Women & Business Profile: Tonia Rose

“Trust yourself, embrace your knowledge, and anticipate the needs of those that count on your leadership.”

Final 230522 Pghmag Wib Tonya Dsc 6050rTonia Rose
Vice President
Senator John Heinz History Center 

Tonia Rose has a rich history with Pennsylvania nonprofits. The Altoona native worked in museum education at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before landing at the Senator John Heinz History Center in 2003. She currently serves as the organization’s vice president.

Founded in 1879, the Smithsonian-affiliated Heinz History Center is the region’s oldest cultural organization and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania. Its family of four museums—the Heinz History Center, the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, the Fort Pitt Museum and the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village—preserve and interpret the history and heritage of Western Pennsylvania and inspire visitors to learn from the past to understand the present and make better decisions for the future.

As vice president, Rose leads the History Center’s Advancement, Learning and Museum divisions and helps ensure that the organization’s programs and exhibitions meet and exceed Smithsonian-quality standards. She has overseen the design and creation of award-winning exhibitions that capture great achievements ranging from man’s first steps on the moon to the Immaculate Reception at Three Rivers Stadium. Rose also plays a role in fostering valuable community partnerships. “I take immense pride in long-standing relationships that build on a foundation of selflessness and giving,” she says.

Those relationships will be important as the History Center works toward a bright future. “We have a responsibility to complete the work we’ve started and make good on the promise of our educational mission,” she says. “We seek to ensure long-term financial stability and to continue to meet the needs of future generations while remaining an anchor for our expanding Strip District neighborhood.”

What’s her advice to other women in business?

“Trust yourself, embrace your knowledge, and anticipate the needs of those that count on your leadership,” she says. “Be with those that challenge you professionally and create an inclusive atmosphere that builds bridges to a future of possibilities and mindful growth.”

She credits the incredible women in her life for giving her the best advice she has received: “Be unapologetic when you are grounded in truth, even if you stand alone.”

For more than 10 years, Pittsburgh Magazine has spotlighted exceptional businesswomen within our pages and at quarterly networking events. Join us for a vibrant conversation with our four inspiring honorees and a keynote speaker at our Women & Business Awards.

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