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Staff and Board
Union Project Staff
Join the team at Union Project!
Jeffrey Dorsey, Executive Director
Jeffrey’s expertise in arts-based community development and non-profit management has spanned more than fifteen years across various sectors in and around Pittsburgh. His background includes working as an artist, performer, arts-educator, arts manager, and economic development strategist. He has helped shape some of Pittsburgh’s most progressive community building initiatives including managing the Penn Avenue Arts Initiative, co-founding the East End Partnership of Pittsburgh, directing the Friendship Development Associates, and chairing the expansion of the Waldorf School of Pittsburgh.
Committed to helping people create positive change in their lives and communities, Jeffrey’s work focuses on connecting people to essential resources, knowledge, and partners in order to empower and build community wealth. Through his professional career and personal endeavors, Jeffrey has impacted his own community by inspiring others to live more simple and meaningful lives, create more livable and sustainable neighborhoods, and work toward social renewal.
Jeffrey credits his deep interest in community to his own family, remembering his parents who could “talk to anyone about anything, loved hosting gatherings, and were experts at making people feel comfortable.” Jeffrey balances his work life with enjoying time playing with his wife and two children, spending time outdoors, practicing yoga, running, playing soccer, renovating his old house and making art with his hands and mind.
Michelle Clesse, Director of Engagement
Michelle Clesse has lived in five different states, but fell in love with Pittsburgh’s hefty winters, arts organizations, library system, and friendly neighbors. With over ten years of experience as a visual artist, arts educator, and arts manager; Michelle values communication and knowledge-sharing as essential ties strengthening and binding a community together. She is excited to contribute her skills to Union Project.
Michelle received her Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University, and her MFA in Ceramics and Sculpture from Washington State University.
In her spare time, Michelle makes things out of clay, reads stories, and makes lots of lists. She has a great fondness and appreciation for alliteration, rabbits, eating really good food that other people cook, post-its, and excel spreadsheets.
Milo Berezin, Arts Education Coordinator
Milo Berezin grew up in a small town in Alaska, where he spent most of his summers in the woods chasing bugs and most of his winters sheltered from the snow constructing extravagant sculptures out of collected junk. The son of a potter, he discovered at an early age the joy inherent in making and building, and he loves sharing that sense of power and accomplishment with young learners. Milo studied sculpture and printmaking at Carnegie Mellon University and later went on to earn his MAT and PK-12 art education certification from Chatham University.
Since moving to Pittsburgh in 2004, he has worked with kids all over the city, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Children's Museum, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and the YMCA. He was drawn to Union Project's mission of building community through the arts and is eager to strengthen and expand the organization's educational programming and resources.
In his free time, Milo can still be found chasing backyard insects, playing board games, dancing the Lindy Hop, or spread out in the studio making prints on his press.
Kevin Fernando, Marketing Coordinator, PULSE Fellow
Coming from Pittston, a small valley town in northeastern Pennsylvania, Kevin fled to Pittsburgh in 2010 to pursue an arts education and experience urban life. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Art History and Architectural Studies, Kevin is partaking in a year of service as a PULSE fellow.
Since moving to Pittsburgh, Kevin has worked in visitor services at the Andy Warhol Museum, as the art camp supervisor of the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and the Conservation Assistant of the University of Pittsburgh Art Gallery. He has held internships with the Allegheny Land Trust and Silver Eye Center for Photography, volunteered with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, and co-founded the art market research project, Dear Pittsburgh.
In his down time, Kevin enjoys spending his savings on photography, vinyl record collecting, and traveling throughout the United States.
Rebecca McNeil is the shared chief financial officer (CFO) of the Arts Finance Cohort, a group of five Pittsburgh-based arts organizations.
Rebecca has always been interested in how financial information translates across disciplines and now gets to see it first-hand everyday! She is excited to work with such a diverse group of organizations and help strengthen the arts community in Pittsburgh.
Before joining the Arts Finance Cohort, Rebecca was the Director of Finance at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. The Arts Finance Cohort members include New Hazlett Theater, Pittsburgh Glass Center, PICT Classic Theatre, Society for Contemporary Craft, and Union Project.
Dana Zinza, Office Manager
Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Dana has always loved being able to walk anywhere! For nearly a decade, Dana worked in community development and is now thrilled to join UP to reconnect with the community.
Dana loves spending time with her husband and three beautiful daughters. When she isn't at work, she enjoys gardening, cleaning (really), and organizing EVERYTHING.
Tim Poellnitz, Custodian
Tim Poellnitz first found out about Union Project from a friend eight years ago and has since been an invaluable member of the UP Staff. In his spare time, he likes playing football, basketball, and cooking with his family. Tim is happy to have been present to see the many changes that have happened to Union Project through the years, most recently the finished stained glass windows and the newly renovated Great Hall. What Tim has come to value most about his job are the people he works with and the fact that he is helping the community every day.
Union Project Board
Mark Heckmann (Chair)
anupama jain (Co-chair)
Michael Smith (Secretary)
Lindsay Lechner (Treasurer)