South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

Carrick council elects board, asks for neighborhood feedback


Last updated 12/5/2019 at 8:40am

The Carrick Community Council Board of Directors welcomed five new members following last Monday’s annual election at 25 Carrick Avenue.

Tia Baker, David George Connelly, Lisa Gonzales, Julie Kuchta, and Tara Milkovich-Salazar were elected by member vote. CCC board president Sherry Brown was also re-elected to serve another term.

Prior to the election, each nominee participated in a short Q&A session and spoke about their individual qualifications and goals for the organization.

The first speaker was Tia Baker, who has lived in Carrick for a little over a year. Ms. Baker’s desire to serve the community is the driving factor behind her decision to run for a CCC board seat. She has several years of nonprofit experience serving on the boards of organizations such as Sister’s Place and McAuley Ministries.

Ms. Baker would like to contribute to both the commercial development and capacity committees.

David George Connelly has lived in Carrick off and on for the last 25 years. He is an artist with an interest in beautification projects. He has several ideas for murals and garden installations around the community.

Lisa Gonzales has lived in Carrick for three years and wants to join the CCC board to help better the community. Ms. Gonzales is interested in contributing to the CCC’s residential revitalization capacity and positive press initiatives.

Sherry Brown is the current CCC board president. She comes from a family that has lived in Carrick for more than six generations. Ms. Brown appreciates Carrick’s wide range of civic organizations, and wants to devote her time to capacity development in the community.

“There are all these different civic groups that we don’t really get recognized for,” Ms. Brown said. “One of my missions is to pull all those things together.”

Ms. Brown is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh and teaches courses in nonprofit management and funding. Ms. Brown has served on the boards of several nonprofits throughout western Pennsylvania.

Julie Kuchta and Tara Milkovich-Salazar were not in attendance.

The newly elected board members will join Ms. Brown, Linda Donahue, Donna McManus, Lauren Doyle, Andy Miscuk, and Chris Small who will all retain board seats.

After the board nominee presentations, Ms. Brown asked CCC members for feedback on projects the organization could help facilitate in the new year.

Improved sidewalks, a stronger business district, repurposing empty churches, and enticing a bank to open a new branch in the community were among the ideas suggested by meeting attendees.

A resident asked what the plans are for further developing the Dairy District area. Ms. Donahue said future projects are on hold until more funding is secured in 2020 and that the pavilion picnic tables are currently for sale.

Several announcements were also made before the conclusion of the meeting.

The HEAR Corp, a live event production company who operates out of 25 Carrick Avenue, is seeking part-time staff for the Lumaze Christmas Lights event at 31st Street Studios in the Strip District.

Interested residents can apply at

Ms. Brown said the CCC is also pursuing a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the city, a Neighborhood Allies grant, and a Pittsburgh Foundation grant in order to secure funding and act upon the strategic plan in 2020.

“One of the things we’re going to do in January is look at our strategic plan for last year and build upon that,” Ms. Brown said. “Hopefully at our next meeting, we’ll be able to discuss things that we talked about at our last board meeting that we’ll work to incorporate into our strategic plan.”

Several CCC board members have been invited to present at the Forbes Fund’s Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership Summit on December 3 at the downtown Wyndham Hotel. The board will be speaking about their experience with community capacity development.

The second annual Carrick Light Up Night will take place on Friday, Dec. 6 at the Phillips Park Recreation Center, 201 Parkfield Street. The event will include choral and dance performances, refreshments, cookie-decorating, and the lighting of the community tree.

“We’re expecting a full house,” Ms. McManus said. “We will light the tree and have a really good night of community engagement and capacity building.”

Volunteers are needed for the event and will be asked to attend a brief planning meeting on the evening of December 5. Anyone who volunteers will only be asked to help out for an hour to ensure everyone has time to enjoy the event.

The next meeting of the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9 at 25 Carrick Avenue. The meeting will include a holiday social hour.

The next CCC membership meeting will likely be in January. For more information on upcoming events, visit the CCC Facebook page or


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