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John Colwell John Colwell
Managing Director
Mentor Capital Partners LLC
Towson MD

John has been providing financial and business advisory services to small and mid-sized businesses since 1991, assisting client companies in both high growth and turnaround situations. Prior to founding MCP he was a Managing Director with Corporate Investment Partners, Inc. a New York based investment banking firm, and with the private investment firm Lineberger & Co. He has also served as Vice Chairman of PIA Merchandising Co., Chairman of the Management Committee of River City Plastics, Inc., and Chief Financial Officer of The Marketing Partnership. Earlier still he established a merchant banking unit at Copenhagen Handelsbank, New York that provided over $70MM of equity and mezzanine capital to middle market companies. John began his career as a corporate banker at Irving Trust Company.

John has spoken on various aspects of entrepreneurship for Maryland Technology Development Corporation; Baltimore City Community College, 270 Tech, Inc.; and The Baltimore-Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce. He is a volunteer advisor for the ACTiVATE women’s entrepreneurship program at University of Maryland Baltimore County, the Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center at University of Baltimore Merrick School of Business, and the Greater Baltimore Technology Council Mosh Pit business plan competition, and he is an adjunct professor of Finance at the University Of Baltimore Merrick School Of Business. He holds an MBA in Finance and International Business from Columbia University and a BA in History and Political Science from Colgate University.

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Pierce Dunn Pierce Dunn
Strategic Advisor
Brown Advisory
Baltimore MD

Prior to joining Brown Advisory as a Strategic Advisor in 2007, Mr. Dunn was an entrepreneur. He started his professional career in 1977 as a corporate attorney with the law firm of Venable, Baetjer & Howard. In 1981 he joined the management team of the Kirk Stieff Company, a manufacturer of prestige precious metal gifts and tableware products. As President, Mr. Dunn led a turn-around followed by a period of sustained growth culminating in the firm’s successful sale in 1991 to the Lenox Division of Brown Forman. Mr. Dunn left corporate opportunities at Lenox to co-found MIRCON, Inc. (d.b.a. CONNOR) an environmental services firm proving a broad range of compliance related services to multi-family property owners and managers throughout the U.S. CONNOR is the largest lead paint testing company in the U.S. He remains chairman of the firm. Mr. Dunn took a leave of absence from CONNOR to manage a start-up in Europe for TESSCO Technologies, a distributor of a wide range of equipment and products for the wireless communications industry.

Currently Mr. Dunn serves on the board of Provident Bankshares Corporation, where he chairs the Audit Committee and serves on the bank’s Executive Committee. He also serves on the board of the J.J. Haines Corporation and on the Board of Trustees of Goucher. He holds an B.A degree from Princeton University, a J.D from Georgetown University and an XMBA from Loyola College.

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Gregory Farno Gregory A. Farno
Senior Vice President
Middle Market Banking
SunTrust Bank, Mid-Atlantic
Baltimore, MD

Mr. Farno has been with SunTrust more than eight years and is responsible for Middle Market Corporate Banking in the Maryland Region for SunTrust. Prior to joining SunTrust, he spent over 20 years in various Corporate Banking functions with Bank of America. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the B&O Railroad Museum and serves on the Executive Board of the Baltimore Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Mr. Farno is a past Board member of Family and Children Services of Maryland and St. Timothy’s School. He is a graduate of the GBC Leadership program.

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August Chiasera August Chiasera
Senior Vice President
M&T Bank Corporation
President, Greater Baltimore

Mr. Chiasera is responsible for all commercial lending, non-credit sales and customer service activities for Middle Market and Large Corporate Banking customers in the Greater Baltimore market. In addition, he is responsible for coordinating the efforts of all business lines in the Bank’s Greater Baltimore community. He joined M&T Bank as an Executive Associate in 1993 and has performed a number of senior line and staff positions throughout the organization. Prior to his current assignment, he was responsible for Small Business lending throughout Maryland, Washington DC, and Virginia. He earned his MBA, with honors, from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business (1993) and his Bachelor of Science Degree, Magna cum Laude, from Boston University (1989).

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Mary Ann Scully Mary Ann Scully
Chairman, President, Chief Executive Officer
Howard Bank
Ellicott City MD

Mary Ann is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Howard Bank and chairs the bank’s board of directors. She is a lifelong banker with over 30 years of varied executive experiences in the Maryland marketplace. In 2003, she headed the organizing team for Howard Bank, the first new bank to open in the county in 15 years. Prior to organizing Howard Bank, Mary Ann was employed by Allfirst Bank (formerly The First National Bank of Maryland and now M&T Bank) from 1973-2003. Included in the positions she held were Executive Vice President for Regional Banking, Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Senior Vice President / Group Head of International Banking. As EVP for Regional Banking for Allfirst Bank, Mary Ann managed all branch, small business and middle market customer activities in four states and the District of Columbia.

Mary Ann serves on the board of the United Way of Central Maryland. She was the United Way Howard County Partnership Board chair and was also the 2003/2004 Howard County Campaign Chair of the United Way. She is Vice Chair and a board member of the Columbia Foundation .She serves on the board of the Maryland Bankers Association. She is a Horizon Foundation board trustee. She is a member of the Columbia Rotary and a member of St. Louis Parish in Clarksville, Maryland. She is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Maryland. Mary Ann chaired the Howard Community College’s Commission on the Future in 2007/2008 and was formerly a trustee of the Howard Community College Foundation Board as well as serving on the college’s Campaign Council. She was the 2005/ 2006 co-chair of the Grassroots Capital Campaign. She served on the board of advisors for Loyola College’s Sellinger School of Business and she was a past vice president on the Baltimore Opera Company Board of Trustees and a member of the board of the Maryland International Visitors Center.

In 2007, Mary Ann was recognized as an honoree in the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame; she was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Howard County Chamber of Commerce. In 2002, 2005 and 2007, Mary Ann was recognized as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The Daily Record, and was a 2008 Daily Record Influential Marylander. She was the BWN Woman of Distinction in 2008, was one of the Baltimore Business Journal’s 2004 “Enterprising Women” and is a 2008 Seton Hill University Distinguished Alumni and a 2005 Alumni Laureate honoree for Loyola College.

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Scott Nicholson Scott Nicholson
Executive Vice President
& Chief Banking Officer
The Columbia Bank
Columbia, MD

Mr. Nicholson directs the commercial and real estate banking activities of The Columbia Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fulton Financial Corporation, a Lancaster, Pa based financial institution. He has 26 years of combined banking experience in the Washington-Baltimore corridor of the Mid Atlantic region and the Austin-San Antonio corridor in Central Texas. Mr. Nicholson is actively involved in civic and professional affairs, which include volunteering as a youth soccer coach with the Soccer Association of Columbia/Howard County and as a Director of Development Guaranty Groups of Montgomery County, Inc. and Southern Maryland, Inc., both of which are subsidiaries of the Maryland National Capital Building Industry Association. Mr. Nicholson is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Urban Land Institute and the Risk Management Association. Mr. Nicholson attended the University of Texas at Austin and St. Edwards University, and is a 2003 graduate of the Maryland Bankers Association's Advanced School of Bank Management. Mr. Nicholson's daughter Kate is a student-athlete at the University of Texas at Austin. He resides in Columbia, Maryland with his wife Ann, daughter Julia, and Labrador Retrievers, Megan and Smokey.

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Louis Noppenberger

Louis J. Noppenberger "Lou"
Group Manager, Asset Based Finance
M&T Bank Corporation
Baltimore MD

Lou is an Administrative Vice President and Asset Based Finance Group Manager for M&T Bank. Lou joined M&T Bank in 2002. Prior to M&T Bank, Lou worked in various management roles at Provident Bank, Riggs Bank and Bank of America, including Credit Manager roles at Riggs and Bank of America. Lou also worked for five years as a senior manager with the consulting practices of Benchmark International and of Andersen, managing various due diligence and organizational redesign projects. Lou has previously served on industry and non-for-profit boards and is a past public speaker and contributing author in the areas of credit underwriting and small business lending. His education includes Loyola College – B.B.A. in Finance, 1985 and M.B.A. in Finance, 1993.

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Stephen Umberger Stephen Umberger
District Director of the Baltimore District Office
U.S. Small Business Administration
Baltimore, MD

Stephen D. Umberger, District Director, is responsible for the delivery and management of the U. S. Small Business Administration’s financial, business development, and government contracting programs throughout the state of Maryland, with the exception of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Umberger draws from his 25-year career with the SBA, to manage the Agency’s outreach in Maryland. Prior to coming to the Baltimore District Office, he worked in the SBA’s Office of Field Operations at SBA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. There he managed the Agency’s national internal control and quality assurance programs. He also served as liaison between the SBA’s headquarters offices of Government Contracting and Business Development, General Counsel and Inspector General, and the regional and district offices across the country. Before joining SBA headquarters staff, he served many years in the SBA District Office in Cleveland, Ohio, where he held positions in loan underwriting, servicing and liquidation. Umberger, a native of Exton, Pa., is a graduate of the Villanova University School of Commerce and Finance, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. He also attended Penn State University’s School of Engineering.

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Chris Royston Chris M. Royston
Managing Partner
Patriot Capital
Baltimore MD

Mr. Royston was one of the founders of Patriot Capital, a leading source of subordinated debt for middle-market companies seeking to finance business expansion, acquisitions, management buyouts or balance sheet recapitalizations. He has over 20 years experience in middle market lending and investing. He began his career as a portfolio manager with TIAA/CREF, making and overseeing equity, mezzanine and debt investments to middle market companies. He spent over three years with Salomon Brothers Inc. as a vice president in the private placement department, and returned to Baltimore as co-head of the investment banking group at Maryland National Bank. He has particular expertise in credit analysis and underwriting for debt and mezzanine investments and currently serves as a Board representative for Airoom, Eagle Healthcare and ACCT. Mr. Royston is a graduate of The College of William and Mary (BA) and Columbia University (MBA).

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J. Drexel Knight J. Drexel Knight
Parkway Capital Investors LLC
Towson, MD

Prior to establishing PCI, Drex Knight was the Mid Atlantic Credit Products Executive for the Bank of America. For the fifteen years prior to 1994, Drex Knight held numerous executive positions in various subsidiaries of MNC Financial. He presently serves on the Boards of AD Subsidiary, LLC., Mercy Health Services and The CollegeBound Foundation. Mr. Knight received his BS from the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia.

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Robert Stewart Robert M. Stewart
General Partner and Co-founder
Spring Capital Partners
Baltimore MD

Prior to co-founding Spring Capital in 1999, Mr. Stewart was a Managing Director of CrossHill Financial Group LLC (and its predecessors), which were active in investment banking advisory services in the Northern Virginia area from 1995 to 1998. Previously, he was a Principal in the formation of Armata Partners, a merchant banking firm from 1993 to 1995. Prior to that, he was a Vice President in the investment banking department of Legg, Mason and from 1985 to 1989 he was in the mergers and acquisition departments of Irving Trust and Daiwa Securities America, Inc. Mr. Stewart has initiated, invested in and closed numerous transactions involving a variety of financing techniques, including, subordinated debt with warrants, bridge loans with warrants, convertible and participating preferred stock and common stock. He also has closed merger and acquisition transactions ranging from $5 million to $350 million; completed initial public offerings and follow-on equity offerings ranging in size from $25 million to $150 million; and conducted overall analysis, due diligence, valuation, investment negotiation and ongoing oversight of these investments.

Mr. Stewart has served as Board observer to several portfolio companies and has been a director to numerous companies including DIGEX, Inc. He also is currently President of the Southern Regional Association of Small Business Investment Companies (SORASBIC) and is on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies (NASBIC). He is a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College and Wake Forest University (MBA).

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Mark Caplan Mark Caplan
President, Madison Capital
Chairman, WP&M Real Estate Group Management Committee
Owings Mills MD

Mr. Caplan began investing in real estate in the late 1970’s. His focus was and continues to be on multi-family residential properties.
Currently he is President of The Time Group, a real estate equity and management firm, which has interests in approximately 5,500 units in multi-family and manufactured housing communities. He was a founder and is currently Chairman of the Management Committee of WP&M Real Estate Group, a third party manager of multi-family, manufactured housing, condominium and homeowner association properties, with approximately 10,000 units under management.

In the early 1980’s, Mr. Caplan co-founded Harbor Leasing Associates, an equipment financing business, which has grown to include commercial vehicle financing. The Company is now known as Madison Capital, and is one of the 25 largest independent leasing companies in the country (according to the Monitor’s 2007 Survey). He is President of Madison Capital and Chairman of the Management Committee.

Mr. Caplan was an initial investor in Sterling Bank and Trust, and became part of a three member executive committee of the Board of Directors when a change in management was required. Sterling was acquired by Carroll County Bank and Trust in the late 1990’s.

Mark has been an active member of various governance boards of not-for-profit institutions, including the following: The Walters Art Museum, The Gilman School, The Bryn Mawr School, Center Stage, Saint Ignatius Loyola Academy, The Real Estate Board of the Columbia Business School and Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust.

Mark is also a registered real estate broker as well as a former member of the Apartment Builders and Owner’s Council of the State of Maryland. Mark has been invited to guest lecture, with a specific focus on real estate transactions, at the Wharton Business School, Columbia University School of Business and the University of Maryland School of Law. A publication of the Urban Land Institute includes a case study partially developed by Mark, based on one of his real estate transactions. He is a Baltimore native, graduated from the Gilman School in 1976. Initially attending Haverford College, and graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences, he later attended and obtained an MBA from The Columbia Business School on a Dean’s Fellowship.

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Program Sponsor:

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Hosted By:

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a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach
University at Buffalo, 1576 Sweet Home Rd., Amherst, NY 14228

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