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Academic year: 2021



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The 7th Annual

Embracing Transformation



Forum Kick-Off | May 6th, 9 am – 12 pm: Join us for an engaging morning featuring the transformative voices of local leaders, an improv comedy show, and small group connection time with other leaders.

Transforming Your Mindset Keynote | May 20th, 10 am – 12 pm: Learn how an Asset Framing mindset defines people by their aspirations, not their challenges with national thought leader Trabian Shorters.

Transformational Workshops | Throughout May 2021: Five interactive workshops will be held on different dates throughout May. Please attend as many as you wish. The focus of our workshops will be:

Transforming Health on May 11th, Transforming Influence and Policy on May 14th, Transforming Community Health on May 18th, Transforming Data on May 24th, and Transforming Equity on May 26th.

Participation in the Jefferson Forum is free but advance registration is required!

Register at www.jeffersonrf.org/forum

Thank you for attending our 7th Annual Jefferson Forum, Embracing Transformation: a month-long series of virtual opportunities this


• 9:00 am – 9:20 am

Welcome Remarks by Rep. Austin Davis

Kick-Off Overview by Jefferson Regional

Foundation CEO Mary Phan-Gruber • 9:20 am – 10:25 am

Local Leaders of Transformation Panel Discussion:

Inspiration from local leaders reflecting on what transformation means to them and how it drives their work.

• Austin Davis – PA State Rep, District 35

• Angela Garcia – Executive Director, Global Links • Jim Guffey – Executive Director, South Hills

Interfaith Movement

• Dr. T. Charles Howell – Director of Workforce

Development, Mon Valley Initiative

• Giulia Lozza Petrucci – Executive Director,

Dragon’s Den

• Moderated by Mary Phan-Gruber – Jefferson

Regional Foundation CEO

• 10:25 am – 10:30 am Quick Break

• 10:30 am – 11:20 am

Nonprofits are Improv Geniuses – with Arcade Comedy: Join the team from Arcade Comedy to

explore a new perspective on nonprofit work through an improv comedy show, followed by a talk-back session.

• 11:20 am – 11:50 am

Jefferson Café Discussions: Connect and network with other local leaders! Reflect on your own transformations over the past year and share ideas with peers on how to continue moving forward and embracing continued change in the coming months.

• 11:50 am – 12 noon Wrap Up and Reminders

• Complete Your Survey: Your feedback is so

important to us:

www.surveymonkey.com/r/BQKTP6T • Register for our May 20th Keynote –

Asset Framing for Equity! You don’t want to

miss Transforming Your Mindset: Asset Framing for Equity, with national thought leader Trabian Shorters from 10 am – 12 pm on May 20th. See

full details on the next page.

• Register for Transformational Workshops!

Choose from five different workshop options – workshops will be held throughout May and you can attend as many as you like.


The Jefferson Forum is offered for up to 16 hours of social work continuing education through co-sponsorship of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work, a Council on Social Work Education accredited school and therefore a PA pre-approved provider of social work continuing education. These credit hours satisfy requirements for LSW/LCSW, LMFT,

and LPC biennial license renewal, For information on social work continuing education call (412) 346-8044. Jefferson Regional Foundation staff will contact you following the Forum to provide additional details and confirm your hours.

work. This year’s Forum is expected to engage 300+ representatives of nonprofit and community organizations from across the Mon Valley and South Hills regions.

Want to attend another Jefferson Forum Session?

Participation is free but registration is required!

Register at:


Virtual Keynote: Transforming Your Mindset

Asset Framing for Equity

with Trabian Shorters

May 20


10 am – 12 pm

You don’t want to miss this transformational keynote from a national, award-winning speaker!

Asset-framing works to define people by their aspirations, not their challenges – and has been recognized as a major innovation in fields of social impact. Based on

insights from global authorities in cognition, decision-making, narrative and social impact, nationally acclaimed thought leader Trabian Shorters offers forward-thinking leaders a reliable way to increase engagement, support and impact for their enterprises across races, genders and economic classes.

About the Speaker – Trabian Shorters

BMe Community CEO

Trabian Shorters is a dynamic speaker, New York Times Bestselling author, social entrepreneur, and the leading authority on an award-winning approach to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Impact called “Asset-Framing.” His experience in the tech, nonprofit and foundation fields led him to apply amazing work on cognition and decision-making to create an equitable model of social impacts we can all embrace. Trabian’s organization, BMe Community, is an award-winning network of innovators, leaders, and champions who invest in aspiring communities. Along with training leading organizations in Asset-Framing, BMe runs the BMe Vanguard Fellowship, and is the leader of the “Next Narrative for Black America.” Learn more about BMe at www.bmecommunity.org.

All are invited and encouraged to attend this keynote. Please also feel free to share this within your organization – the virtual presentation offers the opportunity to pass this along to more staff, volunteers, Board or other partners.

Please note: This keynote is offered live only over Zoom on May 20th – recording is not permitted.

The Jefferson Forum is taking place virtually throughout May 2021. View and register for additional sessions at www.jeffersonrf.org/Forum. Participation is free but registration is required!

The 7th Annual

Embracing Transformation



Sponsored by:


Forum Kick-Off Morning –

Speaker Bios

Arcade Comedy Theater is a 501(c)3

non-profit theater organization located in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Cultural District that produces, presents, and educates in the art of comedy. The theater presents a variety of programming in improv, stand-up, sketch, and other comedic forms. Arcade also offers corporate training and entertainment to strengthen the communication skills of professionals and make work fun.

Contact: operations@arcadecomedytheater.com | Website: www.arcadecomedytheater.com

Rep. Austin Davis was elected

into office on January 23, 2018, becoming the first African American to serve as State Representative for the 35th District, which represents the communities of Clairton, Duquesne, Lincoln, McKeesport, Munhall, South Versailles, Versailles and Whitaker. At an early age, Davis made the decision to dedicate his life and career to public service and took a post-college role serving as an executive assistant to County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. Davis currently resides in McKeesport with his wife, Blayre Davis.

Contact: 412-664-0035 | Website: www.pahouse.com/ADavis

Angela Garcia is the Executive

Director of Global Links, a Pittsburgh-based organization that works to improve health for vulnerable communities, locally and globally. A Pittsburgh native, Angela has combined years of experience working abroad with a passion for community health, now at Global links for more than 20 years and serving as the Executive Director since 2018. Angela has led the creation and expansion of the Community Partners Program, which supports our local

community by providing medical materials (including personal protective equipment during the pandemic) to nonprofit organizations.

Contact: agarcia@globallinks.org | Website: www.globallinks.org Jim Guffey has served as South

Hills Interfaith Movement’s (SHIM) Executive Director since August of 2007. With more than three decades of experience in the government/nonprofit sectors, Jim has been able to transform SHIM from a $320,000 organization in 2007 to a $2.5 million organization today all the while meeting the diverse and growing needs of the South Hills. Jim resides in the South Hills with his wife (Stephanie) and three children (Joshua, Emily, and Benjamin).

Contact: jguffey@shimcares.org | Website: www.shimcares.org


Forum Kick-Off Speakers, continued

Rev. Dr. T. Charles Howell IV is the

current Director of Workforce Development and Financial Coaching for Mon Valley Initiative. He has served in numerous capacities in the city of Pittsburgh. His experience has been primarily working to expand equity and opportunity through education, vocation and ministry for under-served populations in Allegheny County. Dr. Howell also works alongside his wife as co-owner and pastoral counselor at Agape Wellness Centre.

Contact: chowell@monvalleyinitiative.com | Website: www.monvalleyinitiative.com

Giulia Lozza Petrucci is the Executive

Director at Dragon’s Den, a former church revamped into a vibrant community center that fosters team-building, experiential learning, and self-development for children and families in Homestead. Originally from Northern Italy, Giulia developed the unique concept of Dragon’s Den five years ago and opened in September 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. The driving force behind this innovative program, Giulia brings energy, inspiration and a fresh outlook that comes from growing up in another country and culture.

Contact: giulia.lozza.petrucci@dragonsdenpgh.org | Website: www.dragonsdenpgh.org


Transformational Workshops

Throughout May 2021

Workshops will be held on different dates throughout May so that you can attend as many as you wish.

Advance registration required. Registration closes 24 hours prior to the start time.

Register at: www.jeffersonrf.org/forum. Links will be provided before each workshop.

Our five workshop offerings include:

Tuesday, May 11th 1 pm – 3 pm

Transforming Work – People Practices in the New Normal with tHRive - People Practices for Nonprofits

Join nonprofit experts in “people practice” who will explore policy and practice issues. Our experts will review organizational policies such as flextime, leave of absences, vaccinations, new federally mandated employment programs, along with practices to guide and transform your organization and people through this new normal and beyond.

Friday, May 14th 9 am – 12 pm

Transforming Influence and Policy – Digital Engagement and Government Funding

This two-part session will feature the following:

Digital Advocacy Training with John Denny, Denny Civic Solutions:

Learn to leverage your influence from an expert in using digital advocacy tools and social media to ensure your message is heard, to raise awareness of your organization, and to move legislators and key decision makers on your issue.

Transforming Influence & Government Funding, Moderated by Jay Costa (PA State Senator, District 43) and featuring Kathi Elliott (Executive Director, Gwen’s Girls); Rochelle Jackson (Executive Director, Black Women’s Policy Center); and Laura Chu Wiens (Executive Director, Pittsburghers for Public Transit)

Gather insights about influencing policy with a panel of powerful advocates who will offer effective strategies in working with legislators and other key decision makers to ensure your message is heard and your capacity to elicit government funding support is enhanced.


Tuesday, May 18th 9 am – 11 am

Transforming Community Health – Access and Technology Featuring Rev. Paul Abernathy (CEO, Neighborhood Resilience Project); Dr. Elizabeth Cuevas (Division Director, AHN Center for Inclusion Health); Dr. Jenn Elliott (Associate Professor, Duquesne School of Pharmacy); and Dr. Jerome Gloster (CEO, Primary Care Health Services, Inc.)

The pandemic has drastically changed how health and behavioral health providers interact with communities, presenting both challenges and opportunities when it comes to providing equitable health access, addressing trauma and social variables, and leveraging telehealth and new technologies. Join this workshop to explore the broad and innovative ways that health providers are engaging with communities for tremendous impact.

Monday, May 24th 1 pm – 3 pm

Transforming Data – Data as a Tool for Change

Moderated by Carrie Tancraitor (Associate Director, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management) and featuring Bobbi Watt-Geer (CEO, United Way of Southwestern PA); Rich Overmoyer (CEO & President, Fourth Economy), and Bhavini Patel (CEO and Co-Founder of Beam Data)

Data is a powerful tool for transformation. Key local leaders and analysts will offer insights and examples of how they are collecting and utilizing data in innovative ways to drive impact and change in the nonprofit sector and tips to build your capacity to utilize data.

Wednesday, May 26th 1 pm – 3 pm OR Friday, June 4th 10 am – 12 pm

Transforming Equity – Racial Wealth Gap Learning Simulation with LaTrenda Sherill at Common Cause Consulting

This interactive activity helps participants understand the connections between racial inequity, policy, and wealth in new ways. Recommended for all, this simulation is a good early step for people who are just learning about racism as well as an informative support tool for all participants in understanding the quantifiable economic impact of historical policies that have widened today’s racial, income, and wealth divides in the United States. Please note: this session is limited to 40 participants so two separate dates will be offered. Both sessions are at already full capacity, but you can select a date to be added to the waitlist. We’ll contact you if a space opens up.



Workshop Speakers and Leaders

Transforming Work – People Practices in

the New Normal

tHRive People Practices for Nonprofits is designed to elevate the human resources and people– centric practices within nonprofits to enhance

organizational capacity and community impact. tHRive is led by a team of seasoned HR professionals who have held leadership roles in Pittsburgh’s nonprofit sector. tHRive also offers a Human Resources Fundamentals Learning Cohort, supported by The Heinz Endowments and The Forbes Funds, which offers additional training, coaching, consulting services specifically to the

nonprofit community.

Contact: info@thrivehr.work | Website: www.thrivehr.work

Transforming Influence & Policy – Digital

Engagement & Government Funding

Senator Jay Costa is now serving his

sixth Pennsylvania state senate term representing the City of Pittsburgh, East Hills communities, and areas of the Mon Valley and South Hills in District 43. Costa is the Senate’s minority Floor Leader. As a lifelong resident of Allegheny County, Costa was born and raised in Pittsburgh and now lives with his wife Roxanne in Forest Hills. He is also currently a Principal in the downtown Pittsburgh law firm Dickie McCamey & Chilcote P.C.

Contact: 412-241-6690 | Website: www.senatorcosta.com

John Denny is the Founder and

Principal of Denny Civic Solutions where he works to create positive change by managing civic

campaigns and engineering public policy. From his days as one of the youngest people in the U.S. to manage a statewide presidential campaign, John has experience across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Major efforts include working collaboratively with legislators to change the name of the state Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services

Contact: jrdenny@dennycivicsolutions.com | Website: www.dennycivicsolutions.com

Dr. Kathi Elliott serves as CEO of

Gwen’s Girls. The organization was founded by her mother Gwen in 2002 to empower girls and young women to have productive lives through holistic, gender-specific programs, education, and experiences. Dr. Elliott holds multiple degrees and over 15 years of experience in social services and community health. She leads the Black Girls Equity Alliance, which engages community stakeholders to address the structural inequities and subsequent disparities experienced by Black girls in our community.

Contact: kelliott@gwensgirls.org | Website: www.gwensgirls.org


Workshop Speakers and Leaders, continued

Rochelle Jackson serves as Founder

and Director of the Black Women’s Policy Agenda – an initiative to address the complex challenges black women, femmes and black girls face in the Pittsburgh region. Rochelle has served for many years as an advocate for equity and economic justice, inspired by her own personal journey as a single mom and through previously-held policy roles at the Women and Girls Foundation and at Just Harvest. Rochelle currently lives in McKeesport, PA.

Contact: rochelle@blackwomenspolicycenter.org | Website: www.blackwomenspolicyagenda.org

Laura Chu Wiens is Executive Director

of Pittsburghers for Public Transit where she has been involved as a board member since 2013 and on staff since 2017. Laura has her roots in labor organizing with Unite HERE and draws from her experience recruiting and training leaders in the service industry to mobilize transit riders in the fight for equity, access and transparency within our public agencies. Laura is Chinese-American and believes in the collective power of people to transform their communities.

Contact: laura@pittsburghforpublictransit.org | Website: www.pittsburghforpublictransit.org

Transforming Community Health – Access

& Technology

Rev. Paul Abernathy is an Orthodox

Christian Priest and CEO of the Neighborhood Resilience Project, which supports the transformation of neighborhoods from trauma-affected communities to resilient, healing and healthy communities through trauma-informed

community development. Also a combat veteran of the Iraq war who is familiar with the signs of PTSD and trauma, Rev. Paul has worked in a predominantly Black underserved community in Pittsburgh and runs the organization with the understanding that generational trauma is the greatest barrier facing the development of his community.

Contact: pabernathy@neighborhoodresilience.org | Website: www.neighborhoodresilience.org

Dr. Elizabeth Cuevas is an MD and

Division Chief of the Allegheny Health Network Center for Inclusion Health which provides compassionate, accessible care to our region’s high-risk patients. Dr. Cuevas was instrumental in helping to launch the Center for Inclusion Health in 2014 as one of the nation’s first programs focused on meeting the comprehensive health needs of patients from underserved or marginalized populations. Dr. Cuevas also continues to practice Internal Medicine and holds 20 years of experience in providing care.

Contact: elizabeth.cuevas@ahn.org | Website: www.ahn.org/ services/medicine/center-for-inclusion-health

Dr. Jennifer Elliott is a PharmD and

an Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy at Duquesne University. Elliott has spent her career creating and implementing programs in pursuit of health equity through education, research, outreach and advocacy. She leads a team that developed a community-based screening model to identify children with undiagnosed and uncontrolled asthma and connect them with appropriate care, which is offered as a free service in schools and has included extensive work in the Mon Valley.

Contact: elliott3@duq.edu |

Website: www.duq.edu/academics/schools/pharmacy


medicine, all of which have been with Federally Qualified Community Health Centers. PCHS is a Federally Qualified Health Center Corporation which includes ten clinical heath center offices throughout the greater Pittsburgh area in Mckeesport, Braddock, Homestead, Hazelwood, West End, Hill District, East Liberty,

Wilkinsburg and Homewood.

Contact: jgloster@pchspitt.org | Website: http://pchspitt.org/

Transforming Data – Data as a

Tool for Change

Carrie Tancraitor is Associate Director

of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management and is responsible for the collection and analysis of customer, demographic, and survey data which is used to help local nonprofit agencies strategically plan for the future. She also contributes original research to various studies including 74%: Exploring the lives of women leaders in nonprofit careers and heads up the Bayer Center’s biannual Nonprofit Wage and Benefit Survey efforts. She’s a marathoner and the proud parent to three spirited boys.

Contact: tancraitor@rmu.edu | Website: www.rmu.edu/about/bcnm

Bobbi Watt Geer is President & CEO

of United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and has had a 30+ year career in the nonprofit sector. Bobbi served previously in a variety of leadership positions within United Way, including

engaged in her community and has served in a number of volunteer leadership roles.

Contact: bobbi.wattgeer@unitedwayswpa.org | Website: www.uwswpa.org

Rich Overmoyer founded Fourth

Economy in 2010 and since then has been leading the charge to help clients translate complex ideas and data into solutions for their communities. He is creative, thoughtful, and entrepreneurial, and uses his own experiences as a guide in his work to connect people who share similar ideas and values. In his spare time he’s a pinball whiz and believes in the power of craft beer to create stronger communities.

Contact: rovermoyer@fourtheconomy.com | Website: www.fourtheconomy.com

Bhavini Patel is the CEO and

Co-Founder of BeamData, a civic tech company that operates at the intersection of social issues and data. Her company created Be the Change, a non-partisan participatory civic action app that helps people provide feedback on legislative issues and mobilize around Community Causes. Bhavini is a passionate systems thinker, who thrives on cultivating intimate connections with people of all cultures, backgrounds, and sectors.

Contact: bhavini.patel04@gmail.com | Website: www.beam-data.com


Workshop Speakers and Leaders, continued

Transforming Equity – Racial Wealth Gap


Common Cause Consulting was founded by and is led by community innovator LaTrenda

Leonard Sherrill. LaTrenda has 12

years of experience in coalition-building, project management and strategic planning working in the areas of policy, communications and operations. This training is based on an open-source, virtual learning experience adapted by local partners including FISA Foundation and United Way of Southwestern PA from an original Bread for the World training model, and adjusted specifically for Jefferson partners with input from the Jefferson Regional Foundation’s Vision Council of Community Leaders.


About Us

About the Jefferson Regional Foundation

Jefferson Regional Foundation is dedicated to

addressing the social determinants of health (SDOH) and has distributed over $15 million in grants to more than 120 nonprofit organizations since 2014. The Foundation was created as a new grantmaking organization focused on the South Hills and lower Mon Valley with assets resulting from the 2013 affiliation of Jefferson Hospital into the Allegheny Health Network. The Foundation extends its impact through community engagement which includes hosting the Jefferson Collaborative, sponsoring the annual Jefferson Forum, publishing a resource guide, reports and community profiles, and supporting initiatives such as community conversations (Around the Table South), and the Jefferson Counts 2020 Census campaign. Six new grantmaking priorities were recently adopted and include:

• Capacity Building

• Civic Engagement and Policy Work

• Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

• Early Childhood and Youth Development

• Health and Wellness

• Workforce and Economic Opportunity

Learn more about the Foundation and our work at www.jeffersonrf.org.

About the Jefferson Community Collaborative

Hosted and staffed by the Jefferson Regional

Foundation, the Jefferson Community Collaborative is a network of 100+ community-serving organizations who are committed to bring together change-makers to positively impact the health and vitality of communities south of Pittsburgh. In addition to holding five member meetings each year, the Jefferson Community Collaborative hosts monthly action

teams which are currently focused on Civic and Policy Engagement and Diversity, Equity, and Racial Justice. The Collaborative also distributes a resource guide called the Jefferson Community Directory. It is led by a Vision Council and works to create agile, healthy and sustainable communities for diverse populations throughout the Jefferson region while:

• Serving as an incubator for powerful ideas and promising practices

• Improving the capacity of community-serving organizations

• Facilitating group action on community aspirations


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