VHT Team

The VHT Team and the volunteer Tour Guides have worked hard to research the histories of the vacant properties featured on the tour, put together a tools and resources workshop, and highlight the Wilkinsburg community!  Here is a little about their own stories . . .

 

2016 Team

WCDC-Portraits-121-300x200Marlee Gallagher is the Communications and Outreach Coordinator for the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation, where the Vacant Home Tour is housed and implemented. She manages Image & Identity initiatives and supports other Education & Youth programs in the Borough. Previously, Marlee has worked as a nonprofit consultant and grant writer for several local organizations, including Nine Mile Run Watershed Association, Friends of the Riverfront, and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Marlee also serves as secretary for the Wilkinsburg Shade Tree Committee. She is invested in the making Wilkinsburg prosper and connect their residents to borough resources.

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Marita Garrett is the Wilkinsburg Council Vice President who launched the borough’s “Community Conversations” initiative to connect and empower residents to work together for neighborhood improvement. In 2015, Marita co-founded the Free Store Wilkinsburg, where donations of material goods are paired with families and residents. She is also co-owner of Admintrinsic, which provides services to entrepreneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits. Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Marita has been a Wilkinsburg resident for seven years. She has been named the “Rising African American Leader” by the African American Alumni Council at the University of Pittsburgh and has recently been honored with a 2015 “40 Under 40 Award” by Pittsburgh Magazine.

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René Cuenca is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University where he studied Environmental Policy and Architecture and was one of the original members in the interdisciplinary team that conceived the original idea for the Vacant Home Tour in 2015. René currently is a Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience (PULSE) Fellow spending a year of service cultivating community in the Northside of Pittsburgh. Currently he works as a Housing Programs Coordinator in a joint position between the Buhl Foundation’s One Northside Initiative and Design Center Pittsburgh. Born in  El Salvador, René enjoys exploring new places, a joy fostered by having moved to Miami, pursuing an education in Pittsburgh, and studying sustainable development in Denmark.

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Karlee Turkaly is a recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College Public Management program where she concentrated in Entrepreneurship. She was an important team member in implementing the Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour in 2015. Currently she works as a Stewardship Specialist at Carnegie Mellon University’s Office of Donor Relations. Karlee has experience in leadership training, administrative assistance, and organizational management. She serves on the Board of the Brew House Association, which provides artists with the support necessary to foster invention, creation, and collaboration, and encourage creative risk-taking and the pursuit of artistic excellence.

 

Founding Vacant Home Tour Team

Ken Chu
Project Manager: 2015 Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour
Founding Member: Vacant Home Tour
Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University
MPM, Public Management (’15)

Eleni Katrini
Team Member: 2015 Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour
Founding Member: Vacant Home Tour
Carnegie Mellon School of Architecture
PhD Candidate

Robyn Lambert
Content Designer: 2015 Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour
Founding Member: Vacant Home Tour
Carnegie Mellon School of Design
Communication Design and Human-Computer Interaction (’16)

Anna Malone
Founding Member: Vacant Home Tour
Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University
MHCI, Human-Computer Interaction (’15)

Rene Cuenca
Executive Member: 2016 Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour
Team Member: 2015 Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour
Founding Member: Vacant Home Tour
Carnegie Mellon University School of Humanities and Art
Environmental Policy and Architecture (’15)

Shawneil Campbell
Team Member: 2015 Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour
Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University
MS, Public Policy and Management (’15)

Karlee Turkaly
Executive Member: 2016 Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour
Team Member: 2015  Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour
Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University
Entrepreneurship (’15)

 

 

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