Bill Schlageter, director of marketing for the Children’s Museum, is retiring after over 20 years
One of his greatest accomplishments was leading the long-time Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive.
By Sonu Babu
Bill Schlageter is a Rochester, New York native, but has spent most of his professional life in Pittsburgh’s Northside.
Before his notable role as Director of Marketing and Spokesperson for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, he led the marketing and communications for the River City Brass (RCB) Band. RCB was founded in 1981 with the mission to revive traditional American brass band music. The band held seven concerts a year, and Schlageter managed their regional concert series.
“It was a very good experience dealing in multiple contexts of event planning, in the sense of creating a great experience for the audience,” said Schlageter.
It was this job that brought him to the Northside in 1988, where he has resided ever since. The Northside is a special place for Schlageter: He is drawn, he said, to the energy and the vibrance of the place.
Before his marketing career, Schlageter studied theater at SUNY Oneonta College & University and worked as an actor as well as an administrator for a summer theater in New York from 1974 to 1988.
“I am grateful for the theater experience I had, because I am never shy about public speaking and conveying creative ideas to audiences,” said Schlageter.
Ready for a change in his career, Schlageter heard that the Children’s Museum was planning to expand in the early 2000s, which piqued his interest. In October of 2000, he started his lead marketing role there. Schlageter says his experience with event planning prepared him for what was to come.
“It has been a wonderful opportunity that I’ve had to work in these different dimensions of the museum, all on the Northside,” said Schlageter. “I’ve always been proud, not only to work for the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, but also to work within the cultural community on the Northside.”
Schlageter reminisced on his favorite campaigns over the last 20 years, which included a “cake patrol” and the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive. Schlageter was the long-time leader of the museum’s sweater drive, which, according to a press release, has so far been responsible for collecting and delivering more than 43,500 sweaters to families in need.
“I hope to be a great help in sharing the knowledge I’ve acquired to new members of the team and [to] seamlessly make this transition a very positive thing,” said Schlageter, who will focus on special projects and transitioning his work duties through the end of 2021.
“Bill has been the voice of our organization for many years. He is one of the most compassionate and joyful people I’ve ever worked with,” said Jane Werner, executive director of the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, in a press release.
“I wish Bill all the best in his upcoming retirement, and am sure he’ll continue to find ways to make an impact on everyone he meets, as he always has done at the museum.”
During retirement, Schlageter hopes to participate in some theater again and travel. Since he had a fast-paced career, he would like to take this time to slow things down and explore new interests.