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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 BA in English Literature from Grove City College.
 
Ashley Wineland, Books for Keeps Special Projects Coordinator
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 BA in Psychology.
 
Andy Bispels, Books for Keeps Outreach Coordinator
Andy joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in August 2017. She graduated from Bloomsburg University with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing and recently obtained her Substitute Teaching Certificate which further developed her passion to work with children. Andy is eager to bring her positivity, energy, and youthful spirit into the classroom.
 
Carly Bruce-Dishong, Books for Keeps 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.
 
Jaclyn Janocsko, Books for Keeps Outreach Coordinator
Jaclyn joined RIF Pittsburgh as an Public Allies AmeriCorps member in August 2017. She graduated from Kent State University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. Jaclyn has always wanted to work with children and families in a positive way and after working for a local summer camp she knew she was on the right path. She is excited to have been placed at RIF and looks forward to supporting our mission.
 
Billy Kane, Books for Keeps Outreach Coordinator
Billy joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in August 2017. After graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a dual BA in Sociology and Criminology and a concentration in Vulnerable Populations, he worked as an advocate and Crisis Interventionist at a shelter for women and children who are victims of violent crime, where he focused on sexual assault victimization. After working briefly as an Instructor’s Assistant aiding youth on the spectrum and acting as a liaison between educators, social workers, and parents, he decided it was time for a change and found himself here in Pittsburgh.
 
Jodi Matovich, Books for Keeps Outreach Coordinator
Jodi joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in August 2017. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Jodi has been an avid reader since elementary school and has since shared her love of reading with children through her teachings at a pre-school program and working with the Carnegie Library system. Jodi graduated with a BA in English from Point Park University.
 
Gayle Rabare, Books for Keeps Outreach Coordinator
Gayle joined RIF Pittsburgh as a Keys Service Corps Member in September 2017. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA in Anthropology. In the process of learning the ins and outs of anthropological thinking, Gayle discovered a passion for urban education. This passion intensified during her time as a camp counselor in Homewood. One of the many highlights of her volunteer experience was working with her campers to complete a ten-book reading challenge. Gayle is currently pursuing a MEd in Education Policy at the University of Pittsburgh and hopes to one day become an instructional coordinator.
 
 
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.
 
Annette Shrager, Everybody Wins! Outreach Coordiantor
Annette joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in August 2017. A retired educator of 19 years, Annette taught middle school literacy in the Pittsburgh Public Schools before serving as Elementary Principal at Weil Elementary School. She also served as Principal in the Freedom Area School at Big Knob Elementary School before retiring. Annette holds a MA in Teaching and a Special Education certification from the University of Pittsburgh. She obtained her Elementary Administrative certification from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She recently served the Mesa Public Schools as a tutor in the AmeriCorps program, Boomers Serving Arizona for three years.
 
 
Storymobile Program
  
Cheryl Palmer, Director - Storymobile 
Cheryl joined RIF Pittsburgh in June 2017. She comes to RIF with a MA 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 BA 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 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.
 
Dani Fitzgerald, Storymobile Engagement Specialist
Dani joined RIF Pittsburgh as a KEYS Service Corps member in June 2017 and was brought on full time in August 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 with a BA in writing, with a focus in journalism, and a minor in human services.
 
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.