2013 Speakers

The NC Entrepreneurship Summit speakers include entrepreneurs at all levels, community leaders, business assistance providers and academics. They have had converstations with attendees about several topics including bootstrapping, co-working, community involvement, health care, music industry, non-profit, public policy, and recreational tourism.

Keynote Speaker
Doug Lebda | Chairman, Chief Executive Officer & Founder of LendingTree

photo of Doug LebdaFrustrated by getting his first mortgage, Doug Lebda saw a need to empower consumers in what is, for most, the largest financial transaction in their lives –- financing their home. He envisioned a process where lenders would compete for the borrower’s business in a fair and open marketplace. And through this process, lenders would be able to connect with exactly the right consumers to grow. With that vision, LendingTree.com was founded in 1996 and has revolutionized how consumers shop for loans and how lenders reach new customers, recently helping the 30 millionth borrower through the mortgage process.

After the company was founded in 1996, it was launched nationally in July 1998. Doug led LendingTree through a successful IPO in 2000, through the dot-com meltdown of 2001 and a successful sale to IAC/InteractiveCorp in 2003. From 2005 to 2008, Doug served as IAC’s President and Chief Operating Officer, leading the company through a transition from a holding company to a unified operating company. In 2008, Doug rejoined Tree.com as it spun out from IAC as a separate public company. Today, Tree.com connects consumers and businesses more broadly than just mortgages including cars, auto finance, education and home services.

In 2010, Doug launched the LendingTree Foundation which empowers individuals in their personal financial lives through education, action and support by matching clients with personal financial coaches. He’s also a former Trustee for the Darden School Foundation and a former Board member of the Bucknell Alumni Board.

In addition to LendingTree and his non-profit work, Doug helps lead other companies that are transforming the way consumers transact online. He’s the Chairman of the Board of Recyclebank (recently named one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world), Co-Founder of Tykoon (an innovative financial platform for families and children) and is an active mentor and angel investor. In his free time, he enjoys time with his 3 daughters, is an avid runner and enjoys an occasional round of golf. He’s also completed two ironman triathlons, and recently summited Mount Rainier with a group of LendingTree employees.

Panelists & Moderators

Mor Aframian
Mark Bruinooge
Rob Cummings
Susan Daniel
Mor Aframian
Redress Raleigh
Raleigh, NC

@MagicMor
@RedressRaleigh

Mor Aframian

Redress Raleigh

Panelist: The New Manufacturing Entrepreneur

Co-founder of Redress Raleigh, Mor Aframian is the company’s Director of Brand Development and Community Relations. She received her Masters’ in Social Entrepreneurship & Economic Development from North Carolina State University’s College of Textiles after earning her Bachelor’s in Apparel & Textile Product Management at NCSU.

Mor is a dynamic, passionate social entrepreneur who is always interested in facilitating a connection between designers, manufacturers and supplies in the fashion & textiles industry.

Mark Bruinooge
Tykoon & Seismic Partners
Charlotte, NC

@MBruin554
@TykoonNation

Mark Bruinooge

Tykoon & Seismic Partners

Panelist: What is Driving Social Impact Investing?

Mark Bruinooge has broad experience in developing new concepts and managing new ventures in the digital interactive and consumer markets. Mark is currently the CEO and co-founder of Tykoon, a company on a mission to change the way kids think about and use money.  Mark is also a co-founder of Seismic Partners, a business transformation and new venture development company with offices in Charlotte, NC, Southport CT and Los Angeles, CA.  Seismic has launched three start-ups over the past 4 years and has also helped several larger enterprise clients transform through facilitated open innovation and business transformation programs.

Prior to founding Seismic in 2005, Mark helped develop ecommerce strategy at Bank of America (BAC).  Prior to BAC, Mark advised and invested in early stage ecommerce and technology companies while at Hambrecht & Quist (acquired by JPMorgan).  Mark began his career at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. where he worked in the M&A and private equity groups.  He holds a BA in English from Lafayette College and studied abroad at Regent’s College in the UK.

Mark has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, Mashable and Business Insider where he has commented on technology, digital engagement and driving positive change through innovation.

When family and work aren’t keeping him busy, Mark plays guitar in a band with other time starved entrepreneurs.

Rob Cummings
DealCloud
Charlotte, NC

@RobCummingsCLT
@DealCloudNation

Rob Cummings

DealCloud

Panelist: Showcase of Charlotte Entrepreneurs

Rob Cummings is a co-founder and strategic advisor at DealCloud, which he and Ed McMahan launched in September 2010 to create a better way to manage the complex relationships between buyers, sellers, service providers, lenders, investors, portfolio companies, and industry experts. Rob is also the CIO at Falfurrias Capital Partners. “The DealCloud” combines Falfurrias’ knowledge of investment banking and private equity and Rob’s ability in proprietary software design. Previously Rob helped a software startup, Sales Vision, grow into YOUcentric, then led that through a series of acquisitions that landed him at PeopleSoft (now Oracle). He then had successful stops at Chordiant Software and MobileHWY.  

Rob has an undergraduate degree from Virginia and an M.B.A from Seton Hall University. Rob sits on the Board of Directors of Charlotte Center City Partners and is a Co-Founder and Board Member for the Charlotte Regional Technology Executives Council (CRTEC). Rob was acknowledged by the Charlotte Business Journal as one of Charlotte’s “40 under 40” up-and-coming business leaders in 2007.

Susan Daniel
Social Ventures Partners
Charlotte, NC

Susan Daniel

Social Ventures Partners

Panelist: What is Driving Social Impact Investing?

Susan Daniel is the Executive Director of Social Venture Partners (SVP), a global network of local partners addressing critical community needs through venture philanthropy. SVP brings the collective expertise, time, and financial resources of its members to develop and support promising social initiatives and/or nonprofit organizations.

SVP also has developed and produced SEED20, an annual spring program to discover, spotlight, and fund social entrepreneurs whose great ideas are influencing breakthrough social impact in the greater Charlotte area. 

Prior to joining SVP five years ago, Susan’s background included starting and running her own business venture, working in sales and marketing with Cadmus Communications, and leading volunteer engagement at a local nonprofit.  Additionally, she has served on several nonprofit boards with Loaves & Fishes being among her favorites.  A graduate of St. Mary’s College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she is married to John Daniel, and they have three grown children.

Gart Davis
Lisa Frame
Greg Gentner
Mariano deGuzman
Gart Davis
Spoonflower
Durham, NC

@GartDavis
@Spoonflower

Gart Davis

Spoonflower

Moderator: The New Manufacturing Entrepreneur

Gart Davis is the founder and owner of Spoonflower, a new manufacturing venture in Durham.  Whether it is steel, mortgages, education, publishing, or textiles, he has always enjoyed contributing to projects that transform industries for the benefit of the consumer. He spends 5-7 years in each new venture, learning, building, and creating a legacy of transformed industries. Gart’s focus is creating high performance teams that build strategic technology. From his consulting career, he brings backgrounds in pure software architecture, large project management, and business strategy. As an executive he has run operations, corporate strategy, product lifecycle, sales teams, and marketing & branding.

Lisa Frame
Daily Pinch
Charlotte, NC

@Lisa_Frame
@Daily_Pinch

Lisa Frame

Daily Pinch

Panelist: Turbo Charging Your Marketing & Social Media

Lisa M. Frame is an over achieving Southern Gal. Blogging since 2002, Lisa has developed a solid community and has turned many in her Social Network into her Real Life Network. As part of the groundbreaking #Tweeta20 featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy for social media fundraising, she fell in love with taking her volunteer work online by performing acts of social good. Lisa has worked with brands ranging from Ford Motor Company, Toyota, UbiSoft and Verizon Wireless.

A freelance writer and professional blogger, Lisa has written on assignment for The Savvy Source, MomLogic, Intel’s My Life Scoop, and has been quoted by Forbes Woman and Parent Central Canada.

Currently, Lisa is working for Digital Family Summit as speaker wrangler and on content development. She previously was Community Manager for #ToyotaWomen (with Clever Girls Collective), is a Houzz contributor and co-owner of new artisan focused site, Straight Up Crafty.

She is an avid reader, photographer, coffee addict and best described as a whirling dervish.

Greg Gentner
rFactr
Charlotte, NC

@GregGentner
@rFactr

Greg Gentner

rFactr

Panelist: Showcase of Charlotte Entrepreneurs

As the Chief Operating Officer at rFactr, Greg Gentner is responsible for the successful activation and execution of social media and event solutions for corporate clients. His wealth of experience has helped him become one of the leading experts in social media strategy and the operational aspects of social networking. Having worked with some of the nation’s leading brands, Greg understands and can communicate the essential steps for creating strategies that align directly with overall company business objectives.

Mariano deGuzman
Appalatch
Asheville, NC

@Appalatch

Mariano deGuzman

Appalatch

Panelist: The New Manufacturing Entrepreneur

Mariano deGuzman and Grace Gouin started Appalatch in 2012 to channel their frustration about an unsustainable apparel industry that created throwaway fashion made with unsustainable materials and poor labor practices. The alternatives were to purchase high-quality, American made products that were incredibly expensive or to buy sustainably made clothing that mimicked fast-fashion.  Appalatch was founded with the idea of changing the way clothes are made, sold and used for the good.  CEO Mariano is sourcing materials directly with American suppliers, including in Morganton and Hendersonville, NC. By selling direct to consumer via Appalatch's website, they are able to create high quality, ethically made American products at a price comparable to products made abroad.  Mariano is from Kenosha, Wisconsin, and studied at UW-Madison before working with AmeriCorps and CARE, and he attended Harvard before making his way to a town of 464 people in Western North Carolina in hopes of applying what he learned while not breaking things.

Debbie Hamrick
Chris Harrington
Tim Janke
Kip Johnson
Debbie Hamrick
NC Farm Bureau Federation
Raleigh, NC

@NCFarmBureau

Debbie Hamrick

NC Farm Bureau Federation

Moderator: Statewide Engine of Local Food

Debbie Hamrick is Director of Specialty Crops for the NC Farm Bureau Federation in Raleigh.  For the past five years Debbie has served on the statewide Local Sustainable Foods Advisory Council and as chair of that group’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Subcommittee. She continues to work with a broad range of groups across the state on local foods issues among other areas. She is a member of the North Carolina Catch Board, serves as an advisor to the Friends Board of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and advises more than a dozen specialty crops organizations within North Carolina agriculture. She is equally comfortable communicating with multinational executives and a single-employee producer selling direct at small farmers markets. Prior to joining NCFB in 2004 she spent nearly 20 years with Ball Publishing in Chicago.

Chris Harrington
Business Direct,
Wells Fargo
Charlotte, NC

@ChrisHarrington

Chris Harrington

Business Direct, Wells Fargo

Panelist: Turbo Charging Your Marketing & Social Media

Chris Harrington is backed by 13 years of experience in building and growing digital, social and emerging media teams. Outside of the office, he has presented at conferences about his successes in social media and mass collaboration. He has garnered public recognition across hundreds of new and traditional media channels including CNN, TV Guide, USA Today, Wired, CNET, and the New York Post.

Chris has received national attention as a social media strategist while developing campaigns for businesses, celebrities, social movements, major sporting teams and events. He has worked with Amazon.com studying social influence; former number one in the world tennis star Jim Courier; the effort to bring the Democratic National Convention to Charlotte in 2012; CSI NY television star Hill Harper; and Columbia House parent company Direct Brands.

In addition to a broad social media background, Chris is experienced in interactive development, search engine marketing, web analytics, search optimization and has developed a custom content management system. Prior to LGA, he was a technology manager and interactive developer for Lyerly Agency in Charlotte. Chris attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he studied English and Technical Communications.

Tim Janke
SBTDC / Inception Micro Angel Fund (IMAF)
Greensboro, NC

Tim Janke

SBTDC / Inception Micro Angel Fund (IMAF)

Panelist: Equity Crowdfunding: Where Are We Now?

Tim Janke is the Director of Private Equity Initiatives for the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC).  He previously served as the SBTDC’s Director of Technology Development and Commercialization, and Director of the Northeastern Piedmont Regional Service Center.  In addition, Tim is a co-founder and Executive Fund Director of the Inception Micro Angel Fund (IMAF) headquartered in the Piedmont Triad, and is currently expanding the IMAF Family of Funds across North Carolina. 

Kip Johnson
Morningstar Law Group
Morrisville, NC

Kip Johnson

Morningstar Law Group

Panelist: Equity Crowdfunding: Where Are We Now?

Kip Johnson is an experienced securities and technology attorney.  Since 2005, Kip has helped clients raise more than $500 million of venture capital, private equity and angel investments to grow their businesses.  Kip also assists clients on strategic alliances, technology transfer and licensing arrangements, mergers and acquisitions, employee recruitment and retention issues and commercialization strategies for new technologies.  Kip works with clients from seed-stage start-ups to mature operating companies.  He also represents a number of investment funds in fund formation, syndication and portfolio company investments.

Patsy Kinsey
Troy Knauss
John Lassiter
Rick Levine
Patsy Kinsey
Mayor of the Charlotte
Charlotte, NC

@CLTMayor

Patsy Kinsey

Mayor of Charlotte

Panelist: Local Host's Welcome

TBA

Troy Knauss
Angel Resource Institute / Guardant Partners
@TroyKnauss

Troy Knauss

Angel Resource Institute / Guardant Partners

Panelist: Equity Crowdfunding: Where Are We Now?

Troy Knauss is a partner in a number of angel funds that invest in early-stage, high-growth and turnaround companies.  In addition to his fund activities, Troy is a multi-exited entrepreneur with start-up and growth management experience in food processing, manufacturing, marketing and brand building, software development, and eCommerce sales channels. Troy also serves as President for the Angel Resource Institute, is a former Board member of the Angel Capital Association, adjunct professor at Wake Forest University, and co-author of “Get In, Get Out: 100 Rules for Successful Start-up Deals.”

John Lassiter
Carolina Legal Staffing
Charlotte & Raleigh, NC

John Lassiter

Carolina Legal Staffing

Keynote: Day 2, Lunch

John Lassiter is President of Carolina Legal Staffing LLC, a service company with offices in Charlotte, Raleigh, Columbia and Greenville, that provides permanent and temporary attorneys and support staff to law firms and corporate legal departments throughout North and South Carolina. His company was named to the INC5000 five times and recognized by Business Leader Magazine as a top 300 small business in the southeast. Prior to starting his company, he was a Senior Vice President and Counsel with Belk Stores and an Assistant Attorney General with the N.C. Carolina Department of Justice.

John served three terms on the Charlotte City Council as well as the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education.  He chaired the Transition Steering Committee for Governor Pat McCrory and serves as Chair of the North Carolina Economic Development Board.

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, John and his wife Beverly have two adult sons. John has both undergraduate and law degrees from Wake Forest University.

Rick Levine
XOAB Socks
San Francisco & Boulder
@RickLevine
@XOABsocks

Rick Levine

XOAB Socks

Panelist: The New Manufacturing Entrepreneur

Rick Levine founded fashion brand XOAB with his brother Neil in 2012. Rick is a soup-to-nuts serial entrepreneur, with a bent towards creating companies that produce things. In the last 30 years, his experience has ranged from software development to consumer goods. He's raised millions of dollars for his companies, driven technology, product and brand innovation and created world-class teams.  As the son of a ceramist, Rick has always been attracted to the tactile and real. Much of his work, despite often being buttressed by technology in some form, revolves around anchoring product and brand experience in the real world, with tangible effects and consequences. Rick is co-author of the New York Times business best-seller The Cluetrain Manifesto, about conversations, our voices, and how the internet changed the marketplace forever.

Travis Manigan
Kseniya Martin
Abhishek Mehta
Michelle Menard
Travis Manigan
GamePlan
Charlotte, NC
@truthseeker70

Travis Manigan

GamePlan

Panelist: Showcase of Charlotte Entrepreneurs

Travis Manigan got the idea for his tech startup "GamePlan" by reflecting on the time he spent in the classroom as a U.S. history teacher. Fed up with the lack of college and career knowledge of his students, Travis set out to develop GamePlan, which will capture student interests, then using an algorithm, match the students to careers and colleges. Colleges will then analyze data points from students' GamePlan profiles to recruit specific students who match the profile of their university and are likely to thrive in that environment. 

Travis is currently the Director of Business Development for Perkins Management Services, a defense and higher education contractor headquartered in Charlotte with contracts in eleven states. Prior to joining Perkins, Travis was the Director of Outreach for U.S. Congressman Larry Kissell and has also served with U.S. Congressman David Price.

Kseniya Martin
Edison Nation Medical
Charlotte, NC
@KseniyaMartin
@enmedical

Kseniya Martin

Edison Nation Medical

Panelist: Turbo Charging Your Marketing & Social Media

Passionate about digital marketing, helping others be the best they can be, and promoting Charlotte to the world. Obsessed with solving problems and curating content. Happiest when connecting with people, going on foodventures, and traveling the world with a camera in hand.  Kseniya is currently a marketing manager at Edison Nation Medical and is responsible for social media and content marketing.  She currently sits on the board of the local chapter of the American Marketing Association, contributes to multiple blogs and business ventures and volunteers with various local charity events.

Abhishek Mehta
Tresata
Charlotte, NC

@ab_hi_
@tresata

Abhishek Mehta

Tresata

Panelist: Showcase of Charlotte Entrepreneurs

Abhishek Mehta is chief executive and founder of Tresata, a big data company attempting to "transform the socio-economic models as they exist...by accentuating what’s good and fixing what’s not."  At Tresata, Abhi has been key in defining the technology vision, market dynamics, sales approach and product roadmap and is a much sought after thought leader in the big data industry.

Prior to Tresata, Abhi consistently applied his business, sales and technology expertise to bring to market new products and services across a range of industries globally (Bank of America, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Arthur Andersen) . He is widely recognized as having created the first big data analytics capability in banking.

Michelle Menard
Choice Translating
Charlotte, NC

Michelle Menard

Choice Translating

Panelist: Shifting Gears

Michelle Luhr Menard founded Choice Translating in 1995 while an undergraduate at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Today, shaped by Michelle's vision to "Change the World, One Word at a Time," the company is a multimillion dollar borderless business.

Michelle holds a B.S.B.A. in international business and a B.A. in French from UNC Charlotte. In 2000, the U.S. Small Business Administration named her North Carolina Young Entrepreneur of the Year. She was recognized in 2004 as one of the Charlotte Business Journal's "40 Under 40" high achievers and was a finalist for Business North Carolina magazine's Small Business of the Year award in 2005. In 2007 she received the Charlotte Business Journal's "Women in Business" achievement award. She was recognized as one of the "50 Most Influential Women" by The Mecklenburg Times in 2011.

Michelle has been an active member of the Entrepreneurs' Organization Charlotte Chapter since 2002 and is an alumna of Leadership Charlotte Class XXV. She currently serves on the advisory board of the UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business and on the House Committee for the Charlotte City Club.

Smithson Mills
Steve Monti
Cassie Parsons
David Phillips
Smithson Mills
Smithson Mills, Inc.
Asheville, NC

Smithson Mills

Smithson Mills

Panelist: The Statewide Engine of Local Food

Smithson Mills is a social entrepreneur and project developer supporting local food production in North Carolina.  Smithson served as lead project developer for Blue Ridge Food Ventures in Candler, NC near Asheville.  This 11,000 sq. ft. shared-use kitchen incubator and natural products manufacturing facility is the largest in the Southeast and one of the most successful of its kind in the nation. From 2007 to 2011, Smithson led the successful development of the Foothills Pilot Plant, a small-scale poultry and rabbit processing facility in Marion NC that serves independent producers in the Southern Appalachian Region.  Mills assists local governments and nonprofits in determining the viability of rural economic development strategies.

Steve Monti
Solidarity Capital Group
NC

Steve Monti

Solidarity Capital Group

Panelist: What is Driving Social Impact Investing?

Steve Monti is Managing Director of Solidarity Capital Group and an angel investor.  He worked at IBM for 20 years and was an intrapreneur there, as he helped launch or accelerate four different ventures.  He was itching to serve alongside folks working on social justice issues.  He hit upon the idea of tapping asset pockets instead of charitable pockets, which led him to impact investing.  Steve draws angel investors into deeper engagement with their local communities by giving them opportunities to invest in some of the same businesses and organizations with which they already work or serve, organizations they can touch and trust.  Steve helped create the Investors Circle local network in North Carolina.  He has been active in statewide discussions about the “fourth sector” of private companies doing social good.

Cassie Parsons
Grateful Growers Farm & Harvest Moon Grille
Charlotte, NC
@HMGCart

Cassie Parsons

Grateful Growers Farm & Harvest Moon Grille

Panelist: The Statewide Engine of Local Food

Cassie Parsons is an award-winning Chef and Restaurateur and Owner, Grateful Growers Farm & Harvest Moon Grille. Named Restaurateur of the Year in 2011 by Charlotte Magazine, Cassie has become the city’s biggest advocate for eating locally. In 2004, Parsons began selling locally raised pork from her ten-acre Grateful Growers Farm to high-end Charlotte restaurants. Five years later, she began selling her unique and delicious cuisine from the city’s first upscale food truck. In 2010, she opened Harvest Moon Grille, making it her mission as chef to create one of the city’s best restaurants using items grown or raised locally – all within 100 miles of Charlotte. Her newest venture is Farmer Baker Sausage Maker in Lincolnton. 
Most recently, Cassie took the top prize in the first Global Green USA Citizen Entrepreneur contest.  

David Phillips
Faster Glass Consulting
Charlotte, NC

David Phillips

Faster Glass Consulting

Emcee: Day 2

David Phillips is an Innovative Provocateur who specializes in helping organizations leverage the tools of innovation and design to find unexpected solutions to their biggest challenges. As a consultant, speaker, and facilitator, David pushes people to question their assumptions and stretch their thinking. He firmly believes that one of the keys to innovation lies in an organization’s ability to unleash the innate creativity that resides in its people, and he strives to do just that In his work with small and large groups alike.

Before forming Faster Glass Consulting in 2010, David developed and led two enterprise-wide programs at Bank of America focused on integrating the principles of innovation into a Six Sigma culture. He also designed and consulted over 100 problem-soling workshops across the company and served as a subject matter expert for China Construction Bank as they worked to build their innovation capabilities.

David draws on his diversity of experience in consulting, financial services, non-profits, public accounting, public education, and the U.S. Air Force to approach problems from different perspectives and to enable others to do the same. He holds a B.S. in Education from Louisiana Tech University and resides in Charlotte, NC. David is also a musician, photographer, husband and father, even as he is constantly reminded of his amateur status in all four roles.

Jon Robinson
Jon Robinson
Dan Roselli
Charles Thomas
Jon Robinson
Kauffman Foundation
Kansas City, MO

@KauffmanFDN

Jon Robinson

Kauffman Foundation

Panelist: Remarks on Day 2

Jon Robinson is manager of entrepreneurship programs at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where he oversees initiatives to connect founders to financial, human, intellectual, and social capital. He leads the Foundation’s efforts to deliver entrepreneurship resources through community colleges, programs to support military veteran entrepreneurs, and other projects to improve local and regional entrepreneurial ecosystems. He also manages the Foundation’s work on expeditionary economics, a research initiative focused on enabling economic growth in conflict areas. Jon served for eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps including Iraq and Mozambique.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Emory University in Atlanta with a concentration in law and international relations.

Tom Robinson
ERD Ltd
Kernersville, NC

Tom Robinson

ERD LTD

Panelist: Shifting Gears

Tom Robinson is Vice President of ERD Ltd. Inc. in Kernersville, NC. ERD is an engineer owned and operated industrial electronics service repair company that specializes in unique and challenging electronic repair issues. Since 2009 ERD has continually reinvented itself and as a result achieved great rewards during what we all know to be challenging times for businesses. During this 4 year period ERD has averaged over 250 new customers each year and is expected to reach a customer base of 5,000 customers by year end 2013. The export footprint of ERD went from 10 countries to 65 countries and less than 5% to 24% of revenues in 2 ½ years. ERD has self-funded its growth using technology and creative marketing. The company offers repair services without a single internal or external sales person. ERD was awarded the U.S. Department of Commerce - Commercial Service 2013 Export Achievement Award. It was the subject of an article in the October 25, 2013 edition of the Triad Business Journal and was a News2 feature in March 2013.

Tom has decades of business management and ownership experience. He began his career in the insurance industry as a commercial underwriter for one the largest insurance companies in the world. Later he became a risk manager working with Lloyds and oversaw high hazard industries like mining, logging, fishing, bridge construction and large commercial structures. His responsibilities included the mitigation of terrorist threats on physical structures. Tom continued his career as a government contract consultant for companies like General Dynamics and United Airlines before becoming Vice President of ERD. He has a pending appointment by the U.S. Department of Commerce to the 2014 North Carolina District Export Council.

Dan Roselli
Packard Place
Charlotte, NC

@DanielRoselli
@PackardPlaceCLT

Dan Roselli

Packard Place

Emcee: Day 1
Moderator: Showcase of Charlotte Entrepreneurs

Dan Roselli and his business partner and wife, Sara Garcés, are co-founders of Packard Place, which focuses it's core principles on "Innovation. Entrepreneurship. Community."  Packard Place is devoted to entrepreneurial companies and opened in 2011 as a hub for like-minded entrepreneurs to share skills and business opportunities in Charlotte. Dan is also co-owner of RED F Marketing, a full service advertising agency servicing Fortune 100 clients.  Dan also founded Customer Stream in 2006, a marketing technology company that focuses on services for the 10,000 community banks in the country. Both RED F and Customer Stream have been recognized on the Charlotte Business Journal's "Fast 50" list of growing companies in Charlotte multiple times. In 2010, Dan founded TargetPoint, another marketing company focusing on enabling marketing technology platforms. Dan has a finance degree from Michigan State University and a master's degree in marketing from the University of Minnesota. Dan has been honored by several awards including the Top 50 Entrepreneurs Award, Movers and Shakers, Forty Under 40, Catalyst Entrepreneurs and RED F has been named seven times on the Inc. 500/5000 List.  Most recently Dan was named by Sustain Charlotte as the "Overall Community Leader" in the awards' first year.

 

Charles Thomas
Queen City Forward
Charlotte, NC

@QCForward

Charles Thomas

Queen City Forward

Panelist: What is Driving Social Impact Investing?

Charles Thomas, an artist, educator and entrepreneur, is the Executive Director of Queen City Forward, a social innovation accelerator and incubator working high growth, high impact social entrepreneurs in Charlotte. Prior to leading Queen City Forward, Charles served as the Director of Education of The Light Factory Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film. Charles owns Sankofa Photography and recently co-published a book of photography and stories with author Valiada Fullwood called GIVING BACK: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists  which recently won the 2012 Terry McAdam Book Award. Charles graduated from Duke University with a degree in Economics.  He enjoys traveling internationally and is married with three sons.

In his free time, Charles likes to draw, practice origami, fly paper airplanes and drum with his family.

 

Lenore Vassil
John Warner
Jason Yarborough
Todd Zagaroli
Lenore Vassil
The Torch
Charlotte, NC

@LenoreVassil
@TheTorchApp

Lenore Vassil

The Torch

Panelist: Showcase of Charlotte Entrepreneurs

Lenore Vassil is the founder and CEO of TheTorch.com, a unique web application that poses the question, “If something happened to you, would anyone know how to navigate your life?”  It helps you give instructions to your loved ones, without sharing any confidential account details, passwords or documents. TheTorch.com was one of seven companies selected into the first Rev Tech Labs accelerator program at Packard Place and was featured on the Charlotte PBS television show Great Ideas. It launched in September 2013 and is currently a part of CharlotteStartupFunding.com.

Prior to The Torch, Lenore was a technology and operations executive for Bank of America, MTV Networks, Verizon and Accenture, designing and building innovative systems. Lenore has a B.A. in accounting from the University of Richmond and is Six Sigma certified. She is a regular guest speaker at the Georgia Tech Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship on the topic of emotional intelligence.

 

John Warner
InnoVenture
Greenville, SC

@SwampFox
@InnoVenture

John Warner

InnoVenture

Panelist: What is Driving Social Impact Investing?

John Warner is CEO of InnoVenture.com. He has thirty years of experience in attracting resources to big ideas from co-founding a start-up technology company and running a venture capital firm. John started one of the first venture capital firms in South Carolina.  In 1997, John’s firm invested in a company with one organic grocery store, Earth Fare. In addition to capital, his team surrounded the company with industry and professional expertise and helped the company grow to a chain with 13 stores and $100 million in revenue leading to the sale of Earth Fare to a large private equity firm. 

John is a recognized leader in the southeastern innovation and entrepreneurial community. He has held numerous community leadership positions and has won several awards for his work.

 

Jason Yarborough
LocalVox Media
Charlotte, NC

@yarby
@LocalVox

Jason Yarborough

LocalVox Media

Panelist: Turbo Charging Your Marketing & Social Media

TBA

Todd Zagaroli
Revive Furniture
Hickory, NC

Todd Zagaroli

Revive Furniture

Panelist: Shifting Gears

Todd Zagaroli has seen the light at the end of the tunnel…twice.  When moving back to NC take over a small furniture company in 1995, Todd gave up a blossoming sales job to be his own boss in the town he grew up in.  By 2000, sales were booming and Todd felt that he was in an excellent position for growth.  Then, 9/11 happened and everything fell apart.  For nine years, Todd worked to keep the company afloat, spending countless hours and dollars, but inevitably the doors closed in 2010. Not willing to give up his dream of upholstery success, Todd opened another furniture company and with a scaled-down business model, support from his brothers, and a few dedicated clients. Three years later, Todd is seeing steady growth and the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than ever!