Business Spotlight: MiRan Surh

MiRan Surh

MiRan Surh

By: Paula Green

MiRan Surh has been working at the Emmaus Community of Pittsburgh, a non-profit organization based in the South Side of Pittsburgh, for the past eight years.  Emmaus serves individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism by providing permanent homes and non-residential services.  Surh spent seven and 1/2 years as the director of development.  In March, she became Emmaus’ director of community relations.

Surh has enjoyed her work, as she notes, “When I was the director of development, I wrote grant proposals, developed fundraisers for the organization.  Since I became the director of community relations, I work closely within the community and because of this; I’ve learned to better appreciate the value of each person’s gifts and challenges much more.  A direct support professional that cares deeply about residents can make a huge difference in their quality of life.   A volunteer who shares his/her talent can deepen and strengthen a resident’s social skills, and people who advocate for the voiceless can give rise to changes in our society.  What is most rewarding in my work is that I am in charge of protecting someone’s human rights and dignity while collaborating with those who share the same vision.”   Some of the residents are her students when she was a student teacher at St. Anthony School.

“I urge people to visit Emmaus and be a partner,” Surh added.  She coordinates the volunteers and encourages them to participate in outreach and educational activities.  She also presents critical issues which promoted the quality of life for individuals with intellectual disabilities at numerous organizations, including a special outreach for the immigrant communities.

Surh was born in Korea in a small town called KangJin.  She attended St. Joseph Girls School that was built by the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill. After graduating St. Joseph, she came to Seton Hill University in Greensburg, and then earned her master’s degree in Special Education at Duquesne University.   She received a second master’s in social work from the University of Pittsburgh.

When she is not busy with Emmaus, Surh involves herself with other activities.  She is a member of: North Pittsburgh Network, Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council, Community-Building Bridge Network, Immigrants and International Advisory Council at Allegheny County, U.S. Census Diversity Committee, and Western PA Mushroom Club.  Surh volunteers at the Allegheny County Jail as a mentor for a female inmate.

Surh resides in Wexford with her husband Jeong Yoon.  They have been married for 29 years and have a son named Michael.  Her hobbies are gardening and photography.