Go Big Small Biz Network is protecting and promoting the interests of small businesses and fighting against state government overreach. Through our advocacy efforts, we are uniting, mobilizing, and giving a big voice to small businesses. We believe that every business should have the freedom to thrive and not have the government dictating their survival through burdensome regulations.
Hi, we are Jeff and Tracey. We are lifelong entrepreneurs and small business owners. We owned multiple organizations, including a female fitness center, pre-pandemic. As a result of the arbitrary COVID-19 lockdowns and implementation of other burdensome government regulations, we were forced to shut our doors. Our business, like many others, was never able to recover.
The truth is we did not have to lose this business and we decided to take action! We started the Go Big Small Biz Network to protect and promote the interests of other small businesses throughout Pennsylvania. We are working to expose the reality of what is truly happening in government and legislation with much of it designed to choke and eliminate small businesses.
When we launched in August 2022, we had little more than a vision and passion to fight for the survival of our other companies as well as to see small businesses united in a way that allows their voices to be heard. Our network mobilizes business owners and concerned citizens to change the trajectory of legislation through advocacy, education, and communication.
This work is important and we need your voice to make it happen.
Tracey Wakeen has over 30 years of experience as a personal trainer, fitness director, and small business owner. As the long-time owner of a successful female fitness center in Mechanicsburg, she excels at leading teams and motivating them to accomplish goals.
Tracey founded the Go Big Small Biz Network as a response to the challenges and frustrations that were faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being hit with multiple mandated shutdowns from the Governor, Tracey experienced first-hand the struggles that small businesses were up against throughout the pandemic. She kept her club doors open, instituting creative ways to provide a safe space for the members, but ultimately closed the doors in October of 2021.
She plans to use Go Big to influence government policies and regulations in favor of small business, hold Pennsylvania’s administration accountable, and work to create a positive environment for small businesses within the Commonwealth.
In her private time, she is passionate about exercise, the outdoors and especially skiing. She has been married to Jeff for 33 years and has three children and a grandson.
Jeff’s career in advertising, media and marketing spans more than 30 years and has resulted in his mastery of intentional communication, storytelling and entrepreneurship.
He is the Co-Founder and Vice President of the Go Big Small Biz Network. Jeff believes in the power of storytelling and sees Go Big Small Biz Network as a marketing company selling the idea of uniting business leaders through coordinated communication efforts.
His resume includes broadcast media sales and management and ownership of several full-service advertising agencies. He is the CEO of Wakeen & Company’s family of brands, a Vistage-certified Executive Coach and founder of Connection Mission.
Beyond business, Jeff and his wife Tracey are outdoor enthusiasts who have passed this love of adventure on to their three children. Married over 33 years, their family continues to grow with grandchildren.
Jeff has the unique ability to open a dialogue, explore strengths, expose vulnerabilities, and lead clients to rediscover purpose in their life and business. His lifetime of experience in marketing will act as a force to unite business leaders and entrepreneurs so that PA businesses can thrive. To find out more, he warmly invites you to start a conversation
Brian joined the team as the Director of Business Development at a time when the dramatic growth of our movement was necessary to safeguard the voice of those who would otherwise not be heard – small businesses.
With over 32 years of experience leading organizations to growth, his expertise and unique understanding of small businesses are beneficial not only to Go Big Small Biz Network but to all members of our network. As a small business owner himself, he has been directly impacted by government overreach and understands the importance of protecting the rights of all small businesses to conduct business.
Prior to joining Go Big Small Biz Network, Brian worked at Shentel for over 26 years where he was instrumental in negotiating many of the company’s largest deals. For over 20 years, his effort was focused on the Central Pennsylvania market through his work to build a robust Sprint and Boost dealer network in Lancaster, York, Harrisburg, and Altoona. He was also responsible for all sales and sales distribution for Sprint in large parts of Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio.
Outside of work, Brian loved to go boating, camping and fishing with his family. Brian has three beautiful girls and has been married to his wife Leslie for 29 years. No grandkids yet.
Dennis, Small Business Advocate, blends his expansive career in retail management with his passion for small businesses to protect and promote their future. For more than 40 years, he achieved success by progressing from Store Manager to Vice President of Retail with a crowning achievement of winning multi-year national sales contests at his FORTUNE 50 and FORTUNE 100 companies.
Dennis’s entrepreneurial mindset led him to create Marburger Consulting, LLC; from then on, he was a small business advocate. He became a SCORE mentor and served as the Education Chair for the Susquehanna SCORE Leadership Team, overseeing the classes and workshops they offered.
In addition to Go Big Small Biz Network, he also belongs to numerous small business organizations. He is currently the President of the Southern York County Business Association, an Ambassador of the York County Economic Alliance, and serves on the Board of a non-profit.
In his spare time, he is an outdoor enthusiast and self-proclaimed jock! He fulfills his lifelong passion for acting with an on-camera career in Commercials, TV, and Film. He also loves spending time with his wife Joyce, their son Kevin and 7-year-old grandson Tyler!
John, Small Business Advocate, has been involved in the local community for years and has been active helping to support small local businesses through an early career in the food and service industry. During his time with multiple local establishments, he focused on the customer experience and his employees. Leading by example has been his leadership style and is passionate about helping others. John’s current full-time position is with Red Canary where he works with businesses across six states to protect their network from cyber-attacks. His passion for protecting businesses is one of the reasons why the Go Big small Biz network is so appealing to him.
John decided to join the Go Big team because he believes that small businesses are essential to the local communities and wants to keep them alive and thriving. Entrepreneurs should be allowed to own their own business without government being involved.
John is actively involved in his church and his family. John loves to collect, sell and trade baseball and football cards and has even made a small business out of his passion. He has 3 boys and loves to spend time with his wife. A perfect life would include all these things and… Golf.
As a Small Business Advocate, Sherri brings a culmination of experience in leadership, government/business/nonprofit management, research, program evaluation, and project management. Spanning a variety of leadership roles, her career is built on her experience in a variety of unique service sectors, showcasing her versatility and ability to thrive in different environments. Graduating from Penn State’s ROTC program, Sherri served four years honing her leadership skills as a Marine Corps Officer. From there she transitioned to state government where she rose quickly over 17 years to serve as Bureau Director for the for PennDOT’s Bureau of Municipal Services.
Landing a unique faculty opportunity, Sherri expanded her skill set while earning her PhD as a Professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. There she managed the research program for the Administration & Leadership Studies doctoral program, including oversight of projects to support, evaluate, train, and equip government organizations, small and veteran-owned businesses, non-profit organizations, disadvantaged business enterprises, and victim service providers.
Beyond her professional commitments, Sherri serves her community as Vice President of the Hampden Township Board of Commissioners along with several community-based, non-profit boards and veteran organizations. Dr. Chippo’s academic achievements include a BA in Pre-Law from Penn State University, a Master of Science in Business from Boston University, and a Ph.D. in Administration & Leadership Studies from IUP.
D.J. Keiser, Small Business Advocate is a distinguished C-level Executive with over 22 years of experience across diverse industries, has not only excelled in his professional journey but also earned recognition in both personal and professional spheres. As a key player in the 1997 College Football National Championship team, he epitomizes dedication and excellence.
Acknowledged for his outstanding contributions to law enforcement, D.J. received the Milton S. Thrasher Award from the National Gang Crime Research Center, showcasing his commitment to maintaining law and order and positively impacting communities. Further highlighting his leadership acumen, he earned a nomination for the 2014 Central PA Journal Business of the Year.
Motivated by a desire to leave a lasting legacy, D.J. actively participates in GBSBN, where he champions the importance of small businesses as the backbone of America. His inspiration stems from a passion for success and victory, driving him to achieve greatness across all aspects of life.
D.J.’s unique professional superpower lies in his ability to build relationships, a skill that has contributed significantly to his success in various leadership roles. Beyond the boardroom, he engages in coaching baseball, mentoring, studying the strategies of business giants, and volunteering, showcasing a well-rounded approach to life.
With a commitment to continuous learning and professional development, D.J. holds multiple college degrees, underscoring his dedication to excellence. Married for 22 years and a proud father of four, his family serves as his lifeblood and a constant source of motivation.
In a career trajectory that reflects a transition from law enforcement and military contracting to dynamic entrepreneurship, D.J. emerges as a multifaceted professional and an influential figure. With a focus on both business and academic realms, he leaves an indelible mark, not just as a seasoned executive but as a dedicated mentor and leader.