This November, a month wherein we historically honor veterans, we shine the highlight on a handful of veteran-owned companies making waves in Centre County.
Willie’s Wooden Shed
Nostalgic big-band music streams out of Invoice Pantle’s storage – a totally outfitted woodshop the place “Willie” creates his customized wood wares, a lot of that are acquainted to Glad Valley residents keen on going out to eat and drink.
Pantle has created clocks long-established from the heads of previous barrels for Massive Spring Spirits and Timberland Federal Credit score Union. He’s additionally created flight servers for Robin Hood Brewing Firm, Glad Valley Brewing Firm, and Axemann Brewery.
“The entire key’s networking,” Pantle says. “You’re assembly individuals. You get out, and also you become involved, and also you generate enterprise. You’ll be able to see alternatives, and it really works.”
Pantle, 84, says woodworking clears his thoughts and relaxes him and is a small, “pastime enterprise” that retains the abilities he realized in highschool sharp.
“I’ve a desk upstairs I made for my mom,” Pantle says. “I at all times took a store class. Examine halls have been boring.”
Pantle has earned a proper to some R&R. He grew up in Philadelphia, graduated from Penn State, after which enlisted. After a 30-year, storied profession within the navy, with service in Vietnam and elsewhere, Pantle retired from the Air Power as a colonel.
Quickly after, Pantle did analysis and improvement consulting work, which led him again to Penn State. On common journeys to campus from his former residence in upstate New York, Pantle occurred to reconnect with an previous fraternity brother who had additionally retired from the Air Power.
“We might drink beers and inform lies within the night, and it was good to hang around with him,” says Pantle. “I stayed with Penn State for 10 years, and it was an amazing expertise. I believe I actually helped open some doorways with the Air Power for them.”
Pantle says he “acquired actually severe” with Willie’s Wooden Shed about two years in the past after ordering some objects from a woodworking catalog and figuring out he might make the stuff they have been promoting higher himself. Although his involvement within the craft is extra severe now, Pantle by no means deserted his pastime; he has dozens of tales of when woodworking got here in useful through the years, such because the time a fellow serviceman “taught” him to sail.
“I’d by no means sailed earlier than,” Pantle recollects, “so we went out on the boat. [My friend] instructed me, ‘Sail over there, by the pier.’ He hops out, says, ‘I’m going to go decide up my spouse. Have enjoyable.’ In order that’s how I realized to sail. Then I constructed a sailboat.”
Earlier than launching his enterprise, Pantle says he did woodworking “as mandatory.” For him, the problem of doing issues on the fly is enjoyable and rewarding.
“The accomplishment of going from a pile of wooden that you just gotta determine this out, otherwise you’re going to have an costly bonfire – really placing that on a trailer and taking it out and placing it within the water and elevating the sail – OK, what’s subsequent?”
Pantle is a member of the Chamber of Enterprise & Business of Centre County, the Bellefonte Chamber of Commerce, and is lively on the Boal Mansion and Museum. He not too long ago made and donated a customized flag case to guard and protect an vintage flag that was found on the mansion.
“We’re at all times in search of extra of us [to create products for],” Pantle says. “I’m taking a look at wineries and breweries to promote coasters with the identify of the brewery or the vineyard.”
Pantle says he would additionally wish to team-up with native marriage ceremony planners to create customized “shot skis” for the bride and groom and bridal events.
Pantle donates a portion of what he makes from his enterprise to the Centre County Veterans Help Fund, and asks individuals to keep in mind that as veterans, “We laid it on the road, we put our time in, and a few of us aren’t in pretty much as good well being as others.”
To contact Willie’s Wooden Shed, name (814) 203-3618.
NextHome Value Level Realty
Thomas Value, proprietor and managing dealer of NextHome Value Level Realty of Lemont, remembers the hours that ticked slowly by as he and fellow service members waited to be taught in the event that they’d be despatched abroad throughout Operation Desert Storm.
“We have been going to be the subsequent wave to go over there,” Value says. “We have been sitting within the gymnasium, I’ll always remember it, for 3 days. No information. No radios, no newspapers, no nothing. At that time, whenever you’re on the point of get shipped out like that, you had no data, we have been simply presupposed to go and know our orders.”
Value joined the Military navy police at age 17, and after publish closures led to a discount within the navy, he took an early out and served as a fireplace and EMS first-responder for a number of years in Texas. He says his expertise within the Military and as a member of emergency companies has helped him discover success in the actual property world.
“[It’s helped with] sustaining endurance and calm when consumers and sellers aren’t agreeing – some individuals can get heated,” Value says. “It’s some huge cash in actual property, so I can completely perceive it. Clearly, sustaining a transparent head in any sort of scenario helps.”
Value took actual property courses and handed the check to grow to be licensed, and says he was “thrown into the combo.” A big proportion of brokers don’t proceed within the career long-term, he says, “As a result of there’s rather a lot concerned in actual property that most individuals don’t know … and so they hand over earlier than they’ve an opportunity.”
After struggling for a few years and failing to search out the steering he was in search of from his employer, Value says he modified his technique and determined to do extra analysis and educate himself. His spouse Dana inspired him to get his dealer’s license, and although it sometimes takes an individual three to 5 years to grow to be licensed, Value says, “I acquired all my courses accomplished in 5 months; I actually crushed into it.”
Value made a good friend in his courses who offered him details about the NextHome franchise. He was intrigued by the corporate’s trendy method to actual property, the way in which they’re “streamlining the home-buying course of,” and the way they took a honest curiosity in him as a brand new dealer.
Value and his spouse flew out to California to satisfy with the NextHome CEO and different potential franchisees and attended orientation. Value says his thoughts was made up when he returned to his job after being away and, “No one knew I used to be gone, the place I used to be working then.”
Value and his spouse launched their enterprise in September 2017. He says his purpose is to coach brokers to know the property-buying course of totally to deal with any nervousness or worry early on, “So we may be extra profitable transferring on.”
Value says he likes the close-knit angle of NextHome and the know-how they incorporate into the method. Every home they promote will get its personal signal, full with “Luke,” the recognizable orange bulldog mascot, telling potential consumers the variety of bedrooms, loos, and storage measurement. When somebody texts the quantity on the signal, they obtain data on the home, and the agent receives the customer’s data too, to observe up and reply any questions they could have.
NextHome additionally does its personal in-house pictures and movies home excursions.
“Folks get offered sufficient each day,” Value says. “They don’t want offered. A home is somebody’s dream. I don’t should promote them a home. I simply have to assist them discover the fitting one.”
Value reminds clients, “Veterans volunteered to face up for everyone else on this nation, irrespective of who they’re, it doesn’t matter what their beliefs are; we volunteered to be sure that our nation stayed protected and all people has the chance to reap the benefits of what our county has to supply. Supporting a veteran-owned enterprise – there’s a thanks there.”
Thomas Value exterior his actual property workplace in Lemont.
Parra Design & Construct
Josh and Lizzie Parra method their inside and residential design enterprise with a “navy angle” they are saying is clear in most different veteran-owned companies they encounter.
“Every time we meet one other veteran enterprise proprietor, we at all times attempt to collaborate or provide a referral to them,” Josh Parra says. “I believe it’s crucial, as a result of these women and men sacrificed years of their lives to guard this nation and the liberty we’ve got to reside the life we do.”
Josh Parra, a local of Syracuse, New York, joined the Marine Corps when he was 18.
“I wanted path in my life,” says Parra. “I grew up and not using a dad and didn’t actually have that self-discipline. I grew up in sort of a tough neighborhood in Syracuse, and decided to hitch the Marine Corps.”
In his 4 years as a Marine, Parra traveled to such various locals as Puerto Rico, Bosnia, Haiti, Norway, and Japan.
“It helped open my eyes to the world,” Parra says, noting that he’d seen and skilled a lot by the point he was solely 22. “[The military] teaches you to be leaders and have integrity and attempt to do one of the best you may in all you do. I believe one of many massive issues the navy taught me is to be unbiased.”
Josh met his spouse, Lizzie, whereas bartending at Champ’s in State Faculty and attending college after the navy. The 2 embraced their unbiased spirit and located success in Boston in working their very own companies in each the actual property and pet industries.
“We stated we’d by no means transfer again [to State College],” Josh says, “after which we had our son [Ignacio], and Lizzie’s entire household is right here. [Iggy] would actually join along with his cousin after we came over, and we thought it was vital for him to develop up round household.”
With their preliminary renovation undertaking in State Faculty, Josh says he and Lizzie “introduced in all the weather of design we have been used to within the metropolis, and when individuals got here via the property, that piqued their curiosity, and other people began reaching out to us about designing and upgrading their houses.”
The Parras say they’ve been “busier and busier” since quarantine led individuals to remain at dwelling and see issues about their homes that they wish to transform. Many extra persons are additionally telecommuting full-time now, Josh says, and so they’re wanting to “make issues extra comfy for working from dwelling.”
The Parras doc a lot of their initiatives on social media and have a loyal following of individuals they encourage with their dazzling before-and-after photographs.
“You’ll be able to count on a sure caliber of service, sometimes, from [a veteran-owned business],” says Lizzie Parra. “Often, after we’re working with someone we all know was within the service, we all know they’ll maintain themselves to a sure normal as a result of they got here from that background. The identical qualities Josh brings to the enterprise, of by no means settling for lower than what he feels is the best possible, and at all times anticipating the whole lot to be 110 – we count on that after we work with different veterans.”
Be taught extra at: parradesignbuild.com.
Josh, Lizzie, and Ignacio Parra.
Teresa Mull is a contract author in Philipsburg.