SFU center to honor Cambria businesswoman

LORETTO – A Cambria County child care center operator will be honored next month as the Small Business Person of the Year by the St. Francis University Small Business Development Center.

Rebecca A. Stevens-Strunk, who founded Children’s Express Inc., in Cresson in 1998, will receive the award at the SBDC’s annual awards luncheon June 14 at the university.

Stevens-Strunk said she was shocked when notified that she had won the award.

“I am just overjoyed, overwhelmed and honored to receive the award,” Stevens-Strunk said. “I am very happy and amazed at the award I received. I greatly appreciate the award.”

The center cares for children from the ages of 6 weeks to 12 years of age year-round. It is state licensed and a Star 1 site in the Keystone Stars Program. Stevens-Strunk currently employs 18 and has an enrollment of 135 children.

Children’s Express Inc. recently opened a new building in order to accommodate the growing business.

Ed Huttenhower, director of the Small Business Development Center, said Stevens-Strunk is a worthy recipient of the award.

“When one looks at the history and growth of Children’s Express, it is readily apparent that Rebecca had a strong vision for what she wanted in her business and worked over the years to achieve that vision. This vision is a characteristic of many successful entrepreneurs and one of the primary reasons she was selected as small business person of the year,” Huttenhower said.

Others to be honored at the luncheon include: Nino Vella, president of New Pig Corp., Tipton, Small Business Exporter of the Year; Robert L. Enos of Somerset Trust Co., Somerset, Financial Services Advocate of the Year; and Jill Nadorlik of Nadorlik & Co., Johnstown, Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, will be presented with the Richard Crawford Award given to an area legislator who has made significant contributions to the small business community and the economic development of the region served by the SBDC.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.