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Start Local show: Investing in Your Local Community with Susan Springsteen

Podcast published: June 23, 2023

We do a deep dive into how a long-time local business leader and entrepreneur came to commit herself to her local community. Susan Springsteen talks through her journey into seeing Coatesville as the place where she wanted to start and grow a new business. She walks us through getting to know the City of Coatesville, its leaders, and its local residents. She speaks with joy and pride about taking a holistic approach to investing in the long term success of her corner of Chester County, Pennsylvania.


nth Solutions

H2O Connected – Maker of the Leak Alertor

Restaurant, Venues, and Non-Profits in Coatesville

Podcast Transcript

The transcript for this episode will be posted as it becomes available.

Liam Dempsey: Welcome to Start Local, where we talk with business owners, leaders of nonprofits, and other members of our community focused on doing business in and around Chester County, Pennsylvania. Each episode will provide insight into the local business scene and tell you about opportunities to connect with and support businesses and nonprofits in your local area.

I am Liam Dempsey and I’m here today with my co-host Kara Porardo. Kara, how are you today? Lovely to see you. 

Kara: Good morning, Liam. I am doing well. How are you? 

Liam Dempsey: I am very well, thank you. Very, very well. We’re lucky to be here with Susan Springsteen today, and Susan is a woman of money, professional and personal accomplishments.

So rather than have me do a limited overview of who she is, I guess I’m gonna turn it over to you, Kara, to greet Susan. And then ask her a first question about who she is, and what does she do? 

Kara: Sounds great, Liam. Thank you so much. 

So, Hi Susan. Thank you so much for joining us. First question for you. So who are you and what does your business organization do?

Susan Springsteen: Well, first of all, Liam and Kara, thank you for having me. I just, I’m always thrilled to have the opportunity to talk about our businesses and where we’re located and what we’re doing. 

So, Susan Springsteen. I am the president, CEO of a company called h2o Connected. 

It is a water techno, water technology company. It’s an early stage firm that develops and manufactures multi patented devices that can detect nearly every type of water loss problem that can cause a high water and sewer bill due to a tank toilet. 

So toilet’s the number one cause of water waste in a building and we have the solutions. So, it’s pretty exciting. We developed a technology in Chester County and we manufacture it in Chester County. And we can talk more about that later. 

I come out of the investment business and co-founded a product development company years ago, and so I’m still actively involved in that as well. So I wear quite a few different hats, but it’s in the, all in the entrepreneurial vein. 

Liam Dempsey: So, Susan, you and I have talked a number of times in advance of our conversation today. And in addition to running the businesses you just talked about, and I feel like I could just pause and talk all about your businesses and water ’cause that’s really, really interesting to me. But tell me a little bit about how, I know you’re committed to investing in a big sense, in a holistic sense in your local community out there, in the Coatesville, in Coatesville in Southern Chester County, Western Chester County. Talk a little bit about how you support your local, your local community, and your local economy.  I know it’s through more than just a variety of ways. So, maybe I’ll just ask you to jump in and answer that question. 

Susan Springsteen: Well, I think it started really with the, when I co-founded nthsolutions, the product development company with my business partner Eric Canfield, because our mission was to take innovative ideas from concept on a napkin all the way through to commercialization. So, vertically integrated company in areas that save lives, save money, and preserve natural resources. And they were, and all the electronic products. 

Most of what we develop are electronic products either business to business or business to consumer are made in the USA. We make them. So made in our facility. So I think we’ve always had this sort of business as mission, outset. 

And when we developed the leak detection products and we spun that off into a separate company, which became h2oconnected, we wanted to locate it at a qualified opportunity zone because we were raising capital and we needed, we wanted to give our investors the extra benefit that comes from being a qualified opportunity zone business.

So I look to see. I’m in Chester County. I was in Northern Chester County at the time, and you know, what is the qualified opportunity zone for Chester County? I love the county. I didn’t wanna go out of the county and it was Coatesville. And I remember thinking there was no way on God’s green earth I’m gonna locate a business in Coatesville. This was 2019. But God had other plans. And so I decided to do my due diligence and think, all right. I ought to go look at it anyway. 

And so I went to Coatesville, and I talked to the city. I hung out in the post office to get a sense of the community. I talked to anybody who would talk to me on the street. Anybody. And I love the architecture, and I just thought, you know, this is a really underrated 1.9 square miles. It’s, I love. I just fell in love with the people. Their grittiness, their resilience, their loyalty, their entrepreneurial effort. You know, when you have no money, you become very entrepreneurial. It’s a high poverty area. So, when you have no money, you become very entrepreneurial about how you make a living. And it just, I loved the mindset.

And when you, and I thought, you know what? You know, as Maura talked to the city and I thought, we could really be here. So, ended up having getting a small office across from City Hall to start h2oconnected.

And then over time, decided we would move all the related businesses to Coatesville and ended up working with a former business partner I had, who was a qualified opportunity zone real estate investor to renovate a 1902 office building that used to belong to Luke and Steel. That was  had been boarded up for 20 years. And we renovated that, and added a 20,000 square foot engineering lab manufacturing facility, an additional office behind it, and created the nth Innovation Center, and then moved all the businesses there to the nth Innovation Center at the west end of Coatesville. So that’s how I got to Coatesville. 

And then as far as how you have an impact, really, it’s about first you have to listen.You know, you have to figure out what are the needs. And if you immerse yourself in a community, people start to unveil what the true needs are. And you just start meeting, you start trying to help solve problems that are in front of you. 

So obviously, it could be things like employment. We have manufacturing. So manufacturing creates employment. And because someone who has been chronically unemployed, whether they’re a returning citizen or they’re trying to, you know, kind of get back into the workforce from other things they’ve been dealing with, they’re not gonna go back to law school to get a job, right. But they can put a leak alert together and they can learn skill sets and leak alert is the water tech leak detection device, that brand that we have. And so they, and then as we get to know them, they get to know us. We can figure out how we can grow their skillsets. And as the businesses grow, we can help help them stair-step their earning capacity. 

So, you know, manufacturing, it has a, we call it a seven to one escalator. For every job in manufacturing, it creates seven jobs within the community for a lot of reasons. And so we wanted to bring manufacturing to Coatesville because we wanted to help. You know, lower that high unemploy double-digit unemployment rate. 

And then we also wanted to, you know, go into a lot of other ways that we’ve collaborated with the city for workforce development. And, you know, I could go through a lot of other things that we’ve been involved with, if you’d like.

Kara: No. No. That’s great, because I mean, we’re very interested in how you are actually committed to investing in Coatesville. And so one of the things that you had mentioned is that you are looking for, you know, local workers. And how are you finding those, how is that the job search going for them? You know, do you post anything and, or do you specifically, you know, go out into the community and try to find the workers from there? 

Susan Springsteen: All of the above.

For the engineering, that’s a specific skillset. So for your software firmware developers, that’s a very specific skillset. So we tend to post for that or we go through our network. We’re a little bit of a unique company ’cause people wear a lot of hats here. So they’re not necessarily pigeonholed into doing one thing. And so finding someone with broad skill sets is a little bit of,, takes some time. 

But for manufacturing, you know, things like that, we have, some of it’s been through our network. Some of it’s been through, you know, Coatesville is a Facebook town. So if you post on Facebook, everybody knows about it. There are no secrets in Coastal.  

But we’ve also, and we had some success there. But  I think we needed to learn a lot about the population we were hiring. As well as they needed to learn how really, how to be an employee again. And so we needed to learn a lot to work with each other. And we have now partnered with a group called OIC, which helps work for ready folks to be employees. And we’ve found that that’s been great because they come to us prepared and we can, we, it’s just, so I’m really hoping that we can pull a lot of our new workers from them. We’re having great success with the ones we’ve just hired. 

Kara: That’s great. 

Liam Dempsey: That’s really interesting. You’re talking about having to listen to your local community, your employee pool, your community pool, your neighbors. If you will, and they’re having to learn how to work with you that really speaks a lot about your commitment to the area and your business’s commitment to the area, you know, probably in some ways could have expanded from where you wanted to hire the geographic area. Because that might have been faster in the short term and beneficial in the short term.

But I love that you were willing to put in the time and the effort and to, and have those conversations. ’cause those are difficult. They’re never easy to say “Hey, you’re not doing in a way that works for me.” You know, that’s a very polite way that we can say quietly or gently to each other over a podcast recording. It’s different when tensions are high and orders are coming in and they’re not going out and things are happening. So that, I applaud you for that. Go ahead.

Susan Springsteen: And it’s not just hiring on, you know, through manufacturing. it’s really important to me that if we have any service that we need, we look to Coatesville first. So our landscaper is from Coatesville. Our cleaning service is from Coatesville. If I need packaging, I look to the guy in Coatesville. Vinny Zam Buddo, who does packaging and signs. if I need painting, this building was painted by Family First Painting, which is in Coatesville. David Phillips, you know, we try to, you know, when I first got here, we did the building, I didn’t know a lot about the businesses in Coatesville that are community based because a lot of them are below the radar screen. 

But one of the things that we’ve done is we’ve collaborated with the city and other nonprofits to work with some of these community businesses. How do you take those small, you know, below the radar screen or even like side hustles, you know, and to help them grow them into legitimate, I don’t wanna say legitimate ’cause they were legitimate businesses before. But into businesses that can scale and can be sustainable, and can start to provide some real family income so that they have choices and they can afford to buy their homes. And they, and that’s to me, how you fight the whole gentrification thing. Because if you can help, if a rising tide truly does raise all boats and you can help bring the community with you as you’re, as we’re growing, then they can do the things that are important. 

The community can stay here and they can do the things that are important to them. If they wanna buy a house, they can. If they wanna continue to rent, they can. If they wanna spend more money at local restaurants, they can. If they wanna grow their business, they can. You know, like they can become the masters of their own destiny in a sense. And  that’s really empowering for us to have.

We’re not the whole solution. We’re part of the solution. But it’s, and there’s a lot of people here now rowing in the same direction, you know, as we’re all trying to move Coatesville forward. And it’s pretty exciting to be a part of…

Liam Dempsey: Yeah, I get that. You raised a really interesting point that I want to ask you to explore with us just a little bit. 

You talked about finding local area businesses that are below the radar. And you know, and we have this idea that if I can just search painters near me or plumbers near me, but that requires the plumbing business in the painting business on the other side to have the time, the space and the knowledge of how to do that, right? You can do it all from your phone, but if you’re, it’s a side hustle or you’re a one or a two person band. and if you’re not painting or plumbing, you’re not making money. It’s hard to do that. 

Talk a little bit more, if you would, about how you found those businesses. You mentioned that you worked with the city, but what did that look like? How did that come about? How did you make that a viable way to find reliable vendors in your area? 

Susan Springsteen: Well, I think, having being connected to the city was certainly a big part of it. You know, when you’re only 1.9 square miles, you have access in a way that I wouldn’t if I was in Philadelphia. Right. So, we have a really good relationship with the city. I have good relationships with city council, with the city manager, with the finance director. I have direct access. So, and we sit around the table and we, you know, we collaborate and we share ideas and it’s a very much a collaborative effort. 

But when I first got here, I was, I committed to keeping my mouth shut. My ears open for a pretty long period of time because the last thing this community needed was one more outsider to come in and tell them what they needed and how I was going, you know, come in with a cape, how I was gonna save them from whatever. 

So I just wanted to build the building. And I had an idea and figured, you know, I saw the statistics at the time. I think, poverty was, the poverty level was 36% and the median family income was $36,000 in Chester County, which is nothing. And we had an unemployment rate in the double digits, and so you knew that workforce development was gonna be part of it. So I thought, all right. We can focus there. 

But I wanted, I got to know, I thought, who are the community members? Like who are the street captains? Right? Who are the community members that know where everybody is and what the needs are? And how do I get to know them? 

And early on, I had an an opportunity to meet a guy named Alphonso Newsuan, who is, who was a retired business owner, lived in the city for decades, has an incredible story himself. And just he knows everybody and he is like his own. He is his own social media. I mean, he gets the word out. He is, you know, and we got to be even. We got to be really good friends because we both love the Lord and we both love Coatesville. And so, despite what our other differences may have been, we focused on that and we thought, and we become really good friends and he’s enabled me to, he validated me as an okay person to talk to. 

And then I showed up everywhere. I was at anything. I got invited to any event that was happening. If they were picking up trash on Code Street, I was there. If they were having Unity Day, I was there. And it wasn’t a manipulative way. It was…I really wanted to get to know my community because if you’re planting flowers in the flower boxes on Lincoln Highway, you’re getting to know people as you’re playing in the dirt, right? And so you build relationships in the trenches. And I think over time you just meet new people and then the word spreads that, you know, if I have, you know, that I’m hiring locally. And I think it just goes from there. 

But, focusing on who the community leaders are is really is key. And then just being willing to listen and learn. There’s a lot this city can teach suburbia if they ever wanted to really listen. 

Liam Dempsey: That’s really, really interesting and leads us into our next question,  ’cause you’ve talked so much about getting to know the local area and spending time at all these events, and really wanna ask you whats hanging out in the post office all day long was like? But we’ll leave that for now.

And because you do know your community, and you’ve been down there for a few years and you know, you have gotten out and talked to people, I wonder if you can share with us, and this is gonna be a hard question for you, I know. What’s a local area of business or nonprofit in Coatesville that more people should know about? I’m sure you have a list of about 27. 

Susan Springsteen: Oh wow!

Liam Dempsey: But maybe lemme limit it if you can. Not necessarily the best, but one that people should know about. Maybe one business and one nonprofit. 

Susan Springsteen: I can’t do just one. I would say there’s a couple of nonprofits that focus on youth. You know, so Newlin Foundation is one. They’re not well known. They’re actually in our building one 90 West Lincoln Highway. They take high school. They take Coatesville students as they’re going into their senior year in high school and mentor them as to how to get into college, pay for college, and get through college. And then when they graduate, if there’s any leftover bills outstanding, they write the check. It’s very, very successful. The mentorship is a, it’s amazing what they’ve been able to do. 

And then there’s Coatesville Youth Initiative that is, you know, kind of just teaches a lot of leadership skills  to Coatesville youth. It goes much younger. I think they actually go into, I’m not sure, but there we go at least as early as middle school, maybe younger.  

And then there’s also Chester County Futures, which is an education enrichment empowerment program that works for in Oxford Coatesville Phoenixville. So, these really are very, these are great. 

And then there’s a new group called Jumpstart Coatesville, which is teaching Coatesville residents how to actually develop blighted real estate so they can have an equity stake in the buildings in Coatesville. Again, it’s a way to fight the gentrification and it’s run by a really dynamic guy. And it’s gonna be why it’s new, but it’s gonna be wildly successful.

And then MCDC (Movement Community development Corporation) has a first time home buyer program. They’re kind of below the radar screen. They’re run, it’s run by Alphonso Newsuan, who I mentioned earlier. They have a first time home buyer program. They also have a credit repair program. So they help people in the community, you know, repair their credit so they can qualify. And the first time home buyer program will give you $20,000 towards a down payment for your first home. 

Liam Dempsey: Wow. 

Susan Springsteen: So it’s significant. 

Liam Dempsey: Yeah.

Susan Springsteen: So these are all things that are helping meet those real needs.

As far as businesses, well, there’s h2oconnecteded. 

Liam Dempsey: but outstanding restaurant business. Outstanding business.

Susan Springsteen: Yes. We have two new restaurants in town that are phenomenal. They, you know, they’ve got great food, great ambiance. 

richie’s Water Ice just opened with fantastic ice cream and funnel cake. So there are businesses opening everywhere in Coatesville now. It’s really attracting a lot of, sort of retail oriented businesses.  

And then we’re at the end Innovation Center. We’re really trying to attract more early stage technology companies. We’re 90% leased and we have a medical device company here called, named Precision. We have the building itself has other tax benefits and in addition to being in a qualified opportunity zone, it’s a keystone, innovative zone.

And, there’s other, we’re working on another building where we could have early stage companies to come in the technology orientation. So, and supporting manufacturing. So there’s a lot going on here. 

Liam Dempsey: It sounds like it will certainly include links for all those businesses and nonprofits in the show notes. I do want to ask you, you said there’s two new restaurants that just opened up. I’d like to get a shout out by name to those two if you can share that too.

Susan Springsteen: Okay. There’s the Record Kitchen + bar which is in the old Coatesville. Record, was the newspaper for Coatesville, and it’s great. You walk in there and they’re all kind the walls are full of the front page of the old Coatesville Record. Great food. Great ambiance. It’s sort of like the place to meet after work.  

And then there’s the, I always get the name wrong, the Iron Eagle Bar is across the street. And that’s a slightly different type of food, but still, I haven’t been there yet, but I hear it’s really, really good.

We have a Jazz Cafe opening up, hopefully this summer. It’s called Andrea’s Jazz Cafe, and that’s gonna be phenomenal. And the old bank was the bank on the corner, was just sold to a group who was putting in a steakhouse steak and seafood house there. 

And the restaurateur there is a guy named Phil Farrow who has, who redid the Mr. Ease into the King’s Tavern up on three 40. And his food is just out of this world. 

So there’s really gonna be, so we go for anywhere from \water ice, to lobster. It’s really gonna be…

Oh. And, Mark, Melanie would kill me if I didn’t mention this. He also partnered with Phil Farrow to open a brew, a brew pub that’s gonna be open hopefully by September in the old YMCA. And this building is just full of history. It’s gonna be the greatest ambiance, but also good food and casual.

And so Coatesville is gonna be the foodie hotspot of Chester County here shortly. So it’s pretty exciting.

Kara: Liam, I’m glad you asked that question because I was going to, because, so I now have a whole new list of new places to go. I’m very excited about this.

But, Susan, everything that you’re talking about is amazing, and we love your passion, and your, you know, your gusto when it comes to Coatesville. So what do you need help with? I mean, there’s tons of businesses opening, there’s tons of nonprofits. I mean, how can our listeners help you out to kind of share this vision and build this the way that you see it? 

Susan Springsteen: Well, from a business perspective, you know, we have an early stage company and that if we don’t have a lot of brand awareness, It’s something that we’re working on.

So getting the word out. That’s the number one cause of their high water bill is a leaking toilet. So, people know that they should, they need to have devices that will tell them when their toilet is wasting water or running up their water and sewer bill. 

Little known fact, a running toilet when the chain hangs up and it happens often that you’re wasting four and a half to five and a half gallons per minute. So if you flush the toilet, chain hangs up. You don’t realize it. And you go to work and it runs for eight hours, or you go away and it runs for 24 hours. That’s 7,000 gallons of water and it’s a hundred dollars a day in our area. 

So, I mean, it’s significant ’cause you’re paying for water and sewer, right? So, there are, and then just a little leak you don’t know anything about, can be 200 gallons a day. And it all adds up. 

So we have a device that we sell on Amazon and on our website. Our website’s, h2o. I’m sorry, our website is [leakalerterpro.com]. And we sell the leak alerter 6,000 on Amazon and on our website. 

And that’s the homeowner version hanging on your toilet takes five seconds to install. And  it’ll tell you when you’re in the bathroom, when you know, when you flush the toilet during the flush cycle. It’ll tell you if it’s working fine or if you have a problem and what the problem is you need to fix.

And then for commercial users, think hotels, you know, apartments, student housing, senior housing, we have the leak alerter pro which goes inside the tank. It’s wireless, sends a text message to maintenance when there’s this data pick problem. Then it has a dashboard that will quantify every drop of water that goes through a toilet. Is it a flush? Is it a leak? Is the toilet inefficient wasting water with every flush? What’s wrong? How much water are you wasting per day? And  it’s a really, it’s a very, very useful device to save money. Save money not on the water and sewer bill, but it makes maintenance very, very efficient. So it’s got a lot of benefits to it

Kara: So I will definitely be passing your information on. I was just speaking with a customer last week who’s a condo association, and she was giving me a lot of the same information that you just gave about. The water and the toilets, and it was all brand new to me, and brand new to her when she had an issue with the water running up. So, I’ve taken notes and I will be on Amazon as soon as we hang up the call. So,  thank you very much!

Susan Springsteen: Yes. They can always call me too. I mean, I’m happy to, I’ll talk to anybody. People don’t realize water is just becoming an issue, eespecially in our area in California. It’s been an issue for a while, although they don’t really charge much for water out there. So there’s not, there hasn’t been a lot of incentive for homeowners to save other than just being pressured by their neighbors. 

But, you know, here, you know, a thousand gallons of water can cost $28-32 for water and sewer per thousand gallons. So it really, and it’s becoming, we’ve always had plenty of water here, but it’s becoming an issue. You know, as more people move out into Western Chester County, it’s, you know, the demand for water is huge. And only 1% of the world’s water supply is available for potable use. And we are draining it much faster than the aquifers and the rain, and the snow pack can replenish it. 

So, you know, we don’t, and the nice thing about things like VE leak alert or technology is nobody has to change their behavior. You know, if you wanna save water and you say, “Okay. I’m not gonna water my grass.” You know, except twice a week or I’m not gonna wash my car or I’m not, whatever. You don’t, that’s changing behavior and people don’t generally wanna do that. But hanging a leak alerter on your toilet or putting a leak alerter in your toilet and then fixing the problem doesn’t change your behavior. You can do whatever you want. But you’re saving. If everybody in this country did that, we’d save trillions of gallons of water per year ’cause 80% of the toilets on our system have at least one problem, or they’re wasting water. It’s amazing. 

And then water costs so much to transport and treat that you’re also using excess electricity at water treatment plants and through the transport system. So, you know, taking this, not having to treat and transport this water will reduce the electricity consumption so we can charge our electric cars and not run out of electricity. So there is all kinds of tangible benefits in addition to just doing the right thing. 

Liam Dempsey: Yeah. That’s pretty clear. Thanks for walking us through that. It is so intertwined. Right. You know, we’re just saving water and you know, why do we need to save water? We have rivers and creeks and lakes everywhere. We need to keep it clean, but do we need to save it? Yeah. Actually we do. So that’s great. 

Susan Springsteen: All you have to do is look at Lake Mead or the Colorado River.

Liam Dempsey: Yeah. They’re really suffering out there now.

Susan Springsteen: And see what can happen. You know. And this is a global problem. 

Liam Dempsey: Indeed. 

Susan Springsteen: And our system does work globally. So , it’s pretty exciting where this can all go. 

Liam Dempsey: That’s awesome. 

Susan Springsteen: Yeah. And it’s right here in Coatesville, 

Liam Dempsey: Right here in Chester County. Let me ask you. You talked a lot about manufacturing, and  supporting, enabling folks to grow their skillsets or skill capacities, their income generation levels. What open positions are you trying to fill at the pro business or anything else you’re trying to do? Do you have any open positions you’d wanna share with us? And our listeners?

Susan Springsteen: Well, I mean, we’re growing our manufacturing workforce. So for someone who wants to start in the assembly area, you know, and then we will, we’re, look, we’ll probably move one of those folks up to manufacturing supervisor or inventory control. So, but we usually start on the manufacturing side. We start out in assembly because it’s important for them to know how the leak alerter gets put together, what the various steps are, if you’re gonna work at at a higher level. 

Liam Dempsey: Sure.

Susan Springsteen: And then also we’re looking, we’ll pro, we wanna hire a sales person and sales support. And then,  at some point, I know I need to hire someone for the, you know, who’s a kind of a high level receptionist in the lobby that can also work with marketing.

So, and then before the end of the year, we’ll be building out more on our engineering team. So we’re hiring, you know, we’re looking to add to our workforce quite a bit this year. 

Liam Dempsey: That’s fantastic.

Susan Springsteen:  And I’d love to hire from the area. You know, the other thing is that, one thing I didn’t mention is that we actually have an extensive high school internship program here. We work with eight different high schools, although we’re trying to focus more and more on Coatesville now that we’re in the city. But, we have Folks that come. Students that come usually as sophomores or juniors, and they work alongside the professionals in engineering. 

And then in marketing we have two tracks to actually develop products and launch them into the marketplace. And they work from the time they come here until after they graduate from high school. So it’s a long term paid, multi-year internship and they work after school, usually three days a week. But it really allows them to learn a tremendous amount about business and thinking critically and vertically. And they work on actual products.

Many of ’em end up as named inventors on an on issued patents because they contributed to the inventive process and they’re not even 18 years old and they have patents on the wall and that are making money in the marketplace. So, that’s also how we sow into the next generation. We wanna bring sort of that stem alternative to the city. And I’m working, talking right now with the city about several really interesting ideas about how we can expand that coding and stem focus really for a wide population of youth. 

Liam Dempsey: That has been so wonderful to hear about all these things. Sue, thank you so much for your time today. 

Before we wrap this all up, please tell us where we can find you online or follow up with you or learn more about all the things you do. Maybe a a few website links and we’ll make sure we include all of that in the show notes on the website at [startlocal.co].

Susan Springsteen: Sure. h2oconnected and the leak alerter products is the, our website is [www.leakalerterpro.com]. And then my email is susanspringsteen@h2oconnected.com. 

And then the product development company. We’re in the process of updating our website, so don’t judge us by our website is [www.nth-solutionsfloral.com[. So that’ll. And the internship program information is on that site. 

And then my Facebook page is public because it’s where I share a lot of what we’re doing in Coatesville, so they can follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, you know. So I’m accessible. So…

Kara: I love it, Susan. And I truly appreciate your time today, and learning all about these. I really appreciate it. Very informative. 

Susan Springsteen: Thank you. Well, as you know, I can go on for hours about this.

Liam Dempsey: But you have so much to share. So it would not be a boring few hours, but I’m sure our relative clients and vendors would not be happy that things did not get done today.  

Susan Springsteen: It’s just everything’s interwoven .I think that’s the thing is you get involved and a lot of it is what my business partner calls small ball. We don’t tend to look at big programs. We’re looking at how do we help meet the need In front of us, whether that’s one person, whether it’s a group of people who, kids that may need laptops, whether it’s food insecurity, whether it’s we’re in the process of, I have a drain out in front of the building. We’re trying to do raised beds along this 200 foot drain, and we wanna do cut flowers and we wanna do vegetables, and eventually it become a community garden because we’re a food desert. 

How does the community get lettuce and tomatoes and peppers and things that they can? You know, so, I mean, the food bank is great in trying to help meet that need, but you need more. So, many. 

And then the cut flowers, people can just take home and make their house look nice. So, and feel good about themselves. So, you know, how do we use these different, you know, how do we just improve quality of life in Coatesville and empower people to accomplish what they, you know, their mission on earth. You know, what is it that’s important to them and how do we empower them to accomplish that? And there’s so many different ways. 

Liam Dempsey: Yeah. There sure are. And I love your holistic approach. 

Susan Springsteen: Focus on what’s in front of you. 

Liam Dempsey: Yeah. I love your holistic approach. Everything from employment to addressing food disparities and food access. And there’s so much there. Thank you so much for joining us.

Susan Springsteen: I think if there’s one thing I can leave with people, it’s, I don’t have any special self-skillset. It’s not like I majored in economic revitalization in college, or I have some big social, you know, degree. I came outta the investment business. I was a biochemistry major for a long time. I have no formal skillset in doing what I’m doing other than the business side. Obviously, I have that. But it’s sort of people you just, you know, it, you just learn. You ask questions and you figure it out and you learn and you ask for help. And so people shouldn’t be intimidated by trying, if they see a need to meet it. Because anybody can do this. I mean, like I said, I’m just me. And so I would just encourage other people to take, you know, if they see a need, if they see a problem, be part of that solution. Wherever you’re bloom, where you’re planted, right? And I’m planted here and I hope the bloom here. 

Liam Dempsey: That’s awesome. Thank you so much. And thanks everybody for listening to the Start Local show.

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Thanks everybody. Have a great day.

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