Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Film Director JulieHera DeStefano at E-Magnify this Weekend

JulieHera DeStefano, producer and director of the documentary film Journey to Normal: Women of War Come Home, will join us this Saturday at Women Veterans Marching Forward: Call to Entrepreneurship. There will be a showing of the film's trailer.

Journey to Normal: Women of War Come Home recounts the unprecedented story of women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Filmmaker JulieHera DeStefano launched this project to explore the psychological and social dynamics of their service, to follow their reintegration into civilian life, and to preserve their stories.

Journey to Normal turns the film over to the true storytellers, the women themselves. Their collective narrative reflects these changes in our society and helps to bridge the perceived gap between military and civilian culture.

The film is slated for release in September 2014.

Join us this weekend (November 2) to see the trailer, hear DeStefano speak, and learn about how military service prepares women for small business ownership. Registration for this half-day event (9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.) is just $20, and includes lunch. Men and women, regardless of military experience, are welcome.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Q&A with Gail "Maa-t" Manker, Veteran & WBO

Gail "Maa-t" L. Manker will be part of a panel discussion at Women Veterans Marching Forward: Call to Entrepreneurship on November 2 on the Seton Hill University campus. Manker is an Army veteran and the owner of two businesses:  Gail Manker Photography and Maa-t's Righteous Sweets. In this Q&A she shares about her businesses and how her military service prepared her for entrepreneurship.

How did your military experience prepare you for entrepreneurship?
I knew nothing about photography when I joined the Army. Actually, I cried when it was offered to me. I wanted to go into computers. However, once in school I realized how much I enjoyed it. One of the best things I was taught in school was that no matter who you’re photographing (Colonel, Private, General), as long as you have a camera in your hand, you're in charge.

My first duty assignment was Camp Zama, Japan, where I photographed events soldiers were taking part in: marathon races, musical festivals, cherry blossom festivals, Officer’s Wives Club teas with Japanese women, and joint exercises with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces. My base commander was Gen. Roscoe Robinson, Jr., the Army’s first black four-star general, whom I photographed many times. It was there I learned how to respect those in high ranks and how to gain respect as the photographer.

My other assignments were Ft. McClellan, Alabama, and Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, where I was the only military person in the lab/studio. I worked freely on my assignments, and was given freedom to control when and how long assignments were to be completed. My military experience taught me to think and work independently. 

Why did you start your own business?
I started my photography business because I wanted artistic control over my work. I am also a hard worker and felt that an employer would not compensate me for the long hours I put into my work. I also wanted to bring a higher standard and quality of work to the African American community.

I started my baking business by accident. I was asked to bake a carrot cake for a small restaurant and it took off from there. I wanted to bring healthy baked treats to people. Treats that are not full of dyes and artificial ingredients, but made with organic, natural ingredients and are vegan.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about being a business owner? 
In today’s world everyone owns a digital camera and thinks of themselves as a “photographer,” which makes it difficult to find clients willing to pay what I’m really worth without going through the details of why I’m worth the money: I have a degree in photography, I own all the latest software needed to produce the highest quality product, etc.

It is challenging to keep up with the latest equipment, software and trends in the industry. Overall, the biggest challenge is funding. I have many ideas for artistic photographs and shoots, but I'm unable to produce them because of lack of funds. Funds are needed to rent the studio space and rent or buy props, and pay models. Lack of funds also hinders my ability to advertise.

The biggest reward is the ability to control my time. I can travel when I want, for how long I want. My business travels well; it’s always with me, it’s mobile, and I love that. I can accept assignments that suit my style or that offer artistic challenges.

When I think about the old photographers -- Gordon Parks, Ansel Adams, Mary Ellen Marks or Carrie Mae Weems to name a few -- they were able to prefect their craft because they had benefactors, be they through the government or private funding. This allowed them to live, breath, sleep photography. Oh, I would love to be able to do that, but in today’s world I have to have multiple streams of income, thus I have the baking business, as well.
But money is the biggest challenge with the baking business, too. Having more funds would allow me to rent a commercial space to bake and package my goods. But again, the most rewarding thing about the baking business is being able to control my time, and seeing people enjoy my products.

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Join us on November 2 to hear more from Manker and other women business owners. Registration is open, and this event is open to both men and women, regardless of military experience.  

Friday, October 25, 2013

Q&A with Teresa McTavish, Veteran & Entrepreneur

Teresa McTavish will be part of a panel discussion at Women Veterans Marching Forward: Call to Entrepreneurship on November 2 on the Seton Hill University campus. McTavish is both a veteran and a business owner. In this Q&A she shares about her business, Ross Distributions, and how her military service prepared her for entrepreneurship.

Tell us about Ross Distributions. What does your business do?
I specialize in marketing industrial by-products, primarily slag materials. In addition, I provide construction project coordination and support services such as trucking and engineer approval

Where is your business located?
My office is based in Acme, PA, and I provide services throughout western Pennsylvania, northern West Virginia, and eastern Ohio. 

How did your military experience prepare you for entrepreneurship?The character traits that are enforced in military service prepare you well as a business owner. These traits are critical: integrity, courage, strength, flexibility, the ability to adapt to an ever-changing
environment, personal responsibility, pride in your work, resourcefulness and creativity, mission accomplishment, determination, and persistence. The list really goes on and on.

Why did you start your own business?
In a nutshell, I was laid off.  But more than that, I was tired of building other people's companies or corporations. I was tired of doing what I was hired to do better than they expected but still not being in control of my earnings and future.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about being business owner?
Most challenging are the many moving pieces that are constantly changing. The good news is that I never get bored. The most rewarding is that you are in charge of you. You don't have to ask 15 different people and wait for approvals to make a decision; you can just decide for yourself and make it happen.

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Join us on November 2 to hear more from McTavish and other women business owners. Registration is open, and this event is open to both men and women, regardless of military experience.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Discount Code for PA Conference for Women (Nov. 1)

E-Magnify is proud to be a supporting organization for the Tenth Annual PA Conference for Women.  We invite you to take advantage of this special invitation and use discount code SO13PA when registering at PAConferenceForWomen.org.

Pennsylvania Conference for Women
Did you know you can get a free resume review, coaching session, social media advice, and one-on-one meetings with local leaders at the Nov. 1 Pennsylvania Conference for Women? This is in addition to all the great keynotes, breakout sessions and networking. Take advantage of all this day has to offer!

Speakers include Madeleine Albright, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sallie Krawcheck, and Glenda Hatchett.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Call to Entrepreneurship (Nov. 2)

November 2 (9am - 3pm)
Seton Hill University campus
Seats are limited. Register now.

Women with military experience are natural entrepreneurs who possess the training, experience, and leadership skills to start businesses that will create U.S. jobs. Explore entrepreneurship as your next step, secure available business resources and tools, and meet other women veterans who are business owners. 

Not a woman with military experience? You're still invited!

Although this event is geared toward women with military experience, the information and resources that will be presented are useful to anyone (male or female, with or without military experience) who is interested in learning about entrepreneurship.

What last year's participants said about the event:
"A wealth of information."
"All of the panelists were knowledgeable and entertaining."
"I really enjoyed hearing the stories and helpful information/advice!"
"I'm not a woman or a veteran, but it was still interesting."

Speakers & Sessions
  • Angela Reynolds (Director of Programs for Financially Struggling Adults and Families, United Way of Allegheny County)
  • JulieHera DeStefano (Producer/Director of the film Journey to Normal: Women of War Come Home) The film trailer will be shown at this event.
  • Commander Lindsey Weaver-Marcenelle (Commanding Officer, USCG, Pittsburgh)
  • Teresa McTavish (Military Veteran; Owner, Ross Distributions)
  • Gail "Maa-t" L. Manker (Military Veteran; Owner, Gail Manker Photography and Maa-t's Righteous Sweets)
  • Macy's Monroeville presents: "Fatigues to Fabulous" Dressing for Business
Registration fee (includes lunch):
Regular rate: $20.00
Student rate: $15.00 (ID required at check-in)

Register online.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Affordable Care Act Panel (Oct. 30)

E-Magnify will host a free panel session about the Affordable Care Act. The Connellsville Chamber has assembled a panel to discuss some of the possible effects of the legislation to your business. Representatives from the Small Business Administration, health insurance consultants, and accounting experts will be on hand to take part in this basic conversation about the Affordable Care Act.

Date: October 30, 2013
Time: 12:00 - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Bud Murphy's, 718 McCormick Ave., Connellsville, PA 15425
Cost: FREE (lunch will be served)

Chuck Whitford, JRG Advisors, Representing the ChamberChoice program
Bryan S. Kisiel, CPA.CITP, CISA,, Kisiel & Associates, PC
Moderated by Carl Knoblock , SBA District Director, SBA, Western PA District

The forum is free but seating is limited and available on a first-­come basis, so please contact Mr. Michael Edwards at jmedwards@zoominternet.net or at 724-­626-­1645.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pennsylvania Conference for Women

Pennsylvania Conference for WomenE-Magnify is a Supporting Organization of the 2013 Pennsylvania Conference for Women. We invite you to take advantage of this special invitation and use discount code SO13PA when registering at PAConferenceForWomen.org.

Registrants receive: 
  • All-day Conference admission
  • Unparalleled networking opportunities
  • Cutting-edge keynote presentations
  • Skill-building breakout sessions
  • Seated lunch
  • Access to the exhibit hall featuring a Career Pavilion and Health & Wellness Pavilion

Learn more and register at PAConferenceForWomen.org.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Call for Women Veteran Business Owners

Apply to be a panelist at "Women Veterans Marching Forward: Call to Entrepreneurship" on November 2, 2013. (Know a woman vet biz owner? Please pass this along!) Deadline to apply is October 15. 

Seton Hill University’s E-Magnify invites you join the panel of women business owners on November 2 and share your knowledge and perspectives on business ownership. We are looking for panelists that can integrate the conference theme with one or more of the focus areas outlined below. We invite you to share your best practices, successes, and proven techniques in your industries.

Focus Areas:

  • How military background positively effected your business
  • The adjustment from civilian to military life and back to civilian
  • Discuss milestone achievements in your business ownership
  • Support received from veteran organizations
  • The balance between business ownership and family life
We encourage you to answer the call and share your powerful knowledge and perspectives on the above mentioned focus areas. The Women Veterans Marching Forward: Call to Entrepreneurship event will create a positive atmosphere in which women business owners expand upon the possibility of entrepreneurship after military life.


Please submit the following information:

  • Women Veteran Business Owner Name
  • Business Name
  • Business Address
  • Description of Business (max. 500 words)
The deadline to submit is October 15, 2013. Email submissions only, please.

>>Email submissions to:
Debra L. Mason (Education and Training Manager, Seton Hill University E-Magnify) at dmason[at]setonhill[dot]edu.

For more information, please call Debra at (724) 830-4614.

Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.