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In addition to our full-time and administrative services staff, we employ 150+ part-time youth program staff, coaches and STEM & Arts teachers.

Credentials of our staff include:

  • Act 33/34 (Child Abuse and Criminal Record) clearances for all staff and volunteers.
  • FBI Fingerprint Criminal History Clearance
  • Mandated Reporter Training
  • First Aid/CPR trained full-time staff
  • Professional certifications from Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Angela Miller

Angela Miller

Director, Somerset
Ariana Scott

Ariana Scott

Youth Development Professional
Brandon Bell

Brandon Bell

Athletic Director

Brandon worked at Clarion-Limestone Area School District as the Athletic Director for 3 years before joining Boys & Girls Club of Western Pennsylvania.

What is your favorite quote?
“Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.”

Cameron Saddler

Cameron Saddler

Clubhouse Director, Duquesne City SD & Orchard Park
Christine Nguyen

Christine Nguyen

Director of STEM Education

Prior to working at Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Christine was the Robotics Director at the Sarah Heinz House, where she developed and grew the Sarah Heinz House Advanced Robotics Program. She has also worked with the Robotics Academy in developing curriculum, and with the Robomatter as Customer Support. As winner of the 2017 Carnegie Science Award in Leadership, Career and Technical Education, Christine has exposed thousands of local youth to STEM and computer science-related activities. In the past two decades, Christine has had the privilege of chartering internationally competitive robotics teams, growing the region’s involvement in technology education through robotics competitions, and creating caring and equitable environments for all students to learn.
What do you love most about Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania?

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania is a place for all students to learn and grow. We are at our best when we can learn and grow through interaction and communication with one another. I get to learn from the students each day as they learn from me. If we can be a learning community, we can do great things.”

Colleen Vilsack

Colleen Vilsack

Manager of Career Development Programs
David DiGirolamo

David DiGirolamo

Director, Shadyside

Dave has always enjoyed working with young people. Dave worked at several Summer camps throughout college and began his career at Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania shortly after graduation. Dave is the proud father of three children : Anthony, Michael and Abigail

What is your favorite quote?
“I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

Demario Andrews

Demario Andrews

Clubhouse Director, Carnegie Clubhouse
Dominic Panucci

Dominic Panucci

Director, Northern Area Clubhouse

Dom became involved with Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania first as a Carnegie Clubhouse member before transitioning to a full-time staff member. Dom’s accomplishments as a Clubhouse member include being named Dapper Dan Athlete of the year in 2009, and BGCWPA Youth of the Year in 2011.

What do you love most about Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA?
“That we accept all young people, it is a place where everyone can come and enjoy the programs we offer, it not for the rich and it not for the poor, it is for everyone.”

Favorite Quote:
“The important thing in life is not the Triumph but the struggle.”
-Pierre de Coubertin

Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri

Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri

President and CEO

Dr. Lisa Abel-Palmieri, PhD is a non-profit leader with 20 years of experience who is passionate about shaping the future of learning by designing equitable experiences that engage the heart, mind and innate skills in youth. She was most recently the Head of School (Executive Director) and Chief Learning Officer at Nazareth Prep, a progressive independent school focused on bridging education to employment skill gaps in the region for students who’ve been traditionally untapped for STEM careers.
Lisa has been a classroom teacher, after-school program director, STEAM Coordinator, Director of Technology (CIO) and has held positions in industry in workforce development, training and marketing a decade before entering education and nonprofit spaces. Most importantly, she’s a champion for youth and enjoys long-standing relationships with her past students who are now adults.

She received a Bachelor of Arts in public relations and design from Duquesne University as well as a Master of Arts in Integrated Marketing and Master of Science in Technology. A Doctorate of Philosophy was earned at Robert Morris University in Instructional Management and Leadership. Lisa was awarded Non-Profit CIO of the Year by the Pittsburgh Technology Council in 2013. She was honored to join the Deeper Learning Equity Fellows in 2016. She’s been named an ASCD Emerging Leader, Robert F. Kennedy Urban Education Leader of the Year finalist, “Who’s Next in Education,” 40 Under 40 by Pittsburgh Magazine, Women of Achievement and Pittsburgh Business Times Women of Influence.

A frequent collaborator within United Way’s APOST and Remake Learning Network, Lisa believes partnerships and culturally relevant experiences launch innovative ideas and programs. She’s on numerous advisory committees in the region and is the Senior Vice-President of Growth for the Boy Scouts of America, Laurel Highlands Council, President of PHCSE Foundation, Advisory Board for Rosedale Technical College, on the Queen’s Gambit Chess Institute Board and on Boys & Girls Clubs of America Workforce Development Advisory Committee.

Lisa is married to Clayton; and they have a son, Anthony, who is in the 2nd grade. They enjoy building, crafting together and attending Cub Scouts! She comes from a large Italian family with humble beginnings in Pittsburgh’s Steel Mills after immigrating from the rolling hills in Abruzzo, Italy.

Dr. Abel-Palmieri expresses “I am honored to lead such a impactful organization that has been a community partner in Western Pennsylvania for more than 130 years; even more honored to be the first female CEO in its history. BGCWPA will continue its rich legacy of traditional programming and build new STEM and workforce development programming to give youth the knowledge and skills to build the futures they want. I am passionate about ensuring that equity is at the heart of all we design. We will build new collaborations with our members, their families, business and industry, educators and the community at large. I look forward to collaborating with the team to bring out the brilliance in the youth we serve.”

Emily Wheat

Emily Wheat

Fotie Katsas

Fotie Katsas

Facilities Engineer

Fotie has over 30 years of experience in various industries and trades. He has spent the last 4 years as a Chief Engineer before bringing his facilities management experience to BGCWPA. He holds an Associates of Applied Science in Heating & Air Conditioning, certification in Machine Shop / Robotics Technology, in addition to universal EPA , CPO & PA Pesticide Applicator certifications.

Originally from Greece, “I came here as a young boy with my family. I am a proud father of two wonderful daughters that are my joy in life. I enjoy playing golf, fishing and exercising. Travelling back to my island in Greece to see my mom and family is close to my heart.”

As a father Fotie has helped his children grow and prosper in life and is looking forward to being part of a great organization that inspires and helps children find their way in life. “Our children are the future and we all must do our part in nurturing and guiding them in life.”

Jennifer (Turba) Boag

Jennifer (Turba) Boag

Staff Accountant

Prior to working at Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Jennifer worked as a staff accountant at McKees Rocks Industrial Enterprises for 4.5 years, performing daily accounting activities in addition to payroll submission.

What is your favorite quote?
“All our dreams can come true if you just have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney

Jessi Marsh

Jessi Marsh

Vice President of Advancement & Philanthropy
Jim Bauman

Jim Bauman

Controller
Juan Perez

Juan Perez

Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Juan Perez, a proud alumnus of the Lincoln Square Boys & Girls Club, walked through the doors of Boys & Girls Clubs at age 10 as a Clubhouse member, officially began his career with Boys & Girls Clubs in 1996, and and is now in his 35th year of involvement.
Juan has spent the past 20 years providing programming and guidance to youth throughout the country, first in Worcester MA, where he served as the Unit Director for the Plumley Village Clubhouse for seven years, helping to guide the programs for his unit and several other units throughout the City.

Juan then brought his expertise to Pittsburgh where his leadership and dedication have raised the level of success at the Clubhouses to new heights. Now as Senior Director of Program Excellence, he is focusing on delivering new programs throughout the organization, in addition to providing a training structure for all staff to excel in their positions.

What is your favorite BGCWPA memory?
“The forever memories we help create for our children every day – A favorite memory is seeing our youth bust out of the tunnels at Heinz Field at halftime of a Steelers game to play in front of a sold-out crowd. ”

What do you love most about Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania?
“I love the fact that BGCWPA has the ability to impact the lives of so many young people on a daily basis.”

Kara Petrosky

Kara Petrosky

Director of Teen & Support Services

Kara Petrosky brings fifteen years of youth-focused program leadership to BGCWPA. Kara was most recently the Family Partnership and Student Affairs Manager at Nazareth Prep, where she worked closely with students and families to help them overcome any barriers that may hinder academic achievement. She was instrumental in infusing Restorative Practices into school culture by regularly attending workshops and conferences through the International Institute of Restorative Practices.

Since Kara joined Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, she has supported the development and launch of after school and workforce development programs.

Kara received a Bachelors Degree in German Education and a Psychology Minor from Ohio University. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to serve as a Teaching Assistant in Erfurt, Germany before returning to Pittsburgh where she taught German language for four years at Greater Latrobe Junior High School. During this time, Kara also worked at a Summer camp for at risk youth in various leadership roles. Kara is an AmeriCorps Alumni, and completed her year of service at Holy Family Institute Residential Program, before working four additional years as a youth counselor/shift lead, case manager and family support worker.

What do you love most about Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania?
” What I love most about BGCWPA are all of our kids and teens, of course! In addition, my passion for working at BGCWPA is fueled by our commitment to provide quality programs, experiential learning opportunities and safe spaces for our youth to learn and grow.”

Karyn Arokhaty

Karyn Arokhaty

Financial Specialist

Karyn is a seasoned financial professional with more than ten years of experience working for both UPMC and Duquesne University in billing and collections. She has excellent data entry skills with considerable accounts receivable experience in collections, and follow up on accounts, posting payments in billing systems, reconciling money collection and accounts, and experience with revenue analysis and projections. She prides herself with her attention to detail.

Kate Davis

Kate Davis

Youth Development Coordinator, Northern Area

Prior to joining Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Kate was a Pastry Chef at Jean Marc Chatellier’s French Bakery for 7 years. Once her daughter was born, Kate began working at the Northern Area Clubhouse.

What do you love most about Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania?
“I love working at Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania because it really is one big extended family. I love the positive impact we have had on so many of the youth in our community. I had a former kid call me a couple of years ago and ask if he could stop in to visit me, he came in with congratulations balloons and to tell me he had finally got his GED and wanted us all to know because we were always telling him how much potential he had if he would just put forth some effort.”

Katrina Selavko

Katrina Selavko

Manager of Virtual Programs
Leila Gregory

Leila Gregory

Lead Preschool Teacher
Liz Stieg

Liz Stieg

Program Manager, Estelle S. Campbell Clubhouse

Before joining Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Liz coached college women’s basketball for twelve years, most recently as the Assistant Coach for Chatham University. Prior to Chatham, Liz was the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Carlow University, where she revamped the program and led Carlow to their most successful season in program history during the 2015-16 season. Prior to her time at Carlow, Liz served as an assistant coach at American International College, Western New England University and Amherst College.

Outside of coaching, Liz has worked with children as part of Holyoke (MA) Boys & Girls Clubs as a Sports Instructor, as Assistant Recreation Director for the Town of South Hadley, and most recently at Chatham University Music & Arts Day Camp as an Assistant Director and member of the Leadership Team.

As an Agawam, MA native, Liz played shooting and point guard at Bridgewater State University, where she double majored in Physical Education & Exercise Science and Recreation & Fitness Club Administration, later earning a Masters Degree in Sports Management from Springfield College.

What do you love most about Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania?
“I love being able to make kids smile and laugh every day. To see kids walk into the Clubhouse with big smiles on their faces because they know they will have a positive and fun experience ahead of them. They know they are valued and cared for and that makes my job worthwhile.”

Matt Madjerich

Matt Madjerich

Systems & Network Administrator

Matt volunteered at Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania in high school before deciding to pursue a career with BGCWPA.

What is your favorite quote?
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” -Colin Powell

What do you love most about Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania?
“I love being a part of an organization that has a wonderful team and love being able to make a difference in whatever way possible.”

Melissa Fuller

Melissa Fuller

Vice President, Operations

Before joining Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Melissa was the Southwest Regional Key Director/ELRC Quality Director for YMCA Greater Pittsburgh, where she worked as a business partner for Office of Child Development Early Learning (OCDEL) for the state of PA to implement PA’s Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) and Keystone STARS. In this role, she supported over 1200 early learning professionals to extend their levels of quality rating from a STAR 1 to a STAR 4. Melissa partnered with the Department of Human Services Certification office to support providers in meeting basic compliance to include professional development and technical assistance .

Throughout her career, Melissa also directed a large legal entity that housed 215 children and 80 staff in the Early Learning Child Care Space. This program participated in Keystone STARS, Pre-k Counts, NAEYC, and Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships programming. This program was a STAR 4 program and maintained its quality under her direction.

Melissa Fuller has been happily married to her husband Steven Fuller for 15 years. Together they have a 12 year old son. Part of their extended family is their two Miniature Golden Doodles Sparky and Koko. Melissa loves spending time outdoors and on the lake with her family. She has dedicated her entire career to serving children and families and prides herself on her selfless commitment to doing whatever it takes.

What do you love most about Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania?
“I love that Boys & Girls Clubs of Western PA, does whatever it takes to support children and families. We pride ourselves on impact, education, and building character. I could not be more proud to be a part of an amazing organization. No matter what child you speak with, they have an amazing story or memory that they cannot wait to share with you regarding the clubs. A good majority of our staff will tell you their club story. We are a unique organization that has alumni that have chosen us as their career choice. Many of our donors have a memory from childhood that relates to an experience that they had as a kid. That is impact, that is visionary, and that is how we remember, re imagine, and reinvest.”

Michael Hepler

Michael Hepler

Director of Technology and Security
Nadine Barker

Nadine Barker

Chief Financial Officer
Pecola Abele

Pecola Abele

Leadership Instructor, Career Works

Pecola graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelors Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders before going on to work as an emergency certified Speech Therapist in rural South Florida. While in Florida, she was also a home school teacher and high school track and field coach. Pecola completed her Masters in Public Health at East Tennessee State University before returning to Pittsburgh.

Pecola enjoys spending time with her husband and three children, and has always had a passion for working with children and teens.

What is your favorite quote?
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

Peter Jenkins

Peter Jenkins

Manager of Mentoring Programs
Scott Flurry

Scott Flurry

Manager of Teen Programs
Sophia Bender

Sophia Bender

STEM Coordinator
Sue Goetz

Sue Goetz

Branch Director, Northern Area Clubhouse

Sue has been with Boys & Girls Clubs for 30 years.

What do you love most about Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania?
“I love to see the impact we have made on the children, families, and the community. To see the children return year after year, and then to have their children coming to the club is extremely rewarding. Having club members come back to volunteer and then become employees. I feel very lucky to have a remarkable group of people volunteering and working with me.”

Terra Lee Madden

Terra Lee Madden

Manager of Arts Programs
Ti’yanna Risher

Ti’yanna Risher

Office Administrator & Teen Coordinator

Before joining Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania, Ti’yanna interned with the City of Pittsburgh Personnel Department, First National Bank Mortgage Loan Department, Highmark Health Accounting Department and Allegheny Intermediate Finance Department. She is currently a college student pursuing a Bachelor’s in Accounting.

What is your favorite quote?
“Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.”

Valerie Evans

Valerie Evans

Youth Development Coordinator, The Georgian Place, Somerset
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