The tecBRIDGE Team is proud to announce that Paul Browne is the 2021 Bill McNally Mentor of the Year Award recipient.
Paul is a Northeastern Pennsylvania native whose family has roots in Carbondale dating back to 1849.
When he was in his early 20s, he was part of a group of younger people living in Carbondale who wanted to see the city improve and develop. That is where his interest in economic development started.
After growing the tax base as City Manager, Paul developed and opened the Carbondale Technology Transfer Center (CTTC) in 1996 and has been the Executive Director ever since.
The CTTC provides traditional support services, offers guidance in navigating the regulatory requirements for food production companies and provides business and technical assistance.
“There’s no typical day at the CTTC. We’re an incubator so really, it’s like we’re a permanent start up ourselves,” said Paul.
The building itself is divided into Office (Technology Users), Light Industry, Mixed-Use, Kitchen, and Electronics Incubator sections. Paul visits each section multiple times a day to check on tenants.
Paul considers himself an informal mentor at the incubator. He says that he “just knows” what resources that he can recommend to businesses in the building.
Jordan Galasso, owner of Fit AF Nutrition, which is houses in the CTTC incubator, would say otherwise.
“I’ve known Paul since day one, when Fit AF opened its doors three and a half years ago. I had no idea what I was doing, and still don’t, but Paul gave me guidance to bring Fit AF from an idea to a tangible business,” said Jordan.
“Seriously though, not only has Paul allowed me to continue to turn my vision into a reality, he has been a great man to work with and genuinely wants to see others do well and succeed.”
When Paul isn’t writing grants or walking laps in the CTTC to interact with tenants, he enjoys golfing, spending time with family and researching baseball history.
“I’ve gotten to know Paul well over the past few years and because of that, I know more now about the history of baseball than I ever imagined I would,” said Jordan.
Paul has a distant relative who played for the original Giants Baseball Team in the 1880s, which sparked his interested in researching and writing about the sport. You can find his baseball articles and biographies here.
“It’s funny,” Paul said. “Carbondale was a basketball town, and the basketball courts were right across the street from my house. I played every sport there was, but baseball was the sport I played the least. It just happens to be that it’s the one I’m most interested in now.”
In addition to his work at the CTTC, Paul is a Colombia Hose Company Member and retired fire fighter. He is also part of an Irish Catholic Organization called the Ancient Order of Hibernians, which is America’s oldest Irish Catholic Fraternal Organization and Chair of the Hibernian Hunger Project.
Congratulations Paul, and thank you for your continued support of entrepreneurship in Northeast PA!