Meet our Team:

center success staff
Susan Gove, CEO

Sue has been an educator her whole life. She began “teaching school” in her basement when she was only 8 years old . She continues to thrive on the joy she sees in people’s eyes when they have that “ah-ha” moment in learning something new.

Sue holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Supervision from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Education. Her B.S in Elementary Education and M.S. in Elementary/Early Childhood Education are both from California State College. She taught Kindergarten and second grade in the public school systems of Pennsylvania for eight years. She has also held teaching positions at the University of Pittsburgh, Point Park University, California University of Pennsylvania and at the Community College of Allegheny County, teaching bachelor, masters and doctoral level courses. She supervised elementary education student teachers for several years and taught conferencing skills to classroom teachers to enable them to give great feedback to the potential teachers. Sue has done extensive curriculum development, most recently creating a K-12 energy education program. She has facilitated the curriculum development for schools for blind and for autistic children. She also wrote a strategic plan for Arsenal Family & Children’s Center, which was founded by Dr. Benjamin Spock and served as a research center by Fred Rogers.

Notably, Sue has been honored with the very prestigious YWCA Tribute to Women Award in Business in Industry. She serves as a member of the Advisory Board of Allegheny County’s Children, Family and Youth, working especially with those aging out of foster care and with young parents. 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, and the Greater Pittsburgh Champions Group of Canine Companions for Independence.

Sue will never refuse a phone call or an email. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to her for assistance. You can reach Sue 412.431.1010 or at


Ellen Small, Director of Web Sales and Events

Ellen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. She has worked with every age group in early childhood from infants through kindergarten.  According to her first director at the child care center where she worked, Ellen “was a caring and compassionate teacher and had excellent communication skills with the parents of the children. Ellen worked hard at advancing her students to their highest potential every day.”

Though Ellen is no longer in the classroom with students, she has worked for several early childhood companies and training organizations, helping to develop curriculum and marketing ideas.  She is the owner of  The Early Childhood Academy, which offers self-study online classes and professional development to early childhood providers.

You can reach Ellen at


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 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering and is currently working for a defense missile company and another who is attending community college working on a degree in Business Management. In her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming, and traveling.


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 a new little 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 marathon running, biking and spending time with friends and family—although her children generally keep her quite busy!


Annie the Dog, Building Greeter

Annie is Sue’s dog, and she comes to work every day so that she can welcome all of the staff and announce all of the visitors. You may hear her “announcing” sometimes when you are attending or listening to a webinar.

Annie’s DNA results say that she is mostly German Shepard and a little bit of Standard Poodle. She is eleven years old.