Log in

Log in


  • Monday, December 07, 2020 6:06 PM | Anonymous

    Happy Holidays to you and your family from SWEP Three Rivers! Please click here to view our virtual holiday card, or copy and paste the link below into your browser.

    Copy link:

    Written by Mallory Griffin

    Produced by Lauren Terpak

    Edited by JD Mango

    Graphics by Alyssa Culp

  • Tuesday, November 10, 2020 11:46 AM | Anonymous

    On December 1, SWEP Three Rivers will host Perspectives on Sustainability, a virtual panel discussion featuring leaders in sustainability across the Pittsburgh region. Our moderator will be Kari Mackenbach, Director of Sustainability for MS Consultants, and our panelists include:

    • Aurora Sharrard, PhD, Director of Sustainability at University of Pittsburgh,
    • Elisabeth Udyawar, Relationships and Development Director with the Green Building Alliance,
    • Kimberly Kipin-McDonald, Head of Sustainable Development North America for Covestro,
    • Rebecca Kiernan, Principal Resilience Planner at the City of Pittsburgh, 
    • Joylette Portlock, PhD, Executive Director of Sustainable Pittsburgh, and
    • Diamonte Walker, Deputy Executive Director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh.

    Registration is available on our website, but space is limited!

    Register here. Learn a bit about our featured moderator and panelists here:

    Kari Mackenbach is the Director of Sustainability for MS Consultants. She has more than 26 years of project management experience in many facets of sustainability, resiliency planning, stormwater and floodplain management across the Country. Kari’s professional experience provides her with unique capabilities to work with communities and other professionals on multiple levels as it relates to sustainability and, more specifically, integrated planning efforts.

    Some of these efforts include the development of sustainable green infrastructure programs that help communities quantify and implement green initiatives for long-term benefits, the development of defensible benefit/cost analyzes for the use of green infrastructure, stormwater and floodplain program development, sustainable site development criteria, watershed planning and implementation. In addition, Kari is a strong advocate for diversity in the workforce and will be speaking at the next ACEC conference on the topic of Diversity in the Workplace in 2021.

    Dr. Aurora Sharrard is the Director of Sustainability at the University of Pittsburgh, tasked with enabling the Pitt Sustainability Plan, which formalizes decades of university-led and partnered initiatives at the intersection of equity, environment, and economics.  In pursuit of the Plan’s 61 measurable goals, she leads Pitt’s Office of Sustainability, cross-departmental sustainability staff, and University-wide sustainability strategy, activities, policies, collaborations, and partnerships.  Building on past progress and successes, Dr. Sharrard and her colleagues work daily across the spectrum of sustainability, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, incorporating sustainability into the curriculum, providing access and opportunity to all, transparently communicating progress, and embedding a culture of sustainability into the University of Pittsburgh so that it’s a sustainability leader in every scale, from campus to international.

    Prior to joining the University, Dr. Sharrard worked at Green Building Alliance (GBA) for 11 years, ultimately serving as its Executive Director. In her time at GBA, Dr. Sharrard most notably co-founded the Pittsburgh 2030 District, which boasts 500+ buildings aspiring towards measured high performance of 50% reductions in energy use, water consumption, and transportation emissions by the year 2030.  The University of Pittsburgh was a Founding Property Partner of the Pittsburgh 2030 District’s Oakland boundary – and embraced 2030 Challenge goals University-wide with the Pitt Sustainability Plan.

    A nationally recognized green building and sustainability expert, Dr. Sharrard has also provided strategic and technical support to innumerable regional green building and sustainability projects, inlcluding Hazelwood Green, the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.

    Dr. Sharrard holds a master’s and PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with an emphasis in Green Design from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Tulane University.  She serves on a number of boards and committees, including the Higher Education Climate Consortium, Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services’ Board of Directors, Will Allen Foundation’s Board of Directors, the International Living Future Institute’s Pittsburgh Living Product Hub Advisory Council, and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development’s Sustainability Committee.

    Follow on Twitter (@SustainablePitt & @AuroraSharrard) and Instagram or connect on LinkedIn.

    Elisabeth Udyawar serves as Green Building Alliance’s Relationships and Development Director. In her role at GBA, she specializes in strategic network building to direct GBA’s strategic fundraising and development. With an eye towards equity and innovation, Elisabeth cultivates cross-sector partnerships, fostering a diverse community of national and regional thought leaders. She manages sponsor and member engagement, in addition to organizing key events including Women+ in Green and Emerald Evening Gala.

    Prior to GBA,  Elisabeth administered several of Carnegie Mellon University’s different research institutes over seven years. She supported the CMU team established the Manufacturing Futures Initiatives, which also funded CMU’s Mill19 development at Hazelwood Green. As the Coordinator for the Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making, Elisabeth fostered collaboration through legislative workshops, a climate speakers series, and interagency workshops in Washington DC. Elisabeth holds a Master of Arts in English Literature from The George Washington University, specializing in Post-colonial Literature in South Asia.

    She received her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of California Riverside, and has also studied at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England.

    Follow on Twitter,  Instagram, and Facebook.

    Kim Kipin-McDonald is a sustainable development leader with wide-ranging experience across a variety of disciplines including energy and emissions data management systems, supply chain sustainability and circular economy.

    Kim promotes the potential for every organizational function to contribute to transformative change and she continuously capitalizes on this belief to advance efforts through the value chain.  Driving Covestro’s non-financial targets through digitalization and advanced analytics and ongoing cross-sector partnerships have resulted in internal and external awards and recognition. Kim is a member of the Pennsylvania Climate Change Advisory Committee, which advises the Department of Environmental Protection on implementing the 2008 Pennsylvania Climate Change Act.

    Prior to leading sustainable development at Covestro, Kim served in multiple positions at Bayer, including regional head of sustainability governance, partnership initiatives for sustainable building and construction, and environmental risk and product stewardship programs. She developed her passion for motivating people of all walks of life to appreciate and become active participants in environmental stewardship with her first role at The Pittsburgh Zoo, where she created the Education Outreach ZOOmobile program. 

    Kim holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and graduate degrees in both environmental science & management and science education from Duquesne University.

    Rebecca Kiernan is a Principal Resilience Planner with the City of Pittsburgh, focusing on building social, ecological, economic, and physical resilience to city-wide shocks and stresses. Her work includes developing and implementing initiatives such as the ONEPGH Preliminary Resilience Assessment, Resilience Strategy and Investment Prospectus; the Pittsburgh Equity Indicators Reports; and aligning the City’s work with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She also supports the City’s Climate Action Plan with a focus on transportation electrification, zero waste, and urban ecosystems initiatives.

    Rebecca was previously Sustainability Coordinator for the Township of Moon, worked in coastal livelihoods restoration in Indonesia, and has 7 years of experience in education and facilitation. She holds a BA in English and Education from SUNY Geneseo, and an MS in Public Policy and Management with a focus on Environmental Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. She’s a board member of Three Rivers Waterkeepers and serves on ALCOSAN’s Municipal Advisory Committee and the City’s Shade Tree Commission.

    Follow on Twitter and Instagram.

    Dr. Joylette Portlock earned her PhD in genetics at Stanford after studying biology and anthropology at MIT. Her area of expertise is climate change, more specifically, communicating its potential perils and strategies to combat them.  

    In addition to creating the climate change communication nonprofit Communitopia, and the series of videos, “Don’t just sit there—do something,” Joylette worked for Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project. She also served as Western Pennsylvania Outreach Coordinator with PennFuture, a statewide environmental advocacy group where she worked with the organization’s members, elected officials, and the public on energy, air, water, mining, and transportation issues.

    Sustainable Pittsburgh is about equity, environment, and energy—a future with opportunity for all. Joylette's plan includes building opportunities for all communities and stakeholders to be involved in the environmental issues that affect their lives.

    Follow on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

    Diamonte Walker is the Deputy Executive Director of the Urban Redevelopment Authority of the City of Pittsburgh (URA), where she provides strategy, vision, operations management, team development, and leadership. Diamonte joined the agency in 2017, quickly becoming the driving force behind URA’s MWBE strategy. Her commitment to the advancement of equitable development is demonstrated through the administration of the URA’s MWBE Program, compliance monitoring, reporting functions, and other economic inclusion focused initiatives.

    With a career span of more than 15 years in the for-profit sector and having recently served as a business development program manager in the non-profit sector, Diamonte understands the complex challenges we face as a region when trying to effectuate meaningful change in neighborhoods. Diamonte offers a serious look at what can happen when we expand the work of economic development beyond metrics, goals and buzzwords to create impactful experiences that empower people while transforming place.

    Diamonte holds an MBA and Master of Science in Management and Leadership from Western Governors University. She is a Mayoral appointee to Pittsburgh’s Land Bank Board, serves on the Neighborhood Allies and InnovatePgh boards, and currently sits on the Housing Opportunity Fund’s Advisory Board. Her notable achievements include being named one of the Pittsburgh Business Times 2019 Women of Influence, a 2019 Lead Now Pittsburgh Fellow, a 2018 Onyx Woman in Leadership, 2017 Pittsburgh Magazine 40 under 40 honoree, and 2016 New Pittsburgh Courier Fab 40 Under 40 awardee. She was recently named one of Talk Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Pennsylvanian African-American Women. She is strongly committed to helping entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds take full advantage of today’s marketplace innovations to cost-effectively operationalize their ideas and better position themselves to experience an equitable stake in Pittsburgh’s economic resurgence.

    Follow on Twitter (Ms. Walker & URA), Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

  • Saturday, September 12, 2020 9:58 AM | Anonymous

    This year, Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) is hosting a Virtual Open House to showcase their facility and the vital work they do in our community. The Open House features an update about clean water in our region, educational activities, tours of the plant, and features from ALCOSAN's environmental partners, including SWEP Three Rivers!

    We hope to join our community in person again soon, but in the meantime, we hope you enjoy our video booth for this year's Virtual Open House! Visit ALCOSAN's website ( to join the fun!

    Produced by Lauren Terpak
    Edited by JD Mango
    Pittsburgh Photography donated by Todd Wilson, PE

    Thank you for SWEP Three Rivers Board members, Public Service Committee, membership, and all the video helpers, friends, and family. A special thank you to ALCOSAN for your participation and support!

  • Monday, June 22, 2020 7:48 AM | Anonymous

    On June 16, 2020 SWEP hosted our first ever virtual Conversation with Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. We were so delighted to have Secretary Dunn join us, especially after having to cancel our in-person Conversation in mid-March as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

    Caron Glotfelty, Director of the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, active SWEP Program Committee member, and former “Conversation” interviewee, took on the role of interviewer and opened the Conversation with a question about the impact of coronavirus on DCNR. Secretary Dunn assured the members that all the facilities that will be reopening for public use this summer are now open and ready to be enjoyed by the public (For details on what facilities are open, visit 

    Our conversation also touched on another pressing topic – the Black Lives Matter movement, and how DCNR is continually reevaluating and pushing forward efforts to diversify its, workforce and to assure equitable access to public lands for all citizens of the Commonwealth. Secretary Dunn mentioned one way the Department encourages the growth in diversity is through its Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps program, which offers work experience, job training, and environmental educational opportunities to young people who complete recreation and conservation projects on Pennsylvania’s public lands.

    Secretary Dunn also shared some of her personal story, and how her passion for the outdoors and exploring new places led her to pursue a biology degree and, with the encouragement of one of her professors, a career in conservation. She also shared that she feels her proudest accomplishment is her ability to build coalitions to achieve common goals, which is a great testament to the kind of leader Secretary Dunn is.

    One of her most poignant anecdotes, which I believe resonated with many SWEP members, is that self-confidence is a constant struggle for her. What she has learned about herself is that if she gives 100 percent to whatever task she has before her, that dedication and drive to do her best is freeing, and her self-consciousness takes a back seat to whatever she is trying to accomplish.

    It was such a pleasure to host this Conversation, and SWEP-Three Rivers would like to thank our Conversationalists, Cindy Adams Dunn and Caren Glotfelty, and our sponsors. We could not offer such a wonderful program without the following organizational support: Diamond Level Annual Sponsor, Geosyntec, and Sapphire Level Sponsor Arcadis, and Bronze Event Sponsors: Cosmos Technology and R2O.

    Interested in keeping tabs on Secretary Dunn’s initiatives at DCNR? See the links below!

    DCNR website:

    DCNR Twitter:

    DCNR Facebook:

    PA State Parks Facebook:

    DCNR Instagram:

    DCNR YouTube:

    Subscribe to our resource newsletter:


    Penn’s Parks for All

    DEI statement:

    Grants program:

    State Parks & State Forests what is open map site:

    Register as a vendor to do business with the Commonwealth:

    To certify as a small business:

    To complete the self-certification as a small business, women owned business, LGBTQ-owned business or Veteran-owned business, please visit this link.

  • Thursday, June 04, 2020 2:06 PM | Anonymous

    SWEP Three Rivers’ mission is to provide women environmental professionals, working within the Three Rivers region, a community that recognizes and supports women's leadership and career development and provides a forum to share information and ideas and promote public service within the environmental field. We recognize the pain and challenges that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, particularly Black women face in this country and in the Pittsburgh region, and that our success is made possible by the Black women who have lifted this organization up. We are angered and saddened by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others, and stand in solidarity with SWEP members, our communities, and the many organizations fighting for racial justice. We commit to amplifying marginalized voices and engaging with our members to ensure that all women feel supported by this organization. We will listen to the leaders in the fight for racial justice and identify how we as an organization, through our programs and partnerships, can live the values of anti-racism, inclusion, and appreciation for the communities that support us. Please stand with us in recognizing that Black Lives Matter. 

  • Friday, April 17, 2020 6:19 AM | Anonymous

    On February 7, 2020, SWEP members trekked through wind, sleet, and snow to Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s Southwest Regional Office for an update from Department staff during our Brown Bag lunch event.

    Brian Schimmel, Local Government Liaison for DEP kicked off the meeting by introducing Regional Director Ron Schwartz. Director Schwartz provided an overview of operations and programs in the Southwest region, which covers eight counties and 494 municipalities, including Pittsburgh where the office is located. Director Schwartz outlined some challenges particular to the Southwest Region, including an increase in flooding events impacting permitting for projects across industry sectors and the institution and implementation of new e-permitting and other electronic filing initiatives, and described how the Department was adapting and rising to meet those challenges.

    Director Schwartz was followed by Dana Drake, Waterways & Wetlands Program Manager in the Southwest Region. Ms. Drake provided an overview of hot topics in her program including the establishment of the Regional Permit Coordination Office, a centralized office within DEP to support Chapter 102, 105, and Section 401 State Water Quality Certifications required under the federal Clean Water Act for pipelines spanning three or more counties and two or more DEP regions or those crossing state lines. Ms. Drake also covered recent changes to the PAG-02, General Permit for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Construction Activities, which was renewed with significant updates in December 2019.

    Our third and final speaker was Kareen Milcic, Environmental Group Manager for  permitting in for the  Oil and Gas program. Ms. Milcic focused her update on the Geologic Hazard Mitigation Program administered through the Erosion and Sedimentation Control General Permit For Earth Disturbance Associated With Oil And Gas Exploration, Production, Processing, Or Treatment Operations Or Transmission Facilities (ESCGP-3) that was finalized by DEP in October of 2018. The Geologic Hazard Mitigation Plan is a new component in the ESCGP-3 and is a vitally important component of the permitting process as flooding and landslide events continue to increase across the commonwealth.

    We wrapped up the lunch with some cookies and a Q&A session, where all three speakers graciously answered questions from SWEP members. We are so grateful for the opportunity to hear from DEP in this informal yet incredibly valuable setting for our membership! We hope continue offering this event annually for our members and look forward to our next lunch with the Department.

  • Monday, March 02, 2020 9:28 PM | Anonymous

    Join SWEP Three Rivers for our next signature event, A Conversation with DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn on March 18, 2020.

    SWEP Three Rivers member and Conversation with alumna Caren Glotfelty (Executive Director of the Allegheny County Parks Foundation) will sit down Secretary Dunn to discuss her career path, her accomplishments and goals as the leader of the state’s conservation agency, and insights into success in the environmental field.

    Cindy Adams Dunn was appointed by Governor Tom Wolf to be the sixth Secretary of DCNR in 2015. Over the last two decades, Secretary Dunn has served in multiple roles at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, including Deputy Secretary of Conservation and Technical Services; Director of the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation; and Director of the Office of Education, Communications and Partnerships.

    She is the holder of numerous awards for her leadership in conservation and has held leadership positions in a variety of environmental organizations prior to her appointment as DCNR Secretary.

    We are thrilled to host Secretary Dunn and we hope you can join in the conversation!

    Registration is limited and closes on Monday, March 9. Click here or visit our Events page to register.

    Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, contact Holly Douglas at

  • Friday, August 16, 2019 6:13 AM | Anonymous

    SWEP Three Rivers hosted Women, Wigle & Workwear: A Networking Event to Benefit Dress for Success Pittsburgh at the Wigle Distillery Tasting Room in the Strip District on June 13. This was our first event combining a charitable cause with program-free networking and it was a huge hit!

    Attendees were encouraged to bring gently used workwear, accessories, and toiletries to donate to Dress for Success, a non-profit with the mission of empowering women to achieve independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and developmental tools to help women thrive in both work and life. And, boy, did our attendees rise to the occasion! We packed two large clothing racks full of donated dresses, suits, blouses, and slacks, along with several boxes of toiletries and accessories. While enjoying each other’s company (and the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres), attendees also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from Estée Lauder for makeup and skincare consultations, chat with a personal style specialist from Macy’s, and peruse the selection of goodies available in the basket raffle.


    Through the generosity of basket raffle donors and our signature sponsor, Monaloh Basin Engineers, and our attendees, we were able to donate hundreds of items and $1,961.00 in cash to Dress for Success Pittsburgh.  Dress for Success was ecstatic to receive such a large donation from our SWEP Three Rivers membership.  The donations will make a real impact on the lives of local women on their journey to financial independence and will provide empowerment to achieve their career goals.

    Thank you to all our sponsors, volunteers, and attendees for making this event a success!

    Photos by Kaitlyn Leigh Roth.

  • Sunday, May 19, 2019 10:45 PM | Anonymous

    On Saturday, April 27th, SWEP members participated in the first public service event of 2019, hosted by the Allegheny County Department of Parks.  This event kicked off the new initiative Park Steward Program at North Park. Thirteen volunteers from the SWEP Public Service Committee and other members attended.   The group was tasked with removing invasive plant species and restoring a natural habitat along one of the trail heads near the North Park Ranch House. After a morning of hard work pulling up and digging out vegetation, the volunteers created massive piles of weeds.  It’s amazing what a group of determined, passionate people can accomplish in one morning! After the hard (and fun!) work, the group was treated to a pizza party by the Park Rangers as a thank you.

    Two SWEP members, Kristen Schawalder and Hannah Baldwin, signed up to become Park Stewards at North Park, committing to 24 hours of service each year.  They will be coordinating and overseeing their own groups of volunteers to remove invasive species. The goal of this initiative is to restore and protect the natural ecosystems by removing invasive and non-native plant species to provide for the return and growth of native plants and habitats. The Park Rangers coordinate with the stewards and provide management plans to guide these conservation efforts.  

    This event was a great way to give back to the community parks and meet others in the SWEP Three Rivers Chapter.  If you missed this event, we hope you can make it to the next one in the Fall! More information to come!

    Interested in learning more about the Park Steward Program?  Please visit the Allegheny County website for more information:

    To find out more information about SWEP Three Rivers, please visit our website:

  • Monday, April 22, 2019 9:52 PM | Anonymous

    Since the founding of SWEP Three Rivers in 2017, our Board Members and Committee Chairs have worked together with our members to build a strong foundation. In April 2019, we held our inaugural election to further formalize the leadership and structure of the organization. We are pleased to announce the results of the election, including the following women as our officers for 2019-2020:

    The By-Laws and Budget were also adopted by our members and are available for viewing on the Members page of our website (login required--please email us if you need assistance). The development of these was informed by our experience and interactions with all our members over the last year and a half at events, online, and in the community, and they are consistent with an approach we believe will advance the mission of SWEP Three Rivers. 

    The 2020 election will be held with an open nominations process beginning in late 2019. Please keep this in mind if you are interested in joining the leadership of the organization. In the meantime, please contact one of our Committee Chairs if you would like to become involved.

Copyright © 2024

Three Rivers Society of Women Environmental Professionals

A 501(c)(6) nonprofit corporation

All rights reserved.

462 Perry Highway, 2nd Floor

Pittsburgh, PA 15229

(412) 275-8002

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software