A dozen 2012 newsmakers you should know

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Every Thursday, in a feature called "Resume: A newsmaker you should know," we shine a spotlight on someone from the East suburbs whose work and character add to the quality of life here.

Here is a recap of a dozen of the dozens who shared their Resumes this year:

January

Natalya Goreva left her family in Ivanovo, Russia, in 2001 to work toward a doctorate at Utah State University. Now she is an expert in making safe purchases online and preventing identity theft.

Ms. Goreva, now of Shadyside and an assistant professor of information at Point Park University, in a Jan. 8 Resume advised consumers about online safety. She said shoppers should avoid little known online merchants because even if your data and credit card information is secure you could end up not getting your purchases. And, if you must use a little-known site, she advised to get a one-time use credit card number because "once you make one purchase [information] is destroyed.

February

Tara Reis has lived in the 15221 ZIP code all her life -- she graduated from Woodland Hills High School in 1989 and both of her children are now students in that district. In a Feb. 2 Resume, Mrs. Reis, 40, of Churchill, -- a newly appointed school board member -- said she is glad to be a "cheerleader" for the district. She vowed to improve the district's website as well as improve communications among board directors, administrators, teachers, parents and residents. She formerly worked in advertising and marketing.

She pointed out -- in a bit of irony -- that some three decades ago her mother started an organization called "Save Our Schools" which fought the merger of some East schools districts that eventually became Woodland Hills.

"Thirty years after she fought it, I worked to get on the board.''

March

Mark Henry is an artist and a chef who managed to fuse his dual passions. Mr. Henry -- Chef Mark after his graduation from the Culinary Institute of America and numerous culinary awards -- opened the eponymous Chef Mark's Palate in Latrobe 30 Shopping Plaza on Route 30 in that community.

The restaurant and deli features his cooking, baking and art work. The wordplay in his restaurant is intentional, he acknowledged in a March 1 Resume. Mr. Henry, 50, of Latrobe, who is also a trained sculptor, said that the spectrum of foods and flavors he works with is comparable to an artist's palate.

"[Henri] Matisse said you should consider each line as the completion of the work. That has everything to do with food, as well," he said.

April

Lena Franklin has helped three generations of out-of-work Mon Valley residents find jobs.

"There aren't too many employers who don't know who I am,'' she said in an April 19 Resume. Ms. Franklin, 84, of North Braddock, said the Braddock Employment and Training center was marking its 42nd anniversary and was formed to retrain workers who lost jobs in steel mills. It's been doing that -- and more -- ever since. The center offers training, help with job searches, GED classes, housing help and other services.

May

Charlie Cunningham walked out of a comfortable retirement to start an emergency food pantry that has grown into a multi-faceted service organization called the Christian Layman Corps.

In a May 10 Resume, Mr. Cunningham said he said he got the idea during a prayer breakfast. In 2002 the retired furniture maker and salesman founded the nonprofit which serves Westmoreland and neighboring counties, as well as poor neighborhoods in West Virginia and Kentucky. Mr. Cunningham, 83, of Unity, is CEO of the mostly volunteer group based at the corps Thrift Store in Greensburg.

June

Wilkinsburg native Frank Collins carried the Olympic torch through a tiny town in England as the world got ready for the London Games held two weeks in late July and early August.

Mr. Collins, 43, now lives in Columbia, Md., where he is a finance manager for Unistart Nuclear Energy. His firm's parent company EDF [Electricity de France] is an official sponsor of the Olympics. Mr. Collins was one of 8,000 selected to be torchbearers to keep the Olympic flame burning continuously. Bearers are nominated for their character and work in the community. The flame was lit May 10 in Olympia, Greece, and taken to Athens before it traveled to the United Kingdom on May 19. Mr. Collins' leg of the journey -- 350 yards -- came May 24 in Gloucester, north of London. His place in the relay lasted around 2 minutes "so I took my time'' he said in a June 7 Resume.

Torchbearers get to keep their own 2-foot-long torch; they pass only the flame to the next runner. Mr. Collins' torch now sits in his office so his coworkers can enjoy it. Each torch has 8,000 holes in it's aluminum base to symbolize each bearer.

July

Natalie Carbone Mangini who is manager of Carbone's Restaurant in Unity and is instrumental in planning the popular Our Lady of Mount Carmel festival in that township's village of Crabtree each July, also happens to be the first woman to hold the title of scientist at the Westinghouse Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory. She was the subject of a July 19 Resume.

In the 1950s, Natalie Carbone, a nuclear chemist, worked on the reactor for the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear submarine. Her work was so unusual for the times, she was invited as a guest on the iconic "What's My Line?" television quiz show. She declined offers to make a film about her life. She later married Vincent Mangini and the couple had four children and owned and operated Crabtree Oil, in addition to her work with her family's restaurant.

At age 84, she continues to greet customers and balance the books at the eatery. She is a distinguished alumnae of Seton Hill University and is listed in "Who's who of American women" and "Who's who in Atoms."

August

Lisa Scales, 52, of Wilkinsburg, the new CEO for Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, said work there nourishes her. A former attorney for the City of Chicago she said in an Aug. 2 Resume that she made a job change because she "wanted a career that would feed my soul."

Ms. Scales had been with food bank since 1996 and one of her first jobs was to oversee its organic vegetable farm in West Deer and its farm stand project, which operates 13 sites in low income neighborhoods. Her goal is to increase the amount of healthy produce delivered to the needy clients here to more than 5 million pounds a year. That's in addition to the more than 27 million pounds of food delivered each year.

She oversees a staff of around 100 and hundreds of volunteers. The bank serves more than 108,000 people each month through 400 member agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries and senior centers.

September

When Rick Allison was growing up in Westmoreland County in the 1970s, he recalled that being openly gay was easier in an "urban environment."

"It was difficult in smaller, rural areas," he said in a Sept. 20 Resume. "It was a time when people didn't talk about bullying or social justice in the areas of sexual orientation."

These days he works hard to ensure gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are comfortable in their community. Mr. Allison, 58, of Point Breeze, was recently named a Dignity & Respect Champion of Greater Pittsburgh by the Dignity & Respect Campaign. The campaign is an awareness initiative designed to join individuals, community leaders and organizations, educational institutions, businesses under the common notion that everyone deserves dignity and respect.

Mr. Allison is dean of academic affairs and coordinating dean of allied health at the Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus.

October

Scan the resume of former Greensburg mayor Karl Eisaman and you'll find more than two dozen civic organizations to which he's a current or past member; he's chairman of the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce, president of the Greensburg Rotary Club and board member of Westmoreland Human Services, the United Way of Westmoreland County, the Westmoreland County Community College Foundation and the Greensburg YMCA. These are in addition to his day job as president of McDowell Associates, Inc., an independent insurance agency.

In an Oct. 18 Resume he we noted another: a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities. He received the award at the group's convention, held in Pittsburgh this year.

But Mr. Eisaman, 53, arguably is most known for his four-term, 16-year tenure as mayor of the City of Greensburg.

November

Tom McGough who has proved his mettle on the baseball diamond as well as on the Plum Borough school board. As a professional pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and its farm teams in the 1970s, he won 19 games in his first season and a half, then went on to pitch a no-hitter in 1975 against the Shreveport Pirates as a member of a AA farm team for the Cleveland Indians.

Mr. McGough, 57, added to his stats -- this time in the field of education -- when he and two other southwestern Pennsylvania board members were honored by the Pennsylvania School Board Association with the Master School Board Accreditation.

Mr. McGough is one of only 30 individuals to have received the honor since PSBA initiated the accreditation in 2007.

In a Nov. 15 Resume, we learned that Mr. McGough decided to run for school board after leading a Friday morning chapel service at Light of Light Rescue Mission on Pittsburgh's North Side where a homeless man, impressed by his "gift," challenged him to use it to help others.

December

Ruth White, 80, told us in a Dec. 6 Resume that she hopes to continue to be a tireless tutor for children.

Ms. White of McKeesport was honored by the McKeesport school board for a decade of "selfless service" to district students. Ms. White spends 20 hours a week throughout the school year tutoring elementary students in reading and she helps teachers with games and story times. She also buys books to give to students on their birthdays and as awards at the school year's end. In addition, last year Ms. White read more than 100 children's books to students at Centennial Elementary.

-- Compiled by Virginia Kopas Joe

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