Opal awards


2014 Opal Awards



Deb Acklin, CEO WQED

Catherine Hardwicke – Director of Twilight

Dawn Keezer, Director of the Pittsburgh Film Office

Eleanor Schano – Lifetime Achievement Award




The Opal and Patti Burns Awards were first awarded in 2007 to recognize women in film and television for exemplary professional achievement as well as their contribution to the economic and cultural development of the region. The WIFM Scholarship to an outstanding film student was initiated in the same year. The Awardees were:

Adrienne Wehr


Opal Awards:  Chelle Robinson, producer/director.  Also producer of WIFM PSA – “Down the Drain” for Hair Peace Charities; Kathryn Spitz Cohan, actress; Barbara Feldon, Agent 99 – Get Smart Television Series

Patti Burns Award:   Carol Lee Espy, television and radio personality, singer/songwriter

WIFM Scholarship:  Kimberly Truisi

Point Park Scholarship:   Alexandra Quinn

Amy Lamb Scholarship:    Cierra Jones


Opal Awards: Adrienne Wehr, Actress, Producer, Art Director; Nancy Mosser, Casting Director;  & Kim Moses, Executive Producer

Patti Burns Award: Marilyn Brooks, TV host/reporter, WTAE-TV

WIFM ScholarshipHeidi Schlegel

Point Park ScholarshipOlivia Vaughn



Opal Awards: Shirley Jones, Singer & Actress;  Liz RIchards, Filmmaker, Professor, Point Park University

Marilyn Brooks & Stephen Black

Patti Burns Award: Tonia Caruso, TV anchor, Comcast & OnQ

WIFM Scholarship: Cait Murray

Point Park Scholarship: Shannon Hager



Opal Awards: Margaret Loesch, Producer and CEO of Hub TV; Melissa Martin, Director; Donna Belajac, Casting Director

Patti Burns Award: Yvonne Zanos, TV anchor/reporter, KDKA-TV

WIFM Scholarship: Paige Berry & Maranda Wodzinski

Tonia Caruso



Opal Awards: Suzanne DeLaurentiis, Producer; late Amy Lamb, Production Manager

Patti Burns Award: Late Patti Burns, TV ancor KDKA-TV.

WIFM Scholarship:  Heather Mallak





  • WIFM Directory – Go to our website and click on Membership and on the drop down menu – Click Membership Directory

  • General Questions and Inquiries:   info@wifmpit.org

  • Website:     www.wifmpit.org


PSA Program Qualifications & Criteria For PSA Submissions


The PSA Submission Process will begin again soon.  At that time, we will ask for submissions from our local non-profit community to complete an application for review by our PSA Committee.  Once the applications have been reviewed, three are selected to give an in-person presentation to the committee.  From that, one non-profit organization is chosen to have a PSA produced for them.

Training for the PSA Production Team will begin after the submission process ends.   If you are interested in learning more about this process, please email us at info@wifmpit.org.

The process will include learning the various positions on the crew, learning the WIFM PSA process, learning how you can participate and more.