Greater Pittsburgh Advisory Board Spotlight: Chris Skerlong

Aug 17, 2021 | by Stephanie Rex

When Chris Skerlong’s close friend and colleague at Highmark recommended she join The Salvation Army’s Greater Pittsburgh Advisory Board, she described the organization as having the most purely good and charitable people she had ever worked with in her career.

“And that’s the way I always describe The Salvation Army to others,” Chris said.

An Advisory Board Member since 2006 now serving as Vice Chair, Chris is inspired by The Salvation Army Western PA Division’s officers – ordained clergy – who practice their beliefs through action every day.

“The Army is not just religious in name; the founder, William Booth, recognized that organized religion in 19th century England was ignoring those who needed it most, so he created an army of zealots who actually practiced what they preached!” she said.

Now retired, Chris spent 20 years at Highmark and 10 years at BNY Mellon in the training function of the Human Resources department. While she loved her work, she is grateful for the chance in retirement to dedicate more time to volunteer activities including being very active in her church, Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon.

“As a retired person, The Salvation Army Advisory Board is a place where I can use the skills and experiences I acquired in 40 years of working to help the staff and officers to achieve their goals,” Chris said.

The Salvation Army’s mission and work connects with her own personal desire to help those in our community who are facing struggles in daily life, whether it’s the need for emergency food, utility or rental assistance, senior programming, and more.

“I feel that it’s everyone’s obligation to help those in need, those who are not as fortunate as some of us are, those who, through no fault of their own, are suffering,” Chris said. “I know of no better way to do that than through The Salvation Army.”

Chris is energized and inspired by not only the history of The Salvation Army’s work, but those who continue to carry its legacy forward in the Western PA Division today.

“I think the best quote, that I repeat often when describing my support of the Army, is from Evangeline Booth, daughter of William Booth: ‘There is no reward equal to doing the most good to the most people in the most need,’” Chris said. “One of the great gifts of my affiliation with The Salvation Army is working with the officers and staff who every day amaze me with their skill, unselfish devotion and collaboration. There is no other experience like it!”

 Chris lives in Ben Avon Heights with her husband, Larry. They have an adult son, Joel.

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