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SBA Names Eastern Pa. 2016 Veteran-Owned Small Business of Year

Advisory Date: 
Monday, May 2, 2016
Advisory Number: 
20160502-002
Contact: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 | robert.goza@sba.gov
Gaver Industries, Inc. dba Barker & Barker Paving introduced May 3rd

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA– U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta officially introduces Eastern Pennsylvania’s Veteran-Owned Business of the Year John J. and Gavin McGeehan, Owners, Gaver Industries, Inc. dba Barker & Barker Paving May 3, 2016 at 2 p.m. Media are invited to attend.

WHO: Antonio (Tony) Leta, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director

Charlie Dent, U.S. Congressman (PA-15)

Connor Corpora, Regional Manager of Lehigh Valley, Office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey

Marta Gabriel, Lehigh Valley Regional Manager, Office of Senator Pat Toomey

Steve DeFrank, Chief of Staff, Office of Pennsylvania Senator Lisa M. Boscola

Robert Donchez, Mayor, Bethlehem, Pa.

Fadia Halma, Director, Lehigh Valley Regional Office, DCED

David V. Dunn, Program Director, PTAC and Technology Development, Lehigh University SBDC

Robert Mineo, Program Director, Financing Assistance, Lehigh University SBDC

Brett Smith, Consultant, Lehigh University SBDC

John James McGeehan, Owner, Gaver Industries, Inc. dba Barker & Barker Paving

Gavin John McGeehan, Owner, Gaver Industries, Inc. dba Barker & Barker Paving

WHAT:  Gaver Industries, Inc. dba Barker & Barker Paving introduced as 2016 Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year; media tour of business with interview and photo opportunities

WHEN:  May 3 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: 910 14th Ave., Bethlehem, PA 18018

“It’s wonderful to have the privilege to recognize the achievements of leading veteran-owned Pennsylvania small businesses,” said Antonio (Tony) Leta, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director. “Small businesses owners like John and Gavin are – literally and figuratively – where the rubber meets the road. SBA and our resource and lending partners are proud to see these American entrepreneurship success stories creating jobs and helping drive our nation’s economy.”

Gaver Industries, Inc. is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned (SDVOSB) asphalt paving contractor serving the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. The firm provides residential, commercial, and industrial paving solutions Paving solutions, concrete and excavation work. Previously known as Barker & Barker Corp., since McGeehan purchased it in 2009 the firm has sustained significant growth with an average of 20% a year for the last 5 years. Gaver Industries, Inc. is committed to taking the time to select superior high grade aggregates and other paving materials to ensure high quality, durable and even surfaces. All work is guaranteed and the firm returns to the site immediately in the unlikely event of a problem. Following a slight decline in 2013, Gaver Industries, Inc. rebounded in 2014 with a significant increase in sales and net profit. As a SDVOSB, the firm has obtained several prime contact awards in 2014, which significantly increased overall sales . In 2014, Gaver Industries, Inc. completed the purchase of property, adding warehouse and office space. The purchase allowed the business to improve efficiency of operations, with one central location for office space and the storage of vehicles, machinery, and equipment.

Lt. Col. (Ret.) John J. McGeehan began his military career in 1966, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and culminated in his retirement in 1995. His 28 years of military service included three tours of duty with Army Special Forces in Vietnam and in 1968 he served with his Green Beret Unit, Delta Project, the precursor to the renowned Delta Force. The Special Forces team captured the largest enemy cache of weapons and ammunition up to that time in the Vietnam War. He also served as Battalion Commander of Project Delta Team/81st Airborne Ranger Battalion. In addition to the Combat Infantry Badge, he received numerous medals and commendations, including three Bronze Stars and four Combat Air Medals. He is a graduate of Marshall University, John F. Kennedy Unconventional Warfare College, Command and General Staff College, Industrial War College (National Security Management School), Underwater Combat School and the Airborne School. He also served as a Special Operator in Vietnam for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (Phoenix Program) targeting senior Communist Party officials. He has held a number of public service positions for Northampton County and the state of Pennsylvania. His oldest son is a Lt. Cmdr.in the U.S. Navy and his daughter and younger son are both Captains in the Army. All have served in the Global War On Terror, including his son and co-owner, Gavin, a graduate of University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and an Army Intelligence Officer.

“It’s great to receive this kind of award, because it’s rare to get this kind of recognition from a federal agency, for the success that we’ve enjoyed as a veteran-owned business. The U.S Military was extremely helpful in preparing us for our civilian careers and to win in today’s business environment,” Owner John J. McGeehan said. “Gavin and I are very fortunate to have a strong team at our backs, both in the company and at the SBDC.”

McGeehan has been a client of the Lehigh University SBDC since 2007, receiving assistance for purchasing the nominated business, obtaining government contracts, and his SDVOSB certification. In 2013, John McGeehan reached out to the Lehigh University SBDC for assistance. His Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business status had been challenged. The Lehigh University SBDC worked with John, who discovered that holding a second job was not consistent with VA ownership control rules. McGeehan resigned from that position, reapplied for SDVOSB status and over the course of a year, the business was reinstated as a SDVOSB.

“We’re proud to have nominated John, a decorated Service Disabled Veteran of the Vietnam War, who exemplifies the character of a small business owner. He’s truly worthy of being Pennsylvania's Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year,” said David V. Dunn, Program Director, PTAC and Technology Development, Lehigh University SBDC.

“John as CEO, with the help of his son and firm president Gavin, a veteran of the Iraq conflict, built Gaver Industries into a substantial business specializing in excavation and large paving contracts,” said Robert Mineo, Program Director, Financing Assistance, Lehigh University SBDC. “Growing employment, purchasing equipment, and performing outstanding work, Gaver Industries has progressively built a reputation as a leading paving contractor and a perfect choice for this very selective SBA award.”

“Not just for his military service to his country but for his role in the community, John is deserving of this recognition. He actively volunteers to help veterans, engages with local and state government officials, and generously gives his time for social causes. For all the right reasons, we are glad to see SBA honor John and his firm for this award,” said Brett Smith, Consultant, Lehigh University SBDC.

The SBDC is one of 18 Small Business Development Centers in Pennsylvania and is an accredited affiliate of the national network of Small Business Development Centers. The SBDC provides consulting services and educational programs to entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their small business. SBDC consultants may work with entrepreneurs in confidential, one-to-one 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.

SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta will present the 2016 Small Business Week Awards at the annual “SBA Day at the Ballpark” event June 8. The event is open to the media. The awards ceremony begins at 10 a.m. June 8 with a luncheon at the “XFINITY Live! Philadelphia” restaurant at 1100 Pattison Ave. (tickets available: www.xfinityLive.com/SBADay) followed by a 1:05 p.m. Phillies game at nearby Citizens Bank Park (tickets available: www.phillies.com/sbaday). The event is cosponsored by Constant Contact and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Veteran-Owned Small Business Person of the Year award winner is selected annually from among nominees located across Pennsylvania’s eastern 40 counties. These events are local observances of the annual Presidentially-designated National Small Business Week. National Small Business Week recognizes the small business community’s contribution to the American economy.

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To request interviews or photos, contact Robert Goza, SBA’s Public Information Officer in the Eastern Pennsylvania District Office, at 610-382-3084 or robert.goza@sba.gov.

Cosponsorship Authorization #16-0303-111. SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable arrangements for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact: Robert Goza, 610-382-3084.