EVENT SPEAKERS

Jennifer Wakeman

Jennifer Wakeman

Executive Director, DRIVE

Justin Ross, P.E., M.S.

Justin Ross, P.E., M.S.

Principal, LIVIC Civil LLC

John Reichard

John Reichard

Senior Relationship Manger II, SEDA-COG

Matthew Rousu

Matthew Rousu

Dean, Susquehanna University

Kristin Thorpe

Kristin Thorpe

Guide, LIVIC Civil LLC

Robert J. McCormack

Robert J. McCormack

Founding Partner, Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors

Jim Robey

Jim Robey

Principal, Robey Analytics

Dan Meehan

Dan Meehan

President, Horizon Geospatial LLC

Erica Mulberger

Erica Mulberger

Executive Director, Advance Central PA

Dennis Burnside

Dennis Burnside

Executive Managing Director, Vestian Global Workplace Services

Leslie Temple

Leslie Temple

SVP Business Development Northern PA, Fulton Bank

Shannon Munro

Shannon Munro

Vice President, Workforce Development, Penn College

Joe KantzJoe Kantz
Business & Development Manager, North Shore Railroad Company & Affiliates

Joe Kantz is serving in his fourth term and has been the Chairman of the Board of Snyder County Commissioners since 2008 and is also the Business and Development Manager for the North Shore Railroad.  In his role with the railroad since 2014, Joe and his co-workers have been very involved in helping locate new industrial manufacturers to our region.

Joe was raised in Snyder County and graduated from Selinsgrove High School and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Susquehanna University.  Joe has always been a strong advocate for our region and has served on numerous boards like the American Red Cross, Leadership Susquehanna Valley and Community Aid Thrift Stores.  Joe currently serves on the board for the Corner of Hope Pregnancy Care Center in Shamokin, PA.

Joe is also very active with the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania and currently serves on the Board of Directors, as the Chair of the Resolutions Committee, on the Election Reform Committee and County Governance Committee.   Joe also serves on the Board of the Pennsylvania Counties Health Insurance Purchasing Cooperative.  In September of 2020, Joe was appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate to serve on the newly created Election Law Advisory Board.  Joe is also passionate about economic development in the Susquehanna Valley and serves on the Board of Directors for DRIVE, FOCUS Central PA and SEDA-COG.

As a teenager, Joe earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.  In 1991-1992, Joe traveled the United States performing for our hospitalized veterans with the entertainment group Re-Creation.  Joe also performed in the music ministry of True Heart from 1993-2020.

Joe also has a small marketing business, raises beef cattle and recently began auctioneering in Central PA.  He and his wife, Amber live with their daughter, Nia on a farm that has been in his family for nearly 100 years.  Their farm is just over the hill from the little town of Kantz which was named after Joe’s great, great, great, great Grandfather, Christian Kantz, II.

our team wakemanJennifer Wakeman
Executive Director, DRIVE Industry

Jennifer Wakeman has lived in the Susquehanna Valley since 1995. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Washington & Lee University. Her career has covered a variety of fields from agriculture to television and radio. She was the creator, host & content producer for In Your Neighborhood, a monthly newsmagazine highlighting businesses, organizations, and individuals in the region. It aired exclusively on Service Electric Cablevision.  Before coming to DRIVE, Jennifer was the news director at Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation.

With more than 20 years of volunteer experience with area non-profits, Jennifer has a strong commitment to the communities and families in the Susquehanna Valley. She is the Chair of Focus Central Pennsylvania, a seven-county marketing organization committed to bringing new capital investment to the region. She currently represents Montour County on the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority and the Natural Gas Cooperative board of directors. Jennifer sits on the board of the Young Artists’ Theatre Project, is the past president of RiverStage Community Theatre, and is also a member and former board president of the Susquehanna Valley Chorale. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Economic Development Association and is DRIVE’s representative with the International Economic Development Council. She lives in Lewisburg with her husband and two daughters.

Matthew Rousu, PH.D
Dean of Sigmund Weis School of Business, Susquehanna University

Matthew Rousu is Dean of the Sigmund Weis School of Business and a Professor of Economics at Susquehanna University. His research interests are in economic education, experimental auctions, and public policy and he created and maintains the websites BroadwayEconomics.com and EconomicsofStarWars.com.

Dr. Rousu has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in hundreds of news outlets, including Barron’s, Bloomberg, BBC World News, Forbes, Fox News, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

In his free time he likes travel, live theatre, escape rooms, golf, poker, spending time with family, and more.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of South Dakota and a Ph.D. from Iowa State University.

Jim RobeyJim Robey, Ph.D.
Principal, Robey Analytics

Jim Robey is Principal of Robey Analytics, LLC, a firm specializing in economic development, workforce development, and site selection services. Jim is an applied economist, economic developer, and site selection consultant, with more than 30 years’ experience. He has worked with corporate, nonprofit, units of government, economic development and workforce development organizations in problem solving, strategy, and policy decision making from the local to the national levels. His expertise includes industry studies, occupational analysis, economic impact analysis and modeling, economic and workforce development research and analysis, and site selection assistance. Prior experience includes positions in directing regional research initiatives, economic development, and site selection at both nonprofit and for-profit entities.  Jim earned his PhD in Urban Studies, with an emphasis in Economic Development, and his master’s degree in Public Administration from Cleveland State University’s Levin College of Urban Affairs.  

Dennis Burnside
Executive Managing Director, Vestian Global Workplace Services

Dennis Burnside has a 30-plus year resume of serving large and small corporate organizations, the economic development community, and the commercial real estate service and investment industry. His experience and commitment to excellence enable him to deliver a superior level of service to his clients. Dennis specializes in site consultancy, real estate advisory, transactions and portfolio management services. His client list reflects a diverse range of industries and client size with local, regional and international presence. Dennis’ Economic Development expertise includes business attraction programs, industry cluster and economic impact studies, and community positioning, as well as acting as ad hoc director and advisor for all aspects of the economic development process. Prior to joining Vestian, Dennis was the president of Juniper Solutions, which provided site selection and economic development consultancy. Before founding Juniper, he was a partner with Mohr Partners Inc. overseeing the Cleveland office for five plus years. Mr. Burnside earned a Bachelor of Science degree in History from Slippery Rock State College, Slippery Rock, PA.

Justin Ross, P.E., M.S.
Co-Founder, LIVIC Civil

Justin Ross is a business owner, professional engineer, father and Guide dedicated to building great teams, empowering others, leading by example, and supporting the growth of our Central PA region. He has gained a unique perspective on both business ownership and leadership from his education, licensure, and life experiences growing up in western Pennsylvania. Justin has a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware, a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and Minor in Engineering Mechanics from Penn State University graduating magna cum laude. He is a licensed professional engineer in 5 states, a founding member of Central Pennsylvania Vistage Executive Group, a Contributor to FOCUS Central PA, a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and an appointed board director of DRIVE as well as GSBDC, formerly the Susquehanna Industrial Development Board (SIDCO).

Taking a career leap of faith in 2017, Justin co-founded LIVIC Civil, a civil engineering firm based out of Selinsgrove PA, now with offices in Bloomsburg and Harrisburg. LIVIC specializes in guiding clients through Site Selection, Land Development, Traffic Engineering, GIS and Landscape Architecture for new and expanding development projects. With the help of his talented team of Engineering Guides, Justin has evolved LIVIC into one of the fastest growing Businesses in Central PA that is now ranked as a top Mid Atlantic Design Firm in Engineering News Record. In just four short years, the LIVIC Guides have emerged as a local and regional leader in guiding owners, developers, brokers and public officials through the many hurdles and challenges in today’s land development permitting environment.

Outside of the office, Justin enjoys spending time with his wife, Ellyn, and their three children adventuring outdoors, coaching soccer and ice hockey and building life skills through 4H and other projects on their family farm in Northumberland County.

Kristin Thorpe
Guide-GIS Analyst, LIVIC Civil

Kristin is a young professional, ambitious problem solver, and LIVIC Civil’s in-house Geographic Information Systems (GIS) expert. Starting her career in February of 2020, Kristin single-handedly grew LIVIC’s GIS services from being virtually nonexistent to what they are today. She built and manages online GIS applications for three different municipalities to satisfy their MS4 requirements with DEP, configured maps for inspections and asset management, developed a workflow for site selection using surface features and demographic data, and is constantly learning new ways to support the LIVIC Guides and their clients.

Kristin has a Bachelor of Science in Geography with a concentration in GIS and minor is Technical/Professional Communications from Shippensburg University, graduating summa cum laude. During her studies, she worked as a student fellow at the Center for Land Use and Sustainability creating a web application for the NPS Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River to evaluate the impacts of land development projects on park resources. This position provided Kristin with the experience and knowledge of data integrity, map design, and application creation.

Dan Meehan
President & Founder, Horizon GeoSpatial, LLC

Horizon GeoSpatial, LLC, provides geospatial consulting services and specializes in explosive safety siting and training.  Dan has been in the geospatial technology industry for over 20 years and in that time has worked developing, integrating and applying GIS in support of local, state, and federal government projects and academic research. He has managed GIS/IT projects in spatial data analysis, database design, data management, land use planning, and web mapping application development.

Dan is an SME on the Explosive Safety Siting (ESS) software, a geospatial planning tool that is required for creating safety plans for entities that store or manufacture energetic or explosive materials.  Dan has provided ESS support to numerous private entities and almost 100 different DOD installations around the globe. Dan is also a Program Manager and Instructor for the online Masters Degree in Geodesign at Penn State.

Leslie TempleLeslie Temple
SVP Business Development Northern PA, Fulton Bank

Leslie joined Fulton Bank in 1990 and now serves as Market Leader/ Business Development Officer for northern PA.

Leslie is a graduate of Lafayette College, the PA Bankers Association Leadership Institute, and the ABA Stonier Graduate School of Banking, with a Wharton Leadership Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania.

She is active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors for Leadership Susquehanna Valley, the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce and Salt & Light Media Ministries. She is a member of the Communications Committee for the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce and Community Advisory Group for The Daily Item. She is active in her church and with family activities.

Leslie resides in Lewisburg with her husband Mark and three sons, Jack, Erik and Cole.

John ReichardJohn K. Reichard
Senior Relationship Manager II, SEDA-COG Business Finance Department

As senior relationship manager II, John builds on his many years of experience partnering with lenders across Pennsylvania to connect businesses with the best loans for their goals including the SBA 504 loan program, State of Pennsylvania loan programs, and internal SEDA-COG loan programs.

He has been employed with the SEDA-COG Business Finance Department since 1995, starting as a financial analyst.  John became a loan officer in 1999 and took over program directorship in 2010.  In 2017, John transitioned to senior relationship manager II.

John earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Dickinson College and a Master of Science in business administration from Bucknell University.

Bob McCormackRobert J. McCormack, CVA, M&AMI, MBA
Founder & Managing Partner, Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors

Bob founded Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors in 2005 after a successful career in financial services.  He is the former president & chief executive officer of SunBank, a regional financial services company with more than $1 Billion in assets.  As CEO, he negotiated and implemented numerous acquisitions.  With more than 25 years of financial services experience, Bob also has extensive financing expertise and contacts.

As a former head of commercial lending and as a former commercial loan relationship manager, Bob witnessed first-hand the need in the market for professional merger & acquisition services and transition planning assistance, particularly with privately-held, middle market companies.  This led him to establish Murphy McCormack Capital Advisors.

Bob has attained the designations of Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), Merger & Acquisition Master Intermediary (M & AMI), and Certified Business Intermediary.

Erica MulbergerErica Mulberger
Executive Director, Advance Central PA

Erica is the Executive Director of Advance Central PA where she started her tenure as Finance Manager. Erica supports the region’s 21-member private sector led Workforce Development Board (WDB) and 9-county Local Elected Officials Board to address workforce challenges through partnerships with education, industry, and economic development agencies. She collaborates with the Workforce Development Board members and other partners to identify training needs of local industry and utilizes federal, state and local funding sources to make innovative, cost-effective system changes to increase the skills of youth and jobseekers. Erica is also responsible for the overall operations of six PA CareerLink® offices plus Advance Central PA’s mobile workforce unit, The Link.

Erica is also President of the SUMMIT Early Learning Board where she advocates on behalf of the children, parents, and childcare workers for high quality early childhood education services at an affordable rate for parents.

Shannon Munro
Vice President for Workforce Development, Pennsylvania College of Technology

Shannon is the Vice President for Workforce Development at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Her oversight includes the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center, Clean Energy Center and the Apprenticeship Center. Workforce Development works with companies to help them understand their workforce skill gaps and develops and delivers targeted, customizable training solutions to close those gaps and improve their bottom line. Specific training specialty areas include apprenticeship technical instruction for advanced manufacturers – including CNC, mechatronics, industrial manufacturing technician and plastics processing technician training and training for clean energy professionals. The Plastics Innovation & Resource Center provides comprehensive support to plastics companies through annual workshops and materials testing assistance. 

Shannon also serves as the Chairperson of the Innovative Manufacturers’ Center (IMC), a public/private partnership dedicated to increasing innovation and competitiveness for Central Pennsylvania small and medium-sized manufacturers.