Board of Directors
Jim has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Society for more than five years and currently serves as the President of the Board. As part of his graduate History Program, he authored a book dealing with his father’s experiences as a sailor in World War II and provided consulting services to the McKeesport History and Heritage Center. He has retired from Dominion Resources, Inc. after 39 years of service in the energy industry. He held positions in engineering, operations, marketing, gas supply and statistical analysis. He is a Six Sigma Master Black Belt and a Registered Professional Engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a Masters Degree in History both from Duquesne University. He has lived in Mt. Lebanon for more than 35 years now, where he and his wife, Peggy, raised three great children.
Studied business at the University of Tampa; Owner of Dura-tek, LLC, an energy segment specialty coatings manufacturer; Volunteer Event Organizer for the St. Baldricks fund-raising event each year, benefitting childhood cancer research; involved with pet therapy at personal care homes.
B.A. in History / B. S. in Business Administration – Grove City College; Post Baccalaureate degree in Computer Science – Point Park College; Retired – 34 years at PNC Bank; volunteer with The Denis Theater Foundation, President of The Rose Court Condominium Association Board and 2017 Moderator of the Sunset Hills U. P. Church Board of Deacons
Ben graduated from California University of Pennsylvania in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Graphic Design. He has served as a passionate designer bringing ideas to life for industries ranging from advertising to the Department of Defense. He currently works as a User Interface Designer at Truefit where he works with an interdisciplinary team of researchers, designers and engineers to develop digital products from start-up to enterprise level.
Ben started volunteering as membership coordinator for The Society in October 2013. Ben joined the Historical Society because he loves the idea of linking the community to interesting historical information and getting a first hand look at the design that went into these artifacts. His interests vary wildly, from gardening, to biomimicry to WiFi lighting and vows to never stop learning about our history or thinking through to our future.
Michael Naragon has taught history at Winchester Thurston School for 20 years. He earned his B.A. from Oberlin College and his Ph.D. in history at the University of Pittsburgh. He has written about fugitive slaves, the politics of emancipation, and the origins of segregation. His work has appeared in the academic journals Slavery and Abolition and the Journal of Civil War History, and he has authored a chapter in Howard Temperley’s After Slavery. Michael has traveled extensively with Classrooms Without Borders, studying in Poland, Germany, Israel, and the Czech Republic. Most important, he is the proud father of Eli.
Charles has a passion for local history. He started the Mount Lebanon Oral History Project in January of 2017. This project will preserve Mt. Lebanon’s history through recollections of long time and influential residents. Charles graduated from Appalachian State University in 2012, with a double major in Community/Regional Planning and Geography. Currently, he works for the Allegheny Land Trust.
Mike holds degrees in history from Ohio Wesleyan University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He attended the Cooperstown Graduate Program in History Museum Administration and worked for eleven years as a museum curator and director in local history museums in New York and Illinois.
He came to Pittsburgh in 1991 to teach both undergraduate and graduate courses in historical studies and public history at Duquesne University. (One of his students was current Society president Jim Wojcik.) He retired in July 2016.
After moving to Mount Lebanon in 1992, Mike renewed his acquaintance with Wally Workmaster, whom he first met in Oswego, New York. Mike was one of the original trustees of the Society, elected in 1998, and served as the Society’s first Vice-President and second Secretary. Since then, he has also been a member of the Collections and Building Committees.
Dhanya earned her Master of Architecture in Urban Design from CEPT University, School of Architecture in Ahmedabad, India and a Master of Regional Planning in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the National Institute of Technology in Calicut, India. She moved to the area in 2012 where she was employed as an Architecture and Urban Planning Consultant for The Design Center. She is currently taking on the challenging role of coordinating the Society’s volunteers and being a full-time Mom.
Jim retired in 2007 after a 36 year career in Information Technology at BNY Mellon. Since his retirement he has served as a volunteer at the Family History Center in Green Tree, co-chairman of the Mt. Lebanon Genealogy Society, Treasurer of the Rose Court Condominium Board, and Secretary of the BNY Mellon Volunteer Program (MVP’s). Prior to his retirement he was a coach and referee in soccer and basketball in Mt. Lebanon when his children participated in those sports. For 10 years he was the referee coordinator for the Mt. Lebanon Soccer association.
Geoff is a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, has a Master’s Degree from Middlebury College and did post-graduate studies at the University of Pittsburgh. His community activities include service as an interim Mt. Lebanon Commissioner and on the boards of Medical Rescue Team South Authority, the Mt. Lebanon Parking Authority, St. Paul’s Episcopal Nursery School, the Mt. Lebanon Nature Conservancy and the Vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Currently, Geoff is the Treasurer of the Mt. Lebanon Democratic Committee. He is now semi-retired, following a 41-year career spent doing research, field construction and start-up, computer programming and sales for local engineering firms. Geoff has been a resident of Mt. Lebanon for 34 years. He and his wife, Pat, have raised three children in the community.
Lee grew up in Mt. Lebanon and can’t think of a better place to have planted his roots. As a young boy, he remembers Wagner’s Farm being in his back yard. He is a 1977 graduate of Mt. Lebanon High School and studied civil engineering and computer science at the University of Pittsburgh before opening Lee Heckman Custom Framing and Gallery in the Beverly Shops in 1984. His love of history surfaced while participating in a work-study program in history while at Pitt.
Bachelor’s degree in Logistics Management from Duquesne University; Owner – Thirteen Ball – A web design and development company; Volunteer with the Knights of Columbus and the Mt. Lebanon Fire Department; Cubmaster of Pack 38 at St. Bernard Church, Mt. Lebanon, PA
BA English, Duquesne University; Retired – Business Development Director at TRACO and Aliquippa Community Hospital; member Mt. Lebanon Historic Preservation Board; Board Member of The Veterans’ Breakfast Club, Women on the Move, Pennsylvania Keystone Chapter MS Society
Jody has been a resident of Mt. Lebanon for 45 years. She graduated from Allegheny College, with a Social Studies major and a history minor, specifically in American History, and teaching certification in elementary education. Jody married Dale Colby who passed away in 2005. They have two children, Bryce and Brienne. Jody received her Masters’ Degree in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. After 18 years raising her children, she returned to teaching first grade in the Mt. Lebanon’s Foster Elementary School in 2005. Jody has had a life-long interest in making connections with the past and sharing that knowledge with others. The Historical Society is a great place to do that.