The Gove Group Team

Dr. Susan Gove, CEO

Sue founded the Gove Group in 1989. Her strengths lie in assisting companies to define their goals, plan for implementation, and produce desired outcomes. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum & Supervision from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education. Her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education in Elementary Education are both from California State College. Sue has taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses at several institutions, including Point Park University, the University of Pittsburgh, California University of Pennsylvania and the Community College of Allegheny County. She has also taught within the public school system of Pennsylvania.

Notably, Sue has been honored with the very prestigious YWCA Tribute to Women Award in Business in Industry and she was one of Pennsylvania’s 50 Best Women in Business. Sue currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board of Allegheny County’s Children, Family and Youth division. She is the Past-President of the Executive Women’s Council, Women and Girls Foundation, the Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Association of Female Executives, the Greater Pittsburgh Champions Group of Canine Companions for Independence.

Sue’s passion is mentoring young adults who have been involved in foster care. She works with youth while in college or post-secondary education and helps them to prepare for adulthood. She also mentors young mothers in caring for their children. These young people had never dreamed that that could ever be a home owner, but Sue has made that happen.

Melanie Brantner, Director of Data Management

Melanie’s can-do attitude makes her unstoppable in achieving her goals. She is responsible for collecting and synthesizing data from professional development events. She also does research and prepares materials for the on-site events. Prior to joining Gove Group, Melanie was a compliance analyst for a health insurance company for over 25 years.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. Melanie has two sons, one who graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and another who is works in the restaurant business. In her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming, and traveling (especially to the beach).

Colleen McDonough, Director of Accounts

Colleen has a flair for great customer service and a quick wit in any situation.  Her primary duties are account management and bookkeeping, as well as planning and implementing events.  She specializes in the details of conference management, including coordinating the work of the planning committees and preparing seamless on-site implementation with the event venues.  Prior to joining Gove Group, Colleen performed nationwide sales and marketing roles with both government and real estate enterprises.  

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Marketing from the University of Michigan.  Colleen is a Pittsburgh native and proud mother of two young boys and one girl.  Colleen’s husband, Joe, owns the Penn Bridge Land Abstract Title Company, and co-owns an Italian restaurant with his family; together Colleen and Joe own and manage several rental properties.  While away from work, Colleen enjoys running, biking and spending time with friends and family—although her children generally keep her quite busy.  

Syd Sheehy, Sales Contractor

With over 25 years of business to business advertising and special events sales leadership, Syd’s strong points are enthusiasm for her work, good communication skills, building customer relationships, goal orientation and determination.  She has worked for Reuben H. Donnelley, Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh Magazine and Sales Consultants of Pittsburgh West.

Syd’s #1 priority is working with Gove Group, contacting companies that would benefit from visibility and personal contact with decision-makers of nonprofit groups from across the country.  An excellent way to do this is to participate in sponsoring and exhibiting at their conferences.  She is reaching out to find the companies who are most interested and want to take part in these events, giving information to the attendees about new products, services and perspectives to help drive their mission.

Tom Sheehy, Syd’s husband, died in 1980 of leukemia.   After that, Syd spent time working  on fundraisers for the Leukemia Society of Western Pa and was a member of the chapter’s Board of Directors for over 12 years.

Ellen Small, Director of Web Sales and Events

Ellen brings extensive internet marketing experience to the team. Her structured thought process enables her to capture details that enhance the products on which she works, and provides rich content for the customer. Ellen’s primary focus is the development and coordination of web-based instructional programming for Gove Group. Prior to joining Gove Group, Ellen worked in marketing for a variety of web-based educational organizations. Her specialization in education-related marketing stems from her experiences as a former classroom instructor.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. In her spare time, Ellen can be found performing at local community theaters and, occasionally, on the small screen in local commercials, student films, etc. Ellen is a Pittsburgh native who lives with her husband Chris, stepson Ryan, 4 cats, and 2 dogs.