Meet the Entrepreneurs

Meet the Startup Alleghenies entrepreneurs.

Our region’s entrepreneurs are as diverse as their business ideas. They range from high school and college students to successful professionals who “boomerang” home, to those who never left the mountains they loved, and new comers, drawn by the quality of life and support for entrepreneurs. Here are just a few of the people building businesses in the Southern Alleghenies.

Vinzeal Wolf

Vinzeal Wolf wasn’t born in Johnstown – he chose the city as his new hometown in 2005. After serving his tour of duty in the US Army, Wolf knew he wanted to start a business that would serve his community and help drive the economy forward.

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Jeremy and Jennifer Shearer

Jeremy Shearer isn’t from Johnstown, but his wife, Jennifer is. When starting their own restaurant, Press Bistro, the couple aimed to bring something different to her hometown.

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Mark Barbera

The great-grandson of an Italian cobbler who immigrated to Somerset, Mark Barbera was in the sixth grade when he began customizing shoes for himself and his friends. In high school, he taught himself the art of leather restoration.

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Sarah Vogel

Sarah Vogel, is passionate about art, coffee, bringing people together and revitalizing historic downtown Altoona. The Bellwood, Pa., native managed to do it all when she pursued a dream she’s had since high school and opened her own coffee shop, The Clay Cup in Spring 2017.

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Dave Luciew

Dave Luciew has an unrelenting passion for the production and delivery of the highest quality products. The Johnstown native, who combines creativity and technical expertise with an entrepreneurial mindset, has won numerous awards, and had his work featured in Animation Magazine, CG Society, 3D Artist Magazine and influential industry websites.

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Mike McCluskey

Mike McCluskey left his job as a lead engineer for water systems at a contracting firm in Johnstown, to make the leap into the world of the entrepreneur and launch InnoH2O Solutions in Somerset, Pa.

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John Russell

Serial entrepreneur, John Russell enjoyed a successful career in the wireless industry in nearby Pittsburgh, but always knew that he’d be a “boomerang” and return to his hometown one day in Tyrone, PA.

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About Startup Alleghenies

Startup Alleghenies is on a mission to bring greater economic vitality to the region by creating an ecosystem for success that recruits and supports entrepreneurs. Launched in June 2017 by the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission (SAP&DC). Startup Alleghenies entrepreneurs are mentored by coaches who provide 360 support to help them navigate a vast network of partners at economic development groups, private organizations investors and universities-all working together to bring talent, new businesses, and jobs to the region.

Partner Toolkit

This toolkit includes photos, logos, PowerPoint templates and more to help spread the word about Startup Alleghenies.