From the Editors: March 27, 2019
Welcome, Erie enthusiasts to I2E Madness.
We have Erie's best businesses all here throwing the hammer down for "Industry, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship" this fine issue. They're giving it their all, and you and I know it's been one heck of a preseason. Get your brackets ready, or better yet, your parentheses — or your em dashes — because we're ready to start things off if you are.
Once again as a top seed, we have The State of Erie Industry. For the fourth time in five years, we see this feature returning and it's easy to see why. Led by Jim Wertz, this feature is ready to examine the ins and outs of what makes Erie tick when it comes to business, employment, and the new challenges and opportunities our community has in store. With an assist from star player Ken Louie, director of the Economic Research Institute at Penn State Behrend, Wertz is set to take this all the way.
One of the emerging stars on the scene has undoubtedly got to be Erie's beehives. Now, what's the buzz? You have organizations like Penn State Behrend in the east, Edinboro University in the south, Mercyhurst University in the midwest, The Erie County Public library representing the north, and from downtown, Gannon University! While it's not a R1 (Research 1) conference, we're able to see some fancy footwork and nice cooperation to make things happen. Will Ben Speggen have what it takes to bring home the honey? Hard work and research hint that the answer will be a resounding yes.
And in a joint effort, we have spotlights on local businesses coming back to I2E for the third straight year in a row. Jonathan Burdick passes to Rebecca Styn, who hands the ball off to Matt Swanseger for a real team effort. They each have their eyes on two local businesses that we're eager to highlight, from startups to large corporations, these Erie stars are dotting their i's and crossing their t's.
Oh me, oh my. As we get ready to enter the postseason, it's time to gear up for Erie's 40 Under 40. Making its third consecutive appearance in I2E is our 40 Under 40 Follow Up. Cara Suppa takes a time out and confers with three past hall-of-famers: Gisele Littrell of the Tipsy Bean, Courtney Steading of Penn State Behrend, and Matt Wiertel of Velocity Network. These three have been making strides and are set to take things to the next level.
Lastly and not leastly, we have Nick Warren and his team of franchise owners all set to make their first appearance in I2E. This crew has the fundamentals down and are turning up the heat, with star players like Chris N. Scott, Dale McBrier, and Christine Vogel. This group is making their case for how franchises and chains fit into the community. It's a team effort and they are determined to make the best of their home court advantage.
If you don't like that, you don't like industry, innovation, and entrepreneurship!