Education, a.k.a. ARYSE. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology, Global Studies, and African Studies in 2013 from University of Pittsburgh. Jenna is 2013 Fulbright Scholar (Kenya), 2015 Humanity in Action John Lewis Fellow, New Leaders Council Pittsburgh Alumna, and a board member of Global Minds Initiative. Jenna’s work is motivated by a belief that education and creative expression can be tools for liberation. She envisions ARYSE as an international model for supporting refugee and immigrant youth in becoming engaged, confident, and celebrated members of society.
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Nora Bateson
President, International Bateson Institute
Nora Bateson is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute, based in Sweden. Her work asks the question “How we can improve our perception of the complexity we live within, so we may improve our interaction with the world?”. An international lecturer, researcher and writer, Nora wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary, An Ecology of Mind, a portrait of her father, Gregory Bateson. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, and information technology together into a study of the patterns in ecology of living systems. Her book, Small Arcs of Larger Circles, released by Triarchy Press, UK, 2016 is a revolutionary personal approach to the study of systems and complexity.

Her presentation at the Summit will focus on Warm Data. Warm Data are contextual and relational information about complex systems. In other words, warm data involve transcontextual information about the interrelationships that integrate a complex system, as well as interwoven complex systems.

The Warm Data Lab process is an exercise for use with groups, who are interested in strengthening and further practicing their collective ability to perceive, discuss, and research complex issues. By shifting perspectives through a transcontextual conversational structure, the Warm Data Lab process increases people's abilities to respond to difficult or “wicked” issues. Because so many of the challenges that we face now are complex, we need approaches to meeting that complexity. Transcontextual interaction is the recognition that complex systems do not exist in single contexts, but rather are formed between multiple contexts that overlap in living communication and among living systems.
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Gregg Behr
Executive Director, Grable Foundation
In his 14th year as executive director of The Grable Foundation, Gregg Behr (@greggbehr) manages a grantmaking portfolio advancing high-quality early childhood education, improved teaching and learning in public schools, and robust out-of-school-time support. Nationally, Gregg is a former board chair of both Grantmakers for Education and Grantmakers for Effective Organizations. In Pittsburgh, he co-chairs Remake Learning. In 2016, President Obama recognized Gregg as a Champion of Change for his efforts to advance making and learning; in 2015, he was recognized as one of America’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers, and Trailblazers by the Center for Digital Education; and in 2014, Gregg accepted the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award on behalf of Pittsburgh’s efforts to reimagine education.
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Hanna Beightley
Healthy Homes Coordinator, Women for a Healthy Environment
Hanna Beightley recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Master’s in Public Health in Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. She joined WHE as the Lead Coalition Coordinator working to establish a county-wide initiative to address childhood lead exposure. More recently, she transitioned into the position as the Healthy Homes Coordinator for WHE where she works with families and stakeholders to address environmental exposures in the home and advocates for policy to protect children and families from the dangers of poor housing.
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Olivia Benson
Chief Operating Officer, The Forbes Funds
Olivia Benson is a civic technology, public policy, political advocacy, and public affairs professional with a proven track record of promoting advocacy causes, securing financial support for organizations, and spearheading community engagement initiatives for government, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Olivia is a featured radio, print, and television political analyst who regularly speaks on community and civic engagement, diversity in elected office, and social impact policies. She has appeared on the nationally recognized “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, local Pittsburgh PBS station WQED, provided public affairs commentary on KDKA Radio - one of the nation’s oldest and most esteemed radio stations, and is a featured political analyst on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel, PCNC. Additionally, she served as a guest op-ed columnist for the Toronto Sun Times covering the 2016 election cycle for their national and international audience. In 2015, she was awarded the “40 Under 40” award by Pittsburgh Magazine and in the past she has won awards from Get Involved, Inc., The New Pittsburgh Courier, and Whirl Magazine, in addition to numerous other honors for her work and volunteer activities.
Olivia has worked in both private and public sectors. She recently served as the Community Engagement Director for the Women and Girls Foundation (WGF). Prior to joining WGF, Olivia program managed multi-million dollar smart city technology programs for various cities throughout the US. Olivia has also worked as Deputy Press Secretary for former US Congressman Jason Altmire, a Press Secretary for former Chief Executive Dan Onorato during his race for governor, a communications specialist in the Allegheny County Executive Office, and as Communications Director for Rich Fitzgerald’s 2011 campaign for Allegheny County Executive. From 2011 - 2013, Olivia served as the Director of Youth Policy for the City of Pittsburgh, leading the city’s education, employment, and civic engagement programs for thousands of students and young adults.
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Jamil Bey, Ph.D.
President & CEO, UrbanKind Institute
Jamil is the founder and president of the UrbanKind Institute, a think-and-do consultancy committed to providing direction to improve policies, programs, and practices that are kind to urban people and environments; the root of sustainability. Under Dr. Bey’s leadership and direction, the UrbanKind Institute has become one of the region’s premier public policy consultancies. Prized for our ability to do the complicated tasks of bringing people from all sectors and with often competing interests together to create actionable solutions. Jamil is a human geographer with 8 years of post-doctoral research and analysis of policy and practices that improve efficiency and outcomes in human experiences. As a researcher, analyst, and consultant he specializes in challenging common assumptions about ordinary concerns while bringing alternative perspectives for consideration. Trained as both a professional geographer and as an educator, Dr. Bey excels in spatial analysis and synthesis, pedagogy, and instruction. His primary focus is on spatial, and location analysis. His integrated-systems view of the world provides highly contextualized conclusions, and recommendations that consider the interconnectivity of economics, politics, history, culture, health, social movements, and the environment in his analyses.
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Eric Bieniek
Assistant Professor of Special Education, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Eric J. Bieniek, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Special Education at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bieniek has a range of educational, clinical and supervisory experiences supporting the needs of learners having autism spectrum disorders and similar neurological, behavioral and emotional disorders across the lifespan in public, private educational settings as well as residential, community and vocational programs. Dr. Bieniek has served as a curriculum developer for higher education and program developer for vocational and community programs for transition age learners. He has presented at professional conferences locally, regionally, nationally and internationally and is an author, with his most recent peer-reviewed publications being in The 2019 and 2020 American Association for Employment in Education Handbooks as well as a chapter in "Contemporary Issues in Special Education,1st edition."
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Leslie Bonner
Consultant, Bonner Consulting
Leslie Bonner is a nonprofit consultant, leadership coach, and skilled facilitator who has worked with over 200 regional nonprofits. When not guiding strategic planning and organizational assessments, she provides training and coaching to leaders and teams. Leslie also facilitates planning and exploratory conversations for collaboratives, alliances and partnerships. Visit for more information.
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Mallika Bose
Professor, PSU
Mallika Bose is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Interim Associate Dean of Research, Creative Activity and Graduate Studies in the College of Arts and Architecture at Penn State. Her research interests include: Built Environment and Active Living/Healthy Eating; Community Engaged Design/Planning; Gender and Development; and Design/Planning Pedagogy. She served as the Chair of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) Board of Directors in 2012-13 and is a member of the National Advisory Board of Imagining America - Artists and Scholars in Public Life. She co-directs the Collective of Publicly Engaged Designers (CoPED), an initiative of Imagining America.
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Brett Brenton
Senior Director of Community Innovation, Forward Cities
Brett Brenton splits his time overseeing North Carolina-based efforts at accelerating the creation and implementation of inclusive innovation districts with various communities nationwide on community entrepreneurship accelerators to help activate their inclusive growth efforts. Brett serves as a key partner to each stakeholder in these spheres, helping to familiarize them with a variety of resources to help them meet their goals. Brett spent thirteen years in public education before starting a diversity-focused, STEM-themed career development non-profit for the Research Triangle Foundation. This led to other opportunities in program design and implementation, stakeholder engagement, and small business tenant recruitment for the Foundation. Brett is driven by work that helps present opportunity to segments of the population that face challenges to full and equitable access.
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Wayne Brinda
Producing Artistic Director, Prime Stage Theatre Co
Wayne Brinda, Ed.D. A stage director, producer, and educator, Wayne is Co-Founder/Producing Artistic Director of Prime Stage Theatre in Pittsburgh and Director of Secondary Education at The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. Prior to earning his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Duquesne University, he was Director of the Pittsburgh Playhouse Jr. He transformed the company from presenting fairy tales to presenting adaptations of literature. He also developed local partnerships that supported Resource Guides and enhanced the productions. As a Museum Teaching Fellow of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, he delivers workshops and produces theatre using young adult literature to teach the Holocaust. For Prime Stage, Wayne created the Literacy in ACTion Arts-in-Education Program that helps teachers in disadvantaged districts improve the literacy skills of their students as they also discover theatre for what may be the first time in their lives. He has directed and produced over 80 productions with Prime Stage and continues to build partnerships with local, national and international organizations that are designed to bring literature to life, address literacy, and enrich the experiences for audiences.
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Britney G Brinkman, Ph.D
Owner, Owner of BGB Consulting
Britney G Brinkman, Ph.D. is an associate professor of Psychology at Point Park University, owner of BGB Consulting, a consulting firm for non-profit organizations and schools, and the coordinator of the Health and Wellness Working Group of the Black Girls Equity Alliance. Dr. Brinkman is an expert in the psychology of gender and social justice. She has a particular interest in the lives of adolescent girls and the importance of designing, implementing and evaluating prevention and early intervention programs. Dr. Brinkman was the recipient of a Presidential Citation from the American Psychological Association for her work as a Citizen Psychologist. In 2017, Dr. Brinkman received an Interdisciplinary Research Leaders Fellowship from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to continue her community-based research focused on decreased health inequities facing Black girls. Additionally, Dr. Brinkman is the author of the book, Detection and Prevention of Identity-Based Bullying: Social Justice Perspectives and has published numerous articles and book chapters related to community-based research, girls’ activism, gender prejudice, children’s experiences of racism, etc.
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Fred Brown
President & CEO, The Forbes Funds
Fred Brown was appointed President & CEO of The Forbes Funds on January 8, 2018. Prior to that time Mr. Brown served as the President & CEO of the Homewood Children's Village. Mr. Brown has worked in the non-profit arena and in the public education sector for over 30 years; he has served in a variety of leadership capacities, including the roles as an Executive Director, Associate Director, supervisor, social worker, executive coach, consultant, conflict resolution and mediation specialist, coach and mentor roles. Mr. Brown has continued to invest his time, energies, and expertise in assisting a variety of communities and organizations to develop new and innovative programs that seek to empower at-risk populations. In addition to working in the aforementioned areas, Mr. Brown is actively involved in other aspects of professional development including Dean of students, school teacher, adjunct professor, and project manager. A specific focus of Mr. Brown's work includes working with African American males to reduce minority dropout rates in post-secondary environments and briding the divide between minority communities and their knowledge regarding energy reduction planning, carbon footprint analysis, and environmental justice leadership
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Sherry Miller Brown, Ph.D.
President, Carrick Community Council
Sherry Miller Brown, PhD, is the founder and retired director of the McCarl Center for Nontraditional Student Success at the University of Pittsburgh. She is also currently an adjunct professor there in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and teaches courses in the Public Service major. Sherry is the current President of the Carrick Community Council.
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Linda Fisher Bruce
President and CEO, McKinley Group, Ltd.
Linda Fischer Bruce has over 27 years of experience working professionally in the private, public and non-profit sectors. She holds a M.Ed. and a B. S. in Business Administration from Robert Morris University. Her business emphasis focuses on Technology, Education, and Community Outreach. She is also an adjunct instructor at Point Park University in the School of Communication. Ms. Fischer Bruce is the President and CEO of McKinley Group, Ltd. founded in 1990 providing independent telecommunications and management consulting services, and has worked contractually with many Private, K-12, Government, and Non-Profit organizations. She has also worked with several service-based organizations in various leadership roles for community outreach, either as a committee chair, facilitator, trainer, coordinator or consultant. Ms. Fischer Bruce has developed and taught workshops and orientation courses for various educational and community service organizations and has been a keynote presenter at conferences and learning development seminars. Linda has served on several non-profit boards, and continues to provide ongoing strategic leadership support for community outreach through Rotary. Her professional and community efforts have been recognized with awards in leadership, integrity, and distinguished service.
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Paxton Bucheral
Sustainability & Environmental Compliance Manager, DMI Companies
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Lauren Buches
Executive Director, Latrobe Art Center
Lauren Buches has been working to strengthen the important work of educational, historical, and artistic nonprofits for the past decade. She started her career as museum facilitator at Bushy Run Battlefield in 2010. Since then she has honed her marketing, community development, and collaborative skills at several nonprofits, including Carnegie Museums of Art & Natural History, Westmoreland Heritage, and the Red Panda Network. At Carnegie Museum of Natural History, she revolutionized the museum’s social media accounts, creating the @Dippy_the_Dino Facebook and Twitter accounts and serving as the museum’s first Social Media & Marketing Coordinator.

Currently Lauren serves as the Executive Director of Latrobe Art Center, a community art center in the heart of downtown Latrobe, PA, that provides a welcoming atmosphere for adults and children of all skill levels to grow their artistic talents and interests. Lauren obtained degrees in journalism and history from the University of Pittsburgh.
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Stephanie L. Bucklew
Owner, SLB Consulting
Stephanie Bucklew has over 20 years of experience in Enterprise Risk Management with a concentration in financial and operational risk. She has viewed risk through many different lenses in her service as a bank regulator, corporate auditor, corporate compliance officer and risk management consultant. Her career has centered around corporate governance and risk mitigation for organizations of all types and sizes.
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Jessica Burdick
Program Director, Community Human Services – Project Silk

Jessica Burdick currently serves as a Program Director at Community Human Services– Project Silk. Project Silk is a non-clinical community health and recreation safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth of color, located in Downtown Pittsburgh- providing testing services, linkages, and recreation. Ms. Burdick is also active in committee work pertaining to HIV and the continuum of care – serving on committees focusing on PrEP messaging and outreach as an initiative. Prior to working at Project Silk, Ms. Burdick completed her undergraduate studies at Miles College in Birmingham, Alabama, where she received her Bachelor's in Social Work in 2014 and participated in various advocacy projects pertaining to sexual health and wellness. Subsequently, she completed her graduate studies at University of Pittsburgh, where she received her Master’s in Social Work in 2015 and focused her studies on both race and sexuality.

Throughout her life Ms. Burdick has been passionate about working with marginalized communities and fostering anti-oppressive environments. Ms. Burdick feels as though she can build and strengthen relationships within community and is thankful to work in a field that is both enlightening and inspiring.

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Earl Buford
CEO, Partner4Work
Earl Buford is CEO of Partner4Work, leader of the public workforce system for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. As CEO, Mr. Buford manages public and private funds to ensure that current and future needs of businesses and job seekers are met.

Prior to June 2018, Mr. Buford served as President and CEO of Employ Milwaukee, where he was nationally recognized for the implementation and integration of a sector-based approach to workforce development. Mr. Buford also championed efforts to develop Midwest Urban Strategies, an unprecedented consortium of urban workforce boards united to build a supply-demand model to cultivate talent development and employer engagement. Prior to Employ Milwaukee, Mr. Buford was the longtime leader of Milwaukee-based WRTP/Big-Step, one of the first intermediaries in the country, which aimed at recruiting and building a diverse workforce in construction, manufacturing, and emerging sectors.

Mr. Buford is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he received a BA in History.
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Quintin Bullock
President, Community College of Allegheny County
Dr. Quintin B. Bullock is 9th President of the Community College of Allegheny County, a multi-campus institution serving approximately 43,000 credit and non-credit students. He is a consummate professional, an experienced educator, an exemplary community leader, a mentor, and a positive role model for students and aspiring leaders, with an extensive, diverse professional background in higher education. Bullock is a proven and results-oriented community college president that is recognized for his exemplary leadership and being an ambassador for the students and communities he serves.

Before joining CCAC, Dr. Bullock served as president of Schenectady County Community College in Schenectady, New York and as Provost of Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, Virginia.

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Prairie View A&M University and a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center: Dental Branch. He also completed post-doctorate studies at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. His leadership training includes the League for Innovation in the Community College Executive Leadership Institute; the American Association for Community Colleges Future Leaders Program; the Thomas Lakin Institute for Mentored Leaders; the Wharton/RHE Program in Higher Education; and the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents.

Dr. Bullock’s community and professional affiliations are many. He is on the board of Vibrant Pittsburgh, Caring Place Foundation, Partners 4 Work, Youth Places, Buhl Foundation, Pittsburgh Public Theater and Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh. For his work and advocacy on behalf of education and the community, President Bullock has received numerous awards and honors.
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Itha Cao
Policy Analyst, The Office of Mayor William Peduto, Office of Equity
Itha Cao is a Policy Analyst for Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, Office of Equity, focusing on special programs and initiatives that impact vulnerable communities: digital equity and inclusion, food insecurity, land recycling, and Asian American affairs.
In line with advancing equity and starting conversations around race and social justice, Itha used her cooking background to start a charitable food business, The Hungry Cao, which provides authentic, gourmet Chinese & globally-inspired night markets, cook-a-longs, and unique food tastings for small events and private dinner experiences. Her mission is to open minds to new flavors, and start conversations about culture, diversity and information exchange in our global world. Itha donates her time and proceeds from The Hungry Cao regularly to support other minorities, women, and social justice causes like 412 Food Rescue and the GIFT intergenerational program.
Itha is a proud mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and also serves as the youngest Board member of Vibrant Pittsburgh, a nonprofit aimed at building a thriving and inclusive region by attracting, retaining and elevating a diversity of talent. She joined the Board of Civically, Inc to promote civic and social literacy in the Wilkinsburg and East End region. In the international sphere, Itha is the lead curator of the Pittsburgh Global Shapers hub, a community of over 150 countries spanning 400 cities of young people impacting change in their cities. She recently won Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP’s 40 Under 40 award for her personal and professional contributions to the community and is a new member of Governor Wolf’s Pennsylvania Commission for Women to advocate for gender equity issues.
She grew up in State College and earned her dual Bachelors of Science degrees from Penn State University in Community, Environment, Development, and Agribusiness Management with a minor in Chinese language. She received her Master of International Development degree from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA), and founded the GSPIA Alumnae Group to coordinate panels and events featuring local GSPIA women to share their lessons learned and empower local alumnae. Itha currently resides in the East End of Pittsburgh.
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Dan Carney
Executive Director, The Union Mission
Dan Carney. When people experience trauma or serious life events/stressors, it is not uncommon for their lives to unravel. The outcomes of such an experience can lead to a variety of complex issues and barriers which work to prevent healing and returning to “normal.” One such example is homelessness. My great passion is working in collaboration with the community toward making homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. I have served in the role of Executive Director for Union Mission for the last 15 years. Union Mission applies a multi-disciplinary approach to its service delivery, including tenets of trauma informed care, sanctuary model, reality therapy/choice theory, motivational interviewing and others; being able to scaffold appropriate methodologies to the diverse needs of our neighbors experiencing housing insecurity allows for more effective and impactful engagement. I am an alumnus of Saint Vincent college and currently reside in Latrobe with my wife of 14 years. I am involved in a variety of Boards, Committees, and other groups who are focused on housing and social service delivery. I am also a member of THRIVE, Loyalhanna Lodge No. 275 and a Nursing Home Ministry Outreach Group.
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Kenny Chen
Executive Director, Partnership to Advance Responsible Technology
Kenny Chen is the Executive Director of the Partnership to Advance Responsible Technology (PART), a nonprofit think-tank that applies cross-sector, multi-disciplinary insight toward supporting the responsible development of AI and data-driven technologies. In his role, Kenny works with a global network of expert stakeholders from public, private, academic, and nonprofit backgrounds to create unique and collaborative solutions to complex problem areas.

To complement his work at PART, Kenny serves a variety of additional roles in organizations where technology meets social impact. He is the Founder of Pittsburgh AI, Outreach Committee Member for AI Commons, Pittsburgh Global Shaper, XPRIZE Ambassador, and Techstars Community Leader. He also serves on the boards of the Pittsburgh Entrepreneurs Forum, Social Venture Partners Pittsburgh, and Locally Grown. Kenny’s career interests in cross-sector collaboration have led him to work in and learn the “languages” of various fields, including education, behavioral research, federal government, local government, nonprofits, foundations, economic development, and entrepreneurship.
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Stephen Christian-Michaels
Chief Strategy Officer, Wesley Family Services
Stephen Christian-Michaels, Chief Strategy Officer of Wesley Family Services went to Carnegie-Mellon University, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in psychology before going the University of Chicago where he obtain his Master’s in Social Work.

Stephen has worked in the behavioral health field for 42 years. He spent the first 17 years in Chicago. He returned to Pittsburgh in 1998 to become the Chief Operating Officer at Family Services of Western Pa.

Stephen has driven the use of acquisition to grow the size of Family Services and grow the quality of administrative processes. After becoming CEO in 2014 he suggested and drove a number possible mergers and acquisition. The merger with Wesley Spectrum, merged two 30 million agencies with a combined staff of close to 1,200.

Recruitment and Retention is the number one challenge in the newly developed Strategic Plan after the merger. Stephen has been driving new best practices to drive first in class human resources in this new merged entity.
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Alyssa Cholodofsky
Westmoreland Region Director, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania
Alyssa Cholodofsky is the Westmoreland Region Director with the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania (UWSWPA) where she oversees United Way’s operations in Westmoreland, Fayette and Southern Armstrong Counties. Alyssa draws upon her extensive experience in management, fundraising, program development and planning, community relations and communications to work alongside a dedicated staff team and volunteers to create long lasting change for the betterment of the community. Her prior positions include Vice President of Development and Impact with UWSWPA, Director of Development at Family Services of Western Pennsylvania and the Veterans Leadership Program, as well as Executive Director of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia office. Alyssa holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and she is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).
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JaLissa Coffee
Director of Operations, Homewood Children’s Village
JaLissa D. Coffee, M.Ed., Director of Operations at the Homewood Children’s Village, has a passion for making sure organizations operate at their highest potential. Throughout her career, she has had the opportunity to engage with organizations seeking to expand their capacity and influence by implementing beneficial policies and procedures.
After receiving her B.A. in Organizational Communications from Xavier University of Ohio, Coffee went on to become an educator and ultimately received her M.Ed. in Elementary Education from The University of Missouri, St. Louis. She had a great career as an elementary school educator, college professor, mentor teacher, and professional learning community facilitator, but she was determined to do more. She knew that change needed to be made at a systemic level.
Coffee comes to Homewood Children’s Village after a very successful appointment as Director of Operations for a non-profit in the transportation industry. There she saw unparalleled success in creating thriving systems, adjusting operational budgets to promote profitability, and managing relationships and agreements with external partners. At The Village, her primary responsibilities include serving at the helm of the Collective Impact Council, evaluating the efficiency of business procedures according to organizational objectives, and applying improvements to the organization’s culture, strategy, policies, and procedures.
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Lori Como
Chief Program Officer, Literacy Pittsburgh
Lori Como has worked for Literacy Pittsburgh since 1999 and currently serves as the organization’s Chief Program Officer. In her role she oversees programs that serve more than 4,600 students per year. She works closely with Partner4Work and the CareerLink on workforce development initiatives throughout the region. Additionally, Lori currently serves on Southwest Corner Workforce Development Board. She has been very active with the state professional association since 2006, holding the positions of president, conference chair, vice president, division chair, secretary, and conference consultant. In 2014, she received the Joan Y. Leopold Award for her service to PAACE.
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Shaquile Coonce
Consultant, LaPiana Consulting
Shaquile Coonce, a Pittsburgh resident, enjoys working with nonprofits of all types and sizes to help them achieve their goals. As someone with a BA in Psychology from Purdue University, change management, particularly culture change, has always been an interest of hers. Shaquile's commitment to the social sector is informed by her experience in nonprofits, financial institutions, and higher education.

Prior to joining La Piana in 2015, she worked as a financial counselor and reporting/compliance specialist at NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania, and as a service representative at Three Rivers Federal Credit Union.

She was also a research assistant at the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, a program of Carnegie Mellon University, and at Purdue University. Shaquile studied abroad in the Czech Republic.

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Gretchen Costello
Director of Volunteer and Community Programs, Literacy Pittsburgh
Gretchen Costello is the Director of Volunteer and Community Programs at Literacy Pittsburgh, where she leads a team of community-based program coordinators and training staff, facilitates partnerships with community-based organizations, and ensures the highest quality programming to suit the needs of students and volunteers alike—all to support the agency’s mission of better lives through learning. She has been at Literacy Pittsburgh since 2010 where she formerly served as a program manager, a program coordinator, and an ESL instructor/AmeriCorps member. Prior to that, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse in Syracuse, NY. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Wagner College.
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Jenna Cramer
CEO of Green Building Alliance, Green Building Alliance
A GBA staff member since 2008, Jenna leads efforts to integrate health and sustainability values and practices into projects, buildings, schools, and communities throughout the 26-county Western Pennsylvania region, as well as parts of West Virginia. She created and implements the Green & Healthy Schools Academy for preK-12 stakeholders, which includes the integration of sustainability leadership, values, practices, and learning into schools and districts. Jenna created and curates GBA’s Inspire Speakers Series, an effort to bring national and local thought-leaders to the Pittsburgh region to inspire aspirational ideas for the places where we all live, work, learn, and play, with the overall vision of creating a healthy, just, and vibrant region for everyone. Her dedication to this work over the last ten years at GBA has been recognized locally, including by the Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40 Award in 2014.
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Lori McLaughlin Crawford
Resource Director & Grants Manager, Youth Enrichment Services
Lori McLaughlin recently graduated from American University with a Masters in Global Security. During her four years at YES she has served as a grant writer, strategic planner, and intervention specialist. Lori enjoys finding actionable solutions to Pittsburgh’s community needs and supporting youth in their journey towards post-secondary education. Her previous experience as a criminologist and a youth instructor continue to influence her time at YES.
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Rosamaria Cristello
Executive Director, Latino Community Center
Rosamaria Cristello is the Executive Director and Founder of the Latino Community Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Before launching the community center, Rosamaria directed the Latino Family Center which focuses on early childhood development. Rosamaria serves on several Boards and Advisory Boards, among them the Women and Girls Foundation and the Office of Child Development under the University of Pittsburgh, the Immigrants & Internationals Advisory Council for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, the Mayor’s Welcoming Pittsburgh Steering Committee and the Allegheny County and City of Pittsburgh Complete Count Committee 2020. Among her recognitions, Rosamaria was named one of Pittsburgh’s 40 Under 40 in 2016 and was the first recipient of the Barbara McNeese Spirit of Athena Award. Most recently, Rosamaria was honored by the Pittsburgh Steelers for her work with the Latino community.

Originally from Guatemala, Rosamaria grew up in Arlington, Virginia and now resides in Pittsburgh where she lives with her husband David and her son James. She received her bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Regional Planning and Geographic Information Systems from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her master’s degree in Public Administration through the Graduate School of Public & Internationals Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
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Amanda Cross
Research and Evaluation Manager, University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development
Dr. Amanda Cross is a Research and Evaluation Manager at the University of Pittsburgh, Office of Child Development. She received a doctorate in Criminology from the University of Maryland in 2009. Amanda’s research interests and experience are in school- and community-based prevention and intervention and in experimental methods and program evaluation. Amanda has extensive experience working closely with community-based youth serving agencies to conduct evaluations. She has published peer-reviewed research on both qualitative and quantitative analysis of youth and family-serving programs. Amanda joined the Gwendolyn J. Eliot Institute at Gwen’s Girls in 2016 and has been a member of the Black Girls’ Equity Alliance since its founding.
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Erin Dalton
Deputy Director - Office of Analytics, Technology and Planning, Allegheny County DHS
As Deputy Director for the Office of Analytics, Technology and Planning, Erin Dalton is responsible for directing the research and evaluation, evidence-based planning and information technology activities of the Department of Human Services. Ms. Dalton has held policy positions with the Allegheny County Executive's Office and the United States Department of Justice and was an adjunct staff member at the RAND Corporation. Ms. Dalton is a board member of Neighborhood Allies and was a mayoral appointee to the Pittsburgh Civilian Police Review Board and a county executive appointee to the Allegheny County Juvenile Detention Board of Advisers. Ms. Dalton received a Master's of Science from Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz School of Public Policy.
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Nathan Darity
Executive Director, The Global Switchboard
Nathan Darity is the Executive Director of The Global Switchboard, a Pittsburgh-based network organization he helped launch as a project of Amizade, and in 2016 accepted took the lead of full time following its transition to an independent organization. He previously served on the Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council through the Mayor’s Office. Nathan also hosts and organizes CreativeMornings Pittsburgh.
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Krissy DeShetler
Senior Manager, Outreach and Initiatives, Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc.
Krissy brings more than fifteen years of experience in nonprofit administration and management. Prior to joining Leadership Pittsburgh, Krissy spent nine years at Family House where she held a few different positions. Most recently her role was Shared Services Manager and included overseeing IT for five locations and approximately 50 staff members; processing deposits and payroll; supervising the processing of accounts payable and donations; creating organizational reports and managing several other technology and operations related projects. Prior to moving into the Shared Services Manager position, her primary focus was in development working to streamline data entry and reporting in The Raiser’s Edge database system, overseeing the organization’s website and managing direct mail and newsletter campaigns. Krissy has served as a Raiser’s Edge consultant for the Jewish Association on Aging and a few other organizations.
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Chad Dorn, PhD
Policy and Research Advisor, Leading to Movement
Chad Dorn, PhD., is a research and policy advisor whose focus is on developing organizational capacity for program evaluation and data-informed decision making, He has a particular interest in supporting programs and investments that support the healthy development of young children. Chad works with community groups, philanthropic organizations, and government agencies to create data-informed portraits of the early childhood landscape of neighborhoods, municipalities and counties of Pennsylvania. His experiences also include supporting research partnerships with government agencies, including the facilitation of the Research Council for the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and as the primary research partner with OCDEL to examine access to high quality early learning experiences across the commonwealth. Chad co-led an examination cross-system collaboration to increase access to high quality early learning experiences for young children and families experiencing homelessness and facilitated a county-wide collaboration of stakeholders representing homeless services and the early learning community tasked with implementing those recommendations. He provides technical assistance and support to the Making a Greater Hazelwood mini-grant initiative.
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Laura Doyle
Secretary and Growth Management Coordinator, Carrick Community Council
Laura Doyle has worked for the Postal Service for 33 years. She is currently serving as the Growth Management Coordinator for the United States Postal Service in the Western Pennsylvania District.
Laura is a lifelong resident of the City of Pittsburgh. Her passion is community service and she has a history of volunteerism dating back to her teenage years.
Laura is the Secretary of the Carrick Community Council. She serves on both the Beatification Committee, conducting several annual community beautification projects and the Capacity Committee maintaining membership records, quorum attendance records and the outreach email database.
A recent proud achievement is her successful submission and subsequent approval of application to make the Carrick Community Council one of 16 Registered Community Organization in the City of Pittsburgh.
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Karen Dreyer
Director of Food Security Partnerships, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Karen is the Director of Food Security Partnerships at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. She and her team work with community partners to increase participation in Afterschool meal and snack programs, School Breakfast, the Summer Food Service Program and SNAP. For over 20 years, Karen has worked to improve the lives of children by assisting them in accessing resources including learning opportunities, arts programs and healthy food. In recent years, she has advocated for policy and systemic changes so that families and children can better access meals. She has a Master’s degree in Higher Education from Geneva College and a Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, where she studied effective interventions for young people living in poverty.
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Amy Dukes
Senior Director of Memory Care Operations, The Jewish Association on Aging
Amy Dukes, Senior Director of Memory Care Operations at the JAA, is a Certified Dementia Practitioner and a Certified Alzheimer’s Educator. Amy has worked in senior services for over 20 years and has a passion for supporting people living with dementia and their loved ones. Through her work with the Alzheimer’s Association and the Jewish Association on Aging, she has been able to raise awareness on different diseases that cause dementia and to educate staff and families on how to best support those living with dementia.
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Hannah du Plessis
Principal, Fit Associates
Hannah du Plessis is principal at Fit Associates, a firm that equips people to co-create more equitable cultures and communities. She is founding faculty member of the Masters in Design for Social Innovation program at the School of Visual Arts in New York and an Adjunct of Practice at Carnegie Mellon University School of Design. Her experience ranges from community leadership in South Africa, design and consulting experience in the U.S., Europe and Africa and a keen interest in social change from the inside out.
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Charles Durham
Durham Construction: Home Renovation
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Dr. Jacqueline Edmondson
Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, Penn State Greater Allegheny (McKeesport, PA)

Jacqueline Edmondson is chancellor and chief academic officer for the Greater Allegheny campus. Her faculty appointment and academic home is in Penn State’s College of Education (Curriculum and Instruction: Language, Culture, and Society) where she taught undergraduate and graduate courses in literacy and policy.

Edmondson served as associate vice president and associate dean for Undergraduate Education at Penn State from 2013 - 2017. From 2009 to 2013, she served as associate dean for undergraduate and graduate studies in the College of Education; and from 2007 to 2009 she was the associate dean for teacher education and undergraduate programs in the college. She began her Penn State career as an assistant professor of education in 2000, becoming a professor of education in 2012. Edmondson began her faculty career in 1998 at the University of Minnesota Morris.

Her research has been published in a number of academic journals and her books include: America Reads: A Critical Policy Analysis (2000), Prairie Town: Redefining Rural Life in an Age of Globalization (2003), Understanding and Applying Critical Policy Study: Reading Educators Advocating for Change (2004), Reading Education Policy (2005 co-edited with Patrick Shannon), as well as biographies for adolescent readers about Venus and Serena Williams (2005, Greenwood Press), Condoleezza Rice (2006, Greenwood Press), Jesse Owens (2007, Greenwood Press), Jerry Garcia (2009, Greenwood Press), and John Lennon (2010).

Edmondson earned a doctorate in curriculum and instruction, a master of science degree in educational psychology and a bachelor of science degree in elementary and kindergarten education, all from Penn State.

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Stephanie Edwards
Health Educator, Adagio Health
Stephanie Edwards is a Health Educator for Adagio Health and has been for the past 2 years. She joins us after serving 27 months as a health education volunteer for the United States Peace Corps in Paraguay, where she also played a role in reshaping the community health sector. Stephanie has her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from SUNY Geneseo, with a minor in Human Development and enjoys using her psychology background in the work she does for Adagio Health. She is currently pursuing her M.S.Ed. in K-12 Supervision and Administration at Duquesne University, with the intention of making and maintaining social justice as a main component of educational progress. Stephanie is passionate about empowering youth to make their own healthy and positive choices.
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Jennifer Elliott
Associate Professor, School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University
Jennifer Elliott, PharmD, is an Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University. Elliott has spent her career working on initiatives to help improve children's health through education, research, outreach and advocacy. She leads a team that developed a community-based screening model to identify children with undiagnosed and uncontrolled asthma and connect them with appropriate care. The free service is offered in underserved schools and communities throughout Allegheny County. Elliott also created school-based asthma clinics in six underserved schools throughout the county, this as childhood asthma rates in and around Pittsburgh remain alarmingly high. She and her team developed an Asthma and Food Allergy Awareness program for school students, teachers and other professionals. An award-winning educator and researcher, Elliott is currently working to create school-based health centers, which would provide preventative, acute and/or chronic medical care to high-risk youth. She was recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP as a 40 under 40 honoree and the Incline's Who's Next: Education in 2019.
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Kathi R. Elliott
CEO, Gwen’s Girls, Inc.
Kathi R. Elliott earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Chatham University in August 2014. Dr. Elliott also completed dual Master’s degrees in Nursing and Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. Dr. Elliott has over 20 years of experience in social service, community and individual mental health treatment. Advocacy and giving back to others in need is a value that has been instilled in her by her mother and founder of Gwen’s Girls, the late Commander Gwen Elliott. In August 2015, Dr. Elliott accepted the position of Executive Director at Gwen’s Girls who’s mission is to empower girls and young women to have productive lives through exposure to holistic, gender-specific programs, education and experiences. As a visionary leader, Dr. Elliott is purposed to lead Gwen’s Girls in becoming a well-recognized forerunner in the integration of evidence-based clinical prevention and intervention policies and practices that enhance the child and social welfare system. Her culmination of education, work and life experiences will assist her in continuing the legacy of providing a comprehensive approach to addressing the issues that impact the well-being of girls, women and families.
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Grant Ervin
Chief Resilience Office, City of Pittsburgh
Grant Ervin serves as the Chief Resilience Officer and Assistant Director for the Department of City Planning for the City of Pittsburgh. Grant oversees the integration of sustainability and resilience into City of Pittsburgh’s services, programs and policy. He works to make the City of Pittsburgh a smart, sustainable and resilient city by fostering partnerships, leveraging assets and finding creative ways to solve problems. Prior to joining the City of Pittsburgh, Grant served as the Regional Director for 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, a statewide sustainable development policy organization where he focused on land use, transportation finance and infrastructure policy; and as Public Policy Manager for Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG).
Mr. Ervin serves as an integrator by working across departments, agencies and sectors to formulate sustainable and resilient solutions. He brings deep experience, intersecting the worlds of environmental, energy, technology, community & economic development and infrastructure policy to create innovative and sustainable solutions for the public, private and non-governmental sectors.
Mr. Ervin has helped lead the development of a variety of innovative programs including: Pittsburgh’s ONEPGH Resilience Strategy, Pittsburgh Climate Plan, Pittsburgh’s inclusion in the Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities Initiative; Bloomberg Philanthropies – American Cities Climate Challenge, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the United States Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge, the creation of the Uptown Eco-Innovation District, District Energy Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh and Neighborhood Community Information System and the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative.
Mr. Ervin has senior management experience in energy portfolio management, the evaluation and deployment of clean technologies and renewable and district scale power procurement. Mr. Ervin speaks frequently on topics ranging from urbanism, urban resilience, organizational sustainability strategies, smart cities and climate change and cities.
Mr. Ervin is a graduate of Washington and Jefferson College and the Graduate School for Public and International Affairs and the University of Pittsburgh. He serves on the board of directors of Sustainable Pittsburgh, Eco Districts, Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal (PACT) and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA).
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Michelle Fanzo
Executive Director, AIA Pittsburgh
Michelle Fanzo, Executive Director of AIA Pittsburgh Michelle has followed the trajectory of cities since she first arrived in Pittsburgh as a journalist in 1992, covering an urban environment in the midst of structural change. She followed such transformation in other cities and regions, leading to a Fellowship at an urban affairs think tank in Berlin. Michelle’s work moved further into the global arena with a career in international development at the United Nations, focusing on urbanization, resilience, sustainability, and disaster risk reduction. She later directed a women’s social enterprise in Afghanistan and became a Fellow at the World Policy Institute. Michelle returned to Pittsburgh five years ago.
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Amber Farr
One Northside
Amber Farr has 10+ years of experience working in the nonprofit sector, both as a grantee and now as a grantor. As director of One Northside, her role is a hybrid of grants and project manager, systems builder and community developer. Working with thousands of residents, institutional partners and grantees, the One Northside movement developed a framework to structure Buhl’s grant making agenda by leveraging its assets and resources to support long-term sustainable change for Pittsburgh’s eighteen Northside neighborhoods.

In addition to her work at The Buhl Foundation, Amber launched CoLab18. CoLab18 is a physical space that provides free classrooms and access to technology to encourage innovation, foster collaboration, close the digital divide and empower civic engagement.

Amber serves on numerous boards and volunteers for organizations such as: The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, Community College of Allegheny County, PCTV, Southwestern Pennsylvania Partnership for Aging, Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership, The Best of the Batch Foundation, Comcast Cares Day, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council, The Will Allen Foundation and United Way’s “Be A Middle School Mentor”, etc. A proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Amber earned a bachelor’s degree at Temple University and a master’s degree at Point Park University.
Amber has also been recognized as: The Incline’s Who’s Next 2018: Philanthropy, Destiny of Faith Church’s Northside Hero, The New Pittsburgh Courier Fab 40 Under 40, and a Young, Gifted & Black Awardee.
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Gisele B. Fetterman
Second Lady of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Gisele Barreto Fetterman is an access and equity advocate, a hugger and the Second Lady of Pennsylvania. She is the founder of Freestore 15104, where surplus and donated goods are received and redistributed to neighbors in need. The Freestore aims to eradicate food and clothing insecurity and has inspired 9 spin off locations and the birth of 412 Food Rescue. Gisele is the co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, a community wide effort to end hunger and reduce food waste. 412FR has rescued over 6 million pounds of food. She is co-founder of For Good PGH, a non-profit that works to advocate inclusion and inspire kindness. Its first initiative, Hello Hijab, has received both national and international praise. Gisele was born in Brazil and emigrated as a child to the US, living as an undocumented immigrant for over a decade. Her work has been featured in the TODAY Show, CNN, NPR and more. Gisele is a Forty under 40 honoree, a Tedx Speaker a Jefferson Awards recipient and a mother of three.
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Michelle Figlar
Vice president, Learning, Heinz Endowments
Michelle Figlar is the vice president of Learning at The Heinz Endowments. Before joining the foundation in August 2016, Michelle served as deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning. She also has been executive director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC) and has held various professional positions in the field of education.

Throughout her career in government, the nonprofit sector and the classroom, Michelle has been a strong advocate for young children, their families and the caring adults in their lives. She served as co-chair of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Early Childhood Education, and as a board member for the Birmingham Foundation, the Education Policy and Leadership Center (EPLC), and Jeremiah’s Place, western Pennsylvania’s first crisis nursery. She also was a member of the advisory council for Remake Learning and early education organizations such as the Pennsylvania Early Learning Council and the Early Learning PA Campaign.

Michelle is a native of Pittsburgh’s Hazelwood neighborhood and lives in the city with her husband Greg Quinlan and their children Grady and Tilly.
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James Fogarty
Executive Director, A+ Schools
James Fogarty is the Executive Director of A+ Schools, an advocate for children getting what they need to succeed in school and be prepared for college, career, and life.

His journey to A+ Schools began as a high school and college student, where he taught for multiple summers with what is now known as the Breakthrough Collaborative - an intensive academic enrichment summer program for middle school students where high school and college students taught and ran the day-to-day details of the program. At 18, he ran for and won a seat to his local Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Washington, D.C., becoming one of the youngest people to hold elected office in the District. After graduating from Georgetown, James went on to the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in San Francisco.His Coro experience led to a number of issue advocacy and political campaigns where he learned the intersection between policy, politics, and community organizing. His training as a lawyer and time working for a Silicon Valley firm, further strengthened his belief that all children deserve access to a high quality education and the access to and experience with networks and opportunities afforded to those who attend the best schools in the nation.
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Liz Foster-Shaner
Executive Director, TOPittsburgh
Liz Foster-Shaner has a PhD in Theatre Research, with a focus on theatre for cultural and social awareness and community-based performance. Currently, Liz develops workshops and projects that examine and reimagine our roles and opportunities as active citizens of our local communities and larger society.
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Bill Freed
Workforce Development Coordinator Southside Office, Pittsburgh Community Services, Inc.
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Tiffany Gary-Webb
Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health
Dr. Tiffany Gary-Webb is currently a tenured Associate Professor in the Departments of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health. She’s held faculty positions at several other top-tiered Schools of Public Health including the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is an accomplished researcher having authored or co-authored over 100 scientific publications including journal articles, book chapters, and editorials. Her current research agenda is the culmination of her 20 years of experience working to understand the social/environmental determinants of chronic disease and implementing interventions to improve prevention and control. Dr. Gary-Webb’s research program is divided into three defined areas: 1) the social determinants of diabetes and obesity, 2) interventions to improve diabetes outcomes for Minority populations, and 3) translation of research findings to practice and real-world evaluation. She’s held leadership positions in several national organizations including the American Diabetes Association (ADA), the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Council on Black Health (CBH). She is now expanding her national and international reach to work on larger structural issues that will affect the nation’s progress toward understanding and eliminating health disparities.
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Bobbi Watt Geer
Speaker, President & CEO, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania
On 1 July 2019, Bobbi Watt Geer assumed the role of President & CEO of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. This appointment comes after a 30+ year career in the nonprofit sector. Bobbi served previously in a variety of leadership positions within United Way, including Senior Vice President of Administration and Regional Vice President of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Prior to the organization’s merger, she was President & CEO of United Way of Westmoreland County, serving Westmoreland, Fayette and a portion of Armstrong Counties. Her extensive nonprofit experience includes serving as the chief operating officer for United Way of Westmoreland County, the former president of The Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, development and public relations director for St. Anne Home and in a variety of roles with the American Heart Association. She has been involved with many community committees and boards, including serving as the immediate past chair of the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership Advisory Team and president of the Franklin Regional Panther Foundation.
Bobbi holds a doctoral degree in public administration and public policy from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and earned her master’s degree in nonprofit management from Robert Morris University.
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Lissa Geiger Shulman
Director of Public Policy, Trying Together

Lissa Geiger Shulman is the Director of Public Policy for Trying Together. In this role, she has collaborated with board members and internal and external stakeholders to develop and implement the organization's policy agenda. The policy agenda currently centers around promoting developmentally appropriate practices in birth through age 8 programs, ensuring investments, and promoting quality across early learning settings. Lissa regularly meets with policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels to educate them on early childhood issues and refine policy proposals.

Lissa also works with statewide advocates as part of Early Learning PA and sits on the leadership team and policy committee of multiple statewide campaigns including Childhood Begins at Home (evidence-based home visiting), Start Strong PA (high-quality child care), and Pre-K for PA (high-quality pre-k). In this role, Lissa provides strategic input to influence the development of policies proposed and advanced by the administrative and legislative branches.

Prior to Trying Together, Lissa was the Chief of Staff to a state representative where she worked on legislation and policy analysis in the areas of education, intellectual disability services, and civil rights issues. Lissa has an M.A. in Education and has taught middle school science.

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Brandy Gentry
Executive Director, Oli's Angels
Brandy Gentry is a Pittsburgh native dedicated to serving and empowering women and their families. Having lost her son Oliver in 2010, Brandy became the first certified birth and bereavement doula in the city of Pittsburgh in 2014. She continued her work as a doula with UPMC, serving in various capacities during her time there. In February of 2017, she founded Oli’s Angels, Inc., a nonprofit organization serving low income or at risk women by providing comprehensive birth and bereavement support services. Recently, Oli’s Angels has collaborated with Duquesne University in bringing birth doula and postpartum services to women in the Allegheny County Jail system.
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Jerrel Gilliam
Executive Director, Light of Life Rescue Mission
Jerrel T. Gilliam, BA is the Executive Director for Light of Life Rescue Mission which includes faith-based recovery programs. Light of Life utilizes a specialized approach that helps clients to identify the underlying issues that have led them to homelessness and addiction. Jerrel was certified as a Paramedic with ACLS through the Center for Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Jerrel was honored by New Orleans’ Mayor Ray Nagin for his work in the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Jerrel is a member of Reconciliation Ministries International under the leadership of Bishop Joseph Garlington Sr and is a regular faculty member for their annual leadership conference in South Africa. He is the President of Mosaic Sound LLC, which provides consulting services for non-profit and faith-based organizations. Through Mosaic Sound LLC, Jerrel has cultivated strategic relationships with Youth With a Mission, DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative and BGEA’s Rapid Response team for disaster relief. Jerrel has certifications in Mental Health First Aid, Trauma-Informed Care, Serving Leadership Training. Jerrel serves as Chairman of the Board for Melting Pot Ministries and is a board member of Youth With A Mission-Pittsburgh.
Jerrel is most proud of his wife Dr. Shannah Tharp Gilliam and their 7 children, Josiah, Jordan, Jerrel I, Gentry, Joyelle, Wells, Jada, and grandchildren Aiden and Mina.
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Rebecca Gilmer
Executive Director, Bethany Community Ministries
As Founding Vice President of The Impact Movement Inc. and in her 39 years of vocational ministry, Rebecca has addressed groups as large as 15,000 in this country and spoken on the continents of Asia, Africa, and Europe. In 2019 she traveled to South Africa and southern India to study ministry in global contexts. In 2017, Rebecca lived in far northeast India for three months teaching students at The Academy of Integrated Christian Studies. In 2016, Rebecca hosted the Faith and Law Around the Globe Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa and was plenary speaker for the Bellville Baptist Church Conference in Cape Town.

Born and reared in New Orleans, Louisiana, Rebecca earned a degree in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980. In May 2019 she graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary with honors for the highest GPA in her class.

Rebecca served as a minister at the historic campuses of Clark, Morehouse, Morris Brown, and Spelman Colleges and Howard University. Rebecca has served on the Boards of The Winter Park Health Foundation, The Synergy Women’s Network and The Beautiful Project.

Rebecca currently serves as the newly installed Executive Director of Bethany Community Ministries in Homewood.
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Daniel Giovanelli
Executive Director, Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity
In his current role as Executive Director of Central Westmoreland Habitat for Humanity, Daniel Giovannelli spends his day expanding the mission of Habitat for Humanity in his local community. A resident of Crabtree, PA, Dan has strong ties to the area and believes his neighbors should have access to safe, decent, and affordable housing. He previously served six years as the Executive Director of Global Solutions Pittsburgh, a nonprofit focused on global education and the cultivation of globally aware citizens. Dan is a proud triple graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, earning his Bachelors of Arts in History and Political Science, a Masters of Public Administration and Juris Doctor as a Pitt Panther. Dan is a proud husband and father of two amazing children. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, fishing and working outside with his children on their small farm.
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Pamela Golden
Executive Director, Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation
For the past seven years, Pamela Golden has served as Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation (PCGF), a private, non-profit grantmaking organization that focuses on the needs of families with children in Allegheny County. Since 2014, the Area of Emphasis for the Foundation has been to mitigate the circumstances of families with children experiencing homelessness through direct grants; research to develop a greater understanding of this complex issue; and by partnering with other organizations to enhance PCGF’s impact in the community.
Concurrently, she works as a consultant for regional and national organizations on long-range planning, communications, marketing, media relations and board governance initiatives.
Pamela is an active member of the community. Currently, she serves on the executive committees of boards of directors for The Children’s Institute, Allegheny County Library Association, and the FBI Pittsburgh Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association. Recently, she was elected to Staunton Farm Foundation and is a member of the Advisory Board of the Allegheny Regional Asset District that distributes taxpayer generated funds to nonprofit organizations across Allegheny County.
Previously she served was chaired the board of Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures and was Chair of the City of Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission, and on the board of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.
Ms. Golden works as a volunteer at a hospice care facility, and the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. She is member of The Aurora Reading Club of Pittsburgh, one of the nation’s oldest African American literary and cultural clubs.
Golden holds a Master’s of Public Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz School of Public Policy and an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
Golden has won numerous regional and national awards for her work in the marketing and communications field and for her community service.
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Tyra Good
Assistant Professor of Practice in Education, Chatham University
Dr. Good is an Assistant Professor of Education at Chatham University, where she also serves as liaison to establishing culturally sustaining school and university partnerships. She the founder of GOOD Knowledge Connections and the Black Educators Network of Greater Pittsburgh. Dr. Good has received a myriad of award recognitions for her dedication and service to developing and strengthening school, family, and community partnerships. Some of which include; 2019 Deeper Learning Equity Fellowship, 2018 Education Missions Award, 2018 Excellence in Education, 2017 Faculty Technology Fellow, 2017 Student Organization Advisor of the Year (Black Student Union), 2016 Minority Achiever’s Award, 2016 FAB 40, 2016 Robinson Award for Educational Excellence, 2014 Emerging Leader, 2012 Afterschool Pennsylvania Champion, and 2009 40 Under 40. Dr. Good was also a National Fellow with the Center for Innovation and Excellence which works to create a dynamic community of scholars and researchers to promote authentic youth engagement. Dr. Good serves on the board of Manchester Academic Charter School. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Dr. Good graduated with a Bachelor degree in Business Management from Howard University, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Chatham University and a Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Evaluation from Duquesne University.
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Christine Gordon
Vice President, Education at Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania (PPWP).
Christine Gordon is the Vice President for Education at Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania (PPWP). Christine has been working in sexual health education for over 17 years, starting just out of college with a Planned Parenthood affiliate in Richmond, Virginia where she performed in an HIV-prevention peer education theatre troupe. She worked as a Community Educator and Peer Education Program Coordinator for several years with Planned Parenthood Association of Bucks County (now PP Keystone), and she has held similar positions at other organizations, including Children’s National Medical Center and Cultures of Consent, where her work continued to focus on ensuring everyone has access to inclusive, medically-accurate information related to sexuality and sexual health. She earned an MA in Sociology from American University in 2012, along with a certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. After teaching in Morocco for two years, she relocated to Pittsburgh, and began working as an educator with PPWP in 2017. In February she transitioned into the VP for Education role, and enjoys her work to improve access to high-quality, inclusive, comprehensive sexuality education for youth and adults in the greater Pittsburgh area. PPWP’s education department includes a Peer Education Program that has been serving youth for 27 years, a Violence Prevention Program that has been growing steadily since its inception in 2016, a Community Education Program, and a mobile STI testing program, Care No Matter Where, that provides free STI testing at events and easily accessible locations in Allegheny and Cambria Counties.
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Gillian Graber
Executive Director, Protect PT
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Robert Gradeck
Project Director, Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center; Pitt Center for Social & Urban Research

Bob Gradeck manages the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, which provides a shared, inclusive infrastructure for open data, and support to a broad community of data users. The Regional Data Center’s Website now hosts over 300 open datasets from over 20 publishers. The Regional Data Center is managed by the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Urban and Social Research, in partnership with Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh. Bob has worked at the University Center since 2009, where he managed several community data projects.

Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, Bob worked at the Carnegie Mellon University Center for Economic Development for ten years, where he helped to found the Pittsburgh Neighborhood and Community Information System, and worked on a number of projects and initiatives related to technology-based economic development in the Pittsburgh region. Bob also worked at City Source Associates in Pittsburgh, where he compiled information for people moving to the City of Pittsburgh. Bob started his career at the Atlanta Project, where he helped lay the foundation of one of the nation’s first neighborhood information systems. Bob received a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 1993, and a Masters of City Planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1995. Bob recently served on the Executive Committee for the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, and also was the first organizer of Code for Pittsburgh, the region’s Code for America Brigade.

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Stefan Gruber
Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon’s School of Architecture
Stefan Gruber, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon’s School of Architecture Stefan is an architect, urban designer and educator committed to co-operative design and building more equitable cities. He directs the Master of Urban Design program at Carnegie Mellon and recently guest-edited and co-curated “An Atlas of Commoning.” This traveling exhibition and its eponymous catalogue feature citizen-led initiatives that transform cities from the bottom-up. Together with students he has worked on urban design strategies for the Manchester Academic Charter School on the North Side and Community Forge in Wilkinsburg, which is shortlisted for this year’s ULI Placemaking Award.
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Katelyn Haas-Conrad
Senior Policy Analyst, Allegheny Conference on Economic Development
Katelyn is a Policy Analyst for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. She is currently working on transportation policy relating to the Regional Transportation Alliance of Southwestern Pennsylvania . She completed her master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus on Public and Nonprofit Management at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs . A member of the PGSS class of 2005, she subsequently served as the PGSS Program intern in 2014. She holds a bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Psychology from Case Western Reserve University. She is excited to serve on the board and hopes that her studies in nonprofit management will be beneficial for the program. She also serves on the Oikocredit Southwestern Pennsylvania Support Association board of directors, serves as an adviser for the Beta Nu chapter of Delta Gamma at CMU and serves as a member of the session at East Liberty Presbyterian Church . She served in the Peace Corps in Sierra Leone from 2010-2012 and now lives in Pittsburgh
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Dennis Henderson
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Manchester Academic Charter School

Dennis Henderson is a dynamic educator and advocate of social justice through education who has impacted the lives of youth and families for over 20 years. Throughout his career Dennis is renown for his grassroots approach to education and designing collaborative learning experiences with a variety of industry leaders to create programs that provide students and families with exposure and opportunities beyond their local neighborhoods.

Placing emphasis on creating authentic learning opportunities to address social justice and inequities, Mr. Henderson has initiated and designed a variety of programs focusing on entrepreneurial skills, law-related education, environmental sustainability, robotics and maker activities, and outdoor recreation. His work as a teacher has been recognized nationally and internationally and for the past five years, he has served as a lead administrator at Manchester Academic Charter School (MACS) as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer.

Dennis was a key figure in the fundraising and development of MACS at the Museumlab. Collaborating with the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh, CMU’s Center for Entertainment Technology, SLB Radio and other youth oriented organizations, the Museum Lab will serve as a national model highlighting Pittsburgh's collaborative commitment to public education, innovation and experiential learning.

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Kelly Henderson
K-12 Education Manager, Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus
Kelly Henderson is the K-12 Education Manager for Chatham University’s sustainable Eden Hall Campus. She has been at Chatham working to create K-12 school partnership programs, including field trips, conferences, camps and educator professional development, since 2014. The Eden hall K-12 Programs were recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools with the "Best of Green Schools 2018" award, which recognizes higher education institutions who have made a significant contribution to the K-12 green schools movement through partnership, research and/or scholarship. As a member of the Education Department, Kelly also teaches courses as adjunct faculty on "Experiential Learning and Classroom Partnerships" and on “Intergroup Dialogue Facilitation Training.” Before coming to Chatham, Kelly helped start the Pittsburgh 2030 District with the Green Building Alliance, and was the project manager on LEED green building certification for the United Steelworkers Building while working for The Efficiency Network. Kelly has a BA in Physics from Colgate University, an MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and an MAT in Secondary Science Education from Chatham University. Before changing careers, she worked in solar panel materials research.
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Rev. Stanley Holbrook
Consultant, Larimer Consensus Group (EcoDistricts)
Rev Stanley A. Holbrook graduated from the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management of Carnegie Mellon University with a master’s degree in Public Management. In addition, he has an MBA in International Business and Strategic Planning from Point Park College and earned a master’s degree in Theological Studies from the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Mr. Holbrook also graduated from Geneva College with a bachelor’s degree in Human Resource Management. Currently Stan is the owner of S. A. Holbrook and Associates, a management consulting firm that does organizational development, strategic planning, and capacity building training. Mr. Holbrook has also to complete his doctoral studies in Ministry (Faith and Work) in June 2015.

With over twenty years of experience, Mr. Holbrook has added valuable support to the field of Human Services. Some of his accomplishments at in his current position as President and CEO of Three Rivers Center for Independent Living (TRCIL), include quadrupling revenue of the organization over a 7 seven-year period. He set up satellite offices throughout Western PA and developed an accessible gym that could be fully utilized by people with disabilities. Worked as the Neighborhood Improvement Specialist for the Larimer Consensus Group.

Mr. Holbrook is also extremely active in the community, serving on committees and boards such as the American Society of Aging and the National Council for Independent Living (NCIL). He was instrumental in developing NCIL’s Diversity Initiative. He was the Vice-Chair of the Governor-appointed Statewide Independent Living Council and the president of the Pennsylvania Council for Independent Living. Mr. Holbrook also served as a delegate to the White House Commission on Aging in 2005.
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Polly Hoppin
Program Director, Lowell Center (CFEN)
Polly Hoppin is a Research Professor and Program Director for Environmental Health at the Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, University of Massachusetts, Lowell. She integrates understanding of links between exposures and disease with development of solutions, with focus on asthma and cancer. As a Senior Advisor to USEPA and DHHS during the 1990s and as Principal Investigator subsequently, Dr. Hoppin has been a leader on asthma prevention at the national, regional and state levels. She is also co-founder of the Cancer Free Economy Network, a national partnership across multiple sectors seeking to catalyze a shift from hazardous chemicals to safer alternatives, with a particular focus on communities disproportionately exposed. Polly works closely with organizations in SWPA on a related initiative to reduce environmental contributors to cancer, and to integrate environmental strategies into cancer prevention.
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Bomani M. Howze
President & CEO, CEO OLMEC Development Company
Bomani M. Howze is the President & CEO of OLMEC Development Company. Our real estate firm specializes in acquisition and new construction of multi family residential housing. Mr. Howze is a principal partner of Intergen Real Estate Group, recently awarded 500 residential mixed income units on The Historic Lower Hill site, Pittsburgh Pa.
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Pearl Hughey
Community Advocate, Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT)
Pearl Hughey is a Rankin Borough resident and longtime community advocate, most recently an organizing fellow in Pittsburghers for Public Transit's campaign to expand the East Busway through rider-led planning. Ms. Hughey was a key leader in the successful 2018 effort to prevent a proposed 50% reduction in transit service to the Mon Valley, an area with high level of need for transit. She has been a member of the Rankin Borough Council, and board member to the Mon Valley Initiative. Ms. Hughey received her Masters of Science in Leadership at Carlowe University in 2005, and currently works in Risk Information Management at PNC.
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Jerome Jackson
Executive Director, Operation Better Block
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anupama jain
Founder and Principal Consultant, Inclusant
anu has a PhD in literary & amp; cultural studies and was a professor for a decade. Currently, they are the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Gender Equity Commission and Principal Consultant for Inclusant, LLC. Inclusant sponsors CREATING CONFLUENCE, an innovative public program focused on diversity leadership training.
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Laura Johns, PhD
Laura Johns, PhD, is a consultant and change agent focused on systemic initiatives that address access to high quality early care and education programs, holistic child development, cultural competency, family engagement and intentional community initiatives that support outcomes at three interactional levels -- Families (microsystem), Schools, (mesosystem) and Community (exosystem). Her previous roles have afforded her the opportunity to lead the development and implementation of statewide quality rating and improvement systems, a tri-state partnership supporting infant and toddler care, the development of early education empowerment zones, education system reform in Uganda, and community development initiatives. Laura oversees the Making a Greater Hazelwood mini-grant initiative
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Gina Johnson
Director of Programs, Sustainable Pittsburgh

Gina Johnson is the director of programs at the nonprofit Sustainable Pittsburgh, responsible for advancing programs that align the region’s environmental, social and governance needs through business sustainability practices and reporting. Previously she was a corporate social responsibility (CSR) analyst at BNY Mellon, involved in global CSR strategy and reporting according to Global Reporting Initiative guidelines.

She serves on board committees of the American Solar Energy Society and Venture Outdoors and as chief sustainability officer of the nonprofit Blue Stream Farms aquaponics project-based learning program for high school students. She is an adjunct professor in Duquesne University’s MBA Sustainable Business Practices program, ranked #1 in the U.S.

Gina holds an MBA Sustainability from Duquesne University and a master’s in professional writing and editing from George Mason University. Before working in business sustainability, Gina had a career as a magazine editor-in-chief, chief content strategist, and marketing professional specializing in renewable energy and high-performance building, among other sectors. She has been named a Fellow of the American Solar Energy Society and received Duquesne University’s inaugural Excellence in MBA Sustainable Business Practices award.

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Barbie Jones
Early Childhood Education Liaison, Derry Area School District
Barbie Jones is the Early Childhood Education Liaison for the Derry Area School District. She has over 20 years of classroom teaching experience. Barbie holds a PK-12 Principal Certification, an M. Ed. In Elementary Counseling and a B.S. in Elementary Education. She has worked as an Instructional Leader, Elementary Lead Mentor and Curriculum Leader for the Derry Area School District. Barbie has two children, Kendrik and Kenzie. She enjoys spending time with her family, kayaking, skiing, and traveling.
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Denise Jones
Program Director, Youth Enrichment Services
Denise Jones is a recent graduate of Columbia University’s Education Policy and Social Analysis Program and is the current Program Director for Youth Enrichment Services. During her university tenure, Denise actively engaged in conducting K-12 research which focused on engaging low-income students in after-school/ summer-time learning programming. Her research specifically addressed improving student access, out-of-school programming structures, and student engagement. This research, along with her time as a classroom educator, inform her work at YES.
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Dennis Jones
Executive Director, Youth Enrichment Services
Dr. Jones is an Associate Professor in the College of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, Department of Sport Studies at West Virginia University, and teaches a variety of courses to both undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to teaching and research. Dr. Jones provides senior leadership to Youth Enrichment Services, where he is both the founder and Executive Director. Dr. Jones has operated YES for over 25 years and continues to be the visionary behind the work in which YES engages.
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Hannah Karolak
Director of Executive in Residence program, The Forbes Funds
Dr. Hannah Karolak earned her Ph.D. in communication & rhetorical studies from Duquesne University, where she has taught classes in communication ethics, organizational communication, and integrated marketing since 2013. Dr. Karolak's passion for community development stems from her research on trauma-informed community resilience. In 2015, she was awarded the Applied Urban Communication Research Grant from the Urban Communication Foundation. Hannah used the grant funds to research post-trauma placemaking and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Her research touched upon the importance of public remembrance, communicative spaces, and placemaking in urban areas following traumatic events. In addition to her work on trauma-informed community development, Hannah has explored social issues such as challenging community relations and the effects of the private prison system on at-risk youth. She is the author of multiple research articles and recipient of many awards including the 2018 Wilhelm S. Wurzer Scholarship Award from Duquesne University, as well as a 2016 national top-paper award for her work on public assembly and grassroots activism.
Apart from her research, Hannah consults nonprofit leaders to strengthen their marketing and communication efforts and provides strategies and assistance with grant writing on behalf of local neighborhood groups.
Prior to joining The Forbes Funds, Dr. Karolak helped jumpstart the Starzl Network for Excellence in Pediatric Transplantation, a national clinical learning network designed to quickly and efficiently improve outcomes for child transplant recipients.
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Daniel Rossi Keen
Executive Director, Riverwise
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Laura Kelley
Director Business Development, Heritage Community
As Director Business Development at Heritage Community Initiatives, a non-profit organization serving forty communities within Allegheny County, Ms. Kelley has connected financially struggling families with needs-based projects and programs aimed at supporting self-sufficiency for over a decade. Through cultivating relationships with community, foundation, corporate and business leaders in the region she has matched measurably successful programs with a wide range of individual and mission based funding opportunities. Ms. Kelley is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and Allegheny College - where a strong foundation for a career in the nonprofit sector was built through education, training, and field work.
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Ashley Kertes
Executive Director, Greensburg Community Development Corporation (Think Greensburg)
Ashley Kertes joined the Greensburg Community Development Corporation (Think Greensburg) in July 2018 as Executive Director. As a City resident, Ashley is passionate about promoting the city she calls home and supporting its growth and revitalization. In her role, she is proud to serve as the face and voice of Think Greensburg, where she is responsible for carrying out its mission of total community development. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Seton Hill University and lives in the City of Greensburg with her husband, Sean.
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Barry Kerzin
Barry Kerzin is a medical doctor, an Affiliate Prof. at the Univ. of Washington Tacoma, a Visiting Prof. at Central University of Tibetan Studies in Varanasi, India, a former Honorary Prof. at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), and a former Assist. Prof. of Medicine at the Univ. of Washington. Barry is a fellow at the Mind and Life Institute and consults for the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig on compassion training.

For 30 years, he has been providing free medical care to the poor up to the highest lamas, including HH Dalai Lama. Barry has completed many meditation retreats, including a three-year retreat. His brain was studied at Princeton Univ. and the Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, as a long-term meditator. He was ordained as a Bikkshu (monk), and now combines his work as a monk and doctor, harmonizing the mind and body, lecturing around the world in Japan, Hong Kong, Russia, Mongolia, India, Korea, Europe, and North America.

Barry works in juvenile prisons in Japan and is developing well-being curriculum. He teaches compassion to doctors at St. Luke's hospital in Tokyo, and other hospitals and medical schools in Japan, e.g. Kyoto University, and leads meditation retreats at Mt. Fuji. He has been training Google Japan employees in mindfulness, resilience, and compassion. He has delivered 2 TEDx talks. For AIMI, in June 2015, he presented a medical grand rounds lecture on compassion at Stanford Medical School, and Stanford CCARE - and in July lectured at Surgical Grand Rounds on the science behind meditation to the Ventura County Medicine Centre, as well as lectured at the Univ. of Washington. In Spring 2016, he lectured at Oxford and Cambridge Universities, and U.K. medical schools. Barry was the keynote speaker for the White Coat Ceremony for new first year medical students at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, both in 2016 and again in 2018. In Fall 2016, he presented the plenary lecture to 800 Family Doctors at the Family Medicine Education Consortium in Pittsburgh, and in 2018 started training 18,000 nurses at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Compassion, Mindfulness, and Resilience. In 2018, he taught CME courses for UPMC doctors, and presented a Medical Grand Rounds at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. For the last 5 years at Unilever Japan, he has held symposia on ethical leadership for Japanese HR leaders as well as similar programs at Google Japan, Mitsubishi Jisho, and others. In 2019, he presente
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Rebecca Kiernan
Principal Resilience Planner, City of Pittsburgh
Rebecca Kiernan is a Principal Resilience Planner with the City of Pittsburgh, where she works on developing and implementing initiatives such as the ONEPGH Resilience Strategy and Investment Prospectus, Pittsburgh Equity Indicators Reports, Roadmap to Zero Waste, and supporting the City’s Climate Action Plan. Her position focuses on building social, ecological, economic, and physical resilience to city-wide shocks and stresses. Rebecca was previously Sustainability Coordinator for the Township of Moon, worked in coastal livelihoods restoration in Indonesia, and has 7 years of experience in education and facilitation. She holds a BA in education from SUNY Geneseo, and an MS in Public Policy and Management with a focus on Environmental Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. She’s a board member of Three Rivers Waterkeepers and serves on the City’s Shade Tree Commission.
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Christine Kirby
Development Officer, Neighborhood Legal Services
Christine Kirby serves as the Director of Advancement and Statewide Support for the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. PLAN is the principal statewide funder and coordinating agency Pennsylvania’s network of civil legal aid programs providing access to justice for victims of domestic violence and those who have nowhere else to turn. In her position, Christine leads statewide resource development and communications efforts designed to further the goal of equal justice under the law.
She also serves as a Development Director for Neighborhood Legal Services Association in Pittsburgh where she has been successful in requesting and receiving private gifts for a number of programs, as well as increased the number of grant proposals submitted and funded, expanded annual giving and implemented special events and stewardship activities. Christine is responsible for designing and over-seeing strategies for resource development and utilizing emerging technologies to increase organizational efficiencies. She is skilled in developing fundraising and communications efforts that correspond to a strategic plan and implementing new initiatives to improve access to justice.
Christine earned her Master’s Degree in Public Policy Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and is also a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University.
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Chris Koch
Founding Principal, Civic Method
Ms. Koch is a nationally recognized social entrepreneur and whose work focuses on data-informed equitable development and social impact. She is the founding principal of Civic Method. She is currently a working group member for the Global Impact Investing Network’s update of the IRIS system, measuring impact investments and developing alignment with UN Sustainable Development goals. She was most recently CEO of Design Center Pittsburgh and Co-founder of GTECH Strategies. She received her Master of Science degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
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Phil Koch
Executive Director, Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, The Pittsburgh Foundation
Phil Koch has been working to strengthen communities for over 15 years. He started his career as an elementary and middle school teacher in the Chicago Public Schools and the Pittsburgh Public Schools. In 2005, Phil left the classroom and began working in the nonprofit sector as the Pittsburgh Director for MGR Youth Empowerment, a direct service non-profit focused on youth development. As the National Executive Director, Phil grew the organization to five metropolitan cities, impacting over 50,000 youth during his tenure. Currently, Phil serves as the Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County whose mission is to encourage local residents to become philanthropists, to provide grants that support a wide variety of non-profit organizations, and serve as a community leader. Phil obtained his Bachelor’s Degree from Wittenberg University and his Master’s Degree in Professional Leadership and Non-Profit Management from Carlow University.
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Jana Lake
President, 3 Rs Sustainability
Jana Lake has been in consulting for more than twenty years, ten of which were spent with Accenture where she led a team of internal change experts who helped the company’s senior leaders accomplish their mission and objectives – aligning their people and processes to achieve their strategy and maximize their savings/return on investment. Jana helped define the value proposition to employees, drove their move to telecommuting internally, and led organization redesign programs to improve service delivery, resource planning and corporate performance management.

Jana brings a global perspective to sustainability. Following her BA in International Studies at the University of Michigan, her MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, and her studies at the Copenhagen School of Business in Denmark, Jana worked extensively throughout Europe. Prior to Accenture, Jana worked on M&A and start-up projects, and led a team with PepsiCo developing the supply chain and integrated, vertical operations in post-Communist Russia. She also consulted and built cohesive teams for marketing and media companies addressing complex, multi-generational challenges. Jana was an early team member with GM’s Saturn Corporation, where she worked to develop and build its distribution network.
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Mara Leff
Director of Innovation, Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF)
Mara Leff is the Director of Innovation for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation (JHF). She collaborates with fellow members of the long-term care and aging team to develop strategies to advance JHF’s Senior Connections initiative, which includes launching the Virtual Senior AcademyTM project, rolling out Community HealthChoices in western Pennsylvania, and holding a series of community conversations in support of a master plan for senior services in the region. Ms. Leff leads a new initiative at the Foundation called Liftoff PGH 2020, an event and an ongoing process to move our region to a new space beyond the current frontiers of healthcare innovation. Prior to joining JHF, she served as an independent marketing and communications consultant and worked at Ogilvy Public Relations as an assistant account executive. While at Ogilvy, she participated in campaigns for the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, among other organizations. Ms. Leff earned her Masters of Public Health, Behavioral Health and Communications from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health, and her BA in Global Public Health from George Washington University.
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Mark Lewis
President & CEO, POISE Foundation
Mark is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in accounting. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1991 while working at Price Waterhouse. He left Price Waterhouse LLP after 8 years and joined Ernst &Young LLP where he worked for over five years reaching the level of Senior Manager. Mr. Lewis joined the board of the POISE Foundation in 1996 as its Treasurer and Chair of the Finance and Investment committee. He resigned from the Board in 2002 to become the second President and CEO of POISE Foundation. Mr. Lewis also serves on the board of directors of the Community Investment Network, Sustainable Pittsburgh, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management Advisory Board, Grantmakers of Western PA, and is Chair of The Heinz Endowments African American Male Initiative Advisory Board. Mark is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XXII. He serves as an Elder and Trustee of Deliverance Baptist Church of Wilkinsburg. Mr. Lewis is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
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Stephanie Lewis
Manager of Partnerships and Quality Improvement, APOST
Stephanie Lewis is the Manager of Partnerships and Quality Improvement at APOST. Her role is to continue to build and support APOST’s quality out-of-school time network. Prior to becoming an APOST team member, Stephanie served as the Director of Educational Initiatives at The Oasis Project of Bible Center Church in Homewood. In that role, she was responsible for program development, strategic planning, program evaluation, program management and general operations. She began her work at Bible Center as a volunteer for The Maker’s Clubhouse and was integral in the formation and expansion of the STEAM-focused program for K-5th graders.Stephanie received her bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-med from Jackson State University in Mississippi, her home state. She also earned a master’s of science degree in biological sciences from Carnegie Mellon University. In her spare time, she serves on boards to promote scholarship and out-of-school time programs. Her past times are playing board/card games with her family, taking long walks and completing DIY projects.
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Walter Lewis
President & CEO, Homewood Childrens Village
Walter Lewis is the President & CEO of Homewood Children’s Village, where he oversees HCV’s work and partnerships across the cradle to career pipeline. Walter began his journey at HCV as a volunteer. Over the past six years he has served at every level of the organization, from part-time after school work, to program management and later as a director. He received his BS from Cheyney University in computer science and his MS from Carnegie Mellon University in computational biology.
Walter currently resides in the Homewood community with his wife and their four children.
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Stanley Litow
Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM and President of IBM’s Foundation, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs, IBM and IBM’s Foundation
Under his leadership, beginning in 1993 IBM has been widely regarded as the global leader in Corporate Citizenship, and praised for societal and environmental leadership, labor practices, and civic leadership. At IBM, Stan Litow organized and led three National Education Summits at IBM for the President of the United States, the nation’s Governors, CEO's and education leaders. He manages IBM's citizenship efforts across 170 countries around the world.

Under Mr. Litow, IBM has developed innovative voice recognition technology to help children and adults learn to read, a humanitarian virtual supercomputer to speed research on cancer and AIDS, and new digital imaging technology to improve water quality. Mr. Litow helped devise IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, a corporate version of the Peace Corps, to train and deploy over three thousand of IBM’s future leaders on our one thousand community development projects across nearly 40 countries in partnership with major international development agencies; the IBM Smarter Cities Challenge, which is helping more than 140 cities worldwide become more effective. Under his guidance cities have improved their emergency response systems, transportation and water quality efforts; and the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), a grade 9 through 14 schools initiative to transform U.S. education and strengthen America’s economic competitiveness by connecting education to jobs. President Obama praised P-TECH in his 2013 and 2014 State of the Union addresses, and visited the first P-TECH school in 2013. P-TECH also has been profiled as a Harvard Business School Case Study, as a TIME Magazine cover story and in a PBS special. Currently there are over 60 P TECH schools across six states and countries outside the US with plans to scale to over 100 schools within the next year. Mr Litow also developed a virtual supercomputer, World Community Grid, that has provided massive computer power valued at over $100 million dollars to researchers around the world leading to improvements in critical health problems, like childhood brain cancer. He created an innovative way to help government and not for profit organizations manage the social safety net through the use of advanced data analytics and has pioneered the use of Watson or Cognitive Computing to create a personalized coach for teachers in partnership with a global network of education influencers.
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Leah Lizarondo
CEO and Cofounder, 412 Food Rescue
Leah Lizarondo is the CEO and Cofounder of 412 Food Rescue, a technology and logistics organization setting the standard for retail food recovery. Leah received her graduate degree in Public Policy & Technology from Carnegie Mellon University. Founded in 2015, 412 Food Rescue is one of the fastest-growing food recovery organizations in the U.S. Creating the infrastructure for national retailers, 412 Food Rescue has prevented over 5 million pounds of food from going to waste via technology that mobilizes over 7,000 drivers-- food rescue heroes--the largest volunteer food transport network in a single urban region. 412 Food Rescue's innovative distribution model bridges the last mile and significantly impacts access and food security. Set to expand globally, her work at 412 Food Rescue has been featured in national media including NPR, Fast Company, FoodTank, Martha Stewart Living, Food & Wine, Saveur, Organic Life, Bust Magazine, Redbook, Success Magazine and Civil Eats. In 2019, Leah won the WE Empower UN SDG Challenge
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Raymond Logan
Consultant, Logan Consulting Associates
Ange Loiseau
Corporate Social Responsible Manager, Robert Morris University's Covestro Center for Community Engagement
Born and raised in Haiti, Ange Loiseau immigrated to the United States as a teenager.
Ange holds a Bachelor’s degree from CUNY Queens College in Media Studies and Journalism. Deciding to branch out after undergraduate school, a google search led her to Pittsburgh where she earned a Master’s degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Point Park University.

A public affairs internship introduced her to Bayer Corporation in 2011 which lead to a position in the Communications Department. Ange then accepted a project coordinator position in the Bayer MaterialScience group (now Covestro) supporting Bayer MaterialScience President’s Chief of Staff, which lead to a community affairs representative position. In her current role as Corporate Social Responsible (CSR) manager at Covestro, Ange reports to the Head of Sustainability, and is responsible for two of three aspects of Covestro’s Ignite, Imagine, Innovate (i3) CSR program – i3 Give and i3 Engage. She handles company giving across the U.S., as well as foster employee engagement.
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Charlie Lotz
Vice President, Denny Civic Solutions

Charlie has been with Denny Civic Solutions since 2012. Initially serving as Social Media and Web Content Director, Charlie’s role has continued to expand over the years to encompass everything from project management to client relations, strategic plan writing, government relations, earned and digital media content creation, and even event planning. However, his primary duties lie in building and managing broad-based advocacy coalitions.

Charlie served for several years as Campaign Lead for the #StrongMomStrongBaby coalition, a statewide initiative to improve the health of infants and mothers affected by postpartum depression. In that role, he managed a highly-engaged coalition of 40+ organizations from across the Commonwealth and the country, regularly leading in-person advocacy events in Harrisburg and in legislators’ home districts. He currently serves as the Campaign Lead for two other ongoing advocacy efforts: the Paid Leave for PA campaign and the #BackOnTrackPA campaign.

He was also heavily involved in several other initiatives under the Campaign for What Works, including efforts to secure funding for Pennsylvania’s vital human services programs, to provide on-the-job training and internships for young people with disabilities, and to protect PA’s highly successful Aging Waiver program. As Vice President, Charlie is also responsible for managing DCS’ human resources and public policy internship programs.

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Kim Louis
Project Manager – Westmoreland, Forward Cities
Kim Louis is an entrepreneur and nonprofit director in New Kensington, PA with 25 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector and with at-risk youth. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Arts in Youth Ministry from Trinity School for Ministry. She has worked as a Behavioral Specialist in autism for Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and a Youth Ministry Consultant for the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh. She is the Founding director of Sonward Youth Programs in New Kensington, PA, working with kids in the neighborhoods with the highest poverty rates in the county. She created a tiered mentorship program where kids can move from participants to interns to staff. Currently, the daily operations of the program are partially run by staff who started out as program participants. Kim has been married to her husband, Dave, since 2004 and together they are raising their four adopted children who are all middle school aged. She is a resident of New Kensington and hopes to be able to bring innovative redevelopment to her community through her work with Forward Cities.
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Rodney Lyde
Paster, Baptist Temple
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Alyssa Lyon
Sustainable Communities Director, Green Building Alliance
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Tyler Manley
Senior Manager of Nonprofit Engagement, Catchafire
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Amanda Markovic
Associate Principal, GBBN
Amanda Markovic is driven by design’s power to transform experience and empower communities in urban centers, the workplace, or academia. Her work includes award-winning projects for the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh including the Teen Hive and Knoxville Branch renovation and the Maya Design headquarters. She is also a co-founder of GBBN’s annual Design Issues Series (DIS). A great communicator who facilitates productive discussions among multiple project stakeholders, Amanda's communication skills and passion for design have led her to become an AIA leader in the Building for Better Communities initiative.
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Andrea Matthews
Executive Director, The Brashear Association and the founder of The Children's Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc.
Andrea M. Matthews is the Executive Director of The Brashear Association, and the founder of The Children's Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc. A former Public Health Analyst, Andrea recently returned to her beloved city, Pittsburgh, after working in Rockville, Maryland on a variety of programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration in the Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs in the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. With more than 17 years working in the nonprofit sector, Andrea has a unique perspective having grassroots organization development, grant seeking and grants monitoring experience. Andrea is a believer in the power of change and has the proven track record of success, innovation and leadership. She is an author, transformative leader, wife and mother, who passionately weaves all of her experiences into inspiring messages of hope and resilience.
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Michael Matthews
Executive Director, The Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc
Michael L. Matthews is the Executive Director of The Children’s Sickle Cell Foundation, Inc., whose mission is to provide quality programs for children with sickle cell disease and their families to help them face the educational, social and economic challenges caused by the (SCD) through an integrated system of community and hospital partners. He formerly served as the CSCF Program Director, responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of all CSCF programs including the flagship, Educational Support Program, which serves school aged children through college. CSCF is the Pennsylvania State Lead for the Sickle Cell Disease Newborn Screening Follow-Up Program focused on increasing the number of Community Health Workers (CHWs) delivering programs to families to help them navigate medical systems and live healthier lives. Michael’s passion for innovation and experience in quality improvement results in steady growth of the organization.
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Christian McClendon
Program and Project Coordinator, Operation Better Block Inc.
Christian McClendon is the Program and Project Coordinator at Operation Better Block Inc. in Pittsburgh. Being a Pittsburgh Native from the Southside area, He has always had the goal in mind of adapting to change and helping people connect with social change.
After graduating high school, he went to study Criminal Justice at Point Park University where he received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Since coming to Operation Better Block in 2016 he has worked with the Junior Green Corps Program at Operation Better block with co-worker Natisha Washington in planning out and improving the Green Spaces in Homewood. The Junior Green Corps program is a group of teens 14-18 that he teaches/works with all year focusing on horticulture, vacant lot restoration and job readiness training. In the past two years we have partnered with local environmental organizations to facilitate and implement projects like rain Garden installations, Green house building, Mass tree plantings, Soil Testing, and their bi annual REDD UP community cleaning days.
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Mary Jayne McCullough
Speaker, Founder & Executive Director, Global Wordsmiths
Mary Jayne is the Founder and Director of Global Wordsmiths, Adjunct Faculty Lecturer of Global Communication and Applied Translation at Carnegie Mellon University, and co-chair of the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition Board of Directors. She studied public service at the University of Pittsburgh and language translation & interpretation at the Universidad Autónoma Nacional de México in Mexico City, and brings fifteen years of field experience as a Spanish language translator, simultaneous interpreter and a language service industry executive to her current position at Global Wordsmiths. She is driven and passionate, and dedicated to advancing a culture of language accessibility in Western Pennsylvania.
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Shaunda McDill
Program Director, The Heinz Endowments
Shaunda McDill joined The Heinz Endowments in October 2017 as the program officer for arts and culture, following more than a decade of nonprofit executive and arts management experience. Most recently, she was a publicist for the Blake Zidell and Associates, a Brooklyn-based public relations firm representing artists, arts institutions and festivals.
Shaunda has worked for theater companies across the country, including The Goodman Theatre of Chicago, Second Stage Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse and Cornerstone Theater Company. She also founded demaskus, a nonprofit, service-oriented collective of artists and administrators who produce theatrical projects sharing stories of the marginalized.
In Pittsburgh, Shaunda served as vice president of programming and cultivation at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, where she managed all artistic and educational programs, and oversaw a $1 million programming budget. As the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s director of public relations, she headed both national and local public relations campaigns, including the North American premiere of Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck Project, which generated more than $10 million in direct spending in the city.
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Lora McKnight
Vice President, Programs and Services, vibrant PITTSBURGH
Lora McKnight serves as Vice President, Programs and Services for Vibrant Pittsburgh, responsible for strategic programmatic
leadership and development for the organization. Previously, Lora worked with The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Southwestern PA and Chatham University. Lora received her Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of
Pittsburgh. Lora currently serves on the City of Pittsburgh's Welcoming Pittsburgh Steering Committee and the Western PA Civil Rights Working.
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Jesse McLean
Executive Director, Western Pennsylvania and Northeast Ohio, Pressley Ridge
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Donna McManus
Vice-President and Capacity Chairperson, Carrick Community Council
Donna McManus is the Vice-President and Capacity Chairperson for the Carrick Community Council. As the Capacity Chair she is responsible for the membership of the council and community events such as the Halloween party, holiday light up night, and the Easter egg hunt. Donna is also the Chairperson for the Carrick/Overbrook Community Block Watch. Her strategies in capacity building come from her 10 years of experience as a Parent Engagement Specialist for the Pittsburgh Public Schools.
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Matthew Mehalik
Executive Director, Breathe Project

Matt serves as Executive Director of the Breathe Project, a coalition of local residents, environmental advocates, public health professionals and academics advocating for healthier air for the Pittsburgh region.  From 2007 – 2016, he served as Program Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh, where he created, Champions for Sustainability.  Matt teaches environmental policy and community resiliency courses at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University since 2008.  He has written multiple peer-reviewed publications in sustainability, design, and education and has co-authored Ethical and Environmental Challenges to Engineering with Michael E. Gorman and Patricia Werhane.  Matt’s Ph.D. is in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia.   

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Donna Memmi Malpezzi
Strategic Partner, Denny Civic Solutions

As chief legal counsel to the Senate Majority Caucus and to three Majority Leaders, Donna advised on strategy, major policy decisions, and legislation, coordinated with the House and the Executive Branch, and provided guidance and direction regarding daily legislative action taken by the Senate.

Donna also played a significant role in developing and drafting laws, including the annual state budget and related legislation; the reduction and prevention of healthcare-associated infections; the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act (MCARE), including creation of the Patient Safety Authority; expanded children’s health insurance; the Hospital and MCO Assessment Acts; and various programs established through the Tobacco Settlement Fund.

Over the past several years, Denny Civic Solutions and DMM Consulting’s strategic partnership has allowed us to team with several organizations looking to fill critical gaps in the health care field, including the Pennsylvania Coalition of Nurse Practitioners, Allegheny Health Network, Adagio Health, and Med Health Services.

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Sarah Mendelson
Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
Ambassador Sarah E. Mendelson is Distinguished Service Professor of Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University and Head of Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College in Washington DC. She served as the US Representative to the Economic and Social Council at the United Nations until January 20, 2017. Confirmed by the Senate in October 2015, she was the USUN lead on international development, human rights, and humanitarian affairs. There she oversaw campaigns to get country-specific resolutions passed in the General Assembly and to get NGOs, including the Committee to Protect Journalists, accredited to the UN. She led efforts to elevate the issue of combating human trafficking and was senior lead for the President's Summit on Refugees. Prior to her appointment as Ambassador, she served as a Deputy Assistant Administrator at USAID from 2010-2014 where she was the Agency lead on democracy, human rights, and governance.
A long time policy entrepreneur, she has spent twenty-five years working on development and human rights as a scholar and a practitioner. She worked in Moscow with the National Democratic Institute, served on the faculty of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and spent over a decade as a senior adviser and the inaugural director of the Human Rights Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. While at the Washington-based think tank, she also worked as a senior fellow in the Russia and Eurasia Program overseeing focus groups, public opinion surveys, and social marketing campaigns in Russia on a range of issues. Her current work, funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, in collaboration with the International Youth Foundation, centers on growing and supporting the generation that will demand and deliver the Sustainable Development Goals—Cohort 2030—with a focus on building peaceful, just, and inclusive societies. At Carnegie Mellon, she co-chairs the University’s Sustainability Initiative that was announced by the Provost at UNGA 74.
She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and serves on the editorial board of International Security. The author of over 70 scholarly and public policy publications, Ambassador Mendelson received her BA in History from Yale University and her PhD in political science (international relations) from Columbia University.
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Anthony Mitchell
Associate Teaching Professor - African American Studies, Penn State Greater Allegheny
Dr. Anthony B. Mitchell, Sr. is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies at Penn State Greater Allegheny. He is the co-founder and co-director of the Stewart-Jones Scholar Leadership Program. A youth-activist in the 1960s, his over 30 years of institutional and community service at Penn State are embodied in his involvement in numerous statewide and regional educational and community-based initiatives. Since 2006, Dr. Mitchell has served on The Pittsburgh Public Schools/Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission’s “Conciliation Agreement” Equity Advisory Panel as a monitor of the systemic academic progress and achievement of African American students. His institutional leadership efforts have resulted in recognition by various organizations. In 2017, at Penn State, he received the College of Education Alumni Society “Service to Penn State Award” and, in 2015, the Penn State Forum on Black Affairs (FOBA) “Humanitarian Service Award” for his leadership, extensive contributions and service to historically under-represented populations and diverse communities in Pennsylvania.
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Charlotte Mitchell
Project Manager, Center For Inclusion Health, Allegheny Health Network
Charlotte Mitchell is the Project Manager for the FOCUS Program at the Center for Inclusion Health at Allegheny Health Network. Her role at Center for Inclusion Health is to create pathways to care for patients living with HIV and/or Hepatitis C through routine screening, linkage to care, and treatment expansion. She is a recipient of the Community Liver Alliance’s You Make a Difference Award and a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh’s Leadership Development Initiative Fellowship, class of 2018-2019. She serves on the advisory committee and the Testing and Linkage to Care workgroup of AIDS Free Pittsburgh, as well as the steering committee of Hep. C Free Allegheny.
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Emily Mitchell
Manager, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh
Emily is a certified planner with more than 10 years of experience in community and economic development in both the private and public sector. At the URA, Emily manages the Economic Development department and coordinates planning, financing, and implementation of complex development and infrastructure projects. Emily also directs strategic planning studies that engage residents and stakeholders around vision, future market-based development, and public realm improvements. Emily holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
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Alaa Mohamed
Policy Coordinator, The Office of Mayor William Peduto, Office of Equity
Alaa Mohamed is an Egyptian-born, American-raised, globally curious human. Alaa joined the Office of Mayor William Peduto in September 2019. As a Policy Coordinator, she serves as support on research, policy, and programming. Her current focuses include coordinating the local preparation efforts for the 2020 Census, in partnership with Allegheny County, and assisting in strategic visioning for the Gender Equity Commission.
Alaa holds a Bachelor of Philosophy in Sociology from the University of Pittsburgh. She maintains an active role in the community, including the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, CreativeMornings/Pittsburgh, and Global Shapers Pittsburgh.
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Wasiullah (Wasi) Mohamed
Pittsburgh Director of Community Entrepreneurship, Forward Cities
Wasi Mohamed is the incoming chair of the Governor’s Commission on Asian Pacific-American Affairs, and former executive director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh. Mohamed devotes time to Welcoming Pittsburgh, and recently joined the ACLU’S state board of directors. Mohamed has also started a Master of Public Management program at Carnegie Mellon University.
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Leslie Montgomery
Vice President of External Operations, Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services
Leslie Montgomery is the Vice President of External Operations at Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services. She oversees the Development Department and has been instrumental in the development of many of our innovative grant funded programs. Additionally, Leslie is always looking for partnership opportunities.
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Makiyah Moody
Consultant, La Piana Consulting

Makiyah Moody is most energized by the opportunity to work with organizations that support marginalized communities and people of color, and that advance democracy and racial equity. As a consultant with La Piana Consulting, she helps organizations ask and answer critical questions about how to deliver on their missions more effectively. As a BoardSource Certified Governance Trainer, Makiyah excels in helping boards develop the tools, habits, and skills to fulfill their obligations so their organizations can increase mission impact and community relevance.

Prior to graduate school, Makiyah was a Civil Rights Investigator with the Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago, an experience that vividly confirmed the disparate impacts of structural racism. Makiyah is a Pahara Institute NextGen Fellow and an Executive Scholar with the Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Makiyah has an MA in Humanities from the University of Chicago and a BA in Hispanic Studies, magna cum laude, from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, where she served as a trustee from 2014-2019.

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Jessica Mooney
Manager of Special Projects, Allegheny County
Jessica Mooney joined Allegheny County as Manager of Special Projects in September of 2018. In her role she is responsible for assisting the Director of Community Relations & Special Projects in interfacing with communities on issues relating to trails, education, veterans affairs and municipal issues. She is also engaged in the Census 2020 efforts at the county level.
Jessica previously worked at the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority where she assisted in the development of policies to increase coordination across the city to address stormwater issues. Prior to that role, she helped launch Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability and the Environment as one of the school’s first hires. Working closely with students and faculty, she developed curriculum, managed logistics, and worked to create a positive learning environment for students.

Jessica began her public service career at Allegheny County, in its Economic Development Department where she was the Assistant Manager of Business Development. In that role, she supported programs to strengthen community business districts, promote sustainability and assist small businesses.

Jessica holds a BA in urban studies and anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh and a MS in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University.
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Jamayia Moore
BJWL Operations Manager, Family Resources
Jamayia Moore, a native Pittsburgher, decided early in life that her passion was to help others problem solve situations. While taking classes in the Criminal Justice field, Jamayia soon realized her passion was in a different capacity than she was currently pursuing. Soon after that, her heart led her to the BJWL program which is housed under Family Resources. Jamayia’s dedication and focus on problem solving and empowering youth has led her to a number of leadership roles within Family Resources. Her most recent position is Operations Manager of BJWL where she is responsible for the behind the scenes details to keep program running smoothly. Jamayia continues to work diligently with her team, communities and funders to improve the overall BJWL experience. You can also often hear her reminding youth to “Believe in something bigger than yourself, find something that you care about and before you even know it you’ll be making a difference!”
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Darnell Moses
Administrator of Contracts and Compliance, Allegheny County Department of Human Service
Darnell Moses is the Administrator of Contracts and Compliance for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services. In this role, Mr. Moses oversees the administration of 350 contracts that provide $900 Million dollars in funding as well as the oversight of these contracts. Previously, Mr. Moses spent 15 years with the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, of which 10 years were spent as the Manager of Development Authorities including the Redevelopment Authority. In this capacity, he governed all aspects of each Authority including managing Board of Director meetings. Under Mr. Moses’ supervision, these Authorities financed more than $10 Billion dollars for major institutions. Mr. Moses has spoken frequently on the efficiencies of administering multiple Authorities while working with government and has also provided consulting to development agencies. Mr. Moses has a BA in Legal Studies from the University of Pittsburgh and a JD from Duquesne University School of Law.
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Doug Muetzel
Chief Executive Officer, Wesley Family Services
Douglas Muetzel serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Wesley Family Services, a newly merged non-profit organization that united two of the largest behavioral healthcare providers: Wesley Spectrum and Family Services of Western Pennsylvania. Wesley Family Services provides a wide variety of therapeutic support programs and serves individuals throughout the course of their lifespan.

Prior to serving in his current role, Doug served as the CEO of Wesley Spectrum for more than 17 years where he led the organization to become one of the region’s most respected providers of child and adolescent behavioral healthcare services. Wesley Spectrum was known for its emphasis on treating and providing care that was holistic, integrated, innovative, and transformative. One of his biggest successes at Wesley Spectrum was the implementation of the Connections, Assessments, Resources, Evaluation and Support (CARES) program. CARES is a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and service-planning program for children with autism and their families and the program has been implemented and is offered at Wesley Family Services.

Before working in behavioral health, Doug had a successful career in sales and marketing and worked with internationally-known corporations like Cornerstone Publishing, Beecham Group, and Proctor and Gamble.

He serves on multiple boards including the Community Care Behavioral Health and Grove City College. Previously he served as board president of the statewide membership organization of the Pennsylvania Council for Children, Youth and Family Services.

Doug and his wife, Linda, reside in the North Hills and when he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with their two kids and three grandchildren. He believes that it is privilege for him and all staff members at Wesley Family Services to serve our region’s families. He has become one of Pittsburgh’s most passionate advocates for families and all those struggling with an issue and is a staunch believer that where there is help, there is always hope.

Doug graduated from Grove City College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.
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Victor Muhammmad
Student Minister, Muhammmad Mosque 22
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Keith Murphy
Executive Director, Bethany House
Keith Murphy is the Executive Director of Bethany House, an innovative nonprofit organization devoted to reducing the negative impacts of poverty and inadequate education within the impoverished community of Northview Heights in North Pittsburgh.
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Jeff Murray
FAIA, Senior Vice President and Market Leader, Cannon Design
Jeff Murray, FAIA, Senior Vice President and Market Leader with Cannon Design Jeff provides design leadership for complex projects supporting scientific research and creative knowledge workers for educational, corporate and governmental clients. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA), recognized for his innovation engaging large and diverse stakeholder groups as active participants in the design of complex buildings, campuses and urban places. His expertise in this area is focused on how design impacts environmental health, human performance, social interaction, and well-being.
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Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis
Executive Director, Women for a Healthy Environment
Michelle Naccarati-Chapkis has worked in the non-profit field for 20 years. She is the first executive director of Women for a Healthy Environment (WHE). In this role she leads the organization’s education and advocacy activities focusing on prevention of human health illness and disease linked to environmental exposures. WHE provides the community access to reliable, scientific information; supplies citizens with the tools necessary to advocate for policy solutions that address environmental risks that impact human health; and informs the region through educational workshops and conferences, community events, online learning and speaking engagements. The organization’s main program areas are: Healthy Homes, Healthy Schools and Early Learning Centers, and Healthy Communities. Prior to joining WHE, Michelle was director of land protection at Western Pennsylvania Conservancy where she managed the Conservancy’s real estate transactions (totaling over $60 million) and oversaw the conservation of over 49,000 acres of land in the commonwealth.
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Hanifa Nakiryowa
Global Health Associate, Jewish Healthcare Foundation

Hanifa Nakiryowa, MID, is the Global Health Associate at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation working to advance the Foundation's Women's Health Activist Movement Global (WHAMglobal) agenda. Since Hanifa joined the Foundation, she continues to promote community engagement initiatives as a way of building effective advocacy movements around women's health. Hanifa brings to the Foundation a rich community driven development experience after working as the program monitoring and evaluation specialist for UNICEF-FBO partnership in Uganda to promote girls’ education, promote maternal and child health, and address violence against women and children in Muslim communities.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Hanifa was a special projects intern at The Pittsburgh Foundation working to gain a better understanding of the role of philanthropy in promoting community development initiatives. She is a past H. J. Heinz Fellow from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and holds a master's degree in International Development and Human Security Studies.

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Savita Mullapudi Narasimhan
International Development Advisor, International Development - World Bank Group
Savita Mullapudi Narasimhan is a global policy, programs expert and strategist qualified in law and economics, with around 14 years of experience in various aspects of international development including financing for development, innovation systems, human rights, intellectual property trade agreements and interconnections to health, education, urban, private and environment sectors and SDGs. She has contributed as a technical advisor and strategist, providing technical assistance and capacity building in over 45 developing countries working with the World Bank in Washington DC, United Nations in New York and Asian Development Bank in Manila Philippines. She brings her unique global lens to Pittsburgh and advises organizations on localization of SDGs and “glocal” strategy and thinking. She is currently consulting as an advisor to the International Finance Corporation - The World Bank Group on SDG mapping, reporting and impact evaluation and assessment.
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Barry Nathan
Founding Director, Concierge Pittsburgh
Barry R. Nathan, PhD is an organizational psychologist and founding director of Concierge Pittsburgh, a regional initiative to retain and attract African American professionals in Pittsburgh. Barry has a brother-in-law with autism. He is co-author with Janice Nathan, M.S., SLP-CCC, of Building Reasoning and Problem-solving Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Step by Step Guide to the Thinking In Speech® Intervention (2018; Jessica Kingsley Publishers), which earned Janice and he participation in the Pitt Venture First Gear program, a National Science Foundation funded program of the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute. In September, 2019 he and Janice Nathan presented, “Turning Behavior and Anxiety into Communication for Social Problem-Solving by Thinking in Speech®” at the 12th Annual International Autism Europe Congress, in Nice, France. Barry is co-Principal Investigator with Dr. Valire Carr Copeland of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work on two research grant proposals on, “Addressing Autism in African American Families,” and was the facilitator of a panel discussion on “Autism and the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” presented at the July, 2019, University of Pittsburgh School of Education Center for Urban Education Summer Educator Forum (CUESEF).
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Paula Neder
Coordinator, Pittsburgh Project at PSU
Paula Neder is currently the coordinator for the Pittsburgh Project under the guidance of Professor Mallika Bose and Professor Melissa Bopp of The Pennsylvania State University. Paula’s research interests center on community engagement and the examination of the built environment as a medium to improve the everyday life of people. She will be graduating with a MSLA degree in Fall 2019 from Penn State. She holds a bachelor's degree in Architecture from the Federal University of Brasilia, Brazil. She has been practicing architecture for eight years prior to graduate school in diverse offices in Brasilia and Sao Paulo, Brazil, and during her stay at Penn State, she assisted various Professors in their courses, participated from the 2018 edition of the Design Futures Student Leadership Forum - Public Interest Design, and presented her research at the Council of Education in Landscape Architecture (CELA - March 2019).
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Emily Neff
Public Policy Associate, Trying Together
Emily Neff serves as a Public Policy Associate for Trying Together, engaging in statewide and local advocacy and policy activities with the goal of expanding access to high-quality early care and education. Passionate about empowering educators and connecting policy to practice, she supports the public policy agenda through research and the creation of issue briefs, white papers, and a variety of professional development resources, including webinars and workshops. Emily also coordinates the Hi5! Kindergarten Registration and Readiness Campaign for 43 Allegheny County school districts. Previously, Emily worked for the New York City Department of Education as a Family Support Coordinator, serving families and students from 25 elementary and middle schools, and taught first grade in Hazelhurst, MS. Emily is an alumna of Teachers College, Columbia University (M.A., Education Policy) and Allegheny College (B.A., English). Additionally, she holds a PreK-4 Pennsylvania teacher certification.
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Susheela Nemani-Stanger
Director, Economic Development Department, Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh, URA
Susheela Nemani-Stanger has been with the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) for over 12 years. In her current role as the URA’s Director of the Economic Development Department, she manages the overall planning, financing and implementation of neighborhood and economic development projects in order to promote inclusive growth and quality job creation throughout the City of Pittsburgh. Susheela seeks to expands access to opportunity for all through the formation of public-private partnerships and equitable economic development. She has secured a variety of federal and state grants, leverages private investment through local tax diversion tools (like TIF and TRID), and directs investment into programs and projects that benefit Pittsburgh neighborhoods and puts people first. Susheela grew up Ingomar, attended college in Erie, and has lived in the cities of Charlotte, Denver, Baltimore, and Philadelphia before returning to Pittsburgh for graduate school and to replant her roots. She lives in the East End with her family.
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Sara Noel
Director of Operations, The Global Switchboard

Sara Noel completed her graduate work in international studies and conflict resolution at the University of Denver before moving to Pittsburgh in 2010 to join the staff of Amizade. Previously, she worked with the Denver-based non-profit organization, Critical Mass Leadership Education and as an English language teacher in Hungary after receiving her bachelor’s degree in psychology and cultural anthropology from the University of Michigan.

Sara has lived, worked, studied and traveled to over 50 countries including a trip around the world with Semester at Sea, a semester in Berlin, Germany, and a year teaching English in Hungary. Throughout her career she has worked with youth and adults from around of the world helping to introduce them to cultural exchange and global travel, primarily through her work with Amizade. In 2018, Sara moved to The Global Switchboard as the Director of Operations."

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Julia Och
AIDS Free Pittsburgh Project Manager, Jewish Healthcare Foundation
Julia Och is the Project Manager for AIDS Free Pittsburgh (AFP), a collaborative public health movement to eliminate new AIDS diagnoses and reduce new HIV infections by 75% in Allegheny County by the year 2020. The Jewish Healthcare Foundation serves as the fiscal agent for the project. As Project Manager, she coordinates efforts among AIDS Free Pittsburgh partners – including local service agencies, health systems, academic institutions, and the Allegheny County Health Department – to identify HIV-positive individuals who are currently undiagnosed and link them to medical care, and engage those at risk of developing HIV through education, routine screening, and access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) services. Prior to joining the Foundation, Ms. Och served as a Policy Specialist with Allegheny HealthChoices, Inc. and as an Assistant Planner at Gateway Rehab, where she provided project management support and analyzed program data. She also has experience in community health outreach on issues including substance abuse and sexual health. At Clark University, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in International Development and Social Change, as well as a Master’s Degree in Community Development and Planning.
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Aradhna Oliphant
President and CEO, Leadership Pittsburgh, Inc.
Aradhna is President and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. (LPI), the premiere resource for community leadership identification, connection and development in Southwestern Pennsylvania. LPI seeks to strengthen regional leadership through programs, partnerships and connections. During its 30 year history, Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. has produced over 2,400 informed and engaged leaders and linked them with opportunities to help serve our region.

Prior to joining LPI in December 2004, Aradhna served as the Program Officer of The Forbes Funds, a supporting organization of The Pittsburgh Foundation. There, she led the grant-making and sector-leadership activities of the Funds with a focus on enhancing the management capacity of human service and community development organizations. Aradhna was the Executive Director of The Children’s Festival Chorus (CFC) of Pittsburgh from 2000-2003. Before moving to Pittsburgh in 1999, Aradhna led an arts organization in Princeton, New Jersey, and taught as an adjunct professor of management and psychology at both Rider University and the College of New Jersey.

Born and raised in India, Aradhna holds an MBA from Rutgers University and an MA in Psychology from Bhopal University. Her family resides in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Squirrel Hill.
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Bhavini Patel
Co-Founder and CEO, Beamdata
Bhavini Patel is the CEO and co-founder of beamdata, which merges data science with social issues to build accessible data tools for community organizations. She also volunteers her time on the Boards of several nonprofits including the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh and Civically Inc, which is a Wilkinsburg-based nonprofit dedicated to community development. As a Pittsburgh native, Bhavini serves as the Vice Chair of the Edgewood Democratic Committee. She graduated from the University of Oxford as a Rotary Global Grant Scholar and was recognized as 30 Under 30 by the Pittsburgh Business Times and The Incline's Who's Next: Politics 2018.
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Kendall Pelling
Project Manager, East Liberty Development, Inc
Over the past 17 years Kendall has led the planning and implementation of a comprehensive residential development strategy for the distressed urban neighborhood of East Liberty. This process has included the acquisition of all vacant abandoned properties and interventions in the foreclosure markets and substandard rental housing market. Large Scale development of affordable and market rate housing is now underway. Over a third of all the rental housing in the neighborhood has been protected as long term affordable housing. The real estate based crime strategy has reduced crime by 49%, eliminating major urban crime hotspots and transforming public safety. These interventions have caused home values to rise dramatically. Low income homeowners now have equity in their homes and real generational wealth.

Kendall is an expert in public and nonprofit systems to recycle vacant and abandoned properties, and has served on numerous taskforces at the local and state levels.

Kendall has degrees in Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California and Carnegie Mellon University and is a graduate of the Coro Fellows program in Public Affairs. He is an elder at Valley View Presbyterian church and lives in the urban neighborhood of Garfield.
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Erika Petach
President, Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services
Erika Petach is the President of Blind and Vision Rehabilitation Services. She has led the organization for nine years. In this time the agency has turned around its financial situation, created new programs, engaged in a successful capital campaign, relocated to a new accessible facility and engaged in many collaborations that have benefited both the community and BVRS. Erika believes that community involvement and collaboration are the key to any successful project.
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Mary Phan-Gruber
CEO, Jefferson Regional Foundation
Mary Phan-Gruber, MSW, has served as the first Executive Director and now CEO of the Jefferson Regional Foundation in Pittsburgh since it was funded in 2013 to engage in community grantmaking as a result of the Jefferson Hospital’s affiliation with the Allegheny Health Network. The (JRF) Foundation has awarded nearly $11 million in community health grants in the South Hills & Mon Valley. JRF also serves to convene and build capacity; hosting an annual Jefferson Forum, the 90-member Jefferson Community Collaborative and a weeklong community conversation initiative which engaged 1000 residents. Mary is a social worker whose career has been embedded in the nonprofit community and in leadership roles—she previously served as the first Executive Director of the Birmingham Foundation, has worked as a nonprofit consultant, a mental health therapist, in vocational rehabilitation, as a community organizer, as associate director of a victim services agency and as deputy director of a county area agency on aging. She is a graduate of Muskingum College in Ohio (BA Summa Cum Laude) and Western Michigan University (MSW), teaches graduate courses at the University of Pittsburgh, served as a federal peer reviewer and has presented at national conferences. She has served and led numerous Boards, including service as Board President of her church, of PCAR (Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape) and Grantmakers of Western PA.
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Joshua Pollard
Founder, Omicelo
Joshua Pollard is a real estate expert, asset manager, and founder of Omicelo, a mission-driven real estate investment firm that focuses on Home | Health | Wealth. Omicelo's mission is to create comprehensive economic change throughout communities without causing unnecessary displacement. At Omicelo, Joshua uphold two core values: 1) housing is a social determinant of health; 2) improving neighborhoods promotes the economic livelihood of community members. He led US housing research for Goldman Sachs through the Great Recession, heading a $1 billion IPO and receiving numerous awards, including an addition to Forbes’ 30 under 30 list. He was also responsible for a $100 million portfolio of real estate securities at a $15 billion global alternative asset management firm. Mr. Pollard serves as a board member for organizations that are building entrepreneurs, supporting communities and creating a 21st century workforce. He is also a contributor to on real estate investing and opportunity zones.
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Dr. Joylette Portlock
Executive Director, Sustainable Pittsburgh
Dr. Joylette Portlock is the Executive Director of Sustainable Pittsburgh, a nonprofit working to advance triple-bottom-line sustainability policies and practices in southwestern Pennsylvania. Sustainable Pittsburgh, which hosts the CEOs for Sustainability executive council and network, regularly works with hundreds of partners in the region — including local governments, nonprofits, and the business community — to ensure our economy, our people, and our planet thrive and are built to last. Prior to her role at Sustainable Pittsburgh, Dr. Portlock served as Associate Director of Science and Research at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and as Executive Director of Communitopia, a nonprofit based in Pittsburgh that focuses on climate change communication. She holds a bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in anthropology from MIT and a Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford University. Her work focuses on building community around sustainability topics with a particular interest in making important scientific, technical or complex information accessible and useful. Dr. Portlock has worked on environmental issues at the local, state, and federal level, and also currently serves on the Allegheny County Board of Health. She was an advisor to Project Drawdown, and serves in many other roles in the community. Dr. Portlock has lived and worked in the Pittsburgh region since 2007.
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Leigh Solomon Pugliano
Director of Opportunity, New Sun Rising
Leigh is the Director of Opportunity for New Sun Rising, where she helps to build vibrant communities through culture, sustainability, and opportunity. She is also the Founder & Director of the arts preservation and education organization Barrels to Beethoven, mother of three daughters, and was named to The New Pittsburgh Courier’s Fab 40 2016 Class.
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Allison Robinson
Director, UPMC Environmental Initiatives
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Kara Rubio
Healthy Schools Program Coordinator, Women for a Healthy Environment
Kara Rubio graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry with a Master’s in Public Health. She joined Women for a Healthy Environment as their Healthy Schools Coordinator, where she works on identifying and remediating environmental health hazards in the school environment, educating students about environmental health, and advocating for evidence-based solutions.
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Rabbi Mordy Rudolph
Executive Director, The Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh
Rabbi Mordy graduated high school at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh, and studied in London, England, and Tzfat, Israel, before receiving his Rabbinic ordination from the Rabbinical College of America at Morristown. He initiated The Friendship Circle together with his wife Rivkee, in September 2006. In 2012, Rabbi Mordy was awarded the Special Needs Distinguished Service Award by the Agency for Jewish Learning. In 2014, he accepted the ACHIEVA Award for Excellence in Family Supports on behalf of The Friendship Circle, and, in 2016, The Friendship Circle was awarded the Squirrel Hill Treasure Award by the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition.
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Monica Ruiz
Executive Director, Casa San Jose
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Cassie Rusnak
Social Media Strategist, Denny Civic Solutions
Cassie joins Denny Civic Solutions after nearly a decade of work on bipartisan advocacy campaigns in the nonprofit sector. Cassie's previous advocacy experience primarily focused on international women's rights and labor conditions in the global economy. She worked with national and international journalists to release groundbreaking research, with projects ranging from improving safety standards for thousands of Bangladeshi workers to demanding justice for trafficked and abused women in the Middle East. Working in a small nonprofit office, Cassie took on many internal organizational roles including website building, social media management, digital marketing strategizing, and overseeing the comprehensive communications and outreach plans for each campaign.
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Zinna Scott
Since retiring from her 38-year career at Giant Eagle, Zinna Scott has been able to get fully involved with her Homewood community with the goal to make sure the information is getting out to her residents. As Chair of Cluster 8-9 which is sponsored by Operation Better Block, President of Zone 5 Public Safety Council, Chair of a senior book club, Treasurer of her bowling league, and as a Board Member of Operation Better Block and Nine Mile Run Watershed Association she is committed to change in her community. She attends many community meetings to keep herself and the community informed with what is happening in and outside our community as well as organize meetings to share the information.
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Dave Sevick
Executive Director, Computer Reach

Since 1988 Dave has been an Apple computer consultant serving homes, schools and businesses in Western PA, WV, OH, and MD.

In addition to serving Apple clients, Dave formed the North Pittsburgh Macintosh Users Group in 1996. That organization spawned a volunteer-based recycling effort working to rescue school district surplus retired computers.

In 2001 Dave gathered a group of 11 Apple friends to begin systematic weekend repairs of discarded school computers in his garage with the goal of distribution to local Pittsburgh agencies in need of technology.

Homeless shelters and food banks became the first sites to receive both Mac and PC computers for reuse.

Computer Reach was born. Computer Reach expanded beyond Pittsburgh to serve over 18,000 people in 41 states and 39 nations around the world with computers, coupled with digital literacy programs, to bridge the digital divide over these 19 years since 2001.

Computer Reach believes Digital Literacy is for All.

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Jesse Sharrard
Director of Programs and Education, Community Kitchen Pittsburgh
Jesse Sharrard has been involved in the local food economy for the past 16 years, since he moved to Pittsburgh from New Orleans. His current work as Director of Programs and Education for Community Kitchen Pittsburgh focuses on helping unemployed and underemployed people gain the best possible training in the shortest possible time to prepare them for meaningful work in the culinary industry. In the past two years, Community Kitchen has graduated 129 participants, placed 127 of them in jobs with an average starting wage of over $12 per hour, and has seen almost 80% job retention among its graduates, in an industry that has a turnover rate of 124%.
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Terri Shields
Executive Director, JADA House International
Born and raised in Hazelwood, Terri Shields has dedicated her life to creating a brighter future for her neighborhood. After a brief run in with the law, Terri wanted to change her life for the better and make a difference in her community. Terri also worked multiple jobs while raising three kids and eventually battling Lupus, however, she persisted. After completing her studies at Carlow University with a Bachelor degree major in Communications, Terri established JADA House International Inc. October 27, 2014, a faith-based community outreach nonprofit ministry that provides a space for people of all ages, adults, teenagers, and Jr’s, to discuss their social and spiritual challenges. JADA House International Inc. also provides annual community outreach, senior luncheons, “Blast Off” (backpack school supply giveaway), and “Love Gift giveaway (toy drive). There are no judgements or judging inside and outside of the fellowship, together they eat, share, heal, and learn, as Terri fervently works to improve the wellbeing of her community. JADA House International Inc. has received support from The Heinz Endowments, The Grable Foundation, Opportunity Fund, UPMC Health Plan, as well as being a contributing agency to United Way. JADA House International success has allowed Terri to realize your dreams can become a reality.
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Jada Shirriel
Chief Executive Officer, Healthy Start, Inc.

Jada Shirriel is Chief Executive Officer of Healthy Start, Inc. a public health organization that focuses on improving maternal and child health and addressing the disparities that lead to infant mortality. As a past participant of the Healthy Start program, Jada is very passionate about addressing black maternal health through education, outreach, research and advocacy. With 17 years of nonprofit, development, public involvement and project management experience, Jada’s niche areas are fundraising and focusing on collaborative processes that lead to community-level change.

Jada is trained in Strategic Doing™ and is a Certified Lactation Counselor. She is a graduate of the H. John Heinz II College at Carnegie Mellon University and the Earl Graves School of Business and Management at Morgan State University. She is also a graduate of the Coro Center for Civic Leadership Leaders in Learning program, and is a previous honoree of the New Pittsburgh Courier's Fab 40.

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Temeca Simpson
Director, Management Assistance, The Forbes Funds
Temeca Simpson is the Director of Management Assistance at The Forbes Funds. Her professional background is in K-12 education and includes teaching, financial and strategic consulting, and managing a corporate philanthropic education portfolio. Previously, she served as a Program Manager on the Strategic Projects and Innovation Team at Pivot Learning as an Education Pioneers Fellow, and a Program Manager for Corporate Citizenship at IBM. While at IBM, Temeca served as a founding member of Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), a nationally-recognized model for education that grants underrepresented HS students a STEM-based college degree and an entry point into IT careers. The school was hailed by President Barack Obama and has been replicated in 119 schools across eight countries.
As a graduate student, Temeca was awarded the David Lingren Fellowship for Social Innovation and the Vibrancy Fellowship with New Sun Rising. Additionally, she worked for the startup Generation Titans where she helped aspiring social entrepreneurs turn their vision into reality. She also created a comprehensive framework for a housing and education model for the Heinz Endowments. Temeca has a BA from the University of Michigan- Ann Arbor in Organizational Studies, an MS from Pace University in Education, and an MS Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University.
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Celeste Smith
Program Officer, Arts and Culture, the Pittsburgh Foundation
Celeste C. Smith, co-founder and former chief executive officer for 1Hood Media, is the business partner and manager of artist/activist, Jasiri X. She is currently the Arts and Culture Program Officer for The Pittsburgh Foundation and is an advisor emeritus of the Heinz Endowments Transformative Arts Process Advisory Board.She has recently served as an Artist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, was an Association of Performing Arts Presenters fellow (2016-2018), and SXSW Community Service Award winner (2018). Additionally, she was named a Carol R. Brown Creative Achievement Awards nominee for her multi-disciplined artistry and was a Walker’s Legacy Power 50 honoree. Celeste is also a founding member and chair of the Nefertiti Alliance, an organization dedicated to raising awareness centered on the importance of self-care and protecting the cultural capital of Black women in the arts. Celeste is also a former member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Community Advisory Council, and an independent arts and community engagement consultant.
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Jesse Sprajcar
Community Impact Director, Westmoreland Region, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania
Jesse Sprajcar is the Community Impact Director for the Westmoreland Region of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Prior to joining United Way in the fall of 2015, Jesse served as Director of Programs and Outreach and Interim Executive Director for Communities In Schools of Pittsburgh-Allegheny County following several years as a classroom teacher for Penn Hills School District. For the last 15 years, Jesse has worked within the non-profit and public education sector developing positive relationships with parents, teachers, administrative personnel and children from birth to 21 years of age. He currently serves on several committees and partnerships throughout Westmoreland, Fayette and Southern Armstrong Counties. These include the Human Service Councils in Westmoreland and Fayette, Westmoreland Community Action’s Head Start Curriculum Committee, Kiski Area School District’s Advisory Council, Local Interagency Coordinating Council, Council for Substance Abuse and Youth, the Business Education Partnership, Community Health Improvement Partnership and Western Pennsylvania Early Literacy Team.
As part of his leadership responsibilities, he has managed several grants throughout their life cycle, including four large federal 21st Century Learning Center grants and foundation grants varying from a few thousand to over a half of a million dollars. As the cornerstone of his work, Jesse focuses on creating systems that promote efficiency and open communication with all stakeholders to collect useful data points and ensure quality evaluation and reporting.
In his spare time, he enjoys camping, fishing and working around the house with his daughter Olivia, wife Rachael and two-year-old Boxer mix Archie.
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Andréa Stanford
Assistant County Manager, Allegheny County

Andréa Stanford joined Allegheny County as Assistant County Manager in January 2018. In her role, she works closely with the County Manager to support the internal operations of several Allegheny County departments. Additionally, she represents County Executive Rich Fitzgerald on county boards and commissions and manages external initiatives, including the regional preparation for the 2020 Census.

Prior to her work in local government, Andréa managed digital strategy and media relations efforts at PNC Financial Services, Inc. and UPMC, respectively.

Andréa earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Megan Stanley
Executive Director, Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations
Megan Stanley joined the Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations in April of 2018. She has over 10 years of progressive experience in social policy and advocacy, ranging from direct service to policy research and analysis, with a focus on low-income and vulnerable populations. Her areas of expertise include program design, technical assistance, and evaluation. Megan holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Public Administration from Northwestern University.
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Victoria Sterling
Grant Manager, Geography of Philosophy Project
Based at the University of Pittsburgh, Victoria Sterling is the manager of the Geography of Philosophy Project, a cross-cultural research project taking place in nine regions all over the world: China, Eastern Europe, Ecuador, India, Japan, Morocco, Peru, South Africa, and South Korea. Funded by a $2.6 million grant by the John Templeton Foundation, the project studies concepts of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding with small- and large-scale populations through in-person and online surveys, which are translated into more than 20 languages.

Victoria is also the Vice Curator for the Global Shapers Pittsburgh Hub. She holds a BA in philosophy and English writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Her work experience spans digital content publishing, research compliance, and communications. Her philosophical interests lie in the social shaping of technology, limits of human agency, and how knowledge informs choice. In the past she has volunteered with involveMINT, the Carnegie Museum of Art, and local initiatives centered around art and mental health.
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Justin Stockdale
Managing Director, Pennsylvania Resources Council
Jessica Strong
Co-Founder, Flexable

Flexable was started by two moms on a mission to make work and life fit better for professional parents. Since 2017, we’ve provided on-demand, on-site childcare at hundreds of professional and personal events.

Jessica Strong and Priya Amin, founders of Flexable, LLC, have five children between them, and a passion for empowering the modern working parent. Throughout her career as a grant writer, non-profit director and entrepreneur, Jessica has strived to drive inclusivity, diversity and innovation within the Pittsburgh community. She holds a MS in Public Policy from CMU and is also the visionary founder of Whetstone Workgroup (now closed), a co-working space with drop-in childcare in the Pittsburgh area.

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Shannah Tharp-Gilliam, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Research and Evaluation, Homewood Childrens Village
Shannah Tharp-Gilliam, PhD is responsible for directing research and evaluation, evidence-based program planning, and community-focused research partnerships at the Homewood Children’s Village (HCV). She is passionate about building collaborative, community-focused, initiatives that align effective strategies to address persistent social challenges.

In addition to her degrees in psychology, evaluation research & public policy (B.S. - Georgetown University, Ph.D. & Certificates - University of Pittsburgh), Dr. G is a LUMA Institute Certified Practitioner of Human-Centered Design and one of the only Warm Data Lab host in the USA certified though the International Bateson Institute. At HCV, Dr. G supports efforts in Homewood and also builds the capacity of regional initiatives through technical assistance to other institutions, agencies, and policymakers.

Dr. G’s community and professional service includes the boards of the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN), Melting Pot Ministries (South Park, PA), Roses Without Thorns (Kwadabeka, South Africa), and Winchester Thurston Academy (Pittsburgh, PA).

For more information, check out the links:
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Malcolm Thomas
Program Director, Reaching Back Male Mentoring & Manhood
Malcolm “MinNekhekh” Thomas has worked in the communities and schools in the Pittsburgh area for over 20 years. Known as Brother MinNekhekh, he developed a passion for working with young men during his undergraduate education at Penn State University. Since then, his work in mental health, K-12 education, and rites of passage has led him to serve in over 20 schools across the City of Pittsburgh and region. Brother MinNekhekh is the Executive Director of The Reaching Back Project and co-founder with Joshua Colbert of The Maximizer Institute. Both projects optimize school performance, relationships and character strength in young men and their adult caregivers. A major focus in all of his work is health, healing and optimal functioning of the brain. Brother MinNekhekh also works with his wife, IAsia Thomas, in The Children’s Window to Africa program.
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Tammy Thompson
Executive Director, Circles of Greater Pittsburgh
Tammy Thompson brings 18 years of experience as a real estate professional, along with 10 years of management experience and work in community development and community organizing to her role as the Executive Director of Circles Greater Pittsburgh. Tammy works to connect people across socioeconomic lines in an effort to move people and families out of poverty and is truly passionate about battling poverty in Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Prior to her newest role, she held her own real estate consulting firm, during which time she worked with Open-Hand Ministries and Circles, the Hill District Community Development Corporation, and ELDI on a number of consulting projects. Tammy serves on the board of Neighborhood Allies and has also held positions at NeighborWorks of Western PA and Urban Settlement Services.
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Derrick Tillman
Founder and President of BTG, Bridging the Gap Development, LLC
Bridging the Gap Development, LLC (“BTG”), founded in 2006, is a socially responsible diversified real estate development firm based in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Derrick L. Tillman, Founder and President of BTG, leads the company’s mission to rebuild sustainable communities through residential & commercial development by “bridging the [real estate and opportunity] gaps” in a community. In order to achieve this goal, BTG develops a variety of projects including multifamily affordable housing, market rate rental and homeownership properties, as well as mixed-use and commercial development projects. A recent achievement of our firm includes the successful completion of the Miller Street Apartments, a 36-unit new construction Affordable Housing project that has "raised the bar" and is the new face of Affordable housing. The firm has also been able to use their business acumen to innovatively train many unemployed and underemployed individuals with construction and/or weatherization skills. BTG, itself a Minority Business Enterprise, is committed to providing opportunities to other M/WBEs.
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Marsha Tongel, Ph.D.
President, Metanoia Consulting-TCG
Dr. Marsha Tongel is Principal of Metanoia –TCG Consulting, providing innovative and quality organizational, leadership and change management services, helping organizations develop the creativity and resilience needed to manage change and reach their goals with less stress, and remain sustainable. Metanoia –TCG supports: Leadership that embodies change; Organizational Designs to manifest change; Cultures that embrace change; and Community that supports change. Organizational culture and diversity in organizations; the needs of collaborating organizations; and unique perspectives on women-led organizations are stressed. Dr. Tongel has a Ph.D. in Organizational Development/Behavior and teaches in the graduate Schools of Business at Northcentral University and Point Park University. She has worked professionally in the public, private and governmental sectors and has over 20 years of experience in management, fundraising, finance, sales, human relations and education. She was the founding Executive Director of the Alle-Kiski H.O.P.E. Center; has sat on the Board of Directors of non-profit organizations; developed and presented workshops on nonprofit issues; and consulted on various nonprofit projects.
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Jamie Upshaw
Executive Director, Autism Urban Connections, Inc.
Jamie Upshaw is a parent of a child with autism, and founder and Executive Director of Autism Urban Connections, Inc., the first and only African American, minority and disadvantaged-focused, autism 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization in Pennsylvania. Autism Urban Connections provides education, support, advocacy, and empowerment to parents/caregivers of those diagnosed with autism, with priority placed on the African American, minority, and economically disadvantaged member of the community. Jamie has a master’s degree in criminal justice administration and a bachelors degree in Legal Studies from Point Park University. While a youth care worker at the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center and later as a case manager for VisionQuest, Jamie saw behavioral issues that she believed were related to never-identified disorders. As an African American and a parent of a child with autism, she experienced first-hand the challenges faced when trying to get a correct diagnosis for her son, and the lack of support and services in our African American communities. This led her to found Autism Urban Connections. In July, she participated in a panel discussion at Pitt’s School of Education Center for Urban Education Summer Educator Forum (CUESEF) on “Autism and the School-to-Prison Pipeline.”
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Yvonne Van Haitsma
Associate Director, Robert Morris University's Covestro Center for Community Engagement
Yvonne Van Haitsma is the Associate Director of the Covestro Center for Community Engagement at Robert Morris University, building value-added partnerships between companies and nonprofits. Her background in community organizing and nonprofit management has been a driver in her passion to build connections between nonprofits and the private sector, harnessing the talents of purpose-driven professionals for civic good. In this work, she coordinates the Executive Service Corps, BoardsWork! and SkillShare programs. She has built partnerships with local companies including Alcoa, Arconic, PNC, Covestro, Bayer, FedEx, and others. Prior to this leadership role, she has been a consultant at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management since 2000. She has consulted with many nonprofits in the areas of collaboration development, strategic planning, board development and executive transitions in Latin America and Pittsburgh. She has served on the board of Friendship Community Church and Pittsburgh Urban Christian School.
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Marissa Vogel
Co-Founder, Executive Director, Open Up
Marissa Vogel has a Masters in Education of Students with Disabilities from the University of Pittsburgh as well as a Journalism and Multimedia Degree with Business Certification from Duquesne University. Her years of project management in public health through the Maternal Child Health Bureau and managing growth objectives/directing operations for small businesses, paired with creating and implementing project-based curriculum in Pittsburgh Public District schools, lend well to overseeing the operations of Open Up. Marissa has collected, analyzed, and presented state-regulated data and tailored whole-health case management through the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. She has presented data and research around inclusive, community-based curriculum development to an international audience through Harvard University’s ‘Project Zero’. Her dedication to both local business and education and unwavering support of populations with disabilities ensure that Open Up best serves the community.
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Michelle Walker
Principal, Walker Philanthropic Consulting
Michelle Walker, MA, CAP©, is the founder and principal of Walker Philanthropic Consulting. Ms. Walker brings a unique mix of knowledge and talent to client needs by focusing on identifying and leveraging the intellectual capital assets of the client to achieve goals and support organizational strategy. She has served on numerous nonprofit boards and prior to starting her practice she was a fundraiser and manager in the nonprofit sector for 15 years. Her groundbreaking research on topics of intellectual property, fiduciary duty, and governance teams has been presented and published at national and international nonprofit research conferences, including ARNOVA, ISTR, and ISIRC.
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John Wallace
Professor, University of Pittsburgh
John Wallace is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the senior pastor of Bible Center Church in Homewood. Over the past 30 years, his work has focused on the well-being of African American children, youth and communities. He is the principal investigator on the University of Pittsburgh Center on Race and Social Problems’ Comm-Univer-City of Pittsburgh Project, an integrated program of research, teaching, and service designed to investigate and ameliorate social problems that disproportionately impact economically disadvantaged children, families, and communities. He is also the principal investigator on the Healthy Living, Healthy Learning, Healthy Lives Project—a community-based participatory research project that examines the correlates, causes, and consequences of disparities in children’s asthma. Wallace is also an award-winning nonprofit leader recognized for his work with Homewood Children's Village, Operation Better Block, and the Oasis Project.
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Geng Wang
CEO and Co-Founder, Civic Champs
Geng Wang is the CEO and co-founder of Civic Champs, a social enterprise that helps non-profits automate volunteer management and build capacity. Prior to Civic Champs, Geng co-founded two companies based in Pittsburgh. The first company, is an apartment search engine which was sold in 2014 to The Rainmaker Group. The second, Community Elf (rebranded as Cosmitto) is a social media management agency which was sold in 2017 to a private equity firm. In addition, Geng had the honor of spending 4 years at McKinsey & Company, as an advisor to senior executive clients at Fortune 500 companies – helping them solve their most pressing strategic and management issues. Geng holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Michigan State University.
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Rev. Dr. Sam Ware
Executive Director and Chair of the HCDC, Building United of Southwest Pa
Reverend Ware is the Founding Executive Director of Building United of Southwestern Pa. He currently serves as the Chair of the Homewood Community Development Collaborative, and was a founding member.
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Alice Washington
Executive Director, The Stepping Stone Pathways
Mrs. Alice Washington is a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, ordained minister, inventor of MyStudent educational app, former educator of 25 years, National speaker, author of IF YOU WOULD JUST SEE ME! with a compilation Monthly Journey Journal IF YOU WOULD JUST SEE ME! Founder and Executive Director of The Stepping Stone Pathways and was a Participant of Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE). She is a member of the following; The Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership (GPNP) and Board Member of the Members of GPNP- Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce & Chatham University Center for Women's Entrepreneurship.
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NaTisha Washington
Green Initiative Coordinator, Operation Better Block
NaTisha Washington is the Green Initiative Coordinator at Operation Better Block in Pittsburgh, PA. Being a Pittsburgh native she’s always had the goal of improving the environment of her city through planning and planting.
After graduating from Wilkinsburg High school, she went to study Landscape Contracting Design at the Pennsylvania State University where she received her bachelors in Horticulture. Afterwards she then went on to become a certified Master Gardener through the Penn State Extension in Pittsburgh.
Once she found her home at Operation Better Block she put all her efforts into planning out and improving the green spaces in Homewood with OBB’s Junior Green Corp. The Junior Green Corp is a group of teens 14 to 18 that she teaches/works with all year focusing on horticulture, vacant lot restoration and job readiness.
In here two years working for Operation Better Block she has partnered with local environmental organizations to facilitate and implement projects like rain garden instillation, greenhouse building, mass tree plantings, soil testing, and their bi-annual Redd Up cleaning days.
In 2019 she officially started her own consulting company called Washington’s Green Solutions LLC where she is striving to help other people and communities solve their environmental issues. In the future she hope to be able to solve sustainability issues for groups big and small, and for people in all kinds of communities.
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Laura Wiens
Executive Director, Pittsburghers for Public Transit
Laura Chu Wiens has been a member of the Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT) board and involved in its resident campaigns to restore bus service to transit deserts since 2013. She assumed the Executive Director position in June 2017. Over the last few years, PPT has successfully prevented severe transit service cuts to marginalized communities, and prevented the criminalization of transit fare enforcement. Over the last year, she has worked with rider-leaders to create a vision for achievable policy improvements to our transit system, ones that would increase ridership and equity. Laura has her roots in labor organizing with Unite HERE, and draws from her experience recruiting and training leaders in the service industry to mobilize transit riders in the fight for equity, access and transparency within our public agencies. She believes in the collective power of people to transform their communities.
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Marla Werner
Executive Director, The Segal Family Foundation
Marla Werner is the Executive Director of The Segal Family Foundation. She has over 20 years of experience in marketing, communications, strategic growth planning, community partnership and development. Marla has worked with both non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses, creating sustainable growth strategies that empower organizations to reach their highest potential. Marla also runs MPower Consulting LLC, a creative growth strategy agency, while holding the position of Executive Director of The Segal Family Foundation. Prior to her current positions, Marla has held director level positions at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, The Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Morgantown and Pittsburgh.
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Amie White
Director of Family and Youth Engagement, A+ Schools
Amie White is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she obtained her Masters in Social Work and a certificate in Human Services Management. She has been actively involved in the nonprofit arena for over fifteen years in multiple cities including San Jose, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh. Her work has primarily focused on school readiness and school-aged activities and engagement for the entire family. The central component of Amie's recent work has included conducting outreach in numerous neighborhoods to promote Kindergarten Registration, as well as to enroll families in various programs and services. "I believe that the inclusion of the family unit is a strong component of supporting and nurturing a child's academic success. I am a strong believer in the concept that it takes a village, so I'm always looking for ways to work together with the schools, community, and family to ensure each child excels in their own way."

As the Director of Family and Youth Engagement, Amie oversees A+ Schools Parent Nation and TeenBloc programs where she supports our team in lifting up the voices of those who are most impacted by school practice and policy.
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Rick Williams
Manager of Equity and Inclusion, City of Pittsburgh
Ricardo “ Rick” Williams has been the Manager of Equity and Inclusion for the City of Pittsburgh since 2015. As Manager, he oversees the Equal Opportunity Review Commission (E.O.R.C.)
Rick and his staff work collaboratively with city departments and external vendors to create various entry points of opportunity for minority and women vendors to secure construction and professional service contracts.

He served as an internal co-lead on the Equity Indicator Reports and is currently involved with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG ) local alignment project with key cross-sector industry stakeholders for universal local adoption and implementation.

Rick is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh – Class XXXI, a community focused program that selects emerging leaders across Allegheny County. He was awarded the 2012 Pittsburgh Courier Men of Excellence for his work in Human Services and Community Development. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and Master’s degree in Non-Profit Management from Robert Morris University.
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Ty Williams
Community Research Journalist, CREATE Lab
Ty is a Community Research Journalist in the CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University. He helps communicatea and translate communities experiences and connect them to the variety of programming offered through the CREATE Lab.
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Michael Wilson Sr.
executive director, Glen Hazel Community Resident Management Corporation
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Scott Wolovich
Executive Director, New Sun Rising
Scott Wolovich is the Executive Director and Founder of New Sun Rising, an innovative 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a mission to build virant communities through culture, sustainabiity and opportunity. Scott has dedicated his professional life helping others reachh their goals and connect in transformative ways. After receiving his Bachelors of Science from Ohio University in 1996, he went to pursue a Masters in Physical Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh. Scott’s experience in community health led him to start Moringa Living , LLC, a social enterprise helping to implement the Age-Friendly Greatr Pittsburgh Action Plan through Lively Pittsburgh. In 2015, Scott joined New Sun Rising full-time, growing the team to five staff members who help hundreds of small businesses and nonprofit leaders to equitably revitalize their community. Scott shares a love of music and nature with his two children, Rowan and Maya, and his wife of 17 years, Amber.
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Roy Wotring
Data Support Analyst and Program Associate, The Forbes Funds
Roy started his career looking for work in finance after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in International Economics and Commerce from Lafayette College. During the job search, Roy took a part-time position as a residential staff serving people with severe mental illness. The role sparked a calling to serve, which led to a 6 year stretch of mental health experience in the residential, administrative, and community setting. Seeing the need that existed not only from constituents but by the people and organizations that provided service, Roy went back to school, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a Master of Social Work. Through the community organizing and social administration tract, Roy worked with community organizations on several projects including: researching best practice in youth programing in Beltzhoover and Knoxville neighborhoods, practicing Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to develop curriculum for the Community Engagement Center (CEC) in Homewood, and working with Beechview stakeholders to develop and execute a community survey.
Roy began his tenure with The Forbes Funds working with data systems to better assess and express the impact of The Forbes Funds’ programming. As Interim Director, Roy leads The Forbes Funds' Capacity Building programs which includes grantmaking, cohorts, technical assistance, organizational assessment tools, and other projects. Roy is passionate about enhancing the ability of those that serve to make an impact as a way to improve the Pittsburgh region as a whole.
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Anne Wright
Lead, CREATE Lab at Carnegie Mellon University