Darlene J. Bigler has led Blueprints since 1993. She is a respected local, regional, state and national leader and innovator of programs and initiatives that break barriers and build futures. Under her leadership, Blueprint’s annual budget has grown from $11 million to $23 million. Today, Blueprints employs 350 and serves more than 20,000 individuals annually.
She is a long-time board member and past president of the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania, a membership organization representing the 43 community action agencies in the Commonwealth.
Bigler is a co-founder and a board member of several corporations affiliated with Blueprints, including Keystone Hope Development Corporation, Threshold Housing, Southwestern PA Community Development Corporation, and the Tri-County Loan Fund. These organizations function to create employment and housing opportunities and to further develop communities.
She leads Action Resources, Inc., a property management company for nonprofit organizations. She serves as a member of the Southwest Corner Workforce Investment Board and is a trustee of the Washington Health System.
In 2014, Bigler and her team undertook the acquisition of a community based non-profit organization providing foster care and adoption services, and completed a merger in 2015. The merger expanded Blueprint’s service area into West Virginia.
She was elected in 2017 as a board member of CAPLAW, Community Action Legal Services, Inc., a national, membership based organization that provides legal and financial resources for the 1,000 community action agencies across the nation.
Bigler has been honored by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Woman in Business in 2002 and an ATHENA Award in 2008. She received the Community Award from the Academy of Adolescent Health in 2015 and the Community Engagement and Innovative Program of the Year awards in 2016 from the Community Action Association of Pennsylvania.
After obtaining a degree in sociology and criminology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Bigler began her career at the Indiana County Community Action Program (ICCAP) in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and served as that organization’s Executive Director from 1985 to 1993. During that time, she doubled the organization’s budget and staff and created a transitional housing program for women and children, the county’s first homeless shelter, and an affordable rental and home-ownership program.
Bigler is married to Gary Lefebvre and together they have two grown sons. Aaron Lefebvre is a musician and marketing director for Turbo Harp in Pittsburgh and Marshall Lefebvre is a research technician at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.