The Story of AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District: A Proud Woman-Owned Business

Last month we were fortunate to be featured in Pittsburgh's Leading Women in Business sections of Fortune, Entrepreneur, and Bloomberg Businessweek magazines. This piece was very special to us as we looked back at how AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District has changed in the past two decades. We are honored to be affiliated with the outstanding Pittsburgh women featured the piece.

In the article, we’re proud to celebrate our mother-daughter duo Clare Meehan, President, and Sarah Meehan Parker, Chief Executive Officer. They revealed how blending family and business has helped them grow AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District from zero revenue in 2000 to a successful organization with an impressive list of clients and double-digit growth year after year.

One thing that didn’t go unnoticed in AG’s story was the journey to becoming a woman-owned business.

The Story of AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District

It’s our favorite story to tell. In 2000, Bill and Clare Meehan moved from Boston and relocated to downtown Pittsburgh to open a design and printing franchise called AlphaGraphics. They were a formidable force thanks to Bill’s C-suite experience and Clare’s robust volunteering and fundraising experience.

Over the years, our services expanded to include a full-scope of branding, design, start-to-finish production, and large-scale marketing campaigns. Achieving several milestones, AG was able to establish a strong presence in the major industries of Pittsburgh. The nonprofit sector was where it all started, making our location in downtown’s Cultural District a natural choice. Our strongest vertical markets to follow include the health care, education, the arts, corporations, and technology industries.

In 2007, AlphaGraphics officially became a woman-owned business, with Clare as President and CEO, and certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBENC). In 2013, with her father’s and brother’s encouragement, Sarah joined the family business, co-leading with her mother and becoming CEO. This major family decision further solidified female leadership at AlphaGraphics.

The family dynamic is what fosters AG’s culture of never settling and celebrating hard work ethics. Pushing each other harder than anyone else could, it leads with love and ends with continuous improvement to do better.

Pride in Having Women in Leadership

AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District is woman-owned and woman-operated. That means we don’t just talk the talk. We have invested in the talent and empowerment of the AG team, and greatly value our women in leadership. In every department of our operations, there is a female leader supporting our mission of the relentless pursuit of innovative, relevant, and agile communication solutions that drive our clients’ success.

The print industry has been a predominately male-employed and managed industry. In fact, there has been a push to encourage gender diversity in print. As overall diversity of the print and graphic design industries is increasing, we can happily report to be a part of the growing number of women-owned print businesses. As of 2017, Women Owned businesses account for 39 percent of all businesses in the U.S.

The support for women-owned businesses is an investment into a future of economic success, innovation, vibrant communities, and equality. If you’d like to learn about working with women-owned businesses, we would love to talk more about it!

In case you missed last month’s issue, you can read about the AG story as told by Clare and Sarah here.


WBENC is the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled, and operated by women in the United States. WBENC partners with 14 Regional Partner Organizations (RPOs) to provide its world-class standard of certification to women-owned businesses throughout the country. WBENC is also the nation's leading advocate of women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs. Throughout the year, WBENC provides business development opportunities for member corporations, government agencies and more than 15,000 certified women-owned businesses at events and other forums. Learn more about WBENC.

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