Director

Elizabeth Lewis, M.Ed. is the Director of STANDING FIRM. Beth brings to STANDING FIRM in-depth leadership experience in the non-profit sector including major organizational development and program direction at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and consulting roles with the Magee Women’s Research Institute and Foundation. After starting her career in victim advocacy and service delivery design for rape and child sexual abuse response systems, she joined the for-profit arena in the Employee Assistance field, implementing multinational corporate EAP’s and local employer programs across western PA. Beth is a member of the Ethics Committee as Children’s Hospital and has published articles and presented at national conferences on Patient and Family-centered Care.

You can reach Beth at:
blewis@standing-firm.org or 412-894-4571

Senior Account Executive

Susan DeGregorio, M.S., J.D. is the Senior Account Executive at STANDING FIRM. She is the point of contact for STANDING FIRM’s Members and is our primary trainer. Susan has almost 30 years of consulting experience including facilitating leadership and employee training sessions. During her consulting career, she worked with organizations of all sizes and in all industries to develop and implement employee benefit and workplace well-being strategies and policies. Susan is an Executive Service Corps volunteer for the Bayer Center for Non-profit Management, a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), and a member of the Three Rivers Adoption Council Board of Directors.

You can reach Susan at:
sdegregorio@standing-firm.org or 412-894-4569

Program Associate

Karen Sellers is the Program Associate at STANDING FIRM.  Prior to joining STANDING FIRM, Karen worked for 35 years in the financial services industry. She brings compassion, leadership, compliance, coaching, policy, training and regulatory experience to her current role. Additionally, Karen is a Certified Master Life and Business Coach with a focus on Facilitation and Employee Engagement. She has been a volunteer at the Women’s Center and Shelter for eight years

You can reach Karen at ksellers@standing-firm.org or 412-894-4568

Development Assistant

Lauren McKenzie is the Development Assistant at the Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh and STANDING FIRM, serving as the internal communications point of contact for the Development Department. She has honed skills in community planning and outreach, policy research and implementation, and administrative support. Lauren has worked in the nonprofit sector for five years, with Homestead Community Development Corporation, Hawaiian Community Assets, Mālama Kauaʻi, EarthShare National Headquarters, The Clean Air Council, and Philadelphia Urban Creators. Along with this, Lauren has served as the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, Philadelphia Urban Creators, and Mālama Kauaʻi. Lauren graduated from Temple Fox School of Business with a focus in Legal Studies of Business in 2017.

You can reach Lauren at mckenziel@wcspittsburgh.org

Meet our Founder!

Patricia Cluss, Ph.D., is the Founder of STANDING FIRM and continues to work with us as a Special Projects Consultant. Retired from her faculty position in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, she works as a licensed psychologist and consultant for regional nonprofit and health-related organizations. At Pitt, she engaged in research and program development in partner violence, smoking cessation for special populations, and pediatric obesity and published a number of articles about partner violence in academic journals. Dr. Cluss has been an expert member of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Intimate Partner Violence Homicide Review Team and a consultant for a PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency-funded research project at the University of Pittsburgh that is describing the methodology and impact of batterer intervention programs in the region.