Meet Your Neighbors: Jeannette native honored by Pittsburgh Magazine and Pump
Each year Pittsburgh Magazine partners with the Pittsburgh Urban Magnet Project (Pump) to sponsor 40 Under 40 — a program that honors 40 residents of the Pittsburgh region under the age of 40.
The award winners are honored for their commitment to making the Pittsburgh region a better place to live and work.
Matthew J. Galando, a graduate of Jeannette High School who also holds an MBA from Seton Hill University, was in the last round of awardees, and he was honored for his commitment to the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, the City Theatre, and Seton Hill University.
Music teacher and former band instructor for the Jeannette School District, Annette Russell was the catalyst for Galando's love of music.
“Annette Russell started me on trumpet in the fourth grade and has been a life-long mentor,” said Galando. “I owe a lot of who I am as a musician and a person to her, and we are still friends today.”
Galando is the vice president of the board of directors for the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, which is considered one of Pittsburgh's leading community orchestras, and is located in the neighborhood where he now lives.
Galando originally started out as a musician, but was quickly recruited into a board leadership position, which makes it difficult to play with the orchestra.
“I don't play all the time, but I have from time to time,” said Galando.
A graduate from Saint Vincent College with a degree in political science, Galando continued his education at Seton Hill University where he earned a master's in business administration.
“Through my involvement with the Alumni Association and other committees I was asked to be on the board of trustees,” said Galando.
He was appointed to the board in 2010. His interest in non-profit leadership has also lead him to belong to a group called the Green Room — which is “a young professionals group cultivating a younger audience for the theater through outreach and other young professional events,” said Galando.
“We host post show parties and events. It's more than just the show, it's the after party and a chance for young professionals to network, mingle and meet the cast.”
While juggling all of his nonprofit commitments, Galando still finds time for his full-time job. He is employed as a professional development manager by K&L Gates, a global law firm located in Pittsburgh.
Until recently he was also a realtor with Walnut Capital. Galando began his working career at Ed's Pizza on Division Street. Galando's father owned the pizza shop for 36 years.
“I worked for my dad from age 12 through college. If I was at this point in my life when my dad closed the shop, I think I would have done something bigger with it, like franchising or opening more stores,” said Galando.
Even with all his volunteer work, Galando makes time to visit his parents who still live in Jeannette. Galando is the only child of Ed and Suzanne Galando.
Ed Galando has retired from his pizza shop and Suzanne Galando is retired as a teacher from the Mt. Pleasant School District. She works part time at the library at St. Vincent College and also serves on the board of directors for Jeannette Public Library, which may explain where Galando got his love of volunteering.
Editor's note: Meet Your Neighbors is a recurring feature in The Jeannette Spirit. If you know of a neighbor with an interesting life story to tell, someone who deserves some recognition for volunteer work, a resident with a special talent or an avid collector who would like to be featured, call the Spirit at 724-838-5154 or send an email to email@example.com.
Margie Stanislaw is a contributing writer.