CED Executive Fellows
Center for Economic Development Fellows are top executives of some of the most influential and innovative organizations in the Pittsburgh region (and Philadelphia) in economic development today. They are key decision makers for local economic, community, and technological investments, and the leaders of some of the institutions that helped make Pittsburgh and Philadelphia models for other cities struggling to redevelop in the aftermath of deindustrialization. Some of them are involved in fostering business startups around new technologies; others are working to open up the scenic beauty and unlock the economic potential of our riverfronts, while still others are working to bring distressed neighborhoods and communities back from the brink.
By agreement with the College, these organizations will be submitting important projects and policy questions that our students will be able to engage through system synthesis capstone projects. Overtime, Fellows will also engage students through Convocations, student Smart Growth Club events, and panel discussions. With the help of our Fellows, the College is opening up new learning opportunities in policy and practice for students interested in economic development.
Executive Fellow Bios
Lance Chimka became Director of Allegheny County Economic Development on September 10, 2018. As director, he leads the county agency responsible for business expansion, community development, planning, real estate development and affordable housing projects for the county.
Lance previously worked within the PA Department of Community and Economic Development where he was Regional Director of the Governor’s Action Team and directed the state response for business attraction and expansion activities. As Regional Director, Lance led the team focused on removing barriers to development, investment and job growth in the 11-county southwestern Pennsylvania region by providing market and real estate intelligence, project financing and development facilitation to a wide array of clients.
With well over a decade of economic and community development experience at federal, state and local levels, Lance brings a broad range of experience to the role. Prior to working with the state, he led community development programs, commercial lending, business attraction and expansion activities for Allegheny County Economic Development.
Lance holds a BS in business administration and finance from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and an MS in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He is also certified as an Economic Development Finance Professional and served in the U.S. Peace Corps in Turkmenistan. He joined the CED’s Executive Fellow in February 2019.
Presley L. Gillespie is the inaugural president of Neighborhood Allies, a community development intermediary that supports the people, organizations and partnerships committed to creating and maintaining thriving neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, PA. Mr. Gillespie is a nationally recognized leader in the field of community and economic development and was most recently the founding executive director of the Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation (YNDC), the first city-wide community development corporation in Youngstown, OH. Presley has served on numerous boards locally and nationally, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Center for Community Progress and the Advisory Board of the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership. In 2015 Presley was selected by Mayor William Peduto as a Daniel Rose Fellow with the Rose Center for Public Leadership, a fellowship established to encourage and support excellence in land use decision making by local governments.
Ernest E. Hogan is Executive Director for the Pittsburgh Community Reinvestment Group (PCRG), where he relies on more than 24 years of experience as a community development practitioner to advance a neighborhood-driven agenda of economic growth. Originally incorporated in 1988 to provide a coordinated response to the financial institutions’ practice of redlining and to be the “on the ground” watchdog for the Community Reinvestment Act, PCRG works for community resources through neighborhood, regional, and banking policy initiatives.
Prior to joining PCRG’s staff, Mr. Hogan was a member of the PCRG Board of Directors for almost 20 years. During that time, Mr. Hogan helped devise many innovative programs to target credit to low-income and minority communities. Mr. Hogan's leadership in a six city partnership with Fannie Mae lead to a $600 Million mortgage portfolio purchase by Fannie Mae freeing up bank capital to be reinvested in neighborhoods and resulted in the opening of a local Fannie Mae office. Mr. Hogan also introduced PCRG’s “Ain’t I A Woman” housing initiative, which targeted loans to African American women, and has worked with community banks and public partners to introduce creative mortgage products in underserved neighborhoods, helping to revitalize many blighted and abandoned properties throughout Allegheny County. Such programs have led financial institutions to reinvest more than $4 billion in Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods since PCRG was founded.
An integral part of Pittsburgh’s community development system, Mr. Hogan has left an impressive impact on the communities he has served. As staff to the NorthSide Leadership Conference and East Liberty Development, Inc., and as an active board member of Highland Park Community Development Corporation, Mr. Hogan’s work has directly fostered key public/private partnerships, resulting in the development of 600 units of housing and 480,000 square feet of commercial/retail space, and the creation of more than 1500 jobs. Utilizing commercial financing, government development programs, tax credits and private grants, Mr. Hogan set the stage for some of Pittsburgh most dramatic neighborhood transformations in the city. In early 2010, Mr. Hogan put his years of community development experience to work in advancing a neighborhood-driven agenda of economic growth for the Pittsburgh region. Through policy creation, advocacy, and education, Mr. Hogan is helping to change the community development system in Pittsburgh.
Mike Matesic is President & CEO of Idea Foundry, Inc. Mike is a seasoned business executive experienced in working with businesses at a variety of stages. Over the last 6 years at Idea Foundry he has invested in and participated in the development of over 50 technology start-ups, creating jobs in the region. Prior to the Idea Foundry, Mr. Matesic was Chief Executive Officer for two start-up companies and Chief Financial Officer for MetalSite, Inc., participating in the rapid growth of the company and public registration process. While at MetalSite, Mr. Matesic led the startup of the company’s subsidiary, ScrapSite. Before that he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Anker Coal Group and its subsidiaries where he was responsible for Human Resources, Information Technology, Tax and Finance functions. During his ten years with Anker Coal, Mr. Matesic led a successful registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, managed the company’s substantial growth, established and invested in various start-up companies and completed many acquisitions.
Robert Rubenstein has been revitalizing communities, supporting housing and economic development, and helping to generate public tax revenue since 1988. He currently serves as Acting Executive Director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA), a 90-employee organization with an annual capital budget of $100-140 million, and an administrative budget of $10 million. The URA is the implementation arm of the City of Pittsburgh for all Housing and Economic Development activities. Before being appointed Acting Executive Director in 2012, Robert served in a number of roles at the URA, including Director of the Economic Development Department since 2006. He oversaw the direct lending of approximately $10 million annually to roughly 45 businesses and commercial real estate projects. Additionally, he was responsible for all of the City of Pittsburgh’s large scale development projects, including internationally-recognized Brownfield redevelopment and the creation, implementation and management of more than 20 tax increment financing (TIF) districts. Nearly $15 billion of investment has taken place in the City of Pittsburgh during this time, generating tens of millions of dollars in annual tax revenues for each of the local taxing bodies. Robert also serves on the Governing Board of Pittsburgh Urban Initiatives (PUI), a Community Development Entity (CDE) which has secured $138 million in Federal New Markets Tax Credit allocation, leveraging hundreds of millions in private investment and creating over one thousand jobs in low-income communities. Robert has received national recognition, being named Public Executive of the Year at the 6th Annual Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Community Development Awards in New Orleans, LA in 2013. Robert has degrees from the University of Michigan (B.S., Engineering) and Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School (MBA).
Donald F. Smith is President of the Regional Industrial Development Corporation of Southwestern Pennsylvania (RIDC), one of the region’s best known economic development agencies. Don’s career in economic development began with the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, and then the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce, where he served as the lead analyst on the state's economic development strategy. He then enrolled at Heinz to work on research related to venture capital, technological innovation, and patterns of Japanese investment in the U.S. Upon receiving his Ph.D. he worked at RAND's Critical Technology Institute in D.C. as a policy analyst specializing in the financing of new technologies and regional technology clusters. After RAND he served as Director of the Center for Economic Development at Heinz for seven years, and during this time he has also served as President of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse. From 2002 until he joined the RIDC, he held a joint economic development post at both Pitt and CMU known as the University Partnership.
Arthur P. Ziegler Jr. is President of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), and a leading American preservationist, urbanist, writer, and activist. He is best known for co-founding the PHLF in 1964 to combat urban renewal policies that devastated Pittsburgh––literally and spiritually. He promotes historic preservation as an effective means to create sustainable affordable housing, healthy neighborhoods, and economic development. Arthur's work has been as much about social justice for disenfranchised populations as it has been about preserving important places.
PHLF’s Manchester neighborhood project was the first urban renewal project to create a preservation district within a predominantly African-American neighborhood and the first to be administered by the residents themselves. Emblematic of PHLF’s success in using historic preservation as an instrument of economic revitalization, its adaptive re-use of a former rail terminal facility into Station Square had the lowest public cost and highest taxpayer return of any major renewal project in the Pittsburgh region since the 1950s. With over three million visitors annually, Station Square generates over six million dollars annually in tax revenue. Under his leadership, PHLF was instrumental in defeating a massive downtown demolition plan. PHLF then restored several buildings to bring highquality retail back to the area and achieved LEED Gold status. Arthur has also authored five books on historic preservation.
Fellows at Large
Fellows at large are either former Executive Fellows who have moved on from our partner organizations, but still work in Pennsylvania EDOs or related agencies, or are C-level alumni that head EDOs across the country.
Dennis M. Davin was appointed to serve as Secretary of the Department of Community and Economic Development in January 2015 by Governor Tom Wolf. Prior to his appointment, Secretary Davin served for more than a decade as Director of the Allegheny County Department of Economic Development (ACED), where he was responsible for establishing and executing the economic development strategy for Allegheny County. He managed funding from local, state and federal sources to implement economic development activities such as site development, new job creation initiatives, community development, and affordable housing for approximately 1.25 million citizens in 130 municipalities. During this time his department successfully completed a three year planning process when the County Council unanimously adapted “Allegheny Places”, the County’s first “comprehensive plan” on land use, transportation, housing, economic development, infrastructure, and greenways. Since 2008 has served with distinction as an Executive Fellow of the Center for Economic Development at Heinz College, enabling numerous learning opportunities for students. Prior to being Director of ACED, Dennis was Regional Director of the Governor’s Action Team for Southwestern Pennsylvania. In this capacity, he worked directly with company executives interested in relocating or expanding in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Prior to this he worked at the URA, managing Pittsburgh’s single and multi-family development, rehabilitation, and mortgage programs for eight years before becoming the URA’s Director of Housing. Dennis also played an integral role in developing the Pittsburgh Housing Development Corporation, the City of Pittsburgh’s nonprofit residential development arm, while serving as its deputy executive director.
Reid Dulberger has almost 30 years of experience in local economic, having served with public and private entities in New York, Ohio and Tennessee.In 2012 Dulberger was appointed to be the first President/CEO of EDGE, a new City/County economic development organization with responsibility for local tax incentives, economic development financing tools, industrial properties, the Port of Memphis, and other programs. He concurrently serves as the Chief Economic Development Officer for the City of Memphis and for Shelby County Government. From 2008 through 2011 Mr. Dulberger coordinated a Memphis/Shelby County, 5-year, public-private economic development partnership known as MemphisED. Part of the broader Memphis Fast Forward initiative, MemphisED worked with 17 partner organizations engaged in various aspects of local economic development, including business retention/attraction/start-up, tourism, minority business development, talent attraction/retention, and innovation/entrepreneurship. Before coming to Memphis, Mr. Dulberger led local economic development efforts for the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber (OH) from 1991-2008, and the City of Syracuse (NY) from 1986-1991. His work experience also includes policy analysis for the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Energy, both in Washington, DC. Mr. Dulberger holds a Master of Science degree in Public Management and Policy from Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh), and a Master of Arts degree in Government from Georgetown University (Washington, DC). He holds two industry certifications – as a Certified Economic Developer (International Economic Development Council) and an Economic Development Finance Professional (National Development Council).
Dewitt Peart became the President and CEO of the Downtown Austin Alliance in February 2015. The Downtown Alliance is engaged in dozens of projects and issues that contribute to the quality development, mobility, safety, cleanliness, and attractiveness of downtown Austin for investors, businesses, employees, residents, and visitors. He guides the Downtown Alliance’s vision and strategy, ensures the organization’s fiscal health and represents a board of directors consisting of 48 private and public sector leaders focused on the preserving and enhancing the value and vitality of downtown Austin. Prior to taking the helm at the Downtown Alliance, Peart served as executive vice president for economic development and public affairs at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, and president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce. In his economic development role, Peart led the efforts securing more than 250 economic development deals. His organization was named seven times as one of the U.S.’s top ten economic development organizations by Site Selection magazine. Similarly, the organization was internationally recognized for having the “best foreign direct investment strategy” by a publication of the Financial Times. Peart’s decade of advocacy experience covers legislative and regulatory improvements at the local, state and federal levels. He achieved success in environmental, transportation, economic development financing and military base closure legislative action. From 1988 to 2002, Peart worked at various real estate development companies where he provided oversight for phases of large-scale development projects including land-use planning, master planning, asset management, construction, property management, marketing and leasing.
Our eternal thanks to these Executive Fellows who have moved on from our partner organizations or have retired from the field!
David Ruppersberger is the former President of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, and a former Fellow at Large at the CED. Previous to this David served as an Executive Fellow for five years. During this time he served as Executive Fellow Director of Strategic Economic Initiatives at Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh, and also played a leadership role in Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s Power Up Pittsburgh initiative, a collaborative strategy that brought together government, business, universities and entrepreneurs to align our region’s resources for the creation of jobs. Prior to this position, David served as President and CEO of The Technology Collaborative (TTC), a non-profit, member-driven, technology-based economic development organization focused on starting, attracting, and growing robotics, cyber-security and digital technology companies. Prior to the merger of the Pittsburgh Digital Greenhouse and Robotics Foundry that created TTC, David served as Vice President of Business Development at the Digital Greenhouse, where he managed all membership and marketing activities. He also developed new programs to address member needs in the areas of technical recruiting and initiatives that were instrumental in attracting the Oki Semiconductor and Saronix design centers to the Pittsburgh region. Prior to joining the Greenhouse, David was a consultant and interim CEO for two Pittsburgh high-tech start-ups. He also held sales and management positions with Unisys, Symbolics, and Carnegie Group, Inc. where he served as Vice President and General Manager.
As an Executive Fellow David participated in panels, poster fairs with students, and gave very well received a talk on the Shell Cracker Plant deal. David and the PRA also served as the client for the "Learning from the Deals that Got Away" student capstone project", a learning opportunity that he made possible. Thank you David, for all the enagement through the years!
Lisa Schroeder is former Executive Director of Riverlife, a non-profit organization established in 1999 by Mayor Tom Murphy to create a vision and master plan for Pittsburgh’s riverfronts. Under her leadership, Riverlife worked tirelessly to open up Pittsburgh’s riverfronts as the front yard of the city and create a grand, urban-scale riverfront park in the heart of Pittsburgh, called “Three Rivers Park”. Through public/private partnerships, Riverlife has moved numerous projects forward; including construction of new riverfront trails, parks and water landings, new lighting and water transportation. Lisa developed a deep love for cities growing up in Baltimore and has always worked to revitalize downtowns and improve quality of life through urban planning, historic preservation and environmental conservation. For 30 years, Lisa has worked as a professional on a broad range of urban issues for non-profit and government organizations, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, Maine Preservation, and Greater Portland Landmarks.
As an Executive Fellow Lisa was generous of her time with students, participating in panels, poster fairs, and networking events with students, as well as a great internship. After leading the Parks and People Foundation in Baltimore, Lisa recently returned to the region to lead the Pittsburgh Foundation.
Bob Hurley was appointed Director of Allegheny County Economic Development (ACED) in January 2015. In this position, Mr. Hurley also served as Director of the Allegheny County Redevelopment Authority and Executive Director of the Authority for Improvements in Municipalities, Industrial Development Authority, Hospital Development Authority, Higher Education Building Authority, and Residential Finance Authority. Mr. Hurley was responsible for the overall development and implementation of the economic development strategy for Allegheny County. He managed funding from local, state, and federal resources to implement economic development activities such as: site development, new job creation initiatives, community development, and affordable housing for approximately 1.25 million citizens in 130 municipalities, and oversaw the department’s 75 employees.
Additionally, Mr. Hurley served as the Chairman of the Board of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which provides public transportation services throughout Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, and sat on the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission’s Regional Policy Advisory Committee, the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance Steering Committee, and the Mayor’s Affordable Housing Task Force. In addition to being an Executive Fellow for the Center for Economic Development at Carnegie Mellon University, he also served as a Board Member of Urban Innovation21, a public-private partnership that boosts regional economic development through 21st century innovation-driven entrepreneurship within the City of Pittsburgh. Bob stepped down from ACED in 2018 to join GAI consultants. Bob, thanks for your service, and your straight talk to students at Heinz College!
Ellen McLean is the former Chief Executive Officer of Port Authority of Allegheny County, a position in which she served from 2014 to 2017. Prior to her appointment, she served as interim CEO starting in February 2013. Ms. McLean joined Port Authority as Chief Financial Officer in October 2010. In that position, she supervised multiple departments, including Financial Planning and Budgets, Grants and Capital Programs, Accounting and Treasury, Information Technology and Purchasing/Materials Management, and served as trustee for the Authority’s three pension plans.
Before joining Port Authority, Ms. McLean was Managing Director of Infrastructure Initiatives at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC, where she led a team in research, development and distribution of policies promoting smart infrastructure investment and financing. Ms. McLean was Chief Financial Officer for the City of Pittsburgh from 1999 to 2005 during the administration of Mayor Tom Murphy. She was responsible for managing the City’s $450 million budget, and served as executive director of the City’s Comprehensive Municipal Pension Trust Fund and treasurer of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority. She was a key player in developing and implementing the City’s fiscal strategy, resulting in legislative approval of broader regional taxing power and wide-ranging cost controls through the adoption of a budget plan under State Act 47. Prior to that, she served as the City’s assistant director for the Office of Management and Budget, and assistant director of the Finance Department. She received a Masters of Public Management degree from Heinz College.
As an Executive Fellow and Heinz alumni, was an enthusiastic supporter of experiential learning opportunities for Heinz students. She instrumental in making two student projects with Port Authority possible. She also served on the advisory board of several student projects.
Steve Bland is former Chief Executive Officer of Port Authority of Allegheny County. Steve became the CEO of Port Authority in June 2006 and oversaw all aspects of this region’s primary transit system, which serves more than 220,000 riders daily across the region. His career of more than 20 years includes service with several other transit systems, including as executive director of the Capital District Transportation Authority in Albany, NY. He has served on numerous local, state and national transit boards, and is a past chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Transportation Association and a past president of the New York Public Transit Association.
As CEO of Port Authority, Steve guided a series of changes aimed at making the Authority more efficient, transparent, accountable and reliable. Some of the changes were based on recommendations of the Pennsylvania Transportation Funding and Reform Commission, which was created by Gov. Ed Rendell. These changes included the Authority's first top-to-bottom restructuring of its routes, implementation of modern fare collection equipment and significant revision of staff levels and benefit packages.
Steve joined the CED as an Executive Fellow in 2010 and quickly became one of our students biggest supporters. Under his leadership Port Authority has sponsored two student projects, one on economic and community impacts of Bus Rapid Transit between Oakland and Downtown and another entitled "Putting Intelligent Transportation to Work", which focused on methods for using newly deployed technologies on PAAC buses to better manage transit. Steve also came out to engage students personally each year: he joined a student led panel on transportation issues, gave a lecture on Port Authority's ongoing financial crisis, and was a welcome presence at the College's Innovation Exchange student poster fair. Steve has since moved on from PAAC, and we mourn this loss, but remain ever grateful to the top notch educational opportunities he afforded our students.
Rob Stephany is the former Executive Director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the City of Pittsburgh’s economic development agency. He has over a decade of community based development experience. While directing East Liberty Development Inc.'s commercial development program, he — along with many others — successfully brought several major national retailers into East Liberty's commercial district, and sparked vitality in the district with numerous smaller restaurants and shops.
As part of a comprehensive development project designed to undo the negative effects of the urban renewal programs of the 1960s, he has spearheaded a neighborhood driven master plan, coordinated 12 developers in the implementation of the plan and facilitated the development of 350+ units of housing and over 200,000 square feet of commercial development. His specific passion is in aligning public, private, non profit, and philanthropic missions to accomplish the revitalization of urban neighborhoods while ensuring existing stakeholders remain key beneficiaries in the change process.
Rob joined the CED as a Fellow in 2009. We are especially grateful to Rob and the URA for sponsoring the first student project under the Center’s Executive Fellows program, "Measuring the Economic Impact of Greenspace". Since then Rob and his staff continuously engaged our students with opportunities to learn more about redevelopment in the City of Pittsburgh. Rob recently left the URA to take the position of Program Director for the Community and Economic Development program at the Heinz Endowments. It is extremely gratifying for us to know that Rob is in a great position to identify and deploy strong strategies to build and maintain Pittsburgh’s greatest assets: its neighborhoods.
Steve Wray is a Vice President and Director at Econsult Solutions, Inc. (ESI). Joining ESI in July of 2017, Mr. Wray leads projects focused on regional economic competitiveness and civic strategy and policy. He brings to ESI’s clients extensive experience connecting the public, private and non-profit sectors with analysis and strategy development of economic growth, talent development, infrastructure and governance issues. Prior to this position Steve was Executive Director of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia from 2006 to 2017. In this position he worked with a board of more than 70 senior private sector leaders from the region's leading companies and institutions. Wray was also Managing Director of the Pennsylvania Economy League, Inc., the corporate home of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. Prior to the Economy League, Wray served as Policy Director to Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Mark Singel, Associate with Jones Lang Wootton USA in New York, and Consultant to the Executive Director of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development in Pittsburgh. In 2010, Wray began a two-year term on the Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission and was appointed to the Advisory Board for the Office of Economic Opportunity in Philadelphia. He is a trustee of the Health Care Improvement Foundation and a member of the Aria Health Board of Directors and the Board and Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. He was a 2008 Ford Foundation Fellow of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives' Regional Sustainable Development program.
An alumnus of the Heinz College's MSPPM program at Carnegie Mellon University, Steve served as an Executive Fellow of the CED from 2013 to 2017. As a Fellow Steve came out to Heinz to present a lecture on the expansion of Pre-K in Pennsylvania, and later worked with the Pennsylvania Economy League to provide system project on multi-municipal stormwater management in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Ellen Kight is the former President of the Pittsburgh Partnership for Neighborhood Development, a key financial intermediary for community development organizations. Ellen oversees the operations of PPND, whose mission is to support the revitalization of the Pittsburgh region’s distressed neighborhoods into desirable and diverse communities by raising funds and making strategic investments in community development/improvement organizations.
Prior to coming to PPND, Ellen spent 27 years in State Government, serving under four governors, most recently from 1996-2006, as the Regional Director of the Southwest Region of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), which includes nine counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania. From 1979 until 2006, she served as the Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Department of Community Affairs (DCA.) The Regional Office offers technical and financial assistance to municipalities; non-profit, community-based organizations and businesses; encouraging community empowerment, building partnerships and entrepreneurial development. Services provided support affordable housing, revitalization of distressed communities, Main Street and commercial development, community-based organizations, Enterprise Zones, community development corporations, and community planning.
Ellen has been a very welcome presence at Hamburg Hall. She regularly served as a guest lecturer in Urban Policy class, and she and PPND Deputy Director Maureen Hogan were frequent guests at Innovation Exchange and other events. Over and above its partnership with the CED, PPND has also been a great partner to Heinz College via the PPND Fellows program, which enabled a Heinz student to intern with PPND every two years. After over thirty years of service in the field of economic and community development, Ellen recently retired from the role of executive practitioner to the role of world traveler.