When California native Greg Quinlan moved to Pittsburgh in 2005, he immediately fell in love with the city.
Now the South Side resident will have the chance to fall in love with one of the region's iconic towns -- McKees Rocks -- in his new role as executive director of Focus on Renewal, a nonprofit that has served the McKees Rocks area for 43 years.
Mr. Quinlan took over on Monday, replacing the Rev. Regis Ryan, who is retiring after 35 years. Under Father Ryan, FOR grew from a storefront poverty program into a nonprofit organization offering a wide range of services.
Geoffrey Stillson, interim director of FOR, said Father Ryan decided to slow down a bit and wanted to make way for a professional to take over the agency because of the increasing complexity of running the nonprofit and the Father Ryan Arts Center.
Father Ryan will continue to serve as executive director of the Sto-Rox Neighborhood Family Health Center, a sister organization of FOR.
"I hope to follow the tradition of Father Ryan. He has been consistently entrepreneurial in finding ways to help the community," Mr. Quinlan said. "I want to continue the legacy of Father Ryan."
Mr. Quinlan has experience in the foundation community and in nonprofit agencies plus he has background in the theater community. He was managing director of the City Theater of the South Side for five years.
"That was one of the reasons he was selected," Mr. Stillson said. "We want the arts center to become more of an economic driver for the neighborhood."
The Father Ryan Arts Center, which opened in 2008 in the former Desks Inc. office furniture store on Chartiers Avenue, provides arts education programs for children and adults. It is also home to a 125-seat theater for plays and other events.
Mr. Quinlan has served as treasurer of the South Side Local Development Co., board member of the South Side Chamber of Commerce and a member of the advisory team of the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership.
Most recently, he was an account executive with ThoughtForm, a communications consulting and design firm in Pittsburgh.
"The opportunity to become executive director of FOR was too compelling of a challenge to turn down," Mr. Quinlan said.
In addition to the Father Ryan Arts Center, FOR runs a community center, a food pantry, an emergency support program, a free daily lunch service for those in need, a Head Start program, a family support program for children and a public library in McKees Rocks.
Bob Podurgiel, freelance writer: email@example.com.