The WHIRL Women in Business Class of 2013
On a particularly crisp April morning, 63 of Pittsburgh’s esteemed women entrepreneurs gathered for the second annual WHIRL Women in Business Networking Event. We were honored to host some of the region’s most accomplished female figures in the Monongahela ballroom on the 17th floor of the Omni William Penn Hotel.
Spring wardrobes of colorful hues and genuine smiles warmed the room, as did stories of success shared between sips of freshly brewed coffee. Conversation over an ambrosial brunch by Chef Jacky Francois was lively and refreshing.
For many of the honorees, the commencement of our event, at 10 a.m., was their second and third stops of the day — soon to be followed with meetings, appointments, and actions attributing to our local economy’s resilience.
It is without a doubt these bright beauties are at the top of their game, as each polished professional seized the opportunity to network and utilized the gathering as an educational and social experience.
We’re proud to recognize these outstanding movers and shakers who have taken leaps of faith to live doing what they love. To echo our editor in chief, Christine Tumpson, these women are most certainly “the wind beneath our wings.”
The following women represent respective industries in Pittsburgh. From a wedding photographer and a personal home stylist to a director of business development and local news anchor — plus 59 others, each individual keeps us on our toes with their on-trend callings.
How do you describe your success?
I have always wanted my clients to find me exclusively for the beauty of the photography. It is important to me that people see me as an artist — for my imagery — and that they relate to the kind of work that I do. It has been a pleasure having that “shared connection” for beauty with my clients.
How is your business on-trend?
The interior design trend that I see growing is in the health care sector. I find health care design to be the most rewarding, as I feel that creating a soothing environment can help in the healing process.
What does Bodiography’s future hold?
I continue to invest in my vision of creating meaningful artwork in the community and abroad while maintaining a high-level commitment to my dance company, education, academia, advocacy, collaboration, and health and wellness. I’m particularly interested in broadening the expanse of my Bodiography Fitness and Strength Training System, which now has 50 certified instructors on the east coast and is housed in many fitness facilities around the region — the program is doing particularly well in Boston. We’re really proud of that.
What’s next for you?
I’m moving toward doing a fitness DVD in the next six months with the intention of gaining national visibility. Everyone appreciates the physicality of a dancer, but the problem is not everyone knows the vocabulary or language necessary to attain the desired results — my fitness format does that. I’m also looking at expanding my facilities, and continuing to grow our partnership with La Roche College. We have great plans in the next year.
How have modern technologies helped to advance your career?
The emergence of social media is making this such an exciting time to be a part of the news business. I am very involved on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, which allows me to constantly interact with viewers in a way I never could have imagined when I started my career. The viewers have a bigger voice than ever on news coverage by sharing video and photos with us, and offering instant reaction on everything we do.
What is next for you?
We want Pittsburgh to know that Worth New York offers a range of clothing from business attire to fun casual clothes. We are delighted to personalize women’s styles and help them feel more confident about what they are wearing.
How is SAVOY Restaurant expanding?
We’re still hosting a lot of private events at SAVOY — and other venues — and we will be starting a live music segment on Thursdays. We are also promoting SAVOY catering for special events and weddings. We’re currently trying to network with a lot of businesses in the area to build the catering portion of the business.
Why is Pittsburgh a great place for small business?
Pittsburgh is a bigger city with small-town aspects. A lot of our success has been based on networking and word-of-mouth, which is great for a small business that’s trying to expand. That’s definitely been one of our keys to success.