Mentors: LEGAL

Chantel Buchin

Chantel Buchin

Summary of Qualifications Chantel is a Master Tax Advisor for Block Advisors and an Enrolled Agent authorized to represent all clients before the Internal Revenue Service. Chantel Buchin, whose career has focused on the numerous tax implications of individuals, small businesses and corporate mergers, has spent 27 years in Richmond working in a number of different taxable organizations. Most notably, she managed a small business LLC focusing on all aspects of limited liability formation and compliance with Virginia SCC, and IRS and SSA regulations. A graduate of the New York University School of Law, while practicing Chantel specialized in the tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions and employee benefits. She subsequently held positions as a small business manager, tax office leader, and tax professional. Her passion is educating small and new business owners to get the best possible tax outcome. A recent client stated, “Chantel was very professional in every sense of the word. She helped us through the tax season as first-time business owners and was very articulate and clear about every step in the process. We didn’t know where to turn as first-time business owners and feel like we either made the perfect choice with Block Advisors or got really lucky with Chantel. Probably both.” Chantel also has an extensive background in education. She was a substitute teacher for 14 years ranging from elementary through high school grades. Currently, she teaches basic and advanced taxation courses for H & R Block. 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...
Chris Way

Chris Way

Summary of Qualifications Chris Way is a business attorney with Way Law PLLC. His goal is to help small and mid sized businesses develop and implement strategies to control their destinies. Chris is committed to promoting understanding. People make better decisions, achieve better results, and are empowered to participate in making their plan when they have greater understanding. Chris concentrates on three primary areas: formation issues, contract issues, and counsel issues. Formation issues are all about identifying goals and developing strategies to help businesses work in efficient and harmonious manners to maximize success. Contract issues are about designing transactions in a way that provides control over outcomes. Counsel issues are about understanding challenges and developing strategies to navigate complex law. Chris’ favorite thing about his practice is being an active guide and companion in the entrepreneurial adventure. When he’s not working Chris enjoys time with family, playing drums, hiking, reading non-fiction, and almost any movie or TV show that isn’t particularly dramatic.s. Want to meet with this mentor? Talk with your Lead...
Mike McCollum

Mike McCollum

Summary of Qualifications Mike is an attorney with the law firm of John V. Robinson, P.C. where his practice is focused on intellectual property, small business law, and entrepreneurship. He earned his J.D. from the University of Richmond and an advanced law degree from Duke University’s Law and Entrepreneurship Program where he studied business strategy, corporate counseling and venture capital finance. While in Durham Mike worked with the First Flight Venture Center, a business and technology incubator in the North Carolina’s Research Triangle, providing legal support and guidance to the center’s 30+ biotech and medical device startups. He also served as a coordinator and judge for a multi-state start-up venture/business pitch competition, the Big Launch Challenge. Since returning to Richmond Mike has been working with a wide variety of local corporations, start-up companies and individual entrepreneurs on issues ranging from trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets to contracts, business formation, equity financing and mergers & acquisitions. He also volunteers as a mentor to founders and aspiring entrepreneurs at both VCU, the University of Richmond and Lighthouse Labs. Mike is an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law where he teaches courses on intellectual property transactions and entertainment law. Want to meet with this mentor? Talk with your Lead...
John Rabil

John Rabil

Summary of Qualifications John Rabil is the founder of Launch, a Richmond-based strategy and legal management firm. John is the founder of Launch, which provides Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel services to businesses. The firm is dedicated to developing and managing company strategy while simultaneously handling legal needs that arise in small business. Throughout his career, John has worked with some of the most well respected Fortune 500 companies including SunTrust Bank and Coca-Cola, helping him hone in on business and strategy skills. His true passion lies in entrepreneurship; helping companies start, grow and move forward. Want to meet with this mentor? Talk with your Lead...