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Long time executive director leaving Hilltop Alliance

Alliance to search for new executive director


Last updated 1/17/2023 at 12:25pm

Outgoing Hilltop Alliance executive director Aaron Sukenik (center) with current Alliance president Tom Smith (left) and treasurer Jennifer Cash Wade (right).

After 10 years of steady growth and stable leadership, south Pittsburgh's Hilltop Alliance is now looking for a new executive director. Longtime executive director Aaron Sukenik has announced he will be leaving the organization on February 3.

Over Mr. Sukenik's decade of service, the organization has been transformed from a one staff member startup to a high-capacity community and economic development organization with seven full time staff members and an annual operating budget of approximately $1.5 million.

"When Aaron started in 2013, the organization was without a clear strategic direction. Aaron was able to focus our attention, build consensus for driving projects and programs that benefitted multiple neighborhoods, and ultimately turn the organization around within a year. We've seen nothing but growth and impact ever since, and the Board is truly grateful", said Tom Smith, the Hilltop Alliance's 2023 board president.

Each year, the organization completes upwards of 50 home repair projects, resolves hundreds of property maintenance issues directly with property owners, assists thousands of residents with support services (including through a monthly free food distribution program, Fresh Fridays), develops affordable housing from previously vacant property, provides incentive programs and marketing support to small businesses and hosts special events in neighborhood business districts (Allentown's East Warrington Avenue and Mount Oliver's Brownsville Road). Mr. Sukenik was also a founder of the Hilltop Urban Farm in South Pittsburgh's St. Clair neighborhood, which spun off as an independent nonprofit in 2019.s

"Aaron is leaving the Hilltop Alliance in a position of great strength with committed multi-year funding, strong earned revenue and a staff devoted to its success", said Jennifer Cash Wade, the Hilltop Alliance's 2023 board treasurer and immediate past president.

The Hilltop Alliance's current director of administration and general counsel, Bill Shimko, will serve as interim executive director until a new one is hired. Mr. Shimko has previously served as interim executive director for other nonprofit organizations and will not be pursuing the executive director position. The Board of Directors Hiring Committee will begin the search for a new executive director in late January.

Mr. Sukenik will be joining the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership as vice president of District Development.

The Hilltop Alliance is a collaborative community and economic development nonprofit organization working in South Pittsburgh's 11 "Hilltop" neighborhoods: Allentown, Arlington, Arlington Heights, Beltzhoover, Bon Air, Carrick, Knoxville, Mount Washington, Mount Oliver City, South Side Slopes and Saint Clair, as well as Mount Oliver Borough. More information about the organization can be found at:


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