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Archive for August, 2015

3 Secrets to Protecting Your Business

August 10, 2015 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

By Rieva Lesonsky

When I started my business seven years ago, I never imagined I would immediately have to fight to keep my business going because of an unanticipated lawsuit. Luckily, I had clients loyal to my business that stood by me and helped my business survive. Right away I learned how to protect my business like a mama bear protecting her cub.

Luckily, I had done my homework at startup and had some basic protection practices in place. Here’s a small checklist you should follow to protect your business:

1. Separate your business finances from your personal finances. Structuring your business as a corporation or an LLC makes your business a separate entity and protects your personal assets in case you’re ever taken to court. Yes, there are more rules, fees and paperwork involved in incorporating, but it’s worth the money and effort.

2. Get business insurance. At the very least you need general liability insurance to cover your company against accidents related to your product or service, and property and casualty insurance to cover your business against losses from events like fire and burglary. Even if you run your business from home, don’t count on your homeowners’ insurance covering your business—in most cases, it won’t. If you have employees, your state may require worker’s compensation insurance. Other smart policies include business interruption insurance to pay for your business’s expenses and income if your company is unable to operate due to a disaster, and key man life insurance so the business can keep going if something happens to you.

3. Surround yourself with experts. You may be an expert in your business, but I never would have survived the last seven years without a team of people I could rely on to guide me and protect my business. Make sure you have an outstanding accountant and a lawyer you trust. Other experts I have relied on include peers with expertise in areas that were new to me, such as digital marketing and sales negotiation.

Luckily, I knew about the mentors available to me at SCORE and reached out for help whenever I had a question. Your needs may be different and your business may require more protection depending on your industry. The key is to be as prepared as possible so when your business is at risk, you have the right weapons and allies in your corner to protect it.

About the Author
Rieva Lesonsky, HeadshotRieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com , follow her onGoogle+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.

I Want To be Left Alone, but……

August 10, 2015 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

By Mary Grace Musuneggi
President & CEO, The Musuneggi Financial Group
Executive Director, Single Steps Strategies

As the Russian ballerina, Grusinskaya, in the movie Grand Hotel (1932), the melodramatic actress Greta Garbo said, “I want to be alone.” These words also became associated with her in her private life.

But in a rare interview she clarified her intent: “I never said, ‘I want to be alone.’ I only said, ‘I want to be left alone!’ There is all the difference.”

Once a year I go on a private retreat. I leave the city, leave Tom and the dog, and leave the office. I escape. I have been doing this every year for a very long time.

I want to be left alone, I want to be alone…but what I don’t want to be is lonely.

Sometimes women don’t know how to differentiate the left alone from the alone and the lonely. Too often they think these are all the same.

But being left alone means that no one is making you crazy at the current time—not your kids, your dog, your spouse, your relatives, your boss…not the world at large. “Left alone” can happen at any moment in time and on any day, even if it is just for an hour. It can be an escape to the bathroom for a long shower; an appointment at the local salon to get your hair done; or a visit to the neighborhood spa for a massage. To make this an exceptional momentary escape, don’t tell anyone where you are going. Or leave the cellphone in the car. Before you go home, stop for coffee at a quiet bistro or sit on a bench in a nearby park watching the birds or reading a book. The very joy is having some time where you are truly “left alone.”

Being alone is another dimension. It is beyond just having a few moments or hours where no one bothers you. Being alone is a deliberate decision to spend time with yourself…to spend time with your thoughts. It is going on retreat. There are no cellphones allowed. It is a time to restore your sense of self and your sense of well-being. It is a necessity, and it requires a few days, not just a few hours. It requires planning: Sitters for the kids and the pets. Days off from work. Money. But the reward is worth all of the time, money, and planning efforts. The reward is a kinder, gentler, happier, healthier you. And that is a reward that all the members of the family or employees of your company can also enjoy.

Now the irony of this is that too many women think being left alone and being alone equate to being lonely. Interestingly, it is those women who are so very “not lonely” who most need the time to be left alone and need the time to be alone.

Being lonely is depressing. Being left alone is refreshing.

Being lonely requires therapy. Being left alone can be life changing…being alone is therapy.

Being lonely sends some women into a tailspin where they reach out for the first (often unsuitable) relationship that shows itself. Being alone sends you into a relationship with yourself that reminds you all you have is all you need. And if some other person enters your life, they could be a nice addition.

Being lonely is typically not a choice. Being left alone can be a quick decision…being alone is a conscious choice.

To maintain your focus, carve out some time in every day where you are left alone. To maintain your sanity, plan an extended time to be alone. To maintain a happy life, make an effort to not be lonely. Join an organization; take a class; volunteer in your community; invite a co-worker out for dinner. Enjoy the company of others…then enjoy some time alone.

A Woman’s Health Riddle- Do you know the answer?

August 10, 2015 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

By Sandy Burkett

When thinking about a woman’s body…

1. What comes to visit, but never leaves?
2. Can stay hidden, but also be in plain sight?
3. Is more prevalent than Breast Cancer?
4. Does not typically get diagnosed until after 40 y/o?
5. Can visit by itself or bring its friends?

If you guessed Sjogren’s Syndrome (pronounced SHO-GRINS), you would be in the minority. That is because even though Sjogren’s Syndrome is the second most common autoimmune disease and 9 out of 10 patients are women, hardly anyone has heard of it.

As with most autoimmune diseases, there are many symptoms that come and go on a daily basis. One can present with dry mouth, dry eyes & joint pain on one day and have a totally different combination of symptoms the next. Because of these “now you see them, now you don’t “symptoms, it can be very difficult to diagnose the correct condition. Also, there is a strong tendency for people to dismiss their symptoms as benign (i.e. “Oh, it’s this air conditioning, it always dries me out “). Also, because symptoms can be vague and not present at once when seeing a physician(s), the doctor may not put the entire picture of symptoms together as one diagnosis.

Sjogren’s Syndrome is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease in which a person’s white cells, attack the moisture-producing glands in the body. This damage causes a large decrease or absence of saliva and tears. Although, the hallmark symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome are dry eyes and dry mouth, Sjogren’s may also cause system involvement and has recently been approved for disability, for those very involved Sjogren’s Syndrome patients.

Sjogren’s Syndrome Symptoms

• Dry mouth; mouth sores; dental decay; difficulty with chewing; speech, taste & dentures
• Dry nose, recurrent sinusitis; nose bleeds
• Dry eyes, corneal ulcerations & infections
• Dry skin, vasculitis, Raynaud’s phenomenon
• Neurological problems, concentration, memory loss (brain fog)
• Abnormal liver function tests; chronic active autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis
• Peripheral Neuropathy (numbness & tingling in the extremities)
• Difficulty swallowing, heartburn, reflux, esophagitis
• Recurrent bronchitis, pneumonia, interstitial lung disease
• Arthritis, muscle pain
• Stomach upset, gastroparesis, autoimmune pancreatitis
• Vaginal dryness, painful intercourse

The symptoms of Sjogren’s Syndrome may mimic those of menopause, drug side effects, or medical conditions, such as: Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Multiple Sclerosis.

If you recognize any of the symptoms listed above a possible answer to your personal medical riddle, please contact a Rheumatologist to have appropriate testing done. While there is no cure, there are medications that can treat the symptoms.

For more information about Sjogren’s Syndrome, please contact the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation: http://www.sjogrens.org or if you would like to speak with a local contact, please contact: Sandy Burkett (412)726-3159

The Sandwich Woman: The Heart of the Sandwich Generation

August 10, 2015 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

Carole Brecht & Jan Steinle

The Sandwich Generation is uniting globally because the needs are so great. 60,000,000+ Caregivers in this nation alone. That number does not include professional Caregivers. The numbers are staggering how many people are getting Alzheimer’s Disease and other variations of dementia as they age. Being around someone who has either a slow or rapid decline with memory impairment is a painful thing to witness. The long goodbye is a perfect name for such a disease. Our memories are essential - they make us who we are today. There are plenty of Caregivers and parents who are not only caring for the seniors in their lives, they are still raising their children or may have a special needs child who needs daily care too. The boomer generation has a lot of responsibility!
If you have a story about your life as a Caregiver that you’d like to share with this Global Community, please submit it to us via facebook email. We will post it so everyone can read and learn from you. If you have tips, helpful ideas when Caregiving, solutions for difficult circumstances and even a thought for the day, we encourage you to send them to us. We’d like to see you take an active role on this page and to feel welcome to do so. The learning curve is ongoing when dealing with healthcare issues. We can all benefit from your insights.

Best Wishes,
Carole Brecht

Instagram: @San_Gen_Woman
Twitter: Carole Brecht @SanGenWoman

August 2015 Events

August 10, 2015 By: admin Category: Consumer Education

VisionPittsburgh Luncheon

Featured Speaker:
William Demchak, President of PNC Financial Services Group

Attend the VisionPittsburgh luncheon and join the discussion
about the future of our region featuring the perspectives of
prominent local business leaders.

Date: August 6, 2015
Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Place: Duquesne Club, 325 Sixth Avenue Pittsburgh PA 15222
Host: Pittsburgh Business Times
Cost: $65
RSVP: Suggested by August 4th

Register online at:

For more info, call 412-208-3817.

Business Exchange Networking Lunch

* Give a 1-2 minute commercial for your business.
* Bring business cards, brochures, and samples.
* Make new business contacts.

Dates and Locations:

Aug. 12- Mount Lebanon, The Devonshire of Mount Lebanon,
1050 McNeilly Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15226
RSVP: email Carol Briney at Carol@CarolABriney.com

Aug. 26- Fox Chapel, Comfort Inn (Old Holiday Inn) in RIDC Park,
Ohara Twp
RSVP: email Carol Briney at

Time: 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Cost: $18 (Bring cash; No-shows will be billed for the lunch)
RSVP: By Monday prior to the event

For more info, go to: http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=4gu7_&m=IsiLzbdaceZhGz&b=2Jkun9atoGpeeNJd8ViKjg.


Network After Work at Skybar

Network After Work is America’s premier face-to-face business
networking company with monthly mixer events in over 40 cities
catering to nearly one million members. Attendees make valuable
connections with other members of their business community while
enjoying different exciting venues including clubs, restaurants,
hotels and special event locations. Events attract a diverse mix
of up to several hundred professionals from all industries and
career levels. It all takes place on a weekday right after work
in a fun and relaxed atmosphere conducive to making connections.

Name-tags color coded by industries help sort through the many
opportunities while a free drink and light bites before 7 p.m.
helps get the ball rolling right from the start.

Date: August 12, 2015
Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Place: Skybar, 1605 E Carson St Pittsburgh PA 15203
Host: Network After Work
Cost: $15 in advance /$20 with RSVP at door/$25 without RSVP
RSVP: Suggested by August 10

Register online at:


B2B Networking Lunch

Date: August 13, 2015
Time: 12:00 PM
Place: Bigelow Grill
Host: Pittsburgh Business Professionals Forum
Price: Everyone pays for their own lunch
RSVP: By August 11th

To RSVP, send email to: peter@gisassoc.com.

Brentwood Baldwin Whitehall Chamber of Commerce
Women’s Networking Luncheon

August 14, 2015
South Hills Country Club

Guest Speaker-Zoe Kennedy


Art is what originally brought Zoe to Pittsburgh over 30 years ago to study Fashion Illustration at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Her more commercial work, geared towards sports fans, is currently on display at Zoe’s Beer in Brentwood. Zoe loves the opportunity to escape the beer business and design pieces specifically with a client in mind. Zoe will show the steps in the process she uses to create her signature watercolor and charcoal portraits of people and animals.

Lunch for Chamber Members - $20 - Bring a friend!
Lunch for Non-Members - $25
Display Table $10

Please make a reservation by contacting our secretary:
Mary Dilla - secretary@bbwchamber.com


Ten Lies Women Believe About Money

Don’t miss this provocative and timely discussion about women and
money. Pittsburgh Professional Women is pleased to gather together
a panel of local women leaders with outstanding combined experience
and knowledge of financial matters.

This panel is designed to educate and inform you to make
smart financial choices. Please bring your clients, colleagues,
daughters, sisters, nieces, and any woman you care about.

This event includes dinner and a panel discussion with time to
ask one on one questions at the end.

Date: August 17, 2015
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Place: DoubleTree Pittsburgh Green Tree 500 Mansfield Ave,
Pittsburgh, PA 15205
Host: Pittsburgh Professional Women
Cost: Members-$39; Non Members-$49
RSVP: Suggested by August 13

Register online at:


Sendoff to Summer at Fox Chapel Yacht Club

Join us at the the Fox Chapel Yacht Club at the Baja Bar & Grill
for our 4th annual ‘Send Off to Summer’ Business Networking Party.
This joint mixer is an executive, yet business casual/Hawaiian
style reception with four amazing Pittsburgh organizations!

Date:August 19, 2015
Time: 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Place: Fox Chapel Yacht Club, 1366 Old Freeport Rd,
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
Host: Pittsburgh Social Exchange
Sponsoring Organization: Pittsburgh Social Exchange
Cost: PSE & Rotary Members-$15 ($25 after Aug. 18),
Non-members-$45 ($65 after Aug. 18)
RSVP Date: Suggested by August 18

Register online at:

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.

Date: August 20, 2015
Time: 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Place: To be announced
Cost: $25.00 (Prepayment required)
RSVP: By August 18th

Questions: Contact Suzanne at Suzanne@womenspowerlunch.com
or 724-452-5152.

Register online at: http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=4gu7_&m=IsiLzbdaceZhGz&b=yjYH2aNDdeKfG2JXxDnd7Q

Nine Price & Fee Failures to Avoid Like the Plaque

Becky Auer & Weston Lyon

Date: August 25, 2015
Time: 3:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Place: Sigma’s Conference & Event Center,
1717 Backcock Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15209
Sponsor: No BS Marketing Meeting
Cost: FREE for First Time Guests; $20 for Returning Guests
RSVP Date: August 21

Registration Web Address:

Jazz Happy Hour Networking

A casual twice-a month networking event for those interested in
business innovation in Pittsburgh. A jazz, soul and blues
happy hour show plus open-mike interviews with local executives.

Created by Jessica Lee, a successful entrepreneur and musician,
Jessica Lee’s Jazz Happy Hour promotes live music in downtown
Pittsburgh and assists the entrepreneurial networking of the
region with funding and partnering opportunities.

Date: August 26, 2015
Time: 6:00 - 8 p.m.
Place: Rivers Club, One Oxford Center, Pittsburgh, PA
Host: Jessica Lee
Cost: $5 (hors d’ouevres included)

Jazz Networking events are held on the second and final
Wednesdays of each month. For information on upcoming events,
visit http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=4gu7_&m=IsiLzbdaceZhGz&b=17FgOrQgdPYNXSQ0K3L0RQ

To RSVP, call 412-391-5227 or email erin.sustar@ourclub.com.