WPC Board of Directors

Nominees for Re-election to the Class of 2025

Debra Dermody

Debra is an attorney with Reed Smith of Pittsburgh. She began her practice at Reed Smith in 1987, following completion of her federal appellate clerkship. Debra has focused her civil litigation practice in the area of antitrust. Her litigation experience included principal responsibility for matters before federal and state trial and appellate courts, as well as before federal and state antitrust enforcement authorities. Debra serves as Co-Chair of Reed Smith’s Global Regulatory Enforcement Group.

Listed in Best Lawyers in America for antitrust work, Debra has a client base including major financial institutions, investment advisors and primary manufacturing industries, such as steel, pharmaceuticals and industrial safety products. She also frequently advises health insurers, hospitals and medical device manufacturers. Debra serves as a trustee on the board of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and as a Director for Kids Voice.

Debra’s husband Frank served as the former House Democratic Leader in Harrisburg representing the 33rd Legislative District. They have two children, Frank and Cara, and reside in Oakmont, Pennsylvania. Debra is Vice-Chair of the Conservancy board.

 

Susan Fitzsimmons

Susan S. Fitzsimmons served as vice president of Snavely Forest Products and now works at Snavely Warwick. Susan earned her B.A. degree in Communication from West Virginia University and her master’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh.

Snavely Forest Products, founded in 1902, is one of the oldest building products sales and distribution companies in the United States. In addition to its headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Snavely has nine sales and distribution divisions in strategic cities across the country. Snavely earned its reputation selling and distributing specialty building products such as engineered wood, wood-polymer composites, vinyl and high grade “white” wood. On the company board of directors and executive committee, Susan had responsibility for corporate involvement in marketing, customer and vendor support.

In addition to her work at Snavely, Susan most recently held the position of board chair of NAWLA, the International Building Products Trade Association; board chair of Auberle; and board member of the 25 Club of Magee Women’s Hospital. She has been a member of the WPC Board of Directors since 1998, and served as board chair from 2012 until 2021.

 

Dan Frankel

State Rep. Dan Frankel has been a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives since 1999. Currently representing the 23rd district, he is an outspoken advocate for civil rights and public health. His current focus is reducing Pennsylvania’s greenhouse and carbon emissions and protecting the rights of LGBTQ citizens. Frankel serves as the Democratic chair of the House Health Committee and co-chairs the PA SAFE and LGBTQ+ Equality caucuses.

He promotes science-based policies to protect and improve the public health of the Commonwealth. Dan serves on the Allegheny County’s Area Agency on Aging’s Advisory Council and the State Employee Retirement System board. He also serves as the governor’s representative to the Board of Trustees for the University of Pittsburgh.

Dan Frankel lives in Squirrel Hill. He is married to Debra Frankel, a psychotherapist. Together, they have three grown children. Dan joined the board in 2001 and serves on the Community Gardens and Greenspace Advisory Committee.

 

Bala Kumar

Bala recently received his MBA from Rice University. He served in the past as an oil, gas, minerals and real estate consultant with his own consulting practice, Bala Kumar Consulting, LLC. He also previously served as Lead Review Manager for Chain of Title Land Services, LLC, an in-house subsidiary of Burns White, LLC.

In addition to his MBA, Bala earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, and his J.D., with a Certificate in Environmental Law, Science, and Policy, at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He serves on the Board of Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services.

Bala joined the board in 2019. Bala is Secretary of the board of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy. He also serves on the Conservancy’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Committee and the Audit Committee.

 

Josh Whetzel III

Josh is a past president of the Loyalhanna Watershed Association Board of Directors. He worked for Pittsburgh and Midway Coal Company during the first years of the Office of Surface Mining, writing mining permits and reclamation plans in Denver, Colorado.

He returned to Pittsburgh and built houses for the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Josh became interested in green building and sustainable development. He did the first remodeling of the Conservation Consultants building on Pittsburgh’s South Side. He then got involved in the production and sales of methane gas from landfills, a business in which he is still involved. He now promotes the production of renewable energy from landfill gas.

Josh has served as a board member of the Ligonier Valley Historical Society and Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future. He lives in Ligonier with his wife Marion. They have one daughter, Anne. Joshua serves on the Ligonier Valley Advisory Committee and the Fallingwater Advisory Committee. He joined the board of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy in 2004.

Nominees for Election to the Class of 2025

Gina Winstead

Gina Winstead is the Assistant Vice President of Membership Development and External Relations of Vibrant Pittsburgh, a local nonprofit working to increase local workplace diversity and inclusion. Before this position, she was Director of Diversity and Engagement at the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

Gina is on the board of a number of nonprofits, as well. She is Vice President of Women in Tech PGH, and a member of the Executive Board of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. She is a founding board member of the 412 Black Jewish Collaborative, and on Carlow University’s Advisory Council for the College of Arts and Sciences.

Gina holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University's Executive Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women. Over the last two years, Gina has been named to Pittsburgh’s 40 Under 40 and the New Pittsburgh Couriers Fab40. Gina is a member of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Committee. She lives in Brookline and enjoys hiking, fishing and Pennsylvania’s outdoors.

 

Paula Foradora

Paula Foradora is a CPA and Personal Financial Specialist and has spent much of her career in the finance and consulting practice. Paula acts as the General Partner of Nine Star Capital, LP which has worked closely with the Jefferson County Economic Development Office in the development of the Jefferson County Business Park in Pine Creek Township. The site is a Keystone Opportunity Expansion Zone and provides many jobs to the community. Paula also sat on the Clearly Ahead Development board which acts as a driver of economic activity and job creation to the Clearfield County region.

Paula earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her Master of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh Katz Graduate School of Business.

Paula lived for several years in the Pittsburgh area before settling in DuBois in Clearfield County. She and her husband, Scott founded Foradora Insurance in 1995. Paula and Scott have three sons and live in Dubois, PA. The family enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, and water sports. She appreciates the outdoor recreational areas protected by the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Pennsylvania Game Commission, DCNR and National Forest lands.