Jennie Zioncheck

Jennie ZioncheckJennie Zioncheck transitioned from being a marriage and family therapist to Director of Development for The Pittsburgh Foundation, a career path that bridged her passion for helping families with her drive to improve the Pittsburgh community at large. In this month’s Spotlight, she shares her career advice (and love of Pittsburgh!) with other women looking to build their careers in Western PA.

It’s OK to make mistakes. I wish I had known this early on—it is the best way to learn In our culture, we over value trying to do things “perfectly” instead of being vulnerable enough to ask questions, learn from one another, and get up and try again.

Don’t underestimate the need to create a plan for your life. We deal with things as they come and focus on getting everything done or pleasing others, rather than taking time to and for ourselves to plot out where we want to be in 2, 5 or 10 years. Clearly identifying where you want to be – personally, professionally, emotionally – helps set a direction forward, a path for us to follow, even when things are at their worst.

Be prepared to love Pittsburgh. I feel absolutely blessed to live and work in Pittsburgh. I love the people, their pride, culture and quirks. Pittsburgh lures people in and never leaves their hearts, and it is reflected in our region’s growth in the last few years and in our philanthropic community. We are making strides forward and will continue to grow. What I love about working here is the accessibility – Pittsburgh is a big “small town” that is interconnected. You can be involved in things in a direct and meaningful way, which is quite rewarding.

Abundance is a mindset. If we behave as though there are limited resources – love, money, blessings – then we create that environment. When we can move through our life with gratitude, we create abundance and can offer it to one another.

The Pittsburgh Foundation is a community foundation that supports the Pittsburgh region through grantmaking to address critical community issues. They also engage donors and their families to help them develop philanthropic plans, give together, and create the change they want to see in the world. Learn more at