Board of Directors

This is Bona Fide Bellevue. We’re a group of energetic community builders who just want to see Bellevue as the best living environment we can all make it.  It only starts with us, though.  We’re always looking for motivated individuals who want to help our area thrive!

Kathy Coder- President

kathycoderIn 2002 My husband and I moved back to Pittsburgh after living in Seattle and Atlanta .We chose to live in Bellevue because I lived here as a single and loved it’s proximity to everything and the walkable, quaint community. We couldn’t believe how much house you could get for the money if you were willing to put in a little elbow grease. We did a total renovation of our 100 year old house in 2004- We were thrilled with our “masterpiece” and our friendly neighbors. However, in the process as we got more acclimated with the community, we realized that Bellevue was at a crossroads. It had great potential, but it also needed people to step up and make it’s potential become reality. After living in two booming, hip towns (Seattle and Atlanta) I was bursting with ideas on how we could enhance our town and draw people to it. In 2008 I gathered a group of like-minded people and we began to envision and set goals to revitalize and grow Bellevue to it’s greatness…thus BIGr was formed. I have also had the chance to serve on the Bellevue Council the last five years and run for State Representative in an effort to  impact Bellevue from the legislative side as well. I am thrilled with our progress and believe the best is yet to come!

 

Linda Law Carroll

My husband and I moved to Bellevue in 1984.  We liked Bellevue because it was a short commute from downtown Pittsburgh and because we loved the old homes and the fact that residents can walk to the active main street. We raised our children here and they attended schools in the Northgate School District which is one of very few walking school districts.  I am currently a probate and estates attorney with Marks Elder Law.

I became involved with BIGr because I wanted to be a part of efforts to make Bellevue more beautiful and vibrant.  I became a director of BIGr shortly before BIGr incorporated, worked on obtaining 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, and recently became the group’s treasurer.

Amy Conaway

Amy Conaway dove into BIGr board membership in 2016. After volunteering her kids to water the Community Herb Garden and her husband to “Improve the Vue” at the Bayne playground build, she knew it was time to put her own skills to work for the town she loves. Shout out to all the people we’ve met since our decision to buy our home on Grant Avenue (2011). You make Bellevue a great place to live.

 

Jean Dennison

Jean Dennison moved to Bellevue as a child in 1953. She joined the BIGr Board in 2016. Recently retired from her position as Executive Director for the Office of Mission Advancement for the Sisters of Divine Providence, she brings her experience in the field of public relations and communication to her board work.

Jean has seen Bellevue through many transitions over the years and is eager to work with BIGr to revitalize both the business district and the residential area of the borough. She believes in the potenial of the borough and its residents to move into the future with a renewed commitment to make Bellevue all that it can be. Jean currently serves on the Main Street Committee.

Christopher Driscoll

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I first moved to Bellevue in 2013 for a few reasons: a beautiful and affordable turn of the century home, a short commute to downtown void of any tunnels, the walk-able main street district and the glaring potential for revitalization.  I only intended to stay a year or two and to move back into the city, but my wife and I found and bought another dream home in Bellevue, just a few blocks away.  Bellevue can be the next Regent Square or Lawrenceville, but better. Bellevue often reminds me of Lansdowne, the inner-ring suburb I grew up in just outside of Philadelphia, which has faced similar challenges over the years- but these challenges are all solvable with the right people, political will and investment. The work of BIGr is to make this happen.

 Mike Kendall

After primarily living in Beaver County for most of our lives, my wife and I began looking for a new place to call home.  We were looking for better access to the city and its many amenities.  We were also looking for affordability and a Victorian era house.  We could not be happier with our decision to choose Bellevue as our new home.

Since our arrival in 2014, we have met many wonderful people, we have gotten involved, and we feel a sense of community like never before.  We became involved with BIGR during a few of their events/initiatives and I joined the BIGR board in 2016.

 Samantha Post

I first came to Bellevue in 2013 with my family when we were looking to purchase the local hardware store. While toying with the idea of setting up shop in Bellevue, the word that was consistently used was “potential.”At first glance, it was hard not to notice the historic architecture, walkable business district, and close proximity to downtown Pittsburgh. What wasn’t immediately evident were the small town values and charm that resided here. For instance, when we first set up shop, we put a sign outside of the store that said, “Under new ownership. Stop in and say hello.” Much to my surprise, multiple people stopped in just to say  “hi” and introduce themselves. They thanked us for “saving” the hardware store and told us that they prefer to shop local. This is Bellevue! This is why my family does business here. This is why I live here. This is why I am a part of the Bellevue Initiative for Growth and Revitalization (BIGr) — to help preserve the integrity of this charming town while also pushing it forward so that it continues to be a place that people want to live, worship, and shop.

Pamela Russell

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Pamela Russell is the founder and owner of PJR Photography and Studio, LLC and a professional fine art gallery known as the Artists’ Gallery. Pamela’s vision for Bellevue consists of building an attractive, upscale business base and an active and energized community of artist lovers who recognize and appreciate the introduction of legitimate artwork from many local artists. Pamela is a member of the Main Street Committee and a member of the Garden Sub-committee which just completed the “Bellevue Community Garden” located in the front yard at the YMCA.

Grant Saylor

New member to BIGr. Lifelong Bellevue resident looking to roll up my sleeves and work to make Bellevue a more vibrant community that attracts new businesses and families to the area.

 

 

 

 Susan Stabnau

Bellevue has been our home since 1994. After several trips here from suburban MD to visit my brother in Bloomfield, my husband, daughter and I decided that the cost of living, sense of community and lifestyle Pittsburgh offered would make it a great place to live.

Starting with a duplex we lived in while renovating (and still own), then moving to a Dutch Colonial on a dead end brick street, and 7 years ago moving across the street to take on an extensive restoration of a Classic Revival stucco house – we’ve stayed here because we love Bellevue’s beautiful and still affordable housing, its proximity to the city and the great people.

Throughout our years here, I’ve volunteered in a myriad of ways to help make our community better. Friends and associates know to call me whenever they need advice on anything design related and I joined BIGr last year to spearhead the House Tour Committee.

Creating  a sense of home, problem solving and improving aesthetics are what I do for my interior design clients and are a few of the areas we, as a community, must work to improve. Bellevue already has what developers are creating from scratch and marketing to great success: interesting housing stock, small schools that students can walk to, a central business district, vibrant parks and green spaces, to name a few. Two things they can’t duplicate are the depth of history and love of place we sometimes take for granted. I’m excited to see what’s next for Bellevue.

Cindy West

Excited to help Bellevue reclaim its architectural and aesthetic integrity, I became involved with BIGr in 2014. My hope is that we as a CDC can work with community businesses and residences to improve our VUE. Shopping small, shopping local, cleaning up our streets and sidewalks, and taking pride in the positives: People, Proximity, Potential will go a long way in helping Bellevue return to its glory.

 

Seth Zimmerman

I am recent Bellevue resident along with my wife Laura and two girls Evelyn and Renna. I am also an ordained minister in the Anglican Church of North America and am on staff at St. Stephen’s Church in Sewickley.

I chair the Improve the Vue committee which works to improve appearance of our borough.