Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Zipcar Waives Sign-Up Fee for GlobalPittsburgh Members; Offers Discounts on Hourly Rates. Another Reason to Join GlobalPittsburgh Today!

Zipcar is waiving its sign-up fee for GlobalPittsburgh members and offering discounted hourly rates for Zipcar's shared vehicle service. Use a Zipcar for offsite business trips or personal errands anytime you like. Zipcar operates in Pittsburgh and dozens of cities across North America.

·         No Application Fee (normally $25)
·         Discounted Annual Fee (just $25 a year, normally $60)
Discounted Hourly Rate:  Starting at $9.25 (normally $10.25)
Business Day Rate (7am-7pm):  $55
24-Hour Day Rate:  $71 (plus taxes & fees)

All rates include gas, insurance, and 180 miles/day ($0.45/mile thereafter) for a $25 annual membership fee. These special rates cover all vehicles except BMWs, Mercedes and convertibles. Weekend rates vary depending on length of reservation.

This offer is available to paid members of the GlobalPittsburgh Network, including hosts, supporters and members of the GlobalPittsburgh Connect program. If you're already a member of GlobalPittsburgh , or have any questions, please contact Nadya Kessler of GlobalPittsburgh at 412-392-4513 or at

If you're not a GlobalPittsburgh member, you can also call Nadya at the number above to register by phone, and she can give you details of how to get the Zipcar membership and discounts. Individual memberships in the GlobalPittsburgh Network cost $40 per year and $50 per household. CLICK HERE to register online.

If you  have any questions or problems, contact Zipcar’s Christina Ricci directly (see contact information below), and she can apply the free set-up promotion. Sign up takes about 5 minutes. You’ll need your driver’s license and credit card. After you’re approved, your Zipcard will arrive at your billing address in 5-7 days.  Alternatively, you can elect to pick-up your Zipcard at the local Pittsburgh office. 

How it Works:
Once you’ve received your Zipcard in the mail, simply make a reservation online and use your Zipcard to access the reserved vehicle.  Invoices are online and updated after each reservation (click on “my stuff” then “my bill” to view your invoice).  Your company or personal credit card will be charged after the end of each reservation.

Already a Zipcar member?  Call or email Christina at 215-307-4867 or and your account can be upgraded to reflect the GlobalPittsburgh discounts.

Learn more about Zipcar at

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians in Philadelphia Receives Grants Totaling $692,000 to Launch Immigrant Professionals Career Pathways Program

PHILADELPHIA - The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians has announced a program that will allow eligible immigrants to reestablish their professional careers by helping them secure industry credentials. The Philadelphia-based program is supported by $412,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and $280,000 from The Barra Foundation.

The nonprofit Migration Policy Institute estimates that there are 32,000 underutilized immigrant professionals in Pennsylvania. Many live in the Philadelphia region. These individuals have college or graduate degrees from abroad, but are often employed here in low-wage jobs that do not draw on their education and skills.

“We are thrilled that this funding will both expand our services for ambitious newcomers and help fill a need for these professionals in our region,” said Peter Gonzales, president and CEO of the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians. “People who were doctors or engineers in their home countries often have to navigate complex pathways in order to return to their professions; our new Immigrant Professionals Career Pathways Program will assist them in that process.”

“Philadelphia is increasingly attracting young, motivated talent from around the country and the world—but we must pursue more opportunities to keep that talent here,” said Donna Frisby-Greenwood, Knight Foundation program director for Philadelphia. “This new program will help do just that by opening new economic and leadership opportunities to established professionals that have the skills to contribute to a better future for our city.”

The Welcoming Center’s new program will help skilled immigrants with lawful status in the United States find training and jobs in Philadelphia in their fields of expertise. The program will guide these professionals in obtaining certification, finding transitional jobs and connecting with others in their fields through social and professional networks.

Support for these projects forms one part of Knight Foundation’s efforts to expand opportunities in Philadelphia, while fostering talent retention and attraction. Since 1970 Knight Foundation has invested more than $100 million in Philadelphia’s vitality.

The Barra Foundation’s grant reflects its commitment to supporting organizations in their efforts to test significant new approaches to their work. By funding problem-solving initiatives such as the Welcoming Center’s, Barra seeks to drive positive change across Greater Philadelphia.

The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians is a nonprofit economic development organization based in Philadelphia. Founded in 2003, the agency has served more than 11,000 people from 140 countries worldwide. The Welcoming Center’s services include education and training, employment and entrepreneurship. Learn more at

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

The Barra Foundation invests in innovation to inspire change that strengthens communities in the Greater Philadelphia region. It provides approximately $4 million in grants annually that are focused on supporting innovation in and across the fields of Arts & Culture, Education, and Health and Human Services. For more, visit

Friday, August 15, 2014

GlobalPittsburgh's Thomas Buell, Jr. Named to Mayor Peduto's Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council

GlobalPittsburgh Director of Marketing and Study Pittsburgh Initiative has been named to Mayor Bill Peduto's 40-member Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council, whose work will shape the city's immigrant attraction and retention activities over the next three years, it was announced today.

Thomas Buell, Jr.
Launched on May 28, Welcoming Pittsburgh is a citywide initiative designed to celebrate the city’s immigrant past and build a more welcoming future. The first step in its implementation is a 40-member advisory council that will determine Welcoming Pittsburgh’s work over the coming years.

“We are a stronger city, enriched with greater cultural and economic opportunity, when we create avenues that are accessible and welcoming to all of our residents -- whether they have lived here for generations or are migrating to Pittsburgh for the very first time,” Peduto said. “The Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council will lay the groundwork for greater immigrant integration.”

Buell also served on the Mayor's transition committee after Peduto was elected last November. He chaired the Global City subcommittee which made several recommendations about ways to help the city and its residents become more globally aware and realize the benefits associated with the city's growing international prominence.

The advisory council’s main task over the next six months will be working with a facilitator to write a long-term and sustainable Welcoming Pittsburgh implementation plan. That plan will include efforts to engage both existing Pittsburgh residents and new ones, and synthesize welcoming practices into city government and its partners in local business, nonprofit and community groups.

The roadmap will seek to improve efficiencies by identifying overlapping practices offered by different stakeholders in the community, and highlight opportunities for the Mayor’s Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment to build a model for creating a more welcoming experience for immigrants in Pittsburgh.

“Communities that successfully encourage welcoming practices for immigrants foster welcoming environments for all residents,” said Nonprofit & Faith-Based Manager Betty Cruz. “When we spoke with cities across the country to learn from their lessons it was clear that an important first step is to form a guiding council that will develop recommendations that make sense for our city.”

The council was selected out of more than 100 candidates who applied through a public online process. Those invited to participate share a wide range of perspectives including both direct and indirect experience with the diverse needs immigrants face. The council also represents a variety of skillsets ranging from executives in finance, law, and academia to individuals working on the frontlines on issues such as labor, human services, and community development.

The grant will also fund community conversations across the city and the production of marketing materials that the Bureau will use to build awareness for Welcoming Pittsburgh and the impact of immigrants in the city for its first three years.

The city has issued a Request For Proposals to hire a facilitator. The RFP is available here:

Terms on the voluntary council will end upon delivery of the implementation plan in roughly six months. After that period those interested will be asked to serve as Welcoming Pittsburgh ambassadors who will help implement plans for the initiative. The hiring of the facilitator and awareness-building materials for the first year of the initiative is underwritten with a $50,000 grant from the Hillman Family Foundations.

Members of the Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council are:
Christopher Amar, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Robert Bartle, AIReS
Joanna Bernstein, Casa San Jose
Elizabeth Bloom, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Thomas Buell Jr., GlobalPittsburgh
Janis Burley Wilson, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Patricia Cain, Latino Family Center
Nathan Darity, Amizade
Lou Fineberg, Dero Bike Racks & Co-founder Bike Pittsburgh
Ellen Freeman, K&L Gates
Melanie Harrington, Vibrant Pittsburgh
George Hazimanolis, WQED
Elizabeth Heidenreich, South Hills Interfaith Ministry, Prospect Park Family Center
Michael Hogel, Mt. Lebanon School District
Seth Hufford, The People Group
Kanak Iyer, Kanakadhara Financial Enterprise
Barbara Johnson, Carlow University
Brian Kovak, Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz School
Sandhya Krishnan, Giant Eagle Corporation
Bonnie McCloskey, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Kamana Mathur, MathurLaw
Kevin McKeegan, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott
Brandon Mendoza, Allegheny Conference for Community Development
Andrea Horton-Mericli, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council
Ana Maria Mieles, Cohen & Grigsby
Kheir Mugwaneza, Northern Area Multi-Service Center
Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki, Community College of Allegheny County
Barbara Murock, Department of Human Services
Josephine Olson, University of Pittsburgh, Katz School of Business
Matt Pavlosky, Southwestern PA Commission
Guillermo Perez, United Steel Workers
Andrew Pugh, University of Pittsburgh, GSPIA
Carrie Ann Quintana, PNC Bank
Susan Rauscher, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh
Brent Rondon, Duquesne University Small Business Development Center
Kelsey Russell, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
Kannu Sahni, University of Pittsburgh
Jesus Torres, ParenteBeard
Sheila Wells Rathke, University of Pittsburgh (retired)
Carol White Mohamed, University of Pittsburgh, Office of Affirmative Action, Diversity & Inclusion

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mayor Peduto Launches Leading European Sustainability Conference Over Computer Linkup; Promotes Similar Event in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto today launched one of Europe’s leading sustainability conferences, the Futureperfect Festival, and promoted Pittsburgh’s efforts to create globally recognized development practices that promote innovation, equity and development.

Peduto said he is working with the leadership of Futureperfect to bring a similar international sustainability forum to Pittsburgh. The forum would follow a tour of Strip District, Hill District and Hazelwood development sites the Mayor co-hosted in March with Andre Heinz of the Heinz Endowments and Bruce Katz, director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution.

The Pittsburgh forum would also follow the Mayor’s trip to the Sustainable City Development conference in Ludwigsburg, Germany, in May, which he attended with officials from Carnegie Mellon University and local technology firms.

While still in the planning stages, the Pittsburgh forum “will address how we develop a resilient city, and what steps we need to take to make a city in a different way -- a way that combines sustainability, equity and connections to all neighborhoods," Peduto said.

The 2014 Futureperfect Festival is being held on Grinda island, off the coast of Stockholm, and Peduto opened it with welcoming remarks over a computer link, and then took questions from participants for more than an hour. The festival is hosting up to 500 Swedish leaders in urban development, technology and social enterprise working on sustainable urban development practices.

Mark F. Brzezinski, the U.S. Ambassador to Sweden, also addressed the festival in a pre-recorded message that praised Peduto’s work on sustainability issues.

“In the same way Andrew Carnegie depended on the rivers of Pittsburgh to turn it into a manufacturing powerhouse, I am working to innovate again, and build new riverfront developments that will be models the world over," Peduto said.

"While Pittsburgh’s water is abundant, we must be careful with this resource and protect it. I want, and the world demands, developments that contain elements of site reliance, energy-to-waste cycles and self-generation.”

Other speakers at the Futureperfect Festival are set to include TED Fellow Laurel Braitman, Lego’s Director of Mechanics Arturo Pasquel, and 70 other speakers in more than 45 sessions discussing the latest theories in sustainable development.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Days in the Lives of the GlobalPittsburgh Summer 2014 Interns - "We Don't Really Have Typical Days"

Here at GlobalPittsburgh we have five summer 2014 interns: Alexa, Siyu, Ellen, Colette and Lori. They have been assisting the GlobalPittsburgh staff for the past three months. I interviewed three of the interns and asked them this question; what have they been working on during this time?

GlobalPittsburgh's Summer 2014
interns (from left) Siyu, Ellen,
Colette, Lori and Alexa.
Siyu works directly under Gail Shrott, Director of our International Leaders Program. During the months of May and June he worked on organizing the programs for our incoming delegates. In July, Siyu worked on internal matters such as organizing the host family files. I asked Siyu about the biggest project he was asked to handle.

"The Data Privacy Program because it was organized by just me and Gail. I learned a lot from working on that program because I feel more comfortable making cold phone calls. I feel that my verbal and written communication skills have been improved.”

When asked about his favorite part of the job, Siyu responded,  “Getting to interact with so many international visitors. I’ve really enjoyed my time with them, it’s part of the reason why I’m here working for GlobalPittsburgh because I want to interact with people with other cultures. I especially enjoyed the time with the delegates from Pakistan since they’re such nice people.”

Lori is another one of our five interns. She works with Colette and Director of Marketing Thomas Buell, Jr. on the Marketing aspect of GlobalPittsburgh as well as the Study Pittsburgh initiative. When asked what her favorite project was at GlobalPittsburgh she responded: “Probably the infographic I made because of how much of an interactive process it was. I worked on the infographic with Colette and we were given a lot of creative freedom which I enjoyed. We were able to bounce ideas off of each other.”

In terms of advice for people interested in interning with GlobalPittsburgh, Lori had this to say: “GlobalPittsburgh is a great organization to intern for if you want to learn more about working for a non-profit. I would definitely recommend applying if you want to learn more about marketing on a budget, working with different cultures or collaborating with international visitors.”

Alexa is our other intern who works on programming with Gail. Asked about her typical day at GlobalPittsburgh, Alexa replied: “We don’t really have typical days. Our days usually vary depending on the program I’m working on. For example, with the Open World program I would start the day by first checking the emails. I would call the speakers for the presentations for the delegates in order to see if they could meet with our group and schedule the meetings.

"I enjoyed the meetings because I got to review the bios of the participants from Kazakhstan. I also got to sit in on one of their meetings in the GlobalPittsburgh conference room for Mike Lickert from Giant Eagle and that was exciting because I helped to confirm that meeting. It was interesting to see what I had planned, come to life.”

The interns at GlobalPittsburgh work in a variety of different facets and parts of GlobalPittsburgh but they all collaborate in order to promote and assist GlobalPittsburgh in growing and spreading the message of international diversity in Pittsburgh.

- By Lori Wang, GlobalPittsburgh Summer 2014 Intern


Sunday, August 3, 2014

HOST PROFILE: Fifty Years of Welcoming International Visitors has “Great Impact” on Longtime GlobalPittsburgh Host Family

Rosalyn Kummer and her husband, Lee, have been hosting international visitors since they signed up to volunteer with the Pittsburgh Council for International Visitors (now known as GlobalPittsburgh) in 1966. Over the nearly 50 years that followed, they have had a multitude of international visitors, students and leaders walk through their door and into their lives.

The Kummers (center) and
some of their international visitors,
along with their son, Scott (left).
“We have had visitors from around the world, and all of our guests were truly unique and amazing,” Mrs. Kummer said in an interview. “It was really exciting to see how we could relate to all of these people from such different cultures and backgrounds.”

The Kummers found themselves volunteering to host international guests when they were convinced by a next door neighbor that it would be a worthwhile experience. With 300 acres of land and a herd of dairy cows, the Kummers spent most of their time taking visitors on hay rides around their land, exploring the large barn on their property, and explaining the finer points of dairy farming to their international guests.

All of the visitors who came to stay with the Kummers left a lasting impression on their hosts.  Mrs. Kummer laughingly recounted a memory from when she and her husband hosted a Japanese woman who was very “nimble and talented in the kitchen,” and loved preparing meals for them to try.

The Kummers' dairy farm.
When asked what she thought were essential qualities when hosting international visitors, Mrs. Kummer quickly responded, “You need to keep an open mind and be flexible. I remember [another] time we were hosting a boy from the Democratic Republic of Congo for a few weeks before he went to college. [He] didn’t speak English very well and he was very homesick so we had to offer him support and comfort while he stayed with us. This experience really impressed upon us the importance of being patient and understanding while we were working with our international guests.”

When asked if she had a favorite memory from hosting, Mrs. Kummer explained that it would be very difficult to choose just one from the varied and marvelous cultural exchanges that she and her husband had as hosts. They have entertained visitors from all around the world and their lives and experiences have been positively impacted because of it.

After years of participating as a host, Mrs. Kummer urged everyone to consider hosting for GlobalPittsburgh.

“Overall I would say that hosting is an amazing experience and if you are considering becoming a host just do it!  It will have a great impact on your life.”

(More information about hosting international visitors is available by going to the GlobalPittsburgh wesbite at or contacting Nadya Kessler at 412-392-4513 or

By Colette Tano, GlobalPittsburgh Summer 2014 Intern


GlobalPittsburgh Solidifies Reputation for Creating Itineraries for International Training Delegations

What does it mean when we say that GlobalPittsburgh has proven expertise in arranging short-term training programs for emerging international leaders?  The feedback that we receive from our clients regularly indicates that they are very satisfied with the itineraries and other arrangements designed for them by Gail Shrott, Director of GlobalPittsburgh’s International Leaders Program.

Nathaniel Phillips, Manager of 
Business Development at Mascaro 
Construction Co. (standing), met on 
June 17 with Open World Leadership 
Center-sponsored group from 
Kazakhstan examining Alternative 
Energy and Green Business
Our organization arranges logistics (hotels, transportation, meals, etc.) as well as appointments tailored to meet participants’ specific training goals. Additionally, GlobalPittsburgh partners with departments at regional universities and with other organizations and companies to enhance their training offerings. 

For these partners, we may arrange meetings with professionals addressing a very specific issue relevant to the interests of the training participants, or may arrange dinners or homestays with host families to help participants feel more welcome and more connected to the Pittsburgh region.
The training programs designed and implemented by GlobalPittsburgh are frequently sponsored by federally-funded programs, such as the Open World Leadership Center, and are created in close collaboration with our clients.

Kevin Sheen, Senior Director,
Development, EverPower Wind
Holdings, Inc. also met with
the group on June 17.
From June 13-22, GlobalPittsburgh hosted a group of five Open World delegates from Kazakhstan examining the topic of “Alternative Energy and Green Business.” 

According to the facilitator accompanying the group, Ms. Yuliya Beloslyudseva, “The program…covered many various themes and was very dynamic.”

GlobalPittsburgh arranged homestays for the delegates, daily transportation to and from meetings and activities, as well as fifteen interactive meetings or tours with local leaders working on the themes explored by the delegation.

Hosts Gail and Richard Kepple with 
Fulbright Scholar from Thailand, 
Anuchaya Montakantiwong 
on March 21.
Earlier this year, on Friday evening, March 21, GlobalPittsburgh worked in collaboration with the Institute for International Education to arrange dinners for 139 Fulbright Scholars attending a Fulbright Enrichment Seminar.  

Our organization coordinated small group dinners with a total of 44 host families, and orchestrated the logistics of having the Scholars connect with their hosts in four different areas of the city or suburbs.

GlobalPittsburgh has the capacity to arrange a training itinerary or training enhancements such as homestays or hosted dinners for small groups or individuals. For more information, please contact Gail Shrott at