Sunday, December 12, 2010

Roving Pittsburgher Report, Review of a Christmas Carol, Live at the Benedum

Thanks Joann Quinn- Smith, Publisher of  for letting me feel like a kid again as I enjoyed the opening night on October 9th 2010, of A Musical Christmas Carol by the Pittsburgh CLO.  Ahh the Byham Theatre is it… my new favorite because … I smell theatre there… I feel theatre there… I can see the actors from any seat there… I love the orchestra under the stage – just as it should be …

David Bell has done an outstanding job of entertaining adults and children with his version of “A Christmas Carol”… I want to party with Tim Hartmen (Dude you walk on air!)  I am mesmerized by Tom Atkins’ performance. He has a command of voice that demands your attention and draws you into the world of Mr. Scrooge… ( I had trouble placing him as he did not have on  army green?)  The rest of the cast… how do I praise thee? Except to simply say a deep felt awe and appreciation for your efforts of a wonderful rendition in beautiful voices!  I was one of the first to stand up and applaud!

The set although cluttered and really tight on that tiny stage and the steps ooohhhh I just held my breath wondering who was going to trip!  But no there was no misstep… even Mr. Scrooge dropping his hat too appeared so naturally choreographed!  And the ghosts… what a grand entry each time…. Out of thin air… how did they pull it off?
My thoroughly enjoyable evening was topped off by  a little girl about 8 with her parents sitting next to me.  She was dressed up in a grey satin dress with sprinkle of sparkles - as one properly does for such an event!  AND she was enjoying a KitKat with her Mum… I commented to her that the only thing missing from this pretty picture was the KitKat needed some sparkle!  Mum gave me a warm smile and the girl stared at her candy!  Oh to be a kid again – and I was!

Thank you Pittsburgh CLO for presenting A Musical Christmas Carol and Thank you Joann Quinn-Smith for inviting me… It made me – an Indian American (from India) appreciate my American roots with a tinge of nostalgia for I grew up in Indiana, PA.  Go and be a kid with your kid!  And don’t forget your sparkles!
Sunita Pandit

All rights reserved, this blog may be reproduced with the following attached:
(c) PositivelyPittsburghLiveNews, 2010 and Joanne Quinn-Smith, Publisher
PositivelyPittsburghLive is an alliance reporting good news about Pittsburgh consisting of:

Publisher, Joanne Quinn-Smith  412-628-5048

Sunita Pandit, Popular blogger at, writing about her fireside chats with her cardiologist husband about things patients should know from and ask of their cardiologist.  

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Marine Voices His Faith in God and Country

Just sharing a video with you that I found moving.

This is not an expression of any political affiliation by Positively Pittsburgh Live, but it is an expression of support for the Star Spangled Banner and the basic precepts on which this country was founded.

Somewhere along the line, the noise of political differences must be set aside so that we support the basics.  I will be very surprised if the sounds of this melodious ex Marine don't cloud up your eyes.

Let me know how you feel about keeping God's name in the songs, rituals, pledges, mastheads of a country which was founded on Godly principles.

I can't think of anything more Positive than getting back to basics in this country.

 Joanne Quinn-Smith
2009 National SBA Journalist of the Year
AKA TechnoGranny, Talkcast Host

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Post your Positive Events and Use Discussion Forum
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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Pittsburgh Fall and Winter Events

Positively Pittsburgh Live! Originally broadcast on 10-18-10
Pittsburgh Fall and Winter Events

Listen to archived version at:

Ian Staab, CrossFit Confluence
Rebecca Harris, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University
Roxanne Wolk, Social Enterprise Chair for National Council of Jewish Women Pittsburgh Section (NCJW)
William Powers, Pittsburgh Opera


CrossFit Confluence Event Barbells for Boobs October 22, 2010

Owner Ian Staab

CrossFit Confluence will be hosting the Barbells for Boobs Amazing “Grace” fundraiser on October 22nd, 2010. The event helps raise money to provide funding for qualified women who need screening and/or diagnostic procedures in the prevention of breast cancer. By supporting Barbells for Boobs, we help low-income and uninsured women get the examinations they need in order to stay cancer free! CrossFit Confluence athletes, including myself, will be performing a workout on October 22nd in order to support the fundraiser: All athletes that sign up will be completing as many Clean & Jerks as they possibly can in 5 minutes!

This event is a great opportunity for guys to step up for what is generally a woman's issue but there are actually just as many women participating in the workout as men. We all have mothers, grandmothers, sisters, girlfriends, etc, and we want them to know how much we care and want to help where we can.

This is the first year that Barbells for Boobs is nationwide. There are a number of different ways that gyms can provide support, we just chose to host a workout. Other gyms are more than welcome to join us at our event if they’d like!

For more information check out the website -
Feel free to visit if you would like more information about our gym.

Rebecca Harris, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University

The Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series, Friday, Oct. 8, Nov. 12 and Dec. 10, 7:30-9:00 a.m. at Chatham University, Shadyside Campus
The Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series features prominent regional women business leaders speaking on a variety of progressive business topics. Casual networking and a continental breakfast precede engaging and interactive presentations on topics essential for women in business such as innovative entrepreneurship, strategic business growth, unique marketing strategies, and logistical business planning

Friday, October 8, 2010
Donna Sturgess, President of Buyology Inc.
Formerly Global Head of Innovation, GlaxoSmithKline
“Reinventing Marketing to Build Customer Value.”
Friday, November 12, 2010
Heather Arnet, Executive Director of the Women and Girls Foundation
“Women: Our Best Asset. How We Can Work Together to Achieve Business Success.”
Friday, December 10, 2010
Mona Generett, PhD, Vice President Community Development, Dollar Bank
“Finding Opportunity in the Strangest Places – Business and Community Reinvestment.”
For more information contact 412-365-1253 or

Fifth Annual Think Big Forum—Sales and Innovation – Keys to Competitive Success and Growth, Friday, October 22, 2010, 7:30 a.m.-Noon, Chatham University, Shadyside Campus Athletic and Fitness Center

Sales and innovation are critical to any successful business and will be the focus of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University’s fifth annual Think Big Forum. Think Big will feature panel discussions with prominent local and regional women business executives and entrepreneurs who will address strategies that have enabled their companies to remain competitive in the marketplace.

Keynote Speaker, Beth Kaplan President and Chief Marketing and Merchandising Officer of GNC, Inc.
Panel Discussions:
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
This panel will discuss specific strategies that these women used to grow their companies from ideas to multi-million dollar ventures, and how they continue to grow and use innovative strategies to stay competitive in today’s marketplace.

Innovation & Media
This dynamic panel will address innovative strategies required by the media industry to maintain their competitiveness.

Amy Hancock, President and Owner of AdvantageCare Rehabilitation, Advantage Home Health Services, and AdvantageCare Consulting
Danielle Proctor, President and CEO of Amelie Construction & Supply LLC, Owner and Founder of Core Pilates & Yoga, and General Manager of Fetch! Pet Care of North Pittsburgh
Deborah L. Acklin, President and CEO of WQED Multimedia Pittsburgh
Diana Block, Board of Directors and Former President and Co-Publisher of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Moderator s
Nancy Polinsky Johnson, Publisher and Editor of SHADY AVE Magazine
Lauren Lawley Head, Editor of the Pittsburgh Business Times

Register by October 20, 2010
Individual Registration: $45 Table of Ten: $450
Register at
For more information, contact 412-365-1253 or
Corporate sponsorships and tote bag product placement opportunities available.
Contact Rebecca Harris at 412-365-1301 or

Special Discount for friends of S. I. Business Associates and the Empress of Biz
Listen to JoAnn Forrester’s show on the Empress of biz on and hear what is all about episode 80
and use this code to get 20% discount CWE20

Rebecca Harris
Director, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University
Woodland Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Phone 412-365-1301, Fax 412-365-1308

Roxanne Wolk, Social Enterprise Chair for National Council of Jewish Women Pittsburgh Section (NCJW)
Designer Days Celebrating 40 years of Fashion, Thursday October 28-31 at the Monroeville Convention Center

NCJW is celebrating 40 years of Designer Days. Designer Days is our biggest fund raiser and helps support our projects. We are honoring the past chairs of this event. The Fashion Flashback, celebrating 40 years of Fashion kickoff Thursday October 28 at the Monroeville Convention Center.. We start the sale with a Patron Event where we will honor the past chairs. The event runs 6-9pm with food, music, wine and shopping. We will also showcase fashion of the 70's 80's and 90's. There will be a silent auction of one of our honorary chair’s designs, along with a fur from Carl Hermann, a piece of furniture from Perlora and other fashion items. Also, we raffle baskets with a wine, theme, a pamper basket and a collection of Steeler items.

The cost of the event is $40. Tickets are available at or by calling 412-421-6118

The fun continues with a Preview Day on Friday, October 29. We offer the first chance to shop for $20 for those who want first dibs.Time of preview sale is 11am-4pm.
Free admission for our sale on Saturday October 30 10am-6pm
Free admission Sunday October 31 10am-6pm and it's 1/2 price day.
A very special bonus this year. A bridal salon went out of business and we have over 100 bridal gowns for sale.

Designer Days is a year long process of gathering donated clothing starting right after the sale through the next year. Items include women's, men's, children jewelry, handbags, shoes, books, luggage and furs. The clothing is gently worn and sometimes brand new. You can find designer items from high end to the department store brands.

For more information on NCJW Pittsburgh Section, please visit or call 412-421-6118.

William Powers, Pittsburgh Opera
Donizetti’s opera Lucia di Lammermoor at the Benedum Saturday, November 13, 8:00 PM, Tuesday, November 16, 7:00 PM, Friday, November 19, 8:00 PM, Sunday, November 21, 2:00 PM

• The production, which we own and previously presented in 2002, was declared one of the top 10 arts events of the decade by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
• Laura Claycomb, who will sing the role of Lucia, is a stunning singer who has won many, many international accolades.
• The opera has the feel of a psychological drama like the film Gaslight – and culminates in a spectacular mad scene, making it a great showpiece for the soprano who sings the role.
• Pittsburgh Opera presents several free events in conjunction with each opera – free Brown Bag concerts are on the 2nd Saturday of each month during our season, and Opera Up Close is a couple of weeks before each opera. We have also recently done free concerts at the Pittsburgh Public Market and the Farmers at Firehouse market.

Start at $10. Call 412-456-6666 or visit
About Pittsburgh Opera:
Founded in 1939, we’re a leading Western Pennsylvania arts organization; we recently relocated our headquarters to the former Westinghouse Air Brake Factory in the Strip District and exceeded our $8 million capital campaign goal, to pay off the mortgage just over 2 years after moving in. We’re also expecting LEED certification (Silver level) next month and will be the first green opera company in the U.S. Our Resident Artist program, a training program for emerging opera singers, is recognized nationally as one of the best – we receive around 600 applications each year for 3-5 openings.

The Season Marketing Campaign
Pittsburgh Opera’s 2010-11 season marketing campaign, created by MARC USA, has garnered attention and excitement for its unique approach. Continuing the “Discover Yourself” theme developed for 2009-10, the striking images that capture the essence of each opera feature notable Pittsburghers who are "transformed" as characters from that opera, just as audience members will find themselves transformed by the power of opera. Photographer Duane Rieder created the images from photos taken in his studio in Lawrenceville, also site of the Roberto Clemente Museum and Engine House 25 winery.
In the campaign images, advertising C.E.O. Michele Fabrizi brandishes a bloody knife as Lucia di Lammermoor; society columnist Kate Guerriero rides a chariot as Armida, the villainess from Rinaldo; knee surgeon Dr. Vonda Wright commands subservience as the princess Turandot; and Dr. Lisa Cibik “goes from scalpel to guillotine” as a nun from Dialogues of the Carmelites.
Images from the campaign and behind-the scenes video can be found on the Pittsburgh Opera website. For more information, contact Debra Bell, Director of Marketing and Communications, 412-281-0912 x 214 or

Opera Tickets and Group Discounts
As part of Pittsburgh Opera’s ongoing mission to make opera accessible to its diverse audiences, the Company offers single tickets starting at just $10. For tickets, call 412-456-6666 or visit Discounted tickets for groups of 6 or more are available by contacting Randy Adams, at 412-281-0912 x 213 or

OPERAEncore for young professionals
OPERAEncore is a unique opportunity for Pittsburgh young professionals to enjoy a high-end opera experience with an affordable ticket price. For each performance of Lucia di Lammermoor, OPERAEncore offers a $35 ticket for the best seats available at the time of purchase. Additionally, on Friday, November 19, young professionals are invited to the exclusive OPERAEncore lounge at intermission of Lucia di Lammermoor. To purchase OPERAEncore tickets, call 412-281-0912 or e-mail

Related Events

Opera Up Close: Lucia di Lammermoor
Sunday, October 31, 2:00 PM
Pittsburgh Opera Headquarters, 2425 Liberty Avenue
Opera Up Close is an entertaining and insightful program introduced by Music Director Antony Walker, featuring an in-depth analysis of the opera and a panel of opera artists who share anecdotes and behind-the-scenes tidbits. Attendees can meet the artists afterward and enjoy 21st Street Coffee. Opera Up Close is free and open to the public. For more information, call 412-281-0912 or visit

Pittsburgh Opera Previews on WQED-FM 89.3
Saturday, November 6, 1:30 PM
Friday, November 12, 7:00 PM
Hosted by WQED’s Stephen Baum, this half-hour preview of Lucia di Lammermoor will give listeners an in-depth introduction to the singers, music, and production of the opera. For more information, call 412-281-0912 or visit

Pre-Opera Talks
Ticketholders are invited to attend a Pre-Opera Talk on Lucia di Lammermoor one hour before each performance, in the Orchestra section of the Benedum Center. Learn about the composer, the story, and some juicy details! These talks are free to all ticketholders.

Audio Commentary, Tuesday, November 16
Large-Print Programs, Braille Programs
Audio Commentary for the visually impaired is available at Tuesday evening Pittsburgh Opera performances. Via infrared headphones, the listener receives commentary on stage ambiance and action, costumes, props, set changes, and other cues. Commentary is provided by a dedicated corps of volunteers who attend multiple rehearsals and study the opera in detail. Persons wishing to use Audio Commentary pay $10 for tickets in the Orchestra level and pick up headphones in the lobby. For more information on Audio Commentary, contact Dr. Marilyn Michalka Egan at 412-281-0912 x 242.
Large-print programs and Braille programs are available at each Pittsburgh Opera performance, at the Education table in the Benedum Lobby, free of charge.

Meet the Artists
Tuesday, November 16
Immediately following Lucia di Lammermoor, approx. 10:00 PM
Ticketholders for the Tuesday, November 16 performance of Lucia di Lammermoor are invited to enjoy refreshments and repartee after the opera. Join General Director Christopher Hahn and the cast in the Lower Lobby of the Benedum Center as he interviews singers and directors, and takes questions from the audience. This event is free to all Tuesday performance ticketholders.

2010-2011 Season
The Barber of Seville October 9, 12, 15, 17, 2010
Lucia di Lammermoor November 13, 16, 19, 21, 2010
Rinaldo January 29; February 1, 4, 6, 2011
Turandot March 26, 29; April 1, 3, 2011
Dialogues of the Carmelites April 30; May 3, 6, 8, 2011

Single tickets for as little as $10
Season subscriptions for as little as $43
For ticket information visit our website

To hear this episode of Positively Pittsburgh Live in its entirety go to

Delana Flowers is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent writer and owner of Ingenuity by Delana Flowers ©, writing effective copy so you don’t have to. Services include copywriting for newsletters, blogs, ad copy, marketing pieces, articles, reviews, invitations, postcards, flyers and more.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Pittsburgh Roger's and Hammerstein's South Pacific, Historically and Artisticly--Smash Success

Presented at the Benedum Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pa.
November 2-6, 2010

I’d like to know where they got that audio of a twin-row Pratt & Whitney Wasp bolted to what must have been an F6 Hellcat or TBF Avenger thundering unseen across the stage about twenty feet up in the rafters. The first time I ducked; the second time I grinned. A big grin.

And who built that incredibly accurate stage prop of a Douglas TBD Devastator torpedo bomber? The story takes place during the 1942 US invasion of Guadalcanal Island. We were losing the war. Marines were clinging to the island’s airfield and the Navy was getting the pounding of its life by Japanese warships sneaking in at night. Coastwatchers like le Becque were critical in spotting these enemy ships and alerting our forces. The TBD, once the most modern torpedo bomber in the world, had by this stage in the War slid down to an obsolescent old deathtrap, too weak to fight and too slow to run away. But it was all we had, so our pilots went up again and again and once in a while some even came back.

The partial model on stage is absolutely authentic and compellingly accurate right down to its rivets, its folding wing, the small panes of its canopy used because in 1935 when the aircraft was first built we didn’t have the technology to mold large, clear bubbles, and its correct wing star markings for that period of the war. Somebody besides this writer knows their World War II Navy aircraft and no mistake about that.

And this is as it should be. Lt. James Michener , USN, author of Tales of the South Pacific from which the musical emerged, was a meticulous researcher. As a naval historian, he was sent to the South Pacific to make the Navy’s record of events. Michener usually got around pretty well because his last name, pronounced with two syllables, was often mistaken for the son of Navy Admiral Marc Mitscher. Well, whatever works, works. The accuracy and detail in these sets and sound effects do great honor to the name of a major American writer and father of the play itself.

Like every Harley Davidson motorcycle built in the last generation, the musical production South Pacific has become a pleasing hostage to its own idiom, a household fixture in American culture. You don’t tug on Superman’s cape, and you don’t mess with the original 1949 casting. Nobody would cast Knucklehead Nelly as a buxom brunette, or Emil de Becque as a twentysomething tenor. Nelly has got to be Mary Martin, Emile must be Ezio Pinza or pretty damned close.

Close enough, at least, so when we walk out of this Bartlett Sher performance, our footsteps wafting several inches above the pavement from the power and beauty to which we have just been treated, Pittsinger’s de Becque and Pinza’s can mesh in our souls to nine decimals. And they do.

Cusack’s Nelly, which is to say Cusack’s Mary Martin, is a flawless powerful amalgam of tough Navy officer and ineffably sweet little Arkansas runaway. Hard to miss in her performance is the quintessential American woman balancing her femininity between soul searching prejudice and glorious loving fulfillment. As, over time, must we all.

In fact, the plot was originally designed to turn on prejudice, moved along by Nelly’s aversion to de Becque’s black children from a previous relationship, and Cable’s reluctance to expose Liat to the prejudice he knew she will encounter in upscale Philadelphia. And therein lies my single criticism.

What was timely and even advanced thinking six decades ago simply doesn’t play today. Nobody cares whether kids are black or white or red with little green spots. They’re just kids and we love them. Actually, a more believable motivation for modern audiences would be Nelly rejecting de Becque not because of his black kids but because he’s French. Works for me.

Moreover, in today’s world, the transplanting of a lovely south seas beauty from the lush tropics to dank, noisome Philadelphia might cause some tongues to drag on the ground but not to wag with gossip. Yes, Virginia, you can bring home just about anybody you want nowadays and if they have a Green Card and no parole officer they’re likely to be welcomed.

I point this out, not to carp, but to praise. Hammerstein and Josh Logan’s book and Rogers tunes are so powerful and flow together so seamlessly that they completely overshadow what today might otherwise be a serious flaw in the story line. The musical is simply so good that who cares about a bunch of plot stuff anyway? Just listen to Cusack and the girls belting out Honey Bun, my personal favorite, or Pittsinger taking the audience’s chin in his hands and gazing into our eyes with his This Nearly Was Mine…and then tell me what you don’t like about the plot.

In other words, the reviewer loved this thing to pieces, at Pittsinger’s Some Enchanted Evening wept along with the rest, and would have hidden himself away in the theatre to sneak into the next night’s performance if he’d had the foresight to bring a couple of sandwiches to sustain him through the night.

Bravo, you guys; you did good.

reviewed by

Dr. Robert Beeman
author of No More Time for Sorrow

This blog post may be produced in its entirety with the following information
(c) PositivelyPittsburghLive 2010 or
Publisher: Joanne Quinn-Smith 412-628-5048

Sunday, September 12, 2010

PositivelyPittsburghLive, Celebration of the 19th Amendment in Pittsburgh, 8-23-10

Positively Pittsburgh Live! 8-23-10
Celebration of the 19th Amendment in Pittsburgh is proud to be a sponsor of the Celebrate and Share event celebrating the passing of the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote. Tonight’s conversation is about this important milestone in our history.

Today’s Guests
Anne Marie Gire, Women’s Independent Press
Selena Schmidt, Power of 32
Bonnie DiCarlo,  
JoAnn R. Forrester

Today’s Discussion
·        The 90th anniversary of the amendment that gave women the right to vote will be celebrated on Thursday by Celebrate and Share, an organization that features the achievements of women.
·        Celebrate & Share was founded by Bonnie DiCarlo and JoAnn R. Forrester in 2002, the year in which they also restarted this celebration of the 19th amendment in the Pittsburgh area.
·        Bonnie DiCarlo and JoAnn R. Forrester are both experienced entrepreneurs, strong community activists, and politically savvy, as are Anne Marie Gire of Women’s Independent Press and Selena Schmidt of the Power of 32.
·        What does the 19th Amendment mean to these Ladies?
·        What is the history of the celebration of the 19th Amendment and why do we celebrate it?
·        What are the unresolved issues that we face as women though we have the gained the right to vote? What is the next challenge?

Celebrate & Share invites you to Breakfast on August 26 At the Rivers Club. Honor the passage of the 19th amendment and Celebrate with us and with the women who did and continue to do the difficult and almost impossible here. The celebration will include a Panel discussion entitled, “The Politics of Business, The Business of Politics”.
Special guest:
·        Barbara Hafer, First Woman Allegheny County Commissioner, Former Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Pennsylvania State Auditor
·        Jann Chirdon - Political strategist
·        Amanda Green Hawkins, Esquire - Counsel for United Steelworkers of America, Allegheny County Council member
·        Selena Schmidt - Executive Director, Power of 32
·        Elisabeth Bennington, Esquire - Pollock Begg Komar Glasser LLC

The United States ranks 84th in the world of elected women officials and
PA ranks 46th in the nation.
Celebrate and Share
Since 2002, this organization has been dedicated to raising funds for women and children in need and highlighting the achievements of women in the Greater Pittsburgh Area. Celebrate & Share has raised over $160,000 through events. Over 150 women have been recognized for their contributions to the Greater Pittsburgh region. The long term goal of the Women of Achievement event is to establish a permanent Women’s Hall of Achievement.


Anna Marie Gire
·        Volunteer Work at:
-Women’s Center and Shelter
-Pittsburgh Action Against Rape
-Harmony Hospice
·                    Began publishing in 2003:
-First, the Women’s Independent Press, a general interest newspaper
-Then, the Women’s Yellow Pages (WYP) of Greater Pittsburgh
-And finally,the Women’s Independent Press newsletter online,, providing information, articles of interest and a listing of events/ workshops/conferences and meetings. Events can be posted for profit and nonprofit businesses/organizations free of charge.
·        Member of
-The Power of 32
-The Women’s Group of the American Forest Foundation

Selena Schmidt
·        Currently trains and facilitates workshops on leadership, advocacy and strategic planning for corporate, community and nonprofit clients
·        Positions:

-Project Director for the Power of 32 – the largest regional visioning project ever undertaken
-Pittsburgh Regional Alliance Champions Business Development Board Chair
-Director of Leadership Development at the Coro Center for Civic Leadership
-Served as Pittsburgh City Council President’s Chief of Staff
-Elected Chapter President and National PAC board member
-Sits on several boards including Strong Women Strong Girls, Global Pittsburgh, -Pittsburgh Green Project and Friends of the Riverfront
-Appointed to the Southwest Pennsylvania Commission (SPC) Policy Advisory Committee

·        Accomplishments
-Reformed Pittsburgh’s Ethics Code; changed policies across the country for women, young leaders, land-use
-Grassroots advocacy and organizing including the election of Allegheny County’s first African-American woman to county office 
-Crafted significant legislation including funding for new policies and procedures for domestic violence, legislation requiring the city conduct a workforce Gender and Race Pay Equity study and a landmark revision of the Municipal Ethics Code.
-Rookie and Public Policy Advocate of the Year
-Graduate of the Yale Campaign School for Women and Leadership Pittsburgh
-Recognized as a 2009 Woman of Achievement, Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40, and inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Bonnie DiCarlo
·        Worked as a financial planner for over 28 years with Allegheny Investments, concentrating on women and small businesses
·        Presented seminars at many institutions including Carlow University, Chatham University, YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh, LaRoche College, and Point State Park University
·        Taught as an Associate Professor at CCAC, Carlow University and Duquesne University
·        District 3 Director for Business & Professional Women
·        Accomplishments

-Served on many Boards including The Pittsburgh Camerata, Bethlehem Haven, NAWBO, Carnegie Library of Homestead, Thomas Merton Center, Financial Planning Association, and is a long-time member of the Pittsburgh Guild of organists.
-Received the YWCA Tribute to Women Award
-Named one of The PA Best 50 Women in Business
and the SBA's Women's Advocate for Small Business Owners
-Well known throughout Pennsylvania for her support of and strategy for electing women to public office
-Can often be seen on PCNC-TV as a political analyst

JoAnn R. Forrester
·         Co-host of Empress of Biz Talkcast ( and Point is. (
·        Founder, president and owner of S I Business Associates, a business growth management firm established in 1975
·        Co founder of Celebrate & Share Women of Achievement
·        Co-developed the PRICE IT PERFECT™ cost management and cost analysis program for small business
·        NAWBO Board member & Past President
·        Accomplishments

-Over 75,000 hours of experience in teaching, consulting, human relations and business development classes, seminars and individual consultations
-Secured 40 million dollars in loans and investment for her clients
-Recognized by numerous organizations, including the Small Business Administration (Women Business Champion 1989 and 2000), as a Pennsylvania Best 50 Women (1999) and a 2010 YWCA Tribute to Women Honoree.

JoAnn R. Forrester
Office: 412-440-6969
Cell: 412-670-4322

To hear this episode of Positively Pittsburgh Live in its entirety go to

Delana Flowers is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent writer and owner of Ingenuity by Delana Flowers ©, writing effective copy so you don’t have to. Services include copywriting for newsletters, blogs, ad copy, marketing pieces, articles, reviews, invitations, postcards, flyers and more.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

PositivelyPittsburghLive Talkcast, Pittsburgh LinkedIn Groups 8-9-10

Positively Pittsburgh Live! 8-9-10

LinkedIn Groups

Have you ever considered why linkedin users start linkedin Groups? Tonight's Guests are LinkedIn Group Managers.

Today’s Guests

Shannon D. Martinez, Cheers, Pittsburgh

Eric Pursh, Marketing Pittsburgh

Meenakshi Kapoor, NAWBO Pittsburgh and ASAWE (Association of South Asian Women Enterpreneurs)

Curtis and Cassandra Brown, Mobile Marketing in Business Engage and Inform

Shannon D. Martinez

• An award winning sales leader and payroll expert

• A BS in Marketing from Southern NH University

• “Sold” her way up the corporate ladder

• Regional Account Manager at Payroll Solutions in Whitehall, responsible for sales and marketing in the Pittsburgh Area


I started my linked in group to

• Inform people about

• Increase my professional and personal credibility

• Extend my sphere of influence

• Establish myself as a leader in Pittsburgh event information and where to go


One of the many reasons I started is to give businesses and individuals a free resource. Businesses are able to list their establishments and events at no cost on our online directory. is “Pittsburgh’s where to go and what to do website!”

Shannon Martinez

Cheers, Pittsburgh!


Curtis and Cassandra Brown

• Husband and wife team, owners of Jireh Mobile since 2005


• Now up to 74 members, several are from other countries

• 200th member gets free text messaging for a year

• Inform people about Jireh Mobile

“Facebook is friends and people you went to college with but you can’t do business with them. We wanted to engage and inform people about Mobile Marketing, how to use it and how not to use it.”

Jireh Mobile

• A mobile marketing solutions company

• Firmly established itself as a leader in interactive mobile campaign and database management.

• Examines mobile marketing, social media trends and placing high priority on the end-users experience

Eric Pursh

• Degree in marketing and MBA (with a concentration in marketing management)

• Over 13 years’ experience in industry.

• Social media junkie


I created the Marketing Pittsburgh group to:

• Facilitate networking between marketing and communications professionals and small business owners that are trying to develop business in the Pittsburgh area.

Gemini Media Group

• A copy, scan, and print center

• Provides document services to Pittsburgh’s legal, non-profit and business communities

• Offer related marketing services that include

o graphic design and desktop publishing

o print brokerage

o print-on-demand solutions

o self-publishing assistance

o mailing and variable data

o social media marketing consulting

o electronic media/eBook creation

o Ad specialties/promotional items

Eric Pursh


Gemini Media Group LLC

Marketing Pittsburgh

Meenakshi Kapoor

• President Elect of NAWBO Greater Pittsburgh (National Association of Women Business Owners)

• Owner of Symphony Enterprises LLC

• A Member of Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)

“It is all about relationship and getting connected. No business works without connection and LinkedIn is all about finding connections and contacts.”

LINKEDIN GROUP: ASAWE (Association of South Asian Women Entrepreneurs).

• Bringing women business owners who are from south Asian countries to one platform

• Help them promote their business

• Help each other by supporting and giving suggestions

• Members from Srilanka, India, Nepal, US, and Pakistan


• Business owners getting connected with each other

• Find potential business and resources among group members

Meenakshi Kapoor

Symphony Enterprises LLC

412-437-1064 (Tel)

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Delana Flowers is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent writer and owner of Ingenuity by Delana Flowers ©, writing effective copy so you don’t have to. Services include copywriting for newsletters, blogs, ad copy, marketing pieces, articles, reviews, invitations, postcards, flyers and more.

Monday, August 16, 2010

PositivelyPittsburghLive, Tribute to Women, 5-10-2010

Positively Pittsburgh Live! 5-10-10

A Tribute to Women Leadership Awards

Since it was established in 1983, the A Tribute to Women Leadership Awards has become one of Pittsburgh’s most prestigious events recognizing women’s accomplishments. Through this annual luncheon, the YWCA celebrates the achievements of women and honors those who distinguish themselves in performance and leadership in their fields and in the Greater Pittsburgh community. This year the YWCA will recognize seven women in the following categories:

• Business & Industry

• Entrepreneur

• Health Services

• Civic & Community Service

• Education

• Human Services

Guests/Award Winners:

Allerton Award for Lifetime Achievement

Alma Speed Fox, President, Freedom Unlimited

Business and Industry

Bernadette Eyler Smith, Senior Portfolio Manager, Fifth Third Private Bank


JoAnn Renk Forrester, Business Owner and Consultant, SI Business Associates

Health Services

Debra Caplan, Senior Vice President, Allegheny General Hospital, West Penn Allegheny Health System

Civic & Community Service

Kathleen W. Buechel, Executive director, The Benter Foundation

Senior Lecturer and Director, Philanthropy Forum

GSPIA, University of Pittsburgh


Josephine B. Moore (Jodie), President and Co-Founder, The Neighborhood Academy

Human Services

LaVerne Baker Hotep, Director of Community Arts & Education, Center for Victims of Violence and Crime

These women have shaped our community and improved the lives of others – they are innovators, visionaries and advocates. The selected awardees have advanced the goals of the YWCA – the empowerment of women and the elimination of racism. We are pleased to celebrate their continued accomplishments.

This year’s luncheon event is Wednesday, May 26, 2010 at the Westin Hotel, from 12:00 noon until 1:30 p.m. This event is in it’s 28th year, dating back to 1983. Over 200 women have been honored since then. In 28 years, this is only the 10th time that the Allerton Award for Lifetime Achievement has awarded.

“The YWCA award means so much to me. Their mission, “Eliminating Racism. Empowering Women,” dovetails with my personal passion. I feel blessed to be able to actively contribute to achieving gender equity through my volunteer roles. I feel doubly blessed to be honored by the YWCA for simply acting on my passion.” -Bernadette Smith, CFP


• Senior Portfolio Manager at Fifth Third Private Bank

• More than twenty years of investment management experience

• Implements tailored investment strategies for private and institutional clients.

• Responsible for managing complex fiduciary, agency and individual retirement accounts, as well as charitable endowment accounts.

• Also Managing Executive of Fifth Third’s Women's Financial Group.

• Worked for twelve years at PNC Advisors

• Spent eight years in the DC area as a trust officer with NationsBank and as a financial consultant with Prudential Securities


• Graduate of Pennsylvania State University,

• Bachelor of Science in a dual major of Business Administration and French

• Holds the Certified Financial Planner designation

• Member of the Financial Planning Association


Her passion has been gender equity for women in the US and basic civil rights for women in other countries. Her volunteer roles have been focused on women’s issues.

• On the Boards of Women & Girls Foundation, FISA Foundation, Gilda’s Club of Western PA and the Pittsburgh International Children’s Theater.

• A graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XXIV

• Volunteers for the Women's Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh

• Appointed by Gov. Rendell as a member of the Inter-branch Commission for Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness in 2009

• Recently invited to become a board member for the for-profit arm of the YWCA’s Nathan Hot Dogs franchise

“It makes me sad to think that Americans do not have a sense of urgency around the issue of gender inequity. If the injustice that women endure throughout the world was inflicted on another group of people, there would be moral outrage. If, instead of “bride” burning in India, there was burning of Christians (or Jews or Blacks or any group of people) there would be protests and diplomatic intervention. The same would hold true if, instead of “female” genital mutilation, it was “fill-in-the-blank” genital mutilation. The world sits silently as the most vulnerable are persecuted dismissing the issue as “cultural.”

JoAnn Renk Forrester is an outstanding woman. Relying on a deep faith, and her strong personal convictions, JoAnn has continually worked in the community, and in her business, to help ALL people have access to the help they need to be successful.


• Served five terms as the President of the Greater Pittsburgh chapter of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners,)

• Asked by the National Board of NAWBO to revitalize the Pittsburgh Chapter

• Grew chapter from 12 members to over 100 in two years

• Under her Leadership, the Pittsburgh Chapter of NAWBO was recognized as the 'fastest growing chapter in the nation' in 2002

• Served two terms (2008-2009) as a member of the National Nominating Committee, a ten person committee selected from a membership of over 9000 members


• Actively involved in establishing WOMEN DIRECT, the largest directory of women business owners published in the United States.

• In 1995 served as the primary consultant in the study Financial Portrait Of Women Business Owners, an in-depth regional survey of women business owners and their economic strengths conducted by the SBD of Duquesne University.


• Co-founder, along with Bonnie DiCarlo, of Celebrate & Share, an organization dedicated to honoring Women of Achievement in the Western PA region, and raising funds for organizations that help women and children.

• Organization has raised over $125,000 through events held in March (Women's History Month,) and August, celebrating the ratification of the 19th Amendment, Women's Right To Vote.

• The long term goal of The Women of Achievement events is to establish a permanent Women's Hall of Fame for our region.

• Co-founding member of the Western Pennsylvania Small Business Network (1988) which for 20 plus years has organized and hosted the U.S. SBA Awards Luncheon in Pittsburgh. This is one of the longest serving boards in the nation to conduct an event honoring small business owners.


Author of nominations for over 150 persons to be honored for their contributions to our community. Many have won these awards because of JoAnn's commitment to showcasing the talents and successes of her colleagues. These women received local, state and national recognition for their achievements.


Majority owner of SI Business Associates, consultant to many corporations and firms over the last 30 years

• Women's Yellow Pages

• Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh

• Women's Entrepreneurial Training Program

• The National Association of Minority Contractors/Black Contractors Association,

• Minority Enterprise Corporation

• Numerous colleges and universities


• Co-authored two workbooks including 15 Steps to Writing a Successful Business Plan and "The David vs Goliath" Marketing Workbook.

• Presented workshops, seminars and panel discussions on business marketing, correct pricing, and successful business planning


• Well known talkcast host on the "Empress of Biz," - Reinventing Yourself in Rugged Times on

• Presents and interviews women and minority business owners in order to showcase them and keep their stories as a history of small businesses in the Pittsburgh region.

Senior Lecturer, Public and International Affairs; Leader, GSPIA’s Philanthropy Forum Kathleen Buechel

Through numerous initiatives and leadership roles, Kathy Buechel has worked to enhance the participation of women and girls in education and in the new economy.

• Executive director of The Benter Foundation in Pittsburgh

• Manages the foundation’s grant making

• Founder and principal of Community Investment Advisors serving funders and foundations seeking greater impact through social investing

• Senior Lecturer in International and Public Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh

• directs GSPIA’s Philanthropy Forum

• Research Fellow and Visiting Practitioner at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University July, 2006 through December, 2007

• Co-developed funding practices and principles that foster the longer term health of nonprofits

• Visiting Practitioner at the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University and

• Taught sustainability strategies at CMU in the fall of 2008

• Brings two decades of philanthropic and nonprofit sector leadership to her work


• As president of Alcoa Foundation, led the reorientation of Alcoa’s global philanthropy toward active community investment in more than 31 countries and over 200 communities

• Expanded Alcoa’s investable assets

• Directed the foundation’s operations and programs as vice president for eight prior years.

• Grew Alcoa Foundation’s assets to $500 million and grew combined contributions

• Held numerous communication, media relations, public policy and marketing roles within Alcoa before joining foundation


• Vice chair of the City of Pittsburgh’s Ethics Hearing Board

• Serves on the boards of Riverlife, Carlow University, Winchester Thurston School, where she is vice president, and Vincentian Collaborative Systems.

• Vice chair of the board of the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh

• A member of the Finance Council of the Diocese of Pittsburgh

• Active in a number of the nonprofit sector’s field building organizations

• Past chair of the Contributions Council of the Conference Board

• A former board member of Independent Sector

• Past president of Grant Makers of Western Pennsylvania


• Received awards from the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh

• The Girl Scouts Trillium Council

• Chatham University

• Was an Athena Award finalist


• Received an Honors A.B. in International Relations and Political Science from Brown University

• Was awarded an Arnold Fellowship, and a Youthgrant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to record oral histories of nationalist Irishwomen active from 1914-1945

• Earned a Masters of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

To hear this episode of Positively Pittsburgh Live in its entirety go to

Delana Flowers is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent writer and owner of Ingenuity by Delana Flowers (TM), writing effective copy so you don’t have to. Services include copywriting for newsletters, blogs, ad copy, marketing pieces, articles, reviews, invitations, postcards, flyers and more.

Useful Information from American Heart Association--Guard Your Heart

As a quadruple bypass heart patient I thought this was useful information to disseminate.

Love Your Heart, you only get one.  Take care of it.

American Heart Association – Commitment to Quality Care‏


From: American Heart Association (

Sent: Sat 7/10/10 12:23 AM


Commitment to Quality Care!

We are following up with you to share important information on how you may improve your Quality of Healthcare. An estimated 935,000 new and recurrent heart attacks occur every year in people age 35 and older. Do you know your health status? It's the first step to help you and your doctor make decisions that positively impact your health and the quality of your healthcare.

Know your health status. For simple lifestyle changes to be your healthiest, visit

Know your treatment options — visit to make informed decisions in partnership with your doctor.

Learn and live. Visit for information and resources to help you take charge of your heart health.

The American Heart Association sets the standards for emergency cardiac care. We provide practice guidelines that make sure you get the best treatment from the ambulance to emergency evaluation through hospital discharge instructions. We need your support to continue this work. To make a donation online, visit

Research shows a commitment to quality care can result in better patient outcomes. We hope that you find this information helpful in making your quality of care choices.

Yolanda Perez

Director of Customer Relations

American Heart Association