Pittsburghers for Public Transit is a grassroots democratic organization led by our members. Since our start in 2010, PPT members vote annually on a slate of nominees to join the our organizatoin’s highest level of leadership (from 2010-2021 this was called our Coordinating Committee, but in September of 2021 this changed to our Board of Directors when we received our official 501c3 designation). The Board of Directors is responsible for hiring and overseeing paid staff, defining organizational and campaign goals, and ensuring the financial viability of the organization.
PPT Board of Directors – for the bios of these members, read this blog for those elected in 2022 and this blog for those elected in 2023.
Andrew Hussein, President of @PGH_BUS_INFO Hotline, Vice Chair of Allegheny County Transit Council – Elected to lead 2022-24
Bonnie Fan, PPT Research Committee Chair – Served 2020-22, Elected to lead 2023-25
Dean Mougianis, PPT Communications Committee Chair, Videographer – Elected to lead 2013-15, Re-elected 2015-17, Re-elected 2017-19, Re-elected 2019-21, Re-elected 2021-23, Re-elected 2023-25
Fawn Walker-Montgomery, McKeesport Resident, Executive Director of Take Action Mon Valley and PPT Recording Secretary- Elected to lead 2020-22, Re-elected 2022-24
Gabriel McMorland, PPT Organizing Committee, Disability Justice Advocate – Served on PPT’s Board while Director of The Thomas Merton Center, PPT’s Fiscal Sponsor 2017-22, Elected to lead 2023-25
Kevin Joa, Port Authority Bus Operator & Member of ATU Local 85 – Elected to lead 2019-21, Re-elected 2021-23, Re-elected 2023-25
Mayor Nickole Nesby, PPT Board Treasurer, Duquesne Resident and advocate for the Mon Valley – Elected to lead 2019-21, Re-elected 2021-23, Re-elected 2023-25
Paul W. O’Hanlon, City of Pittsburgh Resident, Disability Justice Advocate – Elected to lead 2021-23, Re-elected 2023-25
Ricardo Villarreal, Restaurant Worker, US Immigrant – Elected to lead 2022-24
Sue Scanlon, PPT Coordinating Committee Co-Vice Chair, Port Authority Bus Operator, Member of ATU Local 85, and PPT Cofounder – Elected to lead 2012-14, Re-elected 2014-16, Re-elected 2016-18, Re-elected 2018-20, non-voting Emeritus Board Member 2020-2022, Re-elected to lead 2022-24
Teaira Collins, Hill District Resident, Disability Justice and Food Justice Advocate, Pittsburgh Commission on Human Relations Board Member – Elected to lead 2023-25
Verna Johnson, Lincoln-Lemington Resident, Disability Justice Activist, and PPT Board Chair- Elected to lead 2020-22, Re-elected 2022-24
Non-voting “Emeritus” Board Members
Jonah McAllister-Erickson, PPT Coordinating Committee Chair, Librarian and Friendship Resident – Served as Board Chair from 2010-2020
Cheryl Stephens, Community Organizer, Hired 2021
Growing up in Pittsburgh and an avid public transit rider, Cheryl has seen the developing landscape of transit and understands firsthand how access to transportation can have a life-changing impact on opportunity outcomes. Civic engagement, public outreach, and service to others run at the heart of her previous experiences, beginning with her as a resident assistant and serving as a senator in the Student Government Association in college. After graduating with bachelors degrees in History and Political Science from Penn State University, she worked as an organizer with NextGen America to increase young adult voter registration and electoral participation in State College, PA. In her free time, Cheryl enjoys going to the museum (any museum) and taking walks in the park.
Cheryl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Yablonsky, Digital Organizing Director, Hired 2018
After a drunk driver left him in a coma, hospitalized, and unable to walk for months, Dan became a committed advocate for the dignity of those who travel without a car. He worked for six years at BikePGH, where he started education programs, managed development, and mobilized communities to speak up for change in their streets. It was through the resident-led campaign to combat the Penn Plaza mass eviction that Dan got involved in housing justice issues. He works with PPT to center riders as leaders in campaigns for accessible transportation, affordable housing, public transparency, and our shared right to the city. Dan also loves to boogie down, so invite him out to a dance floor near you!
Dan can be reached at 551-206-3320 or email@example.com
Laura Chu Wiens, Executive Director, Hired 2017
Laura Chu Wiens has been a member of the PPT board since 2013 and involved in its resident campaigns to restore bus service to transit deserts. She assumed the staff position in June 2017. Laura has her roots in labor organizing with Unite HERE, and draws from her experience recruiting and training leaders in the service industry to mobilize transit riders in the fight for equity, access and transparency within our public agencies. Laura is Chinese-American, and believes in the collective power of people to transform their communities. In her free time, she sings with a jazz ensemble and plays with her two babes, Gabriel and Hazel.
Laura can be reached at (703) 424-0854 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicole Gallagher, Community Organizer, Hired 2023
As a person raised in a working-class, immigrant family in Chicago, public transit has been a vital part of Nicole Gallagher’s life from the get-go. She grew up hearing stories of how her grandmother learned to speak English on the bus and accompanied her mother on grocery runs, often helping with the arduous task of navigating a shopping cart full of groceries on the bus ride home. A proud waitress, Nicole spent nearly a decade organizing with the labor union, Unite Here. At any meeting, you’ll hear her sharing tales from her union-organizing experience at hotels in Chicago or the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. When she’s not sharing about work, find her telling true stories at local storytelling events around the city or out hiking in the woods with her dogs.