Brenda Smith, Executive Director
Brenda Smith joined Nine Mile Run as Executive Director in January 2008. Over the last two decades, she has helped nonprofit groups as diverse as humanitarian aid organizations and arts ensembles with strategic planning, board development, fundraising, and administrative challenges.After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, Brenda travelled around the world four times, working on Pitt’s Semester-at-Sea program. Between trips she studied at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. In 1989 she co-founded Global Links, a nonprofit organization that provides hospitals in Western Pennsylvania and across the U.S. with an environmentally responsible alternative to disposal or incineration of surplus equipment and supplies. Materials recovered here are sent to hospitals and clinics serving the poor around the world, with special emphasis on Latin America and the Caribbean. Serving as President of Global Links for ten years, Brenda helped the organization grow to include more than ten paid staff members, hundreds of volunteers, and average annual donations valued at more than $1 million.
Prior to joining NMRWA, Brenda worked in either a volunteer or consultant capacity with the Three Rivers Community Foundation, the Renaissance City Choirs, the Creative Nonfiction Foundation, and Building New Hope. She also served for three years as the full time Development Director of Chatham Baroque, and still attends this ensemble’s extraordinary concerts whenever possible. Currently an active participant in the Clean Rivers Campaign and the Green Infrastructure Network, Brenda is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Association for Watersheds and Rivers (POWR), and was recently honored by the Women and Girls Foundation as one of 15 “Womens Greening the Pittsburgh Region.” She lives in Squirrel Hill with her partner, Rosemary Welsch.
Kevin Gieder, Chief Financial Officer
Kevin joined NMRWA in November 2011 as a result of our participation in “The Environmental Finance Collaborative”, a project that is providing four environmental organizations with high level strategic and operational financial expertise via a shared Chief Financial Officer. Our partners in this initiative are Construction Junction, GTECH Strategies and Tree Pittsburgh.
Kevin is responsible for providing operational financial expertise and oversight, budgeting and business planning, support for the Finance Committee of the Board of Directors, and the adoption of best practices in financial management.
Prior to joining the Collaborative, Kevin spent 10 years with H.J. Heinz Company World Headquarters in a variety of finance roles, and 7 years in the audit practice of a regional CPA firm. He is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University with a BS in Real Estate Finance. Additionally, Kevin serves as the Vice President of the Board of Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, where he chairs the Finance Committee.
Sara Madden, Design Manager – StormWorks
Sara joined NMRWA as an intern in the summer of 2009. She holds an undergraduate degree in fine arts and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Chatham University. Sara is responsible for the design and project management of StormWorks’ rain garden projects. Her interests include: sustainable landscapes, contemporary sculpture, urban ecology, alternative transportation, and environmental planning. In her free time, Sara enjoys traveling by bike through the neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.
Michael Hiller, Director of Policy & Outreach
Mike Joined NMRWA in July 2013 as the Director of Policy and Outreach. He has an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies and a Master of Art degree in Geography with a Graduate Certificate in GIS & Spatial Analysis, both from the University at Albany. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Mike was the GIS Coordinator for the University at Albany, where he developed a campus-wide system of infrastructure. He also has experience as an urban planning consultant, working to create more sustainable regions and places. He is responsible for coordinating watershed communities and organizations to develop and implement green infrastructure projects. In his free time, Mike likes to explore new areas of Pittsburgh, hang out with his dog, and find fresh food at a farmer’s market.
Sara Powell, Monitoring & Communications Manager
Sara joined NMRWA in February 2012. She has a B.S. in Marine Science and a M.S. in Environmental Health Sciences, both from the University of South Carolina. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh in Fall 2011, she worked as a Science Communicator for EcoCheck, a partnership group between NOAA and the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science. In her free time, Sara enjoys practicing yoga, watching college football, and exploring Pittsburgh with her husband, Mike, and their dogs, Willa & Gus.
Judi Jungling, Office Manager
Judi comes to NMRWA with 38 years of office experience including key skills in data management and customer service. With gardening and nature as two of her greatest passions, working for Nine Mile Run is a satisfying experience for her. Judi’s excellent organizational skills keep the day-to-day operation of the organization running smoothly.
Paul Yanulavich, StormWorks Horitculturalist, ISA Certified Arborist
Paul received his Horticulture diploma from Bidwell Training Center and recently became an ISA Certified Arborist. He previously worked as a Plant ID/Diagnostic Specialist at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. He has a special interest in and affinity for taxonomy, which informs his work with NMRWA installing rain gardens and rain barrels. Paul has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing, both from Goddard College. He enjoys writing, baking, and gardening.
Sarah Peterson, Communications Program Assistant
Sarah joined Nine Mile Run in January 2013 as an intern working on social media and other duties for the Clean Rivers Campaign. Sarah completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology and her Master’s in Public Administration degree at the University of Dayton in Ohio. There, she also worked for the Rivers Institute at the University of Dayton which works to reunite Dayton and its rivers. A native of Pittsburgh, Sarah is excited to be back in the city taking advantage of all Pittsburgh has to offer.
Nathan Resnick-Day, GreenLinks Seasonal Program Assistant
Nathan holds a diploma in Horticulture Technology from Bidwell Training Center and a Permaculture Design Certificate from Phipps Conservatory. As a lifelong beneficiary of the Nine Mile Run watershed and a believer in the future of Wilkinsburg, Nathan is honored to assist in the Five Hundred Tree Initiative by watering and maintaining the trees that will keep streets cool, capture carbon, clean the air and beautify the region for years to come. Nathan’s other interests include ethnomusicology, natural history, public health, and his dog, Gus.
Alexa Vitalie, StormWorks Marketing Consultant
Alexa began working at NMRWA in the summer of 2013. She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from University of Colorado. She recently also became an accredited LEED Green Associate. Prior to joining StormWorks, she has worked in renewable energy and other environmental nonprofits. She is passionate about environmental conservation and sustainable building and operational practices. In her free time, Alexa enjoys hiking in Pittsburgh’s parks.