Amanda is a Pittsburgh native who graduated from Avonworth High School and spent her life growing up in the North Boroughs. She spent most of her free time in school making art and working in restaurants. After high school she attended Art Institute of Pittsburgh studying Graphic Design. After her associate degree she worked in an art department doing layout for a screen-printing company. After six months Art Institute started it’s bachelor program and she was asked if she wanted to come back to school. She accepted and graduated in 2001 with a BA in Science. She proceeded into another factory job and eventually decided to go back to restaurants after leaving the art jobs for what she thought was for good. After marrying and having her first baby she moved to Massachusetts and after a few years found a new passion in Social Media Marketing. She worked on projects like Social Media New Hampshire and Podcamp New Hampshire. She got back into designing and even learned how to design websites on her own. This led to a few jobs and eventually she found herself doing freelance. Podcamp had drawn back her passion for writing, which she hadn’t touched since high school. Amanda Blogged for a few different projects and started her own as an outlet for what ever she was working on. It didn’t have a real clear focus, just a place to talk. After 7 years in Massachusetts she decided to leave her entire life to move back to Pittsburgh. She separated from her husband and transferred jobs. She started her life over at 33.
A year has gone by that she has been home. Since then she attended 2 more Podcamp. She has found new friends and even a new love when she reconnected with an old boyfriend who became a current boyfriend. She currently lives in Dormont with him. She still works in Starbucks at night and during the day she designs signs. She is currently working on more designing as a freelance designer, painter, illustrator and launching Pittsburgh’s lifestyle magazine BOLD Pittsburgh.
Originally from a small town north of Pittsburgh, Amanda Cooney has had a pretty normal life – she wouldn’t call it boring, comfortably predictable maybe, but that’s okay with her. Greenville, Pennsylvania has only really a handful of things to do and growing up, Amanda and her friends had to be pretty creative when finding things to do to keep themselves occupied; this usually ended up in taking advantage in Video Hardware’s 5 movies for $5 for 5 days or perusing the local Wal-Mart to see what was new.
After graduating from Greenville High School, Amanda had a failed attempt at flying the nest. After 10 weeks of attending an art school east of Pittsburgh, she moved back home and enrolled at Thiel College. Initially, she felt like a failure – but soon she came to realize it was one of the best decisions she has ever made. She was able to express herself creatively through art, but also learn about how to run and manage a business, which has always been her dream. Not to mention, she met some of the best people she has ever known at that school!
Realizing that she didn’t want to stay in her hometown, she decided to take another crack at leaving the nest in 2009 and looked for jobs in the Pittsburgh area. Anxiety set in when interviewed and was offered a position – what if it didn’t work out? What if she didn’t like the job? What if she didn’t like living in Pittsburgh? After getting some good advice from her aunt, Amanda decided to take the job and if she didn’t like where her life was going, she would just call it what it was, and move back to Greenville in six months. Four years later, she is still living in the ‘Burgh and she LOVES it. Amanda currently works as an administrative assistant and earned her Masters of Business Administration from Point Park University in December 2012.
In her free time, Amanda likes sewing, drawing, painting, and baking. She also likes watching hockey and cuddling with her cat, Piglet.
Jennifer Pizzuto is known in the Twitterverse as “Snark Princess” for her glib, peanut gallery-esque sarcasm. She is a Pittsburgh native who guarantees that her blood type is “black & gold, baby.” Jen fiercely wields a BA in Creative Writing and an MS in Psychology. She is a blogger for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and has been published in several online literary magazines, including the legendary Ophelia Street. Jen maintains an adventure-themed compilation of essays on her personal forum, The Jennie Blog (www.jennieblog.typedpad.com). When she isn’t living the glamorous life of a day program instructor or barista, Jen is freelance writer and crazy cat lady in training. She lives with her two adorable kitties, Chewbacca and Magic, and likes cookies a little too much.
Steve began working at age 13 as a caddie at two local country clubs. Soon he began to work at a few local restaurants holding several positions. Then while caddying for a pair of restaurateurs he secured a position as a food runner. Not long after, he continued to follow his dream of becoming just like his idol, Tom Cruise in Cocktail, and was promoted to a bar-tending position after his 18th birthday. After he finished high school, he decided to move to Florida to work at Disney, but it did not turn out like he had planned, and moved back to Pittsburgh to work at some chain restaurants. Not long after his return to the steel city, he got the idea to move east to New Jersey, to open at the Borgata Casino and spa; that is where he found his true calling: the wine and service industry. He found what he was looking for – the feeling of being needed – when he was able to make customers satisfied. Steve then went on to enroll in wine and beer school. During those classes, he became interested in cooking and classic food training as well; as they say, food does compliment the bar, or is it the other way around??? Either way this guy can suggest to you some of he best at home recipes for food and pair it perfectly with a nice beverage. Steve is a true yinzer that can suggest the hottest place in ‘tahn to go to get the best cocktail, but is perfectly happy at his aunt’s house drinkin’ an “Arn City” on a game day. Most of what Steve has to say is total bullshit, but listen to what he says when it comes to food, beer, wine, and liquor.Those four things you shouldn’t lie about, the rest is just an option.
Annie Fowler is a native of Pittsburgh and grew up in the North Hills area. Annie currently works as an autism therapist and holds two wholly unrelated masters degrees (Early Childhood Education and Creative Writing) and one art degree too. She enjoys learning, teaching, racking up student debt, and drinking Jack Daniels in the shower. Oh, writing, she likes that too.
She currently lives in the Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh with her boyfriend and dog. She loves them both even though the dog doesn’t drink and can’t effectively discuss shows on Netflix. Annie rarely finds a brewery or distillery that she doesn’t like and is eager to tell the people of Pittsburgh what their fair city as to offer in terms of new and exciting brewery, winery, and distillery options. Cheers, slainte, salute, nazdrowie, and prost all mean the same thing in this city: have another beer ya’ jagoff.
Renee Fisher grew up in the Pittsburgh suburbs enjoying a childhood of horseback riding, baton twirling, and writing short stories. After graduating from Franklin Regional High School, she went on to pursue her love of writing through an English degree from Penn State, concentrating on both creative and technical writing. Along with her coursework, Renee enjoyed competing with the Penn State Twirling Club, working as a peer writing tutor for Penn State Learning, and interning for several online magazines, as well as spending an incredible summer semester abroad in London. After graduating in December 2013, Renee returned to her hometown and is searching for a full-time career. In the meantime, she’s making ends meet as a coffee connoisseur, freelance writer, and experienced cat cuddler. Renee is excited to boldly rediscover the ‘burgh through reporting for Bold Pittsburgh.
Missy hails from Pittsburgh via a small, rural village in Western New York where she was the average high school student – active in a variety of school clubs and events (including the school newspaper). The not-so-average part of high school was her passion for success and unbridled appetite for knowledge. With her nose to the grindstone, Missy worked hard through high school and graduated with honors.
With multiple college offerings, Missy opted for a school close enough to go home when she needed to, but far enough away that she could have autonomy and find herself. (Interestingly, she and Amanda Cooney wound up going to the same school, Thiel College.) While pursuing her degree in English Literature, she became a peer tutor for a local high school student. One thing led to another, and she met her future husband through a network of mutual friends. When he graduated and moved to Pittsburgh, she followed her heart.
It’s been twelve years, and Pittsburgh has opened a variety of doors for the small-town girl from Western New York. Although working a 9-5 as a paralegal, Missy uses her free time to pursue more creative endeavors, from a short stint as the owner/operator of a small café in Mt. Lebanon to helping organize events such as PodCamp Pittsburgh and Chachi Plays for Kids, the world is her oyster.
In what fleeting free time she has, Missy enjoys listening to music and baking, occasionally taking the time to play some video games.