New to Pittsburgh, but already making a difference

“There’s a lot of work to be done here. I feel really lucky to be a part of it.”

As a professional, Margey O’Brien feels philanthropy is a responsibility; and as a community member, it is her passion to give back and help however she can. “I try to give back to the community in a lot of ways. It’s fulfilling, but more importantly, it changes lives,” Margey said.

When Margey was offered an opportunity to transfer with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to join the local Pittsburgh team, she didn’t know much about the city. But in just one visit, she was sold. “I fell in love with the city’s energy, just the welcome that I received coming out here. Now, I couldn’t imagine going anywhere else,” she said. She and her husband are now happy residents of Pittsburgh.

In Connecticut, where Margey lived and worked for 23 years, she enjoyed collaborating with women and various women-focused organizations. When she arrived in Pittsburgh, she began looking for opportunities to help women in her new community.

In October 2016, she met several members of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council (WLC) and immediately hit it off with them. Margey knew WLC was a group she could jump in, network with like-minded individuals and make a big impact in her community. “It’s important to me that women have a voice and feel confident to share their opinions. That’s why I decided to join the WLC,” Margey said.

Since then, Margey has participated in many WLC activities, including volunteering at the Bethlehem Haven soup kitchen, joining the WLC’s executive committee, and being part of the review committee for RFPs submitted to United for Women – WLC’s signature initiative that helps women in crisis.

While there are many things that make her time with WLC worthwhile, she said her favorite is the sense of community the members have created. “It’s amazing how welcoming and engaged everyone is. It’s full of people who are passionate about giving,” she said.

Margey encourages other women, particularly young leaders, to reach out to the WLC to learn more. “For women who are just starting their careers and trying to figure things out, this is the place. You can network on your own, but why do that when there is this organization you can be part of? You can make new friends, do great things and give back in a broader way,” Margey said.

To learn more about United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council, contact Lynne Popash at in Allegheny County or Alyssa Cholodofsky at in Westmoreland County.