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Haller Institute recognizes alumnus and student as top entrepreneurs


GREENVILLE, Pa.—The Thiel College Haller Enterprise Institute will honor John Thigpen ’86 and Greg Galbo ’18 as its Entrepreneur and Student Entrepreneur of the Year at the Oct. 25 Entrepreneur of the Year Award Dinner and Ceremony. Both honorees are residents of Hermitage, Pa.

Thigpen graduated from Thiel College in 1986 with a degree in accounting and business administration. After leaving Thiel, John moved to Erie, Pa. where he worked in public accounting. He became a licensed C.P.A. in 1989 and received his M.B.A. from Penn State Behrend in 1994.

The veteran businessman is an advocate for manufacturing and economic development in Mercer County. He is the leader of ILSCO Extrusions in Greenville Pa., an aluminum mill and business park that sits on 165 acres with almost 700,000 square feet of manufacturing and warehouse space. Once home to the world’s largest ladder manufacturer and then transformed into a more limited aluminum extrusion facility, the plant shut down in 2009 during the recession. Thigpen was the president of Signature Aluminum, the company that closed. His strong desire and plan to restart the Greenville site caught the interest of ILSCO Corporation and they purchased the idled plant in 2010.  Since then, Thigpen has guided the company to seven years of increasing employment and success.

The site has also diversified and become home to six companies that employ more than 350 people in full-time positions. Thigpen is a director and officer at Penn Northwest, Mercer County’s lead economic development agency, and was recently appointed to the board of directors for the Northwest Industrial Resource Center in Erie, one of seven IRC’s in Pennsylvania. Thigpen resides in Hermitage Pa. with his wife, Jodi (Fisher) Thigpen ’87. They have two adult daughters, Lauren and Christine.

Galbo, a 2014 graduate of Hickory High School, is an accounting and business administration major. Galbo, a resident of Hermitage, Pa., is a member of Dietrich Honors Institute, the accounting club, and the men’s golf team. He is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship and Heuther Endowment for Business Scholarship.

About the Haller Enterprise Institute

The Haller Enterprise Institute encourages motivated students from any major to begin their own business while they continue their education. The Institute is named after Henry E. H’97 and Grace Mary Haller, major benefactors to the College with a keen interest in entrepreneurship. The purpose of the Institute is to encourage, promote and support entrepreneurship in Thiel students, regardless of their major or field.

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and graduate programs in, Business Administration, Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Communication and Leadership, Physician Assistant and Speech-Language Pathology. All of Thiel College’s master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce outstanding graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to diversity and inclusion. The College combines tradition with innovation as it honors its past and celebrates its future.

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