Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Estate Planning Essentials

Provided by:

Regina Beatty, CRPC

Mosaic Consulting

Private Wealth Advisors

One Northgate Square

Greensburg, PA 15601



The purpose of an estate plan is to take care of your loved ones, and your legacy, after you’re gone. But the logistics of how to do that may not be so obvious.

While the basics are straightforward—you likely have a will and have filled out beneficiary forms for investment accounts and insurance policies—you may not be sure about when and how to implement more sophisticated tools such as trusts. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach,” says Elizabeth Schwartz, an estate planning attorney in Miami. “The process will be different for everybody because each estate has a unique set of circumstances to consider: number, if any, of children, how complicated your assets are, the maturity of your beneficiaries; it’s really a bespoke process every time.”

Still, there are some common focal points that can help you begin. Often, Schwartz says, life changes—from an illness to a new marriage—are common catalysts that force some to begin thinking about their estate plan. But a more proactive approach has advantages, from ensuring tax efficiency to guaranteeing family harmony.

First steps

If you don’t already have a will, draft one now. This can be as simple as working with a lawyer to spell out who will serve as guardian to your young children or who will serve as trustee to distribute your assets and oversee the execution of your estate plan.

At the same time you write your will, draft a durable power of attorney giving the person you name the authority to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to. Likewise, a healthcare proxy authorizes someone you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf, and it’s a good idea anytime—especially if you are single.

Turn to trusts

Trusts are powerful tools that can allow you to pass a portion of your wealth to your heirs in tax-efficient ways, set limits on the ways the assets can be used, and provide a degree of protection for the recipients. Generally, trusts are seen as something that only those who enjoy “family wealth” should consider. “But there’s no real threshold,” Schwartz says. “It’s different for each situation. Something as simple as having minor children or a spendthrift family member may call for the creation of a trust.”

Many people establish trusts in their early to mid-50s, when they’ve accumulated significant wealth and have begun thinking about their legacies. That said, you may hit that threshold much earlier. To determine whether a trust makes sense for your long-term plans, it’s important to square your vision of the future with the tools available to create it and the tax laws that will form it. Because of this, it’s important to review your assets with your tax professional and your financial advisor every couple of years.

Consider long-term care costs

Long-term care (LTC) insurance can help you protect your assets and those of your family if you become chronically ill. Schwartz recommends shopping for a policy at about age 50. That age represents a sweet spot: You’re young and likely healthy enough to qualify for a cost-effective policy, and you’re earning enough to pay for it.

The policies’ expense raises the question: Why bother? A quick review of long-term care costs illustrates the importance of protecting against the possibility of a chronic condition. Today’s 65-year-olds have a 40% chance of entering a nursing home, according to the Dept. of Health and Human Services.* The cost can be steep and may put a sizable dent in the assets you were hoping to leave to loved ones.

Keep it up

Tackling those steps is a good foundation, but a solid estate plan needs regular maintenance. Be sure to review your documents every three to five years to make sure they still reflect your wishes and changing life situations, such as deaths and births in your family. Also, a significant shift in your financial situation, real estate purchases and sales, a substantial inheritance, or changes to the tax code would be a good time to check in with your advisors.

“There are no hard-and-fast rules as you’re doing this work,” Schwartz says. “Talk to your advisor and your estate planning attorney. There’s never a bad time to do this work—just know that it’s never too soon.”

The content of this material was provided to you by Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. or Lincoln Financial Securities Corporation for its representatives and their clients.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Take Back Your Health This New Year

Excela Health has provided the GCDC with a BMI table and some other useful information to lose excess weight.  Check it out!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Greensburg Holiday Events

Greensburg offers a variety of lively events throughout the holiday season for all age groups. Local shops offer a fun-filled shopping experience during the holiday season and many restaurants offer fantastic deals! Whether you’re interested in shopping, attending a musical show or watching the Greensburg Holiday Parade, you’re sure to feel the holiday spirit. Here is a list of the upcoming holiday events and the contact information.

2011 Holiday Events

The Tides of Provincetown: Pivotal Years in America's Oldest Continuous Art Colony (1899-2011)
Saturday, October 29, 2011 - Sunday January 22, 2012
Westmoreland Museum of American Art
Free w/ admission

Twiggs European Flower Market Open House
November 2, 2011 starting at 5 pm
250 W. Otterman Street
(724) 838-7272

7th Annual Holiday Fashion Fantasy Show
November 3 from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Greensburg Garden & Civic Center
(724) 836-3074

Holiday Marketplace Preview
November 9, 2011 from 5-9 PM
Westmoreland Museum of Art, An American Marketplace
20% discount and free gift wrapping with refreshments provided
43rd Annual Holiday Open House and Cookie Walk
November 13, 2011
12 pm - 5 pm
Downtown Shopping District
Stores will be offering holiday cookies while shoppers visit the stores.

THE TEMPEST by William Shakespeare
November 11 - 19, 2011
Seton Hill University Performing Arts Center
100 Harrison Ave., Greensburg
(724) 552-2929

It's a Wonderful Life: The Musical
November 18 & 19 at 7:30 pm
November 20 at 2 pm
The Palace Theatre
(724) 832-7464

Greensburg Holiday Parade
November 19 at 12:00 pm
Main Street in Greensburg

Overly’ s Country Christmas: Light Display & Christmas Village
November 19 – January 1
Sunday – Thursday 5:30 pm – 10 pm
Friday – Saturday 5:30 pm – 11 pm
Westmoreland Fairgrounds

What's In Store!
November 25 & 26, 2011 from 11 AM - 5 PM
20% discount, gift basket drawing, and free gift wrapping with refreshments provided
Westmoreland Museum of Art, An American Marketplace

Family Day
November 26, 2011 from 11 AM - 3 PM
At Imagine Nation Day, families can participate in fun activities and children can register to become a member of the Imagine Nation Club.
Westmoreland Museum of Art


Our Forefather’s Christmas by Joanna Moyar
November 29 at 7 pm
Westmoreland County Historical Society
(724) 532-1935

Luminary Night
December 1, 2011
5 pm - 9 pm
Downtown Shopping District
In addition to refreshments at each shoppe, visitors can enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride, Christmas carolers, and visit Santa in the park.

The Oak Ridge Boys Christmas Show
December 2 at 2 pm & 8 pm
The Palace Theatre
(724) 836-8000

River City Brass: Christmas Brasstacular
December 3 at 7:30 pm
The Palace Theatre
(724) 836-8000

Westmoreland Cultural Trust: Theatre IV’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
December 4 at 2 pm & 5 pm
The Palace Theatre
(724) 836-8000

Academy Hill Holiday House Tour
December 4
Academy Hill Historic District
(724) 834-4556

Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra: The Nutcracker
December 10 at 2 pm & 7 pm
December 11 at 2 pm
The Palace Theatre
(724) 836-8000

Latshaw Pops Orchestra Christmas Spectacular
December 14 at 2 pm and 8 pm
The Palace Theatre
(724) 836-8000

Procrastinator's Panic Night
December 16, 2011 from 5-9 PM
Store discount and free gift wrapping with refreshments provided
Westmoreland Museum of Art, An American Marketplace

Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra: Home for the Holidays
December 17 at 8 pm
The Palace Theatre
(724) 837-1850

Monday, July 25, 2011

Patty Merlino Talks About Natural Supplements

Learn How to Live Healthy at Herbs To Your Health


Patty Merlino, owner of 'Herbs To Your Health' on 106 South Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Greensburg and an herbologist for 25 years, recently sat down with the GCDC to chat about her store and philosophy.

Patty Merlino with some of the many
supplements Herbs To Your Health
offers for a healthy living.
On her decision to open Herbs To Your Health

“Since my goal is to grow old without aging, I thought other people might share my vision. Hopefully, I will inspire people to live their best lives with abundant health, independence, and joy. My wish is that customers of Herbs To Your health raise their consciousness beyond what they’ve learned to accept enlightening information about their wellness.”

On her Professional Philosophy

“Health is simple, disease is complicated. Through the use of supplements we make complicated things simple here. I don’t believe there are any diseases of aging but diseases of inflammation and oxidation, hence our focus on antioxidant and anti-inflammatory supplements.”

On the Store’s Range of Products

“We offer a wealth of information and the highest quality supplements on the market. You might wish to take advantage of an iridology or a compass assessment. We also offer kinesiology, which is muscle testing of herbs. It might be the greatest supplement ever, but if your body doesn’t like it, you shouldn’t take it.”

Patty uses the high-tech Zito Compass
to assess a your body and what
supplements work best with it.
On Iridology and the Zito-Compass

“Iridology is the art/science of studying the eyes, which are a roadmap of the body. I can see huge amounts of information about your body by looking into your eyes. Our high-tech device, the Zyto-Compass, utilizes Galvanic Skin Response, similar to a lie detector, to assess your body and what supplements it prefers. It is a maintenance-type device; you should come in for one every six to eight weeks.”

On her Semiweekly Radio Show

“My live radio show on KHB 620 AM can be heard Mondays and Thursdays from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. You can expect to be entertained while learning about supplements, herbs, vitamins, minerals, and health concerns. People can call in to ask questions if they choose; the number is (412) 825-6262. Because I am constantly reading, researching, and studying these subjects, I share topical information during the “in the news” segment. Knowledge is power, and I help people become powerful in their own lives with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. The radio show also offers specials, so make sure to listen in!”

Stop in at 'Herbs To Your Health,'
which hasbeen a part of downtown
Greensburg since 1995!
On the History of the Store

“Herbs To Your Health opened in 1995 on North Pennsylvania Avenue and served customers there for five years before moving to South Pennsylvania Avenue for the next eleven years. We recently moved again within Pennsylvania Avenue, and can now be found at 106 South Pennsylvania Avenue.”

On her Experience of Owning a Business in Downtown Greensburg

“Being a business owner in Greensburg has been an education for me. I learn something new every day!”

Herbs To Your Health is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., as well as Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is currently considering longer hours for fall and beyond. For more information, call the store at (724) 836-7440 or stop by on 106 South Pennsylvania Avenue!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Wine Tasting at One Eleven Restaurant

Taste Delicious Wines at One Eleven
After the success of its past wine tasting events, One Eleven Restaurant on 113 South Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Greensburg is organizing the much-requested next edition of wine tasting. On Tuesday, August 2nd from 6 to 8:30 p.m., guests will 'flowtate' by flowing and rotating between exciting wine stations and an extensive selection of hors d'oeuvres.
Only 32 spaces will be available for the event, so those interested should quickly reserve their space at the restaurant or under (724) 420-5711. For $49.95 per person, attendees will receive a ten dollar gift card to be used in August 2011, together with the opportunity to taste 14 wines and eat the following delicious hors d'oeuvres:
  • Pizzette Carciofi
  • Artichokes, Onion, Spinach, Three Cheeses, Garlic Oil
  • Miniature Filet Mignons of Beef au Poivre
  • Green Peppercorn Sauce
  • Thai Green Curry Mussels
  • Coconut Milk, Green Curry, Fresh Basil, Shrimp Broth
  • Swordfish Satay
  • Avocado Cream
  • Kobe Beef Burger Sliders
  • Homemade Silver Dollar Rolls Lettuce, Tomato, Onion
  • Bacon Wrapped Golden Morrocan Dates
  • Curry Barbeque
  • Piri Piri Shrimp
  • Serrano Chili, Lime, Cilantro, Red Wine Vinegar, Paprika
  • Tortellini Salsiccia
  • Three Sausage Tomato Sauce, Pecorino Cheese
If your mouth is watering just thinking about these hors d'oeuvres and you like fine wines, hurry up and reserve your space to be a part of the One Eleven summer 2011 Wine Tasting! For more information about the restaurant, visit the restaurant website.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dining at Noviello’s Sunset Café

Feasting with the family in downtown Greensburg
The Noviello's Sunset Café's Sunday
Family Feast: bowls of salad and
pasta combine with a large pizza
to satisfy even the hungriest family

I can’t think of a better way to end the weekend than enjoying a feast at one of Greensburg’s most traditional local restaurants. On Sunday, I took my fiancée and her parents to Noviello’s Sunset Café on 302 South Urania Avenue. In a recent interview, I had learned from Anna Jo, co-owner of the restaurant, that it has been family-owned since 1933 and was the first to serve Italian cuisine in Greensburg. A quick visit to the website brought an exciting discovery: A family feast for just $44 on Sundays that serves up to six people, including salad and bread, pasta, and pizza. Our choice for the evening was easy.

The Sunday Family Feast is only one of many specials listed on Noviello’s Sunset Café’s website. In addition to its regular menu, the restaurant also offers a seasonal summer menu. Specials include the Family Feast on Sunday nights, Spaghetti night on Wednesdays when a dinner of spaghetti with meatballs, salad, and bread costs only $6.95, Wine Down Tuesdays where all wines are half off, and Pizza Lover Tuesdays and Thursdays when a large 3 topping pizza costs only $11.95. Newly added to the specials, Godfather Night on Thursdays includes the classic movies playing in the bar, traditional Italian music in the dining area and a specific food menu based on the ‘Godfather’ movies.

Anticipating a busy Sunday night, I called ahead to reserve a table. When we got to the restaurant, easily finding a parking spot in one of multiple parking lots close by, we were guided to a table in the newly renovated dining area.

The newly renovated dining area
at Noviello's Sunset Café ensures
more space and a calmer dining
Anna Jo had noted that the recent renovation actually reduced seating capacity by 20 to ensure more space for customers, better quality of food, better individual service, as well as a calmer and quieter atmosphere. According to my fiancée’s mother, who had visited the restaurant before its renovation and had been unimpressed by its lack of space, she believes that the change was noticeable and drastically improved the dining experience.

After ordering drinks, our food was served in quick succession. A big bowl of antipasto salad with bread and dipping oil was soon followed by an even bigger bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, as well as a large three topping pizza. Hungry as we were, we bravely attacked the delicious food, starting the feast. In short, one can taste the tradition of Noviello’s Sunset Café in every bite. The pizza is among the best I have tasted in the Greensburg area, and the pasta sauce – while less sweet than in many other Italian restaurants in the area – tastes as close to original Italian sauce as I have tasted in the United States.

The history wall at Noviello's Sunset
Café serves as a symbol for the
restaurant's long and rich tradition
During the renovation, the owners of Noviello’s Sunset Café ensured that none of that tradition would be lost. Every old item found by contractors and workers was preserved and is now part of the restaurant’s history wall, which can be found on the right entrance by the bar. The wall includes old match boxes, restaurant menus, bottle caps, a bottle stopper, old posters and Steeler football schedules, and much more – documenting the rich history of the Sunset Café in downtown Greensburg.

Even with four hungry people, we couldn’t come even close to finishing our food. While the desert menu sounded delicious, there was simply no way of getting any more food in us. Our server was helpful in packaging our left-overs, which will be enough for another family meal. While walking out of the restaurant, we agreed that we would recommend the Sunday Family Feast at Noviello’s Sunset Café for any family looking for reasonably priced Italian food on a Sunday evening in Greensburg.

This article was written by Simon Stuchlik, intern at the Greensburg Community Development Corporation. For more information about Noviello’s Sunset Café as well as its specials, visit the restaurant’s website.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer in the City 2011

Enjoy the Summer in Downtown Greensburg

Gather your family and friends for an enjoyable “Summer in the City” weekend in Greensburg’s Shopping and Cultural District. The ‘Summer in the City’ festival concludes on Saturday, July 23rd with downtown stores offering special discounts on regular merchandize along with a diverse schedule of kid’s activities as well as sidewalk food vendors and sales. Parking is free at both surface and street metered locations on Saturdays and Sundays.

Kids will enjoy activities such as a Sidewalk Chalk Drawing Contest at Art Tech Supplies, a Putting Contest at Golf For Her, and a Duck Pond together with children’s games at Descendants are only a few of the events on this exciting day. Stores open and kid’s activities begin at 10am on Saturday. Scroll down for a list of downtown merchants as well as their location within the Cultural and Shopping District.

Golf For Her and Lapels; A Fine Men’s Clothier kick-off the weekend with a downtown business owner happy hour on Thursday, July 21st from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. Stop by for refreshments, snacks, and summer discounts.

Beginning on Thursday and extending to Saturday evening, fans of live music have many opportunities for live performances. TGIS at the Palace Theater will feature Bad Boy Blues Band on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. Power pop band Brena will fill the Robertshaw Amphitheatre Friday evening as the weekly SummerSounds concert. The weekend concludes with more live music at both The Supper Club and Oliver’s Pourhouse on Saturday. Oliver’s has scheduled Skero & Jingles, playing the hits everyone will remember, from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.

From shopping to live music, ‘Summer in the City’ is bound to be a memorable festival for everyone attending. Mark the date in your calendar, and come downtown to celebrate the experiences of downtown Greensburg! Click on the pictures below for a detailed overview of restaurant and shopping opportunities in downtown Greensburg.

Greensburg Restaurants
and Bars
Greensburg Shopping

Summer in the City Saturday Schedule of Events:

Sidewalk Chalk Drawing Contestat Art Tech Supplies
Children's Games and Duck Pond at Descendants
Famous Italian Roast Beef Sandwiches    at Cook's Market
Putting Contest at Golf For Her
Art Saleat Penelope's
Summer One Day Saleat Lapels, A Fine Mens Clothier
And Much, Much More!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bortz Hardware; An Asset of Greensburg

Heather Foster Talks About Bortz Hardware

 On her responsibilities at Bortz Hardware
Heather Foster talks about her
experience at Bortz Hardware in
downtown Greensburg.
 “I am the store’s daylight manager and started at Bortz Hardware in 2002. My most important responsibility is providing great customer service. In other words, I help customers find products and answer any questions they may have. Some of my other duties include ordering and receiving products, managing accounts payable and receivable, and scheduling.”

On the experience of working in downtown Greensburg
“It’s been fantastic. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our location has really given us a chance to get to know our customers and I think that sets us apart from other hardware stores. We see a lot of the same people every day and know a majority of our customers by name. It makes our customers feel at home and that’s what we desire. Another great thing about being downtown is our neighbors! We're always grabbing a snack at Cook’s Market, or a birthday card from Penelope’s.”

On Bortz Hardware’s past and future in Greensburg
Bortz Hardware has been a fixture
in downtown Greensburg for almost
125 years.
 “Bortz Hardware has officially been in business since 1889. So in a few more years, we will have been in Greensburg for 125 years, and don’t expect that to change! Our location is great. We've got a parking lot right across the street, and we're conveniently located within walking distance of many other local businesses. Even though there can be issues with parking at times, we solve that problem by staying open into the evening. We are committed to being Greensburg’s local hardware store now, and for many years to come!” 

On Bortz Hardware’s new Hours of Operation
“We used to open weekdays at 9:00 a.m., but we decided to change our hours to better accommodate our customers. Most businesses and homeowners are up and running by 8 a.m., so we thought we should be too! We are now open 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on weekdays. And of course we're still here during weekends -Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.”

On the customer reaction to the new hours
“The response has definitely been all positive! We want to be there when it’s convenient for our customers and from all the feedback we've gotten, we made the right choice. Another benefit is the greater availability of parking spaces early in the morning.”

On the best-selling items in the store

Stop in at Bortz Hardware for many
specialty items, including lawn and
garden equipment!
  “Well, the first thing that comes to mind is that we cut a lot of keys! I think we do so well in that department because people know when they come to Bortz, their keys will always work reliably. Aside from that, I would say that some of our best-selling items come from our plumbing department. We carry water heaters, furnace filters, pipe fittings and everything in between! We have a great selection of hard-to-find items as well. Of course, now that summer is here, our lawn and garden department is fully stocked with popular items such as grass seed, potting mix, and solar lighting.”

On special promotions at Bortz Hardware
“On behalf of Bortz Hardware, I would like to congratulate Mike Cotyk of Greensburg. He was the winner of our $1,000 Spring Shopping Giveaway on June 6th! We’re happy for him, and hope he’s enjoying all his new items. We’ll have another $1,000 Shopping Giveaway in the fall, so stop in and enter to win at Bortz Hardware now! We also place a regular advertisement in the Greensburg Tribune Review with the next coming on Thursday, June 30th, which will be worth checking out.”

Bortz Hardware is located on 119 South Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown Greensburg. It is open Mondays through Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Stop by the store, or visit its website under bortzhardware.doitbest.com!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Renovations at Noviello’s Sunset Café are Finished

Noviello's Sunset Café Has a New Bar and Dining Room

Anna Jo Noviello in front of
the newly renovated bar
Anna Jo and Bob Noviello are excited to talk about the recent renovations of Noviello’s Sunset Café on Urania Avenue in downtown Greensburg. After working closely with the contractor for six months, they are very happy with the new design of the main dining room, restrooms, bar, and both entrances. The Italian restaurant has been in existence since 1933, and was the first in Greensburg to serve Pizza and Pasta. Anna Jo and Bob welcome customers that want to see the new venue or simply want to try the delicious menu items, wines, and cocktails.

According to Anna Jo, “the whole project grew out of needing a new waiting room.” It was too small and easily congested by customers waiting during dinner time, so something had to be done. During the early part of the waiting room renovation, ideas kept flowing around and suddenly, Noviello’s Sunset Café was in the middle of a full-fledged renovation affecting most of the first floor.

For Anna Jo, creating the new interior design was a simple process. She wanted the dining room and bar to be comfortable, modern, and reflect the focus of the menu which includes several seasonal dishes. Anna Jo decided to use the stone wall in the restaurant’s dining room as a basis for an earth-tone color palette that is calm, yet modern and upbeat. Her interest and ability for interior design resulted in a new look that has all come together.

The restaurant's history wall with
items found during the renovations
Guests will notice that the restaurant’s history could not be ignored during this project. Noviello’s Sunset Café has been family-owned since its opening after prohibition in 1933, when the Pantalone family turned it from a grocery store into an Italian restaurant and bar. “We’re proud of our history,” Anna Jo states. “We wanted to keep that history and found a unique way of blending it in with our new style.” During the renovations, the contractors found numerous historical items such as bottle caps, old menus, match boxes, and posters that are now immortalized in the ‘history wall’ at the entrance.

Despite the extent of the project, Anna Jo was surprised at how few problems she and Bob encountered. “It was the smoothest renovation we have ever done,” she notes. After fearing that the project would be a nightmare before its start, she now actually misses the contractors coming in to work on the renovation every day.

Try one of Noviello Sunset
Cafe's many delicious Italian
dishes this summer!
The customer response to the renovations has been both positive and supportive. As Anna Jo proudly states, “we have not had a single bad response to it.” She admits that she was originally worried because many customers are uncomfortable with change. Anna Jo and Bob made sure that the essential parts of the customer experience remained unchanged. Guests can still find their favorite dish, spend an evening with family, and enjoy quality homemade seasonal dishes for the same prices as before. The option of reserving a table was added to shorten waiting times during dinner.

Noviello’s Sunset Café is open Tuesday through Sunday, starting at 4 p.m. Both walk-ins and reservations under (724) 834-9903 are welcome. For more information about the restaurant’s history, menus, and specials, visit the website of Noviello’s Sunset Café at www.sunsetcafepa.com.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cooking Classes this summer at The Supper Club

It's that Time of Year Again; Cooking Classes at The Supper Club!

There's always enough to taste at The
Supper Club's cooking classes!
Starting May 22nd, The Supper Club Restaurant at the Greensburg Train Station will start its Summer Cooking Classes, open for anyone interested in a Sunday full of listening, learning, eating, drinking, and of course cooking! The sessions will be two hours each, and consist of informative demonstrations of 5-7 meals, generous tasting portions of each item prepared, specifically paired wines, beers and / or cocktails and even ‘Mocktails’ for the young adults.

The first class will take place on May 22nd from 1:00 to 3:00 PM, and is centered on the topic of "Farmer’s Market Finds." Here, participants can learn how to make fresh, healthful, and creative dishes that come straight from local seasonal markets. After this session, you will know why buying straight from the farmer is always best! Other topics include learning specific local produce that is at its peak between the months of May and September, the benefits of grass fed beef, pork, and chicken, and a comparison of farm-fresh vs. store-bought eggs. In other words, this class is the perfect opportunity to learn more about all the benefits of farmer’s markets and how to utilize them in the kitchen!

The second class, titled "Master the Art of Grilling," will take place on Sunday, June 19th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM and focuses on everyone's favorite summer food. Participants learn tricks of the trade when using the grill, together with tips on how to spice up their food with sauces, marinades, and rubs. After this class, you will realize that grills aren't just for steak and chicken, but can be used for vegetables, breads, and even deserts! If you are looking for a way to learn something new during grilling season, this class is a perfect match.

Finally, "Cooking with your Kids" on Sunday, July 17th from 3:00 to 5:00 PM will be a great class for summer vacation. This is The Supper Club's most requested class, and centers on easy and healthful snacks, meals, and deserts that the entire family can make and enjoy. Participants learn how to prepare economical meals that are well-balanced and nutritious, as well as meals that are easy to freeze and eat left over. This class will help you achieve your goal of wanting your family to eat adventurous while still keeping health and nutrition in mind.

The space in these classes is limited, so early registration is strongly suggested. Participation in each class costs $50 per person; however, when booking and paying all three classes together, a $20 discount applies. For more information or to register for a class, please contact The Supper Club via phone at (724) 691-0536 ext. #2, or via email at info@supperclubgreensburg.com. And most importantly, enjoy your newly-learned cooking skills!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Business Person Profile: Todd Lash, co-owner of Charlie's

An Interview with Charlie’s Todd Lash
What types of food are on your menu? Do you have any unique foods?
Charlie’s offers burgers, subs, wraps, hot dogs, gyros, salads, pizza and breakfast items. Charlie’s is the only donut shop in downtown Greensburg.

When was Charlie’s established?
Charlie’s started as an ice cream stand over 30 years ago. Todd took over in the fall of 2009 and added a bakery. The donut and food menus were established in 2010 at the Monroeville location. The Greensburg shop was opened February 1st of this year.
Why did you choose to open your business in Greensburg?
Greensburg is a growing community. We took advantage of the opportunity to lease the best location in Greensburg; the corner of W. Otterman Street.
What is your bestselling item?
The pepperoni and spinach rolls are a favorite followed by the Italian hoagie.
What are the key points of your store’s downtown location?
The store’s location is central to most business activity in the City and across from Seton Hill's Performing Arts Center.
How has your business contributed to the growing downtown?
Charlie’s has offered a low-priced menu to city residents since opening Super Bowl weekend.  The combination of fast service and classic favorite foods appeals to our customers.
What specifically do you enjoy about owning your own business?
Todd and his partner enjoy making all the decisions; they are able to make changes immediately to capitalize on opportunities.
What is your educational background?
Todd has an associate’s degree in electronics, but has 10 years of experience in the field of restaurant management. He dabbled in the fields of electronics and real estate for a few years before returning to the food business.
What are your hobbies and/or interests?
Todd enjoys traveling when the opportunity arises, along with spending time with his family outside of his busy schedule.
In early May, Charlie’s will be offering online ordering and possibly delivery to downtown offices! Visitwww.charliesicecream.com for more information.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Local Business Owner Regina Beatty Offers Insights

Many downtown business owners have grown their business from an idea to a successful operation. After implementing their business, they face the challenge of how to move on to the next phase of their lives into retirement or smaller business involvement. Regina Beatty, GCDC Board Member and local business owner, has created the following article containing ideas or suggestions on a future exit from a business.

Laying the Groundwork for Your Future
Brought to you by Regina Beatty, in conjunction with Mosaic Consulting, Sagemark Consulting, Private Wealth Services, a division of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a registered investment advisor.

Many small-business owners are so busy running their companies they rarely give much thought to the day when they’ll move on to something else—be it retirement or another venture. But a long-term capital strategy can lay the groundwork for that eventuality. It lets you draw equity from your company to diversify assets and meet future needs, while transferring and maintaining the financial strength of the business.

Drawing On Equity
To prepare for the future, business owners may draw equity from their companies to help meet long-term asset diversification and financial needs. Quite frequently, owners may have 80% to 90% of their personal wealth locked inside the equity of a closely held company. Thus, they might be rich on paper, but they may still feel cash poor. If it’s a mature company, they can tap into that equity and also have an exit strategy for whenever that time comes.

The challenge in drawing equity from a company is maintaining its financial vitality so the business can continue to grow and finance retirement and incentive plans for owners and key employees. These programs are often as much a factor in a company’s value as its profitability.

To build value, small business owners can develop “golden handcuffs,” such as nonqualified deferred-compensation plans, to creatively reward select employees. For example, they might provide longevity bonuses of up to $75,000 a year post-retirement to key employees who stay on to age 65. Unlike a 401(k), which must be offered to all employees, owners can pick and choose who will be covered by these more lucrative plans.

Taking Stock
When considering long-term capital needs, business owners may want to:

• Take inventory of personal assets and liabilities, income sources and expenses.
• Get a formal business valuation to know what your business is worth.
• Draw up a succession plan. Ask yourself if you want to transfer your business to partners, family members, employees or to outside parties.
• Plan a target date to leave your business. For example, would it be three, five or 10 years down the road?

Exiting Gracefully
Oftentimes small-business owners don’t have comprehensive exit strategies for transferring ownership, or they have outdated plans that fail to address tax law changes. This tends to occur because they typically reach out to their business advisors only when there’s a crisis or deadline, like when it’s April 15 and they have to file taxes.

To help make a smooth exit, business owners should have their advisor develop a buy-sell agreement, which is especially important when there are multiple owners. These agreements outline detailed succession plans should a business owner retire, become disabled, die or get divorced.

Everyone will exit their business voluntarily or otherwise. The question is, are you going to do it on your terms, or is it going to happen as a result of some catastrophic event? Exiting a business is often the biggest event in an owner’s life. You want to get it right because you only have one shot at it. And if you do it right, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of your life’s work and retire in style.

Regina Beatty,CRPC® is a registered representative and investment advisor representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (member SIPC) and registered investment advisor,One Northgate Square, Greensburg, PA 15601. 724-834-8100., offering insurance through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. This information should not be construed as legal or tax advice. You may want to consult a tax advisor regarding this information as it relates to your personal circumstances. The content of this material was provided to you by Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. for its representatives and their clients.