Franciscan’s Enactus hosts annual local small biz seminar

STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan University of Steubenville Chapter of Enactus, formerly known as Students in Free Enterprise, and the Herald-Star are teaming up with the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Small Business Development Center to sponsor a Project Bootstraps business seminar at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The seminar, free and open to the public to be held in the seminar room of the St. Joseph Center on the university campus, will focus on six local, successful entrepreneurs. There will be an opportunity for those attending to ask questions about the business owners’ successes.

Speakers will include John DiCarlo of JD DiCarlo Distributing Co.; Jim McBane of McBane Insurance and Financial Services; Lou DiGregory of DiGregory’s Greenhouse and Garden Center; Paul “Butch” Simon of Toronto Auto Parts; Rich DeLuca of Axess Management Group; and Jim Emmerling of EM-Media Inc. All

will discuss how they established their businesses and how they maintain, improve and continue to succeed during difficult economic times.

Thomas Kelly, faculty adviser of Enactus at the university, organized the fifth-annual event.

“I hope it will once again inspire budding entrepreneurs to use their talents and skills to open their own businesses and improve the lives of the citizens throughout the local economy,” said Kelly.

Business biographies of those speaking include:

McBane, who was raised in Bergholz. After graduating from Muskingum College in 1962, he returned to Bergholz to work at McBane Insurance Agency, an independent agency founded by his grandfather in 1900.

He joined his father, Ralph McBane, who had been managing the agency since his graduation from college in 1935.

In 1994, Jim’s son David joined the agency – the fourth generation to become a part of the agency.

In 1994 McBane Insurance purchased the Rinehart Agency near Carrollton and opened an office in Carrollton. In 1998 they purchased the McGowan Agency in Steubenville and the Valuska Agency of Mingo Junction with offices at 325 N. Fourth St. in Steubenville until moving the office to 100 Welday St., Wintersville, in 2012.

When McBane joined the agency in 1962, there were five employees at the Bergholz office. The agency now has three offices and 16 employees.

“As an independent insurance agency, we represent a number of different insurance companies, which enable them to select the best coverage at very competitive pricing for the clients of the agency,” said McBane. “Products offered include home, auto, business, health and life insurance. The agency was founded upon the principles of honesty, integrity and stability.”

DiGregory graduated from Ohio State University’s Agricultural Technical Institute with a major in landscape design, installation and construction. He is the president of DiGregory’s Greenhouse and Garden Center in Steubenville.

“I’ve worked in the family business all my life,” said DiGregory, adding he worked formally since 1981 as a horticulturist specializing in landscape horticulture. “I’m married to the former Kathy Ryan, and we have three adult daughters.”

DiCarlo is president and co-owner of JD DiCarlo Distributing Co. along with his brother, Michael DiCarlo. John is a graduate of Catholic Central High School and the Franciscan University of Steubenville with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He became president of JD DiCarlo Distributing upon the retirement of his father and founder, John D. DiCarlo, in 2003.

JD DiCarlo Distributing Co. is a snack food wholesaler based in Steubenville and has been in business for more than 50 years in the Ohio Valley. Founded in 1960, JD DiCarlo Distributing established the Snyder of Berlin snack food brand in the area, servicing hundreds of local, loyal business customers. Through the years JD DiCarlo acquired more quality brands to its portfolio adding Kellogg’s, Conn’s Snack Foods, Wise Snack Foods and Giannios Chocolates to its local distribution.

In 2009, JD DiCarlo Distributing became the local distributor for Mission Foods, providing flour tortillas and chips. In 2012 they expanded that product line into the Greater Pittsburgh area, nearly tripling their scope of distribution. In 2013, the territory from Morgantown to Elkins, W.Va., was added for Mission distribution.

“What began as a ‘one truck’ operation in 1960 has grown to what will become 11 routes by the end of 2014,” said DiCarlo. “With a great staff of employees, we’re dedicated to the initial principles of its founder John D. DiCarlo – to be a service-oriented business driven to satisfy all customers, both large and small.

With more than 30 years of advertising experience, Emmerling founded Em-Media Inc. in April 1996.

A native of New Kensington, Pa., Emmerling graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1984 with a bachelor of arts degree in speech communications.

Prior to starting his own advertising and marketing agency, Emmerling worked at the Gannett Newspaper Corp. in Tarentum, Pa., and held management positions at The Daily Collegian in State College, Pa., as well as at WTOV-TV in Steubenville.

As president of Em-Media, Emmerling leads of team of professionals including media specialists, web designers and graphic artists. His company’s creative services include media buying and planning; graphic design; commercial production; web design and maintenance; print publications; and social media management.

Emmerling is active civically and previously served as president of the Steubenville Rotary Club, where he remains a current board member. He is assistant governor for Rotary District 6650 in Ohio; a member and lector at Blessed Sacrament Parish; a board member for the Steubenville Country Club; and a board member for the Steubenville Parks and Recreation Department.

He and his wife, Lee Ann, are the parents of four children – Michael, Jacob, Jonathan and Isabella.

A life-long resident of Jefferson County, married to the former Kimberly Cline, DeLuca earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Ohio University and a master’s degree in business administration from Wheeling Jesuit University.

With nearly 35 years in health care administration and finance. DeLuca spent nearly 20 years functioning as an independent management consultant working through a privately held management company.

More recently, DeLuca was named president of the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

“While working with many organizations during the past three decades in full-time capacities, I have concurrently owned and operated companies designed to provide support services to a variety of clients and customers, most of which have been related to the health care industry,” said DeLuca. “More recently, and since 2006, we have been operating Axess Management Group LLC. This is a parent company to two divisions – one division that services health care providers with medical supplies and equipment for their patients; and the second division specializing in management support services at a variety of levels including, but not limited to facilities management; strategic and operational assessments; business startup support; and operational support.

Simon began working at Toronto Auto Parts full time in 1977 right after graduating high school.

“My father owned the business, which he began in March of 1964,” Simon said. “I started out stocking shelves, cleaning and maintaining the store as well as doing counter sales.”

Simon said over the years he’s learned all facts of the business, including sales, purchasing, merchandising and customer and employee relations.

“We service do-it-yourselfers as well as professional repair shops, local mills, power plants, gold courses, coal mines, trucking companies and fleet customers,” he said.

(Miller can be contacted at