Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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 ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Hungry for Something Good, Pittsburgh? Where We're Eating in July

Lidia Bastianich Shares Her American Dream in a New Memoir

PM Dining Critic Hal B. Klein talks to the celebrated chef, restauranteur, television host and author about grandparents, foraging and the plight of refugees seeking a better life in the United States.

They Prayed to Our Lady of the Roller Coaster

Two local priests –– riding the Phantom's Revenge to promote Catholic Day at Kennywood –– create a viral video. Along the way they deliver a most unusual sermon.

The Homestead Artist with a Worldwide Reputation

Jesse Best maintains a presence in New York and Tokyo. But, he says, Pittsburgh has been 10 times better to him than any other place.

The 400-Word Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The fifth "Jurassic Park" film is fun. Empty, somewhat disappointing fun.

Local Brewery Resolves Trademark Dispute With Sass

After Pitt ordered Voodoo Brewery to stop production of its "H2P American IPA," the company relaunched the beer under a new name.

Sprout Fund Passes the Torch

50 Pittsburghers to receive $1,000 Legacy Award to carry on the nonprofit’s vision.

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Pirates Pitcher Steven Brault has Pretty Good Pipes Too

The Pirates reliever sang the national anthem Tuesday night before the Bucs hosted the Brewers at PNC Park. It's worth watching, especially for his teammates' reaction at the end.

Crime in the South Side Has Fallen Dramatically

Illegal activity plunged along East Carson Street following several new security measures.

Fired by City Paper — Charlie Deitch Won’t Be Silenced

The former editor of the Pittsburgh alt-weekly is creating his own "more inclusive" publication.

Czechoslovakia was Forged in Pittsburgh

Rick Sebak details how the establishment of the European nation began with a meeting Downtown.

Brick by Brick: Legos Go High Art

Made entirely out of Legos, the sculptures on the display at the Carnegie Science Center’s new Scaife Exhibit Gallery range from the whimsical to the otherworldly.

Mike Chen, Dean of the Chinese Kitchen

The owner of Everyday Noodles looks to encourage more regionally specific Chinese food in Pittsburgh restaurants.

MultiStories: Real Estate – The Machesney Building

Visitors can still ogle the lavish marble and bronze interior crafted to appeal to the original owner's banker and stockbroker tenants.
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags


They Prayed to Our Lady of the Roller Coaster

They Prayed to Our Lady of the Roller Coaster

Two local priests –– riding the Phantom's Revenge to promote Catholic Day at Kennywood –– create a viral video. Along the way they deliver a most unusual sermon.

Comments

Local Brewery Resolves Trademark Dispute With Sass

Local Brewery Resolves Trademark Dispute With Sass

After Pitt ordered Voodoo Brewery to stop production of its "H2P American IPA," the company relaunched the beer under a new name.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
What Anthony Bourdain Meant to Me

What Anthony Bourdain Meant to Me

Reflecting on the loss of a person so many of us admired.

Comments

Northeast Kitchen Brings Northeastern Chinese Cuisine to Pittsburgh

Northeast Kitchen Brings Northeastern Chinese Cuisine to Pittsburgh

Chef You Shan Pei comes to Pittsburgh after cooking in Flushing, N.Y. restaurants for 18 years.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

The Five Best Spots to Get Pittsburgh-Themed Merchandise

Looking to show off your Pittsburgh love? Get your favorite city printed on basically anything at these local shops.

Comments

7 Best Pittsburgh-Area Places You Should Try for Doughnuts

7 Best Pittsburgh-Area Places You Should Try for Doughnuts

When you're craving the real deal, these local spots consistently churn out the very best.

Comments


The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

The Other Moving Documentary About a Curious Pittsburgher

In "Will Work For Views," the video artist and musician Weird Paul is a little bit Dr. Demento and a little bit Mister Rogers.

Comments

Man, There's a Lot Going on at Zone 28

Man, There's a Lot Going on at Zone 28

The relaunched entertainment complex in Harmarville is casting a wide net, with some success.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

Pirates Can Be Show Stoppers if They Follow Brault's Lead

A Broadway musical about the life and times of the Pittsburgh Pirates? The idea might not be as farfetched as you think.

Comments

Olczyk Embraces Awareness, Understanding to Fight Cancer

Olczyk Embraces Awareness, Understanding to Fight Cancer

Olczyk found out last August, in the wake of a six-hour surgery that removed 14 inches of his colon and “a tumor the size of my fist,” the severity of what he was suddenly confronting.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
The 400-Word Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The 400-Word Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

The fifth "Jurassic Park" film is fun. Empty, somewhat disappointing fun.

Comments

The 400-Word Review: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

The 400-Word Review: Won't You Be My Neighbor?

The documentary about Fred Rogers' work and philosophy inspires even more wonder about the television legend who called Pittsburgh home.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Toppers That Take the Cake

Toppers That Take the Cake

Over the traditional bride and groom standing on top of your cake? Try some of these different ideas for cake toppers.

Comments

Couple Shares Photo Spotlight With Four-Legged Friends

Couple Shares Photo Spotlight With Four-Legged Friends

This Pittsburgh couple is using their engagement photos to raise awareness about one of their most passionate causes.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

PPG Paints Unveils 2019 Color of the Year: Night Watch

Paying homage to the restorative power of nature, this deep green shade is one to watch in the coming year. Here’s how to use it on your walls.

Comments

Five Pittsburgh-Based Etsy Shops You Need to Know About

Five Pittsburgh-Based Etsy Shops You Need to Know About

From furniture to wall art and beyond, these local makers created one-of-a-kind pieces for your home or office.

Comments