Wilkes University

SBDC Staff

International Business

Dorothy’s career with the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center began in 1999 when she joined the staff as the training coordinator. Since that time, Dorothy has taken on the role of a business consultant and currently serves as the Center’s Director. In this role, Dorothy ensures that small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Center’s five-county territory in Northeastern Pennsylvania have access to the technical assistance they need to succeed.

Dorothy’s received her BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and her MBA from Wilkes University. In addition, she is a graduate of Leadership Wilkes-Barre. Her background includes experience in market analysis and human resources. Dorothy serves on the board of directors of the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce Industrial Fund along with several Chamber committees and is a past board member for Metro Action, Inc.

Outside of the SBDC, Dorothy is active in her community, working with a variety of non-profit organizations.

Business Consultant
Covers Luzerne and Schuylkill County

Kristin Sassi started her career with the Wilkes University SBDC as a graduate assistant in 2001, while she pursued her Masters of Business Administration degree from Wilkes University. After her assistantship, Kristin worked as a full-time business consultant at the Wilkes University SBDC for five years.

In 2008, Kristin worked in operations/sales staffing at Lord and Taylor until she rejoined the Wilkes SBDC team as a business consultant in 2015. In 2018 Kristin was promoted to consultant manager at the SBDC. Her primary job responsibilities include business plan preparation, financial forecasting, managing graduate assistants, market research, center intake and distribution, and instruction of educational programs and seminars.

Kristin enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking and swimming. Kristin resides in Luzerne County with her husband and three children.

Business Consultant
Covers Columbia, Luzerne and Sullivan County

Ray Haden is one of the Business Consultants at the Wilkes University Small Business Development serving clients in the Counties of Columbia, Luzerne, and Sullivan. One of Ray’s professional foundations is found in banking and finance with experience as a credit analyst in commercial lending and through time working in the realm of retail lending (i.e., personal loans, car loans, etc.). Ray also worked for the Department of Treasury as a federal bank examiner as part of the required oversight on federally chartered banking institutions. However, the crux of Ray’s career is in government finance, where he worked as a Program Analyst and Lender for a public organization in Central Pennsylvania for nearly a decade. As such, in addition to technical assistance and counseling related to creating business plans, financial projections, and general start-up related endeavors, Ray frequently works through the various financing loan options related to small business financing with clients.

Ray’s undergraduate degrees are in Political Science and Spanish from King’s College. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration from Bloomsburg University. Not only an employee but a student at Wilkes, Ray is working towards his Doctorate in Education. Ray lives with his wife Laura in Columbia County, along with their bratty but lovable pug, Lola, and three cats: Henrí, Fifi, and Mr. Fluffy.

Business Consultant
Covers Carbon and Luzerne County and Hazleton

Lucy Singer joined the Wilkes University SBDC as a Business Consultant in 2017. Assisting clients in Luzerne and Carbon counties, Lucy specializes in preparing comprehensive business plans that include financial forecasts and marketing research. In addition, she provides general management and start up assistance, as well as instructing educational programs and training seminars for the SBDC.

Prior to joining the SBDC, Lucy worked in the banking industry. She is a graduate of Misericordia University, earning both a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources.

An avid reader of all things containing words, Lucy lives in Luzerne County with her husband and two sons.

Jacqueline Escobar

Business Consultant

Jacqueline Escobar joined the Wilkes University SBDC team as a Business Consultant in 2020. Jacqueline specializes in marketing strategies, editing business plans, and start-up assistance. Currently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacqueline assists small businesses with pandemic resources such as loan information, reopening strategies, etc.

Before joining the SBDC, Jacqueline worked in brand marketing and the hospitality industry. She graduated from Wilkes University, earning both a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing. Jacqueline was also awarded the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Marketing and the Outstanding Graduate for the Jay Sidhu School of Business during her time at Wilkes University.

Outside of the workday, Jacqueline loves to spend her free time with family and friends.

"Yo también hablo español."

Jolene Carey-Pace

Program Coordinator

Jolene Carey-Pace is the Program Coordinator at the Wilkes University Small Business Development Center and is responsible for managing communications along with developing and organizing educational programs and training seminars for the SBDC.

Currently, Jolene also serves as an adjunct instructor at Lackawanna College, Scranton, in both the Business and Cyber Security division. Prior to that, she worked in the insurance industry in the area of Government Affairs and Regulatory Compliance.

Jolene’s undergraduate degree is in English from Misericordia University. She earned her Master’s in Organizational Management, also from Misericordia University. In addition, Jolene is also a certified Apple Teacher and has her certificate in post-crisis leadership from the University of South Florida MUMA College of Business. Jolene is currently working towards her Doctorate in Education.

Outside of the SBDC, Jolene is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education, the Northeast Educational Research Association, and NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

Jolene is active in her community, working as a volunteer legislative ambassador with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and as a member of the Scranton Area Foundation Women in Philanthropy.

Jolene enjoys reading, hiking, and kayaking. She lives with her husband Jeff in Luzerne County, along with their four children and Labradoodle Biscuit.

Graduate Assistants

Funding support and resources are provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community and Economic Development, through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration, and through support from Wilkes University. All services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Special arrangements for persons with disabilities can be made by calling 570-408-4340. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

SBDC services are not available to individuals or entities that have been debarred or suspended by the federal government. By agreeing to receive assistance from the SBDC you are self-certifying that you are not currently federally debarred or suspended and also agree to cease using SBDC services if your become federally debarred or suspended in the future.

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