Media Success


Phelps School In Malvern Announces Scholarship To Celebrate Anniversary

By Brad Segall

MALVERN, Pa. (CBS) – A Main Line boarding school for boys will be celebrating a milestone anniversary this weekend and rolling out a new scholarship designed to help open the doors for more students.

The Phelps School is marking its 65th anniversary with a three-day celebration that includes sporting events, social gatherings, a dinner reception and other activities. The Malvern school is home to 150 boarding and day students, all boys, in grades seven through 12.

It was founded to help those boys who needed extra attention to reach their potential. Head of School Michael Reardon says they’ve been able to sustain that model because they’re small and the students have a good rapport with the teachers.

“A lot of the boys that come to us, I feel that they’ve fallen through the cracks in large public schools,” Reardon says. “They don’t really make a connection with the teacher and I’d almost describe a few of them as seeming helpless.”

He says they get students back on track and ready to go to college. The scholarship, valued at $100,000, will be awarded to a student who demonstrates a diversity of talents, strong desire for learning, and shows compassion towards family and community. 



People in the News

The Phelps School, Malvern, said Stephany Phelps Fahey had been appointed to the new position of director of financial affairs. She is the granddaughter of founder Norman Phelps Sr. She previously was senior counsel at Bain & Co. in Boston.



Knots and Weaves finds new home


Oriental carpet gallery Knots & Weaves has a new home in the Old Malvern Firehouse.

The irony of the new location has not escaped owners Kerry and Jim Greim who found themselves scouting out retail real estate after a fire in early December ruined their inventory to the tune of $2 million.

“Isn’t that crazy,” said Kerry Greim, about Knots & Weaves new home in the firehouse as it opened last week.

For the Greims, the saga started with a phone call at 1:30 on the morning of Dec. 9.

It was the security company that monitored Knots & Weaves’ showroom, located in the 300 block of East King Street in the borough at that time.

A fire alarm had been triggered.

“(The phone) went off 8 inches from my head,” said Kerry Greim. “I didn’t think much of it. I had been asleep, the word ‘fire’ went right beyond me.”

About two minutes later, the phone rang again.

This time the security company said there was a burglar alarm going off and someone with a key was needed at the store.

Jim Greim drove from the couple’s home in nearby East Goshen.

“It was weird, it was very quiet. There were no sirens, ” Jim Greim said, recalling arriving at the blaze that lit up Malvern’s sky in the wee hours that morning.

The firefighters were already there.

“I saw the building was engulfed,” Greim said. His feelings at the time: “disbelief.”

Greim borrowed a cell phone from a firefighter and called his wife. She dropped off their children at her parents’ home and went to be with her husband.

The Greims said they were told the fire started upstairs in one of the building’s apartments. No cause has been determined to date, a firefighter from Malvern said.

The fire injured two residents along with one Paoli firefighter, Jay Wustner, who fractured both feet and ankles in a 20-foot fall during the fire.

About 75 firefighters battled the blaze for more than two hours in the freezing cold.

To thank the firefighters involved, Knots & Weaves is donating a portion of proceeds from rug sales for one month to the Malvern and Paoli Fire Companies. The fundraising ends May 14.

Kerry Greim said though the gallery’s inventory was not burned in the fire, it sustained substantial smoke and water damage.

The building, however, was rendered uninhabitable.

Jim Greim said he knew Knots & Weaves would be out of business for a long time if he waited for the property to be restored and usable again.

That’s when the Greims started looking for a new location, all the while hoping to stay close to their old spot.

“If we moved out of the borough, we’d lose customers,” Kerry Greim said.

As luck would have it, the Old Malvern Firehouse at 101 Church Street, and just across the parking lot from the gutted gallery, was just wrapping up renovations.

Outside there was a sign advertising space available.

“We took it literally as ‘a sign,’” Jim Greim, 42, said.

About the same time, the rental agent for the firehouse property put a business card in the Knots & Weaves mailbox with the message, “call me if you need space,” Kerry Greim, 44, said.

That’s when it all came together.

Knots & Weaves is now situated in the front two rooms of the old firehouse, a place where fire engines were once parked.

The historic building dates back to 1899, built by the Malvern Free Will Fire company that was founded 11 years earlier.

The fire company was established by residents of the Village of Malvern who had become concerned with the fires triggered by sparks from the smokestacks on trains that traveled along the Pennsylvanian Railroad tracks. Back in those days fires either were put out by bucket brigades or left to burn out.

Knots & Weaves held a grand opening Thursday.

The gallery sells middle to high-end carpets made in Asia and the Middle East.

If you are looking for $200 to $300 rugs you won’t find it here, no Loew’s or Home Depot blowout,” Jim Greim said. “But if you’re looking for $800 rugs, definitely; $600 rugs, definitely; rugs under $1,000, definitely.”

On the higher end, price tags can range into the $10,000-and-up category.

Some people spend money on shoes or cars, others invest in carpets, Jim Greim pointed out.

As the couple looks back on four months of reordering inventory, updating customers and setting up shop in a new location, they have some advice for other small business owners.

Kerry Greim: back up computer records off site.

Jim Greim: have faith. When one door closes, another opens.



New Organic Pizza Shop in Bryn Mawr: Bake 425 Offers Gluten-Free, Vegan and Whole-Wheat Pizza

By Beth Ceccarelli

This month, a first-of-its-kind pizza kitchen opened on Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr. The concept behind Peter Howey, Aaron Nocks and Elizabeth Comiskey’s Bake 425 is different than other bake-at-home businesses on the Main Line, in that all of the artisanal pizzas are made with organic, seasonal ingredients that are sustainably grown and sourced.

Bake 425 also pays attention to special dietary restrictions, tastes and needs. Customers can order gluten-free, vegan and whole-wheat pizzas, plus thin-crust varieties, fresh salads, and desserts like apple crisp and cookies. Pickup and delivery are available, so all you have to do is place your order and pop the pizza in the oven about 12 minutes before you’re ready to eat. 1012 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr; (610) 525-6425,



Buy-it-then-bake-it pizza in Bryn Mawr

By Michael Klein, Inquirer Columnist

Bake 425, a new bake-at-home pizza shop in Bryn Mawr, will also sell salads, as well as ready-to-bake…Fifteen years after creating the Peace A Pizza chain, Peter Howey and Aaron Nocks are going after a different slice: a bake-at-home shop opening next week called Bake 425 (1012 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr, 610-525-6425).

Howey says they noticed a “real void” in the market for a quality pizza that can be prepared in the home – especially after he and his wife had a baby a year and a half ago, which drastically cut their dining-out schedule.

Time-crunched families, he said, can make it “part of the process of baking something together.” The shop will open at 1 p.m. and will sell (and deliver locally) till just after dinnertime. Elizabeth Comiskey of the Phoenixville Farmers Market is consulting on the organics.



‘Knots and Weaves’ In Malvern Finds New Home After Fire Destroyed Previous Location

By Brad Segall

MALVERN, Pa. (CBS) – Out of the ashes of a fire that devastated their business at the height of the Christmas season four months ago, a Chester County couple will reopen this week and give back to the firefighters who put their lives on the line battling the blaze.

The fire destroyed the home of Knots and Weaves in Malvern, so the decorative rug business had to find a new location — just doors away on Church Street. Ironically, their new showroom is located in an old firehouse that dates back to 1899. Tomorrow night, Kerry and Jim Greim (in photo above) will unveil their new gallery and give back to the community who helped them through their rebuilding effort.

“It was devastating to watch, but I think we do have faith that whatever gets thrown our way we will get through it, and we didn’t know what to expect. We didn’t know what the next day would bring.”

The Greims will kick off a month long fundraising effort and donate a portion of their sales to the Malvern and Paoli Fire Companies. One firefighter was seriously injured battling the blaze which started in an apartment above their store. Greim says they’ve overcome an obstacle and they’re thankful no lives were lost.



Knots and Weaves rises from the ashes

By Alan Thomas

Jim Greim is working toward Knots and Weaves’ reopening party in about two weeks. It’s a comeback of sorts. Jim and Kerry Greim’s business was on the ground floor of an apartment fire that woke up most of Malvern and the seven area fire companies that responded early in the morning last Dec. 9.

Three people had to be rescued from the burning building, and Paoli firemen Jay Wustner was seriously hurt in a fall.

“We’re about 80 percent there,” Greim says, standing in one of two galleries of Oriental and Persian rugs, in dozen-deep piles on the floor or on hanging racks with reggae music in the background, in his new location on Church Street, just a half-block from the King Street corner where Knots and Weaves burned in the early morning four months ago.

And there’s an irony in that the new Knots and Weaves is in the just-renovated Old Malvern Fire House, separated by only a parking lot from the window-shuttered, plastic-canopied apartment-fire site.

“The timing worked out well,” Greim says of the his new location, which has a bricked entryway and hardwood floors and trim that highlight and complement the knots and weaves of the rug and carpet trade.

To honor the firefighters of Malvern and Paoli, Greim intends to donate part of the first week’s sales to the companies. Although most of Greim’s inventory is new, he said that some of the inventory had been salvaged after the fire.

“We’re going to do some specials,” Greim said.

Perhaps souvenirs, looking at it another way.

Anyway, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. April 14 there will be “music, food and a raffle.” Greim said he would appreciate RSVPs to 610-644-9192 or, but that drop-ins would be welcome too.



Cupcake Decorating Tips

Executive Chef Maki Evans from Cupcakes Gourmet shows us how to have the perfect play date with child-friendly decorating tips.  Watch online at



Sparktacular Prom

By Tara Behan

A VanCleve prom model poses with NBC 10’s Lu Ann Cahn during a recent “10! Show” appearance.

A girl never forgets her senior prom gown. Mine was straight-cut, bright fuchsia dress with a slit up the front, an open back and diamond accents on cap sleeves. It was just hot enough for my more conservative taste, but left enough to the imagination—which was exactly what my mother had in mind. So when I see what girls are wearing to prom nowadays (think red-carpet sophisticated and much more skin-revealing), I feel like my beloved mid-1990s gown might as well have had long sleeves and a turtleneck.

I visited Deborah VanCleve, owner of the VanCleve Collection, at her Paoli boutique last week as she and her staff were preparing for “Promapalooza,” a trunk show of this season’s latest styles that ends March 5. For the past 25 years, VanCleve has been the go-to boutique on the Main Line for cocktail attire, black-tie gowns and mother-of-the-bride/groom dresses. Since she opened the Wedding Pavilion right next door a few years ago, she has become a trusted resource for brides. But VanCleve also caters to the younger set, having sold prom gowns for the past 10 years.

“Prom is very good for us,” says VanCleve, who hopes to get clients for life once they buy their prom gowns from her. “We can take them through every major event in their life.”

VanCleve did a run-through of this year’s hottest prom trends with me (see below), and I must admit that there were quite a few I had my eye on. (Looks like I need to get a black-tie affair on my calendar a.s.a.p.)

High & Low

This gown is miniskirt short in the front but long and flowy in the back. Not convinced? Neither was I until I saw it in person. This dress offers the best of both worlds for the girl who wants to wear short, but also wants the glamour of a full-length gown. It’s a win-win.

Short & Sassy

Ditch the rules, girls. VanCleve says that prom dresses don’t have to be floor-length. She has a number of styles that are above the knee and adorable!

Let’s Sparkle

Some girls just love to rock the sequins and sparkly beads. Thankfully, there’s plenty to be had on gowns this season. These beauties are sure to turn heads.

Color, Color, Color

With the array of colors available this season, there’s no reason to stick to standard black. VanCleve has gowns in every color of the rainbow—and beyond—including bright yellow, turquoise, hot pink and orange. And if the belle of the ball insists on wearing black, VanCleve has that, too.

Wild Watercolors

For those girls who are too indecisive to pick one solid color, here’s their best option. VanCleve has an array of bold watercolor-print dresses. In a word: gorgeous.

68 E. Lancaster Ave., Paoli; (610) 647-5055,



Salon Scoop

By Tara Behan

Also in Ardmore—which is quickly becoming the beauty capital of the Main Line—La’lli Hair Lounge is celebrating its grand opening with a Red Carpet Beauty Day on March 5. In anticipation of the Red Ball taking place that evening at Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum, owners Melissa LaLiberté and Jenn Zirilli will create gala-worthy hairstyles and donate all the proceeds to the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter.

And since a look isn’t complete without gorgeous eyes and a pretty pout, guest makeup artist Maki Garcia Evans will be on hand to accentuate clients’ best assets.

30 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore; (610) 642-3326, 




When: Mar. 5th, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Where: La’Lli Hair Lounge, 30 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, PA 19003

In the Red at La’Lli Hair Lounge

We all wanted to be Cinderella, right? Who can say no to singing birds and shatter-friendly footwear? Regardless of the seriousness we put into princessdom on a regular basis, the Red Ball is upon us, and La’Lli Hair Lounge has a whole staff of fairy godmothers waiting to make your dreams come true. Hair, makeup, champagne, and cupcakes start at 9 am on the Saturday of the Ball. Be sure to call ahead, because space is limited, and no one counts on the enchanted forest creatures these days. Not only will you look gorgeous, but all proceeds for the event will be donated to the Red Cross — now that’s a beautiful thing inside and out.

Organizer Contact:, 610-642-3326



Playing Footsie

By Tara Behan

Just in time for the official month of love comes Nookies, The Original Pleasure Sox and its limited-edition, thigh-high “Luscious Louann.” While traditional lingerie may be a tough buy for that certain someone in your life, “foot lingerie” is a fail-safe alternative, says Nookies cofounder Chris Baeza of Malvern.

Since launching last November, Nookies has generated major buzz—and for good reason: It’s one of the only products of its kind available. Baeza and her partners came up with the idea after reading a study by Dutch scientists. It concluded that women would have more fun in the bedroom simply by keeping their feet warm.

Knowing that most socks couldn’t be classified as sexy, Baeza and cofounder Susie Shina designed their line in chic, sophisticated patterns and colors, using a temperature-regulating, high-grade wool that has the softness of cashmere.

“Women have loved wearing them, and men have loved buying them,” says Baeza, who plans on expanding the Nookies brand to loungewear and home-related products.

Sold online and at select boutiques, Nookies can be found locally at Jennifer on the Avenue, 724 W. Lancaster Ave., Berwyn, (610) 640-0405. Or visit



Meet Your Match And Help Homeless Animals

Reporting Brad Segall

HAVERFORD (CBS) – Feeling the pressure of Valentine’s Day? For some, an event later this week will have them relaxed, matched and saving puppies!

With all the hype that surrounds Valentine’s Day,  a professional matchmaking agency wants to take the edge off the holiday and bring love to more that just people.

Main Line Match, located in Wayne, is pairing up single professionals with a local animal shelter to create a relaxing, stress free social experience. Lisa Semerjian, Main Line Match founder, says this Thursday’s Taste Makers event will have singles meet at Du Jour in Haverford for a sophisticated soiree of wine, hor d’oeuvres, and jazz.

“The purpose of that evening is for people to meet somebody they’re going to fall in love with and meet their forever love and at the same time help animals find their forever homes,” Semerjian said.

A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia, an establishment that fights to protect homeless animals.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio



By Michael Klein, Inquirer Columnist

Briefly noted

Downingtown-bred dancer Virgil “Lil’O” Gadson, booked for ABC’s forthcoming season of So You Think You Can Dance after appearing on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew with the troupe Phresh Select, will lead a hip-hop dance workshop at PLAY Yoga (1548 Paoli Pike, West Chester) from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. It’s $15 a head ($7.50 a foot). RSVP via



By Dan Gross

Out and about

Comcast Network host Lynn Doyle and her husband, Mike Doyle, former Comcast exec, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary last week over dinner at Barclay Prime (18th & Locust).



West Chester Yoga Studio Offers Kids Classes

By Brad Segall

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) – A Chester County yoga studio has a unique way of relieving some of the stress that’s facing today’s children.

PLAY Yoga has been in West Chester since May providing classes for adults, but they also cater to teens and pre-teens as a way to help them relieve some of the stress in their lives especially around the holidays.

Co-owner and yoga instructor Lisa Samuel says the children are an underserved market:

“We hope to get kids to realize how much fun it can be to drop their cell phones, drop their texting, walk into a room and have fun with each other and play and meditate,” she said. “And work their bodies in a way that will make them feel better.”

They’ve developed a special form of “Rhapsody Yoga” that’s done to a pop style of music including Katy Perry, Usher, and the Black Eyed Peas. PLAY — which stands for Peace, Love, Art, Yoga — will premiere their PLAY Lounge under-21 dance club this Saturday night, it’s another avenue for kids to have fun and stay safe.



Peace, Love and Stress Less Gifts

Amy Schramm from has easy gift ideas that will take the stress out of holiday shopping.



A Lock on Style

By Caroline O’Halloran

Love your highlights but hate the upkeep? Here’s a bright idea: highlighted hair extensions. Jennifer Zirilli, co-proprietor (with Melissa LaLiberte) of the new La’Lli Hair Lounge in Ardmore, says your “Great Lengths” locks won’t fade, turn brassy or be damaged by the sun.

Cold fusion binds the natural locks and, with regular brushing to prevent matting, your highlights should last up to six months.

Extensions are $250 and up, depending on hair length and volume.

La’lli Hair Lounge is at 30 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, 610-642-3326.



Young Cancer Patient Gets Special Holiday Treat

By Brad Segall

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A seven-year-old cancer patient from Chester County will have a special Thanksgiving this year thanks to an entrepreneur who is unveiling her new cupcake decorating parties in the Philadelphia suburbs.

Maki Evans of Cupcakes Gourmet knows what it’s like to wonder whether your child has cancer. She was lucky. It was only a scare for her young daughter but today she will host a party for seven-year-old Halle Middleton of Wayne, who just completed a year and a half of treatment for brain cancer.

Evans says the second grader will be joined by her family and friends for a celebration, “It just brings me to tears just to think that a little girl this young could go through this type of cancer and has a really great outlook in life.”

Evans says the first two weeks of her daughter’s life were uncertain because doctors suspected a rare eye cancer, but she says it cleared up. She marked her first birthday by baking more than 100 cupcakes and then her business was born. 



Shop Owners Hope For Boost On ‘Small Biz Saturday’

By Brad Segall

PAOLI, Pa. (CBS) – Mom and Pop shops in the Philadelphia area are usually overshadowed by the national chains and big box stores on Black Friday, but this year there’s something to help them prop up their holiday sales this weekend.

It’s called Small Business Saturday and falls between the mayhem of Black Friday and the heavy Internet shopping on Cyber Monday. It’s the brainchild of a Midwest retail consultant and has the backing of American Express.

Deborah Van Cleve (center in photo above) of Van Cleve Collection, a woman’s boutique in Chester County, embraces the movement designed to get shoppers to spend their dollars in small, independently owned stores:

“In going over the books for the last 25 years, it was a good chuckle to see that Black Friday is pretty black at Van Cleve, and so we’d like to go for this wonderful idea of small business Saturdays.”

She says there will be deals in her store this weekend and you don’t have to stand in line at four in the morning. Advocates are using social networking to plug the day and American Express is offering incentives for businesses and shoppers.



The Love Business

With Main Line Match, Berwyn’s Lisa Semerjian hopes to play Cupid to discerning singles throughout the area. Could you be her first success story?

By Tara Behan
Photo by Jared Castaldi

It’s the Tuesday morning after Labor Day, and Lisa Semerjian is battling back-to-school traffic near her Berwyn home. Her destination: NBC 10’s 10! Show studios in Bala Cynwyd, where she’ll offer her top five tips for finding love.

Whether this former attorney and realtor is actually qualified to offer such advice will hinge on the success of her latest venture, Main Line Match, an exclusive new dating service Semerjian hopes will strike a chord with discerning, sophisticated men and women looking for the perfect mate. For now, one thing’s for sure: Semerjian has an exceptional presence on camera. And she seems to know her stuff when it comes to relationships—specifically, what you can do to achieve a lasting, happy one. She speaks with authority, like she’s been doing this far longer than a few months. Perhaps that confidence comes from the fact that she honestly believes orchestrated matchmaking can work.

“As a culture, we’ve gotten away from old-fashioned classic romance,” says the 43-year-old wife of luxury homebuilder David Semerjian and mother of two teenage girls. “People say they want to find true love and have a lasting relationship—I want to get them back to what they
really want.”

With a warm personality that matches her unabashed optimism, Semerjian truly believes the singles game doesn’t have to be as ominous as some make it out to be. “I want to bring dating back to the old times,” she says. “I want to bring back courting.”

Main Line Match shouldn’t be confused with  and other online dating services, which can be inclusive to a fault. By contrast, MLM is totally exclusive. Focusing on the male executive set, Semerjian meets with every member and every female suitor—and criminal background checks are mandatory. “I need to protect my clients and my business,” she says.

That said, it might be tempting to compare Semerjian to Patti Stanger of Bravo’s popular reality TV series, The Millionaire Matchmaker—though Semerjian would prefer you didn’t. “That’s a TV show, so you expect drama and stories that are television worthy,” she says of Millionaire’s wacky, wildly egomaniacal client base and their often-clueless female dates.

Aside from the fact that she doesn’t operate under Stanger’s abrasive, brash-is-best policy, Semerjian would never want to limit herself by income brackets. And there’s nothing about what she’s doing that’s indiscreet, insincere or over-the-top. “Main Line Match is for people committed to finding lasting, true love,” says Semerjian, who likes to call herself a “headhunter for the heart.”

In just the few months she’s been in operation, Semerjian has entertained interest from all sorts of men—those who’ve never married, divorcees, widowers. Many are lost and out of touch, with little or no idea how to get back into the dating arena.

For now, all MLM members are men, with female clients paying $200 a year to be part of the exclusive database. At some point, Semerjian may consider accepting women who meet the criteria for membership—a process that involves a thorough interview and the aforementioned criminal background check. For those who pass muster, various tiered membership packages are available. Due to the competitive nature of the matchmaking business—and the fact that she’s just getting started—Semerjian is hush-hush on her prices. “But they are reasonable for a man with an established career,” she says.

And besides, she adds, “[It’s] an investment in your life.”  

Although marriage bonuses for matchmakers are common in the industry, Semerjian has opted to forego that stipulation with MLM. “I want my clients to find true love and get married,” she says. “Since that’s my goal, I don’t think they should have to pay more for that.”

If a member finds someone, he can freeze his membership for six months. “It’s just an added incentive to ensure that we want you to meet the perfect partner,” Semerjian says.

Members also have access to Semerjian’s lifestyle concierge service for an additional fee—a godsend for diamonds-in-the-rough who need some polishing before pursuing a long-term relationship. “Most be business executives and entrepreneurs who may not have paid attention to their personal style because they’ve been so busy with their careers,” says Semerjian. “A man has to think about what message he’s giving to a potential partner. You don’t have to wear an Armani suit, but you should be presenting your best self.”

Four times a year, female clients receive invitations to meet-and-greet parties with members. And while there’s no guarantee a client will be chosen, they have pretty good odds of meeting a successful man.

Lisa Semerjian grew up with her two older brothers in a close Armenian family in Huntingdon Valley. As a girl, she was in awe of her parents’ ironclad marriage, hoping that one day she’d have the same success.

Sadly, her father, Arsen Hanamirian, passed away in 2007, not long before her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. She’ll never forget the advice her mother, Ann, offered her on her wedding day: “Never go to bed angry.”

“I’ve been married 20 years, and my husband and I have never gone to bed angry with each other,” she says. “We talk it out. You have to be willing to speak your mind—and the other person has to be receptive to hearing what you have to say.”

After attending Albright College in Reading, Semerjian enrolled in Widener Law School to follow the career path of her brothers and father, the latter a successful medical malpractice attorney. She was at a party in her first year of law school when she met her husband. “My cousin had been telling me about a person she wanted to set me up with,” she recalls. “Once I saw David, I asked her why she hadn’t introduced us sooner.”

Also Armenian, David had a similar upbringing and strong family ties. “It helped our relationship in the beginning,” his wife admits. “But it wasn’t like I sought out someone who was Armenian.”

After a six-month courtship, the two were engaged. They married less than a year later. “We married young, but we knew who we were when we decided to make that commitment,” she says.

As a family law attorney, Semerjian witnessed the dark side of relationships. “It was emotionally difficult for me to see the effects divorce has on a family—especially the children,” she says. “I’d much rather put together relationships than help pull them apart. I’ve been matchmaking friends for years. I have an intuition about who would be good together.”

Prior to starting Main Line Match, Semerjian estimates that her skills as a part-time Cupid have resulted in up to 20 long-term relationships and/or marriages. “I’m very social, so I’m constantly meeting others,” she says. “People have always asked me to set them up.”

So, after years of hearing people telling her she should matchmake for a living, she finally decided to listen. “I feel like I’ve found something that I was meant to do,” she says. “True happiness is possible. If I can help people attain that, I’ll feel fulfilled. Love changes someone’s entire life.”

Main Line Match’s headquarters in Wayne features a conference room, a plush waiting area and a large computer monitor for viewing database prospects. “I wanted this to be a place where people felt comfortable and at ease,” says Semerjian.

By mid-September, Semerjian had spent most of her time building a database and talking with potential members and clients. “Men keep e-mailing me with questions, while women are eager to be interviewed,” she says. “Men are always more guarded. Women are willing to take risks.”

As with any new business, Semerjian can’t speculate on how things will go, but she’ll know when it’s a success.

“I can’t wait to hear about the first wedding of a couple I’ve matched,” she says. “That’s what I’m most excited about.”

To learn more, visit

Finding “The One”

Main Line Match founder Lisa Semerjian’s five steps to landing the perfect mate.
1. Be happy (with others and yourself). Happy people exude confidence and attract far more people than those who are shy or withdrawn.

2. Be open-minded. Don’t get into the habit of dating the same kinds of people all the time. Try moving outside your comfort zone. Abandon your preconceived notions of the perfect partner.

3. Be your best. Take care of yourself and your environment. Present yourself as you wish others to perceive you.

4. Always be willing to have fun. When you’re out there dating, relax and have fun. Don’t talk about prior relationships or what’s happened to you emotionally as a result. Keep it light and just enjoy the company.

5. Be a conversationalist. And don’t make the conversation all about you. Show interest in the person you’re with by asking questions. Engage them by being friendly and sociable.



Local Magazine Recognizes 3 Women For Helping Cancer Patients

By Brad Segall

(CBS) – Three women who are making strides helping cancer patients in different ways are among two dozen women recognized in this month’s issue of Main Line Today magazine for making a difference in their communities.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but Lindy Snider (above) says she looks at cancer as a year-long battle. The daughter of Comcast Spectacor chairman Ed Snider runs Lindi Skin, a line of skin care products for patients receiving chemotherapy, radiation, and other cancer treatments.

The Bryn Mawr mom was recently treated for thyroid cancer:

“I’m no longer an outsider. I’m an insider and coming from that perspective, the fact of the matter is, it’s a lonely process and it makes me more committed to reaching out even in more ways.”

She says a lot of people give up on cancer treatments because of the effect it has on their skin. The magazine also recognized Robin Cohen and Adriana Way, co-founders of the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, which has been working for ten years to find an early detection test for the deadly disease.



Women on the Move ~ 24 making their mark on our region.

By Tara Behan and Dawn E. Warden

Rest assured there’s no shortage of remarkable women around here, with more and more finding their way into key executive positions. According to the Main Line Society of Professional Women, they own about 25 percent of the businesses in Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties, and they’re starting new ones at twice the rate of men.

The lives of the 24 women profiled here are vastly different, but the one thing they have in common is a willingness to break out of their comfort zones and seize opportunities. We have a feeling the best is yet to come for this bunch.

Lindy Snider

Photo by Jared Castaldi

You have to wonder if it was fate or coincidence that Lindy Snider was treated recently for thyroid cancer—a less fatal form of the disease, but cancer all the same. “Cancer is cancer,” she says.

The diagnosis gave the Bryn Mawr mom a whole new perspective beyond what she’d experienced through the many clients who come to her seeking help with skin conditions related to chemotherapy, radiation and other cancer treatments. Safe for all age groups, Snider’s Lindi Skin products ( have been shown to reduce the irritation caused by many treatments. Continued medical support—including a recent clinical study at Northwestern University in Chicago—has propelled Lindi Skin into prominence with cancer patients, advocacy organizations and support groups over the past seven years.

“It’s a quality-of-life issue,” says Snider, who’s the daughter of Comcast Spectacor chairman Ed Snider. “A lot of people abandon cancer treatment because the skin irritation is unmanageable for them. You don’t see them walking around because they’re not walking around. They’re worried about scaring their family and friends. They can’t enjoy a normal life.”

As advancements are made and a whole new class of drugs and treatments become available, the need for Lindi Skin products has only increased. “We’ve passed the point of being a company that sells something,” says Snider. “We’re positively impacting the lives of people who, more often than not, have very little reason to be optimistic.”

Still, developing a thriving international business has been a learning experience of grand proportions for Snider. “This was so much harder than I’d ever imagined,” says Snider. “I had the vision and understood my mission, but launching in this industry as an unknown—and under the scrutiny of the medical community—wasn’t easy at all. What I’m trying to do with Lindi Skin is bigger than that hot pair of shoes that I used to have no problem dropping a significant amount of money on. I’ve learned what I do and don’t need.”



Matchmaker service finds high-end niche

EASTTOWN — Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match, find me a find, catch me a catch.

As founder of the newly launched Main Line Match, Lisa Semerjian’s mission is to take those words from “Fiddler on the Roof” and carve out her own niche.

Her new company arranges matches between professional, executive-level individuals.

The service is not exclusively for the Main Line’s super well-heeled, but is also for singles who are working steadily and who “can afford to court,” Semerjian said. They are people looking for others “like themselves with the same values, same wants, same needs.”

Before Semerjian became Fiddler’s modern-day Yenta, she was a family law lawyer and a Realtor. She still holds credentials for both.

Over the years in those professions, she earned a reputation for introducing couples that eventually married and lived happily ever after.

People told her, “you should be a matchmaker,” Semerjian said.

Now she is leveraging her natural ability to identify well-suited couples to find classic romance with ease, confidence and exclusivity.

“I looked at my life and this felt right,” the 43-year-old Semerjian said.

Family law was emotionally difficult and, with real estate, “something was missing,” Semerjian said. “I needed to do something for myself.”

Semerjian said her husband of 20 years, David Semerjian, a high-end custom builder, and her daughters, ages 13 and 14, have been completely supportive.

His reaction to her new venture, she said, was the comment, “you found the perfect thing.”

Semerjian is planning to open her new office on North Wayne Avenue in downtown Wayne in September. She currently works out of her Easttown home.


Main Line Match, or MLM, has clients and members.

Clients, generally women, pay $200 a year to have their taped interview on MLM’s database.

With clients, Semerjian discusses the possibility of relocations, religion, race, smoking, pets and travel among many topics. Semerjian has worked with a psychologist to determine appropriate questions to ask.

Members, generally men, view clients’ taped interviews in Semerjian’s office only, and only after an extensive interview by the matchmaker.

Viewing the tapes is “personal and confidential,” said Semerjian, who suggests which clients would be a good match for the member. It is not an online service, which Semerjian describes as “cold.”

Fees for members depend on the services they choose, which could include MLM’s exclusive Lifestyle Concierge.

The premium service is guided by Semerjian to help members through the world of finding true love by assisting in everything from getting a new wardrobe to redecorating a home.

The Lifestyle Concierge prepares individuals to present themselves with confidence while communicating they are ready to make that long-term commitment, Semerjian said.

Semerjian said MLM members often have gone through a divorce or never married.

“They have thrown themselves into their business, not taken care of their home,” said Semerjian, who provides guidance to get body and mind “back on track to make a good first impression.”

Being a Realtor, Semerjian is at ease making suggestions on how to spruce up a home or to recommend a caterer to bring in dinner for a first at-home date.

If her matchmaking does kindle a marriage, she does not charge a marriage bonus, common in the industry.

“Fees are based on needs, case by case,” she said.

Love connection

MLM’s clients and members come from the Philadelphia Main Line, north to New Hope and south to Wilmington, Del., places where there are “far too many lonely folks out there who are not comfortable meeting people in bars or on a blind date.”

There has never been a time when wanting or needing love was out of vogue, Semerjian said.

Take for example Karen and Sevag Panossian, a couple introduced by Semerjian several years ago.

Karen Panossian, a recovery room nurse at Penn Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, was a friend of Semerjian. Sevag Panossian was a friend of a friend.

Semerjian called her friend the nurse after she got home from work, told her to expect a call from “a really nice guy.”

At 7:30 p.m. the phone rang, Karen Panossian said. Four days later they had their first date. Eight months later they were engaged.

“I knew by the fourth date he was the guy. That phone call changed my life,” Panossian said about the night Sevag dialed her number for the first time. “I was 42 at the time. (Marriage) was an easy transition, very comfortable and the icing on the cake. He is a nice guy with a good sense of humor.”

When it comes to love, Panossian’s advice, “don’t say no to new possibilities.”

As for Semerjian’s new business, Panossian predicts her friend will do well. “Lisa is bubbly and outgoing.”

MLM launched in early August.

“It’s been a great journey,” Semerjian said. “Response has been even more than I expected.”

To keep the buzz going about the business, Semerjian will host an upcoming “eligibility” party for folks age 55 and up in November.




Hill psychologist offers ways to reduce stress

By Jean-Bernard Hyppolite  

These days, more and more people are finding themselves stretched pretty thin. With commitments to work and family requiring more time than ever before, it’s no surprise the average man or woman’s stress level is on the rise.

According to a recent survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, one-third of Americans are living with extreme stress, while nearly half of Americans feel their stress levels are on the rise. Couple that with the nation’s recent economic struggles, and it’s fair to conclude that Americans have a genuine problem with stress.

Dr. Cory Bank, 39, a Chestnut Hill area resident and professor of psychology at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and an expert on stress management, has studied human behavior for more than two decades, helping children, adolescents and adults cope with and overcome stress. He has also been a guest on many network television shows, including NBC’s Today Show. Having competed in the Ironman USA Triathlon as well as several marathons, Dr. Bank is fully aware of the stress that comes with juggling multiple responsibilities and still performing at your peak.

In an effort to help others do the same, just about the time the current recession started in September, 2008, Dr. Bank founded, an online resource dedicated to helping individuals reduce stress levels. “I saw people who had been set financially and comfortable with their life; then their world was completely shattered,” said Dr.

Bank, adding that most would not be able to pay the high fees charged for individual therapy sessions., on the other hand, contains seven 20-30 minute videos that feature guest experts such as psychologists, professional athletes, personal trainers and massage therapists. Other features include jump-start strategies, inspirational quotes, progressive relaxation demonstrations, etc. The site addresses such issues as relationships and anger management. Road rage is an example.

“Instead of getting all freaked out over road rage and you’re turning beet red and your heart rate goes up, (the site) shows some strategies you can use, and you can go back whenever you want to review them again and again.”

Dr. Bank cites a case where a woman’s daughter was nervous about taking the SAT exam. The young woman was so nervous that she was prescribed Valium to combat the issue. Unfortunately, she became so relaxed after taking Valium that she actually fell asleep during the test. One of the videos from the Web site focuses on “Progressive Relaxation.” The young student practiced and learned the techniques, and it turned out she didn’t need any drugs to fight her test anxiety.

According to Dr. Bank, our thoughts and language can also influence our feelings, which can influence our behavior. Do we label a situation a catastrophe when a restaurant does not have the appetizer that we wanted? Maybe it is a bit disappointing, but is it a catastrophe? A catastrophe is when you wake up in the morning and your right leg and upper row of teeth are missing and someone stole your car! Keep it in perspective.

Dr. Bank added, “Research continues to support the notion that a brisk 15-minute walk can reduce stress by raising serotonin levels and releasing endorphins, improving mood and lowering stress as a result.

Exercise also improves aerobic capacity and increases energy levels.

Even the busiest of adults will find 15 minutes per day is not much time to set aside.

“And in many instances, laughter truly is the best medicine. Like exercise, laughter releases endorphins and improves your mood as a result.

Laughing also enhances the immune system. What’s more, with YouTube and other amenities just a mouse click away, adults and children alike can set up their own comedy break, complete with their favorites that are sure to induce a laugh or two.

“Emotional vampires are the people who suck the energy and enjoyment out of our lives. We all have them, and they certainly can increase our levels of stress and jeopardize our health. By minimizing our time with them, we can decrease our stress levels dramatically while simultaneously enjoying life more.

“Many of us probably have no problems with people asking for our time. However, to do one thing a day for ourselves that we enjoy might require us to invest some time initially until it becomes habitual.

Try to aim for a few minutes a day, and see if that can eventually extend to 15 minutes daily or longer.

“Find activities that are convenient and enjoyable. Some examples might include talking to a friend, taking a warm bath, going for a little walk, writing, drawing, meditating, listening to music; you get the idea. Fifteen minutes a day adds up to 90 hours a year! It takes very little time and is easy and enjoyable.”

Dr. Bank earned his undergrad degree in psychology at Ithaca College.

His private practice is located in Abington.

Dr. Bank and his wife Joy have a son named Hayden. For more tips on coping with stress, visit

A professor of psychology at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Bank has also been a guest on many network television shows, including NBC’s Today Show.

Dr. Bank, a Chestnut Hill area resident, has run several marathons as well as an Iron Man Triathlon.



Ironically last night at the 2010 Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Nominees held at R2L (ceremony is Sept. 25 at the Loews Hotel), there was a roomful of reporters and cameramen, but no one was reporting or filming the special moments (those newsies are so modest)

And unlike so many nomination announcing ceremony’s like the Oscars or the Tony Awards, this one was held in the evening when everyone was awake, happy and cheering for each other as the names were called. I listed a few here, but there is a comprehensive list link at the bottom.

Interview/Discussion Program/Special
“It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle: Sex Addiction”- The Comcast Network
Lynn Doyle, Executive Producer/Host
Steve Raymond, Producer
Janet Tegley, Senior Producer
Chrissy Stanojev, Producer

Joey Pants with Lynn Doyle

Nominated 2xs in Interview/Discussion Program/Special

“It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle: No Kidding…Me 2!”- The Comcast Network
Lynn Doyle, Executive Producer/Host
Steve Raymond, Producer
Janet Tegley, Senior Producer
Chrissy Stanojev, Producer



“Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs” gather for a good cause

By Gloria Blakely, Philadelphia Charity Examiner

The “Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs 2010” were named by Main Line Today magazine. The list appears, hundreds strong, in a special July issue on newsstand now. Naming the best winners is an annual honor given by Main Line Today to local businesses and celebrities. Phillies’ Center Fielder Shane Victorino headlines this year’s list and blow-out party on July 29 as the area’s Best Pro-Athlete.

“Shane was thrilled to be selected this year’s Best Pro-Athlete by our readers,” shares Hobart Rowland, editor in chief of Main Line Today. “Shooting the cover with him at Blue Fin – this year’s Best Sushi winner and one of Shane’s favorite restaurant – was a ton of fun.”

Best winners span a range of businesses that popularize the Main Line from food, retail, and service industries to media and noted personalities. Simply pick a specialty and look up the critics and readers’ choices. (Readers sent in their ballots from the January magazine issue.)

Some 300 titled winners and more than 100 exhibitors are expected to add plenty of flavor to the 13th Annual Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs 2010 party. Exhibitors will provide delicious samples of cuisine and libations, along with loads of other products and services. As for music, the Jellyroll dance band will brighten the evening with live entertainment.

All proceeds from the party benefit three nonprofit organizations dedicated to making a positive difference for the area’s children and families: Women’s Resource Center in Wayne, PA, Home of the Sparrow in Exton, PA, and Mommy’s Light in Lionville, PA. Last year’s event generated $27,000 for the charities. “We hope to far exceed that figure,” states Rowland.

“This year’s “Best of” party is of particular meaning as it coincides with my bittersweet retirement from my 14-year tenure with the magazine,” announced Sally Holub, publisher of Main Line Today. “I am honored to celebrate this charitable event with the thousands of individuals and businesses who have joined me in making the Main Line remarkable.”

People, at least 2,000-strong, usually venture to the fun at Drexelbrook Corporate Events Center located at 4700 Drexelbrook Drive in Drexel Hill, PA. Partying begins with a preview event at 5 p.m. and continues until 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 29. Tickets for the preview party from 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. are $75 per person. Individual tickets for the party starting at 6:30 p.m. are $60 at the door, $50 in advance, and $40 for groups of 10 or more.

For more info: visit or call 610.325.4630.



Check out Congrats to Melissa LaLiberte and Stephanie Ianotti of Salon 31 in Ardmore – Woman of the Week @957benfm.

Owners of Salon 31 are being honored in Main Line Today magazine’s “Best Of” edition.  They will be at the Main Line Today’s “Best Of” party taking place at Drexelbrook Thursday, July 29th.



Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs 2010

Our readers and critics pick their favorites.

Shopping & Service

Boutique for Fashionistas on a Budget: Heavenly Couture
It’s hard to believe there’s a boutique on the Main Line where the clothes are cheaper than what many others charge for a pair of earrings. Heavenly Couture has all the latest styles without the huge markups, with nothing more than $17.95. Shoppers swear by the boutique’s designer-like clothing—especially its jeans and dresses. 33 Leopard Road, Paoli, (610) 647-6474.

Salon for Blowouts: Salon 31
Clients are religious about their standing weekly appointments with Salon 31’s Melissa Laliberte, thanks to her blow-drying prowess. Laliberte always takes her sweet time, meticulously attending to every section of the head (especially the back). Her thorough, exacting work normally lasts an entire week—or until that next standing appointment. 31 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore; (610) 642-8600,



“Inqlings,” By Michael Klein

West Chester’s Total Gym, the home-fitness company, landed Olivia Newton-John as spokeswoman. Now, good luck getting “Let’s Get Physical” out of your head.



Retirement Living TV Calls Doyle

Network To Debut Targeted Version Of ‘Its Your Call With Lynn Doyle’ On June 14

By Mike Reynolds

Retirement Living TV is adding It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle to its lineup.
For RLTV, the award-winning journalist, whose It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle continues to air on The Comcast Network, will recast the show’s format, tailoring it toward its 55+plus target audience.

Doyle will make her RLTV bow on June 14 at 9 p.m. with the installment entitled “The Gores Split,” examining late-life divorce. Doyle will explore the pros and cons of divorcing after decades of marriage.

“Lynn Doyle is exceptionally talented and her broad command of topics and intuitive interview style have appealed to viewers for years” said Elliot Jacobson, senior vice president programming and production, RLTV, in a statement. “We are very pleased to partner with The Comcast Network to offer a 55 + version of It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle to our expanding and discerning audience.”

On June 21, Doyle will tackle Illegal Immigration by focusing on the controversial Arizona immigration law now in effect. The week after, she revisits the debate about the impact the pill has had on society in The Pill: 50 Years Later, and whether it gives women a choice and sexual freedom, or creates health risks and leads to promiscuity. In the following weeks, Doyle will cover issues relating to career and lifestyle transitions, the pitfalls and advantages of dating after 50, and more.

“Expanding the It’s Your Call audience to now include RLTV will enhance the show’s relevance and content because of the interactive nature of the show,” said Doyle. “As baby boomers reach their retirement years, the 55+ consumer category continues to grow in influence and economic power, and this agreement allows us to further extend our connection with 55+ viewers.”



Flair’s favorite things – Summer Edition

By Caroline O’Halloran, Flair Editor

An affordable (and green) luxury

“My skincare philosophy is quite simple. If I won’t drink it, I won’t put it on my skin.” So says actress Alicia Silverstone, just one of the many devotees of Terralina skincare products. Terralina’s all-natural lotions and creams certainly sound good enough to drink: they’re made with olive oil and botanical extracts and are free of parabens, harsh detergents, artificial fragrances and other synthetics.

And they’re a boon to those of us who are trying to buy local and green: the well-priced brand was created by part-time Chester County resident Patricia Bazan Garrubbo (and her cousin-by-marriage) and is manufactured in small batches in New Jersey. Eco-friendly packaging is 100-percent recyclable too.

GO FOR IT! Terralina is available online at and at Salon 31 (31 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, 610-642-8600). Prices are $20-42.



And we do mean the whole Shore. From great Boardwalk eats to fancy boutiques, quiet places for a sunset dinner to rowdy bars for partying, we bring you the tops up and down the Garden State coastline, including the Jersey Cape, LBI, and for the first time ever, the North Jersey beaches. Come on in, the water’s fine.


   Let’s face it: In these days of downsized summer vacations, you’re not buying her any more beach -cover-ups from Knit Wit. Stocking up on super-easy sundresses at Heavenly Couture will set you back about $20 a pop, which leaves just enough allowance for her billionth pair of Havaianas.  9600 Ventnor Avenue, Margate, 609-822-4634, and 1356 Boardwalk, Ocean City, 609-399-0034.


   From her best-kept-secret satellite studio, sought-after Main Line stylist Melissa LaLiberté, of Salon 31 fame, will be wielding shears and blow dryers to turn tresses from salt-air-sticky to shampoo-ad-surreal. Get in her book ASAP; it’s filling up.  300 79th Street, 267-664-7753.



New marketing business caters to walk-ins

By Brian McCullough, Staff Writer

As John Cooley sees it, his new venture will be to marketing what H&R Block is to taxes.

The Marketing Department, founded in Villanova in November 2008, opened its first retail franchise in West Chester last week.

“We want it to be the H&R Block of marketing, or the Charles Schwab,” said Cooley, 46, of Chadds Ford. “We believe we are the nation’s first marketing retail store.”

Visitors to the West Chester store in the 100 block of East Gay Street are greeted by a message board that lists the prices of the various Marketing Department offerings.

Services include:

Print advertising and direct mail;

Web site design and interactive marketing;

Logo, business cards and stationery;

Brochures and other printed material.

Customers looking for a full advertising and marketing campaign receive a free one-hour consultation.

The store is able to offer its services cheaper than regular advertising and marketing agencies for two main reasons, said managing director John Murphy, 43, of Pennsbury.

First, it has a menu of five or six options for each service a small business customer might want. Doing that eliminates the costs of starting the creative process from scratch, he said.

“The analogy I use is Toll Brothers,” Cooley said of the model. “You have your spec home, and from there you pick out the floorplan you want. The typical turnaround is three to seven days for a creative plan we do. A typical agency takes six to eight weeks, and we can do anything an agency can.”

“It eliminates the back and forth,” Murphy added.

A second advantage Cooley and Murphy believe they have over traditional agencies is that all of the creative work is done at a central location in Philadelphia, eliminating the need for creative personnel at each site.

“John’s only concern is serving the small business owner,” Cooley said.

Cooley, founder and CEO of M, a full-service branding and advertising agency and M Health, a pharmaceutical advertising agency, had been thinking of starting the retail advertising business for about 10 years but couldn’t come up with a profit formula for it.

Then one day coming home on the train from New York, he read an article on a paralegal company that had

started to serve lawyers.

“They had a centralized location where all the lawyers worked,” Cooley recalled. “I ran home and wrote the business plan in six hours. I couldn’t figure out how to make money at it until I saw the economies of scale that a centralized creative center would bring.”

The Villanova store was an instant success, Cooley said.

In 18 months since it opened, more than 250 small businesses have come into the store for the complimentary marketing consultations and about 90 percent of them have used The Marketing Department for everything from logo designs, brochures, business and marketing plan writing, to Web site development, Cooley said.

Murphy, a former Army engineering officer who attended West Point, worked in marketing for nine years at MBNA until it was acquired by Bank of America.

After spending a few years as a consultant, he saw a newspaper advertisement looking for franchise owners at The Marketing Department.

“I did my due diligence and in the fall I decided to do it,” Murphy said. “I found this location in December and liked it because it’s a high-traffic route with parking and right in the downtown.”

The West Chester franchise will soon be joined by other Marketing Departments nationwide. By 2015, the business expects to offer more than 100 franchises throughout the United States

Already in place are agreements for San Francisco, the Chicago metro area, Baltimore and Syracuse, N.Y. A six-store deal is in place in Texas to a downsized Shell Oil executive looking to reinvent himself. He is opening two stores in Houston by August.

A former Wall Street executive is opening two stores in Richmond, Va., with his wife.

Cooley said he expects to open six to eight franchises in the Philadelphia area.



Main Line Marketing Co. Looks to Capitalize on Expansion

A unique storefront marketing company that’s been making waves on the Main Line for nearly two years is expanding in the Delaware Valley and getting ready to make some noise nationwide later this year.

The Marketing Department is designed to fill in the gap for small businesses that can’t afford the large agency or do it themselves in-house.  They can handle everything from logo designs and web site development to brochures and marketing plans.

Chief networking officer Leslie Padilla says it’s also a great business opportunity for executives looking to reinvent themselves after being downsized by corporate America:

“The franchise opportunity is a great one for them because they can still go in at a senior level with an ownership opportunity and leverage their expertise that they had in corporate America and help other businesses grow.”

Padilla says there’s an untapped market of nearly 50 million small businesses that can use the marketing expertise.

The Villanova store opened in 2008.  A new West Chester location opened on Wednesday, with nationwide expansion expected in the coming months.


NBC-10 PHILADELPHIA “THE 10! SHOW” ~ MAY 17, 2010 

Julia Brufke-Wenger, founder Heavenly Couture East Coast, hosts a special summer fashion segment and highlights four must-have and affordable “looks” available at her retail concept boutiques located in King of Prussia and Paoli, PA and in Margate, Ocean City and Stone Harbor, NJ.


Chester County Daily Local ~ By Gretchen Metz ~ May 12, 2010

Pictured Above: Leslie Padilla, Lynn Doyle and Nina Malone

‘It’s Your Call,’ Doyle encourages women

Staff photo by Larry McDevitt From left, Leslie Gross, guest speaker Lynn Doyle and Nina Malonen, executive director of the Women’s Referral Network, mingle at an awards lunch held at the Inn at Chester Srpings in Uwchlan.

Cable talk show host and producer Lynn Doyle has reinvented herself many times during her career, something she has never shied away from and something she encourages others to do.

In her keynote address to members of the Women’s Referral Network Tuesday, Doyle recounted how she began her career in the news business at a small town newspaper, later became a TV host for CNBC, an on-air host at West Goshen-based QVC and is currently the host and executive producer of “It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle” on Comcast Network.

“In the last 20 years, I’ve reinvented myself with every new career,” Doyle said to the WRN members attending a luncheon at the Inn of Chester Springs in Uwchlan. “Reinvention is the buzz word of 2010 but we’ve all been reinventing ourselves for years.”

In an event that honored four WRN members for their work in the community and for the organization, Doyle began with an account of how she started in the news business and became an advocate for women in sports in the process.

Doyle grew up in a blue collar neighborhood on the east side of Baltimore. Though she was a star athlete who competed in three high school sports, it was her three brothers who got their names in the newspaper’s sports page.

“At 17, I said, ‘what’s wrong with this picture?'” Doyle quipped.

One day she had enough and borrowed the family’s Oldsmobile to drive downtown and have it out with the newspaper’s sports editor.

“I marched myself into the office and told them I wanted to see the sports editor right now,” Doyle said, adding that, surprisingly, the sports editor agreed to talk with her.

He was the picture of Jack Klugman, who played the loveable slob Oscar Madison in the TV comedy the “Odd Couple,” Doyle said. The editor was overweight with a big cigar in his mouth, and a bomb looked like it had gone off on his desk.

Doyle said the man was daunting but she “dug deep” and stated her case about the lack of sports coverage for women. The editor agreed. The reason, he said, was that he didn’t have anyone to write the stories.

Doyle, a reporter for her high school newspaper, told him that she would do the job.

“You’re hired,” he told the surprised Doyle. For her work, she was paid 25 cents an inch.

After college, Doyle held other news jobs. She took a break from her career to raise two children before returning to news and another opportunity to reinvent herself.

With “It’s Your Call,” Doyle said she brought a talk radio format to cable TV to “give viewers the opportunity to say what they are thinking, to give the viewers at home a voice.”

At the time her children were in seventh and 10th grades. Today they are adults and Doyle is the grandmother of twins.

Doyle’s show was on CN8 five nights a week when new management came in and canceled her show. For Doyle it meant she had to lay off her staff of 14.

“It was heartbreaking, very, very difficult,” Doyle said. “We reported on the events that changed the world.”

From the tragic events of September 11, to the start of the war in Iraq to Hurricane Katrina, “we went through it together. My own identity was linked to the show,” Doyle said.

Comcast picked up the show but this time it was taped, used a staff of two and Doyle said she had to reinvent herself again.

“We’ve all been given these types of challenges where we had to dig deep,” Doyle said.

Today, the newly reinvented Doyle has embraced social media.

The younger members of her staff had Doyle on Facebook three years before she knew anything about it. By the time she found out, “I had a 1,000 friends,” she said.

Now she manages her Facebook page, has 10,000 friends and uses social media as a way to connect one-on-one with her audience.

Doyle launched her “50 & Fabulous” program after she hit the half-century mark and will soon start a new live edition of “It’s Your Call” for cable network Retirement Living TV.

“Do not mourn the loss of what you did have,” Doyle told the group. “Embrace change.”

WRN honored four members at the luncheon.

Suzanne Jackson, of Stephano Slack LLC, was named WRN Business Woman of the Year and introduced to attendees as “amazing, savvy, smart and a total package.”

Jackson, who joined WRN in 1989, said members have written her a will, taken wedding photos, sold her a car, been her jewelry consultant, skin care consultant and kitchen gadget consultant, been her printer, resumée writer, bookkeeper and travel consultant.

“The women in this room have provided a lot of services to me and my business. It has been an honor to be a part of WRN over the years.”

Christine M. Singer of the Chester County Department of Human Services was named WRN Advocate for Women in Business.

Singer said she was “utterly surprised” by the honor. After 40 years in business, every time she turned a corner, she said she found the path ahead had been smoothed by another woman.

Linda Williams of Scott Honda received the WRN Citizenship Award and thanked the membership.

Peggy Centonze of PLH Worldgroup Communications Inc. was named WRN Volunteer of the Year.

Centonzee said that everybody in the room was a volunteer in the organization and that she was honored to be a member of the organization.


Hot Business: Marketing

 The idea was pure genius: Provide affordable marketing and advertising solutions to small businesses by launching the nation’s first marketing agency in a high-profile retail environment. John Cooley, founder and chairman of The Marketing Department, had been formulating his plan for a decade. In January 2008, he launched his first location in Villanova. “People loved the concept,” he says. “No one, however, could believe I was starting this business during one of the worst economies.”

As it turns out, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Small businesses were looking to re-brand themselves to attract new customers, while other entrepreneurial start-ups needed customized marketing materials. So far, the staff at the Villanova location has helped more than 180 clients. “Small companies can’t afford the fees of a traditional advertising agency,” says Cooley. “We offer access to an experienced marketing professional who can create the unique materials they need to grow quickly and inexpensively.”

Last month, The Marketing Department opened another franchise location in West Chester—and more are on the way: Cooley expects to have over 100 by 2015.

John CooleyJohn Cooley, Founder & CEO, The Marketing Department,



Teens: Prom-o-Rama

Whether she’s Miley or Vanessa, big or small, on a budget or free-spending, a slave to trends or rejects them all, there’s a dress in Philly for her

By Tayler Sorensen

Best for: Short dresses, super-affordable

Paoli has a new outpost of Cali chain Heavenly Couture, which buys in bulk, making prices so low (everything in the store is $17.95 or less) that you’ll probably have to read that twice. Anti-ball-gown girls will find short, strapless sequined numbers and knee-length snow-white drape-y dresses with a touch of West Coast irreverence. 33 Leopard Road, Paoli, 610-647-6474,



 In other “DWTS” news, what are the odds that Evan Lysacek and Anna Trebunskaya would get paired up on the show and learn that they both train on “The Total Gym,” which its West Chester-based manufacturer calls “the ultimate multi-tasking workout machine.”

Furthermore, what are the odds that neither is paid to shill for “Total Gym” – they actually use it.

The equipment, which starts at $599 at, is so effective at multi-tasking, it is actually writing today’s column while Tattle does crunches.




Want to be the envy of all your fashionista friends? FYI Philly shares how you can get the best designer duds, from the biggest designer names, for a tiny amount of money – really! HEAVENLY COUTURE offers all clothes, accessories and semi-formal prom dresses at just $17.95 and below at locations in Paoli, Pa and the King of Prussia Mall. More locations will open this summer down at the shore in Margate, Ocean City and Stone Harbor, NJ.


Career Cure Job Fair Event

Career Cure is designed to place, resolve and secure local professionals in career transition due to recent mergers, acquisitions and downsizing in the area’s major companies. This evening event will feature industry experts leading essential panels and break-out sessions to include: motivational workshops, financial planning, tax consulting, LinkedIn overview & tips, on-site resume review, head shots, recruiter networking and dinner. For business and management professionals, register NOW – limited space! Lynn Doyle of “It’s Your Call” is the keynote speaker.

Sponsor: JBW Enterprises

When: 2010-02-17, 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Location: Valley Forge Convention Center 1160 First Avenue King of Prussia, PA

Cost: Free Admission



Wednesday Night Montco Career Fair Aimed at Pharma

by KYW’s Brad Segall

Layoffs are coming in the pharmaceutical and health care industries in Montgomery and Chester counties next month, and that’s created a sense of urgency for a networking and recruiting event on Wednesday evening in King of Prussia, Pa.

The first-ever “Career Cure” event is designed to address the issues that are facing workers who are in career transition due to recent mergers, acquisitions, and downsizing.

The event is designed to give people one-stop shopping where they can talk to experts about repositioning their careers and getting back into the workforce. There, experts will offer counseling on résumé development, how to use social networks to find job contacts, health care benefits, and even how to manage stress while looking for a job.

Julia Brufke Wenger of JBW Enterprises, which is hosting the event, says the timing is critical given the impending layoffs:  “So we wanted to have these resources available while they are pertinent to people who are actually in this situation.”

She says there will also be experts on hand to help people who’ve decided they’ve had enough of the corporate world and are looking to start their own firm.  Pfizer recently bought Wyeth and announced it would lay off 450 workers in Collegeville and close a facility in Great Valley.

The event runs from 5pm until 9pm Wednesday at the Valley Forge Convention Center.



Pharma Career Cure Event

PHOENIXVILLE – JBW Enterprises of Phoenixville, PA hosts its debut CAREER CURE event, PHARMA CAREER CURE, to address the issues individuals are facing from local industries in transition. This debut event in the CAREER CURE series offers pharmaceutical professionals of all levels an empowering evening that features industry experts offering counsel on resume development, social networking, financial rollover, benefits, positive thinking, and more. PHARMA CAREER CURE takes place WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM at the Valley Forge Convention Center, 1160 First Avenue, King of Prussia, PA.

“Pharma Career Cure is designed to place, resolve and secure local pharmaceutical professionals in career transition due to recent mergers, acquisitions and downsizing in the area’s major pharmaceutical companies,” said Julia Brufke Wenger, renowned area job transition expert, JBW Enterprises, LLC. “This event will feature industry experts leading essential panels and break-out sessions offering counsel in the areas of resume development, social networking, financial rollover, benefits and positive thinking.”

Special on-site offerings available at the premiere PHARMA CAREER CURE include: motivational workshops; financial planning; tax consulting; LinkedIn counsel; relocation advice; on-site resume review; head shots; recruiter networking; and dinner. To kick-off the night, Lynn Doyle, host/executive producer “It’s Your Call” on The Comcast Network,, will serve as keynote speaker to inspire and motivate event attendees, sharing her personal career journey and ongoing transitioning in the professional world.

Featured break-out sessions and industry expert presenters include: “Your Retirement Plan…Now What,” Jason Brown, Vice President, Prudential Annuities,; “Overcoming Age Bias in the Job Search,” Charlene Holsendorff, Right Management,; “Staying LinkedIn to Mobilize and Socialize Online,” Kristen Kane, Senior Consultant & Social Media Expert, Kane Partners, LLC ,; “Continuity of Protection Insurance,” Anthony Nicolai, Investment Advisor Representative, Bala Financial Group; “Starting your own Firm,” Julia Brufke Wenger, JBW Enterprises; “Manage Stress with a Journey to Fitness,” Linda Jassmond, Certified Personal Trainer & Author, Linda S. Jassmond, LLC,; “Surviving the Volitile Real Estate Market,” Nancy Haas, Real Estate Transition and Relocation Expert, Keller Williams Main Line Realty, Bryn Mawr, PA,; “Saying YES to Who You are Meant to Be in 2010,” Reverend Dr. Lorraine Cohen, Spiritual Life Coach & Advisor, Inspirational Speaker, Broadcaster, Powerfull Living,; and “Health Insurance Options for the Individual,” Mark Hogan, Vice President, TRION,

The empowerment entrance fee to Pharma Career Cure is $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Please call 610-933-3507 or email your contact information to and we will respond within 24 hours to register you directly. A delicious dinner is included. More information is available at


JBW Enterprises is a comprehensive financial planning, career transition, tax service, real estate investment/development, and new-business practice based in Phoenixville, PA. Founded by Julia Brufke Wenger, who also serves as principal, Phoenix Tax Consultants and Bala Financial Group, Inc., Phoenixville Branch, JBW offers individuals the personal expertise of a registered investment advisor, insurance agent and certified retirement counselor. JBW serves as an active leader of the Phoenixville business community and the Phoenixville Regional Chamber of Commerce.

As founder and president of JBW Enterprises, Julia Brufke Wenger offers personal experience in the areas of divorce, elder care, parenting, and business ownership. She is sensitive to the concerns of individuals making financial decisions and considers the clients’ complete situations when planning for them. Her vision for JBW, Enterprises has evolved into a one-stop source for taxes and financial services. This expanded role is convenient for clients and assists in developing tax-efficient investment strategies aimed at maximum results.




Photo Caption:  Bringing the Heavenly Couture concept to young and trendy Main Line shoppers are (from left) Julia Grace Brufke, 21, her mother, Julia Brufke-Wenger, Paoli store manager Kristie Jo DeVantier and Martha Brufke, 24. Four Brufke sisters, aged 14-24, discovered the “cheap chic” California retailer during a family vacation last June. Their mother has since opened four Heavenly Couture boutiques, including two on the Main Line.


Friday, February 5, 2010

By Caroline O’Halloran

While “couture” is a bit of a stretch, prices at the new Heavenly Couture boutiques in Paoli and King of Prussia are certainly out of this world.

Every ultra-trendy tog (every dress, pair of jeans, sweater and shirt) at the two shops is just $17.95. Some items, such as camis and tees, are even less.

Owned by Valley Forge financial adviser/accountant/entrepre-neur Julia Brufke-Wenger and aimed at the teen to 30-something market, the boutiques have been hits since their December openings.

“We’re restocking thousands of items a month,” says Brufke-Wenger. “The concept is novel and very compatible with the economy. Buying here isn’t a big risk. We make it affordable to stay on top of the latest trends. You don’t feel bad if you buy something you only wear a few times or for one season. ”

Shoppers who covet a particular item are advised not to dilly- dally; they may not see the style in the shop a few days later. That’s because the owner of the California mini-chain (Brufke-Wenger holds the East Coast license) buys all merchandise in bulk, and duplicate shipments are rare, except for jeans.

Teen trendsetters who can’t get enough “couture” during regular store hours can reserve the Paoli boutique for “Heavenly Parties.” The $25 per-person fee includes sparkly mocktails, “heavenly” cake, a professional makeup application and one store item.

Brufke-Wenger’s retail venture has been nothing short of a whirlwind. She’s opened four Heavenly Coutures in the last six months. (Her shops on the boardwalk in Ocean City, N.J., and in nearby Margate are closed in the off-season.)

What’s perhaps most remarkable is that the family, with no retail exprience, first encountered the concept just six weeks before they had their first boutique up and running in Ocean City last July.

In early June 2009, Brufke-Wenger and her four daughters, ages 14 to 24, were vacationing near Laguna Beach, Calif., and the girls wandered into one of a handful of Heavenly Coutures in the state.

“The four of us spent a couple hundred dollars in an hour,” recalls Martha Brufke, 24, a Villa Maria and Drexel alumna who now sells health insurance. (Martha, Julia Grace, 21, Sarah, 16, and Carly, 14, all help out at the boutiques when their schedules permit.)

Her mother remembers being “completely flabbergasted. I couldn’t believe how much we got for what we spent, The girls recognized some of the labels on the clothes. One was a brand that’s sold in Nordstrom’s Junior department. We saw things celebrities were wearing in People magazine.”

Intrigued by the novelty of the concept and its “compatibility” with the economic downturn, Brufke-Wenger left her business card at the register.

In short order she negotiated the rights to open Heavenly Couture boutiques on the East Coast.

Julia Brufke-Wenger is clearly not a woman plagued by indecision. Indeed she’s already scouting new locations and hopes to open six new stores a year.

Her oldest daughter puts it this way: “My mom comes up with an idea and she flies with it.”


Heavenly Couture boutiques are in the Paoli Shopping Center (610-647-6474) and the Court at King of Prussia. Seasonal locations are at 1358 Boardwalk, Ocean City and 9600 Ventnor Ave., Margate.



Heaven Sent


By Tara Behan

When Julia Brufke-Wenger’s daughters dragged her into Heavenly Couture in Laguna Beach, Calif., she experienced a serious case of sticker shock. It’s not that the prices were too high—they were too low. Everything in the store was $17.95 or less. “We left that day with a lot of clothes,” says Brufke-Wenger, a financial advisor from Valley Forge.

It was enough to convince her to launch Heavenly Couture on the East Coast, along with her daughters, of course: 24-year-old Martha, a Drexel University and Villa Maria Academy graduate; Julie Grace, a 21-year-old American University and Bishop Shanahan High School alum; Sarah, who’s 16 and attends Bishop Shanahan; and Carly, a 14-year-old Academy of Notre Dame student. The store launched last summer in Ocean City and Margate, N.J. Its first Main Line location opened in Paoli this past November. “The clothes literally flew out the door,” says Brufke-Wenger.

Heavenly Couture targets females in their teens up to age 30. Inventory includes skinny jeans, jackets, dresses, velour sweats, hats, belts and jewelry. “All of our friends love shopping here,” says Martha. “You can buy multiple things without ever feeling guilty.”

Paoli Shopping Center, 33 Leopard Road, Paoli, (610) 647-6474.



Comcast’s Lynn Doyle, of “It’s Your Call,” met her idol, Tony Horton, of the renowned fitness program, p90x, when the pair sat next to each other in first class on a Philly-to-Los Angeles flight. Doyle and Horton traded fitness tips and toasted Horton’s $1.7 million in sales on QVC, which is why he was in the area.



Holiday Shopping: Where to Find It

23 great gifts for the family and the home.

By Tara Behan

Ah, the joys of the holidays. Catching up with old friends, decking the halls, baking cookies with the kids, shopping for the perfect gift. To help with that last one, we’ve found 23 great ideas that are sure to please someone on your list. You may even find a thing or two for yourself. After all, you’ve been good all year, too. (We hope.)

Hands Free

Gulph Mills’ Sandy Alexander has caused quite a stir with her oh-so-practical Bucklette. This sleek, beautifully designed accessory is available as a belt buckle or clip-on. Both versions have space inside to hold money, credit cards, keys, etc. $92 (clip-on), $112 (buckle and belt). Available at Salon 31, 31 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, (610) 642-8600. Or visit




Photo Credit: David Campli at

The Capitol Steps headline Chamber’s Red Carpet Dinner

The 2009 Main Line Chamber Red Carpet Dinner will take place on Thursday, Nov. 12, at Drexelbrook Corporate Events Center in Drexel Hill. The Red Carpet Dinner is the premier event for the Chamber and is used as a client-appreciation as well as entertainment event. This year’s entertainment will be the Capitol Steps.

In the past the event has featured notable speakers, many from Washington, such as the Honorable Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become United States secretary of state; political polar opposites James Carville and Mary Matalin; George Stephanopoulos, the former senior adviser to President Clinton and ABC News anchor; the 20th secretary of defense, William Cohen; and Ben Stein, longtime entertainment personality, author and attorney.

This year the Chamber is featuring a different group from Washington: the Capitol Steps, who began as a group of Senate staffers that set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. As their popularity grew, many of the Capitol Steps ignored conventional wisdom (“Don’t quit your day job!”), and although not all of the current members of the Steps are former Capitol Hill staffers, taken together the performers have worked in a total of 18 congressional offices and represent 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. The Capitol Steps have recorded 29 albums, including their latest, “Obama Mia,” and they’ve been featured on NBC, CBS, ABC and PBS.

The master of ceremonies for the evening will be Lynn Doyle. Doyle is an award-winning journalist and a nine-time Emmy recipient with more than 25 years of television-news experience. She is host and executive producer of the Comcast Network’s Emmy Award-winning “It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle.” With national guests, a wide range of topics and heavy viewer participation, Doyle tackles issues making headlines and explores how they affect people in the Comcast Network viewing area.

The inspirational entertainment for the evening will be provided by the Melmark Joybells, a traveling handbell choir that will present special musical performances. Led by two professional musical directors, choir members with developmental disabilities use a variety of handbells, chimes and percussion instruments in their varied repertoire of sacred, classical, popular and patriotic selections.

The Presidential Sponsor for the event is USI Affinity; the Entertainment Sponsor is BNY Mellon; the Wine Sponsor is the Radnor Hotel; and the Capitol Reception Sponsors are Drexelbrook Corporate Events Center, Independence Blue Cross, J.P. Morgan, Main Line Health, Nancy O’Mara Ezold, P.C., Sovereign Santander, the Vanguard Group Inc. and Wells Fargo.

For a complete list of sponsors please contact Ashley Miller or visit and click on the Red Carpet Dinner banner.

The Main Line Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of its 1,300-member base, spans nine boroughs and townships constituting the region known as the Main Line.

As the Main Line’s business advocate, the Main Line Chamber of Commerce is committed to enabling members to succeed, promoting economic growth in the region, developing an informed business community and enhancing the quality of life on the Main Line. In its 88th year of service as the area’s Go-To Chamber of Commerce, the Main Line Chamber of Commerce is the second largest chamber operating in Delaware, Chester and Montgomery counties and the fifth largest in the Southeastern Pennsylvania region.

The Main Line Chamber of Commerce is the first Chamber recognized in the state of Pennsylvania with a 5-Star Accreditation rating from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.



A reunion at Drexelbrook

Judging finished, and reunions seemingly over as well, I head to the room the Brandywine tourism folks and Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine set aside for judges to relax when who to my delighted eyes should appear but Lynn Doyle.

Ah, the reunions continue. Lynn has had a typically busy day. In addition to judging booth displays for “Taste,” she had sat in as a guest host for Bonnie Squires on one of the business shows Joe Ball produces for a local radio station. Radio has been on Lynn’s mind recently.

Although her signature show, ‘It’s Your Call,” continues to appear live on Sunday evening on the Comcast Network, the once-a-week program is different from gearing up for a new topic and new panel every day. Seeing how “It’s Your Call” might fit on radio. A natural, I’d think. Especially because of innovations Lynn made years ago but didn’t much credit for.

Lynn is with former CN8 publicist, now with her own public relations firm, Leslie Padilla, and they are talking about how “It’s Your Call,” or more precisely Lynn Doyle, has made its way to street language and even a street dictionary.

“The title has become so famous, and I have become so associated with it,” Lynn says, “that it’s become a code for people who tell others a decision is theirs. Let’s say someone is asking another at which restaurant they should meet. Instead of writing, ‘It’s your call,’ the street code is, ‘Yo, Lynn  Doyle.’ Isn’t that amazing?”

Among innovations Lynn made before they became popular was using the Web to get feedback from viewers and general folks who wanted to add their two cents. Some of these were capsulized and used on “It’s Your Call” programs to show a range of point of view.

Lynn now collects multiple opinions on her “It’s Your Call” on Facebook. She has more than 1,350 friends, with the number growing. She says she uses friends’ comments as a kind of pulse to see where opinion is going on certain issues and to see if any consensus is forming.

“I just put out a question, say, about Michael Vick or David Letterman,” and see how the response goes. Then I can report the consensus, and if one statement stands out to illustrate the point, I can use that as well.”

Lynn is looking at different media to use her talent for moderating discussion on current hot topics going. Her website, is the archetype for a sort of continuous talk show via the Internet.

“I am in the process of re-inventing myself. Technology is the way to do it,” Lynn says.

Lynn’s grandchildren are now three years old. “They are twin boys and could not be more different.,” she says. “One is always moving, the other is more cerebral. It’s fascinating. I love being a grandmother. When Jennifer (Lynn’s daughter) first told me she was pregnant, I said, “I don’t want to be called grandmom or anything like that. I told her the kids can call me Mrs. Doyle. Now they’re there, I’m Mom-Mom, and I adore it.”

Neal Zoren’s column appears on Mondays in the Daily Times.





Colla speaks to women’s group

It has been more than 10 months since former CN8 host Connie Colla anchored a morning show. Since then, she’s been enjoying family time and working on her next business plan. Colla speaks to the Company of Women at 5:30 this evening at Du Jour (379 Lancaster) in Haverford. Her talk is called “How to Strut Joyfully in One High Heel and a Flip Flop.”

The Company of Women is a monthly, women-only networking event for small business owners. Tonight’s event is open to the public. RSVP to rsvp@ or by calling 484-380-2553.



At 50 Plus Expo, “It’s Your Call”

TV Host Lynn Doyle Leads Interactive Discussion About her 30-plus Years in News

UWCHLAN — If you want to see people yelling and throwing chairs on a TV talk show, don’t turn in to “It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle.”

The popular host of the Comcast program told attendees at Wednesady’s Fifty Plus Expo, presented by the Daily Local News, that she is tired of people screaming and shouting on talk shows.

When developing her news show some 13 years ago, she said her intent was for intelligent interviews.

As a result of the commitment to quality by Doyle — the executive producer of the show as well as the host — the program has garnered 10 Emmys thus far.

The energetic Doyle led an interactive discussion with the group telling them about her 30-some years in the news business starting with her job as a sports reporter at age 17 for a local newspaper.

“There’ve been a lot of changes,” said Doyle, the featured presenter for the event held at the Inn of Chester Springs.

Doyle, a high school athlete who grew up in East Baltimore, said

she saw her brothers’ sports reported in the local newspaper, but never coverage for girls sports.

So one day she decided to do something about it and paid a visit to the newspaper.

The editor looked like Jack Klugman from “The Odd Couple,” “large, unkempt with a cigar hanging out of his mouth,” Doyle said.

So Doyle said she asked him why there was no coverage of girls sports. The editor told her he had no one to cover it. That’s when Doyle, the sports editor of her high school newspaper, asked for the job.

“I was hired at 25 cents an inch,” said Doyle, who started with local girls sports and ended up by covering girls sports countywide. “My love of reporting had been born.”

That job led to a job at the Baltimore Sun, which led to TV.

“I’ve done everything that is legal on TV except the weather,” Doyle said, noting that she had even been an on-air host at QVC in the electronic retailer’s early days.

Doyle talked to the group about the evolution of television, asking who had a TV 60 years ago, in 1949. A few hands went up.

“TV was introduced at the World’s Fair in 1939,” Doyle said. “Critics said it would never last, never be able to compete with radio and the newspaper.”

In the early days, people looked at TV for entertainment, she said. with audience members naming some early favorites: “The Lone Ranger,” “Steve Allen,” “Texaco Star” and “Howdy Doody.”

Doyle said the first big impact for TV news was the 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon. This was the first time Americans saw their candidates on the campaign trail.

With the Kennedy-Nixon debate, Kennedy’s people did the positioning, putting Nixon under the studio lights, and Kennedy away from the lights.

The result, Doyle explained, was the nation saw the trickle of sweat roll down Nixon’s face, making him look nervous. If Kennedy had a bead of sweat, the viewer didn’t see it. Kennedy came off looking “young, robust and ready to go and bring change to the United States,” Doyle said.

When President Kennedy was assassinated, neighbors landed at the Doyle house, the only house for blocks with a TV.

“Everyone made their way to our house to see the assassination of the our Irish favorite son,” Doyle said. “They were in our house when Jack Ruby shot the assassin.”

Today watching live news is an everyday part of life, she continued, but there is a consequence.

Before the days of 24-hour cable news networks, people had more trust in TV. Now, with the competition by all the news outlets for fast reporting, Doyle said viewers tend not to trust the news as much.

Cable, which critics also said wouldn’t last, has changed the way people watch the news, Doyle said. After cable came the Internet and now social media such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.

Social media is here to stay, just like TV, cable and the Internet, said Doyle, who encouraged the audience to get involved, get a Facebook page and sign up as a friend on someone else’s page.

Doyle spoke about the interview that made her the most nervous and the interview that was most impressive.

Nervous goes hands-down to Yankees baseball great Mickey Mantle, who showed up for the live TV spot drunk off his feet.

“He didn’t know what city he was in,” she said.

Doyle said she had counted on him doing most of the talking about his career in sports. But he was in no shape for that. During the interview, she said, he put his hand on “an inappropriate part of my body.”

Doyle said he moved his hand and got through the interview.

As for the most impressive, that was former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

Doyle, who said she had done a lot of political reporting in the 1980s, said the Gorbachev interview was “very compelling for me.”



 MLT Feature Photo


Local experts reveal how you can get a little more out of your favorite services and salvage your beauty budget in the process.

Worth the $$$: Blowouts

Melissa LaLiberté has clients with standing appointments three times a week for blowouts at Ardmore’s Salon 31—so she must be doing something right. “A great blowout brings out the beauty of a haircut,” says LaLiberté. “It’s the difference between looking great or not looking great.”

A good blowout (prices at Salon 31 start at $40) can even prolong the time between cuts. The results should last anywhere from three to four days, depending on the client’s hair. “I don’t have to do anything to my hair for a week,” says Malvern’s Leslie Padilla. “I worked in public relations for years in New York, and it was standard for women to get a blowout before an event. The benefits are finally catching on here.”

LaLiberté received her training at the famed John Sahag Workshop in New York City. “I can get really close to the root and get the kink out of the hair without jeopardizing its body,” she says. “There’s no type of hair that can’t use a good blowout—even a pixie cut.”

Alas, sleeping on a satin pillowcase, securing your hair at the top of your head while sleeping, and other tips for extending blowout life are beauty myths, says LaLiberté. “People like to make it sound more complicated than it is,” she says. “You don’t have to sleep in a chair.”

To keep hair looking fresh and oil-free, LaLiberté recommends dry shampoos. “When you start seeing oil in your hair—usually about two days after the blowout—you spray the dry shampoo in the root of the hair and it eats up the oil,” she says.





Family matters                                 

Although her second child is due momentarily, Karen Hepp, formerly of NBC 10, is scheduled to emcee the Philadelphia Leadership Awards gala tomorrow at Bryn Mawr College. Good thing she’ll be near the Birth Center where she and husband Brian Sullivan, who lives in Wynnewood, plan the delivery of their second son. In March 2007, Hepp, who is now an anchor/reporter at Fox5 in New York, went into labor with her son Quinn on an Amtrak train where Sen. Chris Dodd, of Connecticut, helped her steady her breathing.




Black Formal Standingcablefaxaward

Lynn Doyle wins award

Newsman Dan Rather and the Comcast Network’s Lynn Doyle each won awards yesterday at the CableFAX Program Awards gala at New York’s Grand Hyatt. Doyle’s, her second in two years, was for best show/series in public affairs, honoring her “It’s Your Call” focus on voluntary breast removal.



Cover Shot 


Comcast’s Lynn Doyle bylines “The Philanthropy Report” in the newest issue of Phlare Magazine.  Lynn speaks candidly with actor Joe Pantoliano of “Sopranos” fame about ”No Kidding, Me Too!”, his documentary created to fight the stigma attached to mental illness. Doyle unveils Pantoliano’s motivation for the film and foundation by the same name as he opens up about his personal diagnosis of clinical depression.

Read more from Ashley Cook, editor-in-chief and owner, Phlare magazine who shares her vision for the magazine along with the exclusive first-look at Lynn Doyle’s interview with Pantoliano.




Study Tweed Glasses

Doyle Catfight Earns Emmy Nod

Even the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences appreciates a good catfight. Or at least a TV discussion about one.

“Girls Attack on Tape,” a 2008 episode of the Comcast Network’s “It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle,” which dealt with teenage girls videotaping fights and posting them on YouTube, just earned a Mid-Atlantic Emmy nomination for best talk show. Nominations were announced Tuesday night. For a full list check The awards gala will be held Sept. 26 at the Loews Hotel.





She doesn’t suck at hairstyling

The “Best of Philly” award she just won from Philadelphia magazine is already helping Melissa LaLiberte get bookings for her Salon 31 (31 Rittenhouse) in Ardmore, which she opens Aug. 15.

Of course, the name of the award, Best Suburban Blow Out, has caused LaLiberte, 27, formerly of Manayunk’s Salon L’Etoile (4360 Main) to hear her share of jokes about it, and we don’t mean quips about the Philly-shot John Travolta thriller.





Best of Philly: We Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty…Our nods for the finest in beauty maintenance, all near you

Main Line ~Blowout ~ Melissa LaLiberte at Salon 31

Now with her own salon, this sweet and sought-after stylist won’t need to mansion-hop to deliver her super-long-lasting blow-drys.  31 Rittenhouse Place, Ardmore, 610-642-8600. 




Ken Botelho Head Shot

Warwick’s Ken Botelho earns lifetime achievement award

AT AWARDS CEREMONY: Ken Botelho, left, receives the award from William Durand, executive vice president and chief counsel for NECTA.

Golf Channel senior director of engineering and former Warwick resident Ken Botelho was acknowledged by the New England Cable and Telecommunications Association (NECA) during its annual convention in Newport July 16. Botelho received the chairman’s award for Lifetime Achievement of Excellence in Television Production presented at the association’s gala.

“It was a complete surprise to me,” said Botelho from his home in Windermere, Florida. “I had no idea they were giving it to me. I’m very honored to receive it.”

Botelho may also be unaware of how his career trajectory is an inspiration for those guests at the gala who were also rising through the ranks of the cable industry.

“Ken Botelho is a broadcast pioneer whose keen understanding of technology and programming has spotlighted the world’s most renowned celebrities, politicians, events and pop culture,” said William Durand, executive vice president and chief counsel for the NECTA. “I am honored to share Ken’s professional growth with our valuable members so that he serves as a mentor to our colleagues and ambassadors of the cable industry.”

In January, the 35-year veteran of broadcast television joined the Golf Channel, the Comcast-owned network reaching 90 million homes worldwide. As Senior Director of Engineering for the network, Botelho will lead the Channel’s move into the world of high-definition video. Botelho joined Comcast in February of 2003 as general manager of CN8 New England and was quickly promoted to vice president of engineering and network operations for the entire network, spanning from Maine to Virginia.

The new job at the Golf Channel entailed moving to Florida, but Botelho said he was planning on moving to Florida anyway, as the 57-year-old East Providence native approaches retirement.

“It is beautiful here,” he said by telephone Monday. “We have a beautiful house, and we have installed a pool and planted several palm trees.”

Botelho said his home is only a few miles from Disney World, and he is not ashamed to say they have their resident passes for the park and use them. He also plays a little golf himself and it’s possible he will run into several of his neighbors on the links. Johnny Damon, Shaquille O’Neal and Tiger Woods live in the same town.

After the Station fire in 2003, while still at the helm of Century Productions in Warwick, Ken and Gloria put together a rock and roll stage show at the Providence Performing Arts Center for victims and survivors of victims of the fire. His work at Century included spotlights of renowned comics and musicians including Jerry Seinfeld; Larry David; Robin Williams; Bruce Springsteen; Jon Bon Jovi; Tori Amos and Alanis Morrissette among others.

Botelho also directed Comcast’s gavel-to-gavel coverage of the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, and the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, MA.

Botelho spent his early years gaining valuable knowledge of technical advancements in various positions, including camera work at WJAR-TV Channel 10, Heritage Communications, Taurus Communications and at the ABC Network’s The HomeShow.

Botelho has been honored with more than 20 Emmy nominations and awards. Now it’s time to focus on bringing the Golf Channel into the future of television, and Botelho says they are ready for that.

“You should see the facility here,” he said. “We have the latest, best, most advanced technology you can imagine.”

As for Gloria, she’ll be looking forward to frequent trips back home. Her family and her kids are here, and she will miss them.

“I took her down here with her kicking and screaming,” said Botelho, “but she loves it here now – and loves the idea that we will be up to see the family as often as possible.”



Couch Casual 


It’s Your Call with Lynn Doyle is nominated for a Cable Fax award for best public service series.  Doyle is nominated for best host.   Winners will be announced in September. Last year, the show won for its show on modern day slavery.

It’s Your Call airs every Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. on The Comcast Network.





Ken Botelho, senior director of engineering for the Orlando-based Golf Channel, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement of Excellence in Television Production by the New England Cable & Telecommunications Association.




Salon 31 Charlies Angels

ML100 ~ What we love most on the Main Line

Sometimes going all the way to the salon is just too trying, dumpling.  No wonder industry veteran Melissa LaLiberte has become a favorite of perfectly coiffed Mainliners for her at-home hair styling services.  Now, LaLiberte is opening a home of her own, Salon 31 (31 Rittenhouse Pl., Ardmore, 610-642-8600), featuring all the standard salon services.





Bridal boutique Suky closing

Suky (1038 E. Lancaster) in Bryn Mawr will be closing next month, store owner Mary Helen Ranieri said yesterday. Ranieri blamed the economy. The bridal shop, founded by the late Suky Rosan, moved from Ardmore last fall and just won the Best Bridal Boutique award from Main Line Today’s July “Best Of” issue.

That mag hosts its Best of Party July 23 at the Drexelbrook Corporate Center in Drexel Hill. Proceeds benefit several non-profits including the Women’s Resource Center, Home of the Sparrow and Mommy’s Light, which aid area families. Tix at or by 610-325-4630.





PHILADELPHIA, PA (June 25, 2009) – The Marketing Department (TMD) successfully announced its national franchise program and plan to open more than 100 retail stores throughout the United States by 2015 and received a formal franchisee application within minutes of the unveiling. This exclusive presentation on Wednesday, June 24 at Overbrook Golf Club in Villanova, PA was hosted by John Cooley, Founder & Chairman, TMD and was attended by more than 20 potential franchisees. The original program, designed as a 45-minute overview, extended to a nearly 3-hour interactive platform due to audience interest in TMD’s revolutionary marketing services benefiting small business owners and entrepreneurs. 

“Yesterday was an exciting milestone for The Marketing Department as the corporate team of the company joined me to share our vision and business opportunity to an audience of franchisees that exceeded our expectations in both number and passion,” said John Cooley, Founder & Chairman, TMD. “The combination of my committed leaders including CEO, Paul Norell, Senior Vice President Franchise Operations, Ted Manley, and Interim President, Marvin Davis, along with the marketing and business leaders who spent half their day participating in the event, is a true testament to the company’s mission and future. I couldn’t be more proud.” 





KING OF PRUSSIA, PA (June 16, 2009) – The Main Line’s award-winning land architect, Mark Eberhardt partners with real estate business leader, Charlie Pasquale and announces the launch of CDM Land Design & Management (  Leveraging their cumulative, nationally-acclaimed landscape, hardscape and business expertise, CDM is a comprehensive outdoor site planning company servicing discriminating residential and commercial clients with a complete package of services from creative design through implementation and ongoing maintenance. 

“Our goal is to create personalized environments with landscape and hardscape elements that organically extend a home’s indoor living space outside,” stated Mark Eberhardt, Founder & Lead Designer, CDM.




Lynn Doyle IYC Ad

Lou Busico, lawyer for Bonnie Sweeten, the Bucks County woman accused of phoning in a kidnapping hoax and implicating two black men before jetting with one of her daughters to Walt Disney World, explains that his client is not a racist. In an It’s Your Callsit-down with the Comcast Network’s Lynn Doyle, premiering at 8:30 p.m. today, Busico insists that Sweeten used “the two elderly black men in the sedan in front of her as convenient subjects when she was making the 911 call. . . . If two twentysomething whites had been in the car in front of her, she would have used that as potential suspects. She apologizes for any implication of racial stereotype. She’s in mental-health treatment now.”



Joey Pants 


Doyle Airs Joey Pants Special

The Comcast Network’s Lynn Doyle will air a special episode of “It’s Your Call,” featuring actor Joe Pantoliano at 8:30 p.m. Sunday and 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Doyle is moderating a Q&A session tonight at Friends Hospital following a screening of “No Kidding, Me Too!” a Pantoliano documentary about mental illness. The former “Sopranos” and “Goonies” actor made the film and started a foundation by the same name after he was diagnosed with clinical depression.

The show will also be available for viewing at





Tom Warburton, creator of the popular Cartoon Network series “Codename: Kids Next Door,” will read from (and sign) his new children’s book, “1000 Times No,” tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Head House Books (619 S. 2nd St.). The book is about a young boy who doesn’t want to listen to his mother and says “No!” every way imaginable.For more info on Warburton and his book check out

The event is free but an RSVP is requested at (no hyphens).





Philly-bred Tom Warburton, creator of the Cartoon Network’s Codename: Kids Next Door, will sign his first kids’ book, 1000 Times No!, at 2 p.m. Saturday at Head House Books, 619 S. Second St.





The race has begun to sell Fast Dreams, a feature-length documentary from Belvedere Entertainment profiling teen race-car drivers in their quest to make it to NASCAR and Formula One. Local director Nick Briscoe’s film, screened for a group of movie-industry types Thursday at film outfit Shooters Post & Transfer, was shot over nine months and primarily focuses on two phenoms: Gabriel Chaves, 15, of Florida, and Jeff Oleen, 19, of Maryland.mentary



A documentary built for speed

Local filmmaker Nick Briscoe will host an invitation-only screening tonight seeking distributors for his new documentary, “Fast Dreams.”

The feature-length film focuses on teen race-car phenoms Gabriel Chaves, 15, and Jeff Oleen, 18, as they seek to lap the competition and make it to the winner’s circle in professional motor sports.  Also highlighted is Jessica Brunelli, 15, who wants to become the first great woman stock car racer.

“Fast and Furious” has nothing on these iron-willed speedsters. “Fast Dreams” producers are also in discussions with Discovery Networks for a future TV airing.


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