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

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