ECO Board Welcomes Four New Members
Updated: 5 days ago
In addition to all of the new programming being offered at the Pop-up Library, ECO has brought on four new board members to help steer the organization into the future. Last year, we put out an all call for interested individuals and were blown away by the response. The four new members have deep ties to the community and offer unique skills that will benefit the organization in a variety of ways.
Ryan Gott, Ph.D., is a public horticulture professional, entomologist, educator, and nature enthusiast working in the non-profit public garden sector. Ryan is an enthusiastic advocate for sustainable landscaping and environmental stewardship that benefits all parts of our ecosystem, including us.
When asked why Ryan elected to serve on ECO's board he said,
"I serve on ECO's board to advance Etna and improve quality of life for all Etna residents. I want to be part of shaping Etna's bright future by listening to our community's needs and addressing those needs through holistic, sustainable solutions."
Nick Haberman is an award-winning teacher and founder of the LIGHT Education Initiative - a program that seeks to inspire, prepare, and empower the next generation of humanitarians. He lives in Hampton with his wife, two children, and dog, and enjoys music, travel, and the outdoors.
When asked how he hopes to contribute to ECO, Nick stated,
"My experience growing up in Etna, working as a teacher for the Shaler Area School District, and collaborating with nearly 20 school systems across Southwestern Pennsylvania through LIGHT has given me insight into how successful, meaningful youth programs function as a collaboration among school districts, community organizations, nonprofits, foundations, businesses, and volunteers."
Bridget Barrett has worked in Pittsburgh, PA area politics for the past 9 years, currently serving as Chief of Staff for State Representative Emily Kinkead who was elected in 2020. While working full-time for elected officials she has also been involved in several local political campaigns. Bridget holds a Master’s Degree in Gender, Globalization, and Human Rights from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a BA in Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Bridget and her husband bought their home in Etna in 2019 and welcomed their son in 2021.
Bridged reflected on her hopes for Etna's future,
"I moved to Etna for the sense of community I felt here. I hope that only deepens in the years to come and that Etna continues to be an amazing place to call home for all of its residents. "
Melanie Groves studied art education and has worked in the field of museums and non-profits for over 15 years, focusing in the areas of preservation, exhibition development, digital media, and diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion, and she currently teaches Museum Studies at Pitt. She lives in Etna with her husband and their two kids, and they love getting outside to explore Pittsburgh's riverfronts, visiting local breweries, and playing at the park.
Melanie shared why she was excited to join ECO's board,
"I want to put energy back into my family's community, supporting the efforts that ECO makes to develop projects and initiatives that make Etna an exciting place to live. I was specifically excited to contribute to the building of the Etna community library, where I'm looking forward to meeting neighbors and new friends."
These talented and dedicated community servants join four of ECO's founding members to complete the board. Mary Ellen Ramage, Robert Tuñón, Veni Mittal and Alexis Boytim have been with the organization since the Etna EcoDistrict planning stage. Each one has been instrumental in achieving significant milestones, such as the EcoDistrict certification in 2019, the COVID-19 response programs of 2020, and the acquisition of the ECC in 2022. Each member is dedicated to sustainability and strives to help Etna be a place where all community members can thrive and live healthy, fulfilling lives.