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Our advisory board consists of business leaders, entrepreneurs and educators who are committed to advancing the mission of the Bisk College of Business. The advisory board plays an active role in support of the college's values, vision and goals and provides a structure for student, alumni and community engagement in Bisk College of Business activities and events.
Kenneth Acampora, CRC ®, CRPC ®, President DURABLE Wealth Management, LLC has over twenty-eight (28) years of experience in the financial services industry including more than 15 years as an advisor to the public and 13 years as an Investment Specialist where he taught other financial advisors in the Southwest the finer techniques of retirement planning and distribution. In 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 Ken was named a prestigious FiveStar Professionals Wealth Manager* of the Year and noted in Denver’s 5280 Magazine. Ken has served as a keynote and featured speaker to legal, accounting and financial professionals, speaking on topics as varied as Managing Money in the Capital Markets, IRA Distribution Strategies, Use of Annuities in Estate Planning and others. Ken was certified to teach state required Continued Education courses for Accountants and Financial Advisors in 6 (six) states. Kenneth holds board certifications in Retirement Consulting from the College of Financial Planning as well as the International Foundation for Retirement Education.
Dan is President of The Brooks Group. He first learned the importance of effective communication skills as a pilot in the United States Air Force; an environment where the ability to quickly identify & communicate issues to a wide variety of participants proved the margin between mission success & failure.
As a result of his emphasis on effective communication Dan authored Carpei Audientiam: Executive Level Presence: Seize Your Audience—Project Competence—Instill Confidence You Can Get the Job Done.
Dan has Account Management skills in both the product & services industries. He has also facilitated the strategic planning of six managed care companies, as well as a retail pharmacy chain. He is intimately experienced with managed care companies’ critical business issues, their executive decision processes, & how they impact the prescription drug market.
Prior to joining The Brooks Group in 1999, Dan was a Senior Director of Business Development with Wang Global. In this role Dan served as the Lead for Wang’s strategic partnership with Microsoft. Dan worked closely with the senior management of both corporations in pioneering & implementing joint Wang/Microsoft go to market strategies that ultimately became best practices for how the Partnership engaged customers.
Earlier in his career while serving as a Senior Account Manager at Honeywell Dan won their President’s Club Award for his role in securing the largest contract in the Company’s history up to that time.
Dan is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) with a BA in Economics & holds an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology. H e was commissioned in the United States Air Force, where he served as an operational pilot, instructor pilot, & flight examiner for 10 years. His experience included extensive strategic planning, operational implementation, & worldwide operations in support of U.S. Government objectives. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Delaware Humane Association.
Eugene S. (Gene) Cavallucci was formerly vice president and general counsel of Harris Corporation.
Before retiring in December 2010, he led a twenty-lawyer legal department and was responsible for all the legal affairs of this Fortune 500 public company. Before becoming general counsel Mr. Cavallucci served as vice president and legal counsel of Harris’ federal government, aerospace and defense business units and for five years was Harris's director of business conduct. In this role, he was responsible for the compliance and business conduct program of this five-billion-dollar, sixteen-thousand-employee company.
Prior to joining Harris in June 1990, he was vice president, corporate secretary and general counsel of DBA Systems, Inc., headquartered in Melbourne, Florida. Prior to joining DBA in December 1985, he was a partner in the law firm of Nabors, Potter, McClelland, Griffith and Jones, P. A., with offices in Melbourne and Titusville, Florida.
Before entering the private practice of law in 1980, he spent seven years on active duty with the U. S. Air Force. In his last assignment he served as chief of contracts and patents at the Eastern Space and Missile Center, Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.
Mr. Cavallucci received his B.A. degree from Penn State University, his J.D. degree from Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law, and his LL.M. degree in government procurement law from the George Washington University Law Center.
Mr. Cavallucci is admitted to practice in Florida and Pennsylvania. He has served as Florida state co-chairperson of the public contract law section of the American Bar Association and co-chairperson of the public contract law committee of the Florida Bar. He has been a member of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) since 1978 and was elected an NCMA fellow in May 1992.
Mr. Cavallucci was an adjunct professor at Florida Tech where he taught graduate courses in government contract administration and contract negotiations. He is also a member of the board of overseers of Bisk College of Business and serves on the executive committee of the Bisk College of Business Center for Ethics and Leadership.
He has also served on the legal committee of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) and was chair of the government contracts council of the Manufacturer’s Alliance.
Corey Cook serves as the Senior Program Manager and Solution Architect for Advanced Technology Concepts for Lockheed Martin Corporation. In that capacity, he is responsible for logistics and sustainment strategic planning; technology innovation, integration, and development; and cross-corporate business initiatives. His programs include Global Supply Chain, Autonomous Systems, Artificial Intelligence and Analytics, Radio Frequency Identification and Automated Identification Technologies, Additive Manufacturing, and associated strategic partnerships. In addition, he serves as the Senior Program Manager for Corporate Automated Management, Movement, and Tracking (AMMT) Digital Transformation robotic implementation.
Mr. Cook served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy initially serving in the Navy Nuclear Program before receiving his commission as a Naval Supply Corps Officer. He received a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Christopher Newport University, an M.B. A., and a master's degree in Project Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He currently resides in Winter Park, FL.
Prior to joining Harris as VP Deputy General Counsel, Anthony Deglomine was a partner in the Orlando law firm of Dean Mead. Prior to Dean Mead he practiced with the Miami office of Kelley, Drye & Warren.
Deglomine has participated on numerous industry panels addressing various litigation and dispute resolution issues. He has also served on various boards, including the Board of Directors for the publicly traded Compass Knowledge Group.
Deglomine earned his bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Florida and his law degree from the Stetson University College of Law.
Christine Deveney is currently a Director with KPMG’s Washington National Tax Practice where she assists clients and KPMG’s global professionals analyzing complex international tax issues in connection with business decisions. Christine relocated back to the U.S. in March 2017 after spending the past 24 years in Australia where she served as Partner in Charge of KPMG’s International Executive Services Practice for the state of Victoria and also held roles with Mercer Australia as a member of Mercer’s Asia Pacific Leadership team and National Business Leader for Mercer’s Mergers and Acquisition Business and prior to that Mercer’s Board and Executive Advisory Business.
Christine is passionate about education and economic empowerment for women and whilst in Australia served as a board member for the non-profit organization The LBW Trust - Learning for a Better World which provides transformational educational opportunities for students in the developing world. Here in Florida she is a mentor with weVenture at Florida Tech, working to raise the profile of women in business within the community. In 2015, she founded her own ecommerce business, TapaReef LLC, which manufacturers personal care products for the water sports industry and works with professional athletes to profile and help raise funds for women competing internationally.
Christine received a B.S. in Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology in 1987 and went on to study for a Masters in Taxation at University of Central Florida. She is a member of the American Institute of CPAs, Australian Institute of CPAs, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Mike’s major practice areas at Berman Hopkins include closely held corporations, employee benefit
plans, government contractors and not-for-profit organizations. He has experience with due diligence for
purchasing or selling a business and analysis of buy/sell agreements. He also works with clients through
employee benefit plan and not-for-profit audits who have investments (assets ranging from $5 million to
$300 million) including significant experience auditing alternative investments with complex valuation
Mike enjoys helping clients have financial success while at the same time giving value added advice
which is well beyond the standard accounting and tax services.
Michael G. Gaich, CCIM, graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He developed an intense interest in the Space Program working for The Boeing Company. He earned a Master’s Degree in Systems Management from the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. It wasn’t long before his interests turned to commercial real estate in 1973. In November of 1978 Michael was recognized by the CCIM Institute of the National Association of Realtors for earning the CCIM Institutes designation for Commercial Real Estate. The requirements for this designation are five (5) Commercial Real Estate courses, each followed by a written test. Upon completion of the 5 courses the applicant has a final test lasting 2-3 hours. Michaels’ certification number is 849 and
he was the first recipient of the CCIM designation in Brevard County. Currently the number of CCIM’s worldwide is 8,600.
Under his expertise and guidance, the Michael Gaich Company has performed as real estate consultants for the acquisition or liquidation of investment properties and the development of triple net lease retail projects for long term appreciation. His retail development ventures included Build to Suit for Eckerd’s, CVS, Publix, Winn Dixie, Staples and a list of national and local retail tenants spanning more than 25 years. The training and experience of The Michael Gaich Company has also provided the opportunity to represent major developers and owners of office buildings, shopping centers, medical buildings and industrial development.
As a buyer’s broker, Michael has represented numerous parties in the acquisition of vacant land, improved commercial real estate and industrial facilities. His experience ranges from single-site representation to multi-sites, including such areas as retail, fast food, medical, office and industrial.
His consulting experience included two Developments of Regional Impact (DRI) for a planned corporate park with his involvement from the acquisition, planning and development to the marketing of the property. His list of corporate clients is extensive including, Boeing, Hughes Aerospace, McDonell Douglas, U.S. Space Camp, Brinker International, TICO Airport Authority, Florida Space Authority, State of Florida, Brunswick (Sea Ray Boats), Airborne Express, Hanor-Camdevco Assoc., VectorSpace Associates, Clark-Gaich Enterprises, Galleria Partners, SunTrust Bank, Bank of America and many more notable entities. His involvement and devotion to his community is well-known and appreciated. He is currently serving on the Maxwell King Center for Performing Arts Board. He has served on the Canine Companions for
Independence Southeast Board of Directors as President and board member for 19 years. He now serves on the Canine Companions for Independence Advisory Board. He currently serves on the Suntree Country Club Strategic Planning Committee. He previously served on the SunTrust Bank Administrative Board, was Past President of the Brevard Community College Foundation Board (now Eastern Florida State College), Rollins College Brevard Advisory Board, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast and many more.
Michael and Carol Ann Gaich are longtime residents of Brevard County and currently reside in the Wyndham community at Viera. Michael enjoys golf, exercise, photography and travel.
Chief Human Resources Officer, Health First
Paula is accountable to maximize the contributions of every Health First team and associate through the effective and efficient recruitment, employment, assessment, development, engagement, collaboration, and retention of committed, high-performing team members. Her direct responsibilities include human resources operations, talent management, employee relations, education and training, and pastoral care at Health First.
Paula has 27 years of experience in healthcare human resources. She previously served as Network Vice President of Human Resource Effectiveness at SSM Health Care Corporation in St. Louis. Paula began her career at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center as a Compensation and Benefits Analyst in 1986. Since that time, she has held the position of Manager of Compensation & Benefits, Human Resource Director and Regional Recruitment Director. In addition to St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, she also worked for established health systems such as Tenet Healthcare and Missouri Baptist Medical Center, and as an adjunct professor for Webster University.
Paula earned her Master’s in Business Administration with a focus on Human Resources and has a Green Belt Certification in Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). She is also a certified CQI coach and facilitator and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management.
Connie Kahler, CPA, is the corporate controller for Desapro, Inc. Prior to this, she served as controller for DRS Network and Imaging Systems. Connie has over 16 years of experience in the industry, including consolidating accounting departments, implementing new ERP systems and interfacing with a variety of audit and regulatory agencies.
Connie earned her MBA from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri, and B.S. in business administration from University of Colorado. Recently accepted to graduate school at the University of South Florida, she will be pursuing her Executive Doctorate in Business Administration. She is a CPA and certified internal auditor.
Connie actively volunteers through United Way of Brevard, assisting with tax return preparation and teaching budgeting classes throughout the year.
As an Army officer, corporate executive and consultant, Mike Kelleher has been active in the military, logistics and general business communities for more than 40 years.
Following a 28-year career in the U.S. Army where he commanded and directed tactical and strategic logistics activities on three continents, in 1993 he joined the largest heavy and specialized trucking firm in North America as executive vice president of sales and marketing and as president of its international logistics subsidiary. In 1995 he moved on to a series of relationships and engagements as an independent business and logistics consultant that have involved him with industries as diverse as agribusiness, manufacturing, railroads, facilities management, high technology electronics and international logistics. Currently he is particularly involved in the sustainment of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the related challenges that accompany the extrication of U.S. forces and equipment from that landlocked country.
He holds an B.A. in economics from Lafayette College, an M.S. in systems management from Florida Tech and an M.A. in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College and has completed the program for manager development at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University. He resides in Atlanta.
Jim grew up in Cocoa Beach, Florida. He attended The Florida Institute of Technology, where he received a B.S. in finance in 1992, and was a member of the basketball team.
After graduation, Jim started his career at what was then called The Community Educators’ Credit Union. Following a 3 year stint at C.E.C.U., he moved to Atlanta to get into the financial service business. Jim started at Merrill Lynch in 1996 where he built a successful wealth management business over the course of 21 years. While easygoing by nature, his leadership and ability to optimize performance and growth, led him to become one of the top producers at one of Merrill Lynch’s top offices. Recently Jim founded The Avalon Group at Morgan Stanley and is a Senior Vice President. With a genuine passion for financial planning and investment strategy, he always focuses on the big picture in helping clients achieve their goals.
Jim enjoys the beach and returns often. Additionally, he is an avid skier and a frequent visitor to Park City, Utah. He has two children, Brady and Kendall, 13 year old twins. On the weekends, you can find Jim coaching his kids' basketball teams or playing golf and tennis. Previously, Jim was on the board of directors at Brookfield Country Club and is looking forward to giving back to Florida Tech.
As qualifying broker for Lightle Beckner Robison, Inc., Brian currently oversees all aspects of the commercial real estate brokerage firm including sales, corporate services, leasing, asset and property management services LBR offers; beginning in August 1996 to the present.
Commercial Real Estate Broker/Leasing Agent from March 1988 to August 1996 with Corporate Property Group, Inc., Melbourne, Florida, Vice-President/Partner – January 1991 – December 1994. Prior to joining Corporate Property Group, Inc. in 1988, spent five (5) years in the Financial Services field with Merrill Lynch, Thomson McKinnon and Sun Bank.
Expert Broker and Commercial Real Estate Advisor with over twenty-seven years experience leasing, selling and consulting for office, industrial and shopping center related real estate throughout the State of Florida and Georgia. Professional services include Marketing of Commercial Properties including Direct Canvassing and Prospecting, Tenant/Buyer Representation Service, Consulting and Receivership services for all aspects of commercial real estate.
Over the last twenty-eight years, Brian has personally leased or sold over 6,500,000 square feet of office, industrial and retail space. Brian has completed over $250,000,000 in transactions throughout his career.
Henry Lonski is the president at Lonski and Associates, LLC. Lonski's career has allowed him to develop a solid and unique skill set, beginning as a salesman, store manager, vice president of Bombardier Recreational Products (Sea Doo PWC & Sport Boats, Ski Doo Snowmobiles, CanAm & Bombardier ATV, Evinrude & Johnson Outboards), president of Bombardier Marine, president of Auction123/eBay Motors and a variety of senior executive positions within emerging companies.
Lonski’s successful, qualifying experience has been time-tested and field-proven, significantly affecting sales and market share as shown in documented results. Lonski has mastered every discipline within sales, public relations, marketing and advertising, administration, product development, operations, market research, strategic planning and implementation and sales management.
Mike Marks co-founded IRCG in April 1987. He began his consulting practice after working in distribution management for more than 20 years. Over the years his narrow focus in B2B channel-driven markets has created an extensive number of deep executive relationships within virtually every business vertical in construction, industrial, OEM, agriculture and healthcare.
Mike has led project teams that improve market access by aligning resources to growth opportunities serving manufacturers, dealers and distributors. Clients have ranged from small privately owned firms to many of the industry’s market share leaders. Ownership structures have included owner-operators, private equity, ESOPs and publicly traded firms. Mike is proud of the team’s work and the confidence clients have shown with additional project work.
He has written extensively and is frequently quoted on many industry issues. He has substantial board experience on both public and private distribution firms. His contributions to the field include serving multiple terms as a research fellow with the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors, permanent faculty at Purdue University’s University of Industrial Distribution, eight years as graduate adjunct faculty in the Industrial Distribution Program at Texas A & M University and rendering several precedent-setting expert opinions in contract disputes between manufacturers and distributors.
Prior to forming IRCG, Mike held the position of Executive Vice President at Lex Electronics, an $800 million vertically integrated electronics distributor in Stamford, Connecticut. Mike's path to management in his early career was through increasing responsibilities in sales and sales management. He also completed a tour of duty as a manufacturer's representative.
Alan is a senior vice president of investments with Wells Fargo Advisors in Melbourne, Florida. He has been a financial advisor since 1989 and is a graduate of Florida Tech with a B.S. and M.B.A. in business. His professional practice is centered on financial planning and portfolio management for individuals prior to and during retirement.
He serves on the board of directors in several community organizations including the Florida Tech Alumni Association, the Brevard Neighborhood Development Coalition and the Evans Center. Previous community involvement includes the Brevard Cultural Alliance (BCA) board of directors, The Masters Workshop board of directors and the Carriage Gate neighborhood association board of directors.
Alan is vice president of the Hosts of Brevard, and is active in the greeting ministry at his church. He enjoys action movies, jazz concerts, dancing, great restaurants and traveling the U.S. and abroad with his wife, Katie.
John has thirty years of experience in the cable TV and internet industry. Starting out at AT&T, John has successfully established substantial market share with new cable TV and Internet technologies in a highly competitive market. It was there that he gained invaluable expertise in financial analysis of internal rate of returns, payback periods and net present values for capital investments. At Florida Cable, Inc., a small rural franchise cable company located in a Central Florida, he served as Chief Operation Officer. This day to day operational experience in the cable television, internet, satellite, and telephone industry compliments, updates, and solidifies Johns expertise and knowledge to serve as the CEO of BBCG. This separates BBCG from other consultants, as John is a cable television; high speed Internet, and digital television operator vs. just a consultant. In 2000, John founded the Broadband Consulting Group (BBCG) offering expert management skills in Negotiations, Operations and Mergers & Acquisitions of cable television, high speed Internet, and telephone contracts in apartments, condominiums, and private home subdivisions throughout the United States. BBCG has recently become one of the nations largest technology firms that touches virtually all service providers in the sectors of cable television, telecommunications, wireless and high-speed internet, Direct Broadcast Satellite, and cellular phone companies throughout the country. BBCG completes over 150,000 housing units per year in contract negotiations. With high level contacts with the largest cable and phone companies, technological, and regulatory expertise consistently delivers significant savings and revenue opportunities to all clients. Other clients leverage his Sales, Management and Operations experience to broker sales & purchases of telecommunication companies.
With close to 30 years of experience in financial services, Laraine began her career as a financial advisor in 1986 and joined A.G. Edwards and Sons Inc. in 1989. Dedicated to helping clients meet their financial needs and long-term goals, Laraine utilizes appropriate asset allocation to develop clients’ retirement and estate investment plans. She helps implement strategic investments designed to enhance diversification and reduce volatility. Laraine has served Melbourne and Brevard County investors to help them meet their financial goals for many years to come.
Laraine earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Committed to helping her community prosper, she is active with many organizations including the Florida Tech Nathan M. Bisk College of Business, Florida Tech Women’s Business Center’s WeVenture and League of Extraordinary Women and The First United Methodist Church of Melbourne. The strong relationships Laraine has built with her clients and the community have helped make her a connected leader.
Laraine has been recognized as a Premier Advisor, a distinction reserved for the firm's top financial advisors based on production, educational attainment and client-service best practices. She is also a senior vice president and investment officer with Wells Fargo Advisors. Laraine completes approved educational programs, rigorous examinations, and meets stringent experience requirements for all of her acquired licenses in the securities business.
Laraine and her husband, Jay, have been married for 34 years. They have two daughters, Kristen and Jennifer, and one granddaughter, Bailey. Away from the office she enjoys traveling with her family to snow ski and venture to new cities and places.
Jeff Shuman is a global CHRO with over 38 years’ experience leading major transformations and driving shareholder value within multi-national, publicly traded consumer (Avon), industrial (Honeywell/Allied Signal), aerospace / defense (Northrop Grumman, Harris Corporation) and healthcare (Quest Diagnostics) companies. Shuman retired as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer for Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), a global diagnostic information services business, with responsibility across human capital strategy and corporate social responsibility. Jeff has been a leader in human resources, operations and general management and has established a strong reputation in maximizing the value of acquired entities, digitalizing the workforce and leading transformations that accelerate growth, drive operations excellence and significantly enhance organizational effectiveness. Shuman possess an informed, reasoned approach to addressing complex business problems and has established a wide array of governance experiences.
Jeff was recruited to Quest Diagnostics in 2012 and was an integral member of the executive leadership team working closely with the Board of Directors to successfully transform the company. He has implemented an organizational redesign, led the human capital integration of over a dozen acquisitions, and managed in excess of $800 million of divestitures. This has enabled organic growth and generated in excess of a billion dollars in annual value creation; and total shareholder return appreciation of 85% over a four-year period. As the Chief Human Resources Officer, Shuman established a high performing culture and created a Human Capital strategy to insure sustainable organic growth, including key leadership succession processes and the implementation of a global Leadership Academy to dramatically increase the organizations capabilities. He has also worked with the Compensation Committee of the Board to align executive compensation with shareholders’ interests.
Prior to joining Quest Diagnostics in 2012, Shuman served as Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources and Administrative Officer with Harris Corporation (now L3Harris) an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 100 countries. As CHRO and Chief Administrative Officer he held responsibility across government affairs, real estate, EHS, Communications, the fleet and human resources. Over his nearly eight years with Harris Corporation, Shuman successfully led the company though a significant transformation focused on driving innovation and market diversification, resulting in new businesses in healthcare and satellite communications, and maximizing adjacent markets. He also worked closely with the Board of Directors on a successful CEO succession.
Before joining Harris in August 2005, Shuman was Vice President of Human Resources and Administration for Northrop Grumman’s Information Technology business, and Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Litton Information Systems Group, acquired by Northrop Grumman in 2001. Previously, he was Vice President of Human Resources for AlliedSignal’s / Honeywell’s technical service business. He began his commercial career at Avon, where he spent 14 years in roles of increasing responsibility across Operations, General Management and Human Resources.
Shuman has served as Chairman of the Greater Baltimore-Washington, DC, chapter of INROADS and has supported the Private Sector Council in key initiatives as an advisor with the Department of Education and the Department of Homeland Security. He was an active member of the Human Resources Policy Association and served on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of New Jersey and the American Red Cross in NJ. He received a Stevie ® during the American Business Awards in 2007 for “Best Human Resources Executive” and was the 2011 recipient of the “HR Executive of the Year”.
Shuman earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from The Citadel. Following graduation, he served as a Medical Service Corps officer in the U.S. Army. He resides in Florida with his wife and has two grown daughters who are growing their careers.
Janell Smith has more than 15 years of working in healthcare operations and management across a variety of healthcare settings. Currently, she is the Chief Compliance Officer for Comprehensive Health Services, in Cape Canaveral, which specialized in tailored pre-employment and annual physicals for commercial companies, international customers, and the U.S. Government. Previously, she was the Director of Quality and Risk Management for HealthSouth Melbourne and Vero Beach, Florida. Prior she worked at Health First Health Plans and Wuesthoff Health Systems as the Director of Quality, Risk Management and Compliance.
She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Communication and a Master of Science in Executive Health Service Administration from the University of Central Florida.
T. Kent Smith is currently the president, COO and co-owner of Revolution Technologies, an IT and engineering solutions and staffing services firm headquartered in Melbourne, Florida. Kent invested in Revolution Technologies (RT) in 2008, which has since grown 22% CAGR. Kent engaged with RT after spending 2007 as an investment partner with Dewberry Capital, a private equity firm based in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kent was previously the president and CEO of TeamStaff Inc., a public micro-cap focused in the healthcare staffing industry, and was the president of The HoneyBaked Ham Company, and CEO of the Heavenly Ham Company from 1998 to 2003. Kent also spent 11 years at Norrell Corporation, a $1.4 billion commercial solutions and staffing firm, later taking it public in 1994.
Kent earned his B.A. from Vanderbilt University and M.B.A. from The University of Virginia. Mr. Smith played college tennis, was formerly an executive in residence at the Georgia State University Business School, 2008-2010, a member of the advisory board of University of Virginia Nursing School, 2004-2010, and a chairman of the Council of CFOs conference board in New York. He was also the past president of the Druid Hills Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia, and chairman of the USGA 2001 U.S. Amateur Championship. He is currently on the Parents Council and Drug Advisory Task Force at Hampden Sydney College. Kent has been married for 33 years to Mary Louise Smith from Nashville, Tennessee.
Mr. Thomas is a partner and intellectual property (IP) attorney with the Lowndes law firm. Mr. Thomas is a licensed patent attorney and practices in the areas of patent and trademark prosecution, infringement litigation, technology law, licensing strategies and agreements, branding and business law. Mr. Thomas founded and has chaired from inception the Business and Intellectual Property Law Division of the law firm, advising clients in the above areas of practice and providing general counsel regarding business partnerships, business development, branding and marketing, IP portfolio development, market development and company asset acquisition and development. Mr. Thomas is engaged in prosecuting numerous patent applications in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and internationally. He operates as IP counsel for business and academic clients and provides a full spectrum of guidance regarding IP licensing and royalty strategy, IP acquisition strategies, building and maintaining an enforceable IP asset portfolio, IP docket management, teaming and partnering strategies and related matters. Mr. Thomas is licensed to practice in the courts of Florida, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal District Court for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).
Mr. Thomas is lead counsel for the firm’s litigated IP and business matters. As such, Mr. Thomas has litigated and resolved matters for corporate and individual clients including patent, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, contracts and other litigation in both state and federal courts in Florida, Massachusetts and California. Mr. Thomas has also been accepted as an expert witness in the field of patent claim interpretation and electrical engineering. Mr. Thomas' independent opinion has also been relied upon for findings of infringement/non-infringement by other Central Florida IP counsel prior to initiating patent infringement lawsuits.
Prior to joining Hayworth, Chaney & Thomas, Mr. Thomas was employed by defense contractor Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Florida, in program management, technology development, design engineering and systems engineering capacities on government programs. These programs were technology development programs that included hardware and software design for commercial, military and NASA platforms such as F-16, F-18 E/F, F-22, F-35, Comanche helicopter, National Aerospace Plane, the International Space Station, air-to-ground and air-to-air weapons systems and numerous other technologies and programs.
Mr. Thomas actively engages in service to the local community. He is a member and past chair of the Florida Tech Women's Business Center (WBC) advisory board of directors and a member of the Founder’s Forum board of directors, the Government Contract Advisory Team (GCAT), the Space Coast Energy Consortium board of directors, the Boy Scouts of America and the Florida Tech Nathan M. Bisk College of Business advisory board.
Mr. Thomas is an active speaker regarding intellectual property law, technology law, entrepreneurship and general business law matters and often speaks as a community service in general forums such as the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), the WBC at Florida Tech, the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce and local engineer and entrepreneur groups. He is a proud Florida Tech alumnus with a B.S. in electrical engineering and also graduated as valedictorian of his law school class at Barry University.
Frank Tricomi has held progressively responsible executive positions in the military and in public, private and non-profit enterprises. His experience includes the management of complex organizations, strategic planning, Congressional interface, operations, manufacturing, program management, contracting, procurement, finance, turn-around strategies, entrepreneurship, mergers and acquisitions and e-commerce. His diverse background spans supply chain, logistics, and marketing management. Presently, he is the Chief Operating Officer for Conley and Associates, Inc., and has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of a multi-divisional product support company with business units and offices located throughout the U.S. and the Middle East. He manages all aspects of the business, including business development, P&L, finance and accounting, purchasing, contracting, personnel management, customer relationships, strategic planning, organizational and structural decisions and capital investment strategies. Prior to coming to Conley, he created, launched and was President of ESSIbuy.com, Inc., a subsidiary of a publically held corporation, Engineered Support Systems, Inc. (ESSI). ESSIbuy delivered supply chain management, web-based purchasing and sourcing, inventory, warehousing, training, software solutions, technical and field services, and other technology, logistics, and product support services to both military and commercial customers around the world.
Before starting ESSIbuy, he was the Director of Program Management at Engineered Air Systems, another ESSI subsidiary, and was responsible for the management of major programs, directing all aspects of program development, engineering, design, prototyping, testing, transition to production, manufacturing, performance, schedule, and P&L. Immediately after retirement from the military, he held the position of Executive Director of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute, a non-profit corporation which assisted Wisconsin companies to capture government business. WPI provided marketing, proposal preparation, grant writing, government contracting, quality assurance and finance and accounting consulting services to companies state-wide. One of his primary responsibilities was to act as a liaison between Wisconsin companies, the Wisconsin Congressional delegation, and government purchasing activities to resolve various contract issues.
Prior to an extensive career in industry, his military service extended more than 27 years. After receiving a commission in the U.S. Army, he served in Viet Nam as an infantry platoon leader and subsequently commanded troops at the company and Battalion levels, culminating in selection as commander of the Army’s only Watercraft Battalion. Prior to retirement from the U.S. Army, he held a number of executive positions, including Executive Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Procurement), the Commander of the Defense Contract Management Area Operations, headquartered in St. Louis, and Director of the Procurement Center and Contracting at the Army’s Aviation and Troop Command.
He was a member of and served as the President of the Board of Directors for the St. Louis Lighthouse for the Blind Industries and was the Executive Director of St. Louis Federal Executive Board Small Disadvantage Business Opportunity Council. He was an Adjunct Professor in the Lindenwood University School of Business MBA Program and advised in the St. Louis University’s Entrepreneurship Program. He received a BA in Political Science from John Carroll University, an MS in Logistics Management from the Florida Institute of Technology and an MA in National Security Planning and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. He also participated in the Harvard University Negotiation Project and is a graduate of the Defense Acquisition University’s Program Management School. He was selected as a Distinguished Member of the Transportation Corps, was awarded the St. Louis Federal Executive Board Leadership Award and chosen as a 1994 Federal Executive of the Year.
JANUARY 2007 - PRESENT
OCTOBER 2005 - JANUARY 2007
APRIL 1999 - SEPTEMBER 2005
JUNE 1998 - SEPTEMBER 1998
JUNE 1992 - JUNE 1994