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.
Brittany Miller, Managing Director – StormWorks
Brittany joined the StormWorks team in November 2014. She has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Carnegie Mellon University, with a focus in Marketing. Brittany brings over 5 years of experience in sales, marketing and operations from various start-ups to her role and is excited to apply her skills to the StormWorks social enterprise. In her free time, she enjoys playing tennis, baking, reading, skiing, and walking her dog.
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 an undergraduate degree in Marine Science and a Masters in Environmental Health Sciences, both from the University of South Carolina. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, she worked as a Science Communicator in the Chesapeake Bay region. Her responsibilities include oversight of water quality monitoring work, volunteer & member event planning, and management of NMRWA electronic & print communications. Outside of the office, Sara enjoys practicing yoga, watching college football, and traveling as much as possible.
Maranda Nemeth, Restoration Stewardship Coordinator
Maranda joined NMRWA in August 2015. She has an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from Allegheny College and is certified in wetland delineation. Prior to joining NMRWA, she worked in environmental and quality compliance consulting. Her responsibilities include oversight of the programs for water quality monitoring, Urban EcoStewards, member and volunteer events, and environmental education. Outside of the watershed, you can find Maranda slinging whiskey at Wigle Whiskey in the Strip District, cooking with her CSA veggies, bird-watching, or backpacking somewhere in the world.
Theresa Muehlbauer, Communications Coordinator
Theresa joined NMRWA in August 2015. She recently earned a Master’s degree in Life Sciences Communication, with a focus on non-profit marketing from the University of Wisconsin Madison. Her undergraduate degrees are in Communication Arts and Spanish. Before moving to Pittsburgh Theresa worked in IT and video production. She is responsible for our print and digital communications, including social media. Theresa loves running, practicing yoga daily, drawing, and event photography.
Jared Manzo, Greenlinks Coordinator
Jared joined NMRWA in October of 2014. He earned his undergraduate degree in Forest Resource Management and his Masters in Forestry from West Virginia University. After graduate school, Jared worked as a Production Arborist for Bartlett Tree Experts in the Pittsburgh area. Outside of his love for everything trees, he enjoys ultimate Frisbee, collecting vinyl records, analog photography, and backpacking trips.
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.
Maureen Copeland, Regional Stormwater Strategist
Maureen “Mo” Copeland joined the StormWorks staff in June 2014, excited to be a part of the stormwater solution in Pittsburgh. A southwestern PA native, she has a degree in Environmental Science from Allegheny College and Masters in Environmental Management from Duquesne University. Over the last ten years in Pittsburgh, Mo has worked in a variety of nonprofits in the region, most recently as Community Programs Manager at GTECH and AmeriCorps Program Manager at PULSE. In free time, you’ll find her camping, running, or playing Gaelic football.
Nathan Resnick-Day, GreenLinks Program Assistant
Nathan joined NMRWA in May 2013 & Stormworks in May 2014. He holds a diploma in Horticulture Technology from Bidwell Training Center and a Permaculture Design Certificate from Phipps Conservatory. Nathan splits his time between installing rain gardens and maintaining the watershed’s urban forest. As a lifelong beneficiary of the run and a believer in the future of the watershed’s diverse municipalities, he is honored to contribute to gardens that manage excess stormwater and the trees that will keep streets cool, capture carbon and clean the air for years to come. Nathan’s interests include ethnomusicology, natural history, public health, and his dog, Gus.
Alexa Vitalie, StormWorks Marketing Coordinator
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.