ImaginePittsburghNow.com is the blog of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliates, which include the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the ImaginePittsburgh initiative, the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce and the Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Allegheny Conference works in collaboration with public and private sector partners to stimulate economic growth and improve the quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania.

ImaginePittsburghNOW.com highlights news and events related to economic growth, job creation and quality-of-life issues in southwestern Pennsylvania.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Dennis Yablonsky is the chief executive officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its Affiliates.
  • Bill Flanagan is executive vice-president for corporate relations for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its Affiliates. He hosts the weekly TV program Our Region’s Business, produced in partnership with WPXI. It can be seen on Channel 11 in Pittsburgh at 11 a.m. Sundays, and also airs on other regional Cox affiliates and Pittsburgh Cable News Channel (PCNC).
  • Jim Futrell is vice president of market research and analysis for the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, the marketing affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. He conducts in-depth research on targeted businesses and industries — work that attracted such companies as Google, which now employs more than 150 people at its East Liberty engineering center. An avid amusement park enthusiast, he has authored four books on the subject, and serves as historian for the National Amusement Park Historical Association.
  • Brian Jensen is a senior vice president at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Executive Director for the Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania. He manages the “Strengthening Communities” portion of the competitiveness program. He earned a Ph.D in history and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and served as a Peace Corps volunteer working on village water projects in Liberia in the mid-1980s. He lives in Ben Avon.
  • Suzi Pegg is the vice president of global marketing for the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. A native of Sheffield, England, she is frequently on the road meeting with global business leaders interested in investing or expanding in southwestern Pennsylvania.
  • Albert Ciuksza Jr. is the director of the Pittsburgh Impact Initiative for the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, where he leads the implementation of an innovative economic development model based upon high-growth company research sponsored by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and the Team Pennsylvania Foundation. He is pursuing is MBA at Pitt’s Katz Graduate School of Business, and serves on the board of 3 Rivers Connect.
  • Will Bernstein is a policy analyst at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its Affiliates, and an avid cyclist.
  • Amanda Sennert is the Energy Workplace Project Fellow at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its Affiliates, where she coordinates communications for ShaleNET, a federal grant program that helps to prepare low-income, low skilled workers for family sustaining jobs in the natural gas industry.
  • Nyya Jones is the Workplace Database and Outreach Coordinator at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its Affiliates, where she works on the Pittsburgh Regional Compact, a K-12 career education initiative that connects employers, schools and community partners. A travel enthusiast of all sorts, she studied for a year in Argentina, and is an avid public transit rider in Pittsburgh.
  • Phil Cynar is senior communications specialist at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its Affiliates. By trade and by choice, he is a proud promoter of the Pittsburgh region.
  • Ben Kamber is a 20-something professional, helping to move the Pittsburgh region forward with his communications work at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its Affiliates.
  • Bonnie Pfister is a former journalist who has worked in New York City, New Jersey, Arizona and along the Texas-Mexico border. She gum-banded (boomeranged) back to Pittsburgh in 2006.