Craig Grella has been a Mt. Lebanon Commissioner since 2018.
Craig graduated from Lehigh University in Bethlehem with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. There, he met an amazing woman who eventually (many years later) finally agreed to marry him. But more on that in a moment.
His first professional work was in designing, developing, and supervising construction of residential neighborhoods and commercial districts throughout Pennsylvania and the East Coast. There, he worked with all the stakeholders in a modern community and learned how to bridge the divide that can sometimes exist between the residents of a town and the companies keen on developing in it.
He would later use his engineering and coding skills to help start several nonprofits, both which exist and are thriving today. For more than a decade he was a board member of a nonprofit school and theater group for deaf children. Craig is also the founding member of a nonprofit which teaches other nonprofits how to most efficiently use technology to accomplish their missions. He has designed, developed, and supported more than 400 nonprofit organizations from domestic violence shelters to community groups, from churches and schools to affordable housing associations. In the process, he's helped those nonprofits raise millions of dollars for their causes completely online.
Craig's work has brought him to several states around the country. He's lived in both rural and urban areas, and he's had the opportunity to observe proper city governments and those on the brink of collapse. He's lived and worked in areas with appointed officials and others where the government is elected; in areas where municipalities offer seemingly endless social services and in others where residents share the burden of town services. Through this, he's learned that the only successful system of governance is one where the citizens are an active partner in the process of developing the rules, laws, and economic policies that directly affect them.
Being active in the community is important to Craig. It's something he learned at a very young age and has carried with him ever since. As a child, he took part in Boyscouts and worked to improve the grounds of several area schools. He has always been involved with his local church, at one time earning a certificate in catechetics and the ability to teach CCD classes. He's served on several committees at Bower Hill Community Church here in Mt. Lebanon and helped with the planning and development of its website and the capital campaign to improve programs, renovate the building, and repair its famous Steeple.
Sports have also been an important part of Craig's life. He played baseball and wrestled for most of his formative years. He chose to focus on wrestling in high school where he won multiple championships, and then he wrestled briefly in college. He believes that being part of a team instills self-confidence in the athlete, and by working together toward a common goal you learn teamwork, the ability to compromise and negotiate when necessary, and the desire and drive to fight for and achieve new heights.
To Craig, nothing is more important than the safety of Mt. Lebanon residents and the economic viability of its community. It is imperative that we patronize local businesses, work to keep our schools among the best in the state and be good stewards of our environment. A clean, safe, and vibrant Mt. Lebanon is key to keeping our town a desirable location for generations to come.
Craig lives in the Sunset Hills area of Mt. Lebanon's Fourth Ward with his wife Amy and daughters Autumn and Noelle. He rides a motorcycle and plays guitar - though not at the same time.