Dan Rooney honored for North Side contributions

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You can take the kid out of the North Side -- and make him ambassador to Ireland -- but you can't take the North Side out of the kid.

Steelers chairman Dan Rooney, who was born in the neighborhood in 1932, made that point today as he recalled the parks where he used to play and urged the preservation of that space amid the North Side's development.

"The North Side's coming back," said Mr. Rooney, who recently returned home from a four-year stint as the nation's ambassador to Ireland. Calling the neighborhood's resurgence "a new renaissance," he cautioned against development that squeezed out green space.

Chamber honors Dan Rooney with lifetime achievement award

The NorthSide/NorthShore Chamber of Commerce honored Dan Rooney with a lifetime achievement award at a luncheon. (Video by Nate Guidry; reporting by Dan Majors; 4/30/2013)

Mr. Rooney made his remarks to more than 250 members of the North Side/North Shore Chamber of Commerce who gathered in the Heinz Field East Club this afternoon to honor him with the organization's Lifeftime Achievement Award.

"It's important to recognize people in the business community who do more than just do business," said Robin Rosemary Miller, the chamber's executive director. "They go out and they contribute back to the community. They attend events and mentor other businesses. We look for those people who have gone that extra mile.

"With Mr. Rooney, we are just so honored to have him back in our community. Welcome him home and recognize just how much he's done for our neighborhood. He's put his business here, which employs thousands of people. But it's more than just the Steelers. He's given back to local charities, and he's very active in the Allegheny City Society and the Holy Family Institute."

Mr. Rooney, who was accompanied by his wife, Pat, received an artist's rendering of St. Peter's Church on the North Side -- "his second home," Ms. Miller called it -- as part of the honor.

The luncheon featured Dan Onorato, the chief external affairs officer for Highmark Inc., as keynote speaker. The former city councilman and county executive hailed Monday's announcement of the region's newly named hospital network -- Allegheny Health Network -- as a development that promised a new model for treating patients.

The approval, issued Monday morning after nearly 18 months of vetting, puts West Penn Allegheny Health System under Highmark's control and lays the foundation for Highmark's plans to establish an integrated health care delivery system to compete with, and be an alternative to, the regionally dominant UPMC.

The chamber also honored Rivers Casino as best large business and The Breadworks as best small business. PNC Park was named "favorite place to be." Other chamber award winners included the Pipitone Group, the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society and James Street Gastropub. Colleen Myers of Citizens Bank was named Most Visible Professional.

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This story originally appeared in The Pittsburgh Press. To subscribe: http://press.post-gazette.com/ Dan Majors: dmajors@post-gazette.com. First Published April 30, 2013 8:00 PM


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