Our Team

Team

Eve Picker

Founder & CEO

Eve Picker's world is wrapped around cities and change.

With a background as an architect, city planner, urban designer, real estate developer, community development strategist, publisher, and instigator, Eve has a rich understanding of how cities and urban neighborhoods work - and how they can be revitalized.

Amongst her many urban (ad)ventures, Eve has developed a dozen buildings in blighted neighborhoods, launched a Pittsburgh-focused e-zine called Pop City, and founded and organized a speaker series, cityLIVE!, on city-centric issues. She has taught urban design and participated in Sustainable Design Assessment Teams for the American Institute of Architects in cities from Los Angeles to Springfield, Ohio, helping with urban design and to set a strategic course for downtowns and housing developments. Eve has strategized about how to encourage residential development of vacant upper floors in downtown Pittsburgh. And with cityLAB, she has instigated bottom-up projects like the "6% Place," the "Garfield Night Market" and a "Tiny House."

Now Eve has launched - and leads - Small Change, a real estate equity crowdfunding portal to help fund transformational real estate projects. Small Change packages offerings for developers to help them build projects that make cities better, and provides investment opportunities for everyone who cares about cities and wants to see positive change.

To learn more about Eve Picker, and to see her TEDx talk and completed projects, visit www.evepicker.com.

Ben Schulman

Communications & Outreach

Ben Schulman serves as the director of communications and outreach for Small Change, one of many ventures he engages in to communicate the value of design and cities.

Ben is a writer on urban planning, policy and architecture, whose work has appeared in ARCHITECT, Belt, ICON, Metropolis, MIC, New Geography, Streetsblog, and as a contributor to The Urbanophile, among others. He served as the editor of the Design section of Newcity Chicago, and Chicago Architect magazine, while also co-hosting the architecture, urbanism and design podcast, "A Lot You Got to Holler."

Previously, Ben served as the communications director for the Chicago chapter of The American Institute of Architects and as communications director for the urban think-tank, the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU). He’s presented at The World Association of Public Opinion Research, the Great Books Foundation and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and lectured for Planetizen Courses, the educational platform for the premier urban planning news website.

When not writing about cities, Ben helps head the Contraphonic Sound Series, an attempt to document cities through sound.

Nathanael Sandstrom

Operations

Nathanael, mostly known as Nate, brings a passion for process to his role overseeing operations at Small Change. For more than two decades he has used innovative thinking and design to elevate that passion while improving the efficiency of processes as well as the happiness of his clients, most recently within the Finance organization at Morgan Stanley in New York City. Past clients have included Microsoft, Marsh, Inc., The Frank Russell Company (now FTSE Russell), and GrayMatter Software, where he got his start.

Saddled with a degree in literary criticism (bolstered by a heavy dose of theater), Nate began his professional life answering phones at GrayMatter Software. But the skills and techniques learned and refined during the course of that education enabled him to navigate a highly successful career in technology. Stepping out from behind the receptionist desk first into the technical writer’s office and eventually into the conference room, Nate has been leading collaborative design and development efforts for globally-distributed, enterprise-wide software applications and corresponding business processes for the last 13 years.

But Nate’s not all business. Over that time, he has continued to indulge his separate passions for writing and performing. He has written and directed film and theater, and performed poetry at local, regional, and national festivals and events. Occasionally, he can be seen and heard at The Moth Story Slam competitions, and lately he’s been sneaking out to play original music at local spots in Pittsburgh.

Kate Greene

Deal Flow

Kate helps manage Small Change's deal flow, cultivating relationships with developers and getting them ready to launch transformational crowdfunding projects. Her experience over the past 10 years - and 2,000 miles - in connecting the needs of any given real estate project to essential resources has culminated in lasting community impact on a regional and national scale.

Kate started her career at the grassroots level, working with public groups and organizations to spur economic development and change in her own community. She started working with small businesses to attract investment and, over the years, has cultivated her craft, adding finance specializations, targeted property redevelopment, and capacity building for downtown and brownfield projects to a growing portfolio.

Before joining Small Change, Kate served as an Economic Redevelopment Specialist with the Northern WV Brownfields Assistance Center at West Virginia University, managing the Downtown Appalachia initiative, a program designed to connect asset-based, market-supported redevelopment opportunities with catalytic real estate projects.

Jon Richmond

Technology

Jon is a software engineer with a mathematician’s brain and a coder’s skills. He brings to Small Change a devotion to delivering customer-friendly outcomes to every project. In his previous position at Innovative Computer Systems, Inc., he led efforts to improve the lives of insurance providers by giving them scalable, secure, and simple-to-use solutions to everyday challenges. Prior to that, he helped develop software that eased the record-keeping and compliance burdens where medical and legal rules and regulations collide.

Jon is a graduate of Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, with a degree in Applied Mathematics (and a concentration in computer science thrown in for good measure). Outside of coding for a better tomorrow, Jon likes to read, play video games, and spend time with his family.

Amanda Cohen

Technology

Amanda, a Pittsburgh native, studied Italian and Psychology in college. Her graduate studies in Italian brought her to Tuscany, where she learned that her passion for food surpassed her passion for Dante. Upon completing her studies, she moved to New York, where she managed Eataly's cooking school, La Scuola di Eataly. She returned home to Pittsburgh to help open a restaurant in the city's Northside neighborhood. 

With her curiosity and love for languages, Amanda decided to hang up her apron and return to school for programming. Small Change is her first position in technology. As a newcomer, she looks forward to help maintain and improve the website to ensure Small Change's continued success. 

In her spare time, Amanda enjoys cooking, Pilates, taking improv classes, and spending time with friends and family, and her two bulldogs, Grady & Hugo.

Michelle Picker

Content, Special Projects

Michelle is an artist.

She's spent a large part of her life as a musical artist, playing and teaching the double bass. Her career with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, one of Australia’s leading orchestras, spanned three decades. With the MSO Michelle played all of the major symphonic repertoire and took part in several tours to Europe and Asia. The orchestra also accompanied such artists as Frank Sinatra, Elton John, Stevie Nicks and Roberta Flack. 

Her enduring love of cooking led her into the food arts 7 years ago with her food blog, https://michellepicker.wordpress.com/, which she still publishes weekly. Michelle also spent a few years prepping and cooking for a busy Melbourne café, Fordham's Milk Bar.

Now she's lending her artistry to content (and special projects) at Small Change, where she enjoys the variety and creativity of the work and the passion of the team.

Dutch MacDonald

Advisor

Dutch has led a life of creative endeavors. Currently, he is president and CEO of MAYA Design, a leading technology design and innovation lab, where he manages MAYA’s unique culture, preserving the curiosity, engagement, and passion that drives employee happiness and client successes. MAYA has been selected as a "Top Small Company to Work For in America" by Inc. Magazine, Fortune Small Business, and Entrepreneur Magazine. In addition, MAYA has created three spin-off companies during Dutch’s tenure: Rhiza Labs, spun out in 2008, LUMA Institute, in 2010, and Agency of Trillions (AoT) in 2014. Dutch spearheaded the company’s recent move to downtown Pittsburgh, where their new offices have received design awards from the Pittsburgh chapters of the American Institute of Architects and the Master Builders’ Association.

Prior to joining MAYA, Dutch practiced architecture for more than 17 years, and was most recently vice president at EDGE Studio, one of the Pittsburgh region’s most respected and creative architectural practices. Along the way, he became fascinated with the impact of pervasive computing on the built environment, and how a world saturated with computing must also be saturated with good design. He has been using design thinking to help address these challenges for people, organizations, and communities ever since.

Dutch currently serves as the immediate past president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and serves on the governance board of America Makes.

Mark Roderick

SEC Counsel

Mark Roderick has spent more than 30 years representing entrepreneurs and their businesses. Expanding on his in-depth knowledge of capital raising and securities law, Mark is one of the leading crowdfunding lawyers in the United States and is spearheading Flaster/Greenberg PC's crowdfunding practice.

Mark developed and moderates a seminar series for entrepreneurs co- sponsored by the Rutgers-Camden Business Incubator, the Burlington County College High Technology Small Business Incubator, and the Rutgers-Camden Small Business Development Center. In this series, Mark and other panelists guide the entrepreneur through key legal aspects of business development and growth.

Mark also maintains the popular crowdfunding blog, crowdfundattny.com, and speaks regularly at crowdfunding events across the country.

Dan Carper

Technology

Daniel manages technology for Small Change through his company, Developmental. In this role, he makes sure that the Small Change machine is running as smoothly and as seamlessly as possible.

Daniel is well-versed in multiple computer programming languages and platforms and has ample hands-on experience with many database, backend, and front-end technologies. But his expertise truly rests in translating code into easy-to-understand, customer service-oriented products and leading the teams needed to accomplish whatever the job may require. As the director of software engineering for 4Moms, Daniel helped grow the company from $600,000 to $60M in annual revenue, with a worldwide staff of 175. He led teams in internet of things, internal business support, and commerce development while creating a culture of accountability, quality, and passion.

Daniel graduated with a bachelor’s of computer science from Westminster College. He lives in Pittsburgh, is a Pirates fan, and on vacation, he literally swims with sharks.

Peg Hill

Financial

Peg Hill is the owner of Adjusting Entries which she founded in 1990.  Adjusting Entries manages bookkeeping, tax, and other financial matters for Small Change.

Adjusting Entries offers a complete line of accounting services including setting up business accounts, bookkeeping, cost analysis, tax accounting, and payroll. Adjusting Entries utilizes the Profit First method of cash management. Peg’s team one of a select fee nationwide that have received certification as Profit First Professionals, trained to guide business owners and entrepreneurs in maximizing their profits.

Denise Raidna

Bookkeeping and accounting

Denise Raidna is a bookkeeper and accountant with Adjusting Entries and responsible for managing the books for Small Change and all of its offerings along with additional financial tasks. Denise has many years of experience keeping the books and preparing tax returns and financial reports for multiple companies. Including 7 years as a tax accountant for Alcoa.  She has been with Adjusting Entries since 2008.

Adjusting Entries offers a complete line of accounting services including setting up business accounts, bookkeeping, cost analysis, tax accounting, and payroll. Adjusting Entries utilizes the Profit First method of cash management and one of a select fee nationwide that have received certification as Profit First Professionals, trained to guide business owners and entrepreneurs in maximizing their profits.

Advisors

Fran Escalante

Fran has over 15 years of experience in real estate development, starting his career in Chicago with East Lake Management & Development Corporation, an affordable housing developer. Once back home in Pittsburgh he joined no wall productions, a boutique real estate development company, where he managed a wide range of projects, all significant rehabilitations with complicated public/private financing scenarios, and all in difficult neighborhoods. Currently, he is vice president of development for Rugby Realty, a nationally preeminent real estate company formed in 1980 with corporate headquarters in New Rochelle, New York, and which owns 3,500,000 square feet of real estate in Pittsburgh.

During his career, Fran has been involved in all aspects of successful commercial real estate operations, including the purchase, development (or redevelopment) and management of a broad range of real estate holdings. In his role at Rugby Realty he helps to identify undervalued properties and realize their maximum value through skillfully conceived development and sound, ethical management.

Fran sits on several local boards including that of the Highland Park Community Development Corporation and the Kelly Strayhorn Theatre in East Liberty, where he is vice-chair of the board.

Audrey Russo

Audrey has served the technology business sector for southwestern PA since 2007 as president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the oldest and largest technology trade association in North America. Prior to her current position, she worked at MAYA Design. With a background in information technology, operations, and finance, Audrey has worked for large multinational Fortune 500 companies (Alcoa, Reynolds Metals). Audrey earned her bachelor of science from Ohio State University. She also has a Master’s in Public Administration from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Public Affairs.

Outside of her work as CEO of Pittsburgh Technology Council, Audrey is the board chair for the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh, as well as serving as a board member of the following organizations: Regional Industrial Development Corporation, Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh, cityLAB, Highmark Business Advisory Board, and the Power of 32. Russo is one of the co-hosts of “TechVibe Radio” on KDKA (Newsradio 1020 AM), airing Fridays at 7 pm. The show provides an upbeat venue to showcase tech and innovation within Pittsburgh.

Matthew Ciccone

Matthew has successfully launched and led a series of businesses and real estate projects that have garnered national and international accolades, including the development of The Beauty Shoppe, an innovative branded coworking space that acts as a learning community for entrepreneurs, creatives, and anyone else. The Beauty Shoppe currently has two locations in Pittsburgh and is opening a Cleveland location in 2015.

Matt also heads up Edile, a real estate development company which co-developed the Ace Hotel Pittsburgh, one of the fastest growing and trendiest hotels in the nation. Prior to branching out on his own in 2007, Matt was project manager on several large-scale industrial properties for Chapman Properties.

In his spare time, Matt serves as advisor and board member to various Pittsburgh initiatives and projects, including being a co-founder and emeritus board member of GTECH Strategies, a Pittsburgh-based social enterprise that implements innovative environmental strategies to help communities prosper.

Matt holds a Master’s in Urban Design and Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University as well as a Bachelors of Art in History from Denison University.

Eric Davis

Eric is the current Managing Partner at Elliott & Davis, a full-service law firm located in Pittsburgh.  Eric provides corporate, business and tax counseling to privately-held companies, including representing clients in transactions involving equity and debt financing, formation and start-up, corporate transaction, mergers and acquisitions, technology licensing, and information technology.

Eric has been recognized for his efforts in furthering the advancement of social enterprises and developing new entity structures that incorporate a positive ethos into organizations looking to use the power of business to address social and environmental issues.  

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