Chatham News

Rebecca Harris, director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham, to be honored at the Pittsburgh Business Times’
2012 Women in Business Awards

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
January 26, 2012

Rebecca Harris

 PITTSBURGH (January 26, 2012) … Rebecca U. Harris, director of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) at Chatham University, has been selected as one of the winners of the Pittsburgh Business Times’ 2012 Women in Business Award. The 2012 Women in Business Awards, to be held at the Omni William Penn in Downtown Pittsburgh on March 15, honor the region’s most influential businesswomen at both for-profits and non-profits.

Ms. Harris is a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience as a consultant and marketing specialist. Her own company—a group of monthly news magazines in the Toledo-Ann Arbor metro area—achieved the million-dollar revenue mark in just seven years.

“I am so honored to receive this award, and feel privileged to be working with business women in the greater Pittsburgh region,” says Ms. Harris. “There are so many exceptional women doing exceptional work, and it’s exciting to be able to provide these women with educational and economic opportunities that help enhance their businesses.”

Ms. Harris, who has led the CWE since April 2009, is passionate about using her experience to help women start and grow successful businesses. Ms. Harris develops strategic, innovative programs that are changing the way women do business in western Pennsylvania and empowering women entrepreneurs to take a leading role in driving our region’s economy.

Her accomplishments at Chatham include the launch of CWE Connect, an online membership business development and mentoring community that allows businesswomen to access customized programs on their own time and makes networking and mentorship more accessible for entrepreneurs in rural areas. In addition, Ms. Harris has enhanced CWE’s flagship event, the Think Big Forum for Women, which has now tripled in participation and corporate support.

Ms. Harris was named the National Association of Women Business Owners (Greater Pittsburgh Chapter) 2010-11 Member of the Year and was recently named to Mayor Ravenstahl’s PowerUp Pittsburgh Working Group, which seeks to stimulate the region’s economy. Her other honors include the Crystal Award of Excellence from Women in Communications; Marketer of the Year Award from the Northwestern Ohio Chapter of the American Marketing Association; and the Milestones Business Award from the Greater Toledo YWCA, which recognized her success in building her newspaper group into a million-dollar enterprise and highly regarded employer.

She received her MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University and received her bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University.

About CWE
The mission of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University is to educate, create economic opportunities, and foster entrepreneurial thinking for women entrepreneurs, women in business, and students. The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University (CWE) provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs in both new development and growth stages of their businesses to start, develop and significantly grow their companies by utilizing Chatham resources, programs, faculty expertise, and student assistance. CWE also provides programming targeted to local and regional women in business designed to teach women in business how to think and act entrepreneurially by focusing on innovation and creativity within the context of an existing organizational environment. Aiming to increase the economic vitality of the region, the CWE, encourages women business startups, business growth, and increased employment.

Current and initial funding for CWE provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.  The Lois Tack Thompson Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation provided initial funding for CWE. For more information about programs offered by CWE call 412-365-1253 or visit

About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region over the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility; and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit

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