Sarah Uranowski


1. Are you from Pittsburgh? Have you ever lived anywhere else?
I am a native Pittsburgher and I’ve lived all over the city – the south hills, Oakland, Shadyside, and now in the north hills where I am building a custom home.

2. Why did you choose to make Southwest PA your home?
I’ve been fortunate to travel all over for work and fun, and I spend several months of my year in California with my family, but I always come back to Pittsburgh. It’s got all the benefits of a big city – amazing restaurants, art and theater, a vibrant community – with the cost of living and attitude of a small city. There is nothing like seeing each of the four seasons from the top of Mount Washington.

3. Tell us a little about your family.
My two nephews are the most amazing kids, and the reason we spend so much time in California. I am engaged to the most wonderful man and we’ll be getting married in a small ceremony in Hawaii this summer then celebrating later with friends at the Grand Concourse, a Pittsburgh classic. I am in awe of my amazing parents, who work hard to stay active and healthy and travel the world as they both turn 70 this year.

4. How did you choose the career you’re in today? 
My mother was the first federal female mine inspector ever, in the entire country. She got her engineering degree and did field work that women “weren’t supposed to do”. So between growing up with her and my father, also an incredible engineer and business leader, I knew I was going to be an engineer early on. I went through Pitt’s exceptional mechanical engineering program, and came out thinking I’d design cars. Now, all these years later, I’ve ended up in a senior leadership role where I help companies craft their messaging and marketing to reach folks in engineering-heavy fields, which is a far cry from the field work I did in my younger days, but my job is one of the loves of my life.

5. What do you love most about your job?
I have always loved writing and creating, and I went to school for Engineering which is heavily technical. I love that my job combines both of these things, with one foot in heavy industry and one in creating visuals and writing content. It is truly my dream job.

6. What is something people might not know about you?
I love to bake! I ran a small business making cupcakes for weddings and occasions, named after my dog (Sweet Juno’s), for years, and I consider myself an accomplished home baker. My mom and I will be going to Paris in the fall to complete a French boulangerie course.

7. What is your favorite book or TV show and why?
There is so much great TV out now – currently we’re loving White Lotus along with everyone else. Books are so hard, I read all the time – overall I’d say Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, Jo’s struggle for a fair shake in a male dominated work world, as well as the incredible closeness of her sisters, are evergreen themes. The most incredible poem I’ve ever read is “A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi…” by Gwendolyn Brooks, which explores the murder of Emmett Till from a unique perspective.

8. What are some of your hobbies or favorite things to do outside of work?
Outside of work you will find me walking and hiking with my fiancé and Boston Terrier, cooking and baking at home or with my family, lifting (light) weights, reading voraciously, and (of course!) volunteering.

9. Why do you think it’s so important to give back to your community?
The older I get, the more fortunate I realize I have been. And how many people face the same obstacles I have: health issues, frightening or abusive relationships, job worries or loss, but maybe they faced them without the resources I had. We simply cannot go through life not helping others – animals and people alike. We need to spend a portion of our time and resources alleviating suffering. Giving back not only contributes to things like equality and social change, it makes your own community and the folks in it healthier, safer, and happier, which then benefits everyone.

10. Why do you volunteer with United Way?
I was really looking for volunteer opportunities that were “women helping women”, which lead me to WLC. WLC truly helps women in every capacity – from traditional philanthropy and volunteering, to professional connections and opportunities, to social connections and friendships. It’s an organization for the whole woman at every stage of life wrapped in doing genuine good for the community.

11. What is your favorite United Way memory?
A favorite memory of mine is being at one of the WLC networking soirees with a mix of old friends and new acquaintances. We were talking about other recent volunteering events through the United Way as well as some of the professional and social events, and just realizing the vast network of good that is done all the time through United Way. Even if you can’t make every event, or sign up for every activity, we lift each other up and when we all do a small part, huge things happen.