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Peters Township Manager Will Be Featured Panelist

Michael Silvestri is scheduled to speak at the David. L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Southwestern Pennsylvania is faced with a multi-billion dollar price tag for clean water, transportation and redevelopment. Time has run out for band-aid approaches. But what are the sustainable solutions we deserve and how can we turn problems into lasting opportunity?

The Allegheny Conference on Community Development, Local Government Academy, and Sustainable Pittsburgh will host the 12th annual Southwestern Pennsylvania Smart Growth Conference - “Partnering for Prosperity: Business and Local Government in SWPA - Tackling Three Make or Break Issues on our Watch” on Thursday, Dec. 13 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Mario Leone, Manager, Borough of Monaca, and Dennis Yablonsky, CEO, Allegheny Conference on Community Development, will present a shared keynote discussion as well as a panel conversation with additional experts on the importance of business and local government working together to tackle these issues. In addition, the conference will feature three presentations, each followed by a moderated panel discussion of regional leaders and Q & A.  Following are the panel session lead presenters:

Transportation Funding - Beyond quick fixes
Barry Schoch, Secretary of Transportation, PA Department of Transportation

High Stakes Case for Green Infrastructure – What would you rather pay for?
Jim Good, Interim Executive Director, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (Veolia Water North America)

Innovative Finance for Urban Redevelopment - Smart growth or otherwise?
Michael Pehur, Development Finance Consulting Director, Duane Morris Government Strategies

Additional speakers include:
- Steve Bland, Port Authority of Allegheny County
- Lynn Colosi, Clear View Strategies
- Chad Davis, Michael Baker Jr., Inc.
- Dave Dudo, Beemack Trucking
- Craig Dunham, Dunham reGroup LLC
- Steve Feller, Mt. Lebanon
- Bill Gatti, TREK Development Group
- Steve Gifford, Greensburg Community Development Corporation
- Susan Hockenberry, Local Government Academy
- Joe Massaro III, Massaro Corporation
- Mark Minnerly, The Mosites Company
- Ruthann Omer, The Gateway Engineers, Inc.
- Michael Pehur, Duane Morris Government Strategies
- Mark Peluso, Town Center Associates
- Mary Ellen Ramage, Borough of Etna
- Allison Robinson, UPMC
- John Schombert, 3 Rivers Wet Weather
- Alex Sciulli, Highmark
- Michael Silvestri, Peters Township
- Mayor Maggie Stock, City of Butler
- Ken Zapinski, Allegheny Conference on Community Development

Regional sustainability, and thus prosperity, hinge on a new way of thinking and partnering for increased collaboration between businesses and local government. This conference comes at a critical juncture for southwestern PA. Clean water, transportation, and innovative finance for redevelopment are top priorities as defined by emerging and established leaders. 

Dennis Yablonsky, CEO of the Allegheny Conference, stated, “For our region to take advantage of the economic, environmental and quality of life transformation we’ve experienced over the last 30 years, we must have globally competitive infrastructure above and below ground. Working together through public-private partnerships is the way to make investment in infrastructure and in stronger communities happen.”

“Our region is structured to thrive based on high performing local government.  Tough economic times demand smart decision making and investments.  Accordingly, policies and practices of smart growth and sustainability are a growing common interest and are common ground for closer collaboration between business and local government.  With businesses and local government mutually dependant, working together is paramount” stated Mario Leone, manager of Monaca Borough.

Individuals are invited to attend to learn what is at stake and how to become involved. Those who might benefit from attending include individuals invested in the region's business, economic development, and community prosperity; business owners and leaders; economic development professionals; developers; bankers; real estate leaders; investors, policy leaders, community developers, planners, and federal, state, and local officials. Click here for more information and to register.

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