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 traveled 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 “Women 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.
Lindsey-Rose Flowers, Restoration and Stewardship Coordinator
Lindsey-Rose joined NMRWA in October of 2015. She attended Oberlin College, completing a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with a minor in Geology. During her time at Oberlin she served on the staff of an ecological wastewater treatment facility, the “Living Machine.” After Oberlin, she went on to earn a Master of Science in Sustainability at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. While at ASU, she served as a Fellow in the National Science Foundation’s GK-12 Program as part of the Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools initiative. Lindsey-Rose coordinates stewardship and outreach events in the restoration area, regular monthly water quality monitoring, and our environmental education programs. In her free time, Lindsey-Rose can be found throwing stoneware pottery, cooking and baking, building her house, spending quality time with her family, and taking every opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.
Maureen Copeland, Director of Policy and Outreach
Maureen “Mo” Copeland 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. She works with stakeholders throughout the watershed and region to improve the health of Nine Mile Run Watershed through green infrastructure, stormwater management, and other best management practices. In her free time, you’ll find her camping, running, or playing Gaelic football.
Josh first moved to Pittsburgh in 2006 from a small town in western Pennsylvania. After spending his years exploring his passion for culinary arts and a short stint in San Francisco, Josh returned to Pittsburgh to obtain a degree in Sustainability. He has been with StormWorks since the spring of 2017. He has enjoyed the opportunities to work outside an use his technical carpentry skills to promote green solutions in the city. He is an avid outdoorsman and an active member of the local Trout Unlimited Chapter. You can often find him enjoying Highland Park with his significant other and their dog Henry.
Tricia Dougherty, Operations and Communications Manager
Tricia joined NMRWA in April 2018. She attended the University of Pittsburgh, and obtained a degree in Political Science and certificates in Women’s Studies, and European Union Studies. She serves on the board of a number of local nonprofits including the Garfield Land Trust, Equality Pennsylvania, and the Mayor’s LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council. Tricia is responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the office, and conveying NMRWA’s mission and vision through interesting and thoughtful media and publications. In her free time, Tricia enjoys listening to podcasts and hiking with her dog.
Jan returned to Pittsburgh and joined NMRWA in September of 2018. Jan grew up in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, overlooking Frick Park and Nine Mile Run, but has spent most of the last 8 years on the west coast. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Geography from the University of Oregon, taking summers off to explore the outdoors and fight forest fires in Oregon’s Coast Range. Most recently Jan worked for a resource conservation district in northern California, where he assisted with the implementation of large scale salmonid habitat restoration projects on the Sacramento River. Jan coordinates the urban forestry program, helping to maintain and enhance the benefits of the watershed’s urban forest. In his spare time Jan enjoys photography, crochet, and spending time outdoors.