Staffing a unique operation like the Smart Growth Partnership (SGP) requires a multi-disciplinary team approach. The SGP staff takes a holistic approach to community development and revitalization, engaging in all phases of development - education, visioning, planning, design and implementation. Beyond services provided by staff, the SGP leverages resources of partners, volunteers, collaborators, and sometimes utilizes the services of professional consultants. SGP university partner faculty members, through focused class projects and student internships, are frequently engaged in community project development and implementation.
John D. Turack, Executive Director/Community Development Assistant
In partnership with the Penn State Cooperative Extension of Westmoreland County, and as the region's Penn State Extension Economic and Community Development Educator, Mr. Turack oversees the development and delivery of curriculum to be utilized in school districts, institutions of higher education, and for citizen planner and community capacity building education. See http://extension.psu.edu/ecd for more about this role.
As Executive Director, Mr. Turack also has responsibility for managing the non-profit with its Board of Directors. To contact Mr. Turack call 724-837-1402 or e-mail email@example.com.
Leanne Griffith, Office Coordinator/Grant Writer
The office coordinator works to assist and support each of the specialized Smart Growth Partnership professionals (partner organizations, consultants, and educational outreach), manages the website, and is responsible for day-to-day accounting, scheduling and filing. To contact Ms. Griffith, call 724-837-1402 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Board of Directors
Since 2000, the Board of Directors has provided organizational
and policy direction to the Smart Growth Partnership.
Allen G. Kukovich, President –
Founding Member (term ends June 30, 2019)
Mr. Kukovich is a Westmoreland County Attorney.
He has served formerly as Executive Director of the Power of 32 Regional
Visioning Project, a two-year process that provided an opportunity
for every resident of the 32-county, four-state region to participate in
creating a shared vision for the region's best future. Kukovich also
formerly served as Director of the Southwest Regional Office of the
Governor. Prior to this position, Kukovich served as State Senator, and
represented the Southwest region in the General Assembly for 27 years, serving
from 1977-1996 in the House of Representatives and from 1996-2004 as a State
Senator. He received his B.A. in Political Science from Kent State and
J.D. from Duquesne Law School. Kukovich has received more than 90
statewide awards and national recognition for his dedication on behalf of
families and children. He and his wife, Nancy, have one daughter,
Virginia Stump , Vice-President- Appointed June 2013 (term ends June, 2019)
Virginia McCracken Stump is a General Certified Appraiser and Realtor. As an Appraisal Market Manager, she manages 9000 contracted appraisers for LSI-LPS, an appraisal management company in Moon Township. Virginia is also self-employed as an independent appraiser and as a sales agent with RE/MAX Realty Access, Irwin. Virginia previously worked for USDA, Rural Development, where she managed the Greensburg office and served as a commercial loan and grant underwriter and appraisal specialist. Virginia received her Bachelors and Masters of Business Administration from Seton Hill University; her Masters Certification in Renewable Energy from St. Francis University; and her appraisal education from Appraisal Institute and American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers. Virginia serves as the Secretary of the North Huntingdon Planning Commission and as the Treasurer of the Westmoreland Land Trust, a land conservation organization.
Kim E. Miller, Treasurer – Appointed
September 2005 (term ends June 30, 2018)
Mr. Miller is the President of Wolf Lake, Inc. He is a
developer and farmer with interest in livable & green communities and
building and sustainable agriculture. Miller received a B.S. in Economics
from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Miller is the
retired president for the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture,
serving from 2000 – 2007. He is a current board member of the Westmoreland
Conservation District and Board President of GreenForge. Miller is
married with four adult children.
Dr. Sharon P. Smith, Secretary – Appointed
September 2007 (term ends June 30, 2018)
Dr. Smith serves as the president of the University of
Pittsburgh at Greensburg and professor of economics. She formerly served
at National University, LaJolla, California, first as provost and vice
president for academic affairs, then as special advisor to the
chancellor. Prior to this appointment, she served as dean of the schools
of business and of the business faculty at Fordham University. Smith
received her masters and doctoral degrees in Economics from Rutgers
University. Smith is a Fellow of the TIAA-CREF Research Institute.
She serves as chair of the Excela board and also serves
on the boards of the Economic Growth Connection, and the Westmoreland Cultural
Trust. Previously, she served on several national boards including the FINRA
Investor Education Foundation, NASD, and Security Traders Association
Foundation. She resides in Greensburg.
Betsy Aiken Appointed June 2017 (term ends June 30, 2020)
Ms. Aiken works as the Vice-President of Dynamic Leadership
Ltd. (a strategic consulting practice); and has previously worked as the Chief
Administrator for the Municipality of Murrysville, and the Quality Assurance
Manager for Hamill Manufacturing Company (a precision manufacturing company). Ms. Aiken received a B.A. and an M.B.A. from
the University of Pittsburgh, and has been a resident of Murrysville since
1976. She also serves on the boards of
the Westmoreland Land Trust, Murrysville Trail Alliance, and the Citizens
Advisory Board for Westmoreland County Parks and Recreation. She is an advocate for placemaking, trails,
walkable communities, open space conservation, and strategic land-use planning.
Jack J. Brown – Appointed March 2016 (term
ends June 30, 2019)
Mr. Brown is the Director of Community Services at
Westmoreland Community Action (WCA). As Director He manages several programs
that directly address Community and Economic Development including, The
Neighborhood Revitalization Program, Homeownership Programs, Agency Tax Credit
Programs and WCA’s Social Enterprise, Shop Demo Depot/American Architectural
Salvage. Since 2000 Mr. Brown has managed the construction of over 60 Single
family for-sale affordable houses throughout Westmoreland County. Mr. Brown has
over 30 years of construction experience and holds professional certification
as a Housing Finance Development Professional. He also serves as an Advisory
Board Member/Construction and Planning For Keystone HOPE Development LLC.
Jeffrey A. Landy -- Appointed May
2012 (term ends June 30, 2017)
Mr. Landy is the Borough Manager of Mount Pleasant. He
received a B.S. degree in Business Administration and Marketing from The
Pennsylvania State University. He is on the Board of Directors of the Geyer
Theater in Scottdale, PA. Mr. Landy created the
successful Mt. Pleasant Glass & Ethnic Festival in 1986. The festival is
the only festival in the state of Pennsylvania honored as a permanent addition
in the Library of Congress Local Legacies. As the Borough Manager of
Mount Pleasant, Jeff Landy has redefined the position. He has
integrated his administrative, financial and marketing skills to lead
Mount Pleasant and to continue making the borough a vibrant community.
Greg Primm -- Appointed May
2012 (term ends June 30, 2017)
Mr. Primm is Township Manager for Allegheny Township in
Westmoreland County. Prior to Allegheny Township, he served as Township Manager
for Penn Township, Butler County for nineteen (19) years as well as Borough
Manager for the Borough of Falls Creek, Jefferson County for 2 years. He has
served as a municipal training instructor for the Department of Community and
Economic Development in conjunction with the Pennsylvania State Association of
Township Supervisors since 2001, teaching several different courses through the
Governor’s Center for Local Government Services. Mr. Primm also
serves as an instructor and course developer for the LTAP-Penndot program
instructing public officials throughout the commonwealth, and as a Peer
Consultant through DCED’s peer program. A dedicated public servant, he
currently serves as President of the Apollo Ridge School Board as well as a
Board Member for the Westmoreland Economic Development Initiative for Growth.
Greg and his wife Beth have 2 children, Jared and Kirsten.
Joseph Szczur - Appointed June 2013 (term ends
Joseph Szczur has been the District Executive in District 12
since March 2004. Mr. Szczur is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with
a degree in engineering. He is responsible for nearly 800 employees covering
the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania. The four counties of Westmoreland,
Washington, Greene and Fayette Counties, have an operational budget of $300
million annually. Under Mr. Szczur’s leadership the District has been certified
in ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 “Project Delivery” which gained national recognition.
Mr. Szczur also serves on the University of Pittsburgh advisory visiting
committee and he is the Chairman of PennDOT’s District Executive Council.
Michael A. Walsh – Founding Member (term
ends June 30, 2017)
Michael A. Walsh joined DCNR as the Deputy Secretary for
Administration in June 2015. In this role, Mike is responsible for all budget,
administrative services, human resource and information technology support for
the department. This role includes providing direction and oversight to the
Bureaus of Administrative Services, Human Resources and Information Technology
Services; developing, updating and implementing the agency Continuity of
Operations Plan; developing and managing strategic funding plans; ensuring
strategic IT operations and plans are implemented; overseeing DCNR efficiency
and cost saving ideas and plans; leading agency wide projects; preparing and
presenting a variety of reports on tactical and strategic issues; and briefing
and advising the Secretary on priority issues and initiatives.
Mike most recently provided consulting services through his
firm, the Walsh Strategy Group.
Walsh has served as the Chief of Staff at
Harrisburg Area Community College and as Deputy Secretary for Administration
for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Prior to this position,
Walsh served as Director of Administration at the Pennsylvania Gaming Control
Board. Before joining the Gaming Board, he was a Special Assistant to Governor
Rendell, and also served as the Executive Assistant to then-Secretary of
Administration Robert Barnett. Walsh formerly served as Director of Policy and
Communications for then-Senator Allen Kukovich.
He received the partnership's Distinguished Service Award in
2003. Walsh holds a Master of Public Management degree from the H. John Heinz
III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in
Pittsburgh and a B.S. in Political Science from St. Vincent College in
Latrobe. He and his wife live in the Harrisburg area.
Dr. Whit Watts -- Appointed May
2012 (term ends June 30, 2017)
Professor Watts teaches in the department of Geography and
Regional Planning at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he teaches in the
areas of site planning, urban design, land use policy and law. He received his
undergraduate degree in urban studies from the University of Wisconsin and his
graduate degrees in landscape architecture and environmental planning from the
College of Architecture at Virginia Tech. Over the years he has worked in
support of a number of community based organizations and local municipalities
on a variety of recreation, housing, traffic management and land use
initiatives. His current areas of research and practice include urban
horticulture, civic engagement and urban design.
Past Board Members
Gary L. Sheppard – Served January 2002 June 2017
Christopher J. Bova -- Served June 2012-June 2015
Jennings F. Womack – Founding Member, Served from 2000 until his passing in early 2015
Gregory M. Phillips – Founding Member, Served from 2000 to December, 2014
Dr. Barbara Ferrier -- Appointed June 2013 –
Julie Martin – Served May 2012-June 2013
Brian Hill – Served September 2009-June 2013
April Kopas – Served September 2009 - June. 2012
Michael J. O’Barto – Served March 2002 - June, 2012
John A. Skiavo – Founding member, Served from 2000 to June, 2012
Michael Langer – Served March 2007 - June, 2011
David Cannon - Served February 2009 – February 2011
Larry J. Larese – Founding member, Served from 2000 to 2010
Rob Ritson – Served from November 2006 – 2010
John A. Robertshaw, Jr. – Founding Member (status changed to emeritus in 2010)
Scott D. Izzo – Served from 2007 – 2009
Gene Zurawsky – Served from 2007 – 2009
Dr. Frank A. Cassell – Founding member, Served from 2000 to 2007
William Mitchell, II – Founding member, Served from 2000 – 2007
Linda McKenna Boxx – Founding member, Served from 2000 – 2006
Ronald A. Magnuson – Founding member, Served from 2000 – 2006
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