Startups

Power Moves: Peduto turns to teaching and PNC launches new support for minority biz dev

Want to know what Pittsburgh's former mayor is doing next? Check out that and other big tech moves below.

Former mayor Bill Peduto writes a letter to new mayor Ed Gainey on his last day in office.

(Photo via Twitter)

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.


Former mayor Bill Peduto announces new role at CMU

After losing the Democratic primary elections for Pittsburgh mayor last spring to current Mayor Ed Gainey, Peduto left public office at the end of 2020 after holding the position for nearly a decade. Technical.ly spoke to him then about what his plans were in the new year, and he’s finally confirmed what those next moves are: Peduto will join the faculty of the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, where he will serve as a distinguished executive in residence, enabling him to act as a guest lecturer and co-teach a mini course. He will serve a one-year term ending on March 31, 2023, according to the press release announcing the news.

“I am honored and excited for the opportunity to join Heinz College as a Distinguished Executive in Residence,” Peduto said in a statement. “During my time on the City Council and as mayor, I had the opportunity to work with the university and college on several events and initiatives. I am pleased to formalize our relationship and work together to educate our leaders of tomorrow.”

In addition to his new role at the university, Peduto will spend time operating his newly established consulting firm, Sabean Innovation, which will focus on transformative industries and orgs. The firm’s mission is to advance the P4 principles put forth by his administration: people, planet, place and performance. These plans align with the sustainability-minded goals he shared with Technical.ly in December.

PNC Bank launches new minority business development program

PNC, one of the leading banks in the Pittsburgh region, just launched a new Minority Business Development Group to create new products, solutions and resources to support the financial needs of emerging minority businesses. The group will invest in entrepreneurs by creating innovative technology and financial solutions centered on empowerment, education and acceleration of those businesses, according to the bank. Marshalynn Odneal, SVP and national sales executive for minority business at PNC, will lead the new national effort, along with PNC’s minority business development officers and community development banking and corporate responsibility groups.

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“Small businesses are the fabric of our communities, and it’s our privilege to help and support them,” Odneal said in a statement. “Through this work, we hope to become a true partner to minority business owners and arm them with the tools and support they need to be successful. Our team will be a part of these communities, fulfilling our mission of financial wellness for all by ensuring equitable access to products and solutions that will help these businesses thrive.”

The new development group will support some of the bank’s $88 billion Community Benefits Plan, which includes provisions for $26.5 billion in small business loans, investments and other financial support tools to increase economic mobility and opportunity for low and moderate-income people and neighborhoods through 2025.

In tandem with the development group, PNC will also launch a new PNC Certified Minority Business Advocate program, which will enabled PNC employees to learn specific support tools to assist minority businesses. Those who earn the certificate will be able to at as PNC ambassadors for the communities they work with, enabling them to foster community engagement and provide mentorship.

Seegrid’s VP of product named a ‘Pro to Know’ by top supply chain publication

Jeff Christensen, Seegrid Corporation’s VP of product, recently earned recognition as the winner of Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s Pros to Know Award. The news comes after a slew of other prominent recognition for the company, from being named to Fast Company’s list of World’s Most Innovative Companies last month to being ranked as the world’s top autonomous mobile robot provider by industrial automation research company Interact Analysis. The Supply & Demand Chain Executive uses the annual award to honor executives who are setting the precedent in the supply chain industry. It’s Christensen’s third time receiving the award.

“Jeff is a thoughtful strategist with a deep understanding of the challenges businesses are facing across the global supply chain,” Seegrid CEO Jim Rock said in a statement. “His visionary leadership helps Seegrid deliver market-leading mobile automation solutions that create real value for our customers.”

For more context on how Christensen and Seegrid are reshaping the supply chain industry with intelligent automation, be sure to check out a recent keynote address he gave with Seegrid founder and Chief Roboticist Hans Moravec.

Other promotions, awards and other recognition for Pittsburgh tech

  • The CASTUS Fellowship for Minority Business Owners announced that it will launch its second annual fellowship for entrepreneurial leaders in the Pittsburgh region. One winner will be selected to receive funding, while the entire cohort of fellows will have access to workshops focused on legal, finance, marketing, ecommerce, business strategy and more. Applications are currently open.
  • East Liberty-based email and backup cybersecurity firm Hornetsecurity announced that Katja Meyer would be the firm’s newest chief marketing officer. She previously worked as the B2B global marketing director for Kaspersky. “I am delighted to join Hornetsecurity, especially at a time when so many companies and organizations around the world are redefining their cybersecurity architecture,” Meyer said in a statement. “I’m excited about the opportunities Hornetsecurity’s channel delivery mode offers current and prospective partners, and I’m especially looking forward to highlighting Hornetsecurity’s email security, backup and compliance solutions that integrate seamlessly with Microsoft 365.”
  • IT service company Mastech Digital announced that Vlad Rak was appointed as an independent member to the company’s board of directors, with a term starting on April 1. Rak will serve on the board’s audit committee, compensation committee and nominating & corporate governance committee. He is currently the EVP and CTO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, which is headquartered near the Pittsburgh airport.
  • Wells Fargo Innovation Incubator — a technology incubator and platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundationannounced a new cohort of five companies involved in demonstrating building and mobility technologies, with each of the selected companies receiving up to $250,000 in non-dilutive funding. One of those companies, CorePower Magnetics, is a spinout from CMU now based out of the Energy Innovation Center in the Hill District. Through the incubator, CorePower will demonstrate its high-performance electric motors, inductors and transformers that promise to extend electric vehicle range and improve grid efficiency.

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-
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