Chatham University

Women’s Leadership

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh CEO Magdeline Jensen takes the organization to a dynamic entrepreneurial level

What do the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh and the Nathan’s Famous food franchise have in common? An entrepreneurial spirit and something completely new for downtown Pittsburgh.

Chatham’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship will welcome Magdeline Jensen, CEO of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, as the next speaker in its popular monthly Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series on Friday, April 9, 2010, at 7:30-9:30 a.m. Ms. Jensen’s topic, “Innovative Entrepreneurship for a Nonprofit,” provides just a glimpse of what Ms. Jensen and the YWCA have in store.

Ms. Jensen’s presentation will discuss the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh entrepreneurship venture to open a Nathan’s Famous food franchise in a portion of its building storefront downtown as a way to develop new, alternative income streams. She will answer questions on the reasoning behind the choice of Nathan’s Famous, and the overall process in assessing capacity, the market, and projected profit. She will also address other important issues such as Nathan’s Famous having an impact on the YWCA non-profit status, and how the YWCA will be able to protect it while adhering to its mission of empowering women and eliminating racism.

In a December 2009 iinterview with the Pittsburgh Business Times, Ms. Jensen noted that “…We want to run this for-profit company to generate profit for our operations. What we (will) do is create a new sustainable income stream to serve the people in programs of the YWCA.” This will be the first Nathan’s Famous run by a nonprofit, according to the franchise’s corporate parent.

Ms. Jensen has been the CEO of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh since November 2007. The YWCA is a non-profit association whose mission is to eliminate racism and empower women and girls. Founded in 1869, the Association operates 12 programs and five annual events, all of which are managed by more than 200 employees working at four locations throughout Allegheny County. Prior to her position at the YWCA, Ms. Jensen was the first woman to be selected as the Chief Federal Probation Officer in Arizona, where she managed a $15 million operation of the U.S. Probation office for nine years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, Criminology and a Master of Criminology from the University of California, Berkeley, CA.


Admission for the Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series is $25 and includes a continental breakfast and networking session. Registration and information is available at or by calling 412-365-1253.


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Magdeline Jensen

Magdeline Jensen