Jerry Coleman, director of CFCC’s Small Business Center, has decades of experience in business and consulting, having owned his own consumer products manufacturing company in Wilmington NC. Jerry is committed to helping other small business owners succeed. “Starting, managing and growing a small business can be a daunting task. At CFCC’s Small Business Center, we help entrepreneurs plan and navigate the startup process; getting off to a good, solid start is essential. We really do become a partner and are always available to act as a coach and cheerleader for our clients. We will work with them as long as necessary to keep them going and help them achieve their goals and be successful in the long run.” Jerry earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University, and Master of Business Administration at UNCW. He earned his certificate in Project Management from UNCW and has secured multiple patents.
Beth Gaglione has served for 20 plus years in a fundraising and marketing capacity for nonprofit organizations. Her experience ranges from grass roots organizations to larger entities, including the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, the Greater Cleveland Committee on Hunger and University Settlement in Cleveland, Ohio.
Beth earned her bachelor’s degree at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio and has a master’s degree in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio. She resides in Wilmington, North Carolina. She currently serves as the Branch Director of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina at Wilmington. She lives with her husband, a Professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, her two children and her dog, Tracy.
Founder, CEO, and Queen of Promotional Products who holds two Industry certifications (MASI, MAS+) - an accomplishment that less than 3% of promotional and advertising professionals have! Currently serving as a Board of Directors for the Promotional Products Association International. A member of Wilmington Central Rotary and the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary.
Gustavo Rodea has lived in Wilmington since 2008. He is married to Lupe Duran. Together
they have two boys, Anthony, age 13 and Leonardo, age 3.
Gustavo Rodea is an entrepreneur who has 18 years of experience in the retail business world. Having
moved to the United States from the largest city in the world, Mexico City, Rodea began his career at
the tender age of 22 and became a successful entrepreneur. He attributes his success to the seminars,
books and continuing education that he pursued along the way, as well as his self-taught abilities
through trial and error. During the national economic recession of 2008, Rodea’s dream of becoming a
business owner were put on hold as he was forced to sell his company as part of a wise business
strategy to stay ahead.
Proven environmental, health and safety leader with a history of significant cost, waste, and injury reduction throughout multiple industries. Best selling publisher and Executive Director of Watermans Warehouse.
Jason was born in Dayton, Ohio, but grew up in eastern North Carolina. He graduated from UNCW with a BS in finance and an MBA. Rob Penn, Jason’s business partner, hired him in 1999 and the two began a successful business relationship, highlighted by the formation of Pathfinder Wealth Consulting in 2005.
Jason’s passion for the business begins with helping our clients, working with select families to accomplish their personal and business goals. Jason’s role also includes managing the firm, leading its growth initiatives, and enhancing operations.
Jason resides in Wilmington with his wife, Ashley and their daughter, Merritt.
Alisha Richardson has excelled in management and leadership in her 20-year career in the real estate industry. As co-owner and CEO of RE/MAX Essential, Alisha is responsible for running all facets of the company, including daily operations, business planning, and overall strategy, growth, and development for the company. She plays a leading role in training, mentoring, and accountability for over 50 agents and staff.
Chakema Clinton-Quintana is vice president of Inclusive Small Business at Live Oak Bank, where she leads the inclusive small business center. She focuses on strengthening and supporting inclusive small business growth in our communities and verticals through research, job creation programs, capital allocation, mentorship, and programming. Chakema has 19 years of banking experience and has a degree in business management from Strayer University in Herndon, Virginia. Her background includes foreclosure, real estate short sales, loss mitigation, relationship management, and compliance. Chakema currently serves on the board of directors for three non-profit organizations, including treasurer of Voyage Wilmington, treasurer of Red, Black, & Love, Inc., and board chair for The OOPS Foundation.
North Carolina State Ports Authority,Project Manager
Monica Valsi, E.I. is a Project Manager in the Engineering Department with the North Carolina State Ports Authority (NCSPA). She graduated from NC State University with a BS in Civil Engineering. Monica has 30 years of experience in the civil engineering and construction project management industry. Monica currently provides professional engineering and construction project management services for the construction, repair, maintenance, planning, design, and/or procurement of facilities and equipment for the waterfront and landside terminals operated by the NCSPA.
Outside of work Monica enjoys spending time with her significant other, kayaking, hiking, working out, listening to podcasts, and traveling. She volunteers at several non-profit organizations including Paws Place, Habitat for Humanity, American Heart Association, and Work on Wilmington.
New Hanover County,Health and Human Services Director