Partners in funding businesses for economic growth since 1978

Our Mission

Valley Economic Development Partners is a leader in developing employment opportunities through business creation, expansion and retention in collaboration with other regional organizations.

Our Vision

Small business lending to achieve the economic and social well-being of Mahoning Valley region.

Our Story

Valley Economic Development Partners is a private, non-profit organization focused on the social well-being of the Mahoning Valley and its surrounding regions.  Our mission is to be a leader in developing employment opportunities through business creation, expansion, and retention in collaboration with other regional organizations.

Established in 1978 as Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corporation, 2020 turned out to be a year of growth and change as the organization became known as Valley Partners.  Our focus on small business lending is the cornerstone of our path moving forward.  We are a Certified Development Corporation, authorized to process SBA 504 and Community Advantage (7a) loans.  We partner with our local financial institutions to put together the best possible lending packages for our business clients and partners.  We also partner with economic development agencies such as the Economic Development Administration (EDA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the State of Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) in order to provide revolving loan funds to put together creative lending structures to “fill the gaps” as well.

We have a diverse Board of Directors from the private and public sectors. We are not a government entity.  We are based in Youngstown and provide selected services to Mahoning, Trumbull, Ashtabula, Columbiana, Geauga, Portage, Lake and Belmont Counties in Ohio; and Lawrence, Mercer, Beaver and Franklin Counties in Pennsylvania.  We offer our SBA 504 and Community Advantage products throughout the entire State of Ohio.

From Valley Partners’ inception, our mission of building and diversifying the regional economy has remained unchanged — even as we continue to refine and reshape our programs to address the changing dynamics of our regional economy. We have assisted over 2,000 businesses, which have added or retained more than 19,000 jobs.

Partners in funding for economic growth since 1978.  We look forward to helping you grow your business!

"Our team is committed

to working tirelessly on your behalf to obtain the funding needed for your business to not only survive, but to thrive and for our region's economy to continue to flourish."


– Teresa Miller, Executive Director

Our Staff

Teresa Miller

Teresa Miller

Executive Director 

Ext. 116 | teresa@valleyedp.com

Mario A. Nero Sr.

Mario A. Nero Sr.

Director of Economic

Development Lending

Ext. 122 | mario@valleyedp.com

Terrence T. Louk

Terrence T. Louk

Director of SBA Lending

Ext. 121 | terry@valleyedp.com

Gregory M. Lutz

Gregory M. Lutz

Financial Specialist

Ext. 117 | greg@valleyedp.com

Julie Swauger

Julie Swauger

Office Manager

Ext. 110 | julie@valleyedp.com

Maureen Stenglein

Maureen Stenglein

Portfolio Manager

Ext. 114 | maureen@valleyedp.com

Wendy Walters

Wendy Walters

Loan Servicing Director

Ext. 123 | wendy@valleyedp.com 

Board of Directors

Christopher Colella, Sr. Vice President, First National Bank                

Annemarie Deascentis – Mahoning County

James Gibbs – Director of Trio EOC at Eastern Gateway Community College

Stephanie Gilchrist – Businsss Advisor, Mentor, Motivational Speaker

Michael Keys – Director of Community Development, City of Warren

George Limbert – The Honorable, United States Magistrate Judge

Giovanne Merlo – Auditor for The City of Niles

Sarra Mohn – President, Owner of Jer Creative

Diane Richardson – CEcD, EDFP, Assistant Director Business Development

James M. Rosa – Principal, Hill, Barth & King, LLC.

Tim Shaffer – Chief Lending Officer, Farmers National Bank of Canfield

Julie Michael Smith – Entrepreneurship Coordinator YSU

Jeffrey S. Solomon – President, P&S Equities

Lynette Sutton – Secretary, YADC

Shelley Taylor – CPCU, CIC Agent, President, Paige & Byrnes Insurance

Joshua Toot – Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, Home Savings & Loan

Bank Partners

We can partner with any bank the client uses or is comfortable with.

Apply now