Our Board

Mother, philanthropist, marketing and technology consultant, manager, “get things done”

Matt’s Maker Space has been a labor of love for us. Matt, who died at the age of 12, would have been a maker today. He loved to tinker and build. He was artistic and mathematical – a problem solver. I am thrilled to use Matt’s Maker Space to help create a generation of tinkers who can collaborate, innovate and think outside the box. With my background in the humanities and technology, I feel like children who are encouraged to learn in a STEAM environment may be able to achieve dreams they never thought were possible. Matt’s Maker Space is for them.

Co-Founder & Executive Director

NOELLE CONOVER

Chief Technologist, Mechanical Products for ANSYS, Inc., the global leader in engineering simulation

Matt’s Father,  Software Engineer.  ANSYS enables making for the world of engineering. Maker spaces will make better engineers someday!

Co-Founder

DAVID CONOVER

Matt’s sister, Clinical informatics nurse, Educator, Musician

I have always loved science, math, technology and the arts. I would have loved learning in a place like Matt’s Maker Space when I was a kid! Losing my brother was and is not easy, but I am thankful that children will now have a space to do some of the things he loved – tinker, create, build and “make” things. Matthew would be so proud of our parents for all they have done in his memory, and I am too.

Co-President

MEGAN CONOVER

Matt’s sister, student in Cyber Forensics and Information Security at Robert Morris University, giver, hard worker

My interest in Matt’s Maker Space started when I realized that I didn’t get to grow up building and making. Being able to see my parents create this organization in memory of my brother has shown me how to be grateful for everything that I have and makes me want to give back.

Co-President

ANNA CONOVER

Front-end developer, maker, mother, jewelry designer, drummer, 

I’ve been a maker since I was in elementary school. I make things, like jewelry, herb planters, and dresses out of t-shirts. I make music, I make Indian food and I make my family dance on Friday nights.  Every making endeavor channels a creativity that I sometimes forget I have.  This is why I’m honored to be part of an organization that gives so many people the opportunity to discover their inner maker and embrace where making takes them.

Board Member

SHIVIKA ASTHANA

Director of Marketing & Outreach, Handmade Arcade, Arts + Events Editor, NEXT pittburgh, Musician, The Garment District

I am connected to Matt through my family in Mt. Lebanon, including my aunt, my cousins and my brothers.

Jennifer Baron is co-coordinator and director of marketing for the award-winning Handmade Arcade, Pittsburgh’s first and largest independent craft fair. A writer with NEXTpittburgh, Jennifer is co-editor of the award-winning photography book, Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania (Carnegie Mellon Press, 2010). Jennifer has also coordinated public programs for Mount Lebanon Public Library, and serves an Advisory Board Member for The Hollywood Theater in Dormont. Jennifer is founder of the Pittsburgh-based band, The Garment District, and was a member of Brooklyn’s The Ladybug Transistor (Merge Records).

As a crafter, musician and writer, I look forward to helping advance the mission of Matt’s Maker Space, and helping the organization increase its visibility and strengthen its connections to Pittsburgh’s thriving and innovative maker, arts and learning communities.

Board Consultant

JENNIFER BARON

Librarian, Teacher at Foster Elementary, Matt’s former elementary school.

I strive to help students to become makers, learners and creative thinkers in memory of Matt.

Board Member

BRIDGET BELARDI

Matt’s Favorite at home nurse, Retired Registered Nurse

Helping to further what would be of interest and value to Matt. Keeping his memory alive means a great deal to me.

Board Member

FRANCI EBERZ

Friend of Matt’s and the Conover family, Freelance Writer, Climate Reality Leader and Community Volunteer

As a long time advocate for creative problem-solving and hands-on learning, I am proud to help keep Matt’s memory alive by serving on the board of Matt’s Maker Space.

Board Member

BETH EVANS

Board Member

AMY HERLICH

Children’s Librarian at Mt. Lebanon Public Library

Neighbor to the Conover family. I want all kids to have an opportunity to be makers.

Board Member

DANA JONES

English Teacher and Writing Specialist at The Ellis School

I never knew Matt personally, but the Conovers first became my neighbors about five years ago.  Their strength, capacity to love, and commitment to education and our community drew me to Matt’s Maker Space from the first time Noelle told me about Matt and how they plan to honor his memory.

Board Member

GINA KILPELA

Board Member

KATE McGRADY

Principal, Howe Elementary School, MTLSD

Grateful advocate for Matt’s Maker Spaces in MTLSD! Although I did not have the privilege of knowing Matt, I believe he was a very special little boy to inspire such an amazing philanthropic effort to benefits so many children!

Board Member

MICHELLE L. MURRAY, Ed.D.

6th Grade Teacher, Upper St. Clair School District.

As a former Mt. Lebanon teacher, I had been fortunate to offer creative thinking lessons to hundreds of students in Matt's Maker Spaces. Knowing how these spaces bring to life open-ended thinking and a safe place for trial and error learning, I am proud to serve on a board that works to create an engaging learning environment for elementary students and honors the life of a brilliant young man.

Board Member

KELLY PASCARELLA

5th Grade Teacher, Mt. Lebanon School District. Teacher of Matt’s peers

It is my goal to provide creative, collaborative, problem solving experiences to all learning for all students in Mt. Lebanon.  Matt’s Maker Space is the springboard needed to achieve that goal at the elementary level.

Board Member

JULIE SNYDER

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Matt's Maker Space

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