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Ken Regal was named executive director in July 2012 after having served as one of our co-directors since Just Harvest’s founding in 1987. An activist and organizer in Pittsburgh for more than thirty years, he organized the campaign in the 1980’s which persuaded the Pittsburgh Public Schools to join the National School Breakfast Program. Ken has consulted for the US Department of Agriculture, served previously on the national grant making advisory committee of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, and has written and spoken on hunger and poverty issues for a wide range of audiences. He represents Just Harvest on the Board of the Pittsburgh United, and on the steering committee of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council. Ken is active at the Beth Israel Center synagogue in Jefferson Hills. He is a native of Brooklyn and a graduate of Brandeis University, and lives in the Highland Park section of Pittsburgh with his wife.
Healthy Corner Store Project Coordinator
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Josh Berman first came to Just Harvest in 2014 as a social work intern focusing on community organizing projects including our Get Out the Vote efforts. Later, Josh spent time working towards building support for a healthy corner store initiative. Now, as one of the project coordinators for the initiative – Fresh Corners – Josh works to engage communities and store owners in planning solutions to local food access. By working with corner stores, Just Harvest is helping to ensure better access to quality, fresh food to communities in need. Prior to joining the Just Harvest team Josh received his BSSW in social work from Syracuse University. He is currently working on his MSW at the University of Pittsburgh.
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Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Emily Cleath joined Just Harvest in 2013, after fifteen years at various public policy and social justice nonprofits here and in New York City. Prior employment highlights include communications work for Public Agenda and the RAND Corporation, and organizing work for SEIU and ACLU-PA. Emily has a master’s degree from CMU’s Heinz School of Public Policy and lives in Lawrenceville with her husband and son.
Grassroots Organizer and Healthy Corner Store Project Coordinator
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Helen Gerhardt first joined Just Harvest’s staff as a greeter at our South Side free tax assistance site for the 2014 tax season and then became one of our food stamp specialists before transitioning to her current position. Prior to this she worked as an organizer at Pittsburghers for Public Transit, Action United, and the American Friends Service Committee, and was communications coordinator for the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations. Helen’s lengthy community service includes a deployment to Iraq in 2000 with the Missouri Army National Guard. She received a BA in English and a BFA in studio arts from the University of Missouri, and a MFA in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh. Her writing has been in a number of publications, including the National Endowment of the Arts collection Operation Homecoming: Iraq, Afghanistan and the Home Front in the Words of U.S. Troops and Their Families. She lives in Highland Park.
Public Policy Advocate
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Rochelle Jackson first came to Just Harvest as a welfare client and then became the advocate and organizer for our Welfare Justice Project, a position she held for more than 11 years. She now oversees all of our public policy work. Rochelle serves on the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Income Maintenance Advisory Committee and is a Steering Committee member of the statewide Coalition for Low-Income Pennsylvanians. She also serves as chairperson of the Allegheny County Family Support Policy Board and is on the Board of Directors for Neighborhood Legal Services Association. Rochelle is a single mother of four children and lives in White Oak. She has an associate’s degree from Community College of Allegheny County and a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in sociology and psychology from Carlow University. Rochelle is currently working on a MBA at Carlow University.
Tax Training Developer
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Barbara started at Just Harvest as a tax intern in 2011 after completing her degree in accounting at the University of Pittsburgh. She has held various accounting positions with companies in the Pittsburgh area and returned to Just Harvest as a site coordinator. She helped launch the new online tax training for the Money in Your Pocket Coalition and now is Just Harvest’s Tax Training Developer. She has been active in the non-profit sector as a former director of church school education and a contributor to public school literary programs.
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Ken Munz has extensive experience working with homeless and housing organizations in the San Francisco area. He worked as a consultant and also directed a large clinical case management and housing program there. He arranged a partnership with the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency to purchase housing for non-profit ownership and orchestrated neighborhood approval of two housing program sites. Ken’s advocacy experience includes input into legislation at all levels. For six years he was vice president and administrator for the Society for the Preservation of the Duquesne Incline in Mt. Washington. He also worked in the private sector for years as the owner of an information technology company in Pittsburgh’s Southside.
Food Stamp Specialist
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Kristen joined Just Harvest in 2015 as the community organizing and engagement intern. After finishing her Master’s degree, Kristen started working as a food stamp specialist, assisting community members in the application process for food stamp benefits. In addition, Kristen works on the Fresh Access program, providing on-site coordination at some of the Fresh Access farmers markets in the city. Kristen completed her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 2016 and currently resides in Butler with her family.
Food Stamp Specialist
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Rena was hired into Just Harvest’s tax filing assistance program in late 2014 as a site coordinator and reviewer. After that tax season, she was then hired as an on-site coordinator for the Fresh Access program, working at five farmers markets around the city. In 2016, she became a food stamp specialist but continues to work in the Fresh Access and VITA tax programs. Rena likes gaming, books, and bully breed dogs, sometimes all at the same time. She also likes computers and food, almost always at the same time. Rena has spent the last decade or so working in property, sales, and income taxes. She is enjoying her new career in the nonprofit field, at least so far.
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Ann Sanders moved into the newly created position of volunteer coordinator in late 2011. Having grown up receiving food stamps, Ann is very dedicated to ending hunger for all. She has been involved with Just Harvest since 2007, when she served as an intern from the School of Social Work. Since then, she worked as a tax preparer in 2008 and 2009, served on the board from May 2009 until April 2010, and then was hired as a food stamp specialist. Ann completed her Masters in Social Work and Masters in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008 and currently resides with her family in Observatory Hill.
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Heather Seiders manages Just Harvest’s daily office operations. From supervising office assistants to developing strategic plans for the internal organization of Just Harvest’s fundraising and development, Heather’s work spans all programs at Just Harvest. Heather graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in creative nonfiction writing, and writes and edits content for Just Harvest’s annual report and fundraising materials. She enjoys reading, painting and spending time outdoors with her family.
Tax Campaign Coordinator
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Kristie Weiland Stagno is from Butler, PA and completed her Masters in Social Work at the University of Michigan before coming to Just Harvest in 2003. She currently lives in Bloomfield with her family and coordinates our “Give Paychecks a Boost” campaign as well as helping with a variety of other projects at Just Harvest.
Food Stamp Specialist
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Shontyia Utterback was a food stamp intern at Just Harvest for the 2015-16 academic year. She was a student at Carlow University’s School of Social Work, and graduated with a Bachelor’s of social work with a concentration in trauma in May 2016.
Lorita has been volunteering for a number of years with various organizations, including the Message Carriers and the National Council of Jewish Women, as well as with schools, and with activities going on around Pittsburgh. This is her third year serving with AmeriCorps after a prior placement with the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council. She graduated from the Community College of Allegheny County with a Social Work Specialist Certificate. She has worked with various human services agencies from Welfare to Work programs to working with senior citizens at the Hill House Association Senior Service Center. She is the mother of two boys and likes to read, shop, and hang out with family and friends.
Averyl Hall is an AmeriCorps VISTA working on the Fresh Access Program. She has a degree in Peace and Global Studies from Earlham College. While at Earlham she interned with the Tucson Community Food Bank where she fell in love with connecting people to local produce. She is excited to once again be working at the intersection of local agriculture and food access.
Dawn Marie returned to Just Harvest to serve as a Funding Source Development AmeriCorps VISTA this summer after working with the food stamp team as an intern during the 2014-15 academic year. She is a Bachelor of Social Work student at the Carlow University College of Leadership and Social Change with interests in public policy, macro-level community organizing, and economic justice. She will be working on building Just Harvest’s fiscal capacity through fundraising events, grants, and partnerships during her VISTA term, including managing Just Harvest’s team for the 2016 Pittsburgh Marathon.