Lucille E. Dabney
PRESIDENT & CEO
Luci Dabney has over 30 years’ experience in the nonprofit, corporate, small business, and higher education fields. She serves as PACE’s president and CEO. Prior to her move to Pittsburgh in 2005, she was the owner of the consulting firm, Dabney & Associates. She was the prime consultant and project manager on a multi-year project to recast public support for the arts in the city of Austin, Texas.
Ms. Dabney worked as a sub-consultant to Decision Information Resources, Inc. on a multi-year project to evaluate W. K. Kellogg Foundation’s grantee capacity building programming; National Arts Strategies; and the Stevens Group at LarsonAllen as part of the Ford Foundation’s Working Capital Fund Program. She also served as the Executive Director of the Cultural Arts Council of Houston/Harris County where she supervised a $7 million dollar grants program that annually awarded funds to 140 arts and non-arts organizations and 40 individual artists.
Luci is a founder and past chairperson of the board of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, a national organization with a mission to increase the effectiveness of individuals and organizations that help nonprofits build their power and impact. She currently serves as a board member of the POISE Foundation and Board Vice President of Grantmakers for Western Pennsylvania. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Houston. She is a fellow of the Amherst Wilder Foundation’s James P. Shannon Leadership Institute.
Sharon L. Jefferson
Sharon L. Jefferson brings to PACE nearly 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector that has broadly centered on strengthening community-based organizations across a variety of industries including housing, workforce & youth development, and education. In her role as Program Manager, she guides organizations through focused efforts at strategic planning and plan implementation as a component of PACE’s diverse programming around capacity building. As a former manager at United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania she was responsible for building consensus among diverse stakeholders, developing and implementing community-based initiatives and assessing and enhancing the effectiveness of health and human service delivery to targeted populations. She has also served as a Peer Monitor for the Pennsylvania Department of Education, assisting in the process of review, assessment and oversight of area school district’s and charter school’s delivery of special education programs and services. More recently Sharon earned a certificate in Community Mediation, expanding her skillset to serve organizations, communities and individuals in need. Sharon attended the University of Pittsburgh earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies and Spanish, a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration, a certificate in Nonprofit Management and served as a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellow.
Julia Kemner, B.Sc, M.Res, has worked in the legal and nonprofit sectors for the last six years. While achieving her Masters degree in Scotland, she co-founded a small non-profit dedicated to educating youth on topics of sexual and gender-based violence. During the past year, she served as an AmeriCorps Public Ally, working on nonprofit leadership and developing sustainable service projects while serving as the Outreach and Social Media Coordinator for Neighborhood Legal Services. Julia holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh, and a Master of Research in Human Rights and International Politics from the University of Glasgow. Her graduate research utilized a systematic literature review and secondary policy analysis to provide prescriptive recommendations on mental health servicing in Tanzania for an international NGO. In September of 2021, Julia was hired at PACE to serve as the Program Associate. Her responsibilities include the administration and execution of programs, services, and internal operations working closely with the Program Manager, other staff, and our program participants.
Ms. Kemner has a keen interest in public health initiatives, elevating community assets, human rights frameworks and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and studying the complex and coordinating relationships across international communities particularly with the sister cities of Pittsburgh, PA and Glasgow, Scotland, UK. With that, you can often find her globe-trotting or planning her next adventure with a journal and camera in hand, or at home brushing up her cooking skills inspired by all the food these adventures have to offer.
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & OPERATIONS
Juliette Smith, B. Sc., M.A.A.A., joined PACE as the Director of Finance & Administration in January 2020. Juliette has 20- years’ experience in the nonprofit industry, most recently as the allocations and program manager for the Washington County Community Foundation.
Ms. Smith taught nonprofit administration for seven years at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, specializing in advocacy, grant administration, financial management, and sustainability.
Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, she was the executive director of Family Promise of Gaston County (an agency serving homeless families) in North Carolina.
Juliette earned a Master in Arts Administration degree from Goucher College, Maryland and Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the University of Nottingham, England.
Maurice “Mo” Speaks manages PACE’s African American Executive Coaching Program in addition to his responsibilities as project & finance coordinator. Prior to joining PACE in 2017, Mr. Speaks worked as the program assistant for Three Rivers Waterkeeper, where he organized and handled logistics for agency events. Maurice also gained considerable community organizing experience working as an intern for the Hilltop Alliance.
During his time with the Hilltop Alliance, Maurice was an integral part of the committee that organized two community-wide dialogues that examined the various assets and the greatest challenges facing the Pittsburgh South Hilltop neighborhoods. As a result of these dialogues, action teams, formed by stakeholders, addressed the needs of the community. The experience of working at the Hilltop Alliance still has a profound impact on Maurice today as it illustrated that when non-profit agencies work in unison with communities to create positive, sustainable, impactful change, it is amazing what can be accomplished.
Maurice earned a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work degrees from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. In his free time, Maurice enjoys playing guitar and long-distance running and his goal is to complete an ultra-marathon.
Brionna Street is the Program Associate for the Pittsburgh Cultural Treasures Initiative. Brionna joined PACE in 2022.
Peg Fiedler, M.S., currently provides grants management, communications, and technical assistance services to PACE’s Intensive Services Program grantees. Her areas of focus within her general consulting practice are organizational development, marketing, communications, grants management, fundraising and training.
Ms. Fiedler formerly served as a development officer and the director of marketing within the St. Francis Health System and is a licensed realtor in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Peg earned a Master of Science degree in Professional Leadership from Carlow University, a certificate in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution and a certificate in Executive Coaching from Duquesne University. She has also served as adjunct faculty at Carlow University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, teaching in the graduate Leadership Program.
Ryan began his relationship with PACE in 2012 as a volunteer with Americorps and Google’s Hands On Tech program helping nonprofit organizations build capacity and become more technologically proficient. He has continued his relationship with them for many years to follow as a full service IT and Front-End Web Design Consultant. Ryan is also an entertainment professional providing Latin/Ballroom dance instruction/exhibition as well as DJ services for weddings, corporate and special events.