The Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition is currently served by its elected 2016-2019 Board of Directors, consisting entirely of residents or business representatives of the Squirrel Hill area. Board meetings occur on the 3rd week of every month, and are free and open to the public. To find out where this month’s meeting is held or to be on the agenda, please contact us at 412-422-7666 or info@shuc.org. Be sure to check our Events Calendar to verify date and time of upcoming meetings or search the archive for our past meeting minutes.

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

Rich-FederRich Feder, President – Rich has been on the board for a number of years. He is formerly planning director at Port Authority of Allegheny County where he worked on multimodal transportation studies, environmental impact statements, and planning of transit routes and stops. In addition to volunteering at SHUC, Rich is an adjunct faculty member and researcher at Pitt and CMU. Rich plays tennis, rides a bike and does a lot of walking. He is an aficionado of rock and similar music. Rich and his wife Helen have lived in Squirrel Hill for 40 years.

Marshall Hershberg, Co-Vice President – Before his involvement with SHUC, Marshall used his PhD and MBA degrees in support of a happy career in the social sciences: college teaching of political science and business; conducting market research and strategic planning for hospitals; owning and operating a management consulting firm serving healthcare and government organizations; executive positions at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh and at Pittsburgh’s Jewish Association on Aging; and grant-writing and program development at Goodwill Industries serving the Greater Johnstown region. His involvement in SHUC is the best way he could think of contributing to the well-being, vibrancy, and improvement of the neighborhood he loves so much.  Participating in SHUC and its myriad activities and interests has given great meaning and enjoyment to his time in retirement. He and his wife, Eleanor, find Squirrel Hill particularly attractive because of its convenience, strong cultural, commercial, residential, and recreational amenities; Schenley and Frick Parks, as well as many trails and by-ways. Squirrel Hill’s proximity, connections, and transit options to Oakland, Shadyside, downtown and all points beyond, make Squirrel Hill one of the most important parts of Pittsburgh and the region.

Lisa Crooks Murphy, Co-Vice President – Lisa joined the SHUC board in June 2016 and has been an active member since 2010. Lisa is a certified urban planner with a B.A. in Economics and a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning, specializing in transportation and land use. Lisa works part-time for a consulting firm creating transportation plans for cities, counties, and regional organizations. Lisa and her husband, Rick, have three children. In her spare time, Lisa does home renovations, gardening, and baking.

Joshua Sayles, Co-Vice President – Josh joined the Coalition Board in 2016 after moving to Squirrel Hill to become Director of Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh. As Director, Josh is the liaison from the Jewish community to the other communities in the Greater Pittsburgh area. He sees his job at the Federation as complementary to his role on the SHUC Board. Josh believes we can create a thriving, vibrant, engaged community by engaging and building strong relationships with all groups across all communities.

presidents-message-barb-picBarbara Grover, Secretary – Upon retirement in 2004, Barb became aware of the litter in Squirrel Hill and joined a group of people who wanted to DO SOMETHING about it!  She has been involved in the Litter Patrol and the Coalition ever since.  She learned that keeping a neighborhood strong and vibrant is no accident.  A lot of people give their time, energy and intellect to make that happen!

familiar-faces-holiday-2015-cindyCynthia Morelock, Assistant Secretary –  Cindy has a background in Communication Disorders and Psychology and has spent many years working in a variety of medical and educational settings as a Speech-Language Pathologist. She joined the SHUC board in 2014, has lived in Pittsburgh for 29 years and in Squirrel Hill for 17. Cindy studied Educational Leadership at the University of Pittsburgh and is currently the Associate Chief School Administrator of The Day School at The Children’s Institute. In her free time, Cindy loves to walk in beautiful Frick and Schenley Park, hiking trails throughout the U.S. and do competitive dragon boat racing with the Pittsburgh Paddlefish team.

Gina Levine, Treasurer – Gina is a partner in the Markovitz Dugan & Associates accounting firm where she concentrates her practice on assisting small businesses across a wide range of industries. She has always been engaged in the Squirrel Hill community. She has three daughters and is an avid tennis player, does yoga and Pilates, and travels around the world.

Lisa Steindel, Assistant Treasurer – Lisa Steindel is the wife of Beth Shalom Rabbi Emeritus, Stephen Steindel and a 1970 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She has served on many local Boards including Community Day School, Hillel Academy, and The Rainbow Kitchen. As a Career Counselor she established her own practice, What Should I Be, LLC and later served as the Executive Director of the Pittsburgh office of The American Jewish Committee. She is currently a member of the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board, serving as its Board Secretary and Personnel Committee Chair.

Raymond N. Baum, Immediate Past President – Ray is a member of Blumling & Gusky’s Real Estate Practice Group. Ray concentrates on all aspects of real estate development, operations, and transactions–ranging from acquisition, debt and equity financing, environmental evaluation and remediation, land-use regulation, construction, formation of ownership entities, leasing, taxation and management. Ray assists clients dealing with government assisted housing and economic development, particularly developments involving HUD, the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, redevelopment authorities and housing authorities. He has extensive experience in developments employing low-income housing tax credits, historic tax credits and funding sources such as the HUD Home Investment Partnership, Community Development Block Grant, and public housing Mixed Finance Programs. Ray’s practice also includes assisting clients with real estate tax taxes, abatement, assessment appeals and exemptions. He appears regularly before the planning commissions, municipal government bodies, zoning hearing boards, real estate assessment appeals boards and Court hearing appeals from each.

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

James Burnham – Jim Burnham and his wife, Anne, live in the Schenley Road complex from which they frequently access the delightful trails in Schenley Park. Jim came to Pittsburgh with Mellon Bank in 1971 and returned in 1985 after serving in Washington with the Reagan Administration. He retired as the Murrin Professor in Duquesne University’s Palumbo School of Business in 2009.

Lois Liberman – Lois is retired with a previous career in merchandising. She believes there is vitality walking to stores, restaurants and adjacent neighborhoods; as well as handy bus transportation to universities and downtown.  Schenley and Frick Parks sealed her interest in choosing to live in special Squirrel Hill.  These and other attributes solidify her ties to this neighborhood.

Mary Shaw – Mary has lived in or near Squirrel Hill for half a century (mostly just west of Beeler St, which isn’t technically Squirrel Hill but feels more like Squirrel Hill than it does like Oakland; there were also a few years in Greenfield) and currently live near Schenley golf course. Her principal interest is outdoor recreation, especially bicycle and pedestrian issues. She is on the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University.

Dalia Belinkoff – Dalia is a retired attorney who worked for many years for the National Labor Relations Board. Having enjoyed the many perks of living in Squirrel Hill, including easy access to stores, entertainment, libraries, parks and bike trails, she thought working on behalf of SHUC would be an ideal way of giving back to the community.

Rita Botts – Rita is a member of the Litter Patrol Committee and Solarize Squirrel Hill Taskforce. Passionate about a healthy and sustainable environment, she has been a member of Group Against Smog and Pollution for several years. Rita helps organize and operate the annual SHUC Litter Patrol community-wide spring cleanups. In the Solarize Squirrel Hill Taskforce, she worked to educate Squirrel Hill residents on the benefits of solar panels. Rita and her husband, Brian Romine, are of course solar homeowners. Rita is a community-minded volunteer, having served in AmeriCorps from 2003-2005, promoting family literacy and worked with the English as a Second Language Community in Seattle, serving in Peace Corps 2005-2007, teaching English in Ukraine and raising awareness of human trafficking and HIV/AIDS.  Rita has worked at the main branch of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh since 2010.

Vivian Didomenico – Vivian joined Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition after many years of ownership of residential and commercial real estate in the Squirrel Hill Area. She has been engaged in Squirrel Hill since 1974 and is very proud of Squirrel Hill’s past, its present and its future. She is also very committed in maintaining a viable commercial corridor of Forbes and Murray. With her husband, Rocco, they are supporters and one of the sponsors of the yearly Treasures Dinner to help assure a stronger coalition. Sunday dinners with her family, which include twelve grandchildren, is the highlight of her week.

Lori Fitzgerald – Lori is a practicing architect with Margittai Architects and is an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture. Lori is a LEED Accredited Professional (BD+C), Certified Passive House Consultant (CPHC) and WELL Accredited Professional (WELL AP). She has completed comprehensive project management training from the Project Management Institute (PMI), and she is a graduate of the City of Pittsburgh’s Civic Leadership Academy. She has lived in Squirrel Hill since graduating from CMU in 1999. In her SHUC board role, she facilitates communication between various neighborhood stakeholders such as property owners, developers, and city representatives. She infuses her practice with her strong personal interests and beliefs in people (collaboration, team integration), place (context, community, history) and purpose (environment, experience). Lori and her family enjoy living within walking distance of Schenley Park and the Squirrel Hill Business District.

Michael Douglas Henderson – Born in the Hudson Valley near Albany, New York, Michael first came to Western Pennsylvania to attend Penn State University where he received a B.A. in history.  He also holds an M.A. in American History from SUNY at Albany.  Michael is an 18 year veteran of the National Park Service, having served as Park Superintendent for the Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey; the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt National Historic Sites in Hyde Park, NY; and the Martin Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook, NY. Currently, he pursues his interests in historic preservation and planning through service on the boards of the Morris County Trust for Historic Preservation and the New Jersey Highlands Coalition. Michael moved to Pittsburgh eleven years ago and settled into Squirrel Hill with his partner, Sam Taylor, and two fox terriers. Having lived many places Michael says Pittsburgh is his favorite, and it was this interest in his new home that encouraged him to first, volunteer for the SHUC magazine committee and subsequently join the SHUC Board.  In addition to his unusual interest in, and knowledge of, the life of former President Martin Van Buren, Michael is also an avid collector of antique porcelain and oriental rugs.

Martha Isler – Martha “Mardi” Isler defines the term super-volunteer. Mardi is a founding board member and president of Allies for Children, Chair of the City of Pittsburgh Shade Tree Commission, a long-time leader of Tree Pittsburgh, and past president of Uncover Squirrel Hill, to name just a few. In 2009, Mardi led the Gateway Committee to develop a plan for the revitalization of the public spaces in the Forward-Murray area. The initial results included a new “Welcome to Squirrel Hill” sign on Forward Avenue, new street lamps and trees along Murray, and a renewed Post Office parklet at Murray and Darlington. Mardi’s leadership at Uncover Squirrel Hill has been crucial to the success of the Squirrel Hill Night Markets. Mardi and her husband, Bill, have lived in the same house in Squirrel Hill since 1984 and raised their son there. Mardi shops, eats, and sleeps Squirrel Hill.

Joseph Ott – Joe has worked in community development for most of his career, including ten years of service with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland as its Pittsburgh-based Regional Community Development Advisor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Duquesne University and a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh. In addition to his work with SHUC, he serves on several non-profit Boards focused on serving low and moderate income households and communities.

Kathryn Schlesinger –  Kathryn attended the University of Pittsburgh and graduated with a dual degree Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and History, as well as a GIS Certificate. Prior to beginning her career at Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), Kathryn worked as a Canvassing Manager and Assistant Canvassing Director at Fund for the Public Interest and Grassroots Campaigns, where she first discovered her passion around policy and advocacy. In the fall of 2015, Kathryn joined PCRG through the Student Conservation Association AmeriCorps Fellowship opportunity and joined PCRG as a staff member in the summer of 2016. In January 2018, Kathryn started a graduate program at Carnegie Mellon University, where she will be pursuing a Master’s in Public Management through Heinz College’s Public Policy School.

Eveline Young – Eveline Young moved with her husband Professor Ka-Sing Lau for his job at University of Pittsburgh from Chicago in 1974. They have enjoyed living in Squirrel Hill and raised two daughters here. Eveline retired 4 years ago from the Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania after 33 years in health and human-related services. Eveline has served as Secretary of the YWCA board, board member of the Alzheimer Association of Greater PA, president of the University of Chicago Alumni Club and was a fellow for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. She is has been the treasurer for the Squirrel Hill Historical Society. She enjoys gardening, swimming, photography and international traveling.

Erik Wagner – Erik is a Commercial Realtor that has lived in Squirrel Hill all his life and has been involved with SHUC since the mid-70’s. He has chaired the Zoning and Land Use committees and co-chaired the Building committee. He also founded the commercial division of Howard Hanna Co. Erik is a member of numerous community and professional organizations, such as the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the National Association of Realtors, and the Squirrel Hill Historical Society.

Chris Zurawsky – Chris is a resident of Squirrel Hill and is a board member.

 

 

BOARD MEMBERS EMERITUS

Ceci Sommers – is a retired public broadcasting executive having served in management and on-air positions at WTTW in Chicago and WQED in Pittsburgh. As producer and host of the Sunday Arts Magazine in Pittsburgh, she had the pleasure of interviewing many celebrities in the arts including everyone from Tiny Tim to Pavorotti. She continued to do on-air fundraising after retirement and raised thousands of dollars for WQED-FM, which she and her late husband, Jack Sommers, founded in 1973.  When she asked friends why they gave when she was on the air, some explained: You remind me of my mother telling me to eat my peas. She has brought those fundraising skills to many nonprofit organizations in Pittsburgh over the years including the Coalition, Highmark, the Middle East Institute, the Pittsburgh Opera, and many more.  She has four grown children and four grandchildren.

STAFF

Marian Lien, Executive Director:  Marian Lien became the executive director of the Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition in October of 2014. For over 20 years, her interests and desires to create a more socially just society led her down a professional path of creating safer environments for patients in rural health care; teaching diversity and equity in higher-ed; and building a more sustainable community. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy Management from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs; currently serves as a commissioner on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian and Pacific American Affairs in Pennsylvania and the City of Pittsburgh’s Commission for Human Relations. She also sits on the mayor’s Steering Committee for Welcoming Pittsburgh and is on the board of Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, and OCA Advocates for Asian and Pacific Americans, Pittsburgh Chapter.

Rosemary Bernth, Magazine Editor: Rosemary Bernth became the editor of the Squirrel Hill Magazine in November 2017 after freelance writing for the magazine for several years. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University, as well as prior editorial  experience in newspaper and literary publishing.
Katie Hatch: Magazine Intern
Alana Dickey: Business Office Intern
Halley Lynn Cook: Project Intern
Ruby Chen: Project Intern