Francis Achampong, Ph.D., chancellor, Penn State Mont Alto
With 37 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Achampong has served as director of academic affairs at Penn State Mont Alto, chancellor at Penn State Fayette, and chancellor at Mont Alto since 2013. Prior to Penn State, he taught at Howard University and Norfolk State University where he also served as interim dean of the school of business. He has authored many articles including a book on Workplace Sexual Harassment Law. He is active in the community and serves on several community boards.
Linsey Covert, CEO and founder, TEAMology LLC
A former educator turned entrepreneur, Covert spent her time in graduate school at Penn State researching how a schoolwide TEAMwork model might have a positive impact on school climate. After years of piloting and research, as well as support from Penn State’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, she formed TEAMology LLC. The company now offers a first-of-its-kind customized cloud-based platform that delivers school-wide programming, curriculum, resources, and training to help build positive school climates while also promoting social and emotional learning and school safety for student success. Covert is also an instructor at the Penn State College of Education.
Kathyrn Gratton, founder & chief strategic officer, Red Lips Mentor
Through her company, Kathyrn works with businesses to help them develop strategic plans to achieve growth.
John Sider, director, Second Stage Capital
Sider is responsible for assisting the program’s portfolio companies to attract additional investment capital from sources such as angel investors, institutional venture capital, and banks. In addition, he is responsible for identifying and obtaining additional funding resources to support the mission of the Center.
Sider was most recently a Senior Policy Advisor to Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes where he did fiscal analysis for the Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee and managed economic development projects in the Senator’s district. Previously, he was Managing Director of Statewide Initiatives for Pennsylvania’s four Ben Franklin Centers. In this capacity, he played a central role in the conception, development, and passage of Pennsylvania’s 2013 “Innovate in PA” legislation which will provide $100 million in tax credits to fund a continuum of capital formation activities in the state.
From 2005-2010 Sider worked for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development where he managed all venture capital and angel investor initiatives and was ultimately appointed Deputy Secretary for Technology Investment by Governor Rendell in 2009.
John Sider is a graduate of Wheaton College and earned his MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University.
Tim Henry, president and CEO, F & M Trust
Henry has extensive experience in commercial lending, loan workout, retail management, private banking, trust and investment services, operations, risk management and compliance. Franklin Financial is the largest independent, locally owned and operated bank holding company headquartered in Franklin County with assets of more than $1 billion. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, F&M Trust, has 22 community banking offices.
Steve Holoviak, retired professor of management at Penn State Mont Alto and professor of human resource management and Dean of Grove College of Business at Shippensburg University
With over 35 years of experience, Holoviak is an academic, researcher, administrator, and finance professional with expertise in metrics-based management and program evaluation — a topic upon which he has researched and published extensively.
Kristen Joy Laidig, author, entrepreneur, and owner of InterACT, LLC
Kristen Joy Laidig was “unemployable” at the tender age of 6 when she started her first business making and selling pet rocks with nothing but a Sharpie® marker, gravel, and ingenuity. She’s been a serial entrepreneur since, launching over 52 publishing companies, five LLCs, three retail establishments, and building and selling two multi-six-figure businesses. She's learned what to do and what not to do with the goal of being a guide to help entrepreneurs build their own successful six-figure empires.
Nathan J. Neil, co-founder and COO, Purple Deck Media, Inc.
LaunchUX is a web and digital marketing company that specializes in big data research. Neil specializes in website and user experience management, in addition, to being a certified Project Management Professional. Neil is a serial entrepreneur, operating four companies as of 2019.
Mike Ross, president, FCADC
Mike Ross has served as president of the FCADC since its start-up in 1986. The Corporation is responsible for initiating, implementing, and promoting a comprehensive economic development strategy, which is centered on the retention/expansion of existing companies, the selective attraction of new industries, and the start-up of new businesses in Franklin County.
Mike Unruh, Director, Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship, Mount St. Mary's University
The Palmieri Center for Entrepreneurship is an innovative student resource that provides skill-building, mentorship and real-world experiences vital to the development of creative critical thinking.
Robin Burtner, director, Shippensburg University Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
Robin Burtner has been with the Shippensburg University SBDC center since its opening in January 2007. The Shippensburg University SBDC is one of 16 college-based centers in Pennsylvania and serves small businesses and entrepreneurs in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties. As the director, Burtner is responsible for planning, developing and implementing all programs offered by the SBDC; identifying resource requirements and strategies in the delivery of such programs and services, and securing and maintaining the funding necessary to accomplish program goals and objectives in the four-county service area. Robin has an M.B.A and a Master of Arts in higher education administration.