Leader Development Coaching for Individuals and Teams

WFU School of Business held a teamwork session w/ new students in Farrell HallWake Forest business professor Pat Sweeney

Engage with exemplary leaders to augment your career development

Leader Development Coaching provides:

  • Real-world experience shared by proven leaders across all areas of expertise and sectors
  • Enhanced individual and team or organizational  awareness to assist in key areas of leader development
  • Flexibility with time and location (virtual sessions)
  • Confidentially
  • You control your development

Coaching for larger teams or organizations is available upon request

How Do I Get a Coach?

  • Select a coach from the directory based on area of expertise and experience (coming soon–scroll down and log in using your WFU credentials to access the directory area)
  • Submit request to ACLC coordinator to facilitate connection and scheduling  based on availability
  • Review coaching worksheet ahead of scheduled meeting:
    Preparing for Your Coaching Session Worksheet for coachee

Coaching Follow Up:

  • Process and reflect on feedback from coaching session
  • Utilize ACLC developmental resources such as individual and team reflection worksheets:
    Leader Development Action Plan for coachee 
  • Re-engage for additional coaching sessions as desired

For more information about this program or to get a copy of the coach directory, please contact Lyn Myers at myerslb@wfu.edu or 336-758-3673.

What Resources Can Coaches Use to Prepare?

Coaching Session Process Worksheet for coaches
Coaching Session Preparation Checklist for coaches
Leader Development Coaching Module

Additional coaching resources will be available soon.

We are currently accepting new coaches!

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Your Message:

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Andy Backus, CEO, Bahnson Inc., an EMCORE Company, EMCORE Group, Inc.
United States Military Academy at West Point

A senior executive with broad experience in engineering, construction, real estate, public-private partnerships, training, and talent management.

Over 27 years of success leading military, civilian, and multinational teams of up to 550 employees on high-priority missions, projects, and programs up to $10B.

A values-based organizational leader known for inspiring team members, for client focus, and for collaborative partnering with multiple stakeholders.

Over 27 years of US Army leadership experience.

Had the great privilege to lead American Soldiers, Department of Defense civilians, and multinational military members on numerous missions and assignments.

Jeff Triplett, Former CEO and President, ArbiterSports
Wake Forest University

Jeff combines his passion for sports officiating with his skill in managing high-performance teams.

Before ArbiterSports, Jeff founded Triplette Advisors LLC, a risk management and turnaround consultancy. Also, he served as President and COO for FNC, Inc., a pioneer in real estate collateral information technology.

Prior to FNC, Jeff served at Duke Energy Corporation for 32 years in several senior leadership roles, including President and CEO of Bison Insurance Company, Duke’s captive insurance subsidiary.

Jeff recently retired after 22 years as an NFL official and is the past Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) and past President of the National Football League Referees Association (NFLRA).

A retired Colonel with over 32 years of service in the U.S. Army National Guard and Reserve, Jeff was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in the first Persian Gulf War.

Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Wake Forest University. He also serves on the Board of Visitors for the School of Business and is a Trustee of the Utah Technology Council.

Patti Schnably Shields, Managing Consultant (Europe) at The Grayson Company. Chief Merchant/Consumer Advocate
Wake Forest University

Patti’s career across traditional, specialty, and fast-fashion retail over the past 30 years – from value to luxury – and across categories (men’s, women’s, kids/baby, accessories) – is unique. Her scope has included Omni buying, merchandising, planning, allocation, visual, design, trend, sourcing, e-commerce ops, store ops, and product development. Her ability to bring that breadth of experience to the table to lead teams to develop concrete strategies using consumer insights, data analytics and unique product assortments makes her one of the most diverse merchants in the industry today. Patti’s energetic approach is collaborative and customer-focused, bringing results through critical mass. During dynamic growth and transformation phases, she has worked for iconic brands such as Macy’s, Gap Inc., Victoria’s Secret, Charlotte Russe, and St. John Knits.

Patti currently serves as Chief Merchant for New York & Company, an $800M Omni retailer with over 400 stores across the US with their own branded merchandise and Celebrity Fashion collaborations with Eva Mendes and Gabrielle Union. Most recently, due to the recent pandemic, NY&Company’s parent, Retailwinds, declared bankruptcy. Patti was one of the key executives empowered with developing a reorganization plan and investment strategy, which recently resulted in a successful sale of the company.

Before starting at NY&Company, Patti and her family lived in Ireland for over six years while her husband Aidan served as CFO of Primark, Europe’s most significant value retailer. While living abroad, Patti developed a robust consulting agenda, helping with due diligence and trend forecasting assignments for US retailers and manufacturers while also becoming a guest lecturer at Trinity College (MBA Programme) and the undergraduate program at DIT’s Arthur Ryan Retail Centre. The family also purchased and co-own a 220+-year-old pub and B&B in their home village of Delgany, County Wicklow, Ireland.

Simpson O. (Skip) Brown, Jr., Banking Executive
Wake Forest University

With 36 years in Banking, seven years in mortgage and consumer products, and almost 20 years with Bank of America, Skip also served as Sr. Vice President and Commercial Executive for the Eastern Region. His banking career covered Risk Management, HR, Managing Commercial Lending Teams, and working as Commercial Relationship Manager in medium and large commercial markets. He founded TriStone Community Bank as President and CEO and developed lengthy and extensive Investment Banking Relationships.

After retiring from banking in June 2013, he started a second career at WFU as Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development and Operations Finance in September 2013. Skip developed and implemented the Student-Athlete Development Program to prepare Athletes for the real world after graduation. This program is highly structured, mandatory, and has become a standard for the rest of the conference.

He is currently serving as SVP and Commercial Lender at Peoples Bank.

Amy Reynolds, SVP Marketing and Customer Engagement, Flow Automotive Companies
Wake Forest University

Amy Reynolds is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Customer Engagement at Flow Automotive Companies in Winston-Salem, NC. She leads Flow Marketing Services, an internal automotive marketing agency with 40 professionals across several disciplines. She also leads the Flow Customer Relationship Center, which employs 75 professionals serving sales and service customers for 45 franchises and 21 automotive brands in NC and VA.

Amy and her husband co-own Bespoke Cyclery, a bicycle service and sales company in Lewisville, NC. She also serves on the board of Fur-Ever Friends of North Carolina, a non-profit focusing on animal welfare and wellness in the Piedmont-Triad. Amy earned her MBA and was recognized for academic distinction at Wake Forest University in 2019. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Appalachian State University in 1999.

Peter G. Watson, Retired Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Greif Inc.   

Pete Watson recently retired in 2023 as the Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors at Greif, Inc.  He served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Greif Inc. from 2015 – 2021.  Greif Inc. is a $6.3 billion industrial packaging company serving customers in over 37 countries worldwide.  Greif was founded in 1877 and is publicly traded on the NYSE under GEF.

 As CEO, Pete led Greif, Inc. with the vision “To be the best-performing customer service company in the world”. This vision, together with developing a culture based on Servant Leadership, was adopted by Greif’s 16,000 global colleagues and propelled Greif to be a global leader in industrial packaging. Since joining the company in 1999, Pete has served in various executive positions, including Chief Operating Officer, Group President for Paper Packaging, Land Management, and Global Sourcing and Supply Chain.

Prior to his business career, Pete was a college football coach at Springfield College, Cornell University, and Wake Forest University for seven years. This experience greatly influenced his business leadership style.

In his retirement, Pete will focus his time and energy on teaching and mentoring young professionals and college students on leadership and global business.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of OhioHealth and the Founder’s Board of Leadership at the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University.  He previously served on the board of directors of the Central Ohio American Heart Association, the Columbus, Ohio Partnership, and the Ohio Business Roundtable.  Pete is the past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Forest & Paper Association and Fibre Box Association.

Pete holds a master’s and bachelor’s degree from Springfield College in Massachusetts.

Brian Speas, former active-duty Army officer
United States Military Academy, Naval War College

Brian served over twenty-six years as an active-duty Army officer. Brian started his service at the tactical edge serving as a rifle platoon leader with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), leading a platoon of forty Infantrymen. Brian then attended the United States Army Special Forces Assessment and Selection process, was selected, and served as a United States Army Green Beret for over twenty years. Brian has led at every tactical and operational level in that capacity, from a team leader commanding a 12-man Special Forces team serving as a Commander for a Special Mission Unit comprising over 1,000 specially selected service personnel.


Naval War College | Newport, RI | Master of Arts in National Security and Strategic Studies United States Military Academy | West Point, NY | Bachelor of Science in Management

Melvin Scales, Executive Vice President, Meridian Resources, Global Career Management Leader
Wake Forest University

Melvin serves as Executive Vice President of Meridian Resources, a leading national talent management consulting firm. Specifically, Meridian provides talent management solutions to support talent acquisition, employee development, and outplacement. In this role, he leads the identification of potential talent management-related solutions designed to enhance the market share and presence of MRI in current & new markets. He is also responsible for strategic planning for the firm. In addition, Melvin also heads the University Solutions division, which partners with graduate school services teams to find ways to maximize their effectiveness with students and alums.

Before Meridian Resources, Melvin was the Assistant Director of Career Services for the Wake Forest University Schools of Business. He was also the Global Senior Vice-President for the world’s most effective career management and outplacement consulting organization-Right Management. He led the organization’s thought leadership and global delivery for all 19 global operating regions.

Melvin is a seasoned leader with proven success in brand promotion management and global talent & career consulting. Colleagues recognize him as highly collaborative and pragmatic, capable of overseeing major international initiatives.


Global Talent and Career Management Consulting | Executive Coaching |University Career Services | Outplacement Services | Assessment Feedback |Optimized Resume Development | Networking Strategies | Interviewing Skill Development | Negotiation | New Role Assimilation | Client Relations

Cody Hoyt, Co-Owner, Mrs. Pumpkin’s Bakery and Deli, Former Senior Manager, Corporate Strategy, HanesBrands, Inc.
Wake Forest University

At Mrs. Pumpkin’s, we believe family comes first. We also believe nothing beats a home-cooked meal. That’s why every one of our products is made from scratch, ready to take home and serve to your family with minimal effort, giving you more time for what matters.

Mrs. Pumpkin’s is a veteran-owned, scratch-made kitchen proudly serving the Winston-Salem and Triad area since 1985. In addition to serving up individual and family meals, we specialize in helping local groups fundraise to meet the needs of their organizations. Our fundraisers are designed to be simple, delicious, and, most of all, profitable.

Richard Carter III, President and CEO, Carter P.C.
Wake Forest University

Richard has over 30 years of experience serving large multi-national public corporations, closely held organizations, not-for-profit entities, families, and individuals. Before co-founding Carter, Richard worked for 18 years at large global accounting firms and led a high-net-worth practice for a national accounting firm. For three race seasons, he left public practice to serve as the CFO/General Manager of a NASCAR Cup Series team.

Richard holds a BS in Accounting from Wake Forest (1989) and an MBA from Duke University (2002). A North Carolina native, Richard is married with two children. He is an Eagle Scout and works closely with the Boy Scouts in Charlotte and Asheville. In his free time, Richard enjoys time with his family and church, playing with his German Shepherd, attending Wake Forest and Duke sporting events, and cheering for the Charlotte Hornets and Carolina Panthers.

Jason Carter, Associate Vice President, Wake Forest Baptist Health
Wake Forest University

With a background as an Operational and Human Resources Executive in large health systems, I have led day-to-day operations in acute settings as large as 1,000 beds, as well as carried system-wide accountabilities related to service line leadership (heart and vascular, neurosciences, hospital medicine, emergency medicine, behavioral health) strategic growth, new facility development, and creating new systems of care. This breadth of experience has exposed me to extensive urban and small rural facilities and the challenge of linking them all to make better care, access, and service. As a health system consultant, I worked nationally to support strategic planning, needs-based design, operational planning, and the transition to and activation of new and repurposed acute and ambulatory facilities. This work was holistic and considered all aspects of the new healthcare environment and care delivery. I partnered with leadership, staff, providers, patients, and communities to drive understanding, involvement, and sustainable change – which, in turn, created places for healing that exceeded expectations for patients, care teams, and the demands related to operating in the current healthcare climate.


Transition and Operational Planning | Facility pre-design and activation | Unplanned Care/Emergency Services | Hospitalist Programs |  Hospital Operations | Healthcare Executive | Acute Care, Ambulatory Care |  Process Improvement | Hospital Throughput | Change Management | Strategic Planning | Operational Improvement | Workforce Development | Physician Partnership | Systems of Care | Human Resources Leadership | Service Line Leadership | Heart and Vascular Service Line Leadership

Michelle Gross, Director of Credentialing, Account Executive, Metacred, Inc.
Owner, CEO, and President, ADDWorx
Wake Forest University

Accomplished strategic leader with MBA & M.Ed
10+ years of experience in professional counseling and management

The National Board for Certified Counselors

I am an experienced and successful professional with strong leadership and interpersonal abilities. I have a track record of achieving performance excellence in professional counseling and the certification industry through utilizing resources. I lead in developing performance-driven teams, overseeing operations, collaborating with business stakeholders, and initiating process improvements. I am an excellent communicator and presenter committed to team dynamics and relationship development.

I am a self-motivated team player who successfully enhanced staff management strategies and overall functionality to maximize productivity, efficiency, and growth. My expertise lies in leading development efforts, operational strategy, and improvement initiatives to achieve defined objectives and expand market share. Through my experience, I have become adept in overseeing various operational responsibilities to ensure optimal business performance and revenue enhancements.

Carrie McCall WilliamsCarrie McCall Williams, Chief Human Resources Officer, EMS Management and Consultants, Inc.
Wake Forest University

Accomplished senior-level sales manager with a demonstrated track record of building new business in diverse markets. Dynamic sales manager with the natural ability to identify sales opportunities, develop new markets, expand existing accounts, grow profits, and initiate systems and methods to maximize sales. Proven leader who motivates sales teams to exceed targets. Well-organized professional who is comfortable taking the initiative and working independently.

Zac Snyder, Senior Vice President, Carter Bank & Trust                                                                                                        Wake Forest University

Zac Snyder is a North Carolina banking veteran, serving the past four years as Senior Vice President and Regional Executive at Carter Bank & Trust, a $4.1 billion community bank headquartered in Martinsville, VA. 

After completing his undergraduate degree at UNC-Wilmington, Zac earned his MBA from Wake Forest University, graduating with distinction.

 A native of Mooresville, his career has spanned nearly 18 years, beginning in Wilmington, then on to various Triad and foothill communities before returning to Charlotte.

In his current role, Zac oversees Carter’s banking activities for the greater Charlotte area and other markets in the western part of the state. He also serves as a voting member on the Bank’s Executive Loan Committee and is a key ranking member of the bank’s Customer Experience Committee. Zac holds a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) certification and serves on the North Carolina State Board of CCIM. He is also actively involved in the North Carolina Bankers Association, where he served on the North Carolina Young Bankers board from 2018-2021.

Ashley Kohlrus, Executive Vice President/Chief Operations and Digital Officer at Allegacy Federal Credit Union

She began her career with Allegacy in 2004 and is accountable for Retail & Digital Banking Operations.

Ashley serves on several boards and councils in the Winston-Salem community and Triad area. 

Ashley graduated Summa Cum Laude from East Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communications.  She obtained her master’s degree in Leadership and Organizational Change from Pfeiffer University.

Adam Holtzschue, Banking Executive                                                                                                                                                      Wake Forest University

With 35 years of professional experience leading multibillion-dollar businesses in private banking, retail brokerage, and commercial banking, Adam Holtzschue most recently served as Executive Vice President at Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. He is a registered General Securities Principal with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a member of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, and twice served as Chair of the RMA National Private Lending Roundtable.  

During his career, Holtzschue has been active with economic development initiatives, Habitat for Humanity, the United Way, and local Chambers of Commerce. He currently serves on the board of Aspire Community Capital. In addition, he has been an active member of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion councils and received national recognition for creating an inclusive work environment and achieving high levels of employee engagement. 

Holtzschue received his BA in Psychology with a minor in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University and his MBA in Management & Corporate Finance from Wake Forest University under a Dean’s Scholarship. In addition, he completed the Securities Industry Institute 3-year executive leadership program at the Wharton School of  Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a native New Yorker and currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Keith Forkin, Chief Executive Officer at Sempersozo (SSZ)

Keith Forkin is the Chief Executive Officer of Semper Sozo Inc., a global logistics and supply chain management firm focusing on providing clients with the best quality products at the lowest price as quickly as possible. A senior business leader and advisor with over twenty-five years of logistics and supply chain management experience.

Previously led a logistics organization of 1,000 employees that provided logistical support to a company that trained 30,000 people annually. A teacher, mentor, and coach who helps people learn, solve problems, and succeed. 

Holds a Juris Doctorate from Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law,  three master’s degrees, and a bachelor’s degree.

Chris Nichols, Leadership and Talent Advisor                                                                                                                                Wake Forest University

An experienced leadership advisor who has worked with CEOs, Investors, and Boards at leading Private Equity Firms and Fortune 500 companies to improve company performance through informed talent decisions, coaching and developing leaders, and improved organizational effectiveness. I bring a strategy and operational focus to engagements, leveraging firsthand experience running a Private Equity owned company, leading corporate strategy efforts, and integrating a Fortune 500 merger. My work starts with a deep understanding of an organization’s strategy and value creation thesis and then tailors support to optimize the talent, leadership, and organization to achieve the company’s future goals. I relate with leaders based on my personal experience in operational roles and bring a strong focus on supporting others to achieve results.


Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management, MBA 2007 – 2009

Wake Forest University -BS, Mathematical Economics, 1999 – 2003

Cathy J. Pace, President, and CEO, Allegacy Federal Credit Union

Cathy J. Pace is President and Chief Executive Officer of Allegacy Federal Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in North Carolina, with nearly 700 member companies, including the two largest medical organizations in the Southeast and three nationally prominent law firms. In her 30-plus year tenure at Allegacy, Cathy has held numerous positions of increasing responsibility. She has led some of the Credit Unions most successful initiatives, including the company’s name change in 2001, a brand audit study, and a nationally renowned and recognized holistic wellness program. Over the past three decades, she has played a critical role in Allegacy’s growth from 17,000 members and nearly $50 million in assets in 1978 to 136,000 members and $1.2 billion in assets today. In addition, during her tenure at Allegacy, the Wealth Management program has grown to include over $1 billion in assets under management. 

Cathy was named “Marketer of the Year” by the Credit Union Executives Society and “Woman of the Year” by the YMCA of Forsyth County. In 2012, she was a Women in Business honoree by the Business Journal. Cathy was named one of the Triad’s Top 40 Most Influential People in 2014 and 2015. She was selected as a 2016 recipient of the YWCA Women of Vision Community Catalyst award and “One of the Triad’s Most Admired CEOs.” Cathy currently serves as the chairperson of the regional advisory group for Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s (WFBMC) Comprehensive Cancer Center and as a board member of WFBMC’s Board of Visitors. She is a board member and vice chair for Hospice Palliative Care of Winston-Salem, a board member of Co-operative Payroll Solutions, the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, and a Wake Forest University Business School board member. Cathy is a Board Member of PSCU and served as the 2017-2018 chair of the Advisory Committee for the CUNA CEO Roundtable. She previously served as an advisory board member for the Sara Lee Center for Women’s Health, Cancer Services Inc., and N.C. Triad Affiliate for Susan G. Komen.

Norm Cooling, President, NL Cooling Strategic Consulting

Brigadier General Norman L. “Norm” Cooling, USMC (Ret.), NLCSC, provides clients with professional expertise in organizational leadership and assessment, training and education, strategic planning, process improvement, multi-domain security issues, governmental affairs, and installation management. Some highlights of NL Cooling Strategic Consulting are designing and delivering educational seminar courses on multiple aspects of U.S. national security, including the government structures and processes that support national security. They also provide executive and fiduciary oversight of a 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on advancing and recognizing veteran contributions to the regional community and state.

Norm served as Assistant Deputy Commandant for Plans, Policies & Operations, Headquarters, United States Marine Corps and previously served several roles during deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom, notably as the battalion commander of 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment.  Managed the Marine Corps’ legislative program on Capitol Hill by translating broad service vision and evolving operational concepts into a coherent strategic narrative and engagement plan that garnered Congressional support for the Marine Corps 2018 and 2019 budgets.

Ann A. Johnston, Chairman of the Board, Allegacy Federal Credit Union                                                                                        Wake Forest University

Ann A. Johnston has over thirty years of experience as a Human Resources professional. Early in her career, Ms. Johnston worked for Hanes Corporation and Wachovia Corporation before joining R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in 1988. Throughout her tenure at RJR, Ms. Johnston worked in all disciplines of Human Resources Management. She played vital roles in the 1999 spin-off of RJR from RJR Nabisco and the 2004 merger with Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company. She was named Executive Vice President, Human Resources in 2002. Upon the merger with B&W in 2004, she was named Executive Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for ReynoldsAmerican, Inc. Ms. Johnston retired in 2008. 

Throughout her career, Ms. Johnston has been an active community volunteer. In addition to serving on several non-profit community boards and committees, she has served as the Chair of the Alumni Council for the Wake Forest School of Business. Ann also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Old Salem Museums and Gardens, where she led the national search for the current President and CEO. In addition, she presently serves as Chairman of the Board for Allegacy Federal Credit Union and is a past Chair and member of the board of IFB Solutions.

Ms. Johnston is a graduate of Salem College and holds an MBA from Wake Forest University. Her late husband, Larry, graduated from Wake Forest Law School, and her sons, Bart and Riley, are 2012 graduates of Wake Forest.

Billy Prim, Founder and CEO, Primo Water Corporation

Billy D. Prim is the founder and executive chairman of Primo Water Corporation. Primo is a rapidly growing provider of multi-gallon purified bottled water, self-serve filtered drinking water, and water dispensers sold through major retailers throughout the United States and Canada. The Company’s products provide an environmentally friendly, economical, convenient, and healthy solution for consuming purified water. Primo is listed on NASDAQ under the symbol PRMW.

Before Primo, Mr. Prim was the founder and chief executive officer of Blue Rhino Corp., the nation’s leading provider of branded propane cylinder exchange and complementary propane-fueled appliances. In 2004 Mr. Prim sold Blue Rhino to Ferrellgas, New York Stock Exchange FGP.

Prior to founding Blue Rhino in 1994, Mr. Prim was chairman and chief executive officer of American Oil and Gas Company, a regional petroleum marketer.

Mr. Prim is chairman of the Dean Prim Foundation. This foundation provides scholarships for students to attend four-year colleges and universities and the opportunity to participate in a China travel and study program. The Foundation was created in memory of Mr. Prim’s father, who was an active Yadkin County Board of Education member.

Mr. Prim is president and owner of the Winston-Salem Dash, a Minor League baseball team and Class A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

In 2003 Mr. Prim was named a recipient of The Carolinas’ 2003 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. This program honors entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, hard work, and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business Ventures.

Mr. Prim is a member of the World Presidents’ Organization and serves on the board of directors of the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Wake Forest Business School, and the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Mr. Prim and his wife, Deborah, reside in Winston-Salem, NC.

Diana Medina, Vice President, Retail Transformation, Inmar                                                                                                                Wake Forest University

Diana Medina is VP of Retail Transformation at Inmar, a technology and analytics company serving the healthcare and retail industries. In this role, she leads a team of experts that support Inmar’s retail partners and helps them grow their digital initiatives. Before joining Inmar, Diana was Director of eCommerce Merchandising at Lowes Foods. She held various Marketing and eCommerce positions with the regional grocery retailer, including Director of Marketing Communications, solidifying experience in digital marketing, customer loyalty, shopper marketing, and media. 

Diana is involved in coaching and mentorship for young professionals and enjoys helping other women develop skills to integrate family, career, and personal interests in a purposeful way. She is from Bogota, Colombia, and lives in NC with her husband Juan and her kids Alejandro and Victoria. Diana is co-host of the podcast CafecitoChat, which features the fascinating journeys of Latin women in the US.   

Diana holds an MBA from Wake Forest University, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from La Sabana University in her hometown of Bogota, Colombia.

Katie Wang Jorgenson, Alliances Manager, Sunrise Technologies                                                                                              Wake Forest University

Katie is currently the Alliances Manager at Sunrise Technologies in Winston-Salem, NC.

Katie spent five years at Inmar as a Client Development Manager, Talent Analyst, and Shopper Insights Research Lead.

Before Inmar, Katie began her career at Samet Corporation, assisting several project teams in issuing budgets, submittals, project schedules, contracts, etc.

Katie grew up in Chongqing, China, where her culture and family taught her the value of hard work and humility.  In her free time, Katie loves exploring restaurants for tasty new spicy food and going on adventures with her husband.


Wake Forest University MBA (‘19)

Wake Forest University MSM (‘15)

Denison University B.A. Sociology and Anthropology (‘14)



Mark W. Erwin, President, Chief Executive Officer, Bardstown Bourbon Company                                                       

Col. (Ret.) Mark W. Erwin became the President and CEO of Bardstown Bourbon Company in September 2019, having previously served on the board. Prior to that, Erwin served as President of the Karakoram Group International, a risk advisory firm, which provides strategic consulting to Fortune 500 companies. He also served as a Non-Executive Board Director of Heritage Oil Pic, an independent upstream exploration and production company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Mr. Erwin served for 26 years in the United States Army, culminating his career as the Chief of Staff of the United States Army Special Operations Command, with a budget in excess of $1.5 billion while coordinating headquarters staff of more than 1,000 employees. He commanded at every level of the United States Army’s most elite Special Mission Unit from Captain to Colonel and was deployed numerous times to Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries throughout the Middle East and Africa.

Mr. Erwin holds a degree in Psychology from Wake Forest University and conducted his War College Fellowship at the Central Intelligence Agency. 


Spencer Baird, Chief Executive Officer of Inmar Intelligence

Spencer Baird is the Chief Executive Officer of Inmar Intelligence. Spencer joined Inmar in May 2020 as Chief Transformation Officer and quickly expanded his contribution as President of Martech. In this role, he led Inmar’s Retail  Commerce Platform, Media and Data to speed the industry’s digital  transformation and meet escalating consumer demand for personalized, targeted digital marketing and messaging to reach, motivate and build relationships. He uses extensive retail expertise in omni-channel engagement, merchandising, data-driven decision systems and sales attribution measures to develop strategies for maximizing retail and manufacturer data. And he leverages media market and ad tech domain expertise to build fortified business models in programmatic promotions and social platforms using applied AI and other technologies to drive advertiser returns.

Spencer has more than 18 years of executive leadership experience in grocery retail, e-commerce and Consumer Packaged Goods with some of the best known and most respected companies in the industry including HJ Heinz, The Dannon Company, Kellogg Company, Ahold Delhaize and Peapod. After various leadership roles on the brick and mortar side at Ahold Delhaize, he was Chief Merchant at Peapod. During his time at Peapod, Spencer helped design the omni-channel vision and go-forward plan at Ahold Delhaize that resulted in the formation of Peapod Digital Labs.

Spencer is currently a member of the board of the Winston Salem Alliance and Piedmont Triad Partnership, The Western Michigan University marketing program and was formerly a member of the Fiduciary Committee for Ahold
Delhaize US. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from Virginia Wesleyan College and is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Education program.

Stephen L. Lineberger, Retired President and CEO SVAH, LLC, GoldToeMoretz, LLC and Sara Lee Underwear & Socks

Stephen L. Lineberger is a retired senior executive with experience in both privately held and public companies. His 36 years of experience were in senior-level marketing, sales, and corporate management positions primarily in the consumer branded apparel sector. 

He retired in 2018 after spending 5 years as CEO of SVAH, LLC, a privately held corporate holding company consisting of five separate businesses in the automotive and powersports sector.

Prior to joining SVAH, LLC, he was President and CEO of GoldToeMoretz, a portfolio company of the Blackstone Group. The majority of Steve’s career was with Sara Lee Branded Apparel, which spun off as HanesBrands, Inc. in 2007. Over his 26 years with the company, he held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility including President and CEO of Sara Lee Underwear, President and CEO of Sara Lee Sock Company, and Senior Vice President/General Manager, International.

Steve resides in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is a Past Board Chair of the Board of Visitors at Wake Forest University’s School of Business, and assisted with the Winston-Salem Wake Will campaign. He has been involved in the local community as a member of the Executive Committee of the United Way of Forsyth County, Chair of the United Way campaign, and Chairman of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. 

Steve received his B.S. degree in Business Administration from Newberry College and an MBA degree from Wake Forest University.

Gregory J. Wessling, Principal Partner, A&G Associates and Partners, LLC

Gregory Wessling is the Founding Principal Partner at A&G Associates and Partners. Wessling is a seasoned executive with 48 years’ experience in senior merchandising, marketing and operating positions. He was a member of the Executive team that transformed Lowe’s Companies, Inc. into a leading chain of home improvement retail stores and brought the company to Fortune 50 status as a NYSE public company.

Wessling joined Lowe’s Companies, Inc. in 1974 where he served as a Floor Sales Specialist, Store Manager, Purchasing Manager, Marketing Manager, Director of Merchandising, Vice President of Merchandising, Senior Vice President – General Merchandise Manager and Senior Vice President – Store Operations. He retired with 33 years of service.

Wessling holds a BSBA from the University of North Carolina, and a MBA from Wake Forest University.

Melanie Erwin, Retired Banking Professional and Major Gifts Officer

Melanie Erwin graduated from Wake Forest University with a BS in Business in 1986. She received her CPA license in 1989. As a military spouse, Melanie worked in public accounting with a concentration in tax preparation, as a controller for a DOD funded entity serving military children, built a direct sales business that included personal sales and team building, and held positions in various areas of banking to include retail banking, residential mortgage, credit analysis and commercial banking. Her last paid position was as a Major Gifts Officer tasked with creating a major gifts program for the local hospital in her area.

While part of the military community, Melanie worked with other military spouses and families to ease the stress and challenges of multiple deployments and its impact on them. Melanie has also been involved in volunteer positions with non-profit organizations mostly to benefit children.

After 30 years of professional work, Melanie has learned that work ethic, accountability, developing personal and professional relationships, and always learning are valuable tools in work and life. Melanie enjoys encouraging others to greet each day as an opportunity to make a difference for those around them – friends, family, and co-workers. Her greatest joy is to help others become their best self.

Kristy Farewell, Founder & CEO, Kairos Insights

Kristy Farewell invested the past 20 years serving organizations and leaders globally as an executive coach and organizational development consultant. Kristy’s consulting and coaching clients range from newly appointed leaders to seasoned executives and leadership teams from various sectors, including Healthcare, Academia, Pharmaceutical, Financial Services, and Government. A sample of organizations where she has served includes Duke University Health System, Washington University, Barnes Jewish Hospital, Wake Forest Baptist Health, University of North Carolina, Highmark Health, Tesaro (now a part of GlaxoSmithKline), Boehringer Ingelheim (USA), Bayer, Merk Animal Health, PNC Financial Services Group, Truliant Federal Credit Union, Crowe, Office of Naval Research, U.S. Army and US GAO.

Before returning to consulting and coaching, Kristy served in several leadership roles, strategically leading system-wide change to support leaders in delivering organizational outcomes. Her leadership roles have included succession/talent planning, organizational effectiveness, employee engagement, coaching, leadership development, and training. Kristy completed her Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership, with research focused on Executive Development. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication, holds several certifications in leading personality and psychological instruments, and is a certified executive coach.