Passionate About Parks

Allegheny County Parks Foundation is led by professional staff with experience in raising funds and implementing projects to enhance the county parks. Most importantly, we are passionate about our parks and view them as regional assets to be celebrated and treasured.

  • Caren Glotfelty, Executive Director

    The Allegheny County Parks Foundation Board of Directors appointed Caren Glotfelty as executive director of the organization effective August 1, 2014.

    Caren is a strong advocate of the natural environment as represented by her past experience including:

    Senior Program Director of the Heinz Endowments Environment Program for 13 years, where she was responsible for managing a grant portfolio totaling $8-13 million per year, addressing issues such as community revitalization, environmental health, parks, trails and land conservation.

    Maurice K. Goddard Chair in Forestry & Environmental Resources Conservation at Penn State University for 5 years, and her work included teaching, research, outreach and leadership on topics and issues related to state and local environmental and natural resources policy.

    Deputy Secretary for water management in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources for 4 years developing and managing all state policy and regulatory programs related to water quality, sewage treatment, stormwater management, and stream protection. Glotfelty holds a bachelor's degree from the University of the Pacific, as well as a master's degree in regional planning form the University of Pennsylvania.

    Caren says "I am very honored to have been selected for this position and grateful for the confidence the foundation board members have in me to help lead this organization and move its mission forward. I am excited about this opportunity and look forward to jumping in with both feet and assisting the foundation and Allegheny County in reaching our shared goals for the future of our outstanding county park system."

  • Ronald C. Schipani, Capital Projects Manager

    Ron Schipani has a passion for the outdoors and promotes recreation as part of a healthy lifestyle.  Ron is a registered landscape architect with over 25 years of experience in project design and management, business management, and volunteer organization.  He is a native Pittsburgher and Pennsylvania State University graduate who has worked on park and recreation projects throughout his career including North Park trails, South Park trails, Settlers Cabin Park trails, Hampton Township Community Park, and Youghiogheny River Trail while in private practice as an owner with GWSM, inc. Landscape Architects and employed by Pennoni Associates Inc.

    Ron brings vision and an appreciation for good functional design to the Parks Foundation.  His expectations are high to restore, improve, and preserve the parks.  "Form follows function is a design motto to live by" said Ron, "and we need to make wise decisions for our park system as an investment for future generations to enjoy the legacy."

  • Barbara Brewton, Institutional Giving and Project Manager

    Barbara Brewton  is Institutional Giving and Project Manager responsible for coordinating and managing the organization's institutional development efforts and for managing environmental projects.  Barb believes in the value of nature, open space and recreation and is enthused that in Allegheny County, there is a park for everyone. Barbara has devoted her career to the non-profit sector in community development, higher education administration and most recently as environment program officer with the Heinz Awards. She earned her undergraduate degree in environmental science from the University of Virginia and holds a master's degree in public management from Carnegie Mellon University. Barb and her husband, David, love to bike, and they live in the Pittsburgh neighborhood of Oakland where she finds any opportunity get her hands in dirt. Barb volunteers with the community garden, is a certified Tree Tender and is active in her local church.

  • Caitlin Harpster, Development Manager of Individual Giving

    Caitlin Harpster is the Allegheny County Parks Foundation’s Development Manager of Individual Giving. Caitlin is enthusiastic about sustaining the environmental assets that are our shared green spaces, and feels strongly that parks are a place to explore, to learn, to recharge and reconnect with the world around you. Caitlin can oftentimes be found hiking, biking or camping the region’s parks and forests, or visiting a museum on rainy days. Additionally, she is an active member of Brookline Together, a registered community organization, serving on the Business Development and Beautification Committees. Caitlin joins the Parks Foundation after leading the Mattress Factory’s development team for the last three years.

  • Nicole Oeler, Project Manager, RLA, LEED GA

    Nicole joined the Parks Foundation in March 2019.  She is a registered Landscape Architect in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and is a LEED Green Associate.  Nicole has over 18 years of diverse experience in the field ranging from master planning, botanical garden design, land development, green infrastructure planning, community design, recreation design and teaching. Her love of nature, preservation of natural resources and the care and concern of the environment give her the passion and drive to provide environmentally responsible design solutions. Nicole loves being a landscape architect and getting to see how the spaces she creates positively impacts the lives of others.  It makes her proud to see people enjoying the many outdoor spaces she has worked on, especially when it is her own family.  In her spare time Nicole enjoys traveling with her family, especially the National Parks.  She graduated from the University of Kentucky (UK) where she rode on the UK Equestrian Team.  Nicole is very excited to be a part of the Parks Foundation where she gets to work on projects with design teams who share in the common desire to preserve and improve the environment for future generations.

  • Carole Smith, Communications and Marketing Manager

    As Communications and Marketing Manager, Carole Patton Smith is enthusiastic about sharing the stories that unfold everyday in the Allegheny County Parks and to encourage more folks to come out and enjoy them. A lifelong Pittsburgher, she worked at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 10 years as a staff writer, where she learned to appreciate the uniqueness of our region and the people who live here. She earned a Master’s in Fine Arts in nonfiction writing and most recently worked with the Heinz Awards program as a program officer in the Arts and Humanities. She “Loves the Loop” around North Park Lake and takes frequent walks there with her Golden Retriever. He’s eager to discover the trails in the other eight County parks with her.

  • Sue Kernick, Administrative Assistant

    Sue’s cheerful voice has answered the phones at the Parks Foundation since 2014, when the organization had just two employees. Now with seven staff members, Sue’s responsibilities as the administrative assistant have grown along with the non-profit. As a detail-oriented person with super powers in organization, Sue is a valuable asset to every facet of our work. Outside of the office, Sue has a long and cherished history with choral troupes, both as a singer and as a volunteer and has traveled internationally to perform several times. She also enjoys traveling in the US with her family, particularly taking in the beauty of our national parks. But any reason that gets Sue outdoors, sometimes on a bike or just walking, is a good one. 

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