Women's History Month

Women's History Month 2019

Y108 is celebrating the many achievements of women and their vast strides made during Women’s History Month in March!

This week we are honoring Julie Orell Smith, President & CEO of RJW Media.

Julie Orell Smith,   President & CEO – RJW Media

For more than 40 years, Julie Orell Smith has had a consistent presence in the Pittsburgh media community.  What makes her most unique is her experience in three major sides of the advertising business--broadcast, agency, and client—all of which gives her a broad background in everything from Media Planning to Media Buying to Account Management.

Born and raised in Braddock, Pa., and armed with a degree in Business Management, Julie began her career in 1977 at WFFM (WLOA) Radio (currently known as BOB-FM) and then continued onto WTAE-TV in 1978, where she spent five years in programming and sales.   Julie then moved to the other side of the desk working for 15 years in media at DDF&M (Dudreck DePaul Ficco & Morgan) Advertising, where she attained the position of Senior Vice President, Director of Media.   An opportunity to work directly for the client then led her to the position of Advertising Director for SUPERVALU-Pittsburgh division.

But Media is Julie’s true love, and in 1998, she joined RJW Media, as principal, was named President in 2005 and took ownership as CEO in 2011. 

RJW Media is prominent media planning/buying agency with a broad base of local, regional and national accounts.  Based in Pittsburgh, PA for 34 years, RJW Media is female-owned and
WBENC/WOSB certified.

PREVIOUS HONOREES

We are honoring Gwen Lewis, Co-President and Founding Director of Online Operations at the Ron Lewis Automotive Group.  Today, the Ron Lewis Automotive Group has 8 franchises in 4 locations and employs over 300 people.

Gwen Lewis, Co-President and Founding Director of Online Operations at the Ron Lewis Automotive Group

Gwen is Co-President and Founding Director of Online Operations at the Ron Lewis Automotive Group.  After spending several years working in International Public Relations, Gwen returned home to Pittsburgh to join her family business in 2000.  Since then, she has led the company through a re-branding, opened the “Souped Up Garage” for Jeep and truck customizations, and launched Ron Lewis’ On-Demand Test Drive and Trade Appraisal Services, including their Buy Online initiative in 2016.  “We have had Buy Online orders completed from initial click to key delivery in about an hour! We were one of the first dealers to have the software and infrastructure in place to fulfill these orders quickly, and according to the client’s preference.” Today, the Ron Lewis Automotive Group has 8 franchises in 4 locations and employs over 300 people.  Ron Lewis Automotive Group is proud to support local youth and family-focused charities including Christopher’s Kitchen, Tiger Pause, The Pathfinder School, Variety Children’s Charity and the Autism Society to name a few. 

Often before the sun comes up, Gwen can be found rowing on the Allegheny River, training with her teammates from the Three Rivers Rowing Association.  Shiny medals aside, she is most proud to be Mom of her three children. “Being a working Mom has trained me well to multi-task, work smart, creatively plan and get it done – all with the goal of spending quality time with my kids.”

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We are honoring Michele Walters, owner of Closet Factory Pittsburgh, with her daughter Lacey Walters.  Michele became an Entrepeneur 25 years ago and most recently brought Closet Factory to Pittsburgh. 

Closet Factory Michelle Walters and Lacey Walters

Michelle Walters
Michelle started Liberty Closet Systems, INC. in 1993 and most recently brought Closet Factory to Pittsburgh in 2013. “ I began as a “hands-on, one-woman-operation.’ Michelle did it all from Installation to the design process and has been able to grow her company and now has the help of her 18 wonderful employees. She is the president of a company that has thrived in Pittsburgh for over 25 years with the help of her hard-work, dedication and willingness to be tough when need be. Closet Factory Pittsburgh works with both the homeowners and contractors to design and create the perfect space for you!

Lacey Walters
Lacey is the Sales Manager and Senior Design Consultant. She has been with Closet Factory since May, 2013. She has a degree in Business Management from The Pennsylvania State University, Smeal College of Business.  However, she has been involved in the closet industry for many years through our partner company, Liberty Closet Systems, Inc. Lacey’s education and personal experience help her to create attractive, functional spaces, and help her to connect with each client.  In our line of work, each situation is unique, and she strives to give every client the best experience possible, and make sure they work closely together from beginning to end. With her knowledge, and the quality work of our skilled craftsmen, the organizational solutions for every situation are endless!

Be sure to thank the women in your life this month!

In honor of Woman’s History Month, join Elista at the Pittsburgh Bottleshop Café on Wednesday, April 17th from 7-9p for a fun celebratory happy hour!

Each Wednesday in March around 8:30am, Y'd Awake will be taking your phone calls to give a shout out to a special woman in your life!

Be sure to thank the women in your life this month!