ABCD Corp. CFO named Director of SBDC at Saint Francis

Mr. Barry Surma has been named the Director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Saint Francis University. Mr. Surma has more than 30 years of experience in economic development, most recently at the Altoona-Blair County Development (ABCD) Corp. Mr. Surma joined ABCD Corp. in 1994 as the Manager of Development Programs and has ascended to the Vice President of Finance and CFO for the organization. The opportunity to lead a recognized program in the SBDC at his alma mater is one that he could not refuse, although it was a not an easy decision to make after 22 years with ABCD Corp.
"I have learned a great deal during my time at ABCD Corp. and have come to think of the staff, board members and long-term clients as extended family," said Mr. Surma. "This opportunity to lead the SBDC at Saint Francis will allow me to utilize my knowledge and experience in a new way, still be a part of the regional economic development community, offer me the ability to teach college courses, as well as provide additional opportunity to be closer to my family and home."
Barry SurmaIn his new role, Mr. Surma will be responsible for delivering the programs of the SBDC to individuals, businesses, communities, organizations and other public agencies in the Center's six county service area of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset. In addition to providing direct business development support and managing a staff of three development professionals, he will also serve as an advocate for business development, expansion and retention in the region.
"I have enjoyed working with Barry for the past 22 years; his experience, knowledge and creativity in providing economic development financing to the organization and its clients will be difficult to replace," said Marty Marasco, President/CEO of ABCD Corp. "Barry has been instrumental to the growth and success of our organization and the companies that he has worked with, providing opportunities for investment, job growth and the sustainability of jobs in Blair County and beyond. His daily presence in the office will be missed; however, we look forward to working with Barry in his new role and wish him nothing but success with the SBDC."
During his time with ABCD Corp., Mr. Surma built collaborative relationships with economic development service providers and economic development organizations spanning six counties that are served by the SBDC. In addition, he has worked with numerous small businesses in Blair County and the Southern Alleghenies region over the course of his career.
Mr. Surma holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration from Saint Francis University. He earned his designation as a Certified Economic Developer from the International Economic Development Council, and he earned his Professional Economic Development Certification from the PA Economic Development Association.
Mr. Surma, his wife, and their two children reside in Gallitzin, Pa.
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