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TechVibe Radio Talks to the Shale Insight Conference and ATHENA Recipients

Interview by Jonathan Kersting


TechVibe Radio is back on air at ESPN 970 AM every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. On this broadcast get more details on the Shale Insight 2020 Conference and learn who won the 2020 ATHENA Awards.




This is Techvibe Radio broadcasting from the Huntington bank Our sponsors help us geek out a special thanks to sea level at C hyphen PNC My benefit benefit 321 blink at 321 chorus called copy sdlc partners at sdlc Tech five radio is hosted by the Pittsburgh technology Council's Audrey Russo and Jonathan Kersting. Buckle up your seat belts. Here's your front row seat to Pittsburgh tech sector and beyond. So happy to be bringing the tech vibe radio this Saturday morning.


This is Jonathan Kersting and this is Audrey Russo. Audrey, I love being on air with you. It is so much fun, and we had a little break. And now we are back on our new channel our new signal here on ESPN 970 bringing you some really great stories what's happening in Pittsburgh State Community beyond that's for sure. We're here to talk about maybe some things happen in Pittsburgh, but how it's affecting the world. Exactly. Yes. Today is Dave Spiegel Meyer.

Yes. Are you Dave?

I'm doing great. Adrienne. JOHN, I'm glad to be with you.

Yeah. What you do? And then let's talk about what's coming up.

Yeah, I have the honor of serving as the president of Marcellus Shale Coalition for the last seven years, in been able to watch, you know, Energy and Natural Gas kind of transform our region, I think we've gone from a period of producing about a quarter of Pennsylvania's natural gas a decade ago to now producing 20% of America's natural gas. And wow, a really big deal for consumers. When you think about back in 2008, we were paying record high prices for natural gas. And I know our local utilities here in western Pennsylvania, those commodity rates with 70% less than what they were a decade ago. So that's a big deal. And it means a lot for those that may not have a lot of extra income to be able to afford energy. So that's been transformative. And we're now starting to see some downstream manufacturing, and some growth take place in our region. From a jobs perspective, we're going to talk about that in our upcoming conference here at the end of the month, the shale insight conference, it's like your 10th. One, it's getting like to a record number, isn't it?

It is john. So it'll be a little different. Because we were gonna do this one, under a virtual authority, then that may enable us to get in to reach some audiences that we weren't able to reach before. So we're excited about that.

And this is right around the corner, September 29. through October 1, this is happening. I mean, it is upon us.

Yeah, it sure is. I mean, we kick off on the 29th of September with some really strong programming around, you know, around the downstream use of natural gas and natural gas liquids. We've got that presidency of the Chemical Industry Council, the plastics industry association, the CEO of lanxess. And that session will be moderated by the president, CEO of the Pennsylvania Chamber of business and industry gene bar. So we're really excited about that, we'll get an update from Hilary Mercer on shells development. And many of you know, we've got an investment of north of seven or $6 billion dollars and more than 7000 employees, building trades men and women in our region that are active in in building a world class petrochemical complex, just west of the Pittsburgh airport. So what I'm hopeful is that we see in the future, not not this last three decades of writing a victory for manufacturing, but a new birth and all made possible for what's going on there.

I think so too. Are you seeing any, any evidence of reshoring downstream? Are you seeing any movement?

Yeah, it's a really good question. But I guess it's a little over a month ago, we had a strong piece of legislation passed in Pennsylvania, which I think kind of put the stamp on approval of a couple of major projects. They're not necessarily right in our backyard, but one of them is a a fertilizer plant in Central Pennsylvania Clinton County, just west of State College, that many of our men and women our trades will help to help to build to your Ria plant and and we have another natural gas, the methanol plant that's been cited, it looks like in the Hazleton area. So those are two plants that have all come to fruition here in the last month or so, and looks really positive and they're all built around the affordability and abundance of natural gas. So that's pretty cool. And we also have Senator Toomey and Senator Manchin. There'll be gauging this conference, we've got the Secretary of Energy. We've been given some promises. I can't. Yeah, firm stamp on it. But it looks like we may have another address from the President and the Vice President, the former vice president. candidate for President Biden, would you have all said that they'd like to provide addresses for us on the last day of October one?

Yeah, you guys always pull a big thing off like that? So I'm hoping that you're maybe that's gonna happen. That's cool.

If people want to know more about this, what's where would they find it?

Yeah, you just type in shale insight in your search engine, it'll come up right away, you can get registered up for the conference be a really good deal. You know that. The great part about this conference that we've had now for 10 years, as john mentioned, it not only is these broader topics, you know that that provide our General Sessions, but we have really strong technical come as a component to our conference, things like the legal challenges associated with better pipeline projects, geohazards slips and pipeline development, asset acquisition issues, water and waste and things like that, that really, like the rubber hit the road. So that's really cool. And we've got Penn State engaged. This time, we have all our labor leaders engaged in the conference, it should be a really strong program for our guests.

Great stuff to go to shale, you can register there. It's a four day event. And there's all types of crazy sessions and you got to keep your eyes peeled because there could be some presidential candidates stopping by, which is pretty exciting stuff. Yeah, that's for sure. JOHN, I really appreciate you guys giving me a chance to talk a little bit about it. You guys have always been a huge supporter of ours, this one say thank you.

Absolutely. couldn't be more happy to have you on there. And we're looking forward to it as well. And thanks for being here. Dave, you're the best.

Thanks, guys. Have a great day.

Audrey, I'm really pumped up because we got so much more tech vibe coming in front of us. You know, a couple weeks ago, we had the Athena awards. It was virtual, just like the shaylen site was gonna be because that's what we do in this day and age. And we are excited to have the two winners stop by today to talk about their life stories. And we have done by Dr. Angela Reynolds, who is the CEO of the YWCA greater Pittsburgh and jornais. Her and Davis who's with sisters lifting as we climb, stopping by to really fantastic women, Audrey, I cannot wait to learn more about their stories, and everything like that. We're taking a quick break. We're coming right back with more tech five radio. This is Jonathan Kersting.

And this is odd for you. So learn more about us at the Pittsburgh Technology Council by going to PGH And once again, shale insight at shale. See you later. Dave, you're the best.

Thank you guys appreciate it.

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You're listening to tech vibe radio coming at you from the Huntington bank A tech five sponsors include c leveled PNC Bank, my benefit advisor, three to one blink course called compumedics and sdlc. Partners. Here are your hosts, the Pittsburgh technology Council's RG Russo and Jonathan Kersting. Getting ready to geek out with you ASAP. Welcome back to tech vive radio, I promised we'd be back in it. We got some fantastic guests in front of us they couldn't be more pumped to have our guests with us all our Athena award winners this year, it's the first time the tech council put on the Athena awards, big deal for us. event and man it was I think even better than having in person possibly.

Okay, so I'm I just want to jump in, I'm just gonna set the table really nice. Because I'm very I'm very honored. The fact that the tech council assumed a role of supporting Athena really meant a lot to me and the organization, we wanted to make sure that we honored the legacy of the work of 23 plus years that these awards have been going on in the city of Pittsburgh, and we're part of Athena International, actually, when we took over the awards, we met with Athena International, just to really understand and make sure that we were doing the service that we needed to do in terms of this kind of work. We don't take this lightly. And I've got to tell you that I'm a better person for having been a part of this a tiny little part of this because I got a chance to hear a lot of stories and really listen to a lot of women and you're gonna get a chance to talk to our two winners. And listen to about what their worlds are, and the kind of work that they do and the kind of giving that they give in their whole lives not just in the work and in the job assignment, but the whole life. Yep, in their whole lives. So I want it right now I want to just introduce both of them. And then I'm going to jump in, and we're going to have a conversation where they're going to talk about themselves. And so the Athena award winner, the overall winner is Dr. Angela Reynolds. And she is at the helm of the white, WC a, and she has quite a, you know, a legacy of work that she's done. And then after we introduce and have a conversation a little bit with Angela, we're going to talk with Shar ne her and Davis, who is also our theme, a theme winner, but for under the age of 35. They've shown Athena Athena young Athena. I like to think of myself as under the age of 35. So I was just trying to play with it a little bit. Because really, what's a number? After all, it's whose life you touch and make better. And so Angela, welcome. Thank you for joining us today. And let's talk talk a little bit about who is Angela?

Wow, that's a loaded question. It probably depends on the day, right.

Like Saturday morning, who is who is Angela on Saturday morning?

Yeah, so Saturday morning, right. So. So it's interesting. There's the the who I am and the what I do. And so people usually associate me with what I do as CEO of YWCA greater Pittsburgh, and prior to that I was at United Way over financially struggling families programs in 211. And then was an academic for 12 years at the University of Pittsburgh. So you add all that up, I'm clearly not 35. Under several decades under me, but what I will say is I'm, I'm a, I'm a wife, and a mother and a daughter. And so what's really interesting right now, in this time of coded is I have, this is, you know, coming up on Saturday morning, but I have a sixth grader who is in my home, and I have three adult children. So I'm a mother of four, my 11 year old is my second time around her. And then I also have my 80 year old mother living with me. So when you talk about that sandwich, you know, I'm on the inside of the sandwich. Right? And and so what does that mean? And then, on Saturdays, I'm getting ready to be a praise and worship leader from my church, and, you know, Director of our border Christian education. So there's a lot of that that comes into who I am. But then also that carries over into what I do. And I would say one of the greatest things has been able, has been the ability to be able to actually work in something that I'm passionate about, to be able to help people and be out there. And while I'm not on the front lines, my team, they're on the front lines, but as we're responding to people in need, and, you know, we could, you know, talk for hours about what we've been able to see just since February, right on when COVID hit and everything that's been going on, but to be in a position to be able to give back as part of my job. Amazing.

Well, listen, I, you know, the selection process for this is taken very, very seriously. There's a team, if you don't know anything about the Athena awards in Pittsburgh, there's a team of about 30 people that take this job very, very seriously. And they review every application, talk to people who know, but you know, the finalists, when they finally get to the finalists. And they they really hash out what they're looking for in terms of a finalists and who they want to celebrate. So that the fact that you can make it through that journey through people who have who have 60 eyeballs, and are really pretty passionate about making sure that the right person sort of represents the region, I was floored by the amount of pride that they take and their own excitement in selecting it. So it's and I know that when we had the awards, you were very, you you actually did a did a quote from them from the New Testament. And I've heard sense that it really resonated with people and in terms of who you are at work and not necessarily just the person who you just described on Saturday.

It was actually it was actually from the old but but yeah,

okay, yeah. Okay. And it was which which, for which was it verse mica?

My to chapter six, verse eight,

right? And I set a tear through that, and it was very moving because your authenticity shows through, and it shows through on that date. So let's just jump over to sharni Hearn Davis, who is a young Athena. And thank you so much, Renee, I know that you are working to hopefully complete your PhD, as well. Right? We have two people who are academically very proficient. Yeah, sure. Nate, tell us a little bit about surname.

Yes. I'm currently pursuing my EDB at Duquesne University in a school educational leadership. This is a question that now as a celebrate being 10 years out from undergrad where I really struggled with within an impish year, like Angela stated, a lot of people know me for name recognition for my work, but not for who Chardonnay actually is. And as I continue to transition, now, being a mother of a one year old, I'm in that season I read the finding who Shawnee actually is. So I am an epic servant leader. I am a mother. Now, that is my priority. I am a wife. I am a student, right, a lifelong learner, of African American History. I am a woman who strives to be God led and everything that I do. So on my journey, my family and some of my friends, and then never truly understood why I felt that responsibility to give back to the community the way I did, but I was being tried to stay attuned to that spiritual calling for my life that my life was bigger than, than just me.

It's really remarkable. It's really remarkable that where you are just in the time that you've been on this Earth right now that you've actually embraced that, and been able to live that I've seen a lot of comments that people have made about you, Sean a. And they've actually said that these are older people who have said that what they have learned more from you, and terms of how you've acted, and how you've served, and perhaps others. And it was definitely as well a hard choice for the committee. But it was resounding with passion that they thought that you being a servant leader and the work that you've done to date. And what is authentic about jornais actually, is a few stuff that once people get to know you, they see that. So I'm I'm just sort of conveying what the, you know, the committee said, and how strong that they felt.

Thank you for sharing that I'm sitting here listening and getting chills. It's one thing to do that. But to say that that is positive perception is super humbling to hear.

No, it is and you being you know, a mother, and having the responsibility of trying to juggle all that while you're finishing trying to accomplish your academics are, are very noteworthy and inspirational. So thank you for sharing that. And I thank you for being so candid. So you got to ask them, How did it feel the when I first got to know that?

It was it was so much fun seeing you guys give your acceptance speeches and holding the emotions back and I just had a few.

And I'm still trying to process it. I'll be honest with you, I did not expect to win the award. I have great admiration for not only many of the nominees, but particularly for the other finalists. I've watched their work, I've seen what they've done in the community and, you know, wish that there were a way that we all could have one right and so coming to this place of just I don't see myself as special at all. I'm again, just very fortunate in terms of being able to be where I am. But I also know I didn't get here on my own that there are many people who have poured into my life and the are women who are who were part of the finalists as well.

Definitely. How about you shine a

Yeah, and I will follow up to do the same but so I would definitely have to acknowledge my husband during this time because we will begin to have those conversations and he started to say, Well, you know, everyone's congratulating you but you're Still like shrugging off like this is nonchalant. Like what? I'm being humble like this nominated I didn't receive it, it's not very yet he was like, What do you want it, um, and literally 11pm at night, the possibility kicked in prior to of that this is actually possible before your life and if you want to you have to be prepared may not never ever get another chance, you know, so are you going to be prepared. So when you go back to my speech and starting off with sharing that when I didn't prepare ahead, right, and for thinking about something as to come and how the once again, the responsibility of if awarded it, but also making sure that I was prepared for the moment. So when I see my name on a screen, I actually want to shop, I felt like I thought the thing like oh, shoot is here, you know, speak, I'm thinking that somebody else is gonna say something before I hit the target. So there was that little that period of delay, but like it said, I'm definitely still processing it

did a wonderful job, that's for sure. I just wanna remind our listeners that we are talking to the female award winners, Dr. Angela Reynolds of the YWCA insurance a her and Davis of sisters lifting as we climb network. So I'm gonna get back into this because,

I mean, listen, here's, here's the thing, the way that we look at it at the tech Council is that it's not even just today, it's going to be from now on. And we are going to figure out lots of ways to continue to shine the spotlight on both of you. Because I think it's just not just, you know, a one day award, and in a moment, and it was definitely emotional. And it's definitely, you know, so well spirited, but we want to, we want the world to know about who the two of you are, and the work that you've been doing. So you're going to have to shake off a little bit of that humbleness. And we're gonna have to allow us to indulge a little bit, right. And we want to help lift you. And that's really near and dear to my heart in terms of supporting other people. But it's also part of the mission of the tech Council is to make sure that we're shining the light, because that's the only way that doors continue to open and other people can see what's possible. So you prepared for

that. Say, Thank you. Be prepared, but as Christie like to say, get ready to jump off the edge.

Right? Yeah,

yes, as long as you're prepared for me to lift others in the process, I've had the opportunity to work with Chardonnay. And I will say that she is a fantastic worker, a fantastic woman, just a great contribution to the city of Pittsburgh into our region, I'm so happy that she's here and again to win the young Athena, and just know that her future is ahead of her. And so when I said that I would be her accountability partner as I know how hard it is. And so I'm here to lift you up. And I just want you to know that so

thank you don't have any crime again.

I like the fact she has an accountability partner. That sounds pretty, very cool. Like what

does that mean to be an accountability partner? What does that mean?

It's someone who is in your corner for what you are striving to do. Right? And so it's just it's it, it means our nation has to put it out there. So she put it out there in front of everybody, you know, words, to say, Look, I've got the rest of this process. So once she puts it out there, and there are people who come around her or the cheerleaders were the shoulders to cry on. We're also the honesty people to say, you know, there is going to be that moment where you're going to be like, why did I spend all of these years getting this doctorate, and there's a reason and a purpose for it on the other side. So and that also means you might get a call at 930 10 o'clock, and sorry, I go to bed at nine might be a late call, but I'm here for you and I and I mean that Chardonnay because I've been there, I know what it means. I

definitely say thank you. I'm in front of everybody. But what I want is with that as well, from my aim of being a stepping accountability partner is being open to hear that critical feedback, right. So being able someone to see your blind spots and say sharna Yes, you may be young Athena, but you don't have it all together. This is where you need

to work on and continue to become improved. That becomes a better person that we all know you can be. And I think that's what that's another piece that was considered in the in the actual selection process. What does it mean to be Be humble. And what does it mean to to open up your heart and your mind to others? Because very often people sometimes, you know, get to different places, and they aren't that open. I think that's one of the things that we look for in the Athena winners is how open so you know, and how receptive you can be. And I think, Angela, you're saying it, right. It's, at least to me, it is about lifting others with you. And people very often tend to forget that. And they don't mean it. But sometimes it just happens because we forget. And we forget that none of us do any of our work alone. And none of us do. So what was it like at the at home work? Angela, when you when you won? What was it like was your mother watching or the kids watching? Like my

daughter was in school, but my,

my mother and my husband were watching on the TV. I've spoken about this before people know that my mother has dementia. So she's she just thought I was on television. And in the moment, just really relished it. I mean, it's challenging because now she stopped not recalling. Right. But to have her in that moment. Magical. It really was. That's,

that's really awesome. And what about on your end for me?

Yeah, so I was at my mother's house, and she was watching my daughter. So they ended up leaving, I didn't have any distractions. Little Sister, I need to stop home and my little sister but she is but now she's a grown woman herself. She's 21. So she was on the couch like watching this admit know that she was recording me from the other end.

Oh, you got to send us that footage. That'd be kind of fun


And then my husband he was at our house. But he said that he was watching but his he couldn't figure out the sound in silence. So so if you go back, he was there making comments where he couldn't hear anything he was like, but I was trying to read your comments. And they looked like he was right. He says just that I was just falling. And after a while you can get the gist of what's going on. I was like, that sounds just like

great stuff. We got to wire this thing up Time Is Flying. We're having fun, just a quick takeaways as far as like moving forward, how we can can continue to make sure that we can recognize you know, women who are accomplishing great things. Well, you guys have done so far. And

I just want to say, Angela, you

just want to say thank you for the videos, I cannot wait to go back and to rewatch the replay of everything. Like I'm saying here, Kitson, you know, reach out to Allison, let me know when the videos are done. So I could go back because all of the women this year dominated those videos were amazing and powerful. program was fantastic. Because that in to get more people to see what can be done on a little budget, and then with Google heart, with the right people at the table, and how can

how you do a virtual event. It was phenomenal.

Well, we were quite pleased. Yeah.

We've really learned that over these last few months.

We are just a 37 year old, scrappy startup that's constantly pivoting so that we can make sure that we're relevant. And we were thrilled every time we do one of these. It's nail biting. And but I tell you, I slid right into into relaxation mode, the minute we started, and I was just so moved by some of these women that are here. It actually gives me hope for Pittsburgh in a period of time, where I'm mixed about the future. It gave me like a day to say we're gonna be stronger.

I love it. Good stuff. I can think of a better way to end the show. Thank you so much for being part of this. Once again, we were talking to Dina award winners, Dr. Angela Reynolds. And sharni Davis, you guys are the best. This has been tech via radio. Keep tuning in every single Saturday here at eight o'clock on ESPN 970. Or go right over to your favorite podcast platform and download us at your will. This is Jonathan Kersting and this is Audrey with the Pittsburgh tech Council. Learn more about us at PGH Thanks for listening to tech vibe radio coming at you from the Huntington bank studios. And thanks to our sponsors see leveled PNC Bank, my benefit advisors 321 blink chorus call copy genetics and sdlc partners. Yeah with us each and every week.

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