The Advisory Council for the Center for Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship includes alumni, parents, and friends of the University. These people serve as advisors to the faculty, staff and, importantly, the student entrepreneurs, as well as being generous supporters of our program. We are very blessed to have their involvement, because without them the program would not be what it is today. The members and their biographies are listed below:
Fred Baiz -- Fred Baiz is the owner of Boomtown CIO, a boutique technology services firm he founded in 2007. Fred began his professional technology career in 2002, rising through several rapid promotions to the position of VP & Director of IT at a mid-size manufacturer headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. He was also tasked with leading the firm’s international business development program, and after spending several years leveraging technology to grow the firm’s businesses in Asia and the Pacific Rim, returned full-time to the United States in June of 2005 to co-found the Charlotte office of Stephen James Associates (an Allegis Group company). Fred was instrumental in building SJA's accounting & financial executive search practice from the ground-up. In late Summer 2008, Fred was sought out and hired by DecisionPoint International, a boutique investment banking firm specializing in merger & acquisition advisory services for companies in the software, internet, IT services and communications sectors. As Vice President, Fred’s responsibility was to provide expert guidance on current and emerging trends in technology, subsequently using this knowledge to directly influence the firm’s strategy and client acquisition process. Since late Spring 2009, Fred has dedicated 100% of his time to operating and growing Boomtown CIO.
Fred's innate ability to build deep and lasting personal and professional relationships has made him one of the most successful and relied upon executives in the region. Fred is active in the business, academic and charitable communities. He is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth and is an Executive Board Member of the Wake Forest University Charlotte Alumni Club. Fred is the President of Beads for Needs (www.beadsforneeds.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that raises funds annually for select children’s charities in the Charlotte region. Fred is also a founder and Board Member of TLF Paparazzi, a young affiliate group that supports The Light Factory (a regional film and photography museum) by raising awareness for the museum’s programming and promoting sustained financial giving. Fred also pursues his passion for film and photography through his ownership in Creative Forge Productions (www.creativeforgeproductions.com), a motion picture company based in Charleston, SC.(back to top)
Jeff Barber -- Jeff Barber is President and Owner of State Line Auto Auctio n, a wholesale auto auction that allows dealers to buy and sell vehicles to each other. Following the initial launch by his father in 1981, Jeff assumed management and operation in 1984 and has overseen tremendous growth of the company. State Line Auto Auction is recognized as one of the premier auto auctions in the nation, and is currently New York’s largest auto auction. Since 1990, State Line Auto Auction has also enjoyed the status of being a General Motors Factory Sponsored auction, which allows a bi-weekly sale of GM vehicles, along with the normal weekly consignment sale. In 2010, State Line Auto Auction sold in excel of 43,000 vehicles. Jeff graduated from Wake Forest University in 1972. (back to top)
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). (back to top)
Karen Borchert -- Karen Borchert is the Director of Products for Phase2 Technology, an open source software company specializing in web tools for the publishing and government sectors. Thanks to her deep background in product strategy, Karen's work focuses on identifying opportunities and challenges in the market, then formulating and delivering on product roadmaps to address them. That natural entrepreneurial spirit was evident when she co-founded a national nonprofit organization, The Campus Kitchens Project, and a social enerprise in the travel sector, Keen Guides, in addition to working as a consultant for several organizations worldwide. Karen earned an MBA from Georgetown University and a BA in Education and English from Wake Forest University. She lives in Austin, TX with her husband (and high school sweetheart) Taylor, and her two little ones Ady (4) and Charlie (1) which makes her the luckiest girl on the planet. (back to top)
Vance Brown -- Vance Brown currently is co-founder and CEO of Cherwell Software, a leading worldwide provider of Help Desk Software (www.Cherwell.com). From 1995 to 2000, Vance was President and CEO of GoldMine® Software Corporation (currently FrontRange Solutions®). During Vance's tenure, GoldMine was recognized as one of the top 100 software companies in the United States. Vance began his career as a lawyer at one of the largest firms in North Carolina. He still is licensed to practice law in the Distric of Columbia. Vance graduated from Wake Forest University, summa cum laude, with concentrations in Economics and Computer Science. He graduated from law school, with honors, from the University of North Carolina, finishing as a member of the Order of the Coif and the Law Review. Vance is founder of the Band of Brothers' Ministry (www.bandofbrothers.org) and was a founder and served on the Board of Directors of The Classical Academy (www.tcad20.org), the largest k-12 charter school in Colorado. In 2009, Vance was awarded the Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award by Wake Forest University "in recognition of his entrepreneurial spirit, creativity, achievement and social responsibility." Vance has been married for 25 years to Betsy (WFU '87) and has three children. (back to top)
Dennis Calvert -- Dennis Calvert is President and Chief Executive Officer of BioLargo, Inc and BioLargo Life Technologies, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of BioLargo, Inc. Mr. Calvert was appointed a director in June 2002, and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2002, Corporate Secretary from September 2002 until March 2003, and Interim Chief Financial Officer since March 2003. Mr. Calvert holds a BA degree in Economics from Wake Forest University, where he was a varsity basketball player. Mr. Calvert also studied at Columbia University and Harding University. He was an honor student in high school with numerous leadership awards. He is also an Eagle Scout and an active leader serving in his local Church. He is married to his wife of 24 years and has two children. He is also an active coach in youth sports organizations in his home community.
Mr. Calvert has an extensive entrepreneurial background as an operator, investor and consultant. From June 2002 to September 2002 he served as president of Med Wireless, Inc. In 1998 he was a founder, president and board member of Utelecom Communications, Inc. where he led the acquisition of four companies and secured a line of credit for $7.5 million. The company sold its assets in 2003. He was an investor and served as a manager of Beep for Free.com, LLC beginning in the year 2000, a consumer products and technology related company. Mr. Calvert resigned as the manager of Beep For Free.com, LLC in June 2002 and the company ceased operations in December 2002. Mr. Calvert was a founder and chairman of ZZYZX Technologies, Inc., a company that designed and produced high tech equipment. ZZYZX was sold in 2001. From 1990 to 1996 Calvert served as head of mergers and acquisitions for Medical Asset Management, Inc., a company that acquired and managed medical-related businesses. During his tenure he participated in more than 50 acquisitions and served in numerous positions with the Company. Prior, he was a founder and officer of a medical recruiting and consulting firm named Merritt Hawkins and Associates from 1987 to 1990. Earlier, he was a top producing sales associate for a leading physician recruitment firm, Jackson and Coker, Inc. and served as a sales associate for Diamond Shamrock Chemicals Corp. from 1985 to 1986. (back to top)
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. (back to top)
Bob Demsey -- Mr.Demsey's multifaceted business career includes positions as CEO of a Kraft Foods Company, an entrepreneur who developed a unique medical company that he sold to a Fortune 500 company, and an investor who engineered two leveraged buyouts to acquire companies for his control.
Upon graduation from Wake Forest, Bob was hired by the Vick Chemical Co. (Vicks Products) and became a national Brand Manager for the mouthwash and colds products. He was subsequently promoted to Director of New Products and Acquisitions.
Bob left Vicks to start Health Examinetics, a mobile health testing company designed to assist large corporations comply with OSHA regulations. The company expanded to encompass the delivery of onsite health checkups for corporations, health plans, labor unions and health insurers. He sold the company to Dart and Kraft and continued to run it for a number of years.
Bob has remained involved with Wake Forest, including serving on the University Board of Visitors and Regional Chair of Fundraising Campaigns. He established the Robert H. Demsey Scholarship Fund at Wake in 2005. He lives with his wife Bobbi in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. They have 2 children and 4 grandchildren. (back to top)
Mütter Evans -- Ms. Evans is an entrepreneur and a radio broadcast pioneer who became the youngest African-American and the second African-American woman within a week in 1979 to acquire a broadcast property in the United States by purchasing WAAA-AM in Winston-Salem, owning and managing it 27 years. In 1981 she founded and organized the Annual Noon Hour Commemoration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., five years before the first national holiday. More recently, she established Mütter D. Evans Consulting, providing assistance in the areas of management, marketing, and public relations. She does public speaking, voice-work, and writes also. A 1975 Wake Forest graduate, who worked at WFDD-FM as a student and was a presidential appointee to the Student Life and University Self-Study committees, she later served on the Alumni Council. Evans wrote a retrospect essay for the History of WFU, Volume V, 1967-1983 and was featured in JEWELS: 50 Phenomenal Black Women Over 50 by Michael Cunningham & Connie Briscoe. She currently serves on Governing Council of Quality Education Institute, Board of Directors of Quality Education Academy, and on the Business Advisory Council of Winston-Salem State Unviersity. Evans has vast non-profit volunteer experience, including being a charter board member of Leadership Winston-Salem and is an alumnus of the inaugural class of 1985. She has been recognized for her leadership, broadcasting, and community service by various organizations. (back to top)
Dave Felman -- Mr. Felman is a shareholder with Hill Ward Henderson, a 90-lawyer commercial law firm in Tampa, Florida, and leads its corporate practice. His practice involves venture capital transactions, securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and general representation of established and emerging growth companies. He represents a number of venture capital and private equity firms in their portfolio investment and merger and acquisition transactions, including Lovett Miller & Co., Incorporated, Ballast Point Venture Partners, Stonehenge Capital, Inflexion Fund, L.P., and HealthEdge Investment Partners, and offers counsel to a number of "angel" investors. Mr. Felman is a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Venture Forum. He is recognized as a corporate, venture capital, and private equity lawyer in The Best Lawyers in America and as a corporate, merger and acquisition, and private equity lawyer in America's Leading Business Lawyers, published by Chambers & Partners. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Duke University School of Law. (back to top)
Jason F. Fensterstock -- Since 1980, Mr. Fensterstock has worked with companies in financial distress, and their many constituencies, in the U.S. and abroad and in diverse industries, as a lawyer, investment banker, investor, operations advisor and Chief Executive Officer. The cross industry and multi-disciplinary exposures have proven to be extremely useful in bringing incremental and creative solutions to a wide swath of challenges. Having graduated from both Columbia Business School and Columbia Law School in 1980, he practiced law (1980 - 1986) and worked in Investment Banking (1986 - 1996) in New York City, specializing in all aspects of troubled company law and finance. In 1996, Mr. Fensterstock founded an advisory company that provides him great personal flexibility and the continuing opportunity to efficiently contribute to solving select problems faced by distressed companies in many industries and most recently Blockbuster and a popular domestic basics apparel manufacturer and retailer. Mr. Fensterstock graduated from Bowdoin College in 1975 and live in New York City and Westport, CT with his wife and daughter; his older daughter is class of 2014 at Wake Forest. (back to top)
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. (back to top)
Adam Godfrey -- Mr. Godfrey is a seasoned investor with 20 years of experience in the private equity business. He spent more than 18 years with Lindsay Goldberg and its predecessor, playing an integral role in the development of the firm which today manages approximately $10 billion in capital. During his 13 years as a partner, Adam led numerous investments for the firm across a diverse group of family owned and closely held enterprises. In 2011, he set out to establish a new private equity firm that will focus its efforts on making private equity investments in the middle market. He continues to serve as a Director of several Lindsay Goldberg managed investments, including First American Payment Systems, Intermex Holdings and Pride Manufacturing. He also serves as a Board Member of Schneider National and as a Member of the MBA Advisory Board at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Adam received a BA from Brown University in 1984 and an MBA from the Tuck School in 1992. He resides in New York City with his family; his oldest child Connor is a member of the WFU class of 2014. (back to top)
Elizabeth Gordon -- Ms. Gordon is President of Flourishing Business, LLC advisory firm and author of the best-selling book, The Chic Entrepreneur: Put Your Business ini Higher Heels (RDR 2008). In 2011 her firm completed merger, acquisition integration projects for TD Bank, Capital One Bank, and Sun Trust Bank. Previously she worked for Andersen Consulting, McMaster-Carr, Arrow Electronics and The Hackett Group and has consulted for hundreds of companies. Elizabeth is a co-owner and anchor for the new downtown studio of Business RadioX in Atlanta and CEO of Modern Women, Inc. She has served on the board of directors of National Association of Women Business Owners and American Association of University Women. Ms. Gordon has been quoted by Investor's Business Daily and is literally a textbook example in Pearson Prentice Hall's college marketing textbook. The Atlanta Business Chronicle awarded Gordon the 40 Under 40 Up and Comer distinction for her business achievements and civic impact. She has presented her unique holistic methodology for growth as the keynote for hundreds of events. Elizabeth earned her BS in Business with a concentration in Finance and minor in Economics from Wake Forest University and MS in Marketing from Georgia State University. (back to top)
Tim Griesser -- Tim Griesser graduated from Wake Forest in 2010. He is a co-founder of Get On Social (www.getonsocial.com) with Brett Apter '10 - a social media & online brand development company targeted at small to medium businesses. While at Wake Forest Tim started a software development company, Web Capital Solutions, and student run site advertising local businesses to college campuses. Tim also works as a software engineer with Trasmogrify (www.xmog.com) out of Philadelphia, Pa and regularly advises student entrepreneurs with technical questions & resources related to new ventures. (back to top)
Michael Harrington -- Mr. Harrington earned an MBA from Providence College and graduated from Wake Forest University in 1987 with a BA in Economics. He founded Epoxies, Etc. in 1988 and currently serves as the President and CEO. Epoxies, Etc. is a leading manufacturer of specialty epoxy, urethane, and silicone systems. The company's adhesives, potting and encapsulating compounds and coatings are used world wide in demanding aerospace, electronic, industrial, and decorative appliances. Michael also serves on the Board of Directors for the Make A Difference Foundation. He and his wife Debbie (Wake Forest, 1987) have two daughters; Courtney and Caitlin. (back to top)
April Hess --is the Chief Financial Officer of Elevation Franchise Ventures, LLC (EFV) and Head Trainer and has helped run the company since its inception. Previous to her time with EFV, she worked in the financial services industry for more than a decade. She specialized in providing comprehensive financial planning (retirement, cash flow, tax, risk management, investments, and estate planning) services to affluent individuals as part of SunTrust’s Private Wealth Management Group and Wachovia’s Wealth Management Group. April also spent five years with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. in Internal Consulting Services and the Private Bank. She is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner and holds the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. She holds a M.S. and B.S. from Wake Forest University in Accountancy and graduated in 1997. (back to top)
Hans Hess -- is the founder of Elevation Burger and Chief Executive Officer of Elevation Franchise Ventures, LLC. He fell in love with the taste of beef at the age of four, when his mother cooked a London Broil, which he then proceeded to ask for every single day for the next five years. As an adult, Hans wondered why he couldn’t find a better burger. In 2005, he decided to make the burger of his dreams himself. He founded Elevation Burger, demonstrating that it’s possible to have a restaurant chain that serves great-tasting, 100% organic burgers made from grass-fed beef that are better for you and better for the planet. As its founder, Hans provides strategic direction for the Elevation Burger brand and mission. Hans’ leadership guides brand innovation and ensures brand consistency so that Elevation Burger maintains its authenticity as it expands throughout the world. Before opening Elevation Burger in September 2005, Hans developed its patent-pending process for cooking fries in olive oil, its secret recipes, its distinctive look and feel, and its unique vision. He holds a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and a B.S. in Physics from California Polytechnic State University.(back to top)
Eric Hill -- Eric has founded several companies beginning in 1998. His first business venture was a NC based company which built and operated Subway Restaurant franchises in the greater Charlotte, NC market. After growing that business to 9 locations he sold his interest to his partner. In 2004 Eric co-founded BioRx which is a national specialty pharmacy company that distributes intravenous biotech drugs. In 2012, The company will exceed $150mm in sales with more than 180 employees. Eric currently manages all of the operations, marketing functions for BioRx on a day to day basis. In June of 2011 Eric co-founded AlphaWaste, Inc., a NC based commercial waste and recycling business. This business is a Triad based start-up that competes for the collection and hauling of commercial recyclables and waste from businesses and construction sites.
Prior to co-founding BioRx in 2004, Eric Hill has accumulated over 17 years of sales, general management and executive management experience in the specialty pharmacy and infusion industry. Most recently prior to BioRx Eric had served as the Vice President, Blood Products for Coram Healthcare, a $500,000,000 public specialty infusion company based in Denver, CO. In this role, Eric had executive management responsibility for sales and operations related to blood products including hemophilia clotting factors, intravenous immunoglobulin(IVIG), and other related biological agents.
Eric held other jobs and assignments with Coram including Vice President of Sales and Marketing for a managed care subsidiary and Regional Vice President.
Prior to joining Coram Healthcare in 1995, Eric worked for more than 5 years with National Medical Care as a field sales representative, a Regional Sales Manager and also as a Product Manager.
Eric graduated from Wake Forest University with a BA in psychology in 1988. He currently lives in High Point, NC with his wife, Alyce (WFU '88) and two children. (back to top)
Syd Kitson -- Sydney W. Kitson is Chairman and CEO of Kitson & Partners, a Florida-based real estate company specializing in the creation and development of master-planned communities, commercial properties and golf courses. Kitson is a graduate of Wake Forest University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. Kitsonhad 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, from 1986 to 1992, was responsible for the development and sale of residential communities, commercial properties, retail stores, medical offices and senior housing units. In 1992, he helped create the residential division of Gale & Wentworth, and became its President and Chief Operating Officer in 1996. From 1996 through 1999, he was responsible for overseeing the development of numerous successful master-planned communities, including Cherry Valley (Montgomery Township, NJ) and Ibis Golf & Country Club (West Palm Beach, FL). He founded Kitson & Partners in 2000, locating the firm’s company headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.
In 2006, Kitson completed the historic purchase of Babcock Ranch in Southwest Florida, encompassing more than 92,000 acres – an area five times the size of the island of Manhattan. Over 80% of the original land purchase, some 73,000 acres within Charlotte and Lee counties, has been preserved by the State of Florida and Lee County, in the largest single land preservation agreement in the state’s history. On the remaining land, Kitson & Partners will build an extraordinary, sustainable, environmentally-friendly green community where residents will live, work, learn and play amidst the natural splendor of Florida’s undeveloped wilderness. Babcock Ranch is an exceptional example of environmental preservation and responsible growth.
Kitson & Partners currently owns and operates numerous retail shopping centers, totaling more than 1.6 million square feet. In addition, Kitson & Partners is developing multi-use properties located throughout Florida that include residential, hotels, apartments and commercial space.
Syd Kitson is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, lectures at Princeton University, sits on the Policy Advisory Board for the Florida Solar Energy Center, serves on the Board of Directors for both the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, and is a member of the Florida Council of 100. Kitson is a member of the NFL Alumni Association and the National Football League Players’ Association. In 2000, Syd received the Rainbow Award from the Adam Walsh Children’s Foundation.(back to top)
Paul Kotos -- Paul Kotos is the Managing Member/Owner of Capital Investing LLC and Capital Strategy LLC. Since 1981, he has been engaged in all aspects of the Securities Industry including Sales, Supervision, Investment Banking, and Recruiting. He has successfully assisted various National and Regional Broker Dealers in their business development and expansion, being directly responsible for recruiting and training over 500 Broders in his career. He is active in the Investment Banking community, and has provided over 80 strategic capital placement transactions for public and private companies. Recently his firm is involved in the development of a new Securities Exchange. He is Registered with FINRA and holds the Seriew 7, 24, and 63.
Paul graduated from Franklin and Marshall College in 1981 with a B.A. in Economics. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with his wife and their four children (Peter '08, John '12, Krysta '14, and Mackenzie '17). He has served on various nonprofit boards and endowments, including The Boy Scounts of America, The Jacksonville Country Day School, Catholic Charities, and the St. Photios Greek Orthodox Shrine. (back to top)
Susan Leadem -- Susan, an American, has lived half of her life outside of the US. A graduate of Wake Forest University (B.S., 1986) and Georgia State University (M.S., 1989), earning degrees in both business and finance, her business career has been devoted to the analysis of financial institutions. She began her career in Atlanta with the Robinson-Humphrey Company. In 1994, Susan was lured to London where she used her knowledge of US financial institutions and capital markets to build a European, and eventually global, financial institutions research product for Goldman Sachs. In 1996, she became a Managing Director of Goldman Sachs International, the first female to gain that title outside of the United States.
Susan’s career and decade based in London made her a frequent traveler around the globe. Susan was recognized by Institutional Investor magazine and other investor surveys as one of the top industry analysts in her field. Her views have been cited in periodicals, annual reports and broadcasts around the globe. Currently Susan is co-founder of Charleston-based Peninsula Capital Partners, LLC. She is a 23 year member of the CFA Institute. (back to top)
Rick Leto -- Rick Leto has been an active member of the early-stage venture capital community since 2008 when he left Mervyns of California where he was President and Chief Executive Officer following a 35 year career in retailing. During his career, Rick held many Senior Executive positions at Macy's where he spent 23 years and Kohl's where he spent eight years. Rick was instrumental in the dramatic expansion of Kohl's during the late 1990's from a regional to national retail power house growing from 126 stores to over 500 and volume less than two billion to over 10 billion. Since 2008 Rick has been a significant investor in two early-stage companies, Death's Door Spirits and Aurora Spectral Technologies. Rick received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island. Rick is married and has two daughters. Jessica, a senior at the University of Miami and Sydney, a senior at Wake Forest. Rick and his wife, Bonnie, reside in Fox Point, WI. (back to top)
A. Andrew Levison -- Andy Levison, a 1978 graduate of Babson College, founded Southfield Capital in November 2002. Before that, he was the Head of Leveraged Finance at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ), where he oversaw banking and origination activities for all of the firm's investment banking products for leveraged companies. In particular, Andy focused on high yield securities, leveraged bank loans, bridge loans and mezzanine/equity investments. Under his leadership, DLJ became the #1 ranked firm for high-yield underwriting throughout the 1990s. While at DLJ, Andy also served as C0-chairman of the Credit Committee and as a member of the Management Committee of the Investment Banking Division and the Banking Review Committee. Prior to joining DLJ, he was a Managing Director of the Leveraged Buyout Group at Drexel Burnham Lambert and a Vice President of the Special Finance Group at Manufacturers Hanover Trust. Andy has served on the boards of numerous public and private companies related to investments and is currently on the board of directors of Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (NYSE: FGP), TS3 Technology, Total Fleet Solutions, RCR International, Hallcon Corp. and the Levison/Present Foundation at Mount Sinai Hospital. Andy is also the President of The Red Ribbon Foundation in Greenwich, CT. (back to top)
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 high school-aged boys. (back to top)
Laura Lough -- Laura Lough (formerly Bullins) graduated from Wake Forest in 2007. She is the owner of The Unique Sheep, the company that she created as a 5th Year Fellow at WFU. Laura and her husband Chris (WFU 2006) live on a small farm outside of Lexington, KY. (back to top)
John Matthews -- John Matthews is a Wake Forest graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies. Mr. Matthews spent several years with the U.S. Navy as a part of the defense intelligence community. After over a decade of involvement with energy issues, he co-founded and serves as President of Baker Renewable Energy, a division of Baker Roofing Company, where he is Executive Vice President. BRE's mission is to provide renewable energy related services and grid integration resources to commercial and institutional customers, and to be the new energy utility contractor of choice even at an international level. A project in Belize is already under way. Mr. Matthews lives in Raleigh and is involved in several charitable pursuits, as well as his church. (back to top)
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 allhotels.com, a leading provider of internet-based hotel room booking now owned by Travelocity and the Sabre Holdings Group. (back to top)
Tommy Miller -- Tommy oversees investments for Fort Worth, Texas based Trademark, an 80+person property company that acquires, develops and operates high quality regional malls, outdoor fashion/specialty retail centers, mixed-use town centers and community shopping centers. Trademark is one of the most active investors in and developers/operators of experiential retail and mixed-use properties across the US. He also directs Trademark’s Investment Management business, which through its Co-Invest Fund, invests alongside institutional capital partners in the acquisition and development of high quality retail and mixed-use properties. Prior thereto, Tommy held various Senior Executive positions with Security Capital Group, a publicly traded investor in real estate operating companies, and its investee companies. Tommy founded and directed the Security Capital Research Institute (Santa Fe, New Mexico), directed office and office land acquisitions in various markets for national office property company CarrAmerica (Washington, DC) and wrote the business plan for, and served as Executive Vice President of, Carr’s serviced office affiliate OmniOffices which was responsible for much of the consolidation of the fragmented global executive suites industry (later became HQ Global and then Regus). Prior thereto, Mr. Miler was a Senior Manager with Arthur Andersen & Co., (Washington, DC), the successor company to GA/Partners and Gladstone Associates, where he advised property owners, major corporations and financial institutions on real estate investments and strategy. Prior thereto, Mr. Miller was a Senior Associate with Kenneth Leventhal & Company where he specialized in capital markets advisory services and the non-judicial financial reorganization of real estate companies. Graduate of the University of Texas Austin (BBA) and Trinity University (MBA). (back to top)
Alan Naumann -- In his 25+ years in the high-tech industry, Alan Naumann has held key executive roles including CEO, vice president, and general manager. His industry experience includes internet security software, internet commerce, data integration and analytics, electronic design software, system virtualization, and computer systems. In his current role he serves on the Board of Directors and as President and CEO of 41st Parameter. The company is backed by leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms including Kleiner Perkins and Norwest Ventures. Alan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Engineering, and graduated with honor and distinction from Iowa State University. Alan's son, Bradley is in the WFU class of 2016. (back to top)
Russell Newton III -- Mr. Russell B. "Rusty" Newton, III is Chairman and CEO of Timucuan Asset Management, Inc., a privately owned investment management firm that provides asset management services for individuals, family offices and institutional investors. He also serves as the general partner of The Timucuan Fund, Ltd., which he formed in 1990, and Timucuan Opportunity Fund, L.P. which was launched in October of 2001. He is a long-time supporter of the University of North Florida and currently serves as the president of the UNF Foundation Investment Committee. Mr. Newton is from Jacksonville, FL and has two children who attended Wake Forest (Kate '09 MA and Russell '11). He and his wife, Katherine, served on the Parents' Council and last year chaired the Council. (back to top)
Clint Pierce -- Clint Pierce is the former entrepreneur owner and CEO of Pierce Promotions, a national brand and event marketing company. In 2007, Clint finalized the sale of Pierce to Omnicom Group (NYSE:OMC) a global leader in advertising and marketing services. Clint and his wife Sue built the company from scratch, starting in a small one room office above their garage in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. The company ultimately grew from 2 employees to 250 with 7 offices nationwide and a field network of over 1,000 brand ambassadors. Under Clint’s leadership, the company executed major brand marketing events for Fortune 500 companies at the Super Bowl, Daytona 500, and the Macy's Day Parade to name a few. Clint is also the author of The Entrepreneur's Rule Book. The book coaches aspiring business owners through the challenges and fears that fill the life cycle of a business, from minimizing the risk of losing a steady paycheck, to finding the right employees, to ultimately selling your business. He is a Founding Director of Teenagers Care, a newly formed 501C non-profit focused on teen issues and major causes worldwide. Clint graduated in 1981 from Franklin Pierce University, where he majored in Marketing. He and his wife Sue have been married for 26 years and have 4 children including Matt (WFU ’15). (back to top)
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. (back to top)
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. (back to top)
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. (back to top)
Gregory Segall -- Gregory L. Segall is Chairman and CEO of Versa Capital Management, LLC, a private equity investment firm with $1.2 billion of assets under management focused on distressed leveraged buyouts and other ‘Special Situations’, and targeting North American-based middle market companies with revenues under $1 billion. He has led Versa and its predecessors since their founding in 1992. A former Governor of the State Bar of California by legislative appointment, he has been a frequent guest commentator media outlets such as CNBC and Bloomberg TV, and guest lecturer for numerous universities and professional organizations on various topics including corporate restructurings, distressed investing and other economic, business and financial issues. Mr. Segall is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), various industry and professional associations, and is past President (‘03-‘09) of the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center in Philadelphia, for which service he received the 2003 ‘Turnaround of the Year (Pro Bono) Award’ from the Turnaround Management Association. He is a graduate of Pepperdine University, where he received his M.B.A., and lives in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania with his three sons, Daniel (Wake Forest ’15), Adam and Jordan. (back to top)
Donald Seitz -- Don is Senior Vice President at Author Solutions, Inc., the world's leading self-publishing company. Don oversees global sales for the company, managing sixteen distinct book publishing imprints. He is also responsible for business development for the company, establishing strategic partnerships with a variety of publishing, media and technology firms in support of the company's key initiatives. Don's previous positions have spanned sales and marketing roles at IBM and Lucent Technologies and at several venture-backed firms primarily in the software and services sector. Don is a graduate of Princeton University ('79) where he majored in Economics and was President of the University Cottage Club. He also has an MBA degree from Harvard Business School ('83). He is active in several associations, sits on two corporate advisory boards, and is an avid golfer, runner and downhill skier. He is married to Patty Seitz (University of Connecticut, '79), who runs day-to-day operations at one of the nation's premier youth soccer clubs. The couple has three children (Katie, University of Richmond '07; Melissa, Princeton University '10; and Michael, Wake Forest University '12). They reside in Basking Ridge, NJ with two dogs and a cat. (back to top)
Gary Smith -- Gary B. Smith is President and CEO of Ciena, a global leader in next-generation telecommunications infrastructure that enables high-capacity, intelligent networks. Under Smith's leadership, Ciena has grown from approximately $300 million in annual revenue to nearly $2 billion in annual revenue run rate, with #1 market share in next-generation optical networking in North America and #3 market share worldwide. As one of the fastest-growing companies in the sector since 2001, Ciena's 4000+ employees serve more than 1000 customers, including many of the world's largest telecommunications service providers and cable operators, governments and enterprises. In 2011, recognizing Ciena's depth of experience and influence in the industry, President Obama appointed Smith to the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC).
A citizen of both the U.S. and the UK, Smith has lived on three continents and worked extensively on six. Prior to joining Ciena in 1997 to launch its international business, and leading Worldwide Sales before becoming Chief Operating Officer in 1999 and CEO in 2001, Smith served as VP for Sales and Marketing at Intelsat, the world's leading provider of fixed satellite services; and served in senior marketing roles at three UK-based data solutions companies.
Smith is also Lead Outside Director for CommVault Systems, Inc.; a member of the Board of Directors at Avaya, Inc.; a commissioner of the Global Information Infrastructure Commission; a 'Broadband Ambassador' for the Internet Innovation Alliance; and, participates in initiatives with the Center for Corporate Innovation. Smith also previously served as a Board member at the American Electronics Association (now TechAmerica).
Smith earned an MBA from Ashridge Management College in the UK. He is an avid runner, mountain biker, and tennis and squash player. He lives in Maryland with his wife and two children. (back to top)
Daniel White -- MBA, President and CEO: Prior to joining Clearside Biomedical, Mr. White served in Global Corporate Development as head of transactions for GSK’s dermatology division of Stiefel. Daniel White has participated in private equity raises and sales of assets for over $120 million and has played an integral role in the negotiation of 27 acquisitions and divestitures. Product successes include 7 launched products and 2 late Phase III products associated with assets identified, licensed or acquired. He was a founding member and instrumental in the creation of Alimera Sciences, Inc (ALIM) now a publically traded, Atlanta-based specialty pharmaceutical company developing drugs for prescription ophthalmology indications, where he served as Vice President of Finance and Corporate Development. He has previously held management positions in global corporate development with Novartis subsidiary, CIBA Vision, and aaiPharma, and has developed numerous contacts in the health sciences industry and among VCs and investment banks. Mr. White holds an MBA from Wake Forest in Finance, has an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology from Auburn University and performed graduate work in pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (back to top)
Nancy Whitmore --Nancy Whitmore is the CEO and Founder of Atlantic Trading LLC. The largest company within the organization is Holly & Brooks and hollyandbrooks.com , a specialty e-commerce and retail designer shoe, handbag and accessories company. Nancy and her team have taken the company from her original home office to a full-scale retail/fulfillment warehouse operation. The inaugural Holly & Brooks store location was opened at Freshfields Village situated between Kiawah and Seabrook Islands in South Carolina. Prior to this entrepreneurial venture, Nancy was an Account Supervisor at Washburn Direct Marketing and a Product Manager and Commercial Lender for NationsBank (now Bank of America, NA). She has a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the University of North Carolina. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband Rob. Her daughter, Sarah, is a freshman at Elon University and her son, Brooks, is a proud member of the class of 2014 at Wake Forest.(back to top)
Kelly Williams -- Kelly has been with the TVP team since 2009. Kelly is responsible for the firm's administrative and operational activities. Prior to TVP, Kelly worked at Investcorp where she supported the Hedge Funds Group and marketing team. Kelly received her undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University. She currently also serves on the Wake Forest University Alumni Committee for New York, and the Wake Forest University Internship Advisory Council. (back to top)
Chet Zalesky -- Involved in marketing and research for 25 years, Chet Zalesky, founder of CMI, helps companies achieve sustainable growth. His focus is on aligning customer needs with business initiatives that drive profitability. He has directed the development of information platforms for managing the customer experience process, programs for retention and acquisition, as well as new product development. As President of CMI, he provides the inspiration and vision ofor growth and a compelling, profitable future. Chet is an active member of CASRO, ESOMAR, and AMA, and has served on committees for several national and regional conferences. He has previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO), where he also served as the Board Chair, and was the chairperson for CASRO University. He holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Villanova University, where he played NCAA Division I football. He undertook his graduate studies in marketing research at the University of South Carolina. (back to top)
Mark Zandi -- Mark Zandi is chief economist of Moody's Analytics, where he directs research and consulting. Moody's Analytics, a subsidiary of Moody's Corporation, is a leading provider of economic research, data and analytical tools. Mark's research interests include macroeconomics, financial markets and public policy. His recent research has focused on the determinants of mortgage foreclosure and personal bankruptcy, analyzed the economic impact of various tax and government spending policies, and assessed the appropriate policy response to bubbles in asset markets. Mark also conducts regular briefings on the economy. He is oftern quoted in national and global publications and interviewed by major news media outlets and is the author of Financial Shock, an expose' of the financial crisis. His forthcoming book, Paying the Price, provides a roadmap for meeting the nation's daunting fiscal challenges. A trusted adviser to policymakers and an influential source of economic analysis for businesses, journalists and the public, Mark has frequently testified before Congress on topics including the economic outlook, the merits of fiscal stimulus, financial regulatory reform, and foreclosure mitigation. Dr. Zandi received his PhD at the University of Pensylvania, where he did his research with Gerard Adams and Nobel laureate Lawrence Klein, and received his B.S. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. (back to top)