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Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone names new director; receives grants

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 7:24 p.m.
The Herald
Iris Whitworth

Iris Whitworth is ready to move Allegheny River Towns Enterprise Zone, or ARTEZ, into an expanded mission.

And two grants should help in her efforts to reach her goal.

Whitworth has been named the executive director of the organization. Her hiring comes after ARTEZ received a $150,000 grant from the Redevelopment Authority of Allegheny County and a $200,000 grant from the Heinz Endowments.

After serving as a board member for four years, Whitworth said she is excited to move into her new role.

“It's a great group of folks,” Whitworth said. “What I found really intriguing about that is their ability to cooperate with each other and want to work together.”

ARTEZ works with Aspinwall, Blawnox, O'Hara, Sharpsburg, Etna, Millvale and Shaler representatives to promote economic development. It was incorporated in 2005.

Before joining ARTEZ, Whitworth worked for Allegheny County Economic Development.

Though other multi-municipal organizations exist, Whitworth said, the work of the ARTEZ communities stands out.

“This level of coordination is sort of unique,” Whitworth said.

Whitworth said ARTEZ is looking to expand its mission from business development to becoming a community economic provider. Among the goals outlined for the organization are passing a riverfront zoning overlay district, a sustainable housing study and expanding open space and room for a trail along the riverfront.

The grant money will be used for various projects, development services and operations for ARTEZ.

Tom McGee is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 1513 or tmcgee@tribweb.com.

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