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Asheville Business Leaders Tapped for Governor's Council


 Asheville’s Brandi Hillman, co-owner of Hillman’s Beer and Josh Dorfman, CEO of the nonprofit climate business incubator The Collider are among the sixteen members of governor Roy Cooper’s new entrepreneurial council.  The group is charged with helping design policies that encourage entrepreneurship, foster economic development and support sustainable high quality jobs.                             Josh Dorfman says an important part of the council’s mission is helping shape the state’s entrepreunial brand.

“What is our vision for how we want to be known and thought of  both by North Carolinians and by others around the country and the world as a place to do business,  to help entrepreneurs not only start businesses, but rapidly grow their businesses,” says Dorfman, " its early in that work, we've just started and I think we've got a big opportunity ahead of us and it's very exciting and we're very hopeful." 

The council recently held its first meeting in Chapel Hill.  I’m Helen Chickering, BPR news

Here’s more from the Governor’s office press release:

Governor Roy Cooper has established a North Carolina Entrepreneurial Council to support policies that encourage entrepreneurship, foster economic development, and support sustainable, high-quality jobs.

“Entrepreneurs play a key role in stimulating our economy, creating new businesses and jobs and helping to revitalize communities across our state,” said Gov. Governor Cooper. “This diverse council will elevate North Carolina’s entrepreneurial spirit and promote innovation in our economy.” 

Gov. Cooper created the council by executive order and named its new members during National Entrepreneurship Week, which he proclaimed in North Carolina for February 16-23. 

To serve on the North Carolina Entrepreneurial Council, Gov. Cooper has appointed the following members:
•    Michael Goodmon of Durham as chair. Goodmon is senior vice president for Capitol Broadcasting Company. He serves on boards for organizations including the AJ Fletcher Foundation, the Fletcher Academy, BioLabs, East Durham Children’s Initiative, Triangle Community Foundation, United Way of the Greater Triangle, and Leadership Triangle. 
•    Josh Dorfman of Asheville as a member at-large. Dorfman is the CEO of The Collider, a global innovation center for weather and climate data startups that help others develop resiliency to climate change. He founded and led Vine.com and was the Vice President of Marketing of GoodGuide. 
•    Dr. Tommy Sowers of Durham as a member at-large. Dr. Sowers is the Pentagon’s Southeast regional director for DOD Innovation Efforts. He teaches at Duke University and was the co-founder and CEO of GoldenKey, a venture-backed firm disrupting the buying and selling of homes.  
•    Greg Hatem of Raleigh as a member at-large. Hatem is the founder of Empire Properties and has over 20 years of experience in real estate development and business. He serves on various boards including the Commission for Public Health, WakeUP Wake County, the Downtown Alliance, Preservation North Carolina and Crescent State Bank Raleigh Operations.  
•    Brandon Adcock of Charlotte as a member at-large. Adcock is a co-founder and CEO of Adaptive Health, a health and wellness company that manufactures and distributes dietary supplements.   
•    Dr. Valli P. Kodali of Durham as a member at-large. Dr. Kodali is a gastroenterologist at Fayetteville Gastroenterology Associates. He co-founded the consultant firm Cumberland Research Associates and founded The Kodali Family Private Foundation. Dr. Kodali has been published several times in peer-reviewed scientific journals.  
•    Dr. Ronnie Chatterji of Durham as a member at-large. Dr. Chatterji is a professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Sanford School of Public Policy and previously served as a visiting associate professor at Harvard Business School. Dr. Chatterji is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and previously served as a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). 
•    Louise Brady of Greensboro as a member at-large. Brady is the managing partner and co-founder of Piedmont Capital Partners, LLC. and president of Blue Current, Inc. and Faster, LLC. She serves on numerous boards including Wyndham Destinations, the Bryan Foundation, the Piedmont Triad Partnership, and the UNC Chapel Hill Board of Visitors, and she is co-chair of the UNC Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship. 
•    Landra Johnson of Charlotte as a member at-large. Johnson is the CEO of CARA B Natural Products, Inc. Prior, she was a journalist for thirteen years. She serves on the boards of the National Association of Women Business Owners, the Women’s Impact Fund, Youth Homes, Inc., the Children’s Home Society, and the South Charlotte Chapter of Jack and Jill of America.  
•    Rajeev Kulkarni of Charlotte as a member at-large. Kulkarni is the chief product officer and vice president at 3D Systems. He is the founding member of Inception Micro Angel Fund and co-chair of the Charlotte Angels Fund in Charlotte. He also serves on the board of directors at Ventureprise and Protochips. 
•    Mary-Ann Baldwin of Raleigh as a member at-large. Baldwin is the vice president of Marketing & Business Development for Holt Brothers, Inc., executive director of the Holt Brothers Foundation, and co-founder and advisory board co-chair of Innovate Raleigh. She also serves on the Wake Tech Foundation Board and as trustee at William Peace University. She previously served on the Raleigh City Council for 10 years. 
•    Adam Klein of Durham as a member at-large. Klein is the director of Strategy for Capitol Broadcasting Company. Previously, Klein led The American Underground, a campus for more than 240 startup companies. He also co-founded the Bull City Startup Stampede and The Smoffice.  
•    Brandi Hillman of Asheville as a member at-large. Hillman is the co-owner of Hillman Beer, three Subway locations, and Tuckasegee Trading Company. She served as the vice president on the Asheville Brewer’s Alliance Board for one year.  
•    Sherrell Dorsey of Charlotte as a member at-large. Dorsey is the founder of ThePLUG, specializing in content strategy. She is also the founder of BLKTECHCLT, Charlotte's first tech hub supporting entrepreneurs and technologists of color throughout North Carolina. She also serves as WCCB TV’s tech expert. 
•    Katie Cohen Walker of Raleigh as a member at-large. Walker is vice president at Plexus Capital and leads the firm’s new deal execution effort. Previously, she was an investment banking analyst in the Financial Sponsors Group at Credit Suisse and an associate at Thomas H. Lee Partners. 
•    Thom Ruhe of Durham as a member at-large. Ruhe is the president and CEO of NC IDEA. Ruhe has served on the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council for Entrepreneurship, addressed the United Nations Assembly on Entrepreneurship, and serves on the board of Advisors for the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise at the University of North Carolina. 

Helen Chickering is a host and reporter on Blue Ridge Public Radio. She joined the station in November 2014.