Chatham News

The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham to present filmmaker JulieHera DeStefano about her work documenting the lives of U.S. military women

The April 13 lecture is part of the CWE’s Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
March 23 2012

PITTSBURGH (March 23, 2012) … The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) at Chatham University will host filmmaker JulieHera DeStefano, the woman behind the upcoming documentary film “Journey to Normal: Women of War Come Home.”  The film documents the experiences of female veterans as they rejoin their families and communities after deployment to the combat zone. DeStephano’s presentation, “The Business of Documenting History: One Woman Filmmaker, 100,000 Women in the Military,” will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. April 13 in the James Laughlin Music Center on the University’s Shadyside Campus. During the event, which is part of the CWE’s Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series, DeStefano will explain how she found success from the spark of one idea. The $25 admission fee includes a continental breakfast and networking session, which precede the presentation. A question and answer session will follow DeStefano’s presentation. For more information and to register, visit or call 412-365-1253.

When DeStefano conceived of the documentary film “Journey to Normal: Women of War Come Home,” slated to be released spring 2013, she had no idea that her personal journey to make the film would take her on a walk across Pennsylvania, to the combat zone in Afghanistan, and into the daily lives of the women of the U.S. military.

“This project has been nothing less than inspiring,” says DeStefano. “Every day, whether in an interview or reviewing footage, I hear the stories of remarkable women; and every day their voices reaffirm my conviction that this is a film that needs to be made.”

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, DeStefano is an independent producer and filmmaker. A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (BFA), she has performed in New York Off-Broadway, in Pittsburgh with the Civic Light Opera and Pittsburgh Playhouse, and appears in the movies “The First Wives Club” and the “Preacher’s Wife.” She served as the managing director and producer of an award-winning off-Broadway theater company and as the business manager of a New York-based film and photography studio.

About CWE
The mission of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship is to educate, create economic opportunities, and foster entrepreneurial thinking for women entrepreneurs, women in business, and students. CWE provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs in all stages of businesses to start and grow their companies by utilizing Chatham resources, programs, and expertise. CWE programming is also designed to teach regional businesswomen how to think and act entrepreneurially by focusing on innovation and creativity in the workplace. CWE also offers specific programs for both undergraduate and graduate students that help develop the skills needed to become successful businesswomen.

Founded in 2005, CWE has expanded its reach throughout Southwestern PA to help an increasing number of businesswomen learn, network, connect, and achieve their business goals.

Current and initial funding for CWE provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.  Initial funding for CWE was also provided by the Lois Tack Thompson Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation. 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

# # #