Biz notebook

Cousins Don Shelpman, left, and Ed Shelpman lead Keystone Coach Works.

Keystone Coach Works Inc. continues to be a family business – even though a different family is running the show.

Deedra Knaus, the founder and former chief executive officer, has turned over the reins of the 41-year-old Bethel Park company to a couple of cousins from another family. Ed Shelpman is the new president and CEO, and Don Shelpman is vice president of sales.

Keystone, located on Library Road (Route 88), is an independent retailer and installer of mobility vans and adaptive mobility equipment. It services individual consumers, school districts, contractors and group home-based organizations for the physical challenged.

“It was time to turn this mission-driven mobility business over to new owners to help take it to the next level,” Knaus said in a statement. “These two key employees have been the heart of the business . . . and they share the same core values that helped this business grow in the years following the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990.”

Ed Shelpman, according to a news release from the new owners, has more than 30 years of experience in the mobility business and has a physically challenged daughter. He has been the service and production manager since 1980. Don Shelpman has been a Keystone employee for 18 years, working in various positions. He has run the sales department for more than 15.

“We are very pleased to be able to keep Keystone Coach Works an independent company versus becoming part of the industry’s consolidation,” Ed said. “Don and I are as committed as always to our customers and those with special mobility needs. We are excited about the new opportunities ahead for us and are pleased to succeed Deedra who is assisting us in the transition.”

The company did not disclose terms of the transaction. Keystone Coach Works was founded in 1978.

Gift card exchange

Holiday gift cards you don’t really want? Sheetz will exchange them for gift cards to the convenience store chain.

“Customers can trade them in for gas, Made-to-Order food, coffee, smoothies and more,” Sheetz said in a news release. The Altoona-based company added that it will accept cards from more than 200 merchants.

Interested customers should visit https://.Sheetz.CardCash.com, and enter the merchant name and card balance to see how much they can receive in exchange for their gift card(s). To exchange a gift card, customers should enter the gift card number, PIN and basic customer information, and a Sheetz eGift Card will be emailed that can be used online or in stores.

St. Clair cited

St. Clair Hospital has been designated as a UPMC Health Plan Hip and Knee Joint Replacement Surgery Center of Excellence.

UPMC Health Plan, which made the designation, said its program recognizes surgical facilities and orthopedic surgeons for high-quality outcomes, low complication rates and best patient experience for UPMC Health Plan members receiving joint replacement surgery.

Board-certified orthopedist Brett C. Perricelli, M.D., who performs hip and knee joint replacement surgery exclusively at the Mt. Lebanon hospital, was cited as well. He practices with South Hills Orthopaedic Surgery Associates.

Retail boost

With Black Friday falling on Nov. 29, the latest date that retail-fest can be, this was a very short holiday shopping season across the United States. But it was a bountiful shopping season, thanks largely to online sales.

From Nov. 1 to Dec. 24, retail sales increased 3.4% over the same period last year, according to early data from Mastercard SpendingPulse, which provides insights into retail spending.

Online sales soared, jumping 18.8% from a year ago, and accounted for 15% of total retail sales.

More OT

Passage into the new year has made an estimated 61,000 Pennsylvania workers eligible for overtime, state Labor & Industry Secretary Jerry Oleksiak is reminding employees and businesses.

He pointed out that a new federal law made workers eligible for time-and-a-half OT pay starting Jan. 1. Oleksiak also lamented the state’s low minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

The following employees, according to Labor & Industry, are now eligible for overtime:

  • With a few exceptions, hourly employees who work more than 40 hours per week;
  • Most salaried employees who work more than 40 hours per week and earn less than $684 per week/$35,568 per year;
  • Most salaried employees who are not in an executive, administrative or professional capacity, regardless of pay.

Workers not eligible for OT are: salaried employees who are in an executive, administrative or professional capacity and make more than $35,568 per year; and those in occupations exempted by the state Minimum Wage Act.

Business Writer

Rick Shrum joined the Observer-Reporter as a reporter in 2012, after serving as a section editor, sports reporter and copy editor at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Rick has won eight individual writing awards, including two Golden Quills.

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