Our Board of Directors
Open Minds LLC
Susan Chase is president of Open Minds LLC, which provides strategic planning, program evaluation and project management services. Susie has supported strategic and project planning efforts for a wide range of organizations including Adagio Health, the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging, Shady Side Academy, the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children, Carnegie Science Center and Jewish Residential Services. She has led the evaluation of over a dozen s Grow Up Great projects for PNC.
Before serving as a consultant, Susie had many years of clinical, research and administrative experience. She is a speech language pathologist who worked in a variety of clinical settings. She has managed large-scale research projects on rehabilitation outcomes, including the largest civilian study of head injury survivors and their families. She has developed assessment tools to help evaluate individuals’ skills in “real world” activities and led the development of a functional assessment tool now used in cities across the country to help determine individuals’ need for para-transit services. Susie was the founding Executive Director of Working Order, a non-profit small business incubator that supported a wide range of entrepreneurs and specifically included entrepreneurs with disabilities.
Robert Cicco, M.D.
Executive Committee Chair
Dr. Cicco, now retired, is the former Associate Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at The Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. In addition to his neonatal practice, he practiced general pediatrics for a number of years and was actively involved in the Neonatal Follow Up Program at West Penn Hospital. During his career, his experience in primary care pediatrics gave him a greater appreciation of the important role of the family both inside and outside of the NICU. He is a Past President of Parent Care, a national association of parents and professionals that advocates for family centered NICU care. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the National Perinatal Association. Dr. Cicco is a past president of Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and currently serves on the PAAAP Executive Committee of the PA Premie Health Network. He has recently completed a 10 year term on the planning group for the American Academy of Pediatrics Annual Conference and Exhibition, the last four of which he chaired the planning group. In addition, he is a member of the Committee to Establish Recommended Standards for Newborn ICU Design and is active in a number of projects directed at reducing infant mortality.
Over the past 16 years, he has been actively involved in healthcare overseas by assisting with neonatal clinical and educational activities in Romania and Moldova. During this time, he has made numerous trips to these countries to advance neonatal care. Dr. Cicco has been a long time advocate for families in the NICU and early intervention settings. He has given numerous presentations across the country on the issues of parent/professional partnerships, family centered care, humor in the healthcare setting and developing advocacy skills.
Through his career, he has learned that developing one’s sense of humor and appreciation of the human spirit contributes as much to “good health” as any medicine. He has been married to his wife Anita for 43 years, has 4 sons and 6 wonderful grandchildren.
Lynn is the Vice President of Human Resources at ECHO Realty, a Pittsburgh based commercial retail real estate company. She has over 25 years of diverse human resources experience including benefits, employee relations, payroll, talent acquisition and management and employee engagement. In addition to HR, Lynn oversees ECHO’s Property, Casualty and Professional liability insurance programs. Lynn is a graduate of Muskingum University with a degree in Business Administration and minor in Accounting. She is a Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP), and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, Pittsburgh Human Resource Association and CREW Pittsburgh.
Lynn and Jim live in Wexford and are parents of 5 young adults scattered throughout their 20’s. In addition to Jeremiah’s Place, Lynn has served as past President of the Board of Directors for Sheldon Calvary Camp as well as various leadership roles and committee functions at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church and Christ Church in North Hills.
Alan Gordon, J.D.
McGuire Woods LLC
Alan has a broad background in real estate law and business law. He concentrates his practice in real estate transactions, and has worked extensively with commercial, healthcare, and industrial clients on a wide array of transactions covering the full cycle of commercial property, including land acquisition, construction and construction financing, leasing, permanent financing, and disposition. Alan’s substantial experience includes negotiating and completing real estate acquisitions and sales, commercial real estate development projects, commercial leasing, and the formation and negotiation of partnerships, joint ventures and other entities.
As an Assistant Vice President and PNC Wealth Management® Relationship Strategist, Nancy serves as the primary contact for her clients. As an experienced financial professional, Nancy looks at each client’s complete financial picture and provides a customized solution designed to best meet their needs, which may include private banking, asset management, trust, and/or financial and estate planning services. She works as an integral part of a Wealth Management team that serves clients using a proven team approach. Always striving for high client satisfaction, she stays in touch with her clients throughout their financial journey to help make sure they receive excellent service and the financial solutions they need to help them achieve their financial goals.
Prior to joining PNC Wealth Management, Nancy served as a Fiduciary Advisor in PNC Institutional Asset Management. She has over 15 years professional experience in meeting clients needs in various accounting and financial capacities.
She is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of Allegheny County, as well as the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation Auxiliary Board.
Nancy earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Grove City College and a Master of Public Policy and Management from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.
Nancy is a Certified Public Accountant and also holds the the Chartered Advisor of Philanthropy designation from the American College.
Board Vice President
As a mother of four of her own children, Linda Massaro can understand a fellow guardian’s desire to provide stability and care for their children. She strives to ensure that Jeremiah’s Place is enabling guardians to fulfill their duties in the toughest of situations in order to better enjoy life’s greatest moments. Linda combines her unique blend of business and non-profit experience as a part of the Development Team for Jeremiah’s Place.
Linda is part owner of Massaro Corporation and worked within their property department in commercial real estate sales, leasing, and tenant representation. Linda brings passion to the the job as she has worked with non-profits since graduation from the University of Miami with a B.S degree in Humans and Social Development. Prior to joining the Jeremiah’s Place team, she served in the board for Every Child from 2004-2014. In 2013, Linda and her mother, Carol established the Joseph A. Massaro Alzheimer’s Research Fund which continues to raise money for Alzheimer’s research in Pittsburgh, PA. Linda Massaro joined the Jeremiah’s Place board in 2014 and brings a compassion for all especially, the children in which the organization is able to serve.
Christal Morris, Ed.D
Human Resource Chair
Christal Morris is the Vice President of Human Resources for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and is responsible for the International and Corporate divisions, including Global mobility (expatriation, immigration and international assignee support), driving HR support for new international joint ventures, facilitating cultural transformation and operational alignment across UPMC.
Prior to this recently appointed role, she served as Global Head of Inclusion, Diversity and Talent for Willis Towers Watson, based out of Atlanta, GA. Christal was responsible for developing and implementing inclusion and diversity efforts for over 40,000 associates located in more than 120 countries. Her portfolio included broadening leadership accountability for diversity through targeted visible leadership commitment; enhancing the focus on a global mindset through the delivery of diversity and inclusion courses to address Unconscious Bias and cross-cultural competence, as well as work-life flexibility programs.
Christal has extensive knowledge and experience in developing professional development programs for large organizations. Prior to Willis Towers Watson, she was Director of Diversity for Ernst & Young, Regional Director of Talent, HR and Diversity for Time Warner Cable’s west division; the Director of Recruitment and Training for Ascent Media; and a leading professional with Intel’s University Merger & Acquisitions team. She has also owned and operated a leadership and diversity consulting practice.
Christal has a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership, a Master’s degree in Organizational Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She also completed an Executive Leadership Development Program at UCLA for high potential leaders while at Time Warner and is currently studying for her Global Professional Designation in HR.
Prior Board Involvement includes Global Diversity and Inclusion Foundation; American Institute for Managing Diversity (2009-2011), Big Brother Big Sister of Greensboro, North Carolina (2000-2001). North Carolina State University Masters of Accounting Diversity Board (2008-2010), International Association of Black Actuary Advisory Board (2012-2016)
Tammy Murdock, M.D.
Squirrel Hill Health Center
Dr. Murdock is a board certified OB/GYN for over 18 years. Since returning to Pittsburgh six years ago, she has been working extensively with under-resourced populations focusing on women’s health-issues, the effects of prenatal and postnatal exposures on the outcome and long term health of mothers and babies for the last. She directs the Women’s Health Services for Immigrants and Refugees at the Squirrel Hill Health Center at both their Squirrel Hil and Brentwood locations. Dr. Murdock also sits on the Maternal-Child Health Task Force for the Allegheny County Health Department, the Adagio Health Board Task Force, and the Social Determinants of Health Group for the University of Pittsburgh Medical School.
She and her husband are raising their four children this city’s diverse communities and landscapes.
Eileen is a Co-Founder of Jeremiah’s Place and worked as the Director of Volunteer & Outreach Services for the organization during the first two years of operations. She has spent most of her professional and volunteer career as an early childhood educator and advocate.
She is the Director of St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School in the South Hills where she began working in 1989 as a teacher. Eileen has also worked part time for The Homeless Children’s Education Fund, was a Together Time instructor for a pilot program through the Fred Rogers Company, an instructor for Friends of Child Find Inc., the first Coordinator for Mt. Lebanon’s Teen Center and a long time teacher at St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School. She and her husband Dave were also foster parents with The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and cared for twelve children over a ten-year period. .
Eileen and Dave reside in the South Hills of Pittsburgh and are parents of four young adult children, In addition to her role as a board member with Jeremiah’s Place, she has also served as a board member for other community organizations including Outreach Teen & Family Services, Sheldon Calvary Camp and Century United Soccer Club and is an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Matt Smith, J.D.
Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce
Matt Smith became president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, an affiliate of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, in June 2015. The Chamber advocates at the local, state and federal levels to improve the economy and the quality of life for all who live, work and do business in the 10-county Pittsburgh region.
Prior to joining the Chamber, Smith represented the 37th Senatorial District serving in the Pennsylvania State Senate.While in the Senate, Smith served as the minority chairman of the Banking and Insurance Committee and of the State Government Committee. He also served on the Aging and Youth Committee, Appropriations Committee, Judiciary Committee and Transportation Committee.
During his Senate term, Smith was also appointed to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, the Basic Education Funding Commission, and the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee.
Before being elected to the Senate, Smith served three terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. He sat on the Appropriations Committee during his entire tenure and spent his final House term as the minority Subcommittee Chair on Economic Impact and Infrastructure. He also served on the House Finance Committee as the minority Vice Chair as well as the Insurance, Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committees. He worked in a bipartisan manner on reform efforts such as reducing the size of the legislature and championed student health and safety initiatives.
Born and raised in Bethel Park, Smith is a graduate of Bethel Park High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Rollins College inWinter Park, Florida and holds a law degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he was a member of the Duquesne Law Review.
Prior to serving in elected office, Smith worked as an attorney for the law firm of Babst Call and in Pittsburgh where he specialized in employment law.
Smith is a recipient of the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber of Commerce 2014 Chamber and Community Champion Award and of the Airport Corridor Transportation Association 2014 Community Partner Award; both awards recognized Smith and fellow legislators for their bipartisan achievements.
Smith has also received the 2013 ACHIEVA Award of Excellence in Legislation in recognition of advocacy and policy efforts to serve individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. In 2011, he received the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Government Award for his leadership in promoting sustainable development. In 2007, he was named State Elected Official of the Year by the Allegheny County Library Association.
Smith’s service to the region was recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine and the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (PUMP) as a 2010 Pittsburgh ‘40 Under 40’award winner.
Smith currently serves on the boards of: the Allegheny County Airport Authority, Jeremiah’s Place, The Senator John Heinz History Center, the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden, and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.
He lives in Mount Lebanon with his wife Eileen, their daughters Delaney and Emerson and son Jameson.
Camara Watkins, M.S.W.
Greater Pittsburgh Public Schools
Camara Watkins is a Licensed Master Social Worker who currently serves as the Coordinator of Family, Youth and Community Engagement for Pittsburgh Public Schools. In that role, she is responsible for coordinating the district’s efforts to engage students, families and community partners in the education of all students. She previously served as the Director of the Office Full Service Community Schools for the Homewood Children’s Village in Pittsburgh and as a Forensic Social Worker in New York. Mrs. Watkins is committed to education and has also worked in various roles for the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University, from where she received her Master’s degree.
Lynne Williams, M.D., Ph.D.
Southwest PA AHEC
Second Board Secretary
Lynne Williams, MD, PhD, is an Internal Medicine-Pediatric physician practicing at a healthcare center for underserved communities in Pittsburgh. She is also the Executive Director of the Southwest PA Area Health Education Center whose mission it is to promote primary care practitioners in underserved areas. She holds a PhD in Developmental Psychology and an undergraduate degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. Her passion lies in the health and development of the young child particularly under the age of 6. As part of a strong desire to protect vulnerable children, she is a co-founder of Jeremiah’s Place, the first crisis nursery in the Pittsburgh area.