Tuesday, December 31, 2013

PPL Mag Advertise for a Year, Unlimited Content for Less Than One Traditional Ad Campaign

Online Magazine / Internet/Radio TV Network
Pittsburgh's First Internet Radio and TV Network
ORDER FORM / RECEIPT  Special Thru January 10, 2014  Three Only!
ð        One page that celebrates your expertise and your talent. One full-page listing (text and images) in the Directory,  and one column in the magazine front page until new columns come up.  This is a syndicated blog.
ð        $_$200.00_____1____/year
o    Includes ______original set up_____________.
o    Blog creation instruction available two hours                               Total



ð        One full-page listing (text and images) in the Directory,  and one Internet TV or Radio Show in the magazine.  This is you talking about what you know.  No one celebrates you or your business like you do. 
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ð        Unlimited Coupons on the Coupon Site/Feed (add as many coupons as you want
ð        $_200.00__1___/year (save $__40.00___). 
o    Includes staff uploading your coupon.  Coupons can be printed right from the PPlMag.


ð        Sidebar Ad on home page, Business Directory Page, Search Page, Subscription Page (includes click through statistics) This clicks through to your website and if set up properly on your business web site can collect emails and take orders. (Additional fee if you do not already have a landing page set up.)
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ð        One Press Release Announcing that you have come on board as a PPLMag Feature Expert Channel (designed to create listeners and/or viewers for you channel on PPL Mag.)


Retail Value  $2.600.00 Advertisement Package


Special Bonus  
ð        Special bonus #1: 30 minute interview on Professionals with Impact (30 minutes of shameless self promotion-downloadable to CD which you can distribute and is archived on ITunes and additional podcast and internet radio directories) Value $500.00
ð        Special Bonus #2:  sponsorship spot of five minute interview one show PPL in 2013 (This spot will plug you into PPL blog,  PPL weekly online turning page magazine, Positive Pittsburghers and Social Media network of PPLMag and affiliates) Value $500.00
ð        Special Bonus #3:  Digital Branding Analysis (Analysis of where you are on social and digital awareness with prospects and how to fill in the gaps on social media) Value $600.00
ð       Special Bonus # 4:  2 hour branding session (Who are you?  What’s your brand?   How do you want your prospects and clients to see you?  How do they really see you?  How to get the two to match!  Value $600.00

Total Value all Four bonuses:  $2,200.00
Total Value of Package with Bonuses $4800.00
Offer thru January 10, 2014 Only
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$3360.00 Savings of $1440.00
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ð      Choose VIP Option 2: Add  Killer rewrite on Linked in Profile, retail value $1,000.00
( Get more viewers on your profile, more inquiries and more business conversions)  With VIP Option Package:  20% discount, savings of $200.00 or get the Power LinkedIn Profile at $800.00

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Special Free Gift:   Invitation to co-host the Monday night PositivelyPittsburghLive show with host TechnoGranny,  Joanne Quinn-Smith
Remember:  Special Thru January 10, 2014  Three Only!

Method of Payment:   Cash       Check #__________
Name / Title:
Order taken by: JQS
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Ask about Special Bonus for Signing Today!

Call Today for Virtual Tour of PPLMag: 412-444-5197

PositivelyPittsburghLive Business Blast Marketing Telesummit, Insurance

Singing Praise Pittsburgh Businesses graphic

PositivelyPittsburghLive Talkcast and PPLMag.com host, publisher and staff wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

We have a group of special blasts that will help support the good news in Pittsburgh and hope you will enjoy hearing about some good news businesses.  After January 7 we will go back to our old format of once per week blast from PositivelyPittsburghLive Post Scripts.

Our holiday ad blasts will go out daily from  December 27, 2013 and January 7, 2014.  After that we will go back to our normal schedule of once per week unless we have a sponsored event. Thanks for allowing us to serve you in 2013 with the Good News about Pittsburgh.
In this blast:
  • Antioxidant Scanner
  • Business Information Radio
  • 17 Expert Marketing Telesummit
  • Marketing Plan Roadmap for 2.99
  • Life Insurance

biophotonic scanner picture

Revolutionary Biophotonic Scanner Available in Offices of Dr. Santosh Pandit

Revolutionary BioPhotonic Scanner measures how well your supplements are working. As seen on Dr. Oz.Find out if your investment in nutritional supplements is paying off or it you are wasting your money and need to invest in another brand. 
Antioxidant Scan in office of
Dr. Santosh Pandit, 9104 Babcock Blvd. Suite 3114; Pittsburgh,Pa. 15237 
New Years Special
One Adult Antioxidant Scan, Get Your Results in 90 Seconds! Completely non invasinve, no needles or pin pricks. 
Just $25.00 Cash
Bring your children for same scan to see how effective their antioxidant supplements are!
With adult scan, child scan under 18, $5.00
Call for Information:  412-367-9104
Baker Street Business Solutions Logo
Happy Holidays Positive Pittsburghers!

We hope that you have finished up all your preparations, and are starting to relax a bit! Given this crazy time of year, you may not have been able to review (and re-review!) the tons of material we presented during the Telesummit. This telesummit gave you access to interviews with successful experts with proven tactics in:

  • Secrets to Powerful On-Stage & On-Camera Presence 
  • Pricing, The Red-Headed Stepchild of Marketing
  • The 4-Step Fishing Formula To Hook Your Prospects
  • Entrepreneurs, Are You Ready for Sales
  • Getting Publicity for Your Small Business
  • Your Book: The Key to Unparalleled Profits!
  • Three Networking Mistakes that Prevent Business Owners From Building a Powerful and Profitable Network
  •  Brand Visibility – Control Your Image Online & Offline to Attract More Clients
  • How To Use The Most Under-Utilized Yet Most Powerful Marketing Weapon On The Planet To BANISH Your Competition Off Of Google… Forever!
  • Building a Million Dollar Business
  • How to Use Printed Newsletters to Create Raving, Referring, Buying Customers for Life & Explode Profits
  • Direct Mail Programs From The US Postal Service
  • Celebrity Leverage
  • LinkedIn Power Profiles–Outstanding or Out of Luck!
  • Pulling More Money from Your List

Much as I would like to give you more time to access all of the recordings for free, I can't. After Midnight Tuesday, December 24th free access to the recordings goes away. Unfortunately, so does the special $47 pricing for the VIP upgrade. You can get the details and upgrade at: http://2014MarketingJumpStart.com/VIP.

VIPs get unlimited access to the recordings, plus transcriptions of all of the interviews, and bonuses from some of our speakers, like a free 30 minute memory coaching call from Alexander Vornoff our "Memory is Money" speaker.  Also the TechnoGranny, Joanne Quinn-Smith is providing through the VIP access, a free 30 minute Power LinkedIn profile consult.  

After midnight Tuesday, the VIP Upgrade goes up to $97, and worse, we will be closing the cart after Midnight December 31st.

Go ahead. Jump over to http://2014MarketingJumpStart.com/VIP. Because you deserve to give yourself every advantage you can for 2014.

American Income Life Insurance Company has served working class families since1951. Our life and supplemental accident and health products help protect members of labor unions, credit unions, associations and their families. AIL is a company that cares about its policyholders and worthy causes that make a difference in the world.
If interested in competitive whole life insurance, supplemental mortgage insurance or head start policies for yourchildren; please call local agent
Joseph B. Smith III at 412-628-5125 or

Six Reasons You Need this Great Marketing Book Before the First of the Year:

1.  If you've never had a marketing plan, 2014 should be your year to write one.
2.  If you are starting a new business you need a road map and we are betting Santa did not bring you one for Christmas.
3.  If you want to grow an existing businessfind the catalysts here.
4.  If you want to update the way you do things to become more profitable, find great tips to upscale and enliven your marketing both online and off.
5.  If you want to understand the philosophy of why customers buy so that you can sell more.
6.  If you want to learn how to formulate a plan that will grow your business steadily and profitably.

Get your paperback or Kindle E-Book Here. Android, PC or Kindle E-Book just $2.99 thru January 10, 2014

Five Ways Listening to Empress of Biz Talkcast Makes
You Smarter About Business
1.  No BS Practical Advice to help increase your bottom line.
2.  In the trenches guests who have stories and advice to help you.
3.  Profit from host and guests successes and learn from their  mistakes.
4.  Host JoAnn Forrester has raised over 40 million dollars in financing for small businesses.
5.  Fun, entertaining, inspirational business advice that will make you smarter and more profitable.

Visit Blog Here

Listen to Show Here

Many thanks to our Pittsburgh Businesses for advertising here, we hope you will support them.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Positively Pittsburgh Live News 12-19-13

Positively Pittsburgh Live News

TechnoGranny is back from a week in sunny LA and there is much news to report. Co-host today is JoAnn Forrester, host of EmpressofBiz Talkcast and Founder of Celebrate and Share. She will be announcing awardees for the 9th Annual Women of Achievement Awards
Joann Forrester


POSITIVELYPITTSBURGH SPONSORED EVENTS: 9th Annual Celebrate and Share Women of Achievement Awards

CULTURAL CLUES: Christmas with the Rat Pack-Live at the Sands, Remembering the Igloo, Calliope presents John Gorka, Jillian Michaels, Pittsburgh Holiday Doo-Wop

KIDZ KORNER: Classical WQED-FM Musical Kids Competition

WOMEN AND GIRLS ADVANCEMENT: Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series

BUSINESS BUZZ : The Big Idea Bookstore & Cafe, What Can I Do? If I Know, an Employee is in a Dangerous Relationship

HIGH SCHOOL AND UNIVERSITY NEWS: Lumina Foundation Expands Collaborative Effort Led by The Pittsburgh Promise

NON-PROFIT EVENTS SPONSORED BY BLACK TIE-PITTSBURGH: Boundaries for Leaders presented by Geneva College, OTA Top Rated Charity, Pittsburgh Foundation Launches Appeal for Food Bank, YouthBuild is Looking For 50 Adults Who Need Their GED

NEIGHBORHOOD HI-LIGHTS: Polar Bear Plunge on New Years Day



HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS: First Night- fourteen visual art venues, Craftsman's Guild of Pittsburgh Holiday Artist Market, Chatham Baroque's Notte di Natale


Last Week, James Malinchak Big Money Speaker’s Conference, This Week Holiday Doo Wop at Heinz Hall, No BS Marketing Meeting


9th Annual Celebrate and Share Women of Achievement Awards


Let the season Ring-a-ding-ding with CHRISTMAS WITH THE RAT PACK - LIVE AT THE SANDS
Beat the winter blues with the holiday version of THE RAT PACK - LIVE AT THE SANDS, at Heinz Hall especially created to heat things up for the coolest kind of holiday cheer. This spectacular show celebrates the incredible talent of three of the world's most famous entertainers, singing some of the finest music ever recorded. 

Drift back to a glamorous era with Frank, Sammy & Dean, a live 12-piece big band and the fabulous Burelli Sisters. Enjoy the songs they made famous, like ‘Fly Me To The Moon’, ‘The Lady Is A Tramp’, ‘Mr. Bojangles’, ‘That's Amore’, along with seasonal favorites like: 'Merry Little Christmas', 'Baby It's Cold Outside', 'Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer' 'Jingle Bells', 'Silent Night', 'Mistletoe and Holly’, 'Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow’, 'White Christmas', 'Winter Wonderland' and 'Love To Keep Me Warm.'

David Aschkenas, Arena:
Remembering the Igloo.
Image courtesy of the artist.

January 17 – March 2, 2014 | 707 Penn Gallery
Exhibition Opening | January 17 | 5:30 – 8 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the opening of Arena: Remembering the Igloo by local photographer David Aschkenas. The exhibition presents a visual record of Pittsburgh’s Civic Arena’s last months in operation and during its yearlong demolition process. The exhibition is on view January 17–March 2, 2014, at 707 Penn Gallery in the Cultural District, and an opening reception takes place January 17, 2014, from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Civic Arena operated in downtown Pittsburgh from 1961 to 2010 as a venue hosting concerts, rallies, sporting contests, and exhibitions, among many other events. Most notably, the Civic Arena, nicknamed the Igloo, was home to the Pittsburgh Penguins professional ice hockey team from 1967 to its close.

The only photographer licensed by the Sports and Exhibition Authority to have total access to the Civic Arena during its demolition, Aschkenas shot more than 10,000 photographs of the project. From wide-angle shots showing the pre-demolition Civic Arena among its surroundings, to close-up images of the seemingly mundane objects within, the photographs on display fully portray the iconic building during it demise.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Aschkenas is releasing a book under the same title: Arena: Remembering the Igloo. The book is available online through Amazon, Apple iTunes, and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation website. Containing more than 100 photographs, the book also collects people’s memories of and experiences in the Civic Arena.

David Aschkenas has been a photographer for more than 30 years. His work has appeared in publications such as Time, Men's Health, Good Housekeeping, Stern, More, Marie Claire, PC World,Der Spiegel, Pittsburgh Quarterly, among others. Aschkenas’s work is held in numerous collections, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; The Minneapolis Institute of the Arts; University of Alaska Museum, Fairbanks, AK; The Polaroid Corporation; The Howard Heinz Endowment; and The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Foundation, Pittsburgh, PA.

First Night Arts Schedule
Today, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and Highmark First Night Pittsburgh team announced the complete programming line-up for the arts-focused celebration set for Tuesday, December 31st in Pittsburgh’s Cultural District. The press preview event took place in the Trust Arts Education Center at 805 Liberty Avenue downtown, which will be jam-packed with attractions on New Year’s Eve, in addition to nearly 50 other venues offering a total of almost 150 individual events.

Take some time to to check out the sort-able schedule of events. You can also review it in grid format (think like a TV guide), here.

“There’s something for everyone” isn’t just a catchy saying. With such an enormous array of performing and visual arts events filling the Cultural District between 6 pm and midnight, it’s really about choosing the ones that comprise the perfect experience for you and yours. Have fun planning! We’ll update you with even more tools for planning your visit, soon.

John Gorka
The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society welcomes John Gorka to THE ROOTS CELLAR, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Shadyside, on Thursday, January 30, 2014, 7:30 PM.

More information is available online at www.calliopehouse.org or by contacting the Calliope office at (412) 361-1915. Tickets are $28 / $12 (w/ student ID) *handling fees included.

From New Jersey, John Gorka is a world-renowned singer-songwriter who got his start at a neighborhood coffeehouse in eastern Pennsylvania. Though small, Godfrey Daniels was and is one of the oldest and most venerable music institutions and has long been a hangout for music lovers and aspiring musicians. In the late 1970’s, John was one of these aspiring musicians. Although his academic coursework at Moravian College lay in Philosophy and History, music began to offer paramount enticements. Soon he found himself living in the club’s basement and acting as resident MC and sound man, encountering legendary folk troubadours like Canadian singer-songwriter Stan Rogers, Eric Andersen, Tom Paxton and Claudia Schmidt. Their brand of folk-inspired acoustic music inspired him, and before long he was performing his own songs – mostly as an opener for visiting acts. Soon he started traveling to New York City, where Jack Hardy’s legendary Fast Folk circle (a breeding ground for many a major singer-songwriter) became a powerful source of education and encouragement. Folk meccas like Texas’ Kerrville Folk Festival (where he won the New Folk Award in 1984) and Boston followed, and his stunningly soulful baritone voice and original songwriting began turning heads. Those who had at one time inspired him – Suzanne Vega, Bill Morrissey, Nanci Griffith, Christine Lavin, Shawn Colvin – had become his peers. Check out his website: http://johngorka.com/

Jillian Michaels

Wednesday, March 19, Benedum Center
The world’s leading health and wellness expert, JILLIAN MICHAELS, is live on stage across the country in her “Maximize Your Life” Tour for an evening of inspiration, information, and motivation. In this intimate and uniquely personal experience, Jillian shows how to harness your potential, accomplish your goals and live an exceptional life – sharing her keys to health, success and happiness. No hype, no false promises: Just results.

Pittsburgh was one of the centers of Doo Wop in the 1950s and early 1960s and many songs that first became hits here went on to become national favorites. On Dec. 19, fans in the Pittsburgh area can put on their dancing shoes again and be reunited with the music born here with Richard Nader’s Pittsburgh Holiday Doo Wop show — for one night only in Heinz Hall!

Jay & The Americans take the Heinz Hall stage for the first time as part of the show to celebrate

the 50th anniversary of their hit “Only in America”! Jay & The Americans will be joined by Charlie Thomas’ Drifters (“Save The Last Dance For Me”), Jay Siegel's Tokens (“The Lions Sleeps Tonight”), Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs (“Stay”), The Chiffons (“One Fine Day”), Tommy Mara of The Crests (“Sixteen Candles”) and Pittsburgh’s own celebrity Johnny Angel & The Halos.

The concert is being hosted by some of the all-time great Pittsburgh AM deejays, including Porky Chedwick (WAMO, KQV), Frankie Day (WKFB), Big Ray Edwards (WKFB), Arnie Amber (WMBS), Stan Wahl (WLSW) and Chris Shovlin (WJAS).

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, ranging from $32.50 to $99.50, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting www.heinzhall.org



Classical WQED-FM 89.3 announces a new year of Musical Kids, a classical music competition for middle school students in grades six to eight.

“We were overwhelmed by the response from local students and parents during of first year of Musical Kids,“ said Deborah L. Acklin, President and Chief Executive Officer of WQED Multimedia. “The talent of students in our region provided a competitive field of entries and validated the success of Pittsburgh’s extensive and diverse arts scene, including opportunities for exposure to classical music.”

Between January 6 and February 14, 2014 WQED is accepting audio entries for consideration in the following categories:

• Instrumental Soloist
• Vocal Soloist

Entries may be mailed on CD to:
ATTN: Musical Kids
WQED Multimedia
4802 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2942

Official Contest Rules, entry form and additional information are available at www.wqed.org/musicalkids. Questions may be directed to musicalkids@wqed.org, no phone calls please. Funding for Musical Kids is made possible by grants from the Snee-Reinhardt Charitable Foundation and The Fine Foundation.
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Background of Celebrate & Share
In 2002 JoAnn Forrester co-founded, with Bonnie Di Carlo, Celebrate & Share. Our mission is to celebrate women of achievement in Pennsylvania, and raise funds for non-profits that help women and children.

Some of the recipients of the Celebrate & Share fund raising are Cribs for Kids (a Pittsburgh non-profit,) Dress for Success, National Transplant Fund (for our friend Linda Cobb after her double lung transplant,) Tomorrow's Future, Inc (Grace Robinson's organization to raise the image and self esteem of high school students entering higher education and/or the job market,)

Each year Celebrate & Share celebrates the passage of the 19th amendment. 2013 is no exception. We will again celebrate Women's Right to Vote in the U.S.A. during the month of August.

The Women of Achievement Award was founded in 2006 by Celebrate & Share. Celebrate & Share is an organization founded by Bonnie DiCarlo and JoAnn R. Forrester in 2002, features the achievement of women, and raises funds for organizations which focus on the needs of women and children in the community.

The Women of Achievement Awards was established in March, in 2006 during women’s History Month to honor the women of Greater Pittsburgh who contribute to our community and to establish the foundation of a Pennsylvania Women’s Hall of Achievement.

Our charity of choice is Cribs for Kids, a not for profit organization led by Executive Director, Judy Bannon.who is a leader in the nation and in our community on the prevention of also a 2006 Women of Achievement .

March 6, 2013 is the 9th year celebrating the Women of Achievement Awards Dinner at the Omini William Penn on Grant Street downtown Pittsburgh.

$95 - Individual Ticket
$150 – Honorary Sponsor (One Ticket and Listing in Program Book)
$950 Table Sponsorship (Ten Tickets, Table Sponsor Sign, and Listing in Program Book)
$1,250 – Baby’s Breath Table Sponsor (Ten Tickets, Baby’s Breath Centerpiece and Half-page Ad in Program Book)
$5,000 – Presenting Sponsor (Ten Tickets, Premiere Seating, and Full-Page ad in Program Book)

Please RSVP by Wed., Feb. 27, 2013 by calling Cribs for Kids® at 412.322.5680 ext. 5.
Program Book Ad Sponsorships
Full-page(5”x8”)/$500 - Half-page (5”x3.875”)/$250 - Quarter-page (2.375”x3.875”)/$150
Ad Deadline – Feb. 27, 2013

Celebrate Share, founded by Bonnie DiCarlo and JoAnn R. Forrester in 2002, features the achievements of women, and raises funds for organizations which focus on the needs of women and children in our community. Cribs for Kids® was founded in 1998 in Pittsburgh by District Attorney Stephen A Zappala, Jr., Cribs for Kids® Executive Director, Judith Bannon, and the late Mayor Bob O’Connor and Commander Gwen Elliott. Since then, the program has networked throughout Pennsylvania and has grown to more than 300 partners in the United States. Judith Bannon, with her staff and volunteers, continues tirelessly to spread the word about reducing infant sleep-related deaths, such as asphyxia, accidental suffocation and SIDS, by providing free cribs for Infants and educating parents about safe- sleep practices for their babies. For more information please go to www.cribsforkids.org.

"So You Want to Own a Brewery? How Two Women Have Tapped Into the Craft Beer Industry?"
Friday, January 10, 2013 (7:30 AM - 9:00 AM)
Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series

Speakers: - Linda Nyman, co-owner and Director of Marketing, Sandy Cindrich, co-owner and President/CEO

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. Click here for more information and to register for this event.


From our Friends at ImaginePittsburgh

Anne Marie Toccket: “Pittsburgh is a place where you can do things you can’t do elsewhere” 

Anne Marie Toccket
 at Machu Picchu, Peru in 2012 
Stop into The Big Idea Bookstore & Café on Bloomfield’s Liberty Avenue right across the street from the West Penn Hospital and meet Anne Marie Toccket, an entrepreneur who has traveled around the world but choose Pittsburgh as the place to call home.

The Big Idea is Pittsburgh’s first — and now one of three –“B corporations” — organizations that have a legally binding fiduciary responsibility to take into account the interests of workers, the community and the environment as well as shareholders – the Big Idea is also the gathering place for an ongoing workshop of young writers, the Pittsburgh Vegan Meetup Group and – come Jan. 4 – a screening of Doctor Who.

You can check out Toccket’s profile and those of all the Neighbors at ImaginePittsburgh.com, a virtual concierge that highlights live, work and play options in the 10-county region. On the site you can look for a job among the thousands gathered by our powerful job aggregator, sign up for updates about the region through our social media channels or RSS feeds and take the “Find Yourself in Pittsburgh!” quiz to be matched up with Neighbors who may share your interests and have tips on what’s fun and engaging to do in the region.

What Can I Do? If I Know, an Employee is in a Dangerous Relationship
You may not know if you have an employee who has safety concerns if she doesn't want to tell you. But, what if an employee shares concerns with a supervisor about an abusive partner? What specific type of accommodations can be considered? 

A safety strategy can be developed in collaboration with the victim which may include:
Moving her work station away from public access, stairs, and elevators
Providing priority parking near the building and security escort to and from victim's car
Making temporary or permanent adjustments to work schedules and/or locations
Sharing Protection from Abuse Orders with Security and/or Reception
Referring the victim to local women's centers for help in developing a safety plan

These and many other accommodations can help both the victim and the workplace remain safe. No company can completely protect its workers or the workplace, but there are steps employers can take that reduce the risk. Most accommodations cost little or no money. Join STANDING FIRM to gain access to a more comprehensive array of accommodations. 


From our friends at UrbanMediaToday.com

Expands Collaborative Effort Led by The Pittsburgh Promise

Lumina Foundation announced that Pittsburgh will be among the first 20 cities in America to partner with Lumina Foundation in a mobilization effort designed to increase the number of local residents with postsecondary credentials. This collaborative effort will establish a community-wide attainment goal for Pittsburgh and support Pittsburgh partners in achieving that goal. Partners will have access to significant technical and planning assistance, data tools, flexible funding and guidance from a network of national thought leaders.

“Pittsburgh was selected to join in this mobilization effort because of the work that The Pittsburgh Promise is doing to improve postsecondary attainment rates. Through this effort, we will amplify existing momentum by partnering with Lumina – as well as other national groups – to develop an action plan to increase the percentage of local students who pursue and obtain high quality certificates, associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees,” said Saleem Ghubril, Executive Director of The Pittsburgh Promise.

“Being among the first cities in America to partner with Lumina Foundation is testimony to the work of The Pittsburgh Promise in its efforts to improve educational outcomes and enhance the future of the workforce of our region,” said William Peduto, Mayor-Elect of the City of Pittsburgh. “These resources, along with the support of many local donors and educational resources, will go a long way to improving the life prospects for our young people,” added Peduto.



It's a Top-Rated Trifecta!
OTA has been ranked:
# 2 Charity in the country

# 1 Charity for veteran / military causes
#1 Charity in Pennsylvania

Thank you to all the donors, volunteers, and happy troop members who wrote 5-Star Reviews for OTA in 2013!

Shortage of Food for the Needy as Holiday Season Approaches
From our Friends at UrbanMediaToday.com
The Food Bank at Westmoreland County in Delmont, has seen such a high demand of food boxes this year, that they are actually considering reducing the quantity of the contents within the monthly distributed 65 pound food boxes that contain meat, cereals, pasta, fresh produce and several other items.

Kris Douglas, who is the chief executive of the nonprofit organization that serves nearly 7,200 households every month, says that reducing the quantity of food in the boxes might be the only option left in the future to be able to cater to the excessive demand for food boxes.
The holiday season is usually a busy one for food banks and pantries, as those in need are provided with extra supplies to bring a cheer to their holidays as well. However, this year has been a particularly challenging one, because the federal food stamp allocations have recently been reduced; leaving low income people with even lesser resources to be able to put food on their tables.

The SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; is a federal program that had been granted a financial boost in the year 2009. The duration of the increase expired on the 1st of November, 2013, and food banks are aware that even further cuts are about to be made as the Congress is trying to finalize a new farm bill that will reduce the budget of the food stamp program even more.

Just last month, the Pittsburgh food bank has seen a 40% increase in the demand for food as compared to the demands in the same month last year.

Lisa Scales is chief executive of the Duquesne facility that serves almost 34,000 households each month in more than 10 counties. She says that the cuts in food stamps has left people stressed as they try to afford the high heating bills in the winter, buy gifts for the holidays and still try come up with the money to buy enough food to feed themselves and their families.

Feeding America is a network of food banks throughout the country. It includes the Pittsburgh and Westmoreland food organizations as well and according to its calculations, the average food bills of households have increased considerably due to the cuts made in the food stamps.
To cope with the rising demand for food at local food banks, the Pittsburgh Foundation launched an appeal on Tuesday, the 11th of December, stating that the foundation will provide $100,000 in matching funds for donations made to all the local organizations that provide food for the needy. The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is also included among these organizations.
John Ellis, vice president for communications at the Pittsburgh Foundation, said that this is the first year that they have had to appeal for donations to provide food to the needy. The foundation is accepting donations at their online site and has assured that the money will reach one of the 14 food pantries or food banks located in the area.

The Pittsburgh Foundations is making a community effort to provide food for the needy locals and it is hoped that those Pittsburghers, who can afford to spend money on lavish gifts for Christmas, will also consider making a donation to feed the hungry in their neighborhood.
http://www.westmorelandfoodbank.org http://www.pittsburghfoodbank.org/ http://feedingamerica.org news@urbanmediatoday


From Our Friends at the Soul Pitt

YouthBuild is Looking For 50 Adults Ages 18 - 24 Who Need Their GED
YouthBuild Offers: Paid Education and Construction Training; College Incentives; Job Placement; And Much More!

For More InformationText YBPGH to 72727(standard text rates may apply)
or Contact Knowledge Hudson YouthBuildPgh@gmail.com 412.304.1890


James Malinchak Big Money Speaker’s Conference  Six Day Bootcamp at the LAX Westin represented at by a nice contingency of Pittsburghers.  Speakers included Joe Theisman and Les Brown and was chock full of information for marketing and running businesses and for running large information marketing products.

Pittsburgh Social Exchange VIP Party 
Held at Stage AE with great appetizers and great networking.

No BS Marketing Meeting
at Sigma Conference Center on Babcock Blvd.  The teaching was about effective email marketing campaigns and the theme of the post meeting Christmas party was Ugly Christmas Sweaters.  What a blast!


Polar Bear Plunge on New Years Day
Wed. Jan 1, 2014 9 am – 12 pm
Mon Wharf (3 Wood Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222)


Steeltown Hero
Mary Lee Gannon

This was garnered from a Facebook Post and we thought the help provided symbolized the caring of a uniquely Steeltown Hero.  Mary Lee awoke with a long list of Christmas "to-dos" to address when this crash occurred in front of her house.She ran out to the car after hearing  a beeping horn for help. A sweet older gentleman was upside down in his car trying to wiggle out of a pretzel-like position. After he maneuvered himself out on the ground she could see a bump on his head the size of a golf ball with blood streaming down. "I didn't want to hurt anyone when I lost control on the ice so I headed for the hillside," he said. Another woman who had stopped and Mary Lee held his hand, held an umbrella over his face so he wouldn't get snow in his eyes, kept him awake, covered him in a towel and crushed a hand warmer to put under his head to keep him warm. 
Gannon at the accident 

He managed to dial his wife as they awaited the ambulance. "Dear, I don't think I'm going to make it to the store." Lots of EMS came to help and the dedication was palpable as they kept him nurtured, safe and secure. He was taken to a trauma center for attention and Mary Lee was relieved to hear he is alright today. The point of this story Mary Lee said for her as she  was washing the blood out of her clothes and reflected on the experience it sort of put the errands on her list in perspective.  We think her gift was helping someone in need with no regard for self or for accolades.  But we would like to give them anyway.  Her final quote in her post:   "You can't get enough of the things you don't need."  But what we do need from Mary Lee and from PPL is more Pittsburghers who will take the time away from their own lives to help. Thanks Mary Lee and your anonymous helper for epitomizing what a true Steeltown Hero is---Just ordinary people going about their day and performing extraordinary acts of help and kindness.

This is not a Pittsburgh story but was posted by a Pittsburgh Small Business Owner and she and PPL are hoping that through efforts of Pittsburghers, this will be a Pittsburgh story to report next year.

Holiday Hearts for Vets ~ This Week’s “Small Business Spotlight!"

In this season defined by giving and gratefulness, many charity organizations look to make things a little brighter for those around them.

Holiday Hearts for Vets stands out among the crowd. This organization, located in the Rockbridge county area of Virginia, is focused on giving thanks to our disabled, aging, and other deserving veterans during the Christmas holiday.

Sandy Collier started Holiday Hearts for Vets in 2011. Helping bring holiday joy to veterans and their families is close to her heart. Holiday Hearts for Vets is Sandy’s chance to “pay it forward”.

HHFV honors the sacrifice made to our country by veterans and their families. So, what better way to celebrate the season than to combine the spirit of Christmas and gratitude to our veterans? Sandy even hopes to expand the program to include veterans in neighboring Augusta county.

Sandy finds local veterans and fills them in on the Holiday Hearts for Vets program. If they agree to take part, the real work begins. Sandy and her corp of volunteers will clean up the yard, rake ~ whatever it takes to get it ready for the fun part ~ decorating!

HHFV will then set to work making the veteran’s house festive. Lights and other decorations donated by local businesses and individuals are used to make their home sparkle. The veterans also receive other “goodies” such as gift baskets and gift cards.

Then, come January, the volunteers return to take it all down and clean up. Sandy has many volunteers who participate, whether it is for yard clean up, knitting hats and scarves, baking cookies, assembling gift baskets, and even local stores and restaurants that donate gift cards.

Sandy’s hope is that by decorating their home for the holidays, each veteran will know that there are people who care about their sacrifice. It is especially important to Sandy to return the Christmas spirit that some veterans may have lost.

This year, Holiday Hearts for Vets is helping three area veterans. All three served in the US Army. However, each year it is different. Since its beginning, Holiday Hearts for Vets has helped a total of 7 Veterans. Their goal is to always strive to do better and improve upon the preceding year.

A memorable and touching moment happened recently when Sandy explained the HHFV program to one of this year’s veterans;

“When I told him of the program, he started to cry and said in a stuttering voice, ‘But I have no money’. When I explained to him it didn't cost him anything, just permission to let us do it, he proceeded to tear some more.”

Sandy believes that Holiday Hearts for Vets has a lot to be thankful for this year. They have been blessed by support and donations from many sources:


Craftsman’s Guild of Pittsburgh Holiday Artist Market
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Education and Community Engagement department presents the 2013 Craftsman’s Guild of Pittsburgh Holiday Artist Market, which runs until January 5, 2014, at 709 Penn Gallery in the Cultural District.
Craftsman’s Guild of Pittsburgh
 Holiday Artist Market 

This holiday show and artist market features locally made original works of art in a diverse range of media, including jewelry, clay, glass, wood, sculpture, textiles, paper, among others. All pieces, from simple and whimsical items to works of fine art, are unique and exclusively handcrafted by members of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh and nearly thirty artists are represented in the holiday market.

A portion of the show’s proceeds will benefit both the Craftsmen’s Guild of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. For more information, click here.

Sounds of the holidays: Chatham Baroque's Notte di Natale
December 20, 21, 22, 8 p.m. & 2:30 p.m.
St. James Parish, Synod Hall, Chatham University

Why you should go: If you're craving an antidote to the stress and frenzy of the holiday season, make a date with Chatham Baroque. The group's holiday program, Notte di Natale, features songs, arias and instrumental sonatas by composers Buxtehude, Scarlatti, Merula and Bach.

Featuring Argentinean Mezzo-soprano Raquel Winnica Young, along with guest artists Dawn Posey (Baroque violin) and award-winning keyboardist Adam Pearl (Chamber organ), Notte di Natale will be performed on Friday, Dec. 20th at 8 p.m. at St. James Parish in Sewickley; Saturday, Dec. 21st at 8 p.m. at Synod Hall in Oakland; and on Sunday, Dec. 22nd at 2:30 p.m. in Chatham University's Laughlin Music Center.

Vocal highlights of the program include three folk songs from Spain and Portugal and works by Italian composers Alessandro Scarlatti and Tarquinio Merula. The program also features instrumental works such as Dietrich Buxtehudes’s Sonata in C major, Maurizio Cazzatti’s Ciaccona a tre and Johann Heinrich Schmelzer’s Sonata Pastorella. Scored for Mezzo-soprano, two violins and basso continuo, Scarlatti’s Cantata Pastorale features a shepherd who celebrates the joyous news of Jesus' birth, while Merula’s Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla Nanna depicts Mary comforting the baby, while also lamenting the struggles that await him.


Cultural District | December 31, 2013 | 6 – 11 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust announces the visual art exhibitions and events that are part of the twentieth anniversary celebration of Highmark First Night Pittsburgh in the heart of downtown’s

Cultural District. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh 2014 is produced by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust with generous support from Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the event’s long time supporter and returning presenting sponsor. Highmark First Night Pittsburgh provides the city with a chance to ring in the new year while celebrating the arts: dance, music, theater, comedy, magic, visual art, and film, plus hands-on activities for children and adults.

“Highmark First Night Pittsburgh is the region’s largest showcase of family-friendly visual art,” says Sonja Sweterlitsch Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Manager of Community Art. “Visitors will enjoy a wide range of visual media and expression, from film, to installation art, to painting and sculpture, to inspire and delight.”

The Highmark First Night Pittsburgh website provides event details and allows users to sort through the schedule of events and customize plans. TrustArts.org/FirstNightPGH is mobile-friendly and allows smartphone users to plan on-the-go during New Year’s Eve.

This was reported as a reproduction of PositvelyPittsburghLive news done by Joanne Quinn-Smith. (c) Joanne Quinn-Smith and PositivelyPittsburghLive(TM) 2013 All rights reserved.

Listen to the show online 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.