Governor Tom Corbett recognized 50 companies from throughout the state in five categories: Community Impact, Entrepreneurial Impact, Export Impact, Jobs First Impact and Small Business Impact. The Governor’s ImPAct Awards were presented at a luncheon on May 30, 2014 at Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA.

Nominations were made by the NEPA Partnerships for Regional Economic Performance (PREP) comprised of fourteen (14) community and economic development organizations in NEPA. The NEPA PREP Region processed 39 award nominations, and the following companies received first place awards at the event:

Small Business Impact Award

Kevins Worldwide, Larry Tinkelman, President, Lackawanna County

Kevins Worldwide was founded in 1994 by Larry and Kevin Tinkelman, and it has grown from a 4,000 square-foot facility with eight employees to an 85,000 square-foot facility with 65 employees. The company is one of the largest distributors of promotional products and uniforms in the United States, and it adds value to those using products for the purpose of generating revenue through customer awareness.

Community Impact Award

Benco Dental, Chuck & Rick Cohen, Managing Directors, Pittston, Luzerne County

A major distributor of dental related supplies and commodities, Benco Dental is also committed to discovering and implementing ways in which it can help preserve the environment, which is why it has an entire team devoted to green initiatives. Whether Benco Dental is supporting its corporate recycling program or partnering with the Environmental Protection Agency’s mid-Atlantic regional office, being environmentally conscience and friendly is something Benco Dental takes to heart.

Entrepreneurial Impact Award

Patrick W. Sandone, III, President, Net Driven, Scranton, Lackawanna County

Patrick W. Sandone, III brings significant experience to Northeastern Pennsylvania and big-business technology to smaller businesses. While most big automotive businesses were using an online presence to boost sales, smaller automotive businesses were quickly falling behind. Sandone founded Net Driven to provide websites and Internet marketing solutions to the automotive industry

Export Impact Award

Vigon International, Inc., Steve Somers, President, East Stroudsburg, Monroe County

Vigon International, Inc.’s export sales have increased from $8.2 million in 2011 to $19.6 million, a 139 percent increase. Over that three-year period, the company shipped to 48 different countries. Vigon has capitalized on opportunities when competitors have been out of material by going above and beyond to make an impression.

Jobs First Impact Award

Sallie Mae, Inc., John Redmondi, President & CEO, Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County

When the leaders of Sallie Mae, Inc. chose the Wilkes-Barre area for a loan servicing center in 1987, they were attracted to the community and workforce. That remains true today as the company continues to invest and grow there. In the past two years, Sallie Mae added 250 jobs to its workforce and plans to add another 250 full time positions in servicing, collection, and management by the end of 2015.

Congratulations to all the winners!!