To fully appreciate and acknowledge the myriad of leaders the Steel City is blessed to have – from Eds & Meds stalwarts like the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to UPMC and Highmark, Fortune 500 companies like PNC and PPG, and nonprofits and charitable foundations like 412 Food Rescue and Heinz Endowments – required months of research and a team of reporters and consultants. City & State’s Pittsburgh Power 100, developed in partnership with Pittsburgh freelance writer Jordan Snowden, recognizes the city’s movers and shakers in politics, organized labor, business, health care and other sectors – and ranks them based on their influence in the region. We want to hear what you think about our lists, whether you agree or disagree with the rankings and the people included or excluded. Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In January, Ed Gainey was sworn in as Pittsburgh’s 61st mayor, making him the first African American to hold this position. But Gainey says he didn’t run for mayor to make history; he ran to improve the city by creating affordable housing, securing more funding for mass transit and public schools, reforming the police and criminal justice system and building a fair economy for the diverse neighborhoods that make up the City of Pittsburgh.
Representing Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District, Mike Doyle is currently serving his 14th and last term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Doyle’s top priorities for the district, which includes Pittsburgh and 53 other communities in Allegheny County, include creating jobs and revitalizing its communities through economic development and high-tech initiatives. Doyle, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has also focused on reforming health care, providing better public education and establishing a comprehensive national energy strategy to curb climate change and create green jobs.
Currently in his third and final term as Allegheny County executive, Rich Fitzgerald has helped create and manage Allegheny County and southwestern Pennsylvania’s economy. He is well known for bringing together people and organizations on regional issues to improve the local economy and support a higher livability standard. Right now, the county’s bond rating is at its highest level since 1983. It has been upgraded five times since Fitzgerald took over.
Leslie Davis took over from Jeffrey Romoff as UPMC’s chief executive officer in July 2021. Davis, a New York native, has more than 30 years of health care experience, including a stint as UPMC’s executive vice president and president of the Health Services Division, which encompasses 40 hospitals and 4,900 employed physicians, 23 senior community facilities, a comprehensive array of clinical specialty service lines and pre-and post-acute services that include senior living, rehabilitation and home care.
In 2012, Laura Karet was appointed CEO of Giant Eagle, Inc., one of the nation’s largest food, fuel and pharmacy retailers. Karet has been with the company for more than 21 years, where she developed and managed the company’s short- and long-term strategic business plans and led its manufacturing ventures. Karet holds board member positions at The Allegheny Conference on Community Development, United Way of Allegheny County, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation and Fox Chapel Country Day School.
William Demchak joined PNC in 2002 as the company’s chief financial officer. He worked his way up, taking over PNC’s corporate and institutional banking in 2005, then becoming senior vice chairman in 2009 and head of PNC businesses in August 2010. Demchak was named president in April 2012, CEO in April 2013, and chairman in April 2014. He came to PNC after holding leadership positions at JP Morgan Chase.
Pittsburgh native Jay Costa currently represents the 43rd district, which includes parts of the city of Pittsburgh, East Hills communities, areas of the Mon Valley and South Hills. He previously served as a deputy sheriff in Allegheny County, as the Allegheny County Register of Wills, and as the Democratic chair of the Senate Appropriations and Judiciary Committees. Costa has fought for rebates to lower drug costs for seniors, more funding for schools, and more.
Neal Bisno, who began working in the union movement in 1989, was first drawn to the labor movement in the 1980s when he was a student activist. Now Bisno serves as executive vice president of the Service Employees International Union., where he leads the union’s State Power program, helping to unify political and member engagement work at the state and local levels through organizing campaigns, partnerships, and building political capital.
Since Cynthia Hundorfean joined Allegheny Health Network in 2016 as its president and CEO, her efforts to transform the 14-hospital, $4 billion health care system have been recognized both regionally and nationally. Selected by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the nation’s “Top Women Leaders” in 2019 and 2022, Hundorfean has overseen Allegheny’s $1.7 billion capital investment strategy, which includes the construction of five new hospitals, six new cancer centers, new outpatient facilities and expansions to several existing hospitals.
Since 2017, David Burritt has led U.S. Steel as its president, CEO and member of the board of directors. He previously served as the president and chief operating officer where he was responsible for all aspects of the company’s day-to-day business in both the United States and Central Europe. Burritt also serves on the executive committee of the worldsteel board of directors and on the board of directors for Lockheed Martin and the National Safety Council.
PPG Industries, which began in 1883 as Pittsburgh Plate Glass, is now a global supplier of paints, coatings and specialty materials led by Michael H. McGarry. McGarry, who became chairman of the board in 2016 after being named CEO the year prior, started at the company in 1981 as a mechanical engineer. He recently served as chair of the board of directors of the American Coating Association and serves on the U.S. Steel Corporation board of directors.
Since taking over for longtime CEO Edward Stack in early 2021, Lauren Hobart has made significant changes at Dick’s Sporting Goods, including focusing more on women’s athletic apparel and footwear, launching additional private labels and refocusing company inventories in key categories like youth sports. Hired in 2011 as Dick’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Hobart brings more than 25 years of finance, consumer and retail experience to her role, including a 14-year stint at PepsiCo.
For seven years, Matt Smith has served as president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, which advocates at the local, state and federal levels to improve the economy and the quality of life for those in the Pittsburgh region. Previously, Smith represented the Pennsylvania State Senate’s 37th district and also served three terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Smith is also an active board member of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.
Stephen Zappala has served as the district attorney for Allegheny County for more than 20 years and counting. In this role as the county’s chief law enforcement officer, Zappala aims to protect the rights and seek justice for all of its citizens. A graduate of Duquesne University School of Law, Zappala previously worked as a partner at the Pittsburgh law firm Brucker, Zappala, Schneider & Porter.
Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II, grandson of team founder “The Chief,” Art Rooney, Sr., was named team president in May 2003. He was previously vice president and general counsel of the Steelers and has served on the board of directors for the Steelers since 1989. Currently, Rooney serves as chair of the NFL’s Stadium Committee and numerous NFL boards, including the legislative committee. He also holds an of counsel position at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, where he focuses on sports law and corporate finance.
Now entering its third generation, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services has mastered the art of running a family-owned business. At the head of the third-largest real estate company in the U.S. sits CEO Helen Hanna Casey, who runs it with siblings Annie and Hoddy. Casey says her management team, which includes her daughter, niece and three nephews, has much to do with the company’s growth.
Thomas Buchanan brings more than 25 years of experience to his role at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. As a member of the firm’s executive management team, Buchanan often serves as general counsel for companies that do not have in-house counsel. He focuses on local and national venture capital financing, mergers, dispositions and more. He also counsels shareholder groups and informs entities about corporate and shareholder duties.
Representing District 2, Theresa Kail-Smith was elected to Pittsburgh City Council in 2009 and unanimously reelected in early 2022. Kali-Smith brings with her extensive knowledge of the Pittsburgh area, having served numerous nonprofit organizations including the Pittsburgh Public Schools. She also currently serves as a member of the Land Bank, Urban Redevelopment Authority, Carnegie Library and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust boards, among others.
Carlos Abrams-Rivera started his corporate food company career in 1998 when he joined Kraft Food Group as a senior brand manager of California Pizza Kitchen. He has since held management positions at Campbell and Nabisco, before returning in 2020 to become U.S. region president for Kraft-Heinz. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Abrams-Rivera served as a government aide for two years before venturing into the corporate world.
Since 2014, David L. Holmberg has served as Highmark Health’s president and CEO. The company works with millions of customers nationwide through the nonprofit organization's affiliated businesses, including Highmark Inc., Allegheny Health Network, HM Insurance Group, United Concordia Dental and HM Health Solutions. Previously, Holmberg served in a series of executive positions at Highmark Inc., including as president of its Diversified Businesses. Holmberg’s priorities include safeguarding the equitable treatment of Highmark’s patients, policyholders and business customers.
Since 2014, Patrick Gallagher has served as the University of Pittsburgh’s 18th chancellor. He previously spent almost two decades in public service, including a stint as the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the Obama administration. Under Gallagher’s direction, Pitt has strengthened its status as one of the nation’s premier public institutions for higher education and research. The Association of American Universities elected Gallagher as chair of its board of directors in late 2021.
Over his 35-plus years at MSA Safety, Nish Vartanian has served in a variety of capacities, including as senior vice president, before becoming the company’s president and CEO. Under his leadership, MSA has become a world leader in safety and gas detection products. In addition to also serving as MSA’s chairman, Vartanian is a newly appointed member of the board of directors of the Pittsburgh branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
Pennysviana’s 32nd district is represented by Tony DeLuca, who has been in office since 1983. DeLuca, who is the Democratic chair of the House Insurance Committee, has made public service his life: He also served as a city council member and a deputy mayor of the city of Verona. Among his recent legislative priorities, he has been working on suspending Pennsylvania’s 58-cent tax on gasoline and 74-cent tax on diesel.
The 10th president of Carnegie Mellon University, Farnam Jahanian was appointed in March 2018. Previously, he served as the university’s provost as well as its vice president for research. Before joining CMU, Jahanian led the National Science Foundation Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering. Jahanian’s research formed the basis for the internet security company Arbor Networks, which he co-founded in 2001, and where he served as chair until its acquisition in 2010.
As a Blue Dog Democrat, Conor Lamb has been Exhibit A for Democrats on how to win over Republican-leaning electorates. Since his first upset win to represent the 17th U.S. House district, Lamb has shown that tacking slightly to the right can pay huge dividends for his party. He’s testing that playbook now as one of the contenders to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey in this year’s election, but he has to make it out of the Democratic primary first.
Leadership Pittsburgh’s current president and CEO, Aradhna Oliphant, isn’t just a leader in the community; she actively works to create new leaders. At Leadership Pittsburgh, which she’s led since 2006, Oliphant has partnered with the Pittsburgh Business Times, creating the Lead Now Pittsburgh program, which works to identify, engage, educate and connect inspiring leaders to serve southwestern Pennsylvania. Oliphant serves on numerous boards, including Chatham University, The Pittsburgh Parking Authority, First Commonwealth Bank and Thornburgh Forum at the University of Pittsburgh.
Doris Carson-Williams has held the position of president and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania since she opened the chapter in 1998. Initially, she resisted entrepreneur Robert Agbede’s urging her to launch what is now the ninth-largest chamber in the 10-county region. Carson-Williams is a former president of the Pittsburgh branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and now serves as a member of the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
State Rep. Dan Frankel has been a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since 1999. Currently representing the 23rd district, he is an outspoken advocate for civil rights and public health. His current focus is reducing Pennsylvania’s greenhouse and carbon emissions and protecting the rights of LGBTQ citizens. Frankel serves as the Democratic chair of the House Health Committee and co-chairs the PA SAFE and LGBTQ+ Equality caucuses.
As COO and managing director of software at AlphaLab, Jim Jen – a co-founder of the AlphaLab accelerator programs for Innovation Works – searches for startup technology companies across the software, hardware and life sciences sectors to nurture. Since its founding in 2008, AlphaLab, which provides funding, mentorship, education and network-building to speed the growth of promising startups, has consistently ranked among the top accelerators in the US.
Toni Murphy made history last year when she was named senior vice president of Comcast’s Keystone Region – the first African American woman ever appointed to this position in the company’s history. Murphy is responsible for Comcast’s operational, strategic and financial performance pertaining to parts of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and West Virginia. Murphy also leads the Keystone Region Diversity & Inclusion Council, sits on The Pittsburgh Foundation board and serves as Veteran’s Network Employee Resource Group’s executive director.
As Duquesne University’s 13th president, Ken Gormley has garnered national acclaim for his leadership and his work as a lawyer and author. His books, like The New York Times bestseller “The Death of American Virtue,” have won multiple awards and honors. A past president of the Allegheny County Bar Association, Gormley was the first academic to hold that position. He served as a professor of law before being named dean of the Duquesne University School of Law prior to his presidency.
For almost a decade, Scott Baker has served as vice president and chief government relations officer of UPMC. Baker joined the UPMC leadership team in 2012 after 32 years of government service and government affairs in both the public and private sectors at the state and federal levels. In February, Baker announced his plan to retire this summer. Former Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam is set to be his successor.
After resigning as Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Health in December, Alison Beam is set to take over as UPMC’s vice president of government affairs and chief government relations officer. Beam, who holds a law degree from Drexel University and an undergraduate degree in health policy and administration from Penn State University, was named acting director of the Department of Health in early 2021 after the departure of Dr. Rachel Levine.
Tom F. Karam leads Equitrans Midstream Corporation, one of the largest natural gas gatherers in the country. Before being named CEO and chair of the board of the company in 2019, Karam was the company’s president and chief executive officer. Karam has served in senior executive positions in the midstream energy sector for more than 25 years and is the founder of Karbon Partners, LLC, PennTex Midstream Partners, LLC and Laser Midstream Partners, LLC.
More than three decades of experience in state and federal governments have helped Leslie Gromis Baker become Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s managing director. She worked under George H.W. Bush in the White House and served as Gov. Tom Ridge’s director of the Office of Public Liaison. Most recently, Gromis Baker served Gov. Tom Corbett as his chief of staff. In her current position, Gromis Baker leads Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s federal, Pennsylvania and Florida teams.
Previously led by two co-CEOs, John Plant took over as Howmet Aerospace’s sole CEO in late 2021, while continuing his role as executive chairman of the company’s board of directors. Plant, the former CEO of Arconic, the company that split from Howmet, has more than 40 years of experience in the automotive industry, previously serving as chair of the board, president and CEO of TRW Automotive, one of the world’s biggest automotive suppliers.
As Carnegie Mellon University’s Dean of the School of Computer Science, Martial Hebert specializes in areas of computer vision and perception for autonomous systems. A former director for the Robotics Institute at CMU, Hebert has been a key part of high-profile projects including NavLab, a pioneering program for self-driving vehicles, and in leading the development of perception capabilities for personal care robots. Among Hebert’s recent projects: finding ways to reduce supervision in machine learning.
Pittsburghers needing legal help with commercial litigation and financial services litigation often turn to Reed Smith, LLP, where Jason E. Hazlewood is both the managing partner and a partner in the firm’s Global Commercial Disputes Group. Hazlewood has worked for Reed Smith for more than 15 years, handling a wide variety of cases, including securities litigation, class actions, antitrust and construction disputes. He has advised Fortune 500 companies, global financial institutions, corporate directors, foreign issuers and various other corporate entities.
Sam Reiman was the first choice to take over as director of the $3 billion Richard King Mellon Foundation when the current director, Scott Izzo, decided to step down in 2019. Reiman, who was the foundation’s associate director alongside Izzo for four years prior, previously served as a senior program officer at another Pittsburgh-based philanthropic organization, the McCune Foundation. As the foundation’s director, Reiman leads on everything from strategic planning to its $130 million grantmaking program.
ALCOA President and CEO Roy Harvey began his lengthy tenure with the company in 2007 as a smelter manager. Among other stops along the way with the company best known for aluminum products, Harvey served as executive vice president and president of its global primary products business before Alcoa split into two different companies. Before helming the entire corporation, Harvey was its executive vice president of human resources, environment, health and safety, and sustainability from 2014 to 2015.
In 2019, Rafael Santana was named president and CEO of Wabtec – and at the same time, he was also elected as a board member of the company. Santana has over 25 years of executive leadership and management experience, including a stint as president and CEO of GE in Latin America and president and CEO of Turbomachinery Solutions Business of GE Oil & Gas. Under his leadership, he helped expand GE’s regional footprint and modernize the company’s capabilities.
James Segerdahl became the global managing partner of K&L Gates in 2017 after Peter Kalis decided to step down. At the time, Segerdahl noted that he had big shoes to fill: K&L Gates is one of the largest law firms in the world. Segerdahl, now in his second term, has led the firm’s push to enact salary cuts for management to help better compensate K&L Gates’ lawyers and staff during the pandemic.
Vincent J. Delie Jr. sits at the head of F.N.B. Corporation and First National Bank, serving as chairman, president and CEO. He became president of First National Bank in 2009 after joining the company in 2005 and assuming a succession of executive leadership roles a few years later. Under his leadership, the company has experienced unprecedented growth, nearly tripling its market capitalization, and increasing both revenue and profitability.
As the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s executive vice president and chief strategic and transformation officer, David Farner is a key part of the health care provider and insurer’s strategic opportunities and initiatives and in plotting its future priorities. Farner previously served as the interim chief financial officer for the system and has worked in numerous financial leadership roles during his time there, which began in 1986 as a financial analyst for Presbyterian University Hospital.
Diane Holder serves as the executive vice president and president of the UPMC Insurance Services Division and as president and CEO of UPMC Health Plan, a health company subset of the UPMC Insurance Services Division, alongside UPMC for You, Community Care Behavioral Health Organization and Work Partners. Holder is no stranger to the health care system: She was the founding CEO of Community Care Behavioral Health Organization and served as the CEO of UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital.
In August 2020, Michael Huwar was named president of People’s Natural Gas, a division of the Pennsylvania-based Essential Utilities, Inc. Formerly president and COO of Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania and Maryland, where he worked for 34 years, Huwar is in charge of ensuring the delivery of natural gas service to approximately 740,000 customers in southwestern Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky.
Katharine Kelleman heads the operations of the Port Authority of Allegheny County’s 700-vehicle bus fleet and 80-vehicle light rail system, which provide service to more than 220,000 riders a day. Prior to joining the company in 2018, Kelleman served as Hillsborough Area Regional Transit’s CEO and worked in leadership roles for the Maryland Transit Administration and Dallas Area Rapid Transit. Along with the port authority’s operations, Kelleman oversees capital and operating budgets.
As vice president for equity and research at The Heinz Endowments, Carmen A. Anderson leads the nonprofit’s efforts to promote diversity, inclusion and equity, and its initiatives to address social injustice and inequity. Anderson previously served as the Endowments’ senior program officer for children, youth and families, where her work included identifying innovative programs to strengthen parents’ skills in child-rearing and supporting their children’s health. Prior to joining the Endowments in 2000, Carmen was the executive director of Healthy Start, Inc.
Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport are managed by the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which has been led by Christina Cassotis since 2015. Under the direction of its first female CEO, the airport has nearly doubled the number of destinations available, expanded cargo service to the highest volume in more than 15 years and brought back direct flights to London, England, after a 20-year absence. Previously, Cassotis was the Managing Officer for Airport Services for SH&E, a global aviation consultancy.
Representing the 34th district, which includes the part of the City of Pittsburgh, Wilkins Township and the Braddock Hills, Churchill and Edgewood boroughs, among others, is Summer Lee. Lee became the first African American woman from western Pennsylvania elected to the House of Representatives in 2018. She is a member of the education, health and judiciary committees. Prior to serving the 34th district, Lee assisted indigent clients as a student of Howard University School of Law.
Thomas Conway was named international president of the United Steelworkers, the largest industrial union in the U.S., in 2019, after more than 25 years of serving in various positions in the organization, including as international vice president. Conway’s career began in 1978 as a millwright at Bethlehem Steel. During his time with the union, Conway has become known for his contract negotiation skills and chairing labor agreements with ATI, AK Steel and Goodyear, among others. In 2019, the 1.2 million members and retirees of United Steelworkers welcomed John Shinn as their international secretary-treasurer. Previously, Shinn served as director of United Steelworkers District 4, which covers Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Puerto Rico. Shinn has been an active member of organized labor since beginning his career in 1974 at AFG Industries.
With more than a decade of experience running Pittsburgh’s Riverlife organization, Lisa Schroeder was named The Pittsburgh Foundation’s president and CEO in 2019, making Schroeder the sixth president and first woman appointed. Under her direction, millions of dollars were raised for immediate relief during the start of the pandemic and Schroeder led collaborations with foundation partners to raise more for longer-term recovery and developed programs and services to address racial justice issues.
Former state representative Jake Wheatley, a decorated veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, was appointed Ed Gainey’s chief of staff in early 2022. First sworn into office in 2003, Wheatley was the longest-serving African American member in the state House of Representatives and the first African American to serve as the House Professional Licensure Committee chair. He is an advocate for minority and women-owned business inclusion, quality and equitable education for all children and social and criminal justice reforms.
Under the leadership of Donald F. Smith Jr., the Regional Industrial Development Corporation has become a go-to developer of real estate projects that support the public interest in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Among his other responsibilities, Smith serves as vice chair of the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County and as chair of the Greater Oakland Keystone Innovation Zone.
Maria Montaño made history in early 2022 when she was named Mayor Ed Gainey’s press secretary – the first openly transgender woman to hold this position in Pittsburgh – and one of the highest-ranking Latinas in city government. Montaño brings more than 15 years of experience in communications and media to her role. She previously worked as a campaign communications specialist for SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania and with Pittsburgh City Council member Erika Strassburger to expand protections for the LGBTQ community in Pittsburgh.
After 18 years as president of Highmark, Deborah Rice-Johnson was named as the company’s CEO of diversified businesses and chief growth officer. Rice-Johnson, who has long provided senior leadership and strategic direction for the company’s health insurance business, now leads subsidiaries that include United Concordia Dental, HM Insurance Group and Helion. Also added to her portfolio of responsibilities: searching for strategic partnerships, affiliations and acquisitions.
In September 2020, Stan Wischnowski became the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s executive editor and vice president after almost 20 years at The Philadelphia Inquirer – including a decade as the paper’s top news executive – leading the paper to a Pulitzer Prize in 2012. Since arriving at the Post-Gazette, he has expanded the newsroom's local coverage by creating a high-impact investigations team, reopening the Post-Gazette's Harrisburg bureau, adding two popular sections to the Sunday newspaper, and expanding the number of interactive graphics, podcasts and newsletters.
Since 2011, John J. Engel has served as chair, president and chief executive officer of WESCO International, Inc., a global supply chain solutions company for everything from electrical supplies to systems capabilities. During his time at WESCO, Engel has also served as senior vice president and chief operating officer. He is a member of the Business Roundtable and sits on the board of directors for the Business Council and the National Association of Manufacturers.
During David Morehouse’s tenure as president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team has won three Stanley Cups, made the Cup Finals four times and reached the conference finals five times. Since assuming his leadership role in 2007, the team has become one of the NHL's strongest business entities, regularly selling out games and ranking among the NHL leaders in local television ratings.
The ninth president of the Community College of Allegheny County, Quintin Bullock brings a storied professional background in higher education to his position. Bullock previously served as executive dean of Monroe Community College Damon City Campus before becoming provost of the Virginia Beach and Norfolk campuses of Tidewater Community College and then president of Schenectady County Community College. During his tenure at CCAC, Bullock has shepherded several large capital projects, stabilized finances and launched new academic programs.
In 2019, Bobbi Watt Geer became the first woman named president and CEO of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania. Greer, who joined the organization in 2017, has more than three decades of experience in the nonprofit sector, including as senior vice president of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and as regional vice president of the United Way of Westmoreland County before the organization merged with United Way of Allegheny County. She is also vice president of the Murrysville Community Library board.
Following a nationwide search, Jerad Bachar was named president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH, the Pittsburgh region’s official tourism marketing and promotion agency. Bachar’s domestic and international tourism experience, as well as his history with the agency, were key to his hiring. Most recently, he served as executive vice president of VisitPITTSBURGH, where he was responsible for MeetPITTSBURGH, SportsPITTSBURGH, Destination Services, partnership development and research.
Karen Wolk Feinstein is a local leader in health care thanks to her role as president and CEO of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and its three operating arms. She founded one of those arms, the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (PRHI), 31 years ago. Feinstein also founded Health Care Futures, another operating arm that supports the Jewish Healthcare Foundation alongside PRHI. Previously, Feinstein taught at the University of Pittsburgh and worked as faculty at Carnegie Mellon University and Boston College.
Stefani Pashman’s tenure at Allegheny Conference on Community Development kicked off in 2017 with a proposal to bring Amazon’s second headquarters to Pittsburgh. While that drive proved ultimately unsuccessful, Pashman continues to lead the organization’s efforts to improve the Pittsburgh region’s economic future and quality of life via public-private partnerships. Pashman, the first woman to lead the nonprofit, previously served as CEO of Partner4Work and its predecessor, the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board.
As president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health, Jessica Brooks-Woods uses education, advocacy and partnerships to best serve the nonprofit organization’s business members and their greater communities. She serves as a member of the inaugural cohort of the Advanced Leadership Initiative and is also on the board of directors of Maitri Medicinals, Lending Hearts and the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions.
Greater Pittsburgh Community Foodbank’s small team is headed by Lisa Scales. As president and CEO since 2012, Scales has led the distribution of nearly 45 million meals annually through a network of 850 community partners in 11 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania. In January 2021, she was named Pittsburgher of the Year by Pittsburgh Magazine for her leadership during the start of the pandemic, when there was a 30% increase in need from the Food Bank in 2020.
As Highmark’s executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer, Dan Onorato has a wealth of experience to offer, including extensive work in public policy and government and regulatory affairs. After serving two terms as an Allegheny County Executive, Onorato joined Highmark in 2012, where he coordinated responses to COVID-19 and the opioid crisis. He currently serves on a number of boards, including the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.
In 1982, David Malone co-founded Gateway Financial Group, which specializes in how to use life insurance for complex needs, with Beth Lang. Lang currently serves as president, while Malone builds and maintains relationships, working closely with clients and their advisers to guide them through the insurance acquisition process. Malone serves as a chairman of the Partner4Work board and is also a board member of Highmark Health/Highmark, Inc. and FNB Corporation.
Sabrina Saunders Mosby understands that improving a region starts with its people. Using her current position as president and chief executive officer for Vibrant Pittsburgh, a nonprofit economic development organization established to build a more diverse and inclusive Pittsburgh region, Saunders Mosby encourages partner corporations to celebrate the seen and unseen achievements of diverse employees and works to recommend them for job opportunities, promotions and board positions.
Fourteen years ago, Audrey Russo joined the Pittsburgh Technology Council as its president and CEO. She was drawn to the role for its intersection of people, technology and business. The Pittsburgh Technology Council focuses on helping its member company and employees get more exposure and develop their businesses while advocating for pro-tech policies. She is a serving board member at the Regional Industrial Development Corporation, Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, CityLab and more.
The course of Bill Strickland’s life changed upon meeting his high school art teacher, Frank Ross. The relationship between the two inspired Ross to form the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild, an after-school arts program in a donated North Side rowhouse that Strickland secured while attending the University of Pittsburgh. Today, Strickland leads Manchester Bidwell Corporation, whose programs, MCG Youth & Arts and MCG Jazz, provide youth art classes and workshops and help keep the history and spirit of jazz music alive and well in the Pittsburgh area.
Leah Lizarondo is the CEO and co-founder of 412 Food Rescue, a social enterprise founded in 2014 that aims to fight hunger and promote sustainability. One of the fastest-growing food recovery organizations in the U.S., 412 Food Rescue’s infrastructure for national retailers, which directly distributes food waste to organizations that benefit those who are food-insecure, has prevented more than 13 million pounds of food from being wasted.
The Buncher Company focuses on all stages of real estate development in Pittsburgh. David Heaton became the company’s president and CEO in 2020, following a 20-year stint at Oxford Development Company, including as its chief operating officer. He also serves as a member of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and American Heart Association of Greater Pittsburgh boards.
Ronald L. Hicks, Jr. has spent more than 30 years handling a wide range of litigation, LGBT business development and more. As a partner at Porter Wright and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, Hicks offers a wide variety of legal help ranging from arbitration and mediation to election law representation and coal and mineral rights. Hicks also serves as co-chair of the firm’s LGBTQ+ business practice group, as well as its election and political law practice group.
Huma Mohiuddin brought more than two decades of experience to her role as BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s Pittsburgh market president. Mohiuddin was promoted to the position in 2021 after working for BNY Mellon for nearly six years, where she served in a number of leadership roles. Mohiuddin is a former vice president of investments at J.P. Morgan and has held various investment advisor roles at Aurora Investment Management, Northern Trust Asset Management, Morgan Stanley and National City Bank.
Wendelynne Newton loves helping clients navigate antitrust law: Over the past decade, Newton has directed more than 100 litigation and antitrust matters ranging from health care to consumer products. In 1992, she was elected to Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney’s management committee and then to its board of directors in 1995. Now, an executive shareholder, Newton is the first woman to hold those positions. She also serves as chair of the firm’s antitrust and trade regulation practice group.
With nearly two decades of experience litigating putative class cases and multiform disputes in state and federal courts and international tribunals, Rebekah Byers Kcehowski, partner in charge at Jones Day, helps clients, including banks, hospitals and manufacturers, navigate and defend all types of litigation. She is a member of the Pittsburgh Public Theater board of trustees, and is the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh co-chair for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development.
Carlos T. Carter knows what he wants to do as president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh: to make this Pittsburgh nonprofit a destination workplace through empowering staff and, ultimately, the community they serve. Carter, a former executive director of the Homeless Children’s Education Fund, is focusing the Urban League’s efforts on helping African Americans and other marginalized communities to secure economic self-reliance, civil rights and more.
With more than 30 years of experience in higher education as a researcher, author, professor, academic dean, senior vice president and chief academic officer, Chatham University’s 19th president, David Finegold, has dedicated his career to education reform, the design of high-performance organizations and extensive comparative research on education and skill-creation systems from around the world. He has authored and co-authored several books, including “BioIndustry Ethics,” “Corporate Boards: New Strategies for Adding Value at the Top” and “Are Skills the Answer?”
The Pittsburgh Chapter of OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates is headed by Marian Lien, who has spent the last 20 years working to create safer and more sustainable communities and teaching diversity in higher education. Lien serves on numerous boards in the Pittsburgh area, including the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, and the Diversity, Inclusion and Global Centers of Excellence Committee for the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh and more. She is also a commissioner on Gov. Tom Wolf’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs.
Joylette Portlock’s work focuses on building community around sustainability topics. Before becoming executive director of Sustainable Pittsburgh, a nonprofit working to advance sustainability policies and practices in southwestern Pennsylvania, Portlock served as associate director of science and research at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and as executive director of Communitopia, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit focusing on climate change communication. Portlock also currently serves on the Allegheny County Board of Health.
Since 1994, Pittsburgh Film Office Director Dawn Keezer has worked to market Pennsylvania’s southwestern region to the film and television industry. More than 180 feature film and TV productions, including “Mindhunter,” “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” and “The Dark Knight Rises” have been shot in Pittsburgh thanks to Keezer’s leadership. Additionally, Keezer played a key role in creating the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s film industry tax credit program, “Creativity in Focus,” which is now in its 16th year.
Former Mayor of Pittsburgh Bill Peduto served the city of bridges from 2014 to 2022. Prior to his mayoralty, Peduto served as a member of the Pittsburgh City Council, representing District 8 from 2002 to 2014. His time in Pittsburgh City Council totaled 19 years, seven of those spent as a staffer. He left Ed Gainey, Pittsburgh’s new mayor, with a five-year balanced operating and capital budget, plus a reserve fund.
One of the region’s longtime union leaders, Kenneth Broadbent has headed Pittsburgh Steamfitters Local 449 for more than two decades. Local 449 is affiliated with the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the U.S. and Canada. Broadbent also serves as director of the board at the McCandless Branch of SSB Bank and is a board director of Pittsburgh Works Together.
The Advanced Leadership Institute, an organization that cultivates African American executive leadership, is headed by Evan Frazier, who left his role as senior vice president of community affairs at Highmark Health in early 2021 to run this Pittsburgh nonprofit. Since joining the board full-time, Frazier, who co-founded TALI, has led initiatives like a partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business to develop the Executive Leadership Academy program, which prepares African Americans to assume essential roles in their organizations.
Not content with making history by becoming the first African American to represent the 35th District in the state House of Representatives, Austin Davis is now running to serve the entire commonwealth in addition to the residents of the Mon Valley. As a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, Davis has the support of his running mate, gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro, and much of the state’s Democratic establishment.
Since childhood, Bryan Salesky, founder and chief executive officer of Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle start-up backed by Ford and Volkswagen, has been fascinated by technology. After studying computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, Salesky helped run Carnegie Mellon University’s National Robotics Engineering Center’s largest commercial programs before becoming director of hardware development at Google. He started Argo AI in 2016.
Pittsburgh native Mark Harris co-founded the boutique advertising and public affairs firm Cold Spark Media in his hometown in 2011 after successfully leading political campaigns across the nation, including the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history at the time, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s reelection victory in Pennsylvania. Harris, who specializes in political campaigns and issues advocacy, also co-founded and became a partner at Fifth Influence, a digital advocacy firm that helps clients in public affairs and corporate advocacy.
Darrin Kelly has been pulling double duty: in addition to being an active-duty member of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, he is also the president of the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Kelly likes to lead by example: When he saw that the First Ward Veterans Memorial needed some attention, he gathered other union members and volunteers to help clean the downtown Pittsburgh monument. He is also a member of the International Association of Firefighters Local 1.
Earlier this year, Thomas R. McIntyre took over as business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union No. 5, succeeding Michael R. Dunleavy, who had held the position since 2007. McIntyre, who joined the union in 1984, also serves as secretary/treasurer for the Pittsburgh Building and Construction Trades Council and as a board member of the Joint Apprenticeship Trust Fund and Labor Management Trust Fund.
In May 2011, Jeremy Waldrup became the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership President and CEO. For seven years prior, Waldrup worked for New York City’s Department of Small Business Services, moving from executive director to assistant commissioner. Waldrup works with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s board of directors, stakeholders and staff to create and implement a vision that ensures downtown Pittsburgh remains a vibrant and innovative place to live, work and play.
Joseph Laquatra Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps when he became business manager of Laborers Local 1058, which covers Allegheny, Westmoreland, Beaver, Butler, Indiana, Washington, Greene, and Fayette counties in the heavy highway construction fields. His father, Joseph LaQuatra Sr., was the president of the local from 1968 to 1984 and served as business manager from 1985 until 2000. Laquatra Jr. also serves on the board of trustees of the Laborers’ District Council of Western Pennsylvania Welfare Fund.
Appointed president and CEO of Allegheny Technologies Inc. in January 2019, Robert Wetherbee was named board chair of the specialty metals company in spring 2021. Previously, Wetherbee was executive vice president of ATI’s Flat Rolled Products business and served in leadership positions at Minerals Technologies, Alcoa, CONSOL Energy Inc., and CNX Gas Corporation. In his current position, Wetherbee leads the company’s day-to-day global operations.
A former senior vice president of partnerships at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Mark Anthony Thomas was named Pittsburgh Regional Alliance’s president in 2019. He brought with him two decades of experience in economic development, including serving as the City of Los Angeles’ inaugural FUSE Executive Fellow and as director of the mayor’s operations innovation team in Los Angeles. Thomas also serves as a board member of NAIOP Pittsburgh and FUSE Corps and chairman of the board for Power of 32 Site Development Fund Partners LP.
For almost four years, Lance Chimka has served as Allegheny County’s director of economic development, where he is responsible for infrastructure, community, affordable housing, and industrial site development. Previously, he served as regional director of the Governor’s Action Team for the PA Department of Community and Economic Development and as business and community manager of Allegheny County Economic Development. Chimka is also a board member of the Allegheny County Airport Authority.
A labor organizer for more than 15 years, Sam Williamson serves as the elected Western Pennsylvania District Leader of SEIU Local 32BJ, the largest property services union in the country, representing workers in 12 states and Washington, D.C. Williamson has served as chair of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh since 2019; Gainey administration’s chief economic development officer Kyle Chintalapalli is Williamson’s soon-to-be successor. His accomplishments since taking office include guaranteeing wages of $15 an hour or more for hundreds of food service workers at major universities in Pittsburgh.
Silas Russell started serving SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania in 2010 as a political organizer. He has since worked his way up from political director, vice president, and finally, executive vice president, a role he began at the start of 2022. Russell was an integral part of Ed Gainey’s historic mayor's race and, alongside Angel Gober, served as co-chair of Gainey’s transition team as he prepared to take office. Russell’s focus is on bringing voices together, identifying Pittsburgh’s most significant barriers and finding creative solutions to those problems.
When Melia Tourangeau was appointed president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2015 – the first woman and the youngest CEO in the Symphony’s 124-year history – she immediately had to deal with massive debts from a nearly insolvent pension program. Tourangeau was able to resolve that crisis and move the organization toward financial stability by deepening connections with the community, focusing on artistic excellence and adding new programming and digital technology.
A unanimous vote at the Pittsburgh Board of Public Education’s 2021 September legislative meeting named Wayne N. Walters as Interim Superintendent of Pittsburgh Public Schools. Over the course of more than three decades at PPS, Walters has earned tenure in the district and has continuously shown his passion for working directly with students to impact their lives through education. As superintendent, Walters hopes to address and advance organizational cohesion in the district through systems-oriented thinking.
Following a national search in spring 2021, Robert Cherry, former deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, was named CEO of Partner 4 Work, a Pittsburgh-based workforce development organization. Cherry came to his new position with more than a decade of workforce development leadership experience, including senior roles at Employ Milwaukee, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute and the Center for Urban Population Health. He is also an elected Board Trustee of the Village of Brown Deer.
Currently overseeing Robert Morris University’s four schools, degree programs and scholarly research is Mary Ann Rafoth. She was named interim president after three years as the university’s provost and two years as vice provost for academic affairs prior to that. Rafoth has more than 30 years of experience in education, including as both the head of college education and educational technology and as a professor of educational school psychology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.