Pennsylvania SBDC Consultants to Present During America’s SBDC National Conference in San Francisco

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Next week, Pennsylvania SBDC consultants will present in San Francisco for America's SBDC Annual Conference with more than 1,500 attendees.

Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) Logo

Business consultants from across the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) network have been selected to present during the 35th Annual America’s SBDC Conference being held September 8-11, 2015 in San Francisco.

The Pennsylvania SBDC network will lead six presentations during the conference alongside nationally recognized speakers and colleagues from the America’s SBDC network. America’s SBDC represents more than 1,000 SBDCs serving all U.S. states and territories; its annual conference attracts more than 1,500 small business development professionals.

Presentations to be delivered by the Pennsylvania SBDC staff will cover topics such as business continuity and survival, business incubators, social media for SBDCs, shale energy, and engaging students in SBDC consulting engagements. Details of each presentation are included below in chronological order.

How SBDCs Should Be Using Social Media
Thursday, September 10, 2015 | 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Presenters: Keith Yurgosky, Business Consultant, The University of Scranton SBDC; Kelly Cofrancisco, Outreach and Partnership Manager, Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office

As a follow-up to the 2014 standing room only social media best practices presentation, “How SBDCs Should Be Using Social Media” will discuss the multiple audiences SBDCs should be targeting and how to best engage with program stakeholders on social media. Attendees will be able to share how they are currently using social media, identify their own program stakeholders, and brainstorm ways to connect with them on social media. The presentation will conclude with practical examples that SBDCs can use on today’s biggest social media platforms to leverage them to their full potential.

Business Continuity & Survival Services
Thursday, September 10, 2015 | 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Presenters: Maureen Hauck, Assistant Director, Bucknell University SBDC; Lisa Hall-Zielinski, Director, The University of Scranton SBDC; Nicholas Lentz, Business Consultant, Lock Haven University SBDC; Andrew Reid, U.S. Economic Development Administration Representative for Pennsylvania and New York

Over the course of two years, eleven teams covering 21 counties in Pennsylvania were engaged in consulting and education around the areas of disaster preparedness and recovery. Attend this session to learn about the program implementation and growth of Pennsylvania SBDC’s Business and Continuity Services, hear from SBDC consultants working with impacted businesses, and share best practices and lessons learned related to this specialized area of consulting. Funding to support these services was provided in part by the U.S. Economic Development Administration for business assistance to small firms impacted in 2011 by flooding from hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee as well as from the U.S. Small Business Administration to spur recovery and growth of small businesses in the Delaware river basin after Hurricane Sandy.

Shale Energy Discussion Forum
Thursday, September 10, 2015 | 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Facilitator: Lindsey Biddle Gilkes, Senior Management Consultant, University of Pittsburgh SBDC; Jeremy Hancher, Environmental Consultant, Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office; Cynthia Nellis, Assistant Director, Clarion University SBDC

This open forum session is open to all but intended for anyone with active or proposed shale development activity in their state to learn more about what other states are experiencing and to share best practices, tips and tools. The session will include a presentation on Pennsylvania SBDC’s Shale 101 curriculum and an open discussion on the state of the industry, upstream, midstream and downstream opportunities, and how to help small businesses through the boom – bust industry cycles.

Engaging Students to Maximize Impact
Thursday, September 10, 2015 | 3:45 - 5:15 p.m.
Presenters: Linda Feltman, Business Consultant, Penn State SBDC; Michael Ryan, Business Consultant, Penn State SBDC

How has one of the smallest SBDC’s in the state of Pennsylvania, with only three full-time consultants, increased the value and impact to their university through maximizing student volunteers, student engagement and working with student entrepreneurs? The Penn State SBDC, despite its small staff, is a valued and respected member of the university. Attend this session to learn how they did it, and following the presentation attendees will be able to divide into discussion groups to share ways their SBDC currently engages students and to apply any tips learned from the presentation to their centers. At the end each group will be asked to share ideas.

Business Incubators: Beyond Silicon Valley
Friday, September 11, 2015 | 8:00 - 9:30 a.m.
Presenters: Steven Stumbris, Director, Bucknell University SBDC; Keith Yurgosky, Scranton University SBDC; Heather McWhorter Fennessey, Director, Penn State University SBDC; Ernie Post, Director, Kutztown University SBDC; Margaret Horne, Director, Gannon University SBDC; Cynthia Nellis, Assistant Director, Clarion University SBDC; Dennis Hummer, Business Consultant, Bucknell University SBDC.

Silicon Valley has long been a hotbed of innovation, with a reputation for business incubation and an environment that accelerates ventures; but programs of this nature and similar methodologies stimulate and accelerate new ventures and technologies across the country. At this session, representatives from six Pennsylvania centers will offer overviews of SBDC leadership and service in business incubators throughout the commonwealth; sharing knowledge about programming, funding, partnerships, community engagement, and economic impact metrics. Attendees will participate in facilitated discussion groups with the presenters, and share their own ideas and insights for SBDC involvement in incubator programs.

Discussion Forum: Submitting a Conference Presentation
Friday, September 11, 2015 | 3:45 – 5:15 p.m.
Presenter: Lisa Hall-Zielinski, Director, The University of Scranton SBDC

America’s SBDC annual conference showcases the best practices and ideas for developing our best resource, our people. Lead by members of the Conference Committee, this forum will outline topics, suggestions, and criteria used in selecting programs for each conference. The committee will share the methodology used in formulating the annual conference program. Beyond just the conference, America’s SBDC is looking for ongoing professional development opportunities via other venues such as online learning platforms. Attendees are asked to bring their ideas so that the committee can continue to develop its talent and impact upon its clients.

About Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
The Pennsylvania SBDC network is the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses. SBDC consultants work with entrepreneurs in confidential, individualized sessions to help them with a range of business issues including testing a new business proposition, shaping a business plan, investigating funding opportunities, and much more. The SBDC program is a public/private partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and 18 universities and colleges across the Commonwealth. For more information on the Pennsylvania SBDC services and impact, please visit

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Kelly Cofrancisco
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Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
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Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)

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