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.

Jennifer Garr
Formerly 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.

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.

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.

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." 

Neely Woodson Powell
CEO/Founder, Charleston Shoe Company

Neely Woodson Powell is the founder of the Charleston Shoe Company. The premise of her company originates with a summer visit to central Mexico in the summer of 1996, where she met a fourth generation cobbler. From selling sandals in suitcases while still a student at the  College of Charleston, Neely has grown her business and clientele. She launched her wholesale line of hand-sewn footwear in 2011 and her line of comfortable, stylish and washable shoes is sold in over 150 boutiques nationwide.