Staff


Maggie Horne, Director 

Margaret (Maggie) 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 an Certified Valuation Analyst. Her background includes experience in law, accounting, education and business valuation. Maggie co-launched the first independent valuation firm in Western Pennsylvania where she consulted with numerous clients, including Microsoft, UPS, Ford, Proctor & Gamble, and Caterpillar.  She was involved in over 50 mergers and acquisitions. Maggie developed and conducted numerous presentations related to business valuation and competitive intelligence.


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 colleges and universities. The first six years with the SBDC, 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.  She served as Manager of Business Consulting prior to her appointment as Director of the Center. Maggie currently provides strategic planning and valuation services for SBDC clients.

John Fee, Business Consultant 

John Fee is a Business Consultant for the Gannon University Small Business Development Center where he assists companies launch, grow and prosper.  He acts as an advisor and counselor for companies of many sizes and across multiple industries in all functional areas.  He is a graduate of Tufts University and will complete his Master in Public Administration from Gannon University in 2017. John has over 20 years of experience in practically all areas of business, including management, operations, marketing, sales, customer service, human resources, finance and logistics.  He has worked in a myriad of industries, including manufacturing, medical technology, consumer products, retail, food service, publishing and education.  John is an entrepreneur by nature, having launched and run many successful ventures.  He has worked for a number of non-profit organizations in his tenure.

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.


Shane Foster, Crawford County Outreach Business Consultant

Shane joined the Gannon University Small Business Development Center in November 2017. He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science. Shane was the founder of Yellowletterservice.com, a Meadville marketing agency and consultancy that helped business owners build their brands and sales through creative online and offline marketing strategies. Shane provides consulting services to Crawford County entrepreneurs and small businesses from start-up to expansion to acquisition. 


John Chacona, Educational Program Coordinator

John Chacona brings almost four decades of experience in marketing, advertising, public relations, journalism and media to his position as Educational Program Coordinator.  On the client and agency sides, he has contributed to award-winning marketing campaigns for clients in travel and tourism, health care, higher education, consumer packaged goods and politics.  A graduate of the University of Miami with a B.B.A. in international finance and marketing, Chacona has also started and managed two small businesses headquartered in Erie.