Year after year, it has been Pennsylvania Business Central’s honor to celebrate the top 100 people in business and economic development who have learned through failures and successes how to develop both their organizations and communities.

To gain insight into how these industry leaders have learned through experience, we asked each one to name a mistake they have made in the past and how they have learned from it. How each selectee reacted to the mistakes in the past reveals how important real-life experience is to developing both the acumen and wherewithal to make it in business. It is our hope that after reading the profiles, you will realize that people are not defined by their mistakes nearly as much as by their ability to recover and learn from them.

To see how they would like to apply their expertise to their community, we asked each selectee what they believe the hidden potential of their community is and how they will help to realize it. Pennsylvania is made up of hard-working communities and we believe that the Commonwealth will continue to grow with the leadership exemplified in this edition.

Our editorial team once again had hundreds of nominations to select from to form this year’s list. Narrowing the total number of nominees down to 100 proved to be as difficult as ever.

Wehopethatthefinallistrepresents corporations and organizations large and small while also covering every region of our readership. Readers will see that whether you are a small tech company in Centre County or a paper manufacturer in Lewistown, there are always ways to excel in your field and help your community grow.

Now that this latest edition of Top 100 People is finalized, Pennsylvania Business Central is moving on to finalizing the list of Top 100 Organizations, which will be published in February.

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2017-01-27 / Top 100 People

George “Scoop” Sample

President and CEO

Sample News Group

George “Scoop” Sample has 50 years of experience in small-community journalism. His areas of experience have ranged from his hometown of Corry, to the Groundhog Club in Punxsutawney, to Sayre and finally on to Huntingdon, where for the past 25 years Pennsylvania’s “Biggest Small-Town Newspaper Company” has been built from the ground up. Sample News Group has over 75 publications in six states and over 700 employees.

“The joy of newspaper work is something you never grow tired of. Every day, every story you get an opportunity to learn something new and there’s nothing more enjoyable than a story that brings a smile to your reader,” Sample said. “In small towns the role of journalist and community service are one and the same.”

As a company that has experienced rapid growth, from two publications in 1992 to 75 in 2017, from 22 employees to 750, Sample wants to focus on training his team in the future.

“We have not done an adequate job of training our team,” Sample said. “We have 30 small locations spread over thousands of miles, and it is difficult to establish proper job descriptions, goal setting and reviews. Our folks come to work each day wanting to do a good job and it is up to our management team to give the direction that makes us all successful. ”

As the region’s largest media company, Sample also wants to ensure that Sample News Group pushes to make more people aware of the area’s natural beauty and believes that Huntingdon County has the “resources to be the outdoor playground of Pennsylvania.”

Sample is a graduate of Denison University and in his spare time enjoys golf, Penn State football, and spending time with his wife, Marlene, and daughter, Morgan.

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