Awards / Competitions / Cybersecurity / Entrepreneurs / Hiring

Power Moves: A Bosch exec gets a new role at CMU and 17 startups earn kudos from Duquesne

From promotions to new strategic hires to awards, here are the Pittsburgh leadership changes you need to know as we head into the last month of the quarter.

Chris Martin, new president for the Carnegie Bosch Institute. (Courtesy photo)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us:

Chris Martin is named as new president of Carnegie Bosch Institute

The Carnegie Bosch Institute announced that the current director of engineering, research and development for the Pittsburgh-based Bosch Research and Technology Center, Chris Martin, would take over as the institute’s new president. He also currently works as the director of research for the Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence. He will remain in both roles following his new appointment.

Martin will succeed Sylvia Vogt in the role who served as president for the institute — which was founded in 1990 with a $10 million endowment from the Bosch Group to Carnegie Mellon University — since 2009. The news of Martin’s appointment to the new role also comes with a $3 million gift to the institute from Bosch Research with the goal of advancing development of artificial intelligence and cybersecurity at the institute. Martin, who is a CMU alumnus himself, will have the chance to oversee the allocations of those funds to invest in research and other projects from faculty and students.

“This latest round of investment in CBI not only deepens the relationship with Bosch and CMU, it enhances our ability to support the incredible faculty, students and staff that are the heart of the university’s excellence,” Martin said in a statement. “We look forward to enabling more cutting-edge research in areas of shared interest, and seeing the positive impact from that work on the world.”

Locomation makes two key safety and quality hires

Autonomous trucking company Locomation announced that it hired Michelle Chaka as its new director of safety assurance and standards and Ro Stoltzfoos as new director of quality. Chaka will lead safety assurance processes at the company, including development and implementation of safety metrics, policies, standards and other procedures, according to a press release on the news. Stoltzfoos will lead development of the company’s risk management processes, quality systems, technical training and support teams for all those needs.

Previously, Chaka worked as the division director for the data and analytics division at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, while Stotlzfoos joins Locomation after working as the senior supplier quality engineering manager at Motional, another Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle company.

“Together Michelle and Ro will add a new level of depth and experience to our operation as we develop our Autonomous Relay Convoy technology,” said Çetin Meriçli, Locomation’s CEO and cofounder, in a statement. “With their leadership, we will continue our progress towards commercial deployment while prioritizing safety and quality in every aspect of our work.”

The 2022 Duquesne New Venture Challenge announces 17 semifinalists

A competition hosted by Duquesne University’s Palumbo-Donahue School of Business announced 17 aspiring entrepreneurs as semifinalists in a chance to win cash and service prizes totaling more than $100,000. While the 2021-2022 Duquesne New Venture Challenge is not limited to students of the university, four of the semifinalists announced include Duquesne alumni or current students.

“We’re very impressed by the quality and diversity of this year’s semifinalists,” said Dean McFarlin, the dean of Duquesne’s business school, in a statement. “Collectively, they are difference-making ventures pursuing ambitious goals, and we look forward to seeing them compete for a spot in the final round of the competition.”

Semifinalists will each earn $1,000 as they move to the next stage of the competition, while the top three entrants for the first stage won $2,500, $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. The next stage will select five finalists — with a planned announcement in March — from the following 17 semifinalists, each of which will be awarded $50,000 for further business development. The semifinalists are:

  • Advanced Optronics
  • Aquatitan
  • Baby’s Breath
  • Blooh
  • Cerebral Aneurysm Test
  • College Thrifts
  • DisSolves
  • E-Carebetics
  • InnovatiVe
  • Kloopify
  • MimicanGT
  • SimBox
  • STAT-B
  • Workers First

Comcast’s former CIO joins a Pittsburgh-based IT and cybersecurity firm

Scott Alcott, former CIO for Comcast from 2012 through the start of 2018, will join the board of directors for Pittsburgh-headquartered IT service company Magna5. Alcott’s resume also includes time at AT&T, Cellular One and Brussels, Belgium-based Proximus. He also worked as an executive for Kleiner-Perkins startup WeServeHome, which was later sold to Fortune 500 company ServiceMaster.

“We are thrilled to have Scott Alcott join us at such a transformative time in Magna5’s evolution as we continue to build a market-leading Managed IT Services business,” said Bob Farina, CEO of Magna5, in a statement. “Scott’s broad domain experience in the IT sector combined with a seasoned career of pioneering the deployment of robust network technology to deliver leading customer-centric solutions will help us enhance our product and go-to-market strategies to make Magna5’s solutions even more effective for our customers.”

Mastech Digital CEO is recognized for staffing leadership

Pittsburgh-headquartered digital transformation IT service provider Mastech Digital President and CEO Vivek Gupta was named this week to a list of Top 100 Staffing Leaders in 2022, announced at the World Staffing Summit following an online voting process. The list is curated in a collaboration between the summit and, and is meant to honor leaders responding to challenges and trends in the staffing industry.

“I am honored to be a winner and be counted among the Top 100 Staffing Leaders in 2022,” Gupta said in a press release. “Over the last six years, we have been on a digital transformation journey at Mastech Digital, delivering increasing value to our clients with our IT staffing and data & analytics services. I am glad that World Staffing Summit has recognized our efforts and outcomes.”

Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments.
Companies: The Bosch Group / Duquesne University / Locomation / Carnegie Mellon University
Series: Power Moves

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