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 WHIRL Women in Business Class of 2013

Pictured above (left to right):
Lisa Huckestein, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator, Associates in Ophthalmology
Rachel Carlson, Yelp Pittsburgh Community Manager, Yelp Pittsburgh
Kelly Miller, Owner, Be Pure Organic Salon
Bethany Narey, Owner/CCT, HE@T: Health Enhancing Thermography
Kristi Moss, Owner, Kristi Boutique
Michelle Planer, Instructor, Yoga Flow
Aubrey Johnson, Owner and Instructor, Moxie Mind & Body Pilates Studio
Roberta Weissburg, Owner, Roberta Weissburg Leathers

The WHIRL Women in Business Class of 2013

Pictured above (left to right):
Anne Broad, Independent Sales Associate, Worth New York
Kimberly Yot, Client Liaison, The Modern Matchmaker
Lea Guarino, Owner, Guarino Group Productions
Renee Lutz, Director of Special Events, PromoWest North Shore
Aja Jones, PR/Marketing Manager, Pittsburgh CLO
Stacey Vespaziani, E-RYT, Owner, and Instructor, South Hills Power Yoga
Tricia Derry, Wedding Specialist, The Venue at Bella Sera

The WHIRL Women in Business Class of 2013

Pictured above (left to right):
Carmela Cugini, Owner, The Spa & Salon at Southpointe
Dr. Lisa Cibik, Director of Cataract Services, Associates in Ophthalmology
Jill Rubinstein, President, Footloose Shadyside
Kristi S. Rogers, RYT, BYS Yoga
Kate Srigley, Sponsorship Director, PromoWest North Shore
Natalie Bell, Blog Editor, Futurederm, Inc.
Marie Chir, Sales Executive, Futurederm, Inc.
Laura Dick, Owner, Pure Barre Shadyside

The WHIRL Women in Business Class of 2013

Pictured above (left to right):
Lisa Lau, Co-Owner, Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill
Theresa Bayer, Owner, Designer, and Art Consultant, Schafer Interiors
Cyndi Araujo, Owner, Araujo Photography
Martha Schaefer, Assistant Teacher, Chop, WOK & Talk!
Mary Perkovich, Owner, Pamar Boutique
Maria Caruso, Artistic and Executive Director, Bodiography Contemporary Ballet
Melissa Evancic, Owner, Pure Barre Mt. Lebanon
Patti Dittman, Vice President of Leasing, Millcraft Investments

The WHIRL Women in Business Class of 2013

Pictured above (left to right):
Jessica Laird, Hair Designer and Certified Organic Color Specialist, Be Pure Organic Salon
Debbie Flaherty, President, Day Automotive Group
Laura Penrod Kronk, President, Ladies Hospital Aid Society
Dominique Ponko, Owner, Yoga Flow
Maureen Miller, Independent Style Consultant, J.Hilburn
Ellen Goldberg, Advertising Sales Director, VisitPittsburgh
Susan Dunhoff, Owner, The Modern Matchmaker
Rana Khan, Owner and Event Planner, Pearl Celebrations
Dee Dee Troutman, Executive Director, Ladies Hospital Aid Society
Ashley Jendrasik, Director of Business Development, The Rock Entertainment; Executive Vice President, Mortgage Staffing Solutions
Adina Schiffman, Owner, Sammar Accessories
Ayellet Rubinstein, Owner, Footloose at The Galleria

The WHIRL Women in Business Class of 2013

Pictured above (left to right):
Liz Kanche, Director of Wellness Services, American HealthCare Group, Inc.
Jacqueline Capatolla, Owner, Jacqueline’s Hair Salon
Michelle Wright, News Anchor, WTAE-TV
Tanya Brooks, Owner, Whitehouse Salon
Nancy Reader, President, Hearth & Home Furnishings
Rebecca Rankin, Co-Owner, Bikram Yoga Squirrel Hill
Ruthi Bosco, Independent Product Consultant, dōTERRA Essential Oils
Cynthia Johnson, Marketing Manager, Gervasi Vineyard

The WHIRL Women in Business Class of 2013

Pictured above (left to right):
Janet Campbell, Owner, The Dancer’s Pointe
Jennifer Ferris-Glick, RYT, BYS Yoga
Marissa Doyle, Communications Specialist, The Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
Liz Kennon, Health Insurance Broker and Manager of New Customer Development, Kennon Insurance Consultants, Inc.
Stephanie Sikora, Communications Assistant, The Office of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
Jen Valachovic, Communications Specialist, Millcraft Investments
Debbie Harden, Owner, Premier Boutique
Selma B. Sherman, Owner and Designer, Selma Sherman Interiors
Nancy Henne, Advisor, Henne Jewelers
Dorothy Tague, Owner, Chop, WOK & Talk!
Lisa Cohen Gloninger, Owner, Cajoli Boutique
Aimee Diandrea, Director of Marketing and Communications, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre


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.

Cyndi Araujo — Owner, Araujo Photography

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.

Cyndi Araujo, Araujo Photography, WHIRL Women in Business 2013

Cyndi Araujo

Selma B. Sherman — Owner + Designer, Selma Sherman Interiors

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.

WHIRL Women in Business 2013, Selma B. Sherman, Selma Sherman Interiors

Selma B. Sherman

Maria Caruso — Artistic and Executive Director, Bodiography Contemporary Ballet

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.

WHIRL Women in Business 2013, Maria Caruso, Bodiography Contemporary Ballet

Maria Caruso

Michelle Wright — News Anchor, WTAE-TV

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.

WHIRL Women in Business 2013, Michelle Wright, WTAE-TV

Michelle Wright

Anne Broad — Independent Sales Associate, Worth New York

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.

WHIRL Women in Business 2013, Anne Broad, Worth New York

Anne Broad

Ashley Jendrasik — Director of Business Development, The Rock Entertainment; Executive Vice President, Mortgage Staffing Solutions

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.

WHIRL Women in Business 2013, Ashley Jendrasik, The Rock Entertainment; Mortgage Staffing Solutions

Ashley Jendrasik


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