Domi Station Mentors
ACCOUNTING & Finance
David White- Accounting; Tax Liabilities
David White is a Manager in the Tallahassee office of Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC. He has eight years of experience in CRI’s tax department providing businesses and individuals with tax preparation and planning services. David also enjoys assisting new businesses in the Tallahassee community with navigating the many accounting and compliance issues and decisions that face all start-ups. David originally hails from Eugene, OR, and spent time in Texas, Massachusetts, and Gainesville, FL before arriving in Tallahassee to attend Florida State University for his Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Masters of Accounting. Outside of the tax arena, David enjoys the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.
Ryan Poole, MBA- Banking; Financing
Ryan Poole is part of the business banking team at Prime Meridian Bank. With almost 10 years banking experience, he has assisted many businesses in growing revenues and leveraging their assets to create a more robust balance sheet. After attending Georgia Southern University for an undergraduate degree in Management, he moved to Tallahassee and obtained a Master’s degree in Business Administration from The Florida State University. Ryan has a resourceful entrepreneurial spirit and has a knack for problem solving, communicating ideas and connecting people. Ryan enjoys giving back to his community as much as possible and is involved in many different organizations in varying capacities.
BRAND & Marketing
Rob Rushin- Messaging; Branding
Rob Rushin makes complex topics easy to understand. He is a specialist in creating external communications programs that improve your processes and increase your clients' satisfaction. Not sure how to focus your message? Let Rob help. He combines a passion for language with an editors’ precision to create clear and elegant communications for businesses, non-profit organizations, the arts, and higher education. Rob's specialty is research based, long-form articles that convey technical concepts in approachable, easy to understand language.
Trip Wyckoff- Market Research
Entrepreneurial Outreach Librarian at Florida State University. Trip handles business research, market research, and competitor research. He leads a series of market research classes that provide research tools and resources to entrepreneurs.
Fernando L. Rodríguez, M.A.- Public Relations; Branding; Communications
With a diverse background in publishing, advertising, public relations and nonprofit organizations, Fernando leads MCG Latino, a team of bilingual and bicultural communicators that help bridge the gap between brands and U.S. Hispanic consumers. Fernando spearheads The Lincoln Motor Company’s Hispanic communications and is a member of Ford Motor Company’s Hispanic communications team. He has over 20 years of experience working in publishing and advertising, public relations and nonprofit organizations. He earned a master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication and Hispanic Marketing and Multicultural Marketing certificates from Florida State University.
Lydia Hanks, MBA- Marketing Strategy and Research
Lydia Hanks received her MBA from The University of Denver and her Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University. She now serves on the faculty at The Dedman School of Hospitality at Florida State University, where she teaches Lodging Operations, Marketing, and Service Management. She also conducts research on consumer behavior, consumer psychographics, marketing strategy, corporate social responsibility, and destination image. Her main research interests concern the way in which consumer make buying decisions, effective target marketing strategy, and the psychological and emotional processes behind consumer purchase decisions. She has expertise in all areas of conceptualizing and writing marketing plans and service delivery plans.
Micah Widen- Strategy; Sales; Fundraising; Pitch Prep
Micah is an entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in a variety of industries. Most relevant, as a partner and COO of Investors First Real Estate Co. providing investment, asset management and development of over 100 projects. Other ventures include: Brush Stroke Painting and Tutto Bene Wine Cafe & More. He focuses on strategies to drive revenue and perform strategic account planning. He has an unyielding passion for creating relationships that drive growth in communities. Co-Founder & CEO for Domi Ventures and a board member with Capital City Youth Services.
John Vecchio- Strategy; Fundraising; Pitch Prep
John has been in the software industry for 29 years. Prior to joining Mosley Ventures, John has co-founded three software companies. The companies raised over $50M from prominent venture firms across the US. N2 Broadband was acquired for $120M in 5 years. Clearleap is the underlying multiscreen video streaming technology to customers including HBO, Verizon and Time Warner. He has worked on product strategy, software development & investor pitches with numerous startup companies in the Atlanta area. John created timely innovative products and scaled organizations at Cisco (Scientific Atlanta) & The Weather Channel. His team was awarded a Technical and Engineering Emmy for his Video on Demand system. John has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Florida State University. He is a patent holder for video transcoding and distribution algorithms.
David Lawson- Strategy; Fundraising; Pitch Prep
David brings more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur focused on providing fundraising intelligence products and services. David created the first asset-based wealth screening service as well as the first database to manage screening results. In 1997 he founded Prospect Information Network (P!N) which became the largest wealth screening company before being purchased by Kintera in 2004. David served as a Senior Vice President of Kintera until 2008. In 2013 he co-founded NewSci, LLC. to bring Big Data and cognitive computing to the philanthropic community. He has written numerous articles for publications such as The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Nonprofit Times, CASE Currents and APRA's Connections.
Lawrence Tinker- Research Commercialization; Strategy; Fundraising
Dr. Lawrence Tinker is Entrepreneur in Residence for the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, based in Tallahassee, and is responsible for research partner institutions and projects throughout the I-10 corridor in north Florida. He works with faculty and researchers within the universities and research institutions in his region to identify technologies that can be commercialized through startup companies. He has more than thirty years of experience working in both large and small organizations in R&D, product development, intellectual property development, licensing, and corporate management.
Chet Hall- Management - Strategy; Management
Chet is a Management Consultant with the NorthHighland Worldwide Consulting. He has 27 years of experience transforming People, Processes and Technology into efficient operational systems. Specific areas of expertise are strategic planning, needs assessments, project management, benefit analysis, software assessment, process assessment and process improvement. Experience includes working as a CIO, Startup Consultant, Business Owner, Account Executive, Project Manager and Business Analyst. Chet spent 5 years in the Navy, earned his BS in Management Information Systems and has worked for companies such as Price Waterhouse, Toyota, Harris Corporation and Keane Inc; and has served on the Board for Taltech Alliance and was Chairman for two years and is currently the President for the Association of Strategic Planning - FL Chapter.
Christine Urban- Super Connector; Business Strategy
Christine S. Urban, MBA brings over fifteen years of experience, specializing in small business start-up and entrepreneurship. She has a vast national network, and she loves connecting people! She can help evaluate what stage your business is in and what appropriate and concrete steps you should take.
LaTanya White - Strategy; Small Business; Hospitality
LaTanya White is the owner and founder of Concept Creative Group (CCG), a portfolio of Tallahassee based companies including Open Book Innovation Institute, the Vibrant Cities Project and 71 Proof. LaTanya has studied Business in Tallahassee, FL, Bartending in New Orleans, LA, Innovation in Silicon Valley, CA, and Entrepreneurship in Bali, Indonesia. She makes a daily commitment to ensuring that access to entrepreneurship education is more inclusive. More than anything, she considers herself a global leader, learner and teacher. LaTanya's expertise in helping innovators and entrepreneurs get their ideas to market with greater efficiency and less risk has been successfully applied to organizations in education, hospitality, museum management, and small farming industries.
Todd Sperry- Strategy; Management
Todd Sperry got his entrepreneurial start in the family construction company, Sperry & Associates. He has been working within the construction field since the age of 13 and graduated from University of Florida with his Building Construction degree, and things have been history ever since. Todd’s strengths include problem solving, identifying needs of customers and tailoring solutions, strategic planning, financial management and sales strategies. He credits his entrepreneurial and business success to the importance he puts on teaching leadership skills to those around him.
Yuh-Mei Hutt- Supply-Chain; Manufacturing; Management
Yuh-Mei Hutt is the president of Golden Lighting, a manufacturer of residential light fixtures selling to independent lighting retailers across North America. Mrs. Hutt started working at Golden Lighting in 2003 as the Director of Product Development and Marketing. Over the next couple years, she completely revamped the company’s branding and product offering to emphasize elegant, high-quality designs that were affordable to the majority of homeowners. In 2005, Mrs. Hutt was promoted to be the president of Golden Lighting. Under her leadership, Golden Lighting has significantly grown its revenues and distribution.
Dr. LaDonna Thornton- Supply-Chain; Logistics; Operations
Dr. LaDonna Thornton is an assistant professor of supply chain management in the College of Business at Florida State University. She received her PhD in Logistics from the University of Tennessee College of Business, an MBA from Vanderbilt University, and a BSBA in Operations Management, Transportation & Logistics, and Purchasing from The Ohio State University. Prior to joining academia, she worked for 7 ½ years in the healthcare industry for a Fortune 500 company. LaDonna was a distribution manager in the Boston area and transportation manager for the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. Her research has been published in Decision Sciences, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Supply Chain Management and the International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management. LaDonna’s current research focuses on political and social dynamics within the supply chain and social responsibility.
Jake Kiker- Legal (Contracts, Entity Selection); Strategy
Jake earned his Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, in Political Science and Business from Florida State University in December of 2001, and his Juris Doctorate from The FSU College of Law in December of 2004. Jake has previously served as an Adjunct Faculty member at Florida State University, and he regularly assists individuals, businesses and financial institutions in corporate organization, contract and governance matters, including business start-ups, finance and sales/acquisitions (including U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs). He has also advised and represented investors in venture capital financings.
Jason Vail- Legal ; HR Attorney
Jason is a shareholder with Allen, Norton, & Blue, P.A. - Florida's largest labor and employment law firm exclusively representing management. He has counseled employers on employment compliance issues and litigated, investigated, resolved cases under various federal and state employment and labor laws. He has 9 years of experience practicing Labor and Employment law.
Paden Woodruff- Legal (IP)
Paden is an attorney and Managing Member of Woodruff & Black. His practice areas include all forms of intellectual property, including patents, copyrights, trademarks, and technology licensing.
Robert van Engelen- Computer Science; Licensing
Dr. Robert van Engelen received his M.Sc. degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Utrecht University, the Netherlands, in 1994, and he received his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from Leiden University, the Netherlands, in 1998. He joined the Florida State University as an Assistant Professor in 1998. He is a recipient of the prestigious Department of Energy Early Career grant awarded in 2002 to support his work on high-performance computing and networking. He also obtained six National Science Foundation grants. He published over 70 refereed publications in conference proceedings and journals such as IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Real-Time Systems Journal, IEEE Journal of Computational Science and Engineering, and ACM Transaction on Internet Technologies.
Jonathan Adams- Project Management; Strategy
Jonathan is a Professor in the College of Communication and Information at Florida State University. His educational background includes Boston University, UMass Boston, and UMass Lowell. He is a certified Project Management Professional with research interests in online and distance learning systems, interactive software design and development, web usability and design, and entrepreneurship.
Frank Valcarcel- Computer Science; Tech Deployment
Frank builds solutions for complex business problems. Sometimes a computer is involved. Frank found his way to Tallahassee by way of FSU’s Computer Science program. Previously he was a developer and systems integrator in the high-end home electronics industry. Frank’s experience means that he can advise on a wide-range of technical areas. Skills List: Web/Mobile development and deployment. Scalable IT Architectures, System Design, Project Auditing, Source Control, Software Design, etc.
Mike Houghton- User Experience Design
Mike has designed user interfaces for over 25 years, working with a broad range of clients across industries, including GlaxoSmithKline, Ziff-Davis, BellSouth, and Florida Virtual School. Throughout the years, he has led design teams for UCompass, Homes.com, Mainline/NCGi, LearnSomething.com, and Interactive Training Media. A graduate of the College of Communication and Information and the College of Fine Arts at Florida State University, Mike founded Refresh Tallahassee (a local Meetup of front-end designers and developers), partnered with the Unmatched Style team to bring the Converge Conference to Florida, and has taught as Adjunct Professor at Florida State University. Mike currently serves as the UX Lead for WeatherSTEM, a new initiative blending the live collection of weather data with the delivery of online K-12 curriculum.
Geoff Nagel- Tech Product Management; Marketing
Geoff Nagel is a polished innovator and self-avowed nerd with deep experience building, launching and growing technology products for start-up, high-growth and Fortune 500 companies. He’s spent over 20 years in Atlanta in the software industry wearing every conceivable hat – from software engineer to project manager to salesperson to product management executive. Geoff recently moved back to Pensacola, his hometown, to start a distillery.
Tracey Priest- Consumer Goods Development; Product Sales/Marketing; Packaging
Tracey Priest is a 25 year veteran of the consumer package goods industry with experience in both sales and marketing. In his early career with Quaker Oats and Tropicana he held several sales positions leading to a senior sales role as a manager of a broker sales force for the mid-west. Over the past five years, Tracey has worked exclusively in the Natural & Organic class of trade helping small businesses build their brands at retailers such as Whole Foods as well as other regional chains and independents. Tracey has developed go to market strategies, broker selection, sales presentations, event execution, e-commerce programs and has coordinated and led many sales presentations. As a part of his sales roles, he manages several of the largest national natural channel brokers for multiple brands providing all necessary sales support and execution.