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.
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 & 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.
Kyler D. Ford is the Vice President at Axle Payments in Pennsylvania, a transportation and invoice factoring company. Prior to joining Axle Payments, Ford was VP of Sales with Maven Machines, Inc, and a Development Officer at Duquesne University. He also worked as a New Business Development Producer at Henderson Brothers Inc., one of the 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,” having raised 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.
Vice President of Global Commercial Banking
Bank of America
In 2010, Brad began his career at Wells Fargo and focused on providing financial services and lending solutions to operating business and real estate investors across Western PA.
Chiesa has assumed various leadership roles at different not for profit organizations. Prior to joining TCP board, Brad was involved with the YPN board of directors for Junior Achievement of Western PA.
Brad Chiesa graduated the University of Pittsburgh with a BSBA in Finance and Accounting in 2010. He currently lives in the South Hills with his wife, Monika and daughter, Brooklyn.
Founder & President, Murtech, Inc.
Robert (Bob) Murtha currently owns and operates an environmental engineering and marine construction company, that does local, regional and national projects. Based in Maryland Chesapeake Bay Region.
Murtha is a native of Paden City, West Virginia and Orrville, Ohio. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy after high school. There he received a degree in Ocean Engineering and specialized as a combat engineer. He commanded the U.S. Marine Corps Silent Drill Team in Washington, D.C. Upon leaving the service, he worked in the environmental engineering arena. He later received his M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins University. His desire to remain current technically and operationally continues as he was recently accepted in the Doctor of Engineering program at Johns Hopkins University.
Murtha was able to gain a unique perspective from the world travel he received in the military and with his work, and to have met and witnessed young people from small towns across the country evolve into successful young men and women. During his Marine Corps service, He served as an aide to President Ronald Reagan and through his military and civilian ventures was able to meet Presidents Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush, and William Clinton.
Bob Murtha lives with his devoted wife of thirty-four years, Rosemary, and has two daughters, Stephanie, and Jessica. He embraces his growing up in the hills of West Virginia which provided him an appreciation for family. He attributes the small-town life experiences, and the effect small-town economics can have on its people, as the biggest influences on his ability to pick himself up and succeed in reaching his goals. This is the message Bob Murtha delivers to the students of Paden City and Hundred High Schools in West Virginia. He reminds students that very few go straight to the top and that getting knocked down is part of the process but getting back up is key.
His message resonated with a Paden City HS senior, Destiny Harrison, who became a 2020 Student of the Year finalist. Harrison credits Bob Murtha’s honest presentation to the school in the fall of 2019 to help push her to overcome her own challenges.
Corporate EEO and Human Resources Officer
PJ Dick-Trumbull-Lindy Paving
Jennifer H. Howe is the Corporate Human Resources and EEO Officer for P. J. Dick Inc., Trumbull Corporation, and Lindy Paving, Inc. and its affiliated companies. These firms are headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA and are owned by the Jane Burton and Cliff Rowe families.
Howe is a third-generation member of the family and has worked for their businesses since 1998. Her work experience has predominantly been in Human Resources management, but also includes Workers Compensation claims management, and Physician Relations/Operations for a health insurance company in the early 1990s.
Howe expects to officially retire early from her HR Officer role in December 2021 but will retain her Board of Directors seat with the family’s businesses. Anticipating further growth and executive-level strategic initiatives within various departments and lines of business, it seemed like the right time for Howe to “pass along the HR torch.” She is also looking forward to devoting more time to charitable organization missions and potential Board appointments that focus on career-building opportunities in our region, like The Challenge Program, Inc.
PJ Dick and Trumbull Corporation and Lindy Paving are proud Challenge Program sponsors of A. W. Beattie Career Center, Beaver County CTC, and Forbes Road CTC., which is why Howe has become so familiar with the goals and impact of The Challenge Program, Inc. and has a keen interest in promoting the program.
Howe resides in the Mount Lebanon area and has raised two children who are now in their twenties. She holds a Masters’ Degree in Human Resources from St. Francis University and a Bachelors’ degree in Health Care Management from Penn State University.
Attorney at Law, The Burns Law Firm
Mr. Burns is the founder of a general practice law firm based in Ebensburg (Cambria County). Prior to opening his own law practice, he served as a judicial law clerk to two Cambria County Judges and was an associate attorney in the prominent Johnstown-based law firm of Spence, Custer, Saylor, Wolfe and Rose.
Mr. Burns is an active member of his local community, serving as the solicitor for a number of non-profit organizations and churches, including the Roxbury Bandshell Preservation Alliance. He also serves on the Cultural Affairs Committee of the Greater Johnstown Chamber of Commerce, and has held a number of leadership positions in the Pennsylvania Bar Association, including State Chairperson of the Association’s Young Lawyers Division.
Mr. Burns has been recognized by Johnstown Magazine as an “Up and Comer 35 and Under,” by Johnstown Business Weekly in its “Success by 35” column, and by Philadelphia Magazine and Law and Politics Magazine as a “Rising Legal Star Under 40” from 2005-2009. In 2005, he was the youngest recipient of the Cambria County Bar Association’s President’s Award for Community Service. He received his BS in Political Science and Certification in Secondary Education from St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and earned his Juris Doctorate from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.