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TOP 25 WOMEN Better to decide and fail than to stay cautious

A knack for design and happy customers

Metz

M

Hobbs

aureen Metz firmly believes that it’s better to make decisions and mistakes than to never live life or take chances. She is vice president of marketing at Metz Culinary Management, an on-site food service provider in 17 states. The company also holds 11 TGI Friday franchises in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; a Ruth’s Chris Steak House franchise; a Wolfgang Puck Express franchise, both in Wilkes-Barre; and it is the owner and operator of Lucky’s Sporthouse, Wilkes-Barre. Metz is responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing the production of public relations, media, branding, creative, promotions and advertising for both the restaurant division and Metz Culinary Management. While trying to ensure the businesses’ messages are distributed across the right channels and to targeted audiences, she must also communicate strategies to employees effectively. Generating revenue by increasing sales through successful marketing for the entire organization is one of her most significant responsibilities. Upon graduating from college, she was employed at the TGIF in Wilkes-Barre when a vendor offered her a job in his own food-service equipment and supply company. After two years, Metz was offered a position as a pharmaceutical sales rep for Aventis Pasteur and was soon promoted to a market manager for a new spin-off business,

VaccessHealth. After a few years, however, she realized it wasn’t for her. When her father asked her to help part-time in the marketing department of the family business she has been around since childhood, she took it. “To me a mentor is someone who cares for you, believes in you and encourages you……that’s also known as my family!” she says. She attributes her success and that of the company to the team members who are fully engaged and dedicated to the goals and values of the company. “Hard work and dedication have always been part of my life. I have seen my father and my entire family and team members work so hard to start and continue to build Metz Culinary Management, they lead me by example,” she says. Each day, she loves being able to take a few minutes to herself, to relax and reflect on the day as she takes her two dogs, Roxy and Popeye, for walks . She also has another business Mo Photos!, wedding, family and child photography, which has been a passion of hers for many years. She has been awarded the Top 40 under 40 Business Executives in NEPA from Times Leader; and is a member of the boards of the Wyoming Valley Children Association and Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce; and the Friday’s Franchise Marketing Advisory Committee.

L

ora Hobbs owns Live With It, a small,tidy gift shop in Peckville which she established 25 years ago. When she started, she had a Marywood University degree, a secondary education teaching certificate, substantial experience in restaurant and catering management, two adorable young daughters and a husband, who — although supportive — did not want to be involved. Hobbs has an uncanny eye for color and design which she incorporates into a tireless work ethic and an unquenchable desire to continuously improve the quality of life of her family. The concept for her business was simple — service and gifts. She envisioned all kinds of gifts — for the home, the table, the office and the bride; gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and a new baby; gifts for Christmas, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter; both inexpensive gifts and expensive gifts — but every gift is wrapped and delivered, as needed, free of charge. “Live With It patrons walk out the door, proud as a peacock, with a wonderfully wrapped and always reasonably priced gift,” she says. In 2014, a second Live With It gift store opened in Pittston. The new store is managed by Lora’s oldest daughter, Alicia (Hobbs) Musial. Alicia, having worked shoulder-to-shoulder with her mother for many years in Peckville, brings a much welcomed freshness to Live With It.

Alicia spent years in New York City, working with fashion designers and the Theory brand, so she brought many good ideas to the store. Although the new store in Pittston has its own distinctive look and character, it is natural out-growth of the first flourishing business in Peckville. Presently, Live With It continues to be regarded as northeastern Pennsylvania’s premier gift store and is consistently voted “Best Bridal Registry” location. The shops feature an amazing array of both classic and new/trendy dinnerware patterns and glassware/ flatware coordinates by industry giants, as well as by boutique comers, which are always beautifully shown. In addition, seasonal gift displays for spring, summer and the holidays are spectacular. Hobbs lives by the philosophy, “The love that you take is equal to the love you make.” She attributes her success to hard work and great support from her reluctant-to-be-involved husband, who now helps grow the business; her children, Alicia and Letizia; her mother, Lil; and brother, Frank. Her favorite part of the day is morning coffee and conversation with her husband. “We are never idle, never stale, always up to date and usually available — on premises seven days a week and some evenings to assist with the simplest birthday gift or to help select a complex suite of corporate gifts. In addition, we love to work with and register our brides. It keeps us young.”

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Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal March 2015  

March 2015