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Our Team

Meet Our Team

Ernie Post, Executive Director

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Biographical Summary
More than 15 years of experience with the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center. Previous experience includes teaching MBA and undergraduate courses in international trade and market research and over 20 years as a senior-level manager.

Areas of Expertise

Management, online learning, entrepreneurship, and business strategy.

Educational Background  

Doctorate in Adult Education, Penn State University, State College, PA  

Master of Business Administration, Penn State University, State College, PA

Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics and Psychology, Allegheny College, Meadville, PA


Kecia Sturdivant, Business Consultant

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Biographical Summary

Top-performing sales representative with proven track record in developing and leading revenue generation through expertise in business development and client relationship building. Accomplished presenter, strong communicator, influential negotiator and team builder; able to consistently forge and cultivate profitable client relationships despite competitive markets. History of identifying new business opportunities, creating successful marketing and implementation strategies and driving consistent market share increases.

Areas of Expertise

Customer Retention, Talent Management, Human Capital, Project Management, Teacher Training, Customer Engagement, Creative Direction, Sales Management, Technology, Team Leadership, Technical Recruiting, Strategic Partnerships

Educational Background

Master of Education (M. Ed.), Education/Teaching of Individuals with Specific Learning Disabilities, DeSales University

Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Business, Management, Marketing, and Related Support Services, Muhlenberg College

Associate in Business Management, Lehigh Carbon Community College

Advanced Certificate, Business Administration and Management, General, Allentown Business School


Martin Brill, Program Manager, International Trade and Agribusiness

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Biographical Summary

More than 15 years international and general business consulting with the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center. Previous experience in international trade banking and the export of food, equipment, chemicals, and disposables.

Areas of Expertise

Country risk analysis, trade finance payment mechanisms, cross-border risk mitigation, effective negotiation techniques, strategic and market planning, website evaluation, distributor agreements, pitch presentations, intern assistance, and effective trade show techniques.

Educational Background

Master of Arts in Middle East Area Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, London, U.K.

Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service in International Affairs, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

Banking School, First National Bank of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Certified Global Business Professional, NASBITE  


Laurie Sterner, Government Marketing Specialist

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Biographical Summary

Over 13 years of experience as a government sales and administration manager. Has been a government procurement specialist with the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center since August 2015.

Areas of Expertise

Government sales, government marketing, management, and human resources.

Educational Background

Bachelor in Business Management/HR Management, Alvernia University, Reading, PA       


Linda Grove, Government Marketing Specialist  

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Biographical Summary

Over 20 years of experience as a business and sales manager. Former SCORE Chapter Operations Manager. Has been with the Kutztown University Small Business Development Center since 2013.

Areas of Expertise

Entrepreneurship, strategic planning, government marketing, management, start-ups, budgeting, financial analysis, cash flow management, new business development, sales management, and public relations.

Educational Background

Bachelor of Arts in Economics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI


Mark Rentschler, Technology Commercialization & Strategic Planning Specialist

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Biographical Summary

Over 25 years of experience administering local, state, and federal incentive loan programs in the public, non-profit, and private sectors. Extensive knowledge of Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs (7(a) and 504), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania loan programs, and USDA Business and Industry loan program.

Areas of Expertise

Loan structuring, credit analysis, loan underwriting, business plans, strategic planning, and technology commercialization.

Educational Background

Master of Business Administration, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA

National Development Council, Business Credit Analysis, Chicago, IL

PA Bankers Association Central Atlantic School of Commercial Lending, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA  


Robert Kieke, Technology Consultant & Web Design

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Biographical Summary

MBA Graduate Assistant at the KUSBDC working as the lead of the Technology Team, where I'm responsible for Website Reports, Web Design/Development, and consulting clients on Tech & Social Media topics. 2 years experience at Kutztown University's I.T. Department & 1.5 years at the SBDC. In my time with the SBDC I've worked with many clients to help them best utilize & focus their web presence, as well as developed the website you're on right now!

Areas of Expertise

Information Technology, Website Design/Development, SEO, Social Media.

Educational Background

Master of Business Administration (MBA), Kutztown University, PA (current)

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Kutztown University, PA

Minor in Computer Science


Gabriela Smith, Graduate Assistant & Business Consultant

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Biographical Summary

I enjoy helping our clients develop and implement new business strategies. Receiving my Bachelors' in Accounting, I assist our clients with their business planning and financial projections. Our business consultants and I at the Kutztown Small Business Development Center utilize business tools in client meetings to submit and analyze market research, and input data into a financial model to formulate financial projections. I also host our business planning webinar to help jumpstart our clients business planning ventures.

Areas of Expertise

Financial projections, Webinars, Business Consultation, Quickbooks.

Educational Background

 Master of Business Administration (MBA), Kutztown University, PA (current)

 Bachelor of Arts in Accounting, Muhlenberg College, PA

 Studied Business Administration and Management, Lehigh Carbon Community College, PA


John Merlino, Graduate Assistant & Business Consultant

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Biographical Summary

Currently I am a Graduate Assistant working as a consultant for the Kutztown's Small Business Development Center.

Areas of Expertise

Social Media, Marketing.

Educational Background

 Master of Business Administration (MBA), Kutztown University, PA (current)

 Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology, Kutztown University, PA

 Minor in English Literature, Kutztown University, PA