Consultants

Meet our Consultants

2016 Mentors

Daniela Capistrano

Senior Strategist - RAPJAB

Daniela Capistrano is a Senior Strategist at RAPJAB, where some of her more notable work has been with international and local food-focused businesses. Prior to RAPJAB, Daniela operated her own digital consultancy, DCAP MEDIA LLC, for five years, and continues to work with select tech and nonprofit clients. In addition to her work as Lead Mentor with Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, she’s also a StartingBloc Fellow (NOLA ’15), a filmmaker in the New Orleans Film Society’s Emerging Voices program, founder/creative director of the POC Zine Project, and identifies as Queer, Poly, Chicana, and a Survivor.

Formerly a producer with MTV News and Current TV, Daniela has pivoted in more ways than can be listed here, and now lives in the historic Treme neighborhood of New Orleans with her two cats Fellow and Yoda. You can learn more about Daniela at dcapmedia.com and danielacapistrano.com. Feel free to call her Dani and to follow her on Twitter at @dcap, where she tweets about digital strategy, social entrepreneurship, destroying white supremacy and anti-blackness, and shares quotes from The Office and Stranger Things.

dcapmedia.com

Jenny Comiskey

For over 10 years, Jenny Comiskey, a senior design strategist, has collaborated with a wide range of clients define new-to-the-world platforms, experiences and innovation strategies. With roots in service design, research and marketing she takes a holistic, interdisciplinary approach to problem solving. She is dedicated to establishing a deep understanding of the diverse perspectives and needs of the individual, the community and the organization within the context of broader cultural, social and business factors. She brings an abundant curiosity for uncovering the small nuances of individual behaviors as well as the macro level emerging social and cultural patterns. Jenny applies design thinking as a means to reframe systemic and complex problems. Her primary focus is on achieving outcomes that support long term sustainability and enable positive social impact, driven by a deep understanding of underlying human needs and behaviors. Her passion is for working collaboratively with clients to uncover new opportunities for value creation and define what’s next. Jenny has worked in a broad range of industries, including telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, consumer goods, retail, entertainment and publishing. She received a master’s degree from the Institute of Design
where she focused on design research, strategy and management.

Nicole Dillard

Advisory Services Director - trepwise

Nicole Dillard is the Advisory Services Director at Trepwise. She is focused on Trepwise’s internal development including hiring, strategic planning, and financial forecasting. Nicole also creates and oversees the teams for both for and non-profit engagements.

Prior to joining Trepwise, Nicole spent three and a half years working at Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. During this time, she served as a business manager for programs by developing annual budgets, managing grants, and reviewing financials. Additionally, Nicole shared in supervision of the remediation of 40 homes with corrosive drywall costing $3.7M.

Nicole is active in the New Orleans community and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Committee for a Better New Orleans Board of Directors. Over the past three years, she has been the Secretary of the board and Chair of the Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum Committee. Additionally, she is a weekly volunteer at Hollygrove Market and Farm. Her love for food and finance merge in an ever-evolving New Orleans restaurant spreadsheet.

Nicole received her B.A. in Architecture and Urban Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. While at Penn, she served as co-chair for Civic House, the hub for 45+ community engagement student organizations comprised of over 1,500 students. She is still active in the Penn community through alumni interviews and the Penn Club of Louisiana.

Andreanecia Morris

Executive Director - HousingNOLA

Andreanecia M. Morris serves as the Executive Director for HousingNOLA, a 10-year partnership between the Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance (GNOHA), the Foundation for Louisiana, the City’s Office of Housing and Community Development, and dozens of public, private, and nonprofit organizations working to solve New Orleans’ affordable housing crisis. The strategy indicates the need for 33,600 additional housing opportunities in the city by 2025.

A graduate of Loyola University, Morris has worked to create affordable housing opportunities in the Greater New Orleans Area in both the public and private sector. Post Hurricane Katrina she has helped approximately 500 families to become first time homebuyers, and she was lead organizer for GNOHA when it started in 2007 as loose collaborative of community development corporations.Morris also serves as President/Chairwoman for the GNOHA Board of Governors, which supports and advises the efforts to preserve and production of affordable housing for people within the Greater New Orleans Region. Morris also co-chairs the Louisiana Housing Trust Fund Initiative, and she is a member of the Housing Authority of New Orleans’ Board of Commissioners, City of New Orleans Interagency Council on Homelessness, Lafitte Greenway Steering Advisory Committee, Louisiana Alliance for Economic Inclusion, CONNECT Coalition Steering Committee, JP Morgan Chase Louisiana Community Advisory Board, lowernine.org Board of Directors, ASI Federal Credit Union Board of Directors, Friends of Lafitte Greenway Board of Directors, Project Homecoming Board of Directors, American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Crescent City Connections Express Network and the American Heart Association Multicultural Leadership Committee.

Morris was named to 2014 CityBusiness Woman of the Year Class and selected in 2015 to represent New Orleans in the East West Center US-Japan Grassroots Exchange focusing on Citizen Participation in Community Building Post-Disaster. In April 2016, UNITY of Greater New Orleans named Morris Outstanding Advocate for Affordable Housing.

Robbie VItrano

CEO, Innisfree - co-founder, Trumpet/Idea Village/Freedom Pizza/Bootleg Spirits/Spiffly/Good Spread/Naked Pizza

Robbie Vitrano started in the mail room of an ad agency then co-founded his own that was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the 10 most innovative in the world. Robbie has co-founded an organization that builds entrepreneurial ecosystem that is now an international model and has co-founded an international company advocating healthy eating that was also recognized by Fast Company as among the top-10 most innovative. He partners with people to apply innovation in business design, communications, and product development. His life in the innovation laboratory of post-Katrina New Orleans has informed his work at the intersection of entrepreneurship and branding. He works to demonstrate that business must be practiced in a way that does not degrade people, communities or the natural environment. As an entrepreneur, investor or consultant, he helps businesses committed to these principles become sustainable and achieve cultural influence. Robbie is committed to design thinking. He is a ceo/writer/designer/strategist/planner/entrepreneur/mentor/teacher/student/husband/father/son/citizen—always curious about the world and eager to learn and grow.

Jennifer Oliver-Goodwin

Personal and Leadership Coach - Jennifer-Oliver Goodwin, M.A PCC

Jennifer Oliver-Goodwin is a nonprofit advocate committed to building the capacity of nonprofit organizations. She works to strengthen these organizations by providing services in organizational development, executive search, and as a personal and business coach. With an advanced degree in Organizational Development and Systems Learning, Jennifer has worked with organizations in a variety of roles, including Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Administration and Finance, Board Member, Management Consultant and National Recruiter. She brings a passion for excellence and a commitment to work with nonprofit leaders to enhance their services and provide greater value to every assignment.

Elisa Speranza

Senior VP and Corporate Director - CH2M Hill

Elisa Speranza thrives on harnessing the power of values-based leadership, strategic communications, and organizational effectiveness to foster sustainable business growth, promote equity, and implement innovative yet practical solutions to critical civic challenges. Elisa brings over 30 years of experience as a leader in the public, private and nonprofit sectors of the water business to bear on advising Propeller’s Water Management ventures. Most recently, she has been a senior executive and corporate director with CH2M, a Fortune 500 company providing infrastructure and natural resources solutions to clients worldwide. A native Bostonian, she has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston College and a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School. Elisa has lived in Louisiana since 2002, and is deeply committed to preserving, enhancing and celebrating the region’s unique culture and quality of life.

Morgan Ripski

Consultant - Scaling Edu-Orgs

Morgan Carter Ripski is an independent consultant working with charter schools, management organizations, and entrepreneurs to plan and implement scaling strategies, build fundraising plans and teams in support of growth, and manage projects. Previously, Morgan served as the President for Collegiate Academies, where she helped the growing charter management organization triple in size by successfully leading charter application processes to secure 9 charters, facilitating and authoring strategic growth plans, and securing $7.5M to support Collegiate’s 3 existing schools and an additional $5.8M to support the opening of 4 new schools in 2016 and beyond. Morgan has also served as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Science and Math Education (the former fundraising entity for Collegiate Academies) and the Communications and Development Director for New Schools for New Orleans. Morgan holds degrees from Stanford University and Bates College. She lives with her husband and two sons in New Orleans.

Robin Hunn

Robin has over 30 years of experience in project management and specializes in the nonprofit sector and health care policy and financing. She has developed major health care initiatives in three states, including extensive consulting services to create the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange. She has developed major programs for the uninsured, has been a leader on health care access issues, and was the Executive Director of Santa Fe Project Access between 2007 and 2016. She has served as a lobbyist and was a senior advisor for health care programs and financing for two state legislatures. She also specializes in grant development and has generated over $200 million in grants for her clients. As a creative entrepreneur, she has purchased and renovated over 40 residential properties including several historic properties, produced and wrote three music CDs, and written two books, one of which was developed through a grant from the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation. She holds a B.S. in Business and an MBA from the University of Kansas.

Ting-Ting Rivers

Advisor - trepwise

Ting-ting Rivers is an Advisor at Trepwise who brings a strong background in finance, operations and project management from both the public and private sectors.

Ting-ting previously served as the Chief Financial Officer for a $100+ million state agency tasked with turning around Louisiana’s lowest performing schools. She also scaled financial and operational systems for an education non-profit after revenue increased 200% and was on the founding leadership team for a start-up charter school in New Orleans.

Prior to moving to New Orleans, Ting-ting was part of the #1 housing finance group on Wall Street and helped bring $1.4 billion in debt issuances to market. She also worked on education policy for a New York State Senator and as a budget analyst for the largest municipal provider of affordable housing.

Ting-ting holds a B.A. from Yale and a M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. She is also a proud Fellow of the Louisiana Effective Leadership Program.

Nancy Fournier

Principal - Fournier Consulting

Nancy Fournier has over thirty years of experience in juvenile justice, youth development and child welfare issues working in the public sector, academia and think tank settings. She has been a consultant to governmental and nonprofit organizations since 2004 and has worked with a variety of nonprofit, philanthropic and government agencies focusing on Organizational Development, Strategic Planning Executive Coaching, Performance Management, Senior Level Recruitment and Board Development and Training.

She and her husband relocated to New Orleans from Richmond Virginia in 2006 immediately after the storm and resurrected a floundering hospitality business. Her focus for the last decade has been split between building the business and her consultant practice with each pursuit informing the other. Prior to moving to New Orleans she served as the Deputy City Manager for the City of Richmond, was the director of a Legislative Commission on youth issues with the Virginia General Assembly and served as a principal researcher for the National Center of State Courts in Williamsburg Virginia. She served as the Director of the Richmond Department of Justice Services as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond teaching classes on public policy decision making and municipal governmental systems. Her undergraduate degree is from Vassar College and she has a M.A. in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

http://www.fournierconsults.com/

Maggie Pullen

Advisor - trepwise

Maggie Pullen is an advisor at Trepwise who brings a strong background in strategic planning, program assessment & evaluation, and cross-cultural approaches. Maggie has over seven year’s experience working with Amnesty International in both policy and organizational development.

While working for Amnesty, she supported human rights groups in Asia and Latin America in developing strategy, aligning work plans and establishing partnerships with local groups. She has extensive knowledge of the strategy development and democratic processes of large membership-based organizations.

A Louisiana native, Maggie has lived and worked in the US, the UK and Japan and is proficient in both Spanish and Japanese. While living in Japan she traveled extensively throughout the countryside, developed a keen interest in Japanese antique advertising methods, and honed her karaoke skills. She holds a BA in History with Latin American Studies from Beloit College and an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics.

Lacy Strohschein

Senior Policy and Development Associate - GNO Inc.

Lacy is responsible for relationships and coordination between product and business development as it relates to coastal restoration, water management and community resiliency. In this role, Lacy acts as a liaison between business community stakeholders (including restoration and water firms), government agencies, and environmental NGO’s. Through this position, Lacy is able to effectively manage the policy agenda of GNO, Inc.’s Coalition for Coastal Resilience and Economy (CCRE), work with municipal stakeholders to advance and implement the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, and assist in public and private funding pursuits to advance holistic coastal restoration and urban water management efforts.

Prior to joining the GNO, Inc. staff, Lacy was the Special Initiatives Manager with the non-profit organization the Center for Planning Excellence (CPEX), where she oversaw an innovative transportation, land-use and housing policy and advocacy campaign. Lacy has unique branding and communications experience as well from several years living and working abroad in both India and Paris, France. She holds a B.A. from the University of Georgia’s Grady School of Journalism, a M.A. in Global Communications from the American University of Paris, and an M.B.A. from Tulane University.

Amy Barad

Director of Strategic Initiatives - Tulane University's Cowen Institute

Amy is the Director of Strategic Initiatives at Tulane University’s Cowen Institute, where she oversees work related to Opportunity Youth and College and Career Success initiatives. Over the past nine years she has worked in the for- and nonprofit sectors in business development, policy analysis, and systems and operational management in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and Johannesburg, South Africa. Amy serves on the advisory boards of the Cookbook Project and the Anti-Defamation League, is a member of the Katz Phillips Leadership program, and loves teaching group exercise classes at Barre3. Amy is a Masters of Business Administration candidate at the Tulane Freeman School of Business and graduated with an A.B. in Urban Studies from Brown University in 2007.

Lisa Amoss

Since 1975 Lisa Amoss has been a consultant to nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses and entrepreneurial ventures. She specializes in strategic planning and organizational development. She has worked with over 150 varied boards of directors in many different sectors, including social services, the arts, community housing, civic organizations, economic development, leadership and environmental groups.

Ms. Amoss has an MBA from Tulane’s A.B. Freeman School of Business and an A.B. in psychology from Vassar College. She founded and was president of the board of directors of Broad Community Connections, the Broad Street Main Street organization. She has been a member of the boards of directors of the YWCA, the Southeast Louisiana Girl Scout Council, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Regional Loan Corporation, Education First, and the American Society for Training and Development, New Orleans chapter. She has been elected to Outstanding Young Women in America and was selected as an Achiever by the American Council for Career Women and a Role Model by the YWCA.

She lives in New Orleans with her husband and has two grown sons and three grandchildren.

Jon Atkinson

Managing Director - South Coast Capital Management

Jon currently serves as a Managing Director for South Coast Capital Management (SCCM, LLC) and Fund Executive for South Coast Angel Fund II, LLC. Jon manages day to day operations of the fund and is responsible for pipeline development, coordination of due diligence, and negotiation and closing of investment opportunities. Jon is also an adjunct professor of Finance at Tulane University.
Previously, Jon managed the Louisiana lending operations for a New York based business loan fund with over $50 million in assets under management. His responsibilities included developing client relationships, deal sourcing, due diligence, closing and portfolio management. Prior to this job position, work experience has included managing a $140 million commercial and industrial loan portfolio for a Gulf Coast-based regional bank. Jon holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management, Leadership and International Business from Tulane University, graduating with Beta Gamma Sigma academic honors. His Bachelor of Arts in Economics is from Davidson College where European studies abroad and a finance internship in Hong Kong gave him extensive international experience.

At Tulane, Jon founded The Changemaker Institute, a social entrepreneurship incubator recognized as “Best in Class” by Ashoka. Additionally, Jon helped develop the “Propeller” social venture incubator and consulted directly for ventures in this program.

Jon’s unique combination of quantitative finance skills and qualitative management expertise yield a unique perspective on business and finance.

Rick Conway

Former COO - Gifted Health Care

Entrepreneurial Executive whose breadth of experience spans 18 years within Fortune 50 PepsiCo system and 25 years in private equity ventures, direct investor/business owner and C-level leadership roles. Well versed in the disciplines of sales, marketing, distribution, and the design, implementation and monitoring of operational procedures across a wide range of industries.

Rayne Martin

Founder and Coach - It's the Impact

Rayne Martin is the founder of and lead impact coach for It’s the Impact, a firm focused on assisting leaders make significant positive impact while strategically developing specific leadership skills. Her clients include partners and CEOs of socially focused for-profits, nonprofit executive directors and education systems leaders. For over 20 years, Rayne successfully built, scaled and transformed many organizations including leading two of the most significant social reform efforts of recent history, public housing in Chicago and public education in New Orleans. She uses her experience to facilitate leaders’ ability to define their intended impact, develop the networks need to enact change, focus on the actions that matter, communicate their vision clearly and compellingly and raise significant revenue. Rayne is sympathetic to the human tendency to be ‘our own worst enemy’ as we act on our leader talent so she also works with her clients to name growth areas and create specific actionable strategies for improving them. She does this by ardently and compassionately holding the leader accountable for self-reflection, awareness and continued growth.

Neil Gibbons

Co-Founder and COO - Better Digestive Health LLC

Neil Gibbons brings worldly entrepreneurial experience and strategic planning to Propeller. Born in the UK, Neil has worked extensively in the USA, Europe, Africa, the Indian sub-continent and Asia. He holds an MBA with Distinction from IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland and is a qualified executive coach. He is a successful entrepreneur and turnaround specialist with expertise in bio technology, consumer goods, financial services technology and higher education management. Recently, Neil served as a business mentor for development of strategic entrepreneurial growth with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to his involvement with Propeller, he currently serves as mentor and coach to TED Fellows of the world-renowned TED Conference, CEO of Executive Insight LLC, an international business of 14 years, and is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Better Digestive Health LLC, a business commercializing functional food products aimed at improving digestive health.

Mike Eckert

Chairman - NO/LA Angel Network

Mike Eckert is a seasoned business executive with particular expertise in the early stage investment eco-system. He currently is Chairman of the NO/LA Angel Network, the largest early stage investing group in Louisiana, and is on the Investment Committee of the New Orleans Start-Up Fund. Mike is also Vice Chairman of the Angel Capital Association(ACA) , which is comprised of over 200 angel investing groups and over 10,000 individual investors. Mike chairs the ACA’s Public Policy Committee and leads its strategic planning activities. Mike is recent past Chairman of the Atlanta Technology Angels, one of the largest angel investment groups in the Southeast. He has extensive start up experiences as a member of the launch team of The Weather Channel/Weather.com where he served as CEO for 14 years, and as CEO of Pathfire, an early stage digital media technology infrastructure business. Mike also served as a Fellow in Georgia Tech’s VentureLab program, is a judge of many start-up business plan competitions, has served and serves on the boards of directors of a number of early stage companies, is an active angel investor and is a limited partner in a number of Venture Capital funds. Mike currently resides in New Orleans and is active in the early stage business community there.

Kevin Wilkins

Founder - trepwise llc

Kevin Wilkins is the founder of trepwise llc, a New Orleans based advisory firm with the vision of driving entrepreneurial success in New Orleans. Kevin has extensive experience in general management, marketing, and operations, and brings over 25 years of experience in corporate and entrepreneurial ventures.

A graduate of Dartmouth College, he began his career at The Procter & Gamble Company in brand management for new product development in the Household Cleaning Category. After graduating from Harvard Business School with honors, he ran High Net Worth Discretionary Management for Fidelity Investments, where he was also Vice President of Strategic Planning for customer acquisition. He transitioned to State Street Research & Management, Inc. where he ultimately became the Managing Director and President of the SSRM Distribution Company.

After leading the sale of State Street Research, he has been involved with several startups in the product and financial services sectors as an investor and operator. Since moving to New Orleans, Kevin served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence and COO during The Idea Village’s 2012 and 2013 Entrepreneur Seasons, working with over 300 entrepreneurs in New Orleans.

Kevin sits on several non-profit boards including Collegiate CMO, City Year, Math and Science Foundation, Tulane Hillel, Pelican Bomb and Propeller. He is also a board member for Be Well Nutrition and Your Nutrition Delivered. In 2014, Kevin was a founder of the NO/LA Angel Network, an organization of accredited investors targeting early stage opportunities, and currently sits on the Board.

Kevin is married to Ginny Wise and has three sons, Jonathan (17), Benjamin (13), and Zachary (11).

Areas of Expertise:
• Strategic Planning
• Branding and Marketing
• Customer Acquisition and Retention
• Concept Development and Refinement
• Operational Efficiencies
• Org Structure and Metrics
• Business Plan Development
• Investor Readiness

Recent Press:
• The Times-Picayune, March 20th, 2013 Front Page Story: “The Brain Gain”
• Harvard Business Review, Fall 2013, Feature Story: Entrepreneurial Leadership in New Orleans
• Silicon Bayou: 100 Most Influential People in NOLA Entrepreneurial Ecosystem 2013

http://www.trepwise.com/

2015 Mentors

Rayne Martin

Founder and Coach - It's the Impact

Rayne Martin is the founder of and lead impact coach for It’s the Impact, a firm focused on assisting leaders make significant positive impact while strategically developing specific leadership skills. Her clients include partners and CEOs of socially focused for-profits, nonprofit executive directors and education systems leaders. For over 20 years, Rayne successfully built, scaled and transformed many organizations including leading two of the most significant social reform efforts of recent history, public housing in Chicago and public education in New Orleans. She uses her experience to facilitate leaders’ ability to define their intended impact, develop the networks need to enact change, focus on the actions that matter, communicate their vision clearly and compellingly and raise significant revenue. Rayne is sympathetic to the human tendency to be ‘our own worst enemy’ as we act on our leader talent so she also works with her clients to name growth areas and create specific actionable strategies for improving them. She does this by ardently and compassionately holding the leader accountable for self-reflection, awareness and continued growth.

Neil Gibbons

Co-Founder and COO - Better Digestive Health LLC

Neil Gibbons brings worldly entrepreneurial experience and strategic planning to Propeller. Born in the UK, Neil has worked extensively in the USA, Europe, Africa, the Indian sub-continent and Asia. He holds an MBA with Distinction from IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland and is a qualified executive coach. He is a successful entrepreneur and turnaround specialist with expertise in bio technology, consumer goods, financial services technology and higher education management. Recently, Neil served as a business mentor for development of strategic entrepreneurial growth with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative in New Orleans, Louisiana. In addition to his involvement with Propeller, he currently serves as mentor and coach to TED Fellows of the world-renowned TED Conference, CEO of Executive Insight LLC, an international business of 14 years, and is Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Better Digestive Health LLC, a business commercializing functional food products aimed at improving digestive health.

Janet Davas

Founder - Liberty's Kitchen, Hatch LLC

After spending more than 25 years in the private energy sector where she gained exceptional organizational and communication skills and business acumen, Ms. Davas founded Liberty’s Kitchen in 2008 in response to her commitment to help rebuild and renew New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Her experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors gives her an exceptional platform to help launch and/or nurture other like-minded social entrepreneurs, maximizing both economic and social outcomes for their organizations and the community.

Ms. Davas serves on the Tulane University Changemaker Institute Advisory Board, the Advisory Council for the Global Social Enterprise Institute, the National Advisory Board for Catalyst Kitchens, as a Coach/Mentor for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Community Leadership Network Fellowship Program and participates in the annual Clinton Global Initiative America. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas-Austin and was one of the first women professionals hired in the oil and gas exploration industry.

Mike Eckert

Chairman - NO/LA Angel Network

Mike Eckert is a seasoned business executive with particular expertise in the early stage investment eco-system. He currently is Chairman of the NO/LA Angel Network, the largest early stage investing group in Louisiana, and is on the Investment Committee of the New Orleans Start-Up Fund. Mike is also Vice Chairman of the Angel Capital Association(ACA) , which is comprised of over 200 angel investing groups and over 10,000 individual investors. Mike chairs the ACA’s Public Policy Committee and leads its strategic planning activities. Mike is recent past Chairman of the Atlanta Technology Angels, one of the largest angel investment groups in the Southeast. He has extensive start up experiences as a member of the launch team of The Weather Channel/Weather.com where he served as CEO for 14 years, and as CEO of Pathfire, an early stage digital media technology infrastructure business. Mike also served as a Fellow in Georgia Tech’s VentureLab program, is a judge of many start-up business plan competitions, has served and serves on the boards of directors of a number of early stage companies, is an active angel investor and is a limited partner in a number of Venture Capital funds. Mike currently resides in New Orleans and is active in the early stage business community there.

2014 Consultants

Mike Eckert

Chairman - NO/LA Angel Network

Mike Eckert is a seasoned business executive with particular expertise in the early stage investment eco-system. He currently is Chairman of the NO/LA Angel Network, the largest early stage investing group in Louisiana, and is on the Investment Committee of the New Orleans Start-Up Fund. Mike is also Vice Chairman of the Angel Capital Association(ACA) , which is comprised of over 200 angel investing groups and over 10,000 individual investors. Mike chairs the ACA’s Public Policy Committee and leads its strategic planning activities. Mike is recent past Chairman of the Atlanta Technology Angels, one of the largest angel investment groups in the Southeast. He has extensive start up experiences as a member of the launch team of The Weather Channel/Weather.com where he served as CEO for 14 years, and as CEO of Pathfire, an early stage digital media technology infrastructure business. Mike also served as a Fellow in Georgia Tech’s VentureLab program, is a judge of many start-up business plan competitions, has served and serves on the boards of directors of a number of early stage companies, is an active angel investor and is a limited partner in a number of Venture Capital funds. Mike currently resides in New Orleans and is active in the early stage business community there.

Lorenzo Castillo

Founder/CEO - Education Everytime

Lorenzo works with the New Orleans Startup Fund as a consultant for the PowerMoves NOLA initiative. Prior to joining NOSF, Lorenzo founded Education Everytime, an education technology startup that provides schools with songs specifically designed to manage student activities. He began his career as an educator in Houston through Teach for America and continued to teach for an additional 2 years in New Orleans.

Lorenzo earned full-scholarships to high school and college and graduated from the University of San Diego with a degree in Business Administration.

Jeffrey Thomas

Attorney & Strategy Advisor for Sustainable Business, Community, Economic, and Real Estate Development - Thomas Strategies, LLC

Jeffrey Thomas is attorney with nearly fifteen years of legal, public administration, policy formation, and business formation experience focused on sustainable community and economic development, natural resource and environmental management, community disaster recovery, real estate development, energy, and emerging market venture and entrepreneur formation.

Jeffrey will be working with Greenman Dan – an underground rainwater containment system that makes it simple and easy to solve water runoff problems while reducing landscape irrigation costs.

Will Donaldson

Founder - Launch Pad

Will Donaldson is the founder of Launch Pad, a tech-focused co-working space. Between 2009 and 2014, Will was the Vice President of Resource Environmental Solutions (RES) – a leading wetland, stream, and species mitigation company, during which time he brought over $95 million in new business to the company. Prior to that he worked as a Financial Analyst for Morguard Investments Limited.

Will received a degree in Anthropology from Loyola University New Orleans and his MBA from Tulane University where he was also President of the Tulane Entrepreneurs Association. He received an Outstanding Leadership award from the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Will will be working with Magnolia Land Partners, which he helped to found – a venture that wants to finance important wetland restoration projects in Louisiana through the sale of mitigation credit.

Sia Karamalegos

Founder - DataLaunch for Schools

Sia Karamalegos is the founder of DataLaunch for Schools – a platform that offers project management and data consulting support for public charter and traditional schools. Prior to this Sia worked as the Director of Data Management for FirstLine Schools. Sia has also worked as a consultant with Pwc’s PRTM Management Consulting, specializing in operations strategy, product innovation, and supply chain management, as well as a Senior Analyst in Corporate Strategy for Applied Materials.
Sia received her MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Sia will be working with Coordinated Care for the Whole Child – a venture that facilitates the diagnosis and treatment of student health conditions so that they can make significant gains in academic achievement.

September Hargrove

COO - PowerMoves NOLA

September Hargrove works with the New Orleans Startup Fund as the COO of PowerMoves NOLA Initiative. Prior to this, September was the Policy and Program Manager at the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development. She brings an incredible breadth of talent and project management experience to the table.

She graduated with a Masters in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard University and a undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

September will be working with Community Plates – which is a technology-fueled, volunteer-driven solution to American food insecurity.

Marquita Wright

Global Business Development Analyst - Intralox

Marquita Wright is a Global Business Development Analyst for Intralox, where she has helped grow partnerships and sales by 50%. Marquita has also worked as a Senior Manager in Sales Strategy for Kellogg and a Business Analyst for Kimberly-Clark. She brings extensive expertise in sales strategy and project management.

She has also focused on leadership development in her work with the Young Leadership Council and feels passionate about the education space in New Orleans. Her husband, Jaime Wright was in Propeller’s Accelerator program last year – he co-founded iStemNOLA.

Marquita received her Bachelors of Business Administration, Sales and Business Marketing from Western Michigan University.

Marquita will be working with Live Oak Wilderness Camp, a summer camp and leadership development program that connects and empowers diverse cohorts of student leaders.

Lanitra Johnson

Founder and Creative Director - Lanitra Johnson & Co.

Lanitra Johnson is the Founder and Creative Director at Lanitra Johnson & Co., her premier event design and planning company. She brings a range of experience in marketing, advertising, event management, retail, graphic design, publishing, and small business planning to Propeller. Prior to this, Lanitra worked as the Director of Member Services and Small Business for the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, the Managing Director of Johnson Events Group, and as the Small Business Trainer and Counselor for the University of New Orleans Small Business Development Center (FastTrac Entrepreneurship Program) for nine years. Lanitra is passionate about working with entrepreneurs and creative professionals.

Lanitra received her BS in Marketing from Jackson State University, and her MBA with a concentration in Marketing from the University of New Orleans.

Lanitra will be working with Brothers Empowered 2 Teach — an organization that seeks to close the achievement gap by inspiring and incentivizing black men to choose education as a career path.

Klassi Duncan

Small Business Advisor - Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative

Klassi Duncan is a Small Business Advisor for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program at Delgado Community College. She is also a regular Entrepreneurship course instructor at Delgado Community College.

Ms. Duncan began her professional career as a Buyer at Ford Motor Company where she was responsible for the procurement of various products and services throughout her time with the company. In 2008, Ms. Duncan assumed the role of Manager of Supplier Diversity & Sustainability at Covidien. There she was responsible for developing and implementing a strategy and program for the inclusion of small and diverse businesses into the strategic sourcing process, and for working with these businesses to build capacity and increase operational efficiencies.

Klassi is a Certified Professional in Supply Chain Management and a Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity. She is an active member of the Institute for Supply Management, Greater New Orleans, Inc., where she serves on the Board of Directors as the Director of Marketing.

Ms. Duncan earned a BS in Business Management and a Masters in Business Administration at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL.

She will be working with Treux North Wellness – a premier provider of worksite, school-based, and community wellness services with a focus on fitness.

John Sillars

Independent Consultant

John has over 20 years’ experience in consumer package goods marketing and innovation. He was most recently with Reilly Foods as VP of Marketing and Innovation. He also worked for Zatarain’s, a subsidiary of McCormick & Company, and Kraft Foods. Prior to business school he worked in advertising as an account executive and media planner at BBDO and Ogilvy & Mather.

John serves on the Board of Trustees of the United Way of Southeast Louisiana. He received an undergraduate degree in Economics from Davidson College and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

John will be working with Million Dollar Scholar – a venture which wants to help parents and schools make college affordable for students through scalable financial aid education.

Kevin Gibson

Alumni Services Manager - Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Initiative

Kelvin Gipson is the Alumni Services Manager for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative (10ksb), and has also served as a Business Advisor for Goldman Sachs 10ksb. Prior to this, Kelvin was the CEO of G3 Consulting Firm for six years, offering strategic and business development consulting to start-ups and non-profit organizations. Kelvin has also worked with Homeland Security, as an Agency Owner for Allstate, and IBM.

Kelvin received degrees in Business Administration from St. Petersburg College, and from Southern University.

Kelvin will be working with EECU, an organization seeking to cut back-office costs and increase pay to retain a quality teaching staff for child care centers.

Dianne Sclafani

Independent Business and Restaurant Consultant

Dianne F. Sclafani is a New Orleans Business Speaker and Restaurant Consultant specializing in the hospitality/food service industry. She uses her extensive, multi-areas of food business experience to consult new and established business owners to grow their businesses. In addition, she customizes seminars and training for the food industry, including ServSafe.

Dianne’s mission is to promote New Orleans restaurants and food manufacturers locally and prepares many that want to export food products internationally. She is a professional member of the NSA, ACF and others. Dianne’s goal is to network with associations and businesses to increase new businesses and strengthen to expand established businesses.

David Payton

Business Advisor - Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Initiative

David Payton is a Business Advisor for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative. Prior to this, David worked as a Management Consultant Specialist for CDM Smith – a full-service international consulting, engineering and construction firm. David previously worked 10 years in leadership positions in local government, having also served as the New Orleans City Councilmember representing District D.

David received his a BS in Engineering Technology from University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and his MBA from the University of New Orleans.

David will be working with Center for Restorative Approaches an organization that seeks to provide schools with the training and support they need to prevent youth violence from interfering with learning.

Christine Albert

Associate Vice President of Marketing - Touro Infirmary

Christine is a healthcare marketing executive with 15 years of demonstrated achievements in directing marketing operations, primarily for non-profit hospitals and systems. Prior to this, Christine worked as a Public Affairs Specialist for the Department of the Navy and the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

Christine is also a past President and current board member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) New Orleans Chapter, past President and current Board Member of the Louisiana Society of Public Relations and Marketing (LSHPRM) and a member of the American Hospital Association Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development.

Christine will be working with Clear Health Analytics, an organization that wants to build tools to empower consumers to make smart decisions about their health insurance and health care costs.

Anne Gates

Customer Experience Consultant

Anne Gates is a customer experience consultant with a diverse background in customer experience, branding, and multi-channel retail, with customers including Walmart, Peet’s Coffee, and Gymboree. Prior to her independent consulting work, Anne also worked as Senior Director of Emerging Brands at Walmart Stores and Director of User Experience at Walmart.com. Prior to this she also worked in senior design positions with Productopia.com and Esprit.

Anne graduated with honors with a Visual and Environmental Studies undergraduate degree from Harvard University.

Anne will be working with The Cookbook Project – empowering New Orleans youth as catalysts for healthy, sustainable communities through hands-on cooking and food literacy education.

Kevin Wilkins

Founder - trepwise llc

Kevin Wilkins is the founder of trepwise llc, a New Orleans based advisory firm with the vision of driving entrepreneurial success in New Orleans. Kevin has extensive experience in general management, marketing, and operations, and brings over 25 years of experience in corporate and entrepreneurial ventures.

A graduate of Dartmouth College, he began his career at The Procter & Gamble Company in brand management for new product development in the Household Cleaning Category. After graduating from Harvard Business School with honors, he ran High Net Worth Discretionary Management for Fidelity Investments, where he was also Vice President of Strategic Planning for customer acquisition. He transitioned to State Street Research & Management, Inc. where he ultimately became the Managing Director and President of the SSRM Distribution Company.

After leading the sale of State Street Research, he has been involved with several startups in the product and financial services sectors as an investor and operator. Since moving to New Orleans, Kevin served as the Entrepreneur-in-Residence and COO during The Idea Village’s 2012 and 2013 Entrepreneur Seasons, working with over 300 entrepreneurs in New Orleans.

Kevin sits on several non-profit boards including Collegiate CMO, City Year, Math and Science Foundation, Tulane Hillel, Pelican Bomb and Propeller. He is also a board member for Be Well Nutrition and Your Nutrition Delivered. In 2014, Kevin was a founder of the NO/LA Angel Network, an organization of accredited investors targeting early stage opportunities, and currently sits on the Board.

Kevin is married to Ginny Wise and has three sons, Jonathan (17), Benjamin (13), and Zachary (11).

Areas of Expertise:
• Strategic Planning
• Branding and Marketing
• Customer Acquisition and Retention
• Concept Development and Refinement
• Operational Efficiencies
• Org Structure and Metrics
• Business Plan Development
• Investor Readiness

Recent Press:
• The Times-Picayune, March 20th, 2013 Front Page Story: “The Brain Gain”
• Harvard Business Review, Fall 2013, Feature Story: Entrepreneurial Leadership in New Orleans
• Silicon Bayou: 100 Most Influential People in NOLA Entrepreneurial Ecosystem 2013

http://www.trepwise.com/

2013 Consultants

Denise Redmann Hoffman

Independent Consultant

Denise Redmann Hoffman spent most of her professional life practicing law, first at Jones Walker law firm in the corporate and securities and commercial litigation groups, then at the Entergy Corporation. But she always had a desire to give back, a calling she’s found answered in her work as President of Hotel Hope ( a start up non-profit to assist homeless women and children) and a consultant for both Propeller and former Propeller Fellow Emily Wolff for the Broadmoor Education Corridor’s Fine Arts and Wellness Center. With more than 28 years of legal experience, Hoffman provides invaluable consul to Propeller, its Fellows and the underserved community in general. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Liberty’s Kitchen, a non-profit that assists New Orleans at-risk youth through culinary and food service training. Finally, she further gives to her community as a mentor at the Good Shepherd School and as a legal consultant to the Broadmoor Education Corridor.

Alan Brickman

Consultant

Alan Brickman has been a consultant to non-profit, public sector and philanthropic organizations for more than 25 years. He has worked with hundreds of organizations that represent a diverse array of service delivery fields, organizational settings and community constituencies. His consulting practice focuses on strategic planning, program evaluation and other aspects of organizational development. He also conducts training in evaluation and outcome measurement, partnerships and collaboration, strategic planning, foundation and corporate grant seeking, and volunteer management. Brickman has worked with numerous local and national intermediaries that provide training, program development and/or system building services for organizations in specific service-delivery fields such as adult literacy, out-of-school-time programs, community development and library services. Brickman has twice been a nonprofit executive director, a community organizer and high school and college math teacher.

Geoff Coats

CEO and Creative Director - Line 58 Branding & Web Design

(504) 891 - 4526

Geoff Coats is the CEO and Creative Director of Line 58 Branding & Web Design, a nationally sought after brand strategy studio working with visionary small businesses on inspiring projects.

Whether start-up or established venture, Geoff brings an entrepreneurial sensibility to every project. He has assisted in the launch of a successful restaurant, served as the start-up executive director of a nonprofit working to leverage market forces to revitalize a blighted urban neighborhood, cofounded an on-going nonprofit organization serving the community of New Orleans, and provided small-business consulting to a graphic design studio striving to establish and rationalize business systems and methods of accounting.

Geoff has 17 years of public speaking experience, training in both small and large group communication, 10 years experience working with large and small groups in educational settings, and delivered talks at scholarly and professional conferences nationally.

Geoff holds a B.S. in Communications and Media Theory from James Madison University, an M.A. in History from James Madison University and an M.A. African History from Indiana University, Bloomington. Geoff is also a graduate of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program.

Rebecca Conwell

Member Manager - Twenty-Two Ten, LLC

Rebecca Conwell is the member-manager of Twenty-Two Ten, LLC, a consulting business specializing in government affairs, project creation and execution, issue analysis and management, and grassroots coalition building. Before founding Twenty-Two Ten, L.L.C., Conwell spent 14 years at Tulane University as Executive Director of State and Local Governmental Affairs, Chief of Staff for the University President and Interim Executive Director of the Cowen Institute, a think-tank for K-12 education in New Orleans. She has more than 24 years of experience working with not for profits, planning and executing strategic events and long-term constituency cultivation. Rebecca has a B.B.A. in Finance from Lamar University.

Klassi Duncan

Small Business Advisor - Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program

Duncan began her professional career as a Buyer at Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI, where she was responsible for the procurement of various products and services throughout her time with the company, including catalyst internals, and IT products and services. In 2008, Duncan assumed the role of Manager of Supplier Diversity & Sustainability at Covidien in Mansfield, MA. Ducan is an active member of the Institute for Supply Management, Greater New Orleans, Inc., a professional organization committed to advancing the supply chain field through education, professional development, and networking. She earned a BS in Business Management and a Masters in Business Administration at Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL. and regularly serves as a course instructor for ‘Starting and Growing a Small Business” at Delgado Community College through the Workforce Development and Technical Education division.

Shannon Dosemagen

Founder and President - Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science

A founder of Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science, Dosemagen is based in New Orleans as president of the organization. With a background in community organizing, prior to working with Public Lab, Dosemagen held a position with the Anthropology and Geography Department at Louisiana State University as a Community Researcher and Ethnographer on a study concerning the social impacts of the BP oil spill in coastal Louisiana communities. She was also the Oil Spill Response Director at the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, conducting projects such as the first on-the-ground health and economic impact surveying in Louisiana post-spill. Dosemagen is specifically interested in infusing traditional organizing methods of the environmental sector with new media technologies and tools. Shannon holds an MS in anthropology and nonprofit management and has worked with nonprofits for more than thirteen years.

Andre Feigler

Founder/CEO - Enriched Schools

Feigler is a former high school English teacher turned entrepreneur with a passion for arts, education and community development. During her first years teaching, Feigler founded Youth Run NOLA to provide safe and structured after-school programming for her own 9th grade students. The organization has expanded to serve 300+ students in its mission to empower underserved youth through running. Since then, Feigler has worked for the Teach For America Greater New Orleans regional team and as a LEE Policy Fellow, where she gained extensive experience in community organizing, education policy and organizational management. She currently serves as the founder and CEO of Enriched, an education company dedicated to connecting talented individuals to flexible work in education. Feigler graduated from Columbia University with a dual degree in English and French.

Lindsay Glatz

Director of Marketing & Communication - Arts Council of New Orleans

Glatz is an award-winning communication strategist with significant agency and in-house experience. She has served as the Director of Marketing & Communications at the Arts Council of New Orleans for the past three years. Her specialties include tourism and cultural marketing, media training, donor, client and community relations and fundraising. Prior to her work at the Arts Council, Glatz served as the Senior Communication Strategist for Deveney Communication. She has a comprehensive background in public relations, marketing, promotions and communication. Lindsay graduated from Kansas State University with a B.A. in journalism and mass communication, public relations, with a minor in leadership studies.

Camille Lopez Pollan

Program Director - NOLA Wise, Global Green USA

Pollan, a native Californian, was educated at UC Berkeley and George Washington University and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania. Following the Indian Ocean tsunami, she managed disaster response and reconstruction teams in Indonesia and began working on Katrina recovery and rebuilding projects in the Gulf within weeks after the storm. Through her leadership at Rebuilding Together and Global Green, she helped integrate green principles into neighborhood revitalization projects. Camille has served as a sustainability consultant with LifeCity and currently manages energy efficiency projects with CLEAResult.

Eric Seling

Service and Innovation Manager - City of New Orleans

Seling currently serves as Service and Innovation Manager at the City of New Orleans where he works to improve operational efficiencies and support critical transformative projects through various city departments. Additionally, he is one of three founders of Whetstone Education; an online platform that supports teacher observations. Seling also works as an independent consultant supporting various charter schools, education organizations and non-profits throughout the state of Louisiana. After moving to New Orleans in 2008 to earn his MBA from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, he subsequently fell in love with the city, met his wife Beth, had a baby and now calls New Orleans home.

Emilie Tenenbaum

Director of Stakeholder Relations - New Orleans Business Alliance

Tenenbaum currently serves as the Director of Stakeholder Relations for the New Orleans Business Alliance (NOLABA), the official economic development organization for the city. Prior to her work with NOLABA, Tenenbaum served as the Director of Development for St. Bernard Project (SBP)m where she oversaw the fundraising and communications efforts for the non-profit rebuilding organization, raising more than $4 million during her time at SBP and managing a network of 5,000+ donors and more than 30,000 volunteers. Originally from Vermont, Tenenbaum came to New Orleans in 2007 to work for Senator Landrieu as the state campaign finance director and, more recently, served as the national campaign finance director for former Congressman Charlie Melancon in his 2010 US Senate bid. She graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in political science.

2012 Consultants

Marilyn Wood

Consultant

Marilyn Wood has had a wide range of professional expertise as a senior level executive and social entrepreneur with experience in the governmental, academic and non-profit sectors in Philadelphia, PA. As the Regional Director for the Department of Community Affairs for the Commonwealth of PA, she worked closely with the Governor’s Office, the Chamber of Commerce, Corporate Executives, and high-ranking public officials. In addition, Marilyn has held executive leadership positions at the Community Women’s Education Project, the Center for Intergenerational Learning at Temple University and New Threads, inc., a not for profit business she founded in 1995. She has a master’s degree from Cornell University in Communication. She relocated to New Orleans in November, 2011.

Jane Wholey

Civic Engagement, Youth Development, and Media Consultant

Jane Wholey is a consultant on civic engagement, youth development and media. She is also the founder and former director of Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools. Before Rethink, Jane spent many years as a journalist and media consultant. She is best known for her creative media campaigns, and has staged many of them with Rethinkers as well as other grassroots activists in North and South America.

Andrea Chen

Executive Director - Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation

Andrea began her career as a high school English teacher at John McDonogh Sr. High School and subsequently trained teachers at the University of New Orleans and The New Teacher Project. She has worked at the Louisiana Association of Charter Schools where she oversaw grantmaking for over $5 million in charter school startup funds and launched a $1.5 million below-market rate Bridge Loan Fund. She was named “40 Under 40“ by Gambit Magazine, 2010 City Business “Women of the Year,“ World Economic Forum Young Global Shaper, and is an appointed board member of the New Orleans Business Alliance, the official economic development arm of the City of New Orleans. She graduated from Stanford University, attended Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University of New Orleans, and was trained in business at Dartmouth University’s Tuck School of Business.

Lindsay Glatz

Director of Marketing & Communication - Arts Council of New Orleans

Lindsay is an award-winning communication strategist with significant agency and in-house experience. She has served as the Director of Marketing & Communications at the Arts Council of New Orleans for the past three years. Her specialities include tourism and cultural marketing, media training, donor, client and community relations and fundraising. Prior to her work at the Arts Council, Lindsay served as the Senior Communication Strategist for Deveney Communication. She has a comprehensive background in public relations, marketing, promotions and communication. Lindsay graduated with a B.A. in Journalism & Mass Communication, Public Relations, with a minor in Leadership Studies at Kansas State University.

Keely Thibodeaux

Principal & Architect - Landmark Consulting

Keely is a licensed registered Architect as well as a Project Management professional with 15 years of experience in the field of architecture, planning, program, project and grants management. She has executive management experience with government funded capitol programs and large scale portfolio management. Keely has a solid history of managing the design and building of public and institutional facilities and has knowledge of the LA public bid requirements. Keely has also worked for FEMA as a Public Assistance Coordinator. Keely is a life-long New Orleanian and Principal of Landmark Consulting, LLC with headquarters located in downtown New Orleans. The firm expresses special interest in projects which promote high educational standards, economic stability, and the cultural preservation of Greater New Orleans area.

Matt Rookard

Senior Vice President of Business Development - Greater New Orleans, Inc.

Matt Rookard is the Senior Vice President of Business Development at Greater New Orleans, Inc., a regional economic development alliance serving southeastern Louisiana. In his role Mr. Rookard is responsible for the attraction and retention of private sector investment and job creation. Recent successes include the attraction of GE Capital’s Consolidated IT Center (300 Jobs) and Blade Dynamics Headquarters and Manufacturing Operation (600 Jobs), Gameloft’s New Orleans Development Studio for Mobile Video Games (160 Jobs). Prior to his current position, Mr. Rookard was a Business Development Officer with the Louisiana Department of Economic Development. While there he worked on large-scale economic development projects that totaled $15 billion in capital investment and approximately 11,000 jobs. Example projects are the successful recruitment of SNF’s $350 million chemical plant, Shaw Group’s $100 million modular nuclear manufacturing facility, and the retention and consolidation of Gardner Denver Thomas’ pump assembly operations.

Roger Johnson

Fundraising Consultant

Roger Johnson is a connector of people, ideas, and resources. He has over ten years experience in development, having served as development director and major gifts officer at human service, education, and arts organizations in Seattle and Memphis. He has also served on grant committees for Social Venture Partners and Pride Foundation in Seattle. Most recently, he was the chief fundraiser at Ballet Memphis for three seasons. Originally from the northwoods of Minnesota, Roger holds dual Finnish and US citizenship. He has traveled to over 50 countries and graduated from Dartmouth College, studying Classics and Geography. He is very happy to be part of the New Orleans community.

John Laurie

Senior Business Consultant - Kauffman Foundation

John Laurie, Ph.D., is a Senior Business Consultant with the Kauffman Foundation’s UEP-Gulf Coast Initiative, where he has consulted with over 100 companies, ranging from high growth start-ups to enterprise level firms. John’s expertise is in strategic planning and management, providing innovative plans and solutions focused on sustained, long-term success and scalability. In 2011, John developed the Collegiate Business Accelerator Program fro UEP-Kauffman and in 2012 directed the first business accelerator in a college or university in the State of Louisiana, located at the University of New Orleans. In addition, he has served as a mentor to companies selected for Launchpad ignition, and as a guest speaker and panelist for topics including venture investment, proof of business concept and consulting. An entrepreneur for over a decade, John has owned manpower, retail and online companies.

David Cody

Project Manager - Green Coast Enterprises

David Cody is a Project Manager with Green Coast Enterprises, working extensively with NOLAWise, a loan program for home improvements in energy efficiency. Prior to joining GCE, David spent 20 years in the market research business, where he managed and conducted hundreds of research studies for telecommunications companies, electric utitities, banks, high technology startups, universities, school systems, and nonprofits. He founded two corporate market research departments and ran his own consulting business for several years. After Hurricane Katrina, David worked for the Orleans Recovery Foundation on a loan to the City of New Orleans, and managed a variety of recovery projects. David holds an MBA with Certificate in Public Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Harvard College. He is also a third-degree black belt in Aikido, a traditional Japanese martial art. A native of the gulf coast, David lives in New Orleans with his wife, Sara Orton.

Nora Ellertsen

Founder & Fundraising Coach - The Funding Seed

Nora Ellertsen is founder of The Funding Seed, a New Orleans-based company that teaches people how to raise money for non-profit groups. In the ten years she has worked in the non-profit and fundraising field, she has helped raise nearly a million dollars through grassroots fundraising, grant writing, event planning and major donor development. Through The Funding Seed, Nora applies the parable, “Teach a man to fish and he has food for a lifetime,” to fundraising. By coaching nonprofit staff, board members and volunteers, she works to make each organization confident, strategic and self-sufficient when it comes to raising money.

William Bradshaw

Co-founder and President - Green Coast Enterprises

William B. Bradshaw II is the co-founder and president of Green Coast Enterprises. Prior to Green Coast he helped to plan and/or develop over $150 million in projects in North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, and Massachusetts. For nearly three years, he served as the Organizational Director of the Davidson Housing Coalition, a nonprofit affordable housing developer based in Davidson, North Carolina. During his time there, the organization won numerous local, state, and national development awards including a Maxwell Award of Excellence from the Fannie Mae Foundation. He has also worked as a green development specialist for New Ecology, Inc. Will holds a PhD in Regional and Urban Economics and Sustainable Community Development, as well as a Masters in City Planning and Real Estate Development, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He also holds degrees in Physics and Cross-Cultural Studies from Davidson College. He teaches real estate development in the Tulane University School of Architecture. He lives in New Orleans with his wife, Rebekah, and two children. Will has been named Echoing Green fellow for 2008-2010, one of Gambit Magazine’s “40 under 40” for 2009, one of Fast Company’s “10 Coolest Innovators Rebuilding New Orleans,” one of “America’s Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs” by Business Week, and a “Champion of Change” by President Obama.

Linda Stone

Program and Operations Director - Global Green USA

Linda Stone is Program and Operations Director for Global Green USA’s New Orleans office. She also manages policy initiatives for the office, working with state and local governments, other nonprofits and businesses to promote green building and progressive energy policy. Linda is founder of The Green Project, New Orleans’ premier building materials exchange; served as Director of Mayor Morial’s Office of Environmental Affairs; and was the inaugural director of San Antonio’s Metropolitan Partnership for Energy where she initiated Build San Antonio Green, that city’s first green building program. She returned to New Orleans in January 2008 to join Global Green in its effort to sustainably rebuild New Orleans (post-Katrina). Linda has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans. Linda and her husband recently completed a green historic renovation of an 1850s building where they live and will soon open a Mexican Cafe and Latin Cultural Center.

Stephanie Barksdale

Assistant Director - Office of Social Entrepreneurship Initiatives at Tulane University

Stephanie Barksdale is the Special Assistant to President Cowen for Social Innovation Initiatives and is also the Assistant Director for Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching Social Innovation Engagement at Tulane University. After working in the diplomatic field for several years, Stephanie received her MPA, with a concentration in non-profit management, from NYU Wagner School of Public Service. Stephanie has also worked for The Low Income Investment Fund, Upwardly Global, and the King Hussein Foundation International. Currently, Stephanie is helping Tulane build upon its strengths in service learning and civic engagement to develop a university-wide, interdisciplinary social innovation and entrepreneurship program. Current initiatives include a speaker series, social venture competitions, engaging student’s across the university, and an academic minor in social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Learn more at http://tulane.edu/socialentrepreneurship/index.cfm.

Francisco Robert

Consultant - EMH Strategy

Francisco Robert earned his MBA from Tulane’s Freeman School of Business with a concentration in Strategic Management and Global Business, and a BA from the University of Virginia where he majored in Economics. He also holds a degree in the Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. Francisco has extensive restaurant consulting experience, most recently starting Dinner Lab in New Orleans. He also worked with a Boston-based software company where he developed a modern dining facility that incorporated attributes of a 5-star dining experience with the cost constraints of a corporate dinning environment. Francisco has opened a restaurant in Vietnam, and has worked at several 3 Michelin Star restaurants around the globe. He is working with Tamara and Thaddaeus Prosper of Sheaux Fresh.

Colin Lacy

Marketing Manager - Emeril's Homebase

Colin came to New Orleans over nine years ago to attend Loyola. After graduating in 2007 with a degree in Communications, he returned to work on his MBA, graduating in 2010. Having recently bought a house Uptown, he’s become a permanent part of the local landscape. By day, Colin works as Marketing Manager for Emeril’s Homebase, and at night he sneaks into his bat cave where he designs and develops websites for local businesses. This is his second year as an Accelerator Consultant.

2011 Consultants

Francisco Robert

Consultant - EMH Strategy

Francisco Robert earned his MBA from Tulane’s Freeman School of Business with a concentration in Strategic Management and Global Business, and a BA from the University of Virginia where he majored in Economics. He also holds a degree in the Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America. Francisco has extensive restaurant consulting experience, most recently starting Dinner Lab in New Orleans. He also worked with a Boston-based software company where he developed a modern dining facility that incorporated attributes of a 5-star dining experience with the cost constraints of a corporate dinning environment. Francisco has opened a restaurant in Vietnam, and has worked at several 3 Michelin Star restaurants around the globe. He is working with Tamara and Thaddaeus Prosper of Sheaux Fresh.

Colin Lacy

Marketing Manager - Emeril's Homebase

Colin came to New Orleans over nine years ago to attend Loyola. After graduating in 2007 with a degree in Communications, he returned to work on his MBA, graduating in 2010. Having recently bought a house Uptown, he’s become a permanent part of the local landscape. By day, Colin works as Marketing Manager for Emeril’s Homebase, and at night he sneaks into his bat cave where he designs and develops websites for local businesses. This is his second year as an Accelerator Consultant.

Aesha Rasheed

Independent Consultant & Massage Therapist - New Orleans Parent Organizing Network

Aesha Rasheed is a massage therapist and independent consultant specializing in education-related projects. For years, she has advocated for quality public education in New Orleans focusing on the need for parent and community involvement in school reform. She created the New Orleans Parents’ Guide to Public Schools to help parents better navigate public schools and empower themselves to judge school quality and advocate for excellent public schools. She also founded the New Orleans Parent Organizing Network to support parents to organize for quality public schools. Prior to founding the Parent Organizing Network she co-led New Orleans Network, an information sharing and collaboration hub for grassroots organizations in post-Katrina New Orleans, and spent five years covering public education at the New Orleans Times Picayune. She earned her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Oklahoma.

She is working with Nolan Marshall, Jr. and Nolan Marshall III, Founders of Good Citizen.

Tess Monaghan

Executive Director - Build Now

Tess Monaghan is the Executive Director of Build Now, a non-profit organization building new, elevated homes in New Orleans’ flooded neighborhoods. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University, she honed her business skills as a consultant at Bain & Company in New York City. There, she developed expertise in the packaged food and beverage industry and designed a market share tracking tool for a financial services company. Tess oversees Build Now’s operations and acts as an advocate for New Orleans’ displaced homeowners. Since moving to New Orleans in January, 2008, she has been proud to watch Build Now grow from little more than a concept to a major contributor to New Orleans’ rebuilding landscape, with more than 40 homes completed or under construction.

She is working with William Stoudt, Co-Founder of Youth Rebuilding New Orleans.

John Padavan

Brand Strategy Consultant & Advertising Executive

John Padavan has an exceptional background in marketing and strategy, working as a Brand Strategy Consultant and an Advertising Executive for an array of brands, including Wrigley, Wendy’s Del Monte Foods, Diageo Reserve Brands, and GMC. John started his career in the entertainment industry as a Talent Agent Trainee at a premier Beverly Hills talent agency, assisting in new business development for high profile Hollywood writers and directors. John holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, and he is currently pursuing an MBA from Tulane University Freeman School of Business, with concentrations in Marketing and Strategy.

Stephanie Darden

President and Creative Director - FDG {creative}

Stephanie founded FDG {creative} in 2002, where she works as the President and Creative Director and conceives and directs magnetic brand initiatives and campaigns for her clients. Stephanie has been recognized twice as one of the Top 40 Under 40 business professionals by the Orlando Business Journal and was a finalist for the 2009 Women Who Mean Business, Up-and-Comer award. She was recognized as a nominee again for this award in 2011. In 2008, Stephanie established FDG’s Greater Good Initiative, which has received over $96,000 in donations since 2008. Stephanie currently serves on the City of Orlando Downtown Development Board’s Development Review Committee. She also serves on the boards for the Urban Think! Foundation, Serving Up!, and on the marketing committee for the Heart of Florida United Way.

Stephanie is working with Tippy Tippens, Founder of MATTER L3C.

Amy Barad

Economic Development Strategist - Urban Conservancy

Amy has worked with the Urban Conservancy in New Orleans to formulate economic development strategies since early 2011. Her work there focuses on local business growth and urban sustainability. She previously held management and consulting positions in finance, customer service, and logistical operations. Her experience also includes leading the design of community development projects in Johannesburg, South Africa with Urban, Inc, a strategic advisory firm. Amy graduated with a B.A. in Urban Studies from Brown University and has completed postgraduate work at UCLA in Global Sustainability.

She is working with Kendra Morris, Founder of Rural Revolution.

Jonathan Atkinson

New Orleans Loan Officer - Seedco Financial

As the New Orleans Loan Officer for New York-based alternative lender, Seedco Financial, Jon works closely with a variety of small and emerging business owners and non-profit leaders to help them access and responsibly manage debt capital. Prior to joining Seedco, Jon worked in commercial lending for Hancock Bank and managed an Asian Fusion restaurant in Charlotte, NC with 30 employees and $2,000,000 in annual sales. Jon is currently completing his MBA part-time at the A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane University where he was recently inducted to the academic honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. He holds and B.A. in Economics from Davidson College in Davidson, NC. Jon is also the founder and Advisory Board Chair of the Tulane Changemaker Institute student incubator. Jon is also Interim Board President of St. Claude Main Street. Jon has participated in Idea Village’s N ew Orleans Entrepreneur Week as a consultant in two consecutive years and is a member of Idea Village’s Banking Round Table and professional network. Jon is working with John Burns of Jack and Jake’s, LLC and is serving in an acting CFO capacity.

John and Jon are working to close Series AA funding and implement initial operations to make the Jack and Jake’s vision for rebuilding the fresh, affordable, local food ecosystem a reality.

2010 Consultants

Marie Lee

Consultant

Marie has had a long career in both the private and nonprofit sectors to develop, stabilize, and finance programming aimed at the abatement of persistent poverty. She was a former Executive Director of Allied Housing, a California-based fair housing nonprofit, and Homes for South Florida, a nonprofit bank loan consortium. Her work in New Orleans includes managing the Gulf Coast Career Construction Center, securing funding through the Kellogg Foundation, and completing housing projects for ACORN Housing. She also has a background in corporate finance, as the Vice President and Staff Group Executive of Chemical Bank Corporation. She has also worked as an Independent Consultant for the Rockefeller Foundation, the Atlanta Housing Authority, and New York Catholic Charities.

2009 Consultants

Marie Lee

Consultant

Marie has had a long career in both the private and nonprofit sectors to develop, stabilize, and finance programming aimed at the abatement of persistent poverty. She was a former Executive Director of Allied Housing, a California-based fair housing nonprofit, and Homes for South Florida, a nonprofit bank loan consortium. Her work in New Orleans includes managing the Gulf Coast Career Construction Center, securing funding through the Kellogg Foundation, and completing housing projects for ACORN Housing. She also has a background in corporate finance, as the Vice President and Staff Group Executive of Chemical Bank Corporation. She has also worked as an Independent Consultant for the Rockefeller Foundation, the Atlanta Housing Authority, and New York Catholic Charities.