Meet our team
The professionals at LCCC Business Growth Services bring together decades of business experience and technical expertise to help local companies creatively solve their challenges and tap into growth.
As former business owners, serial entrepreneurs and highly trained specialists, we understand the challenging paths of entrepreneurship and technology commercialization. Our team is committed to applying our combined business and technical acumen, along with proven business strategies and best practices, to support your organization with your growth efforts.
We look forward to partnering with you!
Talent / Business Development
Interim Senior Business Services Director
Chris manages the Leadership Development Center, which assists local employers in identifying qualified workers, training their current workforce, and growing leadership capabilities. He also manages the University System of Ohio Talent Development Network Resource Center, a statewide consortium of over fifty Ohio Technical Centers and two-year Colleges who work collectively to provide talent development services to employers across Ohio.
Manager of Business Engagement
Anthony has been with Lorain County Community College for nearly five years as the Manager of Business Engagement with the primary responsibility of establishing relationships with area employers to assist with their workforce needs. He has over 20 years of experience in economic development and workforce development, working with businesses and community organizations. Anthony graduated from Heidelberg University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.
Project Manager, Ohio TechNet
Bernie is LCCC’s consortium Project Manager for Ohio TechNet, a $15M Department of Labor TAACCCT initiative which partners with 11 community colleges throughout Ohio to support advanced manufacturing. As the prior Executive Director for Intern in Ohio and for Summer on the Cuyahoga, her career has focused on Ohio’s talent attraction and retention issues. Bernie has a B.S. in Business Administration from Bowling Green State University.
Program Developer, Ohio TechNet
Courtney is a Program Developer for the Ohio Technical Skills Innovation Network, a statewide consortium focused on meeting the talent needs of Ohio’s advanced manufacturing sector. Her experience includes identifying hiring trends, developing recruitment strategies, assisting hiring managers with their HR needs and recruiting for professional and union roles. Courtney has her Bachelor Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from John Carroll University and a Master Degree in HR Management, from DeVry University/ Keller School of Management.
Director of the Small Business Development Center
Lisa is the Director of the Small Business Development Center. She works with small and medium sized businesses to accelerate their growth. Prior to coming to LCCC, Lisa worked in the banking industry helping both consumer and commercial clients. Lisa holds a Bachelor’s degree from Alma College and is a certified Business Advisor through the University of Toledo as well as a Certified Strategic Workforce Planner.
Resource Development Specialist
Melika provides coordination support on special initiatives/projects. She brings her public service background to this role, fostered through her diverse experience within social service nonprofits. Additionally, Melika currently serves as a board member and Professional Development Committee Chair for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. She earned a Bachelor’s in Political Science from Miami University, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Administration at Cleveland State University.
Terri Burgess Sandu
Director of Workforce and Business Development
As Director for Workforce Development, Terri Burgess Sandu leads a team whose focus is on helping companies to achieve their business goals. Terri currently directs the Ohio Technical Skills Innovation Network, a statewide consortium focused on meeting the talent needs of Ohio’s advanced manufacturing sector. She is a recipient of the Excellence in Workforce Development Innovation Award from the Ohio Economic Development. Terri has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Oberlin College and is an alumna of Leadership Lorain County and the YWCA of Cleveland Executive Leadership program.
GLIDE / Innovation Fund
Co-Director of GLIDE
As Co-Director of GLIDE, Cliff is responsible for the planning, organizing, and directing of all GLIDE’s activities. Cliff’s responsibilities include managing support services for entrepreneurs including first level assessments, a comprehensive resource network and providing business counseling to companies. Cliff co-founded DIY Home Warehouse, where he served as President and CEO. In 1993, DIY was selected #5 in Forbes Magazine – Best Small Companies in America. Cliff earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Western New England College.
Co-Director of GLIDE
Dennis Cocco is Co-Director of GLIDE and responsible for developing marketing and technology-based business strategies in support of GLIDE. His responsibilities include identifying and recruiting technology-based start-up companies to locate within the GLIDE incubator. He also provides support services for entrepreneurs and business counseling to GLIDE client companies. Dennis Cocco was Vice President, Investor Relations and Communications of PolyOne Corporation. Dennis graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering.
John provides oversight for the Innovation Fund’s award agreements and quarterly reporting. He advises applicants on their business strategy and the overall application process. He works with the Innovation Fund award recipients to finalize their award agreements and project milestones. He has 39 years of experience in various financial positions focused on manufacturing operations, budgeting, forecasting and strategic planning. Formerly, he was Treasurer for a Fortune 500 company located in the greater Cleveland Ohio area.
Nancy Ernstes is responsible for assisting entrepreneurs working with GLIDE and the Innovation Fund to develop pro-forma financial statements that reflect the monetary success of their business. Nancy's responsibilities include developing and updating a financial model that is easy to use and understand by the business owners. Nancy was Director of Finance for several businesses at PolyOne Corporation and earned a number of degrees from Purdue University: B.S. in mathematics, M.S. in Secondary Education, followed by an MBA.
Russell Donda serves as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for medical device and biosensor technologies at GLIDE, BioEnterprise and JumpStart. With more than 25 years of experience, he helps companies assess the commercial feasibility of their technology; assists in creating / implementing their development plan and ushers them through the local seed funds. Russ was the founding CEO and chairman for ViewRay Incorporated and a founding member of and co-chair of investment review for the Emergent Growth Fund, LLC.
President and Managing Director
Matthew is the President and Managing Director of SMART Microsystems where he applies his commercial MEMS product development experience working with applications that include telecommunications, aerospace, automotive, industrial controls, hand-held displays, biomedical devices, and life science to serve SMART’s customers. Prior to launching SMART Microsystems, Matthew was the President of Microfabrication Solutions, Inc., and also co-founded of a medical device start-up company. He graduated from the University of Akron and is a guest teacher at Case Western Reserve University.
Nord Advanced Technologies Center
Technical Projects and Training Manage
Bill is a Technical Projects and Training Manager for the Nord Advanced Technologies Center at LCCC. He works closely with the Engineering faculty to develop custom training programs for companies in Lorain and surrounding counties in Advanced Manufacturing, Welding and Information Technology (IT). Bill has a Master’s Degree in Education and has been teaching IT courses at LCCC as an Adjunct Faculty member since 1992. He has had a career in IT and Project Management.
Manager, Technical Projects & Training
As Manager, Technical Projects & Training, Sandra is focused on Technical Program Design & Development, Measurement and Evaluation, Training Needs Analysis, State Certified Apprenticeship Programs, Standards Development, and Technical Modernization. Her Industrial/Aerospace background includes advanced manufacturing and technical modernization. She serves on many national committees including the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, National Council for Advanced Manufacturing, and the Manufacturing Skill Standards Committee. Sandra holds an MBA from Kent State University.