Over One Thousand Billable Hours Donated
Mentors play a large role in building the community of trust and reliability in the Groundswell ecosystem. They are brought into the network as aggressive problem solvers and are expected to give honest feedback and respect company confidentiality regardless of any formal NDA agreement.
These are experts in industries including marketing, business development, UI/UX, business law and more have collectively donated over one thousand hours of support to startups since Groundswell's start in June 2015.
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Eryck Dzotsi is a seasoned Digital Marketing expert and is responsible for managing several of key initiatives and accounts such as the website merger of Officemax.com and Officedepot.com. He project managed the brand migration of www.comcast.com to www.xfinity.com. United Airlines, Nespresso, Ashley Furniture, Kimpton Hotels, MassMutual are all clients. Eryck brings a unique blend of industry knowledge, modern consumer media consumption, and technical search expertise.
Adam Hoffmann is a recent transplant from Portland OR. He has worked in the digital marketing space for over a decade, serving as a UI/UX designer, program manager, strategist and design thinking facilitator. Throughout his career, he has participated in and led strategic initiatives for Fortune 500 companies, including Intel, Nike, Google, and GE, as well as a number of start-ups.
Keith is a ‘rocket scientist’ and a dreamer on a coffee-fueled mission to get stuff done. He is passionate about creating value as a business leader, as a mentor, and in the community. Career highlights include roles in R&D Management, Innovation Leadership, Strategy and building awesome stuff for sea, air, space, terrestrial, and subterranean applications.
Shane Close is a User Experience and User Interface Designer with two decades of success creating engaging interactive applications and digital media for agency, startup and Fortune 500 clients. Shane is passionate about solving problems through design and creating solutions that allow users to be more efficient and productive.
Jonathan Reed is a senior executive in Communications Systems, Aviation, Aerospace and Defense. He spent most of his career at Harris Corporation where he led multiple businesses before moving to division and corporate roles leading Strategy and Business Development broadly across the company. He excels at driving business growth through strategy, innovation and execution. He recently founded Strategy First LLC, a consulting firm specializing in business planning, management processes and talent development for small to mid-sized businesses.
Andy Quintana is currently the Senior Vice President of Business Development for Accent Technologies. His primary focus is developing and executing a Channel Strategy. He has 14 years of experience at IBM starting out as a Chemical Engineer working his way into leadership and sales roles. He enjoys coaching and connecting others while mentoring several individuals on a one-on-one basis on aspects of career development and business development. He has a passion for helping and empowering others to succeed.
Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His work has also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing solutions.
Abe Walton, Ph.D
Abe Walton, Ph.D
Dr. Abram Walton was recently named as one of 4 under 40 by Lead Brevard, and is a Professor of Management, specializing in Technology and Innovation at Florida Tech. He has been actively researching in the fields of Innovation and Product Lifecycle Management for the past decade, he currently serves as the founding Director of Florida Tech's Center for Lifecycle and Innovation Management, and was previously the Director for the Center for Ethics and Leadership. He has authored over 100 publications and conference proceedings, and his textbooks on Leadership and Management have sold over 15,000 copies. His corporate innovation efforts and grantsmanship has yielded over $27mm in funded research and gifts to universities. His research efforts focus on impacting technology-sensitive industries by creating sustainable, lean business models through the deployment of innovative continuous improvement methodologies. He takes a unique systems-thinking approach to innovation and technology, lean, healthcare, and product lifecycle management, which has cultivated multi-disciplinary collaborations, generating research and scholarship on innovative organizational strategies and best practices for engineering and innovation initiatives.
Yasha has over 15 years experience as a project engineer, resource manager and project manager in Aviation, Consumer Products, and Lean Electronics industries with proven success managing diverse inter-disciplinary teams and complex projects.
Ryan Speer fell into the field of graphic design fifteen years ago when he was forced to pick a college major and has since completed hundreds of projects in graphic design, branding, illustration and video with a widely diverse group of clients — from corporate businesses to national artists and musicians. In his off-time, Ryan also creates his own art and music and believes in injecting that creative spirit into the corporate landscape.
Dana S. Kilborne started her thirty-year banking career in 1985 in South Florida before
moving to Central Florida in 2000.
In 2004, she founded Prime Bank and served as President and CEO and on its Board of
Directors. In 2010, Prime Bank merged with Florida Bank of Commerce where Kilborne
also served as Director and President/CEO of the bank and holding company, FBC
In 2016 FBC merged with Sunshine Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sunshine
Bancorp, a NASDAQ traded company. Kilborne served as Co-President and Chief
Commercial Officer of Sunshine Bank, and additionally served as a Director of the bank
and holding company. Sunshine Bancorp successfully completed a sale to CenterState
Bank in January 2018.
She currently serves as a Director of NCMIC Insurance Company based in Des Moines
Iowa and HealthFirst Inc., an Integrated Delivery Network, based in Melbourne Florida.
Kilborne is a former Director of the Federal Reserve Bank Board of Atlanta-Jacksonville
She has served on the board of many community organizations, currently including, Chair
Elect of Economic Development Commission of Space Coast, Immediate Past Chair Holy
Trinity Episcopal Academy and East Coast Zoological Society of Florida.
Past board service includes the Florida Bankers’ Association, Chair of the 2014 Florida
Bankers’ Association Annual Convention, Chair of the Economic Development
Commission Ad Valorem Tax Abatement Council and as a member of the Brevard County
Blue Ribbon Transportation Committee.
She earned a B.S. Degree in Finance and a Master’s Degree in Banking. Her published
thesis was entitled “Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook for the Community Banker” and
she received the Orlando Business Journal Women Who Mean Business Award in 2014.
She and her husband, Briggs, have three children and live in Merritt Island.
Carol Craig Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Craig Technologies, headquartered in Cape Canaveral, FL. Carol was recognized as the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” in the Technology category for the Florida region.
Alan Taetle joined NMP in 1998 and has focused his investment activities on software and information technology companies. He currently represents NMP on the boards of Clearleap, PureWRX and Salesfusion. He is the Chairman of Venture Atlanta and is the Past Chair of the Florida Venture Forum. He is a member of the Board of Advisors of the Georgia Tech College of Computing.
Jennifer Sethre is a senior executive, entrepreneur, consultant, and thought-leader driven by a strong commitment to authenticity and integrity. As President and CEO of multiple consumer product and technology companies, she has injected creativity and innovation into operations, supply chain management, branding and marketing, in startups as well as public companies around the world, from early engagement to acquisition.
Ankur Chatterjee is a 15-year veteran of the television and telecommunications industry. Through his sales and business development roles, he has established deep relationships at top-tier MVPDs, and within the technology vendor community.
Scott Hraster started three companies as well as led a number of innovative technology businesses. Scott co-founded and sold AirDefense to Motorola and was later a member of the senior management team that drove the acquisition of Intellisync by Nokia. InfoWorld selected Scott as one of the world’s top 25 CTO’s in 2005.
Dr. Eric Little oversees Modus Operandi’s research and development efforts, and the continued development and enhancement of our semantic software. Dr. Little has published in the areas of philosophy, cognitive science, ontology, information fusion, and human factors engineering. He is currently active in several collaborative research groups including: Central Florida Semantic Web Group, co-chair; the National Center for Ontology Research; the National Center for Multisource Information Fusion; the Federal Government’s e-Governance Group, and numerous other on-line semantic communities.
Shari Dennis from founding a small agency to large, global powerhouse shops; mid-size independent agencies and time on the client side. World-class clients, ranging from P&G to Capital One and lead initiatives ranging from multiple Superbowl efforts, Times Square outdoor, experiential and events, social, digital and mobile.
Adam Schwartz cofounded his first venture-backed company right after graduating his MBA program. Within 3 years, the business is generating over 8 figures of revenue per year. Since then, Adam has funded two hardware-focused companies: FRESHeTECH and Freedom Audio. Freedom Audio went through the TechStars NYC/RGA Accelerator and is launching the first smart waterproof speaker, Drifter. FRESHeTECH has sold over 200,000 units in under 3 years of business and has manufactured over 20 different products (internally and for consulting clients).
Travis Milks is responsible for sourcing, underwriting and executing growth equity investments at Stonehenge Growth Equity Partners, a growth equity investment firm focused on technology-enabled businesses located in Florida and the southeast. He currently maintains board responsibilities at Stonehenge portfolio companies Thrive, Proficient Auto Transport (observer) and Dixie-Southern (observer).
The Honorable Roger W. Baker was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as Assistant Secretary and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in May of 2009, serving until March, 2013. He is recognized for transforming the federal government’s second largest IT department, with 8,000 people and a $4 Billion annual budget, into a customer-driven, results-oriented organization. He improved project success rates dramatically with the introduction of the Program Management Accountability System (PMAS), which became the model for the federal government’s TechStat, PortfolioStat and IT Dashboard programs. He led the agency to embrace new and emerging technologies, such as agile software development, mobile devices, and cloud computing to improve the delivery of healthcare and benefits for Veterans. He also restored the agency’s reputation as a trusted guardian of Veteran’s personally identifiable information (PII) and was a powerful advocate for standards-based systems and open source software within VA.
He also served as CIO for the U.S. Department of Commerce from 1998 to 2001. He was recognized for modernizing the agency’s IT systems and processes and strengthening IT management to support the decennial census, introduce new e-commerce capabilities and reduce operating costs. He was also a leader in defining the federal CIO role following passage of the Clinger-Cohen Act.
Baker, currently serving as a consultant, has worked extensively in the private sector for a variety of successful technology companies. Most recently, as Chief Strategy Officer for Agilex Technologies, he was responsible for aligning the company’s growth, go-to-market and service delivery strategies to address client requirements. Agilex was acquired by Accenture in March of 2015. He also served as President and CEO of Dataline LLC, an innovative, midsize technology company, immediately prior to his VA appointment. Previously, he served as CIO for General Dynamics Information Technology and as General Manager for the Telecommunications and Information Assurance business group at CACI International. Earlier in his career, he served as Chief Operating Officer for BlueGill Technologies; Vice President of Engineering and Operations at VISA International; and as Vice President of Consulting and Services for Verdix Corporation.
He earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Masters in Business Administration degrees from the University of Michigan. He has won numerous awards recognizing his service to veterans and the nation, including the 2010 Civilian Agency Executive of the Year by Government Computer News; the 2010 Outstanding Achievement in Civilian Government by AFCEA; the 2011 John J. Franke Award by ACT-IAC; the 2012 Executive Leadership in Information Resources Management - Civilian award by AFFIRM; and is a three-time recipient of the Federal 100 Award.