In March, Angela Garcia became executive director of Global Links, a medical relief and development organization that supports life-saving public health initiatives in communities lacking resources. Fluent in Spanish and French, Angela spent nine years studying, working and volunteering in Mexico and Europe. She is a founding member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Labor Council of Latin American Advancement.
What upcoming events are you excited to attend?
Summer is family and community-focused, so I look forward to Why Not Wednesdays? in Bellevue where I live. Our community has a newer and growing farmer’s market with live music in Bayne Park and my family and I love walking over to connect with neighbors, local farmers and food vendors (our favorite is Pitaland).
Best part of your job?
The privilege of working with an amazing team that builds the Global Links‘ “family”: thousands of community members of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and professions. Getting to meet healthcare workers, retirees, young professionals, families, faith-based groups, international visitors, students and employees of local companies — all looking to give back and be part of converting our own medical surplus into life-saving and life-improving donations. It’s inspiring and energizing.
What is your long-term mission for Global Links?
Ultimately, I want to provide more caregivers with the materials they need to support the health, dignity, mobility and independence of anyone in need of care. I want to grow our network of partners to capture, process and provide more medical materials no longer needed in one setting so we can address improve access to these same items in other settings.
You have your hand in a lot of things. What is most important to you and why?
Relationship-building. I believe that authenticity is essential to living and working together as a community. I believe seeking out what we have in common with one another helps us build stronger ties, more empathy and work together more effectively. Many of the challenges facing our community and our world stem from focusing on the differences amongst us, but I believe there is always some shared interest and we build stronger relationships when we seek to find that and build on it.
Do you have particular issues that you rally around?
Making Pittsburgh a welcoming community for all, supporting all things local and continuing to work for clean air in Pittsburgh.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ll face this week?
As a first-time executive director, I am still learning the art of time management so meeting this week’s grant deadlines, preparing for important meetings with staff and being present for my family in the evenings.
Bridge you love to walk or bike over?
Hot Metal Bridge: it reminds me of the legacy of our city and the South Side riverfront I grew up with in the 70s while giving me a clear view of our city today.
We arrive for dinner. What’s on the menu?
We love cooking for friends and family and tapping into my years living in Mexico and my husband’s family’s recipes, so we do lots of taco bars and in the colder months, traditional Yucatecan soups with a host of toppings for a “build your own” bowl, traditional black bean soup, Pozole (a mix of hominy, pork and chicken) or Puchero (a mix of squash, cabbage, carrots, beef and chicken served with a radish and lime salsa).
Where do you always take out-of-town visitors?
Bicycle Heaven — we love biking the trails for the best views, then taking visitors to see Craig’s amazing collection and museum; can’t beat it for amazing kids and adults alike.
You not-so-secret Pittsburgh spot?
Three Rivers Rowing Association; I took up rowing a few years ago and rowing out of the channel by Washington’s Landing onto the river makes my week!
Last photo you took on your phone?
A selfie with Bill Flanagan after we taped this week’s episode of Our Region’s Business.
Favorite Pittsburgh brewery?
I tend to prefer cider over beer, so Arsenal Cider House any day!
Best PGH brunch spot?
I love The Porch at Schenley when I’m with carnivores and vegetarians since they have great options for all, but Zenith’s unique setting and vegetarian menu hits the spot … I am a sucker for those bundt cakes!
Ideal date night in Pittsburgh?
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