The Forbes Funds Team
Fred Brown was appointed President & CEO of The Forbes Funds on January 8, 2018. Prior to that time Mr. Brown served as the President & CEO of the Homewood Children's Village. Mr. Brown has worked in the non-profit arena and in the public education sector for over 30 years; he has served in a variety of leadership capacities, including the roles as an Executive Director, Associate Director, supervisor, social worker, executive coach, consultant, conflict resolution and mediation specialist, coach and mentor roles. Mr. Brown has continued to invest his time, energies, and expertise in assisting a variety of communities and organizations to develop new and innovative programs that seek to empower at-risk populations. In addition to working in the aforementioned areas, Mr. Brown is actively involved in other aspects of professional development including Dean of students, school teacher, adjunct professor, and project manager. A specific focus of Mr. Brown's work includes working with African American males to reduce minority dropout rates in post-secondary environments and briding the divide between minority communities and their knowledge regarding energy reduction planning, carbon footprint analysis, and environmental justice leadership.
In recent years, Mr. Brown's contributions in the areas of community organizing, youth leadership, and violence prevention have been recognized by various organizations. In 1989, he received his professional certification for teaching. In 1995, he helped to develop the mission statement for Allegheny County Juvenile Court's probation department. That same year, he received a Proclamation from the City of Pittsburgh for his outstanding community organizing work and completion of the Community Technical Assistance Center (CTAC), Core Series Program. In 1996, he successfully completed the Train the Trainers Developing Skills course, a court service trainer's course at the University of Nevada in Reno. He also received the Outstanding Community Organizer of the Year Award from the University of Pittsburgh. In 1997, Mr. Brown was one of four individuals responsible for developing the Keep it Real Curriculum for gang intervention and mediation which was a collaborative between Duquesne University, the Pittsburgh Mediation Center, and Allegheny County Juvenile Court. In 1998, he received the Session Volunteer of the year award from Urban Youth Action for providing outstanding presentations and workshops. In 2000, Mr. Brown was one of 13 participants chosen from around the world by the PRASI Institute to conduct indigenous research on conflict mediation and resolution models that were culturally specific. In 2002, Mr. Brown was named a 21st Century Environmental Justice Leader by the Ford Foundation and in 2003 he was trained in the Climate Just Corps. In 2012 Mr. Brown was named to the Federal Environmental Justice Climate Change Roundtable for the 13 Federal departments signing the President's MOU on Climate Change; and represents the State of Pennsylvania on the national Environmental Justice Roundtable; he is currently published in four books.
A frequent public speaker, Mr. Brown has taught courses and delivered presentations at local and statewide conferences and workshops. Mr. Brown has a Bachelors of Science in Education and Masters Degree in Social Work. He is supported by his wife; Rashaa Brown, and their six children.
Don Goughler is Executive in Residence at The Forbes Funds, focused on capacity building activities with nonprofit organizations. From 1999 to 2014, he served as the President/CEO of Family Services of Western Pennsylvania, during which time the agency won the Wishart Award for excellence in nonprofit management and the national agency of the year award from Ways to Work, a Community Development Financial Institution. Prior to that, he was employed for twenty-two years by Southwestern Pennsylvania Human Services and was the Executive Vice President/CEO for that organization from 1988 to1999. Goughler received a BA degree from Westminster College and an MSW from the University of Pittsburgh, where he has been an adjunct faculty member for twenty five years, teaching graduate courses in social work management. He has served on several nonprofit boards and advisory groups and chaired the national gerontology project, New Age of Aging, from 2006-13 for the Alliance for Children and Families. He also served on the national board of trustees for Ways to Work, Inc. from 2006-13. Goughler has published articles on social services management in several juried journals and served on the editorial board of the national social work journal, Families in Society. Among his honors and recognitions, he received an Alumni Achievement Award from Westminster College in 1988, lifetime achievement awards from CLASS in 2012 and Mental Health America, Westmoreland chapter in 2014, and a Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh in 2018.
Roy started his career looking for work in finance after receiving a Bachelor of Arts in International Economics and Commerce from Lafayette College. During the job search, Roy took a part-time position as a residential staff serving people with severe mental illness. The role sparked a calling to serve, which led to a 6 year stretch of mental health experience in the residential, administrative, and community setting. Seeing the need that existed not only from constituents but by the people and organizations that provided service, Roy went back to school, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh with a Master of Social Work. Through the community organizing and social administration tract, Roy worked with community organizations on several projects including: researching best practice in youth programing in Beltzhoover and Knoxville neighborhoods, practicing Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR) to develop curriculum for the Community Engagement Center (CEC) in Homewood, and working with Beechview stakeholders to develop and execute a community survey.
Roy began his tenure with The Forbes Funds working with data systems to better assess and express the impact of The Forbes Funds’ programming. As Interim Director, Roy leads The Forbes Funds' Capacity Building programs which includes grantmaking, cohorts, technical assistance, organizational assessment tools, and other projects. Roy is passionate about enhancing the ability of those that serve to make an impact as a way to improve the Pittsburgh region as a whole.
Born and raised in South Florida, Hannah is first-generation Filipino American and a graduate of the University of Florida with a BS in Political Science. In college, she interned everywhere from the campaign trail to Congress, discovering her strength as an advocate connecting people to policy. In 2017, she relocated to Pittsburgh for the Coro Fellowship, a nine-month leadership development program which provided her the opportunity to work at the Community College of Allegheny County, where she supported programs for students pursuing Career and Technical Education. At GPNP, she is eager to learn, grow, and support the nonprofit community of southwestern Pennsylvania. Feel free to ask her about her most recent trip to the Philippines, her affinity for the ocean, and her fondness for food.
Jayme began her nonprofit career as Executive Assistant to the President/CEO of Lutheran Service Society where she provided administrative support to the President and other officers of the organization. Jayme has over 10 years of experience as an administrative professional in nonprofit environments and is on the Board of Directors of her local civic organization and Digital Bridges Pittsburgh. She attended Bradford School for her secretarial certificate; is certified as an Administrative Professional specializing in Organizational Management and has been a member of the International Association of Administrative Professionals since 2005. Under CEO supervision, Jayme facilitates leadership interactions between President & CEO and staff. She supports the President & CEO in performing a variety of analytical, assessment and administrative tasks, including office organization, support of governance, records management, scheduling and general assistance.
Dr. Hannah Karolak earned her Ph.D. in communication & rhetorical studies from Duquesne University, where she has taught classes in communication ethics, organizational communication, and integrated marketing sine 2013. Her passion for community development stems from her research on trauma-informed community building and resilience. In 2015, she was awarded the Applied Urban Communication Research Grant from the Urban Communication Foundation. Hannah used the grant funds to research post-trauma placemaking and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Her research touched upon the importance of public remembrance, communicative spaces, and placemaking in urban areas following traumatic events. In addition to her work on trauma-informed community development, Hannah has explored social issues such as challenging community relations and the effects of the private prison system on at-risk youth. She is the author of multiple research articles and recipient of many awards including the 2018 Wilhelm S. Wurzer Scholarship Award from Duquesne University, as well as a 2016 national top-paper award for her work on public assembly and grassroots activism. Apart from her research, Hannah spends time consulting nonprofit leaders to strengthen their marketing and communication efforts and provides strategies and assistance with grant writing on behalf of local neighborhood groups.
Prior to joining The Forbes Funds, Dr. Karolak helped jumpstart the Starzl Network for Excellence in Pediatric Transplantation, a national clinical learning network designed to quickly and efficiently improve outcomes for child transplant recipients. Hannah currently serves on the Carrick Community Council.
Olivia Benson, Chief Operating Officer
Olivia Benson is a civic technology, public policy, political advocacy, and public affairs professional with a proven track record of promoting advocacy causes, securing financial support for organizations, and spearheading community engagement initiatives for government, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Olivia is a featured radio, print, and television political analyst who regularly speaks on community and civic engagement, diversity in elected office, and social impact policies. She has appeared on the nationally recognized “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, local Pittsburgh PBS station WQED, provided public affairs commentary on KDKA Radio - one of the nation’s oldest and most esteemed radio stations, and is a featured political analyst on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel, PCNC. Additionally, she served as a guest op-ed columnist for the Toronto Sun Times covering the 2016 election cycle for their national and international audience. In 2015, she was awarded the “40 Under 40” award by Pittsburgh Magazine and in the past she has won awards from Get Involved, Inc., The New Pittsburgh Courier, and Whirl Magazine, in addition to numerous other honors for her work and volunteer activities.
Olivia has worked in both private and public sectors. She recently served as the Community Engagement Director for the Women and Girls Foundation (WGF). Prior to joining WGF, Olivia program managed multi-million dollar smart city technology programs for various cities throughout the US. Olivia has also worked as Deputy Press Secretary for former US Congressman Jason Altmire, a Press Secretary for former Chief Executive Dan Onorato during his race for governor, a communications specialist in the Allegheny County Executive Office, and as Communications Director for Rich Fitzgerald’s 2011 campaign for Allegheny County Executive. From 2011 - 2013, Olivia served as the Director of Youth Policy for the City of Pittsburgh, leading the city’s education, employment, and civic engagement programs for thousands of students and young adults.
Professionally, Olivia can best be described as a driven strategist with a passion for social change. In fact, Olivia used this experience serve as a thought partner to the Pittsburgh region’s first green infrastructure, pay-for-success project. She helped co-found She Runs SWPA, an initiative to help more women run for and get elected to public office.
Olivia has a BS in Policy & Management from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA from Point Park University, and an MS in Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.