Cook-Wissahickon students enjoyed a beautiful day at Battle of the Clouds Park


Cook-Wissahickon students play baseball at the park.

Fourth, fifth and sixth-grade students from Cook-Wissahickon Elementary School spent Friday afternoon at Battle of the Clouds Park in Phoenixville.

To conclude this year’s Student Mentorship Program, the kids had some fun playing sports and eating lunch with their PBP mentors.

From volleyball to soccer to having fun on the park’s playground, the group enjoyed great weather and even better pizza.

After lunch, a small celebration was held to say good luck to each sixth-grader leaving the program. PBP mentors spoke about the many memories they’ve shared with their mentees over the past few years and encouraged them to keep growing.


One student hurries to join the volleyball game.

The students had a lot of fun and even took home some prizes! On the bus ride back to school, all of the sports equipment and games were raffled off.

Overall, it was a great day and the perfect way to end a fantastic school year.

Cook-Wissahickon eighth-graders visit Esherick Museum

The staircase, hand-carved from a single tree.

The staircase, hand-carved from a single tree.

Cook-Wissahickon students gather outside the Esherick Museum.

Cook-Wissahickon students gather outside the Esherick Museum.

A large group of eighth-grade students from Cook-Wissahickon School recently took a fun-filled and fascinating tour of the Wharton Esherick Museum on Horse Shoe Trail, in Malvern, courtesy of PBP.

Esherick was a prolific 20th Century sculptor who worked primarily in wood creating furniture, utensils, interiors, buildings and more.

The students were divided into three groups to tour the museum, which consists of Esherick’s studio, living area, and bedroom.  The students were most intrigued by the staircase Esherick carved from a single huge tree. They carefully made the climb from level-to-level.

The day concluded with the traditional and much-anticipated lunch at Margaret Quo’s Mandarin restaurant, where many tried their hand at chopsticks.


Two IT techs hired full time

Sam Strauch

Sam Strauch

Melissa Commodore

Melissa Commodore

Two familiar faces in IT have made the transition and are now full time PBP employees.

Please officially welcome Melissa Commodore and Sam Strauch to the IT team.

Originally from Harrisburg, PA, Melissa now lives in the South Philadelphia area. She attended King’s College in Wilkes Barre, studying computer information systems.

Her  interests include reading and participating in nightly events with her church.  Melissa’s signature color is purple!

Sam grew up in Wisconsin and attended Haverford College where he graduated in 2012.  He currently enjoys living in the East Falls area of Philadelphia.

His hobbies include reading, playing board games, and “general code/computer” stuff.

Sam surprised us by sharing a secret about himself …

“I hunt dragons.  It’s not something I’ve told many people before, up to this point. It’s the kind of thing one keeps to themselves. Yet every night I take out my crossbow and rocket-powered hang glider and take to the skies.”

Ed Satell talks up Corporate Responsibility at LeBow

Ed Satell sits alongside LeBow professor Daniel Korschun

Ed Satell sits alongside LeBow professor Daniel Korschun

If the topic is Corporate Social Responsibility, then you can bet PBP Founder & CEO Ed Satell is probably somewhere nearby.

And that was exactly the case during a recent panel discussion on that very topic sponsored by Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business.

The event was moderated by Daniel Korschun, a nationally recognized expert on the topic, and attended by more than 300 MBA candidates and professors.

Ed was a member of the panel of distinguished business leaders discussing whether corporate social responsibility efforts improve the bottom line.

Among other things, Ed stated that: “In today’s world, sustainability is a great marketing concept. It’s in businesses’ self-interest. All wealth comes from the community; to be successful, businesses need successful communities.

“You can’t say if I had the time and if I had the money, I’d do it,” he continued. “Everybody’s got some time and everybody’s got some money. Get involved in something you’re passionate about.”

The discussions serve as a focal point for the exchange of theory and best practices among business leaders, professors and researchers.

A daughter in the scrum: Katie Walston earns playoff MVP

katiewalstonrugbyKatie Walston, daughter of Senior Group Publisher John Walston, is a standout rugby player at West Chester University.

Katie, a junior majoring in biology/ecology with a minor in environmental health, is a high-scoring member of the WCU Women’s Rugby squad. This year’s team is an enormously talented group and is headed to the USA Rugby Division I Collegiate Women’s Final Four in Palo Alto, CA, on May 9.

Katie’s team breezed to victory in late April at the early rounds of the national playoffs in Marietta, GA, crushing both Georgia Tech and New Mexico. Katie was named MVP of those first and second rounds.

In its 10th season since gaining NCAA status, the WCU Women’s team has won more matches (12), notched its first Mason-Dixon Conference title, and has advanced further in the Division I play than ever before.

WCU will be tested in its semifinal game against undefeated Penn State, a women’s rugby powerhouse with eight National Titles to its name. The games will be streamed live on

Win or lose, Katie heads off to a 10-week summer  internship at the El Verde Field Station in the El Yunque National Forest of Puerto Rico, where she will be doing tropical rain forest ecology research.

Congrats, and many good wishes to Katie!


Welcome Audra Lombardo to Editorial

Audra joined PBP on May 15.

Audra joined PBP on May 15.

Please help us welcome Audra Lombardo to PBP’s Editorial team.

Audra joins us after a stint at Hibu Custom Websites, in Gulph Mills, where she was a content writer and SEO specialists, working one-on-one with customers to create their desired customized business websites.

Prior to that, Audra worked for News Headquarters, part of the online reputation management firm, producing news stories, blog posts and many other types of content at a prodigious rate of 10 to 14 stories a day!

Audra is a 2010 graduate of Eastern University in St. Davids, with a BA in English & Creative Writing. She is also a fan of the Belle of Amherst, whose work she likes to quote.

Her first day on the job was Monday, May 5.  Audra is eager to learn more about about PBP’s fast-read/reader focused style.

Cook Wissahickon golf outing supports students

Pat, Dan, Nicole and Jon lead a caravan of golf carts at C-W outing.

Pat, Dan, Nicole and Jon lead a caravan of golf carts at C-W outing.

April 25th was a special day as it marked the Cook-Wissahickon School First Annual Golf Outing.

Beautiful weather, good golfing and a great cause all combined to mark a special fundraising event for PBP’s favorite city elementary school.

The outing was held at the secluded Walnut Lane Golf Course in Fairmount Park, which is just a well-struck 5-iron from the school.

Cook-Wiss, as PBPers’ fondly refer the school, provides a well-rounded education to students in grades K-thru-8. But like many Philadelphia public schools, C-W took a big hit with budget cuts.

Funds from the golf outing, which was sponsored by the Cook-Wissahickon Home & School Association, are used for basic supplies and funding for essential personnel to keep students safe in the building.

PBP came through in a big way by sponsoring two foursomes in the outing as well as becoming a Platinum sponsor.

While neither foursome scored low enough to win the tournament, PBP finance specialist Patrick Schuman brought home the trophy in the long drive competition. Congrats to Pat, who also happens to be a mentor in PBP’s 19-year-old school mentoring program.

5 reasons PBP’s new vending machines and coffee service are awesome

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Cake, tablets and more at latest Employee Appreciation event

There was food, there was a raffle and there was an update on the positive directions PBP is heading  at our latest Employee Appreciation get-together last week.

The hour-long event began with our department heads introducing employees who’ve been hired over the past several months, followed by a recognition of employee anniversaries. Most notable: Nicole Reigl, who recently celebrated her 15th anniversary here at PBP.

Following a quick annual refresher on company policies, CEO Ed Satell spoke about the state of the economy and the company as a whole.

Finally, four lucky employees came away from the event with personal tablets, their names drawn from a hat by Director of Philanthropy and Corporate Citizenship Regina Black Lennox.

After the event, all employees were invited to partake in some delicious treats, including cake and ice cream.

Check out a gallery of other photos from the Employee Appreciation event below:

photo 1 photo photo (1)

Three key steps for success in an employee’s first 90 days

A new employee’s first days on the job can be a dizzying time.

There are names to remember, new tasks to master. And let’s not forget the all-important directions to the nearest restrooms, and even how to get back to the parking lot!

It’s all the sort of stuff veteran employees take for granted.

Consider this: Several studies show that getting comfortable at work early in the game – the first 90 days of employment – is one of the main contributors to eventual long-term success for a new employee.

Managers and supervisors can get newbies comfortable more quickly, and help them become more successful, by paying special attention to three key steps for success in an employee’s first 90 days.

1. Setting clear performance standards

Most of us believe that employees know what’s what when it comes to expected performance. But a new employee can be anxious and confused about that.

Try sitting down with the employee and explaining, in simple language, what your standards and expectations are. For example: “If you accomplish this in the given time frame, you’ll be considered successful.”

Often, as the employee gains knowledge and experience, those expectations will change, but don’t worry too much about covering the distant future.

Explain the immediate expectations. When the time comes to raise the bar on performance or productivity, you can have another conversation.

The point is to set up a reachable and clear target for the employee.

Surprisingly, too many companies miss this step, often because of good, but misguided, intentions:

  • They want to show the employee the company isn’t rigid, that “oh, we’ll get that figured out sometime.” The result is uncertainty for an already anxious person.
  • They don’t want to put pressure on the employee. In fact, that’s exactly what they end up doing, because the employee feels the pressure of never knowing what’s considered successful and what isn’t.

2. Defining who does what

How thoroughly you cover this aspect of employment may depend on the size of your organization. But the basics stay the same no matter the size of the employer.

You’ll want to make sure the employee knows who your boss is and understands the organizational chart of the groups you work in and with.

Giving new employees a feel about the organization will make later face-to-face meetings with the people on the chart more meaningful.

3. Defining a course of training

Ask yourself: Are you more comfortable knowing what’s coming, or would you rather not know?

About 90% of us want to know what’s coming. We don’t like dealing with uncertainty.

So it is with most new employees. And in this case, what they want to know is how you’re going to get them ready to do the job.

Even if you don’t have a formal training plan, it’s a good idea to let new employees know how you plan to get them up to speed. Something as simple as “The first couple of weeks you’ll be working with Bill on the Ajax project.”

You can flesh that out as you see fit – including technical training or other approaches, if appropriate.

Just try to give the new employee the feeling that he or she won’t be pushed out to sea alone or without help or guidance.