Success Story

Elizabeth Hay appointed Jack White Family Director of Happy Valley LaunchBox

Elizabeth Hay, a former business consultant at the Penn State Small Business Development Center, was recently appointed the Jack White Family Director of Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank, effective March 28.

This role was previously held by Lee Erickson, who is now associate director of economic development and student programs in the Office of Entrepreneurship and Commercialization at Penn State. Hay will be responsible for helping student, community and faculty/staff startup founders alike de-risk and grow their businesses. She will run accelerator programs, provide advice on turning ideas into businesses, and teach a series of workshops on entrepreneurial thinking.

“Elizabeth brings with her a wealth of expertise and experience,” Erickson said. “She’s started and grown a number of businesses here in State College, she worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs while at the SBDC, and she has deep roots in the local community. I know that she will be a driver of economic development for the community, as well as for Penn State students and staff. I’m excited to see what’s next for the LaunchBox with her at the helm.”

Hay worked at the Penn State SBDC as a consultant for over two years. She has more than 15 years of experience as an entrepreneur and consultant with small-business owners. In 2012, Hay co-founded TechKnowServ Corp., which offers traditional nondestructive testing and advanced long-range ultrasound and acoustic emission inspection products and services for the railroad, petrochemical, oil and natural gas, defense, aerospace, power generation, and marine industries.

Her expertise includes business strategy, disaster recovery, scaling and de-risking growth companies, employee management, insurance compliance, accounting and bookkeeping, government contracting, bid and proposal writing, safety management, and overall business management.

In 2021, she was recognized as the 2021 Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (PASBC) “State Star.” The award, the highest honor given throughout the PASBDC network, goes to a business consultant who has demonstrated outstanding performance and client satisfaction.

“Elizabeth Hay’s passion for the growth and diversity of entrepreneurship in the Centre Region is demonstrated in how she offers her insight, expertise and time in helping both aspiring and seasoned small-business owners,” said Amanda Cruz Wixom, owner of The Gourmet Girl Personal Chef Service and a former client of Hay’s. “Elizabeth truly desires to see entrepreneurs succeed in their endeavors and goes above and beyond connecting them with resources and networking opportunities. She brings excellence to all she does and will be a valuable asset to Happy Valley LaunchBox in her new position as director.”

Hay graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in business administration and management in 2004. She is currently enrolled in the Penn State Smeal MBA program. Hay also is the president of WiNGs, a State College-based women entrepreneurs networking group, and she teaches yoga in the State College area.

About Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank

Happy Valley LaunchBox powered by PNC Bank is a signature program of Invent Penn State, a commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. While initially funded by Penn State, the LaunchBox is open to anyone. The mission of the LaunchBox is to connect local entrepreneurs to the support, resources and facilities they need to de-risk and accelerate their ventures.