PITTSBURGH—The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's president and CEO Melia Tourangeau with Board of Directors Chair Anthony L. Bucci are pleased to announce the election of nine new members to its Board of Directors at recent meetings. The new board members: City of Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey, Ja’Ron Bridges, Earl Buford, Dr. Donald J. Green, Kathy Humphrey, David L. Johnson, Michael Maglio, Brian Portman and Nicole Theophilus. 


“We are excited to welcome these influential community leaders to the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Board of Directors and grateful for their commitment to the orchestra’s vision of great music in every life. Their diverse backgrounds and innovative experiences bring outstanding leadership qualities that represent the orchestra’s values of diversity, inclusion, excellence and celebration, and that enhance our efforts to deepen our connections in the community,” said Melia Tourangeau, president and CEO.


The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra also announces the appointment late last year of Shelly Fuerte to the role of Vice President of Popular Programming, in which she artistically directs the orchestra’s PNC Pops programs and popular programming department. The Pittsburgh Symphony’s PNC Pops program is led by Principal Conductor Byron Stripling and presents outstanding music from diverse genres including Broadway, movies, jazz, rock and soul, often with popular soloists. 





Mayor Ed Gainey is the mayor of the City of Pittsburgh, with decades of previous experience in legislation and community development in the region, including the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and two mayoral offices in Pittsburgh. Mayor Gainey has commited himself to bringing new leadership and trust to diverse neighborhoods, while establishing and supporting meaningful relationships between elected officials and citizens of the communities to create hope and brighter futures for all. 


Ja’Ron Bridges is senior vice president and chief financial officer at Highmark Wholecare (formerly Gateway Health) and has vast experience in managing high-performing teams at industry-leading organizations, including senior level roles at Highmark Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Chrysler. Bridges has a long history of supporting community-based organizations, especially those with a focus on serving underserved populations. Bridges currently serves as treasurer on the board of directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. 


Earl Buford is the president of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) non-profit organization and has also previously served as chief executive officer of Partner4Work and Employ Milwaukee. He has been nationally recognized for his work in adult learning, leading the public workforce system for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, managing funds to deliver innovative solutions to businesses and job seekers, and implementing sector-based approaches to workforce development. Buford is active with several national organizations including the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, Council of State Governments, Opportunity America, Cleveland Federal Reserve Board and the National Skills Coalition.  


Dr. Donald J. Green is the eighth president of Point Park University, appointed in the summer of 2021, with a substantial background of 25 years in university-level leadership positions including at Georgia Highlands College and Ferris State University. His reputation has been established from forming community and industry partnerships, proven enrollment growth at educational institutions, supporting creative cultures and curriculums, and commitment to driving educational success in students of all backgrounds. 


Kathy Humphrey, PhD is the current president of Carlow University, with more than 35 years of experience in higher education and a long-standing commitment to social justice. She has an exceptional reputation as an outstanding leader and is an inspirational devotee to building strong, supportive academic foundations for her students to become independent, hardworking members of the community. Her professional experience includes board management, financial planning and budgeting, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion.  


David L. Johnson is vice president and chief customer officer of Duquesne Light Company and carries more than 20 years of experience in the public utility industry. He has helped the company transform its approach to customer engagement as well as operationalizing new services and products to meet customers’ evolving needs. Johnson’s previous career engagements include serving as vice president of customer service for Entergy Louisiana and senior vice president of customer service and economic development for DTE Energy. 


Michael Maglio is the executive director and banker of Pittsburgh’s J.P. Morgan Private Bank location. Maglio provides customized wealth management solutions to the community and is known for cultivating long-term relationships with his high-profile clients of families, businesses, trusts and foundations. He has previously held positions at BNY Mellon and PNC Wealth Management, and has an extensive background in portfolio management, sophisticated planning and investing, banking and charitable giving. 


Brian Portman is a Principal at Ernst & Young, LLP (EY) with over 25 years of management experience, including 16 in his role at EY. He specializes in the financial services industry, primarily helping clients in the areas of compliance, risk management and internal audit.  Prior to joining EY, Brian worked as a bank examiner with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, based in Pittsburgh. 


Nicole Theophilus is a global human resources and communication executive at Wabtec Corporation with more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in both human resources and legal departments. Her professional expertise focuses on executive compensation, corporate governance, succession planning, talent acquisition, talent management, leadership development, performance management, change management, culture and inclusion, and more. Her previous roles include serving as Chief Human Resources Officer for West Corporation and ConAgra Foods.  




Shelly Fuerte was appointed Vice President of Popular Programming at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, responsible for the artistic direction of the Pittsburgh Symphony's highly regarded PNC Pops Series under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Byron Stripling, as well as special concerts such as films with live performance by the orchestra, and engagement of popular touring acts. Fuerte started at the Pittsburgh Symphony as Assistant Artistic Administrator in 2001, then worked at the San Diego Symphony and Grand Teton Music Festival before becoming a popular programming consultant for several orchestras, including the Pittsburgh Symphony, and tour manager for many artists. 



About the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra