About Beth Lynn Eicher

Whitehall, it is time for an upgrade.

My family moved to Whitehall Borough from Mount Washington in 1992 so that I could have a better education via Baldwin Whitehall School District. Always the early adopter, I participated in the Dual Enrollment program with CCAC South and Baldwin High School, graduating early from BHS in 1997, earning my Associates from in Computer Information Systems in 1999, and then my Bachelor’s in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. 

I was raised by a single mother, a nurse who spent her career at VA Hospitals on Provost Road. She taught me to not get into debt if you can help it and pay it off quickly if you do. My husband and I were able to pay off cars and student loans just prior to marriage. Thus, I was able to buy my first home in Whitehall of Flamingo Drive at the age of 23.  To this day, we are debt-free.

In 2007, I decided to become involved in government as an appointed Judge of Elections for Allegheny County. Whitehall was fully staffed at the time so Allegheny County appointed me where I was needed for many years in Mount Washington, Castle Shannon, and East Liberty. I took my oath of office seriously by helping all registered voters cast their ballots and report honest returns to Allegheny County.

I served the United States Government at the Bettis Laboratory from 2008 to 2011 on some of the fastest supercomputers in the world. It was an honor to work for the Nuclear Navy and the values of high performance engineering for safety. There I learned about appropriately respecting every taxpayer dollar, working with small business vendors, bidding for competition, and auditing contracts for efficiency. Every tax payer dollar is never to be taken for granted. 

Inside government, universities, and finance, I built an IT career of over 20 years.  I get involved in community management through the Free and Open Source movement. What that has taught me is the virtues of freedom, collaboration, transparency, citizen ownership, and inclusive participation.  To that end, I founded Ohio LinuxFest Corporation, a 501(c)3 non-profit charity in 2006 and I am the President of this organization today which holds an annual event, Open Libre Free Conference.

The best things in life are not expensive. In fact, they are Free. I became the Free Software Director of the Pittsburgh non-profit, Computer Reach in 2012.  With Computer Reach’s computer refurbishing non-profit, I mentored them to their journey to use the Free Software desktop. It was with much pride that this enabled our team to visit Ghana to distribute computers in schools and Information Connection and Technology centers. Computer Reach continues to bridge the digital divide here in Allegheny and Washington County and offers free computers through their Desktop Lottery program. Recycled computers. For Free!

I have had other life adventures including living in Chicago from 2011 to 2020. From the bigger city life, I continued to appreciate what is free and open to the public such as the parks, the lake shore, libraries, and long walks. I may not look like it now but I ran in two half marathons and participated in a few 5Ks. 

None of this, though, compares to becoming a mother of my son, Luke, in 2014. From the moment he was born, I wanted to bring our family back home to Pittsburgh and Whitehall. But, while our family remained in Chicago, my son became a great partner to explore parks and libraries with. He even learned how to swim in an indoor pool with Chicago Public Parks.

When Luke became Pre-Kindergarten age, I enrolled him in Chicago Public Schools. I also took the opportunity to study myself at Kennedy King College, named for RFK and MLK. While the subjects were calculus and computer science, I was inspired to the culture of social justice. I also lived in Barack Obama’s neighborhood and wish to follow the Obama Foundation’s mission “to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world” here in Whitehall.  

We had planned to come home in 2020 to our family home of 246 Southvue Drive in Whitehall. Today our family lives together with gratitude. My son goes to Whitehall Elementary and plays at Snyder Park or in our front yard tree swing. Like all other mothers, I’m a mom first and I am fighting for all of our kids here in Whitehall.

After returning to Pennsylvania and Whitehall, I signed up for elections duty and became elected to serve at Whitehall District 4 at the Whitehall Community Room, 100 Borough Park Drive. During this time, I served emergency double duty twice for District 3.  I am proud that I was able to train and staff and my replacement. Running for Whitehall Council caused me to resign from elected Judge of Elections duty.

I really do believe that with hard work, we can make the world a better place. Let’s be good neighbors to each other, Whitehall. I’m here to help.