Eight inspiring women from the Pittsburgh area, two outstanding Girl Scouts, and Girl Scout community-champion corporation, FedEx Ground, were honored at our Pittsburgh Awards of Distinction luncheon on Friday, May 18 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Proceeds of this premier event support Girl Scouts’ mission to develop courage, confidence and character in girls and to inspire the next generation of young women to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Community & Nonprofit
Congratulations to Amy Hart, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Community & Nonprofit category.
Amy Hart is the president and chief executive
officer of the Center for Hearing & Deaf
Services, Inc. (HDS).
HDS is the region’s only non-profit agency providing comprehensive
services to people who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, or have
other communication needs. Her tenure at HDS has been known for
growth and innovation in programs and services.
Prior to coming to HDS, she was the director of community
relations at Mars Home for Youth and vice president of community
investments at United Way of Allegheny County. She was founding
executive director of the PA Service Corps, one of the original
national service demonstration projects, and was founding
executive director of PA Campus Compact. She also worked on the
Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Treatment Unit at St. Francis Hospital
and for the Collegiate YMCA of Pittsburgh.
Hart is known as an entrepreneurial leader who is effective at
building winning relationships and effective partnerships, as well
as supporting others in the field. She holds a master’s degree in
social work from the University of Pittsburgh, and a bachelor’s
degree from Duquesne University.
Entrepreneur & Small Business
Congratulations to Megan "Megs" Yunn, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Entrepreneur & Small Business category.
Megs Yunn is the founder and co-director of
Beverly’s Birthdays, a Pittsburgh-based nonprofit
organization that provides birthday cheer
for children experiencing homelessness and
families in need. Yunn started the organization
after meeting a young girl, Beverly, who shared with her that she had
never had her own birthday party or even her own slice of birthday
cake. Inspired by the story, Yunn submitted her idea for Beverly’s
Birthdays to the 2011 Scholastic Be BIG in Your Community Contest
and was named one of 10 first place winners. She received $2,500 in
January 2012 to start Beverly’s Birthdays. Now, six years later, Beverly’s
Birthdays has raised over $1.5 million, and Yunn and her team of
five full-time staff members, a 13-member board of directors, and
hundreds of volunteers/donors, have worked together to celebrate
more than 25,000 children’s birthdays. Beverly’s Birthdays and Yunn
were recently recognized on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and
on PEOPLE.COM for the inspiring work their team is doing to spread
joy, cheer, and laughter for so many deserving children. Yunn is a
Pittsburgh Magazine 40 under 40 recipient and was named by Next
Magazine as one of five people “Making Pittsburgh a Happier Place.”
Outside of Beverly’s Birthdays, Yunn has served as an adjunct
instructor at Point Park University in the communications
department. She has a bachelor of arts degree in organizational
communications from Marietta College and a master of business
administration from Point Park University. Yunn is passionate about
youth programming, servant leadership, and working with children
in vulnerable communities.
Prior to starting Beverly’s Birthdays, Yunn did a term of service as
an AmeriCorps volunteer and ran a character development program
with adjudicated youth.
Yunn truly believes that we are all here on this earth to make a
difference and to help one another. When asked about Beverly’s
Birthdays and the work they are doing, she always says “I just want
to dump birthday glitter on the city of Pittsburgh.”
Yunn and her husband, Mike Yunn, reside in Irwin and are the proud
parents of three beautiful children—Wyatt, Lincoln, and Sadie—with
their fourth son born just recently.
Government & Law
Congratulations to Maurita J. Bryant, recipient of the 2018 Women of Distinction Award in the Government & Law category.
Maurita J. Bryant is serving in her 40th year of
law enforcement. After serving 39 years with
the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, she retired
in May of 2016, as the assistant chief of the
Investigations Branch. She joined the Allegheny County Police
Department in June 2016 and currently serves as the assistant
superintendent for the Uniform Division.
She is a 1970 graduate of George Westinghouse High School,
and received her master’s degree in criminal justice from Point
Park University, where she served as an adjunct professor.
Superintendent Bryant is a 2004 graduate of the 218th session
of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and has
taught numerous criminal investigations and terrorism courses
Throughout her career, she has been passionate about issues
impacting the victimization of women and children. She is
most proud of serving as the executive director for a teenage
intervention program called Save Our (little) Sisters (SOS); being
the facilitator for the Bureau’s Moms and Cops program; serving on
the executive boards for Gwen’s Girls, Pittsburgh Child Guidance
Foundation, Birmingham Foundation, YES program, NOBLE,
Standing Firm, Greater Pittsburgh Business and Professional
Women, Inc.; and most of all for having two daughters, four
grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
This is the first of four installments published in recognition of the 2018 Women of Distinction and the Girl Scout Honorees.