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The Triage

What can the Triage Group provide for you?

  • Product development
  • Connections to manufacturers
  • Opportunities to meet mentors, lenders, and potential investors
  • Help with structuring your business entity
  • Prototyping
  • Possible tax credit incentives

We can connect you with resources to assist with your Business Plan!

Jessica Lattanza

Assistant Director, Altoona LaunchBox supported by the Hite Family

Ms. Lattanza is currently the Assistant Director of the Altoona LaunchBox supported by the Hite Family, and joined the LaunchBox after 12 years with UPMC Altoona serving in various leadership roles including Director of Operations for Blair Medical Associates and most recently as Director of Physician Relations for the local system.

Ms. Lattanza was formerly a business analyst with the Saint Francis University Small Business Development Center, responsible for assisting with business start-up and growth in a five county region.

Prior to moving to Central Pennsylvania, Ms. Lattanza worked for Marriott International as part of the Southeast US Sales & Marketing Team handling regional procurement and contracting for Marriott’s distribution services department.

Ms. Lattanza is a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a BS in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration and made Blair County her home in 2001. She is a strong advocate for the growth and appreciation of our region and helping budding entrepreneurs realize their dreams.

Paul Cooney

Professor of Practice 

Mr. Cooney is currently a Professor of Practice in Entrepreneurship at Penn State Altoona. Mr. Cooney became an adjunct faculty member at Penn State Altoona in 2013 teaching entrepreneurship classes.  

Mr. Cooney was formerly The Director of Business Development and Loan Programs with the Altoona Blair County Development Corporation. Mr. Cooney was responsible for marketing and underwriting the various loan programs offer ed by ABCD Corp. throughout Blair County and Central Pennsylvania.

Mr. Cooney joined ABCD in 2004 after working 15 years with M&T Bank. While there he served in a number of capacities including commercial lending and business credit analysis.

Mr. Cooney is a graduate of Penn State University with a BS in Finance. Mr. Cooney is a life long resident of Altoona where he resides with his wife Michelle and three daughters Michala, Mia and Marin. Mr. Cooney enjoys the outdoors and is an avid cyclist, skier and part time professional photographer.

John Horell

President of KIZ Resources

John received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from The Pennsylvania State University in 2004. That same year he began his professional career with Harry K. Sickler Associates in Tyrone, PA. Currently John is President of KIZ Resources, LLC. John and his company are recognized throughout Pennsylvania for their experience and leadership in obtaining and monetizing various types of government incentives. A strong advocate for higher education, John serves as a member of the Penn State Altoona Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence Advisory Board and the Penn State Altoona Philanthropic Council.

Richard Lasek

Manager of Loan Servicing and Entrepreneurial Development ABCD Corp.  

Richard is the Manager of Loan Servicing and Entrepreneurial Development at ABCD Corporation. He also holds the position of Blair County Entrepreneur Coach for StartUp Alleghenies. Richard has more than 13 years of commercial banking and economic development experience, and 12 years of pre-hospital emergency management experience.

Prior to working for ABCD Corporation, Richard was a commercial loan analyst & underwriter with FNB Corporation, a $30 billion regional bank.  His economic development experience includes serving as Assistant Director of Huntingdon County Business and Industry, Inc.

Growing up in Meadville, PA, Richard attended Allegheny College, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.  Richard moved to Blair County in 1992 and has made the area his second hometown.  He was elected as a Township Supervisor for Blair Township in 2011.  Richard is a life member and former Assistant Fire Chief with his local fire department and currently volunteers with the United Way of Blair County.

We believe in providing opportunities for entrepreneurs of all shapes and sizes.  Consider filling out the form below to gain access to our expert network along with our rapidly developing resources. Talk to our Business Triage Group and receive valuable information and insight to all things business.

Learn More:

1309 11th Avenue, Altoona, PA 16601


Monday - Friday

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.


Altoona Blair County Development Corporation (ABCD)
Blair County Chamber of Commerce
Ben Franklin Technology Partners
Catalyst Space
City of Altoona
KIZ Resources
Sheetz Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence
Penn State Altoona Division of Business, Engineering, and Information Sciences and Technology
Penn State Altoona Entrepreneurship Minor
Penn State Law Entrepreneurial Assistance Clinic
St. Francis University Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

  • LaunchBox is a signature program of Invent Penn State, which is a Commonwealth-wide initiative to spur economic development, job creation and student career success. Invent Penn State blends entrepreneurship-focused academic programs, business startup training and incubation, funding for commercialization, and University-community collaborations to facilitate the challenging process of turning research discoveries into valuable products and services that can benefit Pennsylvanians and humankind. Connect with the initiative at