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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Across The Network

Mark Dirks with Beacon Technologies and Fred Hathaway with EntreDot

After Show Group Pic 062314


Group Pic Live 062314



Mark Dirks Post Show 062314   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.


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Fred Hathaway Post Show 062314   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.


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Barbara Beard with Carlyle Conlan and Marlene Spritzer with Cresa Carolinas

barbara beard marlene spritzer

Barbara Beard, IT Practice Leader of Carlyle Conlan

I began my career in business development and recruiting in IT over 20 years ago in Atlanta – relocated back to the area 2 1⁄2 years ago.  I’ve covered multiple industries, including recruiting for both contract and direct hire resources.  The professional services aspect of the business fits my personality best, as I enjoy the contact with career-minded individuals that strive to advance to the next level of their career paths.  The contacts that I’ve made and relationships I’ve developed throughout the years has kept me interested in assisting people to continue in moving forward with their goals.


Marlene Spritzer, Senior Vice President of Cresa Carolinas

Marlene is a Senior Vice President of the Cresa Carolinas’ Triangle office. With over 17 years of commercial real estate experience, Marlene brings value to her clients through lease, purchase, disposition, and lease vs. purchase options, strategic planning and implementation for national and regional companies. Marlene’s expertise is focused in the areas of corporate, life science, tech and medical office occupiers.

Marlene entered the commercial real estate field in 1997 and formed Spritzer Commercial Properties in 2005. She was a Director with GVA Advantis from 2001-2005 specializing in brokerage and leasing for office, retail, flex, land and investment properties. Marlene was a broker with Morris Commercial in Chapel Hill from 1997-2001. Prior to 1997, Marlene was member of the legal staff of Duke University where she was Assistant University Counsel for Health Affairs. She was a litigation attorney with Leboeuf, Lamb, Leiby and MacRae in the firm’s Raleigh office. She also practiced law in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia before relocating to North Carolina in 1986.


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Jeffrey Slater with Nomacorc and Miles C. Wright with Xanofi

nomacorc and xanofi


Jeffrey Slater, Director of Global Marketing of  Nomacorc

Author of the new best-selling book UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF MARKETING, Mr. Slater is an experienced marketing professional whose successful bakery business was on Inc Magazine’s fastest growing 500 in 1985. With his wife, he built a nationally recognized wholesale bakery business called Rachel’s Brownies. National publicity included articles in The NewYork Times, USA Today and Philadelphia Magazine. He also appeared on CNN, The Phil Donahue Show, Charlie Rose and many others national and syndicated talk shows. The Philadelphia based company was successfully sold in 1989 to GoodMark Foods in Raleigh, North Carolina. Over time, Slater rose to the position of Executive Vice President of Marketing for their $400 million snack food company with $100 million brands that included Slim Jims and David’s Sunflower Seeds. He was responsiblefor GoodMark’s $20 million marketing, advertising, and promotion budgets including the highly successful, “Snap into a SlimJim” campaign with Macho Man Randy Savage from the late 1990’s and Slim Jim Guy in 2001. The company was acquired by ConAgra Foods where he remained EVP of Marketing for their snack food division. Today Slater is employed as the Global Director of Marketing for Nomacorc, the leading brand of still wine closures with 2.3 billion corks sold in 2013 and the recently launched sugar cane based Select Bio. He write a popular marketing blog called MOMENTSLATER  reaching over 25,000 marketers per year and was recently a guest on the #1 business podcast on iTunes called Entrepreneur on Fire with host John Lee Dumas. Slater resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Miles C. Wright, CEO of Xanofi

Miles Wright, CEO of the nanotechnology company Xanofi, is a native North Carolinian who grew up in Texas and attended St. Stephens Episcopal School in Austin. After earning a Bachelors degree with a double major in psychology and English from Austin College, he served as a lead reporter for the Sherman Democrat in Sherman, Texas, contributing to local and AP coverage of city/county government.

In 1986 he returned to North Carolina and worked as the Program Manager for Junior Achievement. Over the next 20 years Miles was a successful business and entrepreneur leader, forming several North Carolina startups including Accugraphics in 1988, Eyebeam in 1993, MCW Properties in 1998 and Signature Publishing in 1998. He has also developed technology and served as the CEO of CoastMaster and Graphic Detail. In 2008, the Board of Director for Triangle Family Services asked him to help save the struggling agency as its Interim CEO.

Miles has served on a number of area boards and provided consultation to a wide array of corporate and non-profit ventures, including a five year stint commercializing advance technology as Executive-in-Residence at North Carolina State University. He has co-founded two non-profit groups and continues to be actively involved in the community.

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Justin Thomas with CrossComm and David Menzies with Innovative Public Relations


Justin Thomas – CrossComm

Justin is CEO of CrossComm.  He previously served as CrossComm’s Chief Business Development Officer and prior to joining the Company, worked for Thomson Reuters in the Research Triangle Park as a Sr. Project Manager in its mobile app healthcare software implementation division.  He recently completed his MBA with honors from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School in Dublin, Ireland and is a proud new Father.  Justin also founded the non-profit Playing Grownup, which quips college students for life after college through seminars on financial literacy and building new relationships in a post-dorm world.

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David Menzies – Innovative Public Relations

David Menzies (MEN-zeez) is a 22-year publicity and branding professional and president of Innovative Public Relations, Inc., a North Carolina PR and media relations consultancy specializing in technology and life sciences.

Connect with David on Twitter