Mark Dirks – CEO, Beacon Technologies
MS Computer Information Systems, Kansas State University
BS Mathematics, Wake Forest University
Mark Dirks, founding president of Beacon Technologies, has a resume full of action verbs, dating back to the early days of his career. His role as program manager at AT&T in the mid 90’s earned him accolades as a founder of AT&T’s global corporate intranet for employees, one that clearly set him apart for a larger role in technology services. Mark’s work at Beacon allows him plenty of tech time, following through on projects like initiating and building the digital marketing business area and digging into solid relationships with partners like Google (Google Analytics), Lockheed Martin (US Gov – EPA), Hannon Hill (Cascade Server CMS), Aspdotnetstorefront, Nextopia, 4Tell, Bronto (email marketing) and many other best-in-class software partners. However, he also balances the IT with the need to be a beacon in the community. Under his care, Beacon was identified as one of the best places to work in the Triad and is a past winner of the Entrepreneurial Success Award by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce. The company even received kudos from Working Mother’s magazine, being named one of the top 25 small businesses for working moms. Having created the Beacon Entrepreneurship Challenge with Wake Forest University, Mark didn’t hand over the ball but served as a local entrepreneur advising student entrepreneurs and evaluating student applications for venture seed grants.
Fred Hathaway – Managing Director, EntreDot
Fred Hathaway understands growth strategies and the tactical execution that creates successful outcomes. Whether advising on higher order decisions (e.g. succession plans, new product launches, diversification through new enterprise development, restructuring business development approaches, client persona identification, organizational and leadership development, or cultural due diligence in a transaction) or tactical issues like social media engagement, investor relations, personal marketing plans and similar, he knows how to take theory and create best practice. Deep experience in consulting and marketing across industries and cultures helps shape the innovation and creativity that his clients appreciate and that distinguish custom solutions from “shelf product” alternatives. Fred demonstrates identification with the client needs through making strategic introductions, negotiating alternative fee arrangements, and working with the existing team of executives and advisers to create “win-win” scenarios on a recurring basis. Some of the projects he has led are listed below:
At the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, he conducted the research that led to the establishment of the Turnaround Management Association, pulling together 8,000+ professionals in the field of business renewal. Fred was integral in the publishing of the research findings in 46 national business publications and the creation of a monograph of best practices.
Under contract with the National Association of Homebuilders, Fred and a co-author wrote Building Up When Business is Down, a definitive discussion of how a builder can identify and respond to warning signals in their business performance. In similar manner, he advised the American Banking Association on how to view loan workouts as turnaround opportunities through quarterly contributions to the Workouts column of The Commercial Lending Review.
While working within a non-profit, Fred and his team grew the volunteer base from 40 to 1000+ in five years, resulting in a 100X increase in number of prospects reached with the programs of the organization. Additionally, the model that was developed for the operation on North Carolina was prototyped for use in similar locations around the world.
As an internal advisor to the executive committee of a CPA firm, Fred rebranded the organization, implemented an e-marketing and CRM platform, and developed and delivered training that resulted in all billable professionals taking responsibility for personally marketing the firm. Subsequent to these accomplishments, he contributed to the institution of a performance and compensation management system that rewarded business development activities.
Within another professional services organization, Fred led the strategic marketing planning associated with a series of transactions that resulted in a regional firm becoming one of the top 50 national firms in their field. Niche practice business development and marketing messaging were coordinated with identification of thought leaders and assignments were given and managed by Hathaway.
In an interim executive role with a consulting firm serving family businesses, Fred launched national accounts strategy that resulted in securing the first billion dollar client as well as faculty appointments at several corporate universities of organizations with extensive dealer/operator networks. A national business talk radio show was conceived, designed, and hosted by Hathaway on the topic of succession planning.
A local non-profit dedicated to helping entrepreneurs commercialize their business ideas was looking for a way to create sustainable competitive advantage. In a volunteer role, Fred advised the group on curriculum-based programs, marketing campaigns, and management team and board development.
Now serving as the managing director of EntreDot, Hathaway has been instrumental in guiding the organization to a national platform whereby virtual learning and application of best practices can occur, thereby giving more businesses the tools to succeed. In addition to the key projects above, Fred Hathaway has served as startup COO, outsourced CMO, Director of Programs, advisory board member, board of directors’ chair, and in an adjunct capacity with numerous enterprises. Whether working on the clock, by the project, or on retainer, he brings a wealth of experience, insight, and energy to each situation.