Saturday, May 2, 2009

Techno Granny HOnored as Small Business Administrations's National Journalist of the Year

News Release
PITTSBURGH DISTRICT OFFICE U.S. Small Business Administration

Release Date: April 13, 2009 Contact: Janet Heyl (412) 395-6560, ext. 103
Release Number: 09-05/PGH

Pittsburgh “techno granny” honored as the Small Business Administration’s National Journalist of the Year

PITTSBURGH -- Her byline has never appeared in a newspaper and she’s never hosted a radio show or worked at a television station, yet Joanne Quinn Smith recently was lauded as the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 2009 Journalist of the Year.

Smith twits, blogs and hosts podcasts – embracing the new medium – to promote Pittsburgh, technology, marketing and professional networking.

Our champion began her quest by winning at the district office level when she was chosen as the Pittsburgh District’s Journalist of the Year. Then, like the other 68 district winners, her nomination was forwarded to her respective regional office, in this case Region 3, which comprises 7 districts; Delaware, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia . After becoming the regional winner, one of ten throughout the country, Quinn Smith’s package was sent to Washington, D.C. for the national competition and she was selected as the national Journalist of the Year.

Carl Knoblock, Pittsburgh SBA district director, stated that Quinn Smith’s innovation sets her apart from traditional print and broadcast journalists. “She’s not only using social networking but also strives to show persons how to use these new technologies,” he said.

Quinn Smith and nine other local small business owners and advocates will be honored at the Pittsburgh District’s May 21st awards luncheon which will be held at the Omni William Penn Hotel, downtown Pittsburgh.

Volunteerism led 59-year-old Quinn Smith into computer-based journalism. As a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Pittsburgh Chapter, Quinn Smith, a marketer and former owner of a limousine company, was delegated to promote the organization – via the web. “I hosted my first Positively Pittsburgh Live podcast in 2007 and all of the NAWBO women jumped in to listen and offer support.

According to Quinn Smith, Positively Pittsburgh Live treats listeners to stories not found in Pittsburgh’s mainstream media. Each Monday, she interviews three or four guests to tout the town.



“Its news that slips through the cracks and its all positive items about Pittsburgh,” she added. “We’ve got a roving Pittsburgher segment which is a report of what happened that was fun and Steel Town Heroes that showcases volunteers. It’s a site for and by Pittsburghers”

In two years, Quinn Smith said her show has grown to an audience of 50,000 listeners and has spawned two spinoffs – the “Techno Granny Show” and “Monday Morning Marketeer”.
“Techno Granny updates people about 21st century technology,” she explained. “And Monday Morning Marketeer provides listeners with 15 minutes of guerrilla marketing tips – all for under $100.”

“It’s great to do something positive about Pittsburgh and receive national recognition for it”, she said.

Before her podcasts go to video in July, Quinn Smith will head to Washington, D.C. for the 46th annual celebration of National Small Business Week to attend a series of galas and events as the National Journalist of the Year.

Small Business Week will feature a series of forums on Energy (Going Green), Business Financing and Social Media, designed to help entrepreneurs with current, real-world issues that impact their business. In addition, there will be a town hall forum to discuss small business concerns. Small businesses nationwide will be able to view the forums and town hall via live webcast online. Also, the Small Business Week Cyber Café, sponsored by Trend Micro, will provide free Wi-Fi to all attendees.

Additional information on National Small Business Week, including a detailed schedule and registration information, is online at

Note: For more information on the SBA’s loan programs, please contact the SBA Western Pennsylvania District Office at 412-395-6560.

The U.S. Small Business Administration – helping small businesses start, grow and succeed.

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