Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

50 finest logo Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Thursday, August 14, 2014
The Grand Ballroom of the Omni William Penn Hotel
7 p.m. – 11 p.m.

Honorees will be presented at 8 p.m.
Emceed by Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest alumni Elena LaQuatra and Frank Murgia

Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest are 50 of the city’s most accomplished men and women. These outstanding professionals are selected on the basis of their activity in the community and success in their careers. Each of the 50 Finest is committed to raising as much money as possible for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. They are counting on friends, family, co-workers, and the Pittsburgh community to help them to exceed their minimum goal of $3,000. The 2013 class raised $310,000 for the foundation, so the bar has been set high for the Class of 2014!

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis. For more than two decades, the foundation has been recognized as one of the most effective and efficient organizations of its kind. All proceeds raised by Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest help to support vital CF research, medical, and educational programs.

Donations can be made directly to the individual honorees at finest.cff.org/activity/50finest or by contacting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

TICKETS

Tickets

$75 in advance ($40 tax deductible)
$85 at the door ($50 tax deductible)
Dress: Black Tie Optional

finest.cff.org/activity/50finest

Ticket price includes pasta and carving stations, salad, bread, and dessert. Four complimentary beverages are also included with each ticket, courtesy of Frank B. Fuhrer Wholesale Co. and Clique Vodka. Music by Glass City Swing Band.

Event Director: Mark Burnett
Event Assistants: Keenan Parrish, Amanda Moore
Designers: Jason Solak, Valerie Hogan
Photography: Tobi Makinde and Ray Miles with Pittsburgh Weddings by Design — Event Photography
Shot on location at Blue Line Grille
Edited by: Andrea Bosco
Proceeds benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

50 finest cff logo Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

THE 50 FINEST

50 finest 1234 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Richard Katz, Brittany Bellovich, Jordan Feucht, Paul Athanas

01. Richard Katz

Richard Katz is a lifelong resident of the City of Pittsburgh and has learned over the years the importance of community involvement, philanthropy, and education from his parents, Joel and Goldie Katz. After graduating from Taylor Allderdice High School, he received bachelor’s degrees in consumer and community affairs from Syracuse University and in accounting from Robert Morris University. Richard is an analyst for Direct Energy. His responsibilities include ensuring proper pricing is executed and recorded for new and renewing business. His role is vital to position the company to properly record revenue, protect the company’s bad debt expense, and realize company margins. Richard’s role is focused on the company’s growth engine, a segment that makes up $2 billion of the $5 billion dollars in annual revenue. Additionally, he serves on the Engagement Committee and plans special company events, such as Pirates games, various local tours, and has even built an on-site miniature golf course. Richard enjoys being part of a very large Pittsburgh-based family and is most proud of being a loving uncle.

Top Sponsors: Signature Financial Planning, KFMR, The Dog Stop Sewickley, Steven Gordon

02. Brittany Bellovich

Brittany Bellovich bleeds black and gold, working for the Pittsburgh Steelers each and every day. “Pittsburgh is like a giant family,” she says. “Whether someone was raised here or they live here now, they are proud to say they live in Pittsburgh, the City of Champions!” She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Carlow University. Her accomplishment that she is most proud of happened when she was awarded “Humanitarian of the Year” by Rose Shrout in 2005. This humanitarian is passionate about helping others, especially children. When she is not assisting with the Steelers’ daily operations at Heinz Field, she’s most likely dedicating her time volunteering at local charity events. Brittany is affiliated with the American Cancer Society, where she helped raise an astonishing $325,000 this year at the Coaches vs. Cancer event. Moreover, she devotes her spare time to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Breast Cancer Coalition, Operation Christmas Child, Toys for Tots, Present for Patients, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, and the Western PA Humane Society.

Top Sponsors: Friends and Family

03. Jordan Feucht

If you ever had the pleasure of encountering a woman with a sparkling smile that lights up the entire room everywhere she goes, most likely, her name is Jordan Feucht. The traveler, public relations specialist, marketing expert, and event planner mastermind has made a name for herself in Atlanta, New York City, and even Italy. Jordan, a Pittsburgh native, moved back two years ago to start a career for UBS Financial Services Inc. with the Wentling Tarquinio Loughney Wealth Consulting Group. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication from the College of Charleston. In Jordan’s spare time, she enjoys serving as a junior board member of Wesley Spectrum Services, a nonprofit organization that provides a diverse range of education, autism, mental health, and social services for children and families throughout Western Pennsylvania. In addition, she loves to volunteer at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and play in the bell choir.

04. Paul Athanas

Growing up as the younger brother to triplets, Paul Athanas always found himself trying to keep up and compete with his older brothers. After graduating from Duquesne University, Paul took his competitive edge to the world of consultative sales, where he strives to find a win-win situation for his clients and his company. Recently, Paul was afforded the opportunity to break his way into the oil and gas industry, where he is currently employed by Well Service Group Inc., a provider of well-related services for the oil and gas industry. As a new business development representative, Paul’s responsibilities include consulting with clients and increasing efficiencies of business operations. In his spare time, Paul enjoys golfing, brewing his own beer, and anything fitness-related. In the last year, Paul competed in the Tough Mudder, EQT 10 Miler, and DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Half Marathon, and plans on adding to his list of races in the upcoming year. Over the last three years, Paul has also volunteered with “Brewing Up a Cure,” a family-hosted event that benefits the cystic fibrosis community.

Top Sponsors: Rohrich Cadillac, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Well Service Group, Inc., Bob and Anne Johnston, Hannastown Golf Club

50 finest 567 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Jessica Kennedy, Steven Volas, Vanessa Inks

05. Jessica Kennedy

Being passionate in Pittsburgh through philanthropy is nothing new for Jessica Kennedy. Being a former Miss Three Rivers; third runner-up at the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant; Miss Majorette of America; State, National, and World Champion in competitive baton twirling; and University of Pittsburgh Golden Girl are only the tip of the iceberg for this ambitious professional. Jessica is an associate for Corporate and Institutional Banking within the Financial Services Advisory Banking at PNC. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Jessica is a member of PNC’s Recognizing Emerging Professionals (PREP), where she currently serves as treasurer. She served as a “Big Sister” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh for seven years, which was her platform as a local titleholder within the Miss America Organization, and volunteered for Pittsburgh Cares, allowing her to support her passion for helping children and animals, including Animal Friends, the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center, Kid’s Voice, March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Western PA Humane Society. Jessica is the newly elected vice president of the Board of Directors for the Interplay Child Care Center and enjoys supporting the mission of PNC “Grow Up Great.”

Top Sponsors: Pittsburgh Global Connection, The Bridal Suite of Johnstown, Elliven Spa, The Smart House, Friends and Family

06. Steven Volas

Steven Volas is a University of Pittsburgh graduate who received a bachelor’s degree in earth and space science. Steven is currently the business development manager for Rockwater Energy Solutions, Inc. His responsibilities include marketing and sales of his company’s services for the Marcellus/Utica Shale basins in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. In addition, Steven is also responsible for his regions’ marketing budget to ensure there are funds set aside for local charitable contributions. In 2013, Steven and Rockwater Energy Solutions participated with The Challenge Program, which provided scholarships for local high school students. Other notable charitable involvements include being involved as a major sponsor of CONSOL Energy’s Make-A-Wish Foundation annual golf outing; donating to March of Dimes and the United Way; and participating in Range Resources’ annual charity golf outing, which benefits the Greater Washington County Food Bank, the Washington Women’s Shelter, and CASA for Kids. Steven’s accomplishment that he is most proud of is being one of eight employees out of nearly 4,000 in Rockwater North America to win the Annual Presidents Award, which honors employees for their outstanding accomplishments in the year — more than $10 million in new sales revenue for FY 2013.

07. Vanessa Inks

Vanessa Inks is a passionate and supportive individual who holds the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation near and dear to her heart. Raising money and awareness is especially important because her 15-year-old cousin, Anna, has cystic fibrosis. Vanessa graduated from Pine-Richland High School in 2005. After graduation, she went on to pursue a dual bachelor’s degree in finance and business management from La Roche College. For several years now, she has been coaching fast pitch softball at various levels and is currently coaching at a competitive traveling program, All American, in Trafford. Moreover, her passion for softball led her to earn a master’s degree in sports management from California University of Pennsylvania. Vanessa currently works Downtown as a senior analyst at Wilshire Associates. When she is not devoting her time to CFF, coaching softball, or working, Vanessa loves to spend time with her friends and family by enjoying everything Pittsburgh has to offer.

Top Sponsors: Ron and Steph Kampas, Dr. Kampas Orthodontics, Friends and Family

50 finest 8 12 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Crystal Kiray, Jason Sample, Damaris Shaw, Ali Saras, Riean K. Norman

08. Crystal Kiray

Crystal Kiray is best described as a natural go-getter. Passionate about all things Pittsburgh, she has dedicated herself as a reading specialist in our local education system. A graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, she received her bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from Mercyhurst College. She completed her dual degree early, and immediately pursued and obtained a master’s degree. Crystal positioned herself for a lifelong career of educating on multiple levels by obtaining her principal’s certification. With 13 years of teaching experience, she continues to serve and lead as a positive role model for her students, mentoring young adolescents and providing tutoring for those in need of some extra guidance. She even organizes the middle school’s talent show and coaches the cheerleading squad. Along with her love of education, Crystal’s heart and positivity have lent themselves to bettering her community, as shown by her volunteer work at an array of nonprofits, including the CFF. When she isn’t working or volunteering, you can find Crystal embracing her new hobby, golf; boating in Deep Creek Lake; or experiencing one of Pittsburgh’s newest restaurants with friends.

Top Sponsors: Interim HealthCare, Dennis Kruhm, Friends and Family

09. Jason Sample

As a Make-A-Wish kid himself, Jason Sample understands the importance of helping others, which is why he is extremely honored to have been selected as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, he attended Robert Morris University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports management. During Jason’s tenure at RMU, he became the founder of the RMU Club Baseball team, in its 13th season this year. Jason’s internship with the Pittsburgh Pirates aided in his marketing, sales, and pierogi-racing prowess. Jason is an active enthusiast in local charities, such as Biggies Bullies, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. After many educational endeavors, Jason finally found his calling in the beer industry and is currently working for the Traveler Beer Company. While he is not working or being active in the community, he spends his free time golfing, living an active lifestyle through Pittsburgh’s sports leagues, and attending Pittsburgh sporting events.

10. Damaris Shaw

A Greensburg native, Damaris Shaw is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in linguistics. She currently works for Premier Innovations Group as the director of promotional models. Her skills and passion for event management, communications, and language research have served as the foundation for her success. She created a promotional program and training for an initial six models in Pittsburgh, and is now in charge of managing 150 models in seven major cities across four states, growing and expanding the Clique Vodka brand. Working in the marketing field has provided her the opportunities to meet many wonderful people in Pittsburgh and experience one-of-a-kind events with four classes of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest honorees. In her spare time, she volunteers for the Western PA Humane Society and other animal rescue organizations, which inspired her to host a charity dog wash event this summer to benefit CFF.

Top Sponsors: Premier Innovations Group, Clique Vodka, Faded Industry, BarSmart, Dad’s Pub, Esthetics at Allegheny Physical Medicine, Friends

11. Ali Saras

Ali Saras is a charitable relationship manager for Swanson School of Engineering of the University of Pittsburgh. She received a bachelor’s degree from Penn State University, a master’s degree in public administration from Villanova University, and a doctorate degree in philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. The South Hills native serves as a board member for the Young Alumni Council and was a former teaching assistant at the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, she is involved with several local charities, such as being an active member and retention chair for the Junior League of Pittsburgh, a History Uncorked committee member for the Senator John Heinz History Center, a fundraiser and volunteer for the East End Cooperative Ministry, and a volunteer for Sacred Heart Parish. The accomplishment that Ali is most proud of occurred when she recognized the East End Cooperative Ministry organization’s desperate financial support while fixing its van used regularly to transport food to the homeless. Last year, Ali and a group of friends decided to coordinate and host a “Drive Away Hunger” event that raised more than $10,000. Not only was the organization able to fix the van, but it also had the financial resources to buy a new vehicle that allowed the organization to double its cause of feeding the homeless.

Top Sponsors: Toni Sacco, fellow CF family, Friends and Family, and her Nana

12. Riean K. Norman

Born in Salt Lake City, Ut., and raised in Atlanta, Ga., Riean K. Norman attended the University of West Georgia, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in Spanish. He then furthered his educational career by receiving a juris doctor degree in law from Louisiana State University. Riean currently works with Chevron North American Exploration & Production Company, which is a Chevron USA, Inc. division. As Chevron’s land representative, he ensures that Chevron has the access and rights to explore for and produce natural gas in the Appalachian region, while also negotiating and collaborating with legal agreements, leases, joint ventures, and other land contracts. Some of the many professional organizations that Riean is affiliated with are The Energy & Mineral Foundation, American Association of Professional Landmen, Northern Appalachian Landman’s Association, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and the National Black Law Students Association Alumni. Moreover, he is intricately involved in the Sharden Clean-Up Task Force and actively seeks opportunities to participate on the West End Village Economic Development Board.

50 finest 13 16 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Katelyn DiCristofano, Donnie Miller, Dustin Defebo, Tricia Brungo

13. Katelyn DiCristofano

Katelyn DiCristofano lives by the words, “Work hard, play hard.” She is the tournament service manager for the Constellation Senior Players Championship of the PGA Tour. In her previous position within the PGA Tour, she worked in the Player Relations department, particularly with the PGA Tour Wives Association. Katelyn helped the association plan fundraisers and volunteer service projects for the Ronald McDonald House, Pittsburgh Fisher House, and Habitat for Humanity. One of the countless rewards about Katelyn’s job and the company she works for is the emphasis on charity, both on an individual and corporate level. The championship she works for, the Constellation Senior Players, donates money back to various charities throughout the community. Katelyn’s earned a bachelor’s degree in sports management with a minor in economics from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts — Amherst and is blessed to have found a career she wholeheartedly loves.

Top Sponsors: Fantastic family, fabulous friends, spectacular supporters

14. Donnie Miller

Donnie Miller is an owner, visionary, and adrenaline junkie that loves to live life in the fast lane! He attended Thiel College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management. By 1999, he was able to purchase his family’s business, Miller Plastic Products, Inc. Over the years, through his fervent, innovative, and resourceful leadership, he has advanced Miller Plastic Products, Inc., in the industry of custom plastic machining and fabrication companies. In addition to Donnie’s great success, he also contributes personal and company resources to numerous technical schools to help guide students toward productive manufacturing careers, while supporting the American Heart Association and Animal Friends. Not only has Donnie has been driven to succeed in the manufacturing industry, but to live life to the fullest by flying his private planes, racing and collecting exotic sports cars, skiing, and yachting in his spare time.

15. Dustin Defebo

Dustin Defebo is a graduate from The Ohio University School of Business — otherwise known as “Harvard on the Hocking” — with a bachelor’s degree in finance. Dustin is currently a producer in the human capital department for Willis, a global risk advisor, insurance, and reinsurance broker firm. Dustin prides himself on learning the value of hard work and leading an active lifestyle. He enjoys playing on several basketball teams, attending CrossFit several times a week, and golfing. An upstanding citizen in the Pittsburgh community, Dustin actively supports and promotes his Serbian heritage by volunteering for various events at his church. Moreover, he was a board member of the Young Professional Council Board for Best Buddies Indiana, where he helped raise funds and awareness through numerous programs and mentoring opportunities.

Top Sponsors: Friends and Family

16. Tricia Brungo

Tricia Brungo’s integrity, compassion, and strong work ethic has allowed her to succeed in both her career and personal life. As the Control States Division vice president at Western Spirits Beverage Company, she believes in maintaining long-term, genuine, and supportive relationships in both business and life. Prior to her current position, she worked for White Rock Distilleries as their eastern control state regional sales manager and national control state sales manager. Moreover, Tricia is affiliated with the National Alcohol Beverage Central Association and the Pittsburgh Social Exchange. The Economy Borough native and virtuous, independent working mother graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. When she is not cultivating her prosperous career in the Wine & Spirits industry or being a loving mother to her son, Nicholas, you can probably find her giving back to her beloved community of Pittsburgh. Tricia has donated products, services, and her time to numerous nonprofits and events, such as The Glimmer of Hope Foundation, Zonta Club of Three Rivers Pittsburgh North, Women in Crisis, The Glass Slipper Ball, and the Cocktails and Cuisine event.

Top Sponsors: VETaxi “White Glove Service” division of Star Limousine, Inc., The Library restaurant, Meineke Car Care Center, Cenci’s Italian Restaurant & Bar, Pope’s Place

50 finest 17 18 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Timothy Rosato, David Todd

17. Timothy Rosato

Born and raised in Wexford, Timothy Rosato is a consultant for Synergetics Worldwide, a privately held management consulting firm. Timothy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Timothy and his company are associated with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a sponsor for the “Passion for Wine” event, held annually in Pittsburgh. Moreover, he has assisted with the wine listing donations for CFF’s wine event for the past two years. When he is not consulting with clients or being a wine connoisseur, he is supporting his local and national military community by participating in Tough Mudder, a nonprofit organization that is a proud supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project. Additionally, Tough Mudder has raised more than $6 million to support the transition of thousands of warriors returning home from current military conflicts. Through his experiences, Timothy has learned the true values of self-sufficiency and independency as he was paying his way through college and excelling to new levels in his career.

18. David Todd

David Todd is a well-known sports talk show host on 970 ESPN Pittsburgh, nationally on FOX Sports Radio, and on the Steelers Radio Network and the Steelers Post Game Show. Before returning home to Pittsburgh, David attended both Yale University and Harvard University, earning a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in business administration, respectively. He spent 15 years working on Wall Street in New York City for Goldman Sachs and HSBC.

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LaRaine Burda, Devon Lyons, Jason Brahim, Sarah Mae Gross

19. LaRaine Burda

LaRaine Burda, a decorated stylist and colorist of 42 years, has a knack for making individuals dazzle for any occasion. She co-owns Studio Raw with her son, Daniel, and his late partner, Rohn Neugebauer. Located in the North Hills, the hair, nail, and complete spa studio was formed in 2009, and flourished throughout the years, growing to a staff of 37. However, in 2012, LaRaine’s studio spa was engulfed in flames from an uncontrollable fire accident. Through the love and support of family and friends, LaRaine overcame this hardship by rebuilding Studio Raw into a bigger and better facility that following year, which is now named Studio Raw 2.0. The fire taught the Studio Raw family the value of hard work and perseverance as well as giving back to their supportive community that supported them through their difficult times. The Studio Raw family has contributed close to $60,000 for local businesses and nonprofit organizations, such as UPMC Children’s Hospital and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. LaRaine says she is blessed to work alongside people who care and share. “Fundraising attracts virtuous people in your life!”

Top Sponsors: Dan Burda, the late Rohn Neugebauer, Erin Mullen, and the staff of Studio Raw

20. Devon Lyons

A proud alum of Buckeye Nation, Devon M. Lyons graduated from The Ohio State University and received a bachelor’s degree in consumer affairs. He currently serves as the president for Beyond Phenom, which is a sports social networking forum that specializes in personal sports videos and highlights. Moreover, Devon is affiliated with 3M Company, serving as an account executive since 2009. The North Braddock native has significantly involved himself and his company with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by donating to last year’s Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest fundraiser when his brother, Wes Lyons, was an honoree. Now that he is featured as one of 2014’s Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest, he is back in the saddle to benefit CFF first-hand. Also, Devon has donated his time to the Pittsburgh community by directing and volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club’s “Back to School” event, the New Hope Baptist Church Community Day, Hope Day event, and directly contributing donations to benefit the Salvation Army.

Top Sponsors: The Law Office of Attorney Jonathan McDonald, The Pursuit, LLC, 3M Company, Kids Kardio, Inc.

21. Jason Brahim

Jason Brahim has worked in the financial services industry since 2005. Today, Jason is an associate financial planner (AFP) and member of the Financial Planning Committee at BPU Investment Management, Inc. As an AFP, he supports senior financial advisors in their efforts to provide individual and institutional clients with full-service, long-term financial solutions. Prior to joining BPU in 2012, Jason worked in the Pittsburgh offices of BNY Mellon and Federated Investors. He recently completed the course work for the Certified Financial Planner® practitioner designation at Duquesne University and holds FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 licenses, as well as a life, accident, and health license for Pennsylvania. Jason is a 2005 graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics and political science. His commitment to helping others is evident through his involvement with nonprofits, such as the Navy Seal Foundation, 31 Heroes, One Team One Fight, and more. Jason also stays fit through everything from Ironman competitions, to mountain climbing, and practices yoga every day.

22. Sarah Mae Gross

Sarah Mae Gross works as the event planner at Baptist Homes Society, an organization that operates two local senior living communities fulfilling the region’s senior care. Coming from a large family, she has been planning events and started volunteering at a very young age, long before realizing she would make a career of her hobby. A proud Panther alumna, Sarah Mae earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She then furthered her educational career at Point Park University by earning a dual master’s degree in business administration, as well as journalism and mass communications. Outside of work, Sarah Mae loves to travel and volunteer. Her greatest travel accomplishment was hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up twice in one year. The Special Oympics is one of Sarah Mae’s favorite events to volunteer for. She accredits her parents who taught her the value of giving back and helping others that got her to where she is today.

Top Sponsors: Green Tree Printing and Signs, Mt. Lebanon Dairy Queen, Baptist Homes Society, Steel City Beer, Friends and Family

50 finest 23 26 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Matt Belanger, Michelle Wright, Linda Ferraro, Alihan Hanoglu

23. Matt Belanger

Matt Belanger, an active member of Pittsburgh Connectors, Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, and Pittsburgh Global Connection is a native Pennsylvanian who grew up in York County. He holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast communications from Elon University in North Carolina. Matt started his television career at KELO-TV in Sioux Falls, S. D., and later returned to Pennsylvania to become part of WTAE’s news team, where he is an anchor and reporter for WTAE Channel 4 Action News. Matt has had many distinguished accomplishments throughout his television career, such as having been honored with numerous first place awards from the Associated Press, as well as three regional Emmy Awards. His continued commitment to public service through his television work, expressing important, inspirational, and memorable stories every day, is his most proud accomplishment. Additionally, through his work at WTAE and his personal passion to better serve his community, Matt and his company recognize that part of their commitment to the Pittsburgh community is to support local charities on a regular basis. They have created awareness and fundraisers for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation by expanding their connections within the community to ultimately find a cure.

24. Michelle Wright

One of Pittsburgh’s finest news anchors, Michelle Wright is up bright and early every day with a smile on her face, ready to convey the news to the Western Pennsylvania community. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Liberty University. Michelle is currently a WTAE Channel 4 Action News anchor, as well as an adjunct professor at Point Park University. Her affiliation with WTAE has allowed her to develop positive relationships with some of Western Pennsylvania’s most influential people. She interviews the region’s local, state, and national legislative leaders, as well as the area’s most talented medical doctors, surgeons, and researchers. Not only has Western Pennsylvania come to know and trust Michelle for her anchoring and health reporting, but also for her participation in many charity events. She is a regular media spokesperson for countless fundraisers and award galas, such as Race for the Cure, Project Bundle Up, Fayette County Health Fair, National Alliance for Mental Health, and many more. In her spare time, Michelle is a beekeeper and makes her own honey called The Wright Stuff! Michelle is most proud of her children, Zachary and Allison.

Top Sponsors: Dan Burda, the late Rohn Neugebauer, Friends and Family

25. Linda Ferraro

Linda Ferraro, a first-generation Italian, can best be described in one word: passionate. With whatever she does in life, she does it with passion and the eagerness to succeed. Linda graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in political science and history. She later earned her master’s degree in business administration at Point Park University and also became certified as a professional in human resources. Linda recently worked in HR for five years for UPMC Corporate Services and is currently working as a project manager in IT for UPMC. Her responsibilities include overseeing the budget maintenance and program functions for her department. She loves to travel and isn’t afraid of taking on a new adventure. And, of course, she is fluent in her family’s native language. Linda’s vigorous drive, signature smile, and dynamic personality have allowed her to flourish into the esteemed professional and leader that she is today.

Top Sponsors: Anthony Ferraro Plastering and Stucco Inc., Bobbie Fox, Inc., Glam Salon — Shadyside, Leonard Labriola Foods, Ferraro Heating and Cooling

26. Alihan Hanoglu

Alihan Hanoglu was born in Rize, Turkey, and graduated from the Sports Academy in Istanbul, Turkey, showing his love of sports from an early age. Eleven years ago, Alihan moved to the United States and made Pittsburgh his new home. Most days, you will find Alihan at one of his successful Pittsburgh restaurants. He opened Giovanni’s Pizza and Pasta followed by Alihan’s Mediterranean Cuisine in 2013. Both of these restaurants are located on Sixth Street in the Theater District, across the street from each other. Alihan’s latest business venture is Hanoglu Management. This company is busy transforming a high rise on Boulevard of the Allies into luxury condos. Alihan is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Global Connection Networking, and he spends his spare time cooking, boating, scuba diving, and skiing. He loves all things sports related, but his passion is raising funds to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.

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Piyush Seth, Harvey Daniels, Jennifer M. Belavic, Bryan Stefanik

27. Piyush Seth

Piyush Seth is a business and immigration attorney at Seth Law Associates and of counsel to Goldblum Sablowsky, LLC. He has handled thousands of business- and family-based immigration cases, and has advised hundreds of small businesses and start-up companies on legal, corporate, contract, litigation, and immigration matters. Piyush received a juris doctorate degree in law from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in history from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Additionally, he has served as the treasurer for the American Immigration Lawyers Association of Pittsburgh and is affiliated with the FBI Citizens Academy. Piyush is also an alum of 40 Under 40’s Class of 2009, and has been nominated Super Lawyers’ Rising Star for 2012 and 2013.

Top Sponsors: Goldblum Sablowsky, LLC, DVI Technologies, Inc., ITPI Staffing/enKompas, Infoyuga Technologies, Inc., Nirvana Development, LLC

28. Harvey Daniels

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Harvey “Frzy” Daniels is a national recording artist. He embodies the hard-working reputation of the city he calls home. Frzy, one of Mogul Moves’ elite artists, was featured on MTV’s website; became an official commercial spokesman for Subway; was featured in Rolling Stone for his music video “WTF,” featuring X-Factor contestant Lyric Da Queen; and was promoted on Yahoo! Music’s main video page. Most recently, Frzy was a featured artist on hip-hop comedic legend Jack Thriller’s “16 Or Better” rap cypher show, which premiered on 50 Cent’s site. Frzy has performed with heavyweight hip-hop artists, such as Lil Wayne, MGK, Wale, and Rick Ross, but considers his most influential mentor to be legendary Mogul Moves CEO DJ Wonderboy. His love of music drives him to be charitable and work with Carnegie Mellon University and Pittsburgh Public Schools. As both a mentor and motivational speaker, he promotes the “Stay in School” program, which teaches the importance of music education to young adolescents and reaching out to those without a voice.

Top Sponsors: Mogul Moves, the Orion Management Group, Schneider’s Dairy, Clique Vodka, Red Lights Designs

29. Jennifer M. Belavic

Having been in the pharmaceutical industry for 10 years, Jennifer M. Belavic is the sterile products/pharmacy services manager at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. Jennifer always knew that she wanted to be in a leadership role, but she never expected it to happen as early as it did. She is most proud of reaching that level at such an early part of her creditable career. Prior to her current position, she worked in the Trauma ICU at Presbyterian as a clinical pharmacist. Her high-rise ranking and fast-paced achievements in the medical field descends from her extensive educational background, as well as her involvement in her community. Jennifer received a doctor of pharmacy degree from the University of Sciences in Philadelphia and has recently been conferred an MBA degree in health care from New England College. Additionally, she is affiliated with numerous professional organizations, such as the American College of Healthcare Executives, American College of Clinical Pharmacy, Society of Critical Care Medicine, American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, and both the American and Pennsylvania Society of Health System Pharmacists. In her spare time, she mentors many grade school and high school students in the field of science, and participates in the Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair annually.

Top Sponsors: Bob and Virginia Belavic, Robert Belavic, Jr., Lou Schwartz, The Oakmont Tavern, Friends and Family

30. Bryan Stefanik

Bryan Stefanik is the director of Sport Performance, head trainer, and site manager at Power Train Sports Institute. He has trained professional athletes throughout the NFL, NHL, and MLL, such as James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons, and Jason Worilds, among others. Bryan received a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science from California University of Pennsylvania. His specialized knowledge and skills in fitness training, weight training, and coaching have provided him a rock-solid foundation in the fitness industry. Bryan’s most fulfilling accomplishment as a performance coach is his eagerness to help and support Megan and Rachel Kinney. Megan and Rachel struggle with cystic fibrosis every day, but with the assurance and guidance of Bryan, and the Power Train team, they are able to live a healthier and more promising lifestyle, which will ultimately provide them more time for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to find a cure. Knowing he’s helped two people whose lives are affected by cystic fibrosis, he has a huge sense of accomplishment alone.

31. Mark S. Cogley (not pictured)

Mark S. Cogley was born and raised in Clarion and graduated from Clarion University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Mark currently serves as the director of Network Acquisitions at Tristar Investors. Prior to Tristar, Mark was in the wholesale telecom industry in both Fortune 500 and start-up ventures, and co-owner of Westwood Golf Club. Although he grew up in Clarion, he has a deep passion for Pittsburgh, especially for how the city has transformed itself and continues to be named one of the most livable cities in the U.S. One of his proudest accomplishments is helping to raise college education money for his best friend’s six-year-old son. His friend passed away over two years ago when he lost his battle to cancer. Before he passed away, Mark, and a group of close friends, made a promise to make sure his son’s college education would be taken care of. Mark and his friends planned a golf outing fundraising event that raised more than $30,000 for him.

Top Sponsors: Joe Koons, Sol Jacobs, Steven C. Townsend, Patrick Manning, Art Brown

50 finest 32 35 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Jodi Ward, Laura Judge, Wayman Roland Jones, Jr., Morgan Lesoski

32. Jodi Ward

Jodi Ward graduated from Washington & Jefferson College with a degree in accounting and is a certified public accountant. She currently works for Mylan, an international generics and specialty pharmaceutical company, where she serves as the global marketing finance lead. Jodi’s peers would describe her as a hard-working and highly motivated business professional. Throughout her career, she has assumed innumerable business roles, such as completing a financial management leadership program, corporate and cost accounting, budgeting and forecasting, and auditing. Her passionate work ethic is also dedicated to giving back to her community. She’s an avid supporter of the American Lung Association, Boys & Girls Club, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation, Heat for the Needy, Hackers For Hope, and Christ Church at Grove Farm. Additionally, she serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Lung Association, a member of the Pittsburgh Social Exchange, and a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs. Jodi’s character and ethical principles have allowed her to become the prominent, self-righteous professional that she is today.

Top Sponsors: Mylan, Chrislynn Energy Services, Inc., Dean Dental, Friends and Family

33. Laura Judge

Laura Judge has been a supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation since the day her daughter was born. Her daughter was tested when she was younger, and, fortunately, she was not diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. But, the experience has made her extremely emotionally supportive. Since then, Laura has been supporting, volunteering, and creating awareness for the CF community and their families. Laura’s compassionate resilience does not stop there. She is constantly active in the Pittsburgh community, serving as chair of annual giving for Sports Medicine & Joint Replacement Specialists, an ASPCA ambassador for adoption through Melissa Boyce Designs, a former project representative of “C.A.R.E. for a Cure,” and a Toys for Tots organizer. While she is making a positive impact in her community, she also works for KDKA-TV as the digital account executive and owns Lorem Ipsum: Laura Lorenze Judge Writing Services. In addition, Laura is an associate of Pittsburgh Sales Professionals, American Marketing Association, Young Women’s Marketing Makers, and Allegheny College Alumni Association. She believes she is a leader and innovator in her community, and that same spirit that drives the region is “inherent in her heart.”

34. Wayman Roland Jones, Jr.

Excited to be part of a new generation of transplants in Pittsburgh, Wayman Roland Jones, Jr., is the BMW Genius and social media administrator at P&W Foreign Cars. The Poconos native is responsible for coordinating P&W Foreign Cars’ community involvement with the Greater Pittsburgh area, while overseeing the automotive group’s social media efforts. Wayman is currently seeking a bachelor’s degree in information technology at Point Park University. Wayman’s proudest accomplishment is moving to Pittsburgh and revitalizing his academic career by pursuing a higher education. Not only is he mentally pushing himself to his greatest potential in the classroom, but he’s also pushing himself physically by recently running in the 2014 DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon to benefit the Western PA Humane Society. Additionally, Wayman is P&W Foreign Cars’ ambassador and veteran community activist for the CFF’s local fundraising events. He continues to be actively involved in the Pittsburgh community because he feels the city’s cultural diversity and the citizens’ strong bondage between one another trumps any other cities he has visited.

Top Sponsors: Roslyn Bright-Jones, Wayman Jones, Sr., Serene and Almen Jones; Friends; and CFF, Alumni, and Active Members

35. Morgan Lesoski

At only 23 years old, Morgan Lesoski is a marketing professional to keep your eyes on. She is a marketing representative for At Home Senior Services. The Erie native graduated from Robert Morris University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, specializing in marketing. Morgan attends local chamber of commerce meetings and is a member of Pittsburgh Social Exchange. Not only is she passionate about marketing, but also about giving back to the community that has offered her so much in the past five years. Last fall, Morgan organized a team to participate in the “Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” raising more than $1,200 for the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, she has created numerous baskets of “Cheer for Partners” for Quality Organization, and was involved in promoting projects and events for Shriners Hospital for Children. Helping others has always been part of her selfless nature. She says she’s most passionate about being able to add joy and happiness to others on a daily basis.

50 finest 36 39 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

William Isbir, Christina Alvino, Nick Bonacci, Jennifer Grippo

36. William Isbir

A sports star in football, basketball, and track and field at McKeesport Area High School, William “Bill” Isbir went on to pursue higher education, after graduating in 1996, at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where he was awarded a partial football scholarship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with minors in history, and athletic coaching and training. Upon graduating in 2001, Bill was directly hired by the federal law enforcement agency, the United States Secret Service. He was stationed in Washington, D.C. for more than a year, where he served and protected national and visiting foreign leaders. He returned to Pittsburgh and took another position within the U.S. Federal Government. Bill passionately lives his life by the heroic and honorable principles of protecting others and was recently presented a Life Saving Award from the director of his agency. When Bill is not fighting crime and saving lives, he spends his downtime volunteering and coaching basketball for local high schools, as well as serving on the executive board of the William P. Isbir Scholarship Foundation that awards two $1,000 scholarships to a male and female senior graduate of McKeesport Area High School.

Top Sponsors: Janna Gallagher, Level Green Plumbing and Heating, Corina Diehl, Dr. Christopher Hayner, Friends and Family

37. Christina Alvino

Christina Alvino, a motivated professional with more than seven years of marketing, creative, and brand management experience, currently serves as marketing director for Guardian Storage. She earned a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Point Park University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the University of Kentucky. Additionally, Christina is affiliated with the American Marketing Association’s Pittsburgh chapter, where she served on the board as vice president of communication, president, and past president. She’s always had a successful track record in both design and integrated marketing communications, which has provided her with the knowledge to effectively lead cross-functional marketing teams. She also has a passion for giving back. Christina has volunteered her time to Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, the Special Olympics, and Toys for Tots. She’s also organized charity events and raised money for organizations, including the Mario Lemieux Foundation and the Organization for Autism Research, and two very special children suffering from a rare childhood cancer. Above all, Christina is honored to be part of this class. She’s thrilled to know she’s making a difference in the lives of so many individuals.

Top Sponsors: Guardian Storage, Friends and Family

38. Nick Bonacci

Nick Bonacci is a sourcing consultant for IQNavigator. Since 2011, Nick has been advising Fortune 500 clientele on human capital and procurement strategies. As a professional in human resources, his specialties include talent acquisition, corporate communications, and compliance. Nick’s versatile skills were developed when he graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a bachelor’s degree in humanities and public service. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in communication studies at Edinboro University, where he will be defending his thesis titled, “Engaged Citizenship and the University.” In addition to Nick’s professional and academic achievements, he is committed to the Pittsburgh community through a variety of service and volunteer projects. Nick has shared his expertise with nonprofit organizations, like AmeriCorps and Pennsylvania CareerLink, by developing and hosting a variety of career development workshops.

Top Sponsors: Alpha & Omega Fitness; the Bonacci, Forsyth, and Kilhefner families

39. Jennifer Grippo

Jennifer Grippo received a Bachelor of Arts degree in corporate and integrated marketing communications from Duquesne University. While growing up, she worked and played at her family’s establishment, The Original Oyster House. Amazed by its 143-year-old illustrious past, she was determined to preserve and showcase the historic landmark. After graduation, Jennifer became its public relations and promotions coordinator, and was instrumental in restoring the additional buildings for visitors to fully indulge in its renowned ambiance. She lives for a “Pittsburgh Tradition” because she has a deep understanding of the city’s culture, people, and history. Her work has always been based on giving back — something she will tirelessly strive to accomplish. Her altruistic character originates from her proudest accomplishment of overcoming epilepsy. Jennifer is an active member of the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project, and a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Epilepsy Foundation, American Heart Association, and Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Top Sponsors: The Grippo family, the Bertini family, the O’Neill family, the Schindler family, The Original Oyster House

50 finest 40 43 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Rachel Morris, Gary G. White, Anthony Giaramita, Samantha Kormanik

40. Rachel Morris

Rachel Morris earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing in the spring of 2009 from Pennsylvania State University. While attending Penn State, she interned with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, State College chapter. She was in charge of fundraising for the “Walk for a Cure,” which takes place every May on the Penn State campus. Moreover, Rachel lead the efforts to effectively manage the logistics and family chairs. This experience fostered her passion for volunteering with children. After graduation, she moved back to Pittsburgh and started working at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, where she is still employed as a senior client service manager in the special accounts sales department. Health and fitness has been engrained in her since practicing gymnastics at a very early age, and she has been able to incorporate this affinity for wellness into her current role at Highmark. She enjoys working out, golfing, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Rachel volunteers at the Highmark Caring Place, where she works with grieving children and their families.

Top Sponsors: Highmark Family, Friends and Family

41. Gary G. White

A customer service and sales representative guru, Gary G. White was born and raised in Penn Hills. He spent most of his career in the automotive industry, but decided to transition his talents into the restaurant industry, as a manager of the award-winning restaurant, SAVOY. Having the mentality that “the sale is never over,” has lead to Gary receiving several customer service awards throughout his career, having worked at Urban Lending Solutions. While managing at SAVOY, he has hosted locally and nationally recognized events for special guests, athletes, and celebrities. In addition to being a highly motivated and persuasive individual in the sales industry, Gary fashions himself to be a positive role model for others to live by the lessons he was taught, which have made him the man he is today. He has been taught to live by the highest standards of hospitality, sales, and, above all, giving back to the community. He has been a member of Macedonia Baptist Church since 1998, and has been instrumental in raising financial support for many nonprofit organizations, such as the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. As a member of this year’s Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest class, Gary is dedicated to carrying on the legacy of those who have come before him.

Top Sponsors: SAVOY Restaurant, D’Alessandro & Associates, William Recker

42. Anthony Giaramita

Anthony “Tony” Giaramita is an attorney and restaurateur who grew up in Green Tree and currently resides in Scott Township. Tony spent much of his childhood at his family’s local restaurant and pizzeria, La Tavola Italiana in Mt. Washington. After graduating from Thiel College, Tony decided on the path of the law instead of the restaurant business. He attended the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he studied international law and civil litigation. Now in his seventh year of practice, Tony serves as an in-house legal counsel for Compression Management Services, Inc. Most recently, Tony’s passion for Italian culture and food motivated him to take an entrepreneurial leap back to his roots — this summer he will be opening an artisanal pizzeria, Taglio, a dine-in BYOB, on South Highland Avenue in Pittsburgh’s historic East Liberty neighborhood. Taglio will transport you to the romantic side streets of Italy. When he is not working as a lawyer or entrepreneur, Tony volunteers his time with Christian Legal Aid and YoungLives of North Hills.

43. Samantha Kormanik

Samantha Kormanik learned early on that hard work pays off. Born and raised in Windber, Pa., Samantha excelled in and out of the classroom. She was a four-year letterman in track and field at Windber Area High School, and broke four school records. She went on to Seton Hill University on a cross country scholarship, and served as team captain for two years, leading her team to the first winning season in school history. After earning a dual degree in psychology and sociology, Samantha pursued a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, while working full-time in her field. She relocated to Pittsburgh and is employed as a psychological evaluator and licensed professional counselor for Community Psychiatric Centers. Samantha’s proudest accomplishment is having a career that allows her to associate with wonderful individuals. In addition to her affiliation with the American Counseling Association, she assists in volunteering and fundraising for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Toys for Tots, the Autism Center of Pittsburgh, and local food drives. In her spare time, Samantha runs 5Ks and marathons — she even qualified for the Boston Marathon! Her motto is: “Life is too short to be anything but happy.”

Top Sponsors: Robert Caprino of Sante Berarducci Inc., Pittsburgh Global Connection, Community Psychiatric Centers, Donald Stefanovich of Goodmudders, Friends and Family

50 finest 44 46 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Gina Rendina, Heather Shiwarski, Jacob L. George

44. Gina Rendina

This naturally gifted vocalist with a rhyming name, Gina Maria Rendina, will bring down any house with her stunning voice. A Southwest Pennsylvania native, she’s no stranger to the spotlight and loves to perform around the Pittsburgh area in her own acoustic project and at various private events. Moreover, Gina is always willing to lend her vocal talents for charity events, such as “RockOut to KnockOut Cancer” and “Battle of the Divas,” at which she won the Fan Favorite Award in 2011. After attending the Mercersburg Academy, Gina ventured to Manhattan to study classical vocal performance at New York University, and later earned a bachelor of arts degree at Penn State University. If Gina is not rocking the socks off the audience’s feet, then she is at BNY Mellon, where she works in Global Client Service Delivery.

Top Sponsors: The Big Y Group, MCN Salon, Friends and Family

45. Heather Shiwarski

The gift of friendship is an opportunity that Heather Shiwarski believes everyone deserves and is exactly what she works to provide in Pittsburgh as she runs the Best Buddies program. The organization pairs individuals with disabilities with a “buddy” in their school or community. Heather’s eyes were opened to the joy of giving back during her days at the University of Kentucky through opportunities like an internship at the Ronald McDonald House and volunteer work at UK Pediatric Oncology Clinic. Upon graduation, Heather brought her heart for serving others back to her hometown to attend Duquesne University School of Law, where she began to collaborate with other local charities. In addition to nonprofit work, Heather considers her family life’s greatest treasure. In her free time, she enjoys being active, having a glass of red with the Winey Women of Pittsburgh, and traveling to visit friends all around the world. Heather’s inspiration to get involved with CFF was sparked by a trainer at her gym, who lives with CF. Heather feels the optimism she embodies, despite her battles, is truly amazing and inspires her to help find a cure!

Top Sponsors: Dr. Neal and Amy Fanelli, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel P. Kamin, Dr. Drew Fanelli, Maren Mineo, Sue Gove and the Gove Group

46. Jacob L. George

Jacob L. George is the owner, president, and CEO of JLG Holdings, LLC, and is on the personal styling team at Nordstrom. The Kittanning native received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, and theatre arts from Duquesne University in 2011. The ambitious entrepreneur is currently studying to obtain a master’s degree in global and community leadership at Duquesne by 2016. Jacob has a passion for politics and community activism. He has interned and volunteered with national and local political campaigns while staying active in his community, and currently serves on the Summer Hill Citizens Committee. In the past, Jacob has planned and executed an event for National Believe Day through Macy’s and Make-A-Wish Foundation. Moreover, he has led efforts in raising money for the American Heart Association’s “Go Red” campaign, United Way, American Cancer Society, and military veterans and their families. When he is not making executive decisions, studying, or fundraising for local charity events, Jacob enjoys teaching musical theater lessons to students at local high schools and volunterring to sing at local nursing homes. He also serves on the Partner’s Board at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. Jacob feels all of the people he’s met through volunteering at events have given him a different perspective of the city, and made him fall in love with Pittsburgh even more.

50 finest 47 50 Pittsburghs 50 Finest 2014: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Robert B. Hickox, III, Amy Taylor, Michelle DeBlasio, Evan Perilstein

47. Robert B. Hickox, III

Robert B. Hickox, III, is a regulatory specialist for Chester Engineers. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Elizabethtown College, a master’s degree in environmental science and management from Duquesne University, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Point Park University. Additionally, Robert is affiliated with professional organizations, such as the Marcellus Shale Coalition and the American Society of Civil Engineers. As a young professional, Robert recognizes the importance of giving back to the community that offers so much to him. He stays active in the Pittsburgh community by volunteering for Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest events, Sodexo’s “Let’s Feed the Kids Backpack” program, and the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk/5K. Last year, Robert’s experience and support during his friend’s 50 Finest fundraising events, which benefited cystic fibrosis, opened his eyes to CFF and the cystic fibrosis community. He instantly felt connected to the families and the mission of the people working to fight this terminal disease. Since then, he has been actively involved with CFF by helping the organization find a cure.

48. Amy Taylor

Raised with a tireless work ethic, Amy Taylor accredits her mother as her role model. She remembers her mother consistently saying, “Everything happens in life for a reason” and “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” These inspirational principles have guided Amy’s entrepreneurial spirit and pursuit of creative excellence in her career. Amy is the co-owner of Creative Visions Media Group, an integrated marketing firm that offers comprehensive solutions to clients. She holds a degree in specialized technologies from the Median School of Allied Health Careers and graduated prior Magna Cum Laude from West Virginia University with a Regents Bachelor of Arts degree. In addition to running her thriving firm, Amy is currently pursuing her master’s degree in integrated marketing and communications at West Virginia University. Providing seasoned leadership for the past 11 years, she has taken integrated marketing to the next level for various industries, including oil and gas, health care, retail, entertainment, education, and hospitality. In its near 12 years of operation, Creative Visions has received national and regional recognition, including Telly and Aster awards. Amy actively serves on the boards and committees for the American Heart Association, Pressley Ridge, Wash Arts, and the Washington Hospital Foundation. She graciously thanks her clients, family, and friends for not only their contributions, but also their unconditional support of her dedication to CFF.

49. Michelle DeBlasio

Michelle DeBlasio has lived in Pittsburgh since she was 6 years old and currently resides Downtown. Michelle is the sales manager for her family’s business, DeBlasio Beverage Company, which is an Anheuser-Busch/InBev wholesaler. Moreover, she loves every aspect of her job and she considers herself lucky to be able to see her family every day. Like most Pittsburghers, she is a fan fanatic for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Pittsburgh Pirates. In her spare time, she enjoys hanging out with her family, friends, and her dog, Minnie, which she considers are the best things in her life. Additionally, Michelle takes great pride in making people laugh and laughing at herself from time to time.

Top Sponsors: DeBlasio Beverage Co., Inc., Jim and Linda DeBlasio, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Mike Bertha, Friends and Family

50. Evan Perilstein

Evan Perilstein is proud to continue his family’s legacy by being the fourth generation to be involved in the insurance industry and to also call the city of Pittsburgh his home. A hailed Nittany Lion alum, Evan received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and psychology at Penn State University. He is currently working to attain a Certified Insurance Counselor designation while also serving as an account executive at Wagner Agency, Inc. When he is not executing insurance packages for clients and studying for insurance certifications, he is very active in many nonprofit organizations and networking groups around Pittsburgh, including the United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Business Referral Network of Pittsburgh. Evan’s love and support for the great city of Pittsburgh makes him extremely excited to be a contributing part in the city’s evolution, as well as the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Top Sponsors: Wagner Agency, Inc, W.A. Wilson Glass, Jordan Feucht, the 2014 Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest Honorees, Friends and Family


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