Thomas Buell, Jr., Director of Marketing and Director of the Study Pittsburgh initiative at GlobalPittsburgh, has been selected to chair the Global City economic development subcommittee for Mayor-Elect Bill Peduto's Transition Team, joining a group of interested citizens and community representatives to provide ideas, policy suggestions and feedback to Peduto and his newly-announced executive team.
The subcommittee will address a wide range of topics related to increasing Pittsburgh's prominence on the global stage and capitalizing on international companies, people and other connections in the region, including, but not limited to:
- Enhancing export programs and partnerships for local companies
- Attracting international companies to locate and/or expand in the region
- Attracting and retaining international entrepreneurs, including graduates of the region's colleges and universities
- Marketing the city to a global audience
- Creating a more welcoming environment for immigrants and refugees
- Making the most of Pittsburgh's Sister Cities program, which currently includes relationships with 18 cities around the world
- Increasing the number of international flights at Pittsburgh International Airport
Subcommittee members will study best practices in other cities and explore ways for the Mayor-elect to collaborate with and support existing efforts in the region aimed at enhancing international connections after he takes office in January.
In a letter to participants, Transition Team Chairman and Peduto Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin called the initial session a "kick-off meeting, which will take the form of a public meeting to allow committee members to provide input on the vision for Mayoral transition."
The Transition Team participants were divided into eight committees, which are expected to finish their work by making recommendations for action items to Peduto by the end of the year.
Buell, 57, came to Pittsburgh in 1987 to work as a business reporter at The Pittsburgh Press, which closed at the end of 1992. Since then he has been Lead Partner of his own strategic communications consulting group, Verso Partners: Communications, which has worked with corporations, non-profit organizations and other clients nationwide.
The Economic Development will "offer recommendations to strengthen the City of Pittsburgh as the continued economic engine of the region."
Other Transition Team committees included:
♦ Innovation & Performance offer recommendations to foster a culture of innovation and accountability necessary to make Pittsburgh a world class city. (Chair: Debra Lam)
♦ Administration & Finance: offer recommendations to overhaul all personnel and finance functions to enhance investments in our city workforce. (Chair: Debbie Lestitian)
♦ Operations & Infrastructure: offer recommendations to overhaul all operational functions to improve the delivery of services to city residents. (Chair: Guy Costa)
♦ Housing & Urban Empowerment: offer recommendations to enhance the quality of housing and services for residents of Pittsburgh’s low and moderate income neighborhoods. (Chair: Valerie McDonald-Roberts)
♦ Education & Neighborhood Reinvestment: offer recommendations to improve educational opportunities and small business redevelopment in city neighborhoods. (Chair: Dr. Curtiss Porter)
♦ Public Safety: offer recommendations to improve the delivery of public safety resources to make Pittsburgh one of the safest cities in America. (Chair: Mayor-Elect Peduto)
♦ Law & Ethics: offer recommendations to foster a culture of respect for the rule of law and ethics across all functions of city government. (Chair: Lourdes Sanchez Ridge)