Friday, July 3, 2015

Bittenbender failed sewing; Plan B worked out even better

Tuesday, June 30, 2015, 2:00 AM
Emily Bittenbender should be thanking her lucky stars that she couldn't manage to sew, because otherwise, she might have joined the ranks of hundreds of other frustrated, would-be fashion designers with lots of great ideas, but no work. Instead, she runs a general contracting construction company,... Read more

Builder's juiced by the risk in construction

Saturday, June 27, 2015, 10:45 AM
Being in the construction business requires an incredible tolerance for risk, Emily Bittenbender, founder of Bittenbender Construction LP, told me in our Executive Q&A interview. "Everything is on the line," she said. She sold one house to start the business and her current house is on the line... Read more

Making sure the kids don't wreck the business

Saturday, June 20, 2015, 10:35 AM
A. Duie Pyle, the West Chester trucking and logistics company, has already beat the odds, surviving into its third generation of family ownership. Making sure it gets to the fourth weighs heavily on the mind of Peter Latta, chief executive, chairman and grandson of the founder, he told me during our... Read more

Choosing to be union

Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 5:55 PM
Anyone reading the newspaper would assume that unions and management can't possibly get along and that the worst thing that could happen to any business would be for it to have a unionized workforce. Yet, when Jeffrey Brown founded his 11-store chain of ShopRite supermarkets, "I chose to be union."... Read more

Supermarkets: From marginal to profitable in low-income neighborhoods

Tuesday, June 16, 2015, 3:40 AM
Tight margins are a given in the supermarket business, where they historically hover around a measly one percent of sales and are based on high-margin items offsetting loss-leaders. So how does the math work in lower-income neighborhoods where cash-strapped customers bypass high-margin items in favor... Read more

The artist, the supermarket and the chicken

Saturday, June 13, 2015, 10:00 AM
"Do you think of yourself as an artist?," was the question I posed to Jeffrey Brown, founder of Brown's Super Stores, as we walked around his ShopRite store on Fox Street near Philadelphia's Nicetown neighborhood. We had just passed dozens of butterflied chickens browning on the grill, a refrigerator... Read more

Vacancies on campus? What happens when the last of the Millennials graduate

Saturday, June 6, 2015, 10:25 AM
So what happens to Campus Apartments L.L.C. when the Millennial generation graduates from college? Who is going to live in all that student housing the Philadelphia-based company has been developing in, building and managing? And what does it all mean to someone like David Adelman, CEO of the company... Read more

Born to run (a business)

Saturday, May 30, 2015, 10:35 AM
Maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise that so many of the CEOs I interview harbored an ambition to run their own companies from a young age. You think of doctors, who want to heal people. That's very specific. Or teachers, who want to, obviously, teach. Or artists driven to paint , or even reporters... Read more

Keeping franchisees happy. One hint: Don't order them to discount

Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 2:20 AM
Fried chicken, steaks, pizza, Subway hoagies, now water ice -- Jeffrey A. Moody's whole career has been in selling food, but the chief executive of Rita's Water Ice's key experience is working with a particularly high-strung group -- the owners of franchises. Tension between franchisees and the company... Read more

From janitor to manager: 'Undercover Boss' changed his life

Friday, May 22, 2015, 3:50 AM
When Kurtis Deal, then a janitor at Forman Mills' West Philadelphia store, realized that his trainee "Brad Bandini" was actually the chief executive of his company, his heart rose into his throat. Because, in between cleaning bathrooms and sweeping floors, Deal had let Bandini know what he really thought... Read more
About this blog

Jobbing covers the workplace – employment, unemployment, management, unions, legal issues, labor economics, benefits, work-life balance, workforce development, trends and profiles.

Jane M. Von Bergen writes about workplace issues for the Inquirer.

Married to a photographer she met at her college newspaper, Von Bergen has been a reporter since fourth grade, covering education, government, retailing, courts, marketing and business. “I love the specific detail that tells the story,” she says.

Reach Jane M. at jvonbergen@phillynews.com.

Jane M. Von Bergen Inquirer Staff Writer
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