Franklin Park's Sharon Wolf takes helm as NHCO administrator
March 27, 2014 12:00 AM
Sharon Wolf, new director of North Hills Community Outreach,.
By Kathleen Ganster
North Hills Community Outreach has a new executive director — Sharon Wolf of Franklin Park.
Ms. Wolf, 58, has more than 25 years of experience working for nonprofits, serving most recently as director of development at the Spina Bifida Association of Western Pennsylvania. She was responsible for overseeing all development duties, including fundraising, grant writing, special events and communications.
Ms. Wolf began her career in human services after she completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Clarion University.
“I wanted to work with people and did just that," she said. "My first job was working as a living skills instructor teaching daily living skills.”
It was during her next job in human services in Washington County that Ms. Wolf began writing grants and public relations pieces while also serving as a case worker. That is when she started thinking she would like to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector.
“I really enjoyed the communications aspect, which is why I pursued my master's in that area, but I also knew that I wanted to go in the direction of nonprofits,” she said.
Ms. Wolf completed her master's degree in communications in 1991 at California State University.
She also worked as the executive director of the Children's Festival Chorus of Pittsburgh, director of planning and evaluation at Community Action Southwest, and with the Salvation Army of Western Pennsylvania as the director of regional fundraising.
In her new role, Ms. Wolf, who was appointed director March 10, will oversee the five community outreach sites with 20 programs, 30 employees and more than 1,700 volunteers — all aspects that excite her.
“I have long admired their work and was aware of all the wonderful programming, but it wasn’t until I was here that I realized what amazing systems we have in place and the staff and volunteers that make it all possible,” she said.
Ms. Wolf said she felt the executive director position was a good fit for her skills and background.
“I have worked as an executive director in the past; I have a good relationship with local funders and I know the North Hills,” she said.
Ms. Wolf said she knows following Fay Morgan, who stepped down as director in September, means she is “filling big shoes,” but said the staff and volunteers have made her transition much easier.
“We have remarkable staff members and the volunteers, who work on all levels, are truly amazing," she said. "We have the equivalent of 20 additional full-time staff members thanks to the work of our volunteers.”
Ms. Wolf said she has visited the four satellite offices and is learning about all of the resources and programming the outreach organization offers.
Dave Rishel, president of the board, said members were impressed with Ms. Wolf’s background.
“The first thing we noticed is that she demonstrates a real passion for helping those in need," he said. "She has made it her career to be devoted to nonprofits.”
Mr. Rishel said they received more than 60 applications and it took many months of work to go carefully through all of them.
“We were also very impressed with her excellent communications skills and her development experience,” he said.
Mr. Rishel said as the organization moves forward, board members felt her development skills would be an asset.
Ms. Wolf is married to Matthew Wolf and is the mother of Jonathon Donati, who lives in Lawrenceville.
She and her husband perform with the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale.
“We really enjoy singing, and it is a great organization to be involved with,” she said.
Ms. Wolf said she looks forward to getting to know the volunteers and members of the community they serve.
“I’m really excited to be here and serving the community where we live,” she said.
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