A look at the men and women poised to shape the Pittsburgh region in 2017 and beyond
The 2017 Smart Business Who to Watch represents an exciting, talented group of people who are strong leaders with an ability to set goals, develop plans and get things done. Some of the names you’ve heard, while others may not be as familiar. But rest assured that each person is poised to make a difference and build something that has the potential to make the Pittsburgh region a better place to live and work.
As we thought about the men and women most likely to influence what happens in 2017, we considered a few factors: Does this person have a platform to make things happen? Is there a pattern of accomplishment that suggests this individual is positioned to have an even bigger impact in 2017? Is this impact likely to stretch beyond this person’s organization and possibly affect positive change for the entire region?
As you scroll through the list, think about the goals you’ve set for yourself and your business in the year ahead. While 2016 was a good one for Pittsburgh, the calendar has flipped and a new year has begun. What will you do to make 2017 the best year ever?
Ajei S. Gopal, CEO
Gopal stepped in as CEO in January at the global leader in engineering simulation, after becoming president and COO in August 2016. He was a member of the board since 2011.
ANSYS employs almost 3,000 professionals, and more than 700 of them have Ph.D.s in engineering fields.
Gopal will continue the work ANSYS started in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University to develop a workforce.
The Pitt partnership will support faculty and students conducting collaborative research with ANSYS and other industry partners, including those in the biomedical, aerospace and defense industries, in a new 1,200 square-foot additive manufacturing lab.
A new CMU building will allow faculty, students, ANSYS researchers and other corporate partners to interact in a large computer-supported collaboration space. The goal is to build innovative approaches and tools that will result in shorter product development cycles and final products that are better quality and quicker to manufacture.
The students also will have access to the ANSYS solution portfolio.
Back to top
Luis von Ahn, CEO
Severin Hacker, CTO
Von Ahn and Hacker, the founders of Duolingo — the most popular way to learn language online with more than 150 million users worldwide — hit several milestones in 2016.
Free to use and built like a game, Duolingo users compete with friends, have streaks, get points, level up and earn virtual currency to spend on bonus items.
Duolingo’s Chatbot feature, launched in October 2016, helps users practice conversation. Unlike most chatbots, Duolingo Bots, powered by artificial intelligence, accept and react to thousands of unique responses.
In the fall, former Google Play executive Bob Meese also joined the team as vice president of business.
Over the summer, Duolingo launched a new flashcards app, Tinycards, which was selected as one of Apple’s top 10 apps of 2016.
Overall, Duolingo is the most-downloaded education app on iTunes and Google Play, and the only education app selected by Apple as iPhone App of the Year.
An independent study, conducted by the City University of New York, has shown that 34 hours on Duolingo are equivalent to one university semester of language classes.
Back to top
Jennifer Cipolla, leader
Center for Additive Technology Advancement at GE
GE’s new Center for Additive Technology Advancement looks like a futuristic set for a Stanley Kubrick movie, according to a story by GE Reports. Everything seems to be white: the walls, the gleaming floors, even the noise from rows of laser-powered 3-D printers near the entrance, quietly making everything from jet engine blades to oil valves.
The idea behind CATA, which is funded by various GE businesses and opened last April, is to take additive mainstream.
“Our mission is to ensure additive technology becomes a standard part of the tool kit for each business,” says Cipolla, who runs the facility. “By having a shared facility, they can share the cost burden and we can advance the technology across the entire company much more rapidly than if they were to invest individually.”
CATA also has an industrialization lab, where GE businesses can bring their 3-D designs and figure out how to speed up the process from the lab to full-scale production. Cipolla and her team will help them optimize the design and simulate what production would look like.
GE invested nearly $40 million in CATA, which employs 50 workers.
Back to top
Dr. Gordon Vanscoy, chairman and CEO
PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy
PANTHERx Specialty Pharmacy delivers medical breakthroughs, clinical excellence and access solutions to patients afflicted with rare and devastating conditions.
PANTHERx provides medicine and care for patients afflicted with rare diseases in all 50 states. Patients who have had a transplant, need oncology, or have Hepatitis C, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, dermatologic conditions, HIV and other chronic conditions cannot go to a regular pharmacy because they don’t carry orphan drugs or medicines made for small populations.
PANTHERx was recognized as the fastest growing health care company by Inc. magazine, ranking No. 9 nationwide on the overall list with three-year growth of 13,381 percent. Vanscoy and his team grew PANTHERx’s revenue to $42.4 million in 2015, while competing against big-box pharmacies.
It also was named as one of the top five places to work by Modern Healthcare and ranked No. 1 in the Zitter Health Insights Patient Satisfaction Survey for Q3 2016.
Back to top
Raffi Krikorian, senior engineering director of software
Uber Advanced Technologies Group
Krikorian’s teams focus on building software to make self-driving technology for everyone and everything. They launched the first self-driving Ubers into Pittsburgh on Sept. 14, 2016.
Until August 2014, Krikorian was Twitter’s vice president of engineering in charge of the platform, the core infrastructure of Twitter. He managed teams who worked on, among other things, the business logic, the scalable services, application program interfaces, storage, core libraries and the internal development model of all of Twitter.
In 2017, the ATG will continue its work on self-driving vehicles and cement Pittsburgh’s reputation as a proving ground for the future of technology and transportation.
Back to top
R. Yvonne Campos, president
Next Act Fund
Next Act Fund is an angel fund founded by Campos, a Pittsburgh entrepreneur, in September 2016.
The fund will raise $5 million to invest in women owned and led companies, with the mission of growing the personal wealth of women investors while supporting the success of women entrepreneurs in the Western Pennsylvania region.
The fund currently has 20 founding members and is looking to grow its membership. The Next Act Fund is also a member of the Enova Fund, an offering of the Blue Tree Angel Group, which gives the fund a broader portfolio of investor companies.
Campos, founding CEO of market research and strategy firm Campos Inc., is nationally recognized as a focus group moderator, facilitator and consultant.
She is also the founder of two Pittsburgh chapters of the Women Presidents’ Organization, a peer-to-peer learning model for women-owned businesses with revenues over $1 million.
Back to top
Ian Rosenberger, founder and CEO
Rosenberger founded both Team Tassy and Thread International in 2010 in the wake of the Haiti earthquake.
Team Tassy unlocks the inherent power in every person to end global poverty. Thread takes trash from poor neighborhoods and turns it into jobs and useful stuff. They work together under the same core philosophy: The biggest problem we face is multidimensional poverty, ending it is entirely possible in our lifetime and to do it, we need to invest in the poor to create as many dignified, sustainable jobs as possible.
To date, Team Tassy has engaged almost 50 Haitians, preparing them and their families for employment. Thread has shipped nearly 200,000 pounds of recycled plastic out of Haiti to eventually be processed into fabric and turned into finished goods and jobs.
Most recently, Thread is partnering with Timberland to provide upcycled materials. A collection of Timberland footwear and bags made from Thread fabric is slated to come out this spring.
Rosenberger’s passion is built upon 10 years of experience studying economic redevelopment in Western and South-Central Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. In 2005, he also placed third on the TV show, “Survivor: Palau” and has since spoken to thousands about his experiences on the show and in the developing world.
Back to top
Leah Lizarondo, co-founder and CEO
412 Food Rescue
412 Food Rescue, one of the fastest-growing food recovery organizations in the U.S., has redirected over 1 million pounds of food in 20 months. Lizarondo and Gisele Fetterman started the project.
412 Food Rescue works with food retailers, wholesalers, restaurants, caterers and universities to rescue unsellable food. Because food providers often don’t have the resources to consistently redirect food to community organizations, 412 Food Rescue has its own truck and volunteers who use their personal vehicles to move food from donors to beneficiary organizations.
In November, it launched a free mobile app, Food Rescue Hero, as a better way to engage volunteers. Other programs include:
- Ugly CSA, which creates new markets via a community supported agriculture program for previously unsellable fruits and vegetables.
- Hidden Harvest, which gleans from previously unharvested public and private city trees, and excess produce from urban farms.
- Food Education, which educates consumers on how to prevent food waste at home.
- Product Innovation, which creates innovative products from otherwise wasted food. In 2016, 412 Food Rescue launched LOAF, craft beer from surplus bread, and FORAGED, pommeau liqueur from rescued apples.
Back to top
Ketaki Desai, executive director
The [email protected] is a business incubator that helps startups with mentoring, business development and investor connections. The incubator also runs a yearlong program for high school seniors, the LindenPointe Entrepreneurship Academy Program or LEAP.
Desai’s experience ranges from co-founding and leading a data analytics startup in manufacturing, PlantMetrix, to leading an education technology startup, LeSyn Labs, and a Pittsburgh-based health care technology startup, BlenderHouse.
She has also consulted with startups, including Brainstage, a Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse-based aggregator that spins out biotech companies, and MFC, a service-provider startup in India.
Desai is a graduate of the Civic Leadership Academy created by Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s office.
She serves on the board of the UpPrize Advisory Committee and the Universal Learning Centre. Desai has been an active leader in local and national nonprofits such as the Project Management Institute, Immigration Voice and the Network of Indian Professionals, and writes a blog on the Huffington Post.
Back to top
John Folan, co-founder and executive director
A collaborative space to reuse materials, rebuild communities and restore lives, Project RE_ has a mission to reuse materials and facilitate landfill diversion; rebuild communities by strengthening capacity of local residents; and restore lives by teaching people trade skills to secure a living wage.
The 10,000 square-foot East End space includes a community room, design studio, gallery and workshops for wood, metal, masonry and digital fabrication. It is a partnership between the Urban Design Build Studio at Carnegie Mellon University that Folan also heads, the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh and Construction Junction, which is Pittsburgh’s first nonprofit building material reuse retailer and a promoter of conservation through the re-use of building materials.
The three nonprofits are leveraging their assets to create opportunity for prosperity by expanding knowledge and skill sets.
Back to top
Jonathan Graham & Amanda Laucher, founders
Mined Minds is equipping former coal miners with coding experience for new careers in the region’s growing technology sector. It develops this workforce through boot camp-style computer-coding training and paid apprenticeships at its Greene County office.
Husband and wife Graham and Laucher started the nonprofit when they began offering coding classes in partnership with the Community College of Allegheny County. Most students can attend the training at little or no cost, thanks to corporate sponsorship and state and federal grants.
The couple also runs a software development consultancy that employs graduates.
Mined Minds is projecting growth of more than 300 percent in both its training and consultancy services this year. Having had its first Charleston cohort graduate in January, Mined Minds plans to establish an office in West Virginia and, together with partners, create an ideas lab to foster the development of local software products.
Back to top
James F. Jordan, president and CEO
Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse
Jordan is the new president and CEO of Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, which focuses on early-stage company formation and the commercialization of later-stage technologies and opportunities. He is also the managing director of the Accelerator Fund LLC.
With a track record of more than 30 new product development efforts, he has consistently delivered strong business growth.
Jordan is an accomplished Fortune 20-level executive with experience in industry, consulting and academia. An expert in translational innovation, market development and guiding the formation of startup businesses, Jordan joined the PLSG in 2005.
Jordan also is active on several boards of directors, including the Pittsburgh Venture Capital Association.
Jordan, who joined Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College in 2005, serves as the senior director and distinguished service professor of health care and biotechnology programs.
In 2015, Jordan authored a university textbook “Innovation, Commercialization, and Start-Ups in Life Sciences.”
Back to top
William Generett Jr., president and CEO
Urban Innovation21, a unique public-private partnership, administers a grant competition to provide opportunities to start or grow businesses and to create jobs for underserved communities.
In 2016, Generett and his team hosted the Inclusive Innovation Community Based Grant Competition for both the Hill District and Homewood. Ninety-six entrepreneurs and business owners attended orientation sessions and business education workshops to develop their business proposals. The grant award winners were announced in January.
This year, UI21 looks to duplicate its efforts in the Northside community with a grant competition that will partner with Riverside Center for Innovation and Alloy 26.
In addition, the Pittsburgh Central Keystone Innovation Zone is part of a statewide strategy to tap educational resources to help startup and young technology-oriented businesses, with the goal of providing jobs and economic development.
PCKIZ orchestrates a combination of tax incentives, entrepreneurial resources, educational and internship programs, networking events and technology showcases. It is based in the Hill District, Uptown, Downtown, parts of the South Side and the North Side.
In 2016, UI21 funneled $1.1 million in tax credit awards to 20 early-stage technology companies and it matched over 110 local college students with paid internship assignments with the 60-plus PCKIZ companies.
This year, UI21 will administer a grant competition for PCKIZ companies and facilitate both the KIZ Tax Credit Program and paid internship program.
Back to top
Tracey Evans, executive director
Wilkinsburg Community Development Corp.
The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corp. is working to promote revitalization through business and residential development, organizational and individual civic leadership, and ethnic and cultural diversity.
Wilkinsburg — a borough adjacent to the city of Pittsburgh — like many urban communities has seen great decline in the past two decades. Wilkinsburg is regaining traction partly due to the efforts of its native daughter, Evans, who helped found the WCDC in 2007, later becoming its first executive director.
One of its main projects in 2016 was the Wilkinsburg Train Station Restoration Project, a capital campaign to secure $3 million for the restoration of a long-vacant historic landmark. Construction on the building will begin in the spring.
Additionally, the WCDC is looking to develop two community events this year, one of which will be a Main Street festival, celebrating new branding and infrastructure improvements.
The organization also plans to continue building on its business development programming, hosting more business planning courses, and working to connect entrepreneurs with resources and find them space within the business district.
In addition to the WCDC, Evans chairs the Wilkinsburg Municipal and Wilkinsburg Borough Commercial & Industrial Development Authorities and is a member of the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group, Wilkinsburg Community Art and Civic Design Commission and CONNECT (Congress of Neighboring Communities).
Back to top
Ben Mantica & Tyler Benson, co-founders
Smallman Galley is a launch pad for the best new restaurant concepts in Pittsburgh.
Two U.S. Navy Lieutenants, Mantica and Benson, envisioned the Smallman Galley concept.
After traveling the world and experiencing unique culinary talent in European and Asian food halls, Smallman Galley was founded on the belief that talented Pittsburgh chefs deserve a fair shot. The galley exists to break down the barriers to entry.
With four fully outfitted kitchens and seats for 200 guests, Smallman Galley provides the infrastructure for chefs to bring their concepts to market at low-risk and for low-cost.
The four chefs spend 18 months running their own restaurants in the galley. They set the menu, hire a staff and interact directly with customers to build their following. Every Monday, when closed to the public, the chefs attend weekly training with industry leaders on branding, business plan drafting, marketing and restaurant operations.
In the final six months, they continue to run their Smallman Galley restaurants, while getting help securing financing and finding their next site.
Since opening, Smallman Galley food hall has enjoyed rave reviews, international media attention and capacity crowds. Mantica and Benson also have met with real estate developers who are interested in learning how to replicate Smallman Galley in other markets.
Back to top
Health care disruptors
Peter M. DeComo, chairman and CEO
ALung Technologies Inc.
ALung Technologies Inc. is commercializing the Hemolung® Respiratory Assist System, a transformational technology and disruptive new therapy that, in the majority of cases, is expected to replace or supplement the ventilator in the intensive care unit.
The Hemolung® RAS is a dialysis-like alternative or supplement to mechanical ventilation. Originally developed at the University of Pittsburgh, it removes carbon dioxide and delivers oxygen directly to the blood, allowing the patient’s lungs to rest and heal.
ALung has clearance internationally in multiple countries and has treated over 650 patients globally.
Even though still in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval process, six patients have been treated under the FDA’s compassionate use clearance. Several patients treated had their lives literally saved by this product while waiting for lung transplants.
DeComo founded and shepherded Renal Solutions to a $200 million acquisition by Fresenius Medical Care in late 2007. He is a registered respiratory therapist and has an extensive background in extracorporeal therapies.
Back to top
Randy Hubbell, president and CEO
Carmell Therapeutics, founded in 2007 as a Carnegie Mellon University spinout, has created a unique and innovative patented technology based on biologically-active materials manufactured from human blood plasma. These plasma-based materials contain a concentration of natural regenerative factors that promote healing, reduce complications and, as a result, save health care costs.
Carmell’s first product, REPAIR™ Putty, has been designed to treat bone fractures through accelerated bone healing of the fracture and surrounding soft tissues while reducing complications, infections and duration of care. It could be expanded to address a larger orthopedic market of bone healing/soft tissue healing for osteoporotic and hip fractures, joint replacements, sports injuries (i.e. meniscus/ACL and shoulder repairs) and spinal fusion.
Carmell envisions its second-generation products, REPAIR™ Paste, to address a similar unmet need in managing surgical site healing.
Hubbell joined Carmell in February 2016. He was formerly the chief commercial officer for Cardiva Medical, a startup medical device company focused on delivering technology to reduce the complications associated with vascular access.
Back to top
Susan Catalano, founder and chief scientifics officer
Cognition Therapeutics is focused on delivering innovative therapies that improve the lives of Alzheimer’s patients. The company has already conducted a successful efficacy trial and is currently conducting a clinical trial in Australia of its drug candidate.
Since the first characterization of Alzheimer’s in 1906, there have been no tangible advances in finding drugs to halt or prevent disease progression. The founders of CogRx believe that the current “target-driven” methods of drug discovery used by pharmaceutical companies are not ideal for identifying disease modifying drugs. Instead, CogRx uses proprietary and biologically relevant screening and chemistry platforms.
Catalano is the architect of CogRx’s proprietary and unique biological discovery platform. She is an expert in synaptic plasticity, Alzheimer’s disease and the biology of protein oligomers, the toxic shapes of protein that underlie many neurodegenerative diseases.
Other neurodegenerative diseases characterized by abnormal protein folding and aggregation can also be addressed using CogRx’s two discovery platforms, making the potential impact even greater.
Back to top
Jonathan Steckbeck, founder
Peptilogics has developed a new class of antibiotics that address the global epidemic of multidrug-resistant bacteria.
The company’s antibiotic kills multidrug-resistant bacteria, as well as biofilms that harbor infection reservoirs and cause recurrent infections. The Peptilogics technology also is highly effective against viruses, which has never been seen before in a molecule or class of molecules.
“We have a novel discovery platform that leverages active learning to more efficiently develop an entirely new class of drugs,” Steckbeck says.
There is a demand for treatment options as antibiotics lose their effectiveness. Also, infections acquired in hospitals have negative economic impact, erode patient confidence and can damage an organization’s reputation, making Peptilogics’ innovations of great interest to health care providers.
Back to top
Stephen Bollinger, president and CEO
Rinovum’s Women’s Health
Rinovum’s Women’s Health is a direct-to-consumer medical device company that is focused on reproductive health to aid in natural fertility and conception in the privacy of the patient’s home.
The company’s mission is to give women/couples health care products that will help them reach their reproductive goals, targeting: individuals diagnosed with infertility who have not been able to participate or have been unsuccessfully addressed with existing alternatives, and those who have a need to delay insemination.
For the one-in-six couples and others who struggle to conceive a child, the announcement of Rinovum’s The Stork® over-the-counter conception aid was big news.
Bollinger brings a diverse background to the company with respect to the medical device and biologic marketplace. He has held multiple leadership positions at early-stage companies and a broad spectrum of roles.
Back to top
Rick Cancelliere, founder and CEO
Less than half of patient referrals to physicians are within a network’s providership. Consequently, these provider networks lose significant revenue simply due to referral mismanagement.
Treatspace develops secure social software designed to meet the needs of health care providers, medical practices and hospitals. Its health networks align physician referrals, power online patient engagement and facilitate clinical collaboration. Treatspace’s three Software as a Service-based products can integrate with any electronic medical record system.
Treatspace also addresses patient engagement services, such as online physician-patient dialogue and clinical collaboration tools for providers to share clinical best practices and opportunities for clinical trials.
Cancelliere has been nationally recognized as a successful entrepreneur in health care, design and technology. Beginning in 2002, his design firm specialized in health care and drove digital marketing efforts for numerous national medical brands.
Back to top
Quintin B. Bullock, president
Community College of Allegheny County
Since its founding, the Community College of Allegheny County has believed that higher education should be both affordable and accessible. Bullock, who began as CCAC president in 2014, is continuing that focus.
CCAC offers many subsidized programs that enable individuals to take classes for very low cost or for free. For example, in 2015, CCAC was awarded a grant to fund education and training in three health care tracks — nursing, emergency medicine and medical records/health information technology. The program enables students to complete each training level by providing them with wrap-around services, such as assistance with childcare, tuition and transportation.
CCAC’s dedicated workforce development division also offers a range of specialized training programs designed for employers, incumbent workers and job seekers. Two examples are:
- Project Management Boot Camp targets working professionals seeking Project Management Professional Certification. Since the program’s inception, 140 individuals have participated in the boot camp.
- CCAC’s Casino Dealer’s School, which opened in February 2016, trains both incumbent workers and those seeking employment in the casino industry. Together, CCAC and Rivers Casino have created a strong relationship. To date, CCAC has provided training to 119 incumbent workers and has more interns at Rivers Casino than any other area educational institution.
Eric Xing, professor, machine learning department; founder and CEO, Petuum Inc.
Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have spent years perfecting a platform that uses workstations, distributed computers, mobile devices or embedded devices to solve large machine learning problems efficiently and effectively. They have now spun off a company, Petuum Inc., to make those capabilities available commercially.
Petuum has already obtained $15 million in initial venture capital funding and expects to have its first products on the market early this year.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies are key to innovations such as self-driving cars, speech recognition, computer vision, natural language processing and analysis of electronic medical records, and many other enterprise big data analysis applications.
Xing plans to hire 30 to 50 people and because of the need for highly trained computer scientists and engineers, intends to keep the company in proximity to CMU.
Back to top
Fernando De la Torre, associate research professor, robotics; Human Sensing Laboratory head
Facebook has agreed to acquire FacioMetrics, a spinoff from CMU’s Robotics Institute that develops facial analysis software for mobile applications.
“Now, we’re taking a big step forward by joining the team at Facebook, where we’ll be able to advance our work at an incredible scale, reaching people from across the globe,” De la Torre says.
Facial analysis tools have many applications, including in animation and virtual/augmented reality. At CMU, De la Torre and his colleagues developed IntraFace, battery-friendly software that was so efficient that it could run on most smartphones. FacioMetrics sought to extend this work and also has been developing new applications for it.
Back to top
Chris Harrison, assistant professor, human-computer interaction
Harrison and his Ph.D. students at his lab, the Future Interfaces Group, are pumping out innovations in how people can interact with and use digital devices, particularly wearable devices.
The FIG is an interdisciplinary research lab within CMU’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. It creates new sensing and interface technologies that foster powerful interactions between humans and computers.
One of their latest inventions, developed by Ph.D. students Gierad Laput and Robert Xiao, ViBand, enables people to control devices by tapping their skin.
By monitoring vibrations that occur when people hold objects or use tools, the smartwatch also would be capable of recognizing objects and activities. It could even be used to help tune a guitar, with the smartwatch displaying the note transmitted as the guitarist plucks and adjusts each string.
Back to top
Alexandre Jacquillat, assistant professor, operations research and public policy
Jacquillat’s cutting-edge research and work with airports on flight scheduling, regulations and operations is carving a new path.
His research promotes more efficient, more reliable and more sustainable transportation systems. His primary focus lies in the problems of capacity planning, capacity allocation and capacity utilization in air transportation. His work develops decision analytics to mitigate airport congestion through operating enhancements and the design of flight scheduling mechanisms.
He is also interested in the deployment of new forms of urban mobility, such as on-demand car-sharing and bike-sharing systems, electrified vehicles and connected vehicles.
Jacquillat previously consulted with McKinsey & Co. and Booz Allen Hamilton to advise leading companies and governmental organizations in the fields of transportation, energy, logistics and organization.
Back to top
Anna Siefken, associate director, innovation and strategic partnerships, Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation
In her role at the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, Siefken cultivates corporate and industrial partnerships, fostering energy-related initiatives across CMU campuses to create synergistic relationships and new opportunities, including commercialization — linking together industry, faculty and staff, startups, other universities, regional and nonprofit organizations, corporate foundations and government agencies.
Prior to joining CMU, Siefken served simultaneously as the Pittsburgh 2030 District director and as vice president of strategic engagement for the Green Building Alliance, one of the largest regional chapters of the U.S. Green Building Council.
Back to top
University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration:
Audrey Murrell, associate dean, College of Business Administration
Murrell is the director of the David Berg Center for Ethics and Leadership at the business school. The Berg Center’s mission is to add value to organizations through ethical leadership, by focusing on creating and utilizing knowledge through cutting-edge research, experience-based teaching and active community engagement.
One of Murrell’s big projects is to address issues of food sustainability and food security.
Already the Berg Center funded the creation of a Food Abundance Index Scorecard to address food deserts in urban neighborhoods.
Now, the Berg Center is funding a documentary, “Rescuing Abundance,” that explores the interrelated nature of food waste, food supply chain inefficiencies and what solutions exist in Pittsburgh and nationally. The film will be complete early this year and will be entered in film festivals.
Back to top
Carrie Leana, George H. Love professor of organizations and management
Leana is the director of the Center for Healthcare Management at the Katz business school. She is the driving force between partnership-based programs that equip physicians and other medical professionals with business schools. The goal is improving patient care.
So far she has hosted several programs with UPMC — the Marshall Webster Physician Leadership Program, the Behavioral Health Fellows Program and an International Fellows Program.
Thanks to her, this May the school will have its inaugural class of a new Executive MBA in Healthcare program with UPMC. Designed for health care professionals seeking high-level advancement, the program equips students with the skills and tools that they need to lead organizations into the future.
Back to top
John Camillus, Donald R. Beall professor of strategic management organizations and entrepreneurship
Camillus is the creator of the Business of Humanity Project, which seeks to create business strategies that earn large profits by serving people on the bottom of the economic pyramid.
Along with colleagues from Pitt’s schools of social work and engineering, he has opened a greenhouse/acquaponics facility in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood that runs entirely on a DC-power microgrid that uses solar power.
He’s working to scale up and bring the technology to rural India. India — where one in four people live without electricity because of the country’s stretched infrastructure — has become a proving ground for clean energy.
Back to top
Ravi Madhavan, professor of business administration and Alcoa Foundation International Faculty Fellow
Madhavan is the director of the International Business Center. One of the big initiatives is offering more multicultural, global experiences for MBA students.
This spring, they are launching a global issues workshop program that is moving into frontier markets. The idea is for the students to travel internationally and work on a project in their host countries.
Back to top