I was born in Washington County, PA. My family already lived in the county at the time of the 1790 census. My parents still live on a farm now owned by my youngest brother, who is the eighth generation to farm there. I have a sister who is a township tax collector, and another brother who is an executive at EQT in Pittsburgh.I have a BA, with a double major in Economics and English, from Washington & Jefferson College. After graduation, I had a number of jobs in banking and finance. I was a loan officer and a branch manager for the Farm Credit System, the managing officer of a savings and loan, and started a computer software company that sold software to banks. I received a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and later studied at United Theological College, Queen’s University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.I have been an elder in three congregations and part of the staff of six. I have been a temporary supply pastor, director of special ministries, solo pastor, interim co-pastor, and twice as interim head of staff.In 2000, I was a commissioner to General Assembly. I have also served as a commissioner to Synod. I have chaired several Presbytery committees, and was for four years the President of the Trustees of Eastminster Presbytery.I have a real passion for mission trips. One of my favorites was a fifteen-day trip to Thailand, where we built two houses for Habitat for Humanity and saw the amazing work that has been done by Presbyterian Missionaries over the past 150 years. Another favorite was a trip I led to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with ninety people from fifteen congregations. We ran two VBS sites for about 150 kids, roofed a church and a house, painted and did plumbing work around the Reservation.
Over the years I have been active in Scouting, being a former national chaplain for the National Association of Presbyterian Scouters, a five-time chaplain at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM, and the former president of the board of directors of P.R.A.Y., the organization which provides religious awards to Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls and American Heritage Girls.
I am married to the Rev. Carolyn Griffeth, currently the Interim Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Columbiana. We have four boys between us, each counting two sons and two stepsons. They are aged 32, 31, 30, and 27. The eldest lives in Columbus, the second in Philadelphia, and the youngest in Pittsburgh. My third son is a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. As I write this he is serving in Afghanistan.
Melanie A. Vlad received her Bachelors of Arts in Music Performance with concentration in Developmental Psychology from Hiram College in 1987, a Master of Music in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Louisville in 1989 and has completed doctoral work at Kent State University in Higher Education Administration.A frequent accompanist and music coach throughout Trumbull County, she has also served as the vocal music director at Arts Excel, an arts based multi-disciplinary program in Trumbull County. She has worked with the Summit Choral Society in Stark County as Director of Education and as Executive Director for the TMH Foundation. At her alma mater, Hiram College, she served as Director of Alumni & Parent Relations before returning to her first love, the arts.After graduating from The U of L, Melanie served as the Assistant Director of the Preparatory Division of at Mount Union College (now The University of Mount Union) where she was also senior staff accompanist, an instructor in Music Appreciation, Accompaniment Class and student teacher supervisor within the Prep. Division. Melanie provided piano instruction at both the college level and through the Preparatory Division. In addition, she developed the first college based Kindermusik program in the area
An active performing artist and director since 1986, Melanie continues to perform with area solo artists, with duo pianist partner, Victoria Harris, and with well-known area big band, The Top Notes throughout the region. She is a regular lecturer on arts advocacy for children, the pre-school music experience and the non-traditional student in a traditional studio setting. She has served as the Children’s Choir/Orff Ensemble Director at the First Presbyterian Church of Warren in Warren, OH.
As the Director of Music Ministry, Melanie oversees an active music ministry program including InSPIREd Kids, InSPIREd Voices, the Motet Choir, the Bell Choir and Ensembles, a Men’s Chorus and an array of instrumental soloists.
Melanie is founder and owner of Vlad-Schubert Studios in Warren where she lives with her husband and daughter.