Nice to meet you

The Team
The Team
The Board

The Team

Steve Shelton

Founder/Executive Director

Maggie Beldecos

Giving Director

Donta Green

Counselor/Life Coach

Dusty Sluka

Office Manager

Shauna Kearns

Lead Baking Instructor

Sam Thomas

Lead Welding Instructor

Alfredo Rodriguez

Assistant Welding Instructor

Leroy Slagel

Lead Masonry Instructor

Cameron Meadows

Construction Apprentice

Board of Directors

Ann Dugan

BOARD CHAIRMAN

Ms. Dugan is an accomplished author, speaker and business consultant with more than 20 years of experience in the areas of family business, family foundations and economic development strategies. Ms. Dugan is a frequent contributor to articles published in Fortune, Inc., The New York Times, Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Business Times. Ms. Dugan is also the editor and co-author of the national best seller,  Franchising 101, and the recently released: A Woman’s Place… The Crucial Roles of Women in Family Business.

In addition to her consulting and advisory activities, Ms. Dugan is well known for her entrepreneurial role as the founder and leader for over 25 years of the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence (University of Pittsburgh), where she also served as Assistant Dean of the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business. The Institute was funded externally through her efforts, placing the Institute as the largest independent entrepreneurial institute in a research university in the country. Under her leadership, the Institute helped start over 800 businesses and raised over $300 million in capital for related start-up capital and growth needs. Her efforts have been recognized with numerous awards including the Ernst & Young Regional Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009.

Ms. Dugan has been a longtime leader in community and economic development. Her experience in leadership roles in real estate include the attraction of millions of public dollars for the development of Southpointe I and II, Washington County Airport as well as the Mt Lebanon business district.

Ms. Dugan spent 2014-2015 as the CEO of a start-up private family foundation and currently serves on the board of two additional family foundations in Pittsburgh and New York. Ann also serves on the boards of Pittsburgh Gateways, Pittsburgh Opera, Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (TRWIB), Propel Schools, Pennsylvania Aviation Council and Team Pa.

Francois Bitz

BOARD VICE CHAIRMAN

Francois Bitz is an Independent Computer Hardware Professional. Mr. Bitz is the CEO/Treasurer of the Bitz Foundation, as well as a Board Member of the Pittsburgh Opera Company. Previously, he was the Co-founder and Vice-President of Advanced Product Development for FORE Systems, Inc.

Jeremy Resnick

BOARD TREASURER

Jeremy Resnick serves as the Executive Director of the Propel Schools Foundation, and is cofounder of Propel Schools. With his leadership, Propel Schools has grown to be a regional force in efforts to reform Southwestern Pennsylvania public education. His work has been recognized with the Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2007 Diamond Award; Pittsburgh Social Venture Partners’ 2009 Social Venture Award; 2013 Distinguished Individual Leadership Award from Coro Pittsburgh. Most recently, he was selected for the 2014 class of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellows Program. Prior to founding Propel, he was a founder and the Administrative/Educational Leader at Northside Urban Pathways Charter School, a founder and Director of the Charter Schools Project at Duquesne University, founder and director of the Steel Center Technical Academy, and a teacher in the Pittsburgh Public School District.

Susan Shelton

BOARD SECRETARY

Susan Shelton was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and is currently the Office Manager for the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh. Susan comes to the non-profit world with over 25 years of experience in administration; working as Executive Assistant, Office Manager and Sales Support Manager in for-profit corporations around the city. She completed studies in preliminary drafting and design and worked as a project manager and space planner for a large office systems furniture manufacturer, and was promoted to regional sales representative for that firm. Her daily responsibilities include but are not limited to organizing office operations and procedure, preparing payroll, overseeing student admissions, maintaining student files, and reviewing and fulfilling all supply requisitions. But, to Susan, the most rewarding aspect of her position is the opportunity to interact with the students that
come through the program.

Leon E. Haynes, III

BOARD MEMBER

Mr. Haynes is the Executive Director of Hosanna House, Inc., a multi-purpose community center for quality health and human services located in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. It has over 80 full-time and 20 part-time employees with an operating budget of $6,000,000, and serves over 35,000 people per year through workforce development and technology training, health care, dental care, childcare, and after-school and in-school programming.

Mr. Haynes, originally from Virginia, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Technology at North Carolina A&T State University. He has worked with local boards such as The Boys and Girls Club, Lifecare Hospital-Wilkinsburg, The University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development, and The Family Support Policy Board. Mr. Haynes has had a leadership role in the forming of Healthy Start, Inc. of Pittsburgh, along with establishing the Wilkinsburg Community Health Advisory Council, the Wilkinsburg Family Health Center and the Wilkinsburg Family Support Center at Hosanna House.

James Anderson

BOARD MEMBER

James Anderson is a senior behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He has served as principal investigator on more than a dozen projects, ranging from policy implications of autonomous vehicle technology to understanding the effects of indigent defense systems. He has presented to a wide variety of academic and
professional audiences. He is a member of the Center for Disease Control’s Policy Surveillance Standards Expert Committee, and a Member of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies Committee on Vehicle Highway Automation. He is the director of quality assurance for the Institute for Civil Justice.

Before joining RAND, he clerked for the Honorable Morton Greenberg of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and practiced law for 10 years. He received a J.D. for Yale Law School, and a B.A. in ethics, politics, and economics from Yale University.

Rhonda Carson Leach

BOARD MEMBER

As Senior Program Director of the Entrepreneurial Fellows Class and Membership, Rhonda Carson Leach is responsible for leading and executing this dynamic and results-oriented entrepreneurial program focused on providing CEOs, founders of companies and family business leaders who have achieved at least $1 million in annual revenues with the direction, knowledge and connections to take their businesses to the next level. This highly selective program develops each Fellow’s entrepreneurial potential and leadership skills through hands-on experiences, networking, mentoring and monthly workshops in entrepreneurship.

In addition, Rhonda is also responsible for developing and implementing the Urban & Community Entrepreneurship component, an entrepreneurial development program focused on providing consulting services, educational programs and network building services to address the needs of urban entrepreneurs.

Rhonda Carson Leach has more than 25 years of experience motivating small business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, nonprofit leaders, groups and individuals in a career or life transition to use their innate abilities to master their goals and achieve success. Her areas of expertise include leadership development, conflict resolution and group dynamics. She is also an executive life coach, management consultant, and motivational speaker in the Pittsburgh area.

Rhonda Carson Leach was honored as one of 50 Women of Excellence by the New Pittsburgh Courier in 2009 and as a Minority Small Business Champion by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2005. A board member of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, she has served on the boards of the American Society for Training and Development, Urban Youth Action, Inc., and the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh Class XXXII, member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, WELD Pittsburgh Corporate Board member and the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Links, Incorporated.

Stephen Shelton

FOUNDER / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Steve is the Founder and Executive Director of the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh, an organization that is fully committed to working with those reentering society following incarceration, and those who just need a “hand up” to get their lives on track.

His career as a tradesman spans the past 45 years in which he worked as a journeyman bricklayer, stonemason, electrician, plumber, and restoration specialist. Back in 1980, He enlisted in the US Navy where he was an accomplished aviation electrician. After returning from the Navy he went back to construction and in 2002, He founded a construction company that was renown for some of the finest construction and restoration work in the city of Pittsburgh. In 2009, after growing that company to 28 employees, he realized that my talented employees were all over the age of 40, and this is when the idea for the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh was birthed.

In the years that have followed, the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh has gone from a 1,000 sq. ft. classroom to an 11,000 sq. ft. facility, and a class size of 8 to now anywhere from 18-22. Its students learn the fundamentals of the construction trades while fundamentally changing the way they think about themselves. The Trade Institute has 14 full time employees and in 2017 placed 94% of its students into $15.00 and hour or better jobs.

Steve was born and raised in Pittsburgh, and lives here with his wife Susan. He is the father to his son Robert, and loving grandpa to his 2 year-old granddaughter, Sophie Jane.

FOLLOW US AND HELP SPREAD THE MESSAGE: