Ron Hoffman is a retired business executive from the global high tech industry with positions held at Exxon, PeopleSoft, Sun Microsystems, Dell, and SAP. Born and raised in northern New Jersey, he has also lived in Boston, Baltimore, Houston, New Jersey (again), and Charlottesville and has visited 14 countries, in 5 continents. Ron has a BA in Business Administration from Rutgers College and an MBA from Boston College. He has lived in Asheville for 6 years and this is his 4th year as TEDxAsheville organizer. He's a former volunteer mentor for startups in the Asheville Chamber of Commerce Venture Asheville's Elevate program. Ron has two adult children and enjoys organic gardening, photography, cooking and playing bass guitar.
Emily is a PR Specialist and Growth Strategist who specializes in building the framework, platforms, and partnerships needed to be impactful in today’s challenging economy.
Having spent the past 15+ years working in small business support and community development, Emily has been fortunate enough to have experienced this space from both the entrepreneurial approach and the resource provider perspective. She is the Director of the ScaleUp WNC Accelerator, serving high-growth companies in Western North Carolinaand is the host of programs like the WNC Economic Bruncheon, Camp Girl Boss,and WNC Press Pass.
Emily is a member of the leadership team for the Asheville 1 Million Cups, and teaches the monthly AVL Pitch Prep class at the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. She is a certified trainer in the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program (IHEP) and REAL Entrepreneurship (Rural Entrepreneurship through Action Learning) Curriculum. Emily serves as Board Treasurer for The Sequoyah Fund, the Community Development Financial Institution for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, where she works to grow economic opportunity within the Qualla Boundary. Emily was a Senior Fellow at the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship, providing support in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Development. From 2017 – 2018, Emily served as President of FemCity Asheville, a professional networking, training, and mentoring program serving women entrepreneurs of the Greater Asheville Area. She has been a trainer and Keynote for the Brushy Fork Institute at Berea College since 2013, teaching on Entrepreneurship, Tourism, and Marketing.
Prior to her current entrepreneurial ventures, Emily served as the Director of the Certified Entrepreneurial Communities® Program with the AdvantageWest Economic Development Group, Marketing Professor at Southwestern Community College, and the Founder of the Center for New Mountain Business. Emily is passionate about working one-on-one with rural communities and entrepreneurs to develop strategies for collaborative progress and then catalyzing those initiatives with authenticity, innovation and a deep respect for cultural values.
My name is Julieta Fumberg from Julieta Fumberg Studio - Marketing Agency. As a photographer and graphic designer, I develop websites to my client’s specifications using my 15 years of experience of adding creative and innovative ideas each and every day. Through a comprehensive process of extracting the desires and needs of my client’s I present a perfect translation of their business’ mission. My finished worked demonstrates innovative artwork and one of a kind design that allows my client’s website to stand out from their competition.
As Coaching Coordinator, Barrie Barton serves as “Message Spelunker, Word Distiller and Performance Polisher” by assisting speakers to keenly clarify their true message, offers her insightful perspective on crafting an effective speech and presentation mastery.
Barrie Barton is the founder and lead facilitator of Stand and Deliver, a presentation and communication skills coaching firm for corporate professionals, organizations and entrepreneurs. Stand and Deliver Asheville combines Ms. Barton’s decades of experience as a facilitator, educator, director and performer to uniquely develop the art and skill of dynamic presentations and effective communication for all who participate.
In addition to her groundbreaking Stand and Deliver Asheville series, Barton serves as Artistic Director of Story Choreography Projects. She directed and produced 15 large-scale multi-media productions at the Diana Wortham Theatre and other venues. Ms. Barton holds a BA in Dance from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Masters of Arts Education from Vermont College. She taught for over 22 years in two High Schools as a Dance Educator in the Buncombe County School System.
Stephanie Swepson Twitty is President and CEO of Eagle Market Streets Development Corporation, CED (EMSDC). She is a 15+ year veteran in the Not for Profit Industry (NPO). She is an economic development specialist, focusing on small business development. Stephanie manages EMSDC’s day to day operations and oversees their subsidiary holdings, Eagle Market Place Residential, LLC, a 62 unit mixed income housing unit, Eagle Market Place Commercial, LLC, 9,000 sq. ft. of commercial lease space, Block-by-Block Industries, a commercial, production cut and sew operation, located in the "oldest thriving African American Commercial Business District in the country”, downtown Asheville, NC.
Stephanie is proficient in fundraising, grant-writing, nonprofit board governance and management. She received her BSM core studies at Montreat School of Adult and Graduate Studies, has a certificate of completion from the National Development Council in Economic Development Finance, is proficient in QuickBooks and nonprofit accounting. Stephanie is viewed as a community thought leader, is Vice Chair of Carolina Small Business Development Fund, and Town of Old Fort Planning and Zoning Committee.
Amber Victoria Williams is a digital entrepreneur and analog artist in Asheville. As a web developer, tech consultant and content creator Amber spends her time bolstering projects that uplift communities. She helps creative and impact driven entrepreneurs clarify value and connect with target markets online. Amber also enjoys coaching startups to integrate social media as a storytelling tool and medium for direct to market value delivery. Find Amber online at www.creativechrysalis.me and on Instagram at @amber_victoria_creative.
A native to Asheville NC, and 2010 UNCA Alumnus, Nathan has been involved in the local entrepreneurial community for almost a decade. He thrives in an ever-changing environment and found his calling in entrepreneurship at a young age. He has been fortunate to have built several successful businesses and fantasizes about making a major positive change in the world through the use of technology. Nathan and his companies have sponsored or volunteered for various events including Small Business Week, Tech Talent South, Young Professionals of Asheville (YPA), UNCA Alumni Week and Tech Power Hour. He's actively involved in the Asheville Chamber of Commerce as a volunteer mentor in Venture Asheville's Elevate program. He enjoys whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, hanging out with his wife Rachel, and bumbling through the trials and tribulations of being a father to a 7 month old son.
Co-founder at Nomadic Software and native to Asheville NC, Brian attended UNCA, initially as a Classics major, then later launching himself into the world of technology to start learning a new kind of language. As a Project Manager and Technical lead, he was able to gain significant traction and eventually lead the custom software department at one of Asheville's largest web agencies. Brian's insatiable desire to learn and adapt has empowered him to start a business himself and so far he's enjoying the roller coaster of entrepreneurship! Brian loves traveling to new places and hearing new stories, whether an ol' timey radio program or the voices in his head as he pursues creative virtual creatures across the city on his phone.