Co-CREATE LEADERSHIP TEAM
Leading the Pittsburgh Technology Council's Co-CREATE Creative Business Ignition Program, this team of advisers, mentors and partners will be working closely with the Co-CREATORS to assist them in the growth of their creative business.
Director, Creative Industries Acceleration, Pittsburgh Technology Council
Kim is the Founding Director of the Creative Industries Network, the annual CREATE Festival in Pittsburgh, and the Co-CREATE Business Ignition Program for Creative Entrepreneurs. She has been establishing programs and initiatives to support creatives at the intersection of creativity and innovation since 2008. An author and artist herself, Kim works to empower creatives of all kinds to realize their aspirations.
James V. Denova
Vice President, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
Jim has primary responsibility for the Foundation’s Education agenda in West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania. In addition, he directs several economic development projects in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Jim holds a Ph. D. from the University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in social research, and has over 35 years of experience in nonprofit administration and philanthropy. Over the years, he has served on the boards of Philanthropy West Virginia, Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, the Women’s Center and Shelter, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library, the Remake Learning Council, and the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute of Politics. He also lectures at the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
Executive Director, Chatham University Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship
Rebecca Harris is an entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience starting and growing companies and has, over the years, served as a strategic marketing specialist. She graduated from Northwestern University as a communications studies major, received her MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University, and is a member of the Leadership Pittsburgh XXVII class. Passionate about helping women start and grow successful businesses, Harris develops strategic programming to benefit women entrepreneurs and those working in regional businesses through the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University. The goal of the Center is to increase the economic vitality of the region by encouraging women-led business startups, business growth, and increased employment.
Senior Vice President, Pittsburgh Technology Council
Brian currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Operations and Strategic Services at the Pittsburgh Technology Council. Having joined the Council in 2001, Kennedy leads a multidisciplinary team that provides a wide array of services aimed at supporting the success of southwestern Pennsylvania’s emerging technology community. In this position, Kennedy has helped to bring innovative new services to the region’s technology ecosystem that accelerate the ability of employers to locate highly skilled talent, access national and international customers and secure the risk capital necessary to fuel their growth
Vice President, Communications, Pittsburgh Technology Council Jonathan oversees the PTC's publications, multimedia, marketing and communications strategies. He manages the PTC's TEQ and Made in PA newsmagazines, which cover southwestern Pennsylvania's technology and manufacturing industries respectively. Kersting also co-hosts TechVibe Radio on KDKA 1020 AM a weekly radio show detailing Pittsburgh's innovation economy. Over the past two decades, Kersting has championed the storytelling of Pittsburgh's tech sector company by company and entrepreneur by entrepreneur. Kersting started with the Pittsburgh Technology Council in 1997 as a writer/copyeditor after working as a reporter for several regional newspapers and has never looked back. Ever.
President and CEO, Pittsburgh Technology Council and 40x80
In her role as president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, Audrey oversees an organization of 1,400 member companies and 270,000 member employees. Since joining the council in 2007, she has placed a strong emphasis on opening the organization up beyond what can be an insular community to show technology touches everything in Pittsburgh’s economy. Audrey is also a busy member of the broader Pittsburgh cultural and education communities, serving as Board Chair of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh and a board member of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, Regional Industrial Development Center, and more. She is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Masters in Public Administration.
Entrepreneur and Fundraising Guru
Todd Medema is a CMU alumni and local entrepreneur focusing on the intersection of technology, entrepreneurship and design. Most recently, he launched Expedition: The Roleplaying Card Game on Kickstarter to critical acclaim, raising $21,000 as a first-time game studio. He's also working to give back to Pittsburgh, helping local entrepreneurs successfully launch their own ideas.
Partner, Reed Smith
Barry concentrates his practice in matters relating to procurement, litigation and counselling related to intellectual property and technology. Barry has extensive experience in all aspects of patent related matters, including prosecution, counselling, opinion work, due diligence, licensing, and complex litigation. Barry also has extensive experience counselling clients on and litigating trade secret and antitrust matters. In addition to technology‐based patent and trade secret related work, Barry also works extensively in the areas of trademark and copyright related prosecution, litigation, counselling and opinion work, technology and software licensing, cybersecurity, and intellectual property due diligence.
CXO / CMO, C-leveled
A Point Park University alum with a degree in journalism and communications, Paulette has a broad scope of strategic marketing expertise with over 20 years in channel marketing, marketing strategy, public relations, online digital marketing, social and community management, and media relations. She has worked with recognizable brands, early stage companies, and business organizations including The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66, BOSS Controls, Evive Station, Sagewell Partners, WATT Fuel Cell, Black Box Network Services, Cisco, Today's Home, Costa Homebuilders, American Gas Lamp Works, to name a few.
Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Community Elf
Richard’s specialty areas include experiential, ambient out-of-home, and digital advertising with an emphasis on content and earned media. Richard has experience working with clients in a wide range of industries particularly in CPG, entertainment, government organizations, automotive brands, tourism, and professional services. e specializes in client services and business development advertising, with over 10 years in the industry within the US, New Zealand, and Australian markets.
Chief Executive Officer, Community Elf
Scott is an experienced problem solver. With over 6 years of experience in technology and management consulting and as prior Managing Director of an operator-led private equity fund, Scott brings an objective, quantitative, and results-oriented approach to the world of digital marketing. He has spearheaded the evolution of Community Elf’s unique focus on “content marketing as a managed service” and the launch of its proprietary content discovery technology, UpContent, helping marketers worldwide find more meaningful content – faster. Scott is also Board President of Pittsburgh Community Services, Inc., where he works with an outstanding group to help the city’s residents progress toward self-sufficiency.
MyPath Mentoring Coordinator, Center for Women's Entrepreneurship, Chatham University
Prior to joining the Center, Nazli assisted startups and small businesses with intellectual property, business, employment issues as a lawyer in Boston. During law school, she was a Legal, Policy, and Compliance Intern at the Supplier Diversity Office of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts where she provided diversity certification guidance and training for minority and women business owners. Nazli is in charge of designing and implementing the Center’s innovative MyPath program that serves women entrepreneurs with product-based businesses in the creative industries. Nazli holds an LL.M. from UC Berkeley Law School, a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School, an Ed.M. from Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a B.S. from Yale University.
Neil's photography experience includes product photography, executive portraits, and facilities/manufacturing plants, as well as event and performance photos. He is a sales and customer service manager at Forward Litho, in addition to being a photographer. For 30 years he was a print broker providing clients with a single source resource for their print and design needs. He lives in Squirrel Hill with his wife Eunice and their two dogs, Dude and Annie.