“When it came time to start a family of our own, we wanted to come back to Pittsburgh.”
Raised in the South Hills and Peters Township, Annie Ritchey was ready to leave the nest when she set off for Penn State University more than a decade ago where she earned a degree in nutritional sciences. Annie fell in love and married a fellow Penn State classmate originally from Bedford County. After graduation, they launched their careers in Haddon Heights, N.J. – she as a nutritionist at a long-term care facility, he at Citizens Bank. Their jobs were engaging and – just 10 miles east of Philadelphia – nightlife was fun, but they despaired of ever being able to put down roots there. In New Jersey – home to some of the highest property taxes in the country – “we could only afford to rent,” Annie recalls. “Back here, we knew there are great schools and a manageable cost of living. When it came time to start a family of our own, we wanted to come back to Pittsburgh.”
Her husband, Spencer, transferred to a job in Pittsburgh, eventually moving on to Huntingdon Bank where he is now a manager. Annie found a job in a workplace that turned out to be unpleasant, so she started looking for other options, eventually taking a job as an office manager at the construction company where her father worked. “It was a complete change,” she says. “And I loved it.”
She learned on the job about the nuts and bolts of project engineering and last year moved into a marketing job at Infrastructure and IndustrialConstructors USA (i+iconUSA). Commuting is an easy 30 minute trip on the “T”(the Pittsburgh region’s light-rail system) from her home in Mount Lebanon to her office on the eastern fringe of downtown, in the Doubletree Hotel.
Annie and Spencer enjoy making regular shopping excursions to Wholey & Co.’s fish market and Pennsylvanian Macaroni in the Strip District. And, “we’re sports fanatics,” she says. “We love the Steelers and the Penguins and our family has season tickets to the Pirates. There is such sense of community to Pittsburgh. And it’s great to be close to family.” It’s a family that’s expanding: baby Emma made her joyous arrival in early 2012. In May 2013, she made her first trip to PNC Park.