What does a week in the life of Mayor Peduto’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Economic Development look like? Sharing her exciting citywide plans this week is Leigh Halverson, who previously worked in the philanthropic sector for nearly 10 years, including with US Bank and The Pittsburgh Foundation.
Monday, April 13
7:30 a.m. Every day starts with a stop at Square Cafe for coffee. It’s only $1 if you bring your own mug and Sherree and the team will throw in a morning smile for free.
9 a.m. The morning is filled with meetings with the Director of City Planning, the Zoning Administrator, the Director of Permits, Licenses and Inspections and Chief of Staff Kevin Acklin to check in on all the many developments underway in the city. It’s construction season so we are busy, busy, busy.
11:30 a.m. Into a meeting with Ambassador Verbeke of Belgium and the Mayor to exchange views on topics of mutual interest and strengthen ties between western PA and Belgium (This job is too cool).
12:30 p.m. Take a quick walk down to Market Square with my colleagues and grab lunch from Bluebird Kitchen.
2:30 p.m. Meeting with the Mayor and representatives from the Knight Foundation who are bringing a group of 52 emerging leaders from across the country to experience Pittsburgh’s successful resurgence.
3 p.m. Meeting with the Mayor, Chief Acklin and Robert Rubenstein from the Urban Redevelopment Authority to talk strategy.
4 p.m. Bi-weekly staff meeting with all City Directors and Chiefs doing a fast-paced round-robin of all the major issues in the city. Everyone gets five minutes and it’s a whirlwind meeting but an amazing reminder of the power of hiring for talent and not politics.
6:30 p.m. A quick drive back east to the Environmental Charter School where I am on the board to join special guest Larkin Page Jacobs of WESA as she facilitates a Q&A session with Lynda Wrenn and Kirk Burkley, school board candidates (#parentvoiceparentchoice).
Tuesday, April 14
A couple of early morning meetings in the office and prep for the p4 conference later this week and lunch at The Commoner with a friend from Leadership Pittsburgh XX who just made partner at Duane Morris!
3 p.m. Over to the County Courthouse for our monthly City County Task Force meeting with Jen Liptak and Willy McKain, two of my favorite public servants of all time.
Happy hour at the Grant Street Tavern with the whole crew from the Mayor’s office where Mary Ann serves a mean drink with a splash of sarcasm.
Wednesday, April 15
8 a.m. Off to the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Executive Board meeting to talk Summer Youth Employment and the future of the region’s workforce.
9:30 a.m. Head over to the Heinz Endowments where Grant Oliphant and Bruce Katz from the Brookings Institution are hosting a team of architects from Kjellander + Sjoberg visiting from Stockholm, Sweden including Stefan Sjoberg, Ola Kjellander and Linda Schuur to share some of their international projects.
1:30 p.m. Weekly call with Police Chief Cameron McLay, Commander Holmes, Erin Dalton from the Department of Human Services and the National Initiative team from the Department of Justice to discuss the future of community oriented policing in Pittsburgh as one of six demonstration sites selected from across the country.
Thursday, April 16
After nearly a year of planning with the team from the Heinz Endowments, p4 is finally here. In a nutshell p4 is an effort to forge a new model of urban growth and development in the City of Pittsburgh that is innovative, inclusive and sustainable. This model is based around a central, unifying framework—p4: People, Planet, Place and Performance.
7 p.m. After a long but invigorating day at p4 it’s off to party with the guys from 4moms as they celebrate their 10th anniversary at Stage AE.
9:30 p.m. If my heels haven’t snapped by now under the weight of the day, I will head off to TOTAL TRASH: Thursday night dance party at Blue Moon Bar on Butler Street in Lawrenceville where Office of Management and Budget employee by day and killer DJ by night, Dan Barrett and crew will spin us into the evening.
Friday, April 17
6:30 a.m. Another early morning start at p4 where a smaller group of leaders with take site visit tours of the three major development sites: ALMONO, Uptown Eco-Innovation District and Envision Downtown.
I am the emcee on Day 2 so I will be up on stage. Wish me luck!
6 p.m. After another long day I am so excited to head to Highland Park and begin my 10-day dog sitting spree for the ever-amazing Jasper Bacon (also known as loyal puppy of Julie Pezzino and Andrew Butcher). Jasper and I have spent many years together during Pezzino-Butcher family vacations and a long walk in Highland Park has never felt so good.
Saturday, April 18
Saturday mornings are reserved for Puppy Pile brunch with Matt Barron, Adam Schuck, Nate Hanson, Laura Meixell, Ali Holtzman and Katie O’Malley. This week we are going to check out a breakfast pop-up at Constellation Coffee with Emily Slagel and Joey Hilty to welcome their new restaurant on Butler Street, The Vandal (@thevandalpgh).
Then it’s back to grab Jasper Bacon. If we can get a seat outside, a hotdog and beer from D’s afterwards is a must and Jasper loves to make friends with everyone who walks by.
Sunday, April 19
11 a.m. In celebration of a uniquely Western Pennsylvanian tradition and as a tribute to my dear friend John Rhoades we are off to Ebensburg, PA for the bi-annual board meeting of the Salem Homecoming Association. Carrying forward the Cambrian tradition founded in 1839, we will spend the day planning for the big Homecoming event this year. I am neither Welsh nor a Calvinistic Methodist but I’m a real sucker for old timey Welsh tradition, church ladies, pig roasts and wonderfully quirky friends.