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Carl Kurlander

Carl Kurlander

President & CEO

carl@steeltown.org

Carl once lived next door to Spongebob Squarepants.

BIO

For almost two decades, Carl Kurlander worked as a screenwriter in Los Angeles with credits which include the movie “St. Elmo’s Fire” and writing and producing TV shows for NBC’s “Saved By the Bell” franchise.   In 2001, he moved back to his hometown for what he thought would be a yearlong Hollywood sabbatical to teach at the University of Pittsburgh.   Instead, he ended up co-founding the Steeltown Entertainment Project, a non-profit which for over a decade has been helping build an entertainment industry in Southwestern Pennsylvania and mentor a new generation of talent.   He continues to teach as a Senior Lecturer at Pitt and has a daughter Campbell who is a senior at Taylor Allderdice. 

 

Wendy Burtner-Owens

Wendy Burtner-Owens

Chief Operating Officer

wendy@steeltown.org

Wendy worked in a steel mill in the 80s – perhaps proof that “entertainment IS Pittsburgh’s new steel.”

BIO

Raised in Butler, Pennsylvania and educated at Chatham University (then College), Wendy has built a career helping nonprofits build strong foundations for growth. She recently returned to Pittsburgh from Richmond, VA and brings her 25 years of experience to Steeltown as Chief Operating Officer where she oversees the day to operations of the organization. In her spare time, Wendy volunteers as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse and with the Executive Service Corps of the Bayer Center for Nonprofit Excellence. Before joining Steeltown, she led the Capital Region Collaborative in Richmond Virginia, was Executive Director of the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation, COO of Comfort Zone Camp, founding Manager of the CarMax Foundation, and the Director of Grantmaker Services for GuideStar. Before moving to Virginia, Wendy worked for the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh’s Child Care Partnerships and the Early Childhood Initiative.And yes, she also spent the summer of 1986 at the Armco Specialty Steel plant in Butler, PA working in the labor pool banding coils of steel just off the line in the hot mill.

 

 

 

Michael Bartley

Michael Bartley

Executive Vice President of Production and Development

michael@steeltown.org

Michael lives in the house he grew up in, in the Greenfield section of the city. How Pittsburgh is that?

BIO

Veteran Pittsburgh journalist Michael Bartley joined Steeltown in 2016 as our Executive Vice President of Production and Development. Mr. Bartley had been consulting for our “Reel Teens Pittsburgh” program and as he says, “ .. I just fell in love with what Steeltown was doing.” Carl Kurlander soon convinced Michael that he should be here full-time and the rest is history. Carl said “ .. we’re so thrilled to have such a respected and revered Pittsburgh media giant with us.” Michael Bartley has won 14 regional Emmy Awards, the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award, A Gabriel Award, and numerous state and local honors including the Bill Burns Award for Journalistic Excellence, numerous Pittsburgh Press Club Golden Quills, and other television and media-related awards. His many long form stories and documentaries on WQED TV have garnered respect from the all levels of local corporate leaders. Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney called Michael’s work “a true asset for this city and region.” Mr. Bartley has also published many articles for Pittsburgh Magazine and has hosted programs on local radio, including the PNC Business Journal on KQV Radio. He’s taught journalism at La Roche College as well as served on many local non- profit boards, including Gateway Rehabilitation, The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh, The Art Rooney Awards, and others. Mr. Bartley has solely operated a freelance video business for 12 years in the Pittsburgh area, helping non-profit and government agencies utilize premiere video presentations to tell their stories, at an affordable cost. His video production clients include The Allegheny County District Attorney’s office, The Northern Alliance Against Drugs, The Jewish Healthcare Foundation, and The Heinz Endowments. Mr. Bartley has also produced promotional videos and event pieces for The Three Rivers Foundation, The Forbes Funds, The Pittsburgh Non Profit Partnership. Michael is thrilled to be a part of Steeltown’s impact on the region, particularly while working with young people and “The Reel Teens.”
Dave Onomastico

Dave Onomastico

Youth & Media Program Manager

dave@steeltown.org Dave rode his motorcycle through 49 states.

BIO

Dave Onomastico joined Steeltown as the Youth and Media Program Manager in 2016. He graduated from Duquesne University and has worked in live sports broadcasting and documentary filmmaking. He loves working with our youth and giving them the opportunity to experience real world scenarios in the film and digital media arts industry. 
 
Erika Knox

Erika Knox

Manager of Projects & Steeltown Indie

erika@steeltown.org

Erika has both flown a plane and has gone skydiving on separate occasions.

BIO

Erika joined Steeltown as an intern in 2010 and went on to Coordinate the Steeltown Film Factory.  She is now Steeltown’s Manager of Projects and the Steeltown Indie Program.  She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and does freelance producing and production design.  She loves Pittsburgh’s growing film community and is very excited about Steeltown’s initiative to support filmmakers and create opportunities here in Pittsburgh. here

 

Mary Ann McBride

Mary Ann McBride

Community Outreach Manager

maryann@steeltown.org

In her spare time, Mary Ann loves playing roller derby for Steel City Roller Derby. She is a two-time surrogate (and mother of two) and is currently pursing DONA certification as a certified birth doula. 

BIO

Mary Ann McBride joined Steeltown as the Community Outreach Manager in 2016. Mary Ann graduated from Point Park University and was part of the first graduating class of the Cinema and Digital Arts program, with a concentration in screenwriting and directing and a minor in child development. After graduating, Mary Ann was a part of several local crews including those of Adventureland and She’s Out of My League. Following her production work, Mary Ann was recruited by Entertainment Partners, the leading provider of production accounting and support services to the entertainment industry in the world. Mary Ann served as the Pennsylvania state rep and Senior Account Specialist for the Tax Incentives Department – covering all things film tax incentive related. Mary Ann is thrilled to be surrounded by like-minded creatives and honored to be part of Steeltown’s mission to grow and develop all of the amazing local talent here in Pittsburgh!
Jordan Taylor

Jordan Taylor

Director of Production

jordan@steeltown.org

Jordan has a Black Belt in Tai Kwon Do.

BIO

Jordan Taylor joined Steeltown as a teaching artist in 2012. Since then, he has climbed the ranks from Project Coordinator to his current title, Director of Production.  He graduated from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and has been active in Pittsburgh’s local music/art scene with his music duo, Tracksploitation. Jordan has also done audio visual tech for Carnival Cruise lines and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He loves working with teenagers and being the person he wished he had at our students age.

 

Sara Kantner

Sara Kantner

Communications Coordinator

sara@steeltown.org

You can find Sara performing improv comedy all around Pittsburgh – from the Arcade Comedy Theater’s Penny Arcade & Side Quest to The People’s Highbrow.

BIO

Sara joined Steeltown in 2015 as an Administrative Assistant. Today, she works as Steeltown’s Communications Coordinator. Born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, Sara transplanted to Pittsburgh to study English Writing and Film Studies at the University of Pittsburgh. After graduating in 2011, Sara decided to make Pittsburgh her permanent home. Since then, she has worn many different hats, from retail to women’s healthcare, working jobs in quite a few of Pittsburgh’s wonderful neighborhoods. She considers herself a forever kid and loves seeing the projects that students in our Youth & Media program create. She knows they’ll change film forever.
Chelsea Schneider

Chelsea Schneider

Program Coordinator

chelsea@steeltown.org

Chelsea can recite the alphabet both forwards AND backwards.

BIO

Chelsea Schneider became Steeltown’s Program Coordinator in 2016 but has been working with Steeltown in many different positions since 2013.  She graduated from Point Park University with a BA in Cinema and Digital Arts. She loves working with everyone at Steeltown, the wide array of work she receives, and she’s proud of the positive work the organization does for the region. 
Andy Esper

Andy Esper

Assistant Editor

andy@steeltown.org

In his spare time, Andy VJ’s at local shows and makes video art.

BIO

Andy joined Steeltown as an Assistant Editor in 2016.  He recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and started working on freelance video jobs.  He loves helping to make our students’ ideas a reality through film.
 

Jake Sam

Jake Sam

Executive Assistant

jacob@steeltown.org

Jake is a serious sports enthusiast. He can name the starting lineup and bench of every NBA team and almost every NFL team.

BIO

Jake joined Steeltown as an intern in 2016, then was hired as Executive Assistant in May of 2016. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Film Studies. He has worked for the YMCA and Car Sense previously. He loves what Steeltown does in the passionate film training of young people for the entertainment industry around the Pittsburgh area as well as the many Indie projects that Steeltown is able to work with.

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