Our Team

Staff


Karl Shaley

Office Manager

Karl is a Pittsburgh native. He joined the PGH Equality Center in March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Karl has several years of experience in church youth ministry and the service industry. He currently leads our youth program with the monthly book clubs. As our Office Manager he coordinates our resource center and social media.Fun Fact: he shares his birthday with the current President elect, Joe Biden with 50 years difference.

Board


Patrick Zabasnik

Acting Chair

Heather Broman

Secretary

Heather has been a board member with the PEC since 2017, and has served as Secretary of the Board since 2018. She has worked as an IT Business Analyst, as a Consultant for Fortune 500 Companies, and currently serves as the Director of Business Operations for a Pittsburgh-Based Manufacturing Company. She grew up in Moon Township near the Pittsburgh Airport and joined the PEC to help advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and causes, especially the LGBTQIA+ youth and families in Western PA. She married her wife Jacquelynn, back in 2013 on the steps of the Supreme Court with 25 other LGBT+ couples to highlight the need for marriage equality. Since then, their family has grown to include 4 cats, 2 dogs, and their daughter Josie, who is the light of their lives.

Jeff Miller

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.


TJ Murphy

T.J. Murphy 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.

Julie Cantrell

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.

Maggie Cooney

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.

Board Application