SCORE Chapel Hill Durham Mentors

Need expert advice?  We have mentors ready to assist you with "how-to" answers, planning your business, marketing strategy, serving as a business mentor, serving on your advisory board, and more.


Mike Atwood

An Executive with a strong record of success and leadership in creating information technology business at the global level. During his years at Booz & Co, Everest and Hackett he worked with multiple clients create a strategic plan that allowed the business to focus on their core value differentiators. As a result, he sold and delivered the largest outsourcing advisory engagement Booz & Co. had ever undertaken, created practices that delivered 40% of Everest’s revenues, and made Hackett a credible player in the outsourcing advisory space.  Mr. Atwood has personally led engagements at over 25 fortune 100 businesses helping them evaluate and sometimes outsource various ITO and BPO services. Prior to this Mr. Atwood was the President and CEO respectively of two venture backed start- ups after leaving EDS. At EDS, during a 25-year career, Mr. Atwood advanced from a software development trainee to leading 3 different business units, with up to 2700 people, and managing a 2+ billion-dollar budget. As the President of these business units he was responsible for sales and operation of outsourcing services to various portions of EDS' business. Mike has both a BA and an MS degree in Mathematics from Arizona State University.

Bob Barlow

Bob Barlow, working in Los Angles and San Francisco, has over 40 years of management experience in the corporate world designing, developing and commercializing packaging and labeling systems for medical devices, personal care, food supplements, and household products to create cost effective and robust solutions that achieve customer satisfaction. Expertise in package system validation testing, general feasibility concept testing, corrective & preventative (CAPA) analysis problem solving, graphic development, project timetables management, barcode labeling development, accelerated aging self life testing, package equipment qualifications and OEM quality system compliance.

Paul Barnes

Paul is a cross-functional professional with a metallurgical engineering degree and an MBA who has managed large and small operations and improved their performance by applying lean and six sigma principles to high impact administrative, business and operational processes.  One of his strengths is analyzing and translating data into information and then presenting the information in a usable form to make decisions.  His work experience includes product development, quality management, project management, account management, product planning, strategic planning, merger and acquisitions, activity-based costing (ABC), and value analysis/value engineering (VAVE).

John Bartelme

Experienced executive with a proven track record of leadership. 30+ years of knowledge, expertise, and experience in strategic business planning; new product innovation and development; traditional and digital advertising; public relations; traditional and social media; consumer and trade relations; and sports/event marketing. I can help start-ups and on-going businesses in the areas of business strategy and planning, marketing, new products, and new services. M.B.A. Marketing/Finance University of NC – Kenan Flagler Business School B.S. Industrial Engineering –North Carolina State University

Carl Baumann

Mentor specializing in writing business plans, the business model canvas, business financial analysis & management, strategic planning, customer journey/experience mapping and general business management. Experience in management, finance and accounting for a subsidiary of a Fortune 25 company and in banking. Education: BSBA UNC – Chapel Hill and EMBA Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University.

Barbara Bell

Barbara is an educator, strategist, small business owner, and Silicon Valley alum who has experience in business development, marketing, engagement, and operations. She is currently the Senior Operating Officer for a lab within the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and runs the entrepreneurial program the E(I) Lab. She can help improve business performance with active engagement, marketing, business development, and business strategy. After working for 15 years in Silicon Valley, as well as running my own small business, she can offer support to entrepreneurs at all stages.

Ruth Benton

Ruth built a successful medical group from startup to $150 Million in annual revenue over 25 years; 23 locations, 200 providers, 450 employees in Denver, Colorado. Ruth has experience in raising equity capital, health insurance actuarial premium adequacy, management at all levels and financial analysis and modeling. Ruth has 50 years of Health Care administration experience, working in Health Insurance, HMO’s, hospital and a medical group.

Thomas “Tim“ Bryden

Tim brings a unique background of leadership style, professional accomplishments, and management skills to the SCORE Mentors Program. Highly developed competencies draw upon successful integration of two graduate degrees: MBA; MSW. While completing his MBA at Fordham University, Tim studied under the W. Edwards Deming Leadership Institute whose teachings had a profound impact on American manufacturing and service organizations.    Collaborative communication, team facilitation, and interpersonal proficiencies show a proven ability to navigate change in difficult environments. Tim has held executive positions in not for profit organizations and has skilled insights into Board development, Foundations, Grant Preparation & Grant Seeking, not for profit start up & finance and Integrated Process Organization. 

Jim Colleran

Jim has over 40 years experience in Information Technology. He spent 30 years as a software developer and manager in business applications for AT&T. He spent 15 years since then running a small software consulting company working with a university where he converted an old mainframe application to a modern internet based system. He also consulted at an engineering firm where he wrote user interface software. His primary interest is assisting people get their business started in an efficient and effective way.

Richard Crocco

Experienced professional with more than 40 years of experience emphasizing sales, marketing, and business development in the HVAC industry. Skilled and knowledgeable with all tools and blueprints related to all aspects of installation and sales of HAVC. Degree in Marketing and Business Administration. Highly customer-centric with excellent relationship building skills. Strong sales and marketing skills to build new business and cultivate existing customer relationships. Self-confident, organized, and motivated, bringing creativity to all business endeavors.

Kim Crossman

Kim Crossman has over 40 years of business experience. He began his career scheduling manufacturing for an industrial textile company, followed by plant management and operations and general management for multiple facilities in several states. Then transferred to the Furniture Division to turn around an importer and manufacturer of rattan and commercial furniture. He arranged the sale of this company for the owners, then founded his own small business to manufacture private label upholstered furniture for the hospitality industry. After a few years he expanded into his own product line to sell to hotels directly and grew to become a significant player in this market with nearly 90 employees. Also visited suppliers in SE Asia and China. In 2014 he was approached by a larger furniture company with which he had partnered on a very large dorm project. They wanted to expand into more commercial furniture. He ran this as a division for them for 5 years before retiring. He is well versed in all aspects of managing a small business including manufacturing, importing, financing, leasing, marketing and logistics. BS Carnegie-Mellon, MBA Ohio State

Keith Dale

Over the past 25+ years I have worked in various aspects of Wholesale Manufacturing, Retail Buying and Apparel Product Development.  In my last postion for 14 years, I was EVP of Sales, Merchandising and Strategy for a NY Based Apparel Company. Our business was with many large corporations as well as small specialty and large retail chains, both on price and off price. I've developed business plans, built both internal and external sales teams and profitability surveys for prospective ventures within my areas of responsibility. Licensing is also a strong area of experience I can assist in.  Prior to this, I worked as a Buyer for TJX companies and Ames Department Stores.  My Bachelors is in Business Management and Finance, with an MBA from NYU, Stern School of Business in 1991. I am married for 28 years, have two sons, one attending Tufts University in Boston, and the other here at NC State. We recently moved to the NC area to slow down, give back, volunteer and "attempt" golf.

Jim Davis

Jim Davis has more than thirty-five years’ experience planning and executing large, complex programs and projects.  Twice a company president, he is an experienced leader with significant organizational strengths including translation of requirements, strategy formulation, corporate governance, budgeting and planning, team building, financial management and program execution.  He has direct experience in leading international teams and navigating US export processes for both Commerce Control List (CCL) and US Munitions List (USML).  His greatest pleasure arises from helping companies and individuals succeed against their objectives. Jim has engineering degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and naval architecture from the US Naval Academy and MIT.  He undertook business training at Boston University and program management education at the Defense Acquisition University.  He is a PMI Project Management Professional®.

Tenea DeBerry

Tenea has been an entrepreneur as a Hairdresser for 25 years. In 2015, she opened The Pampered Woman, LLC, which is currently in operation. Through her experience as an entrepreneur, she has gained experience in customer relations, creative innovations and leadership capacities as an owner. Tenea has spoken in conference/community events, as well as volunteered her time to help others in need such as Veterans, senior communities, local elementary schools helping educate children of her career as a hairstylist and business owner. Tenea is a knowledgeable source as a professional business owner and stylist. She loves building strong connection with her customers by helping them express their personalities through their appearance. As a professional, she continues to educate herself through local classes and conventions that offer superior educational opportunities in her field. Tenea loves to encourage and inspire others through her business experiences, that have supplied her with much knowledge. Currently, she is finishing a BA degree and looking forward to a Masters in the future. In her free time, she enjoys time with her family, reading books, painting, creating and hanging with friends. Mentoring other business owners is a passion for Tenea and the opportunity to do so increases the wellness of seeing others succeed.

Herbert Dittmar

30+Years of Experience in Multinational and Multicultural Management and Marketing with a demonstrated ability in operational and strategic management in HQ, as well as in various countries, operational sizes, and cultures across several Business to Consumer (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) industries.

Arnold Dunn

Arnold Dunn (currently Chapter-Vice Chair) has over 30 years of business experience.  He started his career as an Accountant with Touche Ross & Co.  Spent seven years in the retail business with a NYSE company rising to the level of Treasurer.  He then changed industries and became the Chief Financial Officer of a ladies handbag and accessory company and successfully sold it to a private equity fund in 1997.  For the next 20 years he owned and operated a wholesale children’s wear company located in New York City. This is where he gained much experience in the garment business and importing merchandise from all parts of the world. Arnold is well versed in Accounting and Tax matters, Banking and Finance, License Agreements, Trade-names, DBA’s, Trademarks, Legal entities, Insurance. He is also an active investor in Real Estate and a partner in a Private Mortgage business totaling over $20 million in outstanding private loans. He is also a certified instructor and teaches Welcome to Entrepreneurship (WTE).

Don Eash

Don has over 25 years of experience in working with organizations across the globe.  He has a proven track record of helping individuals and teams unlock their peak performance by eliminating barriers to success and creating success frameworks for individuals, teams and companies.  Don leverages his executive experience from the Walt Disney Company and Universal Parks & Resorts as well as his latest role as Chief Operating Officer at Gateway Ticketing Systems where he has brought together business strategy, technology and the human element to harness the hidden potential in organizations and turn that into elite performance with measurable results.  

Chris Exton

Counselor and mentor with experience in R&D, operations, manufacturing, project and business planning, finance, sales, marketing and supply chain management primarily in the specialty chemical and agricultural chemical industries around the world. Held senior management positions in both large and small companies while living and working in the US and Europe. Helped numerous start-ups in Europe and the USBS-Chem. Eng. Tufts Univ., M.S. in Management RPI.

Stephen Fairchild

Counselor and consultant with four decades of business experience in finance, sales and marketing, operations, and general management. Worked and lived in Europe and Asia for publicly (Fortune 500) and privately owned companies including family owned enterprises. Special interest areas include technology commercialization, international business development and family owned enterprises. Currently working with UNC Medical School Clinical Skills and Business School Launch the Venture program. BA, MBA and MS

Jim Gray

Counselor with retail management and design experience as an owner of Gray Brother’s Furniture and Interiors. Currently he is a real estate broker with Keller Williams Realty in Chapel Hill and serves as Director of Development for the North Carolina Council of Churches in Raleigh. Jim’s passion is making life better for others and he has served with the Red Cross, Hospice, Habitat for Humanity, Rainbow Center for Children, and Old Wilkes, Inc. among others. He is also president elect of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Kiwanis Club. Education: University of North Carolina.

Bill Griffin

Over 40 years of experience in employee benefits with companies small and large. Small company start-up experience involved co-founding BeneCom Associates, LLC, a small business focused on the creation, production and distribution of employee benefits communication media for large (Fortune 500) employers. Clients included AT&T, Booz Allen Hamilton, Disney, Electronic Arts, FedEx, Wachovia and others. Created and led sales, marketing and finance functions, established the company’s brand and developed all external facing B2B marketing and growth initiatives. Successfully negotiated sale of the business in 2012. Small company start-up experience also includes founding and operating a small “Mom and Pop” retail operation. Closed operations in 1985. Large company experience involved all phases of the group medical insurance product life cycle including product development, marketing, sales and financial underwriting for two large national insurers, Travelers and CIGNA. Primary responsibilities at CIGNA were included roles as Product Manager for products and financial services affecting all product lines, all early stage managed care initiatives and product enhancement. Bill is a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature.

Rob Gurley

Rob is a marketing strategist and technology consultant in Durham. His experience includes stints at companies like IBM, LexisNexis, and Lenovo; and he currently leads a marketing operations team for a tech company in RTP.  Rob's areas of expertise include digital marketing, social media, startup management, and software development. He has a BSBA from Western Carolina University, a BA from the University of Rochester, and is a member of Duke's MBA Class of 2022. 

Hanna Hasl-Kelchner

Hanna empowers entrepreneurs with pragmatic, big picture thinking and the legal literacy advantage. She had a front row seat to her parents’ entrepreneurial American Dream and ran her own robotics company before age 30. Supplementing the business lessons learned at the kitchen table with a BA from Duke, an MBA from Cornell and a JD from Rutgers, Hanna became a trusted legal advisor to influential decision makers ranging from the White House, to startups and the S&P 500 (primarily in the manufacturing) for a gazillion years. With her own entrepreneurial roots tugging at her; Hanna wrote The Business Guide to Legal Literacy (Jossey-Bass, 2006), and taught in the MBA programs at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Hanna also hosts the popular podcast Business Confidential Now with Hanna Hasl-Kelchner and leads Business M.O., LLC, a leadership development firm. She proudly serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Business Ethics Education (2002 – present).

Donnie Haye

Donnie is a counselor and mentor with executive experience in a global technology company. Her areas of focus include general management, operations, finance and business transformation with special interest in advanced analytics and cognitive systems. Donnie worked and lived in Europe and Asia. She also supported privately held businesses by family members. She has an undergraduate engineering degree from Michigan State and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

Dennis "Denny" Holland

Counselor and mentor with over 35 years of broad management experience in all sizes of businesses, from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and turnarounds. Denny currently operates his own management consulting practice which focuses on strategic business development and executive coaching, counseling & mentoring. Technically educated as a Chemical Engineer, he progressed from R&D, manufacturing and engineering, through sales and marketing, to general management. He’s a graduate of Gannon University in Erie, PA and management programs at Harvard and Northwestern Universities. He has been active with SCORE for the past 11 years, first in the Philadelphia, PA area, then in Naples, FL.

Marcia Ladd

Marcia was a High Performing Executive with 30 years healthcare experience. She has demonstrated proficiency in leading successful organizations that optimize profitability through results oriented sales and marketing dynamics, hands on attention to staff development, management and retention in a customer focused environment. She initially served as a corporate executive with larger organizations, then bought, grew and successfully sold a medical equipment and supply company. In 17 years she grew the company 10 fold and formed a consortium of medical equipment dealers who served the vast majority of the managed care business in NC. Marcia understands small businesses and how to make them successful.

Denny Lewis

Career Army Officer followed by 18 years in the defense industry that included general manager of a $120M division, Department of Defense Account Executive, and Business Development Director for large defense companies in the Washington, DC area. Currently, runs his own consulting LLC. His clients include: privately owned companies, the Economic Development Partnership of NC, the NC Military Business Center and the NC Defense Technology Transition Office. His expertise is understanding, navigating, identifying, pursuing and winning opportunities in the federal market, and knowing the steps required to do so.

Michael Nowicki

Counselor with experience in Human Resources and Sales Management. Served as Human Resource Manager or Director for three manufacturing companies. Served on the New Business Task Force for developing a business plan. Also, held a Sales Management position for the eastern U.S. and prepared sales forecasts, budgets and marketing projections for a division of Corus Corporation (formerly British Steel) which is now Tata Steel. B.A. degree, Upper Iowa University.

Shayne O'Neill

As a mentor or coach, I can help you improve business performance in: Information Technology (IT), Operations, Organizational Development, and Program Management and Execution. During my career I have performed as IT Director for multiple manufacturing companies in the electronics industry having migrated to IT from Manufacturing Management earlier in my career. I have gained broad experience in Program Management of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) initiatives spanning activities from process planning to implementation through multiple industries. I have led the Establishment of comprehensive IT operations including Data Centers, Fiber Networks, Server and Desktop architecture, and program development.

Ivona Piper

Multi-channel marketing executive with 30 years of experience in technology and analytics driven marketing, in both B2B and B2C corporate environments. Led the development of business foundations for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), data mining, customer analytics, and automated marketing for major retailers and clinical research companies such as Staples, Quintiles, and Limited Inc. Frequent speaker at conferences (DMA, NCDM, IIR, Adobe, SAS) on analytics in retail industry, and guest lecturer (Babson, Penn) on customer information management in marketing . Graduate of University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School. Fluent in English, Polish (native) and proficient in Russian.

James Ranlet

James Ranlet has over 35 years of business and technical experience.  He started his career as an electronics engineer with Sunshine Scientific Instruments, Inc., RCA, and FMC and moved into automation and control systems working for end users as well as several automation systems houses.  In 1990. after several years with Allen-Bradley, one of the primary automation and control system manufacturers, he started a successful 17 year period as an independent, self-employed automation consultant, often working with former employers or clients as a senior technical or project leader.  After moving to the Raleigh/Durham area, he spent 8 more years working in the pharmaceutical industry as a subject matter expert in process control and clean-in-place systems. James is well versed in the technicalities of control system design and process control, financial management, scheduling, starting and running a consulting business, and the challenges of working in a home office. He has also taught several computer oriented continuing education classes in a Maryland community college for those who were re-entering the workplace after a long absence.

Dave Robertson

Mentor who has been in financial leadership positions for over 30 years with various start-ups in the Silicon Valley, both private and public. Industries included telecommunications, biotechnology, medical devices, venture capital, and personal computers. Seven years as a management consultant with Coopers and Lybrand, now PWC. CPA (in-active), MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, and BA Economics University of Washington.

Mike Ross

Michael was a results-oriented, hands-on, IT Project Management professional. He had an over 40 year proven track record of implementing mission-critical projects both on time and within budget. He can assist in the process of simultaneously managing multiple concurrent projects, their budgets and deadlines, while maintaining consistently high quality. He has been part of programs worth over $120M. He is also proficient in development of project methodologies, processes, procedures, and standards. Michael’s core competencies include: • Project Management • Application Systems Development • Business Process Re-Engineering • Customer Relationship Management • System Performance Management • Multi-Project Planning/Balancing • Risk Identification/Management/Mitigation • Team Building/Management

Reece Schuler

Thirty-five years in the computing industry as a programmer, designer and software architect. Spent the first 15 years of career with IBM in a variety of technical and management positions. Spent the last 25 years as the President of RJM Systems. RJM systems developed a software product that provided all the administrative functions needed to run a college. The product was developed in-house, and the company was sold to a larger player in the field in June 2015.

Herman J Sperling

CEO of HJS Markets LLC, with more than four decades of international experience in both Fortune 500s and entrepreneurial environments. Until recently he was the Group VP of Marketing at Harman International (NYSE: HAR) and before that the National Sales Manager and Marketing Manager at Bose Corporation. He was a Member of the Board of Industry Leaders of the CTA (formerly the Consumer Electronics Association), served on three CEA divisional boards and chaired the CEA's Research Committee. Mr. Sperling served on the Board of his prior HOA in NY, on eBay's Advisory Board and those of 5 private firms. He has received numerous awards for products developed, including Best Home Theater System under $2,500 from Video Review Magazine, Best Product of the Year from Business Week Magazine, and Audio Product of the Year from CD Magazine. Mr. Sperling has lectured at MIT (Sloan — advanced marketing management), UNC (entrepreneurship) and UCLA (Anderson School — product development), spoken on behalf of Microsoft (social marketing) and Tata (innovation), has performed post graduate work towards an MEd in Guidance and Counseling from Tufts University, holds a BA with majors in Psychology and Sociology from Emerson College and studies in Electrical Engineering from Tufts University.

Maxine S. Stern

Counselor and mentor with experience in finance and accounting, general business management, and grant and contract administration. She has worked at Duke University in a managerial position and currently is the owner of a financial consulting business. She has a PhD in Sociology from University of North Carolina; she was a CPA for many years and is now inactive.  

Peg Thoms

I began my career as a teacher in an inner city school in Columbus, Ohio. I earned a Master’s degree in educational supervision and worked for 8 years as the Director of Continuing Education at Franklin University where I developed and managed noncredit courses and off campus business degree programs for workers at Western Electric and Rockwell International. Following that, I spent five years as training, compensation, and benefits manager in the insurance industry. Later, I earned a PhD in Organizational Behavior. I spent the next 18 years working in the Black School of Business at Penn State. This included teaching courses on leadership, human resources, compensation, selection, management, and project management. I directed the MBA Program for five years. I published 26 refereed journal articles, four books, a two volume reference series on major controversies in business and four business book chapters. I have consulted with dozens of organizations including General Electric, Riverside Hospital, Erie Insurance, Ohio National Bank, and Husky Energy. My international experience includes work at Umea University and teaching in an international Project Management Master’s Degree sponsored by Rolls Royce, Goodyear, the U.S. Air Force and the Manchester Institute of Technology.

Morris Wallack

Mentor, teacher and counselor with over 35 years in high technology executive roles. Skilled in business planning, marketing, sales and services operations. Held executive roles at Hewlett Packard and 3D Systems, with experience with new business startups, global management, service (XaaS) management, remote team management and customer success management. Mentor with SCORE, CED VMS (Venture Mentoring Service) and NC State (BUS501/Poole School of Mgmt). BSEE from Cornell University, MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Sean Watson

I'm excited to support you with technology, business strategy and execution, business intelligence/analytics/measurement, customer journey/experience mapping and evaluation, product and service design, and team and culture creation.

I have 20 years of experience with small businesses, Fortune 500s, international nonprofits, and medical/healthcare institutions. In addition, I'm a small business owner myself and understand how to apply enterprise thinking and techniques for small business realities. I have a BS in Computer Science from UNC Wilmington, view my Linkedin profile for additional certifications and education.

My coaching style is to support you in finding your own answers, through insightful questions, energetic dialog, and an emphasis on strengths and opportunities, while not ignoring challenges.

Stephan Wittkowsky

Diverse experiences in industrial organization and management, local industry development, hotel management, industrial economics and institutional organization and management. General Manager and CEO in Central America for family owned enterprises. Business and institutional consultant. Entrepreneurial experience: developed and managed various small businesses in the furniture, food and service sectors in Guatemala.  Professor of Marketing and Management. Consultant at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC Chapel Hill, and at the Executive Service Corps (ESC) of the Triangle area in N.C.  OLLI lecturer at Duke University, Durham, N.C. Graduate of Cornell University. Fluent in Spanish, English and German. BA, MBA, MS.

Anna Young

Anna has spent over 15 years in creative direction, graphic design, web design, brand development, and marketing strategy for entrepreneurs, small businesses, startups, and large tech companies. Her professional experience has served business entrepreneurs in competently, intentionally, and economically exploring any digital marketing opportunity that will raise the value of their business.

Abby Zarkin

Abby brings over 30 years of corporate experience from IBM and Lenovo, as well as recent hands-on entrepreneurial experience to her business coaching work. She has held corporate positions in line management and staff leadership in Finance, Pricing, Business Strategy, Re-engineering, Operations, Marketing, Sales Support and Advertising. She has often been charged with leading cross-functional teams to establish new approaches to business challenges at global and regional levels. After retiring from Lenovo she launched a specialty candy business based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Sweeten Creek Candy Company - which provided exclusive corporate gifts to her clients' high value customers. She served as Sweeten Creek's founder and chief for two and a half years. She is now principal of Zarkin Leadership, LLC, where she helps professionals and teams strengthen their leadership muscles at all levels of the organization.