Success Stories

Eric Hoover was born and raised in Conneaut Lake, a small town in northwest Pennsylvania. At an early age, Eric was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and although doctors predicted he would spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, Eric was determined to prove them wrong and fulfill his dream of making a difference in the lives of those in need.

In 1988, after completing a 4 year Journeymen's Apprenticeship in the machining trade, Erie founded Excalibur Machine Company, which he is still the president and CEO of today. The last five years have seen a definite decline for most manufacturing in our area, but it was during this period that Excalibur experienced continual growth. Due to Eric's unique business philosophy and his 11 year experience, Excalibur was able to see sales growth of more than 350%. As well as, move from an individual facility of 6,000 square feet to three facilities with over 67,000 square feet. Eric has also founded a sale organization called... Read More

Donald Shepherd President of AR Worldwide (AR), manufactures electronics in Souderton, Pa., is the 2005 winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Exporter of the Year award. The award recognizes his expansion into international markets and the resulting increase in sales and employee growth.

The Exporter of the Year award is given to individuals who have increased sales, profits and/or growth of employment as a result of creative overseas marketing strategies, effective solutions to export-related problems, demonstrated encouragement of other small businesses to export, voluntary assistance to other small businesses entering the export market, cooperation with other firms in the creation of export trading companies and/or introduction of unique trading relationships, products or services.

AR Worldwide manufactures and distributes amplifiers, antennas, generators and test systems. As president of AR Worldwide, Shepherd plays a major role in the success... Read More

The events of September 11, 2001 had a dramatic affect on Americans, especially those who lived and worked in New York City. Maureen Conallen-Doran was an assistant manager in Manhattan for a large retailer. In the wake of 9-11, Maureen packed up and moved back home to the Philadelphia area. Her priorities changed and she wanted to be near her family.

Maureen wanted to use her management experience to open her own boutique. She found a location and prepared a business plan. She chose the name “Skirt” for her boutique because it was what her guy friends called girls in her high school. She took her business plan to three banks and was promptly declined.

She was not discouraged, and presented her plan to Partners for Small Business, a micro-enterprise group in Norristown, and they approved her for a $43,000 loan. Maureen’s father and brothers helped paint and build out the boutique. “Skirt” opened at 907 Lancaster Avenue less than two months after Maureen left New York... Read More

It began as a one-truck operation during the height of the Great Depression. Edward J. Kane, an insurance salesman with a family to support, was faced with dwindling sales. In 1930, he traded his car for a used truck and provided local hauling to the valley regions of Northeast Pennsylvania. Thus began Kane Freight Lines.

Eugene J. Kane took over the family business in 1955. In 1956, he established Kane Warehousing in a 2,000 sq. ft. facility as an adjunct to the trucking business. Hard work, vision, determination and integrity are some of the ingredients which Eugene J. Kane used to grow this business. Today, Kane is a full service, third party logistics provider for the entire Northeast United States. They have over 600 employees and $70 million in annual sales.    Kane is Able is made of up of two divisions: Kane Warehousing and Kane Freight Lines. Kane Warehousing, Inc. operates modern facilities that include air conditioned, dry, humidity controlled, cross-... Read More