Monday, April 30, 2012

GlobalPittsburgh Teaming Up With Pittsburgh Social Exchange and Hispanic Chamber to Host International Networking Social May 16

GlobalPittsburgh is teaming up with the Pittsburgh Social Exchange and the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (PMAHCC) to host the 2nd Annual International Business Networking Social at the Allegheny Harvard-Yale-Princeton Club in Downtown Pittsburgh on Wednesday, May 16 from 6-9 p.m.

The event will take place on all three levels of the HYP Club, which is located at 619 William Penn Place. Admission includes delicious cuisine from different lands across the world. Meet and mingle with professionals from Global Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of other business people. Admission has been capped at 250. Last year's event sold out, so act now to purchase your tickets.

Admission for GlobalPittsburgh members (and PSE/PMAHCC members) is $20 in advance and $40 for non-members. Admission at the door (if tickets are available) is $50 per person. If you are not a GP member, now is the time to join. It's only $40 per year, or $50 per household. CLICK HERE for GP membership information. You can sign up and pay online, and then get member ticket price to this event.

To register for this event, please CLICK HERE.

There will be live music from local musicians, a silent auction, and a cash bar with a signature "Around the World" drink created for this occasion by the HYP Club.

In addition to being one of the great events of the year, the International Business Networking Social supports a good cause. Fifteen percent of all proceeds from this event will go to the Pittsburgh 
Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce scholarship fund.

The Pittsburgh Social Exchange is Pittsburgh's premier networking organization, with the goal of helping members build their business and professional career by connecting them with other local professionals. PSE specializes in high-caliber events that are designed to bring together local professionals and help them increase their professional opportunities through business networking. For more information, go to


Friday, April 27, 2012

Pittsburgh Community Development Group Director Accepted to Harvard Program for Non-Profit Management

Rufus Idris, Executive Director of CEED, a Pittsburgh-based community development group, has been accepted under full scholarship to attend Harvard Business School's Performance Measurement for Effective Management of Nonprofit Organizations program in Cambridge, MA, in May.

Rufus Idris
The four-day program will use faculty presentations, case studies and group discussions to help participants understand best practices at other organizations and develop an effective way of measuring the success of their own programs and activities.

CEED is a non-profit organization that provides free business consulting services and microloans (under $10,000) to entrepreneurs who might not otherwise qualify for bank loans. To date, CEED has provided business planning and technical assistance to about 125 small businesses in the 10-county region of Southwestern Pennsylvania, 85 percent of which are based in Allegheny County, Idris said.

Topics at the Harvard program include:
- Managing organizational performance for strategic advantage.
 - Assessing and responding to demands for accountability.
- Examining tools and approaches for measuring the organization’s performance.
- Overcoming challenges and obstacles to organizational performance management.
- Institutionalizing and sustaining organizational performance management systems.

"It is an honor to be selected for the Harvard program for Nonprofit Organizations, and it will help CEED to be sure that we continue to be successful as we grow and help more people in the Greater Pittsburgh community," Idris said.

The Harvard program comes at a good time as CEED prepares to draft a comprehensive strategic plan for its growing program, Idris said.

A native of Nigeria, Idris has spent over 10 years working with disadvantaged and underserved populations on community development and poverty alleviation initiatives across Africa and in the United States. He joined CEED in 2008 as Director for Non-profit Services and was promoted to Executive Director in 2009. He attended Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology (FCFMT), and the University of Agriculture in Nigeria, and La Roche College in Pittsburgh, and received a Master’s Degree in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University. Idris is a co-founder of the Union of African Communities in Southwestern Pennsylvania. He sits on the Allegheny County Department of Human Services’ Advisory Council on immigrants, internationals and refugee issues, and he is a member of the Vibrant Pittsburgh Affinity Group Steering Committee.

For more information about CEED, go to

Thursday, April 26, 2012

From Kosovo to Robert Morris University: Class of 2012 President From Kosovo Wins University’s Highest Honor

Besart Stavileci grew up in war-torn Kosovo, attending a school that was often without heat or electricity, all the while clinging to his vision of the American dream.

Besart Stavileci
Stavileci pursued that dream at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, where he will graduate May 5 as president of the Class of 2012 and winner of the university’s Presidential Transformational Award. It is RMU’s highest undergraduate honor, given annually to a graduating student who has been transformed by his or her experience at RMU and has also contributed to the transformation of the university in a meaningful way. The recipient epitomizes the RMU experience through active and engaged learning, academic excellence, leadership and community service.

“It is truly an honor to receive such an award, but I am most proud not of myself, but of those that have offered me these opportunities, and have guided me through making the most of them,” said Stavileci, who is majoring in actuarial science, one of RMU’s most demanding and selective degree programs and one of only 14 Centers of Actuarial Excellence in the United States, as designated by the Society of Actuaries. He holds a 3.92 GPA and is the recipient of the Actuarial Science Outstanding Senior Award.

“Not only am I leaving RMU with a top-notch education in my field, but also with great memories, amazing friends, a remarkable network and an incredible set of mentors,"  Stavileci said. "If I have been successful during my time here, it is because of the opportunities that RMU offers, as well as faculty and staff's relentless enthusiasm.”

Stavileci has been president of Carpe Mundum, the university's organization for international students, and he has volunteered with the International Red Cross and participated in an alternative spring break trip to Washington, D.C., to work with the homeless. He has been a resident assistant, a mathematics tutor, a member of the Senior Class Gift Committee and a staff writer for the Sentry, RMU’s student newspaper. He completed an internship at CIGNA Insurance in Philadelphia and Illyria Insurance in his native Kosovo. Stavileci is fluent in English, Albanian and Italian.

“Besart is a leader who sets an example not only for students but also for faculty and staff who have been inspired by his extraordinary background and his achievements at Robert Morris,” said RMU President Gregory G. Dell’Omo. “Besart represents the university that RMU has aspired to become, and thanks to students like him, we have achieved it.”

Source - Robert Morris University READ FULL ARTICLE

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays - May 3 at Olive or Twist - International Networking - FREE for GP Members

The next GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays international networking event will be held May 3 at Olive or Twist at 140 6th Street in Downtown Pittsburgh from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. This month we will be welcoming U.S. State Department-sponsored visitors from Australia and Russia. Bring your friends!

GlobalPittsburgh First Thursdays is a regular monthly night of networking and socializing with different themes, different activities and different locations - but always with an international flavor - on the first Thursday of every month.

Join us for an evening of friends, interesting conversation and good spirits with an international flair. Meet GlobalPittsburgh members, friends & visitors from many countries, and network with globally-minded people from Pittsburgh and all over.

We will be joined by eight university administrators from Russia who are in Pittsburgh this week as part of a program entitled “Higher Education and Workforce Development in the U.S.: Multifunctional Role of U.S. Community Colleges,” arranged by GlobalPittsburgh.

There will be complimentary appetizers, bar specials, raffles, and more. Admission is FREE for GlobalPittsburgh members; $5 at the door for non-members. Membership information will be available at the event, but you may also join GlobalPittsburgh now at

Olive or Twist’s Second Floor Lounge is located at 140 6th Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, near the Renaissance Hotel and Byham Theater.

Parking is available in two garages - one at the corner of 6th street and Ft. Duquesne Blvd., and one at the corner of Penn Ave. and 6th street. (Both are at either ends of 6th Street.) Street parking is also available.

Olive or Twist will be providing a light fare menu and drinks are available for purchase. For more information, go to

If you have questions, please call Nadya at 412-392-4513 or by email at  Photos from past First Thursdays and a few other GlobalPittsburgh events, activities, and programs can be viewed at See you there! READ FULL ARTICLE

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The "Amazing Experience" of Attending College in Pittsburgh, by Former GlobalPittsburgh Intern and Duquesne University Student From Pakistan

By Fazlur Rahman
Lahore, Pakistan

If you are considering the option to study at an institute in Pittsburgh, USA then I would definitely second your decision.

I got the great opportunity to study for a semester in this city at Duquesne University. From August till December 2011, I consider them as the best period of my life. I have known about Pittsburgh and its reputable institutions from even before, and fortunately, I was placed in this city by my Program Agency IREX for the U.S. State Department Global Undergraduate Exchange Program for Pakistan.

I became very excited and search on Google about places to see in Pittsburgh and nearby. As the time gets closer, I became more excited. I reached Pittsburgh on August 19, 2011. The International Office of Duquesne University was very supportive and helped me in getting me settled. I was picked by Cultural Ambassador of Duquesne University. The journey from airport to university dorms was amazing. The beautiful green hills on the way, and then, when we came out from the tunnel, the beautiful skyline of Pittsburgh made myself believe that I will definitely love my four-month stay in Pittsburgh.

Academic Walk - Duquesne University

Duquesne University, I found it a great place to study. The environment, faculty, dorms, student life, everything was amazing. The International Office and other administrative units were really helpful in everything.  Since I was on State Department Program, I had to complete community service work hours, and to give country presentation. I enjoyed both of them. The spirit of community service was seen clearly among the students at Duquesne as Duquesne is a Catholic university and its Campus Ministry and Office of Service Learning emphasize on community service. Through country presentation I was able to give an introduction about my country Pakistan to the students and officials of the university. I was also inducted in Critical Skills Program which helped me to enhance my academics and professional skills. This program gave me lifelong learning and made myself more efficient.

At Annual City Basketball Game - Consol Energy Center

Exploring Pittsburgh and United States, that was my next aim other than academics. Day by day, I started loving Pittsburgh more and more. The beautiful scenery specially of hills and the Three Rivers, make this city as the most awesome city of the United States. I traveled around twelve states of USA but I found Pittsburgh as the best place to study and live. Luckily, my room window opens on the Bluff Street, and I always had the scenery view of Southside hills across River Monongahela. It was either the walk from Duquesne to Southside to enjoy nightlife of Pittsburgh or walk to Pittsburgh Downtown to go to Cultural District for performance shows or shopping, these walks were most amazing. The home of Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey Team, Consol Energy Center was just across the street from Duquesne. The home of Pittsburgh Steelers Football Team, Heinz Field and home of Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball team, PNC Park was just fifteen minute walk from my university. The city enjoys the privilege to be the ‘City of Champions’ when Steelers and Penguins won the highest titles of American Football and Hockey respectively.

View of Pittsburgh Downtown from Mt. Washington

In a nutshell, I really like the location of my university campus as well ease in mobility around the city. Oakland, where the world’s prestigious universities University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University have campuses, is around 10 minutes drive from Pittsburgh Downtown, and it makes the students mobility very easy. It was never a problem for me to explore the city without owning car. Either the places worth visiting were on a walking distance or the bus ride made it convenient to visit the places. The transit system is very good if you are studying in the regions nearby city centre and living nearby them.

Pirates vs. Reds Baseball Game at PNC Park

I visited Heinz History Center, PNC Park Heinz Field, Kennywood Amusement Park, Cathedral of Learning, Mt. Washington, and many other places in Pittsburgh. Whatever interest you have, you will find the place or activity for it in Pittsburgh. I always felt proud of saying that I am studying and living in Pittsburgh. So, I would suggest you guys that do consider a option of studying in Pittsburgh.

Niagara Falls (It is just four hour drive from Pittsburgh)

From Pittsburgh, it is very easy to visit famous and large cities of USA. I visited New York, Boston, Washington DC, Baltimore, Niagara Falls, Detroit, Buffalo, Toronto via Megabus which is very cheap and convenient and goes to these cities daily. Philadelphia and Chicago are also very near. Many airlines operate at Pittsburgh International Airport and you can fly to various places in the USA from here. Amtrak also have two trains going from Pittsburgh covering the routes to Washington D.C., New York, Chicago. Other bus services make the transit easier from Pittsburgh to anywhere in the East Coast and Midwest.

I would say that studying at Duquesne University and Pittsburgh really makes me more academically qualified. And Pittsburgh city made me to enjoy the life in true sense. This city made my four months amazingly memorable. I still miss this city and one day, I will visit it again :)


Monday, April 9, 2012

Minority and Immigrant Entrepreneurs Encouraged to Start Small Businesses to Boost Region's Economic Growth

More than 200 minority and immigrant entrepreneurs and their supporters were encouraged to boost the region’s economy by starting and growing their own small businesses at a half-day workshop sponsored by Pittsburgh-based CEED and several other groups and agencies on Friday, March 30, 2012.

Allegheny County Executive
Rich Fitzgerald addresses
the group.
“Encouraging small business creation, especially in historically disadvantaged communities, isn’t just important for the people living in those communities, it’s essential,” said Congressman Mike Doyle. “It’s essential for the nation’s economy as well because our life-blood is really in the United States’ small businesses.”

Doyle was one of several high-ranking officials from federal, state and local government to address the workshop, which was titled “The Economics of Entrepreneurialism, Wealth and Globalization.” Their message was that small business growth can help the entire region's economy to improve.

“The era of big industry is over,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald told the group. “But this change creates opportunity for small business, especially for entrepreneurs. We have a great community, and it can be a lot greater if the doors are open to everybody.”

CEED is a non-profit organization that provides free business consulting services and microloans (under $10,000) to entrepreneurs who might not otherwise qualify for bank loans. To date, CEED has helped start about 125 small business in the 10-county region of Southwestern Pennsylvania, according to CEED Executive Director Rufus Idris.

Joining CEED in planning the free event were Allegheny County’s Department of Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MWDBE), the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration, First National Bank, and the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the White House.

Willie C. Taylor, Regional Director of the Economic Development Administration in Philadelphia, said he sees business development prospects in the region as very bright, thanks in part to a spirit of entrepreneurship created at local colleges and universities.

“In Allegheny County, there are key institutions which create global strength, from Pitt to Duquesne University to Carnegie Mellon University, everything from GED to PhD,” he said. “There are people who understand the challenges. This region has had the highest rate of ‘Brain Gain’ of cities nationwide.

“This can be exported into the global marketplace,” Taylor said. The region must “use wealth wisely, to be sure it flows where it should.”

Cedric M. Grant, Director of the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships under President Obama, said groups in the community like CEED are vital to the success of small businesses within minority communities.

“Faith-based organizations are the most trusted in the community, and they interface daily with those who need help and services,” Grant said. “The federal government can’t do everything, but it has a responsibility to partner with those who do.”

Jerry Flavin of the Small Business Administration pointed out that two-thirds of all jobs created in the past 15 years came from small businesses, and said his office is committed to working with organizations like CEED to help small businesses incubate and succeed.

The SBA offers “Three Cs” of service, Flavin said: Counseling and training to help entrepreneurs with ideas determine if their goals are appropriate and realistic, Capital-access assistance by guaranteeing loans that banks would not ordinarily take on; and Contracting assistance, to tap into the $100 billion in government-related contracts that go to small businesses every year.

CEED is an excellent candidate to become a microlender intermediary in the Pittsburgh Region, Flavin said after the session, meaning that it would be able to provide startup loans to qualified small businesses with funds provided by SBA. CEED already provides similar startup funds through a grant from the Economic Development Administration, Idris said.

Dr. Howard B. Slaughter, Jr., President and CEO of Christian Management Enterprises, LLC, and Adjunct Professor of Business of Point Park University said, “Today’s U.S. economy is not dominated by multi-national corporations, but its small businesses, which account for 52% of all U.S. workers. Nearly 67.2 million Americans work for companies employing fewer than 499 workers. Allegheny County’s small businesses are leveraging marketing and business expansion opportunities, which makes this an attractive region for federal investment.”

Executive Director Rufus Idris said CEED “tries to put community members in the driver’s seat as we work toward economic development and self-sufficiency. Our ultimate goal is to help entrepreneurs achieve greater control over their lives and businesses. We work with our businesses for three to five years, to be sure they survive and thrive.”

In addition to various speakers, participants in the seminar participated in break-out sessions, including a faith-based roundtable discussion and a small business networking session. They also heard the experiences of small business entrepreneurs Chase Patterson of Corporate Diversity Associates, Wakike Jones of Urgent Denture Repair, and Don Williams of Jet Industries, LLC.

“Everyone in the United States has a strong common interest in promoting economic development in our most economically distressed communities,” Congressman Doyle told the group.

For more information about CEED, go to READ FULL ARTICLE