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SBA Names Eastern PA 2024 National Small Business Week Award Winners

by U.S. Small Business Administration, Eastern Pennsylvania District

Mar 29, 2024

Photo courtesy of Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Eastern Pennsylvania District Office announced its 2024 Small Business Week Award Winners. SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Small Business Awards winners are selected from among nominees located across Pennsylvania’s eastern 40 counties. The local recognition is part of the annual presidentially-designated National Small Business Week, which will take place from April 28, 2024, to May 4, 2024. Eastern Pennsylvania District Small Business Week Award winners:

  • Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year: Dorothea Spencer, President/CEO, D. Gillette Industrial Services, located in Easton; nominated by Dr. John Johnson, PhD, President/CEO MBDM.
  • Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center Excellence and Innovation Award: Bucknell University Small Business Development Center, located in Lewisburg; Director Steven Stumbris; nominated by Dr. Ernie Post, State Director, Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers Network.
  • Eastern Pennsylvania Entrepreneurial Success of the Year Award: Phoenix Language Services, located in Blue Bell; President/CEO J. Nicole Lawton; nominated by Eliot Gilkeson, Program Coordinator, Women’s Business Enterprise Center East (WBEC-East).
  • Pennsylvania District Family-Owned Small Business of the Year: Pine Creek Seed Farm, located in Jersey Shore, PA; Owner/President Chris McCracken; nominated by Martin Brill, Coordinator, Ag Center of Excellence, Penn State University Small Business Development Center, and Tim Keohane, Director, Penn State University Small Business Development Center.
  • Eastern Pennsylvania District Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year: Super Natural & Fresh Produce, Inc., located in Reading; President Leopoldo Sanchez; nominated by James Buerger, Senior Vice President, Community First Fund.
  • Eastern Pennsylvania District Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year: Sarai Variety Flower Shop, located in Reading; Owner Lourdes Peralta; nominated by Alba Fernandez, Senior Vice President, Community First Fund.
  • Eastern Pennsylvania District Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Painterland Sisters, located in Westfield, Tioga County; Co-Founder Hayley Painter; nominated by Colleen LaCoss, Director Certification and Business Development, Women’s Business Enterprise Center East (WBEC-East).

“We celebrate National Small Business Week to recognize the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. We applaud the achievements of small businesses and the organizations that assist them,” said SBA Eastern Pennsylvania District Director Steven Dixel. “It’s an honor to present these awards. Each business is exceptional and deserving of recognition as they have grown their business, created jobs, demonstrated resilience, ingenuity, and creativity; and contributed to the growth of their local communities and the economy.”

During National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes and awards outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from around the country. Additionally, recognition and educational events throughout SBA’s 68 District Offices will be held in the month of May.

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. 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, 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

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