Success Stories

Abigail Salisbury

When attorney Abigail Salisbury first decided to make the leap into opening her own practice in January 2015, she was already well-versed in legal matters, having worked in both international law and academia.

But she found that the CORE FOUR workshop, which she completed shortly after opening her practice in Wilkinsburg, was helpful for goal setting and creating financial objectives.

“I know I got a lot more serious about my financial goals and tracking,” she says, praising Gordon Manker, CORE FOUR workshop leader and the WCDC’s Business Development Specialist, for his encouragement.

Valisa Dutrieuille

Terina J. Hicks knows all about baking. Cheesecakes, turnovers, pies and cobblers — especially cobblers — have been her passion since she was 14, learning from her mother how to create mouthwatering perfection from scratch.

But if you asked her about quarterly taxes and bookkeeping for a small business, she was far less confident than she was in the kitchen. So when she opened her baking business, CobblerWorld, LLC, she knew she needed to brush up on her skills.

Hicks enrolled in the CORE FOUR workshop in the spring of 2016, and she gained new insights that helped her expand her business, which today includes a storefront as well as a made-to-order component.

Valisa Dutrieuille

When Valisa Dutrieuille decided to open a child care center, she knew she still had a lot to learn about running her own business — things you can’t learn in books, and aren’t necessarily concerns when you work for someone else. So, she turned to her mother, Allene Thomas, for advice.

Having operated a group home in Wilkinsburg for 19 years, Thomas was well-connected to local resources, and she was taking a training class on day care when she heard about the Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation’s CORE FOUR workshop for small businesses. She pointed Dutrieuille to the class, and attended alongside her daughter in the fall of 2015.

The following July, Dutrieuille opened Thomas Child Care Learning Academy, and she credits the knowledge she obtained during CORE FOUR with giving her the perspective and practical advice she would need to succeed.