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Rhonda Schuldt

Rhonda Schuldt

Rhonda Schuldt - President, The Synergos Group LLC

Entrepreneur-in-Residence
rhonda.l.schuldt@pitt.edu 

Rhonda Schuldt, MBA, is president of The Synergos Group, a private consulting practice formed in 1998 to provide mission-centric, customer-focused business and strategic consulting for early stage and evolving organizations in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. The firm specializes in optimizing organizational outcomes through results-focus strategic and business planning, organizational and market assessment, partnerships, and collaborations.

From 1998 - 2001, Rhonda served as vice president with TissueInformatics Inc. (tii), a Pittsburgh-based bioinformatics company. At TissueInformatics, she developed and guided the company's marketing strategy, led the development of the company's business plan  resulting in a successful multi-million dollar round of financing, and established and managed a specialty consulting division within the company. tiiConsulting provided scientific, regulatory, and business expertise to early-stage biotechnology companies and due diligence assistance to prospective biotechnology investors.

Prior to TissueInformatics, she was Assistant Director of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development/Pennsylvania Economy League and the Founding Director of the Working Together Consortium, a broad-based collaborative of civic leaders committed to implementing the goals and strategies of the Regional Economic Revitalization Initiative.  As Director of the Consortium she mobilized, prepared and facilitated public, private and community leadership and managed specialized teams of expert professionals to successfully implement an economic revitalization plan for southwestern Pennsylvania. The first collaborative effort of the Consortium was the development of the Pittsburgh Tissue Engineering Initiative to focus on the creation of a specialty biotechnology niche for the Pittsburgh region.

Other collaborative accomplishments include the transformation of the historic Alcoa Headquarters building into a center for regional development; the establishment of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance to coordinate regional development efforts; the creation of a regional workforce development strategy and plan to support key growth industries; and the development of a marketing strategy for regional economic and tourism development. Since the inception of the Working Together Consortium in 1994 and the commitment made by many throughout our region to work together to revitalize its economy, the Pittsburgh region has, among other things, realized:

  • A resilient, diverse economy
  • Recognition as a premier travel destination and designation as a “most livable city”
  • Increased investment capital and a strong, vibrant entrepreneurial culture
  • Pittsburgh’s recognition as a strong region for technology and intellectual property development
  • An increased presence of our world-class universities in regional economic development and drivers of economic opportunity
  • Meaningful workforce development initiatives
  • A community openly engaged in issues of diversity and inclusion

Before moving to the Pittsburgh region in 1994, Rhonda was the Executive Director of SHARE, Inc., an incubator for human services, bringing community organizations and leaders together to meet unmet and under-met needs in Kansas City, Missouri.  In addition to managing SHARE’s various programs, she worked with community leaders to assess the need for and develop a number of new initiatives.  Programs included:  Project S.A.V.E., a five-year pre-reading, literacy pilot program; the Good Neighbor/Family Program, a cooperative program providing a holistic approach in combating the dependency of clients of The Community Pantry; SafeHaven, a shelter and program for female victims of domestic violence and their children; a foster program; an adoption agency; a camp for children with Spina Bifida and Cystic Fibrosis; and other programs for children and families.

Her background also includes positions with the University of Missouri in the Department of Research, distance learning, and the University’s research parks; in sales and marketing for Kelly Services, Inc.; and running small businesses, including a restaurant with her husband. 

In 2005 Rhonda launched Passionate Food, a division of The Synergos Group LLC, to combine her consulting expertise and culinary experience with her love of food and teaching to offer culinary team building and hands-on cooking instruction.   In 2006 she created Local Goodness, a project of Passionate Food, to raise awareness through print, television and radio of small local family farms across southwestern Pennsylvania and their importance to our food supply and local economies.

In 2013 she founded Local Goodness LLC and created and launched the Local Goodness Marketplace (www.LocalGoodness.com), a curated online market that connects consumers with all the best of all things local from family farms, small food producers and independent artisans across the country.

Rhonda has served on many community boards, and volunteers for a variety of community and charitable organizations.  She serves as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh’s College of Business Administration and has been asked to serve as an adjunct professor for the College’s new certificate in entrepreneurship program beginning in the 2015-2016 academic year.

Rhonda holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Missouri.  She is trained and experienced in the Drucker Planning Process and the Hoshin Strategic Planning Process. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XIII and was recognized in 1999 as one of Pittsburgh’s “40 under 40” whose creativity, vision and passion help enrich the Pittsburgh region. 

Have a question about entrepreneurship? Contact Rhonda at rhonda.l.schuldt@pitt.edu