Chatham News

Owner and founder of $100 million business Tastefully Simple Jill Blashack Strahan to give keynote at Chatham University entrepreneurship forum for business women

“Women Who Lead” is the focus of the 8th Annual Think Big Forum, hosted by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University on October 18

PITTSBURGH—The eighth annual Think Big Forum hosted by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University will focus on “Women Who Lead.” Keynote speaker Jill Blashack Strahan, owner and founder of Tastefully Simple, Inc., started her business in a shed with no running water—using a pool table as her packing station. Strahan has since built Tastefully Simple into a $100 million enterprise with more than 23,000 independent consultants nationwide and has been recognized as one of the nation’s top CEOs by Inc., Fast Company, and Pink magazines. She continues her mission to lead and help others shine through Tastefully Simple as well as Inspirada Dreams, an online goal-setting resource and community she launched in 2012. She will share her straight-forward philosophy for building and leading a multi-million dollar business at the half-day forum, to be held on Friday, October 18, from 8 a.m. to noon at Chatham’s Athletic and Fitness Center on the Shadyside Campus.



At the forum, a group of leaders from the greater Pittsburgh community will be featured in an interactive panel discussion, moderated by Deborah Acklin, President and CEO of WQED Pittsburgh. Representing leadership in public service, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations are Ellen M. McLean, Interim CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny County; Barbara Span, VP of global public affairs at Western Union; and Bernadette Turner, CEO of Addison Behavioral Care. These women will give attendees a multifaceted look at leadership in diverse industries.

This forum also provides exclusive business-to-business and business-to-consumer networking opportunities, a chance for all attendees to meet the speakers personally, prizes, and a buffet breakfast.

The cost to attend is $45. For more information or to register for this event, visit or call 412-365-1253. Sponsors of the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship include PNC Bank, UPMC Health Plan, UPS, and Baierl Automotive. Partners for the Think Big event include NBC Universal/Comcast, Women’s Independent Press, and the Executive Women’s Council of Greater Pittsburgh.

About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship
The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University creates economic opportunities for women through entrepreneurial education and training, mentoring, and networking.

Building on Chatham University’s tradition of educating world-ready women for over 120 years, The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University has provided quality education and training for women entrepreneurs since 2005.

Current funding for The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University has been provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the PNC Foundation, and the Alcoa Foundation. Initial funding was provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Lois Tack Thompson Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation. For more information about programs offered by The Center 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 throughout 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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