The Board of Directors of Westmoreland Cultural Trust today announced the hiring of April Kopas as the new CEO. The Board voted unanimously to hire Ms. Kopas at its June 4 meeting, following a three-month long national search led by a nonprofit talent search firm.
“We are thrilled to bring April Kopas into the Cultural Trust,” said Board Chairman Terry Reese. “She brings to the CEO position all the attributes we were looking for – leadership, vision, and a record of success. The search committee went through a thorough process, with more than 50 applicants from throughout the country, each bringing a unique skill set. We had many qualified applicants, but April really proved herself to be the right choice with her passion, her personality and ability to lead the trust in its next chapter.”
“We would also like to thank the Interm CEO, Col. Nancy P. Anderson, for shepherding us through this transitional period. She has been invaluable in leading the Trust on its continued path of success.” added Reese.
Kopas is currently the Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of Westmoreland County, a position she has held since 2009, as well as the Executive Director of the Westmoreland County Land Bank, an agency she founded in 2014.
She has been responsible for all facets of countywide redevelopment and revitalization efforts through a variety of state, local, and federal programs and partnerships, including the administration of the countywide demolition program to strategically remove community blight. She created the Accessible Housing Program to provide home modification for permanently physically disabled residents of low-to-moderate income and started the Brownfields Assessment Program, a $1 million six-year initiative work with local governments and nonprofits to provide environmental assessments for the redevelopment of abandoned industrial and contaminated commercial sites.
Kopas was responsible for the creation of the Westmoreland County Land Bank, one of the first of its kind in Pennsylvania. This countywide organization develops programs to deter blight, stabilize neighborhoods and return properties to a productive status. In only four years, the Land Bank acquired 100 properties, sold 73, and grew the budget to $1 million.
“I am honored and humbled by the confidence shown in me by Westmoreland Cultural Trust’s Board of Directors – all of whom are committed to the arts and to our communities,” Kopas said. “I look forward to working with them and our many community partners to cultivate arts and entertainment as a means to grow Westmoreland County.”
Kopas lives in Hempfield Township with her husband and their children.