Range Resources Director of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Matt Pitzarella is no stranger to answering questions from the media. Often though, he’s speaking about the Marcellus Shale, environmental issues and everything else that comes with the new and still controversial territory. The 1997 graduate of Canon-McMillan High School and 2002 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania received his master of science in leadership and business ethics in 2005 from Duquesne University. Staying close to his roots, he lives in Peters Township with his wife, Samantha, and two daughters. Here, Pitzarella answers a different set of questions, and gives the public a glimpse into his personal life.
Best place for lunch and why?
Tough call, but I have to go with Hogfather’s in Canonsburg. I’m from Canonsburg, and I can recall when your options were really limited. Now there are so many choices, but Hogfather’s is just a fun place to go, and Frank Puskarich, the owner, is an incredibly great guy, and I like supporting his business.
What was your first job?
My father would tell you that every day was a job in our house growing up. I always worked, but I actually worked at the Canonsburg McDonalds for two weeks when I was 16, but after three internships in college, my first job was with Burson-Marsteller, a global communications agency, where I worked as a senior associate. I was able to travel the world and discover what I love to do and why, and I learned that my ideal situation would be to have a challenging job close to home.
What’s the best thing about your current job?
Everyday is new. I get to work with great people and for an industry that is making a real difference in our region and for the nation. But best of all is that the epicenter of northeast U.S. natural gas is in my hometown. I remember when Southpointe was an empty lot. A lot of people deserve credit for believing in Southpointe and the county as a whole. They took a risk, and it paid off with proper planning and a blessing from the good Lord to put us on top of one of the biggest natural gas fields in the world. I almost had to move out of the region so many times for career opportunities, and now it’s right here at home, and my wife and I can raise our kids close to family, which is what it’s all about.
What’s your idea of a great weekend?
As much as I’d love to say a weekend trip someplace exotic, it’s usually running around with kid activities, visiting family and friends, spending time outside and catching up on emails. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We love entertaining friends, cooking a great dinner, having a few drinks and watching the kids wear themselves out before they go to sleep early. That’s a great weekend to me.
What’s the best thing about Washington County?
Where to begin? Honestly, Washington County has it all. You can be in the mountains or on a farm and still make it into the city for a show and dinner in one day. Where else can you do that? With Southpointe, the Route 19 corridor and the 70/79 interchange, you can get a lot of home for your money and still have a short commute. I did the city commute, park and walk for a long time, and I view living and working in the county as an extra two hours a day to work and spend time with my family.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE APPS?
I still travel quite a bit with my job, and I love TripIt, OpenTable and Über. FaceTime is great for staying in touch with my kids and I’m a music nut and ever since Name That Tune got canceled, I missed my calling, so I love Shazam and WhoSampled?
STEELERS, PENS, or BUCS?
The Pens have the best live experience, the Bucs have the best ball caps, and the Steelers have pretty much everything else.
WHAT WAS YOUR LAST BIG SPLURGE?
I got LASIK, and frankly I should have had it done 15 years ago. We’ve also been investing in our home, but for the most part, we’re pretty conservative in our house.
ARE YOU A NIGHT OWL OR AN EARLY BIRD?
Do you have kids? I haven’t owned my own sleep schedule for years.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FAMILY ACTIVITY?
Our kids run around so much, so typically it’s when we’re able to just hang out around the house, but we love being able to spend time outdoors and expose the kids to new things. Children have no fear and its incredible to watch them just jump into a situation.