“I believe in the energy and potential of Pittsburgh. That’s why I stayed.”
Ned Schano has always been an optimist about Pittsburgh's future. Like many of his contemporaries graduating from college in the late 1990s, he considered several options for where to live and work. Ultimately, he chose to stay in Pittsburgh, embracing his love for the region, its rich history and culture -- and a desire to be a part of the mounting energy of the region.
"It is fun to see the transformation of the city," he says. "I have a lot of friends from college who moved out of town and are now wanting to move back."
Ned lives in Shadyside with his wife, in a one-of-a-kind location - Roslyn Street, the only wooden street left in the United States and now up for a Pittsburgh historic designation. It's also just a few blocks off of the Walnut Street business district, affording Ned and his family the chance to walk to the grocery store, restaurants, or for an early evening drink. "There is so much to see and do in and around Shadyside," he says. Ned recommends Soba on Ellsworth Avenue, Eleven Restaurant in the Strip District and Union Standard in downtown Pittsburgh as "must-eat" places.
The region's arts and cultural scene is a major plus for Ned and his family.
"For a city our size, the cultural amenities are amazing," he says. "The Carnegie Museums, The Heinz History Center, the world-class Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, beautiful Heinz Hall and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are just a few of the places we love."
Ned spent nearly 12 years serving as the director of communications for the Heinz History Center and co-director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum. He enjoyed telling the stories of the region's past and exploring artifacts such as George Washington's peace pipe, Mister Rogers' television set, antique trolleys and World Series-winning baseballs. Since early 2017, however, he's been telling the stories of Pittsburgh's future as UPMC Health Plan's senior manager of media relations. He is charged with getting the word out about the important work the organization does across the region as it expands its footprint, adding to the 3.2 million customers it already serves.
Ned believes the region's strengths in medicine and its healthcare institutions are important economic drivers and a great way to attract talent from all around the world. Ned works with "a host of smart, diverse and eclectic Pittsburgh natives and transplants." He is pleasantly surprised that people around the world know about the region and the opportunities ahead. "The view of Pittsburgh has changed dramatically," he says. "There's better understanding now that Pittsburgh is a growing city and that job opportunities are here, great universities are here and new technologies are being developed here. It's amazing."
In his spare time, Ned sits on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh. He also plays tennis four times a week on a U.S. Tennis Association league team that includes players from Italy, India, China and Colombia, as well as from New York and Atlanta - all of whom are finding success in Pittsburgh. Look for them next time you're near the courts at Frick Park (clay courts!), Schenley Park or the Mellon Park Tennis Center.