Wade Spicer, Chief Executive Officer of Strong Pools and Spas, Northumberland soon will accept an award for entrepreneurship..
According to a news release, in 1994, Strong was a start-up with one employee. Today, Strong is one of the largest spa manufacturers in the world, with extensive distribution including retail giants Costco and Sam's. The company is growing at an average rate of 50- to 100-percent per year. Strong now employs more than 325 people in Northumberland County, 75 of whom were added this year.
Strong Pools and Spas manufactures plastic pools, spas, saunas, and backyard ponds using rotational molding methods. Rotational molding is a cost-effective way to produce large, hollow plastic parts. Beginning as a manufacturer of pet enclosures, Strong has successfully adapted and re-invented itself over its 15-year history. CEO Wade Spicer has teamed with Ben Franklin repeatedly during Strong's evolution for help with business operations, strategic planning and advice, technical support, plant layout planning, product and process improvements, and business planning. Ben Franklin invested a total of $468,000 in the company over several years and linked it to the Plastics Manufacturing Center at the Penn College of Technology, a Ben Franklin Center of Excellence. More recently, the news release said, Strong worked with Lehigh University's Enterprise Systems Center to implement additional operational improvements.
The purposes of the innovation awards are to congratulate winners on their success and achievement, to highlight the effectiveness of the Ben Franklin program, and to inform entrepreneurs and established manufacturers about the resources that are available to them in northeastern Pennsylvania.
The entrepreneurial achievement category recognizes an individual who best exemplifies the quintessential entrepreneurial spirit: a combination of ingenuity, hard work, and innovation that has resulted in the creation of a successful and growing business venture.
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania has announced the winners of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Innovation Awards. Winners will be honored at the Ben Franklin Center of Excellence event, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University.