Mr. Perkins served as a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps. He was assigned as a Communications Officer, where he was responsible for long range, multi-channel and satellite communications. He was responsible for the management of equipment and staff to provide voice and digital communications support for the east-coast operational requirements. During his tenure, he also served as the Director of the Performance Counseling Center. In this position, he provided substance abuse counseling and training to Marines and their dependents.
As the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of MTS Technologies, Inc. (MTS), founded in 1991 by Mr. Perkins, he served as the senior executive responsible for all aspects of Firm’s business. In this capacity, he oversaw day-to-day operations and administrative management. He directed all marketing and business strategy development efforts.
In the two years prior to founding MTS, Mr. Perkins was employed by Dual & Associates as the Vice President of Administration and member of the Board of Directors. In this position, he managed all administrative functions for the Firm and in the absence of the President assumed responsibility for overall company management.
Mr. Perkins was Manager of Staffing with Booz•Allen & Hamilton, Inc. for thirteen years. He was responsible for the strategy development and coordination of efforts to hire staff to satisfy employment openings in the technology arena. He also recruited senior professionals who had responsibility for building new business thrusts.
Mr. Perkins is a 1974 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and has a Masters Degree from Pepperdine University.
As President of The Challenge Program, Inc., Barbara Grandinetti has spear-headed and expanded the Program’s outreach and recruited talented development and support personnel. Grandinetti opens doors to fundraising opportunities and develops lasting relationships with business partners, foundations and individual donors all with a single mindedness to spread the word about the program. She has a unique ability to discover and tap into people’s special talents needed to grow and expand the program. She is passionate about the program, just ask her!
Grandinetti was integral in creating The Challenge Program, Inc.’s now signature fundraising event – The Crystal Owl Gala held each spring. She helped businesses supporting high schools apply for Earned Income Tax Credits in Pennsylvania and the Neighborhood Investment Program in West Virginia. Through her efforts, The Challenge Program obtained their Non-Profit Organization 50l(c)(3) status of the Internal Revenue Code with contributions to the program being deductible under Section 170 of the Code.
Treasurer of Allegheny Co.
John Weinstein is a lifelong resident of Allegheny County. He has served as the elected Allegheny County Treasurer since 1999; being re-elected countywide to four (4) consecutive terms. In addition to overseeing the collection, investment and disbursement of over one billion dollars of county funds on a daily basis, Mr. Weinstein is also serving in the capacity of the President of the Retirement Board of Allegheny County and oversees the pension investment portfolio of nearly $800 million.
Mr. Weinstein is currently the only Treasurer in Pennsylvania that has won, several years in a row, the coveted “Award of Excellence” by an organization representing the United States and Canada, for the investment policy he has written and implemented in Allegheny County designed to protect the taxpayer’s money. In addition, the Treasurer has become a leader in green initiatives implementing e-taxbilling in Allegheny County making the region the only county in Pennsylvania to have this innovative technology available.
John belongs to the Association of Public Treasurer’s of the USA & Canada, PA County Treasurer’s Association, PA State Tax Collectors Association, Financial Executives International, Government Finance Officers Association, and the Northeastern Regional Tax Collectors & Treasurers Association. He is active with UPCI – University of Pittsburgh Hillman Cancer Institute, Animal Friends, Inc., Phipps Conservatory, Roberto Clemente Foundation and the Boys and Girls Club of Western Pa.
Principal – Marbury Group
Douglas Shriber is a Pittsburgh resident and principal owner of Marbury Group. Shriber formed the Marbury Group in November 2011 and is already ranked within the top 30 Pittsburgh Advertising agencies. He is involved with American Century Investments Advisory Board, American Kidney Foundation Planning Committee, Pittsburgh Association Board of Directors, Animal Friends and Strazl Transplant Institute. Doug is a proud living kidney donor and happily married to his wife, Sarah Shriber.
President and Owner, Ford Business Machines, Inc.
Johnathan is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University where he majored in Architectural Engineering. The 32-year old executive had planned a career as an engineer and was employed in Pittsburgh when his father, John M. Garlow, founder and CEO of Ford Business Machines, asked him to join the family business as President.
Johnathan believes in community growth and providing employment opportunities for other young professionals. He believes young people in our area need to know of the potential of staying local, not just for employment opportunities but for the quality of life. This is a great fit for The Challenge Program, Inc. which strives to keep young talent in their communities.
Johnathan M. Garlow received the Herman Buck Award on December 3, 2015 at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. Awarded annually by the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, the Herman Buck Award is presented to a young man or woman under the age of 45 who has given his or her time and energy to community service. This person exemplifies unselfish commitment to the community, as did the late Herman M. Buck.
Johnathan also serves on the board of other community service organizations such as the Westmoreland Fayette Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and Fay-Penn Economic Development Council.
Chairman, The Hite Company
Lee Hite joined The Hite Company in 1968 after graduating from Westminster College in 1966 with a degree in finance. He worked in the finance department with US Steel before returning to the family business as Vice President of Marketing. He assumed the role of President in 1976 when his father, Bob Hite, moved to Chairman. Bob Hite, original founder, passed away in 1986.
Lee has been quite active in the electrical industry having served as Chairman of IMARK, a marketing co-op organization representing over 170 companies. He also was Chairman of NAED the nation industry trade association, and served on various key committees as well as several terms on the Board of Governors. Lee recently was recognized with the Arthur W. Hooper Award, his association’s highest honor, in 2007.
Besides his involvement in the business, Lee has been quite active in his community. He currently serves or has served on many local boards including United Way (Board and Campaign Chair), ABCD(Altoona Blair County Development)Corporation, Home Nursing Agency, Penn State Altoona, The Greater Altoona Economic Development Corporation, Rotary Club, and the Altoona Regional Health System, where he held the position of Vice Chairman for many years. In 2008 he was presented the Blair County Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Business Excellence(the highest award granted by the Chamber).
Lee has been maried to Jane Purdy since 1969. Jane received her art history degree from Wilson College and worked for several years as a teacher in the Altoona Area School district. Jane and Lee have three daughters:Laura, a graduate of Lehigh University and Penn State Graduate School of Counseling Education, was employed as a guidance counselor at the Altoona Area School District and is married to Scott Lawhead, President of The Hite Company; Katie, a Penn State University graduate, is Vice President of Marketing at The Hite Company and is married to Tom Brouse; III D.C.; Betsy, a graduate of Penn State University University resides in McLean, Virginia, and is married to Ryan Bensten, Vice President of The Merion Group, a real estate development company.
Senior Vice President, CS McKee Investment Managers
Robert Rossi’s 20 plus years in the investment management industry include prior positions as Vice President and Director of Investment Research at Invesmart, various managerial positions at Federated Investors and analyst positions at Kidder Peabody. He has managed multi-asset, multi-strategy retirement portfolios representing more than $1.2 billion, provided services to and negotiated arrangements with more than 200 mutual fund firms, served as liaison to the consulting community, and developed retirement-plan investment processes, among other activities.
Mr. Rossi holds an MBA with a concentration in finance and marketing from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Lehigh University.
Outside of work Rob describes himself as an avid golfer, but “less accomplished,” neglecting to say less than whom.(His partners would have no doubts, he maintains.) Among other community arrangements, he sits on the Board of Trustees of the Laughlin Center, a children’s learning and developement institute in Sewickly, Pennsylvania. Rob and his wife, Nancy, have a daughter, Nicole, who has followed him-to his pride and pleasure-into the financial service industry.
Chairman & CEO, MARC
Tony Bucci is chairman and chief executive officer of MARC, one of the nation’s largest independent marketing communications companies with more than 200 associates and full-service MARC USA offices in Chicago, Miami, and Pittsburgh.
Tony began his career at MARC USA as an assistant account executive and moved steadily up the ranks to be named Chairman in 1997. He is a pioneer in advertising agency management and re-engineering. Tony authored the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Management Guide as well as numerous articles on agency structure, advertising and branding and has spoken to business groups all over the world.
Mr. Bucci is widely recognized for his leadership and philanthropic efforts and has won many honors for his contributions to his profession and to the community, including induction into the Pittsburgh Advertising Federation Hall of Fame. Other awards include the Junior Achievement Golden Achievement Award, the Pittsburgh Opera Maecenas Award and the Vectors Man of the Year Award in Communications.
Tony is currently the Vice-Chairman of the National Board of Directors of Girls Inc., President of the Board of Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, and Board Member of Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He is an Emeritus Board member of Pittsburgh Public Theater, Pittsburgh Manchester Craftsmen Guild, United Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CLASS), and Make-A-Wish Foundation of Western Pennsylvania & Southern West Virginia.
He is also past Vice Chairman of Duquesne University, past Chairman of the Board of United Way of Allegheny County, past President of the Pittsburgh Public Theater, past National Chairman of the Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, and past Board Member of KaBoom.
President & CEO, JMJS, Inc. dba COE Distributing
J.D. Ewing is the president and CEO of COE Distributing. The evolution of COE started over 70 years ago as a woman owned business in the basement of a tavern in Hopwood, PA out of necessity to support her two sons. JD grew up in the family business, learning the importance of work ethic and taking care of customers from his grandmother and father. Taking over the business in 1989, JD has been able to take the lifelong knowledge from his family, share it with current management and employees to create a company that always takes care of customers and will work relentlessly in pursuit of customer satisfaction. Since 2010 JD has more than tripled the size of the organization. A native of Fayette County, he is proud to be able to provide career jobs for this area with a company that offers multiple benefits. Most recently, hiring his sister, Jennifer Jubin as VP of operations, was something he knew his grandmother would be proud of in keeping the tradition of a family business.
COE Distributing has been a business sponsor of The Challenge Program, Inc. since 2013 in Fayette County, partnering with Geibel Catholic High School and Brownsville High School.
In addition to COE Distributing, J.D. has business interests in real estate development in and around Uniontown, Downtown Pittsburgh and the Tampa, FL area, with combined square footage totaling over 700,000.
J.D. believes in giving back to his community. Besides his involvement with students through The Challenge Program, Inc., he is currently serving on several non-profit boards in Fayette County, including the Community Foundation of Fayette County. J.D. is a newly appointed board member for The Challenge Program. Additionally, J.D. is the communications officer for YPO, a global platform for chief executives to engage, learn and grow.
General Manager ,
Hajoca Corporation – Pennstan HVAC Supply
Jane Wieland is the General Manager for Hajoca Corporation – Pennstan HVAC in Sewickley, PA. Hajoca is the largest privately held distributor of plumbing, HVAC and industrial supplies in over 500 locations nationwide. Wieland manages and has responsibility for the P & L statement of operations and ensures the growth and profitability year over year. She is responsible for the strategic planning and direction for the Sewickley location including development and execution of strategic initiatives.
Throughout her career, Jane has received numerous industry and leadership awards. She is a proven leader who utilizes continuous improvement skills and methodology to deliver double digit expense reductions while still exceeding organizational metrics, including sales, and focusing on talent development.
While the Market Manager at W.W. Grainger, Jane was very involved with workforce development. This experience, along with her passion for shaping and raising the awareness of high school students to the career opportunities that exist in their own communities is what led her to become involved with The Challenge Program, Inc.
Jane holds a master’s in business administration from Ohio Dominican University and a bachelor’s in communications from John Carroll University.
An active citizen, Jane is a member of the Executive Women’s Leadership Council for the United Way, a member of the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Western PA, a member of the Junior League of Pittsburgh, Inc. and a CCD Teacher at St. James Catholic Church in Sewickley, PA.
Jane lives with her husband John and two sons in Moon Township, PA.
Vice President of Sales ,
Maven Machines, Inc.
Kyler D. Ford is the Vice President of Sales at Maven Machines in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a leader in transportation software and industrial IoT. Prior to joining Maven Machines in 2016, Ford was a Development Officer at Duquesne University. Before that, he worked as a New Business Development Producer at Henderson Brothers Inc., one of region’s largest privately-owned insurance brokerages providing commercial insurance, employee benefits, retirement and wealth management services.
In addition, Ford is active in several area non-profits. In 2015, he was among a handful of nominees to run for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Man of the Year,” in the process raising more than $30,000 for the organization. He is also an ambassador for Auberle, an organization dedicated to serving the needs of troubled families and youths, and volunteers with the Mario Lemieux Foundation.
A native of Bedford, Pennsylvania, Ford graduated from Shippensburg University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing in 2010. At Shippensburg, he was an All-American Football Player and the recipient of the 2009 Shippensburg University Student-Athlete of the Year Award. He also served as his class president each of his four years.
Allied Resources Group
Dennis Zatlin is a native of the Greater Pittsburgh area and the President of the Allied Resources Group, the Philadelphia-based parent company of four multi-disciplined firms throughout the US. The group came to be after making a series of acquisitions starting in 2003, established on the belief that businesses are people-based. His entrepreneurial spirit afforded him the ability to grow and scale those businesses based on the strong relationships he had formed throughout his career.
Dennis understands that investing in his employees, from the very beginning stages of their careers, is an investment in the company’s future growth. His philosophy is to create an environment that harbors creativity, strong work ethics, and drives success, rewarding those committed to that culture. Without a strong supporting staff, the health of the business would suffer.
Prior to going into business himself, Dennis spent 18 years as the Vice President of Operations for an engineering consulting firm. During those years, he forged lifelong relationships with both clientele and professionals that he and his businesses now serve.
Though his professional growth and success moved him across the state, the Robert Morris University Alum remains true to his Pittsburgh roots, gives back to the communities, and is a frequent visitor of the city. He currently resides in the Greater Philadelphia area and continues to give back to the local community. He is an active Board Member of the Great Valley Community Organization and has been involved with several charities including Bringing Hope Home.
Senior Vice President
Pittsburgh Office Executive
Michael Baker International
Rick Robyak has served in several leadership roles across various offices for Michael Baker International over the past 26+ years. Project experience includes serving as Project Engineer/Manager or Principal in Charge for transportation projects including Roadways, Rail/Transit, Aviation, and Geographic Information Systems. From 2004 through 2011, he served as Office Executive for Michael Baker International’s Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Office. Previously, he served as the Director of Planning & Technical Services for Michael Baker International’s New Jersey Operation. From 2012 through 2016, Rick served as Deputy National Market Lead for Transportation which included serving as Interim Office Executive in the Orlando, Florida Office (2014/2015). Since 2016, Rick has served as the Office Executive for the Pittsburgh Operation responsible for the day to day management of 500+ professionals. He has a BS and MS in Civil Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University and is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Pennsylvania. Rick and his wife Kim have two children and reside in Robinson Township.