Thursday, March 22, 2012

Positively Pittsburgh Live! Women in Pittsburgh Modern History 3-19-12

Positively Pittsburgh Live!
Women in Pittsburgh Modern History
Listen to the show here

In honor of Women's History Month, PositivelyPittsburghLive is honoring living women in Pittsburgh Current History. Tonight's guests have a myriad of firsts.
Gail Klingensmith , owner of Pamela’s Restaurant
Dr. Barbara Baker, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Bonnie DiCarlo, Certified Financial Planner
Meenakshi Kapoor, President of the National Association of Women Business Owners

Pamela’s Restaurant

President Obama at Pamela's
Pamela’s number one seller at all the restaurants is the hot cakes. When the Obama’s visited, they feasted on some of these delights. Pam and Gail met in an amateur golf league circuit in 1978 and became fast friends. In 1980 they purchased an existing Papa Joe's in Squirrel Hill and turned it from a hamburger joint into a breakfast restaurant by putting in specials with the pancakes that Pam invented and also the home fries she perfected. The rest is history. Pam and Gail thrive on doing “the little bit extra” to please their customers.

Their restaurants have evolved and become part of the neighborhoods in which they are housed, which the ladies say is a true gift. Pamela’s are located in Squirrel Hill, Shadyside, Oakland, Millvale, Strip District (where the Obamas visited) and Mt. Lebanon.

Gail and Pam, partners since 1980

Gail and Pam, State Dining Room

Senator Obama visited the Strip on PA Primary Day and Gail and Pam met him and Michelle. Gail had breakfast with them that Pam cooked under the supervision of the Secret Service. They also met and kept in touch with his personal aide, Reggie Love, who had the President sign the inauguration issue that had their picture with him in the strip in Time Magazine. They have signed covers and inside it says "I Love Those Pancakes" - Barack Obama.

Gail and Pam were even invited to the White House to cook pancakes for the President for a Memorial Day breakfast, even taking them souvenirs from the restaurant. Gail and Pam were pretty excited to be serving their pancakes in the State Dining Room. They even had a tour of the White House while they were there. Business boomed after the news of the President loving the pancakes and all the restaurants benefited from the publicity.

Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium
Dr. Barbara Baker
Dr. Barbara Baker is President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium and the Zoological Society of Pittsburgh. From that position, she leads one of the nation’s major zoological parks of 77 acres and an animal collection of more than 6,000 animals. Since Dr. Baker’s arrival, the Zoo’s budget has grown from $3 million to $15.8 million, thanks to strong financial support from the community, Allegheny Regional Asset District funding, tremendous growth in attendance and membership, and the success of the Zoo’s outstanding educational programs.
Dr. Baker and the Zoo have been honored with several awards. She was recognized as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Pittsburgh by Pittsburgh Magazine in 1995. An Athena Award finalist in 1998, she was also honored as one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s Pittsburghers of the Year and received the Girl Scouts’ Women of Distinction Award. In 1999, Dr. Baker received the most prestigious award in Pittsburgh, the Vector’s “Woman of the Year,” making her one of only five women to be so honored in the award’s 58-year history. In 2007, she received the Tribute to Women Leadership Award, and in 2008 she was presented the Diamond Award honoring Pittsburgh’s top CEOs.

For her role as the head of a Zoo, Dr. Baker has an ideal combination of management and scientific training, with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Auburn University and a Masters in Business Administration, majoring in marketing, from the University of South Carolina.

Fun Facts: The zoo has reached over a million visitors three years in a row and is ranked as one of the top ten zoos in the United States.

The zoo has a new Western lowland gorilla baby. The baby is the son of the first gorilla ever born at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

The zoo is introducing their visitors to new animals: Blue Monkeys at the Tropical Forest and cownose stingrays in PPG Aquarium.

Bonnie DiCarlo
Bonnie DiCarlo is the co-founder, with JoAnn Forrester, of Celebrate & Share. In 1981, she was registered as a Representative with Allegheny Investments, one of only a handful of women to be registered. In 1985, she earned the designation of Certified Financial Planner, which she maintains today.

Bonnie, JoAnn, Judi Bannon
Executive Dir. of Cribs for Kids
Bonnie was named the first woman president of the Financial Planning Association in Pittsburgh in 1990.

She started supporting women candidates for elective office in 1974 when Jane Thompson ran for the PA Senate, and then ran herself for that seat in the 90's.Bonnie acted as political strategist for many women candidates including Lynn Yeakel for U.S. Senate, Judges Kate Ford Elliott and Anne Lazarus for Superior Court, Judge Shelly Friedman for Commonwealth Court, and Judge Kathleen Mulligan, among others, for Common Pleas Court.

Bonnie has had a very successful first career as a performing and teaching musician. She was the pianist in the Allegheny Trio, performing in the tri-state area, along with a 28 day performing tour of Japan. She was also an Associate Professor of Music and Investments at Carlow University, Duquesne University and CCAC - Northside campus.

Today Bonnie is the organist and choir director at The Presbyterian Church of Mount Washington.

Meenakshi Kapoor
Meenakshi Kapoor
Meenakshi Kapoor came to the US in 2000, leaving a high profile Government Officer Job in India. She started her career in the US with an IT Consulting Company as an HR Manager and organized Symphony Enterprises LLC, an IT Staffing Company in Pittsburgh in 2004 with Office and Delivery Center in India. Symphony Enterprises provides its clients with business software solutions and consultants who fulfill those requirements, these professionals work across the nation in the area of enterprises resource planning and application development. Initial couple of years of starting the business, there was almost no growth but the ground work done during these initial years paid off and the business has recently hit two million dollars in revenue. Symphony Enterprises LLC is an 8(a) certified organization.

Since joining NAWBO in 2007, Meenakshi has been a jewel in NAWBO’s crown and has stepped up the newly created Diversity Director position on NAWBO Greater Pittsburgh’s board. She is no rookie to the business and entrepreneurial world but stood in the gap in a position for which she literally created the agenda. She arranged meetings with government officials and other organizations including Pittsburgh City Council discussing women and diversity business issues and she created a bridge for NAWBO Pittsburgh with the Asian Community. Through Meenakshi’s efforts NAWBO was able to award four Make the Connection Awards in 2008 to four truly amazing Asian volunteers.

She took over as President of NAWBO Pittsburgh Chapter in June 2011.


This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith. (c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2012 All rights reserved.

Listen to the show here.

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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