• VisitPITTSBURGH Rewarded for Health Initiative

    POSTED May 13, 2015

The Pittsburgh Business Times has released their annual healthiest employers list—and VisitPITTSBURGH made the cut.

"Employee well-being has become the new measure of success. This impact is measured in terms of lower health care costs, increased productivity, better work-life balance and enhanced employee engagement," says Mary Grasha Houpt, vice president, human resources, VisitPITTSBURGH. "A new incentive to spur participation in our wellness program involves money savings. Employees who meet all wellness requirements, including participation in biometric screenings, will earn a discount on their 2015-2016 insurance premiums, which is a great motivation to improve overall health.”

The Healthiest Employers award program gives credit to organizations that successfully implement healthy environments and measure wellness through an online assessment tool with six key categories.

The CVB implemented its wellness initiative—Make it Great in Eight—eight years ago. The program encourages employees and their significant others to obtain health awareness through a health risk assessment, preventive exams and health screening, and helps them strive to be healthy. Employees are rewarded for healthy decisions, which include doctor visits, wellness program participation—such as 10,000 Steps and yoga classes—and other criteria. Sixty-percent of VisitPITTSBURGH’s staff participated in the program.

"There are well-documented business and productivity reasons to support a wellness program in the workplace," says Craig Davis, president and CEO, VisitPITTSBURGH. "But the best reason is because it is the right thing to do for our employees."

Large busines events and meetings are returning to Pittsburgh. First up, in early October, Rubber Division, American Chemical Society’s International Elastomer Conference (IEC), gathers at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center (DLCC) with nearly 1,500 attendees and more than 150 companies and organizations exhibiting at the expo. This is Rubber Division’s fourth visit to Pittsburgh and first since 2016.


After a nationwide search that began in May, Andrew Ortale has been named chief sales officer for VisitPITTSBURGH.  Ortale’s appointment makes a return to Pittsburgh for the seasoned industry veteran who has more than 20 years of domestic and international event experience. He previously served as national sales director for VisitPITTSBURGH before taking on a senior sales position with Visit Orlando.


On September 1, over 1,500 businesses across the country illuminated their buildings with red lights to draw attention to the devastation that the live events and performance art industries have faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.