Ron Porter

Ron Porter (Photo: Jonathan Brown)

Ron Porter (Photo: Jonathan Brown)

One of the toughest uphill battles in community progression is establishing economic independence. Ron Porter, founder of RDP Consulting Services, has adopted the mission to help Homewood develop economically, socially and politically. For nearly 50 years, Porter has worked with small and large organizations alike, and takes great pride in supporting positive outcomes for Homewood and other Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Porter grew up in the Hill District, attending Pittsburgh Public Schools and graduating from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. After getting married, he moved to Homewood in 1970, and has remained in the community. Before founding his consulting firm, he served as a corporate human resource official for several Pittsburgh corporations. He worked as Vice President of Human Resources at Warner Cable Corporation of Pittsburgh, Manager of Headquarters’ Personnel for Allegheny International Corporation, and Manager of Occupational Training for Westinghouse Electric Corporation. He focused on improving corporate human resources to ensure that businesses were inclusive in all aspects of their business operations.

When Porter founded RDP in 1984, he kept that same mission in mind. The firm serves corporations, educators, and communities locally, nationally and internationally. RDP guides organizations in addressing issues of diversity, leadership, and cultural awareness. RDP has worked with clients locally and nationally, including Pittsburgh Public Schools, the Allegheny County Housing Authority, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His international consulting assignments have included Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa.

Despite Porter’s impressive background as a consultant, he still recognizes that his roots remain on the frontlines. RDP facilitated the founding of the Homewood Community Development Collaborative (HCDC). He is currently active in developing collaborations and planning among leaders in five East End communities including Homewood, Larimer, Lincoln-Lemington, East Hills and East Liberty. He has consulted with Bridgeway Capital on the renovation of the 7800
Susquehanna Street Building in Homewood.

Education reform is another priority for Porter. Several of RDP’s clients are educational systems; the firm has worked to facilitate significant change, including student discipline reform and educational planning. From 1993-2008, he served as an Adjunct Instructor of Multicultural
Management at the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University. Porter developed and taught the course “Managing in Multicultural Society,” which was required for all full-time graduate public policy majors.

Although Porter’s wife of 48 years, Barbara, passed away in 2016, his two sons, five grandchildren, and two great grandsons provide great support. Likewise, Porter is committed to supporting positive change in Homewood and surrounding communities. He recognizes that many of the difficulties faced by Pittsburgh’s urban communities, including Homewood, are the result of public policy. He believes the solutions to the major challenges facing East End communities will require attention to multiple sectors including education, business development, fair access to employment and fairness within the law enforcement system. Porter is committed to assuring the great skills and talents of urban residents are fully engaged in creating safe, livable and prosperous communities.