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Curated Collection Of The Best Interviews From Across The Network

Pivot Points by EntreDot: YP2M, Chuck Hester Enterprises, and eMerging Entrepreneurs, Inc.

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Benjamin Gage    Benjamin Gage, Managing Partner & Startup CEO Coach, YP2M (Your Product to Market)

Mr. Gage is a career entrepreneur, inventor, and small business coach with a specialty in managing start ups and innovative product launches. For the past thirty years, Mr. Gage has led and supported over three dozen brand launches or disruptive systems changes as founder or service provider, from concept to market, both large and small clients. Mr. Gage is currently managing partner of YP2M (Your Product 2 Market), which is focused on taking your dream concept to its’ 1st million. YP2M supports a plurality of early stage clients in the sport, fashion, medical, creative, and technology industries including mobile apps and wearable technology.  Mr. Gage launched the world’s first sport fashion brand and one of his first clients is now the fastest growing brand in America in its product category. A former sports professional who competed globally, he holds several patents in the (PLM) Product Lifecycle Management category, a BA from Wake Forest University, and completed WFU’s MBA Babcock School of Management’s Technology Incubator Program.

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Chuck Hester   Chuck Hester, Chuck Hester Enterprises

Chuck Hester is a LinkedIn power connector with more than 13,000 direct connections. He is a sought-after expert on the subject of using LinkedIn for media relations, personal and professional branding, and how to use social media to build business contacts. He’s addressed conferences in Canada, Australia and throughout the United States.

The Chief Connections Officer at Chuck Hester Enterprises, Chuck helps businesses get their stories told through influencer relations, good old fashion PR strategies and hard work. He also offers LinkedIn Corporate Boot Camps that help businesses maximize their use of LinkedIn, find and retain customers and enhance their social media footprints. You can find him on LinkedIn at

His new book, Social Media for the Rest of Us: A Boomer’s Perspective is being published by Motivational press in early 2015.

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TJ Breeden   T.J. Breeden, Founder & Executive Director, eMerging Entrepreneurs, Inc.

T.J. is the Founder & Executive Director of eMerging Entrepreneurs, Inc.; a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that provides Career Transition Assistance, Small Business Training, and Entrepreneurial Developmental services to veterans, military spouses, and under-served minority communities.  The organization employs a grassroots approach to assisting those who seek to advance their small business interests; partnering with state & federal agencies, universities, local chambers of commerce, and military installations in an effort to extend high-tech training & resource solutions to under-served communities.  

T.J. is a 2012 recipient of the White House’s “Champions of Change” award, as well as the US Small Business Administration’s 2013 “Veterans Entrepreneurship Advocate of the Year” award for his efforts in advancing small business growth within the military community.  He also serves on the City of Durham, NC’s  “Small Business Advisory Committee,” is a former board member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Durham Black Chamber of Commerce, and was recently invited to serve on the NC Advisory Committee for the US Global Leadership Coalition; a broad-based network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating diplomacy and development alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.   Lastly, T.J. is also the Program Director of the Urban Leadership Lab, a social-incubator that provides urban youth with access to mentorship and career development training. 

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Rally Software and Tangram Media, Inc.

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Gary Mendelson   Gary Mendelson, Major Account Manager, Rally Software

Gary D. Mendelson is a 30+ year veteran in the technology sector. He started his career working for Digital Equipment Corporation and quickly recognized that while customers bought his hardware willingly, they did so to solve business problems and that is where his passion began for software and providing outstanding customer service.

Gary has a wide and deep level of experience within core industries such as financial services, banking, insurance, telecommunications, and regulated utilities which he has provided solutions to for many years. He describes himself as unique balance of finding new customers via creative means (sales hunter) with analytical business case development skills plus outstanding customer references.

For the last 12 years, Gary has been helping his customers bring new products to market faster with higher quality and at a reduced cost.

His business passions include: building better software, faster, and more predictably, providing un-paralleled levels of customer service, helping quantify and qualify the business and financial value they will get from an investment in his company.

His personal passions include his wife of 34 years and his two children, Sara Rose and Steven, bicycling, home renovation and being a savvy consumer.

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Sven Schaefer   Sven Schaefer, President, Tangram Media Inc.

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NC Tech Talk hosted by NCTA: The Select Group, Bronto Software, & DB Global

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Chris Rapley   Chris Rapley, Manager of Branch Operations, The Select Group

Chris Rapley has been with The Select Group for the last 4.5 years, joining in June 2010. After graduating from the University of North Carolina Wilmington, he accepted a role as a Technical Recruiter when the company only had 34 employees nationwide. In the last 4 years, Chris has moved from Recruiter to Account Manager and most recently into his role as Manager of Branch Operations where he oversees the sales and recruiting in the Raleigh office, which is The Select Group’s national headquarters where they now have 180 employees in 8 offices nationwide.

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Georgia Grant   Georgia Grant, Director of Human Resources, Bronto Software

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Melissa Crosby   Melissa Crosby, Senior Recruiter, Bronto Software

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Dan Minto   Dan Minto, CEO, DB Global Technology Inc.

Daniel Minto, is the CEO of DB Global Technology Inc., a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank that develops proprietary software solutions for the bank. Prior to Deutsche Bank, Dan was a Senior Vice President and Division Manager of Research and Development at SAS Institute Inc. He lead a global team of over 800, engineers, statisticians and testers in the development and manufacturing of business oriented software solution focused on Banking, Performance Management, Manufacturing, Information Technology, Retail and Communications. Dan has led several Technical acquisitions for SAS. As a speaker and educator, he has addressed top engineering Schools, on Analytics and Business Transformation, both in the United States and internationally. Dan serves on the board of directors for the North Carolina Technology Association, and is a leader in STEM legislation across the state.

Prior to joining SAS, Dan held senior leadership positions at Raytheon, AT&T and GTE. He has been in the information technology space for over 30 years, and holds undergraduate degrees from Averett University and a Graduate degree (MBA/MSEE) from Wake Forest University. Dan served in the United States Air Force and is the recipient of the numerous medals and honors. In his spare time, Dan is an avid pilot, and volunteers his time and services to help people who are in need of critical medical air transportation.

Pivot Points hosted by EntreDot: Amy’s Web Design and Every Story Media

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Brad Lienhart   Brad Lienhart, Co-Founder, EntreDot

Brad Lienhart is the co-founder and Director of Operations of EntreDot. Prior to EntreDot, Brad worked for the Dow Chemical company for 27 years and was involved with business commercialization and supply chain management functions in a senior executive role. He has also served as an adviser and consultant to a number of closely held businesses from startups to turnarounds. He has the distinct honor of having been involved with technology transfer startups at Duke, UNC, and NC State.

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Amy Howard   Amy Howard, Owner, Amy’s Web Design 

Amy Howard is the owner Amy’s Web Design serving Raleigh & Cary, North Carolina area. Amy works with small businesses and entrepreneurs to help them create an online presence that sells. She specializes in working with WordPress and loves teaching others how to use the popular website platform, helping small business save money on website maintenance costs.

Amy Howard is a seasoned marketer who happened to have joined the US Army right out of high school and served eight years. After exiting the Army, Amy found herself working in the home security industry. In 1997, Amy tested for and received her Florida state license as a Certified Alarm System Contractor. Beginning in 2003, she became an entrepreneur and immersed herself in sales and marketing techniques and has been running her own business ever since. Amy started Amy’s Web Design during the summer of 2011 so that she could help fellow entrepreneurs successfully market their products and services online.

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Lyn Jackson   Lyn Jackson, President and Founder, Every Story Media

Every Story Media President Lyn Jackson is an award-winning TV news journalist who worked in and with the media for more than two (2) decades before founding Every Story Media in 2013.

Jackson has always been passionate about helping people tell their stories on video and has interviewed thousands of people from around the world and all walks of life. She has an exceptional ability to connect with people and to always make sure that the interview process is comfortable, easy and fun.

You have the photos… but do you know the stories? Every Story Media is dedicated to helping people share their stories, any and all of their stories, on video. We produce beautiful, professional, family story videos in your voice, your way, creating the most important legacy of all; a strong family narrative of your history and traditions. When we record your individual family members on video, we help you capture and preserve forever their true essence, as only video can.

Every Story Media helps you create the best gift ever: a priceless, treasured heirloom to share and pass on from generation to generation.

At Every Story Media we’re fun to work with, love what we do and always make sure our clients do too! At Every Story Media, our expertise means your personal family memoir will always be a beautiful, broadcast and heirloom quality DVD that you will cherish, enjoy again and again, and pass along forever to future generations.

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Williams Mullen Law Firm

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Richard Matthews   Rick Matthews, Partner, Williams Mullen

Rick Matthews concentrates his practice on intellectual property matters including patent, trademark, copyright, licensing and related litigation. He has represented companies in intellectual property disputes in over thirty-five states, including as a first-chair trial attorney and in bet-the-company litigation. He has extensive experience in handling every aspect of litigation through trial and appeal. His cases have spanned federal courts across the country and before the ITC, TTAB, Federal Circuit, and Supreme Court.
While Rick has been practicing patent law since 2003, he is also a Board Certified Specialist in Trademark Law. He has been recognized by a number of publications, having been named a “Rising Star” in Intellectual Property Law by North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine, included in Business North Carolina magazine’s list of “Legal Elite,” and named among the Top 40 Lawyers Under 40 in Intellectual Property for North Carolina by the American Society of Legal Advocates.
Rick is licensed to practice law in North Carolina, Virginia and the District of Columbia, and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Rick received a B.S. in Chemistry with a focus in Biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a J.D. from the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, and a Masters of Law degree in Intellectual Property Law from The George Washington University Law School. He clerked in the ITC’s Office of Unfair Import Investigation, focusing on Section 337 patent cases. In addition, he interned at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims for the Honorable Judge Susan G. Braden.

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NC Tech Talk: Marc Montoro interviews Ray Carey with NeoNova and Stephanie Trunzo with PointSource

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Marc Montoro   Marc Montoro, Sr. Director of Programs & Communications, NCTA

Marc Montoro is the Sr. Director of Programs & Communications for the North Carolina Technology Association (NCTA).  NCTA is the statewide trade association that represents the tech sector through public affairs and workforce development initiatives, along with events.  Marc is responsible for the development and execution of NCTA’s events portfolio, including content creation, speaker coordination and sponsorship sales.  He also leads NCTA’s communications strategy, including web and social media presence, digital marketing and media relations.

Marc has over 14 years of marketing and communications experience, mostly in technology.  The first five years were as a recruiter.  He started in IT staffing and solutions for TEKsystems, then working for Lucas Group, placing finance/accounting professionals.  He moved to North Carolina in 2004, where he started with NCTA, serving as the Programs Manager for two and a half years.  Then, he held marketing roles with WRAL Tech Wire and, before returning to NCTA, where he has been in his current role for over four years.

Marc has a BA in Industrial Relations from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where he played football for the Tarheels.  He lives in Hillsborough with his wife (Natalie) and two daughters (Molly and Daphne).

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Ray Carey   Ray Carey, CEO, NeoNova

Ray Carey has been the Chief Executive Officer at NeoNova since 2010 and, after NeoNova’s acquisition by NRTC last year he took on responsibility for all of the National Rural Telephone Cooperative’s Broadband efforts.

Prior to taking the helm at NeoNova, Ray was a General Partner at Azure Capital Partners in San Francisco where he spent over a decade working and investing in entrepreneurial technology and service companies including Broadlight, Calix Networks, Cyan Optics, Fonality, SlideRocket, Vapps, and World Wide Packets. He remains a Venture Partner with Azure Capital, a firm he joined in 2001. While at Azure in 2008, Ray led the investment in NeoNova, served on its Board of Directors and was named CEO.

Prior to Azure, Ray worked at Credit Suisse First Boston & Robertson Stephens, focused on public and private financings, and mergers and acquisitions for technology companies. He provided strategic advice to several companies, including ADC Telecommunications, Cerent (acquired by Cisco), Efficient Networks, Juniper Networks, Next Level Communications and many others.

Ray represented the United States by swimming in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, and he received his A.B. and M.A. degrees from Stanford University.

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Stephanie Trunzo   Stephanie Trunzo, CCO, PointSource

Stephanie Lynn Trunzo is the Chief Creative Officer for PointSource, helping drive the vision and messaging, and bringing operational excellence to this growing IBM Premier Business Partner. She manages the design and client experience organizations, creating intuitive experiences built on cutting edge technology, while also crafting Agile and efficient development patterns. Previously, Stephanie was with IBM for 13 years, most recently as a director running the development organization for the IBM Rational Jazz Platform, and the integration strategy for the ALM ecosystem.

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PRSONAS, Inc. and Physcient

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David Rose   David Rose, CEO, PRSONAS, Inc.

Mr. Rose has more than 20 years of leadership experience with Fortune 500, high-growth and start-up companies in the technology, Internet and media industries. Mr. Rose is currently the Chief Executive Officer at PRSONAS. PRSONAS smart virtual presenters use hologram and artificial intelligence technologies to engage with customers and gather valuable user analytics in the physical world.

David holds a degree in Economics from the University of Tennessee and an MBA from the University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School.

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Hugh Crenshaw   Hugh Crenshaw, CEO & Co-Founder, Physcient

Hugh is a biologist and engineer with expertise in biomechanics and advanced instrumentation for biological research. Previously, he was Director of Microsystems Technology at GlaxoSmithKline, where he led programs in microfluidics and automated physiological measurement. Earlier, he was on faculty at Duke University (appointments in Zoology and Engineering) where he led teams in cell mechanics, underwater robotics, optical instrumentation, and microfluidics and served as the Director of the Howard Hughes Microscopy Lab and the Duke Microfabrication Facility.

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Chuck Pell   Chuck Pell, CSO & Co-Founder, Physcient

Chuck is a designer, scientist, and inventor with a remarkable trajectory through sculpture, robotic dinosaurs, and underwater and pharmaceutical robots. Previously, Chuck was Co-founder and Director of Science & Technology at Nekton Research, a Navy robotics contractor funded mostly by the US Department of Defense for advanced technology development. Chuck and Hugh’s collaboration on MicroHunter™ lead to the development of the world’s smallest (by a factor of 100) autonomous, underwater robot. With 20+ employees, Nekton was acquired by iRobot, Inc. in 2008. Chuck’s prior positions include Director of the BioDesign biomechanics facility (Duke University Zoology) and Director of R&D for Dinamation International, a Los Angeles-area robotics FX company.

4th Century BCE Greek Drachma (listen to the show to hear how Chuck ties this drachma into what Physcient is doing)

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Pivot Points: Steffanie Lafors with A Photographic Memory

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Fred Hathaway   Fred Hathaway, Managing Director, EntreDot and Host of Pivot Points

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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Steffanie Lafors   Steffanie Lafors, Owner/Photographer, A Photographic Memory

Steffanie Lafors is the owner and sole photographer of A Photographic Memory by Steffanie. Steffanie is a family photographer who specializes in natural light photography. She enjoys capturing the joys of parenthood and family life in all of its forms. From maternity, newborn, toddlerhood on up to high school seniors and beyond, she strives to showcase her clients’ personalities in captivating photos.

To see Steffanie’s portfolio, visit her on the web and follow her on Facebook

Method Savvy and Wireless Design Magazine

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Jake Finkelstein   Jake Finkelstein, CEO, Method Savvy

Jake Finkelstein is the Founder & CEO of Method Savvy, a data-driven marketing agency located in downtown Durham, NC. An accomplished brand marketer and demand generation specialist, Jake and his team at Method Savvy work with growth-stage and enterprise-class brands such as Toyota, Bandwidth, Jerry’s Artarama, Clinipace and SAS to efficiently acquire and retain customers.

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Glen Sundin   Glen Sundin, Publisher, Advantage Business Media/ Wireless Design & Development Magazine

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Meaghan Ziemba   Meaghan Ziemba, Editor, Advantage Business Media/ Wireless Design & Development Magazine

Meaghan Ziemba is the editor of Wireless Design and Development (WDD) at Advantage Business Media (ABM). She has worked at ABM for 6 years, starting as the associate editor for WDD’s sister publication, Product Design and Development. She has her Bachelor’s in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and is currently working on her Masters, hoping to graduate in December.

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NC Tech Talk: Brooks Raiford interviews Geoff Lang of MetLife and Bob Hawkins of EMC Corp.

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Brooks Raiford   Brooks Raiford, President and CEO, NCTA

Brooks Raiford has served as President & CEO of NCTA since 2008. NCTA is the statewide industry association for the tech sector, representing over 700 member companies and organizations that employ over 100,000 North Carolinians.

In the early 1990s, he served as a policy aide in the North Carolina Governor’s Office, where a key focus area was information technology and its impact on a variety of public policy areas. Subsequently, Brooks served as Director of the Independent College Fund of North Carolina, and then President of Leadership North Carolina. Most recently, he was Business Development Director with Balfour Beatty Construction.

Brooks’ current leadership activities include serving on the North Carolina eLearning Commission; the Board of Advisors of North Carolina New Schools; the Board of Directors of the Technology Councils of North America; the North Carolina Advisory Committee of the US Global Leadership Coalition; and President of the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at NC State University, where he is a former Student Body President and University Trustee.

Recently, the organization that represents the technology associations across North America named Brooks the 2014 “TechVoice Champion,” the first time an association CEO has received this award for advocacy on behalf of the tech sector.

Brooks’ wife Stephanie is a Principal in the Wake County Public School System, and they have two children, Lauren and Will.

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Geoff Lang   Geoff Lang, VP & General Manager of Global Technology & Operations, MetLife

Geoff is Vice President and General Manager of MetLife Global Technology and Operations (GTO), a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and employee benefit programs. As its first employee, Geoff is the ambassador for GTO in Raleigh where MetLife is committed to delivering innovative solutions and infrastructure that help MetLife deliver a world-class customer experience. Geoff is responsible for overall site management, community and university relations, talent recruiting, new hire onboarding, and employee support for GTO Raleigh.

Prior to MetLife, Geoff worked at IBM for 22 years and then at RBC Bank in Raleigh where he was responsible for all information technology of the regional bank. Geoff holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

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Bob Hawkins   Bob Hawkins, VP of North Carolina Operations, EMC Corp.

Bob Hawkins is the Vice President of North Carolina Operations at EMC Corporation, the world leader in products, services and solutions for information storage and management. In this role, he is responsible for strategic s manufacturing plant in Apex, with executive responsibility for the software development facility in RTP and data center / lab in Durham. He is also responsible for developing partnerships with business and education, and is active in NCTA and local Chambers of Commerce.

Mr. Hawkins joined EMC in 2005 with more than 29 years’ experience in high-tech manufacturing. Prior to coming to EMC, Mr. Hawkins held executive positions at Solectron and NCR in manufacturing and information technology. Mr. Hawkins is past chairman of the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Technology Association, where he currently serves on the Board. He is also a member of the Board of Advisors of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce.

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