Current Board of Directors
Mary Beth Mannarino, President
Mary Beth is a licensed psychologist and professor emerita in the Graduate Psychology Programs at Chatham University where she served as Program Director and was involved in training counselors and psychologists. Prior to joining Chatham, she had an independent psychology practice in the south hills of Pittsburgh, working with children, adolescents, and families for over 20 years. Much of her teaching and community work is related to promoting sustainable health and well-being, particularly among under-served people. She sees Giving2Grow as a wonderful opportunity to contribute to the current and future health of the children of Western Pennsylvania.
Mary Beth loves to spend time with family, travel, read, do yoga, and ride her bike. She has two adult children and two grandchildren. Her partner, Larry Kale, is a chemist who has worked throughout the US and Canada and who is happy to now be settled in Mt. Lebanon.
Joyce Salls, Co-Founder
Joyce received her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and earned her master’s degree and doctorate in occupational therapy.She is currently Director of the Occupational Therapy programs at Chatham University with a specialty in pediatrics. Joyce has worked as an occupational therapist in a variety of settings including outpatient, early intervention and schools.
Her passion lies in traveling to third world countries to provide therapy services to underserved populations. She has led groups of students to Haiti to work at the Hopital Albert Schweitzer and to Ecuador with CRECER, a non-profit organization that provides services in a free clinic, orphanage, homeless shelter and nursing home. Joyce has also conducted free workshops in Bolivia and Ecuador. Joyce lives In Mt. Lebanon where she enjoys running, ballet, reading, and spending time with her son, Adam, and daughter-in-law, Kristin.
Mary Tambellini, Membership Chair
Mary grew up in Aliquippa and moved to Mt. Lebanon with her husband, Ron, 38 years ago. She is a graduate of Robert Morris University and Duquesne University. Mary has been involved in many organizations over the years. When her three children, Cara, Lea and Jess were young she was active in Juniors Women’s Club, PTA and CCD. Currently she is involved with the Volunteer Service Board at Magee Womens Hospital and the St. Vincent De Paul Conference at St. Winifred. She is also the Majority Inspector for Ward 1 District 1 in Mt. Lebanon. Recently, Mary was the illustrator for a children’s book that her oldest daughter, Cara authored. Mary loves the concept of a giving circle and is happy to tell anyone she meets about Giving2Grow.
Running, yoga, paper crafting and cooking are favorites of Mary. But she most enjoys spending time with her friends and family, especially her little grand daughter, Vera.
Bridgit Wolf, Secretary
Bridgit is a Pittsburgh native and bigtime advocate – one who started in the North, moved to the South and got her degree in the middle (at Pitt), resulting in a full appreciation of the rich benefits of the whole of Pittsburgh and surrounding counties – the disparate communities, the arts, the trails, and the parks.
Bridgit counts her years with La Leche League as the beginning of her community involvement. She was an active member of the choir for many years at Bower Hill Community Church, where she learned the real meaning of community watching her patient church friends try to herd her small children, who tended to crawl under the pews while their mother was in the choir loft. In the early 2000s, Bridgit joined many other concerned parents, educators, ministers and child advocates to form the Mt. Lebanon Children and Youth Consortium.
The Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council benefited from a fun project Bridgit started when she worked at Huntington Insurance – the Election Day Brownie Bake-Off and Bake Sale, every May and November. And then there was the Used Purse Sale that benefited the company’s charity work. Bridgit taught her coworkers that giving can be fun. Bridgit is also on the Board for a private family foundation, and she recently signed on to be the Judge of Elections at Jefferson School.
Connie Geiger, Treasurer
Connie recently retired from Bidwell Training Center where she was the Director of Medical Training Programs. Prior to that, she worked in public accounting, manufacturing, and as a public high school teacher. Connie received her B.S. degrees in Education from Temple University and Accounting from Duquesne University. She grew up in Greensburg PA and moved to Mt. Lebanon with her husband Bill nearly 40 years ago. Since retirement, she has volunteered at Global Links, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Center, Career Links, and The Center for Women. She works at the voting polls on election days, takes classes at OSHER/CMU, and occasionally works as an extra on movies and TV shows filming in Pittsburgh. Connie loves to travel, read, cook, and do fun activities with her friends. Her favorite pastime is spending time with her family–husband, two children, their spouses, three grandchildren, siblings and their families.
Betsy Hohlfelder, Grant Committee Chair
Betsy received her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Penn State and currently works part-time at the United Methodist Foundation of Western PA. Her passion lies in her volunteer work, having served on the boards of Big Brothers and Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh, Hekima Place and SHIM. She has served as a tutor for over 5 years at SHIM’s Afterschool program, assisting refugee children with their homework. She also volunteers with Literacy Pittsburgh as an ESL tutor for 2 Vietnamese students. Through her church, Betsy has been part of a ministry to build solar-powered water purification systems in Haiti and has loved the chance to meet and learn from Haitian partners during her 5 trips.
In her free time, you will find either a tennis racquet or a book in Betsy’s hand.
Lynette Brooks, Site Visit Co-Coordinator
Lynette grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. In 1970, after graduating from the University of Utah, she came to Pittsburgh to visit her brother. She subsequently found a job, apartment and a husband all within a few months, and she now considers herself a true Pittsburgher. While raising her 2 children, she was active in many volunteer opportunities including PTA, tutoring ESL children, Family House, Outreach South, Family Hospice, and Women’s Center and Shelter where she ended up working for 7 years. She currently volunteers 2 days a week at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center where she had spent many hours as a caregiver accompanying friends and family members. She serves on the Patient and Family Advisory Board at Hillman.
Lynette enjoys yoga, theatre, reading, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends and family, especially her 3 year old grandson! She is happy to join the G2G Board as she continues her role as Site Visit coordinator.
Ruth Foltz, Site Visit Co-Coordinator
Ruth attended Bowling Green State University majoring in Sociology. She is almost a native Pittsburgher, and a (finally) retired Real Estate Broker. Over many years, she has and continues to volunteer in a variety of non profit organizations: Outreach South, Mt. Lebanon Jr. Women’s Club, PTA, Bower Hill Community Church, Mt. Lebanon Foundation for Education, Family Hospice and Palliative Care, and of course Giving 2 Grow.
Ruth has two children, 5 grandchildren, 2 dogs, enjoys live theater, traveling, reading, taking Osher courses at Pitt, and gardening.
Karen grew up in a rural area of Western Pennsylvania and moved to Pittsburgh in 1991. She studied applied mathematics and earned her Bachelors degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her Masters degree from Clemson University in Clemson, SC. She works as a project manager for a health and wellness company and recently earned her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
She enjoys cooking, traveling, running, yoga, cycling, attending live music shows, spending time with friends, and reading. Other volunteer activities include math tutoring, program distribution for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and helping at a local senior citizen center.
Darla grew up near Charleston, WV, and graduated from Marshall University with a degree in Chemistry and holds an Executive MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. She worked at Bayer Corporation for most of her career and held a variety of leadership positions including headed the Inorganic Pigments Division. She led Bayer’s Diversity Council which sought to broaden the opportunities for people of color at Bayer. She often says that one of the more exciting assignments she had was Asian Business Development in the late 1990’s when China was beginning to allow foreign companies to build manufacturing sites there. Darla was the Vice President of North American Strategic Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions when she retired.
She lived in Germany for several years and enjoyed traveling throughout Europe; her passion for travel has continued since retirement. She also loves reading, movies and live theater, playing bridge and walking. She served on the Board of the Denis Theatre Foundation and is part of the Leadership Circle for United Way as well as WQED and WESA. She cares deeply about alleviating poverty and hunger in southwestern Pennsylvania and in her home state of West Virginia.
She lives in Mt Lebanon and enjoys visits with her adult children and one grandson who live rather far away.
Jane Tolley has lived in Mt. Lebanon for the past 30 years, where she, along with her husband Geoff, has raised their two children. She grew up in St. Louis, MO and attended the University of Kansas where she received her bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She has spent much of her career working with children to promote their growth, development and independence. She is also a certified Irlen screener for Irlen Syndrome, which affects reading and learning.
When faced with hunger, a child’s potential may never be fully realized. She believes in the mission of Giving to Grow, and is very excited to be one of its newest board members.
Jane is happiest when she’s outdoors-kayaking, biking, hiking, playing tennis and skiing. She loves to travel with her family, and is interested in seeing as many National Parks as she can.
Debbie grew up in Monroeville, took piano lessons in Squirrel Hill, and ended up in Mt. Lebanon. After graduating from Allegheny College with a degree in German and Music, she joined Mellon Financial Corporation. Her 30+ year career there included corporate and international lending, risk management, internal audit, and managing the company’s credit training program for lending officers.
Debbie’s passions are sharing music with others, reading, and being involved in projects that bring together people of different faiths and/or circumstances, matching resources and needs. She has served several terms on the board of South Hills Interfaith Movement. In non-pandemic times, Debbie and her husband Ron enjoy organizing concerts in their home to raise funds for, and awareness of, important causes. Their two daughters and one son-in-law currently live in other states–but the dogs are still around!
After graduating from The College of Wooster and working for a couple of years, Mary chose to stay home to raise four children. Through the years she has been fortunate to volunteer in various positions. At her church, she was Moderator of the Board of Deacons for over a decade, maintained the Memorial Garden, was co-chair of fundraising for the Haiti Water Project, and has been quite busy with the Building & Grounds committee. She has been a volunteer at Family Hospice since 2007, presently helping with bereavement calls.
Tennis, gardening, trying new recipes, and walking in the woods with her husband and lab all round out her days.
Thekla grew up in California and graduated from UCLA with a degree in Art. After moving to Santa Fe, NM, where she met and married her minister husband, they lived in DC, South Carolina, and Virginia, before landing in Pittsburgh in 1999. In addition to being a stay-at-home mom, Thekla loves non-profits that build community, and has enjoyed working and volunteering at several, including the Baldwin Borough Public Library , the Resource Center of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh, and Off The Floor Pittsburgh. She currently serves as an Area Director for Community Bible Study.
As a Mt Washington resident, Thekla is frequently to be found walking on Grandview Boulevard, checking the weather, the traffic, and admiring the beauty of our city. She also loves to spend time with her extended family (including 6 grandchildren), who are scattered across the globe from England to Hawaii.
Much Gratitude to Our Founder, First President, and Former Board Member
Jennifer has lived in Pittsburgh since she graduated from Allegheny College in 1974. She received a master’s degree in Special Education at Duquesne as a ‘mature’ student. She raised three children in Mt. Lebanon and never once worried that they would to go to bed hungry.
She serves on the Board of Directors of Earthworks ( Earthworksaction.org ) and on the Board of Water Engineers for the Americas ( WEFTA.net )
Current non-profit favorites include: Water Engineers for the Americas, Earthworks, Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy, Women Donors Network, Corporate Accountability International, The Maria Fund, Grassroots International, Sunrise Movement and, of course: Giving2Grow!
Jennifer enjoys keeping in touch with her three children, Julia, Sam and Peter, cycling with friends, bookclub and game nights, and meddling in social justice, environmental issues, and socially responsible investing.