Taking Polish Hill's energy citywide

Written by Diana Nelson Jones on .


After serving three terms as president of the board of the Polish Hill Civic Association, Terry Doloughty made his spare-time passion into a career move: Four months ago, he was hired as community development specialist at the Community Technical Assistance Center, or CTAC.

Born and raised in Polish Hill, Terry became a community activist first as a community gardener: “That was my passion. People thought I was Amish because I was always in the garden in a straw hat,” he said.

He segued into a broader range of activities when he was repairin the floor of the association’s office and, as board members were discussing neighborhood initiatives, “I threw out some ideas.”

Before he realized what had happened, his name was in the hat to be on the board and he was voted in.

In 2006-07, he took CTAC’s series of courses to learn how to hold effective meetings, how to coordinate activities with the board, how to lay the proper groundwork for receiving funding. He also learned how to take his passion for community building to the professional level.

He scaled back his hours as the manager of a plumbing and heating warehouse and, when the CTAC job opened — which he found out about on Facebook — he quickly got his resume together and applied.

“I wanted to make this my focus, not my secondary work,” he said.

From helping Polish Hill grow into a more inviting and appealing place for young, creative people, he said he wants to take his experiences citywide: “My dark evil plan for Pittsburgh it to make what we’ve been doing in Polish Hill contagious,” he said with a mischievous grin. “I want to take it and share it.”


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