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.

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.

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).

Claudio Edelman

My industry experience is in consulting, research and business services, technology and web-based services. I can help aspiring entrepreneurs form and improve new business ideas; Work as part of a volunteer team to help a business with a specific project or challenge; Teach specific business topics or subject matter to a small group of clients. I bring 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.

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.

James Montague

My industry experience is in professional, scientific, and technical services, real estate, and rental and leasing. I can help aspiring entrepreneurs form and improve new business ideas, work as a part of a volunteer team to help a business with a specific project or challenge, teach specific business topics or subject matter to a small group of clients, facilitate business discussions among a small group of clients, develop and maintain relationships with organizations in your community, develop strategies to expand SCORE's reach and attract new volunteers, and support outreach programs to attract more business owners to score.

David Morgan

My experience is in finance and insurance, professional, scientific, and technical services, transportation, and warehousing. My 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, I have helped various clients make key transformations in their business using data and analytics to guide their business. I have 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, I have 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.

Sally Paille

Sally has worked in both for-profit and non-profit organizations. Her for-profit work was in marketing with multi-channel retail companies. At an outdoors sporting-specialties company in Maine, she was responsible for sales forecasts and was part of the catalog circulation planning team. At a Wisconsin workwear company, she created the new-customer acquisition program and developed operating reports to enable data-driven marketing decisions. She developed her analytical skills at both retail companies during periods of exceptional growth. Most recently, she was the Director of Finance at a 501(c)(6) organization in North Carolina. There, she developed a deep understanding of financial reporting and its importance to maintaining a financially healthy organization. Sally has also worked as a business consultant, math teacher, and basketball coach. One of her greatest joys is working with others to help them reach their full potential. Sally has a B.A. in Economics from St. Olaf College and M.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois. She also holds a certificate in non-profit management from Duke.  

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.

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

My industry experience is in finance & insurance, manufacturing, scientific and technical services. I have been a successful entrepreneur and would like to give back by helping folks who are starting. I will help aspiring entrepreneurs form and improve new business ideas, work as part of a volunteer team to help a business with a specific project or challenge, teach specific business topics or subject matter to a small group of clients, develop and maintain relationships with organizations in your community, assist with administrative tasks like matching clients and mentors.

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.  

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.

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.

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.