Our Staff | Duquesne University SBDC

Our Staff

The Duquesne University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) business consulting services are provided by our staff of highly qualified consultants.

Meet Our Team

In addition to practical experience in operating small businesses themselves, our staff have many years of combined business experience and hold a variety of advanced business degrees. The SBDC also taps the expertise of industry experts, successful entrepreneurs, and other business professionals to deliver its educational programs.

Tunca Cali is the Marketing, Training, and Informatics Manager of the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center. He earned his MBA degree from Duquesne University. He has worked with several clients over the past years and helped them to develop marketing strategies as well as marketing and coordinating the training events offered by the SBDC.


Business Consultant Donald Lodge

Don Lodge is a Business Consultant at the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center. He is also a certified business coach who has worked with over 300 small business owners since 2002.  His areas of expertise include profitability improvement, effective sales techniques, and employee relations. 

Don had a long career in human resources management, holding director-level positions at large organizations including Westinghouse, Mercy Hospital, UPMC, and K&L Gates. He also taught graduate-level business courses at Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, and La Roche College for over 30 years.

SBDC Consultant Douglas Harding

Douglas Harding brings over 35 years of managing international business development activities for various multinational industrial manufacturing companies, including a new venture within PPG Industries. Having traveled extensively throughout Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia, Douglas has a deep intuitive understanding of business interactions in diverse cultural settings and has been able to bridge the culture gap to lead new business activities in many international industrial markets.

Douglas is a Visiting Instructor in Management at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg campus and had been an Adjunct Instructor in Business & Management at the College of Business Administration at Pitt's Oakland campus for several years. Douglas has also taught International Business, Strategic Management, and Public Affairs Management at Duquesne University’s A. J. Palumbo School of Business; and International Business courses at Waynesburg University’s Professional MBA program, and a Chatham University.

Originally from Venezuela, Douglas is fluent in Spanish and holds an MBA from Syracuse University and an MA in Economics from Georgia State University.

Tyler Benninger is the Video Production Specialist of the Duquesne University Small Business Development Center. In 2020, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Media Production at Slippery Rock University. Owning a part-time media production company since 2017, Tyler has worked with a number of clients helping them conceptualize and execute an idea to promote their business. 
Jeff Dereume
With the growing demand in our region, and to best support our business environment, Jeff will be responsible for specialized consulting with small business clients, providing guidance and recommendations toward business financing institutions and other referral sources, and providing written recommendations for improving the performance of the client’s business. Jeff will primarily work closely with the Lawrence County Regional Chamber of Commerce/Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation to support the growth in the region. 

A native of Punxsutawney Pennsylvania, Jeff comes to the group with an extensive background in budgeting, small business development, project management, financial analysis, capital planning, and forecasting. Jeff holds a bachelor’s degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from Colorado State University, and an MBA from Robert Morris University. With a career that has spanned from large corporations to private equity startups, he has more than 15 years of experience in business planning and technical roles. 

Initially trained as a geologist, Jeff began his career in oil and natural gas development in eastern Kentucky, southwestern Pennsylvania, and northern West Virginia. After earning an MBA, he shifted to focus primarily on corporate mergers and acquisitions, capital budgeting, and operations scheduling. More recently, Jeff consulted with bars, restaurants, and beer distributors during the pandemic to navigate business acquisitions and divestitures, contract negotiations, and bank financing. Jeff looks forward to employing his business expertise to tactically serve current and prospective business owners throughout Pennsylvania. 

Russell is a native of the Southern Tier of New York but traveled to Dayton, Ohio to attend Dayton Bible College, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. Since graduating, he has continued his studies in Business Administration and Management.

He brings over 40 years of economic development and business creation/counseling experience to the SBDC, 35 of which was concentrated in Business Incubation, including Concept to Commercialization for a variety of business genres. Until recently he was also the owner/President of Incubation Operations, Training and Applications (IOTA), headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In terms of leadership, Russ has held a variety of positions: Director of the WESST Enterprise Center, Erie Technology Incubator at Gannon University, and Director of the Tech Ventures division for a non-profit in Southeastern, Ohio, just to name a few. His extensive background continues to attract several interested small business owners.

Improving people’s lives has been the common thread in Jan Blahut’s career choices. The development of employees and customer relations has been her path to growth working with home-based businesses regional authorities to national corporations.  

Jan has pioneered Wellness Programs (financial, physical, and mental), spearheaded corporate relocations, and lead the charge to generate millions in revenue and sales. Regular strategic planning, a strong Business Plan, and defined Marketing and Communication Plans are the tools she uses.

She is honored to return to her alma mater to assist the award-winning team at the Center to provide entrepreneur’s the support to Start, Grow, and Prosper. 

Lisa Walker is the Manager of Business/Client Services & Assistant to the Director at Duquesne University Palumbo-Donahue School of Business - Small Business Development Center (SBDC) where she works with the Center’s Director in the day-to-day administration and operations. Her focus is on client services and financial matters.  

Lisa comes from a background in Customer Service, Retail Management, Accounting, and Real Estate. She currently holds an active license in real estate and is a very successful Realtor.  

Lisa is committed to providing the best customer service possible and helping the center to grow and continue to be successful. 

Rich Longo is the Director of Duquesne University Palumbo-Donahue School of Business - Small Business Development Center (SBDC) where he assists new and existing businesses in the areas of business plan development: financial forecasting/financial statement development: marketing strategy and implementation plans. Rich is also certified in Technology Commercialization.

Previous positions held include Owner/CEO  of RIOL; LLC a boutique consulting firm specializing in Group Medical Practice Management, Pay for Performance, Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’S), and Productivity and Quality Outcomes-based physician-based compensation and Senior Vice President, Network Management for Devon Health Services, Inc. King of Prussia, PA, one of the largest regional PPOs in the Northeast.

Rich has also served as adjunct faculty at Robert Morris University and the University of Pittsburgh. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Nursing (cum laude) from Duquesne University and a Master’s Degree (magna cum laude) from the University of Pittsburgh.

Rich Longo named distinguished alumni in the School of Nursing in 2021.


John McMurtry is a CPA with over 40 years of experience in helping many closely-held, privately owned businesses in navigating the various stages of the business life cycle.  John was a founding member and managing partner of KFMR, a regional accounting and consulting firm.  After merging KFMR with a top 10 national firm, Clifton Larson Allen, LLP (CLA), John assumed the role of Managing Principal of the Pittsburgh office of CLA.

John has an M.S. in Accountancy from Duquesne University where he also was a member of the adjunct faculty and the accounting department advisory board.  He received a B.S.B.A. from Robert Morris College, where he also studied Taxation in the school’s graduate program. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, the Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs, former president of the Allegheny Tax Society and DFK International/USA. Over the years, John has served on a number of non-profit boards and has spoken to numerous organizations, including the Penn State Annual Tax conference, on various business, accounting and tax topics.