Gerry is the Executive Director of the Neuroscience Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. He works with faculty, students, and staff to strengthen brain research collaborations across multiple departments to accelerate neuroscience research and discovery. Before joining CMU, he helped launch two separate education technology companies in the Pittsburgh region. Gerry also worked at the Heinz Endowments for 13 years as Senior Program Officer for education grantmaking and was a legislative staff member for the late Senator John Heinz while living in Washington, DC. Gerry and his wife Samantha and their two children Nathan and Anna love watching films together. It’s a shared passion that inevitably leads to conversation, debate, and laughter.
Tracy founded NEXTpittsburgh and was publisher for seven years before selling the publication in December 2020. Her love of the community and arts is evident in NEXT which continues its strong focus in both areas. Tracy is now writing and acting as a communications consultant while serving on a strategic partnership and community engagement committee for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. She is also on the board of the Pittsburgh Glass Center and is a former board member of Contemporary Craft, Visit Pittsburgh and the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management. She and her husband Nick live on the bike trail along the Allegheny River and she loves to kayak, paddleboard and bike. She is also big on travel and has visited all 50 states and—so far—44 countries.
Jim Denova is an independent contractor working in education and community development. Previous positions include Vice President of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Executive Director of the Forbes Fund, Senior Program Officer with the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and Vice President of Research and Planning with the United Way of Southwestern PA. In addition to the Film Pittsburgh Board of Directors, he is on the Manchester Bidwell Board of Directors, Mon Valley Initiative Investment Committee, and Remake Learning Cabinet. Jim holds a PhD from the University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in social research.
Elaine Gelb, MD
Elaine Gelb has served on the board of Film Pittsburgh since her retirement in 2016 from a career of practicing medicine as a Medical Director of an outpatient medical practice. Through involvement with Film Pittsburgh, she has been able to merge her interests in social issues, global travel, and the arts. As chair of the planning committee, she has played an active role in developing the organization's strategic plan. In addition to film, Dr. Gelb enjoys horseback riding, playing piano, and attending theater and concerts.
For over forty years Norton Gusky has demonstrated in his teaching the power of technology as a tool for empowering kids, educators, and communities. Norton first worked as a classroom teacher, then as a technology coordinator. For the past ten years he has been an educational technology broker. He serves on the Board for Film Pittsburgh and for the Neighborhood Learning Alliance (NLA). Norton has taught both graduate-level and Osher courses in Pittsburgh.
Dennis Henderson is a dynamic educator and advocate of social justice who has impacted the lives of youth and families for over 20 years. Dennis has designed and implemented a variety of programs focusing on entrepreneurial skills, law-related education, environmental sustainability, robotics and multimedia. He currently serves as the Executive Director of Manchester Youth Development Center and as a lead consultant for X In A Box online educational platform.
Daryl Hutson is CFO at Navarro Design Associates, a residential design firm in Pittsburgh. He is a lover of film and believes in the power it has to change people’s lives. Daryl has served on the board of Film Pittsburgh since July 2019. He also serves as treasurer of the board of Touchstone Center for Crafts. Daryl also owns a farm in the mountains where he recently relocated. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University.
Aaron A. Leaman
Aaron Leaman has served as the Chief Investment Officer for Signature Financial Planning since 2005, where he oversees all aspects of portfolio management, research, trading and asset allocation for over a billion dollars in client assets. Aaron attended Syracuse University and Duquesne University, winning a national championship in collegiate debate. He serves as the Finance Chair for the Hillel JUC of Pittsburgh, and on the Investment Committees of many other local non-profits and religious organizations. In his leisure time, Aaron enjoys reading, time-lapse photography, and macroeconomic analysis. He and his wife Amy live in Squirrel Hill with their son Ian and their dog Teddy Burr.
Gino Anthony Pesi
Gino Anthony Pesi was born in Pittsburgh, PA and grew up with an affinity for sports and entertainment. After studying at Point Park College’s Conservatory of Performing Arts, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream. He has over 50 professional film and television credits as a multi-hyphenate storyteller. Highlights include a series regular on NBC’s Shades of Blue, opposite Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta. Recurring roles include OWN’s Ambitions, produced by Will Packer for Lionsgate, Dallas, The Vampire Diaries, 9-1-1, and Chicago P.D.. Feature film notables include 42, Battle: Los Angeles, The Fare and Takers. Pesi is currently recurring in an upcoming Marvel series and leading two features; First Shift, and The Obelisk. He is also an educator and created The Practice, a program designed to help aspiring artists cultivate their craft with a philosophy to prepare them to be real world ready.
Minette M. Seate
Minette Seate is a Supervising Producer at WQED Pittsburgh, as well as the host and producer of the weekly film series “Filmmakers Corner," now in its 12th season. She won Mid-Atlantic Emmys for her documentaries "Friends and Neighbors" and "The Good Fight." Her latest documentary, “Childhood Lost: The Adultification of African American Girls” sheds light on the practice and perception that Black girls are less innocent than their white counterparts. Minette is a proud product and supporter of Pittsburgh’s arts and media community and is also a member of the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation.
Rebecca Shapiro is an IT professional with extensive experience implementing information systems for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Her planning and management skills lend themselves to being part of a team, collaborating to accomplish common goals.Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Ms. Shapiro enjoys the culture of art, music and science the city has to offer. Her interest in film, and serving on the Film Pittsburgh board, encompasses all three. Rebecca’s yoga practice and support of the Zen Center of Pittsburgh provide grounding and inspiration in her daily life.
Erin oversees key revenue streams for WQED Multimedia, building relationships and collaborating with corporate, foundation and government partners to fund WQED’s work in the community. A recent transplant to public media, Erin joined WQED in October 2021 from a fundraising role with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Before transitioning into development, she held various positions in marketing and public relations, serving as communications director for The Washington Post’s new media subsidiary and account executive in charge of promotion for Discovery Channel’s flagship specials. After graduating from Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, her first job was driving the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile and promoting the brand as West Coast “hotdogger” (that is no boloney!).
Heather Tomko is the Outreach Coordinator at the National Center on Family Support at the University of Pittsburgh. Heather is an alumna of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. Heather serves on a variety of boards, including CLASS, The Andy Warhol Museum, and AT&T’s Advisory Panel on Access and Aging. She is the founder of Accessible YOUniverse, an organization focused on disability advocacy and education, and she served as Ms. Wheelchair USA 2018. In her free time, she runs a lifestyle blog, The Heather Report, where she shares about her life as a disabled woman.
Jessica Tomko received her B.S. in Music Therapy from Duquesne University in 2012 and her M.A. in Psychology from Chatham University in 2016. She has been working at Carnegie Mellon University since 2012 and is currently the Assistant Director of Admissions and co-chairs the Diversity Committee for the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She serves on the Andy Warhol Museum Board of Directors and is actively involved in community efforts to promote diversity and inclusion. Jessica enjoys traveling, finding cool coffee shops/cafes, attending live music and theater events, and making friends with stray animals.