Christopher Evans

Coffee With Simon Arias

»Posted by on May 23, 2017 in Arias Agencies, Christopher Evans, Coffee With, Finance | 0 comments

The Coffee With Show had the opportunity to sit and chat with Simon Arias, founder and President of Simon Arias Agencies, one of the highest rated workplaces in Pittsburgh. Simon Arias Agencies represents American Income Life Insurance Company (AIL) and has locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Florida, and Tennessee. At age 24, Simon launched Arias Agencies only two and a half years after contracting with AIL, making him the youngest State General Agent in company history. Simon has left a huge impact at AIL, having been promoted to leadership positions shortly after first joining in 2005. Recognized for his outstanding leadership and impressive records with AIL, Simon is looked up to as a mentor by many of the top leaders in the company. Simon’s involvement with AIL began immediately after graduating from college. Simon studied at Mercyhurst University and his post-graduation plans were centered on a real estate career in Florida. Shortly after graduation he was contacted by Ohio State General Agents Jim Surace and Marcus Smith, and Simon realized that he had found a rare opportunity with AIL that he couldn’t pass up. Within a year at the company, Simon had already been promoted to a top-level management position. Less than three years later, in 2008, he was promoted as the youngest State General Agent in company history. His career and development of Simon Arias Agencies has taken Simon and his family to new heights he never thought possible, and it has opened doors for Simon to contribute to multiple charitable efforts both locally and internationally. Arias’s excellent work with Simon Arias Agencies has given him significant recognition in the company. He was named the State General Agent of the Year for 2011 & 2012, a new record at AIL, as no other SGA had ever earned this title two years in a row. Simon was selected to contribute to AIL’s Executive Council to advise the company in its direction, and has been chosen as State General Agent of the year multiple times, the highest honor a State General Agency can achieve. Beyond that, Simon’s impressive leadership has made him a noteworthy Pittsburgh employer – Simon Arias Agencies was originally named Pittsburgh’s #1 Small Business Employer by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette in 2012. Since then, Simon Arias Agencies has been continually recognized by the Post Gazette as one of Pittsburgh’s Top Workplaces. Tune in to this episode of Coffee With to take away the life and business lessons Simon has learned as a successful young business...

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Coffee With Valerie Njie – Bidwell Training Center

»Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Bidwell Training Center, Business Advice, Career Education for High School Students, Christopher Evans, Coffee With, Coffee With on CBS, Learning, Learning and Education, Professional Development, Resources in the Region, Videos | 0 comments

Today’s episode of Coffee With focuses on careers, specifically career building and training. Joining our discussion is Mrs. Valerie Njie, the Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Bidwell Training Center (BTC). Bidwell Training Center is a non-profit career training school that has been changing people’s lives since 1968. At Bidwell, Mrs. Njie is part of an amazing organization that equips students with superb skills that can lead them to meaningful employment and empower them to become more confident, productive, and professional. Bidwell Training Center has almost 50 years of experience providing top-of-the-line career training and consistently attracts national attention for their innovative training programs. Beyond that, Bidwell Training Center is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and is a member of over 10 national and regional professional organizations. The majors offered at BTC provide learners with the hands-on skillsets they need to be prepared and competitive in the marketplace. Mrs. Njie has committed decades towards serving the Pittsburgh community and enriching the lives of others. In 2014, she was elected to serve as School Commissioner by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). Mrs. Njie has been one of the ACCSC’s most active volunteers, and was selected as Volunteer of the Year in 2009. Beyond that, she has been honored with the 2009 Duquesne Light African American Leadership Award for Education as well as a 2006 Women of Influence designation from the New Pittsburgh Courier. Mrs. Njie’s outstanding dedication to the Pittsburgh community was most recently recognized in 2015 when she received the University of Pittsburgh’s Volunteer Excellence Award. The award annually recognizes Pitt alumni who have enriched the lives of others through extraordinary efforts in the...

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Coffee With a Real Estate Expert

»Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Business, Business Advice, Christopher Evans, Coffee With, Coffee With on CBS, Dani Gundlach, Real Estate | Comments Off on Coffee With a Real Estate Expert

  Welcoming a seasoned Pittsburgh resident and veteran real estate agent, the Coffee With Show is excited to have Dani Gundlach on the show to talk about all of the reasons Pittsburgh is the place to live. Today on the Coffee With Show we are having Coffee With a Real estate Expert. Dani is the founder of INHABIT Pittsburgh, a real estate collective that uses an innovative cooperative approach to produce amazing results for their clients. Dani is time-after-time one of the most successful and accommodating real estate agents in Pittsburgh, having been recognized for her excellent service on multiple occasions. Dani has been working in Pittsburgh real estate for 15 years, and has been living in the East End for 20. After observing that the city and its real estate climate was quickly changing, Dani took the initiative to found a brokerage unique and innovative enough to keep up. Enter INHABIT Real Estate Collective. At INHABIT Real Estate Collective, Dani offers traditional realty services to homebuyers and sellers along with commercial and development accommodations. INHABIT Real Estate Collective’s team-based approach means that Dani has more power to innovate her business processes and accelerate results for the team’s clients. Dani has used her experience in realty and in Pittsburgh to redefine the capabilities of real estate, and her efforts have gained lots of attention. She’s been named a five-star real estate agent by Pittsburgh Magazine and Trulia. https://www.trulia.com/ In her spare time, Dani develops a weekly podcast, Houses and Hills. Houses and Hills is a weekly conversation with people who are making a mark on the Pittsburgh Landscape. They’re talking with Makers, Shapers, Collaborators, and Innovators about their work and life in the City of Bridges. Never miss an episode when you subscribe on iTunes. Look up Houses and Hills on Facebook or at http://www.housesandhills.net/ Learn more about why Pittsburgh’s real estate becomes more attractive every day by tuning in to this episode of Coffee...

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Coffee With Ron Alvarado

»Posted by on Feb 18, 2017 in Business Goals, Christopher Evans, Coffee With on CBS, Learning and Education | Comments Off on Coffee With Ron Alvarado

  Ron Alvarado Building Bridges for Business is excited to welcome Ron Alvarado onto the Coffee With show. Ron Alvarado is the president and founder of Novus Group, LLC, a Pittsburgh-based firm specializing in staffing and recruitment outsourcing. Novus Group, LLC offers professional recruitment services and staffing solutions for business sectors from energy to accounting. In 2013, Novus was ranked one of the Top 500 Hispanic Businesses in the U.S. by Hispanic Business Magazine (for the 3rd consecutive year). In September of 2014, the magazine named Novus the 24th fastest growing Hispanic owned company in the nation. In 2013, Novus was honored as one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Privately Owned Companies in Pittsburgh by Pittsburgh Business Times (for the 2nd year in a row). Mr. Alvarado has a strong record of service for improving diversity and has extensive experience addressing the workforce needs of the region. He serves as the Chairman of the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and also serves on the board of the Dollar Energy Fund. Mr. Alvarado’s workforce expertise found him serving on the Pennsylvanian Workforce Investment Board (WIB). The WIB is the Governor’s principal private sector policy advising resource on any workforce development issues. Mr. Alvarado was first appointed to the WIB in 2008 by Governor Rendell, then reappointed by Governor Corbett. Beyond his impressive service and dedication to improving our community, Mr. Alvarado has been recognized as the recipient of many awards. In 2013 he was awarded the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) Vanguard Diversity Award. The Vanguard Diversity Award recognizes individuals and organizations who have demonstrate outstanding work towards promoting diversity and inclusion. Mr. Alvarado’s exceptional community service was also recognized when he received the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Hispanic Attorneys Committee 2015 “El Sol Award”. Watch the Coffee With exclusive interview with Mr. Alvarado, where he details his emergence and success within the staffing industry, as well as practical business lessons he’s learned along the way. From his incredible success with Novus to his dedication to improving our community, Mr. Alvarado brings exciting and inspiring experience to share with you on Coffee...

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Coffee With Kelly Collier

»Posted by on Sep 22, 2016 in Career Education for High School Students, Christopher Evans, Coffee With, Coffee With on CBS, Coffee With TM on CBS, Kelly Collier, Learning | Comments Off on Coffee With Kelly Collier

  Pittsburgh has an abundance of talented entrepreneurs and innovative startups. Joining us today on Coffee With is Kelly Collier, founder and CEO of ActivAided Orthotics, a medical device startup that produces flexible, supportive posture-correcting clothing. ActivAided has revolutionized the traditional medical brace into a product that allows for non-restrictive therapy, providing impressive support and rehabilitation without sacrificing flexibility or comfort. Collier launched the company from the ground up, their product initially developed for her senior project at Carnegie Mellon. ActivAided first saw development in the form of a class project for Collier, a then Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering student at CMU. An avid swimmer, Collier’s back pain problems became the catalyst for the project which was developed by a physician Dr. Gary Chimes, Collier and her peers as a senior project at Carnegie Mellon University. Unlike her classmates, Collier gave herself additional homework when she incorporated the assignment into a post-graduate business. Since founding ActivAvided Orthotics, Collier has become a specialist in commercializable product development and has expertise in all stages of the process. Whether it be design, manufacturing, scalability, or distribution, Collier possesses the business prowess to efficiently tackle any aspect of business growth and operations. Collier’s efforts enabled her to collect honors as the U. S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Western Pennsylvania Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Kevin White, Pittsburgh SBA district director, commented that Collier is an entrepreneur who identified the solution to a problem. He said, “Her back problems led her to turn this project into a business that helps correct posture in a non-restrictive form.” Collier’s transformation from student to entrepreneur is characteristic of the incredibly innovative business environment in Pittsburgh. Want to learn more about the origins, development, and lessons learned from ActivAided? Tune into this episode of Coffee With. Since this blog post and video the company was acquired by...

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Coffee With the Beauty Shoppe

»Posted by on Sep 20, 2016 in Beauty Shoppe, Christopher Evans, Coffee With, Coffee With on CBS, East Liberty, Education, Pittsburgh IT community, Rabih Helou | Comments Off on Coffee With the Beauty Shoppe

This episode of Coffee With features a relatively new member to the Pittsburgh community (moved here in 2009) who has already made a big impact in their time here. Rabih Helou is co-founder of The Beauty Shoppe, a collaborative workspace found in two locations in Pittsburgh’s East Liberty community. The Beauty Shoppe is an innovative new way for businesses and entrepreneurs to work – they provide comfortable spaces and all of the technical services an individual or business needs to run effectively. They provide the basics so that businesses can focus on what’s important. Helou is obsessed with making businesses serve the social good. His experience as a former consultant and business owner have inspired him to create an organization that serves the needs of small businesses and professionals. The Beauty Shoppe revolutionizes the way people work – shifting the dynamic and culture from the skyscraper to the street-side venue. This “breaking-down” of walls and development of a flexible and comfortable space is what has made The Beauty Shoppe’s impact so impressive – they have grown to serve over 100 different individuals or business. Before his involvement at The Beauty Shoppe, Mr. Helou directed server multi-million dollar business operations, including international development projects for the U.S. Department of State. He also served as head of Middle East operations for a Strategy Consulting firm in NYC, a $25 million multi-year initiative for the fastest growing mobile operator in the Middle East and North Africa. Mr. Helou has spent over 15 years consulting to an incredible range of businesses in the private, public, and non-profit sectors, spanning US, Canada, Europe and the Middle East. He earned his PhD in Social Markets from University of Maryland. The Beauty Shoppe offers top-of-the-line infrastructure to meet the needs of organizations and individuals alike. Learn more about the awesome history behind The Beauty Shoppe by tuning into this episode of Coffee...

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