FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Mayor Ed Gainey Announces Director Nominations for Departments of Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Mobility and Infrastructure and future Appointment of City Treasurer
PITTSBURGH – Mayor Ed Gainey announced today the Administration’s next round of nominations for the Departments of Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Mobility and Infrastructure, and the appointment of City Treasurer. Kathryn Vargas, who currently serves as acting director of Parks of Recreation, Chris Hornstein, who currently serves as acting director of Public Works, and Kim Lucas, who currently serves as acting director of Mobility and Infrastructure, will all be nominated for permanent status. Jennifer Gula, who currently serves as the acting director of Finance, will continue in that capacity temporarily before transitioning to the title of city treasurer, a position that was merged into the Finance Director position during the prior administration, but which Gainey proposes to reestablish later this year.
“I am pleased to announce the nominations of these distinguished leaders,” said Mayor Gainey. “They all bring a depth of experience to their respective positions, and I know they will serve our city well.”
Director of Parks and Recreation Kathryn Vargas will be responsible for overseeing and providing safe and exceptional parks, facilities, and programs through effective leadership, collaboration, and innovative thinking. Vargas will ensure that the department delivers quality customer service through the development, operation, and maintenance of the city’s public parks, recreation centers, and facilities to create an environment that is safe and enriching for residents and visitors. Vargas currently serves as the assistant director of Community Recreation/Youth and Families within the department. Before joining the city, Vargas was director of Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) at United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania and senior manager at United for Children. She holds a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.
Director of Public Works Chris Hornstein will oversee the operation and maintenance of essential city infrastructure including streets, preserving park facilities, and rehabilitating public facilities. Hornstein will also ensure that the department meets the environmental needs of the city by collecting residential refused and recyclables and the safety of residents and visitors by responding to emergencies including flooding, land subsidence, snow and ice storms and other weather-related catastrophes. Following this winter’s severe weather, Hornstein will be charged with implementing operational and process changes to better prepare DPW for future snow seasons. Hornstein holds more than 20 years of experience in design, construction, and maintenance of grounds and facilities. He joined the city as a FUSE Fellow in 2017 and has served as assistant director of Public Works since 2018. Hornstein is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and The University of Maryland.
Director of Mobility and Infrastructure Kim Lucas will oversee the transportation of people and goods throughout the city and operational management of and access to the public right-of-way including sidewalks, curbs, streets, and bridges. Lucas joined the DOMI in 2019 as assistant director for Planning, Policy, and Permitting, and previously served as a supervisory transportation management planner/sustainable transportation branch manager for the Washington D.C. District Department of Transportation. She also served as bicycle and pedestrian program specialist/program manager of bikeshare and bicycle parking programs. Lucas holds a Master’s degree in City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
Acting Director of Finance/Acting City Treasurer Jennifer Gula will assume the to-be-reestablished role of Deputy Director of Finance/City Treasurer later this year, where she will oversee revenue collection for the City of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Public Schools, and fund management for the City. Gula has worked for the City of Pittsburgh for 22 years starting in the cashier’s office. She then served as an internal auditor and later an investment officer before becoming the Assistant Director of Finance in 2018. She has over 20 years of experience in finance, city budgets, and banking. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, Gula lived in Texas and worked in the hospitality industry.
The Gainey Administration will announce a nominee for permanent Finance Director in the coming weeks.