Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series
2nd Friday September - June
Visit the main Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series page for information and registration
The Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series features prominent women business leaders from the greater Pittsburgh region. The series runs the second Friday from September - June. Networking and a continental breakfast will precede a presentation on such topics as marketing, financing, social media, negotiation, sustainability, and innovation.
Recent Speakers & Events
Friday, June 08
"Embracing Your Passion"
How often does your career inspiration and interest connect to your personal passion? This interactive presentation from Dina L. Clark, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Covestro LLC, will highlight the importance of building passion into your focus as you navigate your personal and professional journey, and challenge participants to answer their “Why?” question. Participants will also be able to: -Consider how bias might impact or impede the strategic development process -Identify at least 3 resources to consider for ongoing professional development -Identify ways to continue to build genuine, strategic relationships
Dina L. Clark
Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Covestro LLC+ view bio
In August 2015, Dina L. Clark began her role with Covestro LLC as the Head of Diversity & Inclusion at their North American headquarters based in Pittsburgh. In this role, Dina spearheads the development and implementation of diversity strategies and initiatives for Covestro across the United States and Mexico. Dina also serves on Covestro’s global diversity and inclusion council, as well as the global diversity core team, currently based in Leverkusen, Germany. Her primary focus areas of diversity, equity and inclusion are complemented by a strong training background. She has conducted several presentations nationwide, including workshops for Family Communications Inc. (producers of “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood”), Vassar College, University of Michigan, Magnet Schools of New York, New York State Department of Health and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In addition to training, Dina was selected for a fellowship with the Children’s Defense Fund in Washington, D.C. and was named as one of Pittsburgh’s 40 under 40 leaders by Pittsburgh Magazine. She was also named one of 50 recipients of the "Women of Excellence" award, from the Pittsburgh Courier, a 2015 recipient of the Allegheny County Bar Association Homer S. Brown Spirit Award and in 2017 was featured in the Women & Business section of Pittsburgh Magazine for her work in developing and strengthening D & I strategy. Dina is very involved in the Pittsburgh community. She is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. (Class XXIII), and currently serves on several boards and advisory committees. In addition, Dina has also worked as a professional tester for housing discrimination for the Fair Housing Partnership of Pittsburgh and as a long-term diversity/anti-bias trainer for the Anti-Defamation League. She was also selected as a participant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Citizen’s Academy and continues to serve as a board member of the FBI Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association, with a focus on civil rights. Dina has a bachelor’s degree in psychology/child and family studies from Syracuse University, a master’s degree from Duquesne University, with a focus on global leadership, and she is currently working on her Doctorate in Education at Point Park University, with a focus on leadership and administration.
Friday, May 11
"Pittsburgh’s Business Women who Lead - The Opportunities and Challenges"
How can Pittsburgh women put themselves in position to gain access to more c-suites and boardrooms? Stefani Pashman, CEO, Allegheny County Conference on Community Development, will share insights from her career on topics such as preparing to be board-ready, board service and entering the c-suite. During her talk, she’ll discuss trends, opportunities and challenges for women leaders in Pittsburgh to better position themselves for these types of leadership opportunities.
Stefani Pashman+ view bio
Stefani Pashman is the CEO of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and its affiliated organizations – the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, the Pennsylvania Economy League of Greater Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance. For almost 75 years, the Conference – one of the United States’ foremost civic leadership organizations – has been bringing together public and private sector leaders to drive an agenda to improve the economic future and quality of life in the 10-county Pittsburgh region. As the CEO, she drives the Conference’s work plan, builds regional collaborations and empowers partners. Before joining the Conference, Stefani served as CEO of Partner4Work and its predecessor, the Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board, for seven years. With a strong entrepreneurial spirit, Stefani transformed the organization from a $1.5 million research-based organization into a nearly $20 million public-private system that relies on research and analytics to make change in the community. She served in Governor Rendell’s Administration at the PA Department of Human Services as Director of Policy and as Special Assistant to the Secretary, and she previously worked in private consulting at Avalere Health and Navigant and as an analyst in the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Friday, April 13
"Managing the Business of a Social Service Non-Profit"
Wanting to help others is often a common reason cited by those who pursue careers in social service. This is also a motivating factor for many to establish a non-profit for a cause that they are passionate about. TO be successful, one has to consider the business implications for starting and managing an organization. During this presentation, Kathi R. Elliott, Executive Director of Gwen's Girls Inc, will review specific steps to establish a new non-profit in PA. She will also share practical tips and lessons learned from leading a mid-size non-profit. This will include essential business management functions, such as staff development and human resources; development; fiscal management; board recruitment and retention; networking and community engagement.
Kathi R. Elliott
Executive Director, Gwen's Girls, Inc.+ view bio
Kathi R. Elliott earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Chatham University in August 2014. Dr. Elliott also completed dual Master's degrees in Nursing and Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh in 2008. She has over 20 years of experience in social service, community and individual mental health treatment. Advocacy and giving back to others in need is a value that has been instilled in her by her mother and founder of Gwen's Girls, the late Commander Gwen Elliott. In August 2015, Dr. Elliott accepted the position of Executive Director at Gwen's Girls, whose mission is to empower girls and young women to have productive lives through exposure to holistic, gender-specific programs, education, and experiences. As a visionary leader, Dr. Elliott is purposed to lead Gwen's Girls in becoming a well-recognized forerunner in the integration of evidence-based clinical prevention and intervention policies and practices that enhance the child and social welfare system. her culmination of education, work and life experiences will assist her in continuing the legacy of providing a comprehensive approach to addressing the issues that impact the well-being of girls, women and families.
Friday, March 09
"Going All-In on a Startup"
There might be many “how to start a business” books and blogs out there, but do they really talk about the sheer energy needed to fuel the flame and idea? Join Nina Barbuto, founder and director of Assemble, to learn about how Assemble has been Assembling. Get some FYIs for your own business beginnings along with what are some ways to be resourceful and how to truly start something with “nothing.” This talk will also include some hands-on aspects where you can assess your own eight forms of capital, look for collaborators, and reflect on your context.
Director, Assemble+ view bio
Nina’s passion for art, new media and social learning led her to found Assemble, a community space for arts + technology, in 2011. On her own, Nina works in a variety of media including architecture, film, sound, and installation and often explores the idea of recycling noise into a system or elevating the vernacular to the spectacular. Nina co-founded I Made It! Market in 2007. An idea based on urban acupuncture, this nomadic market partners with community, arts and non-profit organizations to raise funds and awareness to assist in improving their communities while allowing local artists and crafters to sell their wares. Nina holds degrees in architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture and Carnegie Mellon University, where she is also adjunct faculty.
Friday, February 09
"Defining & Designing Your Dream Job"
What if you could create a job with the ideal work/life balance? What would it look like to you and how would you achieve it? Textile Designer Savannah Hayes launched her business with that goal in mind. After years of researching other women in business, a few things became clear: plan for scalability from day one, outsource anything that is not stimulating, and just show up – everyday. Hear how Savannah launched seven product lines three months after quitting her day job, how she manages three very different sales channels, and how she created her dream job that affords her the flexibility to attain her perfect version of work/life balance.
Owner, Savannah Hayes+ view bio
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Savannah has been inspired by cities all her life. Living in design centers London, New York and Los Angeles she has developed a signature style that is modern and bold. Her collection of home textiles offers wallpaper, fabric-by-the-yard, decorative pillows & throw blankets. After training at the University of Pennsylvania, University College London and New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, Savannah worked in both the home and apparel design sectors for inspiring brands including Kelly Wearstler, Martha Stewart, and Kravet Fabrics. She has spent time in both Turkey and India, working closely with mills in Bursa, Istanbul and Bangalore and gaining firsthand textile and design experience. The Highland Park based designer launched her eponymous brand and online shop in October 2015.
Friday, January 12
"Design Thinking in the 21st Century"
In this talk, Kristi will introduce behavioral strategy as a key tool for understanding both design and the implications of technology. She will dig into research around behavioral "influencers" and provide specific case study examples with real business outcomes, helping us to understand the value of design in a business context. She will also talk about technology trends in physical space, the role of sensors and the potential uses (and misuses) of augmented and mixed reality in physical space. This talk will provide the audience with new frameworks and approaches to the work of designing as well as building awareness of technology trends that will impact the future of the way that interior design is practiced.
Product Lead, MAYA a BCG Company+ view bio
Kristi is passionate about connecting technology trends, physical space, and human stories. She is responsible for enabling organizations to support their people through physical and digital space. She focuses on discovering and defining the connections between environment, culture and outcome. She pulls together interdisciplinary teams to think deeply about the interaction between physical and virtual space, and explores the widest possible definition of “environment” in service of our client’s desired outcome. Prior to joining MAYA, Kristi worked in Washington, DC as a management consultant, facilitating culture change tied to physical change for federal agencies. She has worked in California and Arizona as a behavioral strategist creating workplace, mixed use development, and hospitality strategies. Kristi was also the CEO of her own firm that provided architecture, interiors, FF&E and construction. Over 15 years, she grew that firm to the largest woman owned architecture firm on the west coast. Additionally, she was on the faculty at Arizona State University teaching in both the Colleges of Architecture and Business, with research focused on the impact physical environment has on human behavior. Kristi has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Forbes, and other top-tier outlets. You can also find her speaking about workplace, culture, community, and the future of work at conferences across the country.
Friday, December 08
"The Art of Asking for It! Negotiation Strategies for Women"
Do you ask for what you want or are you waiting to be offered the opportunity that will advance your career and/or compensation? Learn how to better navigate the barriers we know women face in the workplace. Did you know: Men are 4x more likely than women to negotiate, women are more anxious about negotiating, and women are great negotiators on behalf of other people but not necessarily themselves? During this presentation, participants will learn to recognize opportunities to negotiate, eliminate anxiety, feel entitled to get what they want and avoid social consequences that inhibit good outcomes for you and your organization.
Director of Leadership Development, Tepper School of Business, CMU+ view bio
Leanne Meyer is Program Director of the Carnegie Mellon Leadership and Negotiation Academy for Women and Director of Leadership Development at the Tepper School of business at CMU. Leanne’s work focuses on assisting leaders navigate critical inflection points where many have outgrown their professional identity and, given the demands and responsibility of their roles, need to change their perspectives regarding what is important and accordingly, how they spend their time and what new skill sets and behaviors they develop. Leanne’s journey began in South Africa. She was specifically influenced by the events in her home country, which ignited her interest in the possibility for human change and transformation. She has spent the past twenty years applying and building her change agent skills in South Africa, England, Ireland, and now America. Leanne’s calling is to help leaders make sense of their lives through the reclamation of passion and purpose. Leanne consults and coaches regularly, and her clients include such companies as Salesforce, GlaxoSmithKline, McKesson, SAP, UBS, Bayer, EQT, Highmark, UPMC and the American Bar Association. Leanne holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Psychology.
Friday, November 10
" The Strategic Women Thinkers Behind Everyday Brands"
Clearly understanding what a brand/product is looking to achieve - brand awareness, specific sales objectives, channel opportunities, etc. is a crucial ingredient to a household name. Also, having in-depth knowledge about your target audience- keeping your end consumer in mind as well as the brands channel marketing strategy. How will this brand/product be brought to market? Channel mix marketing is so important - where are your best targets, which medium (digital (social) playing a vital role in today’s world). These are the questions this panel of executive women will explore and discuss.
Lisa Nolen Birmingham
Vice President, Comcast+ view bio
Lisa leads a team government and community affairs professionals supporting more than 1,300 communities in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and northwest Maryland. Lisa is responsible for advancing business growth and policy through advocacy and strategic partnerships and manages franchising, compliance and community investment. Lisa has held a similar roles for Comcast in the mid-west and New England. Lisa practiced administrative law in Vermont prior to joining Comcast in 2006. A lawyer by training, Lisa has extensive negotiation and advocacy experience. She has led numerous collaborative efforts to address key policy issues such as the digital divide, lead paint and health care privacy. Lisa graduated from Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut and magna cum laude from Vermont Law School. A believer in giving back, Lisa has served on various nonprofit boards such as the Urban League of Southwest Michigan and Detroit. Lisa’s personal passion is promoting equity and opportunity for women and girls. She has been a crisis intervention counselor, an advocate and fundraiser, and more recently, a Chapter Advisor for Women in Cable and Telecommunications. She relocated to Pittsburgh in 2015 and is a recent graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh.
Vice President of Strategic Planning, FedEx Ground+ view bio
Stephanie Cohen is Vice President of Strategic Planning for FedEx Ground, headquartered in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Stephanie began her career at FedEx Ground 24 years ago in Customer Service. From there she held positions in a number of areas – including Internal Audit, Product Marketing, Administrative Process Engineering, New Services and Field Technology Support – before being named the Managing Director of Administrative Process Engineering in 2006 and the Managing Director of New Services Planning in 2009. Stephanie has led FedEx Ground involvement in numerous strategic enterprise projects, customer implementations and solution designs and strategy research and integration initiatives. She has distinguished herself through her leadership, commitment to continuous improvement and collaboration across the enterprise. As an accomplished leader, Stephanie attended the FedEx Executive Leadership Institute and has been honored with numerous company awards, including the prestigious FedEx Ground Five Star Award on two separate occasions. A native of Philadelphia, Stephanie earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and her master’s from Carnegie Mellon University. Stephanie currently resides in Sewickley, PA, with her husband and three children.
Mary Kay Modaffari
CEO & Chief Service Officer,, ServicEffect (formerly Partner of Brunner Advertising)+ view bio
Mary Kay Modaffari has excelled in the competitive world of advertising and marketing by leading with her heart. For more than 25 years, Mary Kay has been a key part of the success at independently owned Brunner where she served as Executive Vice President and Partner. While in leadership there, Mary Kay helped grow the agency to a peak of nearly 200 staffers, $180 million in billings and recognition as one of the top 100 independent agencies in the nation. Over that time, Brunner earned a reputation for two things: award-winning creativity and a supportive, vibrant culture. Mary Kay is credited as the driving force behind the culture (which made the creativity possible). She has an uncanny knack for connecting with clients on a human level, hearing what they say while also listening for what they need. Her positive nature and focus on finding strategic solutions have made her an invaluable partner for dozens of Brunner clients including Bob Evans, UPMC, GNC, Zippo, LaRosa’s Pizzeria, Giant Eagle, Westinghouse Corporation/CBS, Knouse Foods, Mellon Financial and PNC Bank. In her earlier career, Mary Kay earned her account service stripes at agencies now within Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising. Throughout her successful career, Mary Kay has made giving back to her community a priority. She currently serves on non-profit boards of directors and advisory boards such as The Mentoring Partnership, UPMC Cancer Center Wellness & Integrative Oncology Program and the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University. Her daughter Melanie works in the healthcare industry. The swirl on her cone comes courtesy of her significant other, Don. He and Mary Kay own multiple Dairy Queen franchises.
Friday, October 13
"The Food Waste Scandal and How It Impacts People
We waste 40% of all the food we produce. On the other side of this waste are tremendous impacts on our environment and on hunger. 412 Food Rescue’s mission is to prevent perfectly viable food from entering the waste stream by rescuing surplus food and redirecting to nonprofits that serve those who are food insecure. The talk will focus on how innovation and courage to tackle one of the most difficult problems are moving the needle impacting hunger in our region.
CEO and Co-Founder, 412 Food Rescue+ view bio
Leah Lizarondo is Co-Founder and CEO of 412 Food Rescue. 412 Food Rescue works to eliminate hunger and promote a healthy environment by rescuing viable food about to go to waste and redirecting to nonprofits that serve those who are food insecure. 412 Food Rescue is an innovative approach to food recovery with rapid response reverse logistics model that utilizes technology to aggregate and automatically match food donors and beneficiaries. The organization works with a network of dedicated volunteers and deploys a scalable technology and replicable model designed to eliminate food waste at the retail level. Leah received her Masters Degree in Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University graduating with Highest Distinction and is an advocate for healthy food accessibility, food safety policy and sustainability. She has also trained at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City and received her Certification in Plant-based Nutrition from Cornell University. She began her career as a product manager in Southeast Asia, working in consumer packaged goods and technology before moving on to her passion in food and health advocacy. She has a track record of leadership in nonprofits in New York and Pittsburgh. She is interested in social innovation and technology and mines her experience launching startups as she works to establish 412 Food Rescue. Leah is an active advocate for food, health and innovation in Pittsburgh. She is also the founder of The Brazen Kitchen, an award-winning blog and Pittsburgh Magazine weekly column. Leah is currently Editor-at-Large for NEXTpittsburgh, covering social innovation. Leah’s work has been featured in print and online publications including MSN’s Re:Discover Series, NPR, Oprah.com, GOOD Magazine online, and local media. The Brazen Kitchen won the 2013 National City & Regional Magazine Awards. Leah has delivered numerous talks in the field of food policy and innovation. In April 2014, she gave the TEDx Talk “Why the Farm Is Not Getting to the Table.” The video can be accessed on tedx.ted.com.
Friday, September 08
"Sew Accomplished: The Women Behind the Machines"
From designing, selecting fabrics, and determining trends to learning the world of small-batch manufacturing and retail environments these accomplished entrepreneurs have sewn their way to the top. Learn about why a work force environment where employee skills, talents, and intellects are highly valued, is an art unto itself. Come and experience the impact the sewing ecosystem is having on Pittsburgh.
Founder and President, Abram's Bed - maker of the Safety Sleeper+ view bio
Rose is a graduate of Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Elementary Education. She taught elementary and middle school science and math for several years before retiring to transition into a stay at home mom after moving to Pennsylvania. Rose and her husband Jeff have 3 children, one of whom was diagnosed at an early age with autism. As a mother of a son with autism, her family was thrust into the world of autism and intensive therapy. Rose saw a need for a product that could keep Abram sleep safely at home or away. Out of this need The Safety Sleeper was born and has helped hundreds of children and adults with special needs worldwide. Her company, Abram’s Bed, was started in 2009 with the vision to become every customer's choice in their pursuit of creating a secure and safe environment for their loved one, every night, at home or wherever they may travel. Rose, her husband and a dedicated staff build, manufacture and orchestrate the shipping for The Safety Sleeper at their facility in Pittsburgh PA.
Owner/Designer, JenRocketLLC+ view bio
As a long-time Pittsburgh resident with a brief stint in Los Angeles, Jen is grateful to have started a business that mixes her heritage sewing skills with her educational background from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and Los Angeles Trade Tech. Since opening the sewing studio in 2012, Jen has enjoyed the challenges that come with being an entrepreneur and the opportunity to push the boundaries of sewing, whether in fashion, wearables, or soft goods product development.
Cathy Schnaubelt Rogers
President, Aero Tech Designs Cyclewear+ view bio
Cathy is the President of Aero Tech Designs Cyclewear. They are an e-commerce company with 99% of their sales from their website, amazon, ebay, Walmart and jet. The company designs and manufactures their softgoods on the North Side of the city in a 60,000 sq ft. facility. As a cycling company, they enjoy the added benefit of being located on the Three Rivers Heritage Bike Trail. The company employs about 50 people. Aero Tech Designs in a vital part of the planning and implementation of trails into and out of the city of Pittsburgh.
Friday, June 09
"Carving out a Brand in the Food Industry"
Join us for a panel featuring women business owners who have built brands in the food industry, with lessons learned from their experiences and tips for business owners looking to make a name for themselves!
CEO & Executive Chef, Day La Soul Catering+ view bio
Entrepreneurship began for Torie after attaining her PA Real Estate License. She found out shortly afterwards that food was her true calling, and started Day La Soul Catering in the spring of 2015 on her own via social media, specifically Facebook & Instagram. Since the start, I've catered dozens of private events, personal "cheffed" to many, and speak while doing live food presentations.
VP WythU, Executive Producer/Co-Host Between the Eats, CEO Parmesan Princess, Inc.,+ view bio
Creating delicious food , and sales and marketing campaigns, Terri Dowd has carved a niche for herself now founding her 3rd corporation. Dowd’s food blog ParmesanPrincess.com launched the home chef’s career into a cooking tv show “Between The Eats,” which she co-hosts with Pittsburgh chef David Carmine. With an audience of 10 million, Dowd’s entrepreneurial spirit brought funding and an eye for linking Between The Eats’ marketing videos to a ROI sales strategy. A few months ago, Dowd joined forces with 4 other fellow entrepreneurs and WythU was born, developing overall marketing and strategic business development strategy for National and International clients. Dowd sits as VP of WythU and is looking forward to Season 3 of Between The Eats and many new homemade recipes on her blog!
Michele Meloy Burchfield
Co-Founder & CEO, Blume Honey Water+ view bio
The beverage category is Michele’s playground. As a sales and marketing expert with 25+ years of experience, Michele knows the industry inside and out. Michele spent nearly 15 years at the Boston Beer Company where she helped build the Sam Adams brand before starting her own consulting business. Simply put, Michele never loses sight of what really matters for a beverage brand: the liquid inside the bottle and how to get it to the consumer. That’s why it’s no wonder she’s helped so many brewers and distillers successfully bring their brands to market, working with brands such as FIJI Water, Sierra Nevada Brewing, New Belgium Brewing, Firestone Walker, Straub, Yuengling, Heineken, Rogue Ales and Founders Brewery to name a few of her clients. When not working or enjoying time with her amazing sons, Will and Andrew Michele is an avid cyclist, skier and tennis player and a green-thumbed outdoorswoman with the backyard gardens to prove it.
Friday, May 12
"A Man is Not a Plan: Life Strategies for Independent Women"
More than half of all single Americans are women. With this in mind, it is amazing that any woman would leave her financial future in the hands of another human being. Mary Grace Musuneggi’s personal and professional experience have made her an expert on the importance of financial independence, and she wants every woman to know “A Man is Not a Plan.” In this presentation, Mary Grace will help you to: • Understand why you must prioritize your financial independence, no matter what your current status is; • Discover the four basic laws of financial independence that will help to bring abundance to your life; • Create a plan for asserting and protecting independence through life’s challenges and changes.
Mary Grace Musuneggi, CLU, ChFC, CFS, RFC
Chairman & CEO, The Musuneggi Financial Group and Founder of Single Steps Strategies,+ view bio
For over 35 years, Mary Grace Musuneggi been helping women develop clear strategies for pursuing their financial goals. She is Chairman & CEO of The Musuneggi Financial Group, where she recently launched the Starting Out/Starting Over program for women who are hitting the “Start” or “Reset” button: new graduates, new mothers and grandmothers, new business owners, women transitioning into a second or even third career, and women who are navigating divorce or finding themselves single—by choice or by chance. Throughout her career, Mary Grace often met women who were facing challenges that dramatically influenced the quality of their lives. In response to this, she founded Single Steps Strategies, an educational resource that helps women work towards abundant, balanced and successful lives. Single Steps Strategies recently celebrated twelve years of empowering women through information and education. An award-winning advisor and business owner, Mary Grace is the author of Single Steps: Strategies for Abundant Living and the forthcoming A Man is Not a Plan. She frequently speaks to women’s organizations about successfully navigating the intersections of financial planning and lifestyle issues.
Friday, April 07
"A Primer on the Allegheny County Health Department: Hot Topics"
Karen Hacker, MD, MPH, will provide an overview of the Allegheny County Health Department, discuss recent policy initiatives in some of the current major areas of focus such as maternal and child health, lead issues, obesity and tobacco cessation. She will also include a brief overview of the community health improvement plan and the priorities identified through a community engagement process, as well as a number of pressing issues with a particular focus on the current opioid overdose epidemic. Lastly, she will talk about some tips for dealing with overdoses and addiction in the workplace
Karen Hacker, MD MPH
Director, Allegheny County Health Department+ view bio
Karen Hacker, MD MPH is the Director of the Allegheny County Health Department and is responsible for overseeing the health of the 1.2 million resident of Allegheny County. Under her leadership, Allegheny County has launched its first Plan for a Healthier Allegheny which represents a collaborative community process to improve the health of the county. Using collective action to solve problems and measuring and monitoring progress is a key focus of her agenda. Prior to her current position, Dr. Hacker was Executive Director of the Institute for Community Health and the Senior Medical Director for Public and Community Health at the Cambridge Health Alliance where she oversaw community affairs and conducted community-based participatory research and health services research. Dr. Hacker is an Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Health Policy and Management and Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University Of Pittsburgh Graduate School Of Public Health and a Clinical Professor at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. She is an internist and adolescent medicine specialist and holds an MD from Northwestern University and an MPH from Boston University.
Friday, March 10
"The Art of Resilience in Business and in Life"
Adversity comes to everyone. What does it take to stand keep moving through roadblocks? In this conversation, janera will share insights from her experience with artists and community producers about ways to reframe the problem, continue in the face of challenges, and rebuild after failure.
Executive Director, Kelly Strayhorn Theater+ view bio
janera solomon is the executive director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, a historic live arts venue in Pittsburgh now in its ninth year of presenting progressive, evocative new works in dance, theater, music, film, education and cultural programming. Recognized for her transformative leadership and contributions to the revitalization of East Liberty, janera managed the merger of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater and the Dance Alloy in 2011, while maintaining affordable dance instruction at The Alloy School and creating a series of diverse programs designed to inspire and engage a wide range of audiences. An experienced curator, janera worked with the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and developed the First Voice International Black Performing Arts Festival produced by the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in 2007. She has worked on a range of cultural projects: including the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, the August Wilson Center, Brooklyn Museum of Art, and several others with Toronto based, cultural planning firm Lord Culture. janera maintains volunteer board positions for several organizations including: the Carnegie Museums Pittsburgh and The Ellis School. In 2014, she formed the August Wilson Center Recovery Committee. In a recent settlement, it was announced that the AWC will continue as a fully dedicated center for African-American culture in Pittsburgh. In 2015, janera was featured in Pittsburgh Magazine’s as one of the “50 Most Powerful People in Pittsburgh.”
Friday, February 10
AJ Drexler will present the top ten trends impacting the way business owners and managers need to motivate and manage today's consumer. You'll hear an overview of the genesis of each of the trends, how they will affect the marketplace, and insights to spark ideas on how brands and businesses can respond!
CEO and Chief Strategist, Campos Inc+ view bio
For the past twenty-five years, A.J. has focused her work, within both the ad agency and market research sides of the business, on deeply understanding the customer in order to inspire brand and marketing strategy that drives genuine results. She is accomplished in using all forms of data to uncover marketing insights, conducting all forms of qualitative research, and loves swimming around in the cross-tabs of quantitative projects to find clues to future behavior. An honors graduate of Boston College, A.J.'s education focused on an integrated knowledge of American social, intellectual, and cultural history. Infinitely curious about what drives people to do what they do, A.J. approaches her research and planning work by looking for the "story" behind the statistics. And this curiosity has been the key to maintaining client relationships over time--some for over 20 years. Clients can rely on A.J. to dig deeply into whatever new challenges they face each year.
Friday, January 13
Eve Picker is at it again. The pioneering real estate developer was one of the first to bet on the resurgence of downtown Pittsburgh and neighborhoods like East Liberty. Now, Eve heads Small Change, the nation's first online real estate investment portal that allows anyone over the age of 18 to invest in projects. Come learn how cities work and how they can be revitalized.
Founder & CEO, Small Change+ view bio
Eve Picker’s world is wrapped around cities and change. With a background as an architect, city planner, urban designer, real estate developer, community development strategist, publisher, and instigator, Eve has a rich understanding of how cities and urban neighborhoods work – and how they can be revitalized. Amongst her many urban (ad)ventures, Eve has developed a dozen buildings in blighted neighborhoods, launched a Pittsburgh- focused e-zine called Pop City, and founded and organized a speaker series, cityLIVE!, on city-centric issues. She has taught urban design and participated in Sustainable Design Assessment Teams for the American Institute of Architects in cities from Los Angeles to Springfield, Ohio, helping with urban design and to set a strategic course for downtowns and housing developments. Eve has strategized about how to encourage residential development of vacant upper floors in downtown Pittsburgh. And with cityLAB, she has instigated bottom-up projects like the “6% Place,” the “Garfield Night Market” and a “Tiny House.” Now Eve has launched – and leads – Small Change, a real estate equity crowdfunding portal to help fund transformational real estate projects. Small Change packages offerings for developers to help them build projects that make cities better, and provides investment opportunities for everyone who cares about cities and wants to see positive change. To learn more about Eve, and to see her TEDx talk and completed projects, visit evepicker.com.
Friday, December 09
"Leading Transformational Growth"
Utilizing the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank as a case study, Lisa Scales will discuss the adjustments in organizational culture, talent, and operations that are required for transformational growth in an organization.
Donations will be accepted at this event! Please view the most needed items list here. Thank you!
President and CEO, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank+ view bio
Lisa Scales, who earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Boston University School of Law and Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Sciences from Seton Hill College, began her career as an assistant corporation counsel for the City of Chicago and worked as an associate in a Greensburg law firm before joining Just Harvest and then Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Throughout her career, Ms. Scales has held many positions on boards and committees for organizations such as the Community Food Security Coalition, Hunger-Free Pennsylvania, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University, and the Joint State Government Commission Obesity Study Advisory Committee. In her current role as President and CEO at the Food Bank, Ms. Scales leads the organization in distributing 23 million meals annually throughout 11 counties of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Friday, October 14
"How to Put People to Sleep"
"Why didn't I think of this?" is one of the most common things AcousticSheep CEO Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, MD hears. And in fact, a few people had thought of the exact idea, but they didn't act on it. Was it fear of failure? Lack of knowledge? Acting on the idea and managing the growth of a multi-million dollar, international consumer product company has had its challenges, and while the trajectory has always been up, there were specific, creative solutions applied to every problem. Dr. Lai tells the story of how the company came to be, how it grew, and where it's headed. It's a story of inspiration, insight, and practicality.
Dr. Wei-Shin Lai, MD
CEO, AcousticSheep+ view bio
Dr. Lai was born in Taiwan and grew up in Knoxville, TN. She attended the University of Michigan to study infectious diseases. But not wanting to be stuck in a lab, she decided to get a medical degree from the University of Virginia. She enjoyed being a family doctor but didn't like being on call at night. When Dr. Wei-Shin Lai couldn't get back to sleep after patient phone calls late at night, she and her husband, Jason Wolfe, invented an ingenious natural sleep aid: SleepPhones. Winner of the Small Business of the Year 2016 from the Small Business Administration, Ernst and Young 2016, and the Consumer Technology Association 2015, AcousticSheep LLC's business took off in 2013 when the founders finally quit their day jobs to work on helping people all of the world sleep better.
Friday, September 09
"Embracing the Millennials"
Engaging with millennials is the new black! Join our unique panel of women as they talk about how they engage with millennials as passionate employees, dedicated volunteers, future donors, and give insight into what you can do with the right millennials on your team.
Dana (Scotti) Donaldson
Midstream Land Manager, Rice Energy+ view bio
Dana's background and area of expertise comes as a building block of knowledge gained over the years. Upon graduation, Dana took her knowledge of real estate and construction and married it with her education to become a steel trade analyst with an emphasis on pipe/tube and stainless steel. Pipe/tube coverage and forecasting forced her into gaining a greater knowledge of the oil and gas industry. Since that time, Dana has transitioned from being an analyst over to being a landman for pipeline projects, rising through the ranks to eventually managing teams in two states that oversee the purchasing of easements, and reclamation work of those construction projects. In 2015, her teams enabled the construction of 51.14 miles or 270,000 feet of pipeline. Dana is a 2005 graduate of Chatham University with a B.A. in Communications and completed her Master's degree from Point Park University in 2006. Additionally, she is a member of the Center for Women's Entrepreneurship at Chatham University and proudly serves as a board member of the Chatham University Alumni Association Board.
Chief Workforce Officer, Massaro Construction Group+ view bio
Prior to joining Massaro, Demeshia held positions of increasing responsibility at Fortune 500 and 100 organizations, most notably Nike, Inc., where she worked for over a decade honing her business, coaching, and strategic developmental skills. Demeshia joined Massaro in 2011 as the director of human resources, where she began collaborating with senior leaders to instill the value of coaching and workforce development to achieve strategic targets. Because she was instrumental in enabling the company to move forward by creating a culture of data-driven, actionable items, she was promoted to an officer role in the organization. With a focus on personal accountability-driven leadership, stakeholder/customer focus, with an eye on business outcomes, Demeshia has held various leadership roles in the organization including a stint as interim head of the largest business unit in the organization, vice president of Massaro Corporation and executive vice president and COO. She has a master's degree in business administration and an undergraduate degree in chemistry. As a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, Demeshia is continuing her desire to serve her community by serving on the boards of the Sarah Heinz House, Goodwill Industries, and the Development Committee for Junior Achievement.
Public Programs Manager, Heinz History Center+ view bio
Caroline Fitzgerald is the Public Programs Manager at the Heinz History Center where her responsibilities include engaging the community, promoting the History Center brand, and curating a roster of 100+ programs yearly. In the last year, Caroline has led the charge in designing programs that attract younger audiences and has more than tripled the History Center’s number of Millennial-targeted programs. Under Caroline’s leadership, the History Center rolled out its first successful 21+ After Hours events, which drove close to 1000 millennials into the museum and was recognized by Pittsburgh Magazine. Earlier this year, Caroline was a featured speaker at the Pittsburgh Museums Educators' Roundtable where she discussed strategies for driving millennial audiences into museums through programming. Caroline also serves on the Millennial Engagement Advisory Board, a project led by the Arts Finance Cohort aimed at deepening engagement of Millennials with non-profit organizations. Prior to joining the History Center, Caroline worked in Marketing for Kohl’s Department Stores. While at Kohl’s, Caroline coordinated company-wide marketing promotions where she partnered with the Consumer Insights, Marketing Analytics, and CRM teams to develop marketing plans rooted in customer trends, research, and insights. Caroline graduated from the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University with degrees in Marketing and Women’s Studies.
Executive Director, Strong Women, Strong Girls+ view bio
Sabrina Saunders is a youth advocate and visionary social entrepreneur working to build strategic partnerships that enhance opportunities for communities of need. She is the former Director of Education and Youth Development for the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, served as Youth Policy Manager for the City of Pittsburgh’s Mayor’s Office and as a congressional field representative to the Federal Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Education for Pennsylvania’s 14th congressional district. In the spring of 2014, Saunders became the Executive Director of Strong Women, Strong Girls, Inc. (SWSG) a nationally recognized nonprofit mentoring organization in Pittsburgh, PA and Boston, MA. At SWSG, she is responsible for the strategic development, management, and enhancement of operations, as well as generating financial and community resources for the organization. Saunders has been acknowledged locally and nationally by numerous organizations and publications for her commitment to the region. An alumnus of Carlow University, she holds a Masters of Science degree in Organizational Influence and Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts degree with a minor in Philosophy from Edinboro University of PA.
Friday, June 10
"“Position Yourself for Success!”"
Topic:“Position Yourself for Success!”
Speaker: Lynn M. Banaszak, Executive Director, Disruptive Health Technology Institute, Carnegie Mellon University
Lynn M. Banaszak
Executive Director, Disruptive Health Technology Institute, Carnegie Mellon University+ view bio
Lynn M. Banaszak is the executive director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. She is one of Pittsburgh’s most connected female executives, guiding, mentoring, and coaching female professionals and start-up technology companies. Prior to her appointment at CMU, Lynn was Vice President and Chief Relationship Officer at the Pittsburgh Life Sciences Greenhouse, a biotechnology investment organization, where for nearly a decade she worked with 400 start-up companies, helped deploy nearly $20M in direct investment in 75 companies, leveraging over $900M in additional capital to the region. In addition, she shaped the organization’s strategic direction and the region’s global position as a life sciences industry leader. Lynn was also one of the original Directors of the $8.1M Accelerator Fund, LLC venture firm. Lynn is a founding board member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of Women in Bio, a non-profit organization to support and recognize emerging women leaders in the biosciences industry of Western Pennsylvania, Eastern Ohio, and West Virginia, and a member of the founding board that created the Association for Corporate Growth Women’s Council. In addition, Lynn was recruited by the University of Pittsburgh to facilitate the first Bench to Bedside course for the $5M Coulter Program, a campus-wide effort led by Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering that identifies, selects, funds, and mentors translational research by clinician-bioengineer teams that address unmet clinical needs through innovative technologies. She is an entrepreneurial mentor for Alphalab Gear, a hardware and robotic startup accelerator that provides physical product companies with investment, mentorship, and connections.
Friday, May 13
"“A Scientist’s Journey: Turning the Unexpected into the Exceptional”"
Topic:“A Scientist’s Journey: Turning the Unexpected into the Exceptional”
Speaker: Janet Stout, PhD, Director, Special Pathogens Laboratory and Research Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering
Janet Stout, PhD
Director, Special Pathogens Laboratory and Research Associate Professor, University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering+ view bio
A clinical and environmental microbiologist, Dr. Stout is recognized worldwide for more than 30 years of pioneering research in Legionella. The author of more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals, as well as textbook chapters on Legionella and Legionnaires’ disease, her expertise includes prevention and control strategies for Legionnaires’ disease. Toward that end, Dr. Stout has evaluated all major Legionella disinfection technologies in use today and continues to explore new approaches for Legionella detection and control. Dr. Stout assisted in developing the first Legionella prevention guideline in the United States that has been modeled by national and global health agencies and organizations. Additionally, she serves on the ASHRAE Legionella standard committee for Legionella Guideline 12 and the SPC 188 committee for ANSI / ASHRAE Standard 188-2015 Legionellosis: Risk Management for Building Water Systems, the first U.S. standard for Legionella passed in June 2015.
Friday, April 08
"No Company is Too Big for Your Big Ideas"
Topic:"No Company is Too Big for Your Big Ideas"
Speaker: Kate Boyce, Vice President/Divisional Merchandise Manager, Women’s Athletic Apparel at Dick’s Sporting Goods
Vice President/Divisional Merchandise Manager, Women’s Athletic Apparel at Dick’s Sporting Goods+ view bio
Kate Boyce joined DICK’S Sporting Goods in 2006 as a buyer for Men’s Nike Athletic Apparel. Over the last nine years, Kate has risen through the company, serving as a Divisional Merchandising Manager for the company’s Women’s Athletic Apparel business. In 2015, Kate helped launch a new line of business for DICK’S Sporting Goods, a women’s specialty boutique shop called Chelsea Collective. Under Kate’s leadership, the DICK’S Sporting Goods Women’s business has more than doubled during her tenure with the Company. She has also seen the chain grow from just over 250 DICK’S Sporting Goods stores in 2006 to the 645 stores that are open today. Kate currently serves as the DICK’s Sporting Goods’ Vice President and Divisional Merchandize Manager of Women’s Athletic Apparel and Accessories. In this role, she oversees the merchandising of Chelsea Collective and the DICK’S Sporting Goods Women’s Athletic Apparel & Accessories merchandising teams. Kate holds a BA in Advertising and Public Relations from Penn State University.
Friday, March 11
"“Knocking Down Barriers to Build a Business”"
Topic:“Knocking Down Barriers to Build a Business”
Speaker: Arlinda Moriarty, President and CEO, Moriarty Consultants Inc.
President and CEO, Moriarty Consultants Inc.+ view bio
Moriarty Consultants, Inc. provides non-medical, in-home care services as well as disability services to meet the needs of consumers, while assisting them in maintaining the utmost possible level of independent living. Arlinda grew up in Pittsburgh, in the Garfield Projects. She attended Peabody High School. At Peabody, Arlinda had successes with making the honor roll, but had some struggles in some areas. She would later be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, providing answers to the reasons for her struggles. Once diagnosed, she was able to learn more about ADD and how to deal with the disorder while reaching her lifetime goals of building resources to help the community. Over the years Arlinda has built over ten businesses. Her most successful business venture, Moriarty Consultants, Inc., is currently one of the largest minority owned firms in Pennsylvania. Arlinda earned her Degree in Social Science from Robert Morris University. Arlinda is a woman of great passion in her beliefs, and has dedicated her life’s work to many charities, and building opportunity and resources to the inner city communities, and those of lesser fortune.
Friday, February 12
"“Mobile Businesses on the Move”"
Topic:“Mobile Businesses on the Move”
Kim Schultz, Owner, Vantastic Mobile Grooming
Jackee Ging, Owner, Style Truck
Michelle Pendel, Registered Dietitian, Co-Founder & Director of Nutrition Education, Farm Truck Foods
Sara Lechman, Chef/Owner, Miss Meatball
Chef/Owner, Miss Meatball+ view bio
Miss Meatball is a mobile food and catering business started by Sara Lechman. Sara is a lifelong resident of Westmoreland County and is committed to bringing gourmet food to the Western Pennsylvania Area. She is a classically trained Chef who has worked in kitchens everywhere; From the critically acclaimed Michelin Star and Zagat Rated Restaurants of New York City to catering. Miss Meatball can be found at Fairs, Festivals, and Places of Employment for lunch; Miss Meatball can also be found on twitter, Facebook, and via email. Catering is also available (not limited to just meatballs).
Registered Dietitian, Co-Founder & Director of Nutrition Education, Farm Truck Foods+ view bio
Michelle Pendel is a licensed & registered dietitian who has a BA in Science and an MBA with a healthcare emphasis. She is currently working as a health coach for a local insurance company. Michelle is also proud to be one of three co-founders and members of the Farm Truck Foods team. Farm Truck Foods is in the business of helping bridge the gap that exists between local farmers’ fresh products and Pittsburgh’s food deserts. We help provide both education and universal access to whole, nutritious, affordable and local foods. Michelle loves supporting local farming and also enjoys experimenting with new food dishes in her spare time.
Owner, Style Truck+ view bio
Jackee Ging is the owner of Style Truck, Pennsylvania’s first mobile boutique. A Grove City College Graduate, Jackee started her professional career as an Area Sales Manager for Kaufmann’s, and then as a Sales Manager at a local, high-end boutique, yet didn’t have the desire to commit a lifetime to retail. She made the move to advertising and was an account representative for an international technical publication. After that, and for nearly 20 years, she was in the professional services industry as a business development/marketing manager. Later, she would work as a consultant for an international firm, working directly with the CEO/CFO and it was there she was exposed to entrepreneurship. As her contract ended and opportunities around Pittsburgh were limited, she took it upon herself to combine her love of shopping/fashion with her varied background and take the plunge to start her own business. An In Style Magazine article featured the concept of fashion trucks, which caught her eye, and months later she became a truck driver and owner of Style Truck.
Owner, Vantastic Mobile Grooming+ view bio
Kim graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1985 with a degree in Civil Engineering. She went on to become a licensed professional engineer, and she worked 22 years as a project manager in the heavy construction industry. Although she thought she would continue in that field for her entire working career, that all changed one day in October 2004, when she heard about mobile dog grooming. Literally overnight, she decided that was what she wanted to do. She wrapped up the project she was on and took a six-month sabbatical, just to make sure she hadn’t lost her mind (as everyone was convinced she had)! After that, she officially quit her job and started grooming school. Once she graduated, she worked in a local salon for a year to gain experience and confidence before purchasing her state-of-the-art mobile grooming salon/van in July 2007. Since then, she has never once regretted her decision to make such a dramatic change. Her business, Vantastic Mobile Grooming, quickly grew to capacity and, besides the appreciative clients and lovable animals she gets to work with on a daily basis, she absolutely loves the freedom and flexibility that a mobile business gives her.
Friday, January 08
"“Building a Business and Making the Billion-Dollar Sale”"
Topic:“Building a Business and Making the Billion-Dollar Sale”
Speaker: Dawne S. Hickton, Former Vice Chair, President and CEO RTI International Metals, Inc. (NYSE:RTI)
Dawne S. Hickton
Former Vice Chair, President and CEO , RTI International Metals, Inc. (NYSE:RTI)+ view bio
Dawne S. Hickton is the former Vice Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer of RTI International Metals, Inc. (RTI), where she was employed for over 18 years. RTI was a global supplier of advanced titanium and specialty metals products and services in commercial aerospace, defense, propulsion, medical device, energy and other markets. Ms. Hickton served as CEO from April 2007 until July 2015, when Alcoa acquired RTI. For the past 2 years Ms. Hickton has been recognized as one of the top 100 global leaders in STEM by STEMconnector. Ms. Hickton serves as chair of the Pittsburgh branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. In addition, she is a member of the Board of Directors of Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of technical professional and construction services, serving on the audit committee. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Triumph Group, Inc., a global leader in manufacturing and overhauling aerospace structures, systems and components, and serves on that board’s audit and nominating and corporate governance committees. Ms. Hickton is a member of the Board of Directors of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and a director of The Wings Club.She is a member of the University of Pittsburgh's Board of Trustees, serving on the student affairs and property and facilities committees, as well as chairing the School of Law's Board of Visitors. Ms. Hickton is a 1979 graduate of the University of Rochester and received her law degree from the University of Pittsburgh, School of Law in 1983. She resides in Pittsburgh with her husband, The Honorable David J. Hickton, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, and their children.
Friday, December 11
"“I’m Here to Serve: the Business Case for Customer Service”"
Topic:“I’m Here to Serve: the Business Case for Customer Service”
Speaker: Rania Harris, Owner, Rania’s Catering
Rania will discuss the ins and outs of her experience starting a catering business, her unique way of doing business that has led to her long-time establishment in the Pittsburgh community, and how she developed and maintains her all-encompassing focus on serving her clients.
Owner, Rania’s Catering+ view bio
Rania Harris began her catering business thirty years ago from her Mt Lebanon kitchen. Her goal was to cater “just a few” parties a year - to satisfy her love for cooking and entertaining. Eventually, one party led to another and happily her business grew into a full-scale catering operation, along with a gourmet take-out shop, a cafe, a cooking school, a pastry shop had a regular cooking segment on WTAE-TV’s weekend news. She can now be seen on KDKA TV 2 every Wednesday on Pittsburgh Today Live and during football season, on the Hines Ward Show. Rania had a natural sense of food presentation. Not withstanding, she enhanced this by studying under Master Pastry Chef Gunther Heiland and the Culinary Institute’s Chef Timothy Ryan (formerly of La Normande). In addition to Rania’s involvement with the local culinary community, she was also featured nationally in Bon Apetit as “an outstanding cooking school teacher” in their April 1985 issue. Recent recognition appeared in September 2004 as the lead story in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s food section featuring Rania’s home and garden in conjunction with her cooking school program, as well as the lead story in the August 2005 Sunday edition featuring catering her daughter’s wedding. Since that article, there have been many articles in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and in the Pittsburgh Tribune about Rania. Rania’s culinary career has led her to catering for Presidential candidates, Senators, Governors and several well-known Hollywood personalities. Throughout the years, Rania’s philosophy remained simple and consistent: To treat each one of her clients and students as though they were guests in her own home...and never hold back on a recipe request!!!
Friday, November 13
"“Women Turning the Tables: Artisan Entrepreneurship” "
Topic:“Women Turning the Tables: Artisan Entrepreneurship”
Speaker: Kate Joyce, Artist & Furniture Maker
Kate Joyce began her career as an art student at the Carnegie Museums and the University of Pittsburgh. Working her way through The Boys Club and YMCA wood shops, she eventually took on the Pittsburgh Carpenter’s Union in her quest to design, fabricate and place her original fine art and fine furniture. Kate will talk about the challenges she has faced, and in turn, of her challenge to the then exclusively male trade unions. She will elaborate on her quest for the critical training required to develop her talents. She ultimately embraced entrepreneurship, founding her business, Kate Joyce Company, in design, art and furniture. She will describe the steps taken to establish her work and her art as a personal, artistic and viable business success in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
Artist & Furniture Maker,+ view bio
Furniture Maker, designer and artist, Kate Joyce received her BA from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972, apprenticed in Switzerland and co-founded the Northwest Gallery of Fine Woodworking. Her work has been published in Fine Woodworking, Design Book II. Before moving to Seattle, in 1974 she successfully challenged the Brotherhood of the Pittsburgh Carpenter's Union, in a Federal Class Action, effectively opening all trade unions to women in the United States. In Seattle, her three decade career encompassed varied and major commissions, solo and group exhibitions and numerous publications of her work. As designer and art consultant, she worked with private, business and institutional clients. In 2000, Joyce curated and acquired an eighty piece contemporary art collection for the Seattle University School of Law. Having returned to Pittsburgh in 2011, she regularly works with Typhoon Lighting on restoration, design and fabrication. In 2013 she lectured at the Carnegie Museum about her work and her precedent setting career, in conjunction with their Empowering Women Exhibition. A major solo show at BE Galleries, in Lawrenceville in April of 2015, was featured in SHADY AVE, The Pittsburgh Post Gazette, The City Paper, and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. She maintains a shop and design studio in Point Breeze and makes her home in Edgewood.
Friday, October 02
""Moving Past the Mega Hub""
Topic:"Moving Past the Mega Hub"
Speaker: Christina Cassotis, Chief Executive Officer , Allegheny County Airport Authority
When Christina Cassotis was hired as the new CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, she was given a specific mandate: increase air service.
As the first female leader of the organization that manages Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin, Cassotis is challenged to move PIT past the mega-hub structure which collapsed 15 years ago, to a successful origin and destination facility that meets the needs of an emerging region.
Since January, Cassotis has engaged with business and community leaders to better understand air service needs and the type of airport experience that travelers prefer, both Pittsburgh International and the county airport. She has also met with domestic and international airline officials to make the case for increased flights and better amenities at both facilities.
With a background in communications and international aviation planning and consulting, Casottis brings a range of experiences to her current role as CEO. She has been working tirelessly since arriving in January, and already, positive changes are occurring.
Chief Executive Officer , Allegheny County Airport Authority+ view bio
A lifelong aviation enthusiast, Christina Cassotis is an energetic and innovative industry leader. With more than 20 years of international experience in communications, aviation strategy and business development, Ms. Cassotis excels in managing partnerships and engaging stakeholders in support of major goals and initiatives. Ms. Cassotis began her career in commercial aviation working for the Massachusetts Port Authority which operates Boston Logan International Airport. She served as Deputy Director of Communications, leading strategy surrounding airport improvement projects including Massport’s controversial program to build a new runway. In 1999, she joined SH&E - a global commercial aviation consulting firm - advising airports worldwide on economic strategy, developing business plans and working with U.S. state departments of transportation on airport system planning. Most recently, she served as Managing Officer for Airport Services for ICF-SH&E, leading a global team of airport consultants in areas of competitiveness and business strategy for clients worldwide. Ms. Cassotis holds an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a BA from the University of Massachusetts. A frequent speaker at aviation industry events worldwide on issues relating to airport planning, strategy, and competitiveness, she began her position as CEO of the Allegheny County Airport Authority, which operates Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport, in January 2015. Her goals are to increase air service, improve efficiencies and advance both airports as regional economic development assets.
Friday, September 11
"“Fast & Furious: Innovation for Low-Tech Companies”"
Topic: “Fast & Furious: Innovation for Low-Tech Companies”
Speaker: Meredith Meyer Grelli, Co-Founder & Co-Owner, Wigle Whiskey
How do entrepreneurs infuse their new product development efforts with successful fast cycle innovation? Meredith will discuss the methods that Wigle has implemented to breed innovation, filling its new product pipeline with compelling services, products and programs to meet consumers needs and grow the business each year.
Meredith Meyer Grelli
Co-Founder and Co-Owner, Wigle Whiskey+ view bio
Meredith is Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Wigle Whiskey, Pittsburgh's first distillery since Prohibition. Since opening in March 2012, Wigle Whiskey has worked to restore Pittsburgh’s legacy of Rye Whiskey. More than 60,000 visitors visit the Distillery each year to learn about Whiskey production and regional history. Wigle spirits are distributed in ten states and have won a host of medals, making it the most awarded craft whiskey distillery in the United States. Meredith leads the charge on Marketing, including Distribution, New Product Development, Events, PR and Partnerships. Meredith teaches New Product Development in Chatham University's Master of Food Studies Program. Before Wigle, Meredith worked in brand management at the H.J. Heinz Company, went to business school at Carnegie Mellon University, worked in community development, studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu Paris and studied urban history and geography at University of Chicago. Meredith co-founded Burgh Bees, a Pittsburgh urban beekeeping organization and started the nation's first community apiary. Meredith is on the Board of The Mattress Factory, The New Hazlett Theater and is a member of the Pittsburgh Technology Council's Create Advisory Committee.
Friday, June 12
"Effective Branding, Podcasting, and Promotion Without Giving Away the Ship!"
Darieth Chisolm will talk about how bloggers, authors, speakers, innovators, entrepreneurs and those looking for ways to leverage all of their current marketing efforts can utilize the next big phenomenon: video podcasting.
Darieth launched Hustle & Heart TV in August 2014 and enjoyed 10 weeks at #1 on iTunes in Business Video. She earned over $10,000 in advertising sales in her first month alone and increased her email list significantly. She will show you how to implement 7 additional revenue streams from your video podcast show, while enhancing your brand and influence.
Entrepreneur, Hustle & Heart TV+ view bio
Former WPXI News Anchor Darieth Chisolm has launched a new video podcast show, Hustle & Heart TV with Darieth Chisolm. The show has a #1 rated TOP podcast status on iTunes with subscribers and viewers in several different countries and was a Top 10 Finalist for the 2015 Podcast Awards.
It’s available on 5 different platforms, iTunes Video & Audio, Stitcher Radio, YouTube and at www.HustleandHeartTV.com.
Darieth interviews inspiring and successful people, showcasing their strategies, rituals and principles for success. Anyone looking to start, grow or expand a business, dream or passion should watch the weekly shows for motivation, guidance and inspiration, plus practical tips, tools and resources.
Podcasting is the fastest growing medium available for entrepreneurs to build brand, influence and income. Darieth is coaching entrepreneurs to strategize on ways to create and launch their own video and audio podcast shows. She is gearing up to launch her own Academy in the summer of 2015. You can find more details at www.ThePodcastersAcademy.com.
Darieth’s entrepreneurial experiences were cultivated while working as a television news anchor for WPXI TV, the NBC Affiliate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Channel 11 News at 11pm and 10pm newscasts before she retired in September 2013 after 20 years on the news set. She also brings her own experiences as a business owner to her international audience. In 2013, Darieth was the 54th highest paid distributor with It Works Global, a network marketing company with over 70 thousand representatives. Darieth also spent 3 and a half years as the owner of Fullbody Fitness Club, an aerial arts studio in Pittsburgh.
In October of 2014, Darieth sold Fullbody Fitness Club to focus exclusively on Hustle & Heart TV and on coaching people on ways to build their brand, influence and income through podcasting.
Darieth is currently the host of Hustle & Heart TV, a business coach and she is set to release her first book, HUSTLE: Why Now is the Time to Unleash your Passions.
"Success in anything is hard work and hustle, passion and heart, commitment and sacrifice, trial and error, failure and triumph. Hustle & Heart TV and Hustle, the book, expose these truths and pump fresh ideas into the hearts and minds of my viewers, listeners and readers." Darieth says, "With my busy schedule, my other businesses and my personal life being so demanding, I too need course correction and motivation from others who are successful. That’s why I started Hustle & Heart TV, so that I could pool the resources and mindsets of powerful people and then share this with others. I trust you’ll be inspired by their stories and encouraged to take action and make your dreams come true."
Although Darieth’s news career had been full of many outstanding awards and recognition, she says "Nothing makes me more excited than when I see people dream big and go after those dreams. I love watching people having huge breakthroughs and succeed! Entrepreneurs share a unique ability to be tough and have unwavering belief in themselves and their visions and goals."
She now features other successful entrepreneurs, authors, artists, celebrities and business owners on her video podcast show. You can subscribe to Hustle and Heart TV on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, YouTube or watch and listen directly from her website at www.HustleandHeartTV.com or www.DariethChisolm.com.
Friday, May 8
"Lead Like a Girl"
The business case for diversity has never been stronger. Organizations with more women consistently perform better financially, according to data from The Global Leadership Forecast 2014/2015 from DDI and The Conference Board. So, although more women graduate from college than men and are earning entry-level jobs in fields previously dominated by men, women are still outnumbered in the ranks of leadership. Come and listen to Tacy talk about finding your strength and the leader within you, exploring the confidence gap, identifying your personal wake-up call, and super power your network!
Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President, DDI
Friday, April 10
"Best Practices for Buying and Selling a Business"
From the due diligence process needed to organize your business for sale and understanding how to avoid pitfalls in preparing, valuing, and getting the best price for your business to knowing what to look for in a business, these women have done it all! Learn more about preparing a business for sale, building your business to sell, and purchasing a business from this great panel of women who know how it’s done.
Wendy P. Staso
President & CEO, Huckestein Mechanical Services, Inc.
Founding CEO, Campos Inc
Friday, March 13
"A Good Enough Bad Business: The Entrepreneurial Nonprofit"
Jo Ellen Parker
President, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Friday, February 13
"Unlikely Entrepreneur: the Intersection of Life Experiences, Food, and a Drive to Succeed"
Not every entrepreneur has a childhood dream of starting a business; some don't discover until midway through their first career that they're driven to be their own boss. Still others who know they want to own a company are unsure what business to start.
With no background in food or experience running a company, Regina launched Marty's Market in July 2012. The company continues to evolve and challenges Regina and her team in new ways every day. Through the lens of her experiences, Regina will share what being an officer in the Navy has taught her about building a business, what starting a company has taught her about commanding a ship, and what they both have to teach all of us about entrepreneurship.
Founder/CEO Marty's Market, LLC
Friday, January 9
"How to Get in the News in 2015"
Come hear from our wonderful panelists in TV, radio, and print media about how to get you or your business in the news in 2015!
Business Reporter, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Regional Vice President, Community Investment, Comcast
General Manager, 90.5 WESA
Executive Producer, WTAE
Friday, December 12
"Embracing Risks, Filling a Void, Knowing When to Walk Away: the Makings of the Successful Business"
The wine industry can be both risky and capricious, and Deb Mortillaro manages both well. She will talk about how to use the difficulties of any industry and turn those difficulties into opportunities for profitable business, by both examining the rules and by filling a need: even if you have to take your business in a new direction! She’ll also give straight advice about when to do it, when to walk away, and how not to be afraid of either decision.
Partner, Dreadnought Wines
Friday, November 14
"Educating Consumers on the Value of your Business: Strategies for Growth"
Carla Castagnero grew her small startup into an industry leader in composting through a long and tireless campaign of consumer education on the process and benefits of her products as well as sound business decisions and innovative manufacturing. Most people associate composting with a bin in their neighbor’s backyard, or something farmers do. Today, composting is a large scale manufacturing process producing refined, finished products that have the ability to transform the biological, chemical, and physical properties of American soil. AgRecycle is one of the oldest and most successful composting companies in the US, with clients such as the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Pittsburgh Zoo.
Friday, October 10
"Startup Funding Workshop"
This panel session of the Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series features a discussion with local nonprofit lenders followed by individual sessions with lending representatives to talk about specific financing needs.
- Allegheny County Department of Economic Development
- Bridgeway Capital
- Southwestern PA Commission
- Urban Innovation21
- Strategies for Small Business
- Urban Redevelopment Authority
- Washington County Council on Economic Development
- Allegheny County Department of M/W/DBE
Friday, September 12
"The Business of Making: Strategies for Success from Startup to Exit"
For the last decade, investors, media, and those who follow technology have been focused almost entirely on software. More recently, the buzz has shifted from software to hardware and manufactured products. Ilana Diamond will discuss why Pittsburgh businesses are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the renewed interest in physical products, how small businesses & manufacturers can get involved, and what resources are available to help physical product founders get their products from idea to market.
Managing Director, AlphaLab Gear
Friday, June 13, 2014
"The Business of Nonprofits: Starting and Operating these Economic Engines"
Nonprofit organizations in southwestern Pennsylvania employ three hundred thousand people and contribute over 8% to the GDP. These organizations clean our streams, educate our children, feed the hungry and delight our minds and hearts with exciting theater, dance and music. Nonprofit entrepreneurs are a vital part of the nonprofit sector, but face lots of challenges, - legal requirements to form new nonprofits and practical challenges of building a board, raising money and establishing program credibility. In this conversation, we will talk about how to take your great community idea and get started as a nonprofit!
Executive Director, Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management at Robert Morris University
Friday, May 9, 2014
"Marketing to Millenials: Breaking all the Rules"
Marketing is all about defining your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and pushing that USP to everyone until they are blue in the face from the frequency, as everyone responds to the same type of marketing and promotions…Right? Nothing could be further from the truth.
There has been a shift in the basics of marketing and advertising…a shift in how we research and where we find answers to our questions. The truth is that what you may be missing in your marketing plan is an opportunity to reach the Millennials, and allow them to promote your business, service, or cause. Learn what a Millennial is, where you can find them, what they are doing and how to reach them through your marketing plan. If you are a business owner, an organization with a great cause, or someone who is trying to reach that younger GenY target audience, attend this session to learn what’s hot & what’s not when trying to reach Millennials.
President & CEO, Beyond Spots & Dots
Friday, April 11, 2014
"Successful Serial Entrepreneurship in Pittsburgh: One Woman's Extraordinary Path"
Mary Del Brady
Proprietor of Mansions on Fifth Hotel and Chairperson and CEO of Wellbridge Health, Inc
March 14, 2014
"The Business of Franchising: Advice from the Experts"
Come and hear about franchising from local experts! Learn about the cost to open a franchise versus starting your own business, the specific protocols required of a franchise location, and how corporate offices support franchise operations. Also hear from speakers about why they chose the franchise they did and what you should consider before opening a franchise!
CEO, Rice Enterprises LLC dba McDonald's
President, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®
February 14, 2014
"From Sweat to Sweets: How to Grow Two Boutique Businesses"
Kadee Lewis has made two boutique businesses thrive due to her ability to see and respect the competition around her. She understands and believes that to be successful, especially with small businesses, you must know the competitor and its product and to be able to make yours unique and different. It’s also necessary to be willing and able to change your business model in accordance with the market. Whether it be gym memberships and personal training or cupcakes and sweet treats, Kadee’s approach to business has allowed her to continue her dreams with success.
Owner of Bodytech Health & Fitness and Co–Founder, Bella Christie & Lil’ Z’s Sweet Boutique
January 10, 2014
"So You Want to Own a Brewery? How Two Women Have Tapped Into the Craft Beer Industry"
Sandy Cindrich and Linda Nyman discuss their transition from corporate careers to private business ownership in a traditionally male–dominated industry. These "ladies of lager" will address: How and why they entered the craft beer business; The move from working for large organizations to owning their own business; The biggest challenges they’ve faced in growing the Penn brand in a rapidly changing category; What it’s like to be a woman in a highly male–centric industry; The biggest surprises they’ve encountered since acquiring the Brewery; Their vision for the future of the Penn Brewery brand.
Co-owner and President/CEO, Penn Brewery
Co-owner and Director of Marketing, Penn Brewery
The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank will be collecting food bank items at this event! For more information, visit their donations page here.
December 13, 2013
"Best of the Batch: Bridging Business and Service with a Hands-on Approach"
Latasha Wilson-Batch is Continuously Helping Uplift Community Kids™. She serves as the Executive Director of Best of the Batch Foundation, whose mission is her passion. The mission is to help unlock potential in financially challenged communities with resources for children and families through education and empowerment. Her passion is to empower those she reaches to give their best efforts.
Latasha has adopted how to "Live with Meaning." She fully believes that success comes from within and that her attitude determines how successful she will be. She encourages everybody to be somebody for someone.
Executive Director, Best of the Batch Foundation
November 8, 2013
"A Woman's Journey in DNA: Entrepreneurship and Social Justice"
Crossing multiple continents from South Africa to the USA, Dr. Ria David built a Pittsburgh DNA technology company, Cybergenetics, with her co-founder, Dr. Mark Perlin. The company's TrueAllele® technology is used to interpret complex DNA evidence from crime scenes. In keeping with CSI, the TrueAllele computer results are typically a million times more informative than human review and can better connect crimes, such as sexual assault, to assailants. Using TrueAllele, Cybergenetics works with crime labs, prosecutors and police to effectively help solve and prevent sexual assault, as well as other crimes. Dr. David will discuss her forensic DNA experiences, entrepreneurship, and how her company helps create a safer society.
Dr. Ria David
President & Co-Founder, Cybergenetics
Come learn about the SBA loans and non-profit financing available for women entrepreneurs who are just starting out. With a panel of experts, followed by individual discussion sessions with representatives from the SBA and local nonprofit lenders, it's a great opportunity to get your finance questions answered and get your business started. Featured lending organizations to be on the panel and host an informational table at the event include:
October 11, 2013
Startup Funding Workshop!
SBA, Allegheny County Department of Economic Development, Bridgeway Capital, Southwestern PA Commission, Regional Development Funding Corporation, Urban Innovation21, Strategies for Small Business, Urban Redevelopment Authority
Come learn about the SBA loans and non-profit financing available for women entrepreneurs who are just starting out. With a panel of experts, followed by individual discussion sessions with representatives from the SBA and local nonprofit lenders, it's a great opportunity to get your finance questions answered and get your business started.
Featured lending organizations to be on the panel and host an informational table at the event include:
September 13, 2013
"Making the Workplace a Better Place for All-With All of Our Differences"
The Dignity & Respect Campaign started as an internal change management initiative at UPMC to promote inclusion in the workplace and cultural competency, but has become a national movement to help employees effectively collaborate within diverse organizations, unify communities, and promote anti-bullying in schools. Ms. Castleberry-Singleton will share why dignity and respect are crucial to building and sustaining an environment in which everyone feels included, valued, and appreciated.
Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer, UPMC
June 14, 2013
"Mompreneurs: Changing the Way Business is Done Using Social Media"
Dr. Vonda Wright, MD, MS,
Freelance Lifestyle Writer, Blogger, Social Media Navigator
Deborah Gilboa, MD
International Parenting Speaker and Writer, Founder of AskDoctorG.com
Founder and owner, KIYA Tomlin, Pittsburgh LLC
May 10, 2013
"The Business of Food: Accessibility, Affordability, and Capacity Building"
Come and learn about the different facets and movements involved in the food industry in Pittsburgh and get a feel for what it takes to be a food entrepreneur whether you work in a for profit or nonprofit organization with this exciting and interactive panel which will focus on issues such as sustainability, distribution, shared kitchen space, food access and food rescue!
Our featured panelists for this event work in different but complementary ways to improve the food system economically, taking into account cultural and social issues such as race, consumption, and inequality. The panel will highlight the intersection between food access, job skills, and environmental stewardship in the nonprofit sector. There will also be a discussion about creating niche products as well as the business of setting up incubator commercial kitchens.
Founder and Chief Business Officer,
Josephine Caminos Oría
Granddaughter & CEO ,
La Dorita, LLC
Program Director and Associate Professor, Food Studies
April 12, 2013
"Dresses and Success: Turning a Passion for Vintage into a Global Business"
What was once a gift for thrifting is now the vintage inspiration behind internationally adored e-retailer ModCloth's success. Learn how Carnegie Mellon University alumni Susan Gregg Koger turned her hobby into a business known for its innovative social shopping experience. From inviting customers to voice their opinions on everything from buying decisions to what dresses should be called to the launch of interactive programs such as Make the Cut, a crowdsourced design contest where users can submit their own design for production, ModCloth is setting a tone in the industry for how to evolve brands with customers' wants in mind.
March 8, 2013
"Hosting an Event for 25,000 of your Closest Friends: Best and Worst Case Scenarios"
The journey began 5 years ago to bring back the "Pittsburgh Marathon" and Patrice quickly learned that if you announce a race, "they will come!" Runners descended upon an event that began with 0 staff and 0 volunteers! A select few had invested time in the success of this event, and through dedication and prior planning the Pittsburgh Marathon is now an event with 11 full time staff, 3 part-time staff, 10 interns, 4,000 volunteers and 30,000 runners. The impact of the Marathon is often underestimated--by managing 26.2 City miles, the race involves 240 police officers, 26 ambulance units, 200 security guards, a bomb squad, Homeland Security, and a full crisis communications team. Additionally, Patrice manages a staff who work year round securing sponsors, planning around city changes, and coordinating with over 60 churches--and that is just is the tip of the iceberg. Patrice will talk about this "Marathon Reality Show" and show the staff challenges behind it as they deal, endure and help make this the best day of their runners' lives.
February 8, 2013
"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About HR But Were Afraid to Ask"
This breakfast program is all about you! Between the two of them, Deb and Nancy bring 50+ years of HR experience, 2 advanced degrees and 110% passion for their chosen profession. Join this fun and lively session – your questions and comments will set the stage for the discussion. So… whether you are a small business entrepreneur, a current student, or a senior level leader in a major corporation, this program is for you! Deb and Nancy will give you insight into their many year's of strategic HR experience – and they will help you deal with that difficult employee, know when to call an attorney, leverage your company's HR department, understand confidentiality, navigate firing employees, and more. Join us! You may just walk away with the answer to one of your pressing issues!
Owner of Furbee and Associates LLC
Vice President, Human Resources at ANSYS Inc.
January 11, 2013
"Let Your Passion Be Your Guide: How a Healthy Hobby Became a Healthy Business"
Kim Schwabenbauer, RD, USAT Level One Coach, Professional Triathlete
Owner, Fuel Your Passion LLC
Do you ever stop to ask yourself what you truly love to do or what you are passionate about? Do you ever think to yourself, "Am I really serving my purpose here on earth?" While these are tough questions, they are also some of the most important questions that we may ever ask.
We all deal with self-doubt, the reality of responsibilities and time has a way of slipping past faster each and every moment. By listening to that inner voice, building a supportive community and taking just one step forward toward your goal, you will start to see how your vision can become a healthy vibrant lifestyle.
Whether you’re trying to lose that last five pounds or striving to find your personal niche in business, Kim will cover what strategies she has developed to achieve her goals and show you that anything is truly possible if you believe in yourself and your dreams.
Friday, December 14
"Building an Affordable Luxury Brand through Personalized Home Sales"
Founder of Sabika As the source of inspiration guiding Sabika's evolution, Karin has created a brand of jewelry intended to complement life. Her experience as a trend and marketing consultant for top European and American fashion and textile companies instilled a passion for translating trends into wearable looks and that passion is Sabika's essence.
VP of Design & Marketing Alexandra has made versatility and sophistication the heart of Sabika jewelry. With a degree from the Fashion Institute of Vienna, she combines the beauty of tradition with a unique sense of style to create Sabika’s lasting image.
Karin Mayr, the founder of Sabika, had one goal in mind when she started the company, to provide for her family. More than a decade later, Sabika has grown into one of the most respected direct sales companies in the industry. Bringing on her daughter as a business partner, Alexandra Mayr-Gracik designs two collections each year, developed and hand-crafted by female artisans in Austria and Germany. Learn how the roles of mother and daughter, founder and head designer provide the context for why Sabika continues to find loyal customers across the United States and help provide financial security for women across the globe.
Friday, November 9
"Giant Eagle: Diversification and Growth"
CEO, Giant Eagle Inc
Laura Karet will talk about the significant growth that Giant Eagle has experienced in their 81-year history, particularly the past ten years, which have included a focus on diversification.
Giant Eagle now operates five different formats: the traditional Giant Eagle Supermarket, Market District, GetGo, Giant Eagle Express and Valu King, which is currently being re-branded to Good Cents Grocery + More. Learn how market segmentation, customer service, niche formats, simplified business strategies, differentiation, and integrated branding have led to Giant Eagle’s success. Laura will also talk about Giant Eagle’s unique customer value proposition, and various new and exciting programs that are being offered to meet the diverse needs of our customers and communities. From traditional and social media growth to blogger support, learn how Giant Eagle is continually re-inventing itself and engaging new and existing customers and constituencies to battle numerous competitors.
Giselle Leonardo, Esq.
Arbitrator, Attorney, & Certified Mediator
"Alternate Dispute Resolution: How to Keep your Business out of the Courts"
Friday, October 12, 2012
In today's business environment, there are more chances your business will be faced with a dispute that may end up in court. Ms. Leonardo will explain the legal maze of alternatives to litigation by offering real-world examples, practical advice, and effective, efficient, and low cost solutions to litigation for small businesses. Ms. Leonardo will explain how arbitration works and provide some practical advice on drafting arbitration clauses for use in commercial agreements, selection of arbitration venue and process, and selection of arbitrators who will ultimately decide your dispute.
Dress for Success will be accepting donations at this event! For appropriate donation items, please visit their website.
Chief Science Officer, Cognition Therapeutics Inc.
"Finding and Funding Drugs to Stop Alzheimer’s: How One Woman Scientist Became an Entrepreneur."
Friday, September 14, 2012
Alzheimer's disease affects more than 5.4 million Americans, and will soar to more than 11 million by 2040. The direct costs associated with caring for AD patients in the U.S. alone are $183 billion annually. Seventy percent of the 5.4 million U.S. Alzheimer's patients live at home, where 14.9 million Americans, most of them women, provide 17 billion hours of unpaid care for them at a total cost of $202 billion. There are no disease-modifying treatments available to fundamentally halt the progress of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Catalano will describe her journey from scientist to entrepreneur, and outline the cutting edge science being done by Cognition Therapeutics right here in Pittsburgh to discover drugs to halt or reverse the underlying pathological changes in the brain that cause Alzheimer's disease.
Vice President of Operations, 4moms
"Strolling to Success: How Locally-Based 4moms went International"
Friday, June 8, 2012
Local Pittsburgh company 4moms has grown from a single concept to products in over 500 stores in 17 countries around the globe. Join us as we hear about the beginnings of this company, with its innovative products designed by moms, for moms, and how they became the industry leader they are today.
Founder and CEO of ROCKFLOWER
"Social Entrepreneurs: How Women and Girls can Solve Economic and Social Challenges"
Friday, May 11, 2012
How are women uniquely placed to solve today’s global challenges? What are the skills, temperament, opportunities needed to fulfill the needs of individuals and communities? How are we all social, helping and hindering these efforts?
Christine "Tine" Ward will answer these questions and more from her background as a serial social entrepreneur. Demonstrating through three case studies, Tine Ward will explain how women are unique in their ability to exemplify the qualities needed to be an effective social entrepreneur.
Julie Hera DeStefano
"The Business of Documenting History: One Woman Filmmaker, 100,000 Women in the Military"
Friday, April 13, 2012
Once inspiration strikes, it's what you do NEXT that determines your future success. How do you build a business around the spark of an idea? When DeStefano conceived the documentary film Journey to Normal: Women of War Come Home, she had no idea that her personal journey to make the film would take her on a walk across Pennsylvania, to the combat zone in Afghanistan, and into the daily lives of the women of the US military. What will you do when inspiration strikes you? Come learn how one woman - just like you - developed the business behind the art.
Noreen Campbell, Sharon Young, and Jennifer Daurora
McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores
"Running a Family Food Business"
Friday, March 9, 2012
This multi-generational panel of women from the McGinnis Sisters Special Food stores know firsthand not only what it takes to run a successful business, but to successfully run a business with family members! From succession planning to training, making a food business work is a challenge and making a family business work can seem impossible. Hear from these speakers on how to set yourself up for success when it comes to food and family.
CEO, BodyMedia, Inc.
"Re-Inventing and Growing A One-Product Company"
Friday, February 10, 2012
Wondering how to make a "one-trick pony dance?" BodyMedia, a local health device company, has found a way to build a focused, compelling strategy that took a single product and leveraged it for significant year-over-year growth. They have been able to funnel a strong heritage with compelling new innovation to be a leader int he health monitoring space. Now led by a new female CEO, come and see how they have delivered on the corporate promise to "Know your body. Change your life."
Performer, The Olga Watkins Band
Founder, CWE & Web Mistress, Soul Pitt Media
Owner, Bocktown Beer & Grill
"Social Media Success Stories"
Friday, January 13, 2012
Come join us as a panel of successful women entrepreneurs talk about how they've used social media to build a customer base and and maintain virtual relationships with customers and fans by engaging and informing through social media outlets. Hear firsthand what they've tried, what worked, what didn't, and find out what could work for you!
Managing Director of Sales, UPS
"Closing the Sale"
Helen Hanna Casey
President, Howard Hanna Real Estate Services
Friday, December 9, 2011
"Closing the sale" can be one of the most challenging aspects of any business, regardless of size or type. It’s is really the final step in a long process that begins with listening, learning, asking questions, being in control, being prepared and being able to handle objections. Join us for this enlightening session which will help you learn how to avoid those early mistakes that turn into costly or undesirable outcomes and start closing sales today.
Relationship Manager, PNC Wealth Management
"Investing for Your Future: a Necessity, Not a Luxury"
Friday, November 11, 2011
Women face greater financial challenges than men in many ways: they live longer, earn less over their lifetime and tend to invest, if at all, more conservatively. Without proper planning, all of that can add up to an insecure financial future. We'll discuss the advances women have achieved in the last generation, the degree to which women control a rising share of the world's wealth, and the steps you can take to begin or enhance your progress towards achieving personal financial security, including how to set personal spending goals, understanding your finances, creating realistic financial plans, and saving money smartly.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs/HR, StarKist Co.
"How Charlie the Tuna Got His Groove Back"
Friday, October 14, 2011
When it comes to leadership, entrepreneurship and successfully turning a struggling business into a thriving and profitable enterprise, Melissa Murphy knows what she's talking about. In June 2008, Melissa was tapped to lead StarKist from a domestic tuna manufacturer to a global seafood brand. In two years, Melissa's efforts successfully transformed the business. StarKist generated record profits, built a passionate and capable team of employees, re-established the brand as a market share leader and restored customer credibility and industry respect. And at 42-years young, this working mom is just getting started.
Director, Babcock Institute for Negotiations and 2011 Athena Award Program Finalist
"So You Think You Know How to Negotiate"
Friday, September 9, 2011
What do you need to do your job well? Are you paid fairly? How do you even know what is fair? What would it take for you to feel more valued at work or at home? Do you have the network connections to get the information and sponsorship that you need to achieve your goals? The answers to these questions all have something to do with negotiations. In this interactive discussion we will discuss how you figure out what you want, devise a plan, get help, assess your timing and leverage, and formulate the ask.
Creator and Director, Performance and Research Intiative for Masters Athletes (PRIMA)
"Guide to Thrive: Four Steps to Body, Brains, and Bliss"
Friday, June 10, 2011
No matter what stage of life you are in, you can make this the beginning of your best years! Vonda Wright shares her four practical steps for THRIVING in every part of life: A vision, Action, Attitude and Achievement.
Vonda’s “Guide to THRIVE” is based on her extensive work with masters athletes and adult onset exercisers who have changed their lives in her programs. She translates practical advice into real-life action using tactics learned as a surgeon, sports doctor, thinker, business woman, athlete, mother of a three-year-old, and head of a household. As a scientist and a doctor, Vonda backs up each step with the latest science about the connections between Body, Brains, and Bliss and equips readers to THRIVE at home and at work.
"Taking on Ticketmaster: Achieving Success Against an Industry Giant"
Friday, May 13, 2011
Competing against big companies is intimidating, even for the most experienced entrepreneurs. But bigger isn't always better.
In her presentation, Lynsie will talk about how she and her business partner used niche marketing, a focus on innovation, a passion for exceptional customer service and a dedication to building a passionate team to grow ShowClix from a company that generated $500,000 in ticket sales in 2008 to over $30 million in tickets sales in 2010, in an industry that has been dominated by one company for over 25 years.
Director, Three Rivers Clean Energy
2010 Athena Award Recipient
"How Energy-Related Strategies and Investments can Bring Value to Your Bottom Line"
Friday, April 8, 2011
The rising cost of energy can place a heavy demand on business owners, many of whom want to become savvier about what they can do to better manage this increasingly scarce and expensive commodity. Further, energy scarcity and security issues have prompted businesses to look carefully at what risks they face if they continue to depend upon the current energy infrastructure. In light of these challenges businesses need to take a hard look at the way they are using energy and identify strategies to utilize it more efficiently.
Businesses face a lack of knowledge concerning how energy technologies work, how to find strategic and financial help in developing and implementing solutions, and where to start when seeking ways to reduce energy costs. Businesses are capable of following simple rules to save energy; however, a deeper understanding of energy efficiency gives them a greater capacity to make choices which have a more transformative or strategic effect on their energy use. Jan Lauer will help you better understand your options and where to find expert resources to help you make informed decisions about your energy use.
Senior Portfolio Manager, Fifth Third Bank
2010 Athena Award Recipient
"Debunking Leadership Myths"
Friday, March 11, 2011
For years our concept of a leader has been one of power bestowed upon a person due to his or her “position” in a society – government, corporate or community. We have erroneously believed that leadership is reserved for those few in “authority.” In a traditional, hierarchical system, leaders have the power to control and scrutinize others via rewards and punishments.
Bernadette Smith will debunk these myths of leadership. Is leadership all about power? Yes – giving power to others. Leadership is a process ordinary people use to bring out the best from themselves and others. Leaders are not “born,” rather, leadership is a learned skill that can be practiced in every aspect of life.
Kate Dewey[view bio]
Principal, Dewey & Kaye – a McCrory & McDowell Company
"Non-Negotiable Management Practices Nonprofits Must Adopt to Thrive in 2011 and Beyond"
Friday, February 11, 2011
Clare Ansberry[view bio]
Bureau Chief, Wall Street Journal Pittsburgh Office
"Jumpstart 2011 With Media Coverage for Your Business â€“ Media Experts Explain What Makes a Good Story."
Friday, January 14, 2011
Tracy Certo[view bio]
Publisher and Editor, Pop City Media
"Jumpstart 2011 With Media Coverage for Your Business â€“ Media Experts Explain What Makes a Good Story."
Friday, January 14, 2011
Lauren Lawley Head[view bio]
Editor, Pittsburgh Business Times
"Jumpstart 2011 With Media Coverage for Your Business â€“ Media Experts Explain What Makes a Good Story."
Friday, January 14, 2011
Julie Talerico[view bio]
Editor-in-Chief, Pittsburgh Magazine
"Jumpstart 2011 With Media Coverage for Your Business â€“ Media Experts Explain What Makes a Good Story."
Friday, January 14, 2011
Mona Generett, PhD[view bio]
Vice President Community Development, Dollar Bank
"Finding Opportunity in the Strangest Places â€“ Business and Community Reinvestment."
Friday, December 10, 2010
Heather Arnet[view bio]
Executive Director, Women and Girls Foundation
"Women: Our Best Asset. How We Can Work Together to Achieve Business Success."
Friday, November 12, 2010
Donna Sturgess[view bio]
President, Buyology Inc. Formerly Global Head of Innovation, GlaxoSmithKline
Reinventing Marketing to Build Customer Value
Friday, October 8, 2010
Sharon M. Willochell[view bio]
Chief Operating Officer, Leed's
Delivering on your Brand: Growing a High Performance Operation
Friday, September 10, 2010
Suzan M. Lami[view bio]
Founder, Lami Grubb Architects LP
Growing a Service Business: the 'Why ?' and the 'How !'
Friday, June 11, 2010
M. J. Tocci[view bio]
President, Fulcrum Advisors
"Gender and Negotiations Workshop"
Friday, May 14, 2010
Magdeline Jensen[view bio]
Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh
"Innovative Entrepreneurship for a Nonprofit"
Friday, April 9, 2010
Ruth Byrd-Smith[view bio]
Director, Allegheny County Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise
"Certification and How to Work with Public Entities"
Friday, March 12, 2010
Holly Mauer-Klein[view bio]
Founder & Owner of HMK Associates, Inc.
"Keys to Recruiting and Retaining Exceptional Employees"
Friday, February 19, 2010
Mary Ann Dunham[view bio]
Shareholder Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
"Mentoring - Who, What, When, Why and How"
Friday, January 15, 2010
Georgia Berner[view bio]
Owner and CEO of Berner International Corporation
"Leading with Integrity"
Friday, December 11, 2009
Cathy Opsitnick[view bio]
CEO of Management Science Associates (MSA)
"The I's Have It - Innovation, Invention and Intrapreneurship"
Friday, November 13, 2009
Debra LeBlanc '85[view bio]
Vice President, Americas Channel Operations for Hewlett Packard
"Insights into Improving Business Operations"
Friday, October 9, 2009
Susan Everingham[view bio]
Director of the RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh Office
"RAND's Perspective on the G20 and the Transformation that has Brought it to Pittsburgh"
Friday, September 11, 2009
On This Page
- Clare Ansberry
- Latasha Wilson-Batch
- Donna Baxter
- Georgia Berner
- Rachel Blaufeld
- Deb Burk
- Ruth Byrd-Smith
- Helen Hanna Casey
- Carla Castagnero
- Susan Catalano
- Lynsie Camuso
- Noreen Campbell
- Tracy Certo
- Sandy Cindrich
- Dorothy Coll
- Helen Collins
- Jenn Daley
- Jennifer Daurora
- Ria David
- Mary Del Brady
- Julie Hera DeStefano
- Kate Dewey
- Chris Dilla
- Ilana Diamond
- Mary Ann Dunham
- Susan Everingham
- Jennifer Flanagan
- Nancy Furbee
- Deborah Gilboa
- Mona Generett, PhD
- Lauren Lawley Head
- Laura Karet
- Regina Koetters
- Susan Gregg Koger
- Mary Koes
- Janet Lauer
- Debra LeBlanc '85
- Kadee Lewis
- Giselle Leonardo
- Magdeline Jensen
- Alice Julier
- Suzan M. Lamie
- Patrice Matamoros
- Karin Mayr
- Alexandra Mayr-Gracik
- Deb Mortillaro
- Holly Mauer-Klein
- Melissa Murphy
- Linda Nyman
- Josephine Caminos Oría
- Cathy Opsitnick
- Peggy Outon
- Melanie Querry
- Michelle Rice
- Christine Robins
- Kim Schwabenbauer
- Candi Castleberry-Singleton
- Bernadette Eyler Smith
- Julie Talerico
- Elizabeth Terrell
- M. J. Tocci
- Kiya Tomlin
- Christine Ward
- Olga Watkins
- Kristina Watts
- Sharon M. Willochell
- Vonda Wright
- Sharon Young