Pittsburgh Startup ModCloth: Turning the Women’s Retail Clothing World Inside Out

Pittsburgh Startup ModCloth: Turning the Women’s Retail Clothing World Inside Out

When Susan Gregg Koger was in high school, she had no clue that her penchant for vintage clothing would lead to founding one of the nation’s fastest growing retailers. The Florida native came to Pittsburgh in 2002 along with her then boyfriend Eric Koger (now her husband) to attend Carnegie Mellon University. The Floridians’ need for warm winter clothing led them to thrift stores, where

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Randyland

Randyland

An adage advises to “bloom where you are planted.” In the case of Randy Gilson, he not only bloomed but also painted, created, and transformed a drab, depressing neighborhood on Pittsburgh’s North Side into a whimsical wonderland known as Randyland. A little over 30 years ago, Gilson, 59, rented an apartment in the Mexican War Streets on the North Side. Gilson, who is a waiter,

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A Promise Benefits Pittsburgh Breast Cancer Patients

A Promise Benefits Pittsburgh Breast Cancer Patients

When Diana Napper makes a promise, she keeps it. In 1990, her best friend Carol Jo Weiss Friedman lost her battle with breast cancer. Before Carol Jo succumbed to the disease, Diana promised her that she would pursue a lifelong dream of designing jewelry and opening a jewelry store, selling her designs that would fund a hospice in Carol Jo’s name. Diana honored that promise

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Q&A with The Glimmer of Hope Founder, Diana Napper

Q&A with The Glimmer of Hope Founder, Diana Napper

In 1994, Diana Napper founded The Glimmer of Hope, a nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for breast cancer. She began this foundation to honor a promise she made to her friend Carol Jo Weiss Friedman before she lost her battle with breast cancer. Initially, Diana had designed a small piece of jewelry, a Swarovksi teardrop pin capped with a pearl to symbolize hope over

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A Woman Unafraid of the Trenches

A Woman Unafraid of the Trenches

If Pittsburgh were to have a royal family, it would have to be the Hillmans. But unlike Queen Elizabeth, who is a benign figurehead presiding over ribbon-cuttings, the late Elsie Hillman donned a headband instead of a crown and went into the trenches to make a difference in the world. A Sense of Service is Instilled in Hillman Elsie Hilliard Hillman spent decades getting her

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Spearheading the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Spearheading the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Today, many people are aware of the scourge of human trafficking, but in 2003, that wasn’t the case. That year, Mary C. Burke, Ph.D., professor of Psychology at Carlow University, watched a report of an undercover journalist as he was approached by children offering to have sex with him. This report shined a light on the despicable, shadowy world of human trafficking. The Program Director

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Dr. Patricia George: Racing to Bring Awareness to Pulmonary Hypertension

Dr. Patricia George: Racing to Bring Awareness to Pulmonary Hypertension

Dr. Patricia George, a pulmonary hypertension specialist at UPMC, knows how little people know about this devastating illness. To raise awareness this year, Dr. George and Team PHenomenal Hope competed in The Pioneer, a seven-day race through New Zealand’s Southern Alps. What is Pulmonary Hypertension? PH is a disease of the lungs and often goes unrecognized or misdiagnosed. It affects millions of people of all

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August Wilson: Pittsburgh’s Playwright

August Wilson: Pittsburgh's Playwright

In the last century, Pittsburgh spawned two Pulitzer-prize winning playwrights: George S. Kaufmann and August Wilson. Kaufmann’s greatest success came in the first half of the 1900s with the prize-winning musical Of Thee I Sing in 1931 and the drama You Can’t Take it With You in 1936, while Wilson won two Pulitzers during the last half of the century with Fences in 1987 and

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Maxine Bruhns: Bringing the World to Pittsburgh

Maxine Bruhns: Bringing the World to Pittsburgh

Maxine Bruhns is the director of the Nationality Rooms at the University of Pittsburgh–which is impressive in itself–but to have done so for 50 years and still be on top of her game at 91 is extraordinary. A small town girl from Grafton, West Virginia, Mrs. Bruhns has made herself at home in the world, visiting more than 80 countries and becoming conversant to varying

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Bill Strickland: The Solution Man

Bill Strickland: The Solution Man

“You’ve got to look like the solution, not the problem,” said Bill Strickland at a 2002 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference in Monterey, California. For nearly 50 years, Pittsburgh native Bill Strickland has been applying his simple solution to help at-risk kids, single parents, and displaced workers visualize and achieve their dreams. According to Strickland: You solve problems by creating a world-class environment because people

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