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Nonprofit Talent

Michelle - 412.849.7786


Who We Are

Company Overview

Nonprofit Talent is the region’s premiere, woman-owned/women-run executive search firm, specializing in nonprofit leadership transitions. After 10 years as search specialists with the former Dewey and Kaye consulting firm, Nonprofit Talent, LLC formed in 2013. The team at NPT works with a select group of regional nonprofit clients to fill their most critical leadership roles and to develop and implement transformational human capital strategies. With intent, we manage up to three searches at various points in their process, at one time. If selected as your search partner, you will be the only search that we begin at the proposed launch date in the proposal.

Using an effective and efficient research and outreach methodology, we deliver exceptional candidates who offer the right combination of skills and culture fit for our clients. With a team of seven experienced and dedicated professionals, we believe that we can best serve our clients by employing a team approach.

Michelle Pagano Heck


For 30 years, Michelle Pagano Heck has worked with the nonprofit community to improve the capacity of organizations through leadership consulting, organizational assessment, transition management and executive recruitment. Mission driven, Michelle listens to the needs of clients and works as a partner with individuals and organizations to fulfill their vision.  Taking special care to understand those needs, Michelle takes into account culture, environment and plans for the future.

A graduate of The College of Wooster, she received her M.Ed. in Educational Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.  Prior to starting Nonprofit Talent, Michelle was Senior Consultant with Dewey & Kaye.  Previously, Michelle worked as the Executive Director of WQEDfm, Community Relations Director of WQED Multimedia, Director of Development for the Children’s Home and various other positions of leadership in the nonprofit community.  In addition to her background as a strategy consultant and talent recruiter, Michelle was the Assistant Director of Admission for Allegheny College, a therapist and a school counselor, holding her PA state license as a guidance counselor.

Jim McDonald

Executive Advisor

James (Jim) McDonald is the retired managing director for global philanthropy and employee programs at BNY Mellon Corporation. In this position, he was responsible for leading the successful execution of BNY Mellon’s global philanthropic programs, providing leadership, support, and counsel to executives, business managers, colleagues, and community organizations around the world to advance the company’s corporate social responsibility and charitable goals. In addition, McDonald served as director of the BNY Mellon Foundation and president of the BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

He received his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and in October 2010 was named a University of Pittsburgh Legacy Laureate, the highest honor bestowed on a Pitt alumnus.

Throughout his career, Jim has served on numerous national and local boards and is currently on the Board of Visitors, School of Social Work, University of Pittsburgh, the Advisory Committee of the Center for African American Urban Studies and The Economy at Carnegie Mellon University,  and the McCune Foundation.

Lauren Julius

Senior Search Specialist

Lauren has over 10 years of experience working in the non-profit sector. Most recently, she has also consulted on various national, non-profit executive recruitment projects with such notable organizations at Teach For America. Her commitment to social issues and serving vulnerable populations stems from her early work as a Social Worker, providing front-line service in West Philadelphia.

She has several years of experience in both Fund Development and Program Management. Through her work at Women In Distress (WID), a large-scale domestic violence (DV) center in South Florida, Lauren co-lead a $5M capital campaign. She also served as WID’s Director of Social Change, driving the agency’s DV prevention and education initiatives, and overseeing outreach activities of a 20-person AmeriCorps team.

Lauren earned a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Delaware and also received her Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University. She has two young daughters and volunteers her time regularly as the Sponsorship Chair for Hekima Place, a home for orphaned and vulnerable girls in Kenya.

Sarah Deibler

Senior Consultant

Sarah Deibler has been part of the Nonprofit Talent team since 2014 following four years in the nonprofit sector and two in accounting. With degrees from Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pittsburgh, she has lent her talents to institutions such as the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh and ParenteBeard LLC. Sarah brings a wealth of research and administrative expertise to the team and uses that knowledge to rapidly and effectively respond to clients’ needs. In addition to her work on executive searches, she also serves as an administrator for both the Nonprofit Talent website and its sister Job Board. Sarah is a former children’s librarian and directs that passion to supporting literacy organizations in the Pittsburgh region.

Paige Hepple

Senior Consultant

Paige has been working in the nonprofit sector for more than 10 years. She has almost that much experience working with Todd. Before joining the Nonprofit Talent team, Paige managed the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute to Enhance Palliative Care. At the Institute, she worked to improve care for seriously ill patients and their families through developing and running programs in the region to expand and provide education and research in palliative care and to build stronger community awareness and understanding about this kind of care. Before her work at the University, Paige provided writing, editing, research, and project support for the team at Dewey & Kaye’s executive search and organizational development work. She has also worked independently for the last eight years as an executive resume consultant particularly for those working in the nonprofit sector. Prior to this, Paige served as a grant writer for Slippery Rock University’s Summer Creative and Performing Arts Academy. Paige graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science in Professional Writing and a Bachelor’s of Arts in French, as well as a certificate in Nonprofit Management from Slippery Rock University.

Katherine Harrell

Marketing Advisor

Katherine specializes in nonprofit communications, community outreach, digital media management and development.  Known to be a “serial networker,” she prides herself in connecting people to interesting projects and meaningful philanthropies.

Katherine was previously the Director of Communications for The Education Partnership where she led the marketing/communications strategies and many key financial development campaigns.  Prior to that she held the role of Director of Special Programs + Outreach at the Social Innovation Accelerator.

Katherine has an entrepreneurial heritage, and in her past life she founded her own accessories company, K. Lianna Designs, selling her handbags nationally and internationally.

She is a graduate of West Virginia University and currently lives in Upper St. Clair with her husband, Ben, and two sons, Beckett and Parker.

Our Values and Principles

The values and principles that guide us are:

  • Confidentiality –Nonprofit Talent will treat sensitive information confidentially, asking the same of our clients and candidates
  • Diversity – Valuing and respecting the experiences, cultures and beliefs that make each of us unique
  • Integrity – Protecting the Nonprofit Talent reputation as well as that of our clients and candidates
  • Quality – Performing work to the best of our ability and representing our clients in the best possible light
  • Respect – Treating all those with whom we come into contact with dignity and respect
  • Transparency – Sharing all information with our client and appropriate information with candidates
  • Value – Performing quality services for a fee that is fair and reasonable

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

  • Nonprofit Talent values and respects the full range of social and cultural characteristics, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, gender identity, mental/physical ability, religion and age.
  • We commit to engaging in robust and honest discussion with our clients about inclusion and diversity and how the organization defines diversity in their mission and values.
  • We believe diversity, inclusion and equity are essential to our ability to serve our clients well.

Our Network

As we continue to grow and engage with clients both regionally and nationally, we are focused on building the right teams to enhance our offerings. We have assembled some of the best and brightest in our industry and applied them to specific projects and work teams so we can be both flexible and attentive to the evolving needs of our clients.