Penn State Small Business Development Center, consultants awarded state honors

June 01, 2021

Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) business consultant Elizabeth Hay was recently recognized as the 2021 Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (PASBDC)  “State Star.” The award, the highest honor given throughout the PASBDC network, goes to a business consultant who has demonstrated outstanding performance and client satisfaction.

“Elizabeth is a great asset to our team, our clients, and the entire PASBDC Network,” said Penn State SBDC Director Tim Keohane. “As our 'entrepreneur in residence,' she has a tremendous understanding of the opportunities and challenges faced by our clients, so she is able to provide them with invaluable assistance. This recognition is incredibly well-deserved.”

An SBDC consultant since December 2019, Hay specializes in QuickBooks, employee management, compliance, accounting and bookkeeping, government contracting, bid and proposal writing, and safety management. In May 2020, she assumed the role of Pandemic Support Specialist when the center received supplemental funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to support small business recovery in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Hay isn’t in it for the accolades. “I work to provide the best tools, advice, and resources possible in hopes they open doors that make a difference,” she said. “I am fortunate to draw on my own experiences as a business owner and believe in making connections with my clients no matter how large or small.”

Hay knows firsthand the challenges facing small business owners during this time: She and her husband, Tom, co-own TechKnowServ Corporation, an engineering firm in State College, Pennsylvania, that faced significant disruption due to the pandemic.

And as a busy mom of six who also serves as the president of WiNGs (Women’s Networking Group), she said she can relate to small business owners who have taken on added responsibilities during this time.

Hay’s colleague, business consultant Will Hooten, was recognized as a “Rising Star” within the PASBDC network. The award honors team members under 35 who have less than five years of service for their leadership and dedication to serving clients. Hooten has only been with the center for 2.5 years, and in that time, has assisted entrepreneurs with the startup of 37 new businesses, helped create 120 full/part-time jobs, and assisted clients in obtaining $14.66 million in capital.

“Will is a significant contributor to the Penn State SBDC team,” said Keohane. “He is currently working toward certification as a North American Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE) Certified Global Business Professional and an International Society of Business Appraisers' Business Certified Appraiser, both of which will be valuable resources for SBDC clients.”

The center was also awarded the following 2021 PASBDC Center Performance awards:

  • Creative Funding Award – Recognizes successful program fundraising through new or creative methods.
  • Service Award – Recognizes a service to the entire PASBDC network, specifically for efforts leading the Agriculture Center of Excellence.
  • Happy Client – Recognizes centers that earned 100% for the client satisfaction metric as reported on the annual client questionnaire.
  • Center Performance – Recognizes exceptional performance on 2020 client impact goals that measure business starts, capital formation, jobs supported and clients served.

To connect with Hay, Hooten or another member of the Penn State SBDC consulting team, sign up for no-cost, confidential business advising.

About the Penn State Small Business Development Center

The Penn State SBDC provides one-on-one, confidential, no-cost business consulting and low-cost seminars to pre-venture, start-up, and existing small businesses located in Centre, Clinton, Lycoming and Mifflin counties. Small business consulting services include business planning, feasibility studies, market research, financing/loan packaging, marketing, scaling for growth, hiring and managing employees, and other areas of management and technical support.

Last Updated June 02, 2021