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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.
  • Wed, 21 Aug 2019 09:59:00 -0400

    Back in session: Police urge drivers to use caution around school buses

    With local high schools opening across Indiana County, state police and PennDOT officials are reminding motorists to be alert for school bus stop locations to keep children safe as they get on and off the bus.
  • Wed, 21 Aug 2019 09:55:00 -0400

    Council rejects second offer for purchase of vacant property

    BLAIRSVILLE — Town officials have taken the second round of offers to buy the vacant ground where the Walker Building once stood on East Market Street, and it’s still “no deal.”
  • Tue, 20 Aug 2019 09:54:00 -0400

    Board handles personnel issues

    The Indiana school board on Monday handled some late personnel issues in preparation for the start of classes Thursday at the district schools.
  • Tue, 20 Aug 2019 09:49:00 -0400

    Forbes selects IUP for inclusion on list

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania has been selected as one of “America’s Top Colleges 2019” by Forbes.
  • Tue, 20 Aug 2019 09:49:00 -0400

    Marion Center appoints new dean of students

    MARION CENTER — The Marion Center Area High School appointed a new dean of students Monday.
  • Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:59:00 -0400

    Campaign 2019: Independent enters race for county commissioner

    When the election campaigns come off summer hiatus, the race for the Indiana County board of commissioners will be just a little more crowded.
  • Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:54:00 -0400

    Indiana celebrates Italian heritage

    Denny Della-Penna, center, owner of Bruno’s Restaurant and organizer of the Italian Festival celebrated by hundreds Sunday on the west end of Indiana, promised during his stage announcements that the festival would return for a third year in 2020.
  • Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:49:00 -0400

    ICCAP sets food distribution schedule

    The Indiana County Community Action Program will distribute food next week at these locations:
  • Mon, 19 Aug 2019 09:49:00 -0400

    Students return to IUP this week

    Indiana University of Pennsylvania will welcome the majority of new, transfer and continuing students to the residence halls for the fall semester Thursday through Sunday.
  • Sun, 18 Aug 2019 00:59:00 -0400

    Indiana County Fair commences Thursday

    There are changes this year as the Indiana County Fair readies its 157th edition at the fairgrounds in White Township’s J.S. Mack Community Park.
  • Mon, 19 Aug 2019 16:45:20 +0000

    Save the Date: SBIR Road Tour Coming to Penn State

    The SBIR Road Tour is a national outreach effort connecting entrepreneurs working on advanced technologies to the country’s largest source of early-stage funding – the SBIR/STTR programs. Also known as America’s Seed Fund, the SBIR/STTR programs provide over $3 billion in funding to small businesses each year in a wide variety of technology areas. In all, SBIR/STTR has provided more […]
  • Wed, 14 Aug 2019 14:17:30 +0000

    Penn State names Georgia Tech’s Lora Weiss senior vice president for research

    UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Lora G. Weiss, interim senior vice president of the Georgia Institute of Technology and interim director of the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI), has been named senior vice president for research at Penn State, beginning Sept. 16. Weiss also serves as a Regents’ Researcher for the University System of Georgia. Weiss, an accomplished scientist and educator with more than 30 years […]
  • Wed, 31 Jul 2019 15:56:57 +0000

    Women in Leadership and Moral Licensing

    We celebrate the firsts. It is empowering and inspiring. We imagine ourselves in the spaces that have seen new accomplishments by those that look like us. For me, the first American woman in space impacted the way I saw myself in the world. I was very young, but I knew that something shifted suddenly in my expectations of what my […]
  • Fri, 26 Jul 2019 15:21:40 +0000

    AssureTech Mobile App Makes Traveling with Allergies Safer and More Stress Free

    Thirty-two million Americans have food allergies. That’s about one in ten adults and one in 13 kids.* Traveling with a food allergy, especially abroad, can be exceptionally stressful –even dangerous–due to language barriers and variations in food preparation and regulations around the world. That’s why Joey DiGangi, a lifelong food allergy sufferer, founded AssureTech ( in 2017 while an undergraduate […]
  • Fri, 26 Jul 2019 13:00:00 +0000


    Pennsylvania Business Central is proud to recognize 23 talented and dedicated in­dividuals who are Central Pennsylvania’s Health Care Heroes. Healthcare remains a central social and political issue in America (see article on page 9) and these Health Care Heroes are the men and women who are on the front line of providing dynamic and innovative care to our friends and […]
  • Fri, 26 Jul 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Saima Siddiqui, MD*

    Neurologist UPMC Physician Services Division Previously named one of Pennsylvania’s Top Physicians Under 40, Siddiqui is a neurologist with UPMC Physician Services Divi­sion in Uniontown. Siddiqui has led initiatives to expand UPMC’s services to patients in Uniontown unable to travel due to costs or lack of transportation. Her efforts have successfully reduced the number of patient no-shows in the area. […]
  • Fri, 26 Jul 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Ure Mezu-Chukwu

    Physician/Cardiac Electrophysiologist University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Dr. Mezu-Chukwu is a cardiac electrophysiologist practicing at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She offers specialty services in cardiovascular care including implant of pacemakers, defibrillators and cardiac ablation. As the youngest of seven girls out of 11 children of Nigerian immigrants, she has known a life of service from a young age. […]
  • Fri, 26 Jul 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Rabia Bajwa *

    Sleep Disorders IRMC Physician Group Dr. Rabia Bajwa is a board-certified specialist in sleep disorders. She received her medical degree from Rawalpindi Medical College in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. Bajwa’s extensive post-graduate education began with an ob­servership at Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, Penn­sylvania. She then continued her training at the facility by completing both an internal medicine internship and residency. For […]
  • Fri, 26 Jul 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Kelly L. Blake

    Select Specialty Hospital Johnstown and Laurel Highlands Kelly L. Blake has enjoyed her health care career for over 30 years. Following in her aunt’s footprints as a nurse and her moth­er’s goals as a leader, Blake finds her career extremely fulfilling and would do nothing different. Her education consists of a di­ploma degree from Conemaugh School of Nursing, a bachelor […]
  • Fri, 26 Jul 2019 13:00:00 +0000

    Christopher McKenna *

    CEO Universal Medical Services Christopher McKenna’s diverse career began at Universal Medi­cal Services nearly 30 years ago. McKenna has served in a myriad of different positions at Universal Medical including field service engineer, sales manager, installation coordinator and now, imag­ing service manager and CEO. Chris formerly served his country as a U.S. Marine and now lives with his family near […]
  • Wed, 21 Aug 2019 16:12:15 +0000

    Deep Well Services going international

    The Zelienople-based company already has extensive operations in the Marcellus and Utica shales as well as the Permian Basin.
  • Wed, 21 Aug 2019 15:57:50 +0000

    Weber Gallagher adds four lawyers in Pittsburgh, including two partners from Post & Schell

    Three lawyers have joined Weber Gallagher’s downtown Pittsburgh office from Post & Schell PC. Both firms are based in Philadelphia. Evan Dalzell and Hendrick Penn IV are now partners in the workers compensation group and Charley Monroe has come aboard as an associate. Dalzell and Penn have been defending employers, third-party administrators and insurance companies in workers compensation matters for the past 15 years, Weber Gallagher said in a release issued on Wednesday. “We are extremely…
  • Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:30:00 +0000

    Arconic sells off oil drilling tech subsidiary

    Local metal manufacturer Arconic has sold off a subsidiary specializing in technology for deep water oil drilling, according to a release from Calash, an advisory firm that advised Arconic in the deal. The subsidiary, RTI Energy Systems, was sold to Hunting PLC, a British-based supplier to the oil and gas industry. RTI manufactures production riser technologies for deep water applications, and is the only supplier of titanium stress joints, which are an alternative to flexible joints and steel tapered…
  • Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:28:06 +0000

    Allegheny County Council endorses enforcement action against U.S. Steel

    On Tuesday, the Allegheny County Council voted unanimously to support the Allegheny County Health Department's enforcement actions against United States Steel Corp., according to a report from the Tribune-Review. The vote, in which all 15 members of the council participated, was largely a symbolic move to show support for the health department, which, in June, settled with U.S. Steel, forcing the company to pay $2.7 million in fines. U.S. Steel has been under scrutiny this year after two fires…
  • Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:05:54 +0000

    Report: another historic Oakland building is up for sale

    The Twentieth Century Club is looking to sell its four-story building at 4201 Bigelow Boulevard, following in the footsteps of the nearby Pittsburgh Athletic Association. The club, a women's group founded in 1894, has faced declining membership in recent years, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The club is in the process of hiring a real estate broker and members have voted to close the building at the end of the year. According to the report, the structure was built in 1910 and given an overhaul…
  • Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:00:44 +0000

    Pittsburgh private equity firm buys stake in Phoenix fitness center chain

    A private equity firm has bought a stake in a Phoenix-based fitness center chain. PNC Mezzanine Capital, based in Pittsburgh, purchased 25% of Mountainside Fitness, the companies said this week. The investment marks the first time Mountainside Fitness has had an ownership partner, said founder and CEO Tom Hatten. Hatten declined to share financial details of the deal, though on its website, PNC Mezzanine said it typically invests in a range between $10 million and $50 million, in companies with…
  • Wed, 21 Aug 2019 11:50:34 +0000

    Pitt biotech spinout to test cancer drug in humans after raising $80M

    A University of Pittsburgh spinout based in Cambridge, Massachusetts is set to begin testing viruses loaded with immune system “warheads” against several forms of cancer, thanks to nearly $80 million in new funding.  Oncorus Inc. is developing two treatments it hopes will alert the immune system to begin fighting cancer tumors, as well as teaching the system what to look for and fight next time. Its lead drug candidate uses an augmented version of the herpes virus to fight liver cancer, melanoma…
  • Wed, 21 Aug 2019 11:39:25 +0000

    P&G launches Head & Shoulders ad campaign featuring former Steeler

    Patrick Mahomes is the new face (or should we say hair) of Procter & Gamble Co.'s advertising for Head & Shoulders. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, who was the NFL's Most Valuable Player last season, has his work cut out for him as he faces off with Troy Polamalu, the product's longtime brand ambassador. The Cincinnati-based maker of consumer goods such as Head & Shoulders (NYSE: PG) launched a national advertising campaign featuring Mahomes and Polamalu, the retired Pittsburgh Steelers strong…
  • Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:49:27 +0000

    CMU creates tool to detect privacy compliance issues in apps

    While most app developers are well intentioned, the study showed an alarming rate of privacy compliance issues.
  • Tue, 20 Aug 2019 18:19:56 +0000

    Aurora debuts software for testing autonomous vehicles

    Most autonomous vehicle companies have been using simulations and virtual scenarios to test their technology for awhile. However, Aurora wants to bring attention to it now.  The company, which operates headquarters in both Pittsburgh and Palo Alto, California, debuted its new simulation and virtual testing software, Offline Executor, on Tuesday.  In a blog post, Aurora said that, in contrast to a several other AV companies, it developed its own software to analyze simulation performance, “rather…
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