Instructor Biographies: Bayer Center

Instructor Biographies

Lynette Asson, principal of New Place Collaborations, is an events and marketing maven who creates powerful marketing strategies for businesses and nonprofits. She produces events ranging from intimate receptions to large convention center shows. Lynette worked as national production manager for the International Beauty Show. Her expertise includes adult learning, artist relations, and trade show management for international corporations Goldwell/KMS, Wella, and Redken. This johannes factotum enjoys working with Pittsburgh-area nonprofits and corporations, including Crisis Center North and Opera Theater SummerFest.

Dave Brewton grew up in Pittsburgh and loves raising money to advance missions that matter. He’s done so in Pittsburgh for more than 32 years, in the fields of community development (Executive Director of Breachmenders, Inc., Director of Real Estate, Hazelwood Initiative), health care (Associate ED for East Liberty Family Health Care Center) and faith-based ministries (Coalition for Christian Outreach, others). He also loves teaching classes at the Bayer Center that combine theory, practical how-to tips and inspiration. Just don’t ask him to sing, because he will!

Jay Carson serves as senior vice president for institutional advancement at Robert Morris University (RMU). Previously, Jay served as vice president for institutional advancement and chief development officer at Saint Vincent College; vice president for development and donor relations at The Pittsburgh Foundation; and vice president for institutional advancement for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. In addition, he has held positions at Carnegie Mellon University, Family Resources, United Cerebral Palsy, and the Pennsylvania Association for Retarded Citizens. Jay currently services on the boards at Central Catholic High School and Presbyterian Senior Care. He has served on the Boards of Pittsburgh Cable Television, Oakland Catholic High School, and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts and Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania. He was also adjunct faculty for the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. Jay earned his B.A. in English Literature and Master’s in Education at the University of Pittsburgh.

Carl Cimini is Director of Community Relations for Pittsburgh Community Television, where has worked since 2010. In this role, he has produced, written and directed various informational media for Pittsburgh nonprofits and for-profit businesses. Carl is a graduate of Pittsburgh Filmmakers and most recently the Duke Nonprofit Management program. He has also travelled the world documenting people’s stories and his 2006 documentary Dancing in Amdo is distributed by Cinetic media and available on Netflix.

Dina Clark is Head of Diversity & Inclusion for Covestro LLC, spearheading the development and implementation of diversity strategies and initiatives across the United States. She previously served as the Senior Director of Equity & Advocacy with the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, working to support the YWCA’s focus on eliminating racism and empowering women through racial justice, community engagement and advocacy efforts. She has been dedicated to this work for over 20 years, conducting presentations nationwide including workshops for Family Communications Inc/Producers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, Vassar College, University of Michigan, Magnet Schools of New York, New York State Department of Health, and the FBI. She was named as one of Pittsburgh’s 40 under 40 leaders by Pittsburgh Magazine. In 2009, she was also named one of 50 recipients of the “Women of Excellence” award, from the Pittsburgh Courier, and in 2015 recipient of the Allegheny County Bar Association Homer S. Brown Spirit Award from the legal community.

Brenda Dare is the President of Dare Enterprises, Inc., a human resource business solutions that partners with clients in the nonprofit and for-profit arena, offering customized, outsourced consulting services to meet daily HR challenges without the expense of hiring staff. Additionally, larger organizations benefit by using Dare as an extension of their busy human resources team for special projects. Prior to founding Dare Enterprises in 1996, Brenda held various key management positions in HR and operations management during her career with a multi-million dollar division of Xerox Corporation. She serves as board chair of Lifesteps, located in Butler, PA and is a member of the SHRM and the PHRA.

Nicole DeVault is an IS Analyst at ACHIEVA. She is a graduate of West Virginia University, and has worked in the technology departments at various companies and schools in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Nicole has spent most of her life working with the IDD population and using technology to adapt the world to their needs.

John E. Eichenlaub has been a volunteer with ESC since 2000 where he has participated in a number of financial planning, accounting and budgeting projects. He retired after spending the last 14 years of his career as Controller and CFO of Community College of Allegheny County. His work experience (which includes 7 years as a manager in the consulting practice of Price Waterhouse Coopers) centered on financial matters for both profit and nonprofit organizations. He holds a CPA certificate in the state of Pennsylvania.

Ray Frankoski joined ESC as a volunteer in 2001 following his retirement as Director of Human Resources at Westinghouse Government & Environmental Services Company. In addition to serving as an ESC Project Manager, Ray has consulted with the Holy Family Institute, ALS Association Western PA Chapter, Gwen’s Girls, A. Philip Randolf Institute, the Community at Holy Family Manor, Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Society for Contemporary Craft, Turtle Creek MH/MR, Ward Home, The Mattress Factory, Parkinson Chapter of Greater Pittsburgh, and Peer Support and Advocacy Network (PSAN).

Jeff Fromknecht is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Side Project Inc. He has more than 10 years of experience working at nonprofit organizations in a variety of direct service and administrative roles. Most recently, Jeff worked as a community partner at United Cerebral Palsy of Pittsburgh, where he developed and evaluated programs designed to help people with disabilities to build social capital. Jeff holds graduate degrees in both social work and law, is licensed to practice law in Florida and Pennsylvania, and has been admitted to practice before the United States Tax Courts throughout the country.

Andrew Garberson is Manager of Search at LunaMetrics, a Google Analytics certified partner and search marketing consultancy. In addition to leading the SEO and PPC departments, Andrew is a GAIQ certified analytics junkie with a special interest in nonprofit marketing. He has led digital marketing efforts in a variety of settings, including agency, entrepreneurial and nonprofit environments, and has master’s degrees in business administration and mass communications. An Iowan at heart and Pittsburgher in spirit, Andrew commutes on his 10-speed most days between March and December – after all, he’s only human.

Gloria Hahn recently served as the Interim Chief Operations Officer for the Greater Pittsburgh  Community Food Bank after retiring from a successful career as Director of Operations for the Port Authority of Allegheny County. A longtime advocate for issues of education, civic engagement, and youth and children services, Gloria has used her managerial and training skills with Junior Achievement, Bidwell Training Center, Pittsburgh Public Schools and the YWCA. She is currently retired and serves on the Board of Directors for Pace School, is a Leadership Pittsburgh fellow, an ESC volunteer and an awarded Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteer for Allegheny County

Katherine F.H. Heart, GPC, M.Ed. is President of Heart Resources, LLC, a mission-driven grant services company providing program development, funder research, grant proposal writing and budgets, consulting, grant training, and coaching. She is the author of Grantepreneur: The Grant Writer’s Career Action Plan. Katherine’s nonprofit experience spans 30 years, and she has assisted organizations to obtain millions of grant dollars for program, operating and capital support. She has earned the Grant Professional Certification credential and designation as an Approved Trainer by the Grant Professionals Association. Katherine was Founding President of the GPA-Western PA Chapter.

Yvonne Hudson, principal of New Place Collaborations, is a versatile marketing/PR expert who creates mission-driven solutions for nonprofits and businesses. She directed higher education communications for Carnegie Mellon, Chatham, New York Law, Yeshiva University, and University of Pittsburgh Theatre Arts. Her work in New York, DC, and Pittsburgh includes current projects for the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management and its clients, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, Crisis Center North, and Pittsburgh in the Round. A journalism and psychology alumna of Point Park University, Yvonne earned an M.A. in arts management and developed her solo show Mrs Shakespeare at Pitt.

Dorothy T. Hufford specializes in marketing program design, communications strategies and budget development/fundraising. Dorothy has served as the principal in Hufford & Associates, worked as a Manager for Latrobe Area Hospital and Director of Marketing/Community Relations for Excela Health. She has also been on the faculty of Seton Hill College and the Community College of Allegheny County. Dorothy’s efforts have resulted in securing grants as large as $1.2 million for development of new services and programs. She has served on many boards including the American Heart Association’s Westmoreland Chapter, the Latrobe Area Chamber of Commerce and Adams Memorial Library.

Seth T. Hufford serves as Partner at The People Group – a consultancy that builds people capacity to create ideal organizations and communities. Working across all three sectors, Seth has engaged diverse groups of people in tackling complex challenges, addressing interpersonal dynamics, and producing results. Prior to founding The People Group, Seth managed global executive education programs at Carnegie Mellon University’s Business School, directed Coro’s Leadership New York program, and facilitated Leadership Pittsburgh’s Leadership Development Initiative. He has also served as chief of staff to an elected official, directed economic development at a Chamber of Commerce, and managed client projects at Booz Allen Hamilton.

Cindy Kerr is a senior marketing & communications specialist for social enterprise, education and causes. The past eight years she was in Kenya leading social enterprises including SunnyMoney solar light social enterprise & SolarAid, KickStart International, a leading company that lifts small scale farmers out of poverty, and education enterprises, Nova and Bridge International Academies. After a career in advertising in Chicago and Denver, she started ckarma marketing in 2004 to deliver marketing strategy and communications results for companies and causes making a positive difference. She leads transformational branding and strategy for select clients including the Pittsburgh Opera.

Emma Gilmore Kieran brings more than 16 years of fundraising experience to Pilot Peak Consulting. She has worked with over 50 nonprofits in her career as a coach, teacher and change agent. Previously, Emma was the Vice President for Fundraising and Development at Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI) and a consultant with Changing Our World (CW).

Lisa M. Kuzma is Senior Program Officer at the Richard King Mellon Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked for 20 years in the commercial banking industry, then shifted her financial management background to assisting nonprofits achieve long term sustainability with Deloitte & Touche and then at the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University. Over this period, Lisa had the privilege of working with nonprofits to build income streams, diversified contributed revenue bases and rationalized expense structures in many innovative and forward-thinking ways. She received her bachelor’s degree in finance from the Pennsylvania State University and M.B.A. from Duquesne University.

Albert Lee, Esq. is a management-oriented employment and labor law attorney, who is also a professional speaker and educator. He is a Shareholder with the Pittsburgh-based law firm of Tucker Arensberg, P.C., which has received multiple Best Law Firm Rankings by U.S. News & World Report–Best Lawyers. His clients range from some of the largest international companies and insurers to regional family-owned businesses and are concentrated in the nonprofit, healthcare, manufacturing,service and educational sectors. He received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he served in a number of editorial positions on the Journal of Law and Commerce.

Mark Lynch, principal of Mark J. Lynch and Associates, LLC, has more than 30 years of experience in fundraising, communications, marketing and branding, and organizational development for nonprofit organizations including fundraising consulting through Ketchum, Inc., and A.L. Brourman Associates, Inc. Mark is a registered fundraising consultant in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He is active in the community, currently serving on the Community Advisory Board of the Allegheny Regional Asset District, and has served on many other committees and boards for nonprofit organizations including Support Inc. and the Sewickley YMCA. He is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, Class XIII.

Sandra Marsh-McClain has over 20 years’ experience serving in the nonprofit sector as a leader and administrator. She has participated in the design and delivery of programs on subjects as diverse as employee onboarding and year one success strategies as a graduate intern at Carnegie Mellon University’s Professional Development Services Department. Most recently, Sandra worked as a graduate human resources consultant for Global Links Inc. where she developed organization-wide objectives that included employee engagement/recognition, professional development initiatives, individual development plans for all full-time staff members and team cohesiveness initiatives. Sandra holds a master’s degree in human resources management with a concentration in organizational learning, development and change.

Sue McLaughlin has been an ESC volunteer since 1995. Previously, she spent 25 years as an attorney at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, responsible for overseeing the planning, financing and management of FHAinsured hospitals, nursing homes and multi-family housing. As an ESC volunteer, Sue has worked with numerous nonprofit clients on review and revision of bylaws, board development, executive director mentoring, fundraising, and other tasks. She has also been a facilitator for the regional dialogues sponsored by Alan Kukovich, “The Power of 32,” and is an active member of South United Methodist Church in Wilkinsburg.

Mayor Bill Peduto was elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh in the General Election on November 5, 2013 after working for 19 years on Pittsburgh City Council. A self-described “Reform Democrat”, he wrote the most comprehensive package of government reform legislation in Pittsburgh’s history, has been the consistent voice of fiscal discipline, and has had extensive experience in helping transform Pittsburgh’s economy into a Med/Ed New Economy. By establishing “community-based” development plans and encouraging the investment into niche industries, Mayor Peduto has had hands-on experience in building a New Pittsburgh. From co-creator and co-chair of the City’s Comprehensive Climate Action Plan to writing the legislation to protect Pittsburgh’s unique green hillsides, he has championed the protection and enhancement of Pittsburgh’s new reputation as a leader in green initiatives. Adding his own charity fund-raising activities, such as Executive Producer of a documentary about the Allegheny Observatory and the only politician who laces his skates as a member of Pittsburgh’s Celebrity Hockey Team, it is pretty easy to see that Bill Peduto is not your typical Mayor.

Len Petrancosta started his career as an entrepreneur, owning and operating restaurants. After accepting a job with Sysco, he progressed through sales management into leadership and executive roles, and was named president and CEO of the Pittsburgh division in 2008. He resigned from Sysco in 2011 to start his “second” life and career and now Len uses his talents to serve nonprofits as an ESC volunteer and board member for Light of Life and CEED. He is currently COO for Peak Performance management, a sales and leadership training and coaching company

David Primm provides the economic impact data and software required by nonprofit organizations, federal government agencies, and local and state authorities. Prior to joining the IMPLAN team, David founded and managed The Primm Research Network, a cross-sector team of experts specializing in economic impact, market research, and analysis. He has personally assisted more than 200 public and private organizations within the social enterprise, economic development, hospitality and tourism, and healthcare sectors. You will find him at IMPLAN’s Pittsburgh, PA regional office. When not helping customers identify economic impact solutions, David volunteers his time; advocating for youth mentoring programs, community services, and eliminating food waste.

Melanie Rutan works with a wide variety of nonprofit clients at Bookminders, where she serves as an accountant and trainer. She received her BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting from West Virginia State College in 1988 (Summa Cum Laude). Melanie was an Examiner-In-Charge with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for 11 years before joining Bookminders in 2001.

Abigail Salisbury, J.D., MPPM, is a PA-licensed attorney whose law practice, Salisbury Legal, LLC, focuses on serving the particular legal needs of nonprofits. As the former Executive Director of JURIST, a nonprofit legal news organization at Pitt Law, Abigail trained and managed several dozen volunteer staffers. Before starting her solo practice, she worked on international law and development projects in Kosovo, Ethiopia, and Senegal, and also worked as an academic research contract negotiator.

Vernée Smith has a diverse background in both corporate and nonprofit organizations which gives her unique insight and perspective into corporate citizenship and charitable giving. As the Community Relations Coordinator at FedEx Ground, she supervises the charitable contributions process for the corporation. She has worked for companies such as UPMC Health Plan, Wyndham Hotel Group, Propel Schools, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. She has served on committees for the City Theatre and Bricolage Production Company and is a board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival. She has also participated in Diversity and Inclusion committees for her corporate employers.

Frederick W. Thieman is the president of the Buhl Foundation, Pittsburgh’s oldest multi-purpose foundation. Previously, he was US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania serving from 1993 to 1997. Fred is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Pennsylvania Bar, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the US Supreme Court. He has served on the boards of The Heinz Endowments and The Buhl Foundation and is the recipient of civic leadership awards from the University of Pittsburgh, the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh and the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Maria Zeglen Townsend, Ph.D. is adjunct faculty for the University of Pittsburgh and president of Townsend Associates LLC offering evaluation training and consultation. Since 1999, Maria has worked independently and collaboratively evaluating local, state and national programs, conducting needs assessments, and identifying and measuring child indicators. She has taught graduate level courses in evaluation, quantitative and qualitative research methods, family and child issues, and policy analysis for the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Education, and the School of Social Work. Maria received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Michigan State University.

Heather Vallone is a 20-year veteran in nonprofit marketing with a knack for communications and technology. She makes mistakes so you don’t have to! Heather has worked in marketing and operations for a variety of Pittsburgh-based nonprofits, including the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and the Carnegie Museums. She volunteers as a member of Public Safety Task Force for Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network and as a Session and Communications Committee member for Sixth Presbyterian Church. She received her B.A. from Carlow University and is currently the Marketing and Communications Manager for Success Financial Solutions, LLC.