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    Mark Anthony Thomas Named President of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the Economic Development Marketing Affiliate of the Allegheny Conference


    As President, Mark will be responsible for creating, developing and executing the 10-county region’s economic development strategy, and advancing partnerships to drive job creation and business investment. Mark brings 18 years of experience crafting and executing economic strategies and cross-sector collaboration.

    In 2016, Mark was selected by New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to serve as its first Senior Vice President of Partnerships, establishing teams to foster and manage industry and international relationships and business attraction.

    He played a pivotal role in Amazon’s selection of New York for HQ2 and the City’s investments to catalyze life sciences, cyber security, blockchain and tech inclusion. Mark launched the City’s partnerships with Startup Genome and Startup Guide, working closely with a network of incubators, accelerators and tech training organizations to grow and diversify the tech startup community. He’s led efforts to partner with New York’s international trade community to advance the City’s global startup attraction, an approach recognized as the #3 FDI Strategy by FDI Intelligence Magazine and honored by the New York District Export Council.

    Prior to NYCEDC, Mark served as the City of Los Angeles’ inaugural FUSE Executive Fellow, leading efforts to make the City’s neighborhoods more livable. He then served as Director of the Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team, a partnership between the Mayor’s Office and the Los Angeles Coalition for the Economy and Jobs, to spearhead reforms of the City’s procurement, real estate asset management and risk management operations. Before entering the public sector, Mark worked in the media sector, shaping content and investigative journalism on social impact, economic development and effective governance.

    He received his MBA from MIT, MPA from Columbia University and BA from the University of Georgia, and has served on several boards supporting college access, civic innovation and new media.

    “We’re excited to bring Mark aboard to lead the PRA and contribute to our shared regional vitality goals of a strong economy, thriving people and a high quality of place. With nearly two decades of experience driving economic growth, Mark is uniquely suited to advance the Pittsburgh region’s strategic economic development objectives – supercharging business attraction, including international marketing of the region, and doubling down on making sure that companies already located here have the best possible environment in which to grow and prosper. I’m looking forward to what should be a bright future for business investment in southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Pittsburgh Regional Alliance Chairperson Laura Shapira Karet, who is also president and CEO of Giant Eagle, Inc., a multi-state grocery retail operation.

    “I’m grateful to Todd Jorgenson of Jorgenson Consulting, Inc. for leading our national search for a new Pittsburgh Regional Alliance president. Todd’s expertise paved the way for a diverse search committee – made up of representatives of the Conference’s board of directors, regional economic development partners and other key leaders and stakeholders – to come to unanimous agreement on Mark as the candidate of choice – in spite of having many outstanding individuals from which to select. Having so many exceptional candidates interested in Pittsburgh and all of the possibilities here is a real testament to the region’s brand,” said Allegheny Conference on Community Development CEO Stefani Pashman.
  • Sun, 16 Jun 2019 07:59:00 -0400

    Plans in works for expanded Italian Festival

    When Denny Della-Penna gazed into the distance at one point during last year’s inaugural Italian Festival on the west end of Indiana, he realized that his expectations for attendance at the festival had been exceeded right out of the gate.
  • Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:59:00 -0400

    Letter lays out process to find successor

    The process of finding a permanent successor to the late Supervisor Jerry Boucher in the November election has been outlined in a letter sent to White Township Manager Milt Lady.
  • Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:54:00 -0400

    Gazette Photos: Church's Courtyard Carnival draws little ones

    Camry Quinn, 4, played beneath a colorful parachute Saturday at a Courtyard Carnival held at Grace United Methodist Church at Church and Seventh streets in Indiana.
  • Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:54:00 -0400

    NCDMM opens facility in Alabama

    BURRELL TOWNSHIP — The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining has opened its newest office in Huntsville, Ala., in cooperation with the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Aviation & Missile Center in Redstone Arsenal, Ala.
  • Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:57:00 -0400

    Electric company marks 100th anniversary

    FirstEnergy’s Penelec company marked its centennial last week.
  • Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:54:00 -0400

    Gazette Photos: Shoppers of all ages head to farmers' markets

    Allie Aikin, 2, inspected nature items with the help of a magnifying glass during kids day Saturday morning at the Indiana Farmers Market along South Eighth Street with her mom, Leann Aikins, of Indiana.
  • Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:49:00 -0400

    PRA names new president

    The Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA), an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, has named Mark A. Thomas as the organization’s new president, effective July 15.
  • Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:48:00 -0400

    Parking lot to close for renovations

    Starting Monday, the Eighth Street parking lot (located behind The Artists Hand Gallery) will close for renovations. This project will complement the extension of the Hoodlebug Trail bike lane, which will connect downtown Indiana Borough to a regional trail network…
  • Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:49:00 -0400

    First Commonwealth opens branch at site of fire

    Ten months after fire destroyed a branch of First Commonwealth Bank in Green Tree, the newly constructed building has reopened.
  • Sun, 16 Jun 2019 00:49:00 -0400

    Gold Award Girl Scouts log 5,500 hours of service

    Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania congratulates 71 Girl Scouts on earning the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 16:00:55 +0000

    Jerry Jones Compares Natural Gas Deal to Buying Dallas Cowboys

    Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ company Comstock Resources will acquire gas rival Covey Park Energy in a $1.1 billion cash-and-stock deal. Covey Park boosts Jones in his ambitions to move into the Haynesville shale region. Jones is purposefully making the acquisition while prices in the U.S. gas market are close to a three-year-low. He says the opportunity is similar to […]
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Women In Business 2019 50 Women-Owned Businesses to Follow

    It’s hard to believe that a year has gone by since we published our last “50 to Fol­low” edition. And what a year it has been! We celebrate the impressive contribu­tions women continue to make in the sci­ences, professions, politics and business. While taking their rightful place as CEOs, elected officials and entrepre­neurs, there’s still much to accomplish, particularly in […]
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Actuated Medical, Inc.

    Maureen L. Mulvihill, Ph.D., co- founded Actuated Medical, Inc. on the entrepreneurial idea that an agile business could solve clinical needs using electronically controlled motion. Over the last 12 years, AMI has grown into a company that develops, manufactures and sells medical devices. By establishing an ‘internal’ start-up ecosystem, AMI’s team has the infrastructure to in­cubate creative ideas and quickly […]
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Doing Better Business, Inc.

    Doing Better Business (DBB) is the region’s largest, inde­pendent, family-owned and women-owned managed print and document services provider with six locations and four ware­houses throughout a four-state area. DBB is truly focused on creating a culture around leadership, family and happiness in its organization. Happy team members ensure happy customers. DBB wants everyone who works with the brand to be […]
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Suzanne Egan Inc., Advertising & Marketing

    Suzanne Egan Inc. (Egan Advertis­ing) is a full-service advertising agency that serves all sizes and all types of businesses. With the experience, expertise and energy to guide clients through the frustratingly cluttered marketing landscape, the hard-working Egan team has the resources, talent and skill to develop, design and deliver. Clients include manufacturers, professional services providers, retailers and nonprofit organizations. Services […]
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    A Better Address, LLC

    A Better Address, LLC’s mission is to provide high-quality, high-service, unique, “green” mixed-use rental properties to the residents of central Pennsylvania by adaptively re-using historic buildings. Its first project is the redevelopment of 818-820 12th Street in Altoona, Pennsylvania, into a mixed-use, first-floor commercial building with high-end apartments on the two upper floors of the 19th-century building. The first project […]
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Anew Home Health Agency, Inc.

    Anew Home Health Agency, Inc. (Anew HHA) is a professional home health agency located in Indiana County. Residents within Indiana and the surrounding counties who medically qualify are provided with skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, medical social services and certified nurse aide services upon physician referral. Anew Home Health Agency, Inc. became a licensed home health agency […]
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    The Clay Cup

    In 2015, Sarah Vogel purchased Playtime Pottery in Hol­lidaysburg, Pennsylvania. Playtime Pottery was a paint-your- own-pottery studio, which Vogel further developed by providing acrylic painting classes on location for all age groups. Vogel’s professional artistic vision included opening a combined cafe and studio in downtown Altoona. In 2017, she reno­vated the historic Westfalls Building in downtown Altoona and opened The […]
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Carol Harris Staffing, LLC

    Since 1987 Carol Harris Staffing, LLC has placed talented candidates in clerical, light industrial, technical, IT, engineering and hospitality positions for companies from small private firms to Fortune 500 organi­zations. Through its partnership with AllSource Screening Solutions, CHS also offers customizable substance abuse screenings and distribution of supplies for onsite drug testing programs. CHS contributes to the community and local […]
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Bedford Candies

    Bedford Candies has been crafting homemade, hand- dipped chocolates since 1929 when it was founded by George Sotirokos. In 2010, long-time employee Tammy Wiley acquired the store. She maintains the same excellence that the store has achieved for 90 years and continues to create high-quality chocolates that cannot be found anywhere else. In 2013, Adam Wiley, Tammy’s son, believed that […]
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 18:56:40 +0000

    Officials break ground on Cap Urban Connector in Lower Hill District

    With golden shovels in hand, officials broke ground at the site of the future "Cap" Urban Connector Project Friday afternoon in the first of many projects involving the Lower Hill District.  "This day has been a long time coming," Pennsylvania State Senator and SEA Board Chairman Wayne D. Fontana said. "This park will bring back together the two neighborhoods again." The Cap project involves the creation of a public park over the I-579 Crosstown Boulevard in an effort to better link the urban…
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 18:29:59 +0000

    Casey expects UPMC/Highmark agreements in 'days, not weeks'

    He noted the acrimony between UPMC and Highmark but said the region and the state can't afford to have the same high-stakes conflict continuing.
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 18:27:13 +0000

    PHOTOS: A closer look inside Uber's newest self-driving vehicle

    The new car was designed to be driven by a computer.
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 18:17:30 +0000

    Why judge's latest ruling isn't the end of the UPMC-Highmark saga

    There's plenty left for Shapiro's office to litigate.
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 16:45:12 +0000

    Commonwealth court sides with UPMC on June 30 end date to consent decrees

    A Commonwealth Court judge Friday ruled in favor of UPMC, saying there's nothing in the consent decrees that allows for a modification beyond the June 30 end date. The ruling follows a two-day evidentiary hearing in Harrisburg on Attorney General Josh Shapiro's petition to modify and extend the consent decrees. Highmark, the other party to the consent decrees, had backed Shapiro's petition that went from the Commonwealth Court to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and then back to Commonwealth Court…
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 16:13:32 +0000

    Are Lime e-scooters on their way to Pittsburgh?

    First, Pennsylvania would need to pass a house bill to legalize the e-scooters by reclassifying them under the same laws that govern bicycle use.
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 15:39:51 +0000

    Vibrant Pittsburgh CEO steps down

    Vibrant Pittsburgh, an economic development nonprofit, announced Friday that the organization's President and CEO Melanie Harrington would be stepping down at the end of the year. In a press release, Vibrant Pittsburgh said Harrington is working with the executive committee and board of directors to develop a succession plan. Caitlin McLaughlin, the organization's executive vice president and the Director of Talent and Total Rewards at PNC, is chairing the search committee. The search is expected…
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:24:18 +0000

    Here's what UPMC, Highmark told Casey about Medicare Advantage, Hillman

    Last week, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., sent a letter to UPMC CEO Jeffery Romoff and Highmark CEO David Holmberg regarding UPMC's commitments on the Hillman Cancer Center dropping a controversial prepay rule for Highmark Medicare Advantage members. Click on the gallery above to read the letter, as well as the responses from the local health care leaders.
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 12:13:34 +0000

    UPMC to send formal proposal to Highmark regarding Hillman next week

    UPMC CEO Jeffrey Romoff told Sen. Bob Casey in a letter Thursday that next week, the health system is planning to send a formal proposal to Highmark on keeping the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in-network for the insurer's members. Romoff's letter was in response to one sent earlier this week by Casey on UPMC's commitments on Hillman and dropping a controversial prepay rule for Highmark Medicare Advantage members. The letter, and one sent to Casey by Highmark CEO David Holmberg a day earlier, was provided…
  • Fri, 14 Jun 2019 12:00:59 +0000

    PHOTOS: Oakland Corridors of Opportunity

    More than 300 people attended the June 13 Corridors of Opportunity at Alumni Hall that focused on development opportunities and growth in Oakland. Panelists included Wanda Wilson, executive director, Oakland Planning and Development Corp.; Todd Reidbord, president and founding partner, Walnut Capital; Eli Shorak, associate vice chancellor, University of Pittsburgh; and Sean Luther, executive director, Pittsburgh Innovation District. Click on the photo to see who attended.
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