Working in conjunction with the talented staff of the State Director's Office for the past fifteen years, Christian has endeavored to build the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) program into one of the preeminent economic development programs of its type in the country.
As State Director, Christian is responsible for directing, managing, promoting and evaluating Pennsylvania SBDC services to improve service delivery and impact. He has helped lead the network through three national accreditation reviews. In the most recent review in 2011, the program also was accredited for its technology services.
During his tenure, Christian has led the effort to expand the state of Pennsylvania’s investment in the program. This resulted in the establishment of five new centers and a near doubling of the number of entrepreneurs assisted annually. More important, the program produces results: each year 2,500 new businesses are started, 8,000 new jobs created and over $750 million of Pennsylvania products and services are sold around the world.
Christian has testified before both houses of Congress in support of bills to expand the SBDC program. He has also taught other SBDC programs on ways to develop and strengthen relationships with policy makers to increase services available to assist small firms in their growth and development. These efforts were recognized with awards from the Association of Small Business Development Centers in 2001, 2004, 2006 and 2011.
Christian is active in a number of other organizations including the national Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC) and the Pennsylvania Downtown Center. For the last several years he has been the Chair of the Governance Committee for the Pennsylvania Downtown Center.
Before joining the SBDC program he was a key staff member for a New York State Assembly Member and managed marketing and fundraising programs for a variety of arts, health and social services organizations. Christian has degrees in urban studies, economics and psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of New York at Albany. His Master’s thesis analyzed the role of the arts to the economic competitiveness of the greater Philadelphia region.
A native of New York’s scenic Hudson River Valley, Christian currently resides in Philadelphia. In his spare time, he enjoys running, skiing, traveling, cooking, exploring new wines and cuisines, and the arts, theatre and architecture.