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January 28, 2020

$20,000 Bradford Business Competition Announced
New Business Competition to offer seed money and support for Bradford startups and existing businesses

Bradford, PA – The Bradford Area Alliance announces the launch of a brand new business competition for startups and new business ventures of existing businesses.   The competition will award $20,000 in seed capital and include in-kind services to the winner. The annual business competition looks to entice aspiring or budding entrepreneurs to move from idea-to-vision-to-market.  The competition is part of a larger effort in re-invigorating Bradford’s rich history of entrepreneurial spirit. That spirit is an outcome of our heritage as the birthplace of the U.S. domestic oil industry. Given that long-standing history and the profound impact of our current energy sector, the tag line for the competition is “The Spark to Fuel Your Business”.  However, we are inviting all those in our community who have a new idea – no matter if it is in energy, manufacturing, retail, tourism, seasonal, etc., to come forward.

Ultimately the goal of the competition is to create new wealth and new net jobs in our community – even if it is one job at a time.  The competition is open to anyone who would like to open a business in the Bradford region. The competition is also open to any existing business that is interested in expanding into a new venture.  The Bradford region includes the City of Bradford, as well as Bradford, Corydon, Foster, and Lafayette Townships. Interested parties must submit a business plan by April 3, 2020 and participate in a pitch event (similar to “Shark Tank”) being hosted by Pitt-Bradford on April 16th where the winner will be announced.  

City of Bradford Mayor James McDonald stated “We have many talented and innovative people in the Bradford area.  This competition represents a great opportunity to help transform an idea into a marketable and profitable product or service that can spur economic development and job creation.” 

The competition was structured based on valuable input from many of our local supporting companies, agencies and departments including  private-sector industry representatives, Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau, Bradford Area Chamber of Commerce, Bradford’s Office of Community & Economic Development, McKean County Commissioners, McKean County Economic Development, McKean County Redevelopment & Housing Authority, North Central PA Regional Planning & Development Commission, Northwest Bank, PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Small Business Development Center, University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, and Workforce Solutions of North Central PA.

Additional details can be found at  

Carolyn Boser Newhouse, Executive Director of the Bradford Area Alliance stated “The Alliance is launching this new business competition as part of its focus on ‘economic gardening’ (a.k.a.  homegrown economic growth) in the Bradford region. This fits our mission of advancing prosperity in the businesses and citizens of the Bradford region that is locally focused, regionally connected and global in view.” 

Do you have the next great idea?  Whether it’s a new app, a new product to be manufactured, a new store, a consulting business, or, perhaps a seasonal business, we want to help you make that idea a reality. 

The competition is open to anyone who would like to open a new business in the Bradford area.  The competition is also open to any existing business that is interested in expanding into a new venture. 

June 15, 2018

Leadership McKean Graduates 2018 Class

2018 McKean Leadership graduate, Alan Trotter, speaks at graduation ceremony relative to his recent experience in McKean Leadership. 

Alan D. Trotter, Jr. Speach at Leadership McKean Graduation Ceremony


In the course of one's personal and professional development, it is often a challenge to find the proper resources, build strong networks, and meet business leaders within the surrounding area. Leadership McKean accomplishes more than just that.  

Throughout this past year, our class members were given the opportunity to hear from numerous leaders in both the public and private sectors. We were able to engage them in conversation and ask them questions, one-on-one. We may not have gotten that opportunity outside of Leadership McKean. For me, it is incredibly valuable to meet current leadership in smaller, more intimate settings. My experience in this year's class has far surpassed all of my expectations.  

I must admit that my focus back in October was simply to network with different people, with who I would not have the chance to meet on my own. My work in church ministries often limits my ability to meet and network with people to those who are part of the congregation.  Over the past year, I have had the chance not only to meet and network with people from McKean county, and people from different vocational settings.  


I have enjoyed getting to know many people from around McKean County and various companies, but the single greatest experience I had in Leadership McKean was working with people who have different gifts and strengths than mine. While most of us tend to surround ourselves with

people like us, Leadership McKean was an opportunity to really put into perspective how a synergy develops among people of differing gifts and strengths. LM has been an  excellent experience in developing emotional intelligence and relational awareness. 

Leadership teacher, mentor, coach, and author John Maxwell tells us that "Leadership is not about titles, positions, or flowcharts. It is about one life influencing another."

Photo of Alan D. Trotter Jr.

I feel that we have been given that opportunity over these past months to begin thinking about how that applies to our current positions, with our coworkers, our supervisors, and even our company owners. We have been told that we are the future leadership of McKean county, and that we are the ones on whom our companies depend to lead into the next generation. While I may not work in companies like many of my classmates, my work depends on people like my classmates, who possess those leadership qualities, who are people that work in the banks, the courthouses, the refineries, among many other organizations both public and private. 

In the words of the motivational speaker Simon Sinek, author of Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don't, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” If there is one thing to gain from our experience in Leadership McKean, it is knowing that we all have the strengths to be a leader in every avenue of life, and we can add value to those around us. The choice to be that leader is yours. 

To see each group class project please visit:

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