Mentors: BUSINESS IDEA

Todd Waldo

Todd Waldo

Summary of Qualifications Todd Waldo is an engineer, artist, and community advocate. With a BSEE from North Carolina State University, he has a career in systems development, maintenance and operations. Todd Waldo is the Enterprise Engineering Manager at Royall & Company. He is responsible for the development, maintenance and operations of all systems to support clients’ needs and requirements. He graduated from North Carolina State University (BSEE) and the Interactive Marketing Institute at VCU. His recent focus has been on operations ensuring quality and performance for users and clients as well as resolving issues with products and data. He is also making investments in other colleagues as a mentor and adviser to increase diversity, inclusion, mission awareness and engagement. All of this carries over in his service to the Richmond community with his work for various non profits. He serves on the Board of Directors for Better Housing Coalition, the President of the Board of the Robinson Theater Community Arts Center, board member for Church Hill Activities and Tutoring (CHAT) and the Church Hill Academy. He also serves Church Hill through the Church Hill Central Civic Association. He leads development and execution of annual special events like TEDxRVA and the Hill Topper 5k. His goal is to partner with leadership adding value for client and employee management, applying his expertise in operations, technology and data, while supporting mission and values. Want to meet with this mentor? Talk with your Lead...
Sondra Epley

Sondra Epley

Summary of Qualifications Sondra Epley is the Office Manager and a Certified Business Mentor for Richmond SCORE, which provides mentoring and workshops for small startup and established business clients. For the past seven years, she has also taught primarily graduate students online for a small, private college just outside of Minneapolis. Sondra Epley works for Richmond SCORE, which provides mentoring and workshops for small business clients. As Office Manager, Sondra covers the logistic needs of nearly 50 chapter members and serves as a matchmaker, pairing more than 620 clients each year with mentors equipped to guide them. As a Certified Business Mentor herself, Sondra is partial to startups and “fixer uppers.” Since April 2010, Sondra has also served as an online instructor for a small, private college just outside of Minneapolis. She teaches graduate student courses in community development, nonprofit management as part of an MBA degree program, and academic writing for evaluation and research. A quick study herself, Sondra achieved a financial turnaround for a store that was eight months away from the chopping block, despite having no significant background in retail. The experience reinforced her belief not to wait for a better day, but to create it. This belief enables her to supply nimble advice to clients wondering which business to pursue, what to look out for, and how to say what they want to say when promoting it or training others to do the same. Want to meet with this mentor? Talk with your Lead...
Deborah Usry

Deborah Usry

Summary of Qualifications As a fractional CMO Deborah helps organizations identify their brands, identify their key goals, and determine appropriate marketing strategies to achieve those goals. Throughout her career, she has worked in corporations, ad agencies and currently as an independent consultant. Deborah has worked with large organizations and smaller organizations. She gets involved in creating communications plans (external and internal), marketing plans, and the pieces and parts that make up marketing plans; as in strategies and tactics including branding, research, public relations, and advertising. Frequently, the first step is the most difficult. Helping clients understand what it is they are really offering, and why their product meets the need of the prospect better than the competition is not easy, but it is almost the most important step in the process. Without a clear grasp of the brand the marketing strategies may fall on deaf ears. Over her career, she has worked in the business 2 business arena, and business 2 consumer. She has worked with retail, tourism, education, health care, housing and the financial industries. Want to meet with this mentor? Schedule an...
Shantell Malachi

Shantell Malachi

Summary of Qualifications Shantell is an accomplished serial entrepreneur, business strategist, nonprofit expert, and author with an impressive business portfolio that includes ventures in healthcare, the nonprofit sector, consulting, media, and cultural arts. As a Master Business Strategist Shantell specializes in equipping entrepreneurs with the tools and strategies to build amazing brands, realize financial goals, and dominate in the market. A true student of organizational development Shantell has matched extensive education and training with over 17 years of experience as a coach and consultant to create methods that help businesses launch, grow, and maximize their profit. Always keeping community engagement and outreach at the forefront of her entrepreneurial endeavors, Shantell founded and currently serves as the Executive Director of Dress for Success® Central Virginia, a Richmond, VA based affiliate of the international nonprofit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Under her leadership, Dress for Success has served over 1500 women in the metro area in less than 5 years. In addition to leading Dress for Success Central Virginia, Shantell is the co-Founder and CEO of SheEmpowers™ International, a professional women’s network offering programs designed to transform women leaders, empower women to grow their businesses, pursue greater entrepreneurial ventures, and become more active in philanthropy. She is also the Principal Consultant of Nonprofitability, a boutique consulting firm specializing in emerging nonprofits and faith based organizations. Shantell currently sits on the Board of Directors for Children Incorporated where she is the Vice Chairperson and serves a fellow to...
Doug White

Doug White

Summary of Qualifications Doug is a veteran entrepreneur and consultant whose experience focuses on strategy, operations, analytics, and finance. He is a founding partner and owner of Gather, whose coworking spaces provide a community to more than 200 entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small business people. Doug White spends his time solving business problems for entrepreneurs and their organizations. His background in physics, math, engineering and business gives him an ability to go beyond the easy, surface solution; to dig deeper and find unique answers to the problems that plague small businesses. He has a talent for making the complex simple and guiding others to see and understand the key that will solve their puzzle. He helps organizations develop strategies to take them to the next level, grasp what their financials are really telling them, develops metrics to keep track and measure what is important and fixes operational issues by finding the root cause of the problem. Doug has successfully led start-ups and turnarounds. He has been a part of executing acquisitions on both the buy side and the sell side. He has worked successfully in fields ranging from heavy duty manufacturing to sales and distribution, from consumer lending to investment brokerage. The common thread through each assignment is that Doug has been the catalyst for creating significant bottom line value and he can teach you his methods. He has specialized in taking businesses that were broken and fixing them or taking businesses that were successful and raising their performance to the next level. Currently, Doug works with his wife Polly at Whitestone Partners, their full-service small-business consulting firm. Together, they...