Maggie Horne, Director 

Margaret U. Horne, MBA, CVA is the Director of Gannon University Small Business Development Center.  Maggie earned an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree in business administration with concentration in marketing and management from Penn State University, and her MBA from Point Park University.  She is also a Certified Valuation Analyst. Her background includes experience in law, accounting, education and business valuation.  Maggie has published articles and presented locally and nationally on topics including competitive intelligence, business valuation and business management.  She has also taught a variety of courses for community colleges and other education facilities. For over six years,  Maggie provided general consulting services to pre-venture clients and existing businesses in Mercer County and specialized business valuation consulting services to clients in Erie, Warren, Crawford and Mercer counties and served as Manager of Business Consulting prior to her appointment as Director of the Center. 

John Snyder, Senior Business Consultant

John Snyder joined the Gannon Small Business Development Center in 1996 as a Business Consultant.  He was promoted to Senior Business Consultant in 2000.  John works with a diverse group of clients on business plans, strategic plans, financial analysis, financial forecasts, and loan proposals.  Since joining the SBDC, John has assisted clients to secure over $150 million in capital, creating over 120 new businesses and expanding hundreds of other businesses in our community. Prior to joining the Gannon SBDC, John worked nearly nine years in the banking industry as a Credit Officer and Business Banking Officer. He started his professional career at Continental Bank in Philadelphia, one of the largest banks in the nation at the time. John has spoken at universities and business schools to promote SBDC services and has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal regarding small business lending and its impact on entrepreneurs.

John graduated from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, and completed his M.B.A. at Gannon University in 2002.  John also attended the Central Atlantic School of Commercial Lending at Bucknell University. 

Amanda Kochirka, Business Consultant

Amanda Kochirka is a Business Consultant with the Gannon University Small Business Development Center. She is originally from Meadville and is a 2009 cum laude graduate of Gannon University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Arts. Amanda has held positions with the eMarketing Learning Center as the eMarketing Special Interest Group Coordinator, Mercyhurst University as the Web and Social Media Manager, and The Nonprofit Partnership as the Marketing and Communications Specialist. Through her work experiences she has managed a custom branded social networking community, countless websites, social media profiles, and a communications makeover grant program. She is extremely well-versed in online marketing best practices and strategies and frequently speaks to local professional organizations and networking groups regarding how to create a marketing plan that is cost-effective, data-driven, and impactful. 

Jill Newcomer, Mercer County Outreach Business Consultant

Jill is the Gannon University Small Business Development Center's Mercer County Outreach consultant.  A graduate of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  Jill has over 28 years of work experience with 20 years in economic development and business consulting and 8 years of private-for-profit management experience.  Economic development projects include impacts of over $150 million financial packages, $610 million total investments, 3,400 jobs created and 8,200 jobs retained. Private management experience includes growing a small construction business from $1 million to $7.5 million in gross revenues in two years; management of a national service branch, where in less than one year net profits were increased by 747%; and created internal systems for better overall management that had an impact on revenues and employee performance.

James Babcock, Crawford County Outreach Business Consultant

Jim is the Gannon University Small Business Development Center's Crawford County Outreach Consultant. Jim received his Bachelor's degree from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Boston University. Jim has over 30 years of work experience in organizational finance and administration. Jim has served as Chief Financial Officer for several companies in Western New York and Northwest Pennsylvania. He has experience with many computerized accounting and reporting systems, with expertise in budgeting and forecasting. Jim has been an instructor at University of Pittsburgh, Titusville and has performed private consulting for local small businesses and organizations in addition to being a Notary Public.

DeVona Carson, Program and Project Coordinator

DeVona is a seasoned Executive Assistant with over 25 years in the field. She has extensive experience with all administrative tasks, including scheduling and correspondence. Having held positions in accounting, insurance and business fields, DeVona is able to tailor her skills to meet the needs to various clients.  DeVona is currently attending Gannon University - Business Administration and is a member of The Gannon University Support Staff Association (GUSSA).