Anne Flynn Schlicht

Anne Flynn Schlicht, MBS, Director, Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University provides business programs and services geared specifically to women and underserved populations, minority entrepreneurs and veterans throughout Western PA. Anne serves on several local and national non-profits boards and lends her time to organizations that empower women and girls.



Bridget Gaussa 

Bridget Gaussa is the Chief Operating Officer for Cribs for Kids, a national non-profit infant safe sleep education program headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With a background in property management and leadership her career expands over several industries including commercial real estate, construction, healthcare, environmental sustainability, warehouse and retail operations. She oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization, marketing efforts, and crib distribution programs serving families in need all over the country. She also serves as an advisory board member. 


Cally Jamis Vennare

As a results-oriented communications and marketing professional, Cally Jamis Vennare has impacted businesses of all sizes and industries, both nationally and internationally. For more than three decades, her work has successfully influenced publicly traded corporations, performing arts organizations, health & human services agencies, higher education institutions, early-stage growth companies, and entrepreneurs in music, art, and publishing. 

Prior to and since launching CJV Communications in 2000, Cally served as Senior Director of Marketing & Communications for Brevard Music Center Summer Institute & Festival, Manager of Corporate Communications for FedEx Ground, Director of Institutional Giving and Director of Public Relations for Pittsburgh Opera, Vice President of Communications for VueCom and Cost Containment Corporation, and Director of College Communications for Chatham University.


Child Health Association of Sewickley

Founded in 1923, the Child Health Association of Sewickley is an all-volunteer non-profit women's organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for children in Western Pennsylvania. Through charitable giving and volunteer service, the organization's mission is to nurture the whole child by supporting programs and services that directly address children's emotional, physical, educational, cultural and recreational needs. CHA funds several large organizations and small grass-roots organizations that are addressing the emerging critical needs of children. 


Colleen O'Donnell Fedor

Colleen O'Donnell Fedor is the Executive Director of The Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania, a leader in the local and national efforts to ensure that all young people have access to caring adults who can help them dream big and succeed. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Amachi Pittsburgh, WISE Pittsburgh and Books Bridge Hope; and serves on the Youth Advisory Committee of Partners4Work.

Colleen is a native Pittsburgher, a natural storyteller (as she grew up in a large Irish family)! 




Cheryl Peck Yakopec

Cheryl Peck Yakopec brings her compassion, experience and commitment to the Alle-Kiski communities. She is a lifelong resident of the area and has served as an attorney and district justice for 29 years. Cheryl has presided over 90,000 cases, initiated youth internships, and community service projects. She is a former public defender and law professor. 



Cribs For Kids

Cribs For Kids is a non-profit organization based in Hazelwood, Pennsylvania which provides safe sleep education and free cribs to families who qualify. Founder and executive director Judy Bannon is a collaborator and fellow author of Five Ladies and A Forklift. Cribs For Kids is an on-going sponsor of Passages & Prose literary events.


Diane Scabilloni

Diane Scabilloni's best description is Heart @ Home. She is an inspirational children's book author/Spiritual Creative along with being a mortgage banker at First National Bank. 


Gina Masciola

Gina Masciola is Managing Director of Education at WQED. She has managed and created several projects including the WQED Writers Contest, Inquire Within, IQ Smartparent, WQED SmartSchools, IQ Kids Radio, and Musical Kids. Gina has been invited to speak about her work with children and media at both the local and national level. She is currently a member of the Remake Learning Council, serving on the AIU3 Head Start Policy Council, Community Champion for the Pittsburgh Study, board member of Crafton Heights Community Pre-school and Vice-Chairman for the non-profit organization Books Bridge Hope. 


Jennifer Bannon 

Jennifer (Jennie) Bannon has been teaching English and language arts for almost 20 years and is in her eleventh year as a middle-school teacher at the Environmental Charter School. She is co-author with her mother Judy Bannon of the book Five Ladies and a Forklift, a memoir of Judy's role in launching the infant safe-sleep movement. Jennie has been a book editor for Passages & Prose, LLC since 2017. 


Joyce Wilk

The imaginative mind of heartwarming stories with strong heroines, sexy heroes and always a happy ending patiently waited on the sidelines of reality as Joyce Wilk made a career as a confidential administrative assistant for an international software development corporation. Now she combines her 40-plus years' experience in business with her passion for the written word as she independently publishes her novels under the pen name, J.D. Wylde, and serves as an emeritus advisory board member for Books Bridge Hope.


Tara Jo Pomatto-Morascyzk

Tara Jo Pomatto-Morascyzk is founder of Tranquility by TJ. She works to identify client problematic behaviors to assist in breaking barriers and giving support to client centered goals. 


Tiffany Costa

Tiffany Costa is the Sergeant of the Community Engagement Office of the Bureau of Police. Prior to serving as a police officer, Tiffany was a teacher and worked in community development and nonprofit sector. An Oberlin graduate with an M.Ed. from Slippery Rock University, she takes pride in her love of reading and newfound joy in writing poetry. 


Dr. Viola Agostino Valletta

As the owner of Chiropractic and Lifestyle Solutions, Dr. Viola Agostino Valletta  enjoys helping individuals through Natural Healthcare and considers volunteerism an important part of her 32-year career. Her education at the National University of Health Services includes a Bachelor of Science in Human Biology, a Doctorate of Chiropractic, and post-graduate education in orthopedics, neurology and nutrition. When she isn't busy helping others, you can find her with her husband, children, and goldendoodles enjoying a long walk in the mountains. 


WQED Education

WQED's educational programs for children offer free and effective education tools that can make dramatic differences in how children perform and achieve. Through television programs, multimedia toolkits, literary initiatives, and community collaborations, WQED programs ensure that "anytime" is learning time.