Asheville, NC & Asia: Founder and principal of Pegasus Capital, a Singapore-based financial advisory firm focused on Southeast Asia and India, Richard is a corporate finance specialist with four and a half decades of professional experience in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Now based in the US, he lived and worked in Southeast Asia from 1973 to 2007 with the World Bank, Private Development Finance Company of Indonesia, Private Investment Company for Asia, Elders Finance Group and Asian Oceanic Group before launching Pegasus Capital in 1991. A pioneer in Asian private equity, he co-founded Elders PICA Asian Ventures, one of the region’s earliest funds, and later established AOG Mitra Capital Finance, the first in Indonesia. He has served on the boards of more than 30 manufacturing, food, banking, securities and energy services companies in seven Asian countries and has been an adviser to Salomon Brothers, Deloitte Corporate Finance, EMP Global, Darby Asia and Acadian Asset Management. He serves on the Advisory Committee for Biotechnology in Western North Carolina and is a member of the regional Inception Micro Angel Fund. Richard lived in East Africa and worked as a development economist in Vietnam, Thailand, Colombia and Iran before joining the World Bank in 1970. An electrical engineering graduate of Penn State, he has a master’s degree from the Sloan School at MIT, where he also studied nuclear engineering under an Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship.
Brevard, NC/US: Bruce has over 20 years of varied experience as an investment banker and corporate finance specialist, with emphasis in recent years on private equity placements for early stage and middle market companies. In 1995, he founded Carolina Financial Group, which includes several lines of financial service businesses related to investment banking.
Silicon Valley & West Jefferson, NC: Henry serves as Chief Strategy Officer and Executive in Residence with T2VC, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm. In that role, he supports the growth and overall development focus of the firm. He also serves as Executive in Residence for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at UNC – Charlotte. In this role Henry has the opportunity to coach and mentor students, contribute to curriculum improvements, expand the global reach of International Studies, and support faculty in special projects. Henry is also a graduate student in Renaissance studies in the UNCC English Department.
Henry has over twenty-five years of business experience in banking and telecommunications and extensive volunteer leadership experience in non-profits. His primary background is in financial services sales practices, data mining, TQM and consumer research. He has extensive experience in all disciplines related to sales leadership, with deeper experience in sales force automation, data mining, modeling and customer insight. Henry has led, or been involved in, a number of small business restructurings, start ups and early stage ventures.
Atlanta, GA: Darrell has a broad range of experience in architecture, banking, economic development, finance, land development, urban planning and venture capital. His work with Ampirix has brought his career full circle, where he now uses these varied experiences to help companies that are developing innovative technologies for architecture, engineering and construction navigate the equity and debt options that will be key to their financial success. He also authors a blog focused on innovative sustainable (triple bottom line of profit, people and planet) efforts for the environment, social entrepreneurship, and social impact investing.
Asheville, NC: Matthew Raker serves as the Vice President of Entrepreneurship and AdvantageGreen at AdvantageWest, a regional economic development partnership in western North Carolina. As director of AW’s entrepreneurship efforts, Matt works closely with regional partners to ensure WNC is home to a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem. Building on his considerable work at the intersection of economy and environment, Matt also heads the AdvantageGreen program, an initiative to capitalize on WNC’s exceptional natural assets and opportunity to be a leader in sustainable industries. Through AdvantageGreen, Matt works with startups, existing industry and regional partners to advance WNC economic clusters in clean energy, green building technologies, natural products, sustainable agriculture, outdoor sports and climate science. Matt holds degrees in Economics and Natural Resources Management from UNC Asheville.
Small World Strategies, based in both Washington, DC and Asheville, NC, crafts customized communications strategies that work at the local, national and international levels for nonprofit organizations, corporations, foundations, associations, and government entities. Sue is a results-focused strategic communications professional, specializing in social and environmental issues. She has a great deal of experience creating and implementing multi-faceted engagement strategies at local/regional, national, and international levels.
Bent Creek Institute, Inc., based in Asheville, NC, is a non-profit business incubator conserving and developing WNC’s unique plant biodiversity assets by anchoring our nation’s emerging integrative wellness economy through science in botanical quality and safety. BCI will collaborate with Asheville’s extraordinary integrative healthcare community to make our region synonymous with safe, effective, and affordable botanical therapies as a primary wellness support system backed by ethical life sciences, sustainable cultivation practices, and thousands of years of traditional use worldwide.
Jane Hatley is the Western North Carolina Regional Director for Self-Help Credit Union. Self-Help is a community development lender, credit union, and real estate developer that works with individuals, organizations and communities traditionally underserved by conventional markets. The funds that support our work come from deposits, grants, and other investments made by individuals and institutions across the U.S. Before coming to Self-Help, Jane was the CEO of a wireless internet service provider, which she took from start-up to successful acquisition by a large national company. She holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and a Master’s in English from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Shaun Paul is the Chief Executive Officer of Ejido Verde, a Mexican forestry company formed through a partnership of the Mexican pine chemicals industry and indigenous communities in Michoacan to establish 12,000 hectares of commercial plantations for pine resin extraction. Shaun recently assumed this role in November 2015 building from his 25 years of highly entrepreneurial experience in private finance, philanthropy, and leading growth companies innovating solutions for food, forests, and water.
Prior to joining Ejido Verde, Shaun served as the Managing Director and Founding Partner of Reinventure Capital, an impact venture fund, to invest in innovative entrepreneurs scaling businesses creating solutions for social inequality, healthy living and ecosystem renewal. Beginning in 1992, Shaun founded and led the EcoLogic Development Fund that included managing forests with indigenous communities and establishing forest plantations in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize. As a founder and president of Pico Bonito Forests LLC in Honduras, he pioneered forestry finance with carbon offsets beginning in 2004. In addition, Shaun led the incubation of Root Capital that has lent US$903 million to small and growing businesses in Latin America and Africa.
Shaun currently serves on the boards of International Funders for Indigenous People, as well as Accelerating Appalachia for nature-based companies. He is an advisor to EcoMadera in Ecuador and serves as a research fellow at the Global Development and Environment Institute at Tufts University to innovate next generation impact metrics empowering entrepreneurs and investors to realize superior performance by applying Regenerative Principles and a Living Systems Framework.
Mitch Orland’s extensive background in the food industry includes multi-million dollar businesses such as Earth Fare: The Healthy Supermarket, Wild Oats Markets, and Sunflower Markets. As well as local heroes including Granny FeelGoods Restaurant and The Fort Collins Food CO-OP. Mitch is a self-starter with an intense work ethic and welcomes new challenges. Hired previously by Wild Oats to supervise its juice bar, Mitch worked his way up the corporate ladder, being promoted to oversee Prepared Foods, Bakery, Cheese, Sushi, Commissaries, and Beverage Bar. In addition, in his early years Mitch opened two successful food businesses of his own, Dr, Bagel and Magic Thyme Kitchen. Mitch created GREENFIRE Growth Partners to help entrepreneurs and companies grow sustainably with a focus on the triple bottom line. Mitch, a food and beverage industry consultant has twenty-five years of experience building enterprises with sustainability in mind. Due to his dedicated involvement in Asheville-based business, environmental, and education organizations, Mitch is a man who has built a powerful interconnected web of relationships. In addition to his esteemed reputation with one of Asheville’s largest corporations, Earth Fare, Mitch currently serves on several local boards, on some of which as an advisor or founder.