Meet Our Team

Joey-Linn Ulrich


Joey-Linn Ulrich, a native Pittsburgh resident, has over 25 years serving in the nonprofit sector with a significant amount of that time working in organizations that connect people with the outdoors. She is excited to continue work in this sector as the incoming Executive Director for the Allegheny County Parks Foundation.

She has most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Mon Valley Initiative and prior to that, served as the Executive Director of Economic Development South. In these roles, she is most proud of her work in helping to address healthy food access by ensuring the Produce Marketplace, a nonprofit grocery store located in Clairton, continued growth as a new model for healthy food access. She also served as the Executive Director of Venture Outdoors and spent six years with the Girl Scouts organizations where she advanced efforts in outdoor recreation and education for program participants as well as lead efforts to improve the business and technology components of each organization to support new program growth.

When not working, Joey-Linn enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. She often can be found in the early weekend mornings, stealing time with friends hiking, biking or kayaking, depending on the time of year, in our region’s parks and waterways.

She has an undergraduate degree in Public Administration from Slippery Rock University and a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Carlow University. Learn more about Joey-Linn!

Barbara Brewton

Institutional Giving and Project Manager

Barbara Brewton believes in the value of nature, open space and recreation and is enthused that in Allegheny County, there is a park for everyone. She 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 volunteers with the community garden, is a certified Tree Tender and helped to plant more than 20 street trees in her Oakland neighborhood.

Theresa L Esseny

Office Assistant

Theresa has been the Office Assistant for the Allegheny County Parks Foundation since December 2022 and is dedicated to providing clerical support to the Foundation’s team. Previously she was employed with the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The Allegheny County region has always been home. Currently she serves on the Board of Directors for Pearl’s Serenity House, a nonprofit facility that provides safe housing for women in recovery from addiction. In her free time she enjoys camping and strives to take advantage of the area’s bike trails. She admires the beauty of nature and feels that life is better in hiking boots. She hopes all who visit our parks experience the unique charms they offer.

Jaime Filipek

Marketing and Communication Manager

Jaime is a native Pittsburgher who joined the team in 2022 with 13 years of experience working in local nonprofits. She obtained her undergraduate degree from West Virginia University in History and Communications and her master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh in Library Science, with a specialization in Archives, Preservation, and Records Management. Jaime is enthusiastic about women’s sports, photography, traveling, fitness, reading and music and she is also a two-time National Champion in women’s rugby. Jaime is passionate about mental and physical health and wants to work to ensure that our parks are safe, fun and inclusive spaces for all.

Caitlin Harpster

Individual Giving Manager

Caitlin Harpster 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 to reconnect with the world around us. Caitlin can oftentimes be found hiking, biking or camping the region’s parks and forests, or visiting a museum on rainy days. Additionally, she serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Radiant Hall, a local arts nonprofit. Caitlin joined the Parks Foundation after leading the Mattress Factory’s development team.

Kait Merry

Development and Marketing Coordinator

Kait Merry believes in the advancement of equity in public spaces and comes to the Parks Foundation with a commitment to ensuring that everyone feels that they belong in our county parks. Kait has been devoted to the nonprofit sector since receiving a Master of Public Administration and Policy, where she focused her studies on women’s representation in the public sector. When she isn’t working, Kait enjoys getting outside and biking with her wife, hiking the South Park trails with their two dogs, and serving as the world’s best assistant for their home renovation projects.

Nicole Oeler

Project Manager, RLA, LEED GA

A registered Landscape Architect in Pennsylvania and West Virginia and a LEED Green Associate, Nicole joined the Parks Foundation in 2019.  She brings more than 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 drive her 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. Nicole graduated from the University of Kentucky (UK) where she rode on the UK Equestrian Team.

Ronald C. Schipani, RLA

Project Director

Ron Schipani is a registered landscape architect with more than 25 years of experience in project design and management, business management, and volunteer organization.  The native Pittsburgher and Pennsylvania State University graduate has worked on park and recreation projects throughout his career including trails in North Park, South Park and Settlers Cabin Park, as well as 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, along with a commitment to investing in our parks “for future generations to enjoy the legacy.”

Kathy Yandura

Administrative Manager

Kathy Yandura joined the Foundation in late 2021 and is excited to have an opportunity to play a role in making the Allegheny County Parks more sustainable and enjoyable for the community.  She has a diverse background in office administration, communications, event planning, and nonprofit public relations and development, and has also represented both Alcoa Foundation and Emerson Charitable Trust in the local communities. Most recently, Kathy worked in the financial industry.  She is eager to provide excellent administrative and customer services to keep the Foundation operating efficiently. Outside of work, Kathy and her family enjoy camping, walking for exercise, and spending time outdoors.