Observatory Hill


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Summer 2017 Newsletter
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Board of Directors


Jeffrey Wagner, President

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. 

Jeremy Lawler, Vice President

Jeremy Lawler moved to Observatory Hill in 2015, to Waldorf Street. Upon restoring his 1870’s home on Waldorf, he relocated to Richey Avenue in May 2019 to be closer to Riverview Park and friends. His 3-story 1910 brick home on Richey is being artfully cared for to bring back the original glory of the historic home. Mr. Lawler is a graduate of Westminster College with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and works in client services as a project manager for the IT insurance industry. 

Mr. Lawler chairs the Communications and Marketing Committee which is working to actively engage fresh faces and ideas for our neighborhood. In addition, he hopes to further engage the community through online and print media so everyone in our neighborhood is aware of OHI news and local happenings.  Mr. Lawler also serves on the House Tour Committee.

Wendy Kramer, Secretary

Wendy Kramer is a native to the North Side. She grew up in Spring Hill and moved to Observatory Hill in the spring of 2004. Ms. Kramer has taught in Pittsburgh Public Schools for 17 years as an art teacher and plans to finish her career here. When she is not teaching, she enjoys taking ceramics classes at the Manchester Craftsman's Guild, creating jewelry in her home studio and experimenting with textiles and cooking.

Ms. Kramer is a member of the House Tour Committee. She is excited about the opportunity to work with the Board and engage the community to strengthen our neighborhood.


Leslee Schaffer, Treasurer

Leslee Schaffer moved to Observatory Hill in 2006 and has been an active volunteer in the neighborhood ever since.  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 was active in the Vacant Structures Action Committee.  She was asked to join the board to focus on the Bonvue Street Revitalization Projects and it is her hope to repeat the revitalization project on other streets that are being taken over by absentee landlords. She also currently serves on the board of directors of both the Observatory Hill Development Corporation and the Northside Leadership Conference.

Leslee received a bachelor of arts degree in French with a concentration in business from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  She spent a semester living in France while studying at the University of Nancy.

In her free time, she pursues her interest in real estate and has her own craft business making and selling crafts on line and at a variety of craft shows and festivals.


Doug Deckert, Assistant Treasurer

Doug Deckert moved to Observatory Hill in 2007 to be near his son, Wyatt. It did not 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 board member.

Shaunda McDill

Shaunda McDill joined the Heinz Endowments in October 2017.  As program officer for arts and culture, she works to promote the strength and vitality of a suite of Pittsburgh based artists and arts organizations through general operating support and a programming portfolio comprised of the Investing in Professional Artists program, the Small Arts Initiative, the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh initiative and the foundation's first cross-programmatic social justice initiative, Justice Arts, which she helped to found. Alongside her colleagues, she has also been instrumental in fortifying the role of the Endowments' Creativity Strategic Area in utilizing art to combat stereotypes and improve outcomes for veterans as part of the foundation's "Rethink Vets" campaign.

Shaunda has more than a decade of nonprofit executive and arts management experience, working for theater companies across the country including The Goodman Theater of Chicago, Second Stage Theater, Yale Repertory Theater, Pasadena Playhouse and Cornerstone Theater Company.  In 2006, she also founded Demaskus Theater Collective, a nonprofit service-oriented collective of artists and administrators who produce theatrical projects that share stories of the marginalized.  In Pittsburgh, Shaunda served as vice president of programming and cultivation at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, where she managed all artistic and educational programs, including the production of the city's first Black Dance Festival.  As the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's director of public relations, she headed both national and local public relations campaigns.  Shaunda has a bachelor of arts from Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire where she majored in African and African American Studies and minored in theater.  She has a master's from Yale University's School of Drama with a concentration in theater management.  She is a member of Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh and is married to Pittsburgh native Sager McDill.

Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller has been a resident of Observatory Hill for 10 years, five 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 two children and they live on Perrysville Avenue in a turn of the century, three 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.

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. 

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.​

Father Robert Pipta

Father Robert Pipta, a priest of the Byzantine Catholic Church, moved to Observatory Hill in 1990.  He matriculated at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Ss. Cyril and Methodius on Perrysville Avenue for a four-year program of priestly formation. Following ordination he served in parishes in Arizona, Nevada and California before returning to B.C.S. to serve as its Rector since 2014. The seminary has hosted OHI board meetings and was featured in the 2014 OHI House Tour. Raised in southern California, Father Robert attended public schools there and completed a Bachelor of Arts program in Music at the University of California, Irvine.  Father Robert is eager to assist the Board in preserving the beauty of Observatory Hill and enhancing its safety.

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.  

Erica Sumpter

Erica Sumpter has lived in several different neighborhoods on the Northside throughout her adult life. In 2014, she purchased a house in Observatory Hill on Grizella Street. Erica has grown to love the area so much that she decided to pursue her passion for owning her own business by opening a neighborhood cafe and contributing to a more vibrant community.

Erica holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Carlow University, a Master of Science in Human Resource Management from Robert Morris University and an ICF Professional Coaching Certification from Duquesne University.  By day, she is a Senior Project Manager at one of the major health insurance organizations in Pittsburgh and by night, runs her own coaching and consulting business helping businesses and organizations reach their short-term and long-term goals.

She is passionate about becoming a contributing member of the community and part of the neighborhood revitalization of Observatory Hill. Her vision is also to create more opportunities for the residents to become more involved resulting in an even stronger community.   

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.