Meet the CEL Staff

Susan Steffan, Executive Director.

Susan Steffan
Executive Director

Steffan brings to her role extensive experience from business and academia, and decades of work with small businesses as a volunteer and through her consulting practice. As executive director, she provides strategic direction and program oversight to support the CEL’s mission to unlock human potential, create jobs, inspire wealth and invigorate the greater Western New York economy and community through entrepreneurial development.

Kate Moody headshot.

Kate Moody
Director of Operations

Moody directs the operational and customer-facing facets of the center. She also manages the Core, Mastery Forum, Class Connections and Continuing Education programs and team. An entrepreneur herself, Moody is a 2012 graduate of the CEL's Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneur program.

Lori Sullivan
Operations and Administrative Coordinator

Sullivan oversees all office procedures, payables and receivables. In addition, she is responsible for classroom preparation and technology, and coordinates the logistics of the CEL’s retreats and off-site events.

Jessica Perkins
Communications and Administrative Coordinator

Perkins coordinates the center’s public-facing communications, such as the CEL Happenings newsletter, webpages and social media platforms. In addition, she assists with classroom preparation and technology, and participates in the planning of retreats and off-site events.

Tony DeSimone headshot.

Anthony DeSimone, CPA, CMA
Facilitator and Instructor

DeSimone helps business owners and key leaders understand how to read and understand their financial reports, and how to use their numbers to make informed strategic decisions for the company. In addition to teaching the Mastering Your Financial Reports program and facilitating Class Connections groups, DeSimone is a CEL executive coach and facilitator of a Mastery Forum group. He previously served as the CEL’s interim executive director, and is the founder of You’re The Expert Now LLC.

Alan Pawlowski headshot.

Alan Pawlowski, MBA, MPA, CMAA
Facilitator and Instructor

An expert in strategic mergers, acquisitions and turnarounds, Pawlowski shares his deep operations and financial expertise with CEL program participants through a variety of chalk talks and workshops, and as a Master Forum executive coach and group facilitator. He is a partner at Next Point LLC and founder of Pace Management.