Made in PA
Airs Monday, February 13th at 7pm on WVIA TV
You might be shocked at the sheer amount and variety of things that are made right around the corner. From snowboards to mason jars, some things you use every day get their start in your neighborhood. Keystone Edition Business profiles some locally-owned and homegrown ventures.
Nicholas Gilson, CEO, Gilson Snow
Nicholas is Founder and CEO of Gilson Snow, a manufacturer of snowboards and skis located in Winfield, PA. He graduated in 2011 from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Earth & Planetary Sciences. He taught middle school science in Nashville, TN with Teach For America before launching the company out of the classroom with Austin Royer. He has received numerous awards in innovative product development and leadership and holds several snowboard and ski patents. Gilson Snow made Wired's "Gear of the Year" list in 2015, and in 2016 the company was named one of Outside Magazine's favorite brands born in America. In 2017, Bloomberg Businessweek profiled the company, and in 2018, Nick earned the Small Business Administration's (SBA) “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award for Philadelphia and Eastern PA. The company was featured on NPR’s How I Built This, and in 2020, the Gilson Fly powder model was named the #1 Powder Snowboard by Jackson Hole’s Mountain Weekly News. In 2021, the Fusion skis were ranked the #1 park skis by Newschoolers testing. The company has also earned the Innovative Product Development Award from the Governor's Office and the PA House of Representatives. Nick serves on the Governor’s Workforce Development Board and the board of the Innovative Manufacturers Center. Gilson Snow has entered into deals with the NHL, MLB, Hasbro (Transformers, Monopoly, G.I. Joe, My Little Pony), AC/DC, Slayer, Pink Floyd, among others.
Lauren Bryson, Executive Director, Focus Central PA
Lauren has experience in leadership, management, graphics design, market research and strategic marketing plan development. Training and certifications have been completed in many aspects of economic development and manufacturing including marketing, attraction, retention, workforce development, education, infrastructure and development. Graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI with a Bachelors Degree in Marketing, an Associates Degree in Sales Management, a Concentration in Sociology, and an International Marketing Certificate from Brugge, Belgium.
Lauren is an active member of the Elimsport United Methodist Church and currently serves as the immediate past Chair for the Hope Enterprises, Inc. Board of Directors. Hope is an amazing, fantastic organization that enhances the lives of people with developmental disabilities by providing them with responsive services and supports!
At at Williamsport TedX event, Lauren spoke about the importance of innovation in manufacturing and underestimating sources of innovation and ideas. Lauren is a graduate of the Innovation Engineering Leadership Institute program, which was put together to reignite American manufacturing innovation.
Jeff Comitz, Director of Operations, Thermal Product Solutions
Jeff Comitz is the Director of Operations at Thermal Product Solutions, an industry leading thermal processing company, specializing in the design and manufacturing of industrial, pharmaceutical, medical and laboratory ovens, furnaces, environmental temperature cycling and stability test chambers. As Director of Operations, he oversees a total of 80-100 employees in the Production, Purchasing, Quality and Logistics functions and is responsible for the overall direction, coordination, and evaluation of these units. Born and raised in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania, Jeff has called Montoursville, Pennsylvania his home since 2012. Jeff graduated Magna Cum Laude from The Pennsylvania College of Technology in 2016 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Design Technology. Jeff has been employed by Thermal Product Solutions since 2014.