Category Archives: Member Feature

Member Feature: Elana Ouimette

[Pictured: Newcomers Rada Stone O’Shea, Elana Ouimette, and Tammy Goffin]

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
My husband relocated (work) to Pittsburgh and I’d never even been here before, and didn’t know a soul.

Where did you recently move from?
Phoenix, AZ. We moved June 2016. It was 118 degrees the day the moving truck was loaded.

Where did you grow up?
Los Angeles, CA

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
UC San Diego. Bachelors in Language Studies with an emphasis in ASL. And a theatre minor…. Then went to nursing school.

What do you do for your day job? 
Domestic Engineer? Currently a SAHM (since #2 was born).

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
Charlie- 5 in October. Benjamin 3.5

What do you like to do for fun?
Love being outdoors. Playing. Walking. Gardening/yard work. Also love emptying closets/rooms and completely reorganizing and rearranging everything.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and How to Listen So Kids Will Talk.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
An unfortunate regression in potty training for my youngest (presumably due to constipation) has us restarting potty charts and rewards… and prune juice!!

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
Always love Bunco, but the family events are always a great time too.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself? 
I’m an animal lover, worked at SeaWorld San Diego for 5 years in zoological operations. Vet tech for 13 years. Did some human nursing, but mostly worked in phase II-IV clinical research for pharmaceuticals and medical devices on the clinical side.

Ed note: If you just read the above and are thinking, wow I’d love to hang out with Elana, you are in luck! Elana will be hosting our first morning coffee of the season on October 9th. RSVP here.

Member profile: Megan Tenney

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
Well, we don’t know anyone here, and I work from home, so after one too many (decidedly one-sided) conversations with my dog, I figured I should probably try and make some friends.

Where did you recently move from?
We moved here from Connecticut.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Washington, DC. My husband Ric and I met in DC and moved to Connecticut ten years ago for his job.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I went to the University of Wisconsin for undergrad and majored in Political Science and French. Then, (reference aforementioned majors and chances of related employment) I went to law school at GW.

What do you do for your day job?
I work remotely for a Hartford-based law firm as the Director of Legal Recruiting.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
I have ten-year-old boy/girl twins – Lauren and JD.

What do you like to do for fun?
I like to read, cook, go out to restaurants, travel, and spend time with my family (not necessarily in that order…)

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I read a lot, so there’s rarely something I’m waiting to read. I am currently re-reading All the Light We Cannot See – I forgot how good of a book that is.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
Obtaining tickets to Hamilton. I am obsessed with the cast recording and am dying to see it live.

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?I am definitely looking forward to book club and bunco.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?To those of you who read all this way, I thank you. We didn’t really know much about Pittsburgh when we moved here, and we look forward to getting to know the area better.

Member profile: Cristie Gabuzda

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
To meet families with kids who will be in school with my kids.

Where did you recently move from?
Most recently, McDonald, PA. Before that we were in North Jersey and Atlanta, GA.

Where did you grow up
Pittsburgh!

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
The University of Pittsburgh. I have a degree in Business Management with a focus in Accounting.

What do you do for your day job?
I’m a stay-at-home parent for now.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
A whole brood.
Lillian, 6
Miles, 4.5
Eleanor, 3
Elias, 14 months

What do you like to do for fun?
Sleep?

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I would love to finish American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer, the Stories and Recipes Behind More Than 125 of Our Best-Loved Cakes by Anne Byrn. It’s fascinating, but I keep pushing it aside.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
Training for my first half marathon, making kombucha that isn’t disgusting and reading a new nonfiction book each month.

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
I wish that we were able to make it to The Escape Room. It sounds like a great time! I’m looking forward to book club and Bunco in the meanwhile.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
I’m so looking forward to meeting you all!

Member profile: Ann Marie Pirnat

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
I got the postcard in the mail and figured this was a great way to meet some women in the community. I was right!

Where did you recently move from?
My husband, Kyle, and I moved here from The Woodlands, Texas, but we have lived all over the U.S. Nine moves in 14 years!  My hubby and I are both from this region of the country, so this is familiar territory for us.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Erie, Pennsylvania.  It is a small town on a beautiful lake with miles of beaches. For all you recently transplanted warm-climate ladies, Pittsburgh winters are absolutely balmy compared to Erie winters.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I studied psychology and English at West Virginia University. Since this is my big opportunity to toot my horn, I will–I graduated early, summa cum laude and with Phi Beta Kappa honors.  I rowed on the crew team, also.

What do you do for your day job?
I am a stay-at-home mom at The Chaos Castle (title coined by my husband), and I also sell Rodan+Fields Dermatologists skin care.  All inquiries are welcome.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
I have four children: Andrew, age 13; Beau, age 9; Charlotte, age 7; and Elena, age 4.  It is fun. And insane.

Do you have any pets?
Our pets are Gunnery Sergeant Pirnat (Gunny), our wonderfully lazy chocolate lab, and Maverick, my son Beau’s sweet female guinea pig.

What do you like to do for fun?
I like to make things. I love reading, drawing, painting, sewing, crafting, and running.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
Um…the overdue ones from the library!  Actually, I read just about everything, but I want to get into the daily Bible reading groove again.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
This seems inane when I have to type it out, but my biggest goal is picking wallpaper, a rug, and curtain fabric for the living room and dining room I am decorating. This week is my deadline! Trying to pull it together before the Thanksgiving guests arrive…yikes. Wish me luck.

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
I am hoping to be at the Favorite Things brunch in December…I have missed the last two years, and I really want to make it to this one.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
I still read to each my kids almost every night, I love stand-up comedy, and I am a devoted thrift shopper.

Member Feature: Lindsay Beck

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
I was raised in Pittsburgh, but haven’t lived here since college and have never lived in the South Hills. When we moved back to this area, a friend connected me with her friend Sarah, who encouraged me to join Newcomers. I liked that there were events and activities available for all types of women and families.

Where did you recently move from?
We moved in September 2014 from Canton, Ohio. Before that, we’ve lived in Bridgeport, West Virginia; Arlington, Virginia; Sanford, North Carolina; and Columbus, Georgia.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town about 20 miles northeast of Pittsburgh called Arnold. I graduated from Valley High School.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I went to Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. I graduated in 2003 with a B.A. in Communications. Go Gators!

What do you do for your day job?
I am a stay-at-home mom. I am also heavily involved in volunteering and give my time to organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Make-A-Wish, the PTA–and Newcomers, of course! I’m proud to be serving as the Couples’ Events Chair this year.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
My husband Adam and I have one son named Ethan. He is almost six years old and started kindergarten this fall.

Do you have any pets?
No pets at this time.

What do you like to do for fun?
I love to read and watch sports. My favorites are hockey and football. I have also learned to play Mah Jongg recently and I love getting together with friends to play a few rounds.  Adam and I also enjoy biking.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I have had The Silver Star by Jeannette Wells on my GoodReads “to-read” shelf since we lived in West Virginia (where she is also from.) I need to get around to that someday!

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
I know it’s said all the time, but honestly, weight loss and taking better care of myself. A few years ago, I lost over 50 lbs and was very fit and active. Since moving back to Pittsburgh I’ve not been as regimented with myself. I’d love to get back into fighting shape and run some races!

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
So many, it’s the start of a new year! I missed the Couples’ Beer and Cookie exchange last year, so we are really excited to host that one at our home. I also really enjoy the Ladies’ Favorite Things brunch at Christmastime.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
Even though I’ve lived many other places, I am one of Pittsburgh’s biggest champions. I think it’s a fabulous place to live, work and raise a family. I’m so grateful we’ve moved back here and we get to raise our son here. I love meeting new people and I’m excited to meet all our new Newcomer members this fall!

Member Profile: Elise Logan

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
To meet other people in the neighborhood. Other than my husband’s family, we didn’t know anyone when we moved here two years ago, and Newcomers seemed like a great way to start making new friends.

Where did you recently move from?
Washington, DC, where we lived for five years.

Where did you grow up?
North Florida, outside of Jacksonville, and south Georgia.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I went to Lee University, in Cleveland, TN, for my undergrad. My major was in political science. I also have an MS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech.

What do you do for your day job?
I work for Booz Allen Hamilton as a contractor at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. I’m an energy policy analyst. I write reports on things like the reliability of the electric grid, and how new or proposed environmental policies might affect energy markets.

Do you have any kids?
I have two daughters.

If so what are their names and ages?
Hope is six; she’s a kindergartner at Eisenhower. Naomi is 19 months.

Do you have any pets?
I have both a dog and a cat.

What do you like to do for fun?
Hang out with other Newcomers! Most of my free time these days is spent doing family activities with my husband and kids. We like to go hiking on nearby trails or visit the Strip District on the weekends. I read whenever I get a chance. I used to sew, too, but I haven’t even pulled out my sewing machine since my younger daughter was born.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
The next book on my reading list is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. I read her book Housekeeping a few years ago, and I loved it so much.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
Finding that elusive work/life balance. I’m always forgetting something on my to-do list.

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
The progressive dinner. This will be my first one; I’m really excited about it.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
Is this the part where I share random facts about myself? I make a really good veggie lasagna, and one time I bought a manual transmission car because I thought being able to drive one would be a good life skill to have. Then I had to figure out how to drive it home.

Member Profile: Frances Scher

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
We had recently moved to Upper St Clair, into our fifth house in the last fifteen years. (Whenever my husband gets a promotion at his work instead of moving him down the hall to a new office, we get moved to a new state.) I wanted to get to know people and become more a part of the community, and joining the USC Newcomer’s Club was a great way to do that.

Where did you recently move from?
Our last stop was Chicago, IL. We also lived in Memphis, TN, and Detroit, MI.

Where did you grow up?
Huntington, WV. We now are only a four-hour drive from home, which is great. I am so happy to be back living in the mountains.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
West Virginia University. My degree was Medical Technology (now called Medical Laboratory Science). I also later got a specialization in Blood Banking.

What do you do for your day job?
Manager for Product Quality Control Testing for ITxM, the parent company of Central Blood Bank.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
Nathan, age 12, and George, age 10. They are the reason we ended up living in USC when my husband was transferred to Pittsburgh. Both of them have some special educational needs, and the great school district here in Upper St. Clair was able to address them.

Do you have any pets?
A dog, named Luna

What do you like to do for fun?
My family likes to travel…everything from a week-long vacation during spring break (a dude ranch, this year) to a quick, one-day get away to see some random tourist
attraction (last one was the house from the movie A Christmas Story).

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

I stop by the Upper St Clair or Mt. Lebanon library at least once a week to pick up something new to read. At the moment, I have on hold a memoir about a family living
in Rome for a year written by the author of All Light We Can Not See,  Anthony Doerr. I just finished reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling, and I am slowly making my way through 10% Happier by Dan Harris. I am also always listening, while I run, to a Playaway that I pick up from the library …the ones by Janet Evanovich are my favorite since the person who reads the audiobook does great voices, and they are just fun stories to listen to.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
I am trying to be more organized. I started using a planner in January and that has helped me a lot with keeping track of things. Also, I want to get back into exercising more regularly. I made myself a goal of running a 5K this summer. (Not looking silly in front of a large number of people is a great motivator for me to lace up my
running shoes.)

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
I will be at the next ladies’ night out. I like that several of those events have been in downtown Pittsburgh lately…it gets me out with a fun group of women and I get to discover new places. I also like to attend the Family events and Couple events. There have been some great activities planned this year.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
I am the membership chair for this year and next year. So I am the one sending out those welcome messages to those of you who recently joined…and reminding everyone
to pay their dues!

 

Member profile: Bethany Salmen

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
I wanted to join the Newcomers’ Club, because I wanted to meet new people with kids that live in the area.

Where did you recently move from?
Before I was married I lived in Mt. Lebanon. When we got married we moved to USC.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a street away from my house now. I always lived in USC, and both of my parents grew up in USC.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I graduated from California University of PA with two degrees: Political Science and Criminal Justice

What do you do for your day job?
I am a landman in the oil and gas industry

Do you have any kids? If so, what are their names and ages?
I have one daughter, Natalie, 14 months

Do you have any pets?
We have three dogs, Holly(German Shepard Mix), Sydney (Red heeler), Nino( Chocolate Lab) and two cats, Clair and Winnie

What do you like to do for fun?
I am a golfer, work in the yard, do house projects and I love crafts.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I have a couple of books I bought before I had Natalie and haven’t touched them yet but I do love reading to my daughter.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
Finishing our basement. It’s 95 % done.

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
I am in charge of Ladies’ Day Out this year, and next month we are going to Sarris Candy and Ice Cream shop for Valentines Day.

Member Profile: Sherri Sliski

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
I didn’t want to get too settled into our new routine here and forget to make friends. Having events on my calendar requires a commitment, and I’m more likely to do things that way.

Where did you recently move from?
Bartlett, TN, which is just northeast of Memphis.

Where did you grow up?
I born in Howell, MI, and raised in southeastern Michigan in the smallish town of Dexter. However, I tell people I’m from Ann Arbor, MI, because most people know where that is and it’s infinitely cooler than being from Dexter.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I attended Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, MI, then transferred to Eastern Michigan University and obtained my Bachelor of Fine Arts. I also took a few courses in chem and physics at the University of Wisconsin.

What do you do for your day job?
I’m a stay-at-home mom.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
I have Lydia, 5 years old, and Vivian, 7 years old.

Do you have any pets?
Butch, a senior Boston Terrier.

What do you like to do for fun?
I enjoy complex cooking challenges, hiking the trails behind our house, reading, knitting and sewing (strictly amateur!)

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I’m working on The Goldfinch right now. It’s wonderful, but it’s taking me forever, because I don’t want to rush it and miss any of the detailed writing.

I’m hoping to eventually read our delivered newspaper! I always sigh when I recycle it and only my husband has read it.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
I would love to get my older sister and myself to Nepal somehow! Hopefully, for her 50th birthday in two years. We have lots of family to see there.

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
I was really looking forward to Escape the Room, but I was unable to go. The LDO Christmas Brunch sounds like fun.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
I was an EMT/ambulance driver in Wisconsin for a couple of years, I have an Associate’s degree in Culinary Arts, I’ve lived a lot of different places (stateside) because my husband was Navy (ret. 11/2014), I was an interior painter/faux finisher in Washington, DC for five years.

Member Feature: Nandhini Kumaravelu

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
My next-door neighbor, Laura Muhl, invited me to join the club and it has been a great way to meet people and make new friends.

Where did you recently move from?
Pittsburgh is the only American city I have lived in. Spent three years in Castle Shannon before we bought a house and moved to USC this June.

Where did you grow up?
I was born and raised in India. Moved to Pittsburgh in 2010, two weeks after I got married.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
In India, I did my B.S in apparel and textile technology and also hold a diploma in designing.

What do you do for your day job?
I stay at home taking care of my daughter.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
I have a four-year-old daughter. Her name is Leela.

Do you have any pets?
We don’t have any pets right now, but might in the future.

What do you like to do for fun?
I love to travel, paint and watch movies.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I don’t get time to read, but when I do, I mostly pick works by Indian authors.

Right now, these are waiting to be read:
Half girlfriend by Chetan Bhagat. The oath of the Vayuputras -Shiva Trilogy

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
I have started with a big Indian painting for our living room. My biggest immediate goal right now is to finish it.

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
All. Everything sounds interesting. I will try to attend most of it.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
I am glad we moved to USC. I like the community,the club and the people. I am really shy and not-so-outgoing by nature. The newcomers’ club has helped me come out of my comfort zone.