Speakers

2011 | Breaking the mold / Durham, NC

Keynote Speakers

Donna Fenn of Inc.com
Louis Foreman of Enventys
Martin Eakes of Self-Help Credit Union

Donna Fenn

Inc.com

Inc. contributing editor Donna Fenn is the author of Upstarts! How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit From Their Success (McGraw-Hill, 2009). Both this blog and the book examine the ways in which GenY is changing the entrepreneurial landscape with new approaches to starting, growing, and managing their companies. Learn more at www.upstartsrock.com.

Louis Foreman

Enventys

Louis Foreman is founder and Chief Executive of Enventys, an integrated product design and engineering firm in Charlotte, NC. He is also CEO of Edison Nation.  His interest in starting businesses and developing innovative products began while a sophomore Economics major at The University of Illinois with his first company founded in his fraternity room.

Over the past 20 years, Louis has created 9 successful start-ups and has been directly responsible for the creation of over 20 others. A prolific inventor, he is the inventor of 10 registered US Patents, and his firm is responsible for the development and filing of well over 400 more. Learn more at www.louisforeman.com.

Martin Eakes

Self-Help Credit Union

Martin Eakes co-founded Self-Help, a community development lender, in 1980.  Self-Help has provided almost $6 billion in financing to more than 60,000 homebuyers, small businesses and nonprofits and serves more than 25,000 mostly low income families through 7 retail credit union branches. Self-Help reaches people who are underserved by conventional financial institutions—particularly persons of color, women, rural residents, and low-wealth families. A native of North Carolina, he is a nationally recognized expert on development finance and has received several honors and awards for his work.

Photo by Christian Witkin

Sessions / Roundtables

Farad Ali
Ryan Allis - iContact
Dorian Bolden - Beyu Caffe
Leslie Boney
Farad Ali
NC IMED

Farad Ali

NC Institute for Minority Economic Development

Farad is the Senior Vice President of the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development. Mr. Ali is responsible for a team of managerial and financial technical assistance consultants with MBA’s, advanced training and other relevant business experience. The team focuses on enhancing the internal controls and capacity of minority firms. He leads a Business Development Team which includes the Minority Business Center of North Carolina, the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina, and a Financial Education and Training Department, which focuses on building financial intelligence of business owners and consumers that will increase credit scores, lower debt and enhance the probability of higher net worth among low to moderate income populations and business owners.

Mr. Ali has worked for almost two decades as a banker and consultant, providing managerial and financial technical assistance, securing millions of dollars in procurement and contracts for minority businesses around the state, and a proven catalyst of capital for minority businesses. Mr. Ali earned an undergraduate degree with a concentration in finance from the Kenan-Flagler School of Business at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Business Administration from Campbell University, and post graduate training for emerging business markets from Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Ryan Allis
iContact

Ryan Allis

iContact

Ryan Allis is a technology and social entrepreneur from Chapel Hill, NC. He has been an entrepreneur since he started Allis Computing at age 11. Today, Ryan is the Co-Founder and CEO of iContact, the leading global provider of email marketing services to small and mid-sized businesses.  He is also an active angel investor in socially responsible entrepreneurs in East Africa and North Carolina.

Ryan built iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size of more than 210 employees, 65,000 customers, and $38 mil in annual sales. iContact has twice made the INC 500 list.  He is the author of Zero to One Million and his new book Dare Mighty Things is slated for publication in 2011.

Dorian Bolden
Beyu Caffé

Dorian Bolden

Beyu Caffé

Dorian Bolden, 31, owns and operates Beyu Caffé, a unique coffeehouse, restaurant, and bar with live music in downtown Durham, North Carolina. Beyu Caffé has been featured in over 20 publications and television shows such as My Carolina Today. It has received many awards including the Downtown Durham Retail Business of the Year, Triangle Business Journal's Space Award, Best Place to Hear Jazz and Blues in the Triangle, and Best Vegan Dessert in Durham's first Bull City Vegan Challenge.

Dorian, a Duke alumnus, began a successful career on Wall Street as a Senior Financial Advisor. However, in 2004 after the simultaneous life changing sudden loss of his father and layoffs of several close colleagues, Dorian reevaluated his life and purpose. He decided to open his dream cool coffeehouse. Over 5 years, Dorian moved to NC, worked at restaurants and researched to learn the industry. By April 2009, he had raised $500K to open Beyu Caffé during one of the toughest economies recorded. In December 2009, Beyu Caffé opened and has become a downtown Durham staple of business leaders, entrepreneurs, public officials, artists and Durham residents.

Dorian is married to his college sweetheart, Dr. Taineisha Bolden, and they have a beautiful two-year-old daughter, Nahla.

Leslie Boney
University of
North Carolina

Leslie Boney

University of North Carolina

Leslie Boney serves as Associate Vice President for Economic Development and Engagement for the 16-campus University of North Carolina. In collaboration with the UNC system research office and the state’s 16 four-year public universities, he is responsible for improving the University’s ability to transfer technology, increasing interaction between university faculty and the private sector, boosting entrepreneurial activity on campus, increasing joint international research, and providing creative consultation on public policy.

Anne Claire Broughton
Bill Brown - 8 Rivers Capital
Chris Carroll
Jitesh Chawla
Anne Claire Broughton
SJF Institute

Anne Claire Broughton

SJF Institute

Anne is the SJF Institute Co-Founder and Senior Director. SJF Institute connects, inspires, and accelerates impact entrepreneurs and the fields that support them. Broughton has been with SJF since 1999 and served as the Founding Executive Director of SJF Institute.  She recently released a major report, Employees Matter: Maximizing Company Value Through Workforce Engagement profiling 24 companies that can link their progressive employee practices with improved bottom line results. SJF Institute is affiliated with both SJF Ventures and Investors’ Circle. Broughton serves on the board of EarthShare North Carolina and on the Advisory Board of New Orleans-based AMCREF Community Capital, a New Markets Tax Credit fund with a focus on financing renewable energy projects.

Bill Brown
8 Rivers Capital

Bill Brown

8 Rivers Capital

Bill is co-founder of 8 Rivers Capital, LLC, a technology commercialization firm in downtown Durham focused on solving some of the world’s biggest problems through clean energy, medical device and web-based solutions. Bill is a Professor at Duke Law, where his teaching focuses on entrepreneurship, business law, business planning, capital markets and corporate finance. He was instrumental in helping put together Duke’s LLM program in Entrepreneurship and the Law. Bill began his financial services career in 1990 when he joined the currency and commodity sales group at Goldman Sachs & Co. In 1996, Bill was recruited to AIG International and, one year later, was recruited to Morgan Stanley to become U.S. head of foreign exchange sales. A 1980 graduate of Duke Law School, Brown was a member of the editorial board of the Duke Law Journal. In addition to his Duke Law degree, Brown holds bachelor’s degrees in both biology and political science from MIT.

Chris Carroll
Carroll Woodcrafts

Chris Carroll

Carroll Woodcrafts

Chris has been a wood worker since he was 5, building all sorts of things from trees in his back yard. In 2009, like so many others, he was laid off. He decided to take his passion for wood working and make it a business. He enrolled in the NC REAL Entrepreneurship Course and the G.A.T.E. program at Isothermal Community College.  Carroll Woodcrafts Unlimited is currently part of the Mill Spring Ag & Development Center business incubation program.

Chris still builds things from trees, primarily local Polk County trees. Just like each tree, each piece he makes has a story. His five-year plan is to hire 10-12 additional employees and expand to two locations.  His long-term plan is to leave the business to his two sons Jacob and Zakk who do much of the custom carpentry as teenagers now. 

Jitesh Chawla
Patagonia Health

Dr. Jitesh Chawla

Patagonia Health

In 2001, Dr. Jitesh Chawla finished medical school and went into family practice, where he trained and worked for a number of years. He joined UNC Chapel Hill’s Masters in Healthcare Administration program in 2009 where he has significant experience in healthcare delivery. Subsequently, he has gained interest in healthcare information technology and pursued a certificate degree in Medical Informatics. He has work experience in healthcare quality, electronic medical record design/implementation and other aspects of healthcare information technology. Currently, he serves as the Chief Medical Information Officer for Patagonia Health in Cary helping create clinical content for the company and participating in marketing efforts to reach out to physicians in the community. Currently, his interests lie in healthcare data quality research.

Keith Crisco
Stan Cross
Scott Daugherty
Luke Fishback - Plottwatt.com
Keith Crisco
NC Secretary of Commerce

Keith Crisco

NC Secretary of Commerce

J. Keith Crisco was appointed Secretary of Commerce by Governor Bev Perdue in January 2009. He brings 40 years of experience in business and commerce to the position. For more than 20 years, Crisco served as president and chairman of Asheboro Elastics Corp, a company he formed with partners in 1986. This highly successful company has offices in seven countries, manufacturing facilities in Central America and
the United States, and sales around the world. Prior to that, he worked for eight years as the president of Stedman Elastics in Asheboro.

Stan Cross
BioWheels

Stan Cross

BioWheels Responsible Transportation Solutions

Since 2000, Stan has worked in the field of sustainability education as the Education Director for the Environmental Leadership Center of Warren Wilson College.  He was named the 2007 NC Environmental Educator of the Year.  Stan is also a co-founder and principal of BioWheels Responsible Transportation Solutions, a start-up business out of Asheville, NC that is designing and installing solar power integrated electric vehicle charging infrastructure to help develop a durable and resilient state-wide electric vehicle market.

Scott Daugherty
NC Commissioner
for Small Business

Scott Daugherty

NC Commissioner for Small Business

Scott R. Daugherty was appointed by Gov. Bev Perdue to serve as North Carolina’s first Commissioner for Small Business in 2010. In this capacity he reports to the secretary of Commerce and is a senior member of the N.C. Department of Commerce staff. He serves as the primary policy and program advisor on small business issues and supervises the Department’s Business LINK NC unit. Daugherty also serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Extension, Engagement and Economic Development at North Carolina State University and directs the Small Business and Technology Development Center. The SBTDC is the business and technology extension service of The University of North Carolina system, administered by North Carolina State University. The SBTDC operates in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and the N.C. Department of Commerce.

Daugherty attended Wake Forest University, The University of Miami and The University of Florida. He has a law degree and has practiced as a corporate attorney in Florida, Mississippi and Washington, D.C. He also served as Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of a large quasi-public financing agency in Washington D.C. prior to joining the University of North Carolina system in 1984 to start up the SBTDC. He has managed two large regional economic development organizations and organized and run a small business investment company.

Learn more about Business Link North Carolina (BLNC).

Luke Fishback
PlotWatt

Luke Fishback

PlotWatt.com

Luke Fishback is the founder and CEO of PlotWatt.com, a startup building web-based dashboards that help people to reduce their electric bills.  Prior to starting PlotWatt, Luke was an engineer at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, where he managed systems engineering efforts on a variety of projects through a leadership development program.  He has successfully overseen and implemented pioneering real-time monitoring systems in both the lab and home.  Luke graduated with honors from Dartmouth College where he earned a BA, BSME and Masters degree in Engineering Management.

James Freeman - Mighty J's
Christopher Gergen - Life Entrepreneurs
Randy Goins
Chris Grams
James Freeman
Mighty J's

James Freeman

Mighty J's

James, co-owner of Mighty J’s Restaurant located across the street from UNC-Pembroke, has over 15 years of experience in the restaurant industry. His interest, knowledge and experience in that industry lead him to open Mighty J’s with fellow young entrepreneur and business partner Jason Kennedy in October 2010. The restaurant, a first of its kind for Pembroke, is a place where students, staff and locals can come to relax, hang out with friends and eat from a menu including traditional bar food such as fried pickles, hot wings, cheese fries, burgers and homemade sauces. Business has been great and there are plans to open a second restaurant in 2012.

James likes to thank his mother, Belinda Locklear, for pushing him to enter the workforce at an early age. His mom said one day, "Hey, it is time for you to go to work if you keep wanting all these things." And that’s what he did. At 13, James landed his first job at a local Greek restaurant. Since that day, James has kept a restaurant job even while completing undergraduate and graduate degrees. James continues to strive for success. He will graduate in December with a Masters in Public Administration, and plans to apply to a doctoral program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Christopher Gergen
Life Entrepreneurs

Christopher Gergen

Life Entrepreneurs

Christopher Gergen is a founding partner of Life Entrepreneurs, LLC, a leadership development and consulting firm and co-author of Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives. Christopher is also the Founding Executive Director of Bull City Forward, which seeks to establish Durham, NC, as a national model of economic development through social innovation and entrepreneurship.   He's co-founder and a current board member of SMARTHINKING, the leading online tutoring provider in the United States. Other entrepreneurial ventures include starting a coffeehouse/bar dedicated to promoting the arts and music in Santiago, Chile, and helping to launch the “Entrepreneur Corps”—a national service initiative that placed 400 full-time business volunteers for a year of service in over 90 non-profit organizations across the country.

Randy Goins
TriMark Digital

Randy Goins

TriMark Digital

Randy developed a passion for advertising & marketing while in college at Appalachian State University where he earned a degree in Advertising & Communications. Shortly after graduation, Randy started a career selling online advertising which lead to his passion for helping small businesses succeed through search marketing & customer retention strategies. 5 years into his career Randy officially started TriMark Digital, which has become a full service digital marketing agency specializing in lead generation & customer engagement where Goins currently serves a President.

Chris Grams
New Kind

Chris Grams

New Kind

Chris is President and Partner at New Kind, where he builds sustainable brands, cultures, and communities in and around organizations. He is the author of The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Building Successful Brands in a Digital World.

Prior to New Kind, Chris spent 10 years at Red Hat, the world's leading supplier of open source solutions, where he played a key role in building the Red Hat brand and culture, most recently in the role of Senior Director, Brand Communications + Design. Chris blogs for opensource.com, Dark Matter Matters, and is the Community Guide on Gary Hamel's Management Innovation Exchange.

He currently resides in Raleigh, NC and is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Billy Ray Hall
Deborah Hardison
Leslie Hardy
Andrea Harris
Billy Ray Hall
NC Rural Center

Billy Ray Hall

NC Rural Center

Billy Ray is a longtime champion of rural North Carolina. As president of the NC Rural Economic Development Center since its inception in 1987, Hall has guided the center’s work on behalf of the state’s 85 rural counties with the mission of improving quality of life for all North Carolinians. He currently serves on the boards of the Golden LEAF Foundation, the N.C. Biofuels Center, the Kerr-Tar Regional Economic Development Corporation, the N.C. Sustainable Local Food Advisory Council, the e-NC Authority and the N.C. Agricultural Advancement Consortium.

Hall holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from N.C. State University and in 2007 received an honorary doctorate from the university. Other honors have included the Order of the Long Leaf Pine (1997), an award for distinguished service to agriculture from the N.C. Farm Bureau Federation (2008) and a humanitarian award from the N.C. Association of Black County Officials (1998). The Appalachian Regional Commission named Hall one of its People Who Make A Difference in 1995. The Z Smith Reynolds Foundation included him in its Profiles in Leadership in 1998, and in 1999, The News and Observer of Raleigh named him “Tar Heel of the Week.”

Deborah Hardison
RCC Small Business Center

Deborah Hardison

Richmond Community College Small Business Center

Deborah is the RCC Small Business Center’s Director and owner of A New Creation music ensemble.  Deborah’s previous position was with South Carolina State University 1890 Research & Extension at a satellite office located in Bennettsville, SC.  Prior to this, Deborah was employed at William Preston and Associates, LLC, a research, consulting and finance company located in Columbia, SC.  Deborah served as Consortium Manager with Pee Dee Healthy Start, Inc., a prevention program serving pregnant women, parents and families in the rural Pee Dee Region of South Carolina.  She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Clark Atlanta University, majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.  She received her Masters of Science in Cost Accounting and Financial Entrepreneurship from Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. 

Leslie Hardy
Primary Source Group

Leslie Hardy

Primary Source Group

As the President and Owner of Primary Source Group, PLLC (PSG), Leslie believes every individual and family deserves to be supported in identifying their strengths and reaching their full potential and purpose in life. Therefore, she works to foster a collaborative, therapeutic relationship with people and build on their strengths, in order to provide the highest quality of service in helping them reach their desired goals. Leslie seeks to involve pertinent persons (which may include parents, teachers, professionals, and others, in addition to the client) in the process of identifying the needs of those served and working from a team approach to reach the goals of the individual/family.

Andrea Harris
NC IMED

Andrea Harris

NC IMED

Andrea is the President and one of the co-founders of the NC Institute of Minority Economic Development. As President, she directs the
Institute staff in the development of project and programs that remain consistent with the organization’s mission and purpose. Ms. Harris has
considerable experience in community economic development, minority and small business development issues and extensive knowledge of
both state and federal government operations and programs.

Chris Heivly
Eric Henry
Dana Jaunzemis
Kim Jones
Chris Heivly
The Triangle StartUp Factory

Chris Heivly

The Triangle StartUp Factory

Chris Heivly is an accomplished executive in the information-technology sector with proven experience in marketing, sales, business development, investment finance and operations.  His 25+ year diverse career spans a broad range of senior positions in the government sector, a Fortune 150 global company and small, entrepreneurial startups.  He has operated at the highest levels formulating company strategies, launching new businesses and closing non-strategic divisions.

Mr. Heivly has spent the last 2 years launching a software incubator in the Raleigh/Durham area called The Triangle StartUp Factory (also LaunchBox Digital).  Modeled after similar national programs, his leadership and vision has energized the community to support this seed investment program yielding 10+ new startups per year. He has served in executive positions at Ultimus, Agular Systems, Rand McNally, Andersen Consulting (Accenture), R.R. Donnelley and Sons’ 77 Capital, and MapQuest (previously GeoSystems Global Corporation).

A native of the Philadelphia suburbs, Chris received his bachelor’s degree from West Chester University and a Master’s degree from the University of South Carolina, the first candidate to complete the thesis program in less than two years. Married with three children, Chris and his wife Patty reside in Chapel Hill, NC.

Eric Henry
TS Designs

Eric Henry

TS Designs

Eric Henry, president of TS Designs, is one-half of the dynamic duo that owns TSD. Alongside his business partner and TSD CEO Tom Sineath, Eric has been in the screenprinting business for over 30 years.

Eric's duties at TSD range from sales to operations to PR. He is the foremost public face of TSD, attending numerous trade shows, giving speeches to groups and universities and hosting tours of the TSD facility.  His boundless enthusiasm and energy have gained him a certain level of notoriety at most of them, even winning him the Sustainability Champion award from Sustainable North Carolina in 2009.

Outside of TS Designs, Eric devotes much of his time volunteer organizations, serving on the boards of several community associations.  He founded the Burlington Biodiesel Co-op and has run his car on biodiesel (or straight vegetable oil) since 2004.  His latest project is working as a board member of Company Shops Market in downtown Burlington.  Opening in Spring 2011, the local co-op grocery will reconnect local agriculture to Alamance County.  He also serves on the boards of Alamance County Chamber of Commerce, Specialty Graphic Imaging Association, Elon University Environmental Science and the Burlington Downtown Corporation.

 

Dana Jaunzemis
44!deas

Dana Jaunzemis

44!deas

Dana, a lifelong entrepreneur, has been starting, buying, and selling businesses for 25 years in a broad range of industries including construction recycling, music distribution and health testing with individual sales up to two million dollars.  Dana has successfully exited three businesses with her most recent sold to a subsidiary of Steinway Piano.

Dana's forte is to acquire small businesses whose sales have plateaued and reignite their growth by upgrading technology and developing customer focused processes.  She believes entrepreneurship is like owning a boat; the two happiest days of your life are the day you buy and the day you sell.  This is the philosophy on which she manages and grows business; keep it organized and polished for possible sale and ask yourself would you buy it.

When she is not running her companies she enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience through various speaking engagements and on her blog at 44ideas.net.

Kim Jones
Alganomics

Kim Jones

Alganomics

Kimberly is owner/CSO of the entrepreneurial business, Alganomics, LLC, located in Southport, NC.  Alganomics operates to produce reliable, environmentally responsible, natural and renewable bioproducts from algal sources, and to promote the use of renewable energy alternatives.  Jones has over 15 years experience in phycology research.  At Brunswick Community College (BCC), Jones is currently Dept. Chair of Math & Science, a chemistry/biology professor, and Faculty Senate President who has also served as Grants Development Director, Director of College Transfer and Developmental Programs.  She earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Chemistry and Biology and a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and a doctorate in Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from North Carolina State University.  Her most recent publication was in Environmental Science & Technology 2009, vol. 43, on the degradation rates of the harmful algal bloom toxins, domoic and kainic acids.

Dr. Jones is a Wilmington native and currently resides in Southport, with her husband of 26 years, Scott, and their three children: Calley (22), Robert (18) and William (14).  Her husband, Scott, is Owner/Contractor of R.L. Jones & Sons Construction, LLC and her partner in the algae business, serving as Project Manager/Engineer.

Sandi Kronick
Chad Ledford
Daryl Locklear
Donna Lowry
Sandi Kronick
Eastern Carolina Organics

Sandi Kronick

Eastern Carolina Organics

Sandi is founder and ceo of Eastern Carolina Organics (ECO), whose mission is to cultivate a sustainable food system by providing a viable production and distribution network to customers and farmers.  ECO has a unique business model that is owned in partnership between managers and farmers.  In addition to marketing and distribution, ECO offers holistic support such as business and production planning services, post-harvest handling and packaging training to farmers, knowing that those elements are critical in NC family farmers’ ability to compete with the global organic food supply.  In 2010, Sandi received a “40 Under 40” Triangle business leadership award and traveled to Chile on behalf of the Chilean Trade Commission to give lectures about the US organic marketplace.  Sandi worked with the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, and started ECO in 2004 with a $48,000 grant to CFSA from the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

Chad Ledford
3Tailer

Chad Ledford

3Tailer

Chad Ledford established his passion for eCommerce in early 2005 while exploring the online sock market in his dorm room at Appalachian State University where he earned his degree in Business Management. Before this time, Chad spent his summers selling socks door-to-door across NC, SC, and TN with his grandfather. This experience lead him to explore the unique idea of selling socks online, thus spawning the first of many websites to come. Chad later partnered with Jon West to successfully identify more niche opportunities online under the 3tailer brand where he currently serves as CEO.

Daryl Locklear
Charlie T. Locklear Vineyard & Winery

Daryl Locklear

Charlie T. Locklear Vineyard & Winery

Charlie T Locklear Vineyard & Winery is wholly owned and operated by Charlie T. Locklear, Charlie T. Locklear, Jr. and Daryl W. Locklear. We are proud members of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolilna.
The idea of owning and operating a commercial winery was nothing but a dream for my father, and it probably was not even thought of as an attainable dream 15 years ago. Charlie toiled on the family farm growing up, where his family grew cotton, tobacco, corn, soybeans, cucumbers; raised livestock; and planted and harvested vegetables for the table. He was the fourth son in a family of ten siblings, and he learned at an early age that hard work was a part of life. Following years working the farm, he worked as a mechanic, then served in the Army reserves and finally worked in the manufactured home industry. Charlie has a tenacious personality and has never accepted the concept that dreams cannot be obtained.
My brother and I have always been my father’s little helpers, and he taught us as we grew up on the farm that hard work makes the body and mind stronger. With this instilled in us at an early age, we have never been afraid of hard work. So the challenges that a vineyard and winery presented did not scare us away. In fact, we embraced it as a family and began the task of building a family legacy. This has been a family venture from the beginning and we have done all the labor, design and layout ourselves, with nothing more than the desire to achieve.

Together we took a small part of the farm and planted Muscadine vines and converted an old storage building into the wine production facility, which also houses the retail wine store. Currently with the vines we have planted we can produce approximately 3000 cases of wine per year when we are in full production.
Donna Lowry
Caring Touch Home Health Care

Donna Lowry

Caring Touch Home Health Care

Donna Lowry is owner, President and CEO of Caring Touch Home and Behavioral Health Care a nationally accredited company by Joint Commission which employs over 600 individuals and provides services to over 800 patients in an eight county service area.  Established in 2005, Caring Touch has grown to become one of the regions largest healthcare providers specializing in Home Health and Behavioral Health Services.  The Corporate headquarters is located in Pembroke, North Carolina with an affiliate office in Lumberton.  Donna is a licensed registered nurse in NC and SC.  

Jeff Mackanic
Robert Mayo
Chris McCurry
Jason Merrill
Jeff Mackanic
Red Hat

Jeff Mackanic

Red Hat

Jeff Mackanic has been at Red Hat for more than ten years and is currently the Senior Director of Brand Communications and Design. After several stints with varying levels of success at many e-commerce companies, Jeff became one of the original employees at Akopia, which delivered ecommerce solutions based on the Interchange platform. After Red Hat acquired Akopia, Jeff spent several years in Red Hat Consulting. Jeff has also worked in IT and marketing during his tenure at Red Hat.

Robert Mayo
Carolina Classics Catfish

Robert Mayo

Carolina Classics Catfish

Founded Carolina Classics Catfish, Inc. in 1985 and built it over the years into a $20 million, vertically-integrated aquaculture business (feed milling, hatchery, farming, processing, sales).  Recruited farmers in eastern North Carolina to contract farm for the company.  Focused company's products on the premium quality niche of the US seafood industry; during the past decade, established company's Natural Catfish products for national distribution to Whole Foods Market and other fine grocery and foodservice customers.  Have served on a number of industry boards and committees, including the NC Legislative Committee on Seafood and Aquaculture, and the 12-member USDA-Organic Aquaculture Working Group.

Chris McCurry
Bark House

Chris McCurry

Bark House

Chris has received multiple awards and has been recognized as “Innovator of the Year” by the regional Economic Development Council, Advantage West.  Her work has been featured in over 90 important publications.  She has traveled five continents exploring the integration of local traditions and utilization of local resources in building communities. Chris is the co-author of Bark House Style: Sustainable Designs from Nature, published by Gibbs Smith.  Chris and her husband created the Bark House® brand.  It is a powerful reflection of ancient hearts with timeless minds.  She is both dynamic and pragmatic.  A wife of 24 years, business owner for 20 and mother of one son, Chris is grounded in reality and is at the same time, a powerful thought leader and change agent. 

Jason Merrill
Back Alley Bikes

Jason Merrill

Back Alley Bikes

Jason opened Back Alley Bikes in 2007.  Originally housed in the back of a building accessible via a gravel alley off of Graham St. in Chapel Hill, the name of the shop was a helpful descriptor, not just a catchy title.  "Legitimate Bike Shop" just doesn't have the same ring to it, so the Back Alley Bikes moniker has stuck even though the alley location was given up in 2009 in favor of a bona fide retail storefront.   

Julie Mullins - Fiberactive Optics
Jean Orelien
Governor Bev Perdue
Janis Petit - SmarTrack
Julie Mullin
Fiberactive Organics

Julie Mullin

Fiberactive Organics

Julie owns Fiberactive Organics, LLC, a producer of diverse lines of organic cotton products including table linens, place of worship products, natural burial vessels, and sewing materials, located in Raleigh, NC. Julie specializes in developing organic cotton products that do not exist in the market anywhere in the world. These products include organic cotton sewing thread, colored grosgrain ribbon, embroidery floss and much more.  The company also provides prototyping and cut-and-sew services to entrepreneurs around the country. 

Julie’s staff is made up entirely of Montagnard refugee women, providing them an array of services.  Julie recently founded the Montagnard Education Fund to provide tuition money for the children of her staff and their relatives around the world.

Julie trains the next generation of fiber professionals by utilizing a constant flow of interns from local colleges. She also mentors new business owners across the US, and offers product development from the waste stream of textile companies in the region. 

Jean Orelien
SciMetrika

Jean Orelien

SciMetrika

Dr. Jean Orelien founded SciMetrika, LLC in 2001. He has more than a decade of experience as a senior statistician and project manager on projects funded by agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services. He is an expert in the development of sophisticated statistical programs, the utilization of statistical methods to analyze epidemiological data, survey analysis, and the use of SUDAAN and SAS software.

Dr. Orelien received his doctorate of public health in biostatistics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his master of statistics from North Carolina State University. He has authored a number of technical and scientific papers and presentations and is a member of the American Statistical Association and the American Public Health Association. 

Governor
Bev Perdue

NC Office of
the Governor

Governor Bev Perdue

NC Office of the Governor

The inauguration of Beverly Eaves Perdue as the 73rd Governor of North Carolina - and our state's first woman governor - follows a distinguished tenure in public service focused on creating 21st century jobs, fighting for world-class public schools, and improving the health of our people. Before entering public service, Perdue worked as a public school teacher, as director of geriatric services at a community hospital in her hometown of New Bern, and earned a Ph.D. in Education Administration.

Prior to her election as Governor, Perdue established herself as one of the most active and accomplished Lieutenant Governors in North Carolina history.

 

Janis Pettit
SmarTrack

Janis Pettit

SmarTrack

Janis Pettit, CEO of SmarTrack, is a small business mastery coach and marketing mentor who shows small, solo and home-based business owners how to master the entrepreneurial and marketing skills they need to get more clients, make more money, work less hours and move toward financial independence.
She is particularly passionate about helping empower women entrepreneurs achieve the success they deserve. Before founding SmarTrack in 2001, Janis owned three other successful businesses.

Her online publication, Big Results Insider reaches more than 15,000 small business owners weekly.

Janis is committed to serving others through her work, helping clients find passion, purpose, profit and independence. She currently lives with her family in Wake Forest NC.

Darrin Redus - Jump Start
Charles Rice
Dan Roselli
Reyad Sawafta
Darrin Redus
Jumpstart Inclusion Advisors

Darrin Redus

Jumpstart Inclusion Advisors

Darrin leads Jumpstart Inclusion Advisors, which guides the women, minority, and inner-city based entrepreneurs seeking to build larger scale national and international firms. He is also Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Redus Small Business Advisors, LLC, a strategic planning and management assistance firm established in 2003. Darrin previously dedicated 16 years to the commercial banking and finance industry, holding a series of senior level management positions with National City Corporation and KeyCorp. Over the past 15 years, Darrin has led a series of workshops and seminars on economic development and diversity.

Charles Rice
Kellex Corporation

Charles Rice

Kellex Corporation

Currently, Charles serves as CEO of Kellex Corporation.  Kellex Corporation, a company he formed with his brother Chris, and a partner, Doug Fawcett in Ohio in 1995.  Kellex is one of the country’s largest providers of furniture for the hospitality industry.   In 2008, Kellex Corp invested in a manufacturing facility in Valdese, North Carolina (formerly Hickory Hill Furniture) to build upholstered furniture for the hospitality markets.  In 2010, they entered into the residential upholstered furniture market through the Nautica Home brand, and, formed a joint venture with Art Van Furniture in Michigan to expand their presence as a US manufacturing company . During his tenure, he has served as  President of Jaclyn Smith International, responsible for licensing the Jaclyn Smith brand at Kmart/Sears and developing her home fashion program.  He has worked with Sears Holding to develop their online, direct to home furniture program.     

Dan Roselli
RED F &
Packard Place

Dan Roselli

REDF and Packard Place

As president of RED F, Dan has provided a dynamic strategic direction for the firm by using Jim Collins’ concept of BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious
Goals). Before joining RED F, Dan was a member of the operating committee at Bank of America serving as the Brand and Advertising
Executive. As Vice President of Marketing for Allied-Domecq, he established Kahlua and Sauza as two of the top five fastest growing spirit
brands in the world. Dan has been recognized in The Charlotte Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list.   

Reyad Sawafta
QuarTek

Reyad Sawafta

Quartek

Dr. Reyad Sawafta is the president and chief executive officer of QuarTek Corporation, a privately-held nanotechnology company that he founded in 2004. In his role, he oversees a myriad of business functions, keeps abreast on new developments in science and technology, devotes attention to the complexities associated with research and development, and continues to apply his innate drive and ambition to foster a bright and prosperous future for QuarTek Corporation. Prior to founding QuarTek Corporation, he held various positions of increasing responsibility in academia and private industry. Dr. Sawafta has served on numerous national and international advisory committees and boards and has received many prestigious awards. His expertise includes nuclear physics, high speed technology, magnetic applications and designs, biotechnology and nanotechnology. Dr. Sawafta obtained his Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from the University of Alberta, Canada in 1986 and a B.Sc. in Physics (1980) from Yarmouk University in Jordan. Dr. Sawafta is an inventor on numerous patents and patent applications; he has also authored more than 150 scientific papers and has presented more than 100 invited talks worldwide.

Rob Segovia-Welsh
Anne Shaw
Trevor Sherrick
Jeff Stern - TROSA
Rob Segovia-Welsh
Chicken Bridge Bakery

Rob Segovia-Welsh

Chicken Bridge Bakery

Chicken Bridge Bakery is a family operation made up of Rob, Monica and their small son, Simon, who occasionally helps and is forever tasting.  After working several years in a handful of bakeries, in northern Wisconsin and North Carolina, they decided to build theirr own wood-fired oven to bake homemade artisan, hearth baked bread using as many local flavors as possible.  

In the winter of 2009, the pair started the Community Supported Bread (CSB) project to get their bread into the hands of local folks.  Since the first month, membership in the month-by-month CSB has grown and they still have room for more.  Their members pay a monthly fee to be delivered a different loaf of bread each week.  Rob and Monica believe the CSB model is one which overcomes the barriers of alienation between farmer, baker, commodities and consumers.  They have direct relationships with the local people that supply ingredients, from the millers to the farmers to the brewers.  They also believe that their small scale business model has allowed for continual, but sustainable, growth permitting them to adapt their business to their lifestyle and not the other way around.    

Anne Shaw
NC Small Business Center Network

Anne Shaw

NC Small Business Center Network

Bio to be added.
   

Trevor Sherrick
Calyber Boatworks

Trevor Sherrick

Calyber Boatworks

Trevor Sherrick was in the boating industry for 10 years before going into business for himself. In 2001, he started Calyber Boatworks in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, building custom-made sport-fishing boats ranging from 35 to 60 feet in length. The boats go all over the world – from the United States to Australia, Japan and Europe – and in 2004, Trevor moved Calyber Boatworks to Edenton, North Carolina for a larger plant.

Calyber Boatworks is developing several new product ideas around the green economy. In 2010, Trevor went to a green energy seminar in Raleigh where he met a group of green energy professionals. Together they came up with the idea for the “Sprout,” an 8-foot tall, self-sufficient computer that tracks weather data through a Wi-Fi database.

Jeff Stern
TROSA

Jeff Stern

TROSA

Jeff Stern has worked in the social sector for over 15 years, as a volunteer, staff member, executive director and board member. His 2003 Duke MBA focused on social entrepreneurship, strategy and marketing. He is currently Director of Special Projects for TROSA, where  TROSA Grocery is one of his responsibilities. He is also currently board chair for Social Enterprise Network of the Triangle and a volunteer with Triangle United Way.

Roddy Tempest
Rachel Weeks
Patrick Woodie
Chris Yura
Roddy Tempest
Tempest Environmental Systems

Roddy Tempest

Tempest Environmental Systems

Dr. Roddy Tempest has been a global leader in innovation, research and development of state-of-the-art systems for the purification of drinking water, industrial process water and wastewater for over 25 years. As Chief Executive Officer of AQUAPURA® and Tempest Environmental Systems, he has designed equipment and systems utilizing the most effective and advanced technologies in water purification with projects in 56 countries and orbiting the earth. Tempest specializes in water re-use for LEED projects and “green buildings”, disaster response, recovery and reconstruction on a global basis.  He has served as the United States Government’s lead water & sanitation engineer on multiple Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) for the DoD, USAID and the United Nations around the world. 

He has been involved in disaster response and recovery projects ranging from the earthquakes in Kobe Japan, Turkey, Greece and Taiwan – to the Balkan war in Kosovo – to the massive floods in Central America and Venezuela and hurricanes in the US and Latin America. After the September 11th terrorist attacks on America, one of Tempest’s patented technologies was the only technology selected by the U.S. Government for the purification of water against terrorist attacks on government facilities. Dr. Tempest has his Masters in Business Administration from Duke and a Doctorate in Science from Canterbury with Post Doctorate work again at Duke, specializing in Environmental Engineering.

 

Rachel Weeks
School House

Rachel Weeks

School House

In 2007, Rachel Weeks traveled to Sri Lanka as a Fulbright Scholar to build a socially responsible clothing company. Her dream, which started with a t-shirt and an order from her alma mater at Duke, has transformed into School House, a fashion-forward, ethically sourced collegiate apparel brand.

Within two years, School House has grown its collegiate collections from one to 102 North American campuses and has spurred sales past the $1M mark. As School House enters its next stage of development, its young entrepreneur and CEO is proud to move manufacturing to the US. Their exclusive collections of men’s and women’s tees, hoodies, dresses, lounge pants and more are available at college bookstores nationwide and online. Rachel and the company have been featured in Teen Vogue, WWD and Wall Street Journal.  

Patrick Woodie
NC Rural Center

Patrick Woodie

NC Rural Center

Patrick Woodie joined the NC Rural Economic Development Center staff in October of 2006 as the Vice President of Rural Development Programs for the North Carolina Rural Center.  At the Rural Center, Patrick oversees capacity-building programs in the areas of Physical Infrastructure, Business Development, Workforce Development, and Civic & Social Infrastructure.  Patrick is a native of Alleghany County, located in northwestern North Carolina, and a graduate of Wake Forest University and Wake Forest School of Law.  Prior to his work at the Rural Center, Patrick was Executive Director of New River Community Partners and the Blue Ridge Business Development Center in Sparta, NC, both non-profits engaged in community and economic development.  Patrick help found New River Community Partners when the New River was designated one of fourteen American Heritage Rivers by President Clinton in 1998.  NRCP assisted New River communities in leveraging more than $40 million in federal, state, and local government funding, as well as private foundation funding, to implement community-initiated projects.  Patrick served one term as Alleghany County Commissioner and is a former Executive Director of the Alleghany County Chamber of Commerce.  He was a founding member of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area; and in 2005, he received the Rural Center’s annual award for “Outstanding Rural Leadership”.

Chris Yura
SustainU

Chris Yura

SustainU

As Founder and CEO of SustainU, Chris is responsible for leading the company and overseeing all aspects of its business development initiatives designed to achieve long term growth. Mr. Yura recently was an invited guest to The White House with other leading entrepreneurs under 30 years old. Prior to launching SustainU, he gathered and developed his experience in the fashion and entertainment industry in New York City, while maintaining his interest and involvement in social and environmental-related issues. Previously, he served in managerial roles within the customer service field, developing marketing strategies and strategic business initiatives to attract prospective clients.
Chris attended the University of Notre Dame where he was a four-year letterman and stand-out fullback for the Fighting Irish football team, and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Computer Applications.