Barbara M. Stewart, a former administrator at the Veterans Administration Medical Center, died Monday, April 29, 2013 after a year-long battle with renal cell carcinoma. She was 76.
She was born Oct. 28, 1936 to Janie and Ransom Scarborough in North Philadelphia.
Stewart attended Sunday school at East Bethel Baptist Church as a child and her family said she was beloved by her teachers and her superintendent.
She attended Reynolds Elementary and Vaux Jr. High School and graduated with a business diploma from Mastbaum Vocational Technical School in Frankford.
“Early in life she began to display the virtues of hard work and getting the job done well,” her family said.
She scrubbed the old marble steps of her home and those of the elderly neighbors and received their respect at an early age. As a teen, Stewart prepared dinner after school for the family while her mother was employed. She began to work at neighborhood stores in her early teens. She was a co-op student and worked while attending school.
After graduating from high school, Stewart worked for the Fairmount Park Commission. She transferred to the Veterans Administration Medical Center for a career that spanned more than 37 years. Beginning as a ward clerk, she worked her way up to chief ward administrator, a position in which she would positively influence the lives of many of her numerous employees.
“She encouraged them to seek higher education and to apply for many job openings which she determined they could handle, despite their own reluctance. Many retired in upgraded positions, thanks to her encouragement, support and advice,” her family said.
Her family said her greatest love at the job was to support the World II veterans and make certain they received every benefit possible.
She married Golden Taylor Stewart, known as Paul, in 1959. The couple had one son.
In 1976, they joined the Holy Cross Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Joseph H. Beatty.
Stewart was former chair of the church’s trustee board and a member of the communications and resources council. She served as an usher until her illness.
After her husband died in 1985, Stewart devoted her life to her mother, church and travel. She visited a wide range of cities within the United States and abroad and especially loved going to Hawaii and Alaska. She enjoyed cruising and cruised to Europe three times.
She also traveled to France, England, Switzerland, Brussels, Tokyo, China, Thailand, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Macao and Monte Carlo.
Stewart enjoyed the Jersey Shore and owned a home there for many years where she was known for her barbecue skills. She also enjoyed old cathedrals, farmer’s markets, flea markets and exploring winding roads in addition to the theater, opera and books-on-tape.
As a young woman, Stewart was a founding member of the Club Karemba, which devoted its finances and time to the teen girls at the Stenton Child Care Center for Abused and Neglected Children.
Her family said she was a whiz in finances and kept excellent records. She managed financial records for the National Medical Association’s ob-gyn section for almost 20 years, keeping track of all financial transactions.
In addition to her husband and father, Stewart was preceded in death by her sister, Ella Ann, and brothers, Ransom and Edward.
In addition to her mother, Stewart is survived by her son, Michael; sisters, Margaret S. Edwards, Ruth Scarborough Ramsey and Wilhelmina Edwards, brother-in-law, Pierce “Ted” Ramsey; aunts, Serena Louard and Lona Outing; the Keal Sister-Cousins: Barbara, Shirley, Sylvia and Angie; nieces Sherran Thomas, Robin Barton, Kim Scarborough, Karen Scarborough, Yvonne Smith, Alfreda “ Gidget” Myers, Tonya Stewart, Caroline Brown and Kelli Scarborough; nephews, Derrick Edwards, Andre Scarborough, Peter M. Scarborough, Wendell Stewart, Sr., and Darryl Barton and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held May 11 at Pinn Memorial Baptist Church, 2251 N. 54th St. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial is in Glenwood Memorial Gardens, Broomall.
Michael George McCleary Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
After years of hard work and preparation, Annette Wilson is bringing her concept of fashion to the Philadelphia region.
Wilson is opening the doors of Sache Boutique, a shop that will specialize in high-end, contemporary clothing. The boutique will feature lines such as Tracy Reese, Hugo Boss, David Meister and Ports 1961.
A grand opening will be held May 11 from 12 to 7 p.m. at 91 Wilmington W. Chester Pike, Chadds Ford. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 12:30 p.m.
The grand opening will feature a trunk show by Ports 1961. Sache Boutique will hold the distinction of being the only retailer in the tri-state area to carry Ports 1961’s luxe collection.
The boutique’s philosophy is that a woman’s wardrobe should reflect her lifestyle and function as an extension her personality, while maintaining a contemporary and chic edge.
“When you come into my boutique you are coming not just to purchase an outfit. You are coming for an experience – an experience that you have not received from any other type of retail establishment,” said Wilson, who is a 20-year resident of Chester County.
Wilson says a combination of the distinctive lines that Sache features and its customer service will serve to set the boutique apart from others.
Wilson says she becomes emotional when she talks about the boutique.
“This has been my dream for a very long time and I’m getting emotional because it’s all coming together. I’ve been through so much to get this dream to come to pass and I just feel like I’m on top of the world right now,” said Wilson.
“This is like a baby that is being birthed.”
Wilson faced various obstacles before she was able to get her business up and running. At first things didn’t seem to be aligning for her. She had difficulty securing a space and faced health challenges.
Wilson was turned down for a business loan three times before she finally secured bank funding. She turned to Kutztown University’s Small Business Development Center where her advisor, Mark Retschler helped revamp her business plan. Last December, Wilson was approved for a Small Business Administration backed-loan for $85,000 by PNC.
Wilson had a significant amount of work to prepare for Sache’s opening.
She had to renovate what she referred to as “blank slate” into a space suitable for a boutique. She had to have new floors, dressing rooms, lighting and walls installed.
“I had a lot of work to do but I always knew how I wanted my store to look,” said Wilson.
In addition to overseeing the renovations, Wilson has been traveling to trade shows at New York to obtain clothing for the shop.
Wilson’s foray into clothing retail began when she started purchasing items and selling them out of the back of her car 13 years ago.
After realizing that she had a knack for sales, Wilson started taking business classes at West Chester University and University of Delaware’s Small Business Development Center. Back in 2002, she shared space with another retailer for a year.
Prior to opening the boutique, Wilson worked as a part time sales person in women’s fashion at Bloomingdale’s at King of Prussia Mall for the last three years. She left Bloomingdale’s in March to focus on opening Sache Boutique.
Wilco Electronics Systems, a private cable and technology company has expanded into the education sector.
Wilco has launched Knick Knack Learning – a new technology company that is piloting an affordable tablet solution within select K-8 charters schools and public schools throughout Philadelphia.
“It is starting out a tablet project pilot that will really help to bridge the educational divide with the school district through affordable mobile devices and specialized educational research and math aptitude content,” said Brigitte Daniel, executive vice president at Wilco and CEO of Knick Knack Learning.
The company’s tablet project was officially launched during an informational event held last Thursday at Independence Charter School.
“Through the partnership with University of Pennsylvania and Eisenhower Fellowships, Wilco is now continuing its long history of providing low-cost technology to underserved communities,” said Daniel.
“Knick Knack Learning will change the landscape within urban schools by offering affordable one-to-one learning devices along with researched proven educational content to help K-8 students understand math and science through a more engaged and focused manner.”
Knick Knack Learning will provide a software platform to facilitate engagement between administrators, teachers, students and parents while tracking and assessing student performance and usability.
With help from Dr. Christine Massey, director of research and education at the Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, University of Pennsylvania; Insight Learning Technology, Inc. and Jarvus Innovations, Knick Knack Learning tablets will feature specialized content that will address students’ specific educational math and science needs while aligning with current national and state specific benchmarks. The content will address achievement gaps in the classroom by using gaming software techniques to improve scores on standardized tests.
“What we’re exciting about is this really has the potential to literally put at children’s finger tips really powerful modes of learning that haven’t been in classrooms before,” Massey said in regard to the tablet project.
Independence Charter School Teacher Lynn Eckerman said that both students and teachers were excited about using the new technology in the classroom.
“As teachers we jump at any opportunity to get technology in front of students because we automatically gain their interest and motivation to work on the material (that) some of them may not necessarily be interested in,” said Eckerman.
“As teachers, we’re really excited about the differentiation that this software allows. Students will be able to work at their own pace and on the skills that to really need to be practicing.”
The tablet project is an outgrowth of an Eisenhower Fellowship that Daniel received in 2011. She traveled to Southeast Asia to learn how emerging technology could benefit the urban marketplace. The Eisenhower Fellowship Organization provided $25,000 in seed funding for the project.
The Knick Knack Learning pilot will take place at five schools including Independence Charter School, Richard Allen Preparatory Charter Academy, Pan American Academy Charter School, Global Leadership Academy and Penrose Elementary School. The pilot project, which runs now through summer 2013, will engage approximately 200 students in the fifth and sixth grades.
After the pilot project has been completed, Daniel anticipates that they will be able to offer the tablets to more schools throughout Philadelphia and beyond the city. While Knick Knack officials are still developing a pricing structure for the tablets, Daniel said they will retail at about $200 per unit.
Wilco was founded in 1977 and is now the largest privately African American owned cable provider in the Philadelphia area. A few years ago, the company decided to transition from a cable provider into a technology firm.
The Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and Verizon are gearing up for the region’s inaugural Small Business Week.
The week, which will be observed May 13-17, celebrates and recognizes the contributions of the Greater Philadelphia region’s more than 150,000 small businesses.
2013 Small Business Week will feature a series of events allowing small-business owners to gain insights to better run their business and opportunities to network.
“Small and local businesses are the foundation of our region’s economy,” said Rob Wonderling, president and CEO of the GPCC.
“The chamber is dedicated to facilitating a business-friendly climate that allows owners and entrepreneurs to grow and create jobs. We look forward to celebrating the success of the region’s small businesses throughout this week.”
The week kicks off with a workshop titled “Delivering Exceptional Customer Service” that will be held May 14 from 8 to 10 a.m. at GPCC offices, 200 South Broad Street, #700. The panel discussion will focus on the best techniques to connect with clients and deliver exceptional customer service. The workshop is free for chamber members and $35 for non-members.
A webinar titled “Defining Your Don’t Quit Attitude – For Business Owners” will be held May 15 at 2 p.m. The webinar, part of the Verizon Live Business Webinar series, will be accessible anywhere there is broadband access. Participants can register online at www.verizon.com/webinar.
A keynote event will be held May 17 from 8 to 10 a.m. at WHYY Studios, 150 North Sixth Street. Jonah Berger, author of Contagious: Why Things Catch On will deliver the week’s keynote program, “Create Contagious Content for Your Business.” Berger, a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, studies social epidemics, or how products, ideas and behaviors catch on and become popular. The registration fee for the event is $45 for chamber members and $90 for non-members.
As part of the Small Business Week celebration, Verizon “Street Team” events will be held at various locations across the city. Verizon representatives will promote the Small Business Week activities.
“We’re excited to help bring this first-ever, week-long celebration to the greater Philadelphia region to bring together small businesses in this market, provide them with resources and encourage their growth. At Verizon, many of our customers are small-business owners, and we are committed to providing the latest solutions and resources that will help advance their business,” said Tim Smith, Verizon region president of consumer and mass business markets for Pennsylvania and Delaware and member of the chamber’s executive board.
Every year since 1963, the president of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small-business owners.
To register for GPCC Small Business Week activities visit www.gpcc.com/smallbizwk.
Arthur Hopkins Jr. was a former union shop steward. He died on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. He was 85.
He was born April 29, 1928 to Arthur and Gladys Hopkins in Philadelphia. He was the oldest of three children. Hopkins attended Philadelphia public schools and subsequently earned an electrician’s license.
He worked at Burkhardt Mechanical as a supervisor and the University of Pennsylvania as a custodian and union shop steward. At the University of Pennsylvania he was instrumental in securing the presence of the Teamster’s union for the custodial staff. He worked there until he retired in 1993.
Hopkins married Frances Elizabeth Farmer on Jan. 5, 1953. From the union six children were born – Arthur Anthony, Richard Keith, Gregory Bruce, Melinda Gladys, Lawrence and Nancy.
He was a sports enthusiast and an avid bike rider. He enjoyed listening and making music and had an extensive collection of jazz music.
“He worked hard to instill in his children the importance of diligence and perseverance,” his family said. “His competitive spirit was reflected in how he lived life until he was no longer able.”
Although Hopkins could be very stern, his family said he had a playful side that was demonstrated in his yearly Christmas model train construction project.
In 2008, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and fought valiantly to maintain his independence.
“Even though the disease prevented him from communicating with us verbally, he was still able to show us when he was pleased or frustrated. His strong presence was evident even in the midst of his silence and limited mobility and his quiet strength will always be remembered,” his family said.
Hopkins was preceded in death by his parents, younger brother, William and his oldest son Anthony.
In addition to his wife of 60 years and five children, he is survived by his brother, Bernard; daughters–in-law, Nina, Tina, Ingrid; sons-in-law Alexander, Harold; grandchildren, Kevin, Faith, LaVaughn, Morgan, Lindsay, Brittany, Lauren, Kyra, Caleb, Marcellus; great grandchildren, Isis, Gregory, Hailey, Darryl, Anthony; and other relatives and friends.
Services will be held May 9 at Sharon Baptist Church, 3955 Conshohocken Ave. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Services will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Fernwood Cemetery.
Wood Funeral Home handled the arrangements.