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:

Joshua Adams (Board Chair)
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Joshua Adams (Board Chair)

Rock Paper Simple
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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..."

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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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.
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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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Alex Simser

Lowndes
Alex Simser
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Alex assists her clients with IP protection and acquisition strategies, including brand management, policing and enforcement, technology law issues, teaming/partnering strategies for global product and service roll-outs, complex business transactions, joint ventures, agreements for engineering and software services, subcontractor management, supply chain management and related matters. She represents startups and established businesses in an array of industries, including technology products and services, aerospace and aviation, cloud computing, communications, e-commerce, supply chain, and health care.Prior to joining the firm, Alex opened her own law firm, serving as outsourced general counsel to business clients. She also previously worked as in-house counsel for a startup in the satellite communications industry, where she gained experience in negotiating complex commercial and government contracts, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property matters, international expansion, corporate governance, FCC regulatory compliance, and labor & employment matters.Alex is a frequent writer for Spacecoast Business and other publications.
Brenda Plocharczyk
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Brenda Plocharczyk

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Founder of Strategic Business Solutions, Inc., a business consulting firm specializing in strategic growth, research-KPI’s, accounting services, and government relations, she brings 22 years of leadership and management 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 the economic development, technology, and healthcare sectors.

Originally from Florida, Brenda grew up in Thomasville, Georgia. She moved back to Florida in 2001 and moved to Brevard County in 2010. Her passionate to help others succeed allows her to follow her dreams and fulfill her life’s purpose.

Steve Leatherman, SVP
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Steve Leatherman, SVP

Primerica (Independent Representative)
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Dale Dupree
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Dale Dupree

Zeno
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Cherise Czaban

i4 Business
Cherise Czaban
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Micah Widen

Groundswell
Micah Widen
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Micah Widen is a starter, strategist, and business development whisperer who knows how to acquire and curate teams, design and develop business models, pursue and cultivate strategic partnerships, grow revenue and support mission-driven organizations that build better communities. Over the last 5 years, Micah has been building and running startup communities across Florida. He was recognized as 'Leader of the Year' in Northwest Florida for his work in developing Domi Station; the first startup incubator in the area.Micah currently runs Groundswell; a privately funded, nonprofit incubator serving high-tech entrepreneurs on the Space Coast. Groundswell is on a mission to create a strong pipeline to resources, capital and industry expert support for the benefit of high impact startups.
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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.
Tim Reynolds
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Tim Reynolds

Wild Manta Ventures
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