SBDC Hall of Fame

Shining Stars Daycare

Shining Stars Daycare, Inc.

Stella & John Penizotto
Shining Stars Daycare, Inc.
Onondaga SBDC

Stella and John Penizotto built a very good business in a tough industry. In 13 years, with SBDC assistance, the Penizottos expanded the business six times to their current capacity for 244 children. There is a new day care center planned for near Lockheed Martin’s facility in Liverpool, and the business currently employs 63 people in all.

Stella’s collaboration with other companies and resources to provide the best daycare experience for children led to a partnership with Enable, a local special needs agency in Onondaga County.  It resulted in the first full day program for autistic children 3 to 5 years of age at one of the Shining Star centers. The program’s goal is to mainstream autistic children that have completed the program into regular kindergarten classes. This program has been so successful that ENABLE will expand the program to the new Shining Stars center in Liverpool. Business Advisor Joan Powers has worked with Stella and John since 1997, when they came to the SBDC to expand from one to two daycare centers. SBDC assistance has led to expansion financing and a few health and safety grants from the NYS Office of Children & Family Services. Stella & John Penizotto were SBDC Entrepreneurs of the Year in 2001.