Choir from PBP’s Adopted School “Rock the Roof” at the Miss America Parade

Progressive Business Publications is excited by the high-energy start to its seventeenth year with adopted Philadelphia K-8 Elementary School, Cook-Wissahickon (CW).  The Cook-Wissahickon Choir kicked off 2013-14 by winning a place in the Miss America Show Us Your Shoes Parade! CW’s Choir, with more than 35 students in grades 3-8 performing under the direction of Mr. Nicholas D’Orsaneo, is beginning its second year.  Last year they enjoyed the right to march in the city’s Thanksgiving Parade.

In September 2013 the historic Miss America pageant returned to Atlantic City.  Thousands of spectators enjoyed Saturday’s gorgeous weather as the traditional Miss America “Shoe” Parade rolled along the legendary Atlantic City Boardwalk.  CW’s students won a competition to perform the song “God Bless America” as part of a youth ensemble with schools from across the region.  They were fantastic!  The huge crowd along the parade route cheered throughout, and the Choir members had a blast seeing all of the “princesses”, as they dubbed the contestants.  The Choir students beamed as their performance at Boardwalk Hall was telecast live on PHL-17.   What a night!  What an experience!

Just prior to stepping off along the Boardwalk, the Choir posed on the beach with a huge sign thanking PBP’s Founder & CEO, Ed Satell.   Choir Director Nick D’Orsaneo said: “Mr. Satell has always been one of our biggest fans and strongest supporters. Without his generosity and Progressive Business Publications’ sponsorship and continued support for the school for seventeen years, events like this Miss America Parade could not be a reality for these talented and exuberant students.”  The attached video shows their enthusiastic gratitude.

Progressive Business Publications is delighted to congratulate its philanthropy partner, Cook-Wissahickon School, on the terrific event.

Social Activism in Action: The Satell Teen Fellows Commitment Projects

Young people invested in social activism is always inspiring. Since its inception almost nine years ago, the Satell Teen Fellowship for Leadership and Social Activism has trained more than 150 teens to “find your voice and make a difference only you can”. One program requirement is a dedicated project addressing a societal issue that each Fellow chooses. On Wednesday evening this year’s Fellowship cohort presented their projects.

The families attending were impressed with the breadth and depth of the Fellows efforts. Several had taken a personal avocation and focused it on a community challenge. One Fellow began to “run for a cause”, raising awareness on the need for autism research. Another used his love for the sport of ultimate Frisbee to reach out to other teens and teach “positive competition” while raising funds and awareness of several nonprofits. One creative Fellow was hosting an online auction of beautiful free- trade craft items to benefit impoverished families in Africa. Their presentations were engaging and inspiring.

Each Fellow had thoughtfully discerned an impact effort, had done research, and had created a project. They had supported each other throughout the process, using the peer coaching and leadership skills they developed throughout their Fellow year. They learned to “think we, not me” as Fellowship Founder Ed Satell had suggested to them. Several were proud they had inspired peers at their schools to step outside the “usual position of not thinking one kid can really change things”.

When the Satell Teen Fellowship Program was first envisioned by Ed Satell, he recognized that teens need to be trained and encouraged to be both leaders and social activists. The commitment project requirement was created to address both needs Aaron M, speaking to the guests on behalf of the Fellows, observed that the Fellows now truly understand the meaning of “no man is an island”. They have been taught, encouraged and challenged to create a unique vision for the greater good, and given the skills to go after that dream. He said simply: “We will always be Satell Teen Fellows.”


Cook Wissahickon Wins Energy Efficient School Award to Go Green

CW's new entryProgressive Business Publications proudly congratulates its long-time education partner and adopted school, Cook-Wissahickon K-9 Elementary (CW), for their recognition in Pennsylvania’s Energy Efficient School Awards.

CW was one of only four winners statewide.  At a time when the budget for the School District of Philadelphia keeps shrinking, CW has found a way to actively and effectively save money for the District through their impressive energy conservation.  In fact, CW has the goal of reducing the school community’s energy consumption by several percentage points each year!

CW is one of three District schools chosen to pilot an initiative for reducing energy consumption.  The school community embraced the challenge, reducing their energy consumption by 5% in the last year alone.  The students themselves developed a program implementing practical and thoughtful energy conservation at every grade level.  They’re tracking their energy consumption on the national Energy Star benchmarking website and are aiming to reach the magic number of 75.  That will mean CW uses 40% less consumable energy than typical buildings.  In fact, CW is on track to achieve Energy Star status in 2013!

One time-consuming but exciting project has been the exterior makeover.  Through a grant, CW’s outside appearance has been greatly improved and its conservation efforts expanded.  Immediately visible are the 42 trees planted along the perimeter to aid with shading and cooling.

A new 10,000 square-foot meadow replaces concrete and weeds and will allow CW students to study rainwater runoff, storm water management, and urban wildlife.  What an opportunity for our students and their dedicated teachers!

We are delighted that “our” school has taken the initiative and focused on sustainable energy conservation.  It’s a terrific lesson for all of us.

Congratulations to the visionary Faculty, the super CW students, their families, our outstanding Principal Karen Thomas, and the wonderful Wissahickon Sustainability Council (CW’s Green Committee).  Due to the efforts of all these individuals, great things keep happening for and at Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School!

Values – David Montblatt

David MonblattValues.

It’s a word that appears frequently in communications today, but that has numerous ambiguous meanings.  When asked to describe our philanthropy, we always mention that we back nonprofit institutions with positive values we believe in, values that parallel our own.

Progressive Business Publications corporate culture is founded on a strong positive value system, focusing on intangibles like accountability, integrity, concern for the greater good and more.  We feel these are vital for true success in the long term. So we are proud to work with great nonprofits and initiatives that foster similar values – in fact, a good value system is a requirement for our support

Recently, we began asking some of our nonprofit partners to write about values they see as integral to the programs we develop and sponsor.  One of the first to respond is David Montblatt, the Director of our acclaimed youth program for the best and brightest high-school juniors and seniors in the regional Jewish community, the Satell Teen Fellowship for Leadership and Social activism.

David is a respected lifelong educator as well as a noted thespian.  The value he chose to focus on is lifelong learning.  He explains the roots of his choice below.

“ Pirke Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) offers that our universe is structured upon three things: Torah, Avodah, and G’milut Chasadim. The first of these, Torah, can be translated as “learning” – the act of taking in or knowing some of all there is to know – drawing from the well of Infinity. This is an external act, gathering up something (information) outside of ourselves. The act itself is holy, for it both empowers us to better understand our lives and forces us to recognize the infinite nature of God. Learning brings us closer to the Eternal.

As Director of the Satell Teen Fellowship for Leadership and Social Activism, a value that we choose to nurture is that Jewish learning, by definition, is without end. By believing in, and creating a culture of lifelong learning, we bring meaning to our lives, ensure Jewish continuity, and draw closer to God.

Throughout their one-year experience together, the Satell program gives tomorrow’s leaders the opportunity to pursue learning (Torah), internalize and express learning (Avodah), and transform learning into acts of loving kindness (G’milut Chasadim). It can therefore be said that values drive the Satell Teen Fellowship for Leadership and Social Activism, and each year, forge the path that our Fellows set out on.”

Cook Wissahickon’s Choir Hits All the Right Notes

Progressive Business Partnership with Cook WissahickonEd Satell and Progressive Business Publications (PBP) adopted the Cook-Wissahickon K-5 Elementary School (CW) more than sixteen years ago.  Strengthened and supported by Progressive Business Publication’s programs, CW’s school environment became positive and the school itself expanded to its current position as a K-8 elementary and middle school.

As school district funding shrunk, particularly for the extracurricular programs that engage and inspire students, Progressive Business Publications began to support additional initiatives.  CW’s high-energy young music director, Nick D’Orsaneo, proposed forming a choir to channel students’ interest in music. The Choir program has been very successful, with more than 40 students in grades 3-8 participating.  Being a Choir member is a real commitment, with required practices to create their “sound”.

Their hard work has paid off. This Spring CW’s Choir qualified to compete in the Hershey Park competition, and took First Place!  The School community was thrilled!

To make the victory even more exciting, CW’s Choir will now perform for the 2013 Miss America Pageant during the televised annual pageant parade!  What a great year for this positive and empowering program.

Progressive Business Publications salutes Director Nick D’Osaneo for his vision and dedication.  We proudly compliment the students for their dedication to practicing and performing, and for the wonderful music they make!

Congrats to Peter

Peter Hyman accepting the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award.

Sometimes great people do get recognized.  On Tuesday, June 25th, a great, genuine and giving man was recognized for his contributions—for helping people.  Rabbi Peter Hyman, longtime friend of Ed Satell and Progressive Business Publications, received the prestigious William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award.

Peter has been involved in helping others his entire career.  One of his greatest areas of focus is the Boy Scouts of America.  As their National Jewish Chaplain for more than decade, he has modeled the values of Scouting merged with the values of Torah for countless young men.  If you mention Peter’s name, a positive story always emerges.  With seemingly effortless but compelling statements Peter has spoken numerous times on videos about Ed Satell, and has been a key member of a number of Progressive Business Publications’ nonprofit initiatives.

The Award presented on Tuesday by the Comptroller of the State of Maryland was named for a former governor who, like Peter, touched peoples’ lives.  In presenting it to the Rabbi, Comptroller Peter Franchot first joked about liking his name, but then remarked on how many nominations were received, and how clearly Peter Hyman deserved the award for the interfaith bridges he builds, for the confidential help he extends, and for his commitment to youth.

As is typical of Peter, he accepted not for himself, but on behalf of his Temple community, calling them a “people of vision”.  He lauded their leadership and dedication to ideals.  It was inspiring to see Temple B’Nai Israel filled, with one entire section members of the local Roman Catholic Parish, all big Rabbi Hyman fans!   Also in attendance were a number of Maryland officials and Senator Byrd.

Congratulations, Peter!

For more information, visit Local rabbi gets ‘helping people’ award.

Congrats to Ro

Rosemarie Fuscellaro

Rosemarie Fuscellaro

“Listen, we’ll make it work”… Ro’s work ethic, and her mantra. The Cook-Wissahickon School (Philadelphia) has lost a treasure. Rosemarie Fuscellaro, the “go-to” woman for many years, retired on June 21, 2013, after over two decades with the school district.

Ro absorbed work the way others guzzle water. She never turned down an opportunity to do something for “her” school, and always came through. Through the years, the Administration, teachers, families and parents all recognized that Ro was a human lynchpin. With her energy, her encyclopedic knowledge of the school community, its relationships, politics and challenges, and her many “connections”, Ro was capable of organizing anything. She even brought huge trays of gorgeous homemade cookies to her own retirement celebration!

Ed Satell, Progressive Business Publication’s CEO, trusted Ro and her networks to help organize the first After-school program PBP envisioned for CW. Sixteen successful years have proven his decision was correct. Always a good judge of people, Ed recognized Ro’s unique capabilities. We’ve been fortunate they have been directed to CW!

Congratulations, Ro, on all your contributions. Thousands of children at CW have benefited from your dedication, as have so many co-workers. You have touched many lives! Thank you!

PBP Salutes Cook Wisshickon’s Class of 2013

“We are really appreciative for your continuing dedication to our school throughout the years. We have grown to be well-rounded teenagers prepared to make the transition to high school. There is nothing we can do to repay you, all we can say is thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

Cook Wissahickon Graduation

Cook Wissahickon Graduation

With these words the Cook-Wissahickon School Class of 2013 dedicated their colorful and charming yearbook to Ed Satell and Progressive Business Publications. The Class of 2013 opened their yearbook with the dedication, then opened their graduation ceremony with their Class President offering a wonderful acknowledgement of Progressive Business Publications as well.

It’s always inspiring when young people say thank you. This group did so enthusiastically, citing all the reasons they were grateful, from the programs and support in their early school years to the company’s commitment to the eighth grade, including sponsoring the graduation celebration, yearbook, and the memorable field trip. In this case it’s very deserved, since Progressive Business Publications has truly been a part of their school community since their kindergarten.

The families in attendance were equally vocal in their thanks for all the initiatives Progressive Business Publications provides for the school. It was moving to hear parents tell stories about how much their children would miss the after school program, or how much they loved their Mentor – both special programs provided by Progressive Business Publications. One grandmother, herself an educator, said her granddaughter had benefitted tremendously from the enriched programs at CW, and thanked the company for the great work it does in support of educational nonprofits!

We wish the Class of 2013 all future success!

Executive Leaders Radio Award

Progressive Business Publication's Phil Ahr with Karen Thomas, principal of Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School

Progressive Business Publication’s Phil Ahr with Karen Thomas, Principal of Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School

“Paying it Forward”…  Last week PBP’s CEO was recognized for his constant commitment to that concept.  Although he’s received numerous philanthropic awards over the years, each is unique in its focus.  The CEO Philanthropy Award is sponsored by Executive Leaders Radio Program, a hugely-syndicated business news program.   The award allows twenty select nonprofits to honor the individuals who support them.  Each nonprofit representative speaks briefly about the CEO honored.

The Principal of Cook-Wissahickon K-8 Elementary School (CW) truly made her comments stand out.  She said that although her relationship with Ed Satell is only a few years old, his relationship with her school is sixteen years old.  Sixteen years ago Ed & his company adopted CW and were key in “turning the school around”.  She described the before and after-school programs Ed’s company developed, funds and runs, the Mentor Program, the Class Trips—and so much more.  Karen said that other Principals find it hard to believe any private company could do so much for such a sustained time commitment.  And that made me think of a story older than any student in th
e school, one we’d recently shared with Karen about the beginning of the PBP-CW partnership.

When Ed dove into the partnership, he did so completely, and in spite of being a CEO, he personally researched how to run an after-school correctly, visiting area institutions to see what worked.  That’s why I think this award is unique, since it recognizes not just philanthropy, but the human vision and commitment behind it, the dedication to “paying it forward”.

The award was accepted by Phil Ahr, an original and still-involved member of the Mentor Program.

Supporting America’s Oldest Theatre

Walnut Street TheatrePhilanthropy and corporate social responsibility, our giving back to benefit the community, are core values for Progressive Business Publications.  We recognize how important our nonprofits are to the quality of life in our region.  Their contributions to great education, entertainment, information and improving health are vital.

Our employees (PBPers) eagerly support our commitment to our public responsibilities, and are proud of the impact of our nonprofit initiatives. Sometimes, our PBPers have the extra pleasure of a special connection with our nonprofit partners.  This is the case with Philadelphia’s outstanding Walnut Street Theatre, America’s Oldest Theatre, the Official State Theatre of Pennsylvania, and a National Historic Landmark. With more than 56,000 season ticket holders, the Walnut is also the most subscribed theatre company in the world!   Progressive Business Publications is currently celebrating its tenth sponsorship of a main-stage series.  This year the production is the high-energy fifties favorite Grease.

As a part of the Progressive Business Publications sponsorship, a group of employees are invited to Patron Nights, private dinners in the theatre’s historic Langworthy Lounge followed by VIP seats in the Executive Box.  Our managers rave about their Patron Night, since it offers a unique and relaxed opportunity for team building.  A delicious and elegant dinner, an intriguing setting, and then an exciting musical — what could be better!

Patron Night Host and Chief Marketing Officer for Progressive Business Publications, Jim Hathaway, remarked: “A night at the Walnut is such a great way to acknowledge the team, with a great meal, a fantastic show, and an environment that allows you to put work to the side temporarily. This has proven to be a great team-building opportunity, and creates personal connections with colleagues and their spouses.”

Grease has now been extended due to popular demand!