UPDATED: added quotes from Mayor Ravenstahl.
David White, Mayor Ravental's choice as Director of Public Affairs, has made news before--and for much more than being the mayor's athletic trainer at North Catholic High School . White has been UPMC's Community Relations Manager and also headed the 2005 Senior Olympics staged in Pittsburgh.
•Here's a 2004 Post-Gazette story (with a photo) profiling White as "The Force behind the Senior Games". It appeared as part of the paper's "annual Dozen Making A Difference, focusing on 12 people in our community who are working to improve our health".
•This Pittsburgh Business Times story from 2003 that describes his "enormous energy and talent" as "the point man for a major regional event".
•In 2005, a Tribune-Review reporter talked with White about the games' accomplishments under his leadership.
•A University Times item in 2003 also described his work at Pitt and his role in the Senior Games.
Mayor Ravenstahl describes White as a "longtime friend of mine of mine and my family's." The mayor says he "got to know him when I was in high school. And stayed very close with him, and was impressed with the work that he was able to achieve with the Senior Games."
Ravenstahl tells me that he is "very impressed with the work he did as a community relations manager with UPMC. And really felt it was a natural fit, in the transition from his work in UPMC in the private sector, to come over here in the mayor's office and work for me. I'm honored that he chose to walk away from UPMC, which is the largest employer in this region to come and work for my administration, and so I'm excited about the opportunity."
White's connection to the mayor dates back to Ravenstahl's high school education at North Catholic. "That's right. He was my athletic trainer in high school, yes. (He) got my off the injury table and back out onto the field as quickly as possible."
The mayor confirms that they've remained in touch over the years, sharing social contacts, including playing golf and running together. "He's been a close friend of mine and my family's, and when I would like to get away from the job, or spend some private time, he's always been a close friend of mine, and I think that's important to have. Somebody, and as many people as possibly can in your administration that you trust, that you know that are confidants of yours, and that's certainly what he is."
Ravenstahl also said that "as a result of his experience in the senior games and his work at UPMC, there are a lot of relationships in the Pittsburgh area that he was able to build over time. That will be helpful to me as well. This position is one that will be more interactive with the constituents of the City of Pittsburgh, whether that's neighborhood organizations and community groups, business leaders or business organizations, other governmental agencies." Ravenstahl says White "will be conduit and the sharer of information among all of those organizations."