University of Pittsburgh
June 13, 2014

Pitt Nominating Committee Advances Two New Trustee Candidates

Tritch nominated for re-election as board chair; Tansky Blum nominated as chair-elect
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The Nominating Committee of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees today advanced Jane Bilewicz Allred (A&S ’71) and James P. Covert (A&S ’91) as new candidates for membership on the board.

In addition, Stephen R. Tritch (ENGR ’71, BUS ’77G), retired chair of Westinghouse Electric Co., was nominated for re-election as chair of the Pitt Board, and Eva Tansky Blum (A&S ’70, LAW ’73) was nominated as chairperson-elect.  In that capacity, she will become chair upon completion of Tritch’s term in June 2015. Blum is executive vice president and director of community affairs for PNC Bank and chair and president of The PNC Foundation.

Morgan K. O’Brien, president and CEO of Peoples Natural Gas Company LLC, was nominated for re-election as vice chair.

“These recommendations will strengthen our already outstanding Board of Trustees,” said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. “The University has benefited from its contributions in the past and will continue to benefit from the wisdom and insights of its members as Pitt moves through the coming transition in leadership.  As I have repeatedly stated, much of the progress that we have accomplished over the past 19 years has been done with the untiring support and involvement of the members of the Board of Trustees, and I am personally grateful for the assistance they have provided me over the years as well as for all the ways in which they have assisted in forging Pitt’s remarkable record of progress, achievement, and impact.”

Nominated for re-election to the Pitt Board as trustees were: Mary Ellen Callahan (A&S '90), partner in Jenner & Block, LLP; Robert M. Hernandez (A&S '66), retired vice chair and chief financial officer of USX Corp.; Terrence P. Laughlin (BUS '81G), president, Strategic Initiatives, for Bank of America; F. James McCarl (CGS '73), president of the McCarl Group; Keith E. Schaefer (A&S ’71); William E. Strickland, Jr. (A&S '70), president and chief executive officer of the Manchester Bidwell Corp.; John A. Swanson (ENGR ’66G), president of Swanson Analysis Services, Inc.; and Sam S. Zacharias (A&S ’64), principal of Gateway Financial Group, Inc.

Biography of Jane Bilewicz Allred
Allred, the retired president of Allred Marketing, Inc., a business-to-business technology marketing company, is an active and committed Pitt alumna. She is the immediate past-president of the Pitt Alumni Association serving on its Board since 2008 and is a community representative to the Institutional Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees and a member of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors.

Allred began her marketing career as director of communications for a Pittsburgh-based association management firm. Her growing expertise with advanced technologies resulted in several years as a special technology project manager for Fortune magazine. She advanced to vice president of Stiegler & Wells (now SWB&R), a prominent Eastern Pennsylvania ad agency, and several years later she founded Allred Marketing, Inc., in the technology-rich Phoenix, Ariz., area.

After 20 years of solid growth, Allred Marketing’s digital business was sold to an international firm in 2004. She joined Brighton Agency, Inc., as senior vice president in 2005 where she was responsible for advanced technology business development.

Allred is the recipient of Pitt’s 225th Anniversary Medallion and recently received the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award from the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences. She established the Allred Endowed Writing Fund that supports the University of Pittsburgh Writing Center in promoting writing throughout the curriculum.

Biography of James P. Covert
Covert joined the Institute for Transfusion Medicine as the president and chief executive officer in May 2007. In this position, his responsibilities include the Institute for Transfusion Medicine and its entities, which include the Central Blood Bank in Pittsburgh. The organization also includes the Centralized Transfusion Service, serving hospitals in the Pittsburgh and Chicago area; ITxM Diagnostics and Creative Testing Solutions, a donor testing joint venture with Blood Systems, Inc.; and One Blood.

Through his efforts, an important partnership was established between ITxM and Pitt to conduct clinical research to further understand blood and blood disorders and to create opportunities for new or more effective treatments. The Vascular Medicine Institute at the University was founded in 2008 with the support of ITxM.

Covert has more than 23 years of experience in health care sales, marketing, and acquisition initiatives, working for organizations such as Baxter International, Caremark, Horizon/CMS Healthcare Corporation, HealthSouth Corporation, and Keystone Strategies, LLC, a health care consulting group he founded in 2000.

Covert is vice-chair of the National Blood Foundation and is an active director on the Boards of The Institute for Transfusion Medicine, The Blood Science Foundation, The Hemophilia Center of Western Pennsylvania, Creative Testing Solutions, Hospice Compassus, Inc., and The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins.

Covert was a 4-year letterman and two-time All-America selection at Pitt.  He was elected to the National Football Foundation College Football Hall of Fame class of 2003 and was a first-round pick, sixth overall, by the Chicago Bears, where he played from 1983-1990 and was an All-Pro tackle and team captain.