Tuesday, September 22, 2015

E-Magnify Closing on September 30, 2015



Dear Friends of E-Magnify,

After careful review and consideration, Seton Hill University has decided it will no longer formally host the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) women’s business center program. E-Magnify will close on September 30, 2015.

At this time, E-Magnify staff member are assisting with the closure transitioning while simultaneously taking on new responsibilities within the University.

The University is in the process of restructuring some entrepreneurial support services formerly provided through E-Magnify under the auspices of Seton Hill’s Wukich Center for Entrepreneurial Opportunities. In addition, other external programs and services are transitioning as follows:

>Clients who have received business counseling services under the women’s business center program have been advised of alternative SBA technical assistance resources available to them. See: Small Business Development Centers (pdf) and SCORE Chapters (pdf). 

>As an independent contractor, Jayne Huston will continue to lead the Greensburg Chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO). After September 30, Jayne can be contacted regarding WPO at huston5157@gmail.com.


>PowerLink, licensed for the past two years under E-Magnify, will return to its roots as an independent economic development organization and continue under the leadership of long-time Executive Director Lee Ann Munger. After September 30th, Lee Ann can be contacted at leeann@powerlink.biz, 412-431-4110, and at PowerLink’s new website: www.powerlink.biz.


>E-Magnify’s ATHENAPowerLink (APL) licenses will be transitioned to PowerLink to continue to provide the Advisory Board program throughout Western PA. All APL inquiries should be directed to PowerLink at the above contact number;


>Awards, presented during the past 20 years under the Westmoreland County Winners’ Circle Program and hosted by E-Magnify for the past decade, including the ATHENA Award, YWCA Rising Star Award, and Seton Hill Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, have been “re-homed” with other organizations. The Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce will host the ATHENA Awards, and the YWCA will host the YWCA Rising Star Award. The University will continue to host the Seton Hill University Entrepreneurial Excellence Award. It was determined that volunteer recognition was being done by many non-profit organizations in the community. As a result, the Award for Community Service will not be continued under a new host. If you would like to continue to be involved with any of the award recognitions, we encourage you to make your interest known to these respective organizations.



We are proud of the impact E-Magnify has had on start-up and growing women-owned companies for more than two decades and have appreciated the opportunity to serve you!

With Gratitude and Our Best Wishes for Continued Success,

Jayne Huston and Staff







Thursday, September 10, 2015

Opportunities for Women in Federal Contracting

Event: ChallengeHer
Date: September 22, 2015
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Location: Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, 10 South 19th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

E-Magnify is proud to be a partner for this event.

Information is power. In order to successfully navigate the federal contracting industry and win federal contracts, you MUST know the rules and understand the strategy.

ChallengeHER has assisted woman business owners all across the country to help them understand the Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Procurement Program, the federal procurement process, and to connect them with the right people. With this knowledge, you are much better positioned to grow your business and increase your revenue.

  • Learn about the WOSB Set Aside and how to market your business under this program.
  • Network with peer mentors and other women business owned firms.
  • Hear a panel of women business owners share tips and real-life stories in federal contracting.
  • Hear a Contracting Officer's panel talk about the best practices of working with federal agencies.
ChallengeHer National Partners: Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and Open from American Express




Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Girlfriend's Guide to Kick Butt $ales

Instructor: Mj Callaway, CSP
Sales Trainer & Owner, Rock More Sales
>Are you losing sales?

>Are your sales inconsistent?

>Do you want to increase your sales?

If you answered yes to any of the above, keep reading (or register now!) 

In this 90-minute workshop you’ll uncover what actions are causing you to lose sales and take money out of your pocket.

> The Girlfriend's Guide to Kick Butt $ales

> September 9, 2015 (6:00 - 7:30 p.m.)

> E-Magnify + PowerLink Offices at C-leveled (4117 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15224)


With Mj’s easy-to-follow strategies, humorous stories, and quirky analogies, you’ll learn how to increase your sales with confidence.

With this jam-packed workshop, you’ll walk out the door with core steps to do the following:
  • Create conversations to increase revenue
  • Adopt a Sales Toolkit that fits your style
  • Zap the hidden gap in your sales conversations
  • Understand the #1 ingredient to close more sales

Plus, you’ll also learn the 4 key issues that stop women from making more money! 

About Mj Callaway:
Mj Callaway's training programs have increased her clients' sales by 20%, 40% and some more than doubled their profits. Before launching Rock More Sales, Mj signed more than $14 Million Dollars a year in front-end contracts in a male-dominated field, produced high close ratios in several different industries, and sold a children’s game to Disney.

Mj has hit international best-selling status with three of her six books. In The Girlfriend's Guide to Kick Butt $ales, she shares the secret sauce to closing more sales! Your takeaways from this workshop will change your business. 

Hands-on QuickBooks Clinics (September sessions)

E-Magnify's QuickBooks Clinics feature hands-on training in small classes led by a a Certified QuickBooks Consultant.

These clinics are suitable for both small business owners and for employees of any company who want to use QuickBooks.
  • Session 1 – Setting up and navigating QuickBooks, Accounting Review, Sample Company, Chart of Accounts, Working with Lists
  • Session 2 – Sales and Invoicing, Payments and Deposits, Entering and Paying Bills
  • Session 3 – Bank Accounts, Inventories Payroll, Estimating, and More

Dates: September 2, 9, and 16
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. (for all sessions)
Location: YWCA of Westmoreland, 424 North Main St., Greensburg, PA 15601

Registration: $150 (for all 3 sessions)

Instructor Teri Hayes has been a QuickBooks Pro advisor since 1999. As a consultant and bookkeeper who has worked with small businesses, she understands the needs of entrepreneurs and small business owners.

UPDATE 8/28/15: Registration for this event is now closed. 


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report


For the fifth year, Womenable, an organization that works to improve the systems that support women's enterprise creation and growth, has combined forces with American Express OPEN to analyze trends in women's enterprise growth and development. The result is the 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

According to Womenable's website, the report finds the following:

  • The number of women-owned firms in the U.S. continues to climb, and is now estimated to have surpassed 9.4 million enterprises – 30% of all businesses in the country;
  • The revenue generated by these enterprises is now estimated to stand at nearly $1.5 trillion, and has increased by 79% since 1997; and
  • Women-owned firms now employ over 7.9 million workers (excluding owners), providing one in seven jobs among privately-owned businesses.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported on the research, noting that while Pennsylvania has consistently claimed the seventh-highest number of female-owned firms among all states and the District of Columbia for the past 18 years, "the state also regularly lags behind much of the U.S. based on the rate at which women-owned firms are expanding revenues and employment."

“We’ve still got a long way to go in helping grow these companies,” said Jayne Huston, E-Magnify Director. 

Read the report's executive summary here

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

SBA Pgh. District Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Sidney Huffmyer

For Sidney Jake Huffmyer, it never was all about the bass… or the treble; it was all about making an imprint. And he has.

Today, thousands of Pittsburgher’s rock t-shirts created and printed by the musician who sits at the helm of 3E Studios and is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Pittsburgh District Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Huffmyer and his cousin launched 3E Studios in his parents’ basement with a modest goal of doubling their sales each year.

 “The name stands for easy, efficient and enjoyable,” he explained. “Our first job was giving a pizza shop shirts at cost if they would stuff our flyers in their boxes. That’s how we started, and we made about $2000 in sales our first year.”

He sought assistance from the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center. Eight years and a few moves later, 3E Studios now occupy a large space on Western Avenue. Using the SBA’s microloan program, they’ve secured money from the Northside Community Development Fund to upgrade their equipment. Armed with the new capacity of printing more than 500 shirts per hour, Huffmyer said 3E prints everything from family reunion commemorative tees to large, contact jobs for major area businesses like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Giant Eagle.

Want to rock your business? Call the SBA Pittsburgh District Office at 412-395-6560 and they’ll put you in touch with their network of resource partners that can help your business idea grow from basement to boardroom.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Government Contracting & Networking Program


The SPC-IUP PTAC (Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission Indiana University of Pennsylvania Procurement Technical Assistance Center) will sponsor a free government contracting assistance & business networking program at the Fred Rogers Center at St. Vincent College in Latrobe on June 24, 2015 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. 

Representatives from the National Energy Technology Lab, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mascaro Construction Company, LP, and H&W Global Industries, Inc. will be presenting on a variety of government procurement related topics. 

Register here to learn about working with two of the more prominent federal agencies in the Pittsburgh region as well as what it takes to function as a subcontractor in the Construction, Aerospace, and Defense Industries.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

PowerLink's Financial Boot Camp (in Erie)







Register for PowerLink's Financial Boot Camp (June 23, 2015) in Erie, PA. 

As a CEO, you need to use your financial statements to make sound business decisions. But for the vast majority of CEOs, that is easier said than done. You’re not an accountant or a financial manager. And you have myriad responsibilities. You need to be able to quickly review, interpret, and analyze your company’s financial information so you can use it to manage your business effectively and profitably.

After one intense and fun day at PowerLink’s Financial Boot Camp, you’ll be able to do just that.

Date: June 23, 2015
Time: 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
Location: Gannon University SBDC, Erie, PA
Registration: $149.00 (includes breakfast, lunch, and all materials)

Our talented advisory team will help you improve your financial leadership skills so you will be able to do the following:
  • See your financial statements as dynamic tools for managing your business.
  • Have more effective communications and outcomes with your CPA and banker.
  • Interpret your financial statements more quickly and effectively.
  • Plan successfully using a customized budgeting tool.
  • Utilize classic methods for making good management decisions such as benchmarking, break-even analysis, and ratio analysis.

Participants have rated the program 4.75 out of 5 stars.

"Regardless of industry, understanding financials is the single biggest challenge for many business owners. Financial Boot Camp gave me valuable tools I will apply to my business to keep it financially healthy and profitable. Can't wait to attend again."(Erin Green, President, Verify Services, LLC)















Thursday, June 4, 2015

Scholarships for CORE FOUR Business Planning Course



Instructor: Debra Mason
Instructor: Debra Mason
Education & Training Manager, E-Magnify
Scholarships are still available for the next session of CORE FOUR Business Planning Course. Enroll today for $150 (half-off the normal registration rate). 

Classes start next Tuesday and meet for four consecutive weeks: June 9, 16, 23, and 30 (6:00 - 9:00 p.m.). 

Location: The "New" Connellsville Canteen, 131 W. Crawford Ave.,  Connellsville, PA

Instructor: Debra Mason, E-Magnify's education and training manager 


In this class, you'll learn strategies for operating a sustainable business in four core bodies of knowledge: 
  • Success Planning
  • Market Planning 
  • Cash Flow Planning
  • Operations Planning

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to do the following: 
  •  Explain the elements of a marketing plan.
  • Identify market niche.
  • Understand pricing of goods and services
  • Understand purpose and rationale for constructing cash flow projections.
  • Identify the support system and resources necessary for a sustainable business. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Fun at E-Magnify's Friends & Trends Event

Thank you to everyone who came out to our Friends & Trends event at Macy's Monroeville Mall last week! And a special thank-you to our sponsors Macy's, Pittsburgh Magazine, and First Commonwealth Bank!

Betsy Benson, Publisher, Pittsburgh Magazine; Mark Ionadi, VPSM (Store Manager), Macy’s Monroeville; and Jayne Huston, Director, E-Magnify


Women business owners at E-Magnify's Friends & Trends event, May 28, 2015


Nearly One-Fifth of U.S. Businesses Equally Owned by Men and Women

An Issue Brief published by the SBA's Office of Advocacy details a frequently overlooked category of business ownership: firms owned 50 percent by men and 50 percent by women.

Equally-owned businesses (EOBs) represent a significant share of firms, employment, and receipts. These firms are frequently overlooked in discussions about business owner demographics. To say that 30 percent of firms are female-owned suggests that the other 70 percent are owned by men, when in reality, 53 percent are male-owned, and 17 percent are equally-owned by men and women.

Compared to other firms, EOBs are more likely to be family-owned or owned jointly by a married couple, but less likely to be minority-owned or veteran owned. EOBs account for 11.6 percent of total U.S. business receipts, 20.2 percent of firms with paid employees, 14.2 percent of paid employees, and 11.1 percent of annual payroll.

Advocacy’s Issue Brief #8: An Overlooked Demographic: Equally-Owned Businesses or EOBs, is available on Advocacy’s website here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fashion, Fragrance, Cosmetics & Networking at E-Magnify's Friends & Trends


Register for E-Magnify Friends and Trends, a fun night out to network with other women business owners and enjoy the latest trends in the fashion, cosmetics, and fragrance industries. All proceeds benefit programs and services provided by E-Magnify for women in the Western PA region.

Date: May 28, 2015
Time: 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. (program starts at 6:00)
Location: Macy's Monroeville Mall, Monroeville, PA
Registration: $25 (includes a $15 Macy's gift card)

All proceeds from the event will benefit programs and services provided by E-Magnify for women in the Western PA region.

The event emcee will be Betsy Benson, Publisher, Pittsburgh Magazine. Welcome remarks from  Mark Ionadi, VPSM (Store Manager), Macy’s Monroeville; and Jayne Huston, Director, Seton Hill University E-Magnify. Guest Speakers include Kelly Scharbo, Retail Manager, CHANEL; Karen Young, Retail Development Field Supervisor, Macy's Private Brands; and Kathy Rollo, Account Executive, Clarins International Fragrances. 


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Understanding Financial Statements (May 21)

Instructor: Melanie Ansell
Business Counselor, Seton Hill University E-Magnify
Are you making or losing money? Do you understand your tax returns? How can you get the bank to say "yes? 

Find out in this class, taught by Melanie Ansell, an E-Magnify business counselor and a retired bank president and commercial lender. Melanie presents financial information in a way that makes it easy for participants to understand. 

Class: Understanding Financial Statements
Date: May 21, 2015
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Location: The "New" Connellsville Canteen, 131 West Crawford Ave. Connellsville, PA
Registration: $35 (register here)

Topics will include:
  • How to understand balance sheets, income statements, cash flow statements
  • What bankers look for  
  • How to understand your tax returns
  • How to calculate your business cash flow
  • How to determine if you are bankable
  • How to get the Bank to say "Yes!"


If you would like to apply the information to your specific financials, bring a copy of your most recent federal tax return and follow along to calculate your current business financial position.


(Note: Confidentiality will be strictly enforced. Participants will have access to their own personal data only. A mock example will be utilized for instruction purposes.)

This class is presented by E-Magnify and Downtown Connellsville, an initiative of the Fayette County Cultural Trust.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Congrats to Colleen & Jim Small: Small Business Persons of the Year!

L-R: Juan Garrett, Riverside Center for Innovation; Colleen Small; Jim Small; Ed Huttenhower, St. Francis University SBDC; Kelly Hunt, District Director, SBA Pittsburgh District Office

E-Magnify congratulates Colleen and Jim Small, owners of two The UPS Stores located in State College and Altoona, for being named SBA Pittsburgh District Office's Small Business Persons of the Year! 

Colleen is a member of our ATHENAPowerLink Governing Body in State College.


For 10 years, Centre County small business owners have trusted their trade secrets with proprietors Jim and Colleen Small. Their sales and employment growth coupled with community involvement were noted in an award package penned by the Penn State Small Business Development Center.

Since 2005, the duo and their ever-growing staff has helped their extended Penn State family with everything from packing and shipping valuables, creating canvas paintings from photographs – even creating 3D-printed model trains for a hobbyist turned entrepreneur. 

“We still can’t believe we were chosen for the award,” admitted Jim Small. “This is a tribute to all of the hard work of our employees.”

According to Kelly Hunt, SBA Pittsburgh District director, the Smalls are entrepreneurs who found and refined their customer service niche through outreach and education – becoming a community asset.

For the Smalls, pursuing a second career as business owners trumped retirement. “We were much too young to retire,” said Jim Small. “Instead we looked at opening a franchise close to our families in State College and Altoona.” 

Utilizing some investments, the Smalls purchased The UPS store franchise and then received an SBA 7(a) loan for the necessary fixtures and supplies. 

They soon found themselves back in school at The Pennsylvania State University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) taking every class imaginable from “The First Step” to marketing courses hoping to grow their business via technology and superb customer service.

Colleen Small, who up to then never had a business card to swap, tasked herself as the store’s main marketer attending networking events at the Chamber of Business and Industry of Centre County.

“I knew many businesses grow through word-of-mouth advertising,” she said. “But, when I went to my first few meetings, I immediately would go to a corner because I thought everyone was staring at me.” However, she became friends with the chamber staff, increased her community involvement, honed her skills and now serves as an ambassador to new members – even winning a chamber award for her efforts.

Hunt applauded the Smalls’ tactics.

“It’s commendable to grow a business via grass roots outreach and it’s hard to do,” Hunt stated. “Our agency may have provided the tools in the form of counseling, classes and capital access, but, the Smalls spent the better part of a decade refining their skill set and technologies to truly diversify their business based on changing customer needs.”

The Smalls admit that being out and about certainly raised awareness for their store, but, according to Jim Small, they wanted to be the “small business for small businesses.”

“Everyone knows we ship,” Jim Small explained. “But, knowing how hard it is to be in business we wanted to help our counterparts. Small businesses may not be able to afford a marketing firm, but they can afford us. We are more than willing to print small quantities of brochures and business cards, allowing our clientele to order on an as-need basis so they can advertise and grow their business.”

Market demand led the Smalls to invest both time and money into purchasing and learning about 3D printing; their site was selected as one of only 52 of The UPS Stores in the country that produce on-demand 3D prototypes for entrepreneurs hoping to enter the business arena.

Just like the Smalls, last year, more than 539 small business owners and entrepreneurs in the SBA Pittsburgh District Office 27-county footprint received more than $125 million through the agency’s 7(a) loan program. It’s the SBA’s most-used business loan program because of its flexibility in loan structure, variety of loan uses and availability. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Winners' Circle Awards Luncheon (May 20)

Winners' CircleThe Westmoreland County Winners’ Circle is pleased to announce the 2015 Winners’ Circle Awards recipients to be honored at a luncheon reception.

Date: May 20, 2015
Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Location: Greensburg Country Club, Jeannette, PA
Register by May 12 at wcwinnerscircle.com

The Awards Program will mark its 20th Year milestone as part of the celebration. Tickets for the event are $45 and reservations must be received by Tuesday, May 12, 2015. Register at wcwinnerscircle.com.

Congratulations to this year's winners!
  • ATHENA Award®: Faye A. Rosatti, Vice President, First Commonwealth Bank
  • Seton Hill University Entrepreneurial Excellence Award: April Kopas, Executive Director, Redevelopment Authority of the County of Westmoreland
  • Award for Community Service: Deborah Thackrah, Founder/President of Feeding the Spirit
  • YWCA Rising Star Award: Sherrie E. Dunlap, Director of Development, CASA of Westmoreland, Inc.
The Westmoreland County Winners’ Circle Awards Program recognizes women, men, businesses or organizations who inspire others and advocate for women, women-owned business and our community.

The Winners’ Circle Awards Program is one of Westmoreland County’s most prestigious business awards programs. This program, presented by Seton Hill University’s E-Magnify women’s business center and underwritten by First Commonwealth, began in 1995 to recognize and celebrate those who advance women as leaders and community activists in order to motivate, inspire, and guide women to assume leadership roles throughout Westmoreland County.


Monday, May 4, 2015

E-Magnify Friends & Trends at Macy's (May 28)


Register for E-Magnify Friends and Trends, a fun night out to network with other women business owners and enjoy the latest trends in the fashion, cosmetics, and fragrance industries. All proceeds benefit programs and services provided by E-Magnify for women in the Western PA region.

Date: May 28, 2015
Time: 5:00 - 9:00 p.m. (program starts at 6:00)
Location: Macy's Monroeville Mall, Monroeville, PA
Registration: $25 (includes a $15 Macy's gift card)

All proceeds from the event will benefit programs and services provided by E-Magnify for women in the Western PA region.

The event emcee will be Betsy Benson, Publisher, Pittsburgh Magazine. Welcome remarks from  Mark Ionadi, VPSM (Store Manager), Macy’s Monroeville; and Jayne Huston, Director, Seton Hill University E-Magnify. Guest Speakers include Kelly Scharbo, Retail Manager, CHANEL; Karen Young, Retail Development Field Supervisor, Macy's Private Brands; and Kathy Rollo, Account Executive, Clarins International Fragrances. 



Monday, April 27, 2015

Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking


There's still time to register for this class! 

Learn how to overcome your fear of public speaking and become a more confident, powerful speaker. 

Date: Thursday, April 30, 2015
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Location: The New Connellsville Canteen, 131 West Crawford Ave., Connellsville, PA 15425

Registration: $30 for the class (register online here)


Trainer: Rita Yunker, Owner & Consultant, Speak Not Afraid

In this class, Rita Yunker will help you unlock your speaking potential. You'll learn techniques to become a powerful public speaker.

Topics will include: 
  • Overcoming anxiety and developing confidence
  • Using body language effectively in oral communication
  • Sharpening your verbal skills;
  • Avoiding communication problems
  • Developing speaking skills
  • Exploring the three types of speeches

This event is presented by E-Magnify & Downtown Connellsville,  an initiative of the Fayette County Cultural Trust.



Opportunities for WBOs in Federal Contracting

Register for ChallengeHer, presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express OPEN (OPEN). 

Date: May 11, 2015
Time: 9:00 am – 12:00pm (Registration and network open at 8:00 am.)
Location: ChallengeHER—SBA HQ, 409 3rd Street SW, Washington, DC 20416
Registration: Free, but registration is required

Join the ChallengeHER movement to help empower the success of the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program.

Featuring: Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, U.S. Small Business Administration. 

WOSB federal contractors can have a unique opportunity to:
  • Learn from and Connect directly with federal buyers
  • Receive updates on current Procurement Policy and the WOSB Program
  • Network with peer mentors and other WOSB firms working in your field.


This event is free to attend; seating is limited, registration is required. For registration or event inquiries, please email ChallengeHER@wipp.org.

Pittsburgh WBO is Finalist in SBA InnovateHER Business Challenge

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced the finalists in the InnovateHER Business Challenge, a nationwide competition for entrepreneurs to develop products and services to enhance the lives of women and their families.

Pittsburgh-based Sophia Berman, owner of Trusst Lingerie in Pittsburgh, PA, is one of the finalists. 

“The incredibly innovative entries we received from all across the country are a testament to the genius of America’s entrepreneurs,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “We received so many thoughtful business ideas it was difficult to narrow them down to just fifteen finalists. There’s no shortage of entrepreneurs with insightful, practical solutions, and all of us at the SBA are focused on ensuring that they get the capital and services they need to start and grow the next generation of great American companies.”

An executive committee of SBA officials reviewed the nearly 75 semi-finalist nominations and selected 15 finalists whose products and services best met the competition criteria and presented the greatest potential for success.  The SBA congratulates the following finalists, who will compete for the top three awards and a total of $30,000 in prize money provided by Microsoft:

  • Heather Badal, LoEapps Drive Control, Albuquerque, NM
  • Sophia Berman, Trusst Lingerie, Pittsburgh, Pa. 
  • Lisa Crites, The Shower Shirt Company, Cocoa Beach, Fla.       
  • Wendy Davis, GestVision, Inc., Guilford, Conn.
  • Helen Denise, Hilin Life Products, Inc., Newark, N.J. 
  • Joseph Dorsey, Backseat Baby Alarm2, Fort Mitchell, Ky. 
  • Bethany Edwards, Lia Diagnostics, Philadelphia, Pa.     
  • Rozalynn Goodwin, GaBBY, Columbia, SC 
  • Jonathan Marshall, Baby Booster, Fayetteville, AR
  • Cherie Mathews, Heal In Comfort, Austin, Texas 
  • Adriana Moscatelli, Play Works Studio, Normandy Park, Wash.
  • Whitney Reeves & Seabren Reeves, Bitzy Baby, Brunswick, Maine
  • CJ Scarlet, Tiger Eye Sensor, Inc., Clayton, NC
  • Leiah Scheibel & Alexandra Bradberry, The Sparkle Bar, Glendale, AZ
  • Candace Sparks, S.P.A.R.K. LLC, Ocean Springs, Miss.


These finalists will travel to the District of Columbia on May 8th where they will pitch their products and services to a panel of expert judges during SBA’s National Small Business Week.  Finalists will also be invited to a Women in Small Business breakfast hosted by the Washington Post.   

InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge kicked off in early March with local competitions throughout the country hosted by universities, accelerators, clusters, scale-up communities, SBA’s resource partners and other local organizations.  The SBA sought entrepreneurs who created a product or service that will have a measurable impact on women and their families, fills a need in the marketplace, and has the potential for commercialization.

For details on the competition and to sign up to attend the Live Pitch Finale event, visit www.sba.gov/innovateHER. A live stream of the event will also be available at that the link on the day of the event.


Friday, April 24, 2015

SBA Representatives Visit Local Woman-Owned Business


E-Magnify was pleased to host three representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration last week. Here we are during a site visit to Stellar Precision Components, a woman-owned business in Jeannette, PA. 

Stellar Precision Components is a manufacturer of high precision, tight tolerance parts and assemblies with a core focus on aerospace machining. Owner Lori Albright is a member of the Greensburg Chapter of the Women Presidents' Organization, which is hosted by E-Magnify. She is also a subcontractor to the U.S. Department of Defense. 


Pictured, left to right:
  • Lori Albright (Owner, Stellar Precision Components; Greensburg WPO Member & President)
  • Erin Andrew (Assistant Administrator, SBA’s Office of Women's Business Ownership)
  • Kelly Hunt, (SBA Pittsburgh District Director)
  • Debra Mason (E-Magnify Education & Training Manager)
  • Karan Waigand (SBA Pittsburgh District Office)
  • Jayne Huston (E-Magnify Director)
  • Michaelene Ressler (E-Magnify Administrative Assistant)

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fear of Public Speaking? Overcome it!


Learn how to overcome your fear of public speaking and become a more confident, powerful speaker. 

Date: April 30, 2015
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Location: The New Connellsville Canteen, 131 West Crawford Ave., Connellsville, PA 15425

Registration: $30 for the class (register online here)


Trainer: Rita Yunker, Owner & Consultant, Speak Not Afraid

In this class, Rita Yunker will help you unlock your speaking potential. You'll learn techniques to become a powerful public speaker.

Topics will include: 
  • Overcoming anxiety and developing confidence
  • Using body language effectively in oral communication
  • Sharpening your verbal skills;
  • Avoiding communication problems
  • Developing speaking skills
  • Exploring the three types of speeches

This event is presented by E-Magnify & Downtown Connellsville,  an initiative of the Fayette County Cultural Trust.



Women Building "Bridges to Business"




Thank you to everyone who came out to our Bridges to Business event last week! A special thank-you to our amazing panelists and speakers, including those pictured here: Darieth Chisolm (Owner, Hustle & Heart TV); Jennifer Boczar (Owner & COO, AM-GARD Inc.); Erin Andrew (Assistant Administrator, Office of Women's Business Ownership, SBA), Regina Koetters (Founder & CEO, Marty's Market); and Jan Lehigh (President, Alpine Packaging, Inc.).


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Last Chance to Register for the Bridges to Business Luncheon!

A message from Jayne Huston, E-Magnify Director: 

If you haven't already signed-up for tomorrow's Bridges to Business Luncheon, I hope you'll register today. We have a great event have planned for you!

Our keynote speaker will be Erin Andrew, Director of the SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership. She'll share information about accessing capital and doing business with the Federal Government. 

Plus, you'll hear from a panel of our region's best and brightest women business owners as they share the resources they've used to drive their companies to new heights. 

Panelists include: 
  • Facilitator: Doris Carson Williams (African American Chamber of Commerce of Western PA)
    Jennifer Boczar (AM-GARD, Inc.)
  • Darieth Chisolm (Hustle and Heart TV) 
  • Regina Koetters (Marty's Market)
  •  Jan Lehigh (Alpine Packaging, Inc.)


Join us tomorrow (April 16) at the Rivers Club in downtown Pittsburgh.  Registration and networking start at 11:00 a.m., and the luncheon program takes place 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 

Come learn and network at Bridges to Business! We look forward to welcoming you.

Meet Jan Lehigh of ALPINE PACKAGING (Bridges to Business, April 16)

Jan Lehigh, President of ALPINE PACKAGING, Inc., will speak on a panel of women business owners at E-Magnify's Bridges to Business event on April 16. 


ALPINE PACKAGING, Inc. is a global business.


As President at ALPINE PACKAGING, Jan Lehigh recognizes the importance of “getting things done” and driving results. She has always placed a high value on building relationships, trust, and rapport with almost anyone, and utilizing those relationships along with her enthusiasm and genuinely friendly attitude to deliver value and benefits to her customers. 

Since assuming the position as President of ALPINE PACKAGING in 2004, Jan continues the tradition of excellence and innovation in the packaging and labeling industry that her father set forth when he founded the company in 1972 in his garage. 

Jan had a passion for the business, so she decided to leave her job as a teacher and began working at ALPINE with her parents. She worked in almost every aspect of the company as she prepared to take over for her father. Jan’s tenure as President has been filled with many key challenges including the 2008 recession and how she has guided ALPINE as a result. Partnering with her stock suppliers, new flexible packaging initiatives were introduced that allowed for expansion into the food, janitorial, and medical vertical markets. This diversification strategy has fueled numerous other ventures, and currently ALPINE has strategic initiatives and pending expenditures involving Digital printing capabilities, smart label and variable data, process improvements, 5-S implementations and current asset base upgrades.

A University of Pittsburgh graduate, Jan has always been a strong advocate of the importance of continuing education and training. She believes that "you must always be growing and expanding your abilities." This philosophy has carried over to her organization and her desire to see it upgrade and expand upon its current capabilities. 

As co-owner of ALPINE along with her twin sister, Jan realizes that the future of her company rests upon how well the ALPINE team continues to push forward, research and develop new visions and practices and grow the company now and for the next generation. 

Jan will speak on a panel of women business owners at the Bridges to Business event on April 16 at the Rivers Club in downtown Pittsburgh. Full details and registration are available here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

SBA Lending Is Up in Western PA


Kelly Hunt
The Pittsburgh Business Times reports that U.S. Small Business Administration loans in Western PA have doubled over last year

Kelly Hunt, Director of the SBA's Pittsburgh District, attributes this rise in loans to several factors. "The economy is starting to more more quickly in our district and the loans we’re doing are at higher amounts than we’ve done previously,” she told the Times.

Are you interested in learning about SBA funding for your business? Kelly will be at our "Bridges to Business" program this Thursday (April 16). Come meet her and ask her to "show you the money!" 

Also in attendance from the SBA will be Erin E. Andrew, Assistant Administrator of the SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership. Erin will give a Keynote Address called "Empowering Women Entrepreneurs," which will cover the following: 

  • Overview of SBA programs and opportunities for women business owners and entrepreneurs;
  • Discussion of how SBA empowers women entrepreneurs through access to capital, contracting, and counseling; and 
  • Examination of new and exciting initiatives impacting women entrepreneurs. 


Meet Regina Koetters of Marty's Market (Bridges to Business, April 16)

Regina Koetters, Founder/CEO of Marty's Market, will speak on a panel of women business owners at E-Magnify's Bridges to Business event on April 16. 

Marty's Market is a Veteran-Owned Business located in the Strip District.

LCDR Regina Koetters, USNR, is driven to unleash the unrealized potential of the country’s riverfront Rust Belt cities through regionally significant redevelopment projects and investments in infrastructure. 

She chose Pittsburgh over every other city in the nation to begin her work in 2008. A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Regina was commissioned an officer in the United States Navy in 1999 upon graduating from the United States Naval Academy with a B.S. in Naval Architecture. In 2007, she transitioned to the United States Navy Reserve and completed her masters studies in progressive real estate development and business at the University of Michigan the following year. 

During her Naval career, she has managed operations and maintenance of the largest air base in Iraq, led airborne maritime patrol and reconnaissance missions throughout the western hemisphere, and facilitated maritime security and economic development projects in western Africa. She currently serves as the Officer in Charge, Naval Reserve Tactical Operations Center 0374 located at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. 

Since relocating to Pittsburgh, she has championed several initiatives for sustainable development projects in downtown Pittsburgh, augmented a public-private team endeavoring to bring passenger rail service to the Allegheny Riverfront, and most recently launched Marty’s Market, a unique food market, cafĂ© and coffeehouse in the Strip District dedicated to strengthening the southwestern PA food system.

Regina will speak on a panel of women business owners at the Bridges to Business event on April 16 at the Rivers Club in downtown Pittsburgh. Full details and registration are available here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Meet Darieth Chisolm of Hustle and Heart TV (Bridges to Business, April 16)

Darieth Chisolm, Owner of Hustle and Heart TV, will speak on a panel of women business owners at E-Magnify's Bridges to Business event on April 16. 

This former WPXI news anchor is now a serial entrepreneur who offers her clients a range of unique services.


Former WPXI News Anchor Darieth Chisolm has launched a new video podcast show, Hustle & Heart TV with Darieth Chisolm
The show has a #1 rated TOP podcast status on iTunes with subscribers and viewers in several different countries. It’s available on 5 different platforms, iTunes Video & Audio, Stitcher Radio, YouTube and at www.HustleandHeartTV.com 

Darieth interviews inspiring and successful people, showcasing their strategies, rituals, and principles for success. Anyone looking to start, grow, or expand a business, dream, or passion should watch the weekly shows for motivation, guidance, and inspiration, plus practical tips, tools, and resources.

Podcasting is the fastest growing medium available for entrepreneurs to build brand, influence, and income. Darieth is coaching entrepreneurs to strategize on ways to create and launch their own video and audio podcast shows and will be soon be releasing an online training program called TheVideoPodcastAcademy 

Darieth’s entrepreneurial experiences were cultivated while working as a television news anchor for WPXI TV, the NBC Affiliate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Channel 11 News at 11pm and 10pm newscasts before she retired in September 2013 after 20 years on the news set.  She also brings her own experiences as a business owner to her international audience. In 2013, Darieth was the 54th highest paid distributor with It Works Global, a network marketing company with over 70,000 representatives. Darieth also spent 3 and a half years as the owner of Fullbody Fitness Club, an aerial arts studio in Pittsburgh.  

In November 2014 Darieth sold Fullbody Fitness Club to focus exclusively on Hustle & Heart TV and on coaching people on ways to build their brand, influence, and income through podcasting.

Darieth is set to release her first book, HUSTLE: Why Now is the Time to Unleash your Passions, Turn them into Profit & Love your Journey

“Success in anything is hard work and hustle, passion and heart, commitment and sacrifice, trial and error, failure and triumph. Hustle & Heart TV and Hustle, the book, expose these truths and pump fresh ideas into the hearts and minds of my viewers, listeners, and readers.”  Darieth says, “With my busy schedule, my other businesses and my personal life being so demanding, I too need course correction and motivation from others who are successful. That’s why I started Hustle & Heart TV, so that I could pool the resources and mindsets of powerful people and then share this with others. I trust you’ll be inspired by their stories and encouraged to take action and make your dreams come true.”

Although Darieth’s news career had been full of many outstanding awards and recognition, she says, “Nothing makes me more excited than when I see people dream big and go after those dreams. I love watching people having huge breakthroughs and succeed! Entrepreneurs share a unique ability to be tough and have unwavering belief in themselves and their visions and goals.”

She now features other successful entrepreneurs, authors, artists, celebrities, and business owners on her video podcast show. You can subscribe to Hustle and Heart TV on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, YouTube or watch and listen directly from her website at www.HustleandHeartTV.com or www.DariethChisolm.com


Darieth will speak on a panel of women business owners at the Bridges to Business event on April 16 at the Rivers Club in downtown Pittsburgh. Full details and registration are available here.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Meet Jennifer Boczar of AM-GARD (Bridges to Business, April 16)

Jennifer Boczar, Owner & COO of AM-GARD, Inc., will speak on a panel of women business owners at E-Magnify's Bridges to Business event on April 16. 



AM-GARD is #3 on the Pittsburgh Business Times Book of Lists' largest Pittsburgh area women-owned businesses

AM-GARD is a leader in contract security ,providing service to governmental, medical, industrial, commercial, and transportation industries. Owner Jennifer Boczar’s grandmother founded the company with her husband in 1970. 

After earning her degree in Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh in 2003, Jennifer became a partner with her father in the family business in 2006, making it a third-generation, woman-owned, family business. 

Jennifer and AM-GARD’s corporate management team have more than 175 years of combined experience in the contract security business. The most challenging part of starting this business, says Jennifer, was the security services market’s incredible competition. It’s challenging to set your company apart from the competition, but they did just that with the customized services, unparalleled experience and products, along with great management. They have a team that remains on site to ensure customer satisfaction and conduct regular evaluations. 

AM-GARD is one of the largest Women Owned Businesses in Pittsburgh, and it is also privately owned. They are best known for providing quality security guard service at a fair price. They work closely with every customer to develop their security programs for each of their needs. 

AM-GARD has also been providing security guard service to UPMC Shadyside and US Airways for over 35 years, which is rare in this competitive industry. The company has set the standard for security.

Jennifer has been recognized in Maniac Magazine's “Women of Power “ Issue in 2013.  In November 2014, Jennifer and her husband welcomed their first child, a baby boy.

Jennifer will speak on a panel of women business owners at the Bridges to Business event on April 16 at the Rivers Club in downtown Pittsburgh. Full details and registration are available here.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Meet Doris Carson Williams of AACCWP (Bridges to Business, April 16)


Doris Carson Williams will facilitate a panel of women business owners at E-Magnify's Bridges to Business event on April 16 at the Rivers Club in downtown Pittsburgh. 


With more than 500 members, the Chamber is the second largest minority Chamber in the United States.

Doris Carson Williams, CCE, is President and Chief Executive Officer of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania. Since opening the office in 1998, the Chamber has grown from 28 to over 500 paid members and corporate sponsors, and is ranked the 10th largest in the Pittsburgh Region.

In July 2013, Doris received the National Certification of Chamber of Commerce Executives by the Board of Directors and Certification Commission of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. Doris serves on the Board of Directors the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland-Pittsburgh Branch, Highmark, Inc., is the Vice Chairman of Highmark’s Foundation, and is Vice Chair of the Housing Authority City of Pittsburgh. She is a member of the International Women's Forum, and a 2008 Ford Foundation Fellow on Sustainability.

In 2009, Doris served as the Co-Chair of the G-20 Summit held in Pittsburgh. She is the recipient of the 2010 Pittsburgh Business Times Top 50 Women in Business, a Woman of Excellence from the New Pittsburgh Courier, Junior Achievement’s Woman in Business, a Carlow University Woman of Spirit, and is listed the publication Voices: African American and Latino Women.

She earned a BS degree in Business from the University of Hartford, is a graduate of Fairfield University’s School of Banking and Financial Management, and is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s Katz School of Business’s Management Program for Executives. Doris and her husband James have one son, James III.

During the April 16 Bridges to Business luncheon, Doris will moderate a panel of women business owners as they discuss how they have built "bridges" to their business success. Full event details and registration are available here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Meet Erin Andrew of OWBO (Bridges to Business, April 16)

E-Magnify is pleased to introduce the Keynote Speaker for the Bridges to Business event on April 16: Erin E. Andrew, Assistant Administrator, Office of Women's Business Ownership, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). 

As the U.S. Small Business Administration’s assistant administrator for women’s business ownership, Erin E. Andrew is the director of the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership

She oversees the agency’s efforts to promote the growth of women-owned businesses through advocacy and programs that provide business training and counseling, access to credit and capital, and multiple business and networking opportunities. 

Erin manages a nationwide network of women's business centers that provide training, counseling and mentoring to hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs in every state and two U.S. territories. Her office also works with representatives in every SBA district office to oversee operations of the women’s business centers and to coordinate services for women entrepreneurs.

Most recently, Erin served as director of the Innovation Clusters and Skills Initiatives in the SBA’s Office of Entrepreneurial Development, which works to meet the counseling and training needs of America’s small businesses. She focused on supporting entrepreneurship skills initiatives, regional innovation clusters, and entrepreneurship training for America’s transitioning military service members, women, youth and 50+ Americans. 

Prior to her work at the SBA, Erin was a senior policy analyst at the National Governors Association, focusing on workforce and economic-development issues. She has held positions at different levels of government, including working in the Governor of Iowa’s Office as a policy advisor on economic development and workforce-development issues; and at a local/regional development authority in Pittsburgh, PA. She was also a senior consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she counseled federal agencies on organizational change strategies and enterprise architecture.

Erin holds a B.S. in business administration and ethics, and an M.S. in public policy and management, both from Carnegie Mellon University.

Erin will deliver a Keynote Address called "Empowering Women Entrepreneurs" at E-Magnify's Bridges to Business event on  April 16 at the Rivers Club in downtown Pittsburgh. During her address, she will cover the following: 

  • Overview of SBA programs and opportunities for women business owners and entrepreneurs
  • Discussion of how SBA empowers women entrepreneurs through access to capital, contracting, and counseling
  • Examination of new and exciting initiatives impacting women entrepreneurs 
Full event details and registration are available here.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

E-Magnify on Comcast Newsmakers

Watch Debra Mason, E-Magnify's Education & Training Manager, on Comcast Newsmakers.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bridges to Business: April 16



Learn business tools that will drive your business to new heights! 

Date: April 16, 2015
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
Location: Rivers Club, Pittsburgh, PA
Register for $45

Keynote Address: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs
Erin E. Andrew
Assistant Administrator
Office of Women's Business Ownership
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)  
  • Overview of SBA programs and opportunities for women business owners and entrepreneurs
  • Discussion of how SBA empowers women entrepreneurs through access to capital, contracting, and counseling
  • Examination of new and exciting initiatives impacting women entrepreneurs 

Women Business Owner Panel:
A panel of women business owners will share the "bridges" they have constructed to reach their goals. Hear their methods for maintaining and growing their businesses as they share the strategies, techniques, and tools they use to overcome challenges such as economic recession, government regulations, political environment, customer retention, and employee satisfaction.


Panelists:
  • Doris Carson Williams (panel facilitator), President & CEO, African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania 
  • Jennifer Boczar, Owner & COO, AM-GARD, Inc. 
  • Darieth Chisolm, Owner, Hustle and Heart TV
  • Regina Koetters, Founder/CEO, Marty's Market
  • Jan Lehigh, President, Alpine Packaging, Inc.


Join other women entrepreneurs at this exciting event and build your bridge to business success.





Sunday, March 29, 2015

6 Steps to a Better Business: April 1 in Connellsville



Date: Wednesday, April 1, 2015
Time: 9:00 a.m. - Noon
Location: The New Connellsville Canteen, 131 West Crawford Ave., Connellsville, PA
Registration: $49

Learn the 6 Steps that all successful, profitable, and sustainable businesses go through and how you can move your business through the steps efficiently.

Trainer:
Ken Sevick
Master Business Coach
In this educational and motivational seminar, you'll learn:
  • How to gain control of your time, team, and money.
  • How to turn your marketing into an investment rather than an expense.
  • How to multiply customers, revenues, and profits.
  • How to leverage your team, systems, technology, and marketing.
  • How to recruit, train, maintain, and motivate new employees.
Tens of thousands of business owners from all over the world for the last 20 years have attended this event and learned the keys to growing a successful business. This seminar is designed for every type of business and will take you through each step to climb the ladder of business growth. Learn how to build a commercial, profitable, enterprise that works without you.


Co-presented by Seton Hill University's E-Magnify and Downtown Connellsville.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge

SBA Launches Business Competition for Innovations that Empower Women's Lives

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched a nationwide competition for entrepreneurs who are developing products and services that will enhance the lives of women and their families.

InnovateHER: 2015 Innovating for Women Business Challenge kicked off in early March with local competitions hosted by universities, accelerators, clusters, scale-up communities, SBA’s resource partners, and other local organizations. 

The SBA is seeking entrepreneurs who have created a product or service that will have a measurable impact on women and their families, fills a need in the marketplace, and has the potential for commercialization.

Those entrepreneurs selected by local judges will make it to the semi-final round. An executive committee comprised of SBA officials will review the semi-final nomination packages and select no more than 10 finalists. The finalists will compete for a total of $30,000 in prize money provided by Microsoft.

The 10 finalists will travel to the District of Columbia on May 8th where they’ll pitch their products and ideas to a panel of expert judges during SBA’s National Small Business Week. 

For details on contest rules and a list of local competitions, visit www.sba.gov/innovateHER


Friday, March 6, 2015

PowerUp Lunch Featuring A.J. Drexler of Campos Inc.

Date: March 25, 2015
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Location: Rivers Club, Downtown Pittsburgh, PA

Speaker:
A.J. Drexler, Owner, President and Chief Strategist, Campos Inc. 

In business, everything begins and ends with consumers. Knowing, understanding, and applying consumer trends and insights is critical to success. 

A.J. Drexler will discuss current consumer marketing trends, how they impact your business, and how you can leverage this information to your competitive advantage. 


About A.J. Drexler
For the past 25 years, A.J. has focused her work, within both the ad agency and market research sides of the business, on deeply understanding the customer in order to inspire brand and marketing strategy that drives genuine results. She is accomplished in using all forms of data to uncover marketing insights, conducting all forms of qualitative research, and loves swimming around in the cross-tabs of quantitative projects to find clues to future behavior.

Away from work, A.J. is active with several non-profit causes. She sits on boards for both the Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh and the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh. She is an active member of the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) and strongly supports issues related to women’s entrepreneurship.



Sponsored by First Commonwealth Bank and Pittsburgh Business Times

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