Mae Aronovitz Ciociola, 54, businesswoman

Mae A. Ciociola with her Great Pyrenees dog, Sully, just one of her pets.
Mae A. Ciociola with her Great Pyrenees dog, Sully, just one of her pets.
Posted: June 19, 2014

Mae Aronovitz Ciociola, 54, of Rydal, a businesswoman and animal lover, died Friday, June 13, of glioblastoma multiforme, a brain cancer, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

Mrs. Ciociola was president and chief executive officer of API Scientific, a division of Aronovitz Products Inc., in Jenkintown. The firm supplies equipment to big food and beverage companies for testing the quality of products.

Reshaping and revitalizing a corporation begun by her family in 1979, Mrs. Ciociola launched API Scientific as a home business in 1998 and then established an office on Old York Road. Business was so brisk that she was about to expand the staff of seven employees last year when she became ill.

"She was ready to start hiring salespeople," said her husband, Mel Ciociola. "She had more clients than she had capacity" to serve.

The laboratory supplies she marketed are used to test the quality of products such as beer, soda, and orange juice so that each batch is the same.

Some of her clients were PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Yuengling, Labatt, and Nestlé Waters. "She worked very long hours," her husband said. "As business people go, she was a real powerhouse."

She was a member of the International Society of Beverage Technologists.

Before building her company, Mrs. Ciociola worked in the broadcast business as a segment producer for Fox TV in Hollywood and Barbour-Langley Productions in Los Angeles. She also was a producer and on-air talent for ABC News in Anchorage, Alaska.

An Elkins Park native, Mrs. Ciociola graduated from Abington Senior High School and was a 1982 graduate of Beaver College, now Arcadia University. She became a licensed real estate broker in 1988, while in her 20s. She worked as a commercial and residential agent for Triangle Realty Associates and as a leasing agent for Tower Investments, both in Philadelphia.

She married Mel Ciociola in March 2004. They had met at a New Year's party in 1980, but went their separate ways. A family member encouraged them to reconnect in 2003; after that, they were inseparable.

Surviving, besides her husband, are her parents, Paul and Barbara Aronovitz; stepdaughters Heather Ciociola and Shana Ciociola Boniface; and stepsons Ryan Ciociola and Alex Ciociola.

Services were Sunday.

Mrs. Ciociola contributed to dozens of charities for animals throughout America. She was fond of her Great Pyrenees dog, Sully; cats Cleo, Sugar Rae, and Morgan; and horse, Lulu.

Contributions may be made to the Bucks County SPCA, Box 277, Lahaska, Pa. 18931, or to glioblastoma multiforme brain-tumor research at the University of Pennsylvania via www.pennmedicine.org/giving.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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