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Get to Know: Shantalaya "Laya" Mathews

March 2019

Laya is a project development specialist in URA's Economic Development department.

Job Title: Project Development Specialist, Economic Development

What you actually do: I manage various projects and grants 

Years at URA: 1

Best thing about working at the URA: The people! Everyone is so supportive. 

Favorite project/Most satisfying moment in career: My favorite project to work on is the Homewood Coliseum. Growing up, I was never sure what it was until I started working on it here. 

Education: The University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs 

Where you were before the URA: Allegheny County Economic Development

If you were boss for the day: There would be a special hour break for ice cream ☺

The Boss says: "Laya is an important member of the Economic Development Department leading a wide range of neighborhood projects. Her patient demeanor paired with her technical skills allow her to excel in complex situations as a project manager. Most importantly, Laya’s love for Pittsburgh is evident in the work she advances."  - Susheela Nemani-Stanger, director, economic development

If you weren't at the URA you'd be...a party planner.

First job: Cashier at Kohls

Favorite athlete: Serena Williams

Favorite restaurant: Olive Garden

Favorite thing to do when not at work: Explore parks with my dog

Secret vice: I really like to paint even though I may not be very good at it. 

What three words describe you best: Laid back, friendly, patient

Favorite TV show when you were young: Scooby Doo

Three favorite foods or three things always in your refrigerator: Fruit, Ice cream, and snack cheese

Three people (living or dead) you’d like to have dinner with: Michelle Obama, Prince and Frida Khalo 

Actress who would play you in a movie: Nicole Beharie 

People would be surprised to know that I...really like going to the orchestra. 

Family: Mom, Dad and one younger brother 

Pets: I have a dog named Oreo

Contact Info: 412.255.6576

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