Category Archives: Member Feature

Rachel Moosa

This month’s feature member is Rachel Moosa.  She joined newcomers to make new friends in Upper Saint Clair.

Tell us about yourself: I am a British Mother of 9 year old twins. We moved to Pittsburgh a couple of years ago because my husband’s family is here. For the last 10 years we lived in Dubai. I also work full time (from home) as a Vice President for a Hotel company.

If you had $5,000,000 what would you do with the money and why? I would be an angel investor for women led start up companies.

If you could be any animal, what would you choose and why? Our English Bulldog puppy has a great life, I would trade with her.

If you could choose anything in the entire world for your last meal, what would it be? A dal makhni and naan bread from my favorite little restaurant in Dubai.

Which fictional place would you most like to visit and why? The Millennium Falcon with Han Solo and Chewie piloting it.

If you could only read/watch one book/movie for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why? Love Actually. I watch it every year to get in the mood for Christmas and it always makes me a little homesick for the UK.

What is the best place you’ve ever visited and why? I fell in love with Kenya the first time I visited and was lucky travel there many times on business. It is a beautiful country with breathtaking scenery and wildlife, and wonderful people.

What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you? I have been so lucky in life but I am especially lucky to have met my wonderful husband when we were both working in a hotel in Abu Dhabi.

If time travel were real: when and where in time would you go and why? I would love to see my Dad again, he passed away 10 years ago.
If you could wake up tomorrow and know absolutely everything about ONE thing… what would it be and why? Construction and building maintenance, I want to fix things but I just don’t know how!

Jessie Yvonne Enloe

This month’s feature member is Jessie Yvonne Enloe. She joined Newcomer’s because she was new to the area and she wanted to acclimate quickly and find her tribe.

Tell us about yourself: 

I am originally from Colorado, and my husband is from southern Illinois, but we lived in the Detroit Metro Area for several years before moving here. I left my job at PNC in January to stay home with my daughter. I have two senior citizen dogs, and I consider myself a dog person. I love spicy food, traveling, music, spending time with my family, and I have the mouth of an angry sailor. 

If all the States in the USA were represented by food, what food would each state that you have lived in be represented by?

Colorado Green Chili, Detroit Coney Dogs, Saint Louis Toasted Ravioli, Pittsburgh primanti brothers sandwich. 

If you could only read/watch one book/movie for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?

The practical answer would be Encyclopedia Britannica because it is constantly updated with current information, but the fun answer is the Harry Potter series. 

What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you?

Having my daughter is by far the luckiest thing that ever happened to me. Her beautiful smile reminds me every day how lucky I am to have her in my life. 

If time travel were real: when and where in time would you go and why?

I would go back to 1985 and purchase as much Apple stock as I could. Then I would set up an irrevocable trust under my name that I wouldn’t be able to touch until the age of 28 (Yes, 28. I am fully aware of how irresponsible I was in my early 20’s.) I would do this for the money. With this money I would become a career student and possibly pursue a PHD in anthropology, take care of my family, and start a nonprofit.  

If you could wake up tomorrow and know absolutely everything about ONE thing… what would it be and why?

Theology. Just imagine what it would like to know the answer to every theological question ever asked.

Tammi Kramer

This month’s feature member is Tammi Kramer. She joined Newcomer’s because she wanted to get to know others in the community. She has a four (almost five) year-old, and she liked the idea of meeting new friends that also have younger children.

Tell us about yourself: 

I grew up in the south hills of Pittsburgh, got my BA at IUP and MBA from Duquesne. I met my husband twelve years ago on the trolley. I always loved working in market research (I still do), but once I had my little boy, everything shifted. 

Bennett is beautifully complex. Looking at him, you may not notice things that make him unique, but he’s statistically one in nine million (and that’s the conservative estimate). We faced a lot of unknowns in the beginning and spent a lot of time at Children’s. My perspective on life shifted, and I realized what my calling was. I want to help children like Bennett. I want to help those families navigate their new normal like I had to navigate mine. 

 I’m actively involved with the Foundation, now. My husband and I are members of the Children’ Trust and Frank LeMoyne society. We’ve raised upwards of $30,000 since 2016 as we Walk for Children’s each June. When I’m actively campaigning for Walk or on the phones for the Radiothon or the KDKA telethon, I feel most alive. I’m just getting started. It’s the least I can do after all the hospital has done for my boy.

Aside from that, I’m pretty boring. I love to dance, relax on my deck, snuggle with my pups and just enjoy time with my son and husband. I’m EXTREMELY shy until I get to know someone. That’s probably another reason I joined the group. It’s really hard for me to meet people. 

If you had $5,000,000 what would you do with the money and why?

Pay off my student loans, set aside money for Bennett, donate a lot of money to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, and travel a lot. I’d probably upgrade my car and kitchen, too. Heck, I’d renovate in a major way! 

If you could be any animal, what would you choose and why?

A baby goat. For some reason they bring me so much joy. I’d like to do that for someone else. 

If you could choose anything in the entire world for your last meal, what would it be?

Probably a medium rare ribeye from Hyde Park with scallop potatoes and plain cheesecake for dessert.

If all the States in the USA were represented by food, what food would each state that you have lived in be represented by?

I’m guessing PA would be some weird Philly cheesesteak topped with fresh cut fries and coleslaw combo. Sort of like Primantis, but with cheesesteak from the other side of the state.

Which fictional place would you most like to visit and why?

Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. The magic of believing in Santa is a feeling unlike any other. We could all use a little magic these days. 

If time travel were real: when and where in time would you go and why?

I wouldn’t travel ahead because you can’t skip to the end of the book, although I’m desperate to know when life is going to return to normal. I’d probably go back in time and savior moments with loved ones I’ve lost. I’d hug longer, listen more closely, and appreciate every moment.

Tanny Penaloza-Carrera

Our next featured member is Tanny Penaloza-Carrera.  She joined Newcomers because she wanted to meet new people. 

Tell us about yourself: 

I’m from Guayaquil, Ecuador. I moved to Pittsburgh 9 years ago to get my BA/MBA. 

I’m a Sr. PM for a software company downtown. I work on projects to improve customer experience and the adoption of our product/features. 

I’m married and have a 3 years old boy, Bash. He is our office manager. We moved here in 2018 when we realized that we needed more space for our very active toddler. 

Here are some fun facts about Tanny: 

If you could be any animal, what would you choose and why?

Hummingbird! They can fly and enjoy nature, and are associated with good luck and joy. I love the legends about these beautiful animals. 

If you could choose anything in the entire world for your last meal, what would it be?

A plantain based traditional Ecuadorian meal. 

If all the States in the USA were represented by food, what food would each state that you have lived in be represented by?

This will be a long answer. But, as mentioned, I’m not from here. My first time in Pittsburgh, my now husband took me to a restaurant to celebrate and the waitress asked if I wanted “pop.” I thought it was odd I was offered what I thought was popcorn. I also thought it was interesting she just called it “pop” but didn’t ask for clarification and nicely declined. Only to later find out she was referring to what I knew as “soda.” Since then, I always associate popcorn with PA 😅. 

What is the best place you’ve ever visited and why?

Japan. It was absolutely beautiful, the food was delicious and whenever we needed help, we always found a person willing to give us a hand. 

What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you?

My friend gave me his bingo card because he thought it was “lame,” and I ended up winning the cash prize. He wasn’t happy, but I was thrilled. My first time winning something and it wasn’t even mine. 

Aimee Mack

Aimee Mack joined Newcomer’s this year as a great way to meet others.  She and her husband have been married for almost 10 years (their anniversary is coming up soon!).  Since they’ve been married, they’ve lived in 4 different states.  They have 5 years old twins. The whole family is excited to explore Pennsylvania. 

Here are some fun facts about Aimee: 

If you had $5,000,000 what would you do with the money and why?

After making sure we have enough for the twins’ college, we would Buy a beach house in NC. Big enough for all of our families to visit. 

If you could be any animal, what would you choose and why?

Leopard, just love leopard print 

Which fictional place would you most like to visit and why?

Wherever unicorns live

If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?

Pretty women. I love Richard And Julia together! 

What is the best place you’ve ever visited and why?

Las Vegas, my husband and I go there on vacation 

What is the luckiest thing that has ever happened to you?

We got invited to the Kentucky Derby. It was a dream come true. 

If time travel were real: when and where in time would you go and why?

Go back to our wedding day. It was a lot of fun!! 

If you could wake up tomorrow and know absolutely everything about ONE thing… what would it be and why?

How to successfully homeschool my children.

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!