Our communities are facing tremendous disparities: poverty, access to health care, and even basic needs like food. These challenges affect the 8,000 people we serve each year. However, our community is fortunate to have diverse and innovative leaders who are driving change on these pressing issues. Please join us in celebrating a group of these leaders at the Community Ally Benefit Dinner this October 27th. All proceeds support the work of CHS, so please RSVP today!
What is a community ally?
We all need an ally from time to time. After all, CHS got its start nearly fifty years ago when neighbors came together to help one another out with things like food and child care.
Today, our neighbors still need an ally. Every day, we see families struggling to pay the rent, seniors unable to put food on the table, people who can’t earn enough to break the cycle of poverty. Despite those challenges, we are seeing new initiatives, projects, startups, housing opportunities, and policies that have a life-changing impact.
For the last six years, we’ve picked one or two leaders in our community to celebrate over dinner. In the face of so much change in the city, we are expanding to highlight a broad and diverse group of changemakers this year. From Mayor Bill Peduto to local community activists, we will be coming together to celebrate the impact our community allies have. Even more, with so many different perspectives at the reception, we hope to start a rich dialogue of how to continue the growth and change in our communities in a way that truly benefits every resident.
Introducing our 2016 Community Allies
Mayor William Peduto, City of Pittsburgh
William Peduto was elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh in the General Election on November 5, 2013, and took office in January of 2014. As Mayor, Peduto continues to champion the protection and enhancement of Pittsburgh’s new reputation – maintaining fiscal responsibility, establishing community based development plans, embracing innovative solutions and becoming a leader in green initiatives.
Setting priorities around strengthening Pittsburgh's 90 communities, Peduto established the Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment to promote the city's role in housing, small business, and education. Under Peduto’s leadership, the Affordable Housing Task Force was created to address the future landscape of housing affordability; the My Brother’s Keeper Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Initiative was established to address closing opportunity gaps for young men of color; and the p4 model for urban growth and development was created with focus on equitable, inclusive and sustainable solutions. The Peduto administration is working to ensure that everyone benefits from Pittsburgh’s transformation and growth because, “If it’s not for all, it’s not for us.”
Lisa Scales, President & CEO, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Lisa Scales has been the President and CEO of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank since 2012 and leads the organization in distributing 23 million meals annually through a network of more than 400 partner agencies in 11-counties of southwestern Pennsylvania. CHS is one of the partner agencies in that network helping to connect food directly to the people who need it.
Scales serves as co-chair of Feeding America's Produce Enterprise Strategy Committee, president of the Eastern Region Association of Food Banks for Feeding America, is an elected member of the National Council (NAC) for Feeding America, board vice president for Hunger-Free Pennsylvania and an advisory board member of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University and the Center for Supply Chain Management at the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, Ms. Scales is a steering committee member for the Mon Valley Providers Council and is a member of the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics Board of Fellows and the University of Pittsburgh Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership. She previously served as a member of the Joint State Government Commission Obesity Study Advisory Committee and is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XXVII.
Lisa holds a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Boston University School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from Seton Hill College. Beginning her career as assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago, Scales also held an associates position in a Greensburg law firm before joining Just Harvest and then Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
Kimberlee Evert, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Western PA
Kimberlee Evert has worked in the area of health and human services her entire career, serving for 30 years as the President and Chief Executive Officer for Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania (PPWP). Founded in 1930, PPWP is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide high-quality, affordable reproductive health care services, comprehensive sexuality education and strategic advocacy.
During her tenure, the organization has pursued a strategy of growth and increased service in western Pennsylvania. PPWP’s medical program has expanded from two health center locations in 1983 to seven health centers today providing more than 20,000 patient visits annually, providing a full-range of preventive health care including gynecological services, cancer screening, sexually transmitted infection testing and treatment, and a variety of birth control methods. In addition, PPWP’s Education Department serves more than 23,000 people each year with medically-accurate prevention programs that work to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
In addition to her work at Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania, Kim is currently a board member of Voxent, a technology service organization, and co-managing partner of the Better Health Corporation, a partnership of organizations that share technology and billing services. Kim has also served as treasurer and chairperson of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates, and as an officer of the Affiliate Chief Executives Council. Kim has been actively involved with local organizations and initiatives including the Pfizer Patient Advisory Council, the Women’s Progressive’s Council and United Way of Allegheny County. She has served as President of her church congregational council. Kim has received several awards, including NARAL’s Clara Bell Duvall Award and the Margaret F. Gloninger Award from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. Kim is native to Pittsburgh and received a B.S. degree in Health Record Administration from the University of Pittsburgh and certification as a Registered Health Information Administrator. In 1988, she earned a Masters of Public Health degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
La'Tasha Mayes, Founder & Executive Director, New Voices for Reproductive Justice
La'Tasha D. Mayes, MSPPM is a nationally recognized leader in the field of Reproductive Justice, Human Rights and leadership development for women and girls of color. La'Tasha is the Founder and Executive Director of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, a multi-state organization dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women and girls. New Voices advocates at the local, state and national level for Reproductive Justice: the Human Right of all people to control their bodies, sexuality, gender, work and reproduction. New Voices celebrates its 12th anniversary this year having served over 50,000 Black women and girls, women of color and LGBTQ people of color through New Voices Pittsburgh, New Voices Cleveland and New Voices Philadelphia.
La’Tasha is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and she earned a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management at the Heinz School of Carnegie Mellon University. La'Tasha is the recent past National Board Chair of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective - the largest Human Rights advocacy group for Indigenous women and women of color based in Atlanta.
La'Tasha was recently appointed to the Pennsylvania Governor's Advisory Commission on African American Affairs and to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Task Force for the Greater Pittsburgh Region. La'Tasha has been received numerous honors including the 2016 Coro Center for Civic Leadership Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2016 Onyx Woman Network Pittsburgh Top 25 Award. Currently, La'Tasha is a 2016 Rockwood Leadership Institute Reproductive Health, Rights and Justice Fellow.
Rebecca Yago, Vice President, Commercial Real Estate Lending & Services, Dollar Bank, FSB
Rebecca Yago joined Dollar Bank in 1988 upon graduating from Robert Morris University with a BS degree in Accounting and Finance. As Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Lending & Services, her current responsibilities include originating, documenting and managing a diverse portfolio of commercial real estate loans including residential acquisition and development, multi-family, retail, office and industrial development with an emphasis on loans for community development projects and affordable housing projects in the Greater Pittsburgh and Greater Cleveland markets. Other responsibilities include working with Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, New Market Tax Credits, and Local/State/ Federal Government Grants and Loans.
This focus on community development and affordable housing has made her a key partner in getting projects with huge community impacts done, including CHS' own acquisition of its new offices in the Strip District.
Leah Lizarondo, Co-Founder & CEO, 412 Food Rescue
Leah Lizarondo is the Co-Founder and CEO of 412 Food Rescue, an innovative nonprofit that bridges the disconnect between the fact that we waste 40% of our food while 1 in 7 go hungry. Launched in March 2015, she led 412 Food Rescues rapid growth in Allegheny County—the innovative volunteer-driven organization has rescued over 750,000 pounds of food over 150 food retailers and redirected to over 175 nonprofits that feed those who are food insecure.
She is also the Chief Veghacker, writer and curator at The Brazen Kitchen, where she writes about food, health and food policy. She wrote an award-winning weekly food column for Pittsburgh Magazine online and served as Editor at Large for NEXTpittsburgh. Her work has been featured on NPR, MSN, Oprah.com, GOOD magazine and many others.
Leah graduated with Highest Distinction from Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University with a Masters Degree in Public Policy. She is a speaker and advocate for food accessibility, health, sustainability and innovation. In April 2014, she gave the TEDx Talk “Why the Farm Is Not Getting to the Table.” The video can be accessed on tedx.ted.com.
About the Dinner:
Please join us this October 27th at Le Mont Restaurant on Mt. Washington.
5:00 pm — VIP reception
6:30 pm — Reception and hors d’oeuvres
7:00 pm — Dinner
8:00 pm — Brief awards program
- VIP Reception only: $50
- Benefit Dinner only: $75
- VIP Reception & Benefit Dinner: $100
- Table of 8 for dinner: $500 (save $100)
- Table of 8 for VIP Reception & Dinner: $750 (save $50)
The dinner, and our work, is only possible with the sponsorship and underwriting of our partners.
This event has been generously underwritten by Anna & Ed Dunlap, LeMont Restaurant, and the POISE Foundation.
Sponsorships are a great way to say thanks to our honorees for everything they have done while supporting our work. Opportunities start at $1,000 and include tickets to the dinner. If you would like more information on supporting CHS as a sponsor, please contact Jon Hoffmann at 412-246-1608.