McAuley Ministries announces five new appointments to its board of directors

New appointments help to ensure the voice of the community

PITTSBURGH – McAuley Ministries, Pittsburgh Mercy’s grant-making foundation, is pleased to announce five new appointments to its board of directors: Tia L. Baker; Sister Bonnie Heh, RSM; Sister Rita Harasiuk, RSM; Sister Kathleen McGrady, SC; and Sean D. Thomas. Each will serve a three-year term.

Tia L. Baker

A local entrepreneur, Ms. Baker is chief executive officer (CEO) of Crown Cut Concierge, relocation and concierge company, and chief operating officer (COO) of Cupcakes Most Wanted, a Hill District-based business. Ms. Baker resides in the Hill District.

Sister Rita Harasiuk, RSM

Sister Rita is a Sister of Mercy and a former elementary education teacher in the Diocese of Pittsburgh and in the Diocese of Greensburg. Sr. Rita earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in elementary education at Carlow University and her Master of Arts degree in religious studies and spirituality at Loyola-Mundelein University in Chicago. Sr. Rita also ministered for more than 25 years in pastoral care, health care, social services, and language translation services in Chimbote, Peru. While there, she also served as a member of the La Casa de la Mujer (House for Women) Board of Directors. Sr. Rita resides in West Oakland.

Sister Bonnie Heh, RSM

Sister Bonnie is a Sister of Mercy. She serves as the finance director at The Intersection, a McKeesport, Pa.-based drop-in center which provides hot meals, case management, and other vital human services to neighborhood residents. Sr. Bonnie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in theology at Carlow University (formerly Mt. Mercy College) and her Master of Education degree and administrative certification at the University of Pittsburgh. Sr. Bonnie also currently serves on the service, mission, and planning committee and the transition planning committee of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, Community of New York Pennsylvania West (NyPaW). Sr. Bonnie is a resident of Squirrel Hill.

Sister Kathleen McGrady, SC

Sister Kathleen is a Sister of Charity. She is currently the director of Seton Arts Service Program, an outreach program of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. Sr. Kathleen has extensive experience in early childhood development and education, including working with persons who are hearing impaired. Sr. Kathleen completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology and education at Seton Hill College (now Seton Hill University) and her Master of Education degree in hearing impaired and elementary education at the University of Pittsburgh. She also earned certification in mentoring child care programs and completed additional studies at the Clarke School for the Deaf at Smith College. Sr. Kathleen is a resident of the Hill District.

Sean D. Thomas

Mr. Thomas is a student success coach at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC). He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice and Master of Education degree in student affairs and higher education from Slippery Rock University. During high school, he participated in School2Career, an educational success program of Oakland Planning and Development Corporation (OPCD). Mr. Thomas lives in West Oakland.

“The composition of the McAuley Ministries Board of Directors is intentionally designed to connect our founders – the Sisters of Mercy – with the community,” stated Michele Rone Cooper, executive director of McAuley Ministries. “These appointments enrich the racial, gender, and age diversity of our board and enhance our connection to the community.”

One-third of McAuley Ministries board members are residents of the Hill District, Uptown, or West Oakland, the primary communities served by the West Oakland-based grant-making foundation. Together, board members contribute expertise in education, community and economic development, health and human services, finance, and McAuley Ministries’ Sisters of Mercy heritage.

About McAuley Ministries

Named in honor of Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, McAuley Ministries is the grant-making foundation of Pittsburgh Mercy. Established in 2008, McAuley Ministries serves as a catalyst for change, committing resources and working collaboratively to promote healthy, safe, and vibrant communities. Grant-making priorities include health and wellness, community and economic development, education, and capacity-building initiatives for nonprofit organizations which focus on the Hill District, Uptown, and West Oakland, communities historically served by the Sisters of Mercy. McAuley Ministries also provides support to organizations that are sponsored by and/or affiliated with the Sisters. McAuley Ministries is one the largest philanthropic foundations in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The grant-making foundation awards approximately $3 million in grants annually. Since 2008, McAuley Ministries has awarded 545 grants and community support totaling more than $21.5 million. View a list of grants awarded by year at

About Pittsburgh Mercy

Pittsburgh Mercy, a member of Trinity Health, serving in the tradition of the Sisters of Mercy, is one of the largest health and human service nonprofit organizations and also one of the largest employers in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh Mercy includes Bethlehem Haven, McAuley Ministries, Mercy Behavioral Health, Mercy Community Health, Mercy Intellectual Disabilities Services, Mercy Parish Nurse and Health Ministry Program, Operation Safety Net®, and Pittsburgh Mercy Family Health Center. Together, these Pittsburgh Mercy programs and their 1,700 employees serve more than 33,000 individuals annually at 60+ locations in Southwestern Pennsylvania. To learn more about Pittsburgh Mercy, or to make a donation in support of its important work in the community, visit

Editor’s note: A digital photo of each of the new members is available upon request. Contact Linda K. Ross at 412-578-6224 or Zandy Dudiak at 412-578-6442.