From hiking in Nepal to those heart-to-heart conversations on the bright green sofa, Cindy Donohoe is intrepid, creative and making a difference in just a short time in Pittsburgh. The EVP and chief marketing officer for Highmark Health started her career at Silicon Valley e-commerce startups including Netscape. Now, Cindy’s marketing teams have been recognized for their award-winning digital and advertising campaigns. A Connecticut native and avid traveler, Cindy lives with her husband Doug and their dog Dexter in Shadyside.

Best part of your job?


I get to share amazingly authentic stories through glimpses into people’s lives as part of the Highmark and Allegheny Health Network #LivingProof series. As a marketer, I enjoy the novelty of making ads without the use of sets, actors, scripts or soundtracks. It’s compelling and genuine work because it’s all about the human element. It’s not about Highmark or AHN, it’s about our patients’ and members’ experiences.

What’s your big idea for Pittsburgh?


Truly world-class riverfronts. We can start with City Council voting YES on RIV to support riverfront zoning to protect the unique character of Pittsburgh. Let’s create a riverfront for everyone that is clean, safe, fun and thriving.

Cindy Donohoe

Cindy and Doug Donohoe at the 15,213’ summit on the trek to Machu Picchu in Peru.

What upcoming events are you excited to attend?

The Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh is hosting its May 4 “Celebrating Survivors” event at the Children’s Museum. Most people don’t realize that it’s not just women who need a safe place; half of the people fleeing from abusive situations are children.

And the Alexis Joy D’Achille Foundation’s “Night of Joy” on April 27. I’m proud that Allegheny Health Network is working with the Foundation on one of the few programs in the country to offer an intensive outpatient program for new moms struggling with postpartum depression — keeping mom and baby together during treatment.

I’ll be out of town for Pittsburgh PrideFest June 9 on Liberty Avenue. I wish I could attend because “This is Me” promises to be bigger and better than ever!

Write three words to describe Pittsburgh:

Tenacious. Reinvented. Unexpected.

What is your favorite creative outlet?

I call our two-year house renovation “Victorian meets Industrial Farmhouse,” but everyone else sums it up as “eclectic.” We uncovered a legible postcard from 1905 in the fireplace — best keepsake ever!

What book is on your nightstand or in your e-reader right now?

“Truly Madly Guilty” by Liane Moriarty because I got hooked after binge watching “Big Little Lies” on TV.

Bridge you love to walk or bike over?

Hot Metal Bridge, from molten iron to bike trail!

What’s the one thing that would surprise Pittsburghers most about you?

I’m happiest when I’m on a trek. Some of my most memorable hikes were in the Nepal Everest region, the Andes of Peru, the Swiss Alps and Antarctica (leaving blue footprints in the snow is very cool).

Besides the essentials (key, wallet, phone), what do you always carry with you?

My water bottle. After decades of being dehydrated (stupid, I know!), I take it everywhere. Of course, now it’s more for environmental reasons.

Cindy Donohoe

Doug and Cindy Donohoe with their nieces Lexi and Reilly celebrating the Pittsburgh Penguins
Stanley Cup win.

Favorite Pittsburgh view?

Every time I go to the ballpark for a Pirates night game, I am in awe as our city glows across the river.

Iconic Pittsburgh place you’ve still never visited?

Primanti’s. I don’ t know … a 775-calorie sandwich? I’m sure I’ll give in to the fries and coleslaw craving sometime soon.

Where do you always take out-of-town visitors?

My favorite combo is The Frick Pittsburgh — lunch at the café, tour of the Car and Carriage Museum, and a walk in Frick Park.

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