Here & Now

Audrey Bode is the Mt. Lebanon Community Endowment‘s (MLCE) new executive director. Bode, a Canton, Ohio, native who holds a master’s in public management from the Heinz School for Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, comes to MLCE from the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board, where she was the director of projects and operations. Bode applied for the part-time position at MLCE after finding an online link to the job description. “It was everything I loved doing in the job I was in,” she says of her new position, which involves grant writing, fundraising and working with people and boards. “I hope I can continue to use my organizational skills and my leadership training to ensure that Mt. Lebanon maintains its unique character for generations to come.” Bode lives on Atlanta Drive with her husband, Mike, and daughter, Annabelle. MLCE is a nonprofit organization established to build, promote and manage a philanthropic fund in which donors can make contributions to sustain and enhance the quality of life in Mt. Lebanon and directly impact the programs for which they are most passionate—the arts, education, nature and more. For more information, log on to mtl will feature an article about MLCE in its March issue…Arthur H. Stroyd Jr. has been named Pittsburgh’s Best Lawyers Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers. Best Lawyers compiles its lists through comprehensive, confidential surveys in which lawyers evaluate their professional peers. Only one lawyer in each specialty in each city is honored as “lawyer of the year.” Stroyd, Longuevue Drive, is a partner with DelSole Cavanaugh Stroyd. He is a past president of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County and is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. Stroyd has served as president of Mt. Lebanon School Board and on the municipality’s zoning hearing board and hospital authority. He is past president of the Center for Theater Arts and currently is serving his third term as president of Leadership Pittsburgh…Tom and Bonnie VanKirk, Osage Road, received the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh’s Good Government Award. Tom, chairman and immediate past CEO at the law firm Buchanan Ingersoll, co-chaired the capital fundraising committee for the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, has served on the boards of several other civic and charitable organizations and is a member of numerous charitable boards, including the United Way of Allegheny County, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. In addition to their efforts to charitable causes, the VanKirks were nominated for their civic engagement, which includes Bonnie’s service on the Mt. Lebanon Commission and with the Mt. Lebanon Library Board and the Mt. Lebanon Veterans’ Memorial Fundraising Committee, and Tom’s work on several regional initiatives, including the Allegheny Conference, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and the Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
In recognition of the award and the VanKirks’ long service to the community and the region, State Rep. Matt Smith, D-Allegheny, presented them with a state citation at a Mt. Lebanon Commission meeting.


Big Picture Teams With Women’s Shelter


A.J. Drexler

Like a piece of candy that starts sweet and ends up sour, many things in life are not what they seem. Such is the message of the ad campaign that Mt. Lebanon’s Big Picture Communications created for the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh.
One set of images includes familiar Valentine’s Day candy hearts. But instead of messages like “Be Mine” and “You’re Sweet,” the candies say “You’re Worthless” and “You’re Useless.” An animated online ad includes a bouquet, but as the image pulls back, the flowers are housed in a boxing glove instead of a vase. The campaign also includes radio commercials where a man recites a poem that at first sounds romantic but turns possessive and violent. The tagline of all the pieces says: “Some relationships are not as they appear.”

“I am working through post-traumatic stress over some issues that involve my divorce from an 18-year marriage to a narcissist,” one woman wrote to the center after hearing the radio ad. “As I drove this morning I happened upon a commercial for your organization … it hit me hard. I could use the reminder

Maureen Mashek

as I muddle through the final stages of this divorce and try to keep my head about me.”

The campaign was the idea of A.J. Drexler, a Mt. Lebanon resident and co-owner, with Maureen Mashek, of Mt. Lebanon-based Big Picture Communications. A member of the center’s volunteer board of directors, Drexler provided pro bono marketing research, which culminated in the agency crafting a plan for getting the word out through all the traditional advertising venues from radio to online and billboards.

“As a result of the research and planning process, we knew two things: The Women’s Center & Shelter appeared to be underserving the women in the suburban ring around Pittsburgh, and these women are far harder to reach because they are more isolated, less likely to involve the police and much more likely to hide the problem,” Drexler says.
Big Picture’s creative staff, led by Mashek, came up with the concept and produced the ads. While the shelter was able to run the campaign through December, Drexler hopes the corporate community will pay to keep the ads running through the second quarter of this year. “PNC Bank for instance, has stepped up and extended the radio reach of the campaign to additional radio stations by converting some of their corporate buy to include the WC&S campaign creative.” An additional PSA also will run through the year.

Big Picture, on Altoona Place, has been in Mt. Lebanon since the agency’s inception in 2002. In 2009, it partnered with media buyer Joyce McClune to form a sister company, Big Picture Media Solutions.
The Women’s Center & Shelter provides emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, support programs, legal and medical help, and services for children. The hotline is 412-687-8005 (local) and 1-877-338-8255 (toll free).


Historical Society Presents Biblical Archaeology


Dr. Ron Tappy hasn’t yet found the Lost Ark, but this archaeologist—who is also the G. Albert Shoemaker Professor of Bible and Archaeology at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary—did find a Hebrew alphabet incised in stone that dates to the time of King Solomon—the earliest known such alphabet ever recovered in situ.
At 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, January 18, the Historical Society of Mount Lebanon welcomes Tappy for a program about his digs titled Betwixt and Between: Excavating a Biblical Town on the Border of Judah.
Tappy began excavating at various sites in Israel more than 25 years ago; his current field research is the Zeitah Excavations, a Late Bronze–Iron Age town in biblical Judah. Tappy’s team discovered the Hebrew alphabet there in 2005.
The program, at Temple Emanuel, 1250 Bower Hill Road, includes refreshments. 412-563-1941 or