Local companies commit to Northside development


Photo by Justin Criado

From left to right: NSLC executive president Gloria Rayman, Evan Frazier of Highmark Health, Patricia Rooney, Matt Rhenish of HM Insurance Group, and Amy Schafer and Chris Martin of Northwest Savings Bank.

By Justin Criado

The Northside Leadership Conference (NSLC) received an early holiday gift Friday, Dec. 19 as three local companies pledged a total of $900,000 to support community development efforts in the Northside.

Each company’s funding commitment is $50,000 a year over the next six years through the Neighborhood Partnership Program of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

“We’re committed to address the mutual concerns through a united approach in order to enhance the vitality, quality of life and image of Pittsburgh’s Northside,” NSLC executive president Gloria Rayman said.

Highmark, Inc., Northwest Savings Bank and the Pittsburgh Steelers all announced commitments and presented the conference with $300,000 checks.

“Everyone here knows today that effecting change is not an easy task and certainly we know that it can’t be done alone,” said Evan Frazier, who is Highmark Health’s senior vice president of community affairs. “That’s why it’s so inspiring to look and around and look at the partners that we’re working with on initiatives like this neighborhood partnership program.”

Highmark, along with HM Insurance Group, will support general health and wellness initiatives with its pledge.

“For us commitment is a verb,” Chris Martin, president, southwest region, Northwest Savings Bank said. “We really apply action behind that. We apply energy behind that.”

The announcement was held at 502 E Ohio St., which is the site of a new tea shop that the conference helped fund.

“This space is actually a very good example of how we at the Northside Leadership Conference use this money,” Rayman said. “It’s just one of many examples of how these funds are put to really good use for our communities.”

Patricia Rooney was on hand as the Steelers organization renewed its six-year commitment. Rooney’s passion has been the restoration of Allegheny Commons park.

“My passion of course is the park. Green space is becoming very, very short and there’s not enough of it,” Rooney said. “We’re very, very fortunate in this area to have this marvelous park. I’m very happy to have the Steelers to be a part of this.”

For more information on the conference and its initiatives visit the official website.

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