A request from the CEO of PowerLink

This is the first time I have written a personal message to our wonderful family and friends of PowerLink. My name is Anita Brattina and I have been wanting to write this message since April, 2015 when I agreed to step back into a leadership role with this incredible organization. Many of you know me and we have shared personal goals and business challenges. But many of you don’t know me, so let me introduce myself…

I owned a company in 1992 when PowerLink was just an idea of two of my favorite women: Barb Moore (a good friend from college at Duquesne University and an entrepreneur, now with the Mansmann Foundation) and Ilana Diamond (then a consultant with Price Waterhouse and now with Alpha Lab Gear). They got together and decided that they had a better way to help grow a business. They created an economic development engine called PowerLink. It was unlike any program that existed anywhere in the United States. And I was one of the first customers. There were two companies they approached in 1992: my little marketing company and an ad agency owned by Andrea Fitting.

My PowerLink board changed my life. This is the “Beyond Our Wildest Dreams” part of the story, almost too incredible to believe. I was in business for 7 years before I got my PowerLink board. I was struggling so much with my company… but I didn’t tell anyone… not even my husband. Then PowerLink recruited 7 strangers, executives at local companies and 1 CEO/Founder who agreed to meet with me for 12 months.

We met at four quarterly meetings in my office, and each board member met with me privately in between a few of the meetings. I kept a diary of that experience that ended up in Inc. Magazine™ (http://www.inc.com/magazine/19930601/3599.html ).  So, the end of the story is that my PowerLink board helped me get from $260K to $1M in 18 months.

I ended up growing that company to more than $6M before I sold it. Since then I have started three other companies (sold one and still own the other two). PowerLink taught me how to be a CEO and I have been eternally grateful (and pinching myself) ever since.

Last year I learned that of the 28 million companies in America, only 4% (1.4M companies) exceed $1M in sales. Powerlink companies grow by an average of 87% and 33% exceed $1M in sales! I know… amazing but true!

In October, 2016, I agreed to serve as CEO of PowerLink, after PowerLink left Seton Hill University under an exclusive license with eMagnify.  We now partner with every major university in the region along with more than 90 other organizations. We also agreed, thanks to help from the Mansmann Foundation, to become gender inclusive and provide both Custom Advisory Boards and Peer-2-Peer Advisory boards through more than 100 Referral Partners and communities in Western Pennsylvania.
In 2017, we will be creating more than 100 PowerLink boards in Western Pennsylvania. We have helped thousands of companies across the US and 300 right here in Western PA. So, we want to celebrate our 25th year of PowerLink boards with our annual “Connect the Dots” Fundraiser. We found a new venue… the penthouse of The Frick Building in downtown Pittsburgh (http://www.powerlink.biz/25th-anniversary.html). It’s called The Coterie. We hope you can attend at 5 PM on Monday, April 24, 2017.

We are inviting our more than 800 advisors, 300 alumni, 45 current and pending board owners, 100 Referral Partners and the Foundations and Family and Friends who have supported us. We will recognize and honor 26 people who have been helped “Beyond Their Wildest Dreams”, share good food and drink and connect the dots of 25 years of success stories.

Anita Brattina (2nd from the Left) with friends at a PowerLink event

Please come and share a story and the evening with us, our wonderful staff and hundreds of volunteers, alumni and current company owners. It all started in Pittsburgh. Be a part of the 25th Anniversary celebration with us. (http://www.powerlink.biz/25th-anniversary.html)


  1. Anita, Ilana and Barbara, you three are amazing women. Thank you for your gift of tome to help my fellow female entrepreneurs. Love you all! Cathy


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