BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Founders Forum, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, has no full- or part-time staff member or administrators; instead it relies solely on its voluntary Board of Directors for its strategic and financial operations and management. Our board is comprised of a wide breadth of local business leaders representing private companies, educational institutions and business organizations.

CURRENT BOARD OF DIRECTORS:

Steve Thomas (Board Chair)
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Steve Thomas (Board Chair)

Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed
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Mr. Thomas is an Intellectual Property (IP) and business law attorney with the law firm of Lowndes Drosdick Doster Kantor & Reed P.A., a full service law firm with nearly 100 attorneys that has provided counsel across multiple industries and areas of law for 45 years. Mr. Thomas is a registered patent attorney and practices in the areas of patent and trademark prosecution, infringement litigation, technology law, technology transfer and commercialization, licensing strategies and agreements, branding and business law.

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Christine Thompson
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Christine Thompson

Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC
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Christine Thompson is the Business Development Executive for Carr, Riggs and Ingram CPAs covering all of East Central Florida. Her philosophy for business growth is to be a “people connector” and a “success resource” to help local businesses to grow and thrive.

She was formerly in charge of Business Development and Marketing for Hayworth, Chaney and Thomas, PA an Intellectual Property, Corporate and Personal Injury law firm in the Central Florida area. She has owned two successful businesses of her own. Christine founded Hip Hop Hooray, Inc. in 2000, developed and then sold it in 2006. Hip Hop Hooray, Inc. continues to grow in the South Florida area today. She then started Personal Assistant for a Day, Inc. which grew and eventually led to her position at the law firm. She is a Florida native and has a passion to help our local economy flourish.

Lee Garner
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Lee Garner

Lee Garner, CPA
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Lee Garner is President of Lee Garner, CPA in Melbourne, Florida. He has been a Florida Certified Public Accountant since 1992 and has experience in both public and private accounting for small and medium sized businesses as well as individuals. His company provides on-going advising for business and personal financial development and growth, spending, accounting, tax planning as well as tax preparation.Lee received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Central Florida. In addition to Founders Forum, he is a member of the Community Advisory Board of WFIT Radio and has served on many nonprofit boards throughout his business career. He also leads seminars through the Small Business Development Center at Eastern Florida State College on small business tax and accounting issues.
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Moses Harvin II

American Services Technology, Inc.
Moses Harvin II
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Moses is Chief Operating Officer at American Services Technology, Inc. (ASTI). He oversees business and program operations, provides day-to-day leadership, develops operational and strategic policies, and serves as a complementary asset to the CEO. Since 1995, ASTI has delivered world-class mission support services to government and private sector clients nation-wide. ASTI’s portfolio of capabilities include logistics support, facilities maintenance and support services, and base operations support services.
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Bill Williams

A Cut Above Video Productions, Inc.
 Bill Williams
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Bill Williams grew up on Long Island and received an electrical engineering degree from New York University. His early career fulfilled one of his childhood dreams of becoming a scientist and working on rockets after he worked as a missile guidance engineer for General Electric at Lockheed in Sunnyvale California & Cape Canaveral and Martin Marietta in Orlando. Another childhood dream was to be in the television or movie business, and in 1988 he started A Cut Above Video Productions. A Cut Above provides production of advertising placed in movie theaters, television and the web, instructional and informational videos, and marketing videos.

As a business owner Bill has been involved in the Space Coast community with long term involvement as a leader and member within the American Advertising Federation – Space Coast, Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, Melbourne Regional Chamber of East Central Florida, International Television Association (now Media Communications Association – International), Florida Motion Picture & Television Association (and other independent filmmaking groups), Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival, and Founders Forum.

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Joshua Adams

Rock Paper Simple
Joshua Adams
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Joshua Adams lives and breathes entrepreneurship, web development and marketing and is the Head Honcho at Rock Paper Simple.

Joshua started programming at 11 years old and was soon drawn into the web world by its infinite possibilities when he turned 14. Ever since, he has pushed his limits in the web design and marketing field.

His passion is to develop simple solutions to solve complex problems; to help his clients and partners produce results for their business online.

Joshua is involved in many areas of business and entrepreneurship in the marketing world with ownership of and in multiple companies. He is also proud to sit on the board of directors for Founders Forum.

He spends his free time rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers, playing Ultimate Frisbee and soccer, serving at his local church and collecting strategy board games.

He believes in always doing the best he can in everything he does and likes to quote Colossians 3:23 - "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord..."

Tom Brandon
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Tom Brandon

Brandon Development Enterprises
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1997 to Present, Owner and CEO of Brandon Development Enterprises, Inc., Brandon Custom Homes, LLC and Brandon Commercial Development, LLC

Seventeen years senior leadership experience in the residential home building industry and eleven years experience in the commercial building and land development industry.

Built and developed a multi-million dollar business in the Melbourne area while raising a family and serving on various church committees, charitable organizations and other community projects.

Known for ability to create and articulate corporate vision and then move contractors and teams to develop the projects ….managing with honesty and respect at all times.

Excellent communication skills have built consumer trust in the marketplace, great standing with customers and contractors and a loyal, cohesive staff.

High moral and quality standards have earned loyalty with customers, contractors and local leaders.

Strong engineering and quality assurance background allows unique understanding of building processes and materials to assure quality processes and products.

Visionary leadership and consumer awareness has enabled partnerships that have resulted in responsible, targeted growth.

Areas of ability and oversight include multimillion dollar building projects…land development….core management…product and market direction…new direct sales…customer satisfaction…pre-sales support that carries beyond the end of projects.

Michael A. Crown
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Michael A. Crown

Fractel, LLC
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Michael Crown is Founder and President of FracTEL, a nationwide provider of next-generation telecommunications services for businesses. A serial entrepreneur, he has been a founding member of numerous Space Coast based startups, including two resulting in exits to Fortune 500 acquirers. An experienced manager, he has served in multiple executive roles including CTO, COO, and CEO. Michael began his career at General Electric as a Software Engineer, and remains a technologist at heart. In addition to Founders Forum, Michael works to support entrepreneurship as a Space Coast Tech Council Committee Chairman, a member of the EDC Innovation Council, and as a TrepHub mentor. He was recently selected as "One to Watch in 2015" by Space Coast Business magazine.
Brenda Plocharczyk
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Brenda Plocharczyk

Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast
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Brenda Plocharczyk serves as the Accountant for the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast. In this capacity, Brenda manages all accounting related functions for the organization, in addition to grants administration, budgeting and financial analysis.

Prior to joining the EDC, Brenda held the position of CEO for Eocene Health Systems, a Telehealth software and medical device company. Prior to that she was the CFO for Infopia America, a medical device manufacturing company. She brings to the EDC 17 years of experience with proven success directing a broad range of business and finance initiatives while participating in planning, analysis, and implementation of business objectives in business and technology. Brenda’s specific expertise is in accounting, marketing, strategy, product design/implementation, and business development in healthcare and technology.

Originally from Florida, Brenda grew up in Thomasville, Georgia. She moved back to Florida with her husband and son in 2001 and moved to Titusville in 2010.

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Barry Forbes

BB&T
Barry Forbes
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Lifelong resident of Brevard County, resides in Titusville with his wife Traci. We have two children, Molli 24 and Luke 22. I have been a commercial banker in Brevard County for the last 30+ years. Current board member of the EDC, Treasurer for the Brevard County Housing Finance Authority and Board President for Hope for North Brevard. Attended the University of Central Florida and am an active alumni of the school.
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Lindsay Alicia Clark

L.A. Bridal
Lindsay Alicia Clark
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When Lindsay Alicia Clark decided to follow her dream of opening a Bridal Salon in Viera, FL, she drew upon the experiences that she shared with her three sisters shopping for one another’s bridal gowns.Something was lacking in the experience of shopping, and that ignited the inspiration to start a boutique Bridal Salon that catered to the “Bridal Experience” not just the gown purchase.L.A. Bridal recognizes that Melbourne and Viera continue to grow and evolve in fashion; its brides are becoming more fashion forward and looking for wedding dresses with traditional looks but modern twists that incorporate the Brides fresh and youthful sense of style.Lindsay is no stranger to fashion and drew upon her vast experience in the industry to select not only fashion forward gowns but quality fabrics. She studied Fashion Merchandising, Textiles and consumer sciences at Florida State University. Thus beginning her love for elegant fabrics and quality textiles and now passing this experience forward to all of the L.A. Brides!
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Rob E. Salonen, CEcD

FIT
Rob E. Salonen, CEcD
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Robert E. Salonen is Director, Global Business Development for the Florida Institute of Technology connecting the talent and technology development capabilities of the university to industry and community interests worldwide. Rob is serving on the Florida Tech leadership teams for the University Corporate Alliance for Success (UCAS) and the Center for Advanced Manufacturing & Innovative Design (CAMID). He is also a member of the successful Florida Tech EDA, State of Florida and City of Palm Bay grant capture teams supporting the infrastructure development of CAMID. During the course of his career prior to joining Florida Tech, Rob was a member of the executive team that founded the Southern Aero Medical Institute and Brevard Regional Hyperbaric Center in Melbourne, FL. Through the Economic Development Commission, he was a team member and a leader of multiple economic development projects including Embraer, the Navy’s Strategic Weapons Systems Ashore, CEV – LMCO Orion, Boeing CST 100, Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman. Rob is a distinguished Eagle Scout, a graduate of the University of Connecticut with a BA in English / Business Management and currently enrolled in the MPA program at the Florida Institute of Technology. He is also a graduate of Leadership Brevard and credentialed as a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council in Washington D.C. Rob serves on the executive committee for the Economic Development Commission of Florida’s Space Coast, a member of the Florida District Export Council NCW, a member of the board for the Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce and on the advisory council for the Space Coast MakerFaire. He is also a board member for Circles of Care and the National Space Club – Florida Committee.