Women’s Independent Press

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Archive for May, 2011

Small Bedroom Solutions, by Carole Brecht

May 17, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

There is no wrong or right way to organize-finding a system that is best for you and/or your family is the goal.
Here are some tips for accomadating a small bedroom:

The space under your bed is a prime location to store long, shallow plastic containers.
These containers are wonderful for storing clothes, linens, shoes, wrapping paper and more.
Shelving can make a dramatic addition to a bedroom. This will save on dresser space and add some decor to the walls.

A great way to accessorize and a way to showcase art, books, TV or a boombox.
If you have a night stand that is just a table top, cover it with an attractive tablecloth so you can use the “storage space” below.
Take some time to analyze your space and what you’d like to include in your cozy room. Shelving can be the solution to
accomadate all the “stuff” that you own that you’d like to display without feeling squeezed or short on space.

Need some help organizing your

home or office? 

For an In-Home Consultation call

Carole - 412.418.4978 or
email cebrecht@hotmail.com to  
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?

SBA honors Small Business Exporter of Year, Eileen Melvin

May 17, 2011 By: admin Category: SHOWCASE WOMAN

eileen-melvin4-14-2011Local woman embraces technology and quality craftsmanship,
wins SBA’s regional and local award
JOHNSTOWN, PA – Not many families would acquire a portion of a struggling manufacturer to ensure economic development near their hometown, but that’s exactly what Eileen Melvin and her immediate family did three years ago when they bought into United Metal Fabricators.
“For a decade I worked as a consultant to help spur the local economy,” Melvin explained. “We [my family]
 thought our purchase and involvement in UMF would be true economic development and save jobs.”
Since she joined the board of directors in 2008 and was subsequently named president and CEO the following year,
 Melvin has worked to preserve the core of UMFs assets – the workforce and quality craftsmanship –
while building a team to infuse technological advances into processing and sales procedures.
In May, Melvin will be honored for her economic efforts by the U.S. Small Business Administration as
Small Business Exporter of the Year for both SBA’s Region III and the Western Pennsylvania District.
Like the 68 other district winners, her nomination was forwarded to the regional SBA competition
 (Region 3 covers 7 districts: Delaware, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C.,
and West Virginia) where she became regional winner. According to Melvin, UMF, as a staple manufacturer
 of quality medical supply products, has a rich history. Its humble beginnings clearly depict the work ethic of Johnstown residents.

Bring Your Walking Shoes! Highmark 5K Walk for a Healthy Community -

May 17, 2011 By: admin Category: Fund Raisers

Many of our friends took part in the fun the past two years, and we hope to have even more company this time when we’ll be back at
 Heinz Field. Angels’ Place raised $7,500 at the walk last year and is hoping to raise $10,000. We need your help to meet this ambitious goal.
Walkers ask friends and family to walk with them (and/or sponsor them). A walker designates an agency - Angels’ Place, we hope -
 to receive the money he or she requests from sponsoring acquaintances.
This is a great opportunity for us to meet each other and to raise needed revenue for Angels’ Place. There is no registration fee and
100% of the money raised for each participating agency goes to that agency, since Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield underwrites all of the race costs.
Walkers, who can be accompanied by their strollers, children, dogs, etc., are given tasty refreshments and can win raffle prizes
valued at more than $500. Entertainment is provided, and each walker who raises 25 or more dollars will receive a t-shirt.
Free children’s fun activities and health screenings will both be offered after the Walk.
The route is wheelchair accessible, and a one mile “Fun Walk” is also available for those who prefer exercise to be extra short and sweet!
Angels’ Place will be offering a special prize at the event for its walkers. 
Each walker that registers at the Angels’ Place table on the day of the walk will receive a ticket to be entered in a drawing.
The lucky winner will receive a basket of Italian speicalty items!
Parking Information:
There will be a limited number of free parking spots available on a first come first serve basis in
 Gold Lots 1 & 2 at Heinz Field on the day of the event. Free parking is available at Rivers Casino on
May 21st as long as everyone in the car is over the age of 21. Red Garage #5 will be charging
$3.00 per car on May 21st. Streets around Heinz Field will be closing beginning at 8:15 a.m on that day.

Registration can be done either online (www.walkforahealthycommunity.org) or by using a form you can
receive via mail, email or fax by calling us at (412) 321-4447. Angels’ Place, which is among 69 agencies
that a walker can register to support, is hoping for more than 100 participants. Registration begins at 7:45 a.m.
on the day of the walk. The walk begins at 9:00 a.m. and the fun walk begins at 9:15 a.m.
            We look forward to seeing you at the Highmark 5K Walk for a Healthy Community -
we’ve put in a request for a sunny day, but the Walk will be held rain or shine!

Now Hiring! Our CAREGivers LOVE what they do!

May 15, 2011 By: admin Category: Job Corner

Rebecca Champagne, Human Resource Coordinator

Home Instead Senior Care

1102 S Braddock Ave

Pittsburgh, PA 15218

Phone: (412) 731-0733



“I finally feel needed again! My mother passed 2 years ago and my kids have grown.
Being a CAREGiver allows me to give back again and brighten someone’s day.” – Joyce

“If it were not for me and the other CAREGivers, Mr. M. would have had to move out
of the home that he and his wife lived in since 1947.” – Dorothy

“I never could have realized how much joy and value my clients would give ME. I am so
 grateful that Home Instead Senior Care and I found each other.” - Mira

For fifteen years, the Home Instead Senior Care® franchise network has been devoted to providing
seniors with the highest quality care in their own homes, and to arming families with the information
they need to make the best decisions about caring for aging loved ones.

Home Instead Senior Care is also the employer of choice for dependable folks like you! If you
 are looking to share your compassion by making a difference in an elderly person’s life, please call!
Senior companions are needed to assist clients with daily activities and social endeavors–like shopping,
 cooking, and in-home needs.

We are currently looking to fill all shifts for clients in Pittsburgh, Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, Forest Hills,
Edgewood, McKeesport, and even North Versailles; so–if you are dependable, compassionate, and can
 provide non-medical care to an older adult, please call! Vehicle required. Training provided. Part time
and Full time available. Great schedule and benefits. We are an equal opportunity employer. Opportunities
are made available to all individuals at will regardless of age, race, gender, religion, creed, national origin,
marital status, pregnancy, presence of disability, sexual orientation, ancestry, and any other status protected by law.

Home Instead Senior Care provides a range of services including companionship, meal preparation, light
housekeeping, medication reminders, shopping, errands, personal care, and more. When family members
aren’t able to help the older adults they love, Home Instead CAREGivers are there to lend a helping hand.

If you, or any organization of which you are a part, is interested in learning more, please contact our office. 
We would be happy to speak to your group free of charge about senior-focus subjects, our services, and
even employment opportunities.  For more information regarding our services, please visit: www.hisc567.digbro.com

Better Off Born a Smith?

May 15, 2011 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

By Julie Ann Monzi


I recently jumped on the ancestry bandwagon and decided to research my family tree.
I quickly found out that I had a job and didn’t need another one where I had to pay for the privilege of getting irritated.
A good friend who is having a wonderful time finding his long lost relations updates me on his latest findings.
A month ago he found records for one part of his family as far back as the 1400s.
During his most recent search, he informed me that he has traced his roots back to 400 – 600 B.C.
Yes, I wrote B.C. I asked him whether those records were carved on tree bark or stones.
Bolstered by my friend’s success, I joined one of those websites that assists you in your search.
There is a catch: you do need some basic information.
Like the name of your grandmother’s father. My mother has no idea.
 Her mother never talked about her family.
I found my grandmother’s mother. And her second husband.
Not her first. Not my grandmother’s father. No maiden names listed. No birth records either.
So the next logical step would be to find my grandmother’s birth certificate. Easier said than done.
Since no one seems to have it, I thought I’d check where she’d be born. Ohio. What town?
It took my parents a few days to come up with it. Back to the computer. There is no record
of my grandmother being born in Ohio. The town is close to the Pennsylvania border.
Maybe my great-grandmother went to a hospital across the border. Another genealogically-gifted
 friend suggested a road trip. Yep, I’ve got time for that. Travel to Ohio (or somewhere near the border)
to sift through dusty records to maybe find my grandmother’s birth certificate. Do I really want to know that badly?
Then there’s my father’s father. He was born in Slovenia. Which used to be part of Yugoslavia.
 Before that, it was part of Austria. The Austro-Hungarian Empire to be exact. How do you find those
records when the borders change as often as the beach at high tide?

I decided to start with Ellis Island and work backwards. I know his birth date and approximately
when he immigrated. But the tricky part is his name. Anthony Bavetz. Which used to be Anthony Bavec.
In census records it is listed as Anton, Anthon, Antoine, Tony; Bavetz, Bavitz, Bavits, etc., etc., etc.
I tried every single spelling combination with absolutely no luck. My friend gets to the
 dinosaur age, and I can’t get past 1905.
In my musings, I thought maybe it would have been better to have been born a “Smith”.
Smith is an easy name. You can’t misspell it unless of course it has the fancy spelling of “Smyth”.
But Smith is simple to research, I thought. Think again. Do you know how many Smiths are in the
ancestral databases? 54,885,407 to be exact. Guess I was wrong on that one, too.
My sister has another perspective on the search. She feels the past should be left there.
Gone. Buried. “Who wants to find an ax murderer in the family?” She has a point. Which now is
 moot since my subscription to the ancestry database expires this month. I am not renewing. I’ve got
 enough headaches with living relatives let alone getting frustrated with dead ones.
Maybe I should do what my husband’s aunt did – invent some ancestors. Aunt Pat visited an
antique store in North Carolina and came upon an old black and white photo of an Italian-looking man in a suit and tie.
She bought the picture, popped it into a fancy frame, and has it sitting prominently on a shelf in her kitchen. She gave him a name:
Uncle Reginaldo. She even gave him a background which I actually believed as she told me the story with a twinkle in her eye.
 It took my husband to burst out laughing before I realized the joke was on me.

 But who knows? The joke may be on Aunt Pat. Maybe “Uncle Reginaldo” really is an ax murderer.
Julie Ann Monzi grew up in the Pittsburgh area and now lives in Gettysburg with her husband,
three almost-grown children, and five cats. She enjoys reading, hiking the Gettysburg Battlefield,
 and watching British mysteries. Looking to explore your spiritual side? Check out her blog at
www.5minutereflections.blogspot.com. Julie can be reached at julieannmonzi@gmail.com.

Feng Shui for Your Landscaping

May 15, 2011 By: admin Category: Feng Shui

Creating an Outdoor Oasis of Beauty and Balance

By Yvonne Phillips



As spring invites us to get outdoors again and spruce up our yards, why not consider going beyond the usual habits
of gardening, and instead work with your landscape in alignment with the wisdom of Feng Shui?

With the summer months our yards can become an extension of our living space, and the garden
allows us to feel connected to nature. Since the effective application of Feng Shui techniques
do wonders for shifting the energy of interior spaces, it makes sense that the same principals
 apply to your yard and garden. A well designed Feng Shui garden landscape appeals to all the
 senses, delights visitors, and provides a calm and restorative environment to fully enjoy the summer season.

Landscaping that is energized with the flow of chi will bring life to your home, and attract an abundance of
birds, butterflies and a feeling of wellbeing. By incorporating representations of the elements, you can make
your garden a retreat oasis in alignment with the wisdom of Feng Shui.

• Remove clutter, weeds, dead plants, objects to trip on such as tools and hoses,
and other strewn debris in order to clear the space and let the energy (chi) flow.
• Don’t overwhelm the environment with every dazzling color in the book,
but choose a selection of uplifting colors such as orange and yellow, and calming colors like blue, purple and white.
• Steer clear of items with sharp and pointed angles; rather choose smooth rounded
 corners to all objects, decorative pieces, flower pots and furniture.
• Avoid placing a fence or large object in the middle of your yard or garden,
as it will block the flow of energy and disrupt the positive chi.

Elements of Feng Shui in your landscaping:
• Earth - Keep the soil fertile and the flowers, trees and grass well maintained,
as this enhances the earth element. Place round stones as a border around spaces, or as
appealing and calming decoration to enhance the grounding balance of the earth element. 
• Wood – Choose wooden planting boxes, or adorn your landscaping with
decorative wooden pieces such as a carving, bench or bamboo pieces. As a lucky Feng Shui cure,
 bamboo is used to attract health, abundance and happiness.
• Metal - Place something metal in your landscaping to encourage the properties of that
 important element, such as wind chimes or planters.
• Water - Include still or slow flowing water such as a fountain, bird bath, pond or pooled water
from a stream. It’s not encouraged to have a fast moving stream or river through your property, as this
carries the positive energy away from your home, akin to “peace or abundance flying out the door”.
 Instead, have pooled or slower flowing water which can collect beneficial chi to stay in your yard.
• Fire - For the final touches of balancing the elements, fire can be represented in various ways such as candles or lanterns, or a fire pit.

You can easily create a feel-good and ambient garden patio with pillows, blankets, and outdoor music.
Just a few extra touches and working with the surrounding landscape brings restorative benefits and
 balance to the energy flow around and through your home. You’ll feel the difference and savour your time in the yard even more

Cheer Her Rapist? Let’s Make Noise Over This

May 15, 2011 By: admin Category: Feature Article



Article courtesy of Women’s eNews and Wendy Murphy
Women’s eNews website

By  Wendy Murphy

A Texas teen was expelled from her cheerleading squad for refusing to
cheer for a guy accused of raping her. The courts have let her down,
so about a dozen of us who are former NFL cheerleaders are standing
up. We want to hear some noise about this.
(WOMENSENEWS)–On May 2 the United States Supreme Court declined to
hear the appeal of a Texas high school cheerleader who was kicked off
her squad for refusing to cheer for a basketball player accused of
raping her weeks earlier.

About a dozen of us former NFL cheerleaders, standing on the
sidelines, were stunned. Then we decided to do what we can to speak up
for Hillaire, who wants her real first name to be used.
“There’s always been this idea that if you’re a cheerleader,
you’re just there to decorate the sidelines for the benefit of male
players and fans,” said Cheryl Duddy Schoenfeld, who cheered for
the NFL for two years in the 1970s. “Well we’ve got news for
anyone who believes in such nonsense. We are rallying behind this girl
and her family and we are committed to doing what we can to make sure
this never happens again–to any girl. If the school officials and
courts won’t support her, we will. We are calling on all
cheerleaders–NFL, college and high school, past and present–to step
up and join us in this effort.”

The victim’s family has been ordered to pay $45,000 in costs to
reimburse the school for having to defend against the lawsuit.

“Making the victim’s parents pay tens of thousands of dollars
because they tried to protect their child is like sending a message to
all cheerleaders that they had better stay quiet about things like
sexual assault and dating violence,” said Bonnie Gardner-Drumm,
an NFL cheerleader for five years in the early 1980s.

She calls the incident an outrage. “How hard would it have been
for school officials to just let her stay silent? Ideally they should
have forbidden the guy to play sports, but insisting that a young
woman literally cheer for a man who abused her is its own form of

Support ‘Really Good’

The victim’s lawyer, Larry Watts, said he was disappointed with the
court’s response, but that it felt “really good” to learn
that a group of NFL cheerleaders had stepped forward to support the

“I’ve been frustrated and shocked that no women’s or victims’
groups or even cheerleaders’ organizations have spoken out in support
of Hillaire. I just don’t get it,” he said. “This is a brave
young woman. It’s great that professional cheerleaders are now
supporting her. They don’t even know Hillaire but they know what she’s
going through and what it took for her to do what she did.”

Hillaire and her parents filed the lawsuit against the high school
after school officials in Silsbee, Texas, told Hillaire she had no
choice but to cheer for the man who attacked her.

She was willing to cheer for the team, but when her assailant was at
the free-throw line, and the squad was cheering for him in particular,
she stepped back from the others and crossed her arms in defiance.

Watts described the cheer they wanted her to say. He said, “It
went something like this: ‘Two, four, six-eight-10, come on [player]
put it in.’ Think about that. How does a school official make a rape
victim say something like that to a man who did something so

The accused was charged with rape and pleaded guilty to assault in
2010, but while the matter was still being resolved he continued to
play sports.

In February 2009, when the victim refused to cheer for him, she was
sent home by school officials and later dismissed from the squad for
the remainder of her high school career. The accused student continued
to enjoy the cheers and adulation of other students, parents and
school officials.

“People dismiss the value of cheerleaders as unimportant compared
to the guys,” said Schoenfeld. “It took a lot of guts for
this young woman to take a stand the way she did. She didn’t deserve
to be punished for that. It’s unbelievable in this day and age that
school officials could be so backward thinking about an issue as
important as violence against women and girls.”
Examining Cheerleaders’ Rights

In their lawsuit against the school district, Hillaire and her family
argued that a victim has a constitutionally-protected First Amendment
right to express herself by refusing to cheer for a student accused of

The federal court disagreed and ruled the teen had no free speech
rights because cheerleaders act as agents of the
school–”mouthpieces” is the word the court used–not as an
individual students.

The NFL cheerleaders, offended by the court’s characterization of them
as mere “mouthpieces,” are putting their megaphones to their
mouths to speak out.

I did, when I wrote that Hillaire should have sued under Title IX,
instead of the First Amendment, on the grounds that requiring a
cheerleader to cheer for her rapist is a form of sexual harassment and
thus an act of gender discrimination.

Another former NFL cheerleader, Jeanne Ball, is upset to hear that
there has been so little public support for Hillaire.

“Fortunately, she seems to have strong family support,” Ball

Attorney Watts says Hillaire regrets nothing and is proud of herself
for refusing to cheer and for bringing the lawsuit.

“It was the least she could do to show everyone how she felt not
only about being raped, but also about being so disrespected by school
officials,” he said.

Former cheerleader Schoenfeld could not agree more.

“We don’t want cheerleaders–or any women–to stay quiet about
such things,” she said. “Many of us have daughters now–and
sons–and we want them to have healthy relationships. There’s nothing
healthy about rape and there’s certainly nothing healthy about making
a young woman cheer for her abuser.”

The school’s lawyer did not return a call seeking comments.
Article courtesy of Women’s eNews and Wendy Murphy
Women’s eNews website

Business Program Calendar

May 03, 2011 By: admin Category: Business Library Schedule

May 2011

All programs begin at 12:15 pm at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Downtown & Business, 612 Smithfield Street, Downtown.  They are free and open to the public.


 Thursday, May   5         Using Social Media to Grow Your Business

David Tusick, Co-Founder/CEO

                                    Optimal Brand Development


David Tusick, a social media and advertising expert, will discuss the the development of social media and why it is so important in today’s business environment. The core of the presentation will analyze the elements of an effective social media advertising campaign and outline strategies that will help you set up your own successful campaign.



Thursday, May 12          The Eldercare Journey”

 Julian Gray, Certified Elder Law Attorney
 Principal, Julian Gray Associates


The cost of long-term care insurance is the greatest threat to our life savings. Mr. Gray, one of only four Certified Elder Law Attorneys in Pittsburgh and a VA certified attorney, will discuss various options along the journey from retirement through the need for long-term care at home or in a facility. He’ll also cover the new rules for Medicaid eligibility in PA as well as unknown benefits and planning tips for veterans and their spouses who want to remain in their homes for as long as possible.



Thursday, May 19          The Road to Credit Recovery

Todd Miller, Education Representative

                                     Advantage Credit Counseling Service


For many people, bad credit is the result of circumstances beyond their control. Mr. Miller will explain the steps you need to take in order to improve your current situation and re-establish credit after experiencing financial problems.  He’ll also discuss credit reports, credit card scams and how to manage future credit.



Thursday, May 26          Freakonomics:  The Movie

(DVD – 90 minutes)


Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, was on the New York Times’ best-seller list for more than two years. The DVD version explores the authors’ theories about the influence that a baby’s name has on his or her future, the relationship between corruption in sumo wrestling and Wall Street, the real reasons for the dramatic decrease in U.S. crime in the early ‘90s and the possibility that 9th graders can be bribed with cash to improve their grades.  Don’t be surprised if some of their conclusions will challenge you to re-examine your opinions on many of these issues.

May Events

May 03, 2011 By: admin Category: Events, May


May 4 - Gala in the Garden - Benefiting the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank - Enjoy cocktails and hors d’ oeuvres in the lush Tropical Forest, a stations dinner in the glass-walled Special Events Hall, an awards presentation and auction, then top the evening off with dancing and fantastic entertainment by Finesse - 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm - Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Garden, One Schenley Park, Pittsburgh
Host: MPI Pittsburgh Cost: $50 - Register online at: http://www.mpipittsburgh.org

May 4 – NAWBO – Downtown Divas  - Villa Southside, 1831 E. Carson St, Pittsburgh - Legendary Etta Cox, Jazz Diva & Soon to be Legendary Women’s Networking Happy Hour – Meet & hear about organizations that help, promote, & advocate women – Networking presentations, 6-7 PM, Music 7-9 PM

May 4 – SBDC – Thinking About Starting a Business? Mechanics of Starting a Small Business Seminar – Whiteball Community Room – 6 pm – 8pm – Free – Represented by Raymond Vargo

May 5 - PCA Spring Celebration - A Networking Event - 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m
Place: Atria’s in Wexford, 12980 Perry Highway, Wexford - Host: Pittsburgh Coaches Association - Cost: $15 in advance (online); $20 at the door

May 5 – Women on State Boards & How to get there – Allegheny HYP Club -5:00 PM - 5:30 PM Registration & Networking, 5:30 to 7:00 PM – Program - Program fee $25 for EWC Members, $45 for non-members – Register by email: ewcpgh@aol.com

May 6 -Tools for Coaches - A Gestalt Approach to Conflict - Presented by Ann L. Begler of the Begler Group - 11:15 - 11:30 a.m: Registration and Networking, 11:30 - 12 noon: Announcements & Luncheon -12:00 - 1:00 p.m.: Featured Presentation, Highland Golf Club - Westview, 450 Highland Avenue, Pittsburgh, Host: Pittsburgh Coaches Association, Cost: By 5 p.m., May 6: Members -$30, Nonmembers-$40 - After 5 p.m., May 6: Members-$40, Nonmembers-$40 - http://www.pittsburghcoaches.org Further info: contact Roberta Rollings at Pghcoachesassoc@aol.com


May 7 - The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir will perform a series of pieces ranging from spirituals, to traditional, to gut-busting gospel music in their upcoming concert: “O Sing Unto The Lord A New Song: An Afternoon of Tribute, Recognition & Celebration” at 4 PM - East Liberty Presbyterian Church. For more information about the concert or to purchase tickets, please visit www.pittsburghgsospelchoir.org or call 412-613-5825.

May 10 - Breakfast Briefing Empowering Citizens and Communities: A View from the Czech Republic - 8:15-9:30 a.m. - Jirí Bárta Executive Director, Via Foundation (Prague, Czech Republic) - The Pittsburgh Foundation Offices, 5 PPG Pl., Suite 250, Pittsburgh

May 10 - Greater Harmony Chorus invites you to Family and Friends Night on at 7:30 p.m.  This event is free and will be at Richland Elementary School, 3811 Bakerstown Rd., Gibsonia, Pa.  It will be a dress rehearsal for our Region 17 Competition May 20 - 21 in Cleveland.  Please attend to send us off to competition in grand style.  Refreshments will be served.  

May 11 -  Business for Breakfast Networking Event - 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. - McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant, SouthSide Works, 2667 Sidney Street, Pittsburgh - Hosts: Pittsburgh Business Times and McCormick & Schmick’s  - Cost: $25 (includes cont.breakfast & $10 McCormick & Schmick’s gift card.)
RSVP: Suggested by May 6th (Seating is limited. http://pittsburgh.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/event - For more info, contact Kelli Komondor at 412-208-3845 or komondor@bizjournals.com

May 11 – WIN Pittsburgh - Accessorize & Socialize Event – Guest Speakers: Gwyn Cready, Fashions by Doncaster, Robyn Bracco – Complimentary makeovers – 11 AM – 1:30 PM – Olive or Twist, 140 6th St 2nd floor, Pittsburgh – RSVP required – Raffles - Joining WIN-Pittsburgh gives you all of the benefits and membership in the National Association for Female Executives!  To visit www.winpitt.org click here.  If you are not a member of WIN-Pittsburgh and decide to become a member on the day of the event, we will give you a $15 discount off of your membership, if you paid the $45 non-member registration fee for the Accessorize & Socialize event. 

May 11 - Brown Bag Lunch -12:00 – 1:00pm -Speaker:  Linda Handley, Founder at Building Bridges for Business -Topic: How to Start Internet Marketing and Blogging - What do you do if you are just starting to use the tools of internet marketing? Join us to learn how Internet marketing can attract more people to your website, increase customers for your business, and enhance branding of your company and products. Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania - 1650 Main Street PittsburghFREE -RSVP: 412.782.5344 x 209 or volunteersofamerica@voapa.org

May 12- Entrepreneur’s Growth Conference - Keynote Speakers: Jason Brown, CEO of Right by Nature Steven Breuner, Founder of 48 Supercuts stores - Discover ideas that can transform your business. Choose from 15 expert-led workshops on the hottest topics in business today.- Workshops on strategic planning, management, finance, marketing, starting a business, and more. A business building trade show featuring more than 50 support organizations. Unparalleled networking opportunities with entrepreneurial veterans, top service providers and the region’s most promising entrepreneurs. - 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. -  Duquesne University, 600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh - Host: Duquesne University Small Business Development Center - Cost: Full Day-$119 (By April 28); After April 28-$139; Afternoon Only (including lunch)-$79; Lunch & Keynote Only-$50; Walk-ins-$159. Full day fee includes continental breakfast, discount parking, luncheon, workshops & business-building trade show.) RSVP: Required to receive advance price. Questions: Call 412-396-1633. http://www.duq.edu/sbdc

May 13 - Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series - Speaker: Lynsie Camuso, Co-founder and President, ShowClix - Topic: “Taking on Ticketmaster: Achieving Success Against an Industry
Giant” - Time: 7:30-9:00 AM -Venue: James Laughlin Music Center, Chatham University Shadyside Campus Cost: $25.00 - Register online: www.chatham.edu/cwe

May 18 - Presented by Julie Ann Sullivan, MBA, President of Learning Never Ends
and author of “Life Lessons” - Each situation gives us a new opportunity to react in a different way.  Different styles of listening help you to be a better listener. The “art” comes in our capacity to respond appropriately. Participate in this interactive workshop and develop the “art” - 10:15 a.m. - Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh - Squirrel Hill - Cost: Free - To RSVP, email Julie Ann Sullivan at julieann@julieannsullivan.com

May 20 – Women’s Power Lunch -Come be a part of the longest running networking luncheon in the Pittsburgh area.  Bring 50 business cards or brochures to hand
out and be prepared to give a short presentation on your business to introduce yourself to other business women and professionals.  - 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. - Sharp Edge Restaurant-Bistro, 922 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh - $30.00 cash at the door, receipts provided - RSVP: By May 18th - To register, contact Suzanne McMahon-Froehlich at
724-452-5152 or


May 20 - Give Your Spanx a Workout! Graze and Sip the night away at “Cocktails and Cuisine for Women in Crisis” at the Woodlands in Bradford Woods. This fabulous evening, 6pm to 10PM. showcasing over 20 food and wine purveyors benefits Crisis Center North.  For tickets or more info - Www.CrisisCenterNorth.org Or call 412-364-6728 ext. 15

May 21 - Find Your Inner Rock Star -Presented by Dayna SteeleAuthor of the forthcoming book I’m With the Band: Network Your Way into Anything, Anywhere, Anytime! Discover how to how to unleash your rock star potential and grow your business using rock star principles.  - 8:00 - 8:30: networking & continental breakfast;  8:30 a.m. - 12 noon: introductions and featured program - Location: LaRoche College, Zappala College Ctr, 9000 Babcock Blvd., Pittsburgh - Host: National Speakers Association, Pittsburgh Chapter - Cost: NSA Members & Affiliates-$35, Nonmembers-$45, At the door-$55
RSVP: Suggested by May 19th - For more information and to register, go to:

May 25 - Business Exchange Networking Lunch - 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. -  Comfort Inn (The Old Holiday Inn) in RIDC Park, Ohara Twp - Cost: $15 - RSVP: By Monday, May 23 -To register, contact Carol Briney at 412-781-8773 or PlanBConsultant@comcast.net

June 10 - Inspired Women in Business and Life – Four Points Sheraton – An empowering full-day of breakouts, keynotes and inspiration! Speakers from Tampa, Sacramento, Manhattan as well as local talent. Don’t miss the Girlfriend Early Bird Special of $75 per ticket before May 10th. Silent Auction to benefit Treasure House Fashion. For details about workshops, sponsorship, vending or tickets – www.Inspiredwomen.com or call 724-935-6100







May 21 – Salsita! Pittsburgh Opera, 2425 Liberty Ave –  9 pm – 1am – Silent Auction, Salsa Cook Off, VIP ticket $75, Salsa Dance Lesson, Auction Preview - salsitapgh.com


May 21 - Walk for a Healthy Community - Heinz Field -ACLD, An Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities, and its special education day school program, the ACLD Tillotson School, are participating in the Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Walk for a Healthy Community.  The Walk is an annual fundraiser that benefits local, nonprofit health and human service agencies in southwestern Pennsylvania. Because of Highmark’s commitment, 100 percent of the money raised by walkers goes to the participating organizations. The primary goal of the walk is to help participating organizations raise money for their individual missions.

This year, we invite your company and its employees to join us in supporting our “School to Work Program” which is designed to help our high school students with severe learning disabilities.  Money raised would be used to purchase needed equipment, materials and transportation to simulate and increase our students’ exposure to real life work experiences. Call 412.325.2476 or email bmartin@acldonline.org for more information

June 7 - Members of the Pittsburgh Police will be participating in the upcoming Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics - Our leg is the first (roughly 4 miles) and will kick off the 150 mile run from PNC Park in Pittsburgh to Medlar Field in State College, Pa. The event will consist of 50 miles a day and the final leg will coincide with the opening Pennsylvania Special Olympics Summer Games at Medlar Field and State College.


Any assistance you can provide by sponsoring Team Pittsburgh Police or a specific runner is greatly appreciated. All of the proceeds help the wonderful athletes who participate in Special Olympics of Pennsylvania. You are also invited to stand on the sidewalks along the route and chair on our officers as we carry the torch.


Save the Date

August 26 - Nemacolin Woodlands Resort & Spa - 18th Annual Golf Event - More than just a golf event; there’s something for everyone at Nemacolin!Support victims of domestic violence and teen dating violence prevention @ the 18th Annual Golf Event to End Domestic Violence - Sponsorship opportunities, Golf & Special Packages Available. Register at www.womansplace.org OR call (412) 664-7146 for more information.

Feather Your Nest

May 03, 2011 By: admin Category: Humor, Mary Grace Musuneggi

When I moved into my house about six years ago, I hung a wreath above the fireplace in my outdoor space.  The wreath was made of vines and ribbons and baby’s breath.  Within a month, I saw that the robins in the area were picking away at it, taking pieces of the vine and ribbon and flying off to add to the structure of nests they were building elsewhere.  On one particular evening, I noticed that a very industrious robin had chosen to use the wreath as the very foundation of his nest.  He began by packing mud between the fireplace wall and the wreath.  To discourage this building project, I removed the wreath, removed his structure and re-hung the wreath.  I came home the next day to see that this determined robin had rebuilt the nest.   Taking it down one more time, I came home the next evening to see that he had built it again; and that his female partner had moved in. I was amazed.  I decided that such determination should be rewarded, and I left them alone.  Within a few weeks, eggs appeared; and within a couple of months, baby birds were born, were fed and taught to fly; and finally the entire family left the nest.  A nice experience to watch. 


Even though I removed the old nest when the family moved out, for the next five springs, new robin families have come, built their nest, bore and raised their children and moved on.  Somehow all feeling very secure in my space; and all willing to share the space with me and my family.  When we came out to sit, or watch TV, or cook outside, or just take in the evening air, the robin families did not fly away; but instead they watched our activities just like we watched theirs. They filled the mornings with their chirping and singing. On occasion, after the babies were born, the mothers sometimes squawked if we got too close, just to remind us that we were sharing their space, too, after all.


Then last year something new happened.  After the robin family moved away, I had forgotten to take down the nest.  I had been traveling a lot; and upon returning from an extended trip, I was surprised to see that a male and female dove had taken up residence in the old robin’s nest.  Not only had they made it their home, but they had added an addition of more mud and twigs and leaves.  It was big enough for the two of them to sit in it side by side.  Upon further investigation, I discovered they were sitting on two eggs.  For weeks they took over my deck, flew in and out, perched on the furniture; and even sat on an outside ceiling fan, while it went round and round as the air blew past it.  They were having a great time and really making themselves at home.  When the babies hatched, the parents littered the area with seed pits and other food sources that they shared with their family. Unlike the robins, they were very unwilling to share the space.  They squawked anytime I came out the door and frantically flew from side to side in the space anytime someone approached. 


By the time they moved out the wreath that had been the foundation of all the nests and the source of building materials for so many robins had totally deteriorated; and so I took it down with nest attached and threw it away.  It was like the end of an era. 


But in the process of clearing out the wreath and cleaning up the space I found myself meditating on what life lessons I had learned from this odyssey. 


All of these birds do what comes naturally. They follow their instincts.


They are determined to accomplish their goal. They let nothing stand in the way of their progress.


They use natural elements to create a home and raise a family. And the doves recycled an existing structure to adapt it to their needs.


The priority for these birds is their family; and the parents work together to create a healthy, safe, and nurturing environment. They protect their nest from outside influences.  They raise their children to ultimately become independent creatures, teaching them to fly, to search for food and to leave the nest. They teach them to become productive members of their society.


Their life is uncomplicated.  It includes work and family, but creativity and fun.  The perfect example of simplicity, joy and abundance all rolled into one of God’s small creatures.


I am glad they have shared their lives with me. I am glad that I had the chance to share my space with them.  And I am glad they reminded me of some basic rules for living well.


As we enter the Spring of this year, I am anxious to see who comes to live on my deck.  A new wreath has been hung and robins are already flying by scoping it out. 


And as you begin the Spring of your year take a lesson from my “friends”.  Learn to live without stress; create and accomplish your goals; enjoy life’s simple pleasures.  Build your personal “nest” with joy and abundance. 


Mary Grace Musuneggi




Executive Director and Founder