Powered By Comcast

LPI Alums, Future Leaders Display Pittsburgh’s Way At Luncheon Event

January 12, 2018

By Eric Seiverling

Pittsburgh’s future is bright, as evidenced by the large crowd at the Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.’s sixth annual Champagne Luncheon and Connection Event at the Fairmont Pittsburgh’s Grand Ballroom on Tue., Jan. 9. Sponsored by Comcast NBC Universal, the event allows LPI alums to reconnect and future LPI participants to learn more about the LPI program.

The event was also attended by Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

“It’s rare when I go a day without working with someone from Leadership Pittsburgh,” Peduto said. “It’s a great opportunity for people to see Pittsburgh through the eyes of other people. If we work together as one, everything is possible.”

“What’s great about this organization is how Pittsburghers work together,” Fitzgerald told the crowd before lunch. “Universities, labor forces, and the corporate community all work together. No matter what your role, you’re part of the success of this region.” 

Founded 33 years ago, LPI is a non-profit organization recognized as the premier resource for community leadership in Southwestern Pennsylvania with an alumni network of more than 2,000 influential civic leaders.

The organization features two programs: Leadership Pittsburgh and Leadership Development Initiative.

The flagship highly-selective LP program for established leaders is designed like a hands-on MBA in community leadership. The 12-day curriculum examines critical community issues such as education, regional economy, inclusion, human services, local government, and the arts. Sessions are typically held on one Thursday each month from September through June, with credits assigned to each session.

LPI Alums connected and mingled during the pre-lunch networking hour. Credit: Eric Seiverling.

LPI Alums connected and mingled during the pre-lunch networking hour. Credit: Eric Seiverling.

Added as a companion program in 1994, the LD initiative focuses on top emerging younger talent, and features rising leaders from various backgrounds to implement a neighborhood impact project. Similar to the LP program, sessions run from September through June.

“Two years ago, we relocated our regional headquarters to Pittsburgh,” said Lisa Birmingham, Comcast Keystone Region’s vice president of external and government affairs and graduate of LP 23. “The LPI experience really helped accelerate my transition to Pittsburgh. I developed an appreciation for the businesses here.”

The theme for the event was what it meant to lead the “Pittsburgh Way,” an idea that meant different things to different people.

“It’s about the community and how it remains connected,” said Peter Mendes, owner of Mendes Consulting, LLC and special advisor to LPI’s board of directors and graduate of LP 24. “It’s important to bring back people and improve the region. I always come early to these events because it’s a good way to remind myself to connect with people I haven’t seen in a while.” 

Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.'s Annual Champagne Luncheon and Connection Event was held at the Fairmont Pittsburgh on Jan. 9. Credit: Eric Seiverling.

Leadership Pittsburgh Inc.’s Annual Champagne Luncheon and Connection Event was held at the Fairmont Pittsburgh on Jan. 9. Credit: Eric Seiverling.

William Entrekin, senior marketing specialist for PNC Financial Services Group and graduate of LD 21, described the Pittsburgh Way succinctly:

“Hard work, ethical, integrity,” he said. “This program empowers people to do more, and it’s great to meet the best and brightest minds in Pittsburgh.”

The luncheon also enabled newcomers to meet and greet those who have been impacted by LPI.

“This is my first time here, but I’ve heard so many things about the program,” said Michael Paul, membership manager for the University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute. “It seems down-to-earth and a very efficient way of being productive.”

The afternoon ended on a high note when Pittsburgh Business Times Publisher and LDI 8 alum Evan Rosenberg announced the newspaper was partnering with LPI for the second annual 30 Under 30 awards, honoring leaders in Pittsburgh’s business and non-profit communities who are under 30 years of age.

My time at LDI has served me my entire career,” Rosenberg said.