52, of New York City, died on Feb. 7, 2014. She was born November 4, 1961, in Pittsburgh, PA to Joseph Francis Klaja (surviving) and Norma Coticchia Klaja (deceased). Cindy is survived by her husband, Patrick W. McLaughlin; and daughter, Norma Xi'an McLaughlin; in addition, Cindy is survived by her brother, Joseph M. Klaja (Terri); and sister, Amy Klaja Salamone (Alex). Cindy was a graduate of both Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard University. Cindy enjoyed great success in her career that began at GlaxoSmithKline in 1984. Setting out on her own in 1996, Cindy launched, Watt An Idea! Inc., a strategic consulting company. Over the past six years, Cindy pursued a passion for orphan advocacy in China. Through her work as a co-founder of the Starfish Children's Services Foundation, Cindy played a direct role in the rescue of over one hundred special needs orphans and helped facilitate over 60 adoptions. It is during this mission to help Chinese orphans that Cindy and Patrick met the little girl that became their daughter in January 2009. A celebration of Cindy's life will be held in New York City in the spring with a specific date to be determined. Donations in Cindy's memory may be made by visiting
Send condolences at

Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Feb. 12, 2014