She built her practice by hiring free-lancers for graphic design services and contracting with printers to produce collateral materials. She learned about the media and attended seminars, business meetings, conferences and entrepreneurial workshops. She plowed her earnings back into the business, and, at times, dipped into her savings and personal line of credit to meet payrolls.
Quite simply, Fitting bootstrapped her way into business.
Two business partnerships, four office moves and five name changes later, she heads a 20-employee full-service ad agency with capitalized billings that exceed $6 million.
With her fearless nature when it comes to business, it might have seemed natural for Fitting to jump headfirst into the dot-com boom. But the woman who characterizes herself as a "calculated risk-taker" resisted the temptation to accept equity and stock option offers in lieu of payment for services.
Instead, Fitting Group survived to set its sights on servicing companies in industries that are experiencing upheaval due to regulatory change, consolidation, rapid technological change and new competitive forces, especially in telecommunications, banking, and finance and health care.
One of 1998's 50 Best Women in Business, Fitting also won the 1999 Susan B. Anthony Award for Leadership and the 2000 Heart of Gold Award from the National Council of Jewish Women, and was a 2002 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year finalist. She was the first woman to serve on the board of Parkvale Bank, and is a member of the Pittsburgh Social Venture Partners, a recently formed organization that provides financial and human capital to nonprofits serving at-risk populations in Allegheny County. How to reach: Fitting Group, www.fittingroup.com