Pennsylvania SBDC Announces Award Recipients at Annual Small Business Growth Forum

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SBDC consultants and Centers awarded for supporting small business growth and economic development during annual event in Scranton.

Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Logo

Today, the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) announced awards honoring four staff members and nine Centers for their commitment and contributions to small business during their 2014 Pennsylvania SBDC Small Business Growth Forum held in Scranton. The awards announced today include:

SBA Nomination Award: Cora Landis, Lehigh University SBDC
This award is given to recognize successfully nominating a client for an SBA award; thus raising the profile of the Pennsylvania SBDC program. Allentown’s EcoTech Marine International has won Small Business Exporter of the Year Award for Eastern Pennsylvania and was nominated by Cora Landis of the Lehigh University SBDC. In addition to winning in their respective Pennsylvania district, they won at the SBA Region III level, beating out award nominations from the states of Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC and West Virginia.

Innovation Award: Penn State SBDC
This award recognizes innovation that has led to the advancement of a program or initiative within the Pennsylvania SBDC network. Penn State SBDC accepted this award for the work they have done with Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). In 2013, Penn State SBDC was recognized nationally for registering the highest number of events leading up to GEW through video address by GEW President Jonathan Ortmans.

Service Award: Business Continuity & Survival Services Team
Six Centers that are part of the SBDC’s Business Continuity & Survival Services Team were awarded to recognize their service to the entire Pennsylvania SBDC network with the Service Award. This team received funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to advise small firms on business disruption and continuity planning to help them prepare for future business interruptions. The team has strengthened the network’s capacity in this specialized area to sustain these important business services.

Targeted Service Award: Amy Keth, Clarion University SBDC
This award is given to recognize service to the entire network in a targeted service area. This year, Amy Keth of the Clarion University SBDC received the award for her work developing a Shale Resource Guide for the Pennsylvania SBDC network. This guide was shared with the network’s shale team and has assisted SBDC consultants in staying up-to-date in this growing industry.

Creative Funding Award: Duquesne University SBDC
The Duquesne University SBDC was given the Creative Funding award to recognize their success in new and creative ways to raise program funding. This year, the SBDC has successfully secured three new sources of funds to continue to serve small business owners in the Pittsburgh region. They are recipients of a U.S. Small Business Administration Portable Assistance grant, funds from a U.S. Commercial Service Market Development Cooperator Program, and also received funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s a SBA Growth Fund Accelerator.

Capital Investment Award (Number of Investments): Pearl Wang-Herrera, Temple University SBDC
Helping small businesses obtain financing is one of the core services provided by the SBDC. This award is given to the SBDC business consultant with the highest number of client investments in the Pennsylvania SBDC network for the last full program year. Pearl Wang-Herrera of the Temple University SBDC secured 44 approved investments for her clients in 2013, making her this year’s award recipient.

Capital Investment Award (Dollar Amount of Investments): Jill Newcomer, Gannon University SBDC
Helping companies secure capital investment is one of the core services provided by the SBDC. This award is given to the SBDC business consultant with the largest total dollar amount of client investment in the Pennsylvania SBDC network for the last full program year. Jill Newcomer of the Gannon University SBDC recorded a total of $11.2 million dollars in capital with the businesses she served in 2013, pushing her to the top of the list to win the award.

Happy Client Award: Lock Haven University SBDC
This award was given to the Lock Haven University SBDC for receiving the highest client satisfaction rating from the most pre-venture and established clients as reported on the annual client questionnaire. The annual client questionnaire is provided to all SBDC clients when they complete their engagement to measure impacts and outcomes of the program. Lock Haven University scored a 93 percent on this metric, winning them the award.

Center Goal Achievement Award: Shippensburg University SBDC and Widener University SBDC
This award is granted to the center (or centers) that met or exceeded all key performance goals for the last full program year. Metrics recorded for goal tracking include number of small businesses served, hours spent working with small businesses, educational programs offered, capital acquisition for small business clients, businesses started and purchased, business sales increases, jobs impacted, client support letters written, and client satisfaction. Two Centers in the network exceeded all nine of their goals in each of these categories, the Shippensburg University SBDC and the Widener University SBDC.

The Pennsylvania SBDC annual Small Business Growth Forum hosts more than one hundred SBDC employees and representatives from economic development organizations from across the Commonwealth. This three-day event provides opportunities for networking as well as professional development and features panel discussions led by expert speakers, seasoned SBDC consultants and industry professionals.

Sponsors of the event included Palo Alto Software, VISA, Riviera Finance, Holsinger, and Pennsylvania Credit Union Association.

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About Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
The Pennsylvania SBDC network is the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses. SBDC consultants work with entrepreneurs in confidential, individualized sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan, investigating funding opportunities, and much more. The SBDC program is a public/private partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and 18 universities and colleges across the Commonwealth. For more information on the Pennsylvania SBDC services and impact, please visit http://www.pasbdc.org.

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Kelly Cofrancisco
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