For a specific mentor please email firstname.lastname@example.org
William J. (Bill) Acuff is a retired Atlanta-area businessman, management consultant and Federal contract claims litigator who has expertise in small and large business operations, as well as Government contracting. During his career, Mr. Acuff owned and operated businesses in the telecommunications, information technology, media & entertainment, insurance, surety bonding, staffing, financial services, and government contracting sectors. Mr. Acuff has bought and sold several businesses and is an expert in exit strategies, M&A contract negotiations and financial projections. He speaks fluent Spanish and has extensive international experience having worked in all the countries in South America as well as Mexico, Central America and Europe. Bill is a graduate of Memphis State University and has an MBA in Finance. He and his wife Vickie live on a small farm on the Nolichucky River, in Southern Appalachia near Jonesborough, Tennessee. Together they have raised 6 children, all of whom he is immensely proud of, and considers them his most significant accomplishment.
Engineering background, MBA; CFO at a major corporation. Created dot.com start-up and corporate start-up from concept to over 130 million in sales. Consultant for strategy consulting boutique.
Natalie has worked in senior marketing positions forBurger King Corporation,McAlister’s DeliandNewk’s Eatery. After working in a corporate environment, she established NFB Consulting, a company that provides consulting services for the food and beverage industry and retail concepts. Her areas of expertise encompass brand positioning, marketing strategy, menu development, and consumer insights. Clients have included PepsiCo Foodservice, Sunglass Hut-Watch Station, Del Taco restaurants, Captain D’s Restaurants, Super Target, Zimmerman Advertising, Sara Lee, FB Foods, among others. Recently, Natalie completed two extensive restaurant industry-related contracts with the Federal Government (Department of Treasury and FDA Nutrition Division).
Over 30 years of sales, trade marketing, and distribution experience in the soft drink industry, including over ten years in overseas assignments. Completed over 25 short-term US AID volunteer projects in the sales and marketing of packaged farm products in 16 developing countries, providing pro bono assistance to businesses in emerging markets to assess their strengths and weaknesses, and exploit their competitive advantage by addressing opportunities for cost improvement, growth through product and package innovation, and expansion into new markets.
Also, was Adjunct Instructor in undergraduate business and marketing courses at Western Carolina University, including Introduction to Business, Principles of Marketing, Business and Organizational Marketing, and International Marketing.
I have 30 years of business operations, coaching and mentoring experience to effectively help you achieve your goals. I spent over 25 years in corporate roles including Operations, Quality, R&D and Continuous Improvement before starting my own successful business in 2017. I’m experienced in developing, improving and implementing business processes, setting up and starting new businesses, developing practical business plans, organizing for success, interacting effectively with customers and employees and general business operations. I also have experience in running a Blog and a Podcast.
I worked in Aerospace businesses (mostly GE) for over 40 years. I have experience in management for Purchasing, Sales and Operations all in various levels of responsibility including President/CEO. I have expertise in purchasing, sales, operations, and over ten years of experience working with small and small disadvantaged businesses to assist in developing their business plans and strategies. I also have experience in intellectual property protections.
Stephanie owned a bakery for fifteen years and she quickly learned that it’s not about the cookie. Running a business involves a solid understanding of four basic business systems: financials, operations, human resources and marketing. Stephanie likes to take a systematic approach to small business and wants to help her clients streamline, simplify and strengthen their business systems. She is also a Quickbooks Certified Pro Advisor.
CPA with public accounting and private industry experience. With large car manufacturer, led a field office which included vendor/dealer relationship building and business coaching. Later, as VP of Marketing and VP of Dealer Development, was responsible for all media including online, site development, business improvement and strategic planning.
From corporate to small business and individuals, Marc Czarnecki (Marc.Czarnecki@scorevolunteer.
Managed large scale software development projects over a 20 year span in the Washington DC area in both large corporate and small consulting business environments. Managed staffing and edited technical and cost proposals, conducted business analysis, technical computer designs and developed multiple applications. Taught QuickBooks accounting and other computer courses in Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s continuing education program. Currently prepare partnership and individual taxes, seasonally. Hold an MBA in Marketing from American University and am a veteran of the U.S. Air Force.
George has 20 years experience with GE, most recently with GE Aviation in Asheville. He has held positions in other manufacturing industries including: photographic, textiles, and plastics. His work experience was focused on production planning & inventory control, purchasing, sub-contract management, ERP systems implementation and troubleshooting, user training and documentation, attention to detail related to record accuracy with a sense of urgency.
Ayse Utku Erdur
After working as marketing manager for over 15 years in international corporate companies, I altered direction for marketing and sales consultancy. I have been assisting my clients with up-to-date marketing and sales practices and techniques by the help of being experienced on both the consultancy and client side of the marketing world. I can help you start up your business or grow your business with some fundamental and critical marketing practices such as; -Definition of your market and market size, -Targeting the right audience, -Creating buyer personas and buyer journeys, -Messaging and communication, -Creating differentiation on your products/services, -Establishing your brand identity, -Building or strengthening digital existence, -Advertising in online and offline channels, -Developing co-marketing, -Training sales team and staff on persuasion, objection handling and/or how to close a deal, -Managing your budget, marketing efforts and results.I have a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science and a Master degree in Business Administration.
Eddie is an entrepreneur with over 40 years experience in manufacturing, production and importing. He has owned a Women’s fashion shoe factory in New York, souvenir T-shirt business and currentlynutcrackerballetgifts.comgift company. Eddie has a vast, well-rounded understanding of all aspects of running a successful company.
As the Vice President of US Sales for a NYSE traded building products company, Jay has a solid history of achievement and experience in selling products and solutions across the waterworks, plumbing and electrical industries. Jay managed a direct national sales force, as well as an extensive network of independent commissioned sales agencies. He led and collaborated with a centralized customer service department to support US sales efforts. As a member of the senior management team he participated regularly in the disciplines of Sales, Inventory & Operations planning, the Stage Gate process for new products, and use of Key Account Plans and Key Performance indicators to review and monitor annual US performance. Jay and his wife Kathy have lived in Asheville since 2014 and both enjoy the many outdoor activities that Western North Carolina has to offer.
Financial manager/accountant/analyst with MBA/CPA credentials and over 30 years of varied experience for Fortune 500/other international and domestic corporations. My expertise includes financial management: accounting operations, public/management reporting, financial analysis and planning, budgeting, forecasting, cash/treasury management, information systems analysis & design, internal controls and business plans.
Jim brings to Asheville SCORE an impressive background of both military experience and over 30 years of working with small business owners. Jim is a Marine Corps combat Veteran, a retired small business attorney, a Certified Business Coach, an award winning military instructor and a teacher.
Jim has been a counselor/mentor with SCORE since 2012. For 7 years, Jim was the primary facilitator and instructor for the BOOTS TO BUSINESS TAPS training program for bases in San Diego County, California. These 30+ 2-day trainings reach approximately 800 transitioning service members per year.
In recognition of his dedication and proficiency, Jim was awarded the U.S. Small Business Administration’s national 2016 Instructor of the Year for all SCORE Boots to Business instructors.
Tom spent his early career in Corporate sales and starting/operating a small Medical billing/collection company. He spent the majority of his career in Healthcare Administration in large (e.g.: Mass General) and small acute care hospitals. He also spent many years turning around Nursing/Rehab facilities that were in crisis for various reasons (regulatory, financial, management issues).
Expert in Business Plan Development, Development of Financials, Financial analysis, Buy/Sell/Joint Ventures, Business Development. Consultant for major corporations and small businesses, start-up. as well as existing businesses.
Organizing and growing enterprises, particularly non-profit organizations. With a 35-year career as a chamber of commerce executive, I have a great deal of experience in working with companies--from small business to large corporations--as well as in the mechanics of establishing non-profit groups and growing them to be highly successful and effective. Key skill sets include working with volunteers, understanding markets, communications and public relations, fundraising, empowering employees, and developing creative programs. Familiarity with many business / industry sectors including technology, healthcare, tourism, public affairs, R&D, and manufacturing.
I am a creative, open-minded experienced marketing and corporate communications professional with expertise in: strategic messaging, public and media/analyst relations, branding, websites, acquisition/pipeline development, market research, collateral/sales tools, digital marketing, hiring and managing external resources/contractors, and budget management. My approach is simple: Put forward a product/service that is meaningful to the target user in both what it says to them and does for them, and then generate unforgettable, unwavering demand.
Blaine is a professor emeritus of marketing at Bucks County Community College where he still teaches part-time. He is also an active volunteer in such community organizations as the Asheville Jewish Business Forum, SCORE, ABTech's Small Business Center, the Biltmore Lake Board of Directors and Asheville Community Theatre.
I can assist clients in the ideation stage of starting a business and help them develop sound business plans to ensure their business venture is sustainable. Most of my 40+ years of employment have been in the management of polymer technology. The development of new products and markets is similar to what entrepreneurs go through when they start-up and grow new businesses. I have helped businesses define new areas for growth and helped them assess methods of entry into those markets - always assessing for profitability. Without making money, it’s not really a business. Over my career, I have served on numerous committees that were responsible for maintaining the company’s intellectual property and have extensive experience in writing and evaluating patents.
Dave spent 25 years at Eastman Kodak Company in a variety of marketing and marketing communications positions. Prior to that he worked as a television producer for WGBH-TV in Boston. Dave finished his career as an entrepreneur, starting and running a magazine publishing company focusing on consumer health magazines. He also built a franchise business centered on this health magazine concept.
I am a career higher education professional with over 30 years of experience working for business schools at both public and private institutions. As an administrator, I have provided strategic planning, accreditation, and IT leadership; as a teacher, I have mentored undergraduate and graduate MBA students in the study of management information systems. My professional experience also includes extensive business research and grant-writing. In my post-career life, I have co-founded a local nonprofit providing personal business coaching and education services.
A lifetime Entrepreneur, I started a business IT consulting firm that serviced over 2000 unique clients in 20 years. My company consulted about information flow, wrote software, and created customized computer systems, as well as integrated telephony and IT. I also was Executive Director of a non-profit, as well as instructor of computers, business and entrepreneurship courses at four local colleges in the WNC area.
I can help you develop a business plan with clear financial goals, and the operations and marketing plans to achieve those goals. During my career with the DuPont Co. I developed skills in most aspects of business including Profit & Loss accountability, new product research & development, manufacturing, sales, marketing, finance, mergers & acquisitions and licensing. And over my 12 years with SCORE I’ve been able to translate those skills to businesses of any size resultingin 40+ new startupsand the creation of 425+ new jobs.
As a management consultant, Vice President of Product Management, and volunteer, I have helped many organizations of various sizes in the areas of strategic planning, business development, marketing, and project management. I provide strategic planning support, marketing expertise, and project execution to organizations in healthcare, government agencies, and non-profits. I am a data-driven leader with Six Sigma certification.
Jeremy is an entrepreneur with 30 years experience as a corporate general manager and a founder and President of a high-tech company. When times got tough Jeremy learned how to use custom website design, Google text and video advertising, and social media to develop sales and save his business. Jeremy has significant intellectual property experience holding 9 patents, plus copyrights and registered trademarks.
Kathleen created SewLink a contract sewing and manufacturing company in Asheville. As an independent entrepreneur Kathleen gained experience with the trials and tribulations of running a small business. Creative problem solving and frugal management of finances built a successful business over 25 years. Kathleen specialized in working with startups and small companies by offering product development, design and manufacturing for national and local textile, fashion and apparel companies. Ten years into the business most of the textile businesses went overseas and SewLink had to turn on a dime by maintaining the clients that stayed in America and also by sourcing different work. Southern Decor emerged in 2000 as an interior design workroom, producing high end soft furnishings and window treatments for designers and private clients. SewLink/Southern Decor has provided opportunities and jobs to locals and believes in sourcing materials as close to the area as possible. Upcycling the leftover materials in the cut and sew industry has been a very important part of Kathleen's business. Since 2003 Kathleen has been and currently is creating fiber art and selling the sewn goods in Woolworth Walk Gallery and other retail outlets. Kathleen loves to share her experience with others.
I am a marketing expert and brand consultant with 25 years of experience. If you're an entrepreneur with a dream, an idea, a passion, I want to help you bring it to life. After starting my career with Gillette, I moved into healthcare where my focus was on early stage and start-up companies. My expertise includes:
• creating, launching and building brands
• developing commercial and marketing plans
• identifying key insights from research and incorporating the learnings into actionable plans and initiatives
• establishing customer-centric product and service development processes
Chad founded the digital marketing company, Element-360 back in 2009. He continues to own and operate the company to this day. His company specializes in search engine marketing, search engine optimization and social media marketing with experience in 16 countries. He is a recipient of the Sky-High Growth and 40 under 40 award. Chad is an active counsel member with the Urban Land Institute. He graduated from Western Colorado University with a double major in Business Administration and Psychology.
Experienced Business Development and Engineering Manager with a strong background in manufacturing and process engineering. Extensive experience with Strategic Planning, New Business Development, Market Development, and Cross Functional Team leadership utilizing matrix management methods and procedures. Significant experience with consumable design properties required for optimization of offset, flexo, and digital image transfer applications as well as tools to evaluate any product performance related application.
Jon has over 10 years experience in all aspects of search engine optimization (SEO), website development, social networking, and usability. He founded and led an internet company that leads its industry as the result of organic traffic.He also has experience in real estate management as well as site development, and held positions of increasing responsibility up through director level with a telecommunications infrastructure company.
Marketing and communications executive from the telecommunications industry. HIs most recent assignment was running corporate marketing and PR for a $2.5B communications equipment manufacturer in the Washington, DC area. His experience includes corporate marketing, market research, product marketing, PR, investor relations, and product management.
Tyler and his wife, Amanda, organized Moffatt & Moffatt, PLLC, a small firm located in Boone, North Carolina in 2010. Over the past 7 years, Tyler has focused his practice on counseling small businesses and start-ups on the legal aspects of entrepreneurship. Tyler's work with these businesses includes, among other things, formation, organization, restructuring, transactional, labor/employment, litigation and intellectual property. In addition, Tyler devotes substantial time to providing pro-bono services to small businesses both through his firm and through multiple small business assistance programs such as accelerator and incubator programs in an effort to employ the knowledge and experience he has acquired to foster entrepreneurial growth in the communities he serves.
Dwayne is a retired former business manager with over 40 years in governmental agency experience specializing in purchasing, inventory control, contract negotiation/development/
Mari Peterson is a Marketing Strategist and a resident of Asheville since 1997. She develops strategies to uncover obstacles and strategies for growth. She helps entrepreneurs starting a new business to consider their choices, review their plans and goals and hopefully, help them to avoid some very expensive and time consuming mistakes. She has over 14 years in marketing with additional corporate and nonprofit experience.
Business lawyer with the majority of her career as HR executive, specializing in all aspects of HR including recruiting and selection strategies,leadership and team development, strategic planning and organization effectiveness. Established her own consulting practice. Certified NC mediator for business and employment disputes.
Extensive experience in senior living operations, creating strong hospitality franchise systems, expanding global brands, strengthening partnerships and motivating management teams to greater success. Demonstrated success in CCRC operations, sales and marketing, strategic planning and team building for a national and a regional, privately owned senior care provider. In addition, experience with both a domestic regional hospitality and real estate development company and international experience in a global hospitality franchise firm. Recognized for the ability to impact an organization by providing enthusiastic leadership and mentoring to create a culture of exceptional service while maintaining a focus on results.
Mark retired from the USAF following 22 years living and flying all over the world. Following his AF career, he served several roles as President, Vice President, Consulting and Business Development Executive with Venture Capital, Private Equity and big Corporate companies. With SCORE he has worked with Veterans' programs to include Boots to Business, Veterans Outreach and individual mentoring to prepare for the work force. Mark's expertise includes; Sales, Marketing, Business Development, Growth Strategy, Lean/6 Sigma, Business Processes, and Communications. He focuses on those activities that create alignment from Mission, Vision and "Why Statements" down to strategies and individual day-to-day activities, and everything in between
Shawn Lex Slome
Shawn is an entrepreneur having founded and managed successive retail and wholesale businesses over the span of 26 years. His most recent brick and mortar concept store, TWIG Green Living, opened in 2008 offering a variety of Eco-friendly and sustainable goods. Previous avocations included real estate brokerage and investment and fine woodworking. As a self taught business owner, his strengths include marketing and customer engagement, general retail operations and creative thinking. He holds a BA degree in Biology from UNC- Chapel Hill. He is passionate about social, economic and environmental justice.
A retired U.S. diplomat who worked in the field of international trade for more than 30 years. In all of her assignments to U.S. embassies in Canada, Asia and Europe, she promoted and implemented a wide range of trade agreements in support of the U.S. business community. Julie has a bachelor's degree in French and political science from the University of Minnesota and a master's degree in international management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Ellen Gayle Sovinee
Ellen Gayle is the Asheville Chapter’s Community Outreach Vice Chair & Volunteer Mentor. She has an extensive marketing background and for a number of years was Marketing Assistant, Advertising and Promotional coordinator on the west coast for the 7-11 convenient stores (1800 stores). In 1989 she shifted gears and after completing 1,000 hours of training became a holistic health practitioner working along side holistic medical doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, acupunctures and other holistic practitioners. Running a successful business, Ellen Gayle started up a tri-chamber Health and Wellness Committee. After relocating to Asheville in 2006, Ellen Gayle continued to run her small holistic health business part time as a practitioner and a continuing education instructor. In addition, Ellen Gayle was the founder and Executive Director of a nonprofit and currently is the Marketing Advisor for another nonprofit. Both are located in Western North Carolina. Because of her experience in the holistic health field and with starting and running a nonprofit she has become the Asheville Chapter’s GO TO mentor for those in the holistic health field as well as the chapter’s GO TO mentor for nonprofits.
I can help you with strategic goal planning and deployment, documenting business processes, supply chain strategy/planning, project management, understanding operations in a Social Enterprise or 501 (c) (3) non-profit financial structure and grant writing/planning. I am also passionate about employee and organizational development, recognizing that company culture plays a vital role in the sustainability and success of any company. I am an advocate for using Workforce Development to effectively anticipate, plan and manage change in the business environment using Change Management methodology and assistive technology to grow technical acumen and overall contribution to company goals.
I was the owner of retail and wholesaletravel businessesfor many yearsand then investor/owner in the online travel industry.I am currentlya mentorin the online travel and hospitality industries, My background includes responsibility of a franchise network of over 1,100 small businesses throughout the United States. I serve on the Advisory Boards of a number of small businesses in the travel and hospitality industries.
I can help you build a successful internet-based business. I believe an attractive website with the right products and prices is just the starting point. Great marketing, customer service, fulfillment, and financial management are equally important. I am glad to share my experience as a retired owner of an internet sewing thread business with $1,000,000 in sales and seven employees, an accounting and business systems expert, and a CPA to help you build your business.
Michael focuses on talent, technology and organizational transformation. He can help with technical issues (hardware or software, in-house or contracting), and with data management (collection, quality and use), with small-team organizational design, as well as specializing in creating hiring plans, interviewing, and on-going performance management.
In more detail, Michael’s experience includes a wide range of industries, company sizes, locations, and roles. Industries include oilfield, retail, airspace, environmental, and financial. Scales include sole proprietor, Bay Area start-up, and a 25K+ person multi-national. Locations range across the US and overseas, primarily India. Roles include independent computer consultant, sales (B2B and retail), mechanic, software developer, QA manager, and, most recently, as senior multi-function executive leading content quality, process improvement, and learning & development teams.
Laura is a talented and seasoned executive and coach with more than 35 years’ experience in retail, healthcare, therapy, higher education and nonprofit leadership, offering advisory help for mid to large sized companies with a focus on improving the lives of women in these industries.
She brings a wealth of expertise with strengths in leadership, management, strategic planning, budgeting, fundraising, marketing, workforce training and development, leadership development, supervision, and organizational team development. Her ability to quickly increase revenue, increase an organization’s exposure, and bring people together to work on a common goal are just a few of her many talents.
As university professor, CEO and board member, Laura has taught and improved the lives of thousands of people throughout her career. In addition, she is an accomplished researcher and author, having conducted research with various populations.
When Laura isn’t improving the lives of others and serving on multiple boards, she spends time with one of her two or four-legged family members, catches up on reading, or trying to get some chapters written for one of her future books.
Mike is a retired M&A and structured finance executive with over 40 years in energy businesses. He has managed acquisitions, divestments, formations of joint ventures, and debt and equity financings for solar, wind, biofuels, oil & gas, refining, pipelines, retail fuels, and petrochemicals businesses. In addition to transactions in energy, Mike has managed sales of aluminum rolling and carpet milling facilities and the formation of research joint ventures in genetic engineering. Most recently Mike supported two solar development companies in Asheville and over two years secured $500 million in debt and equity financings to build out 35 utility scale solar farms in NC, SC, OR and MN.