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Joanna Dueweke-Perez - Professional Service Network Manager
Hello, I am the manager for Ask an Expert and other professional services at TechTown Detroit, and I am here to help you get started. As you know, here at TechTown, we mean business. Please make an appointment for general consultation; I can either meet in person, do a video chat, or do a phone call.
Liang Downey -IBM
Liang works for IBM as a Solution Development Executive for IBM’s New Energy and Environment Global Industry. She promotes emerging solutions that leverage the IOT and analytics to better balance the distributed renewable energy supply and demand, eliminate energy waste via machine learning and reduce Green House Gas emission via cognitive computing. Her professional experience spans over 20 years in consulting, program management and emerging technology development across multiple industries.
Tarun Kajeepeta - Chief Operating Officer for Mobiliti
Tarun Kajeepeta is the COO of Mobiliti, a month-to-month car subscription service. Prior to Mobiliti, Tarun founded Condor Detroit, a car subscription service, and worked as a Project Leader at the Boston Consulting Group. Tarun has experience building and running a start-up from the ground up as well as leading operations for a company with a national scale. He also has advised executives from leading global companies across a variety of industries, with a focus on players across the automotive ecosystem.
Phil Galifi - Operations Consultant
Phil is an MBA graduate with five years’ experience as an engineer in the automotive industry. International exposure having worked and studied in Canada, USA, China and the UK. Areas of expertise are in organizational strategy and operational efficiency, with experience providing strategical suggestions to a number of different start-up companies in the UK.
Shane Smolak, MBA - Human Capital Management Consultant
Chris has over 15 years of experience in managed consulting, fund management and venture development. He has particular experience in the areas of IT hardware, fin tech application space and the built environment. Areas such as strategic planning, change management and corporate innovation are areas of expertise, but Chris will be able to speak to a range of topics for early and mid stage startups.
Reuben Levy - Principal at R.F. Levy Corporate Responsibility, LLC
Reuben consults with businesses on developing and implementing corporate responsibility strategies. Experienced in consumer products companies with international supply chains, he advises on policies, tools, and systems primarily addressing social risks and striving beyond compliance. Reuben has represented business on multistakeholder committees focused on worker rights, building safety, and audit protocols.
Dennis Zender - Owner of Ascend Sales Consulting
Dennis has 30 years of Sales and Sales Management experience in Global Telecommunications, Cloud, Security, and IT Managed Services. He has built, run, and transformed sales organizations from $30 million to $400 million plus in annual revenue. He has extensive experience in recruiting, training, and retaining top talent in sales, sales management, sales support, and presales. He has led multiple Go-To-Market (GTM) initiatives, which focused on revenue and profitability growth.
Cynthia Barnes - CEO of Barnes Sales Institute
A pioneer in the Women in Sales space, Cynthia Barnes is Founder and CEO of both Barnes Sales Institute and the National Association of Women Sales Professionals. As a Women in Sales Expert, she is passionate about advancing #WomenWhoSell and helping women entrepreneurs create, implement, and manage their sales and marketing process.
Ian Sefferman - Founder of Assembler Labs
Ian is an experienced technology startup operator and angel investor. He is a founder of Assembler Labs, Detroit's startup studio, where he is on a mission to partner with the immense talent base in Michigan to build venture scale businesses. He is an alumni and mentor of TechStars as well as an investor. Ian can help with startup scaling, product (and product-market fit), recruiting, and AI.
Millie Chu - Director of Startups and STEM Talent at Global Detroit
Millie is the Director of Startups and STEM Talent at Global Detroit who helps lead the Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence (GEIR) initiative to enhance the talent pool of startup founders, and accelerate growth and job creation of immigrant-founded startups in the region. Throughout her career, Millie has aided over 400 organizations in business development and launched over 65 startups. She is also known as a mentor and complex problem solver helping organizations disentangle their greatest challenges.
Dr. Jared Grogan - TechComm@TechTown Coordinator
Dr. Jared Grogan coordinates TechComm@TechTown, a partnership initiated in 2015 between Wayne State and TechTown pairing student teams with startups. He guides teams through diverse projects including: business plans, technical reports, website and app development, prototyping, social media, and more. Dr. Grogan brings expertise to research methods and writing processes, design thinking, persuasive writing, team formation, problem based learning, collaborative writing, editing and document design.
EAM Consulting Group - Sandler Training
After a successful career in the hospitality industry, Ken Seawell joined EAM Consulting Group as Managing Partner in 2013. Since then, he has built EAM Consulting into the premier destination for those dedicated to creating benchmark sales teams.
Tom has a 25-year career in Sales and Sales Training with notable acquisition expertise, startups, world sales consulting and business ownership. As a Partner at Sandler he provides companies and individuals with advanced sales training and coaching.
Steve Lover - Business and Leadership Coach
Since 2006, Steve has helped CEOs, Small Business Owners, and Soloprenuers in transitions, experiencing growing pains and needing change, upgrade how they work to impact profitability, productivity, and efficiency in their businesses. His basic philosophy is: What got you here, won’t get you there. Your company mirrors your leadership. Upgrade your leadership, change your company. When strategizing, he prefers simple to complex, actionable to esoteric, bold to tentative.
Lovejeet Sidhu - Corporate Development at Benzinga
Lovejeet has experience in business operations & development, most recently at Rolls Royce and Benzinga. He has particular experience in building processes to support growth of new product launches & converting customer pain points into new product strategies.
Ashley V. Johnson CPA, EA - Founding Partner at J&F Advisors
A well-rounded accounting and tax professional, with over 10 years of experience in both public and private practice. She co-founded J&F Advisors, which is a CPA firm providing a variety of accounting, tax and advisory services to start-ups, small businesses, non-profits, and individuals. Her areas of expertise include financial management, effect of taxes on business structures, preparation of financial statements and start-up projections, business advisory, and tax compliance.
Laura Romito Chef/Owner: Taste Consulting and Food Geek Foods
Laura has been in the MI food industry for 20 years since graduating 1st in her class from Schoolcraft’s Culinary Program. She’s worked in restaurants, created catering businesses & cooking schools, had a culinary tour business, and worked as a private chef. She’s created products for national distribution and has helpful contact information for people in the retail food and restaurant industries.
Shane Trexler - Director of Engineering for Seraph Biosciences, Inc
Drawing upon 10 plus years of laboratory research, engineering design, and business management. As the founder and president of the Sustainable Consulting Group, Shane successfully managed engineering design efforts for both startup companies and established medical device and engineering clients throughout the United States as well as Eastern Africa. He has consulted in the design, development, and prototypes of components and systems for various medical device companies.
Naren Balasubramaniam - Managing Principal at Transformations Inc
For more than 20 years, my focus has been helping healthcare systems transform business and service delivery models, technology adoption and culture transformation. With expertize in strategy, development, human capital, and technology, I have led adaptive and technical change initiatives in large and complex organizations. I have been an entrepreneur and built digital health platforms. My passion is to assist healthcare technology startups with go to market strategy and business development.
Sanjay Kumar - Technology Consultant
Sanjay enables clients' business & technology strategy, IoT/IIo/Digital roadmaps, use cases, deliver solutions with sensors, edge gateways, platforms and analytics/AI/ML. Recently, he has conducted 30+ workshops, 15+ proof of value projects for asset share, supply chain, connected products, smart manufacturing in automotive, manufacturing, transportation, healthcare and retail. He brings extensive experience in identifying and mitigating business, technology and financial risk.
With practices in Banking & Financial Services, Corporate/Mergers & Acquisitions, Aviation Law & Finance, Construction, Health Care, Environmental, Enterprise Procurement, Real Estate, Intellectual Property, Data Privacy & Security, Tax, Trusts & Estates, Labor & Employment, Bankruptcy, and Insurance, we work to understand our clients' businesses and the markets in which they operate.
Catherine S. Collins - Partner at Warner Norcross & Judd LLP
Catherine has over 27 years of experience in intellectual property law (IP). She focuses on preparing and filing patent and trademark applications and their prosecution in the US, as well as globally, but also specializes in IP due diligence reviews. She also handles clearance work for both products and trademarks. Her technology areas include mechanical and electrical, such as medical, automotive, semiconductor, energy, firefighting and fire protection, and material handling.
Matt Bower- Varnum Law Firm (start-ups)
Matt is a partner in the Varnum law firm where he focuses his practice on representing startup and early-stage technology and venture-backed companies. His practice includes, among other things, corporate formation and organization, venture financings, joint ventures, securities law, and intellectual property protection and transactions.
Lydia Michael - Owner of Blended Collective
Lydia's multicultural background and international business experience have propelled her to create Blended Collective, a multicultural marketing, branding & strategy company. There, the values of authenticity, culture, and diversity define the core of who they are and what they do. Her experience spans from the entertainment and music industry to project work with Deloitte and L’Oréal.
Bret & Shelly - WayPoint Marketing Communications
Shelly and Bret have a combined 35 years of experience in marketing communications, working with a multitude of companies across a variety of industries to help them reach their goals through smart, well thought-out marketing strategies and solutions in two critical areas: sales and human resources. WayPoint places an emphasis on establishing measurable goals that are directly aligned with desired business outcomes to help ensure that key objectives are met.
Kevin Ketels - President at Kyrris Marketing
Kevin is President of Kyrris Marketing, a strategic marketing and communications agency. He has more than 23 years of experience in strategic planning, branding, marketing and communications. Kevin helps his clients define their brand narrative and express it across a wide range of digital and traditional marketing channels.
Kevin is also an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at the Wayne State University Mike Ilitch School of Business.
April Davis - CEO Breakout Marketing Group
April has been developing and working with entrepreneurs for more than 15 years. As CEO of Breakout Marketing Group, April Davis works to set reasonable sales and marketing goals to gain your first customer. By utilizing strategies to maximize and leverage KPI, Key performing indicators that help create the path to success. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University April holds B.A. degree in Marketing Communications. and a PhD in the life of an Entrepreneur school of hard knocks.
Jennifer Cherry Foster - Founder and President of Catalyst Media Factory
With more than 15 years of experience in the public relations and social media sectors, Jennifer Cherry Foster is the Founder and President of Catalyst Media Factory. The company provides media relations (public relations) and social media support to small and growing businesses in Detroit and beyond.
Gaurav Mukhi - CEO & Founder of Team Valiant
Gaurav was an award-winning artist at a young age, which included winning a medal from the Detroit Institute of Arts. Gaurav then spent years teaching himself the arts of graphic design, photography, videography, website design, and last but not least- marketing. Today, Gaurav holds over ten certifications in digital marketing as he leads his agency Team Valiant Detroit. He holds the title of entrepreneur, CEO, certified digital marketer, speaker, content artist, and an unapologetic nerd.
Dawn Verbrigghe - Owner of Jottful
Dawn Verbrigghe is an entrepreneur and marketer with a passion for helping small business owners achieve their dreams through creative and inexpensive marketing that attracts just the right customers. Currently founder and CEO of Jottful, an Ann Arbor-based software company that makes and maintains affordable websites for small businesses, Dawn has nearly 20 years of marketing experience, primarily at early-stage companies.
REQUEST: Mary Aviles - Insight Consultant & Market Strategist
Mary Aviles is the principal consultant of Connect 4 Insight, an insight-based strategic marketing consultancy. Mary offers marketing subject-matter expertise to include categories like: developing a one-page marketing strategy, social media strategy and tactics, website marketing, email marketing, event marketing, and basic marketing research (DIY surveys, polls, and customer satisfaction).
Elizabeth Mays is the CEO of MCS Multimedia formed in 2011, after inheriting Mays Printing, founded in 1946 by her late grandfather, J. Caulton Mays. Mays is a 3rd generation printer, entrepreneur and visionary who works closely with entrepreneurs and executives by using branding, printing, graphics, web design and marketing tactics to overcome roadblocks to increase provability. Mays is president and co-founder of Entrepreneur & Executive Magazine and Chief Consultant of Valley Publishing.
Phil Wrzesinski - Owner of Phil’s Forum
Phil Wrzesinski is an award-winning retailer whose store was named “One of the 25 Best Independent Retailers in America” in the book Retail Superstars by George Whalin (Penguin 2009). Phil takes what he has learned in a lifetime of retail and teaches other indie retailers better ways to succeed in the highly competitive retail landscape. Phil knows how to help both the start-ups and veterans find more customers and get the most out of their marketing and HR budgets.
Christina Devlin - Director of Retail at Pure Detroit
Christina has a combined 22 years experience in retail management and operations at Pewabic
Pottery, the DIA, and Pure Detroit, three of Detroit’s most significant arts and culture organizations.
She is currently an independent retail consultant, helping small and independent businesses to be
more stable and successful by creating and strengthening standard operating procedures, training
staff, improving visual merchandising, optimizing inventory management, and setting long-term
Geneva Ripton - Founder & CEO of Ripton Retail Management and Consulting Firm
Retail Advisor and brand developer, Geneva teach strategies to independent retailers (e-commerce & brick and mortar) focusing on business operations, branding, and customer experience. Her goal is to deliver tailored creative concepts and curations that would effectively align their businesses to their highest potential. Geneva is backed by over a decade of education and experience of the apparel, retail, and marketing industry, with some of the most impactful companies in this industry.
REQUEST: Amanda Marcotte - Project Director at HIGHSEAS
Amanda has worn many hats in her 10+ years in tech. Currently Project Director at High Seas, a digital consulting company, she started her career managing operations, plans, contracts, and people for a series of startups. Well-versed in wrangling developers and clients. Certified Product Owner, ScrumMaster, good at cutting through tech-speak + challenging business assumptions. Happy to be a sounding board, or offer casual advice on project plans, teams, remote workforce, RFPs and outsourcing.
Nafis Azad - CEO of Ghostlab
Entrepreneur, product designer, and software developer that has worked with startups in diverse industries across the nation from seed-stage concepts to established market-leaders. He runs GhostLab.io, a full service UX/UI design and digital development agency in Columbus, Ohio working with startups to build innovative products and apps for mobile and web. Nafis is looking to provide feedback and analysis on products/ventures through a casual discussion offering guidance in product, design, growth, and more
Avery & Jonah - Atomic Object
Avery serves as Delivery Lead at Atomic Object with a focus on ensuring clear communication between clients and teams, and that everyone is on the same page throughout the project. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in Visual Arts.
Jonah is one of Atomic Object's Managing Partners, working with our global leadership team to further the firm's reach in Southeast Michigan. He is a designer by trade, aiming to create processes and practices that empower teams to excel in custom software project work.
Trevor Turner - Technology Consultant at Advantage Technologies
We’re all aware of the security breaches and cyber-attacks going on in the world today. Trevor’s expertise are in keeping medical practices and companies efficient by making sure their IT infrastructure is simple, secure, safe and stable. Advantage Technologies provides small to medium sized businesses with hassle free IT. Advantage Technologies is a managed IT services company who has over 18 years of experience, over 800 clients and 0 security breaches.
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