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Staff

 

Florri Ladov, Executive Director
Florri joined RIF Pittsburgh in February 2009. Florri has been leading companies in the Pittsburgh region for over 25 years. Her focus has been on early stage businesses, companies in transitions and turnarounds. Prior to joining RIF Pittsburgh, she held the position of President and CEO of Innovation Works, The Ben Franklin Technology Partner of Southwestern PA, a publicly funded economic development organization providing risk capital, expertise and resources to high-potential technology startup companies here in our region. Florri received her BS in Operations Management from The University of Vermont and attended the Tepper Graduate School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.
 
Alison McGeeDirector of Operations
Alison joined RIF Pittsburgh in September 2014 as an Outreach and Development Intern and was brought on full-time in February 2015. She comes to RIF with an MSc Sustainability, Environment, and Development degree from the University of Leeds in Leeds, England and has volunteered for a number of nonprofit organizations both locally and abroad. Her experience working with youth started as a volunteer at the State College Friends School educating elementary students on sustainable agriculture and nutrition. Alison also holds a BS in Life Science and minor in Environmental Inquiry from Penn State University.
 
 
Books for Keeps Program
 
Elizabeth Allison, Director - Books for Keeps
Elizabeth joined RIF Pittsburgh in August 2013. Elizabeth came to RIF Pittsburgh with four years of experience working in education and children’s literacy. Most recently, she  received her master’s from the University of Pittsburgh in Library and Information Science, during which time she interned with the children’s librarian at the Community Library of Castle Shannon and volunteered with RIF Pittsburgh's Everybody Wins! and Storymobile programs. Her interest in education and the achievement gap began in Princeville, North Carolina, where she taught 5th grade science for two years as a Teach For America Corps member. Elizabeth also holds a bachelor’s in English Literature from Grove City College.
 
Ashley Wineland, Books for Keeps Team
Ashley joined RIF Pittsburgh in September 2016 as a KEYS Service Corps member and was brought on as a staff member in July 2017. In college, Ashley served with Jumpstart, working with children ages 3 – 5. She has volunteered with the Sierra Student Coalition for five years, working on environmental, climate, and social justice. Ashley is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and holds a B.A. in Psychology.
 
Jordon Williams, Outreach Coordinator - Books for Keeps
Jordon first joined RIF Pittsburgh for the 2015-16 school year as a Reading Buddy in the Everybody Wins! lunchtime literacy mentoring program, where she fell in love with RIF Pittsburgh's mission. After graduating from college in the spring of 2016, Jordon volunteered with RIF Pittsburgh's Books for Keeps team for two months before becoming a full-time KEYS Service Corps AmeriCorps member in January 2017. She is passionate about equality and ensuring that all children have access to resources necessary to gain skills that will help them succeed, such as literacy. Jordon earned a bachelor's degree in Cultural Studies: African American Studies and a minor in Women's Studies from Chatham University. 
 
 
Everybody Wins! Program
 
Justin BrownDirector - Everybody Wins!
Justin joined RIF Pittsburgh as a Public Ally in August 2010. He spent two years as an Outreach Coordinator before returning to RIF Pittsburgh in May 2016 to run the Everybody Wins! program. He moved to San Francisco in 2012 where he worked with the San Francisco Unified School District along with community and city agencies to develop integrated school programs for several years. Justin has experience as chair of the San Francisco Youth Employment Coalition and as a board member of youth agencies in both Pittsburgh and San Francisco. He has hosted several citywide conferences focused on advocacy and youth development before returning to Pittsburgh to continue his work there. Justin holds a BA in Communications and Rhetoric and certificates in Global Studies and Asian Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.
 
JoEllen Leech, Everybody Wins! Volunteer Coordinator 
jleech@rifpittsburgh.org, ´╗┐ext. 239
JoEllen has been volunteering with RIF Pittsburgh since early 2011. JoEllen’s background is in market research. She was Vice President of the Market Research and Planning Division at Mellon Bank, and also worked as a market research and planning consultant with a variety of local clients. JoEllen also volunteers with other organizations in our community, including Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, North Hills Community Outreach, United Way, and her church and school district. JoEllen holds a bachelor’s in Mathematics from Grove City College and has an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.
 
 
Storymobile Program
 
Abby HollandDirector - Storymobile  
Abby joined RIF in July 2014.  She comes to RIF with a master’s degree in education from Boston College and eight years of teaching experience.  Most recently she taught on the founding team of Hyde Leadership Charter High School in the South Bronx, New York. Her interest in working with underserved communities began when she was a volunteer in Central America throughout high school and college. While earning her master’s, Abby taught middle school in inner city Boston, and later taught at an experiential outdoor school in Maine. Abby also holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and History from Marquette University.
 
Cheryl Palmer, Director - Storymobile 
Cheryl comes to RIF with a master’s degree in Integrating the Arts into the Curriculum from Lesley University, eleven years of elementary teaching and 4 years of preschool teaching experience. Her experience varies from teaching first grade at a rural school in South Carolina, teaching art through the City of Pittsburgh's Community Education Program, running a licensed family daycare home, and serving as a team member with the Roving Art Cart. Most recently she became certified in Montessori education and co-taught at a private school. She is a graduate of Pittsburgh Public Schools and has devoted much of her career to working with at-risk children. Cheryl holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Early Childhood from Carlow University.
 
Dylan Knutson, Storymobile Operations Coordinator
Dylan joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in June of 2016 and was brought on full-time in July 2017. He has several years of experience working with kids as well as experience in educational research. Beginning in high school, he volunteered with a daycare for Journey House and then worked as a summer counselor for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee for two summers, running summer programming and aiding in art class activities. He also spent a year tutoring high school students through the AVID/TOPPS program, helping with homework questions, facilitating discussions of the students problems, and aiding in organizational skills. Throughout college and then post-graduation, he worked as an assistant with the Value-Added Research Center, helping with teacher evaluation projects, early warning signs for college dropouts and more. Dylan graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BA in History and English-Creative Writing.
 
CJ Cunningham, Storymobile Team
CJ joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in June 2016 and was brought on full time in June 2017. He has several years of experience working with children, spending two summers working as a camp counselor. He previously served as a member of Jumpstart, working with kids ages 3 to 5 to close the education gap in the Hazelwood and Mt. Washington areas of Pittsburgh. CJ holds a B.A. in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh.
 
Lisa Kaufman, Storymobile Team
Stepping onto the Storymobile team completes a full circle for Lisa, whose early love for reading was fueled by frequent visits to the county library bookmobile before she even started school. She was a longtime homeschooling parent and co-founder of homeschooling support group PALS. She comes to RIF after a decades-long newspaper career and believes that an informed and inquiring public plays a critical role in a free society. She has a Masters in Journalism from UC Berkeley and a BA in English literature from Oberlin College. She is a birder, biker, fledgling watercolorist and lapsed knitter.
 
Drey Riffle, Storymobile Team
Drey joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in August 2016 and was brought on full-time in July 2017. Starting in the summer of 2011, gained experience with children by volunteering at an early childhood center and afterschool program, working with children ages pre-K to fourth grade. Drey has completed courses at both the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and the Community College of Allegheny County, and hopes to continue his schooling in the future. An active community volunteer, he has spent time at Jubilee Kitchen, Three Rivers Community Foundation, and various food assistance programs across the city.
 
 
Summer Keys AmeriCorps Members
 
Carly Bruce-Dishong, Outreach Coordiantor
Carly joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in June 2017. Carly is currently pursuing a degree in education in hopes of becoming an art teacher. She has several years experience working with youth from being an after school teacher to being a nanny. She is excited to be bringing her love of art and reading together and to be sharing it with children.
 
Dani Fitzgerald, Outreach Coordinator
Dani joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in June 2017. Before working at RIF, Dani taught English in Thailand for six months. She taught students in kindergarten, first, second, and third grades. She received her certificate to teach English as a foreign language at UniTEFL Thailand in the city of Chiang Mai. Dani graduated from Geneva College in May 2016 with a bachelor's degree in writing, with a focus in journalism, and a minor in human services.