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Whipple Receives Merit Award For Female Entrepreneurs


By Rick Hiduk

Kim Whipple of Whipple Performing Arts in Tunkhannock was one of four northeast Pennsylvania women to receive recognition from the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at a luncheon held in the university’s DeNaples Center on Oct. 12.

Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal editor Elizabeth Zygmunt served as mistress of ceremonies for the event, during which Whipple was cited as a Woman Entrepreneur for her 30 years of service to the Tunkhannock area as a purveyor of dance, theatre, and the arts in general.

Whipple related that her husband, Ron, and Kim Toth, a parent of a theater student, nominated her for the award earlier in the summer. They found out that Whipple was among the four finalists just prior to Labor Day Weekend and made the announcement, to Whipple’s surprise, during a presentation by Whipple’s Performing Arts students at the Wyoming County Fair.

“It was quite an honor,” Whipple said of the award, which was presented to her by SBDC consultant manager Dona Simpson. Whipple felt that the citation placed her in good company with several other Tunkhannock-area business women who have been honored by the center in previous years.

In addition to Whipple, winners of the 2011 Award for Woman Entrepreneur included Marie Page, president and owner of Marie Page Cleaning Services in Reeders; Rita Lacey of Close the Loop of Kunkletown; and Karen Shifert, developer of Caregivers Aid of Auburn.

“The banquet was great,” said Whipple, who noted that she was impressed by keynote speaker Cena Block, owner of Sane Spaces, an organization that helps working mothers achieve a happy balance between their careers and managing household duties. “You can always learn something, no matter how long you are in business,” Whipple said of Block’s presentation.

She was equally impressed by fellow nominee Lacey, who assists manufacturers with new ideas for recycling and re-use. Whipple noted that Lacey has succeeded despite a lack of prior experience in sales and marketing and that some of the ideas she shared with attendees, such as grinding up old tires for use as driveway asphalt, were exciting.

For more information about the award program or the university’s Small Business Development Center, readers may log on to www.scrantonsbdc.com.

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