Development corporation hold 20th annual meeting

WELLSBORO – Tioga County Development Corp. members came together Monday for their 20th annual meeting at the Penn Wells Hotel and named Gene Seeley, of Knoxville, this year’s Rod C. Kelchner Award winner.

Though the organization actually is 22 years old, this is the 20th year it has held an annual meeting.

Chairman of the board David Cummings announced that TCDC’s membership stands at 234, or 86 percent of its goal of 270 members.

“And 24 of those are brand new, one just joined today,” he added.

The rest of the evening was filled with what President and CEO Bob Blair called “success stories.”

“We have made 46 direct loans worth $4.6 million, and $23 million in private money; 126 jobs have been created and 653 jobs retained,” Blair said.

This is the first year the organization has assisted a business located outside Tioga County with a Pennsylvania Economic Development Loan – PMF Industries, of Williamsport.

“PMF manufactures containers for Compressed Natural Gas vehicles and gas stations,” he said.

Also assisted were Brandy and Darryl Hoffman, of R and T Mechanical in Lawrence Township, with a $2 million funding package and $1.5 million from the company’s co-owner.

An industrial fabrication and installation facility, R and T has 25 employees.

A new “mobile restaurant” that opened in Wellsboro and Mansfield in June was assisted with a $25,000 matching loan.

The Red Skillet, owned by Brad Goodwin, started up after Goodwin received the loan in April. Goodwin thanked TCDC, the community and his family for helping him, but also gave thanks to God for “helping me and paving the way.”

Several state Impact Awards were presented to various businesses during the evening.

“This year five recipients are in Tioga County out of a list of 250 Pennsylvania companies. Two of the five were winners in their category,” he added.

MSPI LLC, represented by Jeremy and Missy Fleming, manufacturer of Bear Paws cleaners, received a certificate of recognition for the entrepreneur category.

North Voice Communications, MetalKraft, Keystone North and the McKean Group also were recognized.

Wendy Swartz, of Westfield, received a certificate of recognition for her 12 years of service as treasurer of TCDC.

Christie Blackwell, TCDC’s Leadership and Development Coordinator, announced there have been ten companies that have participated in the career development program that keeps corporate taxes owed to the state within the county by donating the funds to the three county school districts, Southern and Northern Tioga and Wellsboro Area.

“In six years $287,000 has funded 70 school projects,” she said.

Southern Tioga School District was honored with a certificate of recognition for using its funds to expand its CTE and vocational programs for its high school students.

According to co-chair of the youth leadership program Nancy Stamilio, there have been 420 graduates from the program since it began in 1999, and there are 35 members in the class of 2014. The adult leadership program has ten participants this year, said co-chair Tracy Sweely.

A milestone in in-kind services also was reached this year, with a total of $1.8 million reached for both programs.