business

A Liberal Approach to Business

Because you study anything and everything at a liberal arts college, you might say that it resembles an episode of Seinfeld, the observational comedy show about nothing. And because nothing really prepares you for a business career, the liberal arts might make the best choice. Late one night in 1992, my father phoned, asking me …

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2017 Was Good For Business

Information technology and robotics lead the region as the most active sectors for business deals and jobs in the Pittsburgh region, according to the 2017 Allegheny Conference on Community Development Business Investment Scorecard. The scorecard is an index which considers the number of new deals in the region, capital investment, and jobs created and retained …

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Pittsburgh Business Show Ready to Launch Second Year

Last year, Linda Jo Thornberg created the Pittsburgh Business Show with notable success, attracting 157 exhibiting business and 2,800 attendees. Prior to this year’s show, April 25 and 26 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, we asked her how she got the show started and what to expect in its second iteration. Q. How …

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The Path to Growth

My 13-year-old son is growing taller by the day. I asked him jokingly when he would stop and he replied “If I had my way, never.” He said it felt good to be achieving “new heights” even if he knew it would come to an end some day. The same seems to be true of …

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Money, Power & Purpose

Harvard played its final game of the 1911 baseball season the day after graduation. With Harvard up 4-1 and one out to go, team captain and star pitcher Charles B. “Chick” McLaughlin called time, for a substitution at first base. A lanky redhead came off the Harvard bench. He had failed to make the team …

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Masters of their Fate

Dawn was still hours away when Jim Rohr emerged from National City Corp. headquarters in downtown Cleveland on Oct. 24, 2008. The streets were empty, but familiar. His grandfather’s deli had stood just across the street. Not far from there was where his father had moved the deli, which later became a restaurant. Rohr worked …

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Chip Ganassi, Auto Racing Entrepreneur

Growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, Pittsburgh was the center of the universe. All the biggest companies were here: U.S. Steel, Gulf Oil, Alcoa, PPG, Westinghouse; you name it. And on top of that, we had the Pirates and the Steelers. The city was firing on all cylinders, and I pictured myself running one …

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The Power of the Pelt

Behold the beaver! Beady-eyed, snubnosed and bucktoothed, it is hardly a thing of beauty, yet the pursuit of this oversized rodent across North America launched more ships (and keelboats, rafts and canoes) than the lovely Helen of Troy, for all her charms. Desire for the legendary queen may have prompted the decade-long Trojan War, but …

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Our Future with Governor Dan Onorato

Over the last six years that I have served as Allegheny County executive, we achieved momentous results by working together, putting taxpayers first and keeping our focus, making southwestern Pennsylvania an attractive place for businesses to invest and families to live. We know the story because we’ve been through it together. Six years ago, we …

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The Art of the Haberdasher

It’s been almost six months since John Lohr, a salesman from Brooks Brothers, passed away, but I keep thinking about it. I don’t know what shocked me more. Was it that I had purchased a couple of shirts and ties from him the day before he died? Was it that, at 53, he was just …

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Art in the Trees

Junior high woodworking class is as close as many of us have ever gotten to making something with our own hands. We developed a tactile awareness of the silky smoothness of well-sanded wood and that need to run our fingers over the soft warmth of a finished piece of walnut. John Metzler never out grew …

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A Passion for Baking

Mary-kay Fiore’s life turned out a little differently than she expected. But it sure has a sweet ending. In 2001, the single mother of three found herself downsized out of a corporate job and facing a crossroads. She had baked for years, as a way to pass the nervous hours until 11 p.m., when her …

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You’ll Manage – Fall 2009

Sabatino “Sam” DiBattista dreamed of revitalizing sleepy little Bellevue as a means of improving not only the  business at his Bellevue restaurant, Vivo, but the merchants around him on Lincoln Avenue. His dream slowly became a crucible as the forces of easy money and lax lending practices converged against him just when he thought he …

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Mays, Kelly, Scalo, Bennington, Connelly, Byron

Billy Mays, 50   Billy Mays was the consummate pitchman, famous to television watchers across the continent for his booming voice, black beard and persuasive infomercials. He believed in his products, such as OxyClean and Mighty Putty, and it showed. The McKees Rocks native got started on the career path that would make him famous …

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Gray vs. Green in CEOs

Like everyone, I’ve been watching a lot of Paul Newman movies lately. A couple of his performances made me think about CEOs and how they seem to get better with age. It particularly strikes me when I watch him play two different Eddie Felsons in “The Hustler” and “The Color of Money.” The young Felson …

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Jack Perkowski, ASIMCO Technologies

Like so many others in the Pittsburgh area, my grandparents on both sides emigrated from Poland to the United States in the early part of the 20th century. Think about the journey they made. They were going to a place about which they knew nothing. They didn’t know the language. It must have been very …

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Global City: The Vietnamese are Here

Father Dam Nguyen presides over the flock at St. Gabriel’s Church of the Sorrowful Virgin in the South Hills town of Whitehall. Several in the congregation share his Vietnamese heritage, and more often these days he finds himself given the joyful task of presiding at the marriage or baptism of one of their children or …

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H.J. Heinz: Relish Success

In the second half of the 19th century, as Pittsburgh emerged as one of America’s great cities, it did so on the back of heavy industry; steel predominantly, but also glass, oil and all manner of heavy machinery. Indeed, four of the five men novelist Edith Wharton dubbed the “Lords of Pittsburgh” built their fortunes …

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Tech Council CEO: Audrey Russo

You can take a New Yorker out of New York, but not, to measure by new Pittsburgh Technology. With a beguiling feistiness and enough self-confidence to fill up a hotel ballroom at a Tech Council Breakfast Briefing, the Nassau County native has set ambitious goals for the 25-year-old, 1,400 companies member trade association. She rattles …

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The China Syndrome

Annie Wang was 9 when her parents vanished behind the Bamboo Curtain. It was the start of China’s “Cultural Revolution,” a terrible time for anyone in that country with money or status. Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-tung urged citizens to engage in “class struggle” and the overthrow of “capitalist roaders,” encouraging the political persecutions, betrayal, torture, …

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It’s a Book Thing

Ten or 15 years ago, a story about Pittsburgh’s “independent” bookstores wouldn’t have made much sense. “When we opened in 1990, there was just the Borders in South Hills,” says Richard Goldman, co-owner of Mystery Lovers’ Bookshop. Now the Pittsburgh area supports 18 of what Goldman calls “the chain superstores,” doing an estimated 80 percent …

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The Bionic Entrepreneur?

For me, fall marks not only the return of autumn leaves, cider and football, but returning to my role as a college entrepreneurship instructor. Despite this being my third year teaching this subject, I’m still troubled by a gnawing, fundamental question: Can you actually teach someone to be an entrepreneur? Is it a trait you’re …

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