Meet Vanessa

Vanessa Dodds, CEO/President of Connections 4 Success,  is a business strategy, professional development, and workforce development expert with over sixteen years’ expertise and experience across corporate and small businesses, trades, public sector, and nonprofit industries. She is an accomplished leader within the Greater Pittsburgh region with a proven track record of helping organizations grow. She serves on the Carlow University’s Alumni Advisory Council, is a National Small Business Leadership Council member, and is the past President of the Rotary E-Club of District 7305.  

Most recently, Vanessa received the Pittsburgh Business Times 2020 Women of Influence award.  Her business acumen, leadership,  experience, and capability to solve problems across multiple industries are what make her methods and insights so valuable. Vanessa helps corporate industries tackle important issues like accountability, productivity, and workforce development.

Vanessa has successfully implemented business alignment, process and procedure implementation, process management, strategic growth objectives, fiscal and operational management, program development, and organizational training for numerous award-winning for-profit and nonprofit organizations in the Greater Pittsburgh region. Her work has been imperative to these companies’ ability to create business growth, sustainability, skills development, and methods of successfully pipelining talent into their businesses. 

She has been actively shaping workforce solutions for the Greater Pittsburgh, Allegheny County region for over a decade. From 2014 to 2015, she served on Mayor Bill Peduto’s Workforce Development Taskforce, combined with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s office to create a more robust skills training program for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County’s youth and young adults. Vanessa was the primary curriculum creator of the current Learn and Earn Program being used today. This program was created to be a three-tier training program enabling young adults to advance into higher level internships as they gained industry and soft skills. Her work has been critical in helping to address the 80,000-labor shortage occurring in our region by 2025. 

Vanessa’s leadership as CEO, innovator, and owner of Connections 4 Success has enabled her team to implement successful business alignment, innovative strategies, growth opportunities, and efficiency for corporate, small businesses, and nonprofits at the forefront of their industries. 


Vanessa Dodds

The Connections 4 Success team's vast experience in the corporate, small business, nonprofit, and public sector industries are what makes their methods, knowledge, and insights so valuable. Here at Connections 4 Success, we provide businesses with the ability align their processes, optimize organizational revenue, increase employee performance, and innovation opportunities. While also improving efficiency and productivity, increasing accountability, provide skills training for today’s careers, as well as, implement professional development and leadership succession planning.

Vanessa and her team are continually researching and learning best-practice strategies to best serve clientele.  Vanessa is known to reference this quote quite often:

Once you stop learning, you start dying.

~ Albert Einstein

Because of Vanessa’s “think-outside-the-box” mindset, she developed a creative while effective 4-step evaluation process to identify businesses organizational development and growth strategy needs: SORTA [Strengths, Opportunities, Reactive Response, Threats, Active Response] Process. Because, you “sorta” have this business growth, strategy, and plan figured out, right?

We did say Vanessa has a high-energy personality but did we mention she thrives on the opportunity to revive enjoyment, passion, team engagement, and job satisfaction? Vanessa believes you should enjoy your profession while excelling to the next level of leadership and opportunity.

  • Business Strategies
  • Organizational Training Programs
  • Workforce Development

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