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.

Harry Albert

Harry is an experienced sales professional having first worked for 20+ years at a Fortune 100 multinational company in a variety of Sales, Marketing and Procurement and Supply Chain leadership roles before joining an entrepreneur friend and mentor in 1999 and spending the next 20+ years in as a Partner and Senior Sales VP for a company specializing in software development and data management serving manufacturers and distributors in the Agriculture market sector. Harry has a BA in Finance from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from the University of North Florida. Harry is most proficient at developing partner/client relationships through understanding their goals and objectives and mentoring them to reach their potential.

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.

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.

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.

Kenneth Deakyne

I can help entrepreneurs with the startup and operations of their business. As a director / general manager and a business owner I have learned and gained valuable insights into starting up and running a business. This includes strategic business planning, day-to-day operations, sales and marketing, financial projections, cash flow management and recruiting. I also have extensive background in project management, data analytics and measuring business performance.To maintain a balance between work and family my wife and I enjoy traveling together throughout the U.S. and overseas.  I also enjoy reading, the theater and all kinds of music.  When my children were younger I had coached recreational soccer and little league, I am now a devoted fan watching my grandchildren follow in their mother and father footsteps.  Lastly, I enjoy teaching and facilitating business process and analytic workshops to help transform and automate today's business environments.

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).

Claudio Edelman

Claudio's industry experience is in consulting, research and business services, technology and web-based services. Claudio can help aspiring entrepreneurs form and improve new business ideas. With SCORE, he works as part of a volunteer team to help a business with a specific project or challenge. Claudio teaches specific business topics or subject matter to a small group of clients. Claudio brings extensive experience (30+ years) in technology and product development, global engineering management, people leadership, and business development.

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.

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.

June Heck

I can help identify and develop business opportunities, strategies and performance benchmarks. Provide guidance and direction on placing together strategic business plans and financial reports. I can help you identify key business partners, revenue streams and costs as you develop your business canvas and budgets. I have worked in small startups and established companies (from less than $1 million to more than $100 million revenue) in the areas of accounting, finance, general management, strategy, risk assessment and pitching. I understand the difficulty and importance of identifying objectives and projections at an early stage. I am solutions oriented and can provide an unbiased,independent view given my career in public accounting, venture capital and small business. 

Dennis "Denny" Holland

Denny is a counselor and mentor with over 40 years of broad management experience in all sizes of businesses, from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups and turnarounds. He 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 executive 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 + 20 years, first in the Philadelphia, PA area, then in Naples, FL, and now Chapel Hill-Durham.

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.

James Montague

James' industry experience is in professional, scientific, and technical services, real estate, and rental and leasing. He helps aspiring entrepreneurs form and improve new business ideas, works as a part of a volunteer team to help a business with a specific project or challenge, teaches specific business topics or subject matter to a small group of clients, as well as facilitates business discussions among a small group of clients. He develops and maintains relationships with organizations in the community, develops strategies to expand SCORE's reach and attract new volunteers, and supports outreach programs to attract more business owners to SCORE.

David Morgan
David's experience is in finance and insurance, professional, scientific, and technical services, transportation, and warehousing. His areas of expertise are accounting and cash flow, business plans and startup assistance, not-for-profits, and technology. As a software engineer, business professional, board member, and strategist, David has helped various clients make key transformations in their business using data and analytics to guide their business. He has focused upon financial models, key internal operational systems and guided clients to adapt to the ever-changing methods and technologies in various industries. By serving on the RDU Airport Authority and Durham City/County Planning Commission as a volunteer, David has developed a passion for community development and transportation infrastructure.

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.

Jerry Romagnoli

As a retired business owner within the construction industry, I can help you evaluate your business plan and provide a sounding board for your ideas, whether you’re just starting a new business or are re-examining your current business. I can assist you in your understanding of the financial side of the business (bonding, lines of credit, insurance, equipment loans, understanding your financial statements, buying and selling a business etc.), and the operational side (estimating, proposal preparation, project management, company organization, environmental remediation, equipment management). My 30+ year career as entrepreneur and CEO, positioned me as a subject matter expert in construction and environmental industries.

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

Reece Schuler is an entrepreneur who has started, run and sold a technology business. He was a programmer and manager at IBM before deciding to start his own business in the Higher Ed industry. Twenty plus years later he sold it to a larger tech company, retired and came to volunteer at SCORE. Reece knows how to evaluate an idea, to determine whether it is worth pursuing, and how to go about funding and staffing the business.

Reece’s major focus has been in the tech area, but the same business evaluation criteria apply to other sectors. He is skilled at putting together business plans and can help you find the elements critical to success, and then put together a plan to achieve it.

Jai Shankar

Jai Shankar has industry experience in finance & insurance, manufacturing, scientific and technical services. Jai has been a successful entrepreneur and would like to give back by helping folks who are starting. Jai helps aspiring entrepreneurs form and improve new business ideas, works as part of a volunteer team to help a business with a specific project or challenge, teaches specific business topics or subject matter to a small group of clients, while developing and maintaining relationships with organizations in the community. Jai also enjoys assisting with administrative tasks like matching clients and mentors.

John Steffan

For the last 40 plus years John Steffan has been writing and negotiating software contracts for IBM, UNC Health Care System, and smaller technology and manufacturing companies.  Steffan graduated from the University of Dayton with a BS and an MBA degree.  Currently he is running a farm in Caswell County raising and selling organic blueberries, raspberries and blackberries and safflower.  He is also raising minor breed sheep for their high-quality wool which is sold to knitters.  He has been a SCORE mentor since 2019.

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.  

Zeke Trezise

Zeke Trezise is an entrepreneur, strategist, and mentor with experience in digital marketing, branding, and strategy. He has started several businesses and is a senior at UNC Chapel Hill studying business and economics. Currently he works for a venture capital firm based in Chicago. Zeke loves helping founders and can help you with business strategy, marketing, branding, and venture financing.

Kevin Tull

Kevin Tull is the Executive Director of Market & Customer Intelligence System for UNC Health Care and has served as the Director of Market Intelligence & Performance Reporting since 2015 and has held various management roles within strategic planning at UNC Health Care since 2010 including the creation and management of the market research function. In his current role, Kevin is responsible for leading a team to advise senior executives on identified opportunities and threats in the industry & competitive environment. 

Prior to coming to UNC Health Care, Kevin worked as an Associate at AVOS Life Sciences, a boutique pharmaceutical strategy consulting firm, working with venture capital, major pharma and CRO clients focused on commercialization strategies for products in development. Kevin completed his Master of Healthcare Policy & Management at the University of North Carolina and his Master of Applied Economics & Bachelors of Business Management at North Carolina State University.  

David Van Soest

David has spent over 35 years in executive leadership of highly successful B2B service companies – both entrepreneurial and corporate. 

Earlier in his career, David was a founding partner of a successful regional company, which ultimately sold. In addition, he held V.P.-level sales and operating management positions with two industry-leading, national B2B service corporations.

His career culminated in the role of CEO of an innovative, national staffing company he conceived, planned and co-founded. From a bootstrapped startup, David grew the company to over 130 branches and $400M in revenue before it was sold to a private equity firm. 

David’s broad knowledge and hands-on experience in entrepreneurial enterprise development is invaluable to young entrepreneurs. David will especially be of service to companies seeking assistance with strategic planning, sales and business development, organizational development, licensing and franchising, and small business acquisition and divestiture.

Patricia Villa

Patricia Villa is an accounting and management professional with 17 years of combined experience in these fields.  She holds a masters degree in Financial Accounting from the University of Miami and has worked in both the private and public sectors. Her experience includes working as a Corporate Controller and Operations Manager in small organizations in the manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, and retail spaces.

She also has experience in providing high quality fractional accounting services and tax preparation to individuals and small businesses.  Patricia goes beyond delivering services.  She strives to build ongoing relationships with her clients by being available and responsive and by serving as a long-term referral resource.  She looks for ways to provide value to her clients personally and professionally, day in and day out.

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.

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