Barry Surma, who appointed as the Director of the Saint Francis SBDC in February of 2016, has more than 30 years of experience in the economic development profession. Prior to being named as SBDC Director, he spent the last 22 years working for the Altoona-Blair county Development Corporation. There, he served in several capacities including the Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, Executive Director of the Blair County Industrial Development Authority, and Executive Director of the Blair County General Authority.
During his tenure at ABCD Corp., Barry processed the organization’s economic development loan programs and presented them various funding agencies including the Small Business Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority, and regional/local development agencies. In that capacity, he structured economic development financing packages ranging from less than $5,000 to more than $40 million; many times with economic development funding from multiple programs. Based on ABCD Corp.’s track record in developing successful PIDA projects, Barry was one of several Industrial Development Corporation staff members that worked with the Department of Community and Economic Development to review and develop updated underwriting and servicing guidelines for DCED financing programs. He was also part of a working group that recommended changes to how DCED established and reset interest rates for its loan programs.
In addition to his expertise in structuring economic development financing projects, Barry has been involved with multiple real estate development efforts including several industrial and business parks, built to suit construction projects, and building renovation projects. For those projects, he developed real estate pricing parameters and structured the financial sections for many real estate leases including synthetic leases that ABCD Corp. developed for specific clients.
Barry received both his BS in Accounting and MBA from Saint Francis University. He earned his designation as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). Presently, Barry is one of less than 1,200 economic or real estate development professionals worldwide to hold the CEcD accreditation. He has spoken before various audiences about economic development financing topics including the Council of Development Finance Agencies, Pennsylvania Economic Development Association, and Western Pennsylvania Association of Small Business Administration Guaranteed Lenders.