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Check out our EIRs

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    Hunter Adams

    AdamsIP, Patent Attorney

    AdamsIP, Patent Attorney

    Hunter Adams

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting, Committing, Validating, Scaling, Exiting

    Industries/Business Types: Chemical, Food, Healthcare, IoT, Manufacturing, Maritime, Logistics, Tech, Franchising, Multi-national, Product-based, Service-based

    Skills: Business Formation, M&A, Growth, Legal, IP, Partnerships, Branding & Design, R&D, Prototype and Product Development, Open Source, Strategy, International Expansion

    Bio: At heart, I am a businessperson who loves working with businesses and learning about my clients’ products, processes, and brands. Forming an intellectual property strategy with a new client is what I enjoy most about being an intellectual property lawyer.  Working with my clients to identify, solidify, and protect intellectual property assets is why referrals have remained our primary source of new clients.  Before law school, I performed extensive technical research in two quite different disciplines—audio electronics and biochemistry.  I attended The University of Alabama and the University of Alabama School of Law, where I served on the Law and Psychology Review, Campbell Moot Court Board, and the Bruce B. Siegal Intellectual Property Moot Court Team.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Intellectual Property (IP) Strategy
    • IP portfolio building
    • IP Monetization
    • Starting a business
    • Bringing on partners and dealing with equity
    • Patents
    • Trademarks
    • Copyrights
    • Trade secrets
    • IP litigation
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    Jeff Bell

    TEKsystems, Account Manager

    TEKsystems, Account Manager

    Jeff Bell

    LinkedIn

    Industries/Business Types: Tech

    Skills: Team Building, HR

    Bio: Originally from New Orleans, just moved to Mobile to support our local IT Infrastructure, Telecommunications, and End User Technologies market to grow and retain top customers. I’ve been with TEKsystems for 6 years and in an outside sales role for 8 years. 

    Areas of Specialty:

    • Attracting and Retaining Talent
    • Hiring/Firing
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Market Strategy
    • Workforce Planning.
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    Vita Bruno

    Startup Advisor

    Startup Advisor

    Vita Bruno

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Committing, Validating, Scaling, Exiting

    Industries/Business Types: Aerospace, E-commerce,  Manufacturing,  Real Estate, Tech

    Skills: Business Formation, Building and Managing a Team, Fundraising, Financial Planning, Growth, Customer Acquisition, Partnerships, Strategy, Supply Chain Management

    Bio: Operations and finance executive with public, private and startup experience at highly innovative companies. Currently serving as an advisor/consultant at venture capital backed startups to develop infrastructure and curate strategic partnerships for rapid growth, capital raises, acquisitions and IPO’s. Passionate about people and building teams, companies and communities with extraordinary cultures.

    Areas of Specialty:

    • Strategic Partnerships
    • Growing
    • Scaling
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    Melissa Cross

    McAleer's Office Furniture Co., Inc., President

    McAleer's Office Furniture Co., Inc., President

    Melissa Cross

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting

    Industries/Business Types: Product-based, Retail

    Skills: Building and Managing a Team, HR, Growth, Marketing & Advertising, Branding, Customer Acquisition, Product Development, Strategy

    Bio: Raised in Mobile, AL, Melissa Cross didn’t set out to take over the family business of McAleer’s Office Furniture.  Cross earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Alabama and then attended Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California.  After practicing law for a few years, she moved into the Real Estate sector and then onto Showroom Director for a large homebuilder in Dallas, Texas.  It was just a few years later that Cross found herself working for a large office furniture manufacturer based in Iowa.  As Regional Resource Manager, she was responsible for overseeing all the manufacturer’s showrooms in the West Region of the Country.  In 2012, with a new understanding and appreciation for the office furniture industry, and a passion for small business, Cross knew it was time to come home and lend her expertise to McAleer’s, as President.   During her tenure, McAleer’s has won the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award (2015), the Alabama Retail Association’s Retailer of the Year – Gold (2015), and the Business Council of Alabama’s Small Business Game Changer Award (2016).   Cross is most passionate about entrepreneurship, small business and economic development in the region.  She has recently participated in the following programs: Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, and RAMP (Real Advise Mentoring Program developed at MIT).  In 2020, she was Vice Chair of Membership for the Mobile Area Chamber’s annual resource campaign (“Chamber Chase”) where she led a team of 40 volunteers and exceeded goal.  Cross is Vice Chair once again (for Chamber Chase 2021) and currently serves on the following Boards:  Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, South Alabama’s Melton Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and the Boy Scouts of America, Mobile Area Council. 

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    Caroline Crumley

    Benson Capital Partners, Investor

    Benson Capital Partners, Investor

    Caroline Crumley

    LinkedIn 

    Industries/Types of Businesses: Healthcare: Drug Development, Logistics, Tech,  E-commerce

    Skills: Fundraising, Financial Modeling, M&A

    Bio: Caroline Crumley has been a Director at Benson Capital Partners since its inception in 2019. BCP a venture capital fund organized by Gayle Benson (owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans professional sports franchises, among other holdings). Caroline, born and raised in New Orleans, spent the first portion of her career in New York at Citigroup on the Industrials Corporate & Investment Banking team. She received her BBA in Mathematics from Vanderbilt University.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Venture Capital
    • Fundraising
    • Financial Modeling
    • Financial Planning
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    Lyndsey Dixon

    Wilkins Miller LLC

    Wilkins Miller LLC

    Lyndsey Dixon

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Exiting

    Industries/Business Types: Aerospace, Healthcare, Maritime, Multi-national, Nonprofit, Real Estate, Service-based

    Skills: Financial Planning, Operations, Org. Structure, Bookkeeping and Accounting, Taxes

    Bio: As a manager, I bring over twelve years of experience in public accounting. Before joining Wilkins Miller in 2012, I began my career with a regional firm in Montgomery. My experience includes consulting and outsourced accounting services, litigation support and auditing in the following industries: construction, manufacturing, agriculture, financial institutions, non-profit organizations and employee benefit plans. 

    Areas of Expertise:

    • All things Accounting:
      • Setting up book and records
      • Processes
      • Automation
      • Budgeting
      • Accounting software
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    Coleman Greene

    iCIMS, Strategic Account Manager - Entrepreneur

    iCIMS, Strategic Account Manager - Entrepreneur

    Coleman Greene

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting, Committing, Validating, Scaling, Exiting

    Industries/Business Types: E-commerce, Healthcare, IoT, Logistics, Tech

    Skills: Building a Team, Fundraising, Self-funding, Product Development, Strategy

    Bio: Coleman is a sales and business development leader with product experience across financial services, healthcare, and e-learning. Most recently, he was an Enterprise Relationship Manager with LinkedIn Learning, partnering with Fortune 500 customers to build modern talent development strategies. Prior to LinkedIn, Coleman was co-founder of Sqord, Inc., a venture-backed digital health company for kids and families. He is passionate about developing deep customer relationships to ensure partnerships are always tying back to the most critical organizational goals. Over his career, Coleman has worked with healthcare companies such as Aetna, Centene, and Providence Health Systems; consumer companies such as Fitbit, Carhartt, and Molson-Coors; and retail companies such as Walgreen’s and Amazon. Coleman received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his MBA from UNC Kenan-Flagler.

    Areas of Specialty:

    • Sales and Product Development
    • Management
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    Todd Greer

    University of Mobile, Vice President for Academic Affairs

    University of Mobile, Vice President for Academic Affairs

    Todd Greer

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting, Committing, Validating, Scaling

    Industries/Business Types: Community-sharing, Multi-sided Platforms, Nonprofits, Product-based, Service-based, Social Impact

    Skills: Building and Managing Teams, HR, Launch, Growth, Partnerships, Marketing and Advertising, Org. Structure, R&D, Service development, Strategy

    Bio: I do stuff.

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Ideation
    • Multi-sided market
    • building your team/organization
    • Customer Discovery
    • Intrapreneurship
    • Product-Market Fit
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    Terry Harbin

    Affordable Homes Gulf Coast II LLC, Managing Partner

    Affordable Homes Gulf Coast II LLC, Managing Partner

    Terry Harbin

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting, Scaling

    Industries/Business Types: E-commerce, Product-based, Real Estate, Social Impact

    Skills: Building a Team, HR, Growth, Org. Structure, Strategy

    Bio: Terry Harbin has 38 plus years’ experience in all phases of sales, marketing, technology and banking management. He has broad strategic planning experience in technology, banking and non-profit sectors. He also started two technology related business ventures which have been sold and continue to operate successfully. Terry held various sales and marketing positions at QMS, a Mobile, AL technology start up and has served in Executive positions with Regions, BankTrust and BancorpSouth banks. Terry has also served on the United Way, University of Mobile, WHIL, Child Advocacy, Family Promise, Housing First, Coastal Alabama Partnership and Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce boards. He is the current board chair for the Mobile Chamber.

    Areas of Specialty:

    • Building a Sales Force
    • Product Pitches
    • Market Identification
    • Presentations
    • Start ups
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    Abe Harper

    Harper Technologies, President

    Harper Technologies, President

    Abe Harper

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting, Committing, Validating, Scaling

    Industries/Business Types: Aerospace, IoT, Nonprofit, Product-based, Service-based, Social Impact, Tech

    Skills: Business Formation, Building and Managing a Team, UI/UX, Financials, Fundraising, Self-funding, Growth, Strategy, Logistics

    Bio: As an entrepreneur, technical engineer, and consultant, I believe in an emphasis on problem resolution. While resolving problems is a definite necessity in our line of business, prevention of those problems before occurrence is preferred. Therefore, my personal goal is to learn as much as possible from each problem we resolve as a company, and combine that field experience with research so that we can offer customers Professional Consulting and positive personal experiences as we minimize future occurrences of similar problems. This enables our clients to focus on growth, and us to focus on their needs. 

    As a business owner, I believe in a resource rich environment and creating a culture of excellence through customer service. I believe that leadership is a privilege and that the pace is set by the head. Our company’s purpose and desire is to serve both our customers and community while contributing our resources to the business ecosystem of the markets that we participate in.

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    Dr. Valerie D. W. James

    VisionSpot Consulting Group, LLC, Founder and Principal

    VisionSpot Consulting Group, LLC, Founder and Principal

    Dr. Valerie D. W. James

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting, Scaling

    Industries/Business Types: Healthcare, Nonprofit, Service-based, Social Impact

    Skills: Building and Managing Teams, HR, Org. Structure, Growth, Operations, Strategy

    Bio: Dr. Valerie D. W. James, CEO at VisionSpot Consulting Group, LLC, home of the Solutions Maximizing Brilliance (SMB) School of Leadership, is a Harvard trained leader and author of four works. Her corporate experience includes nine years at middle management and seven years of executive-level leadership in human resources. James has a strong background in creating and launching initiatives for building a learning organizational culture and alignment between, leadership, talent and productivity outcomes to enhance individual and team performance in companies as few as 3 employees to 13,500.  Her company specializes in taking the growing pains out of expanding businesses. Her advice is highly sought after by current and future leaders, as well as C-level executives. She has saved clients seven figure sums in costly compliance and legal expenses. She has partnered with thousands of leaders worldwide and stretches beyond the reach of traditional leadership development programs and solutions to help clients achieve tangible and measurable results, and organizational effectiveness.  Her aptitude for leadership effectiveness and process improvement strategies help expand the knowledge, growth, and engagement of employees at all levels. She has a deep understanding of human psychology and motivation. She holds a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University. She has received several awards attesting to her commitment to leadership and people development. Dr. Valerie’s name is synonymous with leadership, empowerment, and success.

    Areas of Specialty:

    • PEOPLE Talent Management: (Human Relations: hiring, firing, training, conflict resolution, discipline, evaluations, promotions.
    • PROCESS:  Managing operations and process building
    • PERFORMANCE: Strategic planning and tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
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    Steve Longfield

    Tigerhawk, President

    Tigerhawk, President

    Steve Longfield

    LinkedIn

    Stages:Planning, Product launch, Growth

    Industries/Business Types: Beverages, Industrial products, Medical devices

    Skills: Supply chain optimizations: including raw materials, production, and distribution, Retail product placement and pricing, Improving valuation of your company by increasing EBIDTA, Product Cost and Quality Efficiency

    Bio: BS in Engineering from University of Kansas. MBA from Washington University. Started my career in engineering and progressed into manufacturing. Positions held include Plant Manager, Director of Operations, VP of Operations, VP of Procurement and General Manager. Currently work as a sole proprietor of Tigerhawk Professional Services helping companies with operations and procurement improvements. Moved to Fairhope with my wife in 2009.  Love to travel, play golf and to help with community service programs.

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    Jarrett McCraw

    Mighty, CEO

    Mighty, CEO

    Jarrett McCraw

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting, Committing, Validating, Scaling

    Business Types: E-commerce, Franchising, Products-based, Services-based

    Skills: UI/UX, Growth, Marketing & Advertising, Branding

    Bio: As a serial entrepreneur, Jarrett McCraw has built multiple six- and seven-figure businesses. After getting laid off the same month he and his wife found out they were expecting, Jarrett started three new businesses from scratch. One became the largest e-liquid brand to be manufactured in Alabama and it would end up being distributed internationally. Another was a full-service ad agency that would go on to help multi-billion dollar companies build their brands and grow their businesses. The third venture was a health and fitness franchise that continues to be a top-performing location in the global franchise chain. Jarrett’s passion is in helping small business owners overcome the challenges of entrepreneurship and use branding and digital marketing to accelerate their growth. 

    Areas of Expertise:

    • Building and position a brand with high value
    • Acquiring customers using digital marketing
    • Increasing the lifetime value of your customers
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    Shane McGann

    TEKsystems, Account Manager

    TEKsystems, Account Manager

    Shane McGann

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Scaling

    Industries/Business Types: Tech

    Skills: Building and Managing a Team, HR

    Areas of Specialty:

    • Technology strategy
    • Recruiting,
    • Local Mobile market insights
      Technology services
    • Scaling
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    Luke Nixon

    Phelps Dunbar LLP, Attorney

    Phelps Dunbar LLP, Attorney

    Luke Nixon

    LinkedIn

    Industries/Business Types: Legal

    Skills: Legal Advising

    Areas of Specialty:

    • Corporate Law
    • Tax Law
    • Real Estate Law
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    Mike Stashak

    Newco, Founder - Entrepreneur

    Newco, Founder - Entrepreneur

    Mike Stashak

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting, Committing, Validating, Scaling, Exiting

    Industries/Business Types:

    • Technology (hardware and software)
    • Consumer Products
    • Retail
    • E-commerce

    Skills: 

    • Starting a new company
    • Raising capital from pre-seed to late stage
    • Building a high functioning team / incentive programs
    • Cap table and business formation
    • Sales, marketing, go to market
    • Supply chain (sourcing product)
    • Partnerships. / corporate development

     

    Bio: Mike has 20 years of building brands and companies. Most recently, he led the growth of Wahoo Fitness, a leader in endurance sports technology, from inception to over $100m in revenues. Previously, Mike worked leading strategy for Equifax’s consumer business in addition to advising top consumer brands as a consultant for McKinsey and Company. Mike got his start working for iXL, an early leader in online technology for consumers and businesses. He has a BA in Economics from Duke University and an MBA from the Darden School at the University of Virginia.

     

    Areas of Expertise: Starting and growing early stage companies.

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    Mac Taul

    Merchants Transfer Company, President

    Merchants Transfer Company, President

    Mac Taul

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting, Committing, Scaling

    Industries/Business Types: Real Estate, Service-based, Logistics

    Skills: Building and Managing a Team, HR, Self-funding, Partnerships, Operations, Pricing, Shipping and Delivery

    Bio: I am currently the President of Merchants Transfer Company and a partner in numerous operating and investment businesses in the logistics, forestry and commercial real estate. 

    Areas of Specialty:

    • Logistics
    • 3rd Party Warehousing
    • Trucking, container drayage and brokerage
    • Start-ups and successfully working with partners
    • Leadership
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    Mel Washington

    Alabama Small Business Development Center Network, Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center

    Alabama Small Business Development Center Network, Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center

    Mel Washington

    LinkedIn

    Stages: Ideation/Concepting, Committing, Validating, Scaling

    Industries: Food Service, Manufacturing, Retail, Tech

    Business Types: E-Commerce, Nonprofit, Product-based, Multi-National, Service-based, Social Impact

    Skills: Business Formation, Building and Managing Teams, HR, Launch, Growth, Fundraising, Self-funding, Financial Planning, M&A, Operations, Org. Structure, Taxes, Pricing, Strategy

    Bio: He is currently the Regional Director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of South Alabama, where he provides one-on-one confidential counseling to entrepreneurs and small businesses in six counties in South Alabama. He is also the former Executive Director & CEO of Project Enterprise, a micro-lending organization supporting entrepreneurs and small businesses in under-resourced communities in New York City. Mr. Washington holds an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from Howard University, a Masters in Business Administration from New York University and completed the Administration Executive Education Program at Wharton School of Business. He has held executive level positions in Finance, Operations, and Strategy and Planning in the financial services and telecommunications sectors. His career includes successful stints at top tier firms including AT&T, Salomon Brothers, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, and Citibank. Mr. Washington has demonstrated a strong commitment to community and economic development throughout his career, and has served on the Boards of several organizations in Mobile and the New York City Area. He was also a judge for Alabama Launchpad 2013 & 2015.

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    Gia Wiggins

    Morale Resource, President

    Morale Resource, President

    Gia Wiggins

    LinkedIn

    Stages:  Ideation/Concepting, Committing, Validating, Scaling

    Industries/Business Types: E-commerce, Food Service, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Maritime, Multi-national, Nonprofit, Product-based, Service-based

    Skills: HR, Org. Structure, Strategy, Leading and Managing Teams, International Expansion

    Bio: Dr. Gia Wiggins HR management career has spanned 21 years. A native of Mobile AL, she received a BA in Psychology and Sociology from Grambling State University, a MBA from California State University and a PhD in Business Administration at the University of South Alabama with a concentration in Management. She also holds a (SPHR) and (SHRM-SCP) Human Resources certifications. Gia has held executive human resource management roles in companies such as AT&T (Formerly Southwestern Bell), Cintas, Target, and BAE Systems Southeast Shipyards. Gia serves on a number of committees and organizations, including Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce (Board of Directors and Board of Advisors), Eastern Shore Chamber (Board of Directors and Leaders Council), Daphne Kappa League Advisory Board  and Vice President of Corporate and Community Affairs for the National Association of Women Business Owners Alabama Chapter. Gia founded Morale Resource LLC, a boutique human resources consulting firm that specializes in building and repairing human resource functions for small and mid-sized businesses using a three-pronged approach – compliance, process and strategy. Morale Resource helps clients take care of their most valued assets—its people. In addition to serving her diverse client base, Gia also serves as an Adjunct Instructor with the University of South Alabama and the University of Mobile teaching Human Resources Management, Intro to Business, Small Business Entrepreneurship, and Organizational Behavior.

    Areas of Specialty:

    • Human Resources
    • Compliance
    • Merger and Acquisition
    • Wellness Checks
    • Training
    • Strategic Planning