Committee Election


March 27, 2018

Committee Member Election Information

The election of USC Democratic Committee Members will be part of the May 15th Primary. Those running for the committee seat in your ward and district will appear on the ballot. Any registered Democrat can vote for the member from their district.

Each district is represented by two individuals of different genders.

Duties

  • Committee members should attend as many of the monthly meetings and other events as possible.
  • Committee members are strongly encouraged to work the Upper St. Clair Day booth.
  • Committee members vote in the endorsement meetings.
  • Committee members will support Democratic Candidates.

Officer Election

After the Committee Member results are certified by the County Department of Election, the chairperson of the County Democratic Committee will issue the official list of newly elected USC Democratic Committee Members. The Committee Members will gather in-person to elect a chairperson, vice-chairperson, and secretary. The chairperson and vice-chairperson must be of different genders.

The newly elected chairperson will appoint a Treasurer.

Candidates for Committee Seats

The following information was provided by individuals running for a committee seat. It is presented in by Ward and District in alphabetical order by last name.

Ward 1, District 2

Blaine Aikin

Running for as the Ward 1 District 2 Democratic Committee Member.

  • USC residents since 2005
  • Four children: three working college graduates, one sophomore at USC High School
  • Two grandchildren
  • Graduates of Mt. Lebanon High School
  • Graduate of Allegheny College (B.S., Economics and Political Science) and Carnegie Mellon University (Masters, Public Management and Policy)
  • Executive Chairman of Fi360 and CEFEX
  • National leader in financial planning and fiduciary conduct
  • Avid outdoorsman; Steering Group Member of the Center for Private Forests at Penn State

Priorities shared with Terry

  • Policies that create a better future for coming generations
  • Competence, ethics, and civility in government
  • Quality education and health care
  • Environmental protection
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Human rights and social justice; women’s issues
  • Commonsense measures to combat gun violence

Terry Aikin

Running for as the Ward 1 District 2 Democratic Committee Member.

  • USC residents since 2005
  • Four children: three working college graduates, one sophomore at USC High School
  • Two grandchildren
  • Graduates of Mt. Lebanon High School
  • Graduate of University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy
  • Professional pharmacist for 30+ years; Owner/operator of Neighborhood Pharmacy on Library Road; now retired
  • Active politically
  • Enjoys hiking and birdwatching

Priorities shared with Blaine

  • Policies that create a better future for coming generations
  • Competence, ethics, and civility in government
  • Quality education and health care
  • Environmental protection
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Human rights and social justice; women’s issues
  • Commonsense measures to combat gun violence

Ward 2, District 1

C. Elise Logan

C. Elise Logan is running for the position of committee woman for District 2-1. Elise has a BA in political science and an MS in Public Policy, and 10 years of experience working in energy policy. Elise currently works as a contractor at the National Energy Technology Laboratory in South Park. Elise currently serves on the board of the USC Newcomers Club as the Corresponding Secretary, is a member of the Eisenhower Elementary PTO, and is the elected representative for Ward 2 on the USC Board of Commissioners. Elise is running for committee because she wants to continue working to elect Democrats in Upper St. Clair. Elise is married to Steven Logan, and they have two daughters, Hope (8) and Naomi (3).

Ward 2, District 2

George Bockosh

I was born and raised in southwestern PA. Dad was a coal miner and mom was a homemaker. I worked my way through college via various jobs that included auto mechanic, truck driver, coal miner, and steel worker. Those efforts enabled me to pay for and earn a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. I later earned a M.S. degree in Mining Engineering.

I began my professional career as a Maintenance Forman at Republic Steel’s Banning #4 Mine and later worked for the US Bureau of Mines where I conducted and supervised research to improve the health and safety of our Nation’s miners. I joined the Centers for Disease Control in 1996 where I continued to be involved with improving worker health and safety. I continued that work as a Federal Employee or Contractor until I retired in 2016.

My wife, Melissa, and I moved to USC in 2000. I enjoy home improvement projects, restoring antique radios, and traveling.

My past involvement in politics was limited to voting, campaigning for Conor Lamb and Elise Logan and working at the polls as an Inspector.  The recent election of Trump and the resulting destruction has caused me to get more involved. My goal is to do what I can to bring science, civility, and truthfulness back to government.

Anne Kulli

Anne Kulli is running for committee chairperson for Ward 2, District 2. She is Associate Counsel for WESCO Distribution at Station Square in downtown Pittsburgh. Prior to that, she worked as an attorney for the University of Pittsburgh in the Office of Research. She is a relative recent Pittsburgh transplant, having moved here about 5 years ago from New York where she attended law school. Prior to that, she worked as a talent scout for Interscope Records in Los Angeles. She has a JD from Brooklyn Law School, an MA in Communications from Syracuse University, and a BA from the University of Rochester. She is a member of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts and Business Volunteers for the Arts with the GPAC. She loves Upper St. Clair for its wonderful schools, parks, and community. She is dedicated to the liberal cause, championing the issues of civil liberty and equality. Anne is mom to two children, Axel (4) and Clementine (2), and is married to Brian, a producer for WPXI.

Ward 2, District 3

Bernadette Fincke

My name is Bernadette Fincke and I am a lifetime Pittsburgh resident and Democrat. I am running for Democratic Committee Person in the Upper St. Clair voting Ward Two, District Three.

I graduated Duquesne University in 1978 with a B.A. in journalism and marketing. Most of my work experience has been in administrative and computer support roles. I worked for the Upper St. Clair School District as a Computer Instructional Aide and was a part-time adjunct computer instructor for Community College of Allegheny County. I currently work as a freelance website developer.

I serve as Co-Chair of the Friends of South Park and have been recently appointed as a board member for the St. Anthony Foundation of Pittsburgh. I have also volunteered for the following organizations: Rebuilding Together Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Literacy Council, South Hills Interfaith Ministry, and Our Lady of Victory Maronite Church.

Like most people who believe in a rational, civil, and inclusive democracy, this past year has prompted me to become more active in the Upper St. Clair Democratic Committee. It is my intent if elected as committee woman to personally get to know my fellow democrats, encourage their participation in the organization, and to represent their voice in choosing nominees for office.

My husband Jason and I have lived in Upper St. Clair for the past 32 years. We have two children, Jessica and Jared, and a wonderful dog named Murphy who we rescued twelve years ago. I am also the proud grandmother of Evie Madelyn and Carter James.

I enjoy reading, travel, walking Murphy at South Park, music, theatre, and spending time with family and friends.

Jason A. Fincke

Jason A. Fincke currently serves as the Upper St. Clair Democratic Committeeman in Ward 2 District 3.  Recently retired, Mr. Fincke last served as executive director of the Builders Guild of Western Pennsylvania, Inc., a unique non-profit labor/management association which represents more than 40,000 union building trades workers and more than 400 professional contractors.

Among other tasks, Mr. Fincke was responsible for helping promote the union building trades for its tuition-free training and employment opportunities.  In this capacity he served on numerous workforce committees and boards, including the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board, Pittsburgh Job Corps, Beaver County Energy & Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, Tri-County Business Education Partnership, Holy Family Institute, and the Pittsburgh Public Schools Occupational Advisory Committee, among others.

A Pittsburgh area native, Mr. Fincke is a graduate of Shaler Area High School and Duquesne University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism in 1978 with a minor in political science.  Prior to joining the Builders Guild in 2006, he worked in public service with the Port Authority of Allegheny County, including 15 years as a member of its senior staff.  Among many other duties, he organized a local transit coalition to promote the use and availability of public transit and worked closely with Allegheny County, State and Federal officials.

In addition to serving as a USC democratic committeeman, Mr. Fincke serves on the Friends of South Park Board of Directors and is active in other community affairs.  Mr. Fincke began serving as USC’s Ward 2 District 3 Committeeman as a result of the most recent presidential election and a growing movement across the country whereby it seems that decency, morality and common sense are sorely lacking.

A graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, he and his wife, Bernadette, raised two children in Upper St. Clair and have two grandchildren.

Ellen Simon

Ellen Simon is seeking election to the Committeewoman position in Ward 2, District 3 after having been appointed to that position in December 2016. She has been an Upper St. Clair resident for 15 years. Her commitment to public service started as a high school guidance counselor in the Chartiers Valley School District. She has since left that position to raise and homeschool her civic-minded sons with her husband. Ellen has consistently served on boards in the area including Chartiers Center (Bridgeville) and Beth El Religious School (Mt Lebanon). She currently is free lancing with a Dutch company, UStudy, to help students’ dreams of studying abroad come true.

Other fun facts:

  • She quotes musicals a lot and it drives her family crazy.
  • She strives to make writing postcards for Democratic candidates a daily practice.

Ward 2, District 4

Peter H. Schnore

Peter is one of the many Upper St. Clair Democrats who decided to become involved in the Upper St. Clair Democratic Committee following the 2016 presidential election.  Peter was appointed to his position on the Democratic Committee, serving Ward 2, District 4, in 2017.

Peter serves on the Committee to help identify and support the very best candidates – ones who will best represent all the citizens of Upper St. Clair – for elected office at every level of government.  He is very encouraged by how the new Committee members have been welcomed by Committee’s “old guard,” and the work the Committee is accomplishing, which is reflected in part by the recent electoral success that Democrats have had within Upper St. Clair.

Peter welcomes fellow Democrats to learn more about the Upper St. Clair Democratic Committee’s work by attending a Committee meeting.  “Better yet, please consider becoming an ‘associate member’ of the Committee by regularly attending our meetings, or seek a position on the Committee yourself.  It’s a great way to meet more of your neighbors, learn more about what is going on in your community, and foster Democratic ideals in government.”

Peter is a Shareholder of the law firm of Babst, Calland, Clements and Zomnir, P.C., which is headquartered in downtown Pittsburgh.  He has been practicing law for more than 16 years and concentrates his practice in real estate-related litigation, including commercial tax assessment appeals and eminent domain proceedings.  Peter was graduated from Lehigh University with a degree in philosophy, and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

Peter lives on Seegar Road with his wife Jennifer and two young sons.

Jodi McClelland

Jodi is a life-long resident of Southwestern Pennsylvania and is the daughter of the late Robert and Jeannie Spiller. Her father served as First Vice President of The Ironworkers International and her mother was a  secretary at Canonsburg Hospital.   One of two daughters in a democratic union household, Jodi was raised in a second generation immigrant Catholic household and had grandfathers employed as coal miners.

Jodi received her B.S. in Business Management from Penn State University.  Upon graduation, she began her career in store management, buying, and recruitment/training  with Kaufmann’s Department Stores.  After marrying her husband, Regis in 1995, they relocated to Upper St Clair.  She and Regis have three children; Liam (20), Olivia (18), and Evan (16).

After a brief hiatus to raise her children, Jodi resumed her business endeavors as office manager for her husband’s personal injury law firm, The McClelland Law Group.  In addition to serving as office manager, Jodi consults for Stuffurnishings as an interior designer.

Jodi currently volunteers with Planned Parenthood of Western PA.  She  serves as a member of their Board of Directors, sits on their Community Development Committee, and is Co-Chair of the PPWP Fundraising Committee.  She also serves as an alumnae advisor to the Delta Delta Delta Sorority at the University of Pittsburgh.

Political experience includes volunteering for the Obama & Clinton campaigns, local school board elections, and with the WAVES movement in Upper St Clair.  The McClelland Family resides at 1819 Murdstone Road.

Ward 3, District 1

Kristin Fiori

Kristin Fiori was raised in a Democratic household, her mother was a school secretary and her father was an educator with the Intermediate Unit and a school board member. They taught her the importance of education, community, unions, the environment and voting. She received a BA in Foreign Service from Penn State University followed by a JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She has been a public defender in Washington County for over 20 years. She helped to organize the assistant Public Defenders and District Attorneys and join Teamsters Local 249 based in Lawrenceville. She is currently unit steward.

She has served as a Planned Parenthood escort and as a volunteer in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Her active participation in campaigns began after the 2000 presidential election. After marching in DC in protest of the inauguration, she realized that politics shouldn’t be a spectator sport and has since volunteered in local and national campaigns. After the 2016 election, she sought a more active role and was appointed to the Upper St. Clair Democratic Committee.

Kristin and her daughters, Julianna (14) and Katie (12), live in Brookside Farms with their cats Willow and Whiskers. They enjoy camping, kayaking, traveling, and geneaology.

Tyler Gellasch

Tyler, an upstate New York native, moved to Upper St. Clair with his wife (Nicole Tichon) and two young daughters in late 2016 to be closer to family. Tyler serves as Executive Director of the Healthy Markets Association, where he works to protect pension funds and savings from Wall Street abuses. Tyler also works for well-known progressive organizations on economic policy issues, including the Center for American Progress, Consumer Federation of America, Americans for Financial Reform, the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition, and more.

After beginning his career in top law firms in New York City and Washington, DC, the financial crisis of 2008 changed his life. Tyler saw first hand what had caused the massive economic crash that threw millions of Americans out of their homes, and he wanted to help fix the problems. He quit his law firm job, sold his house, and joined the US Senate staff for former Senator Carl Levin (D-MI). While there, Tyler helped draft laws to improve the economy and prevent another economic disaster. He also helped with the unprecedented rescue of the domestic auto industry, as well as protect consumers from abusive credit card practices.

Tyler’s pro bono legal work included winning a landmark federal appellate case that ensures Constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment still apply to prisoners in private prisons and hospitals.

Tyler is deeply involved in community economic development in the Pittsburgh area, where is a Board member of both the Steel Valley Authority and Heartland Capital Strategies. Tyler, who once enjoyed skiing and running, has more recently become an expert diaper changer and practiced toddler toy assembly worker. Tyler has worked to help elect dozens of Democrats running for office, from President of the United States to town council.

Tyler graduated from Case Western Reserve University, before earning his Master’s degree in Economics and his law degree from Duke University.

Ward 3, District 3

Geralyn Austin

Geralyn Austin is running to be the female Democratic Committee Person for Upper St. Clair Ward 3 / District 3.

She is a Partner of Essential College Coaches – Pittsburgh based College Admissions Consultants. Geralyn has a strong background in both education and corporate finance. She has held a number of prominent finance positions including: Treasurer JP Austin Associates, Incorporated (2004 to present), Director of North American Finance, Black Box Corporation (1993-2004), and Senior Business Analyst, Ford Motor Corporation (1998-1993).

She has earned a Certificate Program in College Admissions and Career Planning as well as an MBA in Finance from Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh.

Geralyn has an extensive volunteer background including coaching Odyssey of the Mind teams for 13 years, serving as Treasurer of the Odyssey of the Mind Board for 10+ years, serving as President, Vice President and Executive Advisory Board member of the Upper St. Clair PTA Council, serving on the board and as a member of the Youth Steering Committee and serving as a 12+ year member of the Upper St. Clair Curriculum Advisory Board.

Geralyn is a current member of the Upper St. Clair Democratic Committee and served in many ad hoc positions on WAVES, a local community group who successfully formed and sued to overturn a school board decision to eliminate the IB program in 2005.

Geralyn is running for Committee Person to represent the democratic positions of her ward and district.

Geralyn is an avid reader and long-time member of a book club. She loves learning about all aspects of education and passionately believes that every student has a story tell and can make our world a better place.

Geralyn has been married to Jerry for 27 years. She has 2 sons, Paul is attending Notre Dame Law School as a 1L after graduating from Northwestern in 2016. Kyle will graduate from Northwestern in June, 2018 and work for IBM.

Paul J. Battisti

I am a retired civil servant seeking the Committee Man post of the Democratic Party of Upper St. Clair for Ward 3, District 3, bounded by Route 19, McLaughlin Run, Hastings Mill, and Morton and Morrow Roads (surrounding USC Country Club). My wife (Darcy) and I have lived in USC for 24 years. Our son is a 2000 graduate of USC High School. I am running to help strengthen the Democratic Party in USC. I served as a Poll Watcher and performed phone bank duties in the March 13th, Special Election for the 18th Congressional District as well as helping with the “Dog and Cat Walk for Conor Lamb” (tape, broom and hammer man) at the Allegheny County Fair Grounds. I attended the Pittsburgh Women’s March in January 2017 with my wife, relatives, and friends and members of 412 Resistance.

Work and Volunteer Background:

  • Currently, Appointed – USC Civil Service Board Member (Since 2009)
  • Retired as Assistant Director of Human Resources, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Pittsburgh, PA 2005
  • Previous positions include various titles in Human Resources in Pittsburgh, Washington, DC, and Hot Springs, SD 1978 – 1988
  • Peace Corps Volunteer – Guatemala, CA 1976-78
  • Program Director and Grant Writer for US Department of Labor “Hard to Employ” Demonstration Program – Morgantown, WV 1974 – 1976
  • Grant Writer – Crime, Delinquency and Prevention, State of West Virginia, Morgantown, WV 1973 – 1974
  • Private Sector 1970 – 1973

Education:

  • West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, MA, Public Administration 1972 BS,
  • Political Science 1969

Hobbies: reading, sailing, gardening

Ward 4, District 1

Deb Allen

Deb Allen is running to represent 4-1 as the female democratic committee person. She has lived on Moon Ridge Drive for 30 years. Deb received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Texas A&M University. While employed, she held a professional license as a psychologist and a certification as a school psychologist as well as other educational certification. Prior to retiring, Deb worked for almost 35 years in public education. During her 28 years in the Mt. Lebanon School District, she held various administrative positions, including Director of Student Support Services and Assistant Superintendent.

Deb has a strong commitment to public service. Currently, she volunteers at the South Hills Interfaith Movement (SHIM). While employed, she volunteered as a National Baldrige examiner. This program recognizes organizations in business, health care, education, and nonprofit sectors for performance excellence. In her free time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her grandchildren.

Deb considers herself as a political neophyte. She recently became concerned with the general dysfunction and lack of civility in politics. She saw an increase in egocentric attitudes which has increased biases and discrimination. After reading the democratic platform, she believes this philosophy was one which she wanted to support. Consequently, she became informally involved in the Upper St. Clair Democratic Committee.

Ward 5, District 1

Celeste McGraw

Celeste earned a BA degree from Robert Morris. In 1983, she became the Executive Assistant to Allegheny County Commissioner, Pete Flaherty, a position she held for a number of years having previously worked at US Steel Corp. Celeste currently is a Contract Administrator with the Allegheny County Airport Authority. An Upper St. Clair resident since 1987, Celeste has two children who are Upper St. Clair High School graduates. Celeste is a grandmother and a cat owner. Her busy schedule limits her leisure activities, but when time allows, Celeste enjoys baseball, travel and the theater.

Celeste has been a Committee Woman on the Upper St. Clair Democratic Committee for many years and was the vice-chairperson of the Upper St. Clair Democratic Committee for 18 of those years.

Ward 5, District 3

Erin Urban

Erin Urban is running to be a Ward 5, District 3 committee member. She’s lived in Upper St. Clair since 2013. She has an M.F.A. in Acting from the Catholic University of America and B.A.s in Theatre and Communication from Florida State University. She’s been a writer and editor for the Dept. of Treasury since 2010 and was seen onstage at Little Lake Theatre last fall.

Erin served as corresponding secretary of the Upper St. Clair Newcomers’ Club from 2015 – 2017. In the summer of 2004, she raised money for the DNC on the streets of Washington, D.C. She’s been involved with the Upper St. Clair Democratic Committee since January of 2017. Healthcare is the issue she’s most interested in, followed by education. She phone banked for C. Elise Logan’s campaign as well as Conor Lamb’s. She plans to continue pitching in to get Democrats elected locally and nationally.