Bonnie Pfister

FeatureRMorganFew places are as old-school Pittsburgh as Eat’n Park, which began as a single car-hop eatery during the Truman Administration. But there’s a lot more to the home of Smiley cookies than you may realize.

It’s a large regional employer not only through its restaurants but its Cura Hospitality, which caters for hospitals and senior living communities, and Parkhurst Dining Services, which serves corporations, private higher education institutions, and cultural centers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. It’s also an industry pioneer in sustainability, from building LEED-certified restaurants and using LED lighting to a commitment to locally sourced food that dates back to 2002.

In recent years, Eat’n Park has opened two hip, finer-dining individual restaurants, including the Cultural District’s Six Penn Kitchen and The Porch overlooking verdant Schenley Plaza in the heart of bustling Oakland. The newest concept is Hello Bistro, which focuses on juicy burgers and an extravagant salad bar with locations in Oakland and the South Side.

That’s where such people as Rob Morgan come in. A manager at the Oakland Hello Bistro, in his free time he is able to enjoy the best of both city and country living. A night out for this self-professed foodie and his wife could mean sampling the other venues in the city’s increasingly vibrant food scene, or star-gazing at Mingo Creek Park near his Washington County home.

Morgan is one of the Neighbors featured on, a virtual concierge that highlights live, work and play options in the 10-county region. Here you can check out the more than 20,000 jobs gathered by’s powerful aggregator, sign up for updates about the region through our monthly eNewsletter, RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter or other social media channels and take the “Find Yourself in Pittsburgh!” quiz to see which Neighbors share your interests, with tips on what’s fun and engaging to do in the region.

Bonnie Pfister
Jim Judkis/Courtesy Washington Post Fred Rogers and an unnamed boy at Pittsburgh’s Children’s Institute, 1978.
Jim Judkis/Courtesy Washington Post
Fred Rogers and an unnamed boy at Pittsburgh’s Children’s Institute, 1978.

It may not feel much like spring today, but one thing that can always bring a lift to the spirit is remembering Fred Rogers. America’s favorite neighbor would have been 86 years old today.

Born in Latrobe, Westmoreland County, Fred Rogers was a minister, an educator, a songwriter, an author and of course creator and host of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which ran from 1968-2001 from public radio station WQED, based in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood. He was beloved by children of all ages for speaking to them directly and without condescension. When he died at age 74 in 2003, The New York Times noted he had been one of the country’s most sought-after commencement speakers. “If college seniors were not always bowled over by his pronouncements, they often cried tears of joy just to see him, an old friend of their childhood.” is proud to be part of the place Mr. Rogers called home, so much so that when we decided to showcase real people who have chosen to move to – or move back to – the Pittsburgh region, we dubbed them our Neighbors.

Want to learn about and connect with them?  Take the “Find Yourself in Pittsburgh” quiz to be matched up with “Neighbor types” who may share your interests — be they Outdoor Enthusiasts, City Centrics, Family Focused and more — and have tips on what’s fun and engaging to do in the region. Use the powerful job search aggregator featuring more than 22,000 jobs open right now in the region, to consider your next career move, or check out our Featured Employers to find out what jobs they’ve got open and what they’re looking for in people they hire and promote. (Among those hiring are The Children’s Institute, where the much-shared photo of Fred Rogers, above, was taken in 1978.)


Meredith Fahey

The film Girl Rising, detailed in the post below, is returning to the SouthSide Works Cinema on Thursday, April 24. (Note date change.) Tickets may be purchased in advance here.

This post previously appeared under the headline:
Sreken Megynarodniot Den na Zenata! (Happy International Women’s Day!)

“Meri, you must do your hair and put on makeup, for a change,” said my host mother, Vaska. “Oh and here, wear my beautiful shawl, with your pink blouse. Ajde brzo, we have to meet Lenke in 10 minutes.”

I remember distinctly my first International Women’s Day celebration, nine years ago in tiny Zletovo, Macedonia. I served for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in this Balkan nation of two million people, working on a variety of community development projects for the municipality, including a major water fluoridation project.

We were getting ready to join Lenke and all the other women in Zletovo at Zlatitsa, one of three restaurants in the village. The local women’s organization organized a celebration every year: hiring a live band, providing a Macedonian feast, raffling off prizes and–  most unique of all — a joke-telling contest. After the speeches and formal program, the singing and dancing began. It was a six-hour escape from the mundane household work and family caregiving that consumed most of these women’s time.

At the end of the night, the women poured out of the restaurant – for a few hours a haven, a joyous cacophony of storytelling, sharing of best practices, remembering times past and laughing — back to their quiet dark houses. The fun was not to be had for another year.

International Women’s Day has its roots as a socialist political event dating to the early 20th century. In Zletovo, any political or social justice aspect of the holiday has been lost, but it remains an important day of solidarity and camaraderie amongst women.

March 8 is cause for celebrating women’s success and increased influence in leadership, innovation and workplace participation but it is also a day to remind ourselves of all the work yet to be done. Work to close the income gap, work to protect women’s health rights and work to elect more women to office. The quickest and perhaps simplest way to achieve these goals is to make sure every girl around the world receives an education.

Despite progress, an estimated 66 million girls are left out of the classroom. Studies show that educating a girl can break the cycle of poverty in just one generation and that in developing countries, educated women are less likely to marry against their will, less likely to die in childbirth and more likely to make sure their children receive an education.

A few nights ago I had the opportunity to watch the film Girl Rising at the SouthSide Works Cinema. The film tells the stories of nine girls from around the world — including the nations of Haiti, Peru, India, Egypt and Afghanistan — who fought through the challenges of poverty, political oppression and gender bias to receive an education. Some of the stories are hard to hear, but the film is threaded through with moments of grace, beauty and most of all hope: these young women are using what they have learned to build better lives for themselves and their families, and a brighter future for others in their community.

But Girl Rising is more than just a movie: it is an international campaign for girls’ education, and to change the way the world values the girl. In honor of International Women’s Day, I encourage you to find ways to celebrate and improve the lives of women and girls around you — perhaps through the resources offered at the Girl Rising website. You can bring a public screening to your community (another SouthSide Works screening is scheduled for April 24 if at least 41 tickets at $10 each are purchased), donate an educators’ edition and curriculum to be shown in your neighborhood school and help spread the word by sharing this post with your personal, business and social media networks about how we can help girls in poverty to improve their lives and their communities through education.

Check out the trailer below.

Find a job, explore careers, employers, Pittsburgh Neighbors at

Bonnie Pfister
ImaginePittsburgh Neighbor Heidi Piatt with her resuce dogs Kennedy (left) and Colby.
ImaginePittsburgh Neighbor Heidi Piatt with her rescue dogs Kennedy (left) and Colby.

Many of us can’t stop complaining about the long winter, but for outdoors enthusiasts like Heidi Piatt, it’s just another opportunity for southwestern Pennsylvania to show off its seasonal bounty. You’re likely to find this Allison Park resident hitting the slopes at Seven Springs or Hidden Valley in Somerset County, hiking with her lab-mixes Kennedy and Colby in Fall Run Park in Shaler or even biking across a snowy North Park.

When she’s not outside, Piatt is a talent acquisition supervisor at EQT, the downtown-based natural gas production company that has hundreds of open jobs. She’s also helping to spread the word about as a tool that puts EQT in front of job seekers, and showcases the great LIVE, WORK and PLAY options of the 10-county region. You can check out her conversation with ImaginePittsburgh’s Meredith Fahey on WPXI-TV below.

You can also learn more about Piatt on her Neighbor profile at, a virtual concierge + powerful job search engine that highlights opportunity across the 10-county region. You may also get regular updates about the region through our RRS feed , Facebook, Twitter or monthly eNewsletter; and take the “Find Yourself in Pittsburgh!” quiz to be matched up with Neighbors who may share your interests and have tips on what’s fun and engaging to do in the region.


Phil Cynar

Want to join the audience for NBC’s fresh new Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon? Access comes by way of downtown Pittsburgh.

From the 13th floor of Centre City Tower, ShowClix can connect you with 30 Rockefeller Center. As the show’s new official ticketing partner, this tech-driven company is making a major FBShowClixdent in the market to connect event professionals with their customers and improving the event experience.

ShowClix was founded in Pittsburgh in 2007 as an online ticketing and live event search engine. From a one-room office with a couple of computers, the company has evolved into a full-service event ticketing system – one that captured the attention (not to mention the contract) of the long-running show now helmed by Fallon. (Fallon a self-professed Pittsburgh aficionado — check out his gushing over our ‘Burgh with actress Emma Watson of Harry Potter and Perks of Being a Wallflower fame.) And word on the street is that ShowClix is in the final stages of talks to also manage tickets for “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” debuting Feb. 24.

Pittsburgh may not be on the level of a tech Mecca like the Silicon Valley, but it’s a robust-and-growing East Coast tech hub, albeit one that’s a bit under-sung. Some 1,600 tech firms pepper the 10 counties of southwestern Pennsylvania known as the Pittsburgh region. And filling the talent pool are 36 regional colleges and universities – including one of the world’s bastions of technology, Carnegie Mellon University. Together they churn out talented IT grads at a clip of some 1,700 annually – a number second only to Boston.

Tech is hot in Pittsburgh and is bonding itself to other key industries in the region – advanced manufacturing, energy, financial and business service and healthcare and life sciences keen to keep their businesses current and competitive. For tech-talented job seekers, this means there are terrific opportunities here. Right now, on – the region’s career search engine and “virtual concierge” for finding your place in Pittsburgh – there are 5,000-plus open jobs all related to tech.

Regardless of the culture you’re seeking – corporate, startup, “maker” or other – if you’re a talented geek, you can pretty much write your ticket to a tech career and a life you’ll love in Pittsburgh.

Bonnie Pfister
Nick Chambers and Gemma Smith on the Warhol (Seventh Street) Bridge. Remember when it used to be warm?
Nick Chambers and Gemma Smith on the Warhol (Seventh Street) Bridge. Remember when it used to be warm?

Gemma Smith and Nick Chambers have pretty glamorous-sounding lives. She’s a fine artist, a painter and sculptor who has been commissioned for prestigious exhibitions and creation of sprawling murals across the ceilings of several courthouses. He’s the Milton Fine Curator of Art for the Andy Warhol Museum. They both hail from Sydney, Australia’s most populous city with nearly 5 million inhabitants.

But real life in the arts is often more grit than glamour, and perhaps for that reason, Pittsburgh is great fit. From their home in the North Side’s Mexican War Streets to the vinyl heaven of Jerry’s Records in Squirrel Hill, from the architectural marvel of Fallingwater in Fayette County to Gooski’s Bar in Polish Hill, the couple has found plenty to explore and enjoy. There is “a distinctive local character here, but also the ability to participate in national and international conversations,” Chambers says. Smith is impressed by the well-preserved architecture, the change of seasons and — it sounds wistful now — the lush greenery that is exhibited in their photos from — sigh — last spring.

Both Smith and Chambers are Neighbors at, a virtual concierge that highlights work, play and live options in the 10-county region. There job seekers can search the thousands of jobs gathered by’s powerful aggregator, sign up for updates about the region through our monthly eNewsletter,  RSS feed, Facebook, Twitter or other social media channels and take the “Find Yourself in Pittsburgh!” quiz to be matched up with Neighbors who may share your interests and have tips on what’s fun and engaging to do in the region.