Businesses interested in utilizing Ohio APEX Accelerators should contact the APEX Accelerator assigned to their county. Click on your county on the map below for your designated APEX Accelerator.

PTAC County Map

Joseph Scott headshot

Joseph “Joey” Scott

Ohio APEX Accelerators Program Manager

Joseph “Joey” Scott is manager of the Ohio APEX Accelerators at the Ohio Department of Development (Development). In his role, Joseph administers the statewide APEX Accelerators program and works closely with regional APEX Accelerator offices, which are hosted by Development partners. He previously was the director of Ohio APEX Accelerator Youngstown State University, which is hosted by the Williamson College of Business Administration.

Joseph graduated from YSU with a BSBA in Accounting and a Master’s of Business Administration. He maintains a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP) certification with the National Association of Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE) and is working toward becoming certified through the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC).


Phone: (614) 644-1637
Address: 77 South High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Sharon Hopkins headshot

Sharon Hopkins

Director, Ohio APEX Accelerator Ohio University
As Director of Ohio APEX Accelerators, Sharon Hopkins manages eight of the state’s APEX Accelerator offices. Sharon participates in, conducts and facilitates seminars on multiple topics relating to business and government contracting. Her region consists of 62 Ohio counties with offices located in Akron, Athens, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Kirtland and Pickerington. Sharon works closely with APEX Accelerators staff, economic development entities and government agencies to promote small business in the region. Sharon has collected an immense amount of knowledge about the procurement field during her 20+ years of experience.

Sharon is a graduate of Marietta College, where she majored in Management. She is a certified counselor for the Center for Veterans Enterprise (CVE), and maintains a Level II Associate Contracting Assistance Specialist (ACAS) certification with the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC). In service to her community Sharon has won two elections to fill a seat on the Warren Local Board of Education and was an appointed representative to the Washington County Career Center Board of Education. Sharon was born and raised in southeastern Ohio where she still lives with her husband and extended family. Click here to apply for services today!


Phone: (740) 597-1868
Address: Ohio University Voinovich Center for Leadership and Public Affairs, Ridges Building 19, Athens, Ohio 45701

Larry Brown headshot

Larry Brown

Procurement Specialist, Ohio APEX Accelerator Cincinnati

Larry Brown is a Procurement Counselor with Ohio APEX Accelerator Cincinnati. He has a BBA degree in Business Management from the University of Cincinnati. His professional experience includes over 16 years in commercial lending along with several years in transportation and restaurant management. He has also worked in various areas of business development for small businesses for 12 years. Larry has a passion for working with aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners, exceptional communication and interpersonal relationship skills with the ability to leverage strong strategic partnerships within the local and regional small business ecosystem. Click here to apply for services today!


Phone: (513) 577-4155
Address: 1776 Mentor Ave., Suite 240, Cincinnati, Ohio 45212

Silhouette of person

Vikki Hawthorne

Procurement Specialist
Ohio APEX Accelerator Columbus

Vikki Hawthorne is a procurement specialist assigned to the Columbus office and the most recent addition to the Ohio University Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service, Procurement Technical Assistance Program.

After 30 years of federal contracting service with the Department of Defense in a variety of procurement analyst and small business advisory positions, Vikki held an appointed position as National Director of Supplier Development with the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Vikki also has worked closely with The American Small Business Chamber of Commerce advocating for small business access to government contracts.

Vikki holds a Master of Science in Human Resources Administration and Bachelor of Science in Journalism degrees. She is a member of New Birth Christian Ministries serving the Entrepreneurial Ministry. She is a passionate “boots on the ground” small business advocate, and for nearly 40 years, she has been a small business owner in variety of industries.


Phone: (740) 593-0070
Address: 65 E. State St., Suite 1350, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Karen Wivell headshot

Karen Wivell

Central Ohio Associate Director

Karen Wivell is the Southwest Ohio Associate Director at the Ohio APEX Accelerator Dayton. She has served Ohio APEX Accelerators since 2013. Prior to her role as associate director, Karen served as the Cleveland Procurement Specialist for Cuyahoga, Erie, Huron and Lorain counties in Ohio. Karen received her BS from Kent State University (KSU). She has more than 30 years in the corporate, non-profit and public sectors, including in marketing, administrative and procurement roles. Karen resides in Painesville with her husband Chris and two daughters, Elizabeth and Catherine. Click here to apply for services today!


Phone: (614) 636-5024
Address: 1350 Euclid Avenue, #211, Cleveland, Ohio 44115

Tony Griffin

Tony Griffin

Procurement Specialist
APEX Accelerator Columbus

Certified VA Verification Counselor Tony Griffin joined Ohio APEX Accelerators in June 2014, as a procurement specialist for the Cincinnati Area and surrounding counties. Retired from the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC), currently known as DLA Land and Maritime in January 2011, after 29 years of federal service in various leadership positions:

  • Supervisory Contract Specialist for DoD EMALL Contracting, Land and Maritime Strategic Materiel Sourcing Group (DSCC-FLG) from 2003 until 2011. The DoD EMALL, a defense-wide, electronic point of entry that allows registered customers to browse Internet accessible catalogs and compare products, price, delivery terms, and payment option, and to place requisitions on line for products and/or services that best suit their needs.
  • Associate Director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (from 1989 until 2003) – Principal advisor to Commander on small business issues. Supervisory Procurement Analyst (General Manager-1102/13); providing “Small Business” classroom training to Contracting, Supply Management, Technical Product Teams, Quality Assurance and support personnel. Earlier positions held at DLA: Small Business Spec; Industrial Spec; Quality Assurance Specialist; Equipment Specialist; Supply Technician.

Tony held various positions in the private sector after completing his tour of duty overseas and being honorably discharged from the United States Air Force. He attained his degree in Architectural Technology from the Ohio College of Applied Science and studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati. Mr. Griffin attended the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), where he received his DAWIA III/IV certifications (Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act) for Performance Management and Supply Chain Management.


Phone: (614) 593-0222
Address: 65 E. State St., Suite 1350, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Billy Grill headshot

Billy Grill

Southwest Ohio Associate Director

Billy Grill is a Procurement Counselor for APEX Accelerator Dayton. He has 15 years of experience in helping clients market to all levels of Federal, State, and Local governments. His varied roles in business development, marketing, operations, and program management give him a wide skill set to assist his clients with. Billy also has experience as a Small Business Development Center Counselor helping businesses start, grow, and expand their footprint.

With an A.A. in Business Administration from Sinclair Community College and a B.S. in Business Administration from Salisbury University, Billy has strong knowledge of business fundamentals. This knowledge, coupled with a network of strategic business resources in the Miami Valley, give him a toolset to help most any business reach their potential. “Sometimes the worst outcome is actually winning your bid. Contact your APEX Accelerators Counselor to make sure you are prepared for any outcome.” Click here to apply for services today!


Phone: (937) 230-9896
Address: 2642 Indian Ripple Road, Dayton, Ohio 45407

Doug Durliat headshot

Doug Durliat

Procurement Coordinator, Ohio APEX Accelerator Rhodes State College

Doug Durliat is the former director of the West Central Ohio Manufacturing Consortium (WCOMC), based in Lima. His primary WCOMC responsibilities included directing curriculum and classes for training and retraining people for manufacturing jobs. He also recruited and maintained membership of the consortium and coordinated the involvement of the manufacturers, community organizations, and education partners in the program.

Prior to his experience with the WCOMC, he was program administrator for five years with the Putnam Soil & Water Conservation District. He was communications director of the Ohio Farmers Union for 12 years and was a news and sports reporter for local radio stations for eight years. He is a 1980 graduate of Bowling Green State University. Doug and his wife, Mary Kay, reside near Ottawa and have four children. Click here to apply for services today!


Phone: 419-995-8353 (Office) 567-204-0032 (Cell)
Address: 4240 Campus Drive, Keese Hall 141, Lima, Ohio 45804

Jordan Lucas headshot

Jordan Lucas

Business Counselor
South Point APEX Accelerator

Click here to apply for services today!


Phone: (740) 377-4550
Address: PO Box 488, 216 Collins Avenue, South Point, Ohio 45680

Jane Stewart headshot

Jane Stewart

Northeast Ohio Associate Director at Kirtland
APEX Accelerator Lakeland

Jane Stewart has been with Ohio APEX Accelerators since 2000. Over the past 20 years she has held several positions and is currently an Associate Director covering the Northeast Ohio area. The office is located at Lakeland Community College. Jane lives in Madison, Ohio with husband Curt and their 3 dogs. They have three sons, two are currently serving in the US Navy and one is a Merchant Mariner, and two grandsons. Click here to apply for services today!


Phone: (440) 525-7733
Address: 7700 Clock Tower Drive, Engineering Building Rm 222, Kirtland, Ohio 44094-5198

Richard Delisio headshot

Richard Delisio

Director at APEX Accelerator Youngstown State University

Rich Delisio is the Director at the APEX Accelerator Youngstown State University. With more than eight years’ experience with APEX Accelerators, he helps Ohio small businesses in Trumbull, Mahoning, and Columbiana counties compete for and win government contracts.

Rich has more 25 years of business management experience, 12 of which he directed the Material Management (Purchasing) Department at Youngstown State University (YSU).

Rich has received both his Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) from YSU.

Click here to apply for services today!


Phone: (330) 941-1886
Address: One University Plaza, Williamson College of Business Administration, Suite 1155, Youngstown, Ohio 44555


Jane Stewart (see bio above), (440) 525-7733,


William “Bill” Cox (see bio above), (937) 230-9883,