Chatham News

Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University to explore branding and the customer experience at 6th Annual Think Big Forum

By: Amanda Leff Ritchie, Senior Public Relations Specialist
September 19, 2011

PITTSBURGH (September 19, 2011) … The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) at Chatham University will delve into branding and customer experience at its sixth annual Think Big Forum, to be held from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, October 21, at the Athletic Fitness Center on Chatham’s Shadyside Campus. Registration is $45 per person and includes breakfast.

“In the world of targeted and niche marketing, developing strong brands and increasing brand awareness is essential — it’s all about relating to your customers and driving brand loyalty,” says Rebecca Harris, CWE director.

The Think Big Forum will feature keynote speaker Maxine Clark, chair, founder, and chief executive “bear” of Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. The forum will also include a panel discussion with regional women executives and entrepreneurs about creating strong brands that drive greater engagement through meaningful customer interactions and ways to develop personal brands for greater business success.

Panelists include Susan Gregg Koger, chief creative officer and lead buyer for ModCloth; Donna Sturgess, president and founding partner of Buyology, Inc. and former global head of innovation for GlaxoSmithKline; and Laurie R. Mizrahi, President of Mizrahi, Inc. and interim vice president creative of GNC Corporation. Michele Anne Petruccelli, president of Petruccelli Strategic Marketing Consulting, will moderate the panel.

Sponsors to date include Keynote Sponsor UPMC Health Plan, Gold Sponsor Baierl Automotive, Women’s Business Enterprise Council, UPS, Enterprise Bank, and First Commonwealth Bank. For more information, visit , call 412-365-1253, or e-mail

Audience Demographics
Attendees from the Think Big Forums held throughout the last five years have been from Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Lawrence, Fayette, Washington, and Westmoreland counties. More than 60 percent of past attendees are women business owners. These women are predominately in service sectors (architecture, marketing, public relations, human resources, healthcare and therapy, legal and financial services, communications, training, and commercial cleaning) and are the presidents and/or founders of their businesses. The remaining 40 percent of attendees are middle and senior management from the corporate sector, including representatives from law firms, insurance brokers, healthcare management, financial institutions, government organizations, and transportation companies.

About CWE
The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University (CWE) provides opportunities for women entrepreneurs to start, develop, and significantly grow their businesses by utilizing Chatham resources, programs, and faculty expertise. CWE provides programming targeted toward local and regional women in business designed to advance and hone their professional skills. CWE teaches the art of thinking and acting entrepreneurially by focusing on innovation and creativity within the context of existing organizational environments. CWE also offers specific programs for both undergraduate and graduate students that can help them learn the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and successful women in business. Current and initial funding for CWE provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. Initial funding for CWE was provided by the Lois Tack Thompson Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation.

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 .