Taris Vrcek is a third-generation McKees Rocks resident and a graduate of Sto-Rox High School. After graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Vrcek pursued a career in information technology before spearheading a re-visioning of his community that would ultimately result in formation of a Strategic Revitalization Plan and the McKees Rocks Community Development Corporation (MRCDC). During his tenure as Executive Director, Vrcek has helped facilitate nearly $100M in economic development.
Director of Economic Development
Jeb grew up in Santa Fe New Mexico. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree at the University of Wisconsin - Madison he moved to San Francisco where he tried out working in the tech sector. Graduate studies at Carnegie Mellon University brought Jeb to Pittsburgh. While completing his work at CMU he began collaborating on revitalization efforts in the Borough of Braddock with its former mayor now Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor, John Fetterman. This partnership is ongoing. Jeb now owns and resides in Braddock in a former Catholic school building that also houses an arts venue and studio spaces. He continues to work on his new hometown and spent several years in County government before moving over to work with the McKees Rocks CDC.
Communications & Marketing Director
A journalist with more than 10 years experience, Sonja joined MRCDC in 2016. Using her bachelor’s degree in communications from the Pennsylvania State University, Sonja handles the nonprofit’s social media, website, communications, event planning and fundraising needs. The former Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer has integrated herself into many of the communities that make up the western suburbs of Pittsburgh and covered many of the efforts made by area groups including MRCDC, Focus on Renewal, Sto-Rox Family Health Center, McKees Rocks Borough, Stowe Township, Sto-Rox School District and many of the area’s businesses, groups and residents. A childhood resident of Kennedy, she returned to the area in 2003 and now resides in Kennedy.
Community Engagement Manager
Albert Edmunds is a Pittsburgher who grew up in Chartiers City/Windgap area next door to McKees Rocks. He is well known in the communities of McKees Rocks Stowe and beyond making him well-suited for the engagement role.,,Before his involvement with MRCDC he served on the board of directors as Vice Chair and Vice President of The Zellous Hope Project.,,At MRCDC Albert will be handling community engagement for the nonprofit organization,as well as working with the MRCDC Ambassadors to increase awareness.,,He attended Wheeler School of Business and Thompson Institute of Business. Albert has also worked many years with BNYMellon Highmark Bluecross Blueshield and several other mortgage and title companies.,,Albert “deeply cares about the people and the community of McKees Rocks.”
Manager of Operations
Shelley was born and raised in McKees Rocks. She attended grade school at St. Mary's and McKees Rocks Catholic, and went to high school at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (OLSH). She received her Associate's Degree in Office Management from Robert Morris University and has been Office Manager at MRCDC since November 2013. Shelley is grateful that she gets to work for an organization that is revitalizing the hometown that she knows and loves. She hopes to be a part of the CDC for a very long time.
Community Engagement (Contract)
A native of Cleveland Gina Beavers received her M.A. and B.A. in American History from the Universities of Massachusetts and Pittsburgh respectively. She is an artist,, freelance arts writer and communications professional. ,Gina currently serves as the Director of DEI for the Girls and Boys Club of Western Pennsylvania. She also served as the Interim Organizational Director of the Black Caucus American Library Association and is currently Chair of the Allegheny Metro West NAACP Chartering Committee. Gina has sat on several boards in Massachusetts and was President of the Springfield Cultural Council for two terms. She is a current member of the Radiant Hall board in Pittsburgh.
While McKees Rocks resident Mary Sue Flick has a long career in administration to highlight it is her art and volunteer efforts in McKees Rocks and Stowe that she is most well known for.,,Her creativity and willingness to share her time with so many in the Sto-Rox communities may be her strongest suit. She is the founder of the McKees Rocks Women’s Alliance group and volunteers with many organizations throughout the area.,,“I truly believe in the future of McKees Rocks and I have a strong desire to help all of the McKees Rocks residents to attain a higher level of pride and happiness while living in our community,” MarySue said.,,“…In meeting and connecting with the people here I have grown to truly love the people, and I really strive to share and promote that love in everything I do.”
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Positive Parenting Director,
Focus on Renewal
Account Executive, Engle-Hambright & Davies, Inc.
TALIA PIAZZA DePASQUALE
Director of Storytelling & Communications, Neighborhood Allies
Accountant, Carnegie Mellon University
ANTHONY T. SKENDER JR.
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
School Superintendent (ret.), Sto-Rox & Chartiers Valley School Districts
Father Regis Ryan, Director Emeritus
Retired, Focus on Renewal, Sto-Rox Family Health Center
Paul K. Brown
Owner/Operator Rocks Landing
Pharmacy Services, Cardinal Health
CEO, Luxury Score Consulting
Senior Underwriter, SE Region, New American Funding
Manager, McKees Rocks Key Bank
Executive Director, Resilient Minds Youth Development
President, CPA, Kinol Sharie Leyh & Associates