Mayor William Peduto thanks contributors to "Undercover Boss" Fund

Newly inaugurated Mayor Bill Peduto lays out the vision for his administration during the swearing-in ceremonies at Heinz Hall. (Photo by J.L. Martello)

PITTSBURGH, PA (Jan. 23, 2015) Mayor William Peduto today released the names of core Pittsburgh stakeholders that have generously provided funding to support “Undercover Boss.” The show aired Dec. 21, 2014, and further enhanced the city’s reputation among millions of viewers worldwide.

VisitPittsburgh, the region’s convention and tourism bureau, was the first to donate $25,000, and given the overwhelming success of the episode, has scheduled a board action at its February meeting to consider increasing that amount to $50,000.  In addition, the beautiful scenes of Pittsburgh featured in the show were provided by VisitPittsburgh.
The remainder was contributed by PNC, Esmark, First National Bank, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 5, UPMC, Highmark, and Eat’n Park in amounts between $2,500 and $25,000.
Additionally Weyerbacher Brewery in Easton, Pa., has committed a percentage of sales of its Last Chance IPA to a no-kill animal shelter featured in the show.
The show was an unprecedented promotional opportunity for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. While a 60-second advertisement on Sunday night network television costs $200,000, this was in effect an 60-minute ad for the city on national prime-time television.
“I want to thank these partners for joining with me and realizing not only the tremendous positive impact this show is having on Pittsburgh’s reputation, but also that it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help people through struggling times,” Mayor Peduto said.
The board of the Urban Redevelopment Authority voted Dec. 11 to make the URA the fiscal agent for the contributions to ensure transparency and public accountability. Payments into and out of the fund will be made over the course of the next year, and all disbursements will be subject to a full public accounting. The gifts were solicited in compliance with state and city laws.
The “Undercover Boss” funding is providing life-changing support to hard-working city employees going through hard times, and promoting Pittsburgh nationwide. Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner announced Friday she would attempt to withhold county hotel tax money belonging to VisitPittsburgh, but she has no legal authority to do so.
The donations were: VisitPittsburgh ($25,000 with an additional $25,000 subject to board action in February); PNC ($25,000); Esmark ($25,000); First National Bank ($20,000); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 5 ($10,000); UPMC ($10,000); Highmark ($10,000); Eat’n Park ($2,500); and Weyerbacher Brewery ($2,500).

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