Spotlight on Women in Business: October 2010

Corina Diehl, Judy Silvis DiNardo, Patricia Staudt and Carole Popchock




MORE THAN $1 MILLION REVENUE

Corina Diehl
President
Diehl Automotive Group Inc.
258 Pittsburgh Road, Butler, 16002
724/431-4222, diehlauto.com

Wheel and Diehl

In an age when many dealerships closed, Diehl’s expanded.

Corina Diehl is an unlikely media darling. She doesn’t seek the spotlight, it just seems to find her. Automotive industry trade journals and other media outlets have come calling to tell her tale. In the wake of a tanking economy that took many automotive dealerships down with it, she managed to expand. And, the petite blonde dynamo did this just three-and-half years after stepping up to run the Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep and Toyota/Scion dealership following the sudden and tragic death of her husband.
The daughter of German immigrants, Diehl grew up in southern New Jersey near Cherry Hill, just outside Philadelphia. She met her husband, Matt Diehl, while working at an apartment building. Matt worked for General Motors and was selected for the company’s “fast track” program, which required him to move frequently. Corina and Matt married and moved to Boston, then to Florida. They came to New Castle after mega dealer Bob Preston offered Matt a job there. Preston and the Diehls bought a dealership together and eventually the Diehls bought out their partner and moved to Butler. “We worked as a team. I stayed at home and took care of the house and our two kids and did some work from home, and Matt took care of the company.” But that arrangement came to an end in 2007 when Matt unexpectedly passed away.
“He was only 47 years old and so young and vibrant.” Corina found herself faced with all sorts of decisions, one of which was whether to keep or to sell the dealership. “This was Matt’s dream. He did it all for the kids and he had lots of plans.”
It took about three weeks, but she returned to the dealership and decided she would carry out her husband’s plans. She sat in his office and cried every day, and even now can’t bring herself to change anything in that room. “I look back and wonder how we survived,” she admits. “The car business is brutal.”
That brutality was underpinned by a dismal economy. But Corina watched trends, trimmed expenses wherever possible, and admits that for a time, she was not well-liked.
“We survived by keeping our chin up. We went from selling 20 to 30 cars a week to seeing nobody in the dealership.” To survive, Diehl changed the scope of her business, changed her advertising approach and changed the way they approached the service side of the business by implementing Matt’s plan to expand the collision center.
Trend watching paid off. She refinanced to fund the expansion of the collision center and incorporated many “green”
principles, including a switch to a more expensive yet eco-friendly water-based paint system. And she also expanded the dealership’s Internet department and large truck division.
Today Diehl Automotive has estimated annual gross revenue of $50 million, employs 120 people and services more
than 100 cars a day. “The fruits of our labor are finally starting to show,” she says. “Our goal is to be the number one commercial truck dealer in the country.” In the community, she supports sports teams, a local race track, hosts Boy Scouts events and supports children’s causes.

 

START-UP

Judy Silvis DiNardo
Owner, Golf for Her Inc.
104 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Greensburg 15601
724/834-7920, golfforherstore.com

Growing Green

After Judy Silvis Dinardo's children graduated from college, she decided to take a swing at her own dream and opened Golf for Her, a specialty store offering women’s golf apparel and accessories.
A native of Greensburg, DiNardo studied fashion merchandising at Seton Hill University while working at JCPenney. She was selected for the retailer’s management training program and stayed with the company for 25 years, working at six area locations. By the time she left she was district manager responsible for 19 stores. After leaving JCPenney, she went on to manage a kitchen and bath remodeling company for 10 years.“By then I had put two kids through college and decided it was time to do what I wanted, and I really missed retailing.” Over the years, she had participated in many golf outings and often had trouble finding appropriate attire.
Later, while vacationing in Naples, Fla., she visited a golf shop and was inspired. She opened her doors in 2007, on the upswing of the season. Initially her timing worked out well, but then the economy crashed. She decided to ride the wave and now is enjoying the first full year where she feels comfortable. In 2009, she launched an Internet sales site.
“As a small business owner, you face many different challenges than in a corporate setting. Many times during the first few years, I wondered if I would come out of this okay.”
DiNardo is happy that through her business she has been able to give back to the community, especially cancer-related causes. Proceeds from a fashion show she hosted benefited Team Survivor, a group that helps to rehabilitate cancer survivors through athletics, and helped the new charity establish a foundation.

 

LESS THAN $1 MILLION REVENUE

Patricia Staudt
Owner, Allegheny Marking Products
122 Fourth St., Pittsburgh 15238
800/333-8662, alleghenymarking.com

Stamp of Approval

Patricia Staudt has built a successful business by realizing what other businesses need. Her company, Allegheny Marking Products, started as a rubber stamp business, providing businesses with products they
needed to identify themselves. Born in Philadelphia and raised in southern New Jersey, Staudt graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in accounting and moved to Pittsburgh to be with her
then-husband, taking a post at a “Big 8” accounting firm in town. She worked at the firm for seven years before launching a small office products business with her now ex-husband. Allegheny Marking Products was established in 1988 as an off-shoot of that business, manufacturing a variety of rubber stamps and related products. “It was something we were already selling, so it made sense to manufacture them,” says the longtime resident of Plum who recently moved to Monroeville. Eventually, Staudt sold the office products business to focus on Allegheny Marking Products, serving customers ranging from individuals to large regional banks.
“My accounting background was a great help and served me well in terms of business and developing good internal systems.” She also had an interest in information technology, which helped with development of the company’s
website and internal systems. As times changed and businesses evolved technologically, including her own, she knew she had to expand product offerings to stay competitive. That meant expanding into laser engraving and buying a retail store in Beaver. SmithCraft Signs and Awards offers trophies, plaques and corporate awards and now the company employs 11 with estimated annual revenue of $750,000.
Staudt believes strongly in giving back and serves her parish in many different capacities. She also is active in the National Association of Women Business Owners.

 

CORPORATE LEADER

Carole Popchock
Vice President and Director of Organizational
Development, Federated Investors, Inc.
Federated Investors Tower, 1001 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh 15222
412/288-8513, federatedinv.com

Live and Learn

Carole Popchock started out thinking she might want to be an attorney or run for public office. Born and raised in Observatory Hill, the Ross Township resident and mother of two sons instead has spent her career educating others. She has spent 26 years at Federated Investors, Inc., one of the regions largest and most successful financial services companies, where she now serves as vice president and director of organization development. In that role, Popchock is responsible for learning and development within the organization, day-to-day performance and talent management, training and orientation for the firm’s 1,350 employees, as well as external client training and other programs.
“I’ve always been in a teaching role. Adult education is very gratifying because adults are more likely to recognize the impact of a learning experience and express their appreciation,” Popchock explains.
Popchock enjoyed school and developed an interest in history, and considered becoming a professor. She taught social studies and history for six years at her alma mater, St. Benedict Academy, while working on her master’s degree at Carnegie Mellon University. Participating in a special program there for training secondary education teachers, she realized she preferred teaching adults.
Searching in a pre-Internet age, she utilized career resources at Chatham University and found her way to corporate training and development. She joined Federated as a training and development specialist and eventually worked her way up to program coordinator, manager and director positions. “I’ve been in the department my entire career and have been very happy. I hope to retire from here.”

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

We scoured the region to bring you 53 items we’ve deemed this year’s “Best of the ’Burgh,” as well as 8 stellar local Instagram accounts you don’t want to miss.
See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

After writing for seven years about the city for Pittsburgh Magazine and pittsburghmagazine.com, Virginia Montanez is discontinuing her blog and column.
Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

The restaurant at Ace Hotel in East Liberty hits some high notes as it finds itself.
Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

During her final season of professional basketball, Cash remains ferocious on the court and selfless everywhere else.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

The historic Downtown building reopens after a two-year, $100 million renovation.
The Section of Mystery: What’s behind the door?

The Section of Mystery: What’s behind the door?

The Carnegie Museum of Natural History opens new permanent exhibit featuring 3-D holograms.
Our JazzLive International Festival Cheat-Sheet

Our JazzLive International Festival Cheat-Sheet

We break down each day of the festival so you don’t have to improv your way through it.
Avatar-inspired Cirque Du Soleil Show Takes Off in Pittsburgh

Avatar-inspired Cirque Du Soleil Show Takes Off in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Magazine has a backstage view of “Toruk: The First Flight,” which runs this week at Consol Energy Center.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

Best of the 'Burgh 2016

We scoured the region to bring you 53 items we’ve deemed this year’s “Best of the ’Burgh,” as well as 8 stellar local Instagram accounts you don’t want to miss.
See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

See Yinz: PittGirl Says Goodbye

After writing for seven years about the city for Pittsburgh Magazine and pittsburghmagazine.com, Virginia Montanez is discontinuing her blog and column.
Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

Restaurant Review: Whitfield at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh

The restaurant at Ace Hotel in East Liberty hits some high notes as it finds itself.
Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

Pride of McKeesport: WNBA Star Swin Cash

During her final season of professional basketball, Cash remains ferocious on the court and selfless everywhere else.
Idol Find: Pittsburgh Rapper Teams Up with Dad Jimmy McNichol for New Show

Idol Find: Pittsburgh Rapper Teams Up with Dad Jimmy McNichol for New Show

Research led Kellee Maize to discover she is the daughter of the former teen singing sensation. Now she and McNichol are teaming up to develop a television series to help other parents and children find each other.
Daytripping: Rating the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point

Daytripping: Rating the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point

One day, 18 roller coasters, four queasy stomachs, two cheeseburgers, one fried dough … whew.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

Pittsburgh's Union Trust Building Renovated and Restored

The historic Downtown building reopens after a two-year, $100 million renovation.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Stops In Pittsburgh

James Beard Foundation Celebrity Chef Tour Stops In Pittsburgh

Justin Severino and Hilary Prescott Severino of Cure and Morcilla organized the event, which featured celebrated chefs from DC, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

The Best 7 Spots in Pittsburgh to Watch the 2016 Euro Cup

Grab your kits, scarfs and get ready to watch the Euro 2016 Pittsburgh-style. We'll show you where to go to get your fan on.

Comments


Beer Cults and Brick Ovens: An Evening at Fuel & Fuddle

Beer Cults and Brick Ovens: An Evening at Fuel & Fuddle

The restaurant and bar in Oakland welcomes college students and locals alike.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Perspective Accompanies Long-Awaited Second Crosby Cup

Perspective Accompanies Long-Awaited Second Crosby Cup

The Pittsburgh Penguins may be more poised to establish a dynasty in 2016 than they were in 2009.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Add a Bygone Beacon to Your Living Room

Add a Bygone Beacon to Your Living Room

Vintage signs can add a pop of personality to your decor.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Demons, Orcs, Hipsters and More at the Multiplex

Demons, Orcs, Hipsters and More at the Multiplex

Reviews of "The Conjuring 2," "Warcraft," "Maggie's Plan," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
True to Tradition: Incorporating Your Heritage at Your Wedding

True to Tradition: Incorporating Your Heritage at Your Wedding

Honoring tradition at weddings is important for many couples, whether that means including heirlooms and unique customs or hosting a full-blown second ceremony.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Decor Calling: Home Furnishings Go Mobile

Decor Calling: Home Furnishings Go Mobile

House15143 is Sewickley debuts “House Calls,” a mobile Airstream designed to bring the shopping experience to you (or an event near you).

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Summer Robotics Camp Offered to High-School Students

Summer Robotics Camp Offered to High-School Students

The camp is a collaboration between two area universities and is open to students entering grades 9-12.

Comments