Mentors: FINANCE

Leslie Madden

Leslie Madden

Summary of Qualifications Leslie is a C.P.A. who has specialized in working with small businesses for over 20 years. She provides a wide range of small business financial and accounting services ranging from business set up and income tax preparation to financial and profitability analysis. With a focus of working with small businesses in the Richmond area, Leslie works in the areas of tax return preparation, tax strategies, financial statement preparation, business set up, and financial analysis. She has an accounting degree from JMU and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from VCU. She is a C.P.A. and a QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor. Over the years Leslie has worked with various industries and business structures. Her clients come from the manufacturing, retail, and service industries. She works with S-corporations, C-Corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and sole proprietor entities. Leslie has a relationship based approach to working with small businesses. She works with businesses in all phases of business development from the initial start-up stage to mature businesses looking at growth and strategic planning. She believes knowing the client and establishing a relationship enables greater success for the small business. In her spare time Leslie enjoys spending time on the James River boating, kayaking, and hiking with her family and Chocolate Labrador Retrievers. Want to meet with this mentor? Schedule an...
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...
Carrie Geldreich

Carrie Geldreich

Summary of Qualifications Carrie has expertise in strategic planning, financial planning and analysis, mergers and acquisitions and accounting. Carrie grew up in Virginia Beach and attended The College of William and Mary. Upon graduation, she began her career in Washington, DC in public accounting. She returned to school and obtained her MBA from UNC Chapel Hill and then worked for IBM for two years in New York. There she gained experience in treasury and mergers and acquisitions. She left IBM twelve years ago to lead financial planning and analysis for the Circuit City website and now considers Richmond “home.” After working at Circuit City for two years she joined McKesson in Strategy and Business Development. At McKesson she led strategic planning for the team and analyzed and closed many acquisitions. Most recently she was VP of their financial planning and analysis group. Want to meet with this mentor? Schedule an...
Brooke Schmerge Robertson

Brooke Schmerge Robertson

Summary of Qualifications Brooke is a proven entrepreneur and business strategist. She helps entrepreneurs of all types to start, grow, and save their small businesses. Brooke works with entrepreneurs to achieve optimal success in both their business and their lives. With experience in all types of businesses and roles, she can help you create a plan to save, grow, or launch your business. Unlike other consultants, Brooke focuses not only on setting up businesses for success, but also the success of the entrepreneurs running them. She evaluates everything from overall business strategy, to sales efforts and processes, to customer service and retention, as well as explore and implement solutions to let you work “on” your business instead of “in” it. In addition to her own knowledge and network, Brooke can educate you on grants, resources, and services that are available at little to no charge to entrepreneurs in the Richmond area. Whether you are struggling to solve one problem within your business, or would like to evaluate and grow all aspects of your business, Brooke can help you achieve optimum success, growth, and balance as a business and an entrepreneur. Brooke graduated Summa Cum Laude from Middlebury College in 2001 with degrees in Philosophy and Spanish. For the past 15 years, she’s gained experience and expertise in many areas of the business world, from sales to operations to process improvement, for all types of industries and companies. Through her experience at companies like UPS, Duncan-Parnell, and LeClair Ryan, Brooke has been exposed to and learned about many types of operations and management styles, which allows her to be flexible and...
John Ramirez III

John Ramirez III

Summary of Qualifications John is a financial professional with over 19 years of experience helping to meet the financial needs of consumers and small businesses. In banking since 1998, John Ramirez III Group Manager and Vice President for Fulton Bank has focused primarily on business development, strategic planning, management, small business lending, consumer lending, team development, coaching and community development. Additional abilities include building successful work teams, project management, multi-layer communication, networking, and relationship building. Throughout his banking experience, he has been able to bring value in the form of financial education, service, open communication, and ownership. John’s career in banking began as a Teller through Crestar Bank and continued in growth over the years through many roles and levels of responsibilities. These roles included Customer Service Representative, Assistant Branch Manager, Branch Manager, Area Manager, and current role of Group Manager. While working as a full-time banker, continuing education was a priority. He began his academic career or life-long learning journey at Northern Virginia Community college to which he received three career study certificates (Bookkeeping, Small Business, and Information Technology) along with two Associate Degrees (Business Management and Business Administration). Upon graduation, he attended George Mason University graduating in 2005 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Management. The journey continued in learning by completing the Virginia Bankers School of Bank Management in 2012 and working towards a MBA to which was completed in 2014 from Bellevue University. As a strong believer in life-long learning, he has been privileged to participate in two community leadership programs. One was the Leadership Fredericksburg program in which participants learned about leadership skills and...