QVC's "resident foodie" has hosted more than 8,000 hours of live television. In the Kitchen with David airs for four hours at a time, completely unscripted. He likes to create a family atmosphere and encourage dialogue in live calls with viewers.
Venable thinks one reason viewers connect with him is that he is "not a trained chef. I'm a home cook, though I think a pretty good one."
He debuts two recipes each week and presents new products, "not so much showing where the 'on' switch is. It's taking that product and placing it in the customer's life … helping them understand how this works in their home and cooking experience."
Even after 25 years, he loves it. Recently, a caller shared that she'd lost her mother, and that they used to watch his show every week, time they could spend together forgetting about her illness and sharing something they loved. She said, "You need to know how much you touched her life."
Said Venable, "That was incredibly special."
FUN FACT: He loves Christmas and has a collection of more than 500 hand-painted glass Christmas ornaments. "I just get lost in them every Christmas."
Cheryl Butman, registered nurse, Cancer Treatment Centers of America
A cardiac nurse for 30 years, Butman changed course after surviving cancer, a lymphoma. As a nurse navigator, she coordinates each of her patients' care at the Philadelphia facility, inpatient and outpatient. She does phone assessments, educates and helps with symptom management.
She feels her experience with cancer helped her empathize. "There are a few things I can relate to and help our patients with. Especially hair loss. That's harder than you realize." What she loves about her job is that she has the time and the resources she needs to help others. "It just feels good to be able to help in their care and watch them get what they need."
FUN FACT: Butman loves equestrian sports. In fact, her cancer was discovered after she fell off a horse during a riding lesson. One day while she was in treatment, "my neighbor drove me to the barn to feed the horse that threw me. I really think that horse saved my life."
Stephanie Falcone, regional account executive, Open Systems Healthcare
Open Systems provides home care for people with health challenges. Falcone oversees several regional offices, helping employees meet customers' needs and making sure the offices hit their financial goals. She juggles a lot.
"I believe in the company and our vision and our focus. … Our company is very, very close. Even if you are in a different branch or a different state, the culture is that if one of us wins, we all win."
Open Systems believes "in celebrating together." They have holiday parties and team-building contests, including a Fitbit challenge "that gets really intense."
She started with Open Systems four years ago as a recruiter. "I took the risk to basically start my career over again" because the company gives its employees room to grow. "Here we not only believe that and preach that, we live that. We believe in creating opportunities for our employees."
FUN FACT: She taught herself to play the harmonica.
Julio Vinciguerra, managing associate, MassMutual Greater Philadelphia
Vinciguerra helps people realize their financial goals. He and his wife came to this country from Venezuela in 2011. Changes in the government induced them to leave their home and his business. So they know how difficult it can be to assimilate into a new country.
MassMutual "is very unique in that in that diversity and inclusion is part of its DNA," Vinciguerra said. He would like to build a team of Latino financial professionals who can interact with families in their own language. "They came to this country looking for the American Dream. And I'm helping them accomplish that."
FUN FACT: Vinciguerra and his wife have twin toddler daughters. When he can, he plays soccer.
Dawndrea Strohler, marketing specialist, Tyndale Company
When a company writes to Tyndale USA for information about its flame-resistant clothing, Strohler is on the team that writes back. She also writes proposals for custom apparel and contributes to blog content, email blasts and customer newsletters.
"Being able to do what I enjoy – writing – is great," she said. "But it's so much more rewarding to be able to do it for a family-owned business that's really proud of protecting people. Tyndale's pride and passion emanates throughout the entire company, creating a culture that is inspiring and makes me love my job even more."
Plus, "we're making a difference in people's lives every day. If they have the protective clothing they need, they're able to go home at night and be with their families."
FUN FACT: Strohler is a Flyers fan who rarely misses a game – mostly on TV, but a few times each season at the Wells Fargo Center.
Vinny Marino, EDA Contractors
Marino probably has sawdust in his blood. His grandfather was a union carpenter. His uncles were union carpenters. And for 20 years, Marino has been a union carpenter. (His father broke ranks and was a Teamster.)
As a foreman with EDA Contractors in Bensalem, he and his co-workers install metal panels – it involves wood framing – on the outside of buildings. Schools, hospitals, high-rises.
"The job is hard. There's no doubt about it," he said. "We're outside in the freezing cold. We're in the blazing sun. The work itself is very demanding."
So what's to like? "It's what's backing that up that makes it great," said Marino. "You have this company that puts all this effort into having great relationships and focuses on teamwork and has a great support system."
When new guys come onto the job, Marino tells them, "This is the best company you'll ever work for."
FUN FACT: Although, from a carpentry standpoint, he has every tool and toy imaginable, when he's working on his house, he tends to work by hand. "I'm not in a rush. I enjoy it." He's also an "outdoor nut" whose dream is to build a cabin in the woods some day and live off the grid.
Tiago Lopes, field manager, Nolan Painting
Lopes likes to paint houses. But since starting at Nolan in 2011, he's moved beyond that. He became a crew leader, and now he's a field manager, overseeing even more people.
He enjoys "the customer service part of it. … It's a pleasure to help people. They have a project they want to do. It's always very rewarding when you finish a project and you see the happiness."
He and his wife moved to the U.S. from Portugal in 2006, and he likes that Nolan offers career advancement, especially now that the couple have a son. "Management provides opportunities for you to keep growing," he said.
But every now and then, he goes out with a crew and picks up a paint brush. "I always say I'm happy that there's so many people who hate painting because that's why I still have a job."
FUN FACT: Futbol has been his passion since childhood. "That's all I did growing up. I would find a soccer ball, no matter where, and I played soccer all day." Now, he's in a Philadelphia league, and "every chance I get, I'll be watching my Portuguese league."
Tamiesha Stevens, administrative coordinator, Hardenbergh Insurance
When someone's phone doesn't work, when there's an IT problem, when the internet goes down, the staff at Hardenbergh call Stevens. She's the liaison between the phone company, the tech company, the internet provider.
"The staff here are my clients, basically. They're serving the insurance clients. My job is to make sure I assist them with their needs," she said. "My desk kind of winds up being a help desk. Everyone has my number. They all know where I sit."
Stevens was an event planner for eight years, at one point helping organize a week-long conference for 20,000 people. "I think that really trained me for paying attention to detail."
Her favorite part of the job "is that I work with every single person in this agency. I know everyone by name. … It's nice to have a genuine connection. Most people here have met my daughter."
That genuine vibe starts at the top with company president Jon Sharp, she said. "Even though the company is growing, he still gets in touch with each person. When you have leadership like that, it's much easier for those under it to fall into those same habits."