October 2014 Speakers
Opening Remarks Speaker: The Honorable Rich Fitzgerald
Allegheny County Executive, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Rich grew up in Pittsburgh's Bloomfield-Garfield neighborhood. He earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a business minor from Carnegie Mellon University. Rich started a small business, Aquenef, which provides water treatment equipment and services for industry in the Western Pennsylvania region.
Rich worked on the campaign to change the form of government in Allegheny County. In 1999, he ran for one of the district council seats on the newly-formed County Council and was elected to represent a district that included suburban municipalities and city neighborhoods. He held the seat for twelve years and was elected as Council President four times before leaving to run for the office of County Executive.
As County Executive, he is focused on economic development of the region and job creation and works with companies on a weekly basis to address the issues that are priorities to them in growing and being supported in the county. That focus includes making our airport better, ensuring our public transit system is reliable and sustainable, and providing a climate where a skilled workforce is a key component of our growth. Rich's interest in making government more effective and efficient began with the consolidation of row offices when he was on Council, has expanded to include a top to bottom review of county departments and functions by the County Manager and direction to make changes to ensure that county government is responsive to taxpayers and protects their interests.
He and his wife, Cathy, a pharmacist, live in Squirrel Hill. They have eight children.
Closing Remarks Speaker: Gregg S. Behr
Executive Director, The Grable Foundation
In his eighth year as Executive Director of the Grable Foundation, Gregg Behr manages a grantmaking portfolio advancing high-quality early childhood education, improved teaching and learning in public schools, and robust out-of-school time support, including digital, maker, and STEAM learning.
From 2002-2006, Gregg served as president of The Forbes Funds. Nationally, Gregg is a trustee for GreatNonprofits.org and Grantmakers for Education, and is a former board chair of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO). In Pittsburgh, he is a trustee for A+ Schools. Previously, Gregg served as board chair for the Mentoring Partnership, Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, and WQED Multimedia's Community Advisory Board. He was also a trustee for the Women and Girls Foundation.
An advocate for digital, maker, and STEAM learning, Gregg has written for such publications as the Huffington Post and the Harvard Family Research Project, and he has spoken at such events as SxSWedu and Games for Change.
In 2014, Gregg accepted the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award on behalf of Pittsburgh's Kids+Creativity Network. In 2013, the Western Pennsylvania Forum of School Superintendents presented him with their Voice of Advocacy Award, and in 2012, Gregg was honored with a doctorate of humane letters from Saint Vincent College for his work on behalf of children and youth. In 2010, he received the Lay Leader Award presented by the Pittsburgh chapter of Phi Delta Kappa -- the same award once given to one of Gregg's heroes, Fred Rogers.
Gregg is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Duke University's School of Law.