Advisory Board Member Profiles
*Mr. Richard E. Bastin
Rick Bastin graduated from The Citadel in 1965 with a B.S. in Business Administration and received his MBA from Emory University in 1966. He was in the U.S. Army from 1966 – 1969 after which he went to work in the family business. Rick became the owner of the business, Mercedes-Benz of Palm Beach, in 1969 and sold it in 2006. Throughout the years he has served on the South Florida Automobile Dealers Association Board. For ten years he was on the Mercedes-Benz Dealers Council and Dealers Board. Rick and his wife Mary Lee are the proud parents of two children, Brian and Wendy and three grandchildren.
Tony Brevard is the Principal of Bank Nucleus -a company designed to serve as “the outsource source for banks.” He has 25+ years of experience in the banking industry. His cadre of products include:
- 7(a) Funding Group, LLC (“7(a) Funding”) – An SBA loan shop that serves as the Business Development arm for several community banks around the country, 7(a) Funding provides loan volume to these banks from several different industries. They are best known as being the largest SBA loan source for Allstate Insurance agencies in the United States.
- Advanced Loan Packaging Corporation (“ALPC”) – A loan servicing provider for banks that either don’t have the capacity or the desire to service their SBA loans, ALPC has the ability to do all facets of a loan transaction (from processing to funding to collections).
- SBA Loan Exchange, LLC – SBA Loan Exchange is the “stock exchange” for SBA loan opportunities in need of funding. It is a bank to bank portal that allows banks to now make a profit on their quality deals that previously would have been declined (due to their bank’s internal policies, loan size, loan type, etc). In this instance, they simply put them in the exchange for another bank in need of such loans to fund it. The funding
bank pays a small premium after funding, and the placement bank gets a bump in non-interest income from the premium received.
Tony is a native of Camden, SC, and he holds a degree in Business Administration from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. Additionally, he has an M.B.A. in International Business from Mercer University.
*Mr. Christopher “Chris” Brown
General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada
Chris Brown is the Vice President for Business Development and Strategy at General Dynamics Land Systems - Canada, appointed in July of 2014. His responsibilities in this role include customer outreach for all international markets (non-U.S.) for the company’s range of products including the Light Armoured Vehicle, Stryker, M1 Abrams and Mine-Protected Vehicles. Brown directs a global team of business developers that work to strengthen GDLS’ market position in Canada and other international markets including Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia and the Pacific Rim. This position is focused on building key relationships across a global customer base at senior levels of government and industry to establish new sales channels. Chris is based in London, Ontario, Canada. Prior to his current role, Chris was the Vice President of GDLS - Force Protection based in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. In this role, he had operational oversight of both US and UK operations. Other prior assignments at GDLS include the Director of International Business Development and Advanced Programs and Director of Strategic Planning. Mr. Brown has an International MBA from the University of South Carolina, an MA in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, and a BA from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. As a member of the Canadian Army Reserve for the past thirty-one years, Mr. Brown holds the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and serves as the Deputy Director (Reserve) of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC).
*Mr. Lonnie Carter
Retired President and Chief Executive Officer
Lonnie Carter (Class of 1982) has recently retired as president and chief executive officer of Santee Cooper, South Carolina's state-owned electric utility, with more than thirty five years’ experience in the electric utility industry. Carter lead the state's largest power producer, supplying electricity to more than 176,000 retail customers in Berkeley, Georgetown and Horry counties, the state's 20 electric cooperatives and to 28 large industrial facilities, among others. Under his leadership, Santee Cooper has led the state with renewable energy developments, expanded its energy efficiency and conservation programs and maintained some of the highest rated municipal credit ratings while balancing the growing energy needs of South Carolina. His focus on low cost and reliable power served as a constant reminder to the 1760 employees at Santee Cooper who work in this rapidly changing industry.
Carter is Past Chairman of the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, Trident United Way, Large Public Power Council, and American Public Power Association (APPA) Board of Directors. He served on the Board of The Energy Authority, an energy trading company headquartered in Jacksonville Florida. In 2012 he received APPA’s highest honor, the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award and in 2015 the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce name him Business Leader of the Year. In addition, Carter received the Alvah H. Chapman Distinguished Leadership Award at the Citadel School of Business Administration's Hall of Fame in April 2005. The Citadel Board of Visitors conferred an honorary Doctorate of Commerce to Carter in 2016. He earned his bachelor's degree and MBA at The Citadel where he is a frequent speaker. He is active in numerous organizations, is married, and has three adult children.
*Mr. Hillery P. Douglas, Jr.
Hillery Douglas has over 25 years of Sales and Account Management. His experiences cross several industries with specialties in consulting, contact management, customer relations, finance, hiring, instruction, leadership, marketing, payroll processing, personnel, presentation skills, sales, and account & business development. Hillery is a military veteran and graduated in business from The Citadel Military College in SC.
Robert Fielitz has a unique global perspective that is rare to find. His exceptional record of accomplishment in delivering growth for the companies and shareholders he serves has been achieved through his ability to motivate, inspire and lead teams across Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, South America, and the Middle East. He currently serves as President and Managing Director of International Operations for Syneron-Candela (the world’s largest medical laser company). He has opened and staffed direct offices and distributorships in more than 60 countries. His exceptional results focus has been honed through years of experience working in public, private and government sectors of business and trade - in some of the toughest geographical markets in the world. His drive, strategic vision and global business expertise make him a chosen and valued member of senior executive teams and global boards.
Robert currently lives with his wife Vickie in Madrid, Spain. His hobbies are real-estate investing and travel. He is passionate about learning and development and hopes to finish his career teaching, mentoring and coaching others. He credits his time as a cadet at The Citadel for his strong work ethic and the value system he lives by today. He is a proud Alumni of both The Citadel and Harvard Business School.
Mr. Niall Gannon
- 1991 - Present: Morgan Stanley and its predecessors
- 27 years experience managing taxable accounts: trusts & foundations
- Served on CFA Institute Committee for the Development of Investment Policy 2010
- Author: Investing Strategies for the High Net-Worth Investor: Maximize Returns on Taxable Portfolios, published by McGraw-Hill in December 2009
- 2008 Bill Eager Portfolio Manager of the Year – Portfolio Management Institute*
- Four time recipient of The President's Volunteer Service Award: (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
- Member, Institute for Private Investors
- Member, Papal Foundation Investment Committee
- Board of Trustees, Roman Catholic Foundation of Eastern Missouri
- Member, Cor Jesu Academy Advisory Board
- Past director of Connections To Success, Junior Achievement, St. Louis Variety
- Former President, St. Louis School of Irish Arts
- Former Member, Junior Achievement of Mississippi Valley
- Former Chairman, Annual Catholic Appeal, 2006
- Institute for Private Investors: Private Wealth Management Professional Track Program, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (2005)
- CBOE Institutional Investor Risk Management Course, 1995, Options Institute
- BS - Business Administration, 1990, The Citadel Charleston, SC
- Former US Army Reserve M1 Tank Platoon Leader
After graduating from the Citadel in 1972, Nick began his career by joining MassMutual Life Insurance Company as an agent. He became part of the Charleston agency management team in 1975 and was appointed General Agent in 1985. During his tenure, he led his agency from $1 million of premium and investment revenue to over $100 million and became a recognized leader in the financial services industry. His organization earned many top awards both within MassMutual and in the industry:
He was selected in 2008 as the College of Charlestons entrepreneur representative to attend the Price-Babson Symposium for Entrepreneurship Educators and was a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He retired from MassMutual in 2009 and now manages Nicholas B. Gavalas & Associates, which offers financial services products and strategies for businesses and families in the Charleston area.
Mr. Gavalas is also an accomplished social entrepreneur, linking his life's mission and business goals with devotion to service. In 1999 he co-founded the Gavalas Kolanko Foundation, a public charity, with a mission to provide college scholarships to students with physical disabilities. The foundation has raised over $1.2 million and granted 188 scholarships to local colleges and universities. He is also an active donor to the MUSC Children's Hospital, the No Kid Hungry Campaign and other charities in the low country. He has been part of the mentor program at the College of Charleston and a frequent guest speaker.
He was recently inducted into the Citadel School of Business Half of Fame as a Leader of Principle Award recipient.
Nick and his wife Abby live in Mt. Pleasant and has 3 chlldren and 2 grand daughters.
*Mr. Thomas B. "Trey" Hamilton III - Board Chair
SVP, Senior Commercial Relationship Manager
Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.
Thomas B. (Trey) Hamilton, III is Senior Vice President and Senior Commercial Banking Relationship Manager for Wells Fargo & Co. In addition, he is currently active in the U.S. Air Force Reserves as a C-17 pilot. Mr. Hamilton has been with Wells Fargo & Co. and predecessor banks since 2010. Prior to the bank, he was a Managing Consultant with IBM. Mr. Hamilton has been involved with numerous non-profit organizations in the Charleston area to include: The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce finance committee, Patriots Point Foundation board member and the Coastal Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Hamilton holds a B.S in Business Administration from The Citadel and a Masters in business from the University of Notre Dame.
Mr. David V. "Dave" Harper
Dave Harper earned his Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Minnesota and his MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Dave has held senior finance positions, including Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, in a variety of sectors and industries - including automotive, construction, distribution, manufacturing, and private equity.
Dave's experience spans various size entities - from startup through Fortune 50 companies. His finance experience includes; IPO's, debt offerings, SEC compliance, operational analysis, investor relations, and M&A. In addition, Dave also owned a residential and commercial construction company. Currently, Dave is President and CEO of J.R. Hobbs
Company – a commercial mechanical firm. He is a CPA and has been active in local organizations as well as the Mentors Association, the Bulldog Business Bowl and as an adjunct professor at the Citadel.
Dave and his wife, Martha, have two children.
*Mr. Benjamin H. Hill, III
Hill Ward Henderson, P.A.
Ben Hill is Chairman and one of the founding shareholders of Hill Ward Henderson, P.A. He received his B.S. B.A. degree with High Honors from The Citadel in 1963 and his J.D. degree from the University of Florida in 1965. His practice is primarily focused in the areas of complex litigation including professional liability, products liability, and general commercial matters. Ben is board certified as a civil trial lawyer by The Florida Bar and certified as a civil trial advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy. He is past president of The Florida Bar, a former president of the Young Lawyers Section of The Florida Bar and past president of the Hillsborough County Bar Association. Ben is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and was recently ranked among the top 10 lawyers in Florida by his peers. He served as the Chair of the Federal Judicial Nominating Commission of the State of Florida and served on the Board of Governors and the Executive Committee of the American Bar Association. Ben served as Chair then Acting Chair of the American Bar Association Standing Committee for the Federal Judiciary from 2010-2012. This Committee reviews and rates those who are being considered by the President for a Federal judicial position. From 1994 to 1996, he served as Vice Chair of the Article V Commission, which recommended to the Florida Legislature changes to the Florida Constitution regarding the state's judiciary. He served on a panel appointed by the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives to conduct a sensitive ethics investigation and then worked to develop ethical guidelines for the House. He represented the Florida Senate in a redistricting case. He represented Governor Bob Graham as his special counsel and served on several task forces appointed by different Governors. Ben has long been active in local, state, civic, and charitable organizations. His activities include service as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Hillsborough Community College, Chairman of the Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation, member of the Moffitt Cancer Center Executive Committee, and work on numerous commissions and task forces appointed by the Florida Supreme Court. Ben is an elder and an active member of the Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church. He chairs the Church’s Foundation and its Board of Trustees. In 2017 he was named Tampa’s Distinguished Citizen. Outside the office, Ben enjoys hunting, fishing, golfing and spending time with his wife, his two children and their families.
Shaler Houser's experience is entrepreneurial in nature, having co-founded and served as CEO of five companies: Seruus Telecom Fund, L.P. (1996), Nuvox Communications (1997), UCI Communications (2003), Green Cloud Technologies (2011) and Youturn, LLC (2018). His focus is creating recurring revenue based services that are sold to enterprises and distributed through channel partners. Over his 27 year career, Mr. Houser has built a core competency around raising capital, including securing over $275mm through 30 transactions and filing for an IPO, while also searching and closing 20+ acquisitions.
Jack currently sits on the Board of Beacon Community Bank and is President of JLJ Consulting LLC.
Jack was vice president and general manager of Boeing South Carolina. He had overall leadership responsibility for Boeing’s South Carolina operations and facilities in North Charleston.
Boeing South Carolina assembles and delivers 787 Dreamliners to customers around the world. The site also fabricates, assembles, and installs systems for the aft fuselage sections of the 787 and joins and integrates 787 mid-body fuselage sections from structural partners in Japan and Italy.
Before joining the Boeing South Carolina team in March 2011, Jones served as vice president of the Everett Delivery Center, overseeing Airplane-on-Ground, Paint, Pre-Flight and Delivery operations for the Boeing wide-body models (747, 767, 777 and 787) assembled in Everett, Wash. He was named to that assignment in October 2003.
In March 2008, he began an assignment as vice president of Final Assembly and Change Incorporation for the 787, leading the team responsible for assembling the Dreamliner at the Everett factory. He returned to his Everett Delivery Center role in early 2010.
Previously, Jones was director of 747/767 Manufacturing from April 2003 to September 2003. In this capacity he led 747 and 767 build processes including Factory, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Tooling Production Control and Derivative Programs. From May 1999 to March 2003, Jones was the 747 director of Manufacturing. Prior to that, Jones led the Everett site 747 / 767 Fuselage Responsibility Center (FRC) from August 1995 until March 1999.
Jones started his career with Boeing as an Industrial Engineer in 1980 on the 757 Program. He spent time on several commercial and military programs, including B-2 Stealth Bomber and Air Force One prior to his assignment in Everett as the Fuselage Responsibility Center Director.
Jones received his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Washington. He is married with one son.
*Mr. Joseph J. "Jay" Keenan
Joseph J. (Jay) Keenan, CCIM was raised in Charleston, attended catholic schools and graduated from The Citadel in 1967 with a degree in Business Administration. He served as an officer in the US Army until 1972 and returned to Charleston to begin a career in real estate with the Arthur Ravenel Jr Co and later the Max Hill Co. In 1979 he and Batson Hewitt began the commercial real estate firm of Keenan and Hewitt, Inc., predecessor to Palmetto Commercial Properties, Inc. In January 2015 he and his partners sold the firm to his son and 2 partners. In 1983 he began the investment firm of K&H Properties, LLC, which developed and currently owns several office buildings, retail centers, the HarbourView Inn, the French Quarter Inn, and The Spectator Hotel in Charleston and the Holiday Inn Express in Mt Pleasant. In 1979 Jay was awarded CCIM certificate #954 by the Commercial Investment Institute of the National Association of Realtors and in 1982 selected as a Senior Instructor. He has presented commercial investment real estate courses in almost every state in the US, as well as Taiwan, Poland, Canada and Russia. He has served as President of the Metro Exchange Club, President of the Charleston Breakfast Rotary Club, President of the SC CCIM Chapter, and President of the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors. Jay served his community as Chairman of the Board of Zoning Appeals on Sullivans Island and the State of South Carolina as Chairman of the South Carolina Real Estate Commission. He serves on the Executive Committee of the SC State Fair in Columbia, SC. He is a life member of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St John the Baptist, a member of the Diocesan Finance Counsel, Trustee of the Priests Retirement Pension fund and the Chairman of the Diocesan Real Estate Committee. He has been a Life member of the Citadel Alumni Association since graduation and received the Carroll LeTellier Service Award in 2016. He serves on The Citadel Real Estate Foundation and is a member of the Foundation’s Leaders in Philanthropy, and Order of the Tartan and the Summerall society. He enjoys hunting, fishing, boating and spending as much time as possible with his 4 grand kids at J Daddys Farm in Williamsburg County. Jay and his wife Jane have been married 49 years.
*Mr. Jamie Kerr
Jamie Kerr received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The Citadel in 1991. While at The Citadel, Jamie was in F Troop and was the captain of the Crew team both his junior and senior years. He currently is the President of Asset Management & Consulting Services (AMCS). AMCS is an investment real estate and property management firm, which manages a large residential apartment portfolio mainly in the Charleston region but also in Columbia and Greenville, SC, as well as Florida and Georgia. AMCS owns and/or controls much of the portfolio they manage through various entities. AMCS employs approximately 120 people.
Jamie is also active in the local community by serving on boards and supporting organizations such as Communities in Schools, and other community organizations. Currently he serves as Regulatory chairman and board member of SAHMA and a member NAHMA, two organizations supporting affordable housing. He is a member of Grace Church in Charleston and currently sits on the vestry. He also has been both a junior and senior warden for Grace Church. Jamie and his wife, Liane, have three children, Collin, Riley and Jack. The Kerr’s reside on Daniel Island.
*Mr. William R. Klich
Bill Klich graduated from The Citadel in 1966 and received his MBA from Georgia State University in 1972. Bill graduated from the Colgate Darden Graduate Business School Executive Program, University of Virginia in 1979. He served as a Captain in the United States Air Force from 1966–1970. After the Air Force, Bill joined the First National Bank of Atlanta, now Wachovia Bank, completed their corporate training program and was subsequently a National Banking Officer. In 1972, he joined Southeast Bank, N.A. Miami, where he held various lending and management positions, including Head of the Metropolitan Corporate Banking Division and Regional Senior Lending Officer. He was the Central Florida Regional President, based in Tampa from 1983 to 1990. In 1990, after 18 years at Southeast Bank, he joined Coast Bank as President and Chief Executive Officer, serving in that capacity until Coast Bank was acquired by SunTrust in 1993. Bill served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for SunTrust Bank, Gulf Coast from March 1996 until March 15, 2000. He joined Republic Bank as President and Chief Executive Officer on March 15, 2000. Bill was elected Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Bank in May 2002 and served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Republic Bancshares; he served as a Director on both Boards. Bill joined BB&T in 2004 as the Gulf Coast Regional President and Florida Group/State President through the Republic Bancshares merger with BB&T and retired from the bank in 2010. In June 2014 Bill became President and CEO of Old Dominion National Bank in Charlottesville, VA. Bill has served on numerous not-for-profit organizations, community and industry boards over the years including the Boards of the United Way of Greater Tampa, the United Way of Sarasota, the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce the United Way of Pinellas County, the Board of Trustees, The Florida House, Washington, D.C. and as Chairman of The Florida Bankers Association. Bill currently serves on one bank board of directors (Florida) and is a consultant to the financial services industry. Bill and his wife, Lyle, have two daughters, Caroline and Wendy.
*Mr. Charles B. Lawless
Chuck Lawless, (November Co. ’94), is a Senior Managing Director at Mesirow Financial in Chicago, where he began his career in 1996. He has 20 years of investment advisory and retirement plan advisory experience and is head of The Lawless Advisory Group, which manages assets for high net worth individuals and corporate clients. In 2011, Chuck was nominated for the New Trier Township High School Alumni Achievement Award given to select graduates each year whose lives and careers are spent upholding the New Trier values of inquiry, compassion and service. In 2010, he was named one of Chicago magazine’s “2010 Five Star Wealth Managers” as selected through an independent survey to identify Chicago Area Wealth Managers who scored highest in overall client satisfaction, and he wrote and published The Tyro Dossier – Beginning Principles for Young Asset Managers to Engage Success at Work and Beyond. In 2009, Chuck received the Mesirow Financial Norman Award for Collaboration, named in honor of the firm’s 1937 Founder, Norman Mesirow, after he spearheaded a campaign which gathered $105 Million of new client assets. In 2006, after serving as chairman of corporate sponsorships for The Stephen B. Tips Memorial Fund, Chuck founded The New Trier Tyro Society, a non-profit scholarship program for aspiring future business leaders, which provides deserving New Trier graduates global mentorship and business internships during college. In 2010, he expanded the society by creating a sister program in Chicago’s inner city and partnered with The Gary Comer College Prep Charter School. Chuck is an Investment Committee member of the Chicago Engineers Foundation and a member of the Advisory Committee for the Center for Financial Services Education at The Citadel. He is an Eagle Scout and remains active in the Boy Scouts of America, and is currently the president of The Chicago and Midwest Area Citadel Alumni Club. In 2013 he was named Citadel Chicago Midwest Alumni Club President of the Year, and in 2014 he was inducted into The Citadel School of Business Administration’s Hall of Fame as Leaders of Principle and recipient of the 2014 Alvah H. Chapman, Jr. Distinguished Leadership Award. He co-Chaired The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation 2014 Breathe Benefit, and successfully raised over a $150,000 with the event at the Drake Hotel in Chicago. He was named “2014 Outstanding Volunteer” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals and was given the award at the Conrad Hilton in Chicago. Chuck earned his degree in business administration at The Citadel, and is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®. He and his wife Jenny have been married 16 years and have three children: Sean (13), Paige (11) and Finn (9) and still vacation in Charleston twice a year.
*Ms. Nancy Mace
The Honorable Nancy Mace graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Business from The Citadel in 1999 and was the first woman to graduate from The Citadel Corps of Cadets. She received her Master of Arts degree in Mass Communication from the University of Georgia. She has nearly 20 years of experience in business. She has worked with startups, entrepreneurs, small businesses, billion dollar publicly traded entities and political candidates. She is the 2014 Young Alumnus of the Year recipient with The Citadel Alumni Association. She is a past member of the national board of directors for the Medal of Honor Bowl Game. She is a past board member of The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes Association. She is also a past board member of Childspring International, a faith-based nonprofit that provides life-saving medical treatment to children. Nancy is past president of the Greater Atlanta Citadel Alumni Club; a past district director for The Citadel Alumni Association; past panelist on the 12th Annual Conference of Women in Higher Education; and participant in the Corbin Council conference on Assimilation of Women at Military Colleges. She is the author of "In the Company of Men: A Woman at The Citadel" (Simon and Schuster 2001). Pat Conroy, author of the Prince of Tides and Lords of Discipline, dubbed this work “The best book about The Citadel ever written…” Today she is a REALTOR with Keller Williams Commercial in Charleston and member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. She resides on Daniel Island.
Kirk McMillan is CEO of PeopleSurge and Vistage Chair whose entrepreneurial spirit and proven aptitude have earned him the reputation as a seasoned strategist throughout Charleston. Over the course of nearly three decades, he has garnered extensive leadership experience within the business world. He holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Family Business from Kennesaw State University and a B.S. in Business Administration from The Citadel. Kirk McMillan is CEO of PeopleSurge and Vistage Chair whose entrepreneurial spirit and proven aptitude have earned him the reputation as a seasoned strategist throughout Charleston. Over the course of nearly three decades, he has garnered extensive leadership experience within the business world. He holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Family Business from Kennesaw State University and a B.S. in Business Administration from The Citadel.
No matter what venture he has undertaken, his lifelong mission remains unwavering. Ultimately, he strives to elevate his community’s leaders and enrich their journey so they can pave their way to lasting personal and professional enrichment. From being promoted to CEO of his family business at the age of 26, to spearheading numerous companies, his vision goes beyond his field of choice. His sights are set on creating a ripple effect of positive change across local and global communities that continues impacting people for years to come.
Outside of advising and coaching his clients, Kirk McMillan enjoys paddle surfing, yoga, tennis, and sailing. He is also a student of life and avid reader who strives to be continually curious. Above all, he cherishes spending time with his family. Residing in Charleston, South Carolina, Kirk is happily married and the proud father of three beautiful children.
Outside of advising and coaching his clients, Kirk McMillan enjoys paddle surfing, yoga, tennis, and sailing. He is also a student of life and avid reader who strives to be continually curious. Above all, he cherishes spending time with his family. Residing in Charleston, South Carolina, Kirk is happily married and the proud father of three beautiful children.
Barbara L. Melvin
Chief Operating Officer (COO)
South Carolina Ports Authority
As Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Melvin oversees terminal operations, carrier sales, information technology and support services, crane and equipment maintenance, engineering, environmental, Port Police, procurement, the logistics solution center, and cruise operations. Ms. Melvin also serves as the SCPA’s lead staff person on the Charleston Harbor Post 45 Project and the Jasper Ocean Terminal Project.
During her 20+ years with SCPA, Ms. Melvin has held several senior leadership positions, including Senior Vice President, Operations and Terminals, Senior Vice President, External Affairs, and Vice President, Government Relations. Before joining the Port in 1998, she served as Director of Government Relations for the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and as a policy analyst for the Georgia Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget.
Ms. Melvin is a Riley Institute Diversity Leadership graduate, a member of the South Carolina Advisory Council of the United States Global Leadership Coalition, the Ports Caucus Advisory Board for the United States Congress, Incoming Board Chair of the American Heart Association Charleston Board (2020-2021), and a Liberty Fellow. She is a Community Advisor for the Junior League, a former member of the Business Advocacy Committee of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, a past Chair of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, a former member of the board of Charleston Wine+Food Festival, a former member of the board for Communities in Schools and the South Carolina Maritime Foundation.
Ms. Melvin was awarded the 2018 ILA Woman of the Year, the Center for Women’s Most Influential Women Wrecking Ball Award, the Charleston Women in International Trade (CWIT) 2014 Woman of the Year, The Propeller Club of Charleston and South East Region Maritime Person of the Year, the National Transportation Week Leader of the Year, and Columbia South Carolina’s 2014 Top Women of Influence Award.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Georgia Southern University with a minor in international relations and a Masters in Business Administration in Global Supply Chain from the University of Tennessee Haslam School of Business
*Mr. Steven D. Ogier
ContraVest | Principal
Steven Ogier is one of three partners at ContraVest. He serves formally as the president of ContraVest Builders, the general contracting arm, one of three companies in the ContraVest family of apartment related companies. In addition, he is one of the three partners of ContraVest Development Partners and ContraVest Management Company. ContraVest builds, own and operate apartment communities throughout the south east and western United States. The company has built over 27,000 apartment homes, in excess of $1.4B in volume. ContraVest, a family business started by Gerry Ogier, a 1965 Citadel graduate, is a 34 year old company. Prior to joining ContraVest, Steve was a sales professional in both the medial and financial wholesaling industries; with KLS Martin and Principal Financial Group respectively. After graduating from the Citadel in 1990 with a BS in business administration, Steve was commissioned and served on active duty for five years as an armored cavalry officer in Germany with the 11th ACR and 1st AD. While in the military, Steve completed, airborne, ranger, air assault an scout platoon leaders training. Steve and his wife, Theresa, reside in Orlando, FL and have two daughters.
*Mr. Edward T. Pendarvis
Sunbelt Business Advisors Network, LLC
Ed Pendarvis is Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Sunbelt Business Advisors Network, LLC, the largest small business brokerage network in the world with 350+ offices in the United States and 11 foreign countries. He is a 1965 graduate of The Citadel and served two years active duty in the U.S. Army Artillery. Ed served as Director of The American Legion Palmetto Boys State Program for 11 years and served as Chairman of the S.C. Department of Youth Service Board (Juvenile Correction and Aftercare) for 6 years. He received the state's highest civilian award, The Order of the Palmetto, in 1978 by the Honorable James B. Edwards, Governor, and received the Order of the Palmetto in 1983 by the Honorable Richard W. Riley, Governor. Ed has been a Real Estate Broker since 1970 and started in business brokerage in 1982. He serves as a member of the Better Business Bureau Board, The Palmetto Boys State Committee, the Board of the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA), The Zucker Family School of Education Advisory Board, and is a guest speaker on the advantages of going into business for yourself and providing your own job security. Ed was inducted into the Citadel School of Business’ Hall of Fame in 2007 due to his extensive contributions of working with small businesses. Married to the former Elaine Bowen of Charleston, Ed has 5 beautiful daughters and 10 wonderful grandchildren. The Good Lord has Truly, Truly Blessed Us!”
Mr. Robert G. Priest
REI Equity Partners
Robert G. Priest, with over thirty-nine years of experience in commercial real estate, finance, construction and business management, is a founder and Managing Partner of REI Equity Partners, a cash flow commercial real estate fund. Bob earned an MBA in Finance from New York University, and a B.S, in Business and Environmental Economics from Rutgers University. He recently sold and retired as President of the award winning Burr Roofing-Siding-Window Company, Stratford, CT. He began his career in the corporate office of Westvaco in Purchasing and Transportation Management. An Eagle Scout, previous board service includes the Connecticut Better Business Bureau, the National Roofing Contractors Association and as The Student Member, Rutgers University Board of Governors. Additionally, he has held several leadership positions within the Boy Scouts of America and as an Elder and President of Noroton Presbyterian Church, Darien, CT. He and his wife Barbara recently relocated to Dataw Island, SC and are blessed to be the proud parents of three adult children and three wonderful grandchildren.
*Mr. David S. Saulnier
David Saulnier is President of DS Lending and Capital (DSLC) a provider of asset based loans and venture capital to small and medium sized corporations, individuals and startup businesses in the real estate, health care, insurance and oil and gas industries. Deals are typically structured with DSLC as general partner, senior lender, LLC’s with trusted partners or with DSLC acting as an agent for a capital raise. Prior to this David was Chief Risk Officer (CRO) for State Street Global Advisors, the third largest asset manager in the World with $2.5 Trillion in assets under management and a subsidiary of State Street Bank (GSIFI). David oversaw all investment, trading, credit, operational, liquidity, regulatory and fiduciary risk while managing a global staff of 70 Risk professionals. David chaired or was a member of numerous committees including the Management Risk and Capital Committee, Risk Committee, Global Investment Committee, IT Steering Committee and Global Product Committee. David was previously Chief Risk Officer for State Street Bank’s largest subsidiary, State Street Global Services, overseeing custody, accounting, fund administration, investment operations outsourcing, alternative asset servicing and performance and analytics for $28 Trillion in assets. David served on the Boards of State Street Bank and Trust Company, NA and State Street Bank of California, NA, was Chairman of the Charitable Asset Management Committee and served on the Valuation Committee for one of Boston’s largest asset managers. Before joining State Street David was the Head of Risk Management for Pioneer Investments where he oversaw all investment, trading, IT and Operational Risk for $70 billion in AUM. During this time David was credited with creating an industry leading Operational Risk System, enhancing industry Best Execution monitoring for all asset classes and implementing one of the industry’s first global trade order management and compliance systems. David was on numerous committees including serving as the Chair of the Trade Management Committee. David also has experience as the Head of Counterparty Risk for Harvard Management Company where he was responsible for counterparty and credit risk for all equity, private equity, fixed income and commodity derivative investment strategies within Harvard’s endowment and its associated arbitrage portfolios. David also served as a Commercial Banker for Bank of America covering the real estate, health care and service industries. David graduated from The Citadel Military College of SC with a BS in Business Administration and received his MBA from Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. David is married to his wife of 25 years, Melody, and has twin 16 year old daughters.
*Mr. Peter Sulick
Peter Sulick is currently Chairman, Board of Directors, President and CEO of Dynasil Corporation, a public corporation in the research and photonics industries. He is also President and CEO of AmeriSite LLC, a family owned real estate development and investment Company and a member of the board and former CEO of Prism Microwave, Inc., a company which makes RF Conditioning products for the mobile wireless industry. Mr. Sulick is an entrepreneur with extensive background in building media and technology companies, executing their business strategy and building operations. Over the past 30 years he has founded four companies, including Independence Broadcasting Corporation, PowerFone Inc., SSPCS Corp. and AmeriSite, LLC. Independence Broadcasting owned and operated nine radio stations in five Midwest markets. Mr Sulick founded IBC in 1985 grew it to approximately $15.0 mil in revenue and 200 employees and liquidated the radio properties between 1995 and 1998. PowerFone, Inc, which Mr. Sulick and two partners founded in 1990, owned and operated specialized mobile radio operations across parts or all of seven states. PowerFone was sold in 1994 to Nextel Communications and became part of the Nextel nationwide network. Mr. Sulick and one partner founded SSPCS Corp in 1993 for purposes of bidding on and operating digital cellular licenses being auctioned by the FCC. SSPCS was successful in acquiring 14 licenses across five markets. In conjunction with VoiceStream Corp., SSPCS operated these licenses until 2002 when VoiceStream, along with SSPCS, was acquired by Deutsch Telecom and became part of the T-Mobile nationwide network. AmeriSite, started in 1998, makes direct private equity investments in real estate and other investment classes on behalf of the Sulick family. Mr. Sulick has served on numerous corporate boards over the past 35 years including Intersoft Corporation, Data National Corporation, Medical eNetwork Inc., RocketBoard, Inc., Without - A - Box, Inc., FineMark National Bank and Trust, Inc., Prism Microwave, Inc and others. He has also served as Board Chair - Florida Gulf Coast University Foundation, Inc., Treasurer and Director of The Community School of Naples and is currently a Board Member, The Citadel Foundation Inc. Mr. Sulick has served on the Board of the Port Royal Club and is a past Commodore of the Naples Yacht Club, Inc. In the early part of his career, Mr. Sulick was a principal financial officer for Cablevision Systems Corporation where he participated directly in the company’s IPO, numerous large debt and equity financings, a $350 million leveraged buyout, cable franchising and a host of other transactional activities. He also held several senior-level financial positions at Communications Operations Group of ITT, a forty-company group of voice, data, long lines and switched telephone and data services companies. He began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co, in New York City following graduate school. Peter, a CPA, earned his MBA in finance in 1973 from the University of Massachusetts and a B.S. in Business Administration from The Citadel in 1972. He was honored in 2015 with an Honorary Doctorate in Entrepreneurship from The Citadel. Peter and his wife, Margaret, have a grown daughter, a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a grown son, a graduate of Wake Forest University and The Institute For World Politics in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Sulick was elected to serve on the City Council for the City of Naples, Florida in January, 2008, reelected in 2012 and retired in 2016 as the Vice Mayor of the City of Naples. Peter and Dee have 6 grandchildren.
*Mr. Craig Tscherne
Senior Managing Director
Craig Tscherne graduated from The Citadel class of 1994 M company with a BS in Education. Upon graduation he returned home to NYC and joined his brother working for a wholesale broker dealer named Sherwood Securities. After a year training class he became the youngest NASDAQ trader at the firm specializing in the new technology sector. After 3 years at Sherwood Mr. Tscherne built up strong foundation of institutional clients and moved to an Institutional trading desk to handle the increased notional trades to Furman Selz who merged with ING Barings. At ING Barings he continued to be the top performer and eventually ran the trading desk. After ING merged with ABN Amro and exited the US equity market he joined CIBC Capital markets as a Managing Director and helped turn the desk around and grew profits over 30%. After completing a 2 year contract at CIBC, Mr. Tscherne was hired by Bank Of America as the senior tech trader to help build the desk. While at BofA he helped build the institutional desk into one of the biggest on Wall Street and was the foundation of today’s Merrill Lynch. After 6 years at BofA and during the financial crisis JP Morgan asked him to join them and help build out their technology trading department. After 8 years at JPM, he was able to move JPM into the top 1-2 rankings in the semiconductor and hardware sectors and help the Equity Capital Market teams land 4 of the biggest technology mergers ever on Wall Street totaling over $70B in 2015. Mr. Tscherne continues to trade the technology sector, help develop new trading platforms, mentor juniors, recruit and serve on the VETS committee. Mr. Tscherne directly covers the biggest mutual funds and hedge funds in the world on a daily basis. Responsible for billions of dollars of risk daily. Outside Wall Street Mr. Tscherne was one of the original investors in Sushi Samba LLC, a restaurant chain operating in 3 countries and 5 states which sold for over $150M in 2015. Also a partner in Sivilli Contracting & Construction in NY.
*Mr. Robert Edward "Teddy" Turner IV
“Teddy” Turner has served in numerous business capacities including promotions manager at Turner Home Entertainment, as well as project manager at Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. After spending two years at CNN‘s Moscow bureau as a cameraman and editor, Teddy went on to develop and produce various programs involved in TBS‘s Soviet Union relations, including the Goodwill Games, the international athletic competition event created by Ted Turner to ease tensions during the Cold War through friendly sports competition between nations. Between June 1989 and June 1993, Teddy was president and skipper of Challenge America, Ltd., a campaign for the Whitbread “Around the World” sailboat race. Teddy then went on to spend 10 years developing and running Charleston Boatworks, a premiere yacht repair and yacht brokerage in South Carolina. He also serves on the board of the Jane Smith Turner Foundation. Turner earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, in 1985. He resides in Charleston, South Carolina, with his wife Blair and his three children.
*Mr. Anthony Von Mickle
“From the mobile home to where moguls roam", Anthony "Von" Mickle invested his way out of the trailer park and founded The Investment Forum. Today as an investor, author and entrepreneur, he provides workshops on the fundamentals of equity and real estate investments and provides keynote and motivational speeches.
During a 20 month lay-off in government consulting, he turned an $8 an hour part-time job into a successful portfolio of real estate and stocks affording his family a privileged lifestyle along the way. He is the author of Real Estate for Real People and Slide 68: 86 Your Current Life for the Lifestyle You’ve Been Dreaming Of.
He is a graduate of The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina where he studied Modern Languages (French) and Business Administration. During undergraduate school, he served several as in 11 Bravo Infantryman in the South Carolina Army National Guard. Afterwards, he obtained multiple certifications and began a successful government IT career.
He continued his graduate work of foreign languages at the Harvard University Ukrainian Research Institute in Boston, Massachusetts where his studies included Ukrainian language and culture. He earned an MBA from Keller Graduate School in Washington, DC and a DBA (Doctorate in International Business). He holds graduate certificates in Financial Planning/Wealth Management from Georgetown University; Private Equity and Venture Capital from Tsinghua University and Harvard Business School; Beijing China and Investment Banking Fundamentals from The Washington Investment Banking Institute, Washington DC.
When not reading business profiles or studying French residential architecture, he enjoys traveling with his family.
Crayton has been a Harbor Pilot with the Charleston Branch Pilots Association since 1991. He is licensed by the State of South Carolina as a Full Branch Pilot for Charleston Harbor and Port Royal Sound. He holds a United States Coast Guard License as a First Class Pilot for Charleston and Port Royal. He is on the board of directors for The Charleston Pilots. He is the trustee for the State of South Carolina to the American Pilots Association and currently is the Vice-President of the APA for the South Atlantic region.
Crayton was part of a group that organized Harbor National Bank in Charleston, South Carolina in 2006 and was a director until it’s sale to BNC Bank in 2014.
He currently is Chairman of the Board of the J. Stewart Walker Foundation for The College of Charleston. He is on the board of trustees and currently Vice Chair of Historic Charleston Foundation. He is a board member and on the Executive Committee of The United States National Sailing Hall of Fame, Annapolis, Maryland. He is on the board of Charleston Collegiate School.
He was on the board of trustees for The Propeller Club for the Port of Charleston. He is a former board member of Charleston Day School, Charleston, S.C. and a former board member of The Lowcountry Open Land Trust. He was an appointee of Governor Sanford’s to the Port Royal Pilot Commission and a past chairman. He is a former member of Wachovia National Bank Advisory Board, Charleston. Prior to joining The Charleston Pilots, he was an assistant vice president of C&S National Bank, Charleston, South Carolina. He graduated from The Citadel, Charleston, S.C. in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.
Crayton and his family are members of St. Philips Church, where he was a member of the vestry and past Senior Warden. He is married to Louisa Geer Walters and they have two children, Hope, 17, and Will, 15.
Vice President – SSG Business Support to BCA & BCC
The Boeing Company
Jim Wigfall is the Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Shared Services Group (SSG) Business Partner leader. In this role, Wigfall is responsible for strategic alignment and SSG service delivery in support of daily operations at Commercial Airplanes sites. He reports to the SSG president and is a member of the Shared Services Leadership Team.
Previous to this role, Wigfall served as vice president of SSG Business Integration to BCA and Boeing Capital Corporation (BCC) from December 2010 to February 2017. From October 2005 to December 2010, he served as vice president of SSG Supplier Management with responsibility for the purchase of all non-production goods and services for Boeing.
Prior to the October 2005 realignment of Shared Services Group, Wigfall led the Supply Chain Services organization, which included Investment Recovery and Distribution, Business and Technical Information Management, Creative Services, Library and Learning Centers, and Printing Services & Engineering Information Management.
Between May 2003 and August 2004, Wigfall served as director of Information Systems Process Councils at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, ensuring that the information technology strategy aligned with the Commercial Airplanes strategy, and oversaw a reliable computing production environment. He worked with Engineering, Manufacturing, Quality, Supplier Management, Finance, Contracts, Human Resources, and Sales and Marketing.
Wigfall previously was Commercial Airplanes Information Systems director for Manufacturing, Quality Assurance and Supply Chain Systems, director of Enterprise Computing Operations and Support at Shared Services, and director of the Year 2000 (Y2K) program for Commercial Airplanes.
Between 1988 and 1998, he held several Information Systems management positions within Boeing Computer Services and Boeing Commercial Airplanes supporting business resources, database design, software engineering, CAD/CAM systems, configuration management and continuous quality improvement. In 1987, Wigfall was recognized as Boeing Computer Services Employee of the Year. He joined Boeing in 1986 as an Ada programmer converting software code.
Active in the community, Wigfall is a member of the Board of Trustees for King County Library System, Evergreen State College and on the Citadel School of Business Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Washington Special Olympics and the Citadel Foundation.
Wigfall was named a Seattle YMCA Black Achiever 1990-2000. Wigfall is also the Boeing executive representative for the National Society of Black Engineers and received the Career Achievement in Industry Award from Career Communications Group at the Black Engineer of the Year Awards in February 2009.
Born in Los Angeles, Wigfall lived at various locations across the United States as a military dependent. He received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics/Computer Science in 1982 from The Citadel, a military college in Charleston, S.C. He served four years in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1986 as a captain in the Signal Corps in Augusta, Ga. He obtained his Master's in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee, specializing in Aerospace.
Outside of work, Wigfall writes fiction, is an avid professional sports fan and enjoys playing sports. He lives in the Puget Sound region of Washington state.
Young Graduates Committee
*Amanda M. Rudnik
5306 Glen Forest Drive
Greenville, SC 29607
Amanda Rudnik originally grew up in Eagan Minnesota before moving to Columbia, South Carolina where she graduated from Spring Valley High School. From there Amanda attended the Citadel as a member of the Corp of Cadets and a member of the Citadel Volleyball team. She served in various positions over the course of her four years in the Corps of Cadets as well as the Volleyball team Captain during her Junior and Senior year. Upon graduation, Amanda relocated to Greenville, South Carolina where she accepted a full time position at Fluor Corporation within Supply Chain as a Contracts Technician.
123A Moultrie Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Karina Schneider graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Concentration in Accounting, and a Minor in International Relationships. During her time at The Citadel, she played for the Citadel NCAA Division 1 Soccer Team for all four years and served as one of the team captains during her senior year. After graduation, Karina worked for Ernst & Young LLP in the financial service tax department in Charlotte, where help supported serval aspects of international and state & local tax for the banking industry. In December 2017, she will graduate from The Citadel Graduate School. After completing her MBA, she will return to Germany to join Ernst & Young Germany.
926 Saddleback Road
Newton, NJ 07860
Casey Stabile is a 2013 graduate of the Citadel School of Business. Shortly after graduation Casey entered into a joint business venture with his father and brother in developing emergency response software for professional aviators. In 2016 Casey was instrumental in effectively bringing the startup venture to sustained profitability. Today he continues to utilize his citadel education to drive growth in his business. Casey currently serves as a board member and shareholder of Aeronautical Data Systems as well as its Vice President of sales.
Iordanis Karagiannidis, Ph.D.
171 Moultrie Street, MSC 18
Charleston, SC 29409
Dr. Iordanis Karagiannidis is an Assistant Professor of Finance, the Director of the Rick and Mary Lee Bastin Financial Leadership Lab and the Director of the Financial Services Pathway in the School of Business at The Citadel. Prior to his appointment at The Citadel he was a Professor of Practice in the department of finance at the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University where he also served as the Director of the Financial Analysis Laboratory. In 2013 he founded, and is a principal of, KB-Analytics, LLC, a consulting and spreadsheet modeling training company. He received his Ph.D. in Finance and Economics from Michigan State University in 2007, an M.B.A. in finance and international business from Rutgers University and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from University of Macedonia in Greece. He teaches financial modeling, investments, valuation and corporate finance at the undergraduate and M.B.A. level and he has received the “Excellence in Teaching” award at the Citadel (2015) and twice at Michigan State University (2006 and 2009). In December of 2015 he also received the faculty spotlight award for excellence in teaching, research and service from The Citadel. His research interests include mutual fund performance and organization, financial networks, investments and portfolio management and his work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Empirical Finance, the Review of Financial Economics and the Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money among others.
Cynthia E. Bolt is a Professor of Accounting in the Baker School of Business where she teaches introductory accounting, tax, and auditing. Prior to joining The Citadel in 1990, Cindy worked in the area of tax and audit at Ernst and Young in Charleston and at Deloitte Touche in Columbia, SC. Cindy's scholarly activities include publications and presentations related to tax, ethics, accounting education, and the impact of research on practice. Since 2006, she has authored “Highlights of Accounting Research,” a series of feature articles for the Journal of Accountancy, designed to summarize academic research for use by practicing CPA's. Eleven articles have been published to date, providing a bridge to the gap between practice and research. She received the Teaching Learning & Curriculum (TLC) best paper award at the SEAAA annual meeting in 2012 and also in 2015 at the Midwest AAA annual meeting. In 2001, she was awarded the Educator of the Year award by the South Carolina Association of CPA's.
She is currently serving as co-chair of the 2017 Conference on Teaching & Learning Accounting held in August in NYC, as well as secretary of the TLC section of the AAA. In 2007, she was chosen to serve on the AAA nationally-organized task force on the Impact of Accounting Research on Practice. The committee's work concluding with a publication in Accounting Horizons titled "The Impact of Academic Accounting Research on Professional Practice: An Analysis by the AAA Research Impact Task Force" which received the 2010 Accounting Horizon's Best Paper award.
Cindy's post-tenure activities have focused on aiding accounting student education and the accounting profession, addressing the needs of education for youth through volunteerism in inner-city K-12 schools, and continuing an active involvement in her family and community-at-large. Married with three children, Cindy lives in Mt. Pleasant, SC.
Sergey Ponomarov, Ph.D.
171 Moultrie Street, MSC 141
Charleston, SC 29409
Dr. Sergey Ponomarov is an Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management and a Director of Supply Chain Management Professional pathway. Prior to completing his Ph.D. program at the University of Tennessee, he earned an M.B.A. from the University of Louisiana, a M.S. in Industrial Statistics also from the University of Tennessee, and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Uzhgorod State University in Ukraine. Sergey has several years of professional and consulting experience in the areas of supply chain management, demand forecasting, business analytics, consumer marketing, and lean six sigma operations working both for small businesses and large corporations such as 3M, Hearst, and Whirlpool. His research and teaching interests focus on supply chain risk management, resilience, visibility, technology innovations, dynamic capabilities, and demand-supply integration. His research has been published in The International Journal of Logistics Management, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Technology Analysis and Strategic Management, Supply Chain Forum: An International Journal, and The Case Journal. He is also regularly presenting his research at various academic conferences and professional meetings.