Meet the Board


Marita Garrett

Founder, President
  • Mayor – Borough of Wilkinsburg
  • Co-Host - Shattered Glass Podcast
    Co-Founder – Women for the Future PAC 
  • ​B.A., Psychology - University of Pittsburgh
    M.A. Psychology - Chatham University

Bhavini Patel

Bhavini is a passionate systems thinker, who thrives on cultivating intimate connections with people of all cultures, backgrounds and sectors. As a naturally curious person, she persistently asks questions and seeks to solve social problems through direct impact. This has inspired her multidisciplinary understanding of the social sciences guided by community engagement.

Bhavini is currently CEO/Co-founder of beamdata and Vice Chair of the Edgewood Democratic Committee. She also  serves as Board Member for the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh (BCAP) and Women for the Future Pittsburgh. She is also currently a Masters of Philosophy candidate at the University of Oxford broadening her understanding of international relations and state policing of immigrant communities.

As a Pittsburgh native and University of Pittsburgh graduate, her experience with local communities has taught her the major themes of globalization are not remote realities confined within their borders—these patterns have local realities. After completing her Oxford degree in June 2019, she will return to Pittsburgh.

Most recently, she was also recognised as The Incline's Who's Next: Politics 2018 and 2018 Western PA Rising Star by Get Involved!, Inc.


Miranda Micire


Miranda Micire graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual Master's in Social Work focused on Community Organizing and Social Action and Master's in Public Administration with a focus on Public Administration in 2019. She graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor’s in Psychology in 2016.

She currently works at the City of Pittsburgh in the Office of Councilperson Erika Strassburger as the Community Engagement Coordinator. In her role at the city, Miranda is responsible for communications and outreach, legislative research and writing, and constituent relations. Miranda is passionate about bringing a social work lens to local government work.

Recently, Miranda started a small-scale, community-focused real estate development company, HeyDay Development, LLC. HeyDay is focused on real estate for the greater good and incorporates sustainability, affordability, and community in all of its work. In her free time, Miranda enjoys spending time with her two rescue dogs, Bandit and Lulu, and exploring different neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.


Christa Ross

  • Real Estate Agent - RE/MAX Select Realty 
  • Specializes servicing real estate needs for community development organizations,
  • Marketing Expert - Green and Energy efficient homes for home sellers. 
  • Member of ReEnergize Pittsburgh,
    working to improve energy efficiency of homes in the Pittsburgh area
  • Degree Communications & Graphic Design, Ohio University

Alexis T. Russell

Vice Chair

Alexis Russell is a current Pittsburgh resident, born and raised just east of the City. She found an appreciation for the built environment at a very young age, so architecture has always been an interest. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art in 2007 and went on to earn a Master of Science in Organizational Development and Leadership in 2012.

Following graduation from undergrad, she spent several years at architectural firms around the Philadelphia area, learning about the design and construction industries first hand. In 2014, Alexis, along with her husband, co-founded Russell General Contracting, a General Contracting company that specializes in residential renovation and rehabilitation. She is currently the Senior Project Manager for Kadesh Construction Group, which serves as a construction management firm managing approximately 8 million dollars’ worth of construction and redevelopment in and around the City of Pittsburgh.


Anna Archer


Anna currently serves as the Policy Manager at Grounded Strategies, a local nonprofit working to improve the social, economic, and environmental health of distressed and transitional communities by building capacity to reclaim vacant and underutilized land. Anna's work focuses on preventative maintenance and community stewardship to help turn land use liabilities into assets.

Anna has a Master's in Public Administration (MPA) from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. In graduate school, Anna's studies focused on nonprofit management and civic engagement. Anna is passionate about addressing environmental and social justice issues at both a grassroots and systems level. Locally, Anna serves on the Clean Pittsburgh Commission and Vacant Property Working Group.