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Local Business Owner Named "Small Business Person of the Year."

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. (May 29, 2008) - Harold Hance of Mountain Valley Teleservices LLC was honored with the 2008 Small Business Person of the Year and an Excellence Award from the Syracuse District Small Business Administration on May 5, at a luncheon in Albany.

Harold Hance and BJ Paprocki, Syracuse District Director, US Small Business AdministrationWinners of the Small Business Person of the Year Award are chosen based on the number of people they employ, sales increases, product innovation, staying power of the business and community contributions. The award acknowledges the important role small businesses play in our communities.

"Small businesses drive our economy creating jobs and opportunities for Americans in every community across the country," said Small Business Administration Administrator Steve Preston.

Hance was nominated for this award by the North Country Small Business Development Center. The North Country SBDC nominates a deserving client for a Small Business Administration Excellence Award every year. Winning this award places him in the position of a nominee for a U.S. Small Business Administration entrepreneur award.

The North Country SBDC considers Hance and his company to be an exceptional example of the positive economic role small businesses play in communities such as Plattsburgh.

Dee Clark, retired Regional Director of North Country SBDC, recalled, "When I first met Harold, he was employed at a call center in Maine. This young entrepreneur had a dream of helping the North County grow by bringing a clean industry to our area."

In 2003, when Mountain Valley Teleservices LLC was born, Hance did just that.

"With education and experience under my belt, I wanted to come back to the North Country and build the business here," said Hance. "The appeal of the North Country is its thirst to recruit new businesses to the area and the minimal presence of the call center industry."

His company offers direct response marketers a service-oriented environment that will sell, serve and ship their respective product lines. The services they deliver are a seamless "a la carte" selection for third-party clientele. Technology is the backbone to their success, and they are constantly evaluating the direction of the direct response-marketing arena. Currently, the company is writing and licensing its own Order Entry Software Application.

Employing the philosophy of "homegrown management," Mountain Valley Teleservices strives to hire locally and promote from within. This strategy improves morale and employee retention. The company's location in the City of Plattsburgh and its proximity to local colleges have enabled it to sustain employment for 140 full- and part-time workers with a target of 200 by 2009.

Mountain Valley Teleservices recently moved to new space on the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. The building was designed to specifications allowing for maximum workplace efficiency.

Though Hance encountered many hurdles during his years in business, he has managed not only to survive these crises but also to recover from them and secure commercial financing to continue to grow his business. Hance's return to the North Country and his desire to build a thriving firm is a real benefit to the local economy and has earned him the distinction of being the Small Business Administration's 2008 Small Business Person of the Year.


The North Country SBDC, part of the School of Business and Economics at SUNY Plattsburgh, works one-on-one in a confidential setting with emerging, existing, and expanding entrepreneurs. The staff has provided these services at no cost to clients in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Warren, and northern Washington counties for since 1984.  The North Country SBDC is part of a statewide program funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the State of New York. Visit the North Country SBDC online at www.BizEssentials.org .

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