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Just Asking…Janis Burley Wilson

Q: What’s the most interesting thing about your job?A: Every day is different. It’s NEVER the same schedule, same problems, same rewards. That’s what I love about working in a creative, artistic environment. Q: What’s the best advice anybody ever gave you?A: “It’s not how you play the game, it’s whether you win or lose”— Dad, and …

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The Promise of a Car

I was the only sibling to be born in Detroit during our family’s five-year stint (1958-1963) in the Motor City. I was told I started talking “late” for my age, but when I did start, I surprised my parents during car rides by correctly calling out the make, model and year of every car on …

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Lackner, Titus, Kessler

Judy Lackner, 98She was the senior school librarian for 22 years at Sewickley Academy, where her voracious reading habits and steel-trap memory caused her to serve as the “book whisperer.” A lifelong learner, Lackner went back to school when her children were grown to get a master’s in library science from Pitt. After graduating from …

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What Do I Know? Ed Gainey

I have to say that it feels good to be the mayor of my hometown, to be connected to the place where I was born and raised. My family is from the Hill District, but I was actually born in South Oakland. We were only the second black family to live on Lawn Street. My …

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Ackerman, Johnson, Vidunas, Davis, Herchenroether, Deiseroth

Jeffrey Ackerman, 69A founding partner of CBRE, Ackerman was an icon in the region’s commercial real estate industry for decades and served as CBRE’s managing director in Pittsburgh from 2013 until January. He was working at Arnheim & Neely in the 1990s when CB Commercial came looking for an existing brokerage with which to partner. …

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Oh, Say Can You Sing?

During the winter months, every executive in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization is thinking about the upcoming season. Chris Serkoch isn’t pondering who’ll bat clean-up, whether a platoon will work in left field, or how she can line up the bullpen. Her concerns, though, are just as vital. Serkoch is wondering who will perform the national …

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Curley, Martin, Kreisman, Rocher, Sarni, Lampl

Mary Taylor Walton Curley, 97The daughter of John and Rachel Mellon Walton and granddaughter of Gulf Oil founder William Larimer Mellon, she graduated from Vassar and worked at Pitt after World War II assisting women veterans on the GI Bill. She and her husband, oil executive Walter Curley, lived all over the world, from India …

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The Selling of Mellon

Editor’s Note: This article is based on the upcoming book published by Lyons Press:“From Swampoodle to Mellon Bank CEO; An Irish American’s Journey, the Autobiography of Martin G. McGuinn Jr.” When I came to Mellon Bank in 1981, it was the dominant bank in Pittsburgh, much to the chagrin of Pittsburgh National Bank, which later, …

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Seven Young Women Debut at the 96th Cinderella Ball

Friends and family gathered over Memorial Day weekend at the Allegheny Country Club for the 96th presentation of the Cinderella Ball.   The Ball celebrates a formal introduction to society for a group of debutantes and the culmination of a year of charitable work and personal development through the completion of the Leadership Forum for Young …

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Hampton, Gumberg, Fox, O’Brien, Weber, Green

Slide Hampton, 89The virtuoso jazz trombonist, bandleader and Grammy Award-winning composer and musical arranger hailed from Jeannette, where his sister gave him the nickname Slide. One of 12 children, he spent his entire life in music, beginning as a singer and dancer with a family band and progressing to trombone at age 12. The Hampton …

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Favorini, DeSantis, Johnson, Virdon, Diamond, Baskin

Attilio “Buck” Favorini, 78After earning a Ph.D. in History of the Theatre from Yale, the New York City native came to Pittsburgh in 1969 and spent 50 years here, founding the Three Rivers Shakespeare Festival, which became one of the top Shakespeare festivals in America. He joined the Pitt faculty and founded the university’s Theatre …

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Cohill, Corbett, Walton, Lewis, Wymard, Ford

Judge Maurice Cohill Jr., 92A national leader in juvenile justice, Cohill heard hundreds of cases involving juveniles and often had adults tell him how his influence had turned their lives around. He founded the nation’s oldest juvenile justice research organization, the National Center for Juvenile Justice in Pittsburgh, and was its chairman for decades. In …

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The 5th Northumberland Fusiliers

When Jim Zunic was about 10 years old, he got the shock of his young life. After he had enjoyed watching a TV series about Sherlock Holmes, the librarian at McNaugher Elementary School on Pittsburgh’s North Side encouraged him to read some of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories about the fictional detective. “The librarian started …

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A Purpose-Driven Life

Arnold Zegarelli would probably agree with the adage: “find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” For 66 years until his retirement in November at the age of 85, that’s precisely what he did. Dressed in a suit and tie, a pocket square tucked neatly into …

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Professionals new to Pittsburgh

David Holiday is the director for the Center for Ethical Leadership and instructor of philosophy at Washington & Jefferson College. Prior to joining W&J, Holiday held the position of director of the Jackson Family Center for Ethics and Values at Coastal Carolina University, where he also served as lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and …

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A Q&A with Senate Candidate David McCormick

After leading Pittsburgh high-flyer FreeMarkets, McCormick returns for a Senate run. (Editor’s note: McCormick is the only Western Pennsylvanian in the Republican Senate Primary.  After the May primary, we hope to profile whichever Western Pennsylvania candidates remain in the Senate race from either party.) Why are you running for the Senate and what are the …

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What do I Know? Leslie Davis

My family is from New York, and my younger sister and I grew up in a suburban neighborhood on Long Island called “Five Towns,” which is about a 20-minute drive from Kennedy Airport. We were a typical 1970s family, except that my mother was an oral hygienist in a dentist’s office and loved her job. …

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Just Asking…Byron Stripling

Q: what’s the most interesting thing about your job?A: I get paid to do what I love! Q: what’s the best advice anybody ever gave you?A: Everything you want is on the other side of fear. Q: how do you start the day?A: It starts with gratitude for the gift of another day. As Maya …

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Hanna, Haley, Fu, Smyrnes-Williams, Brendel

Howard Hanna Sr., 101With an initial investment of $40, which may have included the plywood for his desk, Hanna started a real estate company in 1957 that now has more than 13,500 employees and more than 400 branch offices in 11 states. Today Howard Hanna Real Estate Services is the largest independently owned real estate …

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How the Mighty Have Fallen

Last October, my husband and I were driving through the eastern Pittsburgh suburb of Forest Hills when our physics buff son Mark blurted out, “Hey, there’s an old atom smasher around here somewhere. Can we go see it?” “Atom smasher?” I asked, with a blank look. “What’s that? A Kennywood coaster?” “It’s a nuclear reactor,” …

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Shelley, Kiesel, Green, Lichtveld, Walker, Moynihan, Adore

The Rev. Austin Crenshaw Shelley will become the senior pastor and head of staff at Shadyside Presbyterian Church on Sept. 27. Currently associate minister at the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia, Rev. Shelley is nearing completion of her Ph.D. in practical theology homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she received a master’s of …

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The Changing of the Guard

I have lived in Pittsburgh my entire 60 years, long enough to remember the smoke billowing from the South Side steel mills. I remember when they were shuttered and knocked down and, eventually, when the South Side Works rose from the ashes. Hard work, prosperity, disruption, change, renewal, prosperity: It’s a cycle I’ve seen over …

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