Observatory Hill

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Summer 2017 Newsletter
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Board of Directors

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Dorrie Smith, President

Dorrie Smith has been a resident of Observatory Hill since 1995.

Born and raised on the North Side, Ms. Smith grew up in Perry South as a child, before moving with her parents to Ohio Township North Suburbia. She returned to the North Side, stating she wanted her daughter to have the same wonderful experience she had growing up in a neighborhood enriched with tradition and history. Searching for stone house full of character, Ms. Smith found her perfect stone home on Delaware Street.

Ms. Smith has served on the OHI Board of Directors since 2007. She’s a staunch community activist focusing on communities’ preservation, sustainability and its history. She possesses degrees in Education from the University of Pittsburgh, and Business from Robert Morris University.

In addition to OHI’s Board, Ms. Smith serves the Boards of Northside Leadership Conference, Northside Community Development Fund and CTAC. She’s also a GTECH’s ReClaim Ambassador for the North Side, in addition to being part of Mayor Elect Bill Peduto’s Transitioning Team. Her memberships includes the National Assoc. for the Education of Young Children, PACCA, Pittsburgh History and Landmark Foundation, National Preservation Trust and Pittsburgh Board of Realtors.

Ms. Smith is currently a PA licensed Real Estate Agent
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Marlee Gallagher, Vice President

Marlee Gallagher has been a longtime admirer of Observatory Hill, and finally moved to the neighborhood in 2015 with her partner and their two dogs and cats. One of the first things she did upon moving to the community was reach out to OHI to get more involved in the neighborhood. 

Marlee’s background is in nonprofit fundraising, marketing, and community development. She currently works at the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation where she organized the effort to lift the community’s ban on liquor licenses, and helped bring the first-ever Vacant Home Tour to the area, raising awareness of community blight and connecting residents to tools to address vacant properties. Marlee also co-manages her own nonprofit, Free Store Wilkinsburg, which connects people in need to free goods and resources to create stability and self-reliance. 

In addition to work, Marlee is active in local politics as well as community clean ups and tree plantings. As the Observatory Hill Neighborhood Liaison for Tree Pittsburgh, she looks forward to doing more of this work in the community. Marlee’s formal education is in poetry, so in her free time, she enjoys reading and working on creative writing projects. 
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Leslee Schaffer, Treasurer

Leslee Schaffer moved to Observatory Hill in 2006 when she married her husband. For the past 10 years, she and Timothy have been active in the neighborhood.  Leslee chairs the Neighborhood Improvements Committee which is working to deal with blight, to address slum landlord issues and to add more affordable housing stock to our neighborhood. Their group meets with city officials, attends housing court and is active in the Vacant Structures Action Committee.  An Indiana University of Pennsylvania graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in French, she works as a Payroll Administrator for a local staffing firm. An avid crafter, she manages her own craft business and can be seen participating in various shows and festivals across Pennsylvania and Ohio. In her free time, she pursues her interest in real estate and enjoys renovating houses with her husband. In addition to updating their own 1920’s home, they have rehabbed two other area homes and are always looking for their next project.  Timothy and Leslee were proud to have been voted as the Neighbor of the Year for 2016. 
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Jeffrey Wagner, Secretary

Jeff and his wife moved from the south hills to Observatory Hill three years ago after spending several years restoring their house at the top of Garvin Street. They knew about the neighborhood since venturing on one of the early house tours. They were duly impressed by the architecture and work that home owners were undertaking and when looking to move into the city, found the perfect spot high on the hill overlooking the Observatory and the Ohio River Valley.

Mr. Wagner works at Western Pennsylvania Conservancy where he directs the Natural Heritage Program – a statewide program that documents and provides information on Pennsylvania’s rarest plants and animals.  He has a Bachelor’s degree in Science from Penn State University and a Master’s degree in Natural Resources Planning from the University of Vermont. Mr. Wagner sees OHI as an important instrument in helping to the community to grow and commit to nurturing its incredible assets. 
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Glenn Miller, Assistant Secretary

Glenn Miller has been a resident of Observatory Hill for 10 years, 5 of them in various positions on OHI’s Board of Directors. Moving to the neighborhood from a lifetime of suburbia has been a wonderful experience for him. He is married with 2 children and they live on Perrysville Avenue in a turn of the century, 3 story brick home he calls a lifelong project. Mr. Miller is a graduate of Penn State University with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture and is a Registered Landscape Architect. He is an Associate with Stantec Architecture in downtown Pittsburgh. He counts home renovation, raising his children, fishing, and Pittsburgh sports as major enjoyments.

As President of the Board, Mr. Miller plans to expand OHI’s presence and engage the Board, the City, and the community to work together in making our neighborhood an even better place to live. 
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Doug Deckert, Assistant Treasurer

Doug Deckert moved to Observatory Hill in 2007 to be near his Son Wyatt. It didn't take long for him to befriend and team up with Observatory Hill and Summer Hill community members that were dedicated to beautifying their neighborhoods. He looks forward to extending that work as a newly elected board member.
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Walt Nalducci

Walter Nalducci received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1990 from Saint Vincent College and received his law degree in 1993 from Duquesne University. Mr. Nalducci is licensed to practice in Pennsylvania, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Mr. Nalducci is a member of the Allegheny County Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, the Western Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Phi Delta Phi Legal Fraternity, Knights of Columbus and the Saint Thomas Moore Law Society.

​Mr. Nalducci is also an active member of the Pittsburgh community, serving on the following boards:

  • Current and Past-President and member of the Board of The Northside Leadership Conference
  • Vice-President and Past President of the Board of The Northside Development Fund
  • Vice President of the Board of Northside Tomorrow, Inc.​
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Mental Health America of Westmoreland County​
  • Past President and current member of the Board of the Saint Vincent Alumni Council​
Mr. Nalducci was selected as a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer Rising Star in the years 2005, 2006 and 2007, and received the Saint Vincent College Young Alumni of Distinction Award.​
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Jason Wrona

Mr. Wrona is a real estate attorney at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney. He is an avid fly fisherman and tries to spend time on the stream whenever he has a free moment. He is committed to making Observatory Hill a family friendly and safe neighborhood.  Mr. Wrona can be contacted at wronajp@hotmail.com. 
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Chris Cruz

A Philadelphia native, Chris Cruz moved to Observatory Hill in 2006. He and his wife fell in love with Pittsburgh after several trips to visit friends who happened to live in the neighborhood. It seemed like the perfect place to start a family. Now with two kids, they still think it’s the best neighborhood in the city.

Chris graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism works in right here in Observatory Hill for the Pipitone Group. He got his first taste of OHI as one of the editors of the OHI Journal. He manages marketing and communications for the Board.
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Michael A. Payne

Michael  A. Payne was a resident in the Observatory Hill community for 15 years and currently the  sole proprietor of  M&A Tax, Accounting and Notary Services located on Baytree street in Observatory Hill since 2014.  M&A Tax Accounting and Notary services employee's tax professionals and a CPA with over 18 years of tax, audit and accounting experience that  currently has over 70 clients both individuals and businesses.  He expects to double those numbers by 2018.  Michael is a Notary Public in the state of Pa and contracted with Penndot. 

MIchael is married with 5 children.  His greatest peace comes from his faith in the Lord, family, fishing and camping.  Michael 's vision is to better the community that he loves and promote more business to come to the Observatory Hill area.
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Jasun Stanton

Jasun Stanton has been a resident of Observatory Hill since July 1998 when he purchased what was advertised as a "handyman's special" on Watson Boulevard. He has been continually working on the house throughout the years, completely renovating and restoring it back to its original charm and splendor. The home was even featured on the OHI House Tour in 2003. Through his renovation efforts, he has become very familiar with the neighborhood and realizes the importance of solid community. 

Mr. Stanton graduated from Youngstown State University with a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering. He is a Manager of Field Operations at Pennsylvania American Water Company in the south hills. He has been a member of the OHI board since December of 2009. Mr. Stanton, his wife Barbara, and their three boys - Jack, Ian and Evan - live in the home he renovated on Watson.