Taken from The Progress News, June 25, 2019

EMLENTON, Pa. – The Oil Region Alliance is pleased to welcome Selina Pedi as the newly appointed Blueprint Community Coordinator for the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley Region (ACRVR).

Pedi will oversee the continued development of the Blueprint Initiative in the Allegheny-Clarion River Valley towns of Emlenton, Foxburg, and Parker, helping a dedicated team of residents, business owners, and community leaders to revitalize the region. 

“I see myself as the conductor of a talented and diverse orchestra,” says Pedi.  “This region, one I’ve had ties to my entire life, and have called home for almost six years now, is overflowing with natural beauty, human creativity and business potential.  I take my hat off to everyone who has worked hard to see us through the difficult transition of the last several decades.  I have a passion for the resilience and global importance of small towns and villages, and I hope my personal drive and creative spark will add to the vital energy of this community.”

John Phillips, President and CEO of the Oil Region Alliance, adds “I am thrilled that Selina has joined our team to focus on Emlenton, Foxburg, and Parker and coordinate with the Blueprint Community Core Team.  She brings many years of experience in Community Development in the United States and abroad!”

First developed in 2005 as a community development outreach initiative of FHLBank Pittsburgh, the Blueprint Community program works with statewide and regional partners, such as the Pennsylvania Downtown Center and the Oil Region Alliance, to train, mentor and support community leaders in their efforts to build local capacity and opportunity.  The Allegheny-Clarion River Valley Region was inducted into the second round of the Blueprint Initiative in 2014 and has since made strides toward increased sustain-ability. 

The appointment of a dedicated Coordinator will allow these small towns at the outskirts of their counties a louder voice in both regional and state planning and development, as well as a single point of contact for the many other organizations working in and around the region.  “With so many people trying to help in the rebuilding efforts, it can be hard to keep everyone in the loop,” Pedi notes. “A large part of my job is to get and stay connected with all of the resources available.”

With a long history of working in small communities and neighborhoods around the globe, Pedi knows the challenges facing her region, and knows that creativity and adaptability are key to finding the unique paths to resilience for each community.  “I have a number of successful Blueprint towns from which to learn,” observes Pedi.  “The PA Downtown Center and the Oil Region Alliance have been crucial in connecting me to the resources I need to empower the residents of these towns to Be the Change.”

As a first step, Pedi is reaching out to commercial property owners in Emlenton, Foxburg and Parker to find vacant storefronts in need of a bit of TLC and energy.  If you own a space within the ACRVR Blueprint Community and are interested in learning more, please contact Selina Pedi at spedi@oilregion.org or (724) 264-5772.