The Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office is responsible for the financial and programmatic oversight of the statewide SBDC network and is headquartered at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Click each staff member's name for a brief bio.

Christian Conroy

State Director

Christian Conroy is the State Director of the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) network.  He is responsible for the leadership, management and oversight of the 18 SBDCs that annually provide management education and consulting to 20,000 Pennsylvania entrepreneurs and business owners through utilizing professional staff, students and pro-bono professionals. 

Christian has been with the Pennsylvania SBDC program since 1994, leading efforts to achieve the program’s mission of helping companies start, grow and prosper, though pursuing improvements and innovations to boost efficiency, quality and impact; and to obtain the financial resources to sustain and expand services.  During his tenure, Christian has successfully steered the network through four national accreditation reviews, most recently in 2015. The network is one of only twelve in the nation that also has supplemental accreditation for its technology commercialization services.

Christian is active in supporting the development of the national network of Small Business Development Centers, currently serving as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of America’s SBDC and on the ASBDC Accreditation Committee.  He has also testified before both houses of Congress in support of bills to expand the SBDC program.   

Before joining the SBDC program, Christian was a key staff member for a New York State Assembly Member and managed marketing and fundraising programs for a variety of arts, health and social services organizations. 

Christian has a Master’s Degree in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania, and undergraduate degrees in economics and psychology from the University of New York at Albany.

Pamela S. Benedon

Associate State Director, Financial Management

A member of the Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office for more than two decades, Pam manages the financial activity of 18 centers across the state of Pennsylvania.  Pam oversees all budgetary, contractual, and financial management matters of the program.  She also provides training and guidance to center directors and financial personnel while maintaining responsibility of all grant activity, and involvement in policy issues and resource allocation.  Pam presently serves as co-chair of the national Operations Committee of America’s Small Business Development Center Network.

Prior to joining the SBDC, Pam worked in the University of Pennsylvania’s Office of Research Administration as a contracts administrator, where she was in charge of grants and contracts for research and training programs across five schools within the University, including the Wharton School of Business. In addition, Pam was directly involved in oversight of the grant which founded the SBDC at the University.  Pam holds an M.B.A. from Temple University and earned her B.A. in Economics from Douglass College of Rutgers University.

Nancy Crickman

Director, Environmental, Energy & Technology Services

Nancy joined the Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office in 2001 and oversees the SBDC's statewide environmental, energy and technology services.  As the director of the Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP), Nancy ensures that small businesses receive timely and high quality environmental compliance assistance.  Pennsylvania is one of only eight SBDC networks in the nation with an additional technology accreditation, where Nancy leads coordination and delivery of the network’s technology commercialization services.  Nancy also manages the network’s shale energy services which provide support to small businesses exploring opportunities in the shale energy industry.  Recently, Nancy was re-appointed by Governor Corbett to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Small Business Compliance Advisory Committee and serves as Vice Chair.  At the national level, Nancy co-chairs the Sustainability Workgroup of the Small Business Environmental Assistance Provider Network and the Shale Energy Interest Section of America’s Small Business Development Center Network.

Nancy holds a M.S. in Engineering in Environmental Pollution Control from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.S. in Engineering from Swarthmore College.  She has also completed the Wharton Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and is both a Certified Energy Auditor and Renewable Energy Professional through the Association of Energy Engineers.  Before coming to work at the SBDC, Nancy worked for worked ten years for the Pennsylvania DEP, specializing in watershed management.

Elaine Dean

Business Administrator

Elaine joined the Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office in 2016 as business administrator.  Her responsibilities include producing proposals and reports for submission to federal funding agencies, maintaining systems for all financial records including payroll, purchasing, accounts receivable, accounts payable, managing documentation, handling inquires, facilitating office operations, and assisting in the financial management of the Pennsylvania SBDC’s 18 network centers.

Elaine previously worked in administration at the Perelman School of Medicine in the Radiation Oncology department, customer and financial services at TD Bank, consulting and project management at EP Henry/EMERSON, and in real estate at REMAX and Prudential Fox and Roach. Elaine received her M.B.A. in International Business and Marketing from Philadelphia University and her B.S. in Fashion Merchandising from Philadelphia University and the London College of Fashion.

Jeremy Hancher

Environmental Consultant, EMAP

Employed with the Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office since 2005, Jeremy provides free and confidential environmental consulting assistance to Pennsylvania small businesses statewide.  In particular, he addresses the environmental consulting needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs by providing information and assistance on environmental regulatory and compliance issues, environmental permitting requirements, waste minimization, energy efficiency & pollution prevention, the implementation of environmental best management practices, and how a business can balance its environmental responsibility with the bottom line.  Jeremy reaches out to small businesses through one-on-one consulting engagements, environmental workshops, trade conferences, and through performing comprehensive facility on-site assessments.

Jeremy holds a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Pittsburgh.  He also earned an entrepreneurial certificate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  Jeremy is a Certified Energy Auditor and Renewable Energy Professional with the Association of Energy Engineers.

Diane Sandstrom

Associate State Director, Program Management

Diane joined the staff of the Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office in 2010 after serving 15 years at the Duquesne University SBDC in Pittsburgh.  In her capacity, she is tasked to supervise the administrative, programmatic and marketing staff, execute state and national strategies for building legislative support, identify and solicit new financial resources for the program, manage the implementation of strategic and operational plans, direct brand management, communications and marketing activities, manage the proposal and grant preparation process, and manage network professional development activities. 

Throughout her career, Diane has taught college-level business management and research courses, was self-employed in the restaurant industry and previously held a corporate management position.  Diane holds a M.B.A. from California University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Business Administration from West Virginia University.

Clyde Stoltzfus

Director, Procurement Technical Assistance

Clyde currently manages four Procurement Technical Assistance Centers that provide Government Marketing consulting to businesses located across ten Southeastern Pennsylvania counties and works out of the Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office.  The Centers are housed at Kutztown University, Lehigh University, Temple University and Widener University.

Previously, Clyde was appointed by three different Governors for the State of Alaska to manage federal relations for the State’s transportation department. His twelve-year tenure with the department also included contract negotiation and contract management duties, proposal development and procurement management responsibilities, and, legislative and regulatory development duties. Prior to joining the State of Alaska, he owned and operated a law firm in Juneau, Alaska that specialized in contract and construction law.

Clyde holds a J.D. from The Lewis and Clark Law School and earned his B.A. in Political Science from Lincoln University.  As an Army Veteran and licensed attorney in Pennsylvania and Alaska, Clyde is also a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Alaska Bar Association, and a member of the America’s Small Business Development Centers Network, the Association of Government Marketing Assistance Specialists and the National Contract Management Association.  In 2005, he was awarded the Veteran Small Business Champion of the year by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Philadelphia District Office and has been awarded the Champion of Veterans Enterprise by the Center for Veterans Enterprise in years 2002 through 2006.

Carrie Wintersteen, Senior Environmental Consultant, EMAP

Employed with the Pennsylvania SBDC Lead Office since 2014, Carrie provides no-charge, confidential environmental consulting assistance to Pennsylvania small businesses statewide. Specifically, she is available to advise small business owners on conducting emissions calculations, air, waste, and water discharge permit applications, requests for determination, developing corrective action plans based on Notices of Violation issued, and interface with environmental regulators.

Carrie is a chemical engineer with experience in regulatory compliance and air quality permitting. Her experience is diverse having worked in state government, private industry, and environmental consulting. She is knowledgeable in permitting, Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) applicability and compliance, performing regulatory compliance audits as well continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) testing and quality assurance requirements.  Carrie holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech.

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