SPEAKERS

Roy Austin H. Roy Austin (CPA, CMA, MBA) Managing Principal, Rockwell Business Solutions, LLC
Roy was Chief Financial Officer for D. J. Powers Company, Inc., a third party logistics provider from 2002 to 2009. Before joining D. J. Powers, he was the Controller for Savannah Manufacturing, an aseptic drink manufacturer, and before that spent 29 years with Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, TN in various accounting, sales forecasting & market research assignments. He earned a BA in Economics from Bethany College and an MBA in Marketing from Michigan State.

He is the founder and Chair Emeritus of the Savannah CFO/Controller's Council that has grown to over 400 senior financial executives since its inception in 2004. In 2004, he received the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) "Financial Executive of the Year" award for the Florida Council region of IMA.

He is an Ambassador for the Bluffton Chamber of Commerce, and a member of BNI (Business Networking International), and the Savannah Chapter of IMA. He did extensive volunteer work with the Tennessee Department of Corrections and with John R Hay House (half way house for felons) from 1987 to 2000. In 1998, Hay House named their newest building in his honor.  His passion is sharing his knowledge and experience to help small businesses become more successful.  He is also a lifetime member of Who's Who International.

In 2007 he founded Rockwell Business Solutions, LLC (RBS) which provides coaching and training services for businesses that have a sincere desire to move their business to the next level. RBS has also been involved with business development, mergers & acquisitions, investor relations, and negotiations with partners, customers, vendors, and banks. Clients include Crescent Investments, Inc; Cargo Group, LLC; Cargo Transportation Services, LLC; Blue Diamond Pool & Spa, Inc; Cornerstone Physical Therapy, Polmak, Inc., Bottles Up, Inc; Atlas Surveying, Inc. D.J. Powers, Inc, Sunco, Custom Security, and Unisource Mortgage to name a few.

Roy and his wife Sharron live at Sun City Hilton Head in Bluffton, SC. Between them they have 4 children and 7 grandchildren.  And, he is an avid tennis player.

Steve Richards
Before joining Rockwell Business Solutions, Steve was the General Manager of Operations at Casa Larga Vineyards in Fairport, NY. His extensive background includes positions as General Manager of Operations, Glenora Wine Cellars, Dundee, NY; Senior Business Consultant at Farm Credit Bank, Phelps, NY; Senior Extension Faculty, Cornell University; Production Manager, Bob Evans, Columbus, OH; and Quality Control Supervisor, Con Agra, Grayson, KY.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science in Economics at The Ohio State University where he was also employed as an Economics Research Assistant. Additionally, Steve has a Master of Business Administration from The McGregor School of Antioch University. Steve has received Dale Carnegie awards for Leadership, Human Relations, and Public Speaking and is a BREI certified Business Retention and Expansion Master Consultant; a Certified Tax Preparer; and a licensed Life, Health, Accident, and Annuity Producer.

His more than 24 years’ experience working for and consulting with family businesses began in quality assurance and production management positions in the Midwest. Later, he moved to Upstate New York to work for Cornell University, authoring 16 publications and consulting with hundreds of family businesses on topics such as profitability improvement, business expansion, business financing, and succession planning. In subsequent positions, Steve advised and worked with entrepreneurs in New York’s growing Finger Lakes wine region.

Steve enjoys the great outdoors with activities such as hiking and kayaking. He loves to read--both for work (business management and economics) and for pleasure (fiction mostly, but some history too). And to relax, he likes gardening, cooking, and wine making.

Steve recently moved to Bluffton, South Carolina, to be near his family and is enjoying our area and the milder climate.

Dr. Melissa Gratias
Dr. Melissa Gratias, owner of Productivity Psychologist, LLC, is a proud partner to Rockwell Business Solutions. After a successful career in corporate human resources, Dr. Gratias opened her company in 2007.  She helps business owners, executives, attorneys, and accountants become more organized and effective at work.  Dr. Gratias thinks that Roy Austin is possibly the nicest person on the planet.  Tell her that you are Roy’s friend, and she’ll give you one of her eBooks for free.  She will assume that if you know Roy, you must be a nice person too.
William Weston Bray III (“Wes”)
Wes Bray is a professional marketer, former CEO, and proven entrepreneur.

Wes began his career working in Brand Management for marketing companies such as Kraft General Foods (Maxwell House Division) and Pepsi-Cola International where, as Director of Marketing, he led the global defense against the Diet Coke roll out.

For the next several years, Wes honed his strategic marketing skills as a Partner in the Marketing Consulting Division of Marketing Corporation of America.

Feeling the entrepreneurial urge, Wes left MCA to co-found, build and subsequently sell two marketing services agencies, SmartDemo, Inc. to Time Warner and Market Growth Resources, Inc. (ranked among the top ten such services companies in the USA) to True North Communications. Under True North (now part of IPG) he served as Co-CEO of one of the largest global marketing services agencies, Marketing Drive Worldwide, with over 750 employees and offices in 43 countries around the world.

In 2004 he co-founded HipCricket, Inc., a cutting edge mobile technology company, which he helped take public in 2007 and sold to Augme Technologies in 2011. Wes holds patent PCT/US2006/006896 “Txt2Try, Electronic Marketing System” from that time. Continuing in technology, in 2008 he joined Retail Optimization Inc., a SAAS software company serving major retailers, as COO and was named CEO in January of 2009. Despite the recession, the company was successfully sold to Revionics in 2012.

From 2011 until relocating to South Carolina in 2015, Wes served as the Lead Venture Mentor for Yale University’s Entrepreneurial Institute, responsible for mentoring student and faculty start-ups and for managing the 125+ person YEI Mentor Network. He is co-author of “Examination of Early-Stage New Ventures in the Environment of a University-linked Entrepreneurial Center”.

Wes is currently a partner in e2Advisors, a consultancy formed to help bring entrepreneurship programming to academic and local community institutions.

Wes lives on Hilton Head Island with his wife Sharon, and an assortment of pets. Personal interests include cooking, sailing/boating, and classic cars.

Mickey Goodman
Professor Mickey Goodman has thirty plus years of marketing, entrepreneurship, and teaching experience. He is currently a Partner in e2Advisors and Professor of Business & Entrepreneurship at Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). He has been recognized as a thought leader in many areas of marketing and entrepreneurship.

Prof. Goodman worked from 1979 through 1984 at Kraft and Unilever in a number of marketing positions, departing Unilever in 1984 as head of all Vaseline Brands.

From 1985 through 1988, he created Actmedia’s In-Store Promotion Division (now part of News America In-Store Marketing), which grew during his role as General Manager to a multi-product business with over 500 employees and $100 million in revenues. Many of the products and services he created forged new ground in the retail marketing arena.

In 1988, Prof. Goodman founded MGR (now called Match Drive), a promotion marketing agency which grew to become one of the 10 largest in the U.S. The agency pioneered many aspects of shopper marketing and its approach to shopper marketing is widely used today. Part of MGR was acquired by Time Warner in 1993, the remainder by True North Communications (now part of Interpublic Group) in 1995. Prof. Goodman stayed on with True North/IPG in a variety of management roles through 2000, highlighted by the creation of a global promotion network with 26 offices via consolidation and acquisition.

From 2002-2014, Prof. Goodman was Managing Partner, BlueBlack LLC, a consulting agency which he founded. The agency worked with many leading consumer goods firms and marketing/technology companies (including many start-ups), devising business plans and strategies as well as implementing them.

He has been a founding Board Member or Advisor for PromoAid (a marketing database platform), The Shelf (a digital influencer marketing platform), Cisse’ (a fair trade cocoa products company), BzzAgent (a social marketing company) and Supermarkets On-Line (the first digital coupon company). Prof. Goodman has also been a Mentor at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute.

In 2015 Prof. Goodman was one of the founders of e2Advisors, a consultancy specializing in helping academic and economic development institutions set up entrepreneurial centers of excellence. The firm has been met with an extremely positive reception.

On the academic side, Prof. Goodman was an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business from 2002-2014, teaching a range of courses including two he created. He has also taught at the Kellogg School at Northwestern University, INSEAD in France, and in both China and India. Currently he is part-time Professor of Business & Entrepreneurship at Savannah College of Art & Design.

Prof. Goodman has a B.S. in Psychology from Tufts University and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. He is a member of national honor societies in both Psychology and Business.

He grew up in Washington, D.C., and now resides on Hilton Head Island with his wife Laura and beach dog Lucy.

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