Business Innovation Group (BIG)
Parker College of Business

BIG Staff

Dominique Halaby, DPA

Director, Business Innovation Group

Dominique Halaby oversees development of Georgia Southern University’s City Center.

Prior to joining Georgia Southern, he served as the Director of the Center for Community and Business Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Institute for Economic Development. Halaby spent most of his recent career building a non-profit organization in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) dealing with workforce and economic development. He successfully secured over $30 million in funding, including one of the largest federal training grants awarded in South Texas. Under his leadership, the organization was recognized in 2003 by the Society for Human Resource Management as The Best to Place to Work in Hidalgo County for companies with less than 100 employees. He was successful in achieving broad collaboration in the RGV among healthcare providers and educators to strengthen home-grown approaches to meet their skilled workforce needs and in several community planning and anti-poverty initiatives. These projects won awards as national finalists for the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Best Practices in 2003 and 2006, as well as being recognized by the Texas Workforce Commission as the Transitional Workforce Award recipient in 2004. In addition, Halaby served as Interim Director of the Rio Grande Regional Center for Innovation and Commercialization and assisted public universities in South Texas and new business ventures in accessing the $200 million Emerging Technology Fund.

Office Location

Innovation Incubator 1006
Phone: 912-478-2733



Curriculum Vitae


Suzanne Hallman

Assistant Director Entrepreneurship Education

Suzanne Hallman organizes and manages many of the Business Innovation Group’s student events and programs. She also recently received her National Business Incubator Association (NBIA) Incubator Management Certification.

Hallman studied HR management at Georgia Southern, receiving an MBA in 2003. She commuted to Savannah for work in staffing for five years while in college and after finishing her degrees. She began working for Northland Cable Advertising in 2007, helping companies build marketing campaigns. In 2010, Hallman helped her husband start a small video production company, Stouthouse Media. She used her business management and networking skills to help Stouthouse grow, gaining invaluable experience in entrepreneurship along the way. Hallman was hired in August 2013 as Business Advisor for the virtual incubator program, GENIE, at Georgia Southern University. She is excited about this opportunity to put her degrees and experience to work to help build the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region.

Office Location

BIG 1001E
Phone: 912-478-5586


Benjamin McKay

Assistant Director Research, CBAER

As a member of the Center for Business Analytics and Economic Research (CBAER) team since 2007, Ben McKay has led numerous research projects throughout Georgia. These projects include economic impact analysis, market research, survey research, data analysis, strategic planning and community needs assessments. These projects have been used by clients to secure external funding from public and private sources, increase their profile, identify market demand, determine project and policy feasibility, and aid in their efforts to plan for the future. Many of these projects have had positive job growth and retention as outcomes.

McKay currently holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Master in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. Additionally, McKay has professional experience in state and local government as a manager in the private sector.

Office Location

BIG 1001D
Phone: 912-478-5033


 Valerie McElveen

Area Director, Small Business Development Center

Valerie McElveen has deep Georgia Southern roots – as she received her MBA from the university in 2015 and she previously worked for the university as an accountant during 2012 and 2013. She is excited about returning to the GS family and being part of the SBDC statewide network.

McElveen brings a wealth of experience and knowledge about small business operation and growth to her new role as a consultant. Her experience at the university and in the private sector is invaluable to the small business owners in Bulloch County and the surrounding area. She received her BBA in accounting from Eastern Michigan University and her MBA from Georgia Southern.

Office Location

BIG 1001A
Phone: 912-478-5547


John Myers

Business Consultant

Prior to connecting with the Small Business Development Center, John Myers was involved with consulting marketing services companies on their reiteration and new business development processes. He has expanded the revenues of companies in the medical, information technology, business services and manufacturing industries as a sales professional. Myers now puts his experience at small and large companies to use assisting veterans and their family members start and operate their own businesses.

Myers holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Georgia Southern University Parker College of Business and a BA in biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Office Location

BIG 1001G
Phone: 912-478-7812


Nancey Price

Office Manager

Nancey Price oversees the daily administrative and facilities operations at the Business Innovation Group. She received her BA in Women’s & Gender Studies from Mercer University in 2015 as well as a Certificate in Public and Nonprofit Management from Georgia Southern University in 2017. She is currently pursuing her MPA in Nonprofit Management from Georgia Southern.

Office Location

City Campus
Phone: 912-478-0872




Gary Johnson

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE),  now have mentors working from BIG.  SCORE volunteer Gary Johnson is Past President of Savannah SCORE.  

His management experience includes positions such as Vice President of Marketing and Operations in management consulting, and in distribution and retail industries.  Mr. Johnson knows what it means to start and run a small business.  He started his own company, Strategic Systems, in 1988 in Chicago pioneering the use of multimedia systems for training. The company was a leader in Computer Based Training systems with clients in the US and Europe.  He joined SCORE to help people with good business ideas that need someone with experience to guide them through the process of starting and running a new business.  His education includes degrees in Engineering and an MBA in Marketing from Michigan State University.

Phone: 912-644-7220



Alex Harwood

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE),  now have an office in BIG’s City Campus. SCORE volunteer Alex Harwood graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in engineering, and served the next 6 years in the U.S.Air Force.

During this time he completed his Masters degree at Stanford University and doctoral work at UCLA John Anderson Graduate School of Management. He subsequently joined Hughes Aircraft Company initially as an engineering manager and later as a marketing manager.  For ten years prior to his retirement, Alex was the account executive and program executive to U.S Intelligence Community programs at Texas Instruments and IBM. He brings to BIG, a wealth of experience in the development and logistical support of both small and larger complex programs. Business planning, financial planning and program design are among his strengths.

Phone: 912-652-4335



BIG Graduate Assistants

Eminah Quintyne

Eminah Quintyne was born in Manhattan, New York, and grew up in Houston, Texas.  Currently, she is attending Georgia Southern University, studying public health policy and management in the Master’s of Public Health (MPH) program, and studying nutrition and food science to become a registered dietitian. Excited to kick off the fall at BIG, Eminah says her late grandfather inspires her motto:

“Think big enough!”

With an interest in creating low-carbohydrate bread and pasta products, she wants to be a business owner one day, helping people to enjoy carbohydrates without negative consequences. She works with the business advisor at BIG, assisting with entrepreneurship events, communications and grant proposals.

Contact Info:




Last updated: 12/10/2018