AWC Board Member Bios

Oliver W. Byrd - Chairperson

Oliver W. Byrd is a Senior Vice President at Mellon Financial Corporation. He is Head of the Knowledge Management Group in the Dreyfus Corporation, the Mutual Fund subsidiary of Mellon Financial Corporation.

Prior to his current position, Mr. Byrd was Senior Vice President and head of Consumer Strategy in Mellon's Retail Financial Services business.

Mr. Byrd joined Mellon in 1976 and has held a number of management positions over his twenty-seven year career with the bank. Among those have been Director of Marketing Research, Manager of Market Planning, Head of Corporate Marketing Services, Director of Marketing Consulting, Manager of Financial Systems and Manager of Retail Product Development.

Prior to joining Mellon, Mr. Byrd was a systems engineer in the Boston Public Sector office of IBM Corporation. Mr. Byrd received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and holds a master's degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh. He served as a faculty member of the American Institute of Banking and as an adjunct visiting professor at the University of Texas. In 1998, Mr. Byrd was elected to the Marketing Research Council of the Conference Board.

Active in the community, Mr. Byrd is Chairman of the Board of the United Way of Allegheny County and Board Chair of both the African American Cultural Center and the Multicultural Arts Initiative. He is a Trustee and member of the executive committee of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Mr. Byrd is a director of the Pittsburgh Glass Center and the Fund for the Advancement of Minorities in Education. He is an immediate past director of the Jewish Healthcare Foundation and the Pittsburgh Economic and Industrial Development Corporation.

Mr. Byrd is a trustee of the Baptist Temple Church where he recently completed a seven-year term as its chairman.

 

Nancy Washington - Vice Chairperson

Nancy D. Washington received a B.S. degree from Boston University in Elementary Education, a M.Ed. degree in School Psychology from Temple University, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She taught in the Philadelphia School System for eight years before moving to Pittsburgh and joining the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh. As an associate professor, she taught courses on Developmental Psychology, Statistics for Psychology, Psychology of Aging and Educational Psychology. In 1989, she was named Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Director of Minority Programs for the School of Medicine. In that position, she served as a primary support for minority and disadvantaged medical school students and was the Principal Investigator for Health Career Opportunity Program Grants, Minority Medical Student Research and Service Opportunities and Minority High School Student Research Apprentice Programs. In 1993, she was appointed Assistant to the Chancellor of the University and it was from that position that she retired in 1999. Dr. Washington served as a member of the University's Senate Council, Budget Policies Committee and Admissions and Student Aid Committee. Her initiative was expressed as one of the founders of the Center for Minority Health, Chancellor's Faculty Diversity Seminars, the Campus-Community Initiative, the Council on Minority Student Support, the Facilitating Climate and Opportunity for Underrepresented Students (FOCUS) Program and the Computer and Literacy Initiative for Community Kids (C.L.I.C.K.). She has published articles and made presentations on the topics of student achievement and health beliefs among African Americans.

Dr. Washington was honorary co-chairperson of the Pittsburgh Branch NAACP 44th Human Rights Dinner and received the Year 2000 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Pittsburgh's African American Alumni Association. Currently, her many community commitments include: president of the board of the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation; member of the national board of directors of Girls, Inc.; member of the Women's Committee of the Carnegie Museum of Art; member of the board of trustees of Point Park College and chairman of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee; member of the nominating committee of the Pittsburgh Symphony; member of the executive committee of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and chairman of the Program Committee; member of the board of City Theatre; member of the board of directors of the Frick Arts and Historical Center and trustee of the Pittsburgh Foundation. In addition, she is the co-chairman of the African American Cultural Center and the Multi-Cultural Arts Initiative Executive Committee. Her honors include the 2001 "Tribute to the Women of the Year" Voluntary Community Service Leadership Award, recipient of the 2001 Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania Award, Duquesne Light/WQED African American Leadership Award for Culture, Arts and Recreation, and the Delta Sigma Theta Mosaic Award for contributions to the arts. In 2003, she was named by the Governor to the Commonwealth of PA Council on the Arts.

Dr. Washington serves as a consultant for projects funded by area foundations and institutions of higher education.

 

Yvonne Cook - Treasurer

Yvonne Cook joined Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in March 2003 as President of the Highmark Foundation and Vice President for Community & Health Initiatives. In this position, Yvonne is responsible for the management and direction of the day-to-day activities of the Foundation and the development, implementation, administration and evaluation of innovative and effective community and health initiative activities that assist in the fulfillment of the corporation's social mission strategy. She is also responsible for the exploration and evaluation of market place needs and directs the corporation's degree of involvement in public policy, public health and social service activities.

Prior to joining Highmark, Ms. Cook served as the executive assistant to Allegheny County Chief Executive James C. Roddey. In this position, Ms. Cook advised the Chief Executive on health and human service matters, and provided oversight to the County's Minority/Women/Disadvantage Business Enterprise Department. She also served as a liaison between businesses and the County, managed projects initiated by the Chief Executive, and represented the County's interest on various boards and committees. Her professional experience also includes working as a Program Officer with The Pittsburgh Foundation and a Cash Management Marketing Representative with Mellon Financial Corporation.

Ms. Cook serves on a variety of boards and committees. She is Co-Spiritual Leader of the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church Community Tithe Ministry; treasurer of the African American Cultural Center, Manchester Bidwell Corporation's Board of Directors, member of Xpressions Contemporary Dance Company, board member of City Theatre and Vice Chair of WQED Multimedia's Community Advisory Board.

Ms. Cook holds a Bachelor of Administration in Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters Degree in Public Management from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy & Management at Carnegie Mellon University.

 

Sala Udin - Secretary

Sala Udin is a native of Pittsburgh's Hill District and was elected to City Council in a Special Election necessitated by the death of the previous Councilman for the 6th District, the late Christopher Smith.

Sala Udin brings an activist background of experience spanning over three decades, beginning with the period of the struggle for civil rights, voting rights, school integration and public accommodations in the segregated, deep South of the early 1960's and leading up to the electoral battlefront of the 1990's.

In a relatively short period of time, Councilman Udin has distinguished himself as an effective city legislator:

The 6th District includes the Hill District, Downtown, Uptown, The Strip District, Manchester, Mexican War Streets, Central Northside, California-Kirkbride, West Oakland and South Oakland.

 

Carol R. Brown - Building Committee Chair

From 1986 to 2001 Carol R. Brown was President of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, a private non-profit organization established in 1984 to assist the cultural and economic growth of Pittsburgh and the surrounding region, through the development of a fourteen square block area of downtown Pittsburgh known as the Cultural District.

As President of the Trust, Mrs. Brown oversaw the development of a holistic Cultural District development plan, beginning with the renovation, construction and operation of the Stanley Theater as the 2850 seat Benedum Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 1987. In October of 1992 the Trust opened its first visual arts facility, the Wood Street Galleries. The 1350 seat Fulton Theater opened in May of 1991, and with additional renovations has been renamed the Byham Theater; the Art Cinema was renovated and reopened in 1995 as the Harris Theater, a 200 seat facility. The Katz Plaza was completed in December of 1999. A two tiered Allegheny Riverfront Park was completed in 2001, and a new 650 seat thrust stage theater, the O'Reilly Theater, opened in December of 1999. Theater Square, a mixed use development project including a cabaret theater, central District ticketing office and parking facilities, is under construction. Also within the District, the Trust has worked on development of parking, housing, entertainment and retail spaces, as well as pedestrian and streetscape improvements, and has provided support for fa┴ade restoration of historic loft buildings.

From 1984 to 1985, Mrs. Brown was the Director of the Allegheny County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation and was responsible for the management of a nine park system, and also served as Director of the County Bureau of Cultural Programs from 1979 to 1985. Prior to that time, she was a member of the faculty at Chatham College.

Mrs. Brown has received numerous awards including Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania (1981), Pittsburgh Woman of the Year in the Arts (1982), "Q" Award of WQED for Community Service (1983), to mention a few, and has received Community Leadership Awards from the Jewish National Fund, the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, the Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh Vision Services, Catholic Charities, Mom's House, and the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts.

Mrs. Brown is a Director of Mellon Financial Corporation and a Consultant to The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and a number of nonprofit arts and cultural institutions. She currently serves on the Boards of Americans for the Arts, The Theatre Communications Group (TCG), The Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation, The Howard Heinz Endowment, The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, City Theatre, Squonk Opera, Adelante, The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, The Extra Mile Foundation, Three Rivers Arts Festival, The African American Cultural Center, The Riverlife Task Force, The Copeland Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She is past Chairman of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Citizens for the Arts in Pennsylvania, The Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. She has consulted with cities across the country on Cultural District development and has spoken on the subject at national and international conferences.

Mrs. Brown received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Marquette University and a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Chicago.

 

Karen Farmer-White - Governance Committee Chair

Karen Farmer White is currently the Vice President of Education at WQED Multimedia. In her position Ms. White is responsible for the creation, development and implementation of educational programs for WQED Multimedia television, radio, publishing and Internet Services. She directs the Education Resource Center in three main areas: Literacy, Workforce Development and Arts and Culture. Ms. White has expanded the literacy initiative to include programming for pre-school and school age children, as well as after school programming. She has developed and guided the creation of a new program for school age children, which uses cooking to teach science theory aptly entitled "Brainfood". Brainfood was awarded a Mid Atlantic Emmy fin the category "Outstanding Youth Programming" in September 2003. Ms. White has also partnered with regional educational organizations to expand the PBS professional development program for teachers called TeacherLine and to be a major partner in a regional book drive called "For the Love of Books." Furthermore, Ms. White has partnered with the region's manufactures to develop ways to use multimedia to develop, retain and train the workforce of the future. As a skilled partner and collaborator, Ms. White has been able to expand the reach and influence of the Education Resource Center.

Prior to joining WQED Multimedia, Ms. White was Executive Director of the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE). At PACE Ms. White was responsible for overall operations including: PACE Opportunities Program (POP) and the Alliance for Minority Education (AFME) --two college preparatory programs for high school students and minority youth. She was also responsible for the development and funding of the Community Based Asset Development Program (CBAD), which provided training and technical assistance to community organizations. Ms. White also developed and implemented the Cultural Enrichment Program (CEP). CEP provided tickets, curriculum guides, art appreciation projects and community event projects for elementary school teachers and students by partnering with many cultural institutions. Another highlight of her tenure with PACE was the creation, development, funding and implementation of the Master Consultants Program. The funding for this vanguard program was provided by a multi-year grant from the R.K. Mellon Foundation. Since the inception of this groundbreaking program, it has trained minority consultants to work in a number of different arenas and become a model for similar programs. Prior to leaving PACE, Ms. White implemented an academic enrichment program for middle school students called Schools Keeping in Pace(SKIP). The program emphasized career choices and workforce development.

Ms. White was also the Community Services Director for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, an organization that provides arts and cultural programming and encourages economic and cultural development in Pittsburgh. At the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Ms. White was responsible for the development, implementation, management and evaluation of arts education and outreach programs. She was also responsible for providing technical assistance programs to small to mid-sized arts organizations. While at the Cultural Trust, Ms. White designed and implemented the Tix for Teachers program. This program was organized as a membership program featuring discounted tickets to cultural events for teachers.

Ms. White has also held an administrative and faculty position at the Community College of Allegheny County. She has completed an Executive MBA Training Program at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Business. She is completing her doctoral studies in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh, where she earlier earned a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts. Karen Farmer White is also a graduate of The Leadership Pittsburgh Program, and has received many awards for her service to the community. She also serves as a role model and mentor for many in the community.

Additionally, Ms. White serves on a variety of boards and commissions including the Allegheny Regional Asset District Board and Governor Rendell's Transition Team. Ms. White is also a recipient of the 2004 YWCA Tribute to Women Award in the Arts and Culture category.

 

Claudette R. Lewis - Development Committee Chair

Claudette R. Lewis has a deep and abiding concern for those who have been marginalized in our society. Mrs. Lewis is currently employed as the Special Assistant to the Director for the Allegheny Department of Human Services, which is comprised of the Offices of Children, Youth and Families; Aging; Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities; Behavioral Health; and Community Services. Part of her responsibilities at DHS has been the implementation of Change Management processes during the consolidation of the agency.

She has spent the past twenty years spearheading important social causes for several non-profit organizations: the Episcopal Urban Caucus in Washington, DC; the Connecticut Interfaith Housing Coalition in Hartford, Connecticut; and the Housing Authority's HOPE VI Project in New Haven, Connecticut. Mrs. Lewis has served as the coordinator of international conferences for Anglican theologians in Cape Town, South Africa; Cambridge, England; and Christchurch, Barbados, West Indies.

She has the privilege to serve as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Pittsburgh and is a member of the following boards: Lydia's Place, Manchester Bidwell Corporation, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council (advisory board), and WQED Multimedia; and, past board member of City Theatre, Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, The Program for Female Offenders, and the Women's Shelter and Center of Pittsburgh.

Mrs. Lewis and her husband, The Reverend Dr. Harold T. Lewis, the rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside, have a son, Justin Craig Lewis, who is a founder and partner in a software business in San Diego, California.

 

Susan A. Yohe

Susan A. Yohe is a shareholder with Buchanan Ingersoll, practicing in the Commercial Litigation Group.

Susan is a trial lawyer with over 20 years of experience in state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels. She has handled a complete range of litigation matters, including employment, antitrust, intellectual property, First Amendment, professional malpractice and other commercial cases as well. She has tried numerous cases, both jury and non-jury, for clients in diverse industries such as heavy industry, news and media, high technology, construction, accounting, and financial services. In addition to her litigation focus, Susan also counsels clients on a broad range of issues, including employment-related and antitrust issues.

Susan is active in the Allegheny County Bar Association and has chaired both the Association's Federal Court Section and the Women in Law Committee. She is also a member of the Business Law Section, which she currently serves as vice chair. Susan has been appointed by both the current and immediately prior Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania to committees reviewing the performance of magistrate judges.

Susan received her law degree, magna cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where she was a note editor of the Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif. Following law school, Susan served as a law clerk for the Honorable Alan N. Bloch of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. Equally active in the civic community, Susan has served on the boards of several arts organizations and currently sits on the boards of both the Dance Alloy and the Dance Council.

Susan is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania and before the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Third Circuit and Federal Courts of Appeals.

 

Jason A. Barr, Jr.

Jason A. Barr, Jr. is currently the senior pastor of Macedonia Church in Pittsburgh, PA where he has served since 1988. He is a native of Jacksonville, Florida where he was educated in the public school system.

Pastor Barr received a B.A. Degree from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Upon graduation he was recognized as the Most Outstanding Graduate in Leadership. He then matriculated at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1983. He also completed the Community and Economic Development program at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1998. Pastor Barr is currently a fellow in the Beeson Institute of Advanced Church Leadership. He has further postgraduate study at the University of Florida College of Architecture, Babcock School of Management of Wake Forest University, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Boston University School of Theology.

Under his leadership Macedonia has grown fivefold in membership, number of ministries and assets. His leadership has inspired the establishment of Macedonia Family and Community Enrichment Center (Macedonia FACE), and Macedonia Economic Development Corporation.

In addition to his pastoral duties Pastor Barr is an adjunct professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Geneva College in Beaver Falls Pennsylvania. He has also taught at the University of Florida, the University of Pittsburgh and Isothermal Community College in Spindale, North Carolina.

Pastor Barr is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of Macedonia Family and Cultural Enrichment Center, an organization he founded to help the church more effectively reach out to the Community. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Urban League of Pittsburgh, and a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.

Since his arrival in Pittsburgh, Pastor Barr has served on many other boards, committees, councils and is frequently invited to provide counsel, seminars, workshops and revivals for many churches, and other institutions.

He is the former pastor of the New Zion Baptist Church in Spindale, North Carolina. He is former moderator of the Gold Hill Missionary Baptist Association in western North Carolina.

Pastor Barr is married to the former Kimberly Waddell. They are the proud parents of one son, Jason III.

 

Mulugetta Birru

Since 1992, Executive Director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), a quasi-funded public agency created in 1946 to fight urban blight through redevelopment activities. From 1997 to 2000, Director of the Allegheny County's Department of Economic Development, an agency created by the Board of County Commissioners in 1996 for the purpose of planning and implementing programs to create jobs, expand the tax base and improve the quality of life in Allegheny County. Since 1995, President of the Pittsburgh Economic & Industrial Development Corporation, a real estate financing and development entity of the URA. At the URA and Allegheny County, he spearheaded an excess of $4 billion worth of projects. These projects include the conversion of six million acres of brownfield sites into various developments, the financing of four million sq. ft. of retail developments and several thousand housing developments, and an excess of 3,000 affordable and market-rate housing developments. Since 1995, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation, a housing development affiliate of the URA. Adjunct Professor at H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management since 1993, teaching two graduate courses entitled Financing Community Economic Development I & II. Prior to the URA, he served in various positions in community economic development and senior positions in manufacturing and banking. He has earned a BA in Management/Accounting from Addis Ababa University, an MBA (Finance) and an MA (Economics) both from Syracuse University, and a Ph.D. in Public & International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

Esther L. Bush

As the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Pittsburgh, Esther L. Bush has established herself as a voice of reason, a coalition builder, and a force for positive change in the Greater Pittsburgh community.

A graduate of Pittsburgh's Westinghouse High School, Ms. Bush began her career as a high school teacher. She also worked as a college administrator and corporate consultant. She has moved progressively up the ladder of the Urban League movement, starting in 1980 with the position of Assistant Director of the Labor Education Advancement Program for the National Urban League in New York City. From there, she served first as Director of the New York Urban League Staten Island Branch, then as Director of its Manhattan Branch. Before returning to her hometown of Pittsburgh in December 1994, Ms. Bush was a positive and dynamic force as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Urban League of Greater Hartford. She is the first female to serve in each of her last four positions in the Urban League movement.

Ms. Bush is nationally recognized as a strong and very vocal advocate for economic and social equality initiatives that benefit African Americans and thereby the whole community. This advocacy impacts the traditional education, employment and housing programs of the League, as well as more contemporary programs such as the charter school, family support centers, home ownership, early childhood services and youth development. An African American Leadership Development initiative is the League's latest effort in progressive programming. During Ms. Bush's tenure the League has achieved financial stability and enhanced its credibility. Further, it has reached out to the community by publishing three books, two directories and sponsoring three trips to Africa. Her community service goes far beyond what professional obligations would require. She is a frequently sought after motivational speaker. She also was a popular panelist on the weekly-televised "Eddie's Digest" talk show. Ms. Bush hosts the bi-monthly "Urban Reality" live, call in radio program.

Ms. Bush was appointed to serve on the Governor's PA Commission for Crime and Delinquency and formerly served on the Governor's Law Enforcement and Community Relations Task Force ('01), the Governor's Commission on Academic Standards ('01), and the Voting Modernization Task Force ('01). She served on several committees to establish the new Home Rule Charter form of government for Allegheny County. She served on the Executive Committee of the National Urban League Association of Executives ('94-02) and is Chairman of the Urban League of Pittsburgh Charter School Board of Trustees. She is President of the International Women's Forum, Western Pennsylvania Chapter. In addition, Ms. Bush is on the boards of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Systems, the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and many other boards and committees.

She is also an adjunct faculty member in the School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh. In addition, Ms. Bush is a member of several advisory committees at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

Ms. Bush received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Hartford in 1997. She also holds a bachelor degree from Morgan State University and a graduate degree from The Johns Hopkins University.

 

Tyra Butler

Tyra Butler has been in the Marketing and Merchandising industry for over 18 years. Tyra spent most of those years in the Apparel Division with the Sara Lee Corporation where she served on a variety of national marketing programs. After leaving Sarah Lee in 1997, Tyra joined the Doody Group Inc.; a York company, as a Merchandising Consultant in the death care industry, primarily with the company's largest client in Paris, France.

Following relocation to Houston, Texas she assumed her current role as Director, Market Development with a national focus on business development in addition to the design and implementation of marketing programs that strengthen the broad brand strategies of The York Group. In communicating the company's overall marketing goals, she works to ensure that the company's efforts reflect demographic and socio-economic trends. With the acquisition of The York Casket Division by Matthews International, Inc., the nation's leading provider of bronze cemetery and marking products, Tyra relocated to the corporate offices of Matthews International in Pittsburgh, PA in 2003.

She is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing and studied mass communications at Loyola University, New Orleans. Tyra enjoys running, antiquing, and Pilates. She is an avid art collector, consultant and lecturer of early 20th century African American art with a focus on Harlem Renaissance artist and artist of the WPA Project.

Tyra is a board member of the Urban League of Pittsburgh and serves as chairperson of the Family Growth and Child Development committee. She has served on numerous boards and development committees including, Executive Director of The York Children's Foundation, philanthropic arm of The York Group, Pink Ribbon in the Park - Breast Cancer Foundation of Houston, Texas and the New Orleans Ballet Association. She is a member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Links, Inc. and President of Sanaa Visions - Art Marketing. Her favorite quote is "Strength, Courage and Wisdom will drive you to your destination".

 

Phyllis Moorman Goode

Phyllis Moorman Goode, a life-long resident of Pittsburgh, co-founded the Multi-Cultural Arts Initiative funded by The Pittsburgh Foundation and the Howard Heinz Endowment.

As a civil rights activist and community volunteer, Mrs. Goode participated in the 1963 March on Washington and during a later march on the Pentagon.

Long active as a community volunteer, Goode has been involved in the Urban League and the YWCA, advocates for African American artists and arts organizations, and for board and staff diversity for all arts organizations.

She participated in the initial planning and served on the Steering Committee for the African American Cultural Center.

 

Joseph R. McGrath

Joseph R. McGrath is the president of the Greater Pittsburgh Convention & Visitors Bureau. In this position, he directs Allegheny County's official convention marketing and tourist promotion organization.

McGrath has served as a convention bureau administrator for 30 years. Prior to assuming the chief post at the Pittsburgh Bureau, McGrath was the executive director of the Saint Paul Convention & Visitors Bureau. He developed a pattern for successful convention bureau management while heading bureaus in Springfield, Illinois; Des Moines, Iowa; and Duluth, Minnesota. McGrath's professional knowledge and expertise are respected throughout the convention and tourism industry. He is Past Chairman of the International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus and served as chairman of the By-Laws, Nominating, Budget & Finance and Consultant Team Committee. He is also a former member of the Convention Liaison Council and White House Conference on Travel and Tourism. In Pittsburgh, McGrath served on the Allegheny County Executive Transition Team; is a past member of the Hospitality Management Program at Robert Morris College; Convention Facilities Needs Assessment Task Force; Regional Renaissance Partnership; and a former member of the Pennsylvania Governor's Travel and Tourism Council. Mr. McGrath serves on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Tourism & Lodging Association and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and is past chairman of the International Development Committee of Meeting Professionals International. He also is a member of numerous professional organizations such as the American Society of Association Executives, the International Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus, and Meeting Professionals International.

Mr. McGrath has earned the prestigious CDME designation (Certified Destination Management Executive) a joint certification of Calgary and Purdue Universities.

McGrath and his wife, Linda, reside in Richland Township with their daughter Megan. He enjoys golf, tennis, carpentry, fishing and outdoor activities.

 

Thaddeus G. Mosley

Thaddeus Mosley is a native of New Castle, Pennsylvania, and has spent his adult life in Pittsburgh. After an enlistment in the Navy, he attended the University of Pittsburgh where he graduated with majors in English and Journalism. To support his family, he took a job with the postal service, a position he retained until his retirement in 1992. During the 1950s, Thad also worked as a journalist for the Pittsburgh Courier and various national magazines and this is the period when his interest in carving and sculpture began.

In talking about his work, he indicates the early influences of African sculpture and that of sculptors Constantin Brancusi and Isamu Noguchi. As his work has matured, it has gained a distinctive form and permanency of its own. His work is widely known and he has had many one-person exhibits, most notably at the Carnegie Museum of Art in 1968 and 1997; The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (Artist of the Year, 1979); The Three Rivers Arts Festival (with Selma Burke, 1990); and the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (1995). His most well-known sculptures in Pittsburgh are the 14' cedar Phoenix situated at the corner of Centre Avenue and Dinwiddie in the Hill District, the "Mountaintop" Limestone at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library in the Hill District at Herron and Milwaukee Streets.

Thad has received numerous awards including: Governor's Award for Artist of the Year Pennsylvania Visual Arts for 1999; Cultural Award 2000 from the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Service to the Arts Award and Exhibition in 2002 from the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. In addition, Thad has received numerous commissions: Three Rivers Bench in 2003 for the David L. Lawrence Convention Center; Legends - Susquehanna Museum in Harrisburg, PA from December 2003-March 2004; Exhibition, Pue Gallery in New York City in March 2004.

Most recently, Thad's work has been honored with the publication by the Carnegie Museum of Art of a book titled, "Thaddeus Mosley: African-American Sculptor," with the narrative by David Lewis. He has also helped and encouraged many other area sculptors through his many years as an officer of the Pittsburgh Society of Sculptors.

 

Lemuel O. Nixon

Mr. Nixon is a retired IBM executive with significant experience in domestic and international marketing, new product introduction, business practices, human resources and administrative management. During his twenty-five year career with IBM, he managed a business practices staff of professionals whose mission was to ensure that volume sales contract terms and conditions for new products, marketing offerings and special bids were consistent with IBM practices and fair to all customers. He created and managed a Product Announcement Review Board comprised of representatives from all internal business organizations required to approve marketing plans and product announcements for international markets. His responsibilities included extensive international travel assisting European country management staffs with their marketing plans and new product announcements.

As an IBM Branch Manager in the 70's, he was responsible for sales, administration, service and community relations. He began his career as a sales representative in Detroit, MI.

He is a native Pittsburgher who graduated from Westinghouse High School and St. Francis University. He came home in 1993 and became active in community affairs. He is president of the Ambassador Apartments Tenants Association, Westinghouse Alumnae Commission on Recognition and the Executive Committee of the NAACP Pittsburgh Branch, serving as chair of Strategic Planning. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority and a member of the Board of Directors of the African American Cultural Center.

 

Ralph Proctor, PhD

Dr. Proctor is the Chair and creator of the degree and certificate programs for the Department of Africana and Ethnic Studies at Community College of Allegheny County. He is a former Assistant Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also held a joint appointment in the History Department. He has lectured on African and African American History and Culture since 1968. He has taught at the University of Pittsburgh, Laroche College, Carnegie-Mellon University, Chatham College, Carlow College and Duquesne University as well as several other institutions of higher education in the tri-state area.

A noted expert in African Art, Dr. Proctor has mounted scores of exhibitions at various colleges, not-for profit agencies and government agencies. He has written a book on collecting African Art and has conducted tours in West Africa.

He has served on various committes including, The Pennsylvania Heritage Affairs Commission, The Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission, The Pennsylvania Humanities Commission, the Pennsylvania Commission on Arts, The Pittsburgh Society of Arts and Crafts, The Mayor's Commission on Families and The Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission. He has been involved on the Steering Committe for the African American Culture Center since its inception and has acted as a consultant for Lords Cultural Resources and The Anne Edmunds & Associates Company, both of which conducted feasibility studies for the African American Cultural facility.

Dr. Proctor has also been a host/producer on several Black-oriented radio and television shows in Pittsburgh, including: Black Horizons on WQED television, From our Perspective on WPGH television, Black Talk on WCKJ radio and Community Forum and The NAACP on the line on WAMO radio. He is the president of INTROSPEC, a consulting firm, located in Pittsburgh. He is a veteran of the Southern and Northern Civil Rights movement and the founder of the University of Pittsburgh Chapter of the NAACP.

R. Damian Soffer

R. Damian Soffer was educated both here and in Europe. He attended the University of Denver, the University of Grenoble in France, and received his MBA degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He spent 14 years in Europe in the Fine Arts business before returning to Pittsburgh to take over as President/CEO of the family real estate business. The Soffer Organization is one of the largest privately held office building developers in Pittsburgh, with properties also in North Carolina.

His current projects include:

In addition to ongoing construction, the Soffer Organization owns, operates and manages approximately 2 million square feet of commercial property. Included in our portfolio of properties are Penn Center East in Wilkins Township - a mixed-use office, retail and residential community located at the threshold of Pittsburgh's east suburban business district; Penn Center West - a 90-acre office complex located in the Pittsburgh Airport corridor, and Norwin Towne Square and Norwin Professional building located in Westmoreland County.

Mr. Soffer was awarded the 2001 Speculative Office Building of the Year Award through NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties) and numerous other distinguished awards from NAIOP and SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors of the National Association of Realtors). He also participates as a Board Member of the Carnegie Museum of the Arts, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh Symphony and member of PA Team Ambassadors, Urban Land Institute, NAIOP, International Council of Shopping Centers, World Affairs Council, Pittsburgh High Technology Council, Cornerstones - Carnegie Mellon University Center for architecture, development and building.

 

Tim Stevens

Tim Stevens is always "on the job." Whether it is in his music, his leadership in civil rights or the position he holds at Mayview State Hospital, he is always on a mission.

For Pittsburghers that is a good thing because he continues to make a difference in the lives of many.

Tim is the vocal president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the NAACP. His leadership skills began in church as president of the Young Peoples Department of the AME Church of Pittsburgh. In 1968, he became the youngest chairperson of the Middle Hill District Model Cities Program and in 1969 he coordinated the city-wide commemoration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which included "freedom schools," marches and memorial services. From 1970-74, Tim served as executive director of the Pittsburgh Branch of the NAACP.

Tim earned a B.A. Degree in Political Science and a Master's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the Director of Volunteer Resources Services at Mayview State Hospital.

Parallel with his employment and volunteer duties, Tim has a thriving music career. He is a hardworking and popular vocalist and recording artist. He is most proud of a song he wrote, "The Sadness in my Eyes" that was recorded by Nancy Wilson.

He is also dedicated to his work as the director of Volunteer Resource Services. He has served as the president of the NAACP for the past seven years and wages a tireless effort for justice in the community. "I try to represent the views and passions of the NAACP and the African American community."

Tim makes no excuses for calling a press conference when he believes that the African American community needs to be heard. He has led the way in addressing police brutality issues in many of Pittsburgh's high profile cases. He founded the Black and White Reunion in 1996 to galvanize those who were outraged by the Johnny Gammage murder. This year the group sponsored its Fourth Annual Summit on Racism.

During a training session, in 1985 when students were asked to create and present a community project assignment, Tim created B-PEP, the Black Political Empowerment Project, African Americans Vote in Every Election. Tim put the model into action and to date, B-PEP is credited with registering approximately 65,000 voters in the city.

Tim Stevens' bold approach to speaking out keeps this city mindful of the work that still needs to be done to achieve equal rights and justice for all.

 

Doris Carson Williams

Doris Carson Williams became the first Elected Officer of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania in October 1998. In June 1999, Doris was elected President & Chief Executive Officer by the Board of Directors.

The mission of the organization is to provide access and business opportunities to African American business owners and professionals. Since opening the office in the Regional Enterprise Tower, the chamber has generated over 475 members to the organization, produces multiple programs and a full array of benefits to its members.

Prior to accepting the position, Doris was the Director of Business Enterprises for Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. She serves on the Board of Directors for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Urban League of Pittsburgh, Manchester Bidwell Corporation, and the Women's Executive Council. She is a member of International Women's Forum.

Doris is a 1998 graduate of the Katz Graduate School - Management Program for Executives. She earned a BS degree in Business from the University of Hartford, and a graduate of Fairfield University's Center for Financial Studies in Banking and Financial Management

 

Neil A. Barclay

Biography

As President and CEO of the African American Cultural Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Neil Barclay is responsible for the overall management of the AACC and related policy matters. He is a nationally respected leader and expert in African American culture, known for his innovative and provocative programming.

Experience

Mr. Barclay has over 30 years of experience in the arts, beginning with his work as a professional actor on the stage and in television. Mr. Barclay later moved into the realm of Arts Administration and education, by accepting a position as Manager of Music Performance Services and Lecturer in the Department of Theater at his alma mater, Loyola Marymount University.

He would later return to his alma mater to receive his law degree. His legal experience included clerking for the California Attorney General's office as well as the Writer's Guild of America before accepting a 5-year position as Associate Counsel of the Sunrider Corporation, a multi-national health food concern operating in 13 countries.

Mr. Barclay formally returned to the Arts when he set up his own practice specializing in non-profit law and became a consultant to the National Endowment for the Arts Advancement Program among other clients. This opportunity would lead him to become a sought after peer panelist for numerous foundations including the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Pew Charitable Trusts, The Lila Wallace Reader's Digest Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Irvine Foundation.

In 1989, Mr. Barclay founded First Impressions Performances, a dance presenter specializing in the presentation of African American choreographers. During his tenure, he was elected Chairperson of the Steering Committee of the National Performance Network, an organization comprised of over 50 alternative artists spaces operating in over 20 states.

Retuning to his work in higher education, Barclay would become the Director of Marketing and Development for the first three seasons of the Harriet and Charles Luckman Fine Arts Complex at California State University while serving as a Visiting Professor at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Culture.

Until April of 2003, Neil served as the Associate Director of the University of Texas Performing Arts Center, a seven-venue multidisciplinary presenter of the performing arts.

Education

Mr. Barclay received his Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Loyola University, Los Angeles, was a Master of Fine Arts Fellow at Cornell University and received his law degree from Loyola Law School.

Professional Affiliations

Mr. Barclay serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. He co-chaired the association's 41st Annual Conference and serves as a member of its Executive Committee in his capacity as chair of the Board Operations and Nominating Committee.

In Pittsburgh, Mr. Barclay serves on the Program Advisory Committee for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, the Education Committee and the Community Advisory Board for WQED Multimedia, the Advisory Board for the Pittsburgh Dance Council, and the Board of the Pittsburgh City Theatre.