South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Carrick Community Council elects new six board members


Six new board members were elected and one was re-elected by Carrick Community Council (CCC) members at the Concord K5 auditorium on Brownsville Road last Monday.

Rup Pokharel, Julie Kuchta, Chuck Giese, Georgene Schank, Vincent Williams, and Dan Minsterman each received a board seat while former board president John Rudiak was elected to another term.

CCC Board terms are two years. New board terms will begin on Dec. 1 and conclude on Nov. 30, 2018. Current board members Sharon Alberts, Brandon Dilla, and Jenn Presutti will step down from the board on Nov. 30.

CCC members received ballots upon entering the auditorium and had the option to vote for any number of candidates. A board seat was available for each nominee on the ballot, and each candidate secured the necessary 18 votes in order to be elected.

Prior to the election, each candidate was given the opportunity to give a short introduction to CCC members. Mr. Williams and Mr. Minsterman did not attend the meeting.

First to speak was Mr. Pokharel, service coordinator at with the Immigrant Services and Connection program at Jewish Family & Children’s Service. Mr. Pokharel has been a Carrick resident for four years.

Next was Ms. Kuchta, who has worked as a librarian at the Carrick library for past eight years. Ms. Kuchta has worked with several local nonprofit organizations and is currently working on a youth leadership program for Pittsburgh Public Schools.

Ms. Giese was raised in Carrick and is the owner of Yinz Guys Pizza. Mr. Giese decided to become active in the community after the cancellation of the St. Basil Parish Festival this past July.

Ms. Schank has lived in Carrick for more than 20 years. She is a retired Pittsburgh Police Officer and Drug and Alcohol Resistance Education instructor.

Former CCC board president Mr. Rudiak spoke about the work the CCC and the Carrick/Overbrook block watch have done over the last several years and that he looks forward to hearing ideas new board members will bring to the organization.

According to Donna Williams, member of the CCC nominations committee, each candidate was required to submit a resume and participate in a phone interview prior to receiving a nomination.

“We observed very well each of their involvement in the block watch,” Ms. Williams said. “We approached these people and asked if they’d be on the board.”

She also said she believes each candidate will offer something unique that will help to move the organization forward. She also said because of all the problems facing the community it’s important for the council to be strong.

“With all the problems we’ve been having here, it’s important that our council is united one,” Ms. Williams said.

Trish Hatfield, acting board president of the CCC, also provided a summary of the work done by the individual CCC committees in 2015. This year’s achievements included improving the annual Community Cornfest, growing membership to over 80 members, and working with Pitt students on beautification projects.

She also credited the public safety committee and the block watch for working on the Carrick Blitz, the city’s neighborhood specific program for reducing crime and blight by using multiple data sources to identify property violations.

For more information on the Carrick Community Council, visit


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