DuBOIS, Pa. — A recent panel discussion at Penn State DuBois, in conjunction with the North Central Pennsylvania (NCPA) LaunchBox, gave students a valuable opportunity to learn from and gain insights from three local entrepreneurs.
The simple definition of an entrepreneur, according to Marriam-Webster, is “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” However, how this term is used has changed greatly over time. As early as the 18th century, the term entrepreneur referred to many types of businessmen and women. By the early 20th century, the term took on the connotation of a go-getter when applied to an independent business owner. That quality is also one that is shared with the ideals of the entrepreneurial spirit.
The panel at Penn State DuBois featured three local individuals who are entrepreneurs in their own fields.
Michael Clement is the co-founder, partner and chief corporate officer of Alliance Forge Corp., an election technology company. With nearly 20 years of political experience, Clement has worked on many federal, state and local campaigns and political action committees. His time in politics includes working at the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the Republican National Committee, including the 2016 presidential campaign.
Paula Foradora is a certified public accountant (CPA) and personal financial specialist who spent much of her career in a finance and consulting practice. In 1995, she founded Foradora Insurance, which provides insurance services in multiple states. Foradora is also the owner of a consulting firm and is the manager of Nine Star Capital LP, which is a land and mineral rights holding company.
Jennifer Reynolds-Hamilton is the owner of Reynolds Financial Advisors in DuBois. The organization offers straightforward approaches to individuals, businesses and the community to help with their financial and insurance needs. During her time as owner, Reynolds-Hamilton has grown the business to expand the practice to consist of an assistant and a health and Medicare consultant.
After an introduction of each of the members on the panel, questions were asked, both from a moderator and from those in attendance. The goal of the panel was for students to learn how these entrepreneurs got their start, how their experiences drove them to where they are today, and what inspired them to be an entrepreneur.
While we do everything we can to teach in the classroom, nothing can replicate learning directly from someone who has unique experiences from their own life
—Brad Lashinsky , lecturer of business administration and program director of the NCPA LaunchBox
“We want to thank these three entrepreneurs for coming to campus and sharing their experiences with our students,” said Brad Lashinsky, lecturer of business administration and program director of the NCPA LaunchBox. “To have the opportunity for everyone to come here and learn directly from these individuals is great. While we do everything we can to teach in the classroom, nothing can replicate learning directly from someone who has unique experiences from their own life.”
The panel was open to all students, with the room being particularly filled with business and business administration students, as well as students entered in the entrepreneurship minor available at the campus.
Created in 2019, the NCPA LaunchBox provides no-cost services such as assistance with business plan development, assistance with grant applications, educational seminars for entrepreneurs, workforce training and more. The LaunchBox also innovates solutions for area businesses and individuals in the on-campus Idea Lab. Featuring 3D printers, 3D scanning hardware and software and a vinyl printer/cutter, the lab is available to anyone in search of help in developing a prototype, reverse engineering, and inspection. Visit the NCPA Launchbox website here.