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Center for Entrepreneurship Advisory Board

The Center for Entrepreneurship has strong and experienced advisory board that is centered on helping our student entrepreneurs. Each advisory board member has pledged a significant time mentoring our students, teaching our classes and financial assistance to help the Center sustain operations. Their extreme passion supporting our students provides the foundation of our program. For example, the Advisory Board, Huge Foundation, Steve Swanson Foundation, Department of Commerce, grants and individual donors have helped raise over $750,000 to supoprt Center for Entrepreneurship programs. 

Mark Richards, Chair
Serial Entrepreneur and Investor

Mark Richards is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor living and working in Charleston, SC. With experience in product development, managing companies, and helping other entrepreneurs do the same, Richards loves connecting with fellow entrepreneurs. He is consistently coming up with new products and helping others put their ideas into reality, whether that is a product, service or business. In his free time, Richards spends quality time on James Island with his wife of over twenty years, and with their golden retriever named Maggie. He is passionate about boating and international travel.

Michael Cahill 
Legal Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Michael Cahill is a private investor, attorney and business consultant who has worked in the investment management business for 23 years. Throughout much of his career, Cahill served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Trust Company of the West. TCW is the parent of a group of investment management companies involved in traditional and alternative fixed income and equity investments, both in the U.S. and internationally. He holds Board positions on various civic, community and professional organizations. Cahill l is also a frequent speaker at conferences on topics including venture capital, international joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and investment management. Cahill holds an LL.M. from Harvard University, a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto and a BA from Bishops University, Quebec.

Herbert Drayton III
Serial Entrepreneur

Herbert Drayton III is a business executive and entrepreneur with more than 20 years’ experience. His company, Vertical Holdings has majority equity positions in medical services, software development, technical and soft skills training, B2C and B2B SaaS platforms, and consulting services. Drayton III works with entrepreneurs from age 15 to 67 converting passion (or just a great idea) to profit.

Jennifer Garr
SVP, Ogilvy & Mather

With a bias for action and ideas, Jennifer Garr has led communications initiatives for some of the biggest and most successful brands in the marketplace. Her experience includes packaged goods marketers such as Heinz, Quaker, Nabisco, Glad, Seven-Up, Kraft and Philip Morris; technology, consumer electronics and durable goods organizations such as Siemens, Whirlpool, Fujifilm, Thomson/RCA and Sony; hospitality and tourism leaders such as Marriott International and the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau; and financial service giant UBS.

Deborah Mohr Geffken
Social Entrepreneur

Deborah Mohr Geffken is currently with Mohr Options Inc. With experience in marketing and corporate strategy, Geffken enjoys connecting people, ideas and situations to foster collaborative initiatives for impactful solutions. She targets effectiveness and efficiency when exploring the "what if." In the pursuit of lifelong learning, her mantra is knowledge blended with creativity creates the secret sauce for innovation.

Wayne Mickiewicz

Wayne is a retired business executive whose career spanned thirty-seven years in Information Technology including roles as President, CEO, COO or CIO of various service companies. He possesses significant experience in Financial Services, Insurance, Manufacturing and Communications industries. He has served as a mentor to other leaders in the various companies in which he has worked.  He is most proud of his ability to build high-performing teams teaching other business leaders how to exceed their expectations while creating their own career paths. 

Jerry Nairne
Founder, Chesterfield Holdings

Until he sold the business in 2015, Jerry Nairne was President and principal owner of Chesterfield Holdings, Inc.; a risk management consulting firm serving self-insured organizations throughout the United States. He is currently CEO and principal owner of Crooked River BBQ and Beer; a fast casual restaurant chain he started with his son-in-law in 2012. He is a 2008 recipient of his alma mater’s Jack Kennedy Alumni Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship and recently finished his second article in a series about his experiences as an entrepreneur.

Chris O'Rourke

Chris O'Rorke is the co-founder of Soteria Security, a security consulting and data analytics company. Soteria is a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business (SDVOB) headed by experienced former members of the NSA, CIA, DoD, and Fortune 500 companies. Soteria provides immediate incident response with consultants based in Charleston, Atlanta, Washington DC, and the San Francisco bay area. 

Lisa Quadrini
SVP, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC

Lisa Quadrini is Senior Financial Advisor, Senior Vice President - Investments at Wells Fargo Advisors. Previously, Lisa was Senior Vice President - Wealth Management at UBS Wealth Management. Lisa holds an MBA in finance from the University of Hartford and splits here time between Charleston and Delaware.

Marc Raber
Angel Investor

Marc Raber is a partner at IOP Capital, and angel investment firm. His specialties include aggregating content, search engine optimization, database population, website development and application development. IOP recently provided seed financing for Questis, a software development firm. Questis provides employers with a robust, convenient, and unbiased financial wellness solution that increases their bottom line by reducing turnover, increasing employee loyalty and increasing employee productivity. By providing a comprehensive financial wellness solution, employees can access unbiased, professional advice otherwise limited to those with significant assets.

Joseph Riley

Josephy Riley is currently a sales leader at GE Healthcare representing GE Healthcare’s Interventional Imaging, Monitoring, and Cardiology IT product line in South Carolina, Southeast Georgia, and North Florida. Riley is passionate about leading the future development of the US healthcare market by helping care providers reduce cost, improve quality, and find the appropriate mix of access. His areas of specialization include healthcare IT, healthcare management and consulting, supply chain management and quality improvement.

Glenn Starkman
Tommy Baker Entrepreneur-in-Residence

Glenn Starkman is the COO and co-founder of Soteria Security, a security consulting and data analytics company. Starkman is a dynamic business building executive and entrepreneurial change agent with a talent for communicating a vision and developing steps to make that vision a reality. He is an expert at motivating and empowering people and teams to achieve at world-class levels. Glenn’s prior experiences included being a Managing Director at UBS and a VO of International Sales at Goldman Sachs.

Stewart Vernon

Stewart Vernon is the Founder and CEO of ASP – America’s Swimming Pool Company, the nation’s largest swimming pool cleaning, repair, and renovation franchise system. Vernon, as the company CEO, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the franchise company, which include Public Relations, brand management, vendor relationships, financial planning and strategic oversight of his staff.  Vernon also serves currently as the CFO of the company.

Stuart Williams
Impact Entrepreneur-in-Residence

The Social & Environmental Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the College of Charleston is Stuart M. Williams. Stuart is Founder & Principal Member of The Impact Experts; Director of Be Earth Foundation, a United Nations IGO and Visionary & Founder of Intentional Investment Holdings, PBC. Stuart is also author of the thesis of "Making A Profit, While Making A Difference." He says “Over the next fifty years, the greatest wealth creation will be driven by leaders who develop solutions for humanity and the planet." 

Adam Witty

Adam Witty is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Advantage Media Group. What began in the spare bedroom of his home is now an international publishing company. Advantage has been named to the prestigious Inc. 500/5000 list of American’s fastest growing private companies in 2012, 2013, and 2014 and the Best Places to Work in South Carolina list for 2013 and 2014.

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