Mobile Is The Way To Go: PNC Banking on its New Technology

PNC’s Paula Fryland is home.  A year ago she was transferred back to the Delaware Valley to work her magic as President of the Philadelphia and South Jersey region.  In her crystal ball Fryland sees more advanced technology via easily accessible mobile apps as the future in her industry.  “Consumers want convenience, to be able to bank at all times in all places.  Quickly disappearing are the days of visiting a branch, using an ATM or being chained to a laptop to do your banking” asserted Fryland.  Statistics bear her out, 50% of transactions are now being done online and increasing at a rate of 10% each year.

Fryland will be JBN’s guest speaker on July 15, 2015, at noon, Temple University Center City Campus, located at 1515 Market Street.  She will be discussing some of the latest PNC’s tools to help small business owners.  She is particularly excited about PNC Cash Flow, and Wealth Insight programs.  These two apps assist in the ability to manage receipts and revenues in real time through an online spread sheet and make it possible to deposit checks via your smart phone and a scanner.

In more good news for entrepreneurs interest rates are still low and Fryland does not anticipate that changing.  “Outlook for long term rates is still moderate, meaning there  will only be a gradual rise over time.  The economy is gaining strength and we have more supply than demand so now is the perfect time to borrow money to expand or develop your business” added Fryland.

The PNC executive also wants area residents to know that PNC is their ‘hometown’ bank, operating locally for more than 30 years.  In that time it has grown by leaps and bounds.  According to experts PNC has tripled in size in the last 10 years with assets over 300 Billion.  To give back and to bolster its connection to the community, the bank contributes to among other charitable endeavors: Arts Alive, Dilworth Park and the Philadelphia Free Library’s Literacy project.  For Fryland these are as important as any at PNC because as she puts it, it doesn’t take a seer to realize that contented customers are what keeps a bank strong.

IBC Focusing on Innovation

Independence Blue Cross Chief Strategy Office and Executive Vice President of Health Services Dr Steven Udvarhelyi can see the future.  With prices for medical treatments to the average American, who does not qualify for Obamacare, up 150% something must be done..  Udvarhelyi says reining in costs is his number one priority.  “I think most people look at the price tag for health care with shock and awe.  We need to change that”.

Uvarhelyi will be explaining how he plans to accomplish that goal on June 17, 2015 at noon when he speaks to JBN members and guests.  The luncheon presentation will take place at Independence Blue Cross, located at 1901 Market Street in Philadelphia.

Udvarhelyi and his team unveiled a new program this week, where 8 of the area’s largest corporations will be working together to devise creative solutions.  They are calling it the Health Care Innovation Collaborative and its members represent a who’s who in Philadelphia: Comcast, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, CHOP, Drexel, Safeguard Scientifics, Jefferson Health, UPenn Health and of course IBC.

The collaborative hopes to attract public and private capital which in turn will result in job opportunities for skilled talent.  The group will identify common needs, investigate possible health care solutions and assist early stage companies realize their potential.

Udvarhelyi believes that health care providers such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists and hospitals must rethink the way they do business going forward.  Udvarhelyi insists it has nothing to do with the Affordable Health Care Act and everything to do with dollars and sense, “It is costing the middle class 30% of their gross income to pay for health care, and that just isn’t right” said Udvarhelyi.

For more information or to sign up visit

Media Training: Lights, Camera, Action

If press coverage is a priority for your business but you are nervous about the interview, relax, it’s not difficult to get camera ready.  All of us can benefit from Media Training however here are a few easy tricks of the trade.

The worst thing you can do is lie.  Keep it short to the point and tell the truth.  Any Media Training pro will tell you the same thing.  If you don’t know the answer, admit it and tell the reporter you will get back to them.  Then follow up.  It is permissible to tell an interviewer that some information is proprietary.  Remember just because a reporter puts away their microphone, IPAD, notebook or computer doesn’t mean what you tell them is off the record.  Reporters look for the sizzle and often it comes after the subject thinks the interview is done.

Media Training teaches you that the best way to convey your message is through an interesting story or anecdote.  Statistics are boring unless you back them up with real world experience or a way to personalize them.  Keep answers on message and if possible props or visuals really help make your point.  If you want to be quoted: talk in 15-20 second sound bytes.  Analogies are great.  Bold action words are best.  Emotions and examples will capture the imagination.  Clichés work!  Humor can be an effective tool.

As to the all-important question what to wear?  Media training experts would advise not to wear stripes, white or anything distracting.  Don’t look at the camera; look at the reporter in a one-to-one situation.  Don’t lean back in your chair, be loose, but bend forward about 15 degrees.  It’s OK to move your hands just not above your face, below chest or wider than your shoulders.  Remember this should be fun and can really benefit your business.

To get the best result rehearse, smile, have energy in your voice and never say anything negative about an individual or company.  Media training helps you focus on what you want to convey and educates you how to do that most effectively.  Good luck!

Public Relations In The City Of Brotherly Love

Every city in the US offers something special.  The trick is tapping into what it is and presenting it in the most compelling way.  The practice of Philadelphia Public Relations has its own special vibe.  Why?  It is probably due to the cities unique location, historic significance and blue collar attitude.  Like other pros in the field Philadelphia Public Relations experts aim to increase awareness about their client, promote its mission and accomplishments, and advance the customers image and brand as it relates to a targeted audience.  PR specialists around the country face the same challenges, only the methodology is different.

What is the best way to accomplish these goals?  There are numerous directions one can take including publicizing activities, internal and external communications, media relations, community outreach, special events, media training and speech writing.

Like your company, Philadelphia Public Relations agencies work with local, regional and national media to secure coverage, identify and develop story angles, distribute news releases to the appropriate press person, pitch and place stories, arrange reporter’s visits and interviews, set up photo opportunities and arrange other forms of communication.  We seek to position our clients as experts in their fields to further increase exposure and awareness.

So what constitutes a successful Philadelphia Public Relations campaign and what can you learn from it?  Cachet Communications, located in Center City, has been the architect of building numerous brands.  Some businesses were already doing well but wanted to do better such as LAGOS.  The nationally known jeweler boasts 500 outlets including kiosks at Bloomingdales, Neiman’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.  LAGOS did however want to expand its reach.  Cachet Communications suggested that for their annual warehouse sale LAGOS ally with a strong charity with an extensive member list.  Autism Speaks was selected and five pieces from the vault were auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Additionally LAGOS sold 100 specially made hearts with all proceeds to the non-profit.  These fabulous pieces drew press attention, higher turnout for the sale, and resulted in a large check to the charity.  A win-win situation.

Other organizations were struggling or not sure how to proceed and needed a guiding hand, case in point Reading Terminal Market.   One of the country’s oldest indoor farmers markets wanted to raise monies for renovations.  Management decided to hold a gala however in its first year the party did not have a proven track record.  To generate excitement and boost attendance Cachet Communications came up with the idea of a local version of the hit TV show “Chopped”.  Celebrities were paired with real chefs and they had to use a mystery basket of ingredients to create a delicious dish.  The fun element appealed to both local personalities and the press who turned out for and featured the event during many newscasts.  The result was positive exposure for all.

Philadelphia Public Relations experts will tell you that they have the same goals as those of similar minded professionals across the nation.  However, there are unique aspects here in the region, as there are in your area.  This means being aware of and highlighting what makes your town, its companies and businesses unique and featuring those people and places that help put it on the map.

Dream On

Elliot Menschik is a physician and engineer turned hacker turned serial entrepreneur and investor.  Its safe to say in business that he has seen it all.  Three years ago Menschik was happily running his own health care start-up.  But when approached by DreamIt, to join the team in Philadelphia as Director in the Health arena, he jumped.  

On August 13, 2014 at noon Menschik will be the guest speaker during  JBN’s power lunch program at Independence Blue Cross headquarters, located at 1901 Market Street.  He will explain why he was lured by the challenge of nurturing emerging talent.   “We wanted to keep the best and the brightest here in Philly.  The way to do that is to offer them something they couldn’t get anywhere else.  DreamIt is  a method for start-ups to have access to successful mentors, expertise and capital in order to bring their product to market.”      

In other words DreamIt is basically a crash course for first time entrepreneurs on how to make it happen.  Coached by those who are already successful, DreamIt primarily operates in the technology and health sectors.  Menschick elaborated “Philadelphia is where DreamIt started.   We want to assist locals who have a good idea but don’t know how to make it profitable.  Currently we work with 60-70 start-ups a year during three cycles”.  

DreamIt does partner with larger companies such as IBC, Comcast and CHOP looking for tech innovation and innovators within their walls.  So what is next for DreamIt now established in NY, Baltimore, and Austin, Texas as well as the City of Brotherly Love?  “We are in the process of building a program for businesses founded by women which is still an underserved segment, and we hope to change that” Menschik added.

Indeed, DreamIt has already altered the perception of Philadelphia as a place steeped in the past into a city looking eagerly to the future.

Shaking Up the DNA at Jefferson

Dr. Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA is an eclectic mix of cool and cerebral.  He flies his own plane and DJ’s as a hobby.  However, his day job as President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health Systems keeps him busy.  He will be discussing both his career and his leisure activities at the next JBN Speaker Series luncheon October 22, 2014, Temple Center City campus at noon.  “The best part of my job is I get to interact with some of the smartest doctors and nurses.  I look forward to leading this 191 year old institution into the future” said Dr. Klasko.

With the bequest of a $110 million dollars from Sidney Kimmel, the fifth largest gift ever to a medical school, Klasko has a lot of decisions to make. Klasko explained, “In addition to the money this large donation will help cast a national and international spotlight on Philadelphia.  There are many options such as scholarships for minorities and recruiting world renowned scientists to act as visiting professors”.

In the near future Klasko envisions health care changing as it merge with technology.  He calls it tele-medical meaning less in-office or at the hospital visits and more ‘virtual’ patient care.  “The entire health care industry needs to move forward.  We have to think like a start-up and utilize technology to make care more convenient and affordable to the average person” added Klasko.

Believe it or not, Klasko was once turned down from Temple’s Medical School at age 19.  Not one to be daunted he eventually did graduate and went on to build a very successful OB-GYN practice in Allentown.  He then became Dean of the University of South Florida Medical School and along the way earned an MBA from Wharton.

What is next for this relentless achiever?  Klasko tells us he is in talks to form a partnership with Abington Memorial Hospital.  He is also in the process of hiring staff for a new center for Health Care Entrepreneurship and is looking to team up with a sports analytic or a tele-health company.  Not bad for the guy who almost did not become a doctor.

Not Just A Camera Company

Nacho Abia, President of Olympus Corporation, wants us to know that OCA produces much more than cameras.  The company, headquartered in Japan, actually concentrates between 70-80% of its effort in the medical arena.  Abia is excited about the fact that every other month there is a new product his company is developing and the reason 10% of all revenue is spent on research and development.  This topic and others will be covered by the native of Barcelona during JBN’s Speaker Series on November 12, 2014 at Temple Center City campus @ noon.

Abia hopes that anecdotes from his own experiences both positive and negative will enlighten JBN members and their guests on what it takes to succeed.  “Sometimes it is the bad things that happen which teach us more.  I am going to talk to the group about what I have gone through and what I have learned” explained Abia.  

Olympus is a global technology company that got its start producing cameras.  It now has business activity in the medical equipment, consumer products (photography and audio) scientific and industrial fields.  Abia has worked at Olympus for 14 years in the company’s European headquarters as the Managing Director for the Imaging Division and as CEO of the Olympus subsidiary in the Iberia region.  Living in Bethlehem for the past two years Abia says he can see himself and his family here in the future.  “This has been a very welcoming place.  I enjoy the slower pace and we are close to Philadelphia and New York which is necessary for business”.

What is next for this multi-faceted company and for Abia himself?  He is passionate about the opportunity to position Olympus in a way that benefits consumers “We are hoping to achieve the dual goals of lower costs while improving the quality of life for everyone” added Abia in closing.

John Grady: Man on a Mission

John Grady is privy to a lot of secrets.  As President of PIDC, the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, he is often one of the first to know about companies that are relocating to or staying in the city.

That is a key topic Grady will be discussing when he appears as JBN’s guest speaker on July 16 at noon, 1515 Market Street Room 222.

Take for instance the case of Dietz and Watson.  “We were so thrilled that Dietz and Watson decided not only to stay in Philadelphia but to expand.  New Jersey was wooing them but they opted to purchase 20 additional acres and will be investing 50 million dollars in the local economy” said Grady.

Grady was not so pleased about the outcome with the Philadelphia 76ers who chose to move  the team’s practice facility to the Garden State.  “That’s one that got away” lamented Grady, “I wish we could have offered them more and changed the result”.

On a more upbeat note Grady is excited about PIDC’s plan to offer small businesses more opportunities to qualify for loans.  Grady explained, “We want to double the amount of our loans.  Currently we are lending between $20-$25 million and would like to increase the number to $50 million.  We believe that will be of great interest to many JBN members, and I would like to tell them how they can take advantage”.

Grady has been President of PIDC for the past three years.  His proudest achievement is the revitalization of the Navy Yard which will soon include a residential component.  PIDC is a partnership between the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and the city of Philadelphia.  Its stated aim is to promote the economic development throughout the city.

Allan Domb

“Buying property is life changing.  What’s important to me is helping someone feel comfortable through the process” said Allan Domb. Domb will be explaining his real estate philosophy as the next speaker at the Wednesday June 11th JBN meeting at noon.  The entrepreneur is known as the king of the luxury condo market in center city Philadelphia.  So what does he see ahead in Philadelphia? “The city has overbuilt smaller one bedroom rental units, what is in demand are the larger two and three bedroom apartments.  As far as properties for sale we now have the lowest inventory in recent years which is good news for sellers”, Domb went on to explain “What will help to drive the market is new employment in the city from the CHOP expansion, the new COMCAST tech center and of course Drexel and Penn”.   

Domb began his career in 1980 specializing in sales in buildings such as Academy House, The Bank building, The Barclay, Center City One, The Dorchester, Hopkinson House, Independence Place, The Lanesborough, The Lippincott, Parc Rittenhouse and many others.  Domb’s company also leases residential apartments and since 1999 has expanded into redevelopment of historic buildings into high end condos.  What does he feel is his proudest achievement?

“We think of ourselves as resuscitators.  We have helped bring back to life many of the abandoned properties in the city.  It makes me proud that we have changed the landscape of Philadelphia and I will continue to do so focusing next on the 18th and 19th block of Walnut Street.  Look for many interesting things to take place there” added Domb.  

Domb is in his third term as President of the Greater Philadelphia Association of Realtors, the first person to do so and has been awarded many accolades including Realtor of the Year by GPAR in 1982 and 2013.  He plans to spearhead a movement to grant 20 year tax abatement for homes under $250,000.  Domb feels that will provide the incentive for people to buy in decaying or marginal areas.    

Little known is that Domb is also an investor/owner in the Starr Restaurant organization a group of 31 cool eateries in Philly, NY, DC, AC and South Philly.  When asked he would not reveal his favorite saying only that if you had 31 children you would never tell which you loved best.  Perhaps he can be prodded during his talk at JBN Wednesday June 11 at noon.  

To hear more, register to attend the luncheon at