Thursday, December 22, 2011

PositivelyPittsburghLive, PPL Magazine Internet/Radio/TV Network Staff

PPL Magazine Internet/Radio/TV Network Staff

"It takes a village" is so true in so many businesses and as we approach the end of our fourth year of PositivelyPittsburghLive and third year of PPL Mag, Internet Radio and TV Network, I thought it might be time to introduce the staff and a few of the channel owners. - Joanne Quinn-Smith

Today's Guests:
Jo Ann Forrester: CFO of PPLMag and host of Empresss of Biz Talkcast
Gregg Mathis: Audio Engineer, owner of Pro Fry, Audacious Audios and host of Gourmet Eaters
Martin Thomas: PPL Videographer and Songwriter of "In the Burgh"
Joyce Kane: PPL Admin and owner of Cybertary in Pittsburgh
Delana Flowers: PPL Good News Reporter and Independent Creative Writer

Let's start with Jo Ann Forrester...

I started "The Empress of Biz" three years ago in hopes to help small businesses survive and thrive in difficult economic times. I try to relay information about resources out there, by including both national and local guests.

I've had guests such as Carl Knoblock, District Director of the SBA, and others who can really provide listeners with some great ideas for expansion. Our goal is to help small businesses by offering tips and letting people share advice. We have a lot of fun on the show and it's been amazing to go from never doing a radio show before to having a syndicated show. I have to credit Joanne though, as my producer. If she is the technogranny, I'm for sure the nanogranny. If I can push a wrong button, I do it! So she has been a huge help in getting me up to speed in this technical world. And we've been working together with PPL Mag since the very beginning.

Joanne and I were also able to work together as she entered The SBA's National Journalist of the Year Award in 2009, I love hearing small business owners' stories, especially the obstacles they had to overcome, and I developed a style of profile writing for these individuals. I help write the package for them (I've done hundreds) and then submit them to different award opportunities. I've had over 300 winners, Joanne being one of them, and that was a great experience we had together. We traveled to DC for the award acceptance and Joanne defnitely gave me credit for helping her submit for the award, telling alot of the attendees, "the red head did it!"

You can call me at 412-440-6969.

Joanne Quinn-Smith:
Just a reminder of all the aspects of our Positive Pittsburgh efforts:, The PPL show, TechoGranny show, Positive Pittsburghers on LinkedIn, and which has 245 members. When we get to 500 members, Tambellini's will give everyone on the list free zucchini! I invite everyone to subscribe to these pages for updates and register on the PPL Mag site.

Next up:
Gregg Mathis...

I help with audio assistance for PPL, I'm the host of the Gourmet Eater show, where I interview Pittsburgh restaurants (hoping to resurrect this show in early 2012) and I'm also the owner of Pro Fry. We are in our 6th year of business and we help restaurants, hospitals, colleges, etc. save money on cooking oil by recycling it. The oil can last longer, while still creating high quality food, thanks in part to our patented machine. This is a green business and one I definitely didn't ever think I'd be a part of. Can you imagine me telling my college counselor I wanted to recycle cooking oil?

I used to DJ a show on a local college station many years ago and after they told me to play the playlist or get off, I left. I spent the next 22 years at Carnegie Mellon, the last 15 of those as the Director of the AV Department. I learned a lot about the technology, and it was one of the world’s great jobs. I got to install technology in as many ways as you could think of in many rooms; what a wonderful experience. I was looking for more ways to be in charge of my world and that's when I started doing audio assistance and also started Pro Fry.

I met Joanne and one of the highlights of my work with her and PPL was interviewing centurions for the celebration of PPL's 100th show. We had to work to make sure the audio quality was right for these men and women, who had such strong ideas and advice, but not always a voice to match. Our voices weaken as we age, but their stories were inspiring and heartfelt, and luckily our audio relayed that.

You can call me at 412-720-6363, email me at , visit our site (currently under redevelopment) or look for the yellow and white Pro Fry vans driving around!

Next up:
Martin Thomas...

I do a lot of volunteer work. I am Martin the troubadour and I perform toe tapping music for all occasions. My music is performed from the "American Songbook" [songs from the early 1900s through the 60s] for seniors. I console the sick and dying through music therapy, make custom music beds for commercial advertisements, compose and record songs, and I after a request from Joanne, I put together the song at the beginning of the show. I often trade work for work and I really enjoy what I do.

The video man is always the low man on the totem pole. It’s funny how people just walk in front of a camera, they just want that 15 minutes of fame, legitimately or not! Joanne and I have been working together for a while now, since my return to Pittsburgh in 2007. I was out West and even in Central America, but always found myself back and forth to Pittsburgh over that time. Joanne starting the show and me returning to Pittsburgh in the same year was a happy coincidence.

Joanne and I have done a lot of videos together but one that sticks out was the QR Code video. That really showcased the powerful marketing tool the QR code would become and it was a lot of fun to do. I have also interviewed many jazz greats and that has been a highlight of my work, as well.

You can email me at or call me at 724-335-0624.

Next up:
Joyce Kane...

I own a virtual assistant service, Cybertary, providing the gamut of administrative support services to business owners, individuals and busy executives, ranging from bookkeeping, office support, web/graphic design, desktop publishing, travel planning and logistics, marketing and business planning… and much more.

We celebrated our second anniversary in September and I have been working with PPL for just about two years. PPL was one of our first clients and as a non-native of the City, but now living here for over 20 years, it’s great to be a part of all of this. I post all the events to the PPL calendar and the traffic is quite high on the site. People want to know the positive cultural events they can partake in around our City. I also post press releases to the Dreamweaver Marketing site

People all around the City send us their news and events and I post the information complete with photos, which aids in the creation of the PDF of the magazine, which will soon become a weekly creation. I love all the family-children oriented events around the City, often for free or at low cost. It’s a great testament to Pittsburgh and how it continues to grow and welcome new families. If you have positive news, you can send it to me at

And if you’re looking for virtual administrative help, “Do what you do best, let Cybertary do the rest.”

You can email me at, visit our website at  or call me at 412-428-9595.

Next up:
Delana Flowers
Joanne and I met at Entrepreneurial Thursdays a few years ago. I am a writer, and when we met, she was in need of someone to help with all of the work for PPL and we’ve been together ever since. I post all the blogs that recap the PPL shows and I also do reviews for many theatre shows around town. I love the arts, being a singer and actress myself, so doing this work for PPL has been very rewarding. I’m very active in the independent theatre community and I also own my own freelance business: Ingenuity by Delana Flowers. I offer writing assistance for ads, brochures, invitations, press releases, anything that needs written.

The most fun I have had working for PPL thus far, was the privilege of going to my first opera. I wrote a review, after having no idea of what to expect, and it turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences in my entire life. I was also overjoyed to hear that the folks at the Pittsburgh opera loved the review.

I am also not a native Pittsburgher, moving here about five years ago from Lancaster. PPL has truly helped me learn to live in a big city. I didn’t know what to do with myself when I first came here and now I am exposed to events I wouldn’t have ever known about. It’s great to be part of this team. You can email me at

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive News done by Joanne Quinn-Smith.
Listen to the show in its entirety here.
(c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2011 All rights reserved.

Tara Darazio is a Positively Pittsburgh Live reporter, an independent copywriter, blogger, article writer, and social media strategist. If you are in need of writing assistance, or need help with your social media efforts connect with Tara on LinkedIn here.

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