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Chris McHenry

Chris has been with the organization since 2010 and he currently serves as the Vice President, Development Finance. He possesses over 35 years of commercial lending and operations experience in conventional, CMBS and government-backed lending. He utilizes his problem solving skills along with his unique knowledge of financial analytics and loan products to creatively assist business restructure and growth as a means to support economic development.

Chris possesses a dual Bachelor of Science Degree from Delaware Valley College with majors in both accounting and finance. He continues to develop his skills through continued professional education and as a volunteer member of multiple industry group committees.

When not at work, Chris enjoys being an active volunteer for local educational, religious, and youth sports organizations which are focused on outreach to troubled and “at-risk” youth. In his off-time, he enjoys spending time outdoors with his family.

Jim Hammond

Jim is responsible for managing all financial aspects of CCEDC and its five separate affiliated organizations that includes monthly financial reporting, billing and collections, budgeting, annual financial statement audits, grant program audits, cash management, vendor management, commercial insurance programs, employee benefit programs and annual IRS 990 tax filings.  He is proficient in presenting financial information relevant to decision making, meeting recurring report and budget deadlines and effectively manages and interacts with vendors, insurance carriers, etc.

He has been with CCEDC since 2006 and has more than twenty years of accounting experience working previously with the Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance of a New Jersey insurance company, assisting with various audits, customer service, accounts receivable and accounts payable.  Jim is proficient in Microsoft Excel and Word and possesses strong analytical and problem-solving skills.  Jim has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Albright College.  He volunteers his time helping to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease via the Alzheimer’s Association and participates in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s each year, raising money to advance research in prevention, treatment and a cure for the disease.

Patti VanCleave

Patti VanCleave is Vice President of Workforce Development for the Chester County Economic Development Council. In this role, she oversees the management and implementation of the regional industry partnerships, as well as, all adult and youth workforce development programs.

Prior to joining the Council, Patti worked as the Director of Operations for a non-profit, where she managed the annual procurement and disbursement of 100,000 brand new winter coats for children in need in over 30 states nationwide. In addition to Patti’s education in Organizational Behavior/Applied Psychology at Albright College, she has held various management positions with advertising, accounting and IT companies.

Patti’s commitment to youth is evident in her involvement in the Council for the Workforce of Tomorrow, a committee of the Chester County Workforce Development Board, and Scouts BSA, where she has been an active volunteer for over 15 years. She serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster, the Activity Chairperson, and a Troop Committee member.

Sherwood Robbins

Sherwood serves as Seedcopa’s Managing Director.  In that capacity, he oversees a staff of 8 professionals; interacts with over 35 different banking partners; manages the partner relationships with 14 State-Wide Economic Development Agencies; and assists in the enhancement of Seedcopa’s menu of financing services.

Sherwood joined Seedcopa in 2007 as a Relationship Manager to further expand its SBA 504 loan program and to develop SBA and USDA facilitation services for banks looking to enter the Government Loan arena.  Currently, eleven financing institutions utilize Seedcopa’s lender services.

Prior to joining Seedcopa, Sherwood spent over 18 years in the banking industry, acquiring real-time experience and developing skills in Commercial Banking, Retail and the Investment departments.  For ten years, he’s served as a dedicated Government Loan lender, developing an extensive network of business associates.  He enjoys many guest-speaking invitations throughout Pennsylvania each year, covering the key aspects of SBA lending.

Sherwood received a Bachelor of Science degree from Shippensburg University.  He currently resides in Birdsboro, PA with his wife and two children.

MaryFrances McGarrity

MaryFrances McGarrity is the Senior Vice President, Business Development Services for the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC). In her current role, MaryFrances’ efforts are focused on programs and initiatives that attract, retain and grow businesses in Chester County. At the Council, MaryFrances works with the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development as the representative of the Council directly interfacing with the Governor’s Action Team (GAT) and other state agencies as needed. She regularly meets with local corporate decision makers, investors, civic and economic development partners to advance business expansion projects identifying capital, facilitating financing, addressing workforce issues, and assisting with site selection needs.

MaryFrances brings 10 years of sales and marketing experience in commercial real estate while working for Jackson Cross Partners. She a member of the West Whiteland Township Planning Commission and sits on the Board of Directors for the Chester County Industrial and Investment Council, and ChescoNet. MaryFrances and her family are the founding members of the Holy Redeemer Golf Klassic, a golf event whose proceeds benefit the Holy Redeemer Jersey Shore Food Pantry, Swainton NJ. She holds a Bachelor of Science from St. Joseph’s University in Management & Marketing from St. Joseph’s University, and a Bachelor of Science from Immaculate University in Elementary Education. She is a member of PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association, Inc.) – Brandywine Chapter as a girl’s high school basketball official. She and her family residents of West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Michael Grigalonis

Michael serves as the Chester County Economic Development Council’s President and Chief Operating Officer.  Since 2004 when Michael first assumed this role, the CCEDC has grown significantly adding 15 staff members and increasing the operating budget by 50%.  New initiatives were launched including the Economic Development Partners Initiative (municipal services and community development), HireOne (a job matching effort for dislocated professionals), and they Ideas x Innovation Network (formerly Keystone Innovation Zone).  Michael’s day to day responsibilities include managing the staff, the budgets, and interacting with the board and its numerous sub-committees.

Michael originally joined the CCEDC in 1999 as a Program Manager.  During his time as Program Manager, Michael initiated and grew several successful programs to assist Chester County’s business community.  These programs still exist today and include: The Information Technology Action Group (ITAG) to address labor issues facing the IT industry; the Chester County International Business Council to assist companies with their export strategies; The Banking Workforce Consortium to train incumbent bank employees and recruit new commercial lenders; and the Workforce Partners to facilitate communication among the County’s key workforce development service providers.

Prior to joining the Development Council, Michael was employed in the Medical Affairs Department of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Radnor, PA.

Michael earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science from Ithaca College in 1995 and an MBA from Villanova University in 1998.

Gary W. Smith

Gary W. Smith currently serves the Chester County Economic Development Council as CEO. He joined the Council in 1976 and pioneered award-winning programs of below market-rate financing, agricultural economic development, brownfields redevelopment, conduit funding for commercial construction, industry partnerships, urban revitalization and multi-agency collaboration.

During his tenure, the Council has secured over $275 million in external funding for 420 plus projects ranging from regional economic revitalization to workforce development. The Council’s programs and services have helped to create over 175,000 new jobs; assisted in retaining more than 190,000 existing jobs; and brokered more than $13.5 billion in commercial financing loans. Over 8,000 new businesses have also been established during that period.

Throughout his nearly fifty-year career, Mr. Smith has held many titles on many national economic development boards and agricultural agencies such as President, Vice President, Founding Director and Legislative Chairman. In addition, he has been honored with many awards: the Chester County Boy Scout Distinguished Citizen, Harold Martin Business Leadership Award, the Crystal Ball Award and TMACC’s Chairman’s Award to name a few. He recently was awarded an honorary doctorate in public service from West Chester University and the Gary W. Smith Entrepreneurial Leadership Endowment was established to support the operation, mission, and efforts of the Cottrell Entrepreneurship Center as well as award at least one minimum $1,000 scholarship annually to a promising student who exemplifies his entrepreneurial spirit.

Mr. Smith holds a MA in public administration from West Chester University as well as his undergraduate degree from West Chester University. In his spare time, Gary manages his family’s farm raising a herd of 45 registered Hereford cattle. Gary and his wife Vicky have two adult sons and are the proud grandparents of two beautiful grandsons.