Leadership

Lisa Schroeder, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation

I was born and raised in Baltimore and lived in Pittsburgh, twice. The first time was in the 1980s, for just a few years. It was a challenging time for the city. The economic repercussions of the collapse of industry were dominating everything. I returned in 1999, just as a group of 44 extraordinary citizens …

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Focus on Leadership

Five regional leaders address key elements and lessons of what it means to lead. What do you believe to be the most important ingredients of successful leadership? Susie Shipley, President, Pennsylvania and Ohio Valley Region, Huntington Bank Successful leaders know that culture comes before strategy, character before style and vision before direction. Successful leaders know …

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Judith Hansen O’Toole, Art Lover

I was born in Minneapolis, one of four sisters. My father was a college professor who was finishing his Ph.D. in American studies at the University of Minnesota, after which he took a job at Penn State. So, I actually grew up in State College, and was a “faculty brat” there. My mother was a …

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Passion and Independence: Two More Critical Requirements for Leaders

In a recent essay on leadership for Pittsburgh Quarterly, I listed several characteristics that I believe define great leaders. Among them were courage, vision and the ability to communicate. I realized last week that I omitted two important characteristics from the list after taking part in a couple of well-attended forums designed to increase diversity …

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Leading the Way

We asked five high-profile executives: What do you believe to be the most important ingredients of successful leadership? J. Christopher Donahue, president and CEO, Federated Investors, Inc. Lessons on leadership can come from the unlikeliest sources—even works of art. An example can be found in what may be the most important work in the prized …

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A Question of Leadership

Pittsburgh Quarterly asked three local leaders: “What’s the toughest leadership dilemma you’ve ever faced; how did you handle it; and what did you learn from it?” Grant Oliphant, President of the Heinz Endowments Shortly after I started as president & CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation in early 2008 the economy was hit by the Great …

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Elsie Hillman, Political and Civic Leader

My husband, Henry Lea Hillman, is seven years older than me. He is the son, of course, of Pittsburgh steel mogul John H. Hillman, Jr., an industrialist who built Pittsburgh Coke & Chemical. Anyway, Henry was a friend of my older sister, and I knew his younger sister, so we all became friends. When I …

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Aftermath of a Strike

When Melia Tourangeau joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as President and CEO in July 2015, she immediately faced a problem she hadn’t anticipated: massive debts from a nearly insolvent pension program. Last fall, the PSO endured a 55-day strike that ended when two donors made one-time gifts and musicians agreed to concessions. Tourangeau discusses the …

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Maxwell King, Philanthropy Executive

I am Maxwell Evarts Perkins King, named after Maxwell Evarts Perkins, my grandfather, who was the editor at Scribner’s for Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald, among other authors. Even though my mother always told me, “Go to law school, Max” (many of her family members were lawyers), all she ever talked about …

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Chevron’s Nigel Hearne

For the past 100 years, the U.S. blossomed in part due to an oil boom with roots in the 19th century, the beginning of the modern oil period. That was when George Bissell, a school teacher, lawyer, entrepreneur and journalist—a true Renaissance man—conceived the idea that the “rock” oil that bubbled up very near to …

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All Hands On Deck

Opening the lecture series named in his honor, Community College of Allegheny County graduate Robert Mill described labor-management relations in western Pennsylvania as “a regional asset, as much as the zoo and the ball parks. We are the first out of the recession because our community relationships are so exquisite.” Titled “Industry Trades and Skills,” …

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A Model of Respect

At a time when organized labor is under attack and manufacturing is crawling to its feet after a dramatic recession, two major players, John Surma, CEO of U.S. Steel, and Leo W. Gerard, international president of United Steelworkers, met on the North Side campus of Community College of Allegheny County to discuss the future. It …

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Our Future with Governor Dan Onorato

Over the last six years that I have served as Allegheny County executive, we achieved momentous results by working together, putting taxpayers first and keeping our focus, making southwestern Pennsylvania an attractive place for businesses to invest and families to live. We know the story because we’ve been through it together. Six years ago, we …

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Robert F. Vagt, The Heinz Endowments

I can’t look at my career path and, with a straight face, tell anyone that it was the result of a plan. I was born in Delaware. My folks split up, and then my mother and I moved to Connecticut in the years before I went to college. My grandfather was a Presbyterian minister. My mom …

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Jeanne Pearlman, Philanthropy Executive

I was raised in Squirrel Hill. It was a close-knit community that valued ideas and intellectual activities. For my parents, dinnertime was not only about eating. It was also about talking, thinking and challenging. Any opinion expressed had to be countered with another opinion. My father would always ask, “Why do you think that?” This …

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