100 years of Scouting
By Dan Perez Correspondent | Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Since Arthur Eldred became the first person to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout a century ago, more than two million Boy Scouts nationwide have followed in his footsteps.
Newtown resident Tom Lawton and his four sons have traveled the path Eldred blazed to the top rank in Scouting.
Eldred, a 17-year-old member of Troop 1 from Long Island, received a letter dated Aug. 21, 1912 from a Chief Scout Executive stating that he was to be awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.
“Arthur was the first Scout to receive this rank,” according to Lawton, former scoutmaster of Troop 99 in Newtown. “At the time the highest rank was a First Class Scout. The Boy Scouts of America leaders hadn’t even thought of a medal for the Eagle Scout rank, nobody had received it before.”
Each Boy Scout must complete 21 required merit badges and a final project before the age of 18 in order to become an Eagle Scout. Upon completion, family, friends and even politicians and other notable community members attend a special ceremony to mark the occasion.
Pat Lawton, a 24-year-old Eagle Scout from Troop 99 in Newtown Township, and his three brothers achieved the rank of Eagle Scout with their dad as their scoutmaster.
“It was a huge part of my life growing up and really made me who I am today,” he added. “There were times when I didn’t think I would make it to an Eagle Scout because I had so much work with school and other things, but I am so glad I finished.”
Canoeing 150 miles down the Potomac River, backpacking in the Rocky Mountains, sailing in the Bahamas and kayaking in northern Maine are just a few of the activities the Lawtons pursued for merit badges.
“Scouting was a great way to bond with my sons,” dad Tom said. “Everybody’s life was so busy but through the program we were able to share some of the best memories together.”
The final projects are the capstone of an Eagle Scout’s career and must benefit the community and show leadership abilities, Tom added.
His oldest son, 25-year-old Robert, constructed and installed benches and a mobile bulletin board at Habitat for Humanity’s Emerald Hollow Estate in Traumbersville in Upper Bucks.
The other brothers centered their projects around the American Legion Morrell Smith Post #440 in Newtown. Pat held the troop record for most man hours at over 600 for his project making a map identifying more than 5,000 burial spaces in the Newtown Cemetery, allowing the Legion to honor the veterans buried there. Brian, 23, renovated the hardwood floor in the main Legion hall, and Perry, 21, built a memorial wall at post #440 where his troop help meetings.
Tom Lawton was scoutmaster at Troop 99 for 10 years, retiring after Perry became an Eagle Scout.
“Scouting gives you training in self-reliance, leadership and being able to solve whatever obstacles are in front of you,” Tom said. “Once you become an Eagle Scout you learn about giving back and working with the younger guys. It changes your life.”
Magne Gundersen, the scout executive for the Bucks County Council of Boy Scouts of America, said becoming an Eagle Scout was a monumental event in his life. He is a 39-year Scouting veteran from the “class of 1981”, when he reached Eagle Scout status.
“Becoming an Eagle is the pinnacle of the program,” the Bedminster-resident said. “I think the program rounds an individual out and gives young people life skills that last forever.”
“I can’t stress enough how valuable of an experience becoming an Eagle Scout is,” he added. “It is highly regarded in the business, military and social world, and rightly so.”
Tom Lawton agrees.
“To become an Eagle Scout you realize that there’s nothing you can’t do in life,” he said. “You have to set a goal and follow through on it, even when it gets tough. Any boy that becomes an Eagle Scout has learned that life lesson, just like Arthur Eldred did 100 years ago.”
INC. 5000 Biz at Grundy Commons
by Cate Murway
The Grundy Commons, offering premier flexible office, customized professional and industrial space with warehouse, is an amazing location in this river town that is making bold moves toward revitalization, and perfect for this fast-growing engineering business. This spectacular complex with panoramic views is at such a great junction of crossroads; a half-hour drive northeast of Philadelphia, one block walk from the SEPTA regional rail line, within two miles of I-95 and the PA Turnpike and less than a mile from PA Route 13; mere minutes from Philadelphia and Trenton. www.grundycommons.org
The convenience of this complex and the “good sound building with an owner very receptive to expansion” was the key December 1987 determining location factor for President, Thomas Alan Lawton of INC. 5000 Business, Advent Design Corporation, one of the most stable and successful companies in the U.S. economy that works globally and nationally but markets regionally.
The mission of the owners’ alma mater, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. Both the President of the company, Tom Lawton and the CEO, William [Bill] Leroy Chesterson are 1982 graduates of MIT, having taken an Entrepreneurship class together. Their names will be remembered and their marks will be etched into the business acumen history books for their sense of community, and professional and ethical responsibility; proficiency in design and their ability to think independently and perform creatively in multi disciplinary teams. Innovative in the collaborative management approach, their shared knowledge is blazing their powerful path to progress.
Advent Design Corporation is one of the entrepreneurial engines driving the U.S. economy and has been named in the top 5,000 fastest growing privately owned companies in the country. This engineering and manufacturing solutions company has also made its 10th appearance on the elite “Philadelphia 100” list. The potent combination of the four corporation leaders’ knowledge of contemporary issues and their innovative approach to solve scientific and engineering problems impacts professional solutions in a global and societal context, forming the backbone of the region's economy.
Tom attributes "cautious growth" and the people to their success. “We've got a bunch of highly skilled engineers. I would put our engineering staff up against anyone's."
Per their article in the Philadelphia Business Journal, a high level of skill is paramount to a company that is both fast growing and cautious, creating high-impact solutions and building a sustainable, performance-oriented culture for many business enterprises. Advent is one of the five PA organizations honored for high performance, quality, and results by the Keystone Alliance for Performance Excellence (KAPE), a three-tiered assessment and awards process of the 2nd Annual KAPE Conference last September in Harrisburg. Bristol Borough is just one of the communities along the Delaware, but take a closer look and you'll see that the town, Grundy Commons and the businesses are making audacious moves contributing to the general welfare and the economic growth in this town defined by the river. Directions in this renewal and reform will continue to be watched and emulated by other businesses in the U.S. and around the world.
Advent Design's competition is slim; few companies do what they do. They do not maintain offices or locations internationally [no inefficiency of remote operations] nor do they currently outsource any work to companies located outside of the U.S. Its diverse range of American and international client services includes engineering consulting, product design, information systems work and contract manufacturing.
Meet the Advent team:
Advent- coming into being or use of something new, different and better.
Newtown resident, XC/track athlete and Eagle Scout, Tom Lawton, a Clarkstown H.S., Rockland County grad has four sons, Bob, Patrick, Brian, and Perry, CRS ‘08 who have also earned or are currently completing extensive service projects that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages to earn the highest rank attainable in the BSA. Boy Scout Newtown Troop #99 master for almost a decade, Tom has run a marathon in Bermuda, finishing in the top 100 and as a youth, came in 3rd at a Van Courtland Park race.
Robert Francis’ Eagle Scout project was to build [green] recycled durable lumber picnic and park benches for the outdoor commons at the Quakertown “Habitat for Humanity” townhouse facility, earning the money by making 120 Italian dinners for 4 AND delivered them hot!
Patrick Daniel plotted out, created and documented a database of all the Newtown cemetery graves, most importantly acknowledging the veterans and where their headstones are located. He also helps the veterans put out the flags for Memorial Day.
Brian Thomas refurbished the main room’s wood floor of the 1959 Linden Avenue Legion Hall and transferred a 5’ American Legion symbol decal. The design was created and donated by Jeanine Reilly of the Philadelphia News.
Perry Alexander is completing a veteran memorial for the Legion for this Memorial Day.
Richboro resident, soccer player Bill Chesterson, Peabody H.S., MA and his wife Deborah [Debbie] who at one time was a bookkeeper for their company, have three children. Gregory, Pitt; Jennifer, Drexel University ’11 and Jeffery, CRS ’08 have worked in the K’nex division during the summer. They construct in-store working display models for toy stores that are 7x more effective than any kind of print media.
Mt. Laurel, N.J. resident, RET Navy Captain Frank Charles Garcia, Upper Moreland ‘67/Naval Academy ’71, was in active duty for 7 years and invested 20 years in the Naval Reserve. He and his wife, Kristine, Archbishop Wood ‘69/ Chestnut Hill College ’73 have three children, Brian Douglas, an Anchorage, AL environmental engineer;
Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Edward, a Coast Guard search and rescue pilot in MI; and
UConn grad, Denise Ilene, a diagnostic genetics major, who has been selected for a Science teaching fellowship in Philadelphia. Frank’s office is decorated with the paintings of Joe Sagolla, the local celebrated artist who has been immortalizing the Borough for the last 35 years.
Peter Vari, the engineering manager who “likes solving problems”, who has held a company leadership position since September ‘07 and his pediatric allergist wife, Eva have two sons, Dr. Gabor and Daniel, George School ’08. They are originally from Hungary. He “frequents the library” and his favorite spots are R&R Bagels and King George II Inn.
This key group’s combined knowledge and experience provides a vibrant and rich working environment. They discover and disseminate inventive principles for manufacturing and operations, using interdisciplinary research and education aimed at understanding and improving industrial productivity, innovation, and competitiveness.
A conversation with Tom makes it very apparent that he has a positive attitude, strong success principles and miles more than a modicum of common sense. He expressed that he has learned much in the “school of hard knocks”. “People don’t just work for you; they are really working with you. Everyone with a “pride in ownership” wants to do a good job.” His credo rests on the implementation of the need to establish clear-cut goals and the need to praise good performance. One kindly word is of more importance than a statesman’s speech. Communication is a big key and he makes sure everyone gets an opportunity to speak at their luncheons and also explains the offered benefit plans and how they will help them.
He shared that they are “only as strong as the people we have here. We have good flexible workspace and a good group of people. Walking through the facility, yes, definitely gets me excited; thinking about when we started out going to customer sites, now we are actually much bigger than most of the customers we had for the first several years.”
Literally having pulled themselves up by the bootstraps [their first contract involved redesigning equipment that made boots for the U.S. Army], would he do anything differently? “That’s a difficult question. Monday morning quarterbacking is always very easy….”
As a group, they hear the voice of the customer and listen to the customer’s requirements.
They make sure that the operation is valuable, capable, adequate and flexible, eliminating wastes of inventory, overproduction, correction, material movement, and non-value added processing and underutilized people. They are proven experts when they define and design, measure and analyze operating costs, process speed, quality and working flexibility, helping U.S. manufacturers become more competitive in a global market.
USA manufacturing can be competitive but we need to be a little smarter in what we do.
Every business wants quicker response times with shorter supply chains.
Despite all the “doom & gloom” we’re hearing in the papers, business is actually up!
Advent Design Corporation is the problem solver, teacher/mentor, proficient in the use of the tools for the pharmaceutical, utility, home construction, automotive, power, and electrical wiring industries.
They never rest on their laurels, becoming a “victim of their own success”! Their focus is on client acquisition and continually growing their impeccable business.
A past resident of Radcliffe Street, Tom “always liked the facility [Grundy Commons]; likes older buildings and architecture, needed more than professional office space, required space to build and run off equipment.”
Frank commented, “The Grundy building is great, a neat place to work with a lot of character, allows us to take on more space with each business in a focused area and to expand in an organized manner.” They refurbished the plain Spartan rooms with the cement floors and the “amazing space”, removing or adding walls to personalize structured areas.
Peter commented, “The Borough has developed much since the early ‘90’s. I really like the historical aspects of the Grundy Commons building; it’s a place I want to go to, rather than a place I have to go.”
Location is still one of the most important of all the factors!
Canal Street and Jefferson Avenue
toll free 800.959.0310
Would you like your business spotlighted?
KAPE honors HIGH PERFORMING PA organizations
Advent Design Corporation, located in Bristol , PA recently received the KAPE award which honors High-Performing Pennsylvania Organizations. This award has been bestowed upon them two years in a row and they are very proud of this recognition. Advent is local and the community may benefit from knowing that many of the local workers, who work within Advent Design, helped contribute to this recognition.
Business Development Manager
Advent Design Corporation
Canal Street & Jefferson Ave.
Bristol, PA 19007
Taking toys seriously
By THERESA HEGEL
Rome wasn't built in a day. And it took Michelangelo years to finish painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.But 5-year-old Solomon Leo was able to create the solar system in just one hour.Solomon, of Towamencin, was one of three grand-prize winners in the national K'NEXpert competition, held annually by the Hatfield-based construction toy company.The K'NEXpert Search, now in its eighth year, asks children ages 5 to 12 to design an original model made entirely of the plastic toy.Solomon said he decided to build his model of the solar system with rotating planets and a viewing platform after reading “The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System,” by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen.“He was very thrilled that Pluto is no longer a planet,” said his mother, Michaela Leo, adding that he didn't have enough room to incorporate the pesky celestial body into his design.Solomon wasn't the only local youngster honored by K'NEX this year.K'NEXpert veteran Tim Gibson, 13, of Perkasie, also received a grand prize for his design: K'NEXtron the Destroyer.Tim was a finalist in the competition for the past two years, first building a 9-foot-long Titanic replica and then a wearable “cyber suit.”Both creations had to be dismantled to build the aptly named Destroyer, which Tim said was inspired by the “Matrix” movies and “Iron Giant.”Created over the course of two months, the nearly 8-foot-tall horned robot has movable facial features and can shoot ping-pong balls from its shoulders.It's most impressive feature, however, is that it can support Tim's weight — 85 pounds — when he sits inside to control it.
His mother, Donna Gibson, marvels at how much engineering and trial-and-error were involved in the surprisingly sturdy Destroyer.“You can learn so many things just by playing with toys,” she said.Tim, who is home-schooled, was able to devote classroom time to the Destroyer when the submission deadline loomed.Both boys will receive $10,000 for college as well as a year's supply of K'NEX and a tour of the K'NEX factory. They, along with seven finalists and the other grand-prize winner, were recently honored at a ceremony in New York.However, neither Tim nor Solomon is resting on his laurels.Though he's too old to enter next year's K'NEXpert contest under the current rules, that hasn't stopped Tim from fantasizing about what he could make to top the Destroyer.And his dreams are pretty lofty: “Maybe a roller coaster that I could ride ...” he said.Solomon has moved on to something he calls a “grain electricity ball factory,” an elaborate flight of fancy that sprawls across the dining room floor.“I wanted to build something that was big,” he said.He too is already thinking of next year's contest. A kindergartner at Walton Farm Elementary, Solomon wants to build a model of the Large Hadron Collider — a Switzerland-based particle accelerator being used to delve into the mysteries of the universe.
Theresa Hegel can be reached at 215-538-6381 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 15, 2008 7:26 AM
Grundy’s Got IT!
by Cate Murway
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
Grundy Commons provides premier flexible office, customized professional and industrial space with warehouse in historic Bristol on the Delaware, the town making consistent audacious moves toward revitalization.
The Grundy complex is the perfect “dressed for success” setting for Advent Design Corporation at such a great junction of crossroads; a half-hour drive northeast of Philadelphia, one block walk from the SEPTA regional rail line, within two miles of I-95 and the PA Turnpike and less than a mile from PA Route 13; mere minutes from Philadelphia and Trenton.
Advent Design Corporation, the fast-growing engineering firm, has established a solid niche in a huge marketplace, and was honored for the 2nd time for high performance, quality, and results at the Keystone Alliance for Performance Excellence (KAPE) Awards banquet and conference last September. bristolonthedelaware.info
This is proof of their power of innovation, inspiration and aspiration.
Advent was selected after an extensive assessment process in which examiners judge how well they perform in areas such as Visionary Leadership, Management by Fact, Focus on Results, Agility, Systems Perspective, and Focus on the Future.
Advent succeeds because of the excellent directive and astute leadership, policy and institutional design of the founding MIT grads, President, Thomas Alan Lawton and the CEO, William Leroy Chesterson together with the passion and innovation of their employees, yearning to reach ever higher.
They have honed their ability to attract and retain the most talented individuals.
Advent Design is one of the remarkable entrepreneurial engines and primary generators of new job creation and successful expansion driving the U.S. economy, demonstrating the ability to look at the familiar in a new way and see immeasurable opportunity.
The combined talents of the four corporation leaders with great attitude, Tom, Bill, RET Navy Captain Frank Charles Garcia and engineering manager, Peter Vari continue to make a potent impact on business and people!
Their knowledge of contemporary issues and their innovative most effective approach to solve scientific and engineering problems impacts professional solutions in a global and societal context, forming the backbone of the region's economy.
Passion, performance and persistence really are the keys to manifest success--not just for entrepreneurs, but also in life. Exuding these traits, Business Development Manager, Francis Michael Harrington, CD ‘67/Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science, “cut his teeth” as a recruiter. He was previously employed at PricewaterhouseCoopers [PWC].
Guard athlete Fran played basketball throughout his schooling as a computer programmer that ultimately led to developing a brilliant solid professional reputation in marketing and sales development at Advent. He is one of Bill Chesterson’s main salespersons!
Fran shares his birthday with Thomas Jefferson, the Third President [1801-1809] who was most articulate as a correspondent.
Fran’s inimitable thinking is long term, and he is able to grasp the far-reaching effects of actions and plans. He has expressed that he is even very aware and sensitive to the utmost details, even of his Grundy Commons environment component. “I love the size of this historic building with the extremely high ceilings and all the windows!”
His natural resourcefulness and enthusiasm in his 3rd year at Advent Design, marks him as a progressive with a good mind and an active imagination, able to bring real value to the organization with his inspired action as a self-proclaimed “utility player”.
He and his wife, reading specialist Laura [Jaworski], St. Hubert ‘71/Gwynedd-Mercy College have three children: electrical engineer, Shawn , PSU; corporate event planner/swimmer athlete Caitlyn , Pitt; and communications major/swimmer athlete Kevin, U of Miami. Just as the sons of the owners of the Corporation, Shawn and Kevin are Eagle Scouts. Shawn single-handedly painted the maintenance building of the Bethanna School in Southampton that has been providing services for abused, neglected and medically needy children and their families since 1934.
Kevin made the JP2 house [clubhouse for Youth Night every Sunday at 7 P.M.] on the grounds of St. Vincent DePaul Church accessible by a walkway from the far end of the parking lot. He dug out, framed and stoned the footpath from the back of the house to the entry gates and it was CEO Bill’s son, Jeffery who put up the gates. Bill Chesterson was the Troop #240 scoutmaster for Fran’s son, Shawn and Fran is the Committee chairman.
Advent Design is truly a family oriented company!
According to Fran, “We have approximately a half dozen employees with at least two family members, often times fathers and sons, employed at Advent Design. Over 1/3 of our employees have Bristol zip codes.” They have never lost the value of knowing an individual’s name and consistently prove that the “top priority is the employee”.
“Bill and Tom are great family people. Values are with the workforce and that trickles down.” Fran confirms, “They are never just a number. If there’s a benefit to be had, Tom and Bill make sure it’s given to the employee.”
People are the reason Advent has received the award!
Fran’s brother, Newtown resident electronic technician Joseph James Harrington, CD ‘65/Philadelphia CC, has worked at Advent for 2 years. “Love it here. It’s great!”
The first original worker of K’nex, the world's most creative construction toy, Jefferson Avenue resident Donna [McCauley] Oates, walks to her work in the pack out line in the Grundy Commons building. She has one son, Keven and she belongs to the Bucks Moose Lodge #1169 on Radcliffe Street.
Donna has totally enjoyed working at
Advent for the last 7 years,
“Tom is a wonderful, caring boss!”
When Tom was away, he even called to wish her “happy birthday!”
Bristol township resident, Advent electrical controls engineer for nearly a year, James Michael Clark, BE ‘90/Temple/Pennco Tech and his wife, Gia [Vanucci] have 2 sons, Zachary and Ryan.
Gia’s grandparents are Borough residents.
“Pretty neat, open place to work. Tom and Bill are very unique, great guys!”
Levittown resident, machine operator supervisor for K’nex, Sokham [Ouch] Peou from Cambodia and her husband Davey, a machine operator in Bensalem, have 3 sons: Ricky , HST ’07; Anthony  and Jeffrey .
“I like the whole Advent very much. They are friendly, nice people!”
Morrisville resident, electrical engineer Michael James Guilfoyle, Sr., Madison Central H.S./Kean University has worked at Advent “If there are wires running, I’m in charge of it” for 10 years. “Love it! Great stressful job! Every day is something different. Never a boring day! Best engineering staff I’ve ever worked with!”
His son, Michael James Guilfoyle, Jr., Jacksonville Memorial H.S. ’07 who has worked at K’nex since he was in H.S., co-runs the shipping and receiving department.
Michael, Sr.’s other children are Erin Veronica, Krysten and Kevin.
Michael, Jr. shared, “Everyone here has a smile on their face. Enjoy working here with my dad.”
Machine shop manager Bruce Senni, Burlington Township H.S./Mercer County tool & die apprenticeship, smilingly confirmed, “The owners are great, everyone is happy with their job. It’s a very good family oriented company”
Wearing a “smart parts” shirt, his son, Joseph Senni, Burlington Township H.S.’07/ PE major at Burlington CCC, said, “They are very flexible with my school schedule!”
The local R&R Bagels eatery at the foot of the Bristol train station provides catering for many of the Advent functions. “Great wraps!”
After the Advent technical show last May, Tom and Bill provided tours and refreshments for the employees’ families and just recently, treated them to a Christmas brunch in the “Advent Café”.
Advent’s impressive growth curve attests to their “employee priority” process and its effectiveness. They have framed their uplifting and energizing intentions and now they can frame their awards!
Congratulations, Advent Design Corporation for your powerful High Tech/High Touch force in a world of technology with too little humanness where people long for personal commune-ication.
People are the reason Advent has once again received the KAPE award!
Canal Street and Jefferson Avenue
toll free 800.959.0310
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