Staff & Expertise

All services are provided by our staff of highly qualified consultants. In addition to practical experience in operating small businesses themselves, our staff members have more than fifty years of business experience and hold degrees in business, communications, and engineering. The Penn State SBDC also taps into the expertise of industry experts, successful entrepreneurs, and business professionals to deliver its educational programs.

Meet Our Consulting Staff

Linda Feltman

Linda Feltman

Senior Business Consultant

Linda Feltman has worked with the Penn State SBDC as the senior business consultant since April 1999. In 2014 she was named the Coordinator for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) on behalf of Penn State. GEW is an international entrepreneurship event that takes place every year during the third week of November. Linda’s business consulting efforts… Read More »

2015 Riden web

Jennifer Riden

Business Consultant

Jennifer graduated from Penn State with dual degrees in advertising/public relations and psychology. She then moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and started a career in outside sales. A few years later an opportunity to work for PNC bank presented itself and Jennifer began working in the banking & financial industry.  In 2009 she obtained her Master’s… Read More »

Michael Ryan

Michael Ryan

Business Consultant

Michael Ryan has been a business analyst with the Penn State SBDC since June 2000. He staffs the SBDC’s outreach office located at the Penn State Learning Center in Lewistown. In addition to providing free, confidential one-on-one consulting to current or prospective small business owners, he has developed and instructs educational programs and seminars for… Read More »

Maria Kirby

Maria Spencer

Business Consultant

Maria T. Spencer, MBA, is a business consultant and Team Lead for Entrepreneurship at the Penn State Small Business Development Center where she specializes in technology commercialization, manufacturing innovation and export trade development. She has worked with hundreds of businesses and entrepreneurs on business and capital development, industrial efficiency initiatives, new product and workforce development… Read More »

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Denise Bechdel, CEA, REM, REPA, REP

Environmental Consultant

Denise Bechdel provides environmental consulting assistance to small businesses throughout Pennsylvania. She performs on-site pollution prevention and energy efficiency assessments and assists with regulatory compliance issues with small businesses. Since she joined the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP) team in 2002, she has assisted more than 453 small businesses and has performed 195 on-site assessments to improve environmental compliance, reduce… Read More »


Meet Our Students

Sunayana Iler

Sunayana Iyer

I am currently a second year MBA student at Penn State, concentrating in Supply Chain Management and Strategic Leadership. Born and raised in the small town of College Station, Texas, I always held high aspirations to take part in the technology boom and work for a tech company. I obtained my Bachelor’s Degree in Business… Read More »

Chris Redmond

Christopher Redmond

Chris Redmond is a consultant with the Penn State SBDC and an MBA Student at Penn State, focusing on entrepreneurship, strategic leadership, and supply chain. Before coming to the SBDC, Chris created and ran a successful landscaping business in Chicago for 10 years. He has also recently worked as a consultant at the Hershey Medical… Read More »


Meet Our Administrative Team

Heather Fennesey

Heather Fennessey McWhorter, PE


Heather Fennessey McWhorter, PE, Penn State SBDC Director, works with a wonderful business and technical team at Penn State that helps more than 800 businesses across the Commonwealth to create jobs, increase revenues, and improve operations. While those businesses are accelerated, the programs help to improve the education of more than 5,000 Penn State students… Read More »

Theresa Krise

Theresa Krise

Administrative Assistant

Theresa is the administrative support assistant for the Penn State SBDC and PennTAP. Theresa joined the SBDC in April 2012. Prior to her employment with the SBDC, she worked for more than 20 years with The Pennsylvania State University’s Academic Outreach/World Campus as an administrative support assistant for the executive director of Academic Outreach and… Read More »

Laurie Linton: Educational Programming Coordinator for the Penn State SBDC

Laurie Linton

Educational Programming Coordinator

Laurie Linton is the Educational Programming Coordinator (EPC) at the Penn State SBDC. Laurie has been with the Penn State SBDC since June 2008. She is the first point of contact for educational programs and sponsorships. As the EPC, Laurie schedules and coordinates educational programs and works with presenters on topics of interest to small business owners. She… Read More »