Climate change is having an impact across the globe. Here, in our urban environment, these shifts are felt in our neighborhoods, parks and backyards. This is why we work to combat the effects of it, from managing excessive stormwater flows, to pollutants in our water, soil and air, and to connect each other with the environment to create positive change. From large green infrastructure projects that divert and infiltrate thousands of gallons of stormwater to residential projects that keep basements dry while providing beautiful native landscaping, UpstreamPgh has become the region’s leading resource for water management. Our heritage in Nine Mile Run, coupled with hundreds of projects via StormWorks, provides our community with hands-on, brains-on solutions.
In 2021, to recognize our proactive approach to stormwater problem-solving and its impact across the region, we became UpstreamPgh. Together, we are working to address the environmental problems that are happening in our communities by thinking, speaking and acting upstream. We invite you to join us.
We work to connect people with nature for a positive impact on the environment. From schoolchildren to municipal leaders, scientists to citizens, volunteers to homeowners, a healthy community starts with education, outreach and engagement.
Our watershed, our stream, our urban tree canopy, our ecosystem. They all deserve a voice. We work to advance new ideas that create change by advocating for policies and practices that further the health of our environment.
As a regional leader in stormwater management, we work with municipalities, homeowners, private organizations and public entities on services and infrastructure projects that are effective, environmentally responsible and yes, beautiful.
We envision a region with clean water accessible to all, healthy and resilient communities, and ecosystems restored to their natural functions.
We restore and protect our watershed ecosystem, while working regionally to support and implement resilient solutions for a healthier urban environment.
We build capacity for community members to become the stewards of, and advocates for, our watershed.
We advocate regionally for policies and funding for sustainable water management strategies that prioritize clean water for all in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
We implement green infrastructure projects throughout our watershed, while working to educate public officials, community members and young people.
Mr. Hiller has helped lead the organization for seven years, first as Director of
Policy and Outreach, and for the last two and a half years as Assistant Director. He will begin serving as Executive Director on January 1, 2022.
Mike Hiller rejoined UpstreamPgh in 2019 as the Assistant Director after previously serving as the Director of Policy and Outreach. He has 15 years of experience working in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Mike is a passionate climate justice advocate and Regenerative Practitioner and brings the frameworks and principles of regenerative development to UpstreamPgh. This approach calls for co-developing living systems that integrate people, nature and the built environment in our watershed communities. Mike moved to Pittsburgh from upstate NY, where he received his Master of Arts in Geography with a Graduate Certificate in GIS + Spatial Analytics from the University at Albany. When not at work, he can be found with his wife, Haley, his son, Myles, and their rescue Pitbull, Layla. He stays busy renovating his 120-year-old house, studying and practicing permaculture and hunting for the perfect slice of pizza.
Kelsey Small is the shared Chief Financial Officer for the Environmental Finance Collaborative with financial responsibilities for four additional organizations: Allegheny County Conservation District, Construction Junction, Grounded Strategies and Tree Pittsburgh. Kelsey is responsible for providing strategic financial management and oversight for financial operations, accounting, financial analysis, reporting and planning. Prior to joining UpstreamPgh in 2019, Kelsey worked at the Carnegie Museum of Art, where she oversaw financial, fundraising and organizational planning initiatives. Kelsey holds a Master of Arts Management degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida. When not at work, Kelsey can be found hiking, gardening and enjoying sweet treats from her kitchen or other local bakeries.
Aaron joined UpstreamPgh as an intern in January of 2020 after receiving his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with a certificate in GIS and Remote Sensing from the University of Pittsburgh. With a focus in GIS and a passion for sustainable infrastructure, Aaron found a perfect fit at our organization working on a GIS study that highlights locations for green stormwater infrastructure projects within our watershed through an environmental justice lens. Aaron joined the team full time in October of 2020 as our Programs Assistant helping with Communications, GIS, Monitoring and Residential GSI programs. Outside of work, Aaron likes cooking vegetarian meals, tasting local craft beers, biking and exploring the three rivers with his partner, Lauren.
Leslie joined UpstreamPgh in the fall of 2020 as an intern from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work’s Community Organizing & Social Action (COSA) program. After obtaining her MSW, she joined our team as UpstreamPgh’s first Community Organizer and continues to develop the Climate Justice Collaborative (CJC), advocating for climate resilient communities. Leslie grew up on the coast of North Carolina but spent most of her adult life in Asheville, North Carolina. She brings over 15 years of experience in the human services sector working with youth, adults, and families providing case management, Intensive In-Home therapy, and hospice services. In her free time, she enjoys being in nature, music, knitting, gardening, and traveling.
Taylor joined UpstreamPgh in April 2021. A Southern California native, Taylor originally came from the arts world, with degrees from UCLA and Carnegie Mellon in Theatrical Design & Production and Arts Management respectively, but quickly moved into nonprofit administration and has found many worthy causes that have become near and dear to her heart. Now, she manages the office, print, and online worlds for UpstreamPgh, and she could not be more honored to call this organization her home. In her spare time, Taylor enjoys video games, embroidery, making floral art, being a goofball with her partner, talking to animals in silly voices, and taking care of her houseplant babies. She’s also a big fan of a well-crafted Excel spreadsheet.
Ryan Ferrebee joined UpstreamPgh as Development Manager in July 2023. So far in their career, Ryan has raised over $15 million in support of nonprofit organizations. He previously worked in the arts sector, serving most recently as Director of Institutional support for Pittsburgh Public Theater downtown and Development Officer for Institutional Funding at City Theatre Company on the South Side. Ryan is responsible for all aspects of fundraising for UpstreamPgh, including grant writing, special events, sponsorships, and individual giving. They hold a master’s degree in Theater with a focus in arts management from Louisiana Tech University and a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from West Liberty University. In their spare time, Ryan enjoys reading, hiking, and scouring the local area for Mid-century Modern furniture and decor.
Keith began at UpstreamPgh in September 2022 to assist with our ecosystem maintenance and monitoring. He currently works with our Urban EcoStewards in an effort to keep the watershed well managed. Being a Pittsburgh native, Keith has lived in the city his whole life and studied at Chatham University learning about sustainability and ecology. Keith’s background in sustainability focuses on natural resource management and urban systems. He also has an interest in native forestry and combating invasive species. Outside of work, Keith enjoys hiking, cooking, photography, traveling, and caring for all kinds of plants, both indoors and outdoors.
We are deeply grateful for the many community members who have generously given their time and talents over the last 20 years as member of our Board of Directors. Board members can serve two consecutive three-year terms, during which they oversee and support UpstreamPgh operations, determine the future strategic direction of the organization and bring a variety of resources to support our work.
We are always looking for candidates with experience and skills in financial management, fundraising, law, small business, environmental science, engineering and landscape architecture. We are striving to achieve greater racial diversity to better reflect the population of our communities.
Claudia Saladin, President
Senior Project Manager
Yvonne James, Vice President
Ana Bennett, EIT, Secretary
Associate Project Manager
Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority
Robin Ryan, CPA, Treasurer
Senior Manager, Assurance Services
Grossman Yanak and Ford
Tom Batroney P.E., C.F.M.
Director of Leadership and Legacy Giving
Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh
Marion T. Divers, PhD, PG (PA)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Divya Rao Heffley, PhD
Office of Public Art
Community Outreach & Intervention Specialist
Center for Victims
Adam Kidane, GISP
GIS Asset Management Specialist
Director of Community Projects
Senior Vice President,
The PNC Financial Services Group
Michael Hiller, ex officio
Kelsey Small, ex officio
Chief Financial Officer
Environmental Finance Collaborative