Board of Directors:
Sr. Barbara Finch, President
Sister Barb has been a Sister of St. Joseph for over 30 years. She remains committed to changing institutional structures that cause oppression, hunger, poverty, or the diminishment of human dignity. Sister Barb is well known throughout the justice and peace community as well as the interfaith community. Her greatest gifts are consensus building and networking. She presently is working at the Allegheny County Jail as a nurse.
Fran Gruden, Vice-President
Fran strongly believes in civil rights and civil justice for everyone. Over the years, he has been active in local and national political campaigns, voter registration drives, and voter awareness campaigns. Fran is currently a member of the Just Harvest Board of Directors Executive Committee and chairs the Finance & Fundraising Committees. He previously worked with the Honorary Advisory Council with a specific focus on how to utilize their skills and public status to make them better ambassadors and advocates for Just Harvest programs. Currently an independent sales and marketing consultant, Fran is dedicated to “making a difference” and finding peaceful solutions to social issues especially ending hunger and poverty.
Mary Elizabeth McCarthy, Secretary
Mary Elizabeth serves in many capacities with Just Harvest. For the city budget campaign, she advocates for funds for food pantries at City Council meetings. She is on several Just Harvest committees. She received a Golden Eagle award for her volunteerism as an interviewer for Dollar Energy and a Jefferson Community Champions Award for her volunteer work at Just Harvest. She is on the Council of Congregations of the East End Cooperative Ministries and the St. Charles Lwanga Pastoral Council. Her cerebral palsy has given her direct experience with struggle. A former teacher, Mary Elizabeth teaches religious education for inner city grade school children.
Aerojean Baughn, Treasurer
Aj, a former Just Harvest intern and current tax program volunteer, currently works for MEDRAD as a Business Analyst. She works to educate people on the culture of deaf individuals. Aj teaches sign language classes at the Pittsburgh Laymen's Bible Institute and is the Program Manager for Anchored in Jesus radio broadcast ministry. She led a team of 17 to do mission work in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Aj is affiliated with the Pinochle Bugs Civic Organization, Greater Pittsburgh Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and is a member of Bethany Baptist Church.
Jeffrey AndersonJeffrey J. Anderson serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the Hill
House Association, responsible for the day-to-day management of the Hill
House operations and its campus facilities. Mr Anderson provides general
management and oversight for a number of areas such as administration,
finance, human resources, programming, IT, marketing & communications,
facilities maintenance and strategic planning. He is experienced in a wide
range of areas including health, education, cultural and human services
programs and has worked successfully in the public, private, nonprofit and
Sara has been on Just Harvest Board of Directors since 2008. She serves as the chair of the Board Development Committee and has also been involved on the Grassroots Fundraising and Co-Director Search Committees. Sara currently works as a community organizer for the Hilltop Alliance, an umbrella organization that represents 10 neighborhoods in the south Pittsburgh. Sara is a former intern at Just Harvest and has been a tax preparer for five years. She has experience in event planning, grant writing, and community organizing and engagement and would love to continue to utilize these skills on behalf of Just Harvest.
Keith is an Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh and BASW Program Director at the School. His teaching focuses on nonprofit administration and community organizing. Keith also serves on the board of the Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise, an organization committed to strengthening the grassroots organizations that serve African American and economically disadvantaged communities and Advancing Academics. He is a member of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Worker Program Directors and the Pitt Alumni Association.
Alex has been a member of Just Harvest’s Board of Directors since 2002. Alex works as Team lead in the Grievance Department of Coventry Health, and also has 27 years experience as a professional tax preparer. He serves on the Boards of the Kappa Scholarship Endowment Fund of Western PA and the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., East Central Province.
Barbara is the Community Program Liaison for the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh. In this capacity, she forms collaborations with agencies to bring programming to families who live in low-income public housing. She has conducted numerous poverty simulations and coordinated several resident trips to Washington, D.C. for the National Day of Housing. Barbara is a member of A+ Schools Community Transition Taskforce, Big Brother Big Sisters Youth Outcomes Advisory Board, HDEC Expect to Succeed Planning Committee, Graduate Pittsburgh Summit Committee and the Ready Freddy Kindergarten Transition Team.
Melissa is a determined, dedicated, proud single mom and full-time student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania - CCAC site. She is studying Business Management and Human Resources. Melissa is the Student Class President at CCAC Braddock Hills Campus. She has organized food drives for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and several on-campus fundraisers to benefit non-profits in the area. She is also a volunteer with Good Shepherd.
Economic justice has been a focus of Jeanette’s in both her personal and political life—she has sought to work with politicians advocacy groups that have thoughtful policy on hunger and poverty issues. Her favorite quote is: “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” Jeannette works in the Allegheny County Department of Real Estate. Her community involvements include the Civic Leadership Academy-City of Pittsburgh, PUMP-Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project and being a member of the Allegheny County Green Team, which supports sustainability efforts within the County workplace.
Mary Ann Hvizdos
Mary Ann is a long-time advocate for children having spent the majority of her career as an early childhood educator. Presently she is Co-Principal of BaiDos Project Management & Human Resource Assistance. She is a past Board Member of the Pittsburgh Camerata and the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children. Being greatly influenced by the events of the 1960's, Mary Ann is passionate about social justice issues particularly those related to women and children. In addition to enjoying the freedom of independent contracting, Mary Ann enjoys gardening and indoor swimming at the JCC!
Theresa Orlando is retired from Social Work. She belongs to the North Hills Anti-Racism Coalition, Call to Action, PA and Call to Action’s National Anti-Racism Training Team. She is a volunteer at the Pittsburgh Aids Task Force and a reading tutor for the Oasis Intergenerational tutoring program. She is an active member of a multi-cultural Church, member of Thomas Merton Center and active in social justice and peace movements.
Paul works for the City of Pittsburgh as the Government Affairs Manager. Paul is the former Executive Director of PA Young Democrats, a member of the Stanton Heights Community Council and Lawrenceville United and a former member of AFSCME. Paul volunteers for North Hills Christian Youth Ministry and Benedictines Sisters of Erie/AIM International.
Ken Regal, Executive Director
Ken has been with Just Harvest since our founding in 1986, with primary responsibility for Just Harvest’s fundraising and financial management. Before working for Just Harvest, he was a community organizer with several grassroots groups, including Just Harvest’s predecessor organization (Hunger Action Coalition), where he led the organizing campaign which persuaded the Pittsburgh Public Schools to join the national School Breakfast Program. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and lives in Highland Park with his wife and son.
Rochelle Jackson, Public Policy Advocate
Rochelle joined Just Harvest in 2001 and is an advocate and organizer for our Welfare Justice Project. She also supervises our Food Stamps Make a Difference campaign. Rochelle serves on the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare Income Maintenance Advisory Committee and is the chairperson of the Allegheny County Family Support Policy Board. She has an Associate’s Degree from Community College of Allegheny County and is currently working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at Carlow University. She is the proud (single) mother of four beautiful children.
Ann Sanders, Volunteer Coordinator
Our former Food Stamp Specialist Ann Sanders moved into the newly created position of Volunteer Coordinator in late 2011. She became familiar with Just Harvest on 2007 as an intern from the School of Social Work, and then returned as a tax preparer in 2008 and 2009. She completed her Masters in Social Work and Masters in International Development from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. Prior to her employment here, she sat on Just Harvest's Board of Directors from May 2009 until April 2010.
Dawn Blair, Food Stamp Specialist
Heather Seiders, Office Manager
Heather manages Just Harvest's daily office operations. From supervising our team of welfare-to-work employees and office assistants to developing strategic plans for internal organization of Just Harvest's multi-faceted lists and e-mail communications, Heather's work spans over 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 newsletters, annual report, website, blog and fundraising materials. Heather enjoys reading, painting and spending time outdoors with her family.
Kristie Weiland Stagno, Tax Campaign Organizer
Kristie 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.