September 30, 2014, BY Kathryn Kopchik

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The Bucknell University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) will host the Annual Celebration of Growing Small Businesses Friday, Oct. 10, at 8 a.m. in the Lobby of the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell.

Speakers include Carolyn Boser Newhouse, Deputy Secretary, Office of Innovation and Investment, Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development; and Steven Stumbris, director of the Bucknell SBDC.

"The SBDC will welcome the community and our numerous partners who work with us to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams of starting and growing successful businesses" said Stumbris. "We'll share the remarkable startup stories of two small businesses from our region, and present their founders with awards recognizing their achievements."

Two business owners will be featured as success story clients of the center, describing the paths they took from idea to business startup and growth. Attendees will hear how Bucknell nurtures a vibrant ecosystem for entrepreneurship on its campus, in Lewisburg's downtown at its Entrepreneurs Incubator, and throughout the region.

Three awards will be presented. The Small Business Person of the Year Award recognizes entrepreneurial success in launching and growing a new venture in Pennsylvania dedicated to improving health and well-being nationwide. The Innovation in New Product Development Award honors innovation in new product development and exemplary collaboration with Bucknell University's College of Engineering.

The SBDC's signature Charles H. Coder Entrepreneurial Leadership Award will be presented by Margaret Miller, daughter of Professor Coder, founding director of the Bucknell SBDC. It recognizes an individual for their transformational leadership and vision for the region's ecosystem of innovation of entrepreneurship.

There is no fee for this event, but registration is required by Oct. 6 as seating is limited. To register, call the SBDC at 570-577-1249 or email

From its origins in 1978 as a program initiated by Mechanical Engineering Professor Charles H. Coder to connect his students with local industry to its standing today as an accredited member of a nationwide network of almost 1,000 Small Business Development Centers, the Bucknell University SBDC has had a transformative and sustained positive impact in the business community of central Pennsylvania.

Coder served as director of the SBDC from 1989 to 1998, following his retirement from the mechanical engineering department after 32 years. He was honored with Bucknell's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1966, and the Tasker Bliss Medal for excellence in education and student mentorship from the Society of American Military Engineers in 1988.

The Bucknell SBDC has been helping businesses Start, Grow, and Prosper for more than 35 years in Union, Northumberland, Juniata, Montour, Perry and Snyder counties. The center provides education, information and consulting to entrepreneurs just investigating a market opportunity and developing a business plan, as well as to existing businesses seeking to innovate, grow, and sustain. Each year the Bucknell SBDC helps more than 30 entrepreneurs achieve their dream of starting their own business. In the past five years, businesses assisted by the Bucknell SBDC have grown their sales by almost $40 million and created more than 400 jobs.