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The ResilNC Equity and Entrepreneurship Forum



June 24th, 2021

Time: 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


Many of North Carolina’s diverse businesses closed at the start of the pandemic, and a disproportionate number of these businesses never reopened. Without the proper financial and advisory resources, more of these businesses will not survive and thrive in coming economic environment.1 Further, the networks built to deliver capital and resources to diverse businesses during the best of times are critically under-resourced during the worst of times.


Breakfast Session: Practical Entrepreneurship Lecture

  • Presider: Tammie Hall, Director of NC HUB 8:00 a.m. – 8:05 a.m.


Topic: An Equitable Recovery through Entrepreneurship 8:05 a.m. – 8:50 a.m.

  • Dr. Henry McCoy, NCCU Professor of Entrepreneurship




  • Presider: Tammie Hall, Director of NC HUB 8:50 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.


Morning Plenary


Introduction of the Governor 9:00 a.m. – 9:10 a.m.

  • Secretary Cashwell


Governor’s Address: 9:10 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

  • Honorable Governor Roy Cooper



Panel Session: 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Title: State of Play for Underestimated Entrepreneurs (4 participants)

Facilitator: Anita Brown-Graham

  • ·Bill Bynum, CEO of Hope Credit Union

  • ·Melissa Bradley, Founder of 1863 Ventures

  • ·Jim Casselberry, Chief Investment Officer of 4S Bay Partners

  • ·Huntley Garriott, President at Live Oak Bank



Concurrent Work sessions 10:30 a.m. 11:30 a.m.


Three Breakout Sessions


Working Session One: Access to Capital: The Right Capital at the Right Time

Facilitator: Talib Graves-Manns, Founder of Knox St Studios/ Co-founder of ResilNC

  • ·Daisy Magnus-Aryitey, Ice House Program Director at NC IDEA (Operating Grants)

  • ·Kenny Flowers, Asst Secretary of Rural Dev at NC Commerce (Building Reuse Grants)

  • ·David Sharpe, UP Fund (Contract Finance)

  • ·Dr. Shante' Williams, Black Pearl Global Investments (Pre-Seed to Seed stage VC)



Working Session Two: Contract Academy: Selling to Government and Corporate Supply Chains

Facilitator: Wilson Lester, CEO of Access Center/Co-Founder of ResilNC

  • ·Dominique Milton, President & CEO of CVMSDC – Supplier Needs

  • ·Jeremy Collins, Broadband Initiatives/Governor’s Initiatives

  • ·Tunya Smith, Director of DOT Office of Civil Rights

  • ·Denisha Harris, President of NC M/WBE Coordinators’ Network



ESO Executives-Only Session: Building A Pipeline of Entrepreneurial Talent

Facilitator: Karen LeVert, CEO, Southeast TechInventures (or Jeanne Milliken-Bonds)

  • ·Thomas Stith, NC Community College President, former SBA NC State Director

  • ·Thom Rhue, President of NC IDEA (BEC/Ice House Entrepreneurs Program)


Closing Plenary


Reconvene, Reflections and Intro 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Presider: Tammie Hall, Director of NC HUB (Brandy Bynum Dawson), Session Reflections (quick interpretations from the experts):

  • One: Kevin Dick, Carolina Small Biz (established CDFI)

  • Two: Kevin Price, IMED (and new CDFI)

  • ESOs: Micah Gilmer (MRBF/Frontline Solutions)

  • Political Will: Commissioner Nimasheena Burns, Durham County



Lunch Session: A Chat b/w the Secretary and the Executive 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Topic: Be the Change: Finding Opportunity Where Others See Risk

  • Facilitator: Soledad O’Brien

  • ·Secretary Machelle Sanders, NC Secretary of Commerce

  • ·Janice Bryant Howroyd, CEO of The ActOne Group



Thanks, Appreciations, Next Steps and Close Out 12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

  • Presider: Tammie Hall, Director of NC HUB

Meet The Speakers

Our Partners

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