Region's small business administrator reflects on four years of helping economy grow

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20 Under 40: JenniferDessoye

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Dr. Jennifer Dessoye is assistant professor of occupational therapy at Misericordia University and owner of Bright Beginnings Early Learning Academy (BBELA). Discontent with the early education curriculum and understanding of human development and neurolo (read more)

20 Under 40: Amy Hlavaty Belcher

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Amy Hlavaty Belcher, 39, owner and artistic director of Abrabesque Academy of Dancing, believes that for those who have been given much, much is expected. “I just try hard to do my best,” she said. I have been blessed with many opportunities and many gift (read more)

20 Under 40: Christopher Hetro

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Chris Hetro, 33, works hard and plays hard. “A strong work ethic is important, but finding balance outside of work is important because life is too short and you need to enjoy it,” he explained. As an electrical engineer and project manager at Borton-Laws (read more)

20 Under 40: C. David Pedri

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For attorney C. David Pedri, 37, it’s all about a combination of qualities that contribute to success. “My philosophy is simple: be open and honest, treat people the way you would want to be treated, with respect, and work hard to attain your dreams. The (read more)

20 Under 40: Ed Frable

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Ed Frable, 28, believes “if I work hard and stick to my word, good things will happen. My crew will not be deterred. We will re-evaluate our game plan and not give up until the job is complete,” explained Frable, the owner/operator of Ed Frable Constructi (read more)

20 Under 40: William H. Bender II

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William H. Bender II, CFP, CIMA, CRPC, loves what he does. “I’m lucky. I come to work every day excited to help the people and institutions we work with,” explained Bender, 34, first vice president at Bender Wealth Management Group, Merrill Lynch. The fam (read more)

20 Under 40: Angelo Venditti

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Angelo Venditti, 38, heard a call to the helping professions early on. Geisinger Northeast’s chief nursing officer answer was to volunteer for his local fire company. After high school, he became a paramedic, then enrolled in nursing school. Three years a (read more)

20 Under 40: Donald Mammano

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At 20, Donald Mammano began his own company, while attending the University of Scranton. Mammano, now 33, and president of DFM Properties, recalls, as a youngster, holding a flashlight while his father fixed the kitchen sink. “From that point on I was fas (read more)

20 Under 40: William J. Fennie III

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William J. Fennie III, 27, is always knocking on the proverbial door, because he knows one day, one will open. As an investment specialist with Integrated Capital Management (iCM) he cannot take “no” for an answer. “I make cold calls every day to invite f (read more)

20 Under 40: Marcus Magyar

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As an advisor at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors, Marcus N. Magyar, CFP, 30, provides comprehensive wealth management and investment portfolio services to business owners, executives, families and high-net worth individuals. His multi-disciplinary team of pro (read more)

20 Under 40: Heather Davis

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Heather M. Davis, 33, director of marketing and communication, is responsible for creating, overseeing and implementing a strategic marketing and comprehensive communications plan for The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC). She is also responsible for pr (read more)

20 Under 40: Alexandria Duffney

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Alexandria Duffney, 30, is competitive by nature and loves a good challenge. These qualities have led her to her position as associate director of graduate admission at Wilkes University. Here she works with prospective students interested in enrolling in (read more)

20 Under 40: John Culkin

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John Culkin’s tenets inform: “Less haste equal more speed; the same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg, it is all about what you are made of, not the circumstances surrounding you; and don’t ask someone to walk a mile in your shoes, bef (read more)

20 Under 40: Conor O'Brien

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“What could be worse than getting to the end of your life and realizing you hadn’t lived it,” mused Conor O’Brien.” As co-founder and executive director of the Scranton Fringe Festival, O’Brien, 25, is responsible for leading the development of the overal (read more)

20 Under 40: Jessica Siegfried

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Jessica Siegfried, 38, is senior designer with BlackOut Design Inc., where she is responsible for all creative design at the full-service agency, from traditional branding and print to collateral and front end web design. “I’ve always had an interest in t (read more)

20 Under 40: David Johns

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David Johns’ career path has been shaped by his diverse experiences. As director of structural engineering at Greenman-Pedersen Inc., Moosic, Johns, 39, ensures that his engineering and consultant teams provide clients with their best effort. “We complete (read more)

20 Under 40: Robyn Jones

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Robyn Jones, 38, president of ReferLocal LLC, has learned just as many lessons from her business successes as she’s had from her failures — and she believes it’s important to share that knowledge with her employees. After graduating from American Universi (read more)

20 Under 40: Nisha Arora

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Nisha Arora, 36, tries to be the best version of herself every day. As general counsel for ERA One Source Realty Inc., she realized she cannot control other’s behavior so “I try to focus on myself and how I can be better,” she explained. Arora’s responsib (read more)

20 Under 40: Justin Sandy

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Starting at a young age in Hazleton, Justin C. Sandy, 33, found a passion for running. He became a member then a coach for Misericordia University’s cross country and track and field programs. “It was at Misericordia that I also garnered the profound sati (read more)

20 Under 40: Dr. Ariane Conaboy

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As a doctor of internal medicine at Physicians Health Alliance, Dr. Ariane M. Conaboy, 34, realizes the importance of human life and how fragile it can be at times. Conaboy graduated from Scranton Prep and the University of Scranton with a double major in (read more)

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Olson-Urtecho

By Natalia Olson-Urtecho

The new year is a time of reflection for us all. For the180 Small Business Administration (SBA) offices, SCORE chapters, business development centers and other SBA resources I oversee in SBA’s mid-Atlantic region and me, this is an especially poignant time as I say goodbye to the many wonderful small business advocates and entrepreneurs I’ve met during my tenure as President Obama’s appointee to lead business development here.

In these four-plus years, I’ve put more than 50,000 miles on my personal vehicle and untold more in plane, rental car and rail miles to visit as many regional partners and small business owners as I possibly could. My goal was to learn from each one, what we were doing right, what we were doing wrong and what we weren’t doing at all to help them grow our economy. Each story of entrepreneurs and partners ring of a conviction to make a better life for families and communities and I’ve learned so much from each encounter.

Recognized as SBA’s Eastern Pa., Mid-Atlantic Region and National 2013 Small Business Exporter of the Year, Zeigler Bros. of East Berlin, PA, is in its third generation of family-owned leadership. The company, founded in 1935, continues to develop new and innovative technologies for specialty feed, focusing on aquaculture, pet, zoo and laboratory animal feed for bio-medical research.

Zeigler Bros. Inc. has relied on SBA and the Kutztown Small Business Development Center for more than 20 years for assistance in areas as diverse as trade issues to export finance, market analysis and even document translation. The firm manufactures more than 300 products and exports to over 40 countries around the world.

Funding through SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant helped the company study the nutritional requirements of newly-hatched marine finfish while exploring creative manufacturing methods for live feeds.

SBA plays an important role as the coordinating agency for the SBIR program, through which we direct implementation of 11 agencies’ programs, review their progress and report annually to Congress. SBA is also the information link to SBIR. SBA collects solicitation information from all participating agencies and publishes it quarterly.

Ziegler Bros. is just one example of small business success in Pennsylvania. In the eastern half of the commonwealth during fiscal year 2016, SBA guaranteed 1,600 loans in excess of $565 million contributing to retention and creation of an approximate 15,588 jobs, provided training to 130 plus small business owners on new health care laws, extended 15 disaster assistance loans amounting to an estimated $1.1 million home owners and small businesses and provided training to 21,541 clients.

I’m proud of the accomplishments of the small businesses and of SBA in Pennsylvania. We are, after all, the only federal agency specifically created to help entrepreneurs get going, growing, and hiring. As I like to say, “Business is our middle name.”

Our capable and eager business and lending specialists look forward to helping you with your entrepreneurial dream in 2017.

***

Natalia Olson-Urtecho Olson-Urtecho oversaw more than 180 SBA offices, SCORE chapters, business development centers, and other resources while managing a field staff of more than 100 loan, business, community outreach specialists and support personnel. She worked with local lenders and successful firms across the region, overseeing more than $34.2 billion in federal government contracts for goods and services purchased from local entrepreneurs.

The mission of the SBA is to aid, counsel, assist and promote the interests of small businesses by providing financial, procurement and business development assistance and advocating on their behalf within the government. All SBA programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.

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