Edited by Rachel Jones | Photographs by Michael Fornataro | Art Direction by Alyssa Otto + Jason Solak | Shot on location at Heinz Field | Event Directed by Lauren Pesce

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest, an elite group of the area’s most accomplished and eligible men and women. Each year, 25 men and 25 women who best represent the now and the future of Pittsburgh are recognized for their professional accomplishments and their commitment to giving back. These honorees commit to raising much-needed funds and awareness for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the world’s leader in the search for a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF). All proceeds raised by Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest help to support vital CF research, as well as medical and educational programs. Read on to learn more about the class of 2017!

The summer of fundraising will culminate on
August 12 from 6-11 p.m. with a gala at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown.

Tickets are $100 ($44 tax-deductible)
For tickets, click here.


From left to right: Jessica Kosty, Zachary Diberadin, Dawn Holden, Dean Lusk, Katie Miller

Jessica Kosty

After living in the south for a few years, Jessica Kosty decided to move back to her hometown in Pennsylvania. As a graduate enrollment officer at Robert Morris University, she found her passion for working in higher education while traveling the country as a leadership consultant for Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity. She has been an active member in the community by advising local collegiate women in Zeta Tau Alpha, volunteering at the Highmark Caring Place, and teaching barre method classes at the Dailey Method in Wexford. Jessica’s favorite spot is Heinz Field, cheering on the Steelers, as she anticipates another successful year. She couldn’t be more excited to represent the 2017 class of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest as they battle in hopes of finding a cure. Top Supporters: Pharmacy Health Care Solutions Inc., All That Jazz Dance and Fitness Wear, The Grandview Group

Zachary DiBeradin

Born and raised in McKeesport, Zachary DiBeradin attended Waynesburg University for interactive design and communications. Currently, he works for DICK’S Sporting Goods as a learning media designer. He is also an owner of Steel City Clothing Company, a screen printing and clothing brand. Fighting cystic fibrosis is important to Zachary because his two cousins were both diagnosed with the disease at a very young age. He believes everyone can make a difference and is leading by example by participating in Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. On weekends, Zachary can be found running along the trails with his dog. Top Supporters: C&D Towing and Recovery, Harrison Auto Sales, McMillen Photography, Bill & Janna Isbir

Dawn Holden

Dawn Holden loves to connect with people, particularly when it enables her to be a part of something great and give to a worthy cause or initiative. She is a proud alumna of Point Park University and a recent graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh Class XXXIII. Dawn boomeranged back to Pittsburgh in 2015 after 11 years away from her home. She has had the privilege of working for VisitPITTSBURGH as the vice president for partnership development. This allows Dawn and her team to interact with 650 partners on a daily basis to ensure they are connected with the various visitors who discover what residents already know — the beauty and charm of Pittsburgh. Dawn’s favorite spot in the city is the fountain at Point State Park. Top Supporters: VisitPITTSBURGH, Rivers Casino, The Capital Grille

Dean Lusk

Dean Lusk grew up just north of Pittsburgh in the Fox Chapel area and graduated from Fox Chapel High School in 2011. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting and business management from Robert Morris University in 2015. After graduation, Dean joined the PNC Business Credit division in Pittsburgh to travel all over the country to perform collateral audits for specialized asset-based lending. Anyone can see how much Dean loves this city and any opportunity to help the people in it. He has volunteered in rehabilitation centers, food banks, schools, and various other charitable organizations throughout his teenage and adult life. Now, having known someone afflicted with cystic fibrosis, he feels compelled to help through the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. His favorite spot in Pittsburgh is the 12-mile island in the Allegheny River due to the nostalgia of great childhood memories. Top Supporters: Lisa Cibik of AIO Surgeons, Audryana & Richard Hatcher of Lettuce Eat, LLC., Rivertowne Brewing

Katie Miller

Katie Miller is a graduate of Hempfield Area High School and the University of North Carolina, where she was a member of the women’s golf team and studied journalism. She continues to play golf at the national level, works and models for Jofit women’s apparel, works at her family’s Dairy Queen, and is a freelance journalist. Katie believes being able to give to others is the ultimate form of success as she serves on the boards of the Latrobe Art Center and PA Women’s Golf Association. She gives her time to the First Tee of Pittsburgh and helps support the Arnold Palmer Pavilion Cancer Center through the Dairy Queen’s fundraiser. Her favorite spot in Pittsburgh is the third tee at Oakmont because of the historic view of the famous bunkers in golf, where players must hit the perfect shot. Katie began her work with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation through a friend who lost her battle with CF. Top Supporters: Mike McMullen from Andora Restaurants, Latrobe Dairy Queen, The Goetz Family

Left to right” Mike Holden, Ashley Bianco, Frank Polito, Alyssa Gerlack

Mike Holden

Mike Holden is an Emmy Award-winning reporter for WPXI-TV. He was born and raised in Cleveland (and has heard any and every single joke imaginable about the Cleveland Browns) but loves everything about the Steel City. He graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in broadcast journalism. Prior to his arrival in Pittsburgh, he reported and anchored at news stations in Erie and Toledo, Ohio. He’s thrilled to be back in PA and honored to have the opportunity to raise funds and improve research efforts for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. He thanks several of his co-workers and friends who participated in 50 Finest over the years and treasured the experience, inspiring Mike to do the same. His favorite spot in the city is Mt. Washington; In all of his experiences, this is one view he cannot get enough of. Top Supporters: Family, Friends, Co-workers

Ashley Bianco

Ashley Bianco is best described as a kind-hearted, energetic person with a passion for giving back. Her position as business development executive at Massaro Construction Group perfectly aligns with her love for Pittsburgh and the continued development in and around the city. As part of her personal goal to provide service in the region and to help others, she serves on the American Cancer Society Board. Additionally, she supports philanthropic efforts by helping organize and participate in days of service for her nonprofit customers. Ashley is also a barre instructor at The Studio Sewickley, where she shares her passion for health and fitness with her clients and helps them reach their personal health goals. Her favorite things to do in Pittsburgh are strolling the Strip District on Saturday mornings and dining at trendy gems in the Cultural District. Top Supporters: Massaro Construction Group, Johnson & Johnson, Pure Barre Murrysville

Frank Polito

Banksville native Frank Polito is the owner of UnaTrades and U.S. Elite Professionals, while also working as the senior director of business development at SCMO2. Frank was recently selected by Daymond John from “Shark Tank,” regarding businesses, and the meetings inspired him to build a community around his personal brands by giving back and helping those in the community. He believes he was selected to Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest because two previous honorees recognized him as a local philanthropist and entrepreneur. Frank contributes his success to his family, who have always been his support system, especially for the last eight years. His favorite spot in Pittsburgh is Point Park, as it’s a great event venue and offers the ability to see the entire city up close and personal. Top Supporters: Frank & Pamela Polito, Candice Malizio

Alyssa Gerlack

Growing up in Southwestern Florida and graduating with a pre-med degree from Florida State University, Alyssa Gerlack never thought she’d find herself in Pittsburgh working in marketing. However, her mother is a Johnstown native, so it didn’t take long for Alyssa to fall in love with Western PA, too. With the ever-changing trends of today’s marketing and social media world, Alyssa keeps herself busy as the marketing director at Tripp Umbach, a strategic consulting services firm headquartered in the Strip District. Alyssa is responsible for all company content on social platforms while pursuing her Master’s Degree in communications from Syracuse University. Her favorite spot to bring guests from out of town to is Gaucho in the Strip District. Cystic fibrosis is personal for Alyssa as she is a carrier of the genetic mutation and desires to not only give back, but also raise awareness of genetic testing and treatment of the disease. Top Supporters: Tripp Umbach, Jenlor Integrations, Dawn & Matt Kozlowski

From left to right: Joshua Dott, Rachel Roney, Travis Crotallo, Summer Drummond

Joshua Dott

Joshua Dott, a native of Greensburg, graduated from Saint Vincent College with a bachelor’s degree in political science. He is currently the owner of the Dott Insurance Group LLC, a Nationwide insurance agency with locations in Pittsburgh and Johnstown. Josh and his staff take pride in helping people manage the risks of everyday life while protecting what matters most to them. He is extremely honored to be a part of this year’s Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest class and is proud to be raising money for such a worthwhile cause. In his spare time, Josh can be found with his friends at his favorite spot: Social House Seven. Top Supporters: Joel Pokorney, AMPD Group, Dott Insurance Group LLC

Rachel Roney

Rachel Roney is a third-generation attorney with a passion for helping others and improving the community. Throughout her studies in Peters Township, Bethany College, and Duquesne University, she was always active in volunteering with nonprofits and advocating for those in need. Now practicing law, she is helping others through legal pro bono work and continues her charitable endeavors, advocating for victims of domestic violence, helping those with food insecurities, and helping fundraise for cancer research. Volunteering at a Cystic Fibrosis Foundation event exposed her to the work the Foundation is doing to help families affected by the disease. Rachel is honored to be chosen as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest to bring awareness and fundraise with an incredible group of individuals to find a cure. When she is not volunteering, you can find Rachel going to Pure Barre and yoga classes; working on her baking, cooking, and crafting hobbies; or enjoying the outdoors by taking a stroll on her favorite place in Pittsburgh: Grandview Avenue on Mt. Washington. Top Supporters: Family, Friends

Travis Crotallo

Ford City native Travis Crotallo feels that he was selected as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest due to his internal drive, high energy level, and successful business practices. Not only does he strive to succeed in his professional career as an account executive at Allegheny Health Network Healthcare@Home, but he also gives back to the Pittsburgh community. Travis grew up with the mentality to “be the person you want to be.” When Travis is not working, he can be found spending time with family and his significant other. His favorite spot in the city is New Amsterdam in Lawrenceville because of the cool atmosphere and great menu. Top Supporters: Allegheny Health Network Healthcare@Home, Allegheny Health Network & Highmark, Crotallo’s All Natural Farm and Market

Summer Drummond

Summer is a Pittsburgh native whose passion for research, education, horseback riding, and charity involvement translate into a great candidate for Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. Her professional career and accomplishments within the past two years include: program management for oncology research at UPMC, chairing the Evidence Based Practice Council at the Hillman Cancer Center, authoring four published research articles in 2017, winning the UPMC Aces award and UPMC Quality & Safety award, and helping as an adjunct educator at CCAC and UPMC. Summer has been involved in multiple charities for many years and feels that the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is one of the most altruistically serving organizations she has had the privilege to participate in. Summer’s favorite spot in Pittsburgh is Pizzaiolo Primo in Market Square, with its amazing wine and traditional woodfire oven. Top Supporters: Dave Treharne at Simmons Equestrian Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Lindsay McIntosh at BNY Mellon

From left to right: Mike Rush, Kacie Farmer, Brandi Cheetham, Andrew Meyer

Mike Rush

Eighty Four native Mike Rush is a senior manager within the land department of Rice Energy. He received his degree in economics from Washington and Jefferson College and a law degree from Duquesne University School of Law. His participation with Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest is a product of a relationship with the Freund Family, a relationship that he is very proud of and thankful for. Brayden Freund, who has CF; his brother, Shay; and his parents, Britt and Denise, have inspired Mike to participate in this year’s class. He is honored to bring awareness of CF to Washington County. Mike likes spending time at Arlecchino Ristorante in Peters Township because it has a wonderful menu and is close to his home. Top Supporters: Family, Rice Energy, The Freund Family

Kacie Farmer

Kacie Farmer was born in Pittsburgh and enrolled locally at Duquesne University for both undergraduate and graduate school. After earning her Juris Doctorate Degree, she went on to practice at Medval LLC. Kacie has always had a passion for volunteering and giving back to her community; she is an active participant with both the American Cancer Society and Westmoreland County Food Bank. Her favorite spot in Pittsburgh is where she currently resides, Mt. Washington. Kacie says the view always reminds her of the beauty and individuality that makes Pittsburgh unique. Top Supporters: Alexis Wetzel & AstraZeneca, Susan & James Guyrina, Archie’s, Chris Kail

Brandi Cheetham

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Brandi is no stranger to this wonderful city. She grew up in the South Hills and graduated from Upper St. Clair High School. Brandi followed in her sister’s footsteps and attended West Virginia University. Currently, Brandi works for Northwestern Mutual as the director of training. She’s been a resident of Downtown Pittsburgh for over four years and has experienced the evolution of Pittsburgh over that time. She loves everything about the city’s nightlife — whether it’s the North Shore for tailgates and games, Downtown for happy hour, or Lawrenceville for dinner. Brandi’s favorite spot is Sienna Mercato because of the rooftop atmosphere. In her free time, she loves babysitting her niece and traveling with friends. Brandi is honored to represent Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest and believes that she was selected based on her diverse philanthropic involvement. Top Supporters: Northwestern Mutual, JA Land Service, her mentor, Jesse Goodall

Andrew Meyer

Andrew Meyer has always been a Pittsburgh guy; he was raised in the South Side, attended Schenley High School in Oakland, and went on to the University of Pittsburgh and Robert Morris University. Post-graduation was no different with jobs at U.S. Steel, Bayer, American Eagle Outfitters, and DICK’S Sporting Goods, where he spends his work days, as well as tackling strategic marketing and large-scale events for AMPD Group in his spare time. Despite his busy schedule, Andrew still has the desire to give back. Years ago, friends introduced him to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and its cause. This year, those friends turned into mentors as he joined the Foundation in its fundraising efforts, and the outcomes have been more rewarding than he could have imagined. His favorite spot in the city is the Cultural District, where the area’s vibrancy is appealing to locals and visitors alike and makes for a dynamic experience on any given day. Top Supporters: Tri Rivers Electric, Harry & Gerri Lynn Meyer, AMPD Group

From left to right: Joe Leachko, Chelsea Holmes, Emily Eischeid, Kevin Martz

Joe Leachko

Born and raised in Cleveland, Joe Leachko has called Pittsburgh called home for the past 10 years. In just a short time, Joe has made many new friends in the city and continuously strives to make an impact in his community. He is an architectural designer at a face-to-face marketing firm and co-founder of StudioME in East Liberty. Joe believes he was selected as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest because of his willingness and drive to execute big ideas and create connections. East Liberty is Joe’s favorite area in the city, where technology is driving the fast expansion of the community. Top Supporters: LUXE Pittsburgh, Painting with a Twist — East Liberty, Merrill Lynch

Chelsea Holmes

Chelsea Holmes is the director of community education at Women for a Healthy Environment. She began her career as a teacher, both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2011, she joined Chatham University’s School of Sustainability to obtain her Master’s Degree in food studies. Chelsea is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a certified wellness coach. She has received certification from the EPA Tools for Schools Indoor Air Quality Master Class and from the Children’s Environmental Health Network as an Eco-Healthy Childcare trainer. Chelsea currently serves on the steering committee of the Girls Coalition of Southwestern Pennsylvania, is an active member of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, and serves both the Jefferson and Air Quality Collaboratives. She was selected as an honoree due to her work with Pittsburgh’s nonprofit organizations and her commitment to helping causes she believes in. From spring to the fall, Chelsea can be found at the farmer’s market, shopping for delicious produce and supporting local growers. Top Supporters: Chelsea’s parents, Dan Sypolt, Zach Lenhart

Emily Eischeid

Emily is a native of Cranberry and a 2006 graduate of Seneca Valley High School. After graduating from Penn State University in 2010, she started her career in advertising as a media planner.  She now works in marketing at Schneider Downs. Emily’s experience growing up north of the city helped develop her giving attitude. She was selected as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest because she is passionate about helping others and giving back. Her favorite spot in Pittsburgh is Yough Lake because of the peaceful view. Top Supporters: Schneider Downs, The Partners Alliance, Steve & Karey Eischeid

Kevin Martz

Kevin Martz’s greatest accomplishment is being the father of two smart, hard-working, hilarious, and beautiful little girls who are the driving force in virtually all of his time away from work. Raised by parents who taught him the true value of a hard and honest day’s work, and that success is measured through one’s values and genuine relationships, Kevin considers himself truly and genuinely blessed. He believes he was selected to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest because of his strong professional work ethic and effort within his community to make everyone he encounters feel the same way, and to spread the message of the Foundation with grace and compassion. His favorite spot in the city is section 220 of PNC Park. It offers a great vantage point to watch the ball game, a beautiful line of sight to one of the best skylines in the world, and a perfect place to watch the fireworks after a Pirate win. Top Supporters: Joann & Fran Martz, Dawn & Dave Sauter and the rest of the Workscape crew, Brent Hugus and his team at LUXE

From left to right: Adam Meyers, Renee E. Williams, Benjamin O’Leary, Helen Cestra, Kevin Saftner

Adam Meyers

Adam Meyers, a native of Peters Township, has always had a passion for helping others. He is a registered nurse at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, as well as the vocalist of the local Pittsburgh band, Jaywalker. Through the hospital, Adam has worked alongside the medical staff in treating and helping patients with cystic fibrosis recover and maintain good health to carry on daily activities outside the hospital. Through Adam’s music, he has been able to participate as the entertainment for many local fundraisers for organizations like the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In being nominated for Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest, he has used his music to help bring together the Pittsburgh community in raising funds and awareness for patients and families battling CF. Adam enjoys spending time with his friends and family, and can often be seen bike riding with his girlfriend around the city and on the North Park Trail. He has found that Pittsburgh has a lot of great breweries, including Grist House Brewery, which provide friendly outdoor atmospheres. Top Supporters: Erie Insurance, Ken & Amy Meyers, Ben Nicholson

Renee E. Williams

Corporate lawyer turned nonprofit executive, Renee E. Williams is the executive director of Laurel Legal Services, Inc. Renee moved to Pittsburgh to begin undergraduate studies in theatre arts at Point Park University and subsequently received her Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Law. She is passionate about the Pittsburgh community — whether it’s spending time with hospitalized infants and children at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, mentoring her “little sister” through Big Brothers Big Sisters, or serving as a board member to various nonprofit organizations, such as the DePaul School for Hearing and Speech. This passion extends to her professional life at Laurel Legal Services, an organization committed to ensuring access to the justice system for vulnerable clients in a six-county service area. Her favorite places in Pittsburgh are Pizza Taglio and the Highland Park running trails for yoga. Top Supporters: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, Pennsylvania Land Titles, E-Safe Technologies

Benjamin O’Leary

Benjamin O’Leary is a native Pittsburgher who grew up in Turtle Creek. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in accounting at Slippery Rock University and went on to complete his Master of Business Administration at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is currently an audit manager at Schneider Downs. Benjamin believes he was selected for Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest based on his passion for, and commitment to being involved in the community he grew up in. He loves to spend time on the North Shore, more specifically at PNC Park. Top Supporters: Schneider Downs, Family, Friends

Helen Cestra

Fox Chapel native Helen Cestra has been lucky to have very influential people in her life who have shown her how to balance both a career and philanthropic endeavors. Her grandmother, Anne Freyvogel Hanna, taught her wholesome values that drove her to be a member of Girls Hope Young Leadership Board and Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund, and a former host committee member for the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project Gala and Children’s Hospital’s 125th Anniversary Gala. Helen attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, earning a Bachelors of Arts and later Master’s Degree in communications management with a public relations concentration. Helen is now a realtor and Multi-Million Dollar Producer with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. She currently resides in Shadyside, one of her favorite neighborhoods in the city. She loves to be with her friends and family, traveling, and trying different restaurants throughout the city. Top Supporters: Howard Hanna Real Estate Services, Family, Friends

Kevin Saftner

Kevin Saftner is the general manager and booking agent at James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy, as well as the owner of Sound Beacon Productions. He graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s Degree in business management and entrepreneurship. A Northside resident, Kevin is proud to be a member of Big Brothers & Big Sisters, Northside/Northshore Chamber of Commerce, and Northside Rotary Club. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, participating in physical activities, and listening to live music, specifically at the Rex Theatre in South Side. Top Supporters: Ben Penigar (Grey Area Productions), Claudia Winn, Ben Soltesz

From left to right: Jessica Huber, Zachary Laplante, Jacqueline Ziemianski, Ari Letwin

Jessica Huber

Jessica Huber was born and raised in the City of Pittsburgh and is a graduate of Shaler Area High School. The registered nurse earned her Masters of Science in nursing from Carlow University and is currently working on getting her PhD from Robert Morris University in instructional management and leadership. Jessica works in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and is a course coordinator/instructor for pediatrics at Carlow University. In addition to her busy career, Jessica loves being able to connect with and help pediatric patients by being a member on the Children’s Trust and Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. One of Jessica’s favorite activities is taking her two dogs, George and Alex, to Lucky Paws Pet Resort. Top Supporters: Christy’s Catering, Chris Kail, Megan Walsh Paull with Prudential Financial

Zachary Laplante

Zachary Laplante is originally from the tiny town of Millville, Massachusetts, but made his way to Pittsburgh in 2012 to attend the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Experiencing everything this incredible city has to offer, Zachary is currently working in the legal department at FedEx Supply Chain and is also building a small business consulting firm to help local startups get organized and on the right track in their first few years of operation. Zach believes he was selected for this honor because of the strong sense of community and small-town morals on which his parents raised him. In short, he tries to live by the idea that wherever you are and whoever you are, each of us has a gift to share that can improve and enlighten those around us. His favorite spot in the city is Grist House Craft Brewery. Top Supporters: FedEx Supply, James Street Gastropub, Kenny Chen, Chris Kail

Jacqueline Ziemianski

Jacqueline Ziemianski is a lifelong resident of the Pittsburgh area who currently resides in White Oak. She manages the corporate affairs for Peoples Natural Gas where she is involved with community and media relations. She also co-chairs Peoples’ Diversity & Inclusion Council and the Volunteer Activities Committee. Jackie spends most her spare time being involved in multiple nonprofit and social organizations in and around the Pittsburgh area, and serves on the board of the Salvation Army and the Northside North Shore Chamber of Commerce. She enjoys spending time with her family, especially her niece, Carly, and cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates. Jackie believes that she was selected as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest because of her love of the Pittsburgh region and dedication to multiple charitable organizations. Top Supporters: Peoples Natural Gas, PNC Bank, Pittsburgh Brewing, Integrity Insurance & Financial Services, Ruby’s Painting & Contracting Services

Ari Letwin

Ari Letwin is honored to be a part of the Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest class of 2017. He believes the reason he was selected is due to his strong commitment to community service, which has led to a career of helping others. Upon his graduation from Indiana University, he switched from working in real estate to working full-time with children who have special needs. Ari has been working as a teacher aide at the Children’s Institute while pursuing a master’s degree in early childhood education and another certification from Carlow University. He will also be coaching basketball and track and field for the Special Olympics for the 10th year. His favorite activity in Pittsburgh is running through the beautiful parks, especially Frick and Schenley Parks. Top Supporters: Chuck Hammel, The Rudolph Family, The Feldman Family

From left to right: Brittany Cunningham, James Austin Snow, Emily Musial, Eddie McAndrews

Brittany Cunningham

Brittany Cunningham is a photographer who sees the beauty and creativity in everything around her, and she uses a camera to capture it whenever she can. A supporter and advocate for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation already, Britt has spent the last three years volunteering her time shooting and snapping candid photos of various Foundation events, including the Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest program. Her drive to help find a cure for CF and her passion to help those afflicted with the disease has given her the ability to step out from behind the lens and help make a difference in a different way. Living in Pittsburgh all her life has inspired her to want to get back to a time where art can inspire people, make them look at life through a different perspective, or help them through a difficult time. When she’s not out hiking through fields, forests, or landscapes in search of inspiration, she’s kickin’ it with her FitFam Krew and bustin’ moves during Kam Jamz at FASTER Pittsburgh in Robinson. Top Supporters: FASTER Pittsburgh, Kam Niskach and Linda Maus, Capitol Suites at 5th Avenue

James Austin Snow

Although he was born and raised in New York, James Austin Snow has called Pittsburgh home for nearly 10 years. He has his Master’s Degree from Chatham University in sustainability with a focus in community planning and environmental design. His current work specializes in land use planning, urban ecology, and geographical information systems at an environmental nonprofit called GTECH Strategies. James also earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh in urban planning and history. He has always had a desire to give back to the people of Pittsburgh, a community that has given him so much. His previous experiences working in communities across our region has given him a passion for engaging with residents to create neighborhoods that are accessible and equitable for everyone. As an avid lover of the outdoors, his favorite spot in Pittsburgh is Mellon Park, a hidden gem in Shadyside. Top Supporters: Bill & Debbie Howard, Hard Rock Café, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Emily Musial

Emily Musial was born and raised a Pittsburgh girl. After graduating from Washington and Jefferson College, she started a career in human resources and now works at BNY Mellon as an associate recruiter. She considers herself an outgoing and charismatic individual. To Emily, there is nothing she loves more than meeting great people who are working to support an even greater cause. She believes the reason she was selected to be a part of the program is because of her internal drive to help others and to make a difference in people’s lives. Condado Tacos is easily one of her favorite spots in the city, due to the fantastic menu. Top Supporters: Larrimor’s, Cycletique

Eddie McAndrews

Born and raised in the South Hills of Pittsburgh, Eddie McAndrews is an alumnus of Saint Vincent College. With his marketing/communication degree, Eddie began his career at Matthews International where he has been a loyal employee for over seven years. Eddie is a board member of the Steel City Softball League, the longest-running LGBTQ+ sports organization in the Pittsburgh area. Being involved in a number of fundraising efforts over the years, Eddie is honored to join Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. He got involved this year to honor a close friend’s son, Cameron, who was born with cystic fibrosis in June 2016. Eddie can often be found cruising the streets of Shadyside. Top Supporters: Family, Friends, Cole Curtis, 5801, The “Patty Joe’s” Family

From left to right: Mollie Pifer, Nicholas Borsuk, Christina Hapanowicz, Kelly Waldman, John G. Gillen

Mollie Pifer

Mollie Pifer is a native of Plum and a graduate of Clarion University. She has spent the last 10 years living in Downtown Pittsburgh and has loved watching the incredible changes happening in the city. Mollie is a cystic fibrosis account manager for Allergan, an opportunity that has shown her exactly how devastating cystic fibrosis can be. Her strong passion to one day see a cure for CF, as well as being an advocate for patients and their families, are her motivating factors behind wanting to be a part of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. “Having the opportunity to see how the community and network of wonderful people I know volunteer their time, donations, and support to CF has been an incredible reminder of what Pittsburgh is all about and an experience I am very proud of,” Mollie says. In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her three nephews, traveling, and enjoying the city. Her favorite spot in Pittsburgh is Panthro Fitness. Top Supporters: Bella Bucci Salon, Swank Hair Studio, Amazing Yoga Oakmont

Nicholas Borsuk

Nicholas Borsuk grew up in Greensburg and is a proud graduate of Hempfield Area Senior High School. He attended Penn State University for undergraduate and then Duquesne University’s School of Law. Nicholas is now an associate with the law firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC. Nicholas believes he was selected for this incredible honor due to the lessons he was taught growing up, such as: “to whom much is given, much is expected.” By supporting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, he believes he has the tools to make a real, positive change in his community. Nicholas’ favorite spot in Pittsburgh is täkō. Top Supporters: Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, Urban Tap, Ashley Trinkle

Christina Hapanowicz

Christina Hapanowicz is a financial advisor at Hapanowicz & Associates, an investments and wealth management firm based in Pittsburgh. Growing up in the city and attending college at Duquesne University, Christina has always believed in the unlimited possibilities of Pittsburgh and the opportunities it offers. Christina’s approach to her work aligns with that of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation — a great attitude and passionate effort to make a meaningful impact on the lives of those with cystic fibrosis, making her a natural fit for Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. She is proud to have the opportunity to support and represent such an amazing cause. Christina’s favorite spot in Pittsburgh is relaxing by the Wine Bar at Il Pizzaiolo in Mt Lebanon. Top Supporters: Hapanowicz & Associates Integrated Wealth, Levin Furniture, Whole Foods Market South Hills

Kelly Waldman

Pittsburgh native Kelly Waldman returned home to join creehan & company as a project manager after completing her Master’s in engineering management at Dartmouth College’s business school. She also obtained a biomedical engineering degree from Duke University. Kelly believes that she was selected for the honor of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest because of her passion for health care and for raising awareness of rare conditions. Kelly is inspired to make a difference in the lives of those facing challenging health conditions in order to enhance their quality of life. She is incredibly excited and motivated to help bring additional awareness to those battling cystic fibrosis. Her favorite spot in Pittsburgh is the Smallman Galley because it is such an innovative concept that showcases how truly unique Pittsburgh’s culture is. Top Supporters: creehan & company, The Maholics, Friends

John G. Gillen

Pittsburgh native John G. Gillen was happy to return to the city he loves after earning his undergraduate degree at Miami University and MBA at University of Michigan. With his employment experience at both Bank of America and Ernst & Young, he returned and purchased a distributorship specializing in raw materials for the paint and coating industries. His continued business growth has enabled him to be both a successful entrepreneur and a father to four wonderful children. Golf, tennis, and skiing are among his hobbies, but his true passions are photography and ethnic foods. The Strip District is one of his favorite spots in the city, due to the concentration of diverse shops like Penn Mac. John’s new passion is raising money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and he is excited to work for such a worthy cause. Top Supporters: Gillen Company, LLC, Friends, Family

From left to right: Adam Danenberg, Ginger Kutschbach, Evan Reese, Brianna Kline


Adam Danenberg

A graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School, Adam Danenberg earned his degree in professional piloting from Community College of Beaver County. Adam is currently a First Officer for OneJet, a regional executive jet passenger service operating out of Pittsburgh International Airport, and is currently working towards becoming a Captain in the aviation industry. Back on land, Adam volunteers his services as a youth advisor for teens in the B’Nai Brith Youth Organization. He is honored to be selected to Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest and is determined to continue his efforts for years to come. His favorite spot in the city is 39,000 feet above the rivers. Top Supporters: GrubHub, Ainsman Levine, LLC, J Marcus Company

Ginger Kutschbach

Although she is the owner of GKFit, an online fitness and nutrition company; the office manager for Smith Family Chiropractic; and a practicing Professional Fitness Athlete, Ginger Kutschbach’s most important and favorite job is being a mother. Ginger is extremely enthusiastic to help fight cystic fibrosis on a large scale. Her natural talent for organizing events and gatherings translates into becoming a member of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. Combined with her positive, motivational attitude toward giving back to the community, Ginger leads by example. Her favorite attribute of Pittsburgh is the geographic diversity of the city. It’s possible to fish, hike, see a concert, and grab a fancy meal all within the same day from any location. Top Supporters: Law Offices of David Schrager, Dr. Michael Smith at Smith Family Chiropractic, Jack Thompson of Jack’s Barber Shop

Evan Reese

Evan Reese was raised in the South Hills and graduated from Penn State University. After college, he moved to Boston to start a career in technology sales. Three years ago, he found a way to move back to the city that he loves. Evan believes he was selected to Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest class of 2017 because of his ability to spread awareness through his social and career networks. He appreciates the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s ability to perfectly blend philanthropy, networking, and fun, and is more than willing to donate his time to spread awareness. Evan’s favorite place in the city is Penn Ave Fish Company. Top Supporters: Presidio, Cisco, Merrill Lynch, AMPD Group

Brianna Kline

Originally from Northwestern Pennsylvania, Brianna Kline’s family instilled in her a strong work ethic, compassion for others, the courage to think differently, and a relentless desire to always add value to the lives of those around her. Brianna has nearly a decade of experience providing environmental, safety, and employment and labor relations services across multiple industry sectors. She has a number of certifications and Master’s Degrees in both safety engineering and industrial and labor relations. Brianna has leveraged her unique integrated approach to risk management to build a successful workforce development practice that provides a total risk solution for her clients. She is proud to call Pittsburgh her home for the last five years and is passionate about contributing to a good cause, training for marathons, and enjoying everything the city has to offer. Top Supporters: Casper Colosimo & Son, Inc., Merrill Lynch, Hager Paving

From left to right: Seth Dresbold, Briana White, Tara Sease, Christian Petredis

Seth Dresbold

Born in Pittsburgh, Seth Dresbold returned to the city to study law and business at the University of Pittsburgh. Seth is currently a partner at Signature Financial Planning, working with clients to help manage all areas of their financial life to enable them to confidently retire and pursue their goals and dreams. When he’s not working, Seth volunteers his time and serves on several large nonprofit boards, such as Familylinks.  In his free time, he enjoys traveling as much as he can, whether domestically or abroad, and performs stand-up comedy at clubs around the city, having won Gilda’s Great Comic Search in 2009. Top Supporters: Signature Financial Planning, Renegade Training, Social at Bakery Square.

Briana White

Briana White has a knack for crunching numbers and finding the best restaurants in the Pittsburgh area. She has been a budget analyst for Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Teen Parenting Program since 2014. In 2015, she founded Breelicious Bites, a Pittsburgh-based food blog, and began writing restaurant reviews for The Soul Pitt Quarterly Magazine. Bree has also judged culinary competitions and partners with restaurants on promotional campaigns. Bree’s favorite area in Pittsburgh is Downtown because of the wide variety of new and established eateries. Top Supporters: Family, Richard Hatcher of Lettuce Eat, LLC, Pittsburgh Black Media Federation

Tara Sease

Born and raised in Johnstown, Tara came to the City of Champions to pursue her legal career. After earning her Juris Doctorate Degree, graduating cum laude from Western Michigan University Cooley School of Law, and working as a senior associate editor on the Law Review, Tara is now the senior associate attorney for Zagari and Associates in Downtown Pittsburgh. Prior to attending law school, Tara received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh. During her studies, she was the vice-president of the Student Government Association and Student Body at the Pitt-Johnstown campus. Tara is no stranger to the cystic fibrosis community, as her cousin, Christopher, was diagnosed with CF when he was 18 months. Since Tara was a teenager, she has been the team captain of Chris’s Fighters. She believes that she was selected as one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest because of her never-give-up, never-back-down attitude. When she is not in the courtroom, you can find her on a football field, in a gym, or in a sports league, as she is an avid athlete and sports fan. The Mt. Washington resident’s favorite place in the city is the Grandview look out. Top Supporters: Adamczyk Law Offices, Penn Society, Sease Family and Friends, specifically those who donated in honor of Dr. Christopher Raybuck

Christian Petredis

Penn State University alumnus Christian Petredis lived in New York City after graduation, then returned to Pittsburgh two years ago. He is an investment analyst for a family-owned wealth management firm, Petredis Investment Advisors, who became familiar with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation after doing research into biotech firms who are innovating CF therapies. With experience at Penn State’s Dance Marathon (THON), which raises money for pediatric cancer, he quickly took up a fight against cystic fibrosis during his return to Pittsburgh. He is inspired by all those involved with the cause and wants to continue his support even after Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. In his free time, Christian enjoys music composition, fitness, Pittsburgh sports, and of course, investing. His favorite spot in the city is Bakersfield, where the tacos are “on point” and Deschutes Fresh Squeezed IPA is always on tap. Top Supporters: Petredis Investment Advisors, Charlie & Jan Petredis, Wells Fargo Advisors, The Penn State Community

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