Business Columns & Blogs

Bits of Business: Local man’s passion is fixing Volkswagens

It started with a kind gesture.

Andy Krishak bought a June Bug Volkswagen for his wife 10 years ago, a gift that kept on giving.

The Krishaks, who own Ace Answering Service, have several Volkswagens. Each one is a new project for Andy Krishak, who said he has four that can go on the road and two that are ongoing ventures. As much as he loves doing it as a hobby, he decided he could turn it into a small business at 2860 General Potter Highway.

“It’s really fun to restore and repair old Volkswagens, and I’ve done some work for other folks, too,” he said. “They’re like stray animals to me. Someone finds one, I get it and I end wanting to keep them. I think this will be a good way to help people with their old Volkswagens that want back on the road.”

Andy Krishak, who helped Bart Grande clean up the space for GodSpeed Hostel, bought the property from Grande and turned it into his own shop called AC2 Aircooled. The shop has about 1,100 square feet of space and Krishak will add 500 more square feet.

He’ll be open for business by the end of June.


Jake Allegar and Nate Durkin have chips on their shoulders.

Wood chips, that is.

The two co-founded Cutting Edge Tree Professionals earlier this year. It’s a tree service business that offers everything from soil care to tree removal.

Allegar grew up around his father’s plant nursery, founded a landscaping business out of high school and learned the arborist trade with Andrew M. Moore Tree Surgeon and then Fuller’s Quality Tree Service. Durkin’s interest in entrepreneurship developed at Juniata College, where he considered starting a business as a life insurance agent.

The lifelong friends acquired Fuller’s Quality Tree Service and transitioned it into Cutting Edge, which launched with nine employees.

“With this team, we hope we can reach a lot more people than we did before,” Allegar said.

A done deal

J.C. Blair and PinnacleHealth recently acquired 611 MRI.

611 MRI, located on 611 University Drive in State College, became part of J.C. Blair and PinnacleHealth’s network June 1. The company believes the facility provides a convenient satellite location for J.C. Blair’s flagship medical imaging.

“The health care landscape is changing and, as a health system, we need to create opportunities to grow our business by offering services that are convenient for our community,” J.C. Blair Chief Operating Officer Adam Dimm said. “This new venture allows us to extend J.C. Blair’s medical imaging services to a whole new market of patients and physicians and position the J.C. Blair and PinnacleHealth brand for additional opportunities.”

Services offered at the facility are open MRI, CT scan, ultrasound, bone density, fluoroscopy, arthrograms and X-ray.

The 611 MRI State College staff is now employed by J.C. Blair Health System.

TechCelerator awards

two startups

William Corbin and Linsey Covert had clear messages.

They wanted to make a difference.

The Ben Franklin TechCelerator’s panel of judges listened and awarded each $5,000 at the culmination of a 10-week entrepreneur boot camp. Four other entrepreneurs from BioElastomer, Green Drake Aquatic Labs, GreenTowers and PRL Diagnostics also completed the boot camp.

Corbin and his wife, Cynthia, founded Future Edge Consulting and developed a software app to streamline the tracking of emergency vehicles. The Corbins told the panel that their software, which is used by Huntingdon County, has cut response time to emergencies in half.

Covert founded Project TEAM and developed a K-6 bullying prevention program that includes a curriculum and training aimed at fostering a team-like culture for children. She said the intervention rate for bullying is about 15 percent, a rate that Project Team could increase by promoting peer intervention.

Opportunity knocks

The PA Career Link of Centre County will hold a Summer Career Week beginning Monday.

Each day will be dedicated to a different topic, and people can preregister by calling 548-7587. Sessions are free and will be held at 240 Match Factory Place in Bellefonte.

Monday’s Meet the Employer and Application Fair will be exclusive to 15-to-24-year-olds. Attendees can get help with job applications and discuss with employers what companies look for in young employees. Sessions will be held at 10 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Tuesday’s Prepare for the Job Fair will give job-seekers of all ages insight into how to make good impressions with employers and what to do before, during and after a job fair. Participants can get assistance with applying for jobs. One session will be held from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday’s Summer Savings program will be an opportunity to learn from Citizens Bank representatives on how to budget and set savings goals. The session will be from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Thursday’s PA CareerLink Job Fair will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where job-seekers can interact with employers from around the county.

Friday’s Military Training Day will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and will give people a chance to meet Navy, Army, Marines and Air Force recruiters.

Another Friday event, “Applying for Penn State Jobs,” will be held 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at 420 Holmes St. in Bellefonte. Penn State Human Resources Specialist Steve Hayes will give tips on how to get employed by the university. There are no more seats available for this event.