Our Team

The Allegheny Conference staff works from the direction of board leadership on the day-to-day activities that move the Conference’s agenda forward.

If you are a smart, civic-minded individual who is invested in a bright future for the Pittsburgh region, why not join our team.

Senior Management Team

Missy Demme
Melissa Demme

Executive Assistant to Stefani Pashman

Meet Vera

What do you do?
I am responsible for coordinating all quantitative and qualitative research, championing the use of data and information across the organization, and framing the messaging around the state of the Pittsburgh region’s economy.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
I am passionate about the Pittsburgh region because of its natural beauty, incredible resilience, strong commitment to a better future and amazing people.

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Vera Krekanova

Chief Strategy & Research Officer
412.281.4783 x3136

Majestic Lane
Majestic Lane

Chief Equity Officer


Willy McKain

Meet Willy

What do you do?
I oversee the internal operations of the Conference, including Human Resources, Investor Relations, Information Technology and Facilities Management, as well as management of the work plan

What do you like best about your position?
I work with talented and energetic leadership staff that support the Conference’s mission. In addition, it is very rewarding to see our board and members bring many shared experiences and expertise to collaborate on shared projects and initiatives. Lastly, there is no typical day which makes the job stimulating, demanding and fun.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
People in the Pittsburgh region care. They work together to solve problems and get things done for the betterment of the community and do so in a humble way. There is a famous quote that I believe accurately describes the spirit and success of the Pittsburgh region: “It is amazing how much can be accomplished if no one cares who gets the credit.”

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Willy McKain

Chief Operating Officer / Chief Financial Officer
412.392.1083 x3134

Meet Stefani

What do you do?
On October 2, 2017, I became the Chief Executive Officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliated organizations – the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh, LLC and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
Frick Park.

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Stefani Pashman

Chief Executive Officer
412.281.4783 x3125

Meet Matt

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
I am passionate about our city’s ability to collaborate and partner, across party lines, between labor and business, and across the region, on critical issues impacting our future.

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Matt Smith

Chief Growth Officer, Allegheny Conference on Community Development
412.281.4783 x2032


Tahmina Ahmed

New Economy Collaborative Associate

Dan Alwine

Vice President, Government Affairs

Jennifer Baldwin

Meet Jen

What do you like best about your position?
I enjoy providing a support system for our staff and the constant variety in my work.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
I’m fascinated by the growth and evolution that has taken place in my lifetime. And no matter where I’ve lived or traveled, this region is always home.

Jennifer Baldwin

Human Resources Specialist
412.281.4783 x3144

Alisa Balestra

Sr. Director, Economic Development Research & Strategy

Christine Battyanyi
Christine Battyanyi



Oliver Beasley

Senior Director, Inclusive Economic Growth


Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett

Strategy & Research Associate


Eric Chaikowsky

Art Director
412.392.4555 x4542

Phil Cynar

Meet Phil

What do you do?
I’m part of a team that conveys the amazing stories and news of a Pittsburgh region-reborn to a broad audience including the Regional Investors who have kept our organization running for nearly 75 years, our many partners across the region to companies looking to grow, and talent seeking a “soft landing” loaded with opportunity. And there’s the media, too – another important communications vehicle with which I work closely to report on how Pittsburgh, and Pittsburghers, have been making the world a better place for 250+ years.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
Pittsburgh is right-sized for me. It’s a big, small city where I feel like I’ve found my place. My husband and I appreciate and value Pittsburgh’s rich history and unique character, its accessibility on so many levels and the diversity of people who make this a friendly, safe and welcoming place.

Philip Cynar

Senior Director, Media and Public Relations
412.392.4555 x4573

Kelly Dunbar-Jones

Meet Kelly

What do you like best about your position?
What I like the most about my position is being able to interact on a daily basis with staff, clients, vendors and being the main contact person for the organization.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
I love all of the newly renovated shops, condos, restaurants that are currently in process or will be will complete with in the next few years. I also love how we all come together in good times and bad to help each other.

Kelly Dunbar Jones

Office Associate
412.392.4555 x4531

Sarah Dunlap
Sarah Dunlap

Communications Manager


Jackie Erickson

Senior Director, New Economy Collaborative

Reagan Faizon

Inclusive Growth Intern


Bill Flanagan

Meet Bill

What do you do?
As I have done for more than 40-years, I tell the story of the Pittsburgh region through my role as producer and host of “Our Region’s Business,” a weekly business public affairs broadcast television program produced in partnership with WPXI, and develop and implement related programming to advance the Allegheny Conference agenda and raise regional awareness of important issues and opportunities..

Bill Flanagan

Special Advisor
412.281.4783 x3123

Meet Leslie

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
The Pittsburgh region is where I was born and raised. I’ve seen the city evolve from the old “steel town” to the emerging technology center that it is today.

Leslie Freeman

Financial Analyst
412.392.4555 x3119

Ellen Gaus

Meet Ellen

What do you do?
If Google were a girl, that would be me. I assemble data about people, jobs, industries and more in the Pittsburgh region and beyond to tell an impactful and meaningful story, as well as attract and retain businesses. I lead on manufacturing and other key sector requests as well as international requests.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
Pittsburgh and the people that live here are unlike any other in the world. Working for an organization that is so invested in the success of the region is a thrill and an honor.

Ellen Gaus

Market Research Manager
412.392.4555 x1020

Austin Grbach
Austin Grbach

Member Relations Manager


Stephanie Gumbert
Stephanie Gumbert

Marketing & Communications Associate


Meet Deb

What do you like best about your position?
I enjoy working with the Business Investment and Investor Relations teams. I find the work interesting and as a group we make a great team.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
I love the Pittsburgh region mostly for its people. Having many hiking trails and beautiful lakes is just a bonus.

Debra Harshaw

Coordinator, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance
412.392.4555 x4539

Mike Henderson

Meet Mike

What do you do?
In my role with the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, I am responsible for client contact, information gathering, and project management for companies from around the region and around the world that are considering southwestern Pennsylvania for new and expanded facilities.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
I moved here from New Jersey to be part of the dramatic transformation of the Pittsburgh region, from one largely based on manufacturing to the diversified economy that it is today, and I want to do my part to accelerate that transformation.

Michael Henderson

Senior Director, Business Investment + International Investment Inquiries
412.392.4555 x4536

Meet Kaitlyn

What do you do?
I provide project support to various departments across the Conference, primarily focusing on research and communications, in order to grow and improve our region.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
I love the sense of community and friendliness that the people project, how the city has stayed on the cutting edge, and the food!

Kaitlyn Hendrickson

Acting Vice President, Investor Relations
412.392.4555 x1086

Molly Hobba

Manager, Business Investment


Mekya Holeman

Inclusive Growth Intern


Patty Horvatich

Meet Patty

What do you do?
With the help of my colleagues and partners, I promote the 10-county Pittsburgh region for the purpose of creating jobs and capital investment through business attraction and expansion.

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
The people. Pittsburghers have a ‘roll up your sleeves, get it done’ attitude that helps to cope with current times and plan for the future, all while respecting our strong heritage.

Patty Horvatich

Senior Vice President, Business Investment
412.392.4555 x4543

Jordan Jasper
Jordan Jasper

Business Investment Manager


Karly Keppel-Webb

Investor Relations Associate


Rachel Leige
Rachel Leige

Manager, Business Investment


Johna Lingelbach

Meet Johna

What do you like best about your position?
Challenges. Life never gets boring with technology always changing.

Johna K. Lingelbach, MCSE, MCP, A+

Senior Director, Information Technology
412.281.4783 x2028

Sophia Maestra

Investor Relations Intern


Eric McAllister II

Manager, Inclusive Economic Growth


James Myers
James Myers

Senior Director, Business Investment


Mike Palmer
Mike Palmer

Manager, Business Investment


Shyam Patel

Market Research Intern


Mihir Prakash

Sr. Director, Economic Development Research & Analysis

Benjamin Pratt
Ben Pratt

Regional Economic Competitiveness Officer

Andrew Pruden

Policy and Government Affairs Intern


Nova Rubio

Meet Nova

What do you do?
Provides administrative support to management and staff.

What do you like best about your position?
Meeting talented people and knowing I am a part of making our region “Great!”

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
Pittsburgh has a nice city feeling. Not too little and not too big.

Nova Rubio

Finance Coordinator
412.281.4783 x3101

Jennifer Span
Chrissy Savinell

Web Developer
412.281.1890 x1082

Josie Schultz
Josie Schultz

Vice President, Policy & Advocacy Communications


Bob Shark
Bob Shark

Special Advisor, Business Investment

Laura Sohinki
Laura Sohinki

Senior Director, Government Affairs


Zivya Sutton

Government Affairs Associate


Kristen Turner

Events Director


Rhonda Walters

Meet Rhonda

What do you like best about your position?
I love that I get the opportunity to lead, support, and serve amazing & talented employees each day!

Why are you passionate about the Pittsburgh region?
The “sense of community”, the feeling of belonging and that what happens to one happens to us all!

Rhonda Walters

Vice President, Talent Management
412.281.4783 x2029

Katlyn Weiser
Katlyn Weiser

Manager, Public Policy and Government Affairs


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