Pennsylvania Credit Union Association

Credit Union Business Executive Participating in Boots to Business at U.S. Army War College

HARRISBURG – Many servicemen leaving the armed forces are opting to open their own businesses and become entrepreneurs. To provide training and tools to those individuals or their families, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-sponsors Boots to Business: From Service to Start.

At the Boots to Business training scheduled for June 17-18, 2014, at the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Citadel Vice President of Lending Kevin Dion will serve as a panelist during the financing module. Dion will be addressing the services and loan programs offered by credit unions, including eligibility requirements, criteria for those loans, and answering questions of the aspiring entrepreneurs. Dion is the first credit union panelist in Pennsylvania. The financing panel will also include lenders from economic development and community development organizations to give attendees a better understanding of what’s available in the marketplace.

“We are pleased that the credit union movement has been invited to participate in the Pennsylvania Boots to Business,” said Pennsylvania Credit Union Association President & CEO Patrick Conway. “It’s an honor to be able to serve those who served our country faithfully. As not-for-profit financial institutions, credit unions are great resources for service men and women and their families,” said Conway. There are nearly 100 credit unions in Pennsylvania that offer small business loans and 21 are SBA Approved Lenders.

Boots to Business is a two-day entrepreneurial class, taught by a SBA Representative/SBA Resource Partner at a local military installation. The class will educate participants who are active duty military members (and their partners/spouses) separating from service on business fundamentals and guide them through an initial feasibility analysis of their business concept.

“Veterans are natural entrepreneurs, with the experience and leadership skills to start businesses and create jobs,” said U.S. Small Business Administration Philadelphia District Director David Dickson. “Veterans already over-index in entrepreneurship: nine percent of all U.S. firms are owned by veterans and more than 2.4 million veteran-owned businesses employ more than 5.75 million people. At SBA, we know that providing greater access and opportunity to veteran-owned small businesses strengthens the economy and helps create jobs. I’m glad to see that our lending partners, including those in the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, also recognize this and are willing to help serve our nation’s veteran entrepreneurs.”

Boots to Business: From Service to Startup is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-sponsored, worldwide program offered as a component of the Department of Defense’s (DoD) redesigned Transition Assistance Program (TAP) renamed Transition GPS. Boots to Business is offered by the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University (SU) and operated by SU’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF), in partnership with SBA resource partners. Boots to Business is a three-step training program developed to introduce and train transitioning service members to business ownership. Boots to Business helps ensure that every transitioning service member has access to a standardized entrepreneurship training track and small business resources in their local communities. After completing Boots to Business participants will have the tools and knowledge they need to identify a business opportunity, draft a business plan, connect with local small business resources, and launch their small business. 

Credit unions are financial cooperatives that provide affordable financial services to help their owner/members. The Harrisburg-based Pennsylvania Credit Union Association is a trade association that provides legislative, promotional, educational, and operational support for nearly 400 credit unions in Pennsylvania. These credit unions have assets in excess of $38 billion and serve more than 3.8 million members. For additional information about credit unions or to find a credit union near you, visit

Citadel Federal Credit Union, headquartered in Exton, was established in 1937 as the credit union for Lukens Steel Company. Citadel provides banking, investments and insurance services to 160,000 customers and 400 companies. At $2 billion in assets, it is one of the area’s largest locally owned financial institutions, proudly serving residents of the five county Philadelphia region of southeastern Pennsylvania.

# # #