Advisory Council

The Advisory Council for the Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts Program includes alumni, parents, and friends of the university. The members and their biographies are listed below.

Bill Batten -- Bill Batten received a BS in Chemistry from Wake Forest in '74, and an MBA from Duke University. His early manufacturing career at Union Carbide Corporation was an instructive background for how to optimize product parameters (cost, quality, longevity) within an on-going organization devoted to constant improvement. In addition to holding numerous patents, his skills revolve around developing collegial teams to design, manufacture, and sell new products. Over the past 25 years, more than 75 companies and hundreds of individuals have participated in these mutual goal-focused collegial team structures. Bill currently serves as the president of Thermaco, Inc.

Susan Batten -- Mrs. Susan Batten received a BA in education from Wake Forest in '75. Susan is the owner of Thermaco, Inc. Susan and Bill have two sons, Thomas and Randy, both graduates of Wake Forest. Susan's early career as an elementary teacher and mother provided a unique background that has been put to good use in starting up, operating and funding entrepreneurial endeavors. Her business experience includes founding and operating three businesses. Her understanding of organizational core competencies led to an early grasp of outsourcing 20 years ago, enabling her companies to grow without appreciable capital investment.

Robert J. Bilbrough, Jr. -- Bob Bilbrough received a BS in Health and Exercise Science in '78. Mr. Bilbrough is the president of Qualcon. He is a past Chair and Member of the American Electronics Association Southeast Council Board and has been named to Atlanta Business Chronicle's list of leaders in GA's technology industry. He has also been named an Outstanding Georgia Citizen, named to the Georgia Goodwill Ambassador Corp., is a Founding Member of Georgia's Technology Leadership Coalition, a member of Georgia's Technology Executives Roundtable and Atlanta's High Tech CEO Council, and a Founding Member of of the Greater Hall County Chamber of Commerce Technology Committee. He has received the Georgia Technology Leadership Award for Technology Application. Bob and his wife Cathy have three children, Clara, Laura (WFU Class of 2011), and Robert.

David Bland -- David Bland, chairman of Travois, Inc., has worked on the development of affordable housing for more than 30 years.  David began his career with the Norfolk Housing and Redevelopment Authority in Virginia.  Afterworking as a market analyst with the Rouse Company of Columbia, MD., one of the country's premier developers, David formed a non-profit housing corporation in Winchester, Va., that received national recognition as one of the most aggressive and innovative developers of affordable housing in the nation.  In 1995, David formed Travois, a more specialized company, dedicated to providing assistance to American Indian tribes and Indian housing authorities through the use of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program.  In recognition of this important work, David was named a Champion of Affordable Housing by the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency in 2005 and was a finalist for the Volvo for Life Award in 2006 and 2007.  David graduated from Wake Forest University with a bachelor's degree in political science.

James Bland -- James Bland earned an MBA from Harvard Business School after graduating cum laude from Wake Forest University with a BA in Politics and French in 1980. He is the Executive Director of CRIX International and has more than 20 years of work experience in both the government and private industry, including technology development, international finance, marketing, and strategic analysis. He has been a key leader in the vision, creation, and progression of CRIX International. Prior to his current work, James has held several prominent positions in different companies including Ergonomixx, Datalux, Corstone Capital, and Science Applications International Corporation, where his work included development of electronic health record (EHR) systems, as well as web-based information exchange platforms for various markets. James and his wife Lauren have two sons, Jonathan and Bryant (WFU Class of 2012).

Vance Brown -- Vance Brown is founder, Chairman and CEO of Cherwell Software, a provider of integrated software solutions for service desks, help desks, and call centers.  From 1996 to 2000, Vance was President and CEO of GoldMine Software Corporation, a leading worldwide developer of software solutions for customer relationship management and support management solutions.  The company was recognized as one of the top 100 software companies in the United States.  He is also a founder of the Band of Brother's Ministry and a founder of The Classical Academy, the largest charter school in Colorado.

Jeffrey Clark -- Jeff Clark received a degree in Business Administration from High Point University in 1987 and holds an MBA from the Stonier School of Banking at Georgetown University. He became president of Southern Community Bank and Trust in 2001 and president of Southern Community Financial Corp. in 2004. He currently serves as President of the Board of Directors of Habitat for Humanity, Chairman of the Board of Directors of NC Title Company, LLC, Board Member of Advocacy for the Poor, Board Member of Crosby Scholars, and Board Member of Visitors of High Point University. He is the Treasurer for Prodigals Community, an Advisory Board Member of Aqualutions, LLC, on the Forsyth Tech. Foundation Board, the NCBA Legislative & Regulatory Committee, a Member of YPO, President Elect of the Rotary Club of Winston-Salem and is an active member of Knollwood Baptist Church.

Thomas Cook -- Tom Cook graduated from Wake Forest University in 1995 and holds a JD from Emory University School of Law. He owns Rivendell Enterprises, a holding company for night life and entertainment investments. Rivendell Enterprises currently owns and/or operates eight entertainment and night life venues. the 1,100-capacity concert venue, Center Stage, was opened in 2000. Sugar Hill opened in Underground Atlanta in 2006 and received the "Best in Atlanta" award from Atlanta Magazine. Rivendell Enterprises holds an interest in entertainment and night life companies that employ over 100 people in Atlanta. Tom was introduced to the philanthropic world as a member of the Cook Family Foundation. The foundation's major grants have gone to the John Cook School of Business at Saint Louis University, as well as an NGO in Thailand called Mercy Center, an orphanage an AIDS hospice in the slums of Bangkok. The foundation has been involved in the creation of addiitonal schools and facilities in Katmandu, Nepal. Tom's Board memberships also include Progressive Redevelopment, Inc. and Georgia Justice Project.

John Funkhouser -- Mr. Funkhouser is a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 20 years specializing in building corporate value by applying strategic vision and incorporating significant financial experience and team oriented operational principles. Mr. Funkhouser is the President of NContact Surgical. He previously served as President and CEO of three venture-backed companies including Pharmanetics, Inc., Coeur Laboratories, and Advanced Environmental Technology, Inc. Before beginning an operating career, he was a General Partner of Hillcrest Group, a boutique merchant bank, where he served as lead investor and an active board member of numerous venture-backed companies. Mr. Funkhouser obtained an MBA at Colgate Darden Graduate School, University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University. He and his wife, Julie, have two sons and one daughter, Parker, who graduated from Wake Forest University in 2006.

Russell Hobbs III -- Russ Hobbs graduated from Wake Forest University in 1988. He began working in the information technology department of a large company, but in 1990 he quit his job and started Blue Ocean Software with $6,000 and Track-It!®, a help desk and asset management product he developed. Within 10 years, the Track-It!® Product line was the most widely installed help desk software in the world. Hobbs sold Blue Ocean Software in 2002. He received the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award in 2007 for his successful entrepreneurial career.
Russ established the Russell D. and Elfriede Hobbs Fund for Entrepreneurship and the Liberal Arts in honor of his parents. The fund will provide seed grants, internships, and similar funds for undergraduate students who want to launch socially beneficial organizations. The fund will also fund the Hobbs Award for Entrepreneurial Achievement for Student and Faculty Entrepreneurs.

Robert Humphreys, Board Chairman -- Bob Humphreys currently serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Delta Apparel, Inc., serving in that capacity since December 1999. He is also a Board Chairman for Carolina Motorsports Park, Inc. Bob and his wife Susan are parents of a Wake Forest senior, daughter, Tyler, and a son, Charlie, who is a freshman at Auburn University.

George Hundley -- George Hundley is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Northstar Travel Media, LLC. He has over 20 years of business to business trade publishing experience. Prior to his experiences in the publishing industry, George worked for two companies in the outdoor power equipment industry and worked as a stockbroker for Smith Barney. He started his work career in Winston-Salem as a police officer. He received his BA degree from Wake Forest University in 1972 and an MBA from the Bryan School of Business and Economics at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, in 1978. He has served on the Wake Forest College Board of Visitors since 2003.

Sydney Kitson -- Sydney W. Kitson is Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners, a Florida-based real estate company specializing in the creation, development, and management of master-planned communities, commercial properties, resort properties, and golf courses. Mr. Kitson is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He had a notable career in the National Football League playing offensive guard for both the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. Upon his retirement from professional football, he began his career in real estate by founding a company that was responsible for the development and sale of residential communities, commercial properties, retail stores, medical offices and senior housing units. He founded Kitson & Partners in 2000, locating the firm's headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, lectures at Princeton University, and sits on the Policy Advisory Board for the Florida Solar Energy Center. He is also on the Board of Directors of Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, Corkscrew Regional Ecosystem Watershed (CREW) Land & Water Trust, the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium, and the Grassy Waters Preserve. Mr. Kitson is also a member of the NFL Alumni Association and the NFL Players Association. He and his wife, Diane, have two children, Tyler and Lauren (WFU Class of 2008).

Paul Kotos -- Paul Kotos is the managing member of Capital Partners, LLC, which is involved in venture capital and advisory services for various public and private companies. Paul has been actively engaged in the provate equity markets and early stage companies for the past 25 years. Paul has four children: Krysta, Mackenzie, Peter (WFU Class of 2008), and John (WFU Class of 2012).

Andrew Levison -- Andrew Levison, a 1978 graduate of Babson College, is the Chairman of Levison & Company, LLC. He is the founder and board member of the Levison/Present Foundation. He currently serves as a member of Ferrellgas, Pyramid Radio, Red Ribbon Foundation, TS3, Dealer's Financial Services, Total Fleet Solutions, RCR, and Reinforced Plastic Systems. Mr. Levison lives in Greenwich, CT with three children: Allie, Elizabeth, and Murray. Allie is a member of WFU Class of 2009.

Karen Licciardello -- Karen Liccardello graduated from Wake Forest in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Spanish.  She went on to earn a Masters' degree in international management from Thunderbird School of Global Management in 1986 and soon became a licensed CPA.  Karen began her early career as an international financial analyst withwith American Standard, Inc. and she then transitioned to corporate controller postions for several fast growing start-up companies.  Seeking a more flexible work situation after starting her family, Karen left the corporate world 14 years ago to begin her own accounting and consulting practice.  She specializes in financial reporting, strategic planning and budgeting, cash flow management and software implementation for small to mid-sized companies in the Carolinas.  Her client base includes subsidiaries of foreign companies beginning operations in the U.S. as well as entrepreneurs in various stages of evolution.  Karen and her husband Marty (WFU class of 1984) have two middle school-aged boys.  

Jane McCracken -- Jane McCracken (formerly Karwoski) is a member of the 1980 class at Wake Forest and has a Masters degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is an experienced technology entrepreneur and financier with over 25 years experience in the US and Europe. She is CEO of Nexus Oncology, an international clinical research organization with offices in the US and Europe. Jane has a wealth of business experience in leading companies through periods of strong growth on both sides of the Atlantic. She spent the early part of her career as an investment banker and venture capitalist ans later moved into senior positions with several technology companies. Jane has served as CFO of Axis-Shield plc, a global developer and manufacturer of in vitro diagnostics tests and COO of VIS entertainment plc, a computer games developer of its own IP as well as in-licensed titles. She was also CEO of, a leading provider of internet-based hotel room booking now owned by Travelocity and the Sabre Holdings Group.

David Rea -- David Rea received a JD from Wake Forest in 1980, as well as a BA from Wabash College and an MBA from the University of Indiana. He is currently Executive Vice President of Salem Investment Counselors, Inc., as well as the President of the Shepherd Street Equity Fund. He is a member of the Wake Forest University Medical School Planned Giving Council, as well as a member of the Planned Giving Board for Wabash College. He is also involved with the Winston-Salem Estate Planning Council, as well as numerous civic groups. Mr. Rea is the immediate past chair of the Entrepreneurship and Liberal Arts Advisory Council. He guided the board during its establishment and critical first years of development.

Richard Riley -- Mr. Riley received a BA from Boston University. He is currently President of ALTA Advisors, LLC which provides professional and consulting services to, and invests in, insurance distribution businesses. From 2003 until 2008, Mr. Riley was the Chairman and CEO of WNC Insurance Services, a specialty wholesale operation with emphasis on providing catastrophe insurance products to financial institutions and to agents and brokers for their clients. He was also and continues to be a major owner/stockholder in the company. In the preceding 12 years he held the position of President and then Chairman and CEO of the insurance brokerage business of Aon in the Americas (the largest division of Aon Corp.) and then Vice-Chairman of Aon Group. From 1974 until 1991, Mr. Riley held various sales, sales management and overall management positions with Corroon and Black Corp., a major insurance brokerage (now Willis Group). He began his insurance career in 1964 with the Royal Insurance Group. He is a Member of the Board of Visitors of the Calloway Business School of Wake Forest and a member on the Board of Directors of: AICPCU (American Institute for Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriters), Gateway for Cancer Research, Portal Insurance Holdings (Vice-Chairman and investor), O'Brien Insurance Agency, and Westlake Insurance Group. He is also a member of the CPCU Society and a licensed Illinois Property Casualty agent and Surplus Lines agent. He and his wife Carolyn live in Georgetown, South Carolina. They have four children (Christopher, Sarah, Michael, and Joshua) and six grandchildren.

Robert Schultz -- Robert Schultz is President and a founding partner of AIX, Inc., headquartered in Windsor, CT. AIX develops and administers specialty programs often applying captive and funding mechanisms. Prior to founding AIX, Mr. Schultz was President and founding partner of Artis, a joint venture with Royal Sun Alliance which wrote over $500M of captive and self-insured business annually. He was a Vice President with Discovery Re Managers, joining the firm at its incorporation in 1990. During his tenure, he managed the Midwest territory and started the captive division for Discover Re, remaining in that capacity until 1997. Mr. Schultz began his alternative risk career in 1987 with General Re in the Genesis (alternative) division in Chicago, Illinois where he was a captive and program manager. His son, Tyler, is a member of the WFU Class of 2011.

Donald Seitz -- Mr. Seitz began is career with IBM, holding a number of sales and product management positions before becoming a member of the management team responsible to build a fully-owned subsidiary targeting the IT outsourcing opportunity.  Upon leaving IBM, Don worked as CEO and COO in several venture-capital backed companies across a range of industries.  For the past 10 years, Don has served in senior management positions in the publishing and graphic communications industries.  Currently, Don heads the division at Author Solutions -- a self-publishing book company -- responsible for on-demand book and digital format production and distribution.  He serves on the board of the University Cottage Club and EcoHarmonics, and sits on the advisory council of the Princeton Environmental Institute and several associations. Mr. Seitz received his BA from Princeton University and MBA from Harvard Business School. 

Peter Stiles -- Peter Stiles is Vice President of Marketing and Strategy at Lean Logistics. He has over 35 year of experience in Supply Chain management systems and is a recognized expert in e-commerce logistics solutions. Mr. Stiles has provided consulting services to over 30 companies worldwide. He was the founder and President of Operations Technologies, co-founder of Rand McNally-TDM, and co-founder of Symbius Corporation. He is widely published and is a frequent speaker at industry seminars, trade associations, and educational logistics seminars.