We believe in a future of energy independence for Allegheny County.
Created to democratize access to solar energy, the Allegheny Solar Cooperative helps individuals invest in the growth of solar power in Western Pennsylvania by connecting individuals and businesses to organizations who work towards community benefits and are interested in installing solar panels.
Inspired by the Millvale Community Library’s solar installation, which provides a money saving, and often revenue generating opportunity, the steering committee of the Allegheny Solar Cooperative is motivated to explore, learn, and create a model that can bring that kind of energy to other non-profit organizations and businesses throughout the region.
Mandy Wolovich - President
From Curwensville, Pennsylvania, Mandy has called Millvale home for the better part of this decade. She is deeply committed to her family, friends, and community. Mandy is a licensed attorney with a J.D. in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh. She is focused on creating and supporting new solutions for resilient communities to return to localized production, build relationships, and create cooperative economies. Mandy has served as a ReEnergize Pittsburgh Energy Efficiency Ambassador for the Borough of Millvale and currently serves as Millvale Community Library's Solar Ambassador. In the past Mandy was a staff attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services Association, serving low-income clients with housing and family law cases. In her very little free time, Mandy likes to practice yoga, and spend time at the Gardens of Millvale and breathing in its pleasant air.
Ian Smith - Vice President
Hailing from the snow belt in Northwestern Pennsylvania, Ian has called Pittsburgh home since 2011. In his role as solar consultant for local installer EIS Solar, he's helped hundreds of home and small-business owners go solar and enjoys that his job puts him on the roof, at the kitchen table, and in the office. In the rare occasion he's not thinking about solar energy, he's probably skateboarding, rooting for the Pirates, and enjoying his wife Gayle and son Emory. He has owned solar since 2011 and is proud to say Duquesne Light sends him a check at the end of the year.
Ron Slavonic - Treasurer
Ron has been working as the controller for the Pennsylvania Environmental Council since 2015. Coming to PEC with an established career devoted to mission-driven organizations along with a passion for natural resource conservation, Slavonic is based in PEC’s Pittsburgh office.
Prior to joining PEC, Slavonic worked as a Controller for The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society where he managed the financial accounting and reporting for TMS and the TMS Foundation, helped to develop and implement the annual budget, and developed various accounting policies. He served as an Assistant Controller for the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh from 2012-14 after working in a number of roles for the Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies (TPIMS) in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Slavonic functioned as the nonprofit biomedical research organization’s Controller, as well as its Interim CFO.
Slavonic’s extensive nonprofit experience includes his tenure as the Director of General Accounting for the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, a position as Manager of Finance of the Manchester-Bidwell Corporation, and work providing assurance and tax services to nonprofit organizations as a Staff Accountant with Terry & Stephenson.
Slavonic, a Certified Public Accountant, holds a B.A. in Accounting from Washington & Jefferson College and a Graduate Certificate in Executive Nonprofit Management from the University of Florida. He resides in Bethel Park, Pa., with his wife, Kristen, and sons Trey and Hunter. When he’s not working, Slavonicenjoys walking, running, and biking on the Montour Trail as well as camping, playing golf, and kayaking.
Tom Bartnik - Secretary
Tom Bartnik is the Executive Director of Pittsburgh Green Innovators (PGI). With a passion and commitment to the broad realm of sustainability, he is responsible for implementing programs and services consistent with PGI’s mission, as well as overseeing all day-to-day operations of the organization and represented PGI on Energy Innovation Center’s development team.
Tom’s career includes a broad range of sustainable community development, architecture and planning efforts. Prior to his work at PGI, he worked at the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh; Perkins Eastman, Pittsburgh; and three private planning and development firms in Chicago. In his 20 years in the private sector, Tom sought out projects with community-based origins and interests, looking to infuse elements of social equity and environmental responsibility. These include such projects as: The Green Vision for East Liberty; WDA Affordable CoHousing in Chicago; and Tryon Farm, a 170-acre pioneering conservation community in Michigan City, Indiana.
Tom is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and American Planning Association; is a LEED® Accredited Professional and the past Chicago Chapter Chair & National Board Member of ADPSR - Architects/ Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility. He holds a Masters of Urban Planning and Policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a B.A. in Political Science from Potsdam College. Tom also makes things out of scrap wood and salvaged materials and likes camping, kayaking and biking.
Sharon Pillar - Steering Committee
Sharon Pillar is Vice President of SmartPower, the nation’s leading non-profit marketing firm for clean energy, which has engaged hundreds of communities across the United States in community-based outreach campaigns that have spawned thousands of solar installations. Sharon also directs the SmartPower project called Solarize Allegheny, an effort funded by the Heinz Endowments with a goal to double the number of solar installations in the Allegheny County over the next two years. The campaign provides objective information about solar energy to community members to help guide them through the process of going solar by connecting them with pre-qualified installers to get a solar quotes for their homes and businesses.
Previously, through her solar consultancy, Sharon directed the initial formation activities of the Allegheny Solar Cooperative, provided guidance to non-profits for solar purchasing, and authored a white paper on solar financing options in Pennsylvania for Pittsburgh Green Innovators. During her eight years at PennFuture, Sharon served as the Project Manager for solar programs and the Principal Investigator for the Department of Energy SunShot Rooftop Solar Challenge, during which her team developed streamlined solar zoning and permitting procedures in conjunction with 24 municipalities in western Pennsylvania.
Sharon currently serves as the elected president of the Solar Unified Network of Western Pennsylvania (SUNWPA), the region’s solar trade organization. She holds an M.A. in Earth Literacy and a B.A. in Psychology.
ZAHEEN HUSSAIN - COOPERATIVE DIRECTOR
A native of Bangladesh and a Pittsburgh transplant by way of Connecticut, Zaheen serves as Millvale's Sustainability Coordinator and the Director of the Allegheny Solar Cooperative. Supported by the Millvale Community Library, Zaheen is a shared community resource that helps advance Millvale's sustainability goals in the areas of food, water, energy, transportation, and air quality. Prior to his work in Millvale, Zaheen worked on various sustainability initiatives as a Project Manager at GTECH Strategies. Focusing primarily on Energy Efficiency, Zaheen helped lead the ReEnergize Pittsburgh Coalition, where he worked to increase demand for energy efficiency services through bridging organizational partnerships and increasing community level advocacy and educational programming.
Neighborhood Allies - Supporting Partner
Neighborhood Allies is a unique community development partner. They are part funder, lender, connector and consultant.
Neighborhood Allies believes that Pittsburgh’s future is built upon strong neighborhoods. They are a forward-thinking, solutions-oriented community developer that brings hope, fresh ideas, expertise, and resources to distressed and transitional neighborhoods. They accomplish this work by listening to the needs of neighborhoods and serving as a catalyst for change.
Their mission is to support the people, organizations and partnerships committed to creating and maintaining thriving neighborhoods.