2024 Onyx Woman Leadership Awards Honoree Denise L. Head


Denise L. Head is the Executive Director of the Mount Ararat Community Activity Center, Inc. (MACAC). MACAC provides an early childhood development center, after-school, mentoring, summer day camp, food pantry, health & wellness, music & arts, and seniors programs.

As Executive Director, Ms. Head has championed efficiency, accountability, quality, and excellence to drive innovation across the organization’s programs. Under her leadership, existing programs have dramatically expanded in scope and size, and new programs have been created, allowing MACAC to serve over 1,000 participants annually. She also actively participated on the Mount Ararat building committee, which oversaw the $2 million renovation of a 38,000-square-foot former school building that was transformed into MACAC’s new home.

Ms. Head is a member of the Board of Directors of the Neighborhood Learning Alliance; she has served as Board President and is a member of the Governance Committee. She also served on the Community Advisory Board of WQED Multimedia and the Scoutreach Board for the Boy Scouts of America. She has also served as a mentor for the United Way of Allegheny County’s Be A Middle School Mentor Program for 12 years.

Ms. Head is an active member of the Mount Ararat Baptist Church, where she has been committed for over 25 years. She was instrumental in the creation of the Mount Ararat Youth Café, an entrepreneurial work experience and scholarship program for high school students. Under her leadership, the Mount Ararat Youth Café awarded more than $150,000 in college scholarships.

Denise graduated Cum Laude from Carlow University, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management with a minor in Human Resource Management. Ms. Head is a past recipient of the Governor’s Everyday Heroes Award, Pittsburgh Courier’s Women of Excellence Award, and the Iota Phi Foundation Exemplary Service Award for Community Advocacy.

We asked our honorees to tell us how their mom impacted their success:

My mother has always been my ultimate role model and source of inspiration. She was a single parent of four children and gracefully accepted the challenge of raising us without us realizing the struggles that she faced daily. Throughout my entire childhood, she worked two jobs to ensure that I, along with my siblings, had everything we needed and most of what we wanted.

It was from my mother that I learned what it means to have a strong work ethic, dedication, and high standards. Ultimately, she taught by example without having to say a word.

I am extremely blessed to have such an amazing mother, always demonstrating love, strength, respect, wisdom, and support. My mother’s love, devotion, and resilience have definitely influenced my life, and I attribute any success that I have experienced to my mother’s example. “She is clothed with strength and dignity” Proverbs 31:25.

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