Michelle Walker, President
Michelle has worked and volunteered in the nonprofit sector for more than 15 years. She is the founder and Principal of Walker Philanthropic Consulting. Michelle has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in Philanthropic Studies from Indiana University. Michelle believes passionately in the power of creative solutions to organizational leadership which is what makes serving on the Assemble board fun and rewarding. Personally she is an advocate for the power of education to change lives. Michelle makes furniture, thinks a great deal about the role of intellectual property as an asset in solving social problems, and wants to learn how to hang glide.
Emily Rice, Assoc. AIA, Vice President
Emily brings her enthusiasm for art and community engagement to Assemble in her role as Vice President of the Board of Directors. Emily is a founding member of the Board. In her professional life, Emily is the Exhibition Designer at Carnegie Museum of Art, responsible for the design and construction of temporary exhibitions. Prior to her move to CMOA, Emily held design and communications positions at TAKTL, EDGE Studio and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. She is an honors graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture and a 2012 graduate of Coro Center for Civic Leadership’s Women in Leadership program.
Kathryn Heffernan, Treasurer
A resident of Bloomfield, Kathryn has a background in nonprofit management and fundraising. She is currently a Project Specialist at the Pittsburgh Public Schools. In addition to her work at Assemble, Kathryn volunteers on the Art All Night Planning committee, mentors a second grader through the Everybody Wins! program, and serves on the board of Casita Copan. Kathryn holds an MA in Nationalism Studies from Central European University in Budapest, Hungary and a BA in Middle Eastern Studies and Spanish from Wellesley College..
Linnea Glick, Secretary
Assistant Director, PITT ARTS, University of Pittsburgh
A resident of Pittsburgh’s North Side, Chris works in business development for UPMC Enterprises, the investment and innovation arm of UPMC. Prior to UPMC Enterprises, Chris spent seven years with Deloitte Consulting where he focused in public sector and healthcare management consulting. Chris has previously volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in their Global Village program to build housing and infrastructure for vulnerable populations in Fiji. Chris holds a B.S. in Information Technology from Purdue University.
Matthew is a Business Consulting Analyst working on Strategic Initiatives at PNC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton and holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Operations & Supply Chain Management in addition to a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). His work experience includes various roles throughout the non-profit, entrepreneurial, manufacturing, consulting, and financial services industries. Beyond work, Matthew has enjoyed his volunteer experiences with various event planning, fundraising, academic, and teaching organizations which included roles such as president, vice president, and treasurer.
Meredith is a native Pittsburgher who has served on various boards and advisory committees for space-making organizations in the Pittsburgh region. She has a strong interest in place-based art and its impact on community building and innovation. Meredith completed her BA in Economics at Bucknell University and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She is a past chair of the Allegheny County Bar Association Arts and Law Committee and has presented at various conferences and universities on the topics of creative business planning and arts management. In addition to her work as an attorney, she enjoys reading, cooking, and hoarding houseplants.
Mike is a Product Manager with Google and a member of the company’s Community Affairs and Entrepreneurial Outreach teams, where he has the opportunity to collaborate with and support the local non-profit and small business communities. Before joining Google, Mike spent more than 15 years leading software product management at a variety of local companies, including MAYA Viz, Confluence, MSA, and M*Modal. Outside of Google, Mike is the co-founder of Awesome Pittsburgh, a micro-grant organization that awards $1000 each month with no strings attached to the person or organization with the best idea for bringing more awesomeness to the Pittsburgh region. He also serves on the board of the Pittsburgh Film Office and the Advisory Board of The Forbes Funds, an organization committed to strengthening the nonprofit sector.
Vanessa is thrilled to bring her passion for technology and learning to Assemble. She is currently the Founder, CEO of Covey, a social platform for parents. In her previous life as a Software Engineer, she tackled a wide range of projects ranging from racing robotic vehicles to rendering museum artwork online (www.google.com/artproject). Vanessa completed her Computer Science degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005 and subsequently spent time in Baltimore and San Francisco before her love of Pittsburgh brought her back in 2011. Now she lives in East Liberty with her husband and young daughter.
Lindsey grew up just east of Pittsburgh and recently found her way back to the city after several years in Cleveland. She has a background in commercial interior design, branding, and workplace strategy and holds a BA in Interior Design from Kent State University. Lindsey is currently working as an experience designer in the health care industry where she works to improve the health care experience through design and technology by seeking a deep understanding of health care consumers through research and in-person interactions. Lindsey feels strongly that design and the arts have a great impact on how one views the world and approaches daily problem solving. She also loves learning and trying new things, which is why she was drawn to Assemble. Lindsey is also active in the Pittsburgh chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters. When she isn’t working in health care or volunteering with Assemble, she can most likely be found in a yoga class or doing something active with her soon-to-be-husband, Nick.
Jessica is the Director of Programs as well as the Manager of the Professional Development Center at ASSET STEM Education in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In her role as Director of Programs, Jessica directs, formulates and examines educational programs by designing, creating and expanding products and services while implementing the goals and objectives set forth in the organization strategic plan. Additionally, she manages the day-to-day operations of an Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the United States Department of Education. With almost ten years of experience in grant and project management, she has administered over $34 million dollars in different federal grants. Jessica studied at Duquesne University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) where she received both a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology and a Master of Science in Education degree that focused on Research and Evaluation. She has presented at various national conferences and spends much of her spare time volunteering.
Shaun is committed to providing students from across the region with rigorous and relevant maker experiences, both in and out of school. As the K-12 STEAM Coordinator for Pittsburgh Public Schools, Shaun works to empower student voice to the point of allowing students to remake their own learning. The District-wide STEAM Mini Grant Program that he administers has been featured at state and national levels for its innovative strategies to directly fund student-designed curricula.
Shaun has been a creative explorer throughout his life, having earned his BPhil degrees from the University of Pittsburgh’s Honors College in Microbiology and Neuroscience, his MEd in Science Education from the School of Education at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, Shaun is working on his PhD in Administrative and Policy Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, where he also teaches Physiology and Pathophysiology courses.
Minette is a resident of Garfield and a neighborhood volunteer with the Garfield Community Action Team (GCAT). With GCAT, she has partnered with Assemble for many community projects, like the building of Garfield’s Little Free Library and creating artwork for the Nelson Mandela Peace Park. Minette has also helped in establishing the Kincaid Street Community Garden (Garfield’s resident community garden), and coordinating park improvement projects in the neighborhood. Currently, Minette is a design strategist at UPMC Enterprises at Bakery Square in East Liberty, where she applies human-centered design methodology to bring innovation to the healthcare space. She holds an MA in Product Development from Carnegie Mellon University, and a BA in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Fine Arts from Boston University.
Robert serves as an Account Executive for Pittsburgh based insurance agency, Simpson | McCrady. In his role within the Commercial Lines Division he responsible for developing and managing commercial lines accounts, overall risk management for clients rather than simply selling insurance products. He also serves as an Awesome Pittsburgh Trustee, Holy Family Institute Emerging Board Leader, Side Project, Inc. Action Advisory Committee Member, StartingBloc Fellow DC’14, City of Pittsburgh Civic Leadership Academy, Fellow ’15, Coro NEXT Neighborhood Leaders South Pittsburgh Alum ’14, Pittsburgh Party for a Purpose Executive Director, AMPLIFY Church-City Campus Member, West Penn Adult Soccer Association. Through each of these organizations he believes he’s able to support a mission of engaging a network of DOERS who investing their time, talent, and treasure into the real solutions to the critical challenges facing OUR Pittsburgh.