Monday, April 30, 2012

Roving Pittsburgher Review “THE PRIESTS” DELIGHT AND INSPIRE


Byham Theatre, Sunday April 29, 2012, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

By Tamar Cerafici

Yinz missed a great concert last night if you weren’t at the Byham Theatre last night.

Fathers Eugene and Martin O’Hagan,
and Father David Delargy
Fathers Eugene and Martin O’Hagan, and Father David Delargy, collectively singing as “The Priests,” blended pop and classical style with affable grace. The trio of two tenors (Fathers Eugene and Martin) and a baritone (Father David) did it with the help of local musicians and good friendship (37 years, beginning in a Belfast, Northern Ireland, boarding school).

“Affable” and “grace” were the operative words of the evening.   

The “Byham Ensemble,” led the program with a balanced and interesting arrangement of Handel’s Royal Fireworks music and provided interludes. (The group, a pick-up quintet of local musicians, was led by The Priests’ music arranger at the piano. I want to say Fergus Mackenzie, but the program sadly provided no information, and I was too stunned by the power of the first set to take careful notes. I do know that his first name was Fergus, which is a name more associated with the Highlands of Scotland than the Emerald Isle.) The ensemble accompanied the group throughout the program, and one never got the impression that they had probably had time for a sound check and a quick run-through of the program order before the performance.

Appropriately, the trio’s work began with “Laudamus Te” (rough translation: Glory to Thee) from Vivaldi’s Gloria I.  I was happy because I know the piece well, and could sort of sing along. I couldn’t resist, such was the joy of the performance. There followed in quick succession a series of well-arranged Latin religious pieces, including a lovely Ave Maria. The Fathers continued the religious theme with an absolutely stunning version of Amazing Grace, along with a short history of that lovely hymn.

A minor quibble directed to the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust: Though each of the pieces was introduced with a delightful if overly rehearsed patter, I found the lack of a printed set list distracting. My brain is foggy from allergies; I wanted something to help remember the concert besides the album the Fathers were hawking. I realize they are on a whirlwind tour, and this was the 6th concert in 7 days for them. But I can’t believe that the order of the program wasn’t so set that you couldn’t provide a loose piece of paper or something. Now I have that off my chest.

I admire The Priests’ use of local musicians. They not only gave well-deserved credit to the Byham Ensemble (they name each group after the theatre in which they perform), but they introduced me to the lovely soprano voice of Leah Edmonson Dyer. Dyer is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma from Carnegie Mellon U, and was a 2011-2012 winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Major Auditions. Her solo with the Fathers as well as her solo set were clearly and powerfully sung. I admired her “O Mio Bambino Caro,” and “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again,” which are both difficult to sing. Dyer’s maturity and passion made both pieces (rather too-much-done in the soprano repertoire for my taste) seem fresh and original. Her final “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was a powerful anthem to hope in hard times. I’m so glad she sang the verse, which is left out of the 1939 movie. When “all the world is a hopeless jumble,” it is nice to wonder if there’s another world, accessible and in Technicolor.

The Priests themselves are an entertaining trio – you can hear for yourselves at their blog,, where they give their own thoughts on the concert – scroll past the concert dates to hear it. By themselves, they have powerful voices – evidenced by the short solo turns each of them took in the second half. Together they are excellent representatives of the impish mood that infuses Irish folk singing and performance. The lighter second half was simply entertaining, mainly because the Fathers had gotten the serious religious stuff out of the way, and could get personal. My great-grandmother was from County Armagh, but I rarely feel the pull of the motherland like I did last night. I appreciated the Fathers’ sincere dedication of each of the solo and folk tunes to teachers, parents, and culture.

These guys are, if anything, sincere. They believe in their work as musicians. They believe in their call to serve God and His children. They believe deeply in the work that their success has allowed them to perform, including building schools in Third World countries, supporting retired priests, and working in their own parishes. They ingratiated themselves with this audience by sincerely wanting to relate to it: Father David was a youth priest with the Ulster Project in Ohio and visited Pittsburgh often; the O’Hagen Fathers have family connections in Ohio; their Irish-accented “yinz” was a highlight. This sincerity only infused the evening with a casual sweetness that I rarely see in other, more overly produced and less entertaining, products of the classic-pop trend (see, Andrea Boccelli or Andre Rieu).

The evening was filled with grace. The audience was receptive and encouraging. The Fathers shared their faith with friendly enthusiasm. Although they are polished performers (Fathers Eugene and Martin have been performing together since Father Martin could walk), enduring a marathon six vocal concerts in 7 days, they still performed with the grace of supremely talented priests entertaining in the hall for a night of parish entertainment.

And for that, I am grateful.

Tamar Cerafici is an environmental lawyer whose national practice includes nuclear power and sustainable development consulting. She is the author of “Dominate: How Lawyers Use 4 Strategies to Crush Their Competition,” and the founder of as well as LegalShoe, and The Lawyer’s New Clothes, new media channels on that teach lawyers how to build enterprises and find balance in their practices without selling their souls.

Roving Pittsburgher Report, Review from the Abduction of Seraglio

Opera for the Amateurs

The Abduction from the Seraglio

Review by JoAnn R. Forrester

The closing opera for the 2011-2012 season was a joy.  After a season of heavy drama, I was ready to see something light, frothy and fun.  I was not disappointed.  Put this in the class of light opera with Gilbert and Sullivan. Another bonus was, it was in English. Yeah! 

Written by Mozart, this opera starts in Istanbul, Turkey and proceeds to Paris, France.  It takes place on that marvelous train, the Orient Express.  I have always wanted to ride that train. So many books and movies (Murder on the Orient Express) feature that train and some kind of romantic or dastardly plot. 
As I understand, it has been almost 30 years since the opera has been held here.  My vote is for more Operas like “The Abduction from the Seraglio!"  There is too much drama in our media (some manufactured) and tension in the news these days.  I just want to relax and be entertained and come out feeling happy. 

From the overture on it was fun and captivating.  The story revolves around the Pasha Selim palace and the Orient Express.  Three Europeans have been captured by pirates and sold into slavery to the Pasha.  The Pasha has become enamored by the Spanish noble woman Konstanze and has tried to make her his favorite. Meanwhile, Belmonte, the fiancĂ© of Konstanze, has been desperately searching for her and has tracked her to the Pasha in Istanbul.

Konstanze is resisting the Pasha’s advances.  She is keeping her heart, mind, body and soul for Belmonte.  Konstanze does a good job of resisting, but, in one scene the Pasha almost “wins” his objective.  He is plying her with wonderful gifts and loving words and a MARVELOUS fur coat.  Konstanze is almost swayed.  Then she finds her will and remains true and loyal to Belmonte.  (That fur coat was a beauty).

Opening scene: Belmonte's arrival at the Pasha's palace.  He tries to enter the Pasha’s private car on the Orient Express. He is met with fierce and comic resistance by Osmin, the Pasha's overseer, played with great flair by Paolo Pecchiolo's. Osmin is NOT fond of Westerners, except for the Blonde, the woman servant of Konstanze.   The manservant of Belmonte, Pedrillo, has ingratiated himself with the Pasha, much to the disgust of Osmin. 

Konstanze, played by Soprano Lisette Oropesa, is an impressive delight in the scene where the Pasha was “wooing” her.  The Blonde, played by Ashley Emerson, has a beautiful and flexible voice with just the right feisty personality for her role. 

All kinds of shenanigans go on for the three acts as our lovers try to escape the Pasha. Of course, they are caught, then forgiven and released by the benevolent Pasha.

The staging was rich and detailed and managed to convey the feeling of train-in-motion.  I could imagine myself on the Orient Express, having my own personal adventure. The orchestra re-enforced the idea.  There is nothing like live music to enhance a performance.  I enjoyed myself and came out happy.  Need I say more?  A grand, glorious and FUN NIGHT at the opera.

The opera continues this week thru May 6, 2012 with two afternoon performances.  This English done opera is a great opportunity for amateur opera attendees to get their feet wet and love it.

JoAnn Forrester is the Host of Empress of Biz, Reinvent in Rugged Times, a business Talkcast syndicated on PPLMag, Pittsburgh's First Internet Radio and TV Network.  You can hear JoAnn at Business friends every Thursday at 9 AM on the TalkShoe network or archived later at: 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Transported to Paris at the Symphony

Transported to Paris at the Symphony

Review of "Magic of Paris," April 27, 2012

Wow, the Magic of Paris, I was transported.  Respighi: La Boutique Fantasque overture was musically descriptive and you could imagine the ballet dancers from Rossini’s Boutique Fantastique on stage. You could feel the reeling of the Tarantella and dodge the kicking of the Cossacks.  I always feel that when a creative piece fuels your imagination along with your soul, it has done its job.  The Magic of Paris did both.


I “escaped” college without a music appreciation course so I cannot tell you about crescendo and other symphony terms.  I only know what I like and that’s why I attend the symphony and that is why I listen.

Conductor Gianandrea Noseda
I have a new reason, however, I have always had excellent seats at the Symphony but this time I was in Row E, right orchestra.  This was a perfect vantage point for watching Gianandrea Noseda, conductor .  Some might say he was born to conduct symphony orchestras.  I would say symphony orchestras were born for him to conduct.  Just like a baby smiles with his or her whole body, Gianandrea conducts with his.  My companion,  82 year old former Juliard contender, Suzie Pournaras and co-owner of John Pournaras Agency in Ambridge, said, “You can tell what is coming next by his body language.”  Suzie also liked the young cellist when she saw him before the symphony and also of course during.  She thought he was “hot.”  Betty White’s not the only one who still has game.  So does Suzie.

This was a “girl’s night out” for Suzie and it did not disappoint.  By the way we had dinner at Christos on 6th after the symphony and Spanikopita and the Stifado (Greek Beef Stew) was excellent along with the Gallactaboreko.

Back to the opera, the First portion hi-lighting Resperirgi’s pieces received four standing ovations.  Amazing to me as that type of response is usually reserved by the audience for later in the symphony.
Much of the music created for the World’s Fair in and ushered in   music revolution in the early 20th century, the compositions still delights audiences worldwide.  To my ears the Overture overwhelmed all of the other pieces.  It was the main course and Debussy’s “Iberia” was the dessert and Manuel de Falla’s Suites Nos. 1 and 2 from “Three Cornered Hat, “the after dinner liqueur.

The powerful and stirring memories did exactly what I am sure the composers wanted--transport you back to an earlier time and place of grandeur and charm, Paris at the turn of the century and in its finest hour of music and the arts.  Even if you don’t love the symphony, attend this one just so you can watch the energetic gyrations and experience the conducting of Gianandrea Noseda.  It’s two-for, great to hear and experience and absolutely enthralling to watch.  So get a close seat if you can.

Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith is also the Host of PositivelyPittsburghLive Talkcast and the Publisher of, Pittsburgh's first internet radio and TV network
Joanne is the Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates a Pittsburgh Marketing firm which specializes in Web 2.0 Branding.  She is a speaker and author and prolific talkcaster.  Find her profile on LinkedIn at:

(c) Joanne Quinn-Smith 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It's Electric!

Opening night of Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s breakthrough play “In the Next Room or the vibrator play” brought theater goers of multiple generations to experience the birth of electricity at the turn of the century.  The fascination with the new invention and its impact on domestic life is a subtext to the rigid protocols of behavior that characterized the time.

Edison ushers in the possibilities of modern life on the heels of the stifling rules of relationships where euphemisms and unspoken yearnings take precedence over honest and direct communication.  The social mores of the Victorian era are in sharp contrast to the subject matter of the revolutionary treatment of female hysteria.

Dr. Givings, the self-professed man of science is observant of everyone and everything with one major exception – his wife.  While his wife eavesdrops from the next room and laments on her failure as a mother, Dr. Givings (Brad Heberlee) is perfectly oblivious if over indulgent.

Lissa Brennan as Annie, the good doctor’s midwife, perfects the aloof assistant with her deadpan expression, no matter what is transpiring in the operating theater.   The over the top scenes in the operating theater are reminiscent of the deli scene from “When Harry Met Sally”.

The Charity Randall Theatre is perfect for the intimacy of the subject matter.  The audience becomes willing voyeurs into the private moments of husbands and wives.  As the layers of clothing are removed, so are the trappings of society.

Newcomer Denver Milord is well-cast as the effete artist Leo Irving suffering the male version of female hysteria.  Megan McDermott is equally engaging as the loquacious Catherine Givings, longing to break through the perception of her as a china doll.  She tests the bounds of propriety to experience the vibrator treatment that her husband refuses her.    Catherine and patient Sabrina Daldry (Melinda Helfrich) soon form a bond based on self-expression and exploration – actions each had not previously felt free to take. Daldry housekeeper and Givings’ wet nurse Elizabeth (Jessica Frances Dukes) bridges the two families and provides the grounding ah hah moment for both Sabrina and Catherine.  Philip Winters rounds out the cast as Sabrina’s over bearing husband known simply as Mr. Daldry in keeping with the times.

The stage is well done with the overblown Victorian parlor contrasting with the sterile operating theater in the next room.  Since Edison is an unseen cast member, lighting plays a role almost as real as those who tread the boards.  

“In the Next Room or the vibrator play” runs through May 5th, 2012.

Reviewed by Joyce Kane
Joyce Kane is the owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company, providing virtual office support, personal and executive assistance, creative design services and light bookkeeping.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.

Slapstick is Back in My Life and I am Lovin' It

Slapstick is back in my life and I am lovin it!!!!!!

Around the World in 80 Days

Thanks you from the bottom of my heart – Pittsburgh Public Theatre – for bringing the onstage play    version of Around the World in 80 Days…. to Pittsburgh…

As I entered the O’Reilly Theater to sit down… the stage OMG! it was void of any … wait that is a stage with people sitting right and left? Hmmm well then how in the world are these actors going to make me feel like I am witnessing one of the greatest journeys of our theatrical times? All I can say is that I am all too pleasantly surprised!

The rendition started off a little slow for me – in retrospect because I knew not what to expect… I did not have knowledge of the crew at all.  And then, hardly 10 minutes into the story, I was sitting up in anticipation of every next move.

Hats off to all 5 actors who under the graceful direction of Marcia Milgrom Dodge and the rest of the production crew took me on that wonderful journey.  With only 4 chairs, an umbrella, sections of railings, a wearable building (just gotta see it), very well done costumes, innumerable wigs and an elephant (yes it is big) the talented Tom Beckett, Ron Bohmer, Jeffrey Kuhn, Meera Rohit Kumbhani (Yesss another Indian on stage!) and Richard B Watson took me to far off lands that I have been to before!

The slapstick performance is what took me by surprise and simply made a story watched multiple times – alive again! Actually, I thought that the actors were having too much fun with this one! Good for you all!
All 5 actors are seasoned and I felt like they have been training for this particular effort. Even though all the actors performed well beyond expectations, my favorite is Jeffrey with his acrobatic dancing abilities and the accent allowed for the lively slapstick to put icing on this live cake!  He says ‘piss’ so elegantly – go see it to understand please…. Meera you rock because I did not know you were the same actor throughout all the different people you played! Tom – chameleon shall we say? And you were lovin every minute of it pausing just enough to get our reaction? Richard, I never knew a guy to swing hips the impressive way you do! And Ron, nice commanding voice!

Throughout the performance, the actors perfectly synchronized their actions to the point that one scene made me sea sick! Did not know that could be done but they sure did it! The most dramatic action on board ship during a typhoon presented the whole crew at their peak… the amazing synchronicity kept the audience in the palm of their hands.

Thank you again for a chance to get away and be purely entertained. This definitely cleared my mind to face another day in my busy life.

Sunita S. Pandit (AKA mrscardiology)
Sunita is the wife of Dr. Santosh Pandit and is responsible for running his cardiology office. As the wife of a cardiologist, she has become passionate about combating the "perils of the heart." Constantly in pursuit of preventive care, she is dedicated to recording her husbands observations on what keeps a heart healthy.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Roving Pittsburgher Review, Anoushka Shankar, April 12, 2012

Roving Pittsburgher Review

Anoushka Shankar

April 12, 2012

by Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith, aka Techno Granny

Cohen & Grigsby TRUST PRESENTS Series
I must admit that I am an old yuppie head.  I think I made a new term.  But I have every Ravi Shankar album (on vinyl) that was ever produced but I had not really paid much attention to Anoushka.  Just by mere name recognition I decided to attend the concert with some Indian clients and friends.  Great move on my part. Cohen Grisby Trust Presents and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust as usual did not disappoint  in their grand selection of artists.

What an evening.  I had no idea that flamenco had its roots in Indian classical music or that there were so many unusual instruments used in both Spanish and Indian music.  What a stroke of genius to combine Flamenco guitar, a Spanish Singer and classical Indian music.

It was a night of beautiful, relaxing and sometimes erotic Indian music combined with the haunting chords of the flamenco guitar.  Andalusian flamenco singer, Sandra Carrasco’s singing was both flawless and unforgettable.

Sanjeev Shankar was remarkable on the Shenal and flute taking you back hundreds of years with his renderings.  What a blending of the old and the new, the East and the West.  Who knew?  Obviously Anoushka as she smiled and moderated in between sets about the music.

And the percussion!  After this concert I am convinced there is no percussion or percussion instruments in the world that can rival Indian classical and flamenco rhythms.  Pirashanna Thevarajah and Bernhard Shimelsberger (not of course an Indian name) put the bong and the bang and bunches of other sounds in percussion as far as I am concerned.

And Melon Jimenez on flamenco guitar and solos in combination with Anoushka on sitar was simply genius.  I was so incredibly thankful for the close orchestra seats that we had because this truly was a smorgasbord of sight and sound as you watched the strumming and drumming and listened to the playing and singing.  Truly a night to remember!

Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith is also the Host of PositivelyPittsburghLive Talkcast and the Publisher of, Pittsburgh's first internet radio and TV network
Joanne is the Creative Energy Officer of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates a Pittsburgh Marketing firm which specializes in Web 2.0 Branding.  She is a speaker and author and prolific talkcaster.  Find her profile on LinkedIn at:

(c) Joanne Quinn-Smith 2012 All Rights Reserved.

Roving Pittsburgher Report, Coppelia, Pittsburgh Ballet


April 13 to 15, 2012

Benedum Center

by Jo Ann Forrester

Alexandra Kochis and Christopher Budzynski
rehearse for Coppelia. Photo taken by Aimee Waltz
Friday the 13th a lucky night for me to go see the world class Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre perfrom Coppelia with the Pittsburgh Symphony orchestra.  Unfortunately as we watched the ballet, our Pittsburgh Penguins were not winning and their performance was not as top notched  as the ballet. 

Now as I write this review you must understand I am not well versed in all the ballet terminology, I am just someone who likes to watch the ballet and follow the story line.  Coppelia is a  light hearted ballet, filled with excellent dancing, standard boy/ girl romance, usual mix up of boy & girl, then makeup and then marriage.. AND happily ever after, oh the happily ever after, my favorite part. 

Act 1 the hero (Franz) , found himself attracted to this quiet serious young woman who sits in the toymakers window (Dr. Coppelius) ,  Franz is engaged to Swanhilde a charming and captivating and somewhat rambunctious young woman..but finds himself intrigued by who is not responding to him.  The role of Franz was danced by Christopher Budzynski who is quite enjoyable to watch, has great body language and plays the  role with great enthusiasm, skill and a flair for comedy.

Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre's Coppelia.
Photo by Rich Sofranko
Our heronine, Swanhilde, danced by Alexandra Kochis is delightful, not only for her dance expertise, but she has a personal spark that brings fun and charm to the role.    
So the mixup occurs..girl is mad at boy..boy tries to make up and is spurned. So of course, he has to go drinking and then decides to find out about this “unknown woman and sneak into the toymakers home.

There are two intermissions great for people watching.   During the first intermission I noticed men huddled off in a corner with their smart phones..getting the score for the Penguins game. They were happy…surely we would  win..right?

I enjoyed also watching the number of little girls who were there to see Coppelia. They get more dressed up than the adults.  Wish the adults would take a cue from them. 

Act 2. 
The toymaker is gone, Swanhilde  and girl friends are exploring his house and toy shop.  Franz is hidden.  Suddenly toymaker comes back and chaos breaks out.  Most of the friends escape except for Swanhilde and Franz.  The plot thickens  Dr. Coppelius tries to make his beloved toy doll(daughter in his heart) come alive through magical incantations.  Energy enthusiasm, comedy and  trickery abound.  Finally Franz and Swanhilde escape the clutches of Dr. Coppelius and a celebration occurs.

Intermission 2.. The little girls were all giggles and smiles…they loved it.

But those men who were huddled in the corner were not.  Penguins were now tied.  What happened?…Score was now Penguins 4  Flyers 5.  Bell rang ending intermission and our male audience returns reluctantly  and heavily sighs as they sit down. 

Act 3.  Wedding, celebration, fantastic dancing by troupe, principals, Dr. Coppelius good actor and dancer! 

Conclusion… a wonderful  ballet, orchestra outstanding, a treat for all ages and  a wonderful way to spend a winning evening!

Post conclusion:  Penguins lost 8 to 5.  Ballet much happier ending!

Moral of this story, guys you can tivo the game but you can’t tivo romance.  Your time would be better spent taking your wife, girlfriend or significant other to the ballet.  The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre is probably the most taken for granted and under-participated in cultural event in our city, we certainly need to change that. Even if you don’t know what a pirouette is you can watch one and it will probably make your heart sing.

JoAnn Forrester is the Host of Empress of Biz, Reinvent in Rugged Times, a business Talkcast syndicated on PPLMag, Pittsburgh's First Internet Radio and TV Network.  You can hear JoAnn at Business friends every Thursday at 9 AM on the TalkShoe network or archived later at:

Friday, April 13, 2012

Roving Pittsburgher Review, "Do You Hear the People Sing?" Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Roving Pittsburgher Review, "Do You Hear the People Sing?" Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra


Pittsburgh Good News Reporter, Al Levine

Last night, April, 12, 2012,  The Techno Granny, Good News Reporter, Joanne Quinn-Smith sent me to Heinz Hall for the opening performance of "Do You Hear the People Sing?" This was the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's PNC POPS! Thursday performance. Marvin Hamlisch is the Principal Pops Conductor.

Conductor Jack Everly returned to Heinz Hall with a talented group of vocalists. They included Eric Kunze, Terrence Mann, Jennifer Paz, Kathy Voytko (a Johnstown native), Marie Zamora, The Carnegie University Concert Choir and Director Robert Page.

Go to you will enjoy their award winning resumes. I am sure that you will recognize these World Famous Performers.

They performed songs from the Tony Award winning Les Miserables. Broadway Legends, Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boubil collaborated to create this great musical. A few of the songs from Les Misarables were "I Dreamed a Dream", "Bring Him Home" and "One Day More".

We also enjoyed the Tony-nominated Miss Saigon hits "I'd Give My Life for You" and "The American Dream". They also performed many of the other Broadway songs from Claude-Michel and Alain.

The Conversations that Conductor Everly and the Vocalists shared with us after almost every song provided great Insights and Information that the audience enjoyed. There is an intermission of fifteen minutes after the fourteenth song. After the Performance, there was a Post-Concert Pops Talk on Stage with Conductor Jack Everly.

There will be Performances on Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 8PM and Sunday at 2:30PM. If you haven't heard the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra lately, they also performed at their usual High Standard. The Carnegie Mellon Concert Choir was fantastic too. My Girlfriend and I enjoyed our great seats and the World Class performance. 

Al Levine, Better known as "The Talking Machine" is one of the hosts of Pittsburgh Sports Line on the Bethel Park Public Access Channel.  He is also the
webmaster and "Pittsburgh Gaming Guru" at
and Community Relations and Development Director for's upcoming
Hug-A-Thon Pittsburgh on September 6, 2012.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Roving Pittsburgher Review "Economics of Entrepreneurialism, Wealth & Globalization"

Roving Pittsburgher Review
 Economics of Entrepreneurialism, Wealth & Globalization
by Dean Quinn and Al Levine

On March 30, 2012 Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Congressman Mike Doyle and the Allegheny County Minority Women Business Development Enterprise held The Entrepreurialism and Globalization Symposium and was out in full force. 
Hosanna House was packed with entrepreneurs, public servants, political figures and faith based funding organizations. 

Among the hi-lights of the main speakers were Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Congressman Mike Doyle, Dr. Howard Slaughter of CEED, Charlie Batch of the Best of the Batch Foundation and of course, Pittsburgh Steeler.    There were also speakers from the US Department of Commerce and the Small Business Administration in Washington DC and the Save a Lot, Corporation.

There were many break off sessions, one of which I attended CEED (Christian Evangelistic Economic Development). They give assistance to entrepreneurs starting small businesses. They started out helping minorities, immigrants, and refugees. Now they have expanded to the population of southwestern Pa. The services they provide are free of charge. Some services include: creating a business plan, technical assistance, registration assistance, help creating a brand, review leases.  CEED has consultants that work with them. These consultants provide legal, marketing, accounting, web development.  CEED can help buffer fees up to 50%.

CEED also has a loan program up to 10,000 at a 4-5% interest rate. Entrepreneurs can become clients and professionals can consult for CEED. CEED is willing to make a 3 to 5 year commitment, as long as you need help for your business to grow. I recommend any aspiring entrepreneur looking to start a new small business, or currently need help with a small business to contact CEED.

Dean Quinn is the Development Director for, Pittsburgh’s First Internet Radio and TV Network and, online networking community for Positive Pittsburghers.

The  Faith-Based Roundtable Discussion  was held on the 2nd floor in the Event Center Auditorium of the Hosanna House with over 100 people in attendance. Cedric Grant was the first speaker. He is the Director of the Center for Faith-Based Neighbor Partnerships, US Department of Commerce. He explained how the Grants are not Faith-Based Grants and that his organization helps to cut through the red tape.  Cedric explained the steps to applying for these grants.

Jerry Flavin, Small Business Adminstrator,Washingon, DC told us how the SBA backs the Loans that the Banks issue. There are a lot of rules and regulations to follow. There is a 7A Loan Program that the SBA will guarantee if you can qualify for it. The 504 Program Loans are for fixed assets like Buildings.

There are also Micro Loans with a Maximum limit of $50,000. Jerry also explained about Hub Zones for either URBAN or RURAL areas. Jerry said to apply to become an intermediary to call the Department of Labor and ask for Jacob Simmons or Kim Brown. Their number is 215.861.5201.

Willie C. Taylor, Regional Director, Economic Development Administration, US Department of Congress. 215.597.4603. Jerry  brought up for main points:
1) Opportunity is an underutilized tool
2) Vehicles or Platforms to use for Business
3) Intermediaries to make Loans
4) Mission: help Stressed Communities
He close the Discussion by explaining how the Commerce Department was there to help. They will help in the Underserved Communities. He stressed that they can help. There are also many reasons that can trigger help to fund your Faith-Based Organizations.

Many thanks go to Dr. Slaughter the Hosanna House and all of the great speakers for putting on this Great Event.

Watch for video of Charlie Batch's presentation on the Best of the Batch Foundation at: on Roving Pittsburghers TV.

Al Levine, Better known as "The Talking Machine" is one of the hosts of Pittsburgh Sports Line on the Bethel Park Public Access Channel.  He is also the
webmaster and "Pittsburgh Gaming Guru" at
and Community Relations and Development Director for's upcoming
Hug-A-Thon Pittsburgh on September 6, 2012.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Roving Pttsburgher Report, Review of Perpetual Potential Workshop

Review of Perpetual Potential Workshop
by Al Levine

Bob Stearns
The TECHNO GRANNY sent me to the DOUBLETREE Hotel in GREENTREE this week. Your GOOD NEWS REPORTER AL Levine, attended the PERPETUAL POTENTIAL event. The PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES sponsored this INSPIRING event. 

BOB STEARNS put on a DYNAMIC and POWERFUL presentation. YOU must buy his BOOK "Perhaps a Man can Change the Stars" or go to one of his EVENTS. Your PERSONAL and  BUSINESS life will be improved.

BOB answers the question: What is PERPETUAL POTENTIAL? Your HIDDEN, FORGOTTEN or LATENT talents that you can CHOOSE to DEVELOPE. You should not limit your POTENTIAL.

There are only TWO POWERFUL handouts for you to TAKE home. BOB'S inspirational story will TUG at your HEART and PROPEL your mind for the SUCCESS that you seek.

BOB  LOST his 21 year old SON (ERIC) in an AUTOMOBILE accident in GREECE. He chose to HONOR ERIC with a CAREER change.

Instead of SULKING, he tapped into his POTENTIAL to INSPIRE himself and others. BOB already had a couple of AWARD winning CAREERS under his belt. Being a BALDRIGE AWARD WINNER is impressive too. He was able to SAVE his company over $50 MILLION. I will let BOB tell YOU how HE did it.

He gives you THREE LIFE LESSONS to help YOU.

Tackle Tough Challenges, NEVER QUIT!

FOCUS on what YOU DO HAVE not what you don't have.


Here is one more of BOB'S LESSONS that I will SHARE:  ONE PERSON CAN change the culture and direction of a company.

It was also nice to meet MARIANNE and STEPHEN. His wife and son are GREAT people to KNOW. I had a 35 minute conversation with my NEW FRIENDS, Marianne and Stephen after the INSPIRING EVENT in GREENTREE.

GO TO his sites now. Don't put it off! GO NOW!  then go to,  IT will be TIME WELL SPENT!

Al Levine, Better known as "The Talking Machine"
is one of the hosts of Pittsburgh Sportsline on the 
Bethel Park Public Access Channel.  He is also the
webmaster and "Pittsburgh Gaming Guru" at
and Community Relations and Development Director for's upcoming
Hug-A-Thon Pittsburgh on September 6, 2012.