Newsmaker: Will Thompkins
Family: Wife, Susan; sons, Anton, 30, and Kesete, 27.
Occupation: Director of community and outreach, The Pittsburgh Project, a nonprofit community development organization based in the North Side.
Community involvement: Executive director, Urban Youth Action Inc., 1992-95; Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, 1995-2000; president and CEO, Urban League of Nebraska Inc., 2000-02; administrative specialist, Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging, 2003; vice president for programs and services, executive assistant, Allegheny County Executive's Office, 2003-04. Also served on boards for KidsVoice, Pittsburgh Branch NAACP, Children 2 Champions, Northside Old Timers, Pittsburgh United and The 100 Black Men of Western Pennsylvania.
Notable: In February, Thompkins received the first Dignity and Respect Champion award, a monthly honor given by an awareness campaign of the same name to recognize people who contribute to their community.
Quote: "The challenges we face in Pittsburgh are faced in places like Omaha. If we are going to address quality-of-life issues and improve education for our students ... there's a lot of work that still has to be done in this and every community. And the best way to get there is by forging partnerships between governments, nonprofits and our faith-based organizations working together."