Mentors: FINANCE

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...
David Lipscomb

David Lipscomb

Summary of Qualifications Building on a career of working with business owners, David is practical in his approach to leverage, growth and funding. He values the relationships forged with his clients as a partner through periods of challenge and change. David Lipscomb has worked with business owners for 19 years as an entrepreneur, a community banker and now the director of SBA lending for a regional bank. He enjoys these relationships because owners are invested in their businesses, and David makes a difference in their lives by helping them through challenges or by helping to solve their problems. Given David’s experience working with many types of businesses and business owners, his knowledge of available debt and equity options, and his experience as an entrepreneur, he is well positioned to identify and understand stresses and offer solutions. David believes in efficiency, so he listens and empathizes and responds honestly and directly. As the manager of the SBA Group at IBERIABANK, he works to maintain a good credit quality, compliant loan portfolio, while providing shareholder value and keeping his team happy. However, he remains involved in the SBA loans made at IBERIABANK as it provides him an opportunity to learn about businesses more interesting than banking. David lives in Richmond, Virginia with his wife and two daughters and enjoys the outdoors, cooking and tinkering. Want to meet with this mentor? Schedule an...
Holly Pearce

Holly Pearce

Summary of Qualifications Holly Pearce recently joined the VEDP International Trade team as the Central VA international trade manager. Prior to joining the International Trade team, Holly spent 16 years in supply chain management experience (primarily in global markets) most recently, with Lumber Liquidators.  Her roles with consumer products, service, and entertainment companies provide well-rounded knowledge about many issues that importers and exporters may face. These issues include international logistics, customs compliance, documentation, and finance options. Holly was an active member of the Virginia Maritime Association – Cargo Owners’ Committee for four years, and was instrumental in creating the Central VA chapter of that organization.  She served on the American Shipper magazine Editorial Board and has spoken at numerous local and national conferences on world trade and supply chain.   Want to meet with this mentor? Talk with your Lead...
LaTilda Owens

LaTilda Owens

Summary of Qualifications LaTilda is an active member of the She Empowers Advisory Council, a business mentor with Richmond’s Office of Minority Business Development, a business consultant for Virginia Community Capital and a financial analyst for the Commonwealth of Virginia. LaTilda Hudnall Owens, MBA was born and raised in Northumberland County located in the beautiful Northern Neck region of Virginia. LaTilda attended Hampton University in Hampton, VA where she obtained her Bachelors of Science degree in Business Management. In 2004, LaTilda began her professional career at Wachovia Securities in Richmond, VA as a Brokerage Operations Specialist and a Corporate Accountant. Eventually, she moved on to Genworth Financial where she remained employed as Senior Financial Analyst until July 2013. During her professional career, LaTilda obtained her Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) with a concentration in Accounting. In 2013, she established LHO Solutions, LLC, a small business consulting firm offering financial analysis, accounting, and strategic planning to area small businesses. LaTilda has a passion for helping others succeed and reach their goals. She believes she is fulfilling her purpose by touching one business at a time. Throughout her career, LaTilda has planned, organized and participated in numerous community outreach events which has served the underprivileged and at–risk members of her community. LaTilda is happily married and the Mother of four. In her free time, LaTilda enjoys serving in the Children’s Ministry at her church, traveling, acting, and being a Sports Mom. Want to meet with this mentor? Talk with your Lead...