• Rachel Lingenfelter

A Boss in Business: Debra Clark’s New Role at Startup Alleghenies

Since we are the First Frontier Forward, we are all about pioneering the future and learning about all the things the world has to offer. This includes what the business market has to offer to those looking to create a startup of their own. What better to have than an organization dedicated to just that?

Startup Alleghenies is a program that focuses on providing the right connections for those who are looking to start their own small business or side hustle. For those who are into entrepreneurial education and information, you might want to make a connection with Debra Clark, the newest coach at Startup Alleghenies. Her plans for a career started on the path leading to becoming an attorney. With a change of plans, becoming an attorney did not stay on her radar for long. Instead, she began serving the Huntingdon and Fulton counties in October of 2018. At the same time, she was holding a full time position at Huntingdon County Business & Industry. She was officially named the executive director in February of this year.

“I deal with people who have an idea and a desire to start their own business, people of many different levels. They have an idea. I help them do business plan writing, offer financial guidance, ask them if this is viable within the community, and who will be your customers,” Clark said.

So, what are some of the things Clark expects upcoming business owners to understand? Marketing. Accounting. Taxes. Employee management. And this is just to start. But why are these things so important? “A lot of people don’t realize what it takes to get started. Money is important — from beginning to end, I help look for grants, I research funding for them,” she added. You feel you are part of that person’s dream. You are helping them succeed with something they are passionate about, helping them realize their dream. It is a minor victory for yourself when you get them started.”

The current number of clients that she has is 46. The board president, Cory Sisto, comments on how Clark’s dedication has changed the company for the better. “HCB&I has endured a lot of change in the past year. Our organization’s endurance has been a result of Debra’s experience and commitment,” Sisto said. “Frankly, without Debra stepping up during these times, I’m not sure where the organization would be and the potential negative impact on our customers. I’m thankful that Debra was our partner through the process, and we don’t have to dwell too heavily on the what-ifs.”

Making a difference in Huntingdon and Fulton counties and creating opportunities for startups in those areas are made possible because of people like Debra Clark. The building blocks of new business is so readily available for those interested in learning more. Thinking about reaching out? Startup Alleghenies has many people who want to help you jumpstart your next career move. If you’d like to speak to Debra, her email is dclark@hcbi.com and her phone number is 814-506-8287.

(Source: https://www.altoonamirror.com/news/local-news/2020/03/woman-excited-to-begin-startup-alleghenies-leadership-role/)

Startup Alleghenies Website: http://startupalleghenies.com/

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