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50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine consulted dozens of power brokers and behind-the-scene players to determine and rank the 50 individuals who, in Pittsburgh, make things happen.



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41. Joel Adams
Founder & General Partner, Adams Capital Management

As the largest investment capital firm in Pittsburgh, the Sewickley-based investor has hauled in $815 million for early-stage information technology companies since its inception in 1994. Under Adams’ direction, the firm realigned its portfolio and now is focused on investing more in companies within rather than outside of the Pittsburgh region. Among them are Dynamics (next-generation credit cards), SnapRetail! (online marketing for retailers) and Tiversa (cyber-intelligence).  ◆
 

42. Scott Bricker
Executive Director, Bike Pittsburgh

Nobody was talking about cycling infrastructure in our hilly city when Bike Pittsburgh launched back in 2002. Today, thanks to Bricker’s leadership, biking is in the news — the good type of news — regularly. Consider, for example, just in 2015: Peduto announced a bike-friendly “Complete Streets” executive order, the city held three popular Open Streets events on Penn Avenue and Butler Street, and the sparkling, new Healthy Ride bike-share program launched. Major credit goes to Bricker and his organization for changing the conversation.  ◆
 

43. Robert Hurley
Director of Economic Development, Allegheny County

Hurley’s been immersed in economic development for years — he held previous roles with the city, the Urban Redevelopment Authority and the Pittsburgh Technology Council — so it’s no surprise that Rich Fitzgerald tapped him to run that department for the county. He also plays a key area role as the chairman of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, which finally has joined the 21st century with such technology as its smart card and bus-tracker systems.  ◆
 

44. Mike Doyle
Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives

Doyle has represented Pittsburgh and portions of the southeastern suburbs for more than two decades, and he remains the region’s pipeline to U.S. government; lately, he’s also been a key part of the Democratic city-county-federal triumvirate with Peduto and Fitzgerald. Whenever he decides to retire, he’ll be the kingmaker for a congressional seat that’s a lock for any Democrat with a pulse.  ◆
 

45. Dawn Keezer
Director, Pittsburgh Film Office

Few individuals can shut down a Pittsburgh street as easily as Keezer can. During 21 years at the helm of the Pittsburgh Film Office, she’s brought roughly 100 film and television productions to town, converting Pittsburgh from an occasional big-screen curiosity (“Sudden Death,” anyone?) to the often-busy Hollywood on the Mon. In Los Angeles, that’s meant tirelessly advocating for Pittsburgh’s ability to meet studio needs; in Harrisburg, she’s ensured that the Film Production Tax Credit remains available.  ◆
 

"I am not interested in power for power’s sake, but I am interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

46. Andrew McCutchen
Center Fielder, Pittsburgh Pirates

When former Pirates catcher Michael McKenry tweeted a request that Buccos fans wear black to the 2013 Wild Card showdown with the Cincinnati Reds, few took notice. When McCutchen retweeted McKenry and added a hashtag — #PNCBLACKOUT — 40,000 people showed up for the game garbed in black shirts. Among Pittsburgh athletes, McCutchen is singularly invested in his team’s bond with its fans; perhaps that’s why ’Burghers have embraced him like no other competitor in town.  ◆

47. Patrice Matamoros
CEO, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc.

It’s not just that Matamoros shepherded the annual race back from near-oblivion (a five-year hiatus from 2004-2008). And it’s not simply that she worked to ensure the marathon’s long-term viability via a key sponsorship deal with Dick’s Sporting Goods. More than the simple facts of the marathon’s existence, Matamoros’ impact can be witnessed in how big the race has become since its return; a full weekend of events includes races for kids and pets, a fitness expo and much more, and racers come from far and wide to compete. She didn’t just resurrect the race — she made it better than ever.  ◆
 

48. Jay Costa
Minority Leader, Senate of Pennsylvania

Despite widespread voter unhappiness with the state legislature, in 2014 the Costa-led Democrats were unable to dislodge the Republicans from the state Senate, which they’ve controlled for more than 20 years. Still, Costa — who represents a good portion of eastern Allegheny County, including parts of the East End — is an important figure, in no small part because he’s a member of his politically wired family, which includes brothers Guy (Peduto’s operations manager and former city Public Works Director) and Paul (state representative for District 34), as well as cousin Dom (a Pittsburgh Police veteran and former chief, now a state rep for District 21).  ◆
 

49. Audrey Russo
President & CEO, Pittsburgh Technology Council

A forward-looking thinker, Russo is flexing her muscle with a new venture capital fund while pushing the 1,400-member trade organization beyond its comfort zone, most recently with FortyX80. That new nonprofit group whisks local entrepreneurs to places such as Silicon Valley and New York City, connecting them with potential investors with the goal of bringing money and people to the region. PTC continues to feed the innovation machine through expanding venues such as the annual CREate (formerly DATA), a three-day SXSW-style program of salons and speakers.  ◆
 

50. Andy Masich
President & CEO, Sen. John Heinz History Center; Chairman, Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

The Sen. John Heinz History Center’s Museum Conservation Center, which opened in September 2014, is the latest in a series of initiatives and programs added during Masich’s tenure. Deals with organizations ranging from the Smithsonian Institution to the NFL Hall of Fame and Museum have brought world-class exhibits to the history center — the largest history museum in Pennsylvania — and a growing roster of signature events such as Hometown-Homegrown and Vintage Pittsburgh have brought thousands of additional visitors. Simultaneously, Masich has lobbied at the state level for the PHMC, which distributes grants to smaller history organizations across the commonwealth and heads statewide programs such as the ongoing Pennsylvania Civil War 150 commemorations.  ◆
 

 

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