University of Pittsburgh
August 19, 2009

Pitt Elects New Alumni Association Board Members

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh Alumni Association recently elected nine new members to its Board of Directors. Lisa Golden, John Racioppi, Frank Ruscetti, and James Hill were elected to the position of director at large. Haig Sakoian was elected as regional director for a two-year term, and Tim Pecsenye, Valerie Corbin Ketchen, Heather Harmon, and Gary Brownlee were elected as regional directors for a three-year term.

The positions carry a wide range of responsibilities, including serving as hosts at Alumni Association events and on Alumni Association committees.

Biographical information of the newly elected officials follows:

Lisa Golden is an emergency medicine physician with Westmoreland Emergency Medicine Specialists, P.C., in Greensburg, Pa. A 1993 graduate of Pitt with a BS degree from the School of Arts and Sciences, Golden is a member of the Alumni Leadership Council and Panther Club and cochair of the Scholarship Committee. She resides in Windbar, Pa.

John Racioppi is senior vice president of business development at Accept Software in Fremont, Calif. He received a BA degree in economics from Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences in 1979 and an MBA degree from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business in 1980. A member of Pitt's San Francisco Bay Area Alumni Club since 2000, Racioppi has served as club president since 2005. He represented the University at the inauguration of the University of California, Santa Cruz, chancellor in June 2008. He resides in Scotts Valley, Calif.

Frank Ruscetti is chair and president of Harvest Financial Corp. in Pittsburgh. He earned a BA degree at Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences in 1971. As an undergraduate, Ruscetti served as president of Sigma Chi Fraternity and is now a board member of the Sigma Chi Club of Pittsburgh. He established the Ruscetti Family Academic Incentive Award, which provides scholarships for students. He resides in Pittsburgh.

James Hill is vice president and senior investment manager of Oakmont Capital Management, LLC. He received a BS degree in political science from Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences in 1998. While at Pitt, Hill was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and served as Pitt's 1997 Homecoming King. Hill is a volunteer in the Pitt Career Network, participant in Pitt's Pathway to Professions, a member of Pitt's African American Alumni Council, and a mentor for Pitt's RISE program. He lives in Pittsburgh.

Haig Sakoian is the global director of Environment Health and Safety and Operations Audit with Alcoa Inc. Sakoian has earned three degrees at Pitt: a BS in biochemistry in 1975, an MS in industrial hygiene in 1979, and an MBA in 2004. Sakoian has served as a corporate-level sponsor for the University's Athletics programs. He resides in Pittsburgh.

Tim Pecsenye is a partner in the law firm Blank Rome, LLP, in Philadelphia. He received a BA degree from Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences in 1984 and a JD degree from Pitt's law school in 1987. A life member of Pitt's Alumni Association, Pecsenye is a 2003 Volunteer of Excellence Award recipient and is affiliated with the New Jersey Pitt Club and the Pitt Club of Greater Philadelphia. He served as cochair of the Eastern PA Regional Campaign for the University. He resides in Philadelphia.

Valerie Corbin Ketchen is senior government affairs representative for Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Camp Hill, Pa. She earned a BA degree in urban studies at Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences in 1981. Ketchen is regional representative for Pitt's African American Alumni Council in Central Pennsylvania, a member of the Alumni Legislative Network, and a PART volunteer. She hosts the freshmen send-off in the Central Pennsylvania area. Ketchen lives in Harrisburg.

Heather Harmon is channel development manager of The Topps Co., Inc., in New York City. She earned a BS degree at Pitt's College of Business Administration in 2005. Harmon is a Pitt Alumni Association Young Life Member, a member of the Pitt New York City Pitt Club, and a Pitt Career Network volunteer. She resides in New York City.

Gary Brownlee, former managing partner at New State Mortgage Co., is a real estate investor. He received a BA degree in economics from Pitt's School of Arts and Sciences in 1974 and an MBA from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business in 1978. An Alumni Association life member, Brownlee is a senior advisor on the Alumni Association Board and is treasurer of the Pitt Club of Chicago. He received the 2007-08 Volunteer of Excellence Award. He resides in Valparaiso, Ind.

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