The Pittsburgh Smart 50 help spark the region’s business success and strength

 

pit_CharlesCooperChuck Cooper III
President
Chuck Cooper Foundation

Starting with a group of volunteers, President Chuck Cooper III grew his nonprofit organization from the ground up, recently adding a full-time staff member. Today, the Chuck Cooper Foundation is an incorporated nonprofit with a governing board and recently acquired a $75,000 grant.

The majority of the foundation’s activity focuses on granting graduate scholarships and providing leadership training to African-American students. Cooper was inspired by his father who was the first African-American to be drafted by the NBA, and who returned to Pittsburgh to take a position as the director of parks and recreation after earning his master’s degree.

Cooper also has successfully formed partnerships with organizations such as the NBA, as well as securing grants from Heinz Endowments and the POISE Foundation, and large sponsorships from companies such as PNC, Highmark and Buchanan, Ingersoll and Rooney.

Running the foundation with limited resources, Cooper has formed a self-sustaining organization by working with its scholars to develop their leadership skills and have them mentor others. This creates a system that seeks to retain promising young talent in the region and keep Pittsburgh one of the nation’s most competitive cities.


 

pit_FrankCservakFrank J. Cservak Jr.
President
CM Services LLC

Frank J. Cservak Jr. is focusing the future of his architecture, engineering and construction management company, CM Services LLC, on energy. The core competency of the firm is designing buildings and understanding how they react in the environment.

Under Cservak’s leadership as president, the firm utilizes technology to bring buildings to the newly created standard of net zero energy. This means that on an annual basis, the total amount of energy used on a site is equal to the amount of renewable energy created.

CM Services offers environmentally conscious designs that mitigate impacts of climate change while lowering the building’s life cycle cost. The company provides clients with an energy model to show how much energy is used by heating and cooling, lighting, equipment and electronics, and makes recommendations on how to create a more environmentally friendly facility.

Cservak relies on the values instilled in him while attending the U.S. Military Academy, conducting all business with integrity and in a socially responsible and ethical manner.


 

pit_DanielleJuliaCuomoDanielle Julia Cuomo
President
Virtual Assist USA

Virtual Assist USA takes advantage of technical advances to allow entrepreneurs, business owners and managers to have their own virtual assistants to perform tasks such as marketing, social media, Web design and administrative assistance.

President Danielle Julia Cuomo has taken the company ahead of competition by identifying areas where others weren’t excelling — expansive service offerings, turnaround time and bandwidth.

She was first in the industry to offer more streamlined project management solutions, personality profiles for interviews and 24/7 dashboards with time reporting.

Cuomo pushes staff to do more, and reiterates that mistakes are OK because making them is the only way to know if you are doing something right. She believes in changing your business before you have to, because it’s too late if you’re responding to changes in competition or landscape.

She also says real CEOs do the dirty work, and would never ask employees to do something she would not do herself.


 

pit_JeffreyDeaneJeffrey T. Deane
Managing partner
BKD LLP

Jeffrey T. Deane was the CEO of public accounting firm Malin Bergquist & Co. when, in 2013, he helped design his company’s merger with BKD LLP, one of the largest CPA firms in the U.S.

Deane is now the managing partner of BKD’s Pennsylvania offices, focusing his efforts on growing the firm, bringing new practice specialties to local employers and hiring new talent.

BKD’s Pennsylvania offices have seen new business opportunities increase by 20 percent.

The firm has hired experts in fields such as health care and international transfer pricing, and Deane has initiated a campus recruiting program.

He is also leading implementation of “The BKD Experience: Unmatched Client Services,” a written guide for conducting business and sustaining BKD’s positive reputation for client service among CPA and advisory firms.

In addition, Deane is an elected member of the leadership body of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, serves on the executive committee of the German-American Business Circle of Pittsburgh and chairs the German Executive Group.


 

pit_RandallDearthRandall Dearth
Chairman, president and CEO
Calgon Carbon

Randall Dearth joined Calgon Carbon in 2012 as president and CEO after having served on the board of directors since 2007. He was named chairman of the board of directors in May 2014.

Over the past two years, Dearth has initiated a $40 million cost improvement program that included global procurement initiatives, long-term raw material supply strategies and product rationalization. He also invested in existing plants and technologies to allow for future growth, and invested in internal reporting processes to streamline global business activity.

Calgon Carbon released its first sustainability report in 2013, allowing the company to make sustainability a business driver.

In addition, Calgon Carbon is applying for its Responsible Care® certification, based on industry standards to improve product safety.

Under Dearth’s leadership, the company continues to invest heavily in research and development. It currently offers carbon technologies used in more than 700 market applications from purifying air and drinking water, to purifying foods and pharmaceuticals, to separating gas and removing mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants.