Pittsburgh Pirates strive for diversity in programming
Written by Diane I. Daniels - Courier Business Writer
TEAM WORK—Chaz Kellem, Pittsburgh Pirates manager of diversity initiatives, center, shares a moment with former Pirate pitcher Grant Jackson and the Pirate Parrot during their recent Diversity Networking Reception. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)
Spring is upon us and it’s time for hotdogs, peanuts and baseball.
April first kicked off the Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 baseball season. A season filled with hopes passion and pride. But to Chaz Kellem it is a time and season to continue building and supporting diversity for the organization.
Kellem has spent eight season with the Pirates. the last five as manager of diversity initiatives. It’s a job he understands and takes very seriously. Recently hosting the annual Pirates Diversity Networking Reception, he says community relations and diversity is important to the Pirates organization.
Pleased with the crowd of more than 150 entrepreneurs, professional and non-profit executives, Kellem says it is important for the organization to be in the forefront and to be involved within the total community. “A community which includes the Black, Latino, Asian, disabled, lesbian, gay and bisexual transgender population,” he pointed out. “Together we are stronger. The fact is that no matter what, without each other, the uniqueness of each other, we would not be able to flourish.”
The Pirates Diversity Program is a part of the team’s community relations initiative falling under Pirates Charities. Considered the catalyst that brings the Pirates front office, coaches, players, corporate partners, community leaders and fans together, Pirates Charities, a non-profit charitable organization was established in 2006. Kellem says the initiative makes a meaningful impact in the communities. The Pirates Diversity Networking Reception he says is one way to bring groups together to meet each other and to learn about our programs. “Forming strong partnerships is important to the Pirates Organization.”
As the manager of diversity initiatives Kellem describes his duties as being responsible for managing the ball club’s interaction with various minority constituencies. A primary focus, he says is the development and engagement of targeted minority communities in various opportunities that will increase minority participation within the organization.
Enjoying his job, Kellem says he feels he is accomplishing his mission because diversity has become his life. “I love diversity and as I live it, enjoy it, and learn from it, I understand it.” Diagnosed with a rare bone disorder at birth, he knows what discrimination is like. Not letting his disability or the use of a wheel chair to limit or define his life or activities, Kellem is an Edinboro University graduate and has a Master’s Degree from Robert Morris University. He is a member of several boards of directors of non-profit organizations and is the co-owner of Unbreakable Drive which is designed to inform people about the possibilities that life can bring when people have passion, determination, and motivation to succeed. Its mission is to change lives every day by leading by example, showing up, and making change. Kellem also enjoys public speaking on topics including motivation, self-advocacy, teamwork, diversity leadership, self-respect, breaking barriers and determination.
In their 127 season as a member of Major League Baseball, originating as the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, the Pirates have won five championships and played in four stadiums. Playing in PNC Park since 2001, the facility last month was ranked as the top ballpark to visit by TripAdvisor, which is considered the world’s largest travel site. Designed by HOK Architects of Kansas City who also designed Heinz Field and the Consol Energy Arena, Kellem says PNC Park is considered one of the country’s most accessible Major League sporting facilities. Pleased with the stadium’s amenities and layout, he pointed out that concessions and restrooms are fully accessible, that every level has rotunda areas providing adequate space for wheelchairs and that there is wheelchair-accessible seating in all areas of the ballpark as well as power sources.
After a 79-83 season last year, Kellem says the Pirate organization is excited and looking forward to 2013. His department is planning the Heritage Weekend for May 31 to June 2 and he says they look forward to all of this years’ diversity activities.
“We plan to continue working with the Josh Gibson Foundation as well as celebrating Jackie Robinson Day with Major League Baseball,” he said. “I want to continue to build relationships and to demonstrate the organizations’ commitment to strengthening community relations by way of our diversity and sustainability focused initiatives.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:18
Business Calendar 4-3-13
Written by Courier Newsroom
Financial Planning Workshop
APRIL 4—The African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania will host a Financial Planning Workshop at the Koppers Building, Penn Room, 436 Seventh Ave., Downtown. Representatives from the Luther Financial Group, Merril Lynch, Fragasso Financial Advisors & Janney will discuss the importance of financial planning as a business owner and the resources available to assist you. Registration is required. For more information, call 412-392-0610 or visit www.aaccwp.com.
The Human Factor
Business Opportunity Fair
APRIL 11—Highmark will host a Business Opportunity Fair at 8:30 a.m. at 120 Fifth Ave., Downtown. This is in regards to the Wexford Medical Mall Project. There will be prime contractors on site to answer specific questions related to diverse partnership opportunities. Pre-registration is required by March 29 and seating is limited. For more information, visit www.highmarkbcbs.com.
Business Trends 2013
Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series
APRIL 12—Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship will host the Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series from 7:30-9 a.m. at Chatham University, James Laughlin Music Hall, Woodland Road, Pittsburgh. Susan Gregg Koger, of ModCloth, will speak on the topic “Dresses and Successes: Turning a Passion for Vintage into a Global Business.” She will discuss how she turned a hobby into an e-retailer known for its innovative social shopping experience. Registration is required and the cost is $25. For more information, visit www.chatham.edu/cwe.
Career Development Series
Job Fair and College Expo
APRIL 19—The Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus will host a Job Fair & College Expo from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the CCAC Boyce Campus, Student Union, 595 Beatty Rd., Monroeville. There will be a job fair and a professional dress fashion show at 11 a.m. by the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 724-325-6771.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 05:59
GAO: Saturday mail delivery should stay
Written by CNN
by Jennifer Liberto
The U.S. Postal Service must deliver the mail six days a week, said Congress’ watchdog arm in a Thursday legal opinion.
The legal opinion from the nonpartisan agency throws new questions on the Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe’s plans to stop delivering first-class mail, but keep delivering packages and express mail on Saturdays.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office stopped short of saying the U.S. Postal Service’s August plan to end most Saturday mail service violates current law.
The U.S. Postal Service says it’s not ending six-day delivery, only changing it, since it’ll still deliver packages on Saturdays.
However, GAO’s report could make it easier to file a lawsuit to stop the U.S. Postal Service, if it decides to continue with service cuts as previously announced.
“We fully expect the Postal Service’s board of governors and the postmaster general to follow the law and the expressed will of Congress about maintaining six-day delivery,” said Fredric Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers. “We do not expect to have a legal fight.”
When the U.S. Postal Service announced last month it planned to stop delivering and collecting letters and other first-class mail on Saturdays beginning Aug. 5, several lawmakers accused the agency of overstepping its legal authority.
“The GAO legal opinion clearly rejects the Postal Service’s attempt to circumvent the law,” said Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia who asked GAO to review postal service’s legal authority.
In the past, the agency had said it needed Congress to change current law to cut Saturday
service. After more than two years of waiting for Congress to help, the Postal Service decided to cut Saturday mail, saying the current temporary funding measures gave them a loophole to pursue the changes.
The GAO report said that loophole isn’t there and that current law requires the agency to continue 6-day delivery.
U.S. Postal Service spokesman David Partenheimer said the agency disagrees with the GAO opinion. He also said it doesn’t address their plan to move to “5-day mail delivery, with 6-day package delivery, during the week of August 5.”
That plan would save $2 billion a year, not much compared to the $16 billion loss the organization reported for 2012.
The key culprit for the Postal Service’s woes has been a 2006 congressional mandate, under which it has to pre-fund healthcare benefits for future retirees. The USPS has been borrowing billions of dollars from taxpayers to make up for the shortfalls.
At the same time, technological advances have led to a decline in first-class mail, which most consumers use to pay bills and stay in touch.
The situation turned particularly dire last year—the agency twice defaulted on payments totaling $11 billion, and it exhausted a $15 billion line of credit from the U.S. Treasury.
Last Updated on Friday, 29 March 2013 10:04
Belkin Netcam helps keep watchful eye on business
Written by Courier Newsroom
by Cornelius Fortune
Your smartphone just got smarter.
As we depend more on technology for the simplest tasks from recipes to finding directions, our smartphones are an integral part of our lives, and shouldn’t we be able to see what’s going on at home even if we’re hundreds of miles away?
That’s the concept of Belkin NetCam with Night Vision, which is now available from Verizon Wireless.
The Belkin NetCam Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision makes it easy to check in on your kids after school, or keep an eye on your room while you’re away, and the camera connects to your Wi-Fi router without the need of a computer.
Think of it as a stand-in for your home monitoring system. Although the box doesn’t come with multiple cameras, you can at least set it up in a “hot spot” of your choosing.
Simply download the free NetCam app on your iOS or Android device to keep an eye on your home anytime, anywhere. The camera’s wide-angle video captures large spaces while its clear digital audio keeps you from missing conversations or noises. With night vision for recording in low light, NetCam is also ideal for baby monitoring.
With access to your home from wherever you are, this camera is not only a cool gadget to add to your arsenal of gadgets, it has plenty of practical applications worth diving into. It also lets you save video directly to your mobile device, so you can share your favorite memories. NetCam requires a Wi-Fi router with an Internet connection and an Apple device with iOS 4.2+ or an Android device with version 2.2+.
While the Belkin NetCam certainly wouldn’t replace your home security system, it does function as a plausible add-on worth considering if you’re looking for something unique, or even a conversation piece over dinner, the NetCam is obviously ground zero for a bigger technology round the corner.
Last Updated on Friday, 29 March 2013 10:07
African American Chamber of Commerce welcomes Keith B. Key as Presidential Roundtable member
Written by Courier Newsroom
KEITH B. KEY
PITTSBURGH, Pa.—The African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania has announced that Keith B. Key, president and CEO of KBK Enterprises has joined the Chamber’s Presidential Roundtable, as the first African-American member. Key, a prominent real estate developer, is a native of Pittsburgh, and heads one of the nation’s largest African-American owned real estate development firms. KBK Enterprises is active in cities throughout the nation including Pittsburgh, Ohio, Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and New Orleans. KBK Enterprises was selected as developer of Addison Terrace, a former public housing community in the center of Pittsburgh’s Hill District. The $130 million dollar award is the largest to a minority enterprise in the history of Pittsburgh. KBK’s previous largest project award of $80 Million was Garfield Commons in Pittsburgh, a community where he was raised. KBK has over $500 million in current activities under contract. Key is also chairman of the Board and Director of the KBK Foundation, a charitable non-profit located in Ohio.
The Chamber’s Presidential Roundtable is composed of 16 top executives in the business and academic communities in our region. The creation of the Presidential Roundtable in 1998 was the result of the Chamber’s need to develop corporate links for relationship building to grow the organization. Former Chairman Robert Agbede, Chester Engineers, Inc.; Thomas Usher, former Chairman of USX Corporation; and Richard Simmons, Chairman Emeritus of Allegheny Teledyne initiated the effort to encourage chief executive officers in the business and academic areas in Western Pennsylvania to commit to being an executive member of the Chamber, and to encourage their buyers and procurement officers to work with the Chamber to identify minority firms for purchasing goods and services. Keith Key has been a member of the Chamber since 2006, and becomes the first African-American to belong to the Chamber’s Presidential Roundtable.
Today the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania has over 500 members and supporters, and is ranked the 11th largest Chamber in the region. The mission of the Chamber is to continuously improve business and professional opportunities for African-American business owners and professionals.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 March 2013 10:05
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