Need an advisory board? Featured

9:45am EDT July 22, 2002

Seton Hill College’s National Education Center for Women in Business (NECWB) is accepting applications for its Westmoreland County-based PowerLink program, which seeks to assist woman-owned businesses to expand profitably through the use of professional advisory panels.

During its two years of operation, PowerLink has assisted four women-owned businesses, Temporary Employees Most Preferred, Huntingdon; Henry’s Laundry, Dry Cleaning and Linen Services of Greensburg; Neurological Physical Therapy Specialists Inc. of Greensburg; and RE Uptegraff Manufacturing Co. of Scottdale.

“A panel of experts matched to the business’s needs, provides women-owned enterprises assistance in overcoming some of the hurdles they are experiencing as they work to grow their businesses,” says Jayne Huston, associate director of the NECWB.

Volunteer professionals in management, accounting, legal, marketing and human resources are included on PowerLink panels, which serve as advisory boards to the qualifying woman business owner at no charge.

For women entrepreneurs such as Cynthia Molitor, owner of Neurological Physical Therapy Specialists Inc., PowerLink provided invaluable business education and support.

“The PowerLink board members have provided me with an information treasure chest,” Molitor says. “As a physical therapist, I have always focused on providing the best therapy program possible for our clients, yet I didn’t have the business background that it takes today to run a health care practice.

“The board’s practical knowledge in finance, marketing, legal, human resources and other areas of business have helped me make this practice viable and competitive in a very competitive health care market.”

Rebecca Davidson, assistant vice president of Southwest Bank and a PowerLink panel coordinator, has witnessed what she considers remarkable results.

“PowerLink is one of the most valuable experiences I have ever had,” she says. “The advisers are very dedicated and eager to help, and their enthusiasm is contagious. The wealth of information I have personally gained has brought my knowledge of the manufacturing industry to a whole other level, which helps me in my own job.

“[PowerLink] provides invaluable expertise and assistance.”

Says Huston: “Resources we can provide to these women business owners will not only make a difference in their ability to profitably grow their businesses, but to Westmoreland County as a whole. When businesses succeed, the entire county profits.”

Applications for the next “class” of PowerLink-Westmoreland businesses are now being accepted. Women-owned businesses that most likely will be selected are those which meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum of two years in operation;

  • Minimum of two full-time employees;

  • Minimum annual revenue of $250,000 for manufacturing or retail businesses and minimum annual revenue of $100,000 for service businesses;

  • Clearly defined company objectives/goals with explicit reasons for seeking PowerLink’s assistance in meeting those objectives/goals.

For more information about how your business can grow through the use of advisory panels, please contact Jayne Huston at (724) 830-4612.