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Using ancient grains, Pittsburgh's Aurochs Brewing Company crafts gluten-free beer

The aurochs, a prehistoric cattle, became extinct around the time that wheat and barley supplanted ancient grains such as amaranth, sorghum and millet. So Ryan Bove and Doug Foster have named their gluten-free microbrewery in memory of that long-gone herbivore.
Aurochs Brewing Company, established earlier this year in Pittsburgh's funky Strip District, expects to start supplying its beer to the local market by late 2012 or early 2013. For now, says Bove, the company is busy securing an array of licenses and permits, establishing ingredient supply chains and experimenting with alternative grains, original recipes and unconventional brewing techniques.
The two high school friends avoid gluten for health reasons, Foster since early childhood and Bove for the last few years. Conventional beer is brewed mostly from barley or wheat, making it strictly off-limits. And though there are gluten-free beers on the market, Bove says the taste and availability pales in comparison to craft beers, which offer hundreds of thousands of options.
So Aurochs is setting out to use ancient, non-gluten grains to brew great beer. Bove is a mechanical engineer and a recent MBA from Carnegie Mellon. But these days he's training himself as a brew master with help from business school friends and several part-timers. "We get the help and they get free beer, so it works out well," he says. 
The partners have been raising money from family and friends and got a $25,000 investment this spring from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southwestern PA. The money is a big help,  says Bove, "but the mentorship and the coaching – that's been worth 10 times more."
Source: Ryan Bove, Aurochs Brewing Company
Writer: Elise Vider

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Aquion Energy, Deeplocal, Dick's Sporting Goods and more

Aquion Energy is hiring 28 people for a variety of jobs at both their Pittsburgh office and Mt. Pleasant manufacturing center. The company, behind a revolutionary and sustainable battery storage technology, is scaling up a manufacturing center in the old Sony plant in West Moreland county. The jobs are based in their Lawrenceville R&D center as well as the plant, which is expected to be in production mid-late next year. 

Openings are in engineering, business management, electricians, logistics and manufacturing. 

Dick’s Sporting Goods in Findlay is poised for major hiring and a company expansion. The company is posting jobs in buying, web design, vendor relations, product management, operations management and many, many more.

Design and development studio, Deeplocal, is on the move to exciting new digs in the Strip District. The company is growing and reports four full-time and two internship openings for an account manager, junior creative director, part-time contract copywriter, software engineer, software engineering interns and mobile development intern.

The Mattress Factory on the North Side is looking for a full-time marketing manager for the Development Department, a person who will be responsible for developing, managing and implementing the art museum’s strategic marketing initiatives. Interested candidates should possess a passion for arts and culture. Experience with nonprofit organizations, particularly in the arts, is preferred. Strong interpersonal, written communication, and presentations skills are a must. 

The Mt. Lebanon Magazine in Mt. Lebanon is looking for a “great salesperson,” an account executive to sell print and online advertising. The magazine, published monthly by the Mt. Lebanon Municipality, prefers a motivated self-starter with excellent verbal and computer skills. Reply to D. Cyphers, Mt. Lebanon Magazine, 710 Washington Road, Pittsburgh 15228 or dcyphers@mtlebanon.org.

Just Harvest, an anti-hunger/anti-poverty advocacy organization in Pittsburgh, seeks a skilled and committed professional to coordinate and implement communications and media activities to build awareness and visibility for our mission and programs. 

Writer: Deb Smit

CMU's high-tech traffic controls speeding the way through Pittsburgh

Driving through Pittsburgh's East Liberty section, Stephen Smith of Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute has noticed that his daily commute is a few minutes shorter. For which he can take considerable credit.
Smith and a team of CMU researchers have cut vehicle wait time by an average 40%, travel time by 26% and vehicle emissions by 21% at the nine intersections where they have been testing their high-tech, adaptive signal control system since June.
Developed through CMU's Traffic21 Initiative, the new technology uses video cameras pointed in each direction to "actually watch traffic and dynamically adjust green times to improve traffic flow," says Smith.
The big breakthrough, he adds, is that the system operates in real time, responding in seconds to actual traffic conditions to move vehicles through the intersection quickly and safety. Moreover, the system is synchronized to communicate what is coming to its downstream neighbor to keep traffic moving. 
The East Liberty pilot has been so successful that there are immediate plans to expand it in several directions within the next six months, says Smith. 
Eventually, he adds, he hopes the system can be installed citywide in Pittsburgh, where simulations with downtown traffic have shown great promise. And at a recent news conference, Allen Biehler, former state transportation secretary who is now with CMU's University Transportation Center, said there is interest in the technology from Chicago and Philadelphia. 
Discussions are underway with the university to commercialize the research, though the timing is still uncertain, adds Smith. 
Source: Stephen Smith, CMU Robotics Institute
Writer: Elise Vider

Pittsburgh firm offers reality-TV-style "Marketing Rescue"

Inspired by reality TV, and motivated by bad marketing, Pam Selker Rak , president of CommuniTech
a Pittsburgh firm, is offering Pennsylvania companies  a four-day blitz aimed at rescuing their failed or under-performing marketing programs.
"I've always joked that my dream would be to start a reality show called 'Marketing Rescue'," says Rak. "I even have my pitch to network execs figured out: It's bad marketing meets 'Bar Rescue' or 'Restaurant Impossible'."
Rak has a team of six designers, web programmers, customer relations management experts and marketing strategists, ready to mobilize.  For $10,000, the team will go onsite to assess current marketing, develop a new strategy based on revenue goals, oversee the redesign of campaigns, set up a process to measure outcomes, educate the leadership team and train the marketing staff. 
Many of the small-to-mid-sized companies Rak is aiming to rescue have cut marketing budgets in response to economic woes, a counterproductive move in her view. Instead, she says, "Marketing is a gateway to new business."
Rak founded CommuniTech in 1995, specializing in marketing technology firms. Today her national clientele has expanded to include an array of industries, with health care in particular growing, she says. CommuniTech has a staff of six, with two new positions added in just the last year.
No matter what the type of company or organization, she says, marketing needs to be process driven and measurable. "We have marketing down to a science and a process and it works." But still, she adds, "It's also somewhat of an art."
Source: Pam Selker Rak, CommuniTech
Writer: Elise Vider

$$$ promotes advanced manufacturing, foreign trade in PA

Two critical economic development goals for Pennsylvania – advanced manufacturing and foreign trade – got significant boosts earlier this month with a series of federal grants. 
Two public-private partnerships, one in Pittsburgh and one in Philadelphia, were each awarded nearly $1.9 million through the Advanced Manufacturing Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge, a competitive grant aimed at spurring job creation through advanced manufacturing. 
In Southwestern PA, the Agile Electro-Mechanical Product Accelerator is "a way to help young companies in the hardware space get up, get their products developed and to market," explains Bob Starzynski of Innovation Works.  "And it's a way to help established companies create a pipeline for new product development and get those products to market." Energy efficiency and workforce training are also in the mix, he adds.
The  multi-year project is a partnership among Innovation Works, the Catalyst Connection,  the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining and the Westmoreland/Fayette Workforce Investment Board
In Philadelphia, the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center's Greater Philadelphia Advanced Manufacturing Innovation and Skills Accelerator aims to fast track the rate at which manufacturing businesses identify and commercialize innovations, reducing risk and roadblocks. 
In a separate grant, the state Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) was awarded $2.35 million to help Pennsylvania's small businesses boosting their exports. Funds will be provided to qualifying companies to participate in trade missions, shows and business development activities. 
International trade by small businesses is growing in the Commonwealth, with $142.5 million in export sales in 2011, up by $23.8 million from the previous year, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers report. 
Sources: Bob Starzynski, Innovation Works; Tony Girifalco, DVIRC; Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers; U.S. Department of Energy
Writer: Elise Vider

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Sierra w/o Wires, 4Moms and more

Each week Pop City posts the latest in company hiring news in Pittsburgh. 

Sierra w/o Wires is hiring five people for IT and engineering positions. The company is an IT services provider specializing in remote systems monitoring and remote systems management, cloud/virtual systems hosting, software development and hardware and software reselling.
Positions include Server Operations Engineer, Senior Server Operations Engineer, Network Operations Engineer, Application Development Engineer, and Entry Level Project Manager.
Robotic toy and baby product company 4moms, makers of innovative solutions for parents, is hiring eight or more in Pittsburgh including a Director of Marketing, Brand Manager, Mechanical Engineers, Sales Assistant, Software Engineers and a Supply Chair buyer.
Family House in Pittsburgh provides an affordable home away from home for patients and their families seeking medical treatment for serious or life-threatening illnesses.
The nonprofit is seeking a full time Director of Finance.  The ideal candidate requires a talented professional who will be the CFO of the organization and a member of the strategic leadership team.
Maya Design is seeking a staff accountant for their downtown office, a full time position that requires experience in budgeting, forecasting, collections, invoicing and working on financial statements. A bachelor’s degree in accounting and two to four years of experience are preferred.

Writer: Deb Smit
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Hiring in Pittsburgh: Cardinal Resources, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and more

This week’s hiring report highlights a slew of jobs, from 12 positions at Cardinal Resources to 18+ at Ansaldo, three at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and another at Point Park University.
South Side-based Cardinal Resources is bringing cleaner water to the world through its patented Red Bird System, a solar powered, community-sized water purifying system. The company recently won a $9 million contract to install 12 of its water purification systems in Nigeria, which will create 12 jobs, primarily for engineers and technicians.
The company is also opening a manufacturing center next door, the former Hall Industries property, where it will begin building the filters for the Red Bird units later this month, reports Kevin Jones, president.  
Pittsburgh Cultural Trust reports three openings in its marketing and communications department. The arts nonprofit is looking for a Director of Public Relations, Show Marketing Manager and Digital Designer. 
The Director of Public Relations is responsible for developing public relations campaigns for Trust presentations and oversees the overall marketing strategy to publicize all events, including the placement of advance features, reviews, and artist interviews. A degree in marketing or communications or related and three years experience is preferred.
The Show Marketing Manager will coordinate all aspects of marketing for the Trust. A degree in marketing or communications or related and three years experience is preferred.
The Digital Designer will be responsible for designing, writing, trafficking and gaining approval
for all organizational e-marketing messages. The Digital Designer works on a number of print,
video and multimedia projects.
Ansaldo, a supplier of high-speed railway and urban transportation technology, has 18 openings in its Pittsburgh office, most of them in the engineering field. Jobs include software and project engineers, sales and telecommunications engineers. Ansaldo emerged from Union Switch & Signal in 2009, a company originally founded by George Westinghouse in 1881.
Point Park University is hiring a Director of Recruitment for its School of Business who will be responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive recruitment plan in collaboration with the Admissions offices and the Dean of the School of Communication.

Have hiring news? Email Pop City!

Writer: Deb Smit

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PA higher education puts out a welcome mat in Mumbai

With 30,000-plus international students and growing in Pennsylvania, accounting for more than $965 million in annual economic impact, the new Pennsylvania-American Center for Education in Mumbai, India is working to encourage Indian students to pursue their higher education in the Commonwealth. 
Pennsylvania ranks sixth in the nation for foreign student enrollment in higher education institutions. Indian students are expected to be the top international student population in the U.S. by 2020. Currently, they account for 17.2% of Pennsylvania’s international students, second only to Chinese students (who make up 24.7%).
Opened last month, the Center, believed to be the first of its kind, is fully funded by a Mumbai private school, but is fully open to  the public. Its purpose is to help Indian families who are exploring educational opportunities for their children outside of the country. One of the main challenges they face is the lack of information available on the universities and colleges, and an understanding of the application and admissions process in other countries
The Center will send counselors for training in Pennsylvania and to meet with universities and colleges in the state.  
"Pennsylvania was one of the first states in the U.S. to open an official office in India to promote trade and investment opportunities," says Kanika Choudhary, Philadelphia's honorary ambassador to India. "Now we are proud to have a dedicated facility that will provide Indian families with information about studying at Pennsylvania's world-class educational institutions."
Source: Theresa Elliott, PA Department of Community & Economic Development
Writer: Elise Vider

Social roboticist Heather Knight to enter CMU's Robot Hall of Fame

As a social roboticist, Heather Knight is helping us see robots in new and entertaining ways.   
Robots can tell stories and make us laugh, says Knight who made her debut, accompanied by her endearing sidekick Data, at a 2010 TED Talk. The two have been performing together ever since.
Knight, who grew up in Lexington, Mass., is conducting her doctoral research at CMU’s Robotics Institute, attracted by the unique combination of fine arts, robotic and entertainment tech programs.

In keeping with her mission, one of the first things she did when she arrived was to take a census of all the robots on CMU's campus. There are 547 robots in all, not including those at NREC in Lawrenceville, nearly one robot for every student in the department, she says.

In addition to her academic studies, Knight has several ongoing robot projects. She runs a stand up comedy troupe robots, Marilyn Monrobot Labs, in New York City, which produces sensor-based electronic art performances.
She also was the founder of the NYC’s first Robot Film Festival, held this summer, and one of several behind Cyborg Cabaret at the New Hazlett Theatre last April, a variety show billed as “avant art-meets-science” theater.
She also made the Forbes List for 30 Under 30 in Science. 
It's all about breaking the boundaries in our understanding of robots and what they can do and attracting more people to science and technology.  Robots can speak our language and make us laugh in addition to helping humankind, she says.
“I want to make machines that will help humanity to flourish,” Knight adds.
Knight and Data will make an appearance during the Robot Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at CMU next month, which will be held during the RoboBusiness Leadership Summit. The summit will bring hundreds of robotics industry leaders to Pittsburgh for an Oct. 22-24 conference. 
Vote early and often for your favorite robot from the slate of nominees for the Robot Hall of Fame. Created by CMU in 2003, the hall honors both fictional and real robots. Among the nominees are one of Data’s relatives, WALL-E of movie fame and Rosie from the Jetsons. 
Source: Heather Knight, CMU
Writer: Deb Smit

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Is natural always better? FutureDerm offers smart advice and products on skin care

FutureDerm is banking on intelligent women to take a more scientific approach to their cosmetic purchases. 
Founded by Pitt graduate Nicki Zevola, the startup is two-fold: an online beauty product database that offers recommendations on a wide range of products, everything from boar-bristle hairbrushes to the latest in wrinkle creams. Zevola is also creating her own line of cosmetics that will be sold both online and to spas and salons across the country.
“No one is targeting smart women in the beauty field,” says Zevola, whose company is among the current class of Alpha Lab startups on the South Side. “I want to be the smart voice in the beauty sphere. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it's safer or more effective.” 
Zevola isn’t shy about her aspirations to become the next Estee Lauder. A scientist and researcher in her own right, she believes that the best products stand up to scientific scrutiny. She also hopes to price her products reasonably below what similar products may cost. 
Born in South Korea, Zevola grew up in Baldwin and graduated in 2008 from the University of Pittsburgh with degrees in Biological Sciences, Physics/Astronomy, and a minor in Chemistry from the B.S./M.D. program. She has received numerous research fellowships and awards, including one with the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Institute.
FutureDerm is not about “reinventing the wheel,” she says, but giving consumers the information and science they need to make informed choices about the products they buy. The company launched its first product this summer, a microencapsulated, time-released 0.5% retinol moisturizer. 
A second product will roll out later this fall, a vitamin C and E serum. The product is highly stable because it is dispensed through a single dose pump which prevents it from oxidizing, she says. 
Social media and blogging have proved key in the marketing of the products and education of her clients, she says. The blog, which gets about 200,000 hits a month, was highlighted in Shape magazine.
Source: Nicki Zevola, FutureDerm
Writer: Deb Smit

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PA's energy sector gets a jolt with new interactive map

It is common knowledge that Pennsylvania has a large and diverse energy industry. But where exactly are the companies and what do they do? Who is doing cutting-edge R&D? And what are the opportunities for partnerships and collaboration across the Commonwealth?
Now companies, academics, economic development and public officials have a robust new tool: the Pennsylvania Energy Economy Map that chronicles the state's energy sector in a single, web-based location. 
Jim Gambino, vice president of technology commercialization: physical sciences, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA (BFTP/SEP), says that the interactive map allows participants in traditional and alternative energy to connect the dots and form the collaborations that drive research, technology transfer, funding and commercialization. "At the end of the day if you really want to drive economic development and success, it always comes down to interaction … that finds common purposes and partnerships," he says.
The  map also promises to be an invaluable tool for business attraction, allowing out-of-state and overseas interests to view potential customers and suppliers in Pennsylvania, he adds.
The statewide Ben Franklin Technology Partners developed the map, with support from the Department of Community and Economic Development and the governor's office, based on a regional pilot done by BFTP/SEP in 2009.
The statewide map already has more than 2,000 entries – companies, universities, capital providers and organizations – with interests ranging from shale gas to renewable energy to pollution reduction and cleanup. Site users can easily add information, which is verified before going live. 
Gambino can only guess how many entries the map may eventually hold:  "That really speaks to the value of this map."
Source: Jim Gambino, BFTP/SEP
Writer: Elise Vider

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Reaxis, GTECH, College Prowler, Kelly Strayhorn Theatre and more

Manufacturing chemicals firm Reaxis opened a second manufacturing center and R&D lab in the University of Pittsburgh Applied Research Center this week.
The firm is hiring a sales associate, inside sales associate and product engineer. Reaxis manufactures a wide range of products used several industries, everything from plastics and coatings to sealants, electronics and oil and gas applications
Among other companies that reported hiring this week: Cepstral, College Prowler, GTECH, WYEP and WYEP, the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum and Kelly Strayhorn Theatre.
Cepstral, a global company and developer of Text-To-Speech software, is seeking two hires to join their team, both software engineer-speech application developers, one with experience in programming in C/C++ for Windows environments and a second with experience in programming in C/C++ for Mac OS X environments.
GTECH Strategies is hiring an Energy Director for a new initiative underway, ReEnergize Pittsburgh, a program that focuses on promoting residential energy efficiency and reducing the region’s carbon footrprint.
As part of the program, 16-20 community ambassadors will be hired part-time to help with the educational component for ReEnergize Pittsburgh. The initiative is looking to hire highly motivated community-based partners willing to reach out to their local networks. Read all about it in Pop City.
College Prowler is hiring a full-time web developer to assist with frontend and backend work on Facebook. Those pursuing a degree in computer science need apply.  
The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh is hiring a Manager of Corporate Giving who will be responsible for corporate fundraising, including corporate annual giving, corporate sponsorships, corporate program grants and special event sponsorship. Experience in fundraising through face-to-face solicitations, grant writing are important.
The Kelly Strayhorn Theater is hiring a Managing Director. The ideal  candidate has financial planning and management experience and is a results oriented collaborator committed to the organization’s success. 
WYEP and WESA in the South Side is hiring a full-time Marketing Assistant who will work with the Marketing Director and assist with all facets of marketing for both stations, including print publications, website and social media, station events, public relations, and marketing campaigns.
Writer: Deb Smit

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Aspinwall firm takes social media marketing to TV with 321Blink the Show

Social media continues to permeate every aspect of our lives. Now it's coming to us through our televisions.
Aspinwall-based 321Blink is launching a TV show this week that it believes will give businesses and nonprofits a boost in disseminating their social marketing messages.
The creative marketing company is producing 321Blink the Show, a 30-minute, hi-def program that will air weekly with a succession of two-minute segments that highlight local businesses and nonprofit organizations through interviews, clever dialogue and music.
The question is, will this be something a discerning viewer will want to watch?
Tripp Clarke and Tim McLaughlin, Pittsburgh entrepreneurs with experience in video and media, think so. The format promises to be interesting and will generate a buzz, they say, as the show is promoted across multiple social media platforms.
From a marketing perspective, businesses will get more mileage for their dollar from TV. They cite a study by the Wharton School of Business that reports that video improves comprehension and retention by 50% and speeds up buying decisions by 72%.

“Television delivered in an entertaining fashion, that’s well shot, in high definition, will have definite appeal,” says McLaughlin.

“The show is a driver to other platforms (like YouTube and Facebook),” adds Clarke. “Those platforms will then drive back to the show.”

321Blink the Show was inspired by the popularity of the Pittsburgh FYI Network of 20 years ago, a program that featured local businesses, says Clarke. Some of the first shows have an MTV meets Pittsburgh feel to them.

The show will air throughout Pennsylvania, beginning on Sept. 28th, on several TV channels including PCNC, Fox 53, and ABC affiliates.

Businesses can use the video as fresh content for their social marketing strategy, or 321Blink can manage it for them, says Clarke. Fresh content will help businesses to rank better in searches while driving web traffic and moving the message.

The company, founded in 2011, employs seven full-time and three part-time. 321Blink also encourages local filmmakers and musicians to contribute.

Source: Tripp Clarke and Tim McLaughlin, 321Blink
Writer: Deb Smit

Image of Clarke and McLaughlin courtesy of 321Blink

CMU's SEI, Branding Brand, Duolingo, ANSYS all hiring in Pittsburgh

The hiring roundup heats up this week with 40+ jobs at the CMU Software Engineering Institute in Bakery Square, 15 openings at Branding Brand in Pittsburgh and ANSYS, which is moving to new digs in Southpointe II.
CMU’s SEI is moving into 38,000 square feet of office space at Bakery Square making ample room for the hiring of 40+, reports Richard Lynch of SEI. Those with a master’s degree in software engineering, IT, computer science and IT security and intelligence need apply.
(The ability to obtain a Top Secret security clearance may also be required.)
Among the positions: senior engineers, digital media production specialists, information architects, senior research scientists, architecture developers and Linux Systems Administrator, to name but a few. 
Mobile commerce vendor Branding Brand is hiring 15+ for a variety of positions: lead software engineer, web application developer, UX Designer, sales engineer, test engineer, site reliability engineer, account manager, senior integration testers, site reliability engineers, data analyst, project manager and entry-level integration testers.
The company, with its extensive portfolio of Fortune 500 clients, has 92 employees in Pittsburgh and is scaling up to assist e-commerce sites in becoming mobile accessible. 
Luis von Ahn’s company Duolingo received $15 million in venture funding this week to assist in the hiring of “top tier” engineers and fuel an international expansion of the company. Duolingo currently employs 17 and hopes to be at 25 by the end of 2012.
Based in Shadyside, the company is on the lookout for engineers, language masters (people who know other languages really well), a PR guru, and a personal assistant to the CEO. 
ANSYS is moving into new headquarters in Southpointe II down the street from its current location on Technology Drive. The 186,000 square-foot facility, which will be ready in the fourth quarter of 2014, will allow the company to relocate employees from its Station Square offices and bring in a substantial numbe of additional hires over the next 10 years. ANSYS currently employs 400+ and has openings now for another 100 people.
As reported today in Pop City, Australian company Excel4apps is hiring for several positions.
WriterDeb Smit

Who's hiring in Pittsburgh? Lucas Systems, Schell Games and Wall-to-Wall Studios

Each week Pop City posts the latest in company hiring news in Pittsburgh. 

Wexford-based Lucas Systems is hiring 11 people. The  fast-growing software company provides retailers with a voice-based headset system that is worn by employees in warehouse and distribution centers, helping to improve accuracy and operations in warehouse logisitics tasks. The jobs include: engineers, product and software engineers, sales support manager, inside sales rep, and a vice president of engineering.
South Side game developer Schell Games has openings for MMO Server Programmer, Web Programmer and Senior Flash Engineer. While the Web Programmer is an entry level position, requiring a degree in computer sciences or related experience, the other two are for software engineers with at least three years of experience.
The Fred Rogers Company of Mister Rogers fame is looking for a Director of Finance. The successful candidate must demonstrate a broad understanding of financial and television production accounting/financial systems and reporting and proficiency in Excel and Quickbooks. 
The Mattress Factory is hiring a full-time Marketing manager in the Development Department, responsible for developing, managing and implementing the Mattress Factory’s strategic marketing initiatives and working closely with museum leadership.
The Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse (PCCR) is hiring an Executive Director. PCCR is a sustainable resource conservation company promoting keeping materials out of the landfills through creative reuse. The position requires five or more years in non-profit or related experience as well as a range of management and fundraising skills.
Wall-to-Wall Studios is hiring a Front End Web/ Interactive Developer and a Motion Graphics Designer/ Animator. Those with strong communication skills and a passion for the Web will thrive.

Writer: Deb Smit

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