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Social Capital Council

“The new currency won’t be intellectual capital. It will be social capital-the collective value of whom we know and what we’ll do for each other. When social connections are strong and numerous, there is more trust, reciprocity, information flow, collective action, happiness, and, by the way, greater wealth.”

- James Kouzes

Cultivating Social Capital to Fuel Social Innovation

The GTECH Social Capital Council is a cadre of energetic and socially-conscious professionals who actively support and promote GTECH. It is a way for those who don’t necessarily work in the social sector to connect with community development activities, green economy issues and other sustainability projects. We do this through the staging of fun and meaningful events among our peer networks that connect to this work. 

The Offering

As GTECH’s Social Capital Council partners you will be involved in the social-innovation happening in Pittsburgh as well as:

  • Receive valuable hands-on nonprofit experience
  • Connect with an exclusive and inspiring network
  • Support projects that help grow community capacity

We ask that you raise or donate $500 and commit time and expertise to promoting GTECH’s mission and activities so that we can continue to provide amazing events and community-based work, such as the Wethoptober Fundraiser that benefited the Hops on Lots Project

Meet the Council

AE Works Headshot

A|E Works

Acadia Klain, JoAnn Rizzo, Laura Cherock, Michael Cherock

AE Works – creating a world where everyone is relevant.  We do this by engaging with each other, our communities, and our craft – architecture and engineering. Our product is buildings, spaces, and systems ‐ all designed by people for people to enable others to do what they do better while working to improve our collective world.  We are architects, engineers, designers, and creators coming together to leave something better. Our AE Works Group for the Social Capital Council includes, Michael Cherock – President & Navy Vet, Laura Cherock –Corporate Secretary & Resident Do Gooder, JoAnn Rizzo – Executive Assistant & Keeper of Said President, and Acadia Klain – Architect & Resident Biking Babe. We’re proud to call Pittsburgh home and super lucky to have  great companies working to make the City great as neighbors – thanks GTech and Grow Pittsburgh!


Emily Bayer Headshot

Emily Bayer

The Hacker Group

Emily Bayer is a marketing and communications professional, focused on B2C direct marketing at a full-scale agency. Outside of work, she can be found checking her Twitter feed, supporting grassroots initiatives, visiting new restaurants and attending sporting events at her alma mater, The University of Pittsburgh.

Will Bernstein Headshot

Will Bernstein

Allegheny Conference on Community Development

Will Bernstein is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, where he works on issues of neighborhood development, municipal finance, transportation, workforce development and healthcare. Will is originally from Lincoln, Nebraska and has lived in Pittsburgh since 2005 when he attended the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University


Christine Graziano

Pittsburgh Green Innovators

Christine has been dedicated to community building and the environment for nearly 20 years. Her education and practice in landscape architecture, natural resource management and planning serves her work with Pittsburgh Green Innovators well. At PGI, she directs a range of projects focused on education and green infrastructure to community solar and urban wood reuse and utilization.


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Justine Kasznica

Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP

Justine is committed to Pittsburgh’s economic development and is actively involved in a variety of entrepreneurial and community outreach endeavors. She is a founding member of ReefBot, and she also served as counsel to BeatBots LLC, an international start-up robotics/toy company. She currently serves on the boards of the Thrill Mill, MIT Enterprise Forum and the Yale Club of Pittsburgh.



Regina Koetter

Marty’s Market

Regina Koetters is driven to unleash the unrealized potential of the country’s riverfront Rust Belt cities through regionally significant projects and investments. She chose Pittsburgh over every other city in the nation and in 2012, she launched Marty’s Market, a unique food market, café and coffeehouse dedicated to strengthening the southwestern PA food system.


Ashley Jones


Ashley’s passion and (by some crazy fortune) her job is to change people’s behavior – to help them adopt behaviors that will reduce their impact at work and at home. In her personal life you can find Ashley walking her dog, drinking, laughing, eating, and being with incredible people who she’s somehow tricked into thinking she’s interesting.


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Paul Morack


Paul is the district manager for Starbucks, who is dedicated to making a difference in Pittsburgh communities. He has served on the board of directions for an environmental group in Beaver County and S.T.O.P. (Stand Tough on Pollution). Presently he sits on the board of the Pittsburgh branch of the Delta Foundation.

Kit Mueller


Entrepreneur and co-founder of Rustbuilt, a community-based initiative with the sole purpose of shedding a light on the collective and valuable innovation and entrepreneurialism of the Rust Belt. Also an advisor of several organizations, including Emplified, Atmosferiq and Thinkerous.

George Jones Headshot

George A. Jones

Denali Sourcing Services

George holds an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Mechanical Engineering degree from Vanderbilt University. He supports various entrepreneurial endeavors and has raised money for his own search fund aimed at acquiring an existing small business. When he’s not helping companies to save money in his current role at Denali Sourcing Services, George is either practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, golfing or dodging Pittsburgh traffic on his bike.

Eric Meyer

Wigle Whiskey

Eric has always been interested in history, urban economic development and alcohol. He currently combines all of these interests at the whiskey distillery, which he co-owns with his family.[/two_third_last]



Lindsay Surmacz

Carnegie Science Center

A Pittsburgh native, Lindsay has a passion for finding creative solutions. She earned a degree in Creative Writing from Purdue University in 2011, and since then, uses her education to serve projects that exemplify the integration of art and science in education. Outside of work, her interests include music, theatre, astronomy, and arts & crafts.


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Julia Thrower

EQT Corporation

Julia Thrower is a Business Analyst in Treasury at EQT Corporation. She brings nearly a decade of experience in financial modeling, quantitative analysis and information design working for companies including General Electric, Boeing, and Bombardier. Julia has a bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from MIT, and she is currently pursuing an MBA at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.


Cole Wolfson Headshot

Cole Wolfson

Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Cole Wolfson is the Director of Development at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Prior to his current job, he worked in business development at Innovation Works in Pittsburgh and Counterpart International in Washington, DC. Cole has an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Maryland.

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