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SBA Officials Visit Pennsylvania 2016 Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award Winner

Advisory Date: 
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Advisory Number: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 |
Bucknell University SBDC recognized May 6 at 2 p.m.

EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA– U.S. Small Business Administration Eastern Pennsylvania Director Antonio (Tony) Leta officially introduces SBA’s Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation award winner, Bucknell University Small Business Development Center, on May 6 at 2 p.m. with Center Director Steven Stumbris. Media are invited to attend.

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

Kim Bierly, Regional Manager of Central Pennsylvania, Office of U.S Senator Bob Casey

Fred Keller, Pennsylvania State Representative (85th District)

Lynda Schlegel Culver, Pennsylvania State Representative (108th District)

Jon Breneman, Office of Pennsylvania State Senator Jake Corman

 Judy Wagner, Lewisburg Mayor

Carol Kilko, Deputy Secretary, Administration, DCED

Dennis Swank, Associate Vice President for Finance, Bucknell University

Christian Conroy, Pennsylvania SBDC Network Director

Steven Stumbris, Director, Bucknell University SBDC

WHAT: Bucknell University Small Business Development Center is introduced as SBA’s Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation award winner; media tour, interviews and photo opportunities

WHEN: May 6 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: 416 Market St., Lewisburg, PA 17837 (Across the street from the historic Campus Theatre – metered street parking is available, as is a free municipal lot just a block away on North 5th Street.)

“It’s wonderful to have the privilege to recognize the achievements of our stellar Pennsylvania small business resource partners like Bucknell Small Business Development Center and leaders like Steve and Christian,” said Antonio (Tony) Leta, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director. “SBA resource partners, including the SBDC network, Women’s Business Centers and SCORE volunteers help small businesses with everything from drafting business plans to complex management principles. SBA’s resource partners, like Bucknell University Small Business Development Center, have a lot to be proud of for the help they provide Pennsylvania’s small businesses.”

“The mission of the network of Pennsylvania SBDCs is to provide entrepreneurs and small business owners with the knowledge needed to make smart decisions and prosper.  For over 35 years, the Bucknell SBDC has been a leader within the SBDC network,” said Pennsylvania SBDC State Director Christian Conroy. “The thousands of small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs the SBDC has helped have praised the center for providing the expert resources, tools, education and advice that have helped them to start, grow and prosper. I’m very proud to see SBA recognize the outstanding efforts of Bucknell SBDC and the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center network.”

“Each year the center helps entrepreneurs achieve their dreams by providing them with the knowledge and skills they need to start and grow successful businesses,” said Bucknell University SBDC Director Steven Stumbris. “As much of an honor as it is to see the team of the Bucknell SBDC  receive this SBA award in recognition of their talent, dedication, and passion; it’s an even greater honor to see the impact of our work in the community: in particular, in the 40 entrepreneurs we helped to achieve their dream of starting their own businesses in just the past year.”  

One of 18 Small Business Development Centers in the Pennsylvania SBDC Network and 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.

Bucknell SBDC serves entrepreneurs in Union, Northumberland, Juniata, Montour, Perry, and Snyder counties as a member of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers network The SBDC delivers its consulting services and educational programs from offices in downtown Lewisburg, on Bucknell’s campus, and at client and partner locations throughout the counties it serves in central Pennsylvania. Funding support and resources for Bucknell University SBDC are provided through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community & Economic Development and through support from Bucknell University.

Bucknell University's center was the first in the nation to be hosted by a College of Engineering and leverages its relationship with the College to provide entrepreneurs, manufacturers, and technology firms with specialty Engineering Development Services helping them develop and commercialize innovative products. 

One of the oldest centers in the nation, starting as a member of the Pennsylvania SBDC network launched in 1979, its roots date back to a 1978 program launched by mechanical engineering professor and founding director Charles Coder, who gave his students real-world experience while helping area companies to start, innovate, and grow. The center’s connection with Bucknell’s College of Engineering has long been a foundation for the Pennsylvania network’s Technology Services, and the PA program is one of only 12 in the country to earn supplemental accreditation for these services.

The center has not rested on these laurels however, and in the past three years it has served clients, the region and the university through the launch of innovative new programs including:

  • Bucknell SBDC was the first center in Pennsylvania to serve as a local host for the SBA’s InnovateHER Business Challenge in 2015. InnovateHER is SBA’s cross-cutting prize competition to unearth innovative products and services that help impact and empower the lives of women and families.
  • Bucknell University Entrepreneurs Incubator “StartupLewisburg,” the home for innovators and entrepreneurs in downtown Lewisburg
  • BizPitch: a competition giving student entrepreneurs the opportunity to get expert advice from alumni and to win prizes to help them launch their ventures
  • Tech Meetup Lewisburg: a monthly networking and education event bringing interesting, talented, and motivated people together to network, share ideas, and start making innovative new products

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: followed by a 1:05 p.m. Phillies game at nearby Citizens Bank Park (tickets available: The event is cosponsored by Constant Contact and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

SBA’s Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation award winner is selected annually from among nominees located across Pennsylvania’s eastern 40 counties and competes with the Pittsburgh District winner to be named Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation award winner for all of Pennsylvania. 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.


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

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.