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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, Books for Keeps Director
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 BA in English Literature from Grove City College.
 
Azia Bey, Children's Literacy Outreach Coordinator
Azia joined RIF Pittsburgh as a Public Allies member in September 2018. She has a love for serving, encouraging, and mentoring children. Azia has volunteered with Urban Academy School, House of Healing Ministries, Heartland Healthcare, Bible Center Church, Grass Roots Green Homes, and Urban Impact. As an active community participant, she has interaction with YMCA of Homewood, Homewood Children’s Village, Community Empowerment Association, a local Family Support Center, and Amplified Church. She has acquired a diploma in Medical billing/Coding and Practical Nursing. Azia has a certificate for General Construction and plans to continue her education in the near future. 
 
Megan Hilla, Children's Literacy Outreach Coodinator
Megan joined RIF Pittsburgh as a Public Allies Americorps member in September 2018. Megan started working with children in high school at summer camps and continued to do so through out college. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017 with a BA in social work. After she finished her studies she spent a year working at the Children’s Institute in The Day School as a paraprofessional in a student’s with autism classroom. 
 
Meghan Hipple, Children’s Literacy Outreach Coordinator
Meghan joined RIF as an Americorps KEYS Service Member in August 2018. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in the History of Art and Architecture and a minor in Museum Studies. She worked in the Education Department of the Carnegie Museum of Art for five years, where she planned and taught her own art camps and classes. Meghan joined Americorps to give back to the Pittsburgh community, which over the years has become her home. She hopes to inspire children to love reading and learning so that they can feel empowered to think critically and form their own opinions for the rest of their lives!
 
Alex Jones, Children's Literacy Outreach Coordinator
Alex joined RIF Pittsburgh as a Public Ally AmeriCorps Member in September 2018. She graduated from Pitt with a BA in Urban Studies and a certificate in Nonprofit Management. She has been heavily involved in serving the communities of Pittsburgh through various volunteer opportunities since moving from Maryland in 2014. Alex has always loved reading and remembers her frequent trips to the library and book stores for story time growing up. She discovered her passion for working with children through volunteering in the homework room at the Shadyside Boys and Girls Club. Joining RIF combines her interests in children, nonprofits, and libraries.
 
Catherine Roberts, Children's Literacy Outreach Coordinator
Catherine joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in August 2018. She previously worked as a nanny for College Nannies and Tutors, and as a camp counselor at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. Catherine is currently an elementary and middle school cross country coach. She will graduate in December with a BS in General Science from the Pennsylvania State University. 
 
Heather SandersChildren's Literacy Outreach Coordinator
Heather joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in June 2018. She graduated with her BA in Political Science from Oklahoma Baptist University. Heather became interested in literacy for youth while studying the effects of poverty on education. She fell in love with RIF’s mission to help give children and families the tools to be lifelong learners. She has previously worked with children as a nanny and at a small library in Oklahoma.
 
 
Everybody Wins! Program
 
Nora Peters, Everybody Wins! Director
Nora joined RIF Pittsburgh in August 2017. She is a Pittsburgh-native, practicing artist, and has years of experience working with at-risk children as an educator at various youth programs throughout the city. Nora was a member of the Lighthouse Project team at the Homewood-Brushton YMCA, a Teaching Fellow with the Children’s Innovation Project working with PreK -2nd graders in several Pittsburgh Public Schools and most recently the Maker Program Director at the Millvale Community Library. When not working with kids, she is usually hand-dyeing yarn or working as a freelance illustrator. Nora has a BA in Fine Arts from Alfred University where she studied Interdisciplinary Art and Foreign Languages.
 
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 BS in Mathematics from Grove City College and has an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh.
 
Maryem Aslam, Children's Literacy Outreach Coordinator
Maryem joined RIF Pittsburgh as an AmeriCorps KEYS Service Corps member in August of 2018. Before deciding to serve with KEYS, she invested a year in the City of Pittsburgh through the Pittsburgh Urban Leadership Service Experience. During PULSE, she served at the Women and Girls Foundation as the GirlGov Program Associate. Maryem’s experience with youth has ranged from helping to raise siblings, babysitting at the local mosque and community center, events, assisting at a daycare, and with the GirlGov Program. Maryem grew up in the public library, and she has wanted to be a librarian since elementary school! During her somewhat free time, she likes to scrapbook, work on a T-Shirt quilt, read, hike, knit, and yearns to travel. Maryem earned a B.S. in Biology (with a double major in psychology) and the Women’s Leadership Certificate from Chatham University.
 
 
Storymobile Program
  
Murphi Cook, Storymobile Director
Murphi joined RIF in January 2018. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon with an MFA in Dramatic Writing, she hit the road, performing her own multimedia puppet shows around the country for audiences of all ages. During this time, her favorite experiences always involved working with children, including a reimagined Little Red Riding Hood through the lens of a John Hughes movie and storytelling workshops for underserved populations in San Antonio. She holds a BA in English from the University of Connecticut. 
 
Laura LerandEducation Director
Laura Lerand joined RIF in July 2018. She comes to RIF with four years of teaching and leadership experience. Most recently, Laura was a founding bilingual kindergarten teacher, grade team leader, and instructional coach at IDEA Bluff Springs Academy in Austin, Texas, where she was recognized as the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.  Prior to working for IDEA, Laura was a Teach For America corps member in the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas. As a corps member, she taught dual language kindergarten at a Title 1, International Baccalaureate public school in McAllen, Texas, where she developed a passion for teaching young students the fundamentals of literacy. Laura hopes to continue to provide positive literacy experiences to all children through her role at RIF.  Laura holds a BA in Spanish Language & Literature and Global Studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.
 
Carly Bruce, Storymobile Engagement Specialist
Carly joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in June 2017 and was brought on full time in July 2018. 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.
 
CJ Cunningham, Storymobile Engagement Specialist
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 BA in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh.
 
Lisa Kaufman, Storymobile Engagement Specialist
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.
 
Drey Riffle, Storymobile Engagement Specialist
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.
 
Jordon WilliamsStorymobile Engagement Specialist
Jordon joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in January 2017 and was brought on full time in August 2017. Jordon volunteered with 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. 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 BA in Cultural Studies: African American Studies and a minor in Women's Studies from Chatham University.