PA Small Business Person of the Year

Elvin Stoltzfus

Pik Rite, Inc is proud to announce that Company President Elvin Stoltzfus has been named 2017 Small Business Person of the Year in Pennsylvania by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

………“These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 28 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine for today’s economy”, said Linda McMahon, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, in the March 16, 2017 announcement of winners.

Small Business Person of the Year winners from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands will converge in Washington, D.C. April 30 – May 1.  Winners will be honored with their individual award, along with the recognition of three runners-up and the naming of the 2017 National Small Business Person of the Year.

In response to being named 2017 Small Business Person of the Year, Stoltzfus said, “I don’t want it to be about me as much as about the employees, the organization, and the products we build. To win this award is an honor, but it’s all about my faith, the employees and my family supporting me over the years.”

Steven Stumbris, director of the Bucknell University Small Business Development Center nominated Stoltzfus for the award.  The relationship between Pik Rite and the local SBDC began 15 years ago when two mechanical engineering professors from Bucknell helped Pik Rite in the design and development of a vegetable harvester.  Pik Rite has since engaged the SBDC’s Engineering Development Services as well as the Environmental Management Assistance Program, he said.

“Elvin’s leadership of Pik Rite, as demonstrated both through his commitment to his employees and his dedication to exceeding the needs of his customers made him an excellent candidate for this award. He’s a true champion for his employees and not only helps them to develop as individuals but also supports their efforts to volunteer in the community,” Stumbris said in a Daily Item article.

Pik Rite Inc., recently celebrated 30 years of USA manufacturing. Product lines range from the namesake “Pik Rite” vegetable harvesters to agricultural spreaders and in recent years, commercial vacuum tanks and truck bodies. The company employs 70-80 people at its 64,000 sq ft facility in Lewisburg, PA and has exported equipment to 27 countries. Striving for a new sales benchmark of $25 million, the company is seeing growth and continuing to expand into new markets.

Pik Rite products are constructed from raw material; start to finish, on site. This includes employees fabricating, welding, sandblasting, painting and assembling the finished product. More than 90 percent of the materials used are American-made.  “It gives us a lot of pride,” said Stoltzfus, who also is a Kelly Township supervisor.  Pik Rite hopes to add a new product to its sales catalog. A melon harvester is in development with a prototype to be tested in California in the summer of 2017, he said.

Having just completed the third phase of facility expansion in July 2016, there are no plans for further building expansion in the near future, and there are no plans to sell the company, either. Stoltzfus wants the company to grow, and he believes Pik Rite can reach $25 million in gross sales by building on established relationships and creating new ones. It’s all part of continuing to foster the company culture of hard work and positivity, he said.  “That has probably been the single thing that has changed here in our culture. People have a buy-in. They feel safe here and part of a family,” Stoltzfus said.