SBA Names Eastern Pa. 2019 Woman-Owned Small Business of Year

Advisory Date: 
Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Advisory Number: 
20190514-001
Contact: 
Robert Goza robert.goza@sba.gov | (610) 382-3084
Chambersburg, Pa firm Baxter Group, Inc. presented with award May 17

Chambersburg, Pa. – The U.S. Small Business Administration officially recognizes its Eastern Pennsylvania Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year, Baxter Group, Inc. with Jocelyne Melton, firm CEO and President, May 17 at noon. Media are invited to attend.

WHO:  Michael Kane, Deputy Director, U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District

Jocelyne Melton, CEO and President, Baxter Group, Inc.

Cheryl Young, Consulting Manager, Shippensburg University Small Business Development Center

Invited: Local, state and federal officials

WHAT:   Baxter Group, Inc. is Eastern Pennsylvania Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year; media tour of business with interview and photo opportunities

WHEN:    May 17 at noon

WHERE: Baxter Group, Inc., 941 Progress Road, Chambersburg, PA 17201

“It’s a great privilege to recognize the achievements of leading Pennsylvania woman-owned small businesses like Baxter Group, Inc.,” said John Fleming, Acting U.S. SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director. “Small businesses like Jocelyne’s help make our nation’s economy the strongest in the world. I’m proud SBA’s resource partners have a role to play in helping them start and succeed.”

SBA resource partner Shippensburg University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provided technical assistance to the company as it faced many challenging issues, providing technical assistance primarily geared toward strategizing and creating a growth plan, guidance on issues related to business directions and decisions, addressing the financial challenges the company encountered due to outsourcing financial management/accounting functions of the company. The SBDC also provided market research for the three primary service areas of the company and assisted in marketing planning that helped the company get on a solid growth path.

“I’m honored to win SBA’s Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year award,” said Jocelyne Melton, CEO and President, Baxter Group, Inc. “When my business needed to adapt, the Franklin County Area Development Corporation… Jeff Fehlauer of U.S. Business Engineering… and Cheryl Young, one of the Shippensburg SBDC experts were there for me. During a tough personal challenge, they helped me navigate my firm through difficult business issues to greater success. I found the SBDC to be a premier resource for information, market analysis and planning, as well as for making connections to other business resources. I wish I had found the SBDC earlier.”

“Jocelyne is a very competent and resilient business leader who has come through a gauntlet of challenges in the last few years that could have caused many business leaders to throw in the proverbial towel. But Jocelyne, a fighter, fought back,” said Cheryl Young, Consulting Manager, Shippensburg University Small Business Development Center. “I’m honored to nominate her for Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. She has evidenced impressive leadership skills over the past few years – watching her turn her company around from a tough period of decline to one of growth and greater success is inspirational.”

The business has doubled the number of employees in the past two years from 16 to 32 and nearly doubled revenue during that period by both expanding their environmental services and adding new services. Although the Baxter Group’s expansion to a larger service territory (south central Pennsylvania, through western Maryland and down into the Panhandle of West Virginia) and additional employees required growth at their original location in Chambersburg, Pa., the company’s business model, based on a fleet of service vehicles to cover their territory, alleviates the need for additional office locations. 

Melton was born into a roving military family but ultimately settled down in Hagerstown, Md. where she attended Hagerstown Community College completing a Secretarial Certificate and an Associate’s Degree with an emphasis in Business. A serial entrepreneur, while Melton was employed by Washington County, Md. she started two part-time side businesses, a cleaning business for vacated apartments and a photography business. Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug, she became involved with Primerica, running an agency full-time where she became a Regional Vice President. After retiring from Primerica in 2007 she began working in the Baxter Group. She learned all aspects of the business and eventually became CEO in 2010. Things went well until a business financial crisis in 2015 that required two and a half years of re-organizing, re-structuring and stabilizing the company. In 2018, she led the process to develop a Financial Management Plan, Marketing Plan, Leadership Development Plan, Strategic Business Plan and Quality Assurance Plan. Closing the company’s biggest year ever, she and her company are poised for even further growth in 2019.

Baxter Group, Inc. is an environmental testing and remediation company started in 1989 as an asbestos abatement company. The company’s expanded services include testing and abatement/remediation of asbestos, mold, lead, radon, and indoor environmental contaminants as well as HVAC duct cleanliness inspections, duct cleaning services, basement waterproofing, selective demolition, renovation and restoration services. Operating within a 100 mile radius of Chambersburg, Pa., Hagerstown, Md., and Martinsburg, W. Va., the company serves residential, commercial, government, education, and healthcare clients. Safe work practices are paramount and embraced by all their employees in respect for the company’s team members, their clients, and their communities. Baxter Group, Inc. takes pride in providing clients with knowledge and understanding of environmental hazards. It's important to the Baxter Group team to identify the source of contaminants, eliminate or resolve the source, and then bring the environment to a healthy state because the team understands how a sickly environment can lead to health issues for the occupants and their communities. The Baxter Group recently added a construction and renovation component to their services to complement and enhance their value to customers, becoming more of a “one-stop shop.” Services they now include remodeling, building additions, crawlspace conditioning, foundations and masonry wall reinforcement and repairs, replacing doors, siding, windows, etc. as well as basement waterproofing systems.

Shippensburg University SBDC provides no-cost confidential consulting and low cost training to small business owners and potential entrepreneurs in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties as a member of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers network. The SBDC helps small business owners and potential entrepreneurs make sound decisions for the successful operation of their business. The Shippensburg University SBDC is part of a state-wide network of colleges and university centers which is a joint venture of federal, state, and private sector agencies and organizations including the US Small Business Administration and the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development. Each agency, along with Shippensburg University, contributes to the financial support of the program.

SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Woman-Owned Small Business 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. Learn more about National Small Business Week at https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week.

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

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.