Business Innovation Group (BIG)
College of Business Administration

BIG Staff

Dominique Halaby, DPA

Director, Business Innovation Group

Dr. Halaby oversees development of Georgia Southern University’s City Campus.

Prior to joining Georgia Southern, he served as the Director of the Center for Community and Business Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development. Dr. Halaby spent most of his recent career building a non-profit organization in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) dealing with workforce and economic development. He successfully secured over $30 million in funding, including one of the largest federal training grants awarded in South Texas. Under his leadership, the organization was recognized in 2003 by the Society for Human Resource Management as The Best to Place to Work in Hidalgo County for companies with less than 100 employees. He was successful in achieving broad collaboration in the RGV among healthcare providers and educators to strengthen home-grown approaches to meet their skilled workforce needs and in several community planning and anti-poverty initiatives. These projects won awards as national finalists for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Best Practices in 2003 and 2006, as well as being recognized by the Texas Workforce Commission as the Transitional Workforce Award recipient in 2004. In addition, Dr. Halaby served as Interim Director of the Rio Grande Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization and assisted public universities in South Texas and new business ventures in accessing the $200 million Emerging Technology Fund.

Office Location

Innovation Incubator 1006
Phone: 912-478-2733

E-mail: dhalaby@GeorgiaSouthern.edu

Link

Curriculum Vitae

 

Suzanne Hallman

Business Advisor

Mrs. Hallman organizes and manages many of the Business Innovation Group’s student events and programs. Mrs. Hallman also recently received her National Business Incubator Association (NBIA) Incubator Management Certification.

Mrs. Hallman studied HR management at Georgia Southern, receiving an MBA in 2003. She commuted to Savannah for a work in staffing for 5 years while in college and after finishing her degrees. She began working Northland Cable Advertising in 2007, helping companies build marketing campaigns. In 2010, Mrs. Hallman helped her husband start a small video production company, Stouthouse Media. She used her business management and networking skills to help Stouthouse grow, gaining invaluable experience in entrepreneurship along the way. Mrs. Hallman was hired in August 2013 as Business Advisor for GENIE at Georgia Southern University. She is excited about this opportunity to put her degrees and experience to work to help build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.

Office Location

City Campus 1001E
Phone: 912-478-5586

E-mail: shallman@GeorgiaSouthern.edu

 

Benjamin McKay

Research Specialist for the Bureau of Business Research and Economic Development (BBRED)

As a member of the BBRED team since 2007, Mr. McKay has led numerous research projects throughout Georgia. These projects include economic impact analysis, market research, survey research, data analysis, strategic planning and community needs assessments. These projects have been used by clients to secure external funding from public and private sources, increase their profile, identify market demand, determine project and policy feasibility, and aid in their efforts to plan for the future. Many of these projects have had positive job growth and retention as outcomes.

Mr. McKay currently holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Master in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Additionally, Mr. McKay has professional experience in state and local government as a manager in the private sector.

Office Location

City Campus 1001D
Phone: 912-478-5033

E-mail: bpmckay@GeorgiaSouthern.edu

 

shawn

Shawn Jackson

FabLab Laboratory Coordinator

Shawn has his BA in Geology and a Minor in Recreation and Leisure with an emphasis in conference and event planning. As a lifelong maker, Shawn’s hobbies include 3D printing, robotics, woodworking, metalwork, and aviation. Shawn Jackson is the Fab Lab Makerspace Laboratory Coordinator.

Office Location

FabLab 1002A
Phone: 912-478-0872

E-mail: smjackson@georgiasouthern.edu

 

Valerie Cote

Business Consultant, SBDC

 

Ms. Valerie Cote has deep Georgia Southern roots – as she received her MBA from the university in 2015 and she previously worked for the university as an accountant during 2012 and 2013. She is excited about returning to the GSU family and being part of the SBDC statewide network.

Valerie brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about small business operation and growth to her new role as a consultant. Her experience at the university and in the private sector is invaluable to the small business owners in Bulloch County and the surrounding area. She received her BBA in accounting from Eastern Michigan University and her MBA from Georgia Southern.

Office Location

City Campus 1001A
Phone: 912-478-5547

E-mail: vcote@georgiasouthern.edu

 

clare-ursillo-web-quality-october-2016Clare Ursillo

Administrative Assistant, SBDC

Clare Ursillo is the administrative assistant for the Small Business Development Center as well as the first point of contact for visitors to City Campus. Ms. Ursillo studied English at the University of Rhode Island and secondary education at SUNY Potsdam. Prior to joining the SBDC, Ms. Ursillo held positions in education, hospitality, and administrative support. She is very excited to be a part of Georgia Southern and the UGA SBDC network.

Office Location

City Campus
Phone: 912-478-7232

E-mail: cursillo@georgiasouthern.edu

 

jeremys-head-shotJeremy Horstman

Director of the Veteran Business Outreach Center (VBOC)

Jeremy is the Director of the Veteran Business Outreach Centersupporting veterans’ military skills and assisting them in small business startup and ownership.

He is originally from Ludington, MI, and graduated Cum Laude from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration in 2001. He currently serves at the rank of Major as the Operations and Training Officer in the Georgia Army National Guard.  Prior to assuming his current position, Jeremy deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan). Additionally, he has been stationed at Fort Rucker, AL, Camp Stanley, Korea, and Hunter Army Airfield, GA, as a Blackhawk pilot and staff officer. Jeremy has also taught Military Science at Georgia Southern University in the ROTC program.  In the civilian sector, he has been employed by small businesses and large corporations. The last 12 years have been spent in the Savannah area.

Jeremy brings a varied background from his broad military experiences and leadership coupled with his business administration motivation.

Office Location

City Campus 1001C
Phone:912-478-2005

E-mail: jhorstman@georgiasouthern.edu

 

jeffery-head-shotJeffrey Smith

Business Advisor Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC)

Jeffrey is a retired U.S. Army and Army Reserve veteran having served as an MP, Linguist, and Interrogator. He studied German at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey CA from 1979 to 1980 and was stationed in Germany from 1980-1982. Over the course of his career, Jeffrey participated in several joint service and international exercises including one in Egypt in 1981.  After leaving active duty in 1982, he joined the reserves. He deployed with this Army Reserve unit to Saudi Arabia for the Gulf War in 1991 and served in New York City immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

In his parallel civilian career Jeff worked in public accounting for several years before beginning a career in corporate taxation and specialized in state hiring tax incentives. He has also worked as a consultant or contractor for several firms including Fortune 50 firms before joining the VBOC.

Jeffrey is originally from Mamaroneck NY. He is a graduate of Iona College in New Rochelle, NY where he graduated Cum Laude with a degree in Business.

Office Location

City Campus 1001F
Phone: 912-478-2006

E-mail: jeffreymsmith@georgiasouthern.edu

 

Amanda Wynn

Business Advisor

Amanda Wynn is currently an MBA student at Georgia Southern University, a weather forecaster in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and a weather observer at the Savannah International Airport.  Her interests include do-it-yourself projects, recreational painting and spending quality time with her family.  At BIG, Amanda works as a business advisor at the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC).  The VBOC provides counseling and guidance to veterans interested in entrepreneurship and business development.  During her time at the VBOC, Amanda hopes to make a difference in the lives of veterans as they pursue their goals of establishing or expanding their businesses.

Office Location

City Campus 1001G
Phone: 912-478-7781

E-mail: aw10828@georgiasouthern.edu

 

John Myers

Business Advisor

Prior to connecting with the Veterans Business Outreach Center, Mr. Myers was involved with consulting marketing services companies on their reiteration and new business development processes. Myers has expanded the revenues of companies in the medical, information technology, business services and manufacturing industries as a sales professional.  He now puts his experience at small and large companies to use assisting veterans and their family members start and operate their own businesses.

Mr. Myers holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia Southern University College of Business and a BA in biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

 

Office Location

City Campus 1001G
Phone: 912-478-7812

E-mail: jmyers@georgiasouthern.edu

 

Gary Johnson

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE),  now have an office in BIG’s City Campus.  SCORE volunteer Gary Johnson is Past President of Savannah SCORE.  

His management experience includes positions such as Vice President of Marketing and Operations in management consulting, and in distribution and retail industries.  Mr. Johnson knows what it means to start and run a small business.  He started his own company, Strategic Systems, in 1988 in Chicago pioneering the use of multimedia systems for training. The company was a leader in Computer Based Training systems with clients in the US and Europe.  He joined SCORE to help people with good business ideas that need someone with experience to guide them through the process of starting and running a new business.  His education includes degrees in Engineering and an MBA in Marketing from Michigan State University.

 Office Location

City Campus
Phone: 912-644-7220

E-mail: gary.john@comcast.net

 

Alex Harwood

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE),  now have an office in BIG’s City Campus. SCORE volunteer Alex Harwood graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in engineering, and served the next 6 years in the U.S.Air Force.

During this time he completed his Masters degree at Stanford University and doctoral work at UCLA John Anderson Graduate School of Management. He subsequently joined Hughes Aircraft Company initially as an engineering manager and later as a marketing manager.  For ten years prior to his retirement, Alex was the account executive and program executive to U.S Intelligence Community programs at Texas Instruments and IBM. He brings to BIG, a wealth of experience in the development and logistical support of both small and larger complex programs. Business planning, financial planning and program design are among his strengths.

Office Location

City Campus
Phone: 912-652-4335

E-mail: info@savannahscore.comcastbiz.net 

 


BIG Graduate Assistants

Eminah Quintyne

Eminah Quintyne was born in Manhattan, New York, and grew up in Houston, Texas.  Currently, she is attending Georgia Southern University, studying public health policy and management in the Master’s of Public Health (MPH) program, and studying nutrition and food science to become a registered dietitian. Excited to kick off the fall at BIG, Eminah says her late grandfather inspires her motto:

“Think big enough!”

With an interest in creating low-carbohydrate bread and pasta products, she wants to be a business owner one day, helping people to enjoy carbohydrates without negative consequences. She works with the business advisor at BIG, assisting with entrepreneurship events, communications and grant proposals.

Contact Info:

Email: eq00103@georgiasouthern.edu

Destine Rivers

Destine Rivers is from Charleston, SC and is currently a MAcc student at Georgia Southern University. Ms. Rivers completed undergrad at Claflin University where she received a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. Ms. Rivers is a part of many organizations such as Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity Inc., NABA, Association for Certified Fraud Examiners, and Sigma Alpha Pi.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”. – Maya Angelou

Contact Info:

Email: dr04918@georgiasouthern.edu


BIG Graduate Interns

Michael Kol

Michael Kol completed his undergraduate at West Virginia University where he earned his Bachelor’s in Multidisciplinary Studies (B.M.D.S.) with minors in Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, and Communication Studies. He is currently an MBA student at Georgia Southern University and hails from Charleston,WV. He previously worked as the Information Technology and Information Systems Intern at the Business Innovation Group from May – August 2017. He is now currently the Marketing and Public Relations Intern for the BIG. He is an active member of the business community and participates in many organizations on campus such as Vice President of the MBA Association, Logistics and Event Coordinator for Relay for Life of the American Cancer Society, a member of 3 Day Start Up, the Business Innovation Group, ENACUTS, Habitat for Humanity, and Green Ambassadors.

“Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.” – Benjamin Disraeli

Michael Kol considers himself an avid developer and business evangelist with interests surrounding strategic innovation and new venture creation. He aim’s to lead the world forward in a positive and sustainable direction by providing value added and forward focused solutions to organizations and communities that seek to transcend current boundaries. His vision post graduation places him in a startup environment in which he can explore new economic development initiatives and help others make their dreams a reality in addition to his own.

Contact Info:

Campus Email: mk04397@georgiasouthern.edu
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/michaelkol
Twitter: twitter.com/michaelkol

Last updated: 10/27/2017

Business Innovation Group • PO Box 8153-01 Statesboro, GA 30460 • 912-478-0872 • citycampus@georgiasouthern.edu