Business Briefs: 6/26/14

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Four area credit unions receive poor rating in study

Four Pittsburgh-area credit unions landed on an independent research group‘‍s list of problem financial institutions in the first quarter. They included CGH in New Kensington; Iron Workers, Downtown; Pittco of Pittsburgh, Downtown; and Shacog, Mt. Lebanon. Institutions earning two stars or fewer end up on BauerFinancial’‍s problem list. CGH received the lowest rating, earning zero stars. The other three credit unions received two stars. For more information visit

Endowment president elected to nonprofit chair

Grant Oliphant, president of the Downtown-based Heinz Endowments, has been elected chair of the board of directors of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The center is a nonprofit that provides data, research and programming to philanthropies. It has offices in Cambridge, Mass., and San Francisco. Mr. Oliphant has been on the center’s board since 2012. He succeeds Kathy Merchant, president of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, as chair.

Downtown corporation fires 80 workers

Downtown-based Education Management Corp. this week laid off a total of 80 workers who worked in operation and support capacities for the for-profit education company. The company, which operates the Art Institute of Pittsburgh among its schools, recently received a waiver from its lenders who agreed to give EDMC more time to address its debt load. EDMC is in the process of formulating a new five-year business plan.

Fruit, vegetable prices rise as drought continues

Fresh fruits and vegetable prices will go up an estimated 6 percent in the coming months, the federal government said, as California’s ongoing drought continues to hit price tags in grocery stores across the country.The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service reported the drought has the potential to increase food price inflation above the historical average in coming years. Although the department is sticking with its overall forecast that U.S. food prices will increase by up to 3.5 percent compared to last year, it cautioned that the cost of meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables will jump.

Social media company announces split

North Shore-based Community Elf, a digital and social media marketing firm, announced Wednesday that it was splitting from parent company, Rent Jungle, to become its own independent firm. Founded in 2011, Community Elf has grown to generate more than $1 million in annual revenue, Jon Pastor, CEO of both companies, said in a news release.

RTI International Metals hires new CFO

RTI International Metals said former Goodrich Corp. executive Michael G. McAuley will become the Moon titanium producer‘‍s CFO July 1. Current CFO Bill Hull will become chief risk officer, a new position.

General Mills Inc. reports cost-cutting measures

General Mills Inc. reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that trailed analysts’ estimates and said it began a review of its North American manufacturing and distribution network as part of a wider effort to reduce costs. The maker of Cheerios cereal said the cost-cutting plan is expected to generate pretax savings of $40 million in fiscal 2015. Revenue in the quarter ended May 25 dropped 2.9 percent to $4.28 billion.

Air France to swap business seats for coach

Air France will fit its long-haul fleet with removable business-class berths that can be swapped for economy seats in the summer when corporate travel slows. Of the 40 flat-bed business seats being installed in Air France’s Boeing Co. 777 wide-body planes, 24 can be stripped out to accommodate 60 coach-class passengers, a net gain of 36 people per flight, the Paris-based carrier said.

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