Startups

Power Moves: A new focus for Lynsie Campbell and big tech names on CMU’s list of honorary degree recipients

From a Pittsburgh startup's Oscars debut to a new executive for a local IT company, here are all the recent professional changeups you should know.

Lynsie Campbell.

(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: pittsburgh@technical.ly.


Lynsie Campbell leaves PRA to focus on Better Work Ventures

This week, serial founder and entrepreneur Lynsie Campbell announced that she would leave her role as startup czar for the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance after starting six months ago to fully commit to growing her new startup studio, Better Work Ventures (formerly named Hooman).

“While I’ve met a lot of great people during my time with PRA, I’ve found (to no surprise) that I can’t just talk about making things better for founders in the region. I have to do something about it,” she wrote on Twitter. “I’m an executor and a builder. I need results.”

Outside of building Better Work Ventures, Campbell is also the general partner of seed stage investment firm The Fund Midwest, as well as the founder of past startups LaneSpotter and ShowClix and the author of a book on entrepreneurship, “This Better Work.” She’s also an active voice on social media detailing her own entrepreneurial journeys as well as pointing out challenges that exist for several founders looking to grow their companies in Pittsburgh.

CMU announces honorary degree recipients for 2022 commencement

Carnegie Mellon University announced the list of honorary degree recipients for its 2022 commencement ceremony, which will take place this spring on May 13 to 15. The names encompass leaders in creative, entrepreneurial, public, scholarly and technology-minded pursuits, notably including hometown hero and CMU alumnus Billy Porter, who will receive a doctor of fine arts degree and deliver the commencement address for bachelor’s degree graduates.

In the realm of technology, honorary degree recipients includes chemistry Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold, who will receive a doctor of science and technology degree, and Portugal Minister for Science, Technology and High Education Manuel Heitor, who will receive the same degree. Both of these recipients will also present keynote addresses to graduate students at commencement.

Additional honorary degree recipients in the realm of tech and include university professor of computer science and robotics and Moza Bint Nasser chair in CMU’s School of Computer Science, Raj Reddy, who will receive a doctor of science and technology, as well as US Army Reserve Command Chief of Army Reserve and Commanding General Lt. Gen. Jody Daniels, who is a CMU alumna herself and will receive the same doctorate degree as Reddy. And in the realm of business and entrepreneurship, Jim Rohr, the retired executive chairman and former CEO of PNC Financial Services Group, will receive a doctor of business practice.

“This year’s honorary degree recipients and keynote speakers are among today’s most accomplished changemakers, artists and innovators,” CMU President Farnam Jahanian said in a statement. “As we prepare to celebrate the achievements of three classes of CMU graduates, showcasing the impact and leadership of these honorees will help to make Commencement 2022 a truly exciting and historic occasion.”

Mastech Digital names new CEO for data and analytics services

Ganeshan Venkateshwaran. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Pittsburgh-headquartered digital transformation IT service provider Mastech Digital announced that Ganeshan Venkateshwaran would be appointed as the CEO of Mastech InfoTrellis, a subsidiary of Mastech Digital that leverages enterprise data for business intelligence. A press release noted that Venkateshwaran’s role will focus on growing the data and analytics services segment of the company by providing new services and expanding its global footprint. Previously, Venkateshwaran worked as an executive at both Trianz and Wipro Technologies.

“I am excited to join Mastech, with its rich history as a technology services innovator, dating back to the iGate Corporation years,” he said in a statement. “Today, the company is squarely in the middle of the digital transformation space, which is ripe with innovative solution opportunities. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to lead Mastech InfoTrellis in its journey to capture the next wave of growth by creating value for our customers and providing our employees with positive career experiences and personal advancement.”

Women in Manufacturing Education Foundation names Pittsburgh executive to its board of directors

The Women in Manufacturing Education Foundation announced 22 new members that had been elected to its board of directors for 2022, with terms beginning on April 1. The North American nonprofit is a part of the Women in Manufacturing Association, and serves as the larger organization’s arm for providing educational opportunities to women interested in manufacturing careers.

The foundation named four new first-term members to the board, including representatives from Amazon Web Services, Novelis and PLZ Corp. Among a number of board members listed as continuing their service for the foundation was Michel Conklin, who is the executive director of Pittsburgh’s BotsIQ, a manufacturing workforce development program for high school students.

“On behalf of the entire WiM organization, I am excited to welcome this new group of leaders to the WiMEF Board of Directors,” said the foundation’s president, Allison Grealis, in a statement. “I look forward to working with them to continue developing and delivering effective and affordable programming that helps women advance in their industry careers.”

Pittsburgh startup Knotzland makes its debut at the Oscars

Founded in 2015, Pittsburgh startup Knotzland aims to make use of the millions of tons of textiles wasted every year by turning them into bowties and other accessories. And this weekend, founder and CEO Nisha Blackwell shared that one of the company’s bowties made its Oscars debut on the neck of Danny Glover.

“I’ve learned many times over my 30+ years on this planet that, while you can not choose the cards you were dealt at birth, your upbringing, or predetermined socioeconomic opportunities; you can choose to show up, work hard, be consistent, study your craft and the greats that come before you,” Blackwell wrote in a post on LinkedIn. “The movement may be slower and the road will not be straight, narrow, or easy, but the fruits will be so much sweeter!!”

CMU engineering staff selected for professional development program

A number of staff members at CMU’s College of Engineering will begin a professional development program hosted by the university called CIT Leads. Now in its fifth consecutive year, CIT Leads brings together managers, leaders and other contributors to go through seven experiential learning models in a way that minimizes additional work for participants outside of the classroom. By assessing emotional intelligence and DISC (dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness) profiles of each participant, the program enables staff members to better understand their leadership styles and how that might fit or conflict with others.

“This will help them create better work productivity, transform conflict into collaboration, and become more effective people leaders,” said Samuel Boyer, founder and leader of CIT Leads, in a press release on the news. The release did not specifically mention the timeline of the program or the names of this year’s participants.


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. -30-
Subscribe to our Newsletters
Technically Media
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement