Speakers for ABED Workshop 3

Speaker Bios

Starting a Successful Nature-Based Business Workshop 

Entrepreneur Panel:

Ed Bowman, Tussey Mountain Outfitting - TMO has been in business since 1978. TMO is a full service canoeing and kayaking outfitter and retail shop, providing canoe and kayak rentals, outings, instruction,  demos and shuttle service. The TMO retail shop specializes in quality canoes, kayaks, paddle sport gear and repairs. TMO retails both new and used canoes, kayaks and equipment. TMO is located next to the Sunnyside Paddle Park along Spring Creek in Bellefonte. The park has a permanent slalom course to train on and the creek has enough water flow and swift water features all year to provide an ideal park and play spot as well as a perfect place to demo canoes and kayaks. To learn more go to: https://tusseymountainoutfitters.com/

Josh Helke, Organic Climbing, USA –Organic Climbing, USA is committed to producing the best climbing gear possible. Their products are designed to be functional, durable, and unique. Hand made in Phillipsburg, Centre County, each piece is one of-a-kind, crafted with simplicity and longevity in mind. Their small scale of production allows them to focus on adding an artistic touch to each pieceand to talk directly to customers. To see Josh’s bio and the story of OrganicClimbing go to this video: https://organicclimbing.com/pages/about-us

Tom Svec - Tom Svec Furniture Design – is located on the Great Island, just east of Lock Haven, PA, the workshop and studio has been in operation for over twenty years. The site has been a center of agriculture and commerce since before the arrival of Europeans in North America. To this day it remains one of the most prolific sites in the state for Native American artifacts. Tom believes it is appropriate to continue with that tradition of hand craftsmanship. All pieces are original in concept, minimal in their use of materials, and respectful of the sustainable hardwood timber resources indigenous to the Northeast. The intent is to produce timeless, utilitarian design objects that will enrich the environments inwhich they are placed. Mindful of the ever-increasing demandby collectors for hand made American Crafts, all pieces are signed and dated. To learn more go to:http://www.tomsvecfurniture.com/index.html



Marketing Panel:

Julie Brennan, Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Promotion Director, Clinton County Economic Partnership. 
Julie has been part of the local landscape for more than 40 years, choosing to stay in the community following graduation from Lock Haven University.  Her background in communications has led her on a varied path over the years, working in radio news, as communications manager for a large corporation and also for a nonprofit community action agency, as a legislative aide to a state senator, and as a silent partner in a retail outfitter shop.  She’s been with the Partnership since 2015 and loves working with and supporting the local business community, and promoting all the area has to offer.

Lakesia Knarr, Outreach Specialist, PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc., a nonprofit organization working to marry conservation and economic development in the 12.5-county Pennsylvania Wilds region. In this role, Knarr works with entrepreneurs and artisans to inform them of the Center's work to grow the region's outdoor recreation economy and the benefits of joining the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, the PA Wilds Center’s primary arts and business development program. Since graduating from Lock Haven University in 2012, Knarr has served in various communications and fundraising roles in both volunteer and professional capacities. She earned two top awards from the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors Association while serving as a news reporter, and continues to write on assignment. In addition, Knarr served as a volunteer grant writer for local nonprofits, helping to raise funds and implement related programs.


Lender Panel:

Mike Flanagan, CEO, Clinton County Economic Partnership


Mike administers the Clinton County Revolving Loan program, a county-based revolving loan fund with eligible uses such as land acquisition and development, plant construction, machinery and equipment, and working capital. Applicants must be located or planning to locate in Clinton County.

John Reichard, Senior Relationship Manager II, SEDA-COG

John has been employed with the SEDA-COG Business Finance Department since 1994, starting as financial analyst and became a loan officer in 1999.  He took over program directorship in 2010. In 2017, John transitioned to senior relationship manager II where he is responsible for outreach, marketing, and loan underwriting and approvals.

John earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dickinson College and a Master of Science in business administration from Bucknell University.

Paul Caimi, Commercial Loan Officer, Woodlands Bank

My name is Paul Caimi I have lived in the area for most of my life, I am a Commercial Loan Officer at Woodlands Bank where I work with customers and perspective customers on their business banking and financing needs. These needs can be in a variety of areas from commercial real estate purchases, equipment and inventory purchases, investment property purchases, working capital lines of credit, and more. I work with each borrower to come up with the financing that makes the most sense for that individual borrower. The most rewarding thing about this career is the feeling of having been successful in assisting someone accomplish a project or dream they have been working toward.