Our Leadership

Click here to re-direct to the Leadership Toolkit of the The Pittsburgh Experiment.

The Pittsburgh Experiment is a Christian non-denominational ministry, which is led by a group of dedicated volunteers. These individuals form a Board of Trustees and are charged with working with the Executive Director to set goals, establish priorities and implement initiatives and programs.

Executive Director - Chris Buda - See Bio


Board of Trustees


Jim Fitzgerald

Jim is the founder and CEO of WatchWORD Productions, producing the Bible as the first ever "video-book" - a strategy to help spark spiritual revival by helping more people to read God's word in our media age. He is also the author of the 9/11 Prophecy. Previously, Jim worked as Vice President for Development at CTVN, and Writer and Director of Development for Cornerstone TeleVision.

Donna Johnston

Donna retired as CFO of a multi million dollar not-for-profit agency. She serves as Financial Secretary of her church. Involved with the Experiment for 30 years, she is delighted to serve on the Board. She and her husband Bill have two children & five grandchildren.

Phil Hetzel

Mr. Hetzel is a Senior Vice President and General Manager at Federated Investors where he has been employed since 1980. He is a graduate from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980. Phil is actively connected with Pittsburgh’s White Fields Foundation and completed the Serving Leaders-Leaders Collaborative Program in 2012. Phil, along with his wife Kathy, are the proud parents of six children.

Tricia Lapsley

Tricia is married to Bill Lapsley, and together they have two young children. She came to know The Pittsburgh Experiment as the Executive Assistant in 2014. After being called back into a profession in healthcare, Tricia was still drawn to the ministry and Sam’s original vision for Pittsburgh. She is an active attendee NorthBridge Community Church in Cranberry, PA, and enjoys international mission work.

Rob Frenz

Rob has served as a Certified Public Accountant in Gateway Center since 2009. He earned his undergraduate degree in accounting from Baldwin-Wallace College and a Masters Degree in Taxation from the University of Akron. Rob and his wife Laura have two young children. Rob is an active member of Victory Family Church in Cranberry Township, PA serving in the men's ministry while leading multiple small groups, including a men's lunch group in downtown Pittsburgh. Rob has a heart for small groups, men's ministry and the business community of downtown Pittsburgh.

Ted Kerr

Rev. Ted Kerr is the President and CEO of Touchstone Capital, Inc. in Sewickley. Touchstone was recently recognized by The Pittsburgh Business Times on their annual Pittsburgh 100 as the fastest growing private financial company in the region. He is pursuing a Master of Divinity Degree at Trinity School for Ministry. He is an ordained minister in the Independent Old Catholic Church.

Trustees Emeritus

The following former trustees have been recognized with the honorary title Trustee Emeritus for their selfless dedication to the mission of the Experiment over many years: Jay Roy, Jerry Richey, Dave Dunlap, Tom Petro, Chris Martin, Barry Balliet, Joe Hines, Fred Miller, and Liz Tafel-Hurley.

Directors Emeritus

The following former Executive Directors have been recognized with the honorary title Director Emeritus for their selfless dedication to the mission of the Experiment over many years: Paul Everett*, Carter Birely*, and Don James*.

Experimenters Emeritus

The following Experimenters have been recognized with the honorary title Experimenter Emeritus for their selfless dedication to the mission of the Experiment over many years: Maggie Everett, Connie Miner, Donna Johnston, Judy Good Sherwood, and Ed Wilson.