Friday, August 29, 2014

Pittsburgh ATHENA Award Finalists

Suzy Teele, COO, SnapRetail
E-Magnify congratulates all of nominees and the finalists for the Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award and is delighted to announce that our nominee, Suzy Teele, is among those finalists. Suzy is the Chief Operating Officer at SnapRetail, a ready-to-use online marketing for local store owners.

The Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award recognizes exceptional women who demonstrate excellence in their profession, contribute to their community and help other women to succeed through mentorship.

2014 Finalists: 
  • Linda Croushore
 (Executive Director, The Consortium for Public Education)
  • Diane Holder
 (Executive Vice President, UPMC, President, UPMC Insurance Services Division, President & CEO, UPMC Health Plan)
  • Susan Kirsch
 (Shareholder – Tax Advisory Services, Schneider Downs)
    Karen Larrimer (
Chief Customer Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, PNC)
  • Suzy Teele
 (Chief Operating Officer, SnapRetail)
See a full list of the 2014 nominees here.

The winner will be honored on Monday, September 29, at the 2014 ATHENA & ATHENA Young Professional Awards Luncheon, held at the Westin Convention Center Hotel. Learn more about the awards and the luncheon.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Miss Representation Film Screening (Oct. 26)

 The next Pittsburgh screening and discussion of Miss Representation will take place Sunday, October 26, at 1:00 p.m. at the Kean Theatre, The Washington Place at St. Barnabas, in Gibsonia, PA.

The film will be followed by a facilitated interactive audience discussion led by Lee Ann Munger, PowerLink Director at Seton Hill University's E-Magnify. Lee Ann's passion for women's issues, and specifically women entrepreneurs, should guarantee a lively and thought-provoking discussion! 

Order tickets online here. (Early bird pricing available.)

Miss Representation exposes how mainstream media contribute to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America. The film challenges the media's limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful. Miss Representation includes stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, entertainers, activists, and academics. Learn more about the film here.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Disaster Preparedness for Your Business

Free Disaster Preparedness Webinars in September 
Throughout September, the U.S. Small Business Administration will offer free weekly webinars to help business owners take charge of the well-being of companies, the safety of their employees, and the sustenance of their local economies by being prepared to rebound quickly from any kind of disaster. 

The series is hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery and  presented in collaboration with FEMA’s Ready Campaign as part of National Preparedness Month.  

Each year small businesses nationwide are forced to close their doors in the aftermath of severe storms, flooding, tornadoes, wildfires and hurricanes. Business interruptions, even if they last just a few hours, are costly in terms of lost productivity and profits.

The half-hour webinars will be presented at 2 p.m., Eastern time, each Wednesday in September.  Visit to register for any or all of the webinars listed below:

>September 3: Crisis Communications for Any Organization
Learn best practices for developing an emergency communication strategy.

>September 10: How to Plan for a Power Interruption…and Recover Fast
Tips on how to make your company resilient and better prepared to mitigate losses during power outages.

>September 17: The Top 5 Steps for Preparedness This Year
The top five ways to prepare for disaster-related business interruptions will be discussed.

>September 24: If You Do Nothing Else This Year
Simple, low-cost tips on building a solid business continuity plan.

SBA has partnered with Agility Recovery to offer business continuity strategies through their “PrepareMyBusiness” website. Visit to check out the archived webinars and for more disaster preparedness tools. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Seeking WBOs in Centre & Clearfield Counties for APL Advisory Board Applications

E-Magnify announces the expansion of the ATHENAPowerLink® (APL) program into Centre and Clearfield counties. APL is now available in a 27-county service area in Western Pennsylvania.
Women business owners in Centre and Clearfield counties are invited to apply to the ATHENAPowerLink® (APL) program. Through the APL program, women-owned businesses are paired with a customized board of advisors who provide financial advice, business best practices, networking and the services and technical assistance necessary to help them reach their business goals.

Application Criteria:
  • Businesses must be at  least 51% owned and actively managed by a woman,
  • Minimum of two years in operation
  • Minimum of two full-time employees (including the owner)
  • Annual revenues of at least
    • $250,000 for retail or manufacturing businesses
    • $100,000 for service businesses
  • Clearly defined company objectives and goals with explicit reasons for seeking assistance from ATHENAPowerLink® in meeting those objectives and goals
Application deadline: September 15, 2014

Click here for applications and additional information.

If you would like to speak to someone about the program, please contact Chad Feather, 814-231-6942, local sponsor, or Jayne Huston, E-Magnify Director, 724-830-4625.

About ATHENAPowerLink®:
The program has been successfully implemented in more than 30 cities across the United States resulting in significant economic impact for participating woman business owners. APL is a trademarked program of ATHENA International and is locally administered by Seton Hill University’s E-Magnify. The Women’s Business Center, home to the original PowerLink Advisory Board program founded more than 20 years ago in Pittsburgh, provides business counseling, training and mentoring programs to start up and growing women entrepreneurs throughout Western Pennsylvania. PNC Bank and the law firm of Babst Calland sponsored the local program license.

According to ATHENA International, participants achieve an average 88 percent increase in sales, a 37 percent increase in business income and 56 percent increase in personal income after one year with the program.

For the program’s first year, one woman-owned business will be selected based on its need and potential for growth. E-Magnify, working together with the local Governing Body, will then convene a team of experts in such fields as banking, human resources, entrepreneurship, sales,
public accounting, law and others to advise the woman business owner on how she can access capital, implement best practices and reach her operational and strategic goals.

“Twenty-six percent (26%) of businesses in Centre and Clearfield Counties are majority women-owned companies,” said Chad Feather, PNC Wealth Management Banking Advisor.            “We recognize the influence and potential of women-owned businesses and are pleased to now offer APL as an opportunity for women to further excel – strengthening the economic viability of their businesses and our community.”

PNC has a longstanding tradition of offering financial resources to women-owned businesses. Currently, more than 1,100 PNC-Certified Women’s Business Advocates in 19 states and the District of Columbia are actively engaged in supporting the achievement of female financial decision-makers.

Locally, individuals serving on the ATHENAPowerLink Governing Body include: Chad Feather, PNC Wealth Management; Amy Marshall, the law firm of Babst Calland; Heather Fennessey, Penn State Small Business Development Center; Sue Greene, Penn State Corporate Learning; Tere Rill, The Women’s Journal; John Vidmar, Ben Franklin; Mary Kay Williams, Mind Shift Consulting and Georgia Abby, Leadership Centre County.

Read media coverage about APL in Centre and Clearfield Counties from and Chamber of Business and Industry Centre County.

Monday, August 4, 2014

E-Magnify Attends "Empowering Women Entrepreneurs" Senate Hearing

E-Magnify's Education and Training Manager, Debra Mason, recently attended "Empowering Women Entrepreneurs," a Senate hearing hosted by the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee and held in conjunction with Women Influencing Public Policy’s annual leadership meeting in Washington, D.C. 

The Washington Bureau of the Business Journals reports on three things that Congress and the federal government could do to help women business owners: 

1) Enable more women business owners to access  capital.
Women business owners have a harder time getting loans than men do. Women own around 30 percent of all small businesses, but they receive only 16 percent of small business loans, according to the committee’s report. In terms of dollars, women's share of business loans is only 4 percent."

2) Award more federal contracts to women-owned businesses.
"The federal government has never reached its 20-year-old goal of awarding 5 percent of all its prime contracting dollars to women. Failure to reach this goal has cost women business owners nearly $6 billion in contracts every year."

3) Increase funding to Women's Business Centers.
"Around 134,000 women business owners receive business training and counseling every year from the SBA's network of nearly 100 Women's Business Centers, which are operated by and partially funded by nonprofit organizations.

"But this program hasn't been reauthorized since 1999 and needs updating, the committee report concludes. It mostly needs more money -- government funding has remained flat even as the number of centers have grown."

Read the full article here. 

Network at Connect the Dots (Wednesday, Aug. 6)

Join us for PowerLink's Connect the Dots event this Wednesday (5-8pm) in Bloomfield! 
A message from Lee Ann Munger, PowerLink Director....

Do you remember playing Connect the Dots as a kid? You'd begin with a page of seemingly random numbers, but as you began to move your pencil around the page, there was a delightful surprise as a picture would appear. Those random connections turned out to be part of a much bigger picture.

So, too, with our business connections. We form relationships one on one, but when we put them together, we can leverage a powerful network.

That's what PowerLink's Connect the Dots event is all about. 

In one evening, we provide a fantastic networking opportunity. It’s a chance to see how many connections you already have within the PowerLink community (whether you realize it or not) – and of course, an opportunity to make more.

Join us
Connect the Dots
August 6, 2014
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
 C-leveled (in Bloomfield)
4117 Liberty Ave.,
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Cost: $35
(free valet parking available)

PowerLink connections are powerful indeed. Our more than 200 clients are some of the most successful women entrepreneurs in the Pittsburgh region. In addition, our pool of talented advisors is comprised of some of the sharpest business minds in town.

When you put it all together, PowerLink is a force that is driving business growth for women entrepreneurs. Although only 3% of women-owned businesses nationally have revenues over $1 million, 54% of PowerLink companies exceed $1 million. However, most exciting is that 32% of those companies hurdled $1 million after engaging their PowerLink Advisory Board.

Perhaps you’ve worked with PowerLink throughout its more than 20-year history, or maybe you are new to PowerLink and would like to learn more. Either way, please join E-Magnify and PowerLink for Connect the Dots on Wednesday, August 6. We want you to be part of our big picture!

About PowerLink: Founded in Pittsburgh, PA, in 1991, PowerLink is a unique and proven resource for advancing women-owned businesses. In January 2013, PowerLink formed a strategic alliance with Seton Hill University's E-Magnify, bringing together two of the Pittsburgh region's strongest organizations dedicated to the growth of women entrepreneurs.

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