Category Archives: Member Feature

Member Feature: April Jackson

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?

To get to know people on the area and to get support from the organization.

Where did you recently move from?
We moved here from a suburb of Metro Atlanta, Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in California. Born in Northern California and raised in Southern California.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I attended the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB). I began as a Molecular Biology major and graduated with a BA in History. I also attended California State University of Dominguez Hills for my education credential.

What do you do for your day job?

I am primarily a Stay at home Mom BUT, I am now an entrepreneur of my company Sweat Everyday LLC. I have also been teaching group fitness classes for the past ten years, training and coaching clients.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
We have three sons Kahlil – 13, Kaden – 11 and Kaamil – 7

Do you have any pets?
One hamster named Ani

What do you like to do for fun?
For fun I enjoy taking yoga classes, spending time with friends and family, reading and having time to myself at a spa!!!

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
The Black Count by,Tom Reiss
Blink by, Malcolm Gladwell
Personal Trainers Guide to Success
The Bible

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
My biggest goal right now is working to my business a success

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
The New Years Ladies Day Out Re-Gift Champagne Brunch!

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
My husband and I have been married for seventeen years and, we relocated here for his job. We both really like it here! I am very glad we made the decision to come and I have really enjoyed meeting new people and experiencing new things in this city. Yes, even living in the snow!

Member Feature: Sydna Burns

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
To meet other newcomers in the area

Where did you recently move from?
South Carolina

Where did you grow up?
South Carolina

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
Finance and Economics at University of South Carolina

What do you do for your day job?
Business Analyst with UPMC Health Plan

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
Two boys: Whit (7) and Liam (4)

Do you have any pets?
cat named Belle

What do you like to do for fun?
spend time with family, read, bake, watch movies, anything outside, going to the beach, watching college football and Braves baseball

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
Gone with the Wind (saw movie again over Thanksgiving and realized I’ve never read it, but want to)

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
Learning SQL for work

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
Tacky Sweater Bowling

Member Feature: Julie Williams

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
I wanted to meet new people in the area and attend the fun events that I would hear about from a neighbor.

Where did you recently move from?
Roslyn Farms, which is near the Carnegie/Robinson area.

Where did you grow up?
West Mifflin, PA

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I attended Bethany College (Bethany, WV) to study Psychology and then I pursued my Masters and advanced degree in School Psychology at Northeastern University (Boston, MA).

What do you do for your day job?
I am a school psychologist for the Peters Township School District. I also recently signed on to be an Independent Beachbody coach and I am currently running my first fitness/clean eating challenge group. Its very exciting to have a hobby that can balance out the stress from my day job, while still helping others.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
I have one daughter named Rachel and she recently turned four years old.

Do you have any pets?
I have never had any pets. I desperately wanted one when I was younger, but couldn’t because my brother and sister were allergic to cats and dogs. My brother currently has a dog and my sister has two cats! My daughter has a stuffed dog that she carries with her everywhere. Keeping track of him and keeping him safe is enough of a responsibility for me right now!

What do you like to do for fun?
Besides spending time with my husband and daughter, I like to watch movies, try new restaurants, read, scrapbook and workout.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I have a habit of checking a book out of the library and then later buying it because I liked it so much. I then never re-read it because I barely had time to read it the 1st time. Currently I have Push by Chalene Johnson and The Physique 57 Solution sitting on my nightstand. My next purchase will be Real Food: What to Eat and Why by Nina Planck. I would also like to read I am Malala.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
I feel like trying to keep my house organized is a constant goal of mine, but in the next year I am hoping to pursue a certification in Nutrition.

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
The family holiday party! I am one of the co-chairs for Family Events so I am hoping to see a lot of familiar faces at the party and meeting families that have joined the club this year. Every year I look forward to the Progressive Dinner. Its definitely one of my favorite events!

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
I am really glad to have joined this group! Its been great meeting new people and trying new things. Its been a wonderful experience for my family. We have all made new friends and participated in fun events. Its nice to be part of a club that gives me the opportunity to have some adult time outside of work, but also has events that my husband and daughter can attend. I know its hard to take that initial step, but its definitely worth it!

Member Feature: Jonie Farrar

jonieFarrar

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
I went to a morning coffee and everyone is so nice and down to earth. Just a group of genuine women I knew I needed to hang out with!!!

Where did you recently move from?
I was living in Carnegie before moving here 3 years ago.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up on a 250 acre farm outside of Washington PA.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I went to Bethany College in Bethany WV. I have a B.S. in Psychology.

What do you do for your day job?
I work for Crossmark, its a food broker.
I also own my own Mary Kay business!!

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
Yes his name is Jeff and he’s 46, just kidding. That’s my new husband he’s the biggest kid I know!!!

Do you have any pets?
Not right now, we get our pet fix by dog sitting for friends!!

What do you like to do for fun?
I like to golf, I’m not any good but its fun. I like to go for walks, bike rides and hiking.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I don’t have any so I better check out what the book club is reading!!!

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
The biggest goal I am working on right now is becoming a Mary Kay Sales Director.

What upcoming Newcomers’ event are you looking forward to attending?
I am looking forward to the Holiday brunch on December 8th.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
I just got married on September 13th!!!!

 

Member Feature: Theresa Komoski

Theresa-Komoski

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
I moved to USC last August and wanted to meet new people and socialize.

Where did you recently move from?
I had been living in Raleigh, NC for ten years. Prior to that we were in Roswell, GA for three years, Raleigh( the first time) for three years and before that NJ.

Where did you grow up?
My husband and I both grew up in Bayonne, NJ.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I went to St Peters College in Jersey City, NJ. I have degrees in History, with a minor in secondary education and Accounting.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
I have three daughters. Stephanie, 25, and Mary Cate, 22, still live in NC. Jaclyn,16, is a junior at USC High School.

Do you have any pets?
Our dog , Cleo,died in June. She was 13 1/2 years old and lived a great life. Currently we have no pets, but I would not rule out another dog in our future.

What do you like to do for fun?
I love to read and do crafts. My newest adventures are quilting and embroidery. My husband and I like to try new restaurants and go to the movies or theatre. We have a house in Emerald Isle, NC and love spending time there.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I have always been an avid reader, so the list is very long. I enjoy our Book Club so my next two reads will be The Yohnalassee Riding Club For Girls and the Forty Rules of Love.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
My daughter is a junior so we are investigating colleges and teaching her to drive. My oldest recently became engaged so I look forward to helping her plan her wedding. As for myself, I would like to start piano lessons.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
Newcomers has been a great introduction to Pittsburgh and the many things this area has to offer. I have made friends, tried new restaurants, read some good books I might not otherwise have chosen and learned a lot about this city I now call home.

Member Feature: Sarah Beitler

sarahb

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?
I have actually lived in Pittsburgh since I moved here for college in 1999, and in USC since my husband and I bought a condo in 2003. But when we moved to our current USC house in 2009 a lot in my life had changed: I had twin 1 year olds and had stopped working to become a stay at home mom. Although the two events above proved to be a blessing… I felt alone and isolated and wanted to make new friends. I also liked the idea of the USC Newcomers club vs another mom’s club in the area because I wanted to make friends with the parents of kids who my boys would be going to school with in the future.

Where did you recently move from?
We moved in 2009 to our current house. We loved it because it was walking distance to the USC Community and Recreation Center and it had a big backyard. The house itself had a lot of potential but hadn’t been updated since it was built in the 50’s (original mad-men style stove and everything!) so we had a lot of freedom to update the house to our style. Before that we lived in a condo in USC across from the USC Post Office.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Weston, MA which is about 20 minutes outside of Boston. Weston had great public schools and I knew I wanted to find a community for my children that also had great public school. Upper St Clair fit the bill!

Where did you go to college and what did you study?
I went to Carnegie Mellon University and double majored in Fine Arts and Human-Computer Interaction. I loved CMU and really enjoyed taking classes in many different departments. I also met my husband Rich there (he also went to CMU and majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering)!

What do you do for your day job?
I am a Stay at Home Mom. I also am very involved in this Newcomers’ group on the board, as well as a South Hills Delta Gamma Alumni Group. I am also involved with my boy’s preschool (Westminster Nursery School) on their Fundraising Committee.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?
I have two boys: Joshua (Josh) and Matthew (Matt). They are identical twins and are 5 years old. They are growing so fast. I can’t believe they will start Kindergarten next year!

Do you have any pets?
I have two pug dogs – Winston and Stella. They are litter mates and 10 years old. They were my first set of twins! 😉

What do you like to do for fun?
I love to read, go for walks, run, playdates with my kids, cook, and hang out with my mom. When my husband and I have a sitter, we like to go out to the movies and see whatever the latest movie is. We just saw the movie Gravity and really enjoyed it!

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
I read all sorts of books on my Kindle, or iPhone. I tend to read everything electronically because my reading is in spurts around my kids schedules. I am currently reading the Ender’s Shadow Series as I just finished the Ender’s Game Series and loved it. And yes, I will be seeing the Ender’s Game movie that is coming out soon!

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?
We are renovating our basement and moving my husbands office downstairs to make room for separating my boys into separate bedrooms. I guess my biggest goal currently is organizing my house and keeping my kids happy and healthy. My personal goal is to run a full marathon. I am not a natural runner, but I try and have run 3 half marathons. I am planning to run my first full when my boys start 1st grade in 2 years.

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?
I feel lucky to have joined this group 4 year ago. What a fantastic group of women!

Member Feature: Becky Brindle

beckyBrindle

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?

I wanted to make new friends and learn more about the area.

Where did you recently move from?

I’ve been in Upper St. Clair for almost three years after living in Bethel Park, the South Side and Oakland (all in Pittsburgh).

Where did you grow up?

I lived in Appleton, Wisconsin until I was 12, then I went to middle and high school in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?

I came to Pitt to play tennis and I majored in communication and psychology.

What do you do for your day job?

After seven years in journalism, I recently began a job with DICK’S Sporting Goods as a web copywriter.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?

Yes, Mason is 16 months old.

Do you have any pets?

No pets, but Mason and I are hoping to get a dog one day!

What do you like to do for fun?

I like to try new restaurants, cook/bake, shop, and watch/read the news. However, my favorite thing to do is hang out with my family. I’ve also been doing a lot of running, although I wouldn’t exactly call it “fun.”

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

Every. Single. One. I haven’t even had the chance to take the plastic wrap off my most recent InStyle magazine.

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?

Learning my new job!

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?

You get out of the Upper St. Clair Newcomers’ Club what you put into it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and participated solo in a number of events, and I’m so happy that I did. I’ve made some lifelong friends thanks to this organization.

Member Feature: Jean Montgomery Lesogor

Jean Montgomery Lesogor

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?

I wanted to join Newcomers so that me and my family could meet some people in the local community. Shortly after joining, I joined a playgroup and was lucky enough to meet some wonderful mothers.

Where did you recently move from?

My family and I moved from Boston in September of 2007. We rented for a year in Dormont while we found the perfect community and home to start our family in. We bought and moved into our home in USC in August of 2008 when our oldest daughter, Jocelyn (now 5) was 3 months old.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Weirton WV and my husband, Jim, in Braintree MA.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?

I graduated from Bethany College in 1995 with a BA in Accounting, Northeastern University with an MBA in 2005 and Allegheny County Community College with a Associates Degree in Nursing in 2011. My studies and career path are a long story. When Jim was transferred to Pittsburgh in 2007, I had to walk away from a long banking career and I may not have done this if the opportunity did not present itself. I wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember and opted not to study it when I was younger because of the lack of available jobs in the Ohio Valley in the 1990’s. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to pursue another career that I find to be extraordinarily rewarding.

What do you do for your day job?

Stay at home mother / Part time RN at St. Clair Hospital

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?

Jocelyn – 5

Jessica – 21 months

Do you have any pets?

Dog – Mitzy
Fish – Dorothy (named after Elmo’s goldfish)

Frog – just called “the frog”

What do you like to do for fun?

Hang out with my kids and husband, play board games, scrapbooking, travel and read.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

7th Heaven – James Patterson

and an endless stack of “how to” parenting books – my favorite though is Raising Your Spirited Child

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?

Organizing my house. Jocelyn was 3 months old when we moved in and we’ve never really taken the time to properly organize everything. We have since added another child and SO MUCH stuff – we are swimming in it!

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?

I have really enjoyed my time as a member of this wonderful organization. It has made building a life in USC so much easier and fulfilling. This is a great group and provides an instant support system for new families in our community.

Member Feature: Elizabeth Schwall

elizabethS

Why did you want to join the USC Newcomers’ Club?

We moved here 4 years ago and we didn’t know a soul! I knew that I needed to make friends fast because without any family in the area, we would need support from others to thrive here in St Clair, especially being a young family (at the time we had just bought our first house and were expecting our first child). The playgroups were perfect for me because they gave me a weekly date to see and get to know the same moms. Four years later, many of the moms in that first playgroup are my closest friends!

Where did you recently move from?

We were in State College for 6 years before moving here.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in two places. Until I was 16 we lived on Long Island in NY, and then we moved to Cooperstown, NY. Although that was a tough time to move, I feel lucky that I got to live in both in an urban and rural area as a kid.

Where did you go to college and what did you study?

I went to Cornell and studied child development. I got my doctorate from Penn State in clinical psychology.

What do you do for your day job?

Right now I am home caring for my kids full time. However, I am a clinical psychologist and I specialize in working with children and families.

Do you have any kids? If so what are their names and ages?

My son (Leo) will be 4 in February and my daughter (Emilia) is turning 1 in a few weeks.

Do you have any pets?

No pets, which I am grateful for because I have enough to clean up! 😉

What do you like to do for fun?

My husband and I love to eat and try new foods/restaurants. We are so happy there is good Ethiopian food here! I also love to get drinks with friends, read a good book, or go to the museums.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?

Right now, I’m reading Where did you go Bernadette, Mommy Mantras, and Playful Parenting. Of course this is when I can manage to stay awake long enough at night to read!

What’s the biggest goal you are working on now?

I’m getting ready to open a private practice and I’m dabbling in the world of blogging. For anyone who might be interested, the address is frompracticetoparenting.wordpress.com

What other things do you want your fellow newcomers to know about yourself?

I’m really glad to live in a place where I can get to the city and take advantage of the universities and museums and theater in no time, but also go hiking or visit the local farms just as easily. It’s such a nice balance!