Our Team

Board of Directors


Patrick Zbasnik
(he/him)

Chair

Patrick is a servant leader who values new opportunities and challenges to give back to others and the communities that have helped to shape him personally and professionally. He is passionate in his support for behavioral and public health initiatives as well as 15+ years in behavioral health administration, program development/implementation, evaluation, strategic design, supervision/leadership, and the ability to connect with and engage collaboratively with diverse groups of individuals.

Currently, Patrick serves as the Program Director for Penn Residential, Inc., a social service agency focused on delivery of residential- and community-based supports for persons with Intellectual Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other behavioral health needs. Through this position, he has gained greater experience in cultivating organizational culture and promoting systemic change from within. Since 2017, he facilitates a monthly cancer support group through Our Clubhouse.

In 2009, Patrick graduated from Chatham University with a Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology. In 2007, Patrick graduated from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. Additionally, he holds two state licenses as a Licensed Professional Counselor and Licensed Behavior Specialist.

Patrick moved to Pittsburgh in 2007, as a native from Cleveland, Ohio, and currently resides in the South Side Flats neighborhood of Pittsburgh where he enjoys staying active through running, kayaking, and traveling.

Maggie Cooney
(Ask me my pronouns)

Vice Chair

Maggie is a Pittsburgh trial attorney at the firm Robert Peirce & Associates, practicing nursing home, medical malpractice, and personal injury litigation. In 2015, Maggie graduated Summa cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, her hometown. In 2018, Maggie graduated Magna cum Laude with her Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law.

During her time at Duquesne, Maggie co-founded the law school’s first LGBTQ+ student organization. Maggie is now a coach for Duquesne Law’s Trial Advocacy program, coaching student teams for national mock trial competitions. Maggie and her girlfriend Sarah live in East Liberty and enjoy camping, supporting local theatre, and exploring Pittsburgh’s “foodie” scene.

Jeff Miller
(he/him)

Treasurer

Jeff Miller is a retired Mental Health Therapist and clergy living in Shadyside with his husband. He has been a resident of Western Pennsylvania except during college and graduate school years. Jeff has been a volunteer with the PEC since his retirement in 2012, becoming a Board member in 2019 and overseeing the move of the Fischerkeller Library to its current location. Although most of his career focused on the needs of youth and families, Jeff is now active in the Western Pennsylvania SAGE (Service and Advocacy for Gay Elders) at Persad Center program.


T.J. Murphy
(he/him)

Director of Development

T.J. is a Pittsburgh native the current executive director of Reel Q, Pittsburgh’s LGBTQ+ Film Festival. He grew up on the city’s Northside in a family committed to public service so his involvement in the community was instilled at an early age. TJ is both personally and professionally dedicated to uplifting the image of the LGBTQ+ community in Pittsburgh. TJ and his boyfriend, Jozef, live in Wilkinsburg with their dog Volant.

Ross Pfile
(he/him)

Secretary

Ross is a Program Manager with Cisco Systems, Inc.’s US Public Sector Proposal Collaboration Center.  He is a native Pittsburgher who returned home after more than 30 years away.  He is a graduate of Allegheny College and did his graduate studies at Temple University.  Ross has worked on Health, Education, and AIDS prevention projects in Sub-Saharan Africa with the World Bank, and contract and proposal management work for the US Department of Defense.  

He met his husband in 2011 while living in Dubai, followed by relocation to Seoul, and finally a return to the US in 2015.  They currently live in Regent Square with “The Pudge” and Rooney.  Previously, Ross volunteered with the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, DC and was a founding member of the World Bank Group GLOBE. 

Julie Cantrell
(she/her)

Julie has been involved with the PEC since the spring of 2019 and on the board since the summer of 2019. Julie is a high school math teacher at Pittsburgh Public Schools and is very involved with the LGBTQ+ community in the schools. She is the co-sponsor for her school’s GSA, co-leader of her school’s point team, a member of the district’s Queer Equity Committee and the PPS PRIDE committee and founding member of the PFT’s LGBTQ+ grass roots committee.

Julie is a representative for the GSA Network for Pennsylvania, working to connect GSAs across the state. She has lead conferences and workshops for GSA sponsors and other educators and is working to “queer the curriculum” in Pittsburgh Public Schools and surrounding districts. Julie worked with her local community to try to pass a nondiscrimination ordinance. While that was not successful, the township did add a welcoming non-discrimination statement on the website and to the employee handbook.

For the past several years Julie has been very involved with her sorority’s local alumnae chapter, serving as the programming chair and as a Panhellenic participant. In addition to her sorority, she is active with her local Democratic committee and is involved with local politics.

Mona Wiley
(she/her)

Mona Wiley is an Egyptian-American abstract artist and Public Programs Manager at the Westmoreland Museum of American art. She is committed to ensuring that folks of all identities and backgrounds have access to the transformative power of arts education.

She earned her Master of Science degree in Professional Leadership with an Arts Leadership concentration at Carlow University where she has also received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts. In addition to her programming and community engagement experience, Mona has worked in academia and service-based roles for over 15 years. At her core, she is a relationship builder, connector, implementor, lifelong learner, and community partner.

Andee O’Brien
(she/her/they/them)

Andee is originally from a small town in the state of New York but upon graduating from Clarion University of Pennsylvania in 2019 with her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications with a concentration in digital media, she relocated to Pittsburgh where she now officially considers herself a “yinzer.”

Andee is a Multimedia Account Executive for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and outside of work, she spends her time leading her own book club, rock climbing, watching drag shows, creating art of many kinds, and frolicking at the dog park with her furry friend, Mac (after Mac Miller). Andee lives with their partner and soon-to-be wife, Kameryn. The two of them aspire to use their privilege and experiences to help LGBTQ+ youth in Pittsburgh and beyond, which is what brought Andee to the PGH Equality Center in 2021. 

Ray Sidney-Smith
(he/him)

Ray Sidney-Smith has been active with PGH Equality Center circa 2019, and he organizes and facilitates Rainbow Reading Group (Lavender Book Club’s Pittsburgh chapter), Pittsburgh’s LGBTQIA+ book club.

Ray was brought up in a multiracial family with heritage ranging from China to Jamaica, and Honduras to United Kingdom and Europe, in a multicultural neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. He identifies primarily as hapa.

Professionally, Ray is the President/CEO of W3 Consulting, a digital marketing agency and business productivity training and consulting practice dedicated to helping Small Business enterprises with marketing and managing on the Web, Mobile, Social Media and beyond. Its subsidiary, W3C Web Services provides affordable Managed WordPress hosting, domain name registration services, SSL Certificates, Microsoft 365 / Google Workspace licenses and implementations and more. Ray is the author of SoLoMo Success: Social Media, Local and Mobile Web Marketing Small Business Strategy Explained (2014) and co-author of Podcasting for Small Business (available later in 2021).

Board Application