Since 2007, Audrey Russo has been serving the technology business sector for Southwestern PA as President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Tech Council (PTC), the oldest (1983) and largest technology trade association in all of North America. In order to ensure the original vision of a vital innovation and technology ecosystem, Audrey has used her role to facilitate strong interaction across all business sectors of the regional economy who will only succeed and grow through technology innovation and commercialization. With a background in information technology, operations and finance, Audrey previously worked for large multi-national Fortune 500 companies (Alcoa, Reynolds Metals), as well as at MAYA Design, and in an adjunct faculty and project role at Virginia Commonwealth University. Audrey believes that vital cities are the moral imperative in achieving competitive, diverse and vibrant economies, and the complexity of Pittsburgh’s physical, literal and metaphorical terrain, has been added to her list of loves over the past ten years.
Evette is a Lead Experience Designer at BCG Platinion specializing in DesignOps and product strategy. She works with multi-disciplinary teams to launch new products and improve existing ones by defining and prioritizing customer needs, business value, and technical feasibility. She translates qualitative and quantitative research findings into customer journey maps, prototypes, and user stories that support product teams and executive leadership. Evette's work has spanned across AdTech, MarTech, E-commerce, and Publishing. She has served as President of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators, the second-largest illustration society in the nation. Eve earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art & Design. She currently resides in Pittsburgh with her husband and two sons.
Darla J. Cravotta, a resident of the City of Pittsburgh, has 25 years' experience working in the non-profit and government sectors. Specific interests include project management, project development, organizing and planning. Over the years, Darla's worked on some very cool projects including the recent Green Roof on the County Office Building, the renovation and revitalization of the Carnegie Library system in Pittsburgh, trail development within the City of Pittsburgh (the Eliza Furnace Trail is considered her 2nd child), and trail projects within Allegheny County. Playgrounds, parks, communities and neighborhood development are of keen interest. Darla is a true believer in community engagement and the power of people and public libraries.
Traci Thomas is a Senior Design Strategist with a specialization in service design at BCG Platinion. Traci designs new and improves existing services that create value and memorable experiences for users and stakeholders. Her work has spanned a diverse range of industries including manufacturing, healthcare, hospitality, automotive, and cultural institutions. She follows a human-centered design approach rooted in problem framing, ethnography, co-design, and iterative prototyping. She coalesces her deep insights of the human experience with tangible recommendations at the intersection of the physical environment, information, and technology. Traci is passionate about evangelizing service design and community engagement; she currently serves on the board of two local non-profits in Pittsburgh, and was recently the co-chair of Service Design Pittsburgh. In 2015, she participated and facilitated a workshop “Service Design: The Future of Work” at the IXDC Conference in Beijing, China. Traci earned her Master of Design in Design Research and Strategy at the Institute of Design in Chicago.
Adam Paulisick is a Chief Product Officer at MAYA, a BCG Company and the president of cityLAB. Adam helps to create the Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable (MAYA, for short) products and services in a user-centered world. For large, often industry-leading, companies the number of up and coming challengers combined with talented but over committed teams lead to a constant need for better proof of concepts (PoCs) and minimal viable products (MVPs) before making major strategy changes or investments. My focus is on helping companies assess what platforms, people, and products they already have and using those building blocks with today's best technology and techniques to design AND build working prototypes that more often than not integrate back into legacy systems. Working in an agile manner, the design-build-test approach continues to prove that human-centered organizations return better for shareholders and create cultures that deliver value instead of simply managing it.