Pittsburgh is blessed with a rich concentration of business movers at every point along the achievement spectrum, from fast growth new ventures like Red Square Systems to storied entities like Parker/Hunter. Both companies' top executives were named Pacesetters for 2003.
This year's Pacesetters represent a varied group, leading companies in fields ranging from financial services to law to information technology. Some head small companies, while others are in the leadership of very large businesses. There are Pacesetters with companies that have been in business more than a century, and others who are the founders of ventures only a few years old.
What do the 2003 Pacesetters have in common? They demonstrate a genuine commitment to their employees, their customers, their professions and their industries. Some encountered enormous personal or business challenges and overcame them. Most have shown resilience in dealing with change in their company or industry.
And none are so busy that they neglect to spend time aiding causes outside their pure business interests.
All of this year's Pacesetters make substantial contributions in time and talent to charitable causes, and some have performed civic service for many years. Their efforts have contributed to the raising of millions of dollars for charities, and many have chaired or lent their names to fund-raising efforts on behalf of numerous nonprofit organizations.
What is encouraging about many of the Pacesetters and about the region's businesses in general is the strength represented by the breadth and depth of companies in the middle of the pack. The power and prestige of the large public companies, the ones with long legacies like Alcoa, PNC and PPG, are enviable in any business community.
Companies like Henderson Brothers and CLG Inc., headed by 2003 Pacesetters, are in aggregate an asset that measures up favorably when compared to the clout and contributions of the big companies. The 12 companies and organizations represented by this year's Pacesetters employ nearly 4,000 people.
To put the economic impact of a company headed by one of this year's Pacesetters in perspective, consider Kings Family Restaurants: The 35-unit restaurant chain employs more than 3,000 directly and provides additional employment for perhaps hundreds more through its purveyors, vendors and service providers.
For Hartley King, the chain's founder and president, the entrepreneurial zeal remains strong. After 35 years in the business, King is pursuing the development of several Red Robin casual restaurants in the region.
Or ponder the impact of a company like no wall productions inc., which employs only a handful but engages thousands of man-hours each year in the form of the work of tradespeople and professional services providers as it plans and completes its ambitious renovation projects.
We want to thank all who nominated candidates for the 2003 Pacesetters. We think this year's group of nominees in every way meets the same high standards as those selected the last three years. We offer our congratulations to all, and look forward to another fine group to select from in 2004.