Meet our Staff
We’re small but nimble and extremely dedicated. And that’s a good thing considering how quickly the world changes. Chances are, if you reach out on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll be talking to one of the folks below.
President & CEO
With a broad background in law, employment and diversity, Melanie relocated to Pittsburgh from Atlanta in June 2010 to serve as CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh. Most recently, she served as the President of the American Institute for Managing Diversity, Inc. (AIMD), a national nonprofit diversity think tank based in Atlanta, Georgia. AIMD conducted research, education and public outreach programs on the issue of diversity. Melanie also served as General Counsel for D.J. Miller & Associates, Inc. (DJMA), a national management consulting firm that specializes in servicing federal, state and local government agencies. Melanie received her J.D. from Emory University School of Law and her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to her role as CEO of Vibrant Pittsburgh, Melanie serves as a member of the Boards of Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, Awesome Pittsburgh and Sustainable Pittsburgh and member of the Class XXVIII of Leadership Pittsburgh. Melanie has also served as Chair of the Dignity and Respect Campaign of Greater Pittsburgh, Co-Chair of the Power of 32 Community and People Committee.
Yvonne English Roebuck
National Director of Marketing and Talent Attraction
Yvonne English Roebuck serves as the Director of Marketing and Talent Attraction for Vibrant Pittsburgh and over sees the organization’s employers relationships and manages and coordinates the promotion of the region and market outreach initiatives to diverse talent locally and nationally.
Yvonne has accumulated more than 28 years of experience in marketing, recruiting, communications, and business planning. She is the former director of marketing and communications for a multi-state international organization, responsible for internal and external communications, branding, public relations, media relations and crisis communications management.
Yvonne served as a public information officer for the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) and wrote its comprehensive strategic marketing plan; she began her tenure at CCAC as a minority recruiter. Prior, Yvonne worked 16-years at Duquesne Light Company in the marketing department where she was responsible for increasing market share by building strategic alliances and establishing partnerships with trade allies. Yvonne initiated a marketing program that provided marketing services to small business customers.
Yvonne earned an Executive MBA from Indiana University and a BS in Marketing from Clarion University. She was named one of Pittsburgh’s 50 Most Influential African American Women by the New Pittsburgh Courier in 2009; and is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh. Yvonne demonstrates her passion for the non-profit community through her volunteer efforts on numerous boards and committees.
Lora Dziemiela McKnight
Operations Manager and Executive Assistant to the CEO
Lora Dziemiela McKnight serves as the Operations Manager and Executive Assistant to the CEO for Vibrant Pittsburgh and oversees the office processes for the organization. Originally from Chicago, Lora previously lived in Jackson, Mississippi before moving to Pittsburgh in 2005. Lora holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a BS in Psychology from Illinois State University.
Silvia has lived in Pittsburgh for the past 5 years, but she is originally from Peru. Before coming to Vibrant Pittsburgh she worked as a volunteer at the Hillman Cancer Center as a research assistant for the Biobehavioral program. She went to college while living in the UK and has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Policy from the University of Southampton, UK. She speaks Spanish, English and French as she also lived in France for 4 years.
Community Outreach & Inclusion Coordinator
As Vibrant Pittsburgh’s Community Outreach & Inclusion Coordinator, Gwendolyn manages Vibrant Pittsburgh’s social media platforms and supports the Vibrant Pittsburgh Welcome Center. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management from University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public and International Affairs (GSPIA) and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French from Lincoln University. Gwendolyn’s varied background provides the perfect foundation for supporting Vibrant Pittsburgh’s programs and services.
Elissa Waldmuller began working for Vibrant Pittsburgh as an intern in the summer of 2014, serving as the data and research management analyst for the Workforce Diversity Indicators Initiative project. In 2015, Elissa transitioned to a full-time position as a Research Analyst. Originally from the Cleveland area, Elissa moved to Pittsburgh in 2008 to attend Chatham University, and continued on to receive a Master of Arts in Research Methodology from the University of Pittsburgh In 2015.