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SBA’s Eastern Pa., mid-Atlantic Region 2014 Exporter Of The Year

Advisory Date: 
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Advisory Number: 
Robert Goza (610) 382-3084 |

June 6th event introduces EcoTech Marine International, Inc. as title holder

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – U.S. SBA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho and Philadelphia District Director David Dickson officially introduce the Eastern Pennsylvania and SBA mid-Atlantic Region’s Exporter of the Year, EcoTech Marine International, Inc., June 6th at 10 a.m. with Patrick L. Clasen, Director of Finance; Justin Lawyer, Director of Research and Development and Timothy M. Marks, Director of Manufacturing. Media are invited to attend.


WHO:       David Dickson, U.S. SBA Philadelphia District Director

                  Natalia Olson-Urtecho, U.S. SBA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator

                  Christian Conroy, State Director, Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers

                  Cora Landis, Director, International Trade Development Program, Lehigh University SBDC

                  Patrick L. Clasen, Director of Finance, EcoTech Marine International, Inc.

                  Justin Lawyer, Director of Research and Development, EcoTech Marine International, Inc.

                  Timothy M. Marks, Director of Manufacturing, EcoTech Marine International, Inc.

WHAT:    EcoTech Marine International, Inc. introduced as SBA’s Eastern Penn. and mid-Atlantic Exporter of the Year, media tour of business with interview and photo opportunities

WHEN:    June 6th at 10 a.m.

WHERE: 999 Postal Road, Allentown, Pa 18109


“This has been another great year for the region for exporting and it’s an honor to recognize the accomplishments of our small business communities,” said mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho. “EcoTech Marine is an excellent example of a small business that starts, grows and goes on to success in the global exporting market. SBA and our resource and lending partners are proud to be a part of small business exporting success stories all over the world.”

EcoTech Marine International, Inc.,  represented by Patrick L. Clasen, Director of Finance; Justin Lawyer, Director of Research and Development; and Timothy M. Marks, Director of Manufacturing; was nominated by Cora Landis, Program Director, International Trade Development Program, Lehigh University SBDC.

Founded in 2003, EcoTech Marine manufactures and sells reef aquarium propeller pumps, LED lighting and accessories for aquariums ranging from 2.5 to 500+ gallons. EcoTech Marine products are supplied at hundreds of aquarium stores throughout the United States and to more than 30 countries around the world.

“The SBDC is proud to have one of our clients be recognized as Region III SBA Exporter of the Year for the second year in a row,” said Pennsylvania SBDC State Director Christian Conroy.  “EcoTech Marine utilized all of the resources at their disposal to start their company on solid footing and continues to work with the SBDC and its partners to continue to grow.  We salute the founders of the company and our Lehigh University SBDC for their continued dedication to EcoTech’s success.”      

“We are proud to have been awarded this honor,” said Clasen, co-founder of EcoTech Marine. “As a small business – now in our 11th year – we have tremendous respect for the unique challenges presented to a business like ours, as well as for the other entrepreneurs chasing their dreams to make their own success. It is incredibly humbling to have been selected for this award knowing so many other businesses that are doing such great things. It is a true honor to have been selected for this designation and it is one that we will take to heart as we continue to grow and evolve.”

EcoTech has received SBA-guaranteed loans and worked with SBA resource partner Lehigh University Small Business Development Center.  SBDC consultants helped EcoTech explore financing options to commercialize their technology and develop the financial and technical aspects of loan request presentations made to a local bank as well as federally-funded economic development agency.

“It’s been a privilege to work with EcoTech and help them grow from the initial three-person office in a little house down the street from Lehigh’s main campus, to being part of their grand opening when they moved into their current facility that houses 40+ employees, a clean room, research lab, manufacturing floor and corporate offices,” said Landis. “They have grown their international distribution network to more than 40 distributors, and they have utilized EXIM financing to offer credit terms to their distributors. Also important to their growth, they’ve been willing to learn from others and utilize all available resources – and are now willing to give back and help others. Beyond that, and something I personally regard highly is their willingness to stay the course, overcome many obstacles and rough it out those initial years.  Congratulations EcoTech Marine International – you deserve this award!”

SBA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator, Natalia Olson-Urtecho, and Philadelphia District Director, David Dickson, present the Small Business Week awards with Philadelphia’s NBC10 anchor and consumer reporter Tracy Davidson at the annual “SBA Day at the Ballpark” event June 12. The event is open to the media.

The awards ceremony begins at 10 a.m. June 12 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 Eastern Pennsylvania Exporter of the Year award winner is selected annually from among nominees located across Pennsylvania’s eastern 40 counties. Mid-Atlantic regional winners are selected annually from the winning nominees in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. 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 Philadelphia District Office, at 610-382-3084 or


Cosponsorship Authorization #14-0303-67. 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.