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Revealing the Hidden Gems of a Thriving Business Landscape in Cumberland Valley: Universal Media

Nestled within Cumberland Valley lies a treasure trove of thriving businesses, spanning diverse industries such as transportation, healthcare, food processing. This vibrant tapestry of economic activity provides the fertile ground upon which numerous value-added professional services have flourished, including financing, engineering, accounting, consulting, and more. Many of these small, local enterprises operate under the radar, yet impact the local economy and Cumberland Valley’s quality of life in big ways. One of these big-little companies is Universal Media, Inc. (UMI), headquartered in Mechanicsburg.

A Family Legacy Since 1986
Family-owned since 1986 and firmly rooted in central Pennsylvania, UMI was founded as a traditional media placement agency. Anne Carnathan, a seasoned professional with a 25-year career in broadcasting sales, joined the team nearly 13 years ago and now serves as President and CEO. Under Anne’s innovative leadership, UMI has undergone a remarkable transformation, evolving from primarily offering traditional media services into a dynamic multi-channel agency with an unwavering commitment to data-centric, analytics-driven solutions. Throughout its journey, the company has remained dedicated to offering comprehensive client support and provides powerful media strategies for high-profile national brands, including grocery store chains, healthcare organizations, and large retailers. “Changing course can be challenging, but we were able to successfully transform and grow,” says Anne.

The Power of Teamwork
Central to UMI’s achievement is its exceptional team, comprising 70 full-time and part-time employees. Anne’s strategic vision was instrumental in assembling a workforce capable of adapting to evolving technologies and harnessing them to execute each client’s plan with precision and efficiency. “In this topsy-turvy industry, we embrace an entrepreneurial spirit,” Anne notes. “We are known for nurturing careers, and that’s incredibly rewarding. Our team members become deeply rooted here.”

A Thriving Hub
UMI’s roots have remained firmly planted in the Cumberland Valley. Even as they transitioned to their fifth location, they have always called Mechanicsburg home. Anne reflects, “Businesses thrive where they are welcomed. The Cumberland Valley possesses an abundance of talent. If this isn’t a thriving region, I don’t know what is.”

Giving Back: A Compassionate Heritage
UMI’s mission is deeply intertwined with compassion. Two of the three founders, brothers Don and Jim Young, spent their formative childhood years at the United Methodist Home for Children in Mechanicsburg. Their challenging upbringing laid the foundation for UMI’s charitable spirit. The company’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts extend locally and nationally, with support for charities such as the Children’s Miracle Network, Vickie’s Angel Foundation, The Salvation Army, March of Dimes, and the Diaper Bank. “We endeavor to support causes that are close to the hearts of our people,” says Anne. “This company unquestionably does so much. It has a big heart.”

Empowering Women in Business
One way that Anne gives back to the local community is through the Grit & Gravitas podcast, which she co-hosts with Anne Deeter Gallaher, founder of the Deeter Gallaher Group in Camp Hill. Launched in 2021, the podcast is a beacon of support for women in business, imparting valuable lessons learned through success, failure, determination, and resilience. Through impactful stories shared by guests, both local and across the nation, listeners gain profound insights that inspire and educate.

A Leap into the Future
With its unwavering focus on what’s next, Universal Media, Inc. recently introduced its newest venture— Universal Sports & Entertainment (USE). This division of UMI aims to revolutionize sponsorships, elevating them into potent media investments and integral components of integrated marketing and communications plans. As Anne succinctly puts it, “USE seeks to take sponsorships a ginormous leap forward.”

Universal Media, Inc., stands as a shining example of how a small, locally owned business can evolve, adapt, and expand, leaving an indelible mark on both the local economy and the lives of those it touches.

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