Andrew Masich, PhD
President and CEO
Andy Masich is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Senator John Heinz History Center and a commissioner (former chairman) of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Under Andy’s leadership, the History Center has been recognized for its award-winning exhibitions and innovative educational programs. He has forged strategic partnerships with the Smithsonian Institution, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Allegheny Conference for Community Development, Boy Scouts of America, VisitPittsburgh, American Association for State and Local History, and 125 History Center affiliate museums in Western Pennsylvania. Andy is an adjunct Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University and is a recognized authority on the preservation and interpretation of history. He has served on the American Alliance of Museums Accreditation Commission and as a faculty member of the prestigious Seminar for Historical Administration. He makes regular television appearances on KDKA (CBS), including the popular “Pittsburgh’s Hidden Treasures” programs and the regular feature, “Pittsburgh History Today.” Known for his extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania history, he has also authored or co-authored award-winning books on a wide range of subjects. His newest book, Civil War in the Southwest Borderlands, 1861-1867 (University of Oklahoma Press, 2017), delves into the multicultural and transnational dimensions of the conflict in the American West and Mexico. Learn more about Andy Masich.
Chief Financial Officer and Vice President, Operations
Rachel Askey is the History Center’s Chief Financial Officer. In her role, she has primary day-to-day responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and controlling all financial-related activities of the History Center and works to plan and forecast the overall financial vision of the History Center to ensure productive financial operations. This includes direct responsibility for overseeing investments, budget and financial planning, financial reporting, cash management, accounts payable and accounts receivable, as well as information technology. Rachel joined the History Center in 2019. Prior to joining the History Center, Rachel worked in audit and advisory roles with both Carnegie Mellon University and with KPMG LLP. Rachel earned her BA from Washington and Jefferson College, where she had a dual major in Accounting and English.
Tonia Rose serves as the Vice President at the Heinz History Center and its family of museums. She oversees the museum’s fundraising, membership, government relations, board of trustees’ governance and learning, exhibition design and production, and the museum collections. An advocate for tech equity, inclusion and entrepreneurship, current co-chair of the Diversity Equity Accessibility Inclusion (DEAI) working group of the Heinz History Center.
Tonia joined the History Center in 2003 contributing to the growth of the institution in strategic planning, accreditation, donor cultivation, and project management with iconic exhibitions Destination Moon and Vatican Splendors and partnerships for elevated programming connected to Pittsburgh’s Bicentennial. Prior to joining the History Center, Tonia worked in museum education at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, and the Pennsylvania Academy of The Fine Arts. Tonia has an MA in museum education from the University of the Arts and a BA in art history and museum studies from Juniata College.
Director of Publications
Brian Butko is author of books about Isaly’s, diners, the Lincoln Highway, roadside attractions, and, most recently, Kennywood Park. Brian started with the History Center as a volunteer and intern in the 1980s and is now director of publications. He serves as editor of Western Pennsylvania History quarterly magazine and project manager of the society’s book program, which has published on topics ranging from the Civil War to Pittsburghese, and African Americans in the Vietnam War to a kids book on Bill Mazeroski. A lifelong resident of West Mifflin, Brian graduated from Duquesne University with an M.A in history.
Director of Technology & Digital Services
Liz Dewar oversees all information technology and digital operations at the Heinz History Center and its museum system. Born in Pittsburgh, Liz began her career in museum technology at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England. She also worked for the Royal Academy of Arts where she led multiple ambitious projects in areas such as collections digitization and database management, website development, and customer data platforms. Liz holds a B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and an M.A. from King’s College London.
Director of Human Resources
Renee Falbo is the director of human resources for the Senator John Heinz History Center’s museum system. Renee began her career with the History Center in 2005 as a part-time human resources assistant. In her current position, Renee oversees all human resources including staff, interns, and the volunteer program.
Director of the Fort Pitt Museum
Alan Gutchess is the site director at the Fort Pitt Museum, where he oversees staff, exhibits, and programing. He is recognized for his knowledge of the material culture of the colonial American frontier and has acted as a consultant to numerous history museums and documentary films. Prior to joining the History Center team, he had worked at the Museum of the American Revolution, Sauder Village, and the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.
Director of the Curatorial Division, Chief Historian, & Director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum
Anne Madarasz, director of the curatorial division, chief historian, and director of the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum has been at the Heinz History Center since 1992. A graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., she completed the coursework for her PhD. at the University of Pennsylvania. Awarded a Richards Fellowship for research from the Corning Museum of Glass, Anne lectures and writes frequently on the subject of Pittsburgh glass, regional industry, and the history of Pittsburgh sports. Anne has served as the project director or curator for five exhibitions that have received the national Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.
Director of Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village
David Scofield is the director of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village in Avella, Washington County, Pa. David began his museum career in 1988 as a demonstrating craftsman at Old Salem in Winston-Salem, N.C., where he practiced the 18th century trades of blacksmithing, carpentry, joinery, and white oak basket making. After working to develop a new turn-of-the-century living history farm as a North Carolina state historic site, he moved to Western Pennsylvania to be part of the effort to develop Meadowcroft. He is a graduate of Delaware Valley College and the Williamsburg Seminar for Historical Administration.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Brady Smith oversees all marketing and external communications initiatives for the Heinz History Center and its museum system. Prior to joining the History Center in 2010, Brady worked for two internationally-acclaimed public relations agencies in Chicago – Hill & Knowlton and Cramer-Krasselt – where he helped plan and execute award-winning PR campaigns for national brands such as Allstate, the University of Phoenix, the Big Ten Conference, TransUnion, and Crocs. He began his career in athletic media relations, coordinating publicity for the University of Pennsylvania’s 33 varsity sports and interning in the Denver Broncos media relations department. A southern New Jersey native, Brady is a proud graduate of West Virginia University and has a B.A. in communications.
Director of Library & Archives
Matthew Strauss oversees the acquisition, description, digitization, and preservation of the Heinz History Center’s library & archival collection. After obtaining his Master of Library and Information Science degree with a focus on Archives and Records Management from the University of Pittsburgh, Matt joined the History Center in 2008 to manage the organization’s first film digitization project. Since then, Matt has directed archival processing and digitization initiatives funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Matt has served on working groups and committees of the Society of American Archivists, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, and PA Digital.
Samuel W Black
Director of African American Program
Samuel W. Black is the Director of the African American Program at the Senator John Heinz History Center. He is a former President of the Association of African American Museums (2011-2016) and served on the Executive Council and the Advisory Council of the Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASALH) as well as the program committee of the American Alliance of Museums. Black is a member of the Afro-American Historical & Genealogical Society of Pittsburgh and the former vice president of the ASALH Dr. Edna B. McKenzie Branch. He serves on the board of directors of the International Black Business Museum. He is the recipient of the Dr. John E. Fleming Award of the AAAM in 2016, a 2018 graduate of the Jekyll Island Management Institute of the Southeastern Museums Conference (SEMC) and a 2019 Fulbright Germany Transatlantic Seminar Curator of the Smithsonian Institution and Leibniz Association of Germany.
Black is the curator of award winning exhibitions, “Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era” America’s Best Weekly: A Century of the Pittsburgh Courier” “From Slavery to Freedom” and “The Vietnam War 1945-1975” (2019). He is the curator of African American historical and cultural content at the Heinz History Center including the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum.
He is the author of a number of essays, book reviews, and narratives including, “African American Photographers of Cleveland, 1930-1965” in Yet Still We Rise: African American Art in Cleveland, 1920-1970; “The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center: Museum of Conscience” in Ohio Valley History Journal. His pending articles and reviews include “African Americans in the Vietnam War” in Oxford University Bibliographies.
Black is the editor of Soul Soldiers: African Americans and the Vietnam Era (2006) and co-author of Through the Lens of Allen E. Cole: A Photographic History of African Americans in Cleveland, Ohio (2012) and editor of The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience (2013).
Director of Rauh Jewish History Program & Archives
Eric Lidji started with the Heinz History Center in 2011 as a volunteer and later as a researcher and has been the director of the Rauh Jewish Archives since 2017. He curates its Jewish history website “Generation to Generation,” oversees its Small Towns Jewish History Project, and hosts its history podcast “The Cornerstone.” He has written extensively about the Jewish history of Western Pennsylvania for local periodicals. He is the author of The Seventeenth Generation: The Lifework of Rabbi Walter Jacob and a coeditor of the anthologies Her Deeds Sing Her Praises and Bound in the Bond of Life.
Melissa E. Marinaro
Director of Italian American Program
Melissa E. Marinaro is the Director of the Italian American Program at the Senator John Heinz History Center where she oversees the Italian American artifact and archival collection, and manages the program’s community and educational outreach and public programs. She was raised in the northern suburbs of Detroit and, for a time, São Paulo, Brazil. Marinaro has a BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago and an MA in Art History with an emphasis in the History of Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. She worked in after school programming for The Princeton Review, museum education at The Art Institute of Chicago, in special collections at The Chicago History Museum, and was the Interim Director of Education at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. In 2009, Marinaro co-founded a small commercial art gallery in Chicago with two peers from Columbia College, hosting over 40 exhibitions and participating in art fairs, neighborhood festivals, and public art works. She also taught courses at Chicago Semester, an off-campus program for college juniors and seniors through Trinity Christian College, and The Chicago Photography Center.
Since joining the History Center’s staff in January of 2013, Marinaro has cultivated significant artifact and archival collections related to post-war Italian immigration to Western Pennsylvania, the Passionists’ first monastery in North America, Italian folk-revival troupe I Campagnoli, former Vice Consul of Italy in Pittsburgh, Joseph D’Andrea, and local Italian American foodways businesses. Her research interests include post-war Italian immigration, Italian American identity and culture, and oral history and storytelling as a research device. Marinaro is currently the Exhibition Review Editor for the journal the Italian American Review. She authored the book Highlights of the Italian American Collection: Western Pennsylvania Stories and regularly contributes to Western Pennsylvania History Magazine.
Dr. James Adovasio
Director of Archaeology
James M. Adovasio, Ph.D, D.Sc, achieved international acclaim with his archeological excavation of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter beginning in 1973. His work at the Meadowcroft site brought the first serious challenge to the existing paradigm that people had only been on the North American continent for 13,000 years. Evidence from the excavation at Meadowcroft has demonstrated a human presence at the site of at least 19,000 years. The Meadowcroft Rockshelter is known around the world as an important North American archaeological site and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2005.
In addition to his work at Meadowcroft, Dr. Adovasio has excavated at locations around the world and he is recognized as a global authority on perishable materials such as ancient basketry and textiles. He is the author of multiple books including “The First Americans: In Pursuit of Archaeology’s Greatest Mystery” (Random House, 2002), “The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory” (Harper Collins, 2007), and his latest, “Strangers in a New Land” (Firefly Books Ltd., 2016), which documents 35 of the earliest sites in North and South America. He received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona, his Ph.D in Anthropology from the University of Utah, and completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution.
Betty Arenth is senior advisor for the Senator John Heinz History Center. A native Pittsburgher, Betty has been with the History Center since 1996, overseeing finances, facilities management, fundraising, human resources, legal and government affairs, and numerous other institutional activities. As the History Center has grown, she has coordinated numerous award-winning, environmentally-friendly construction projects, major fundraising campaigns, and two non-profit mergers. In partnership with Andy Masich, Betty has helped steer the growth and development of the History Center into one of the nation’s premiere regional history museums. Betty graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in political science in 1979, and masters of public policy and management from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public & International Affairs.