NEF Members

This page is a partial listing of NEF members. Our members are industry leaders with extensive experience across numerous fields. Want to have your listing shown among those already here - become a member!

Gary Hessenaur
Hessenaur & Associates, CPA, P.C
Areas of Expertise: Accounting, Finance
Industry Experience: Automotive, Financial Services, Information Technology, Manufacturing / Materials, Nonprofit

Gary Hessenaur, President and owner of Hessenaur & Associate, C.P.A., P.C..
The firm provides a full range of accounting, tax, consulting and part time CFO services. The firm focuses on small to mid-size businesses with a specialty in start ups and technology businesses. Start up business clients have been funded through owner funds, grants, angel and VC investors. Gary is board member and business coach for the New Enterprise Forum, mentor at SPARK boot camps, SPARK Accelerator consultant, helps counsel businesses through Michigan SBTDC and regular speaker at SPARK business start up programs. He is very well networked in the startup and financing community.

Brenda Jones
Coach - Mentor - Advisor
Areas of Expertise: Management
Industry Experience: Information Technology, Medicine / Healthcare, Nonprofit

As a board member and business coach with the New Enterprise Forum, Brenda assists startups with financial planning, product direction, go-to-market strategies and initial funding and has served as interim Chief Operating Officer to assist her clients in the initial launch of their companies. Her specialty is in on-premise software and SaaS. Brenda has held executive management positions with e-marketing/ad tech, publishing software and professional consulting organizations where she has managed P&Ls and global technical teams. As the Managing Director of the Medical Innovation Center at the University of Michigan, she launched a medical technology commercialization fellowship and a portfolio of services to help clinicians and researchers translate ideas into impactful medical innovations (devices and software). Her desire to make an impact in the world has taken her on journeys to Thailand, Kenya, Chile and Colombia to lead economic development and teaching projects. Brenda holds a BA from Yale University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

John Lingl
Brinks Gilson & Lione
Areas of Expertise: Legal

I focus my practice of intellectual property law on patent, copyright and trademark litigation and prosecuting both foreign and domestic patent applications in numerous technological areas.

In addition, I am skilled in prosecuting both foreign and domestic patent applications in numerous areas including semiconductors, electrical systems, voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) systems, packet switching and routing, network traffic optimization, Internet search technologies, advertising and behavioral targeting technologies, optical systems, terahertz radiation systems, x-ray systems, automotive interior systems, and automotive powertrain systems.

Jay Mahler
MODG
Areas of Expertise: Management
Industry Experience: Automotive, Information Technology, Manufacturing / Materials

A computer technologist and engineer with customer-driven marketing savvy. Mahler's current focus is on assisting start-ups and early stage companies with financial modeling, marketing communications, and technical advice.

As a New Enterprise Forum board member and coach, Mahler has helped many companies refine their investor pitches and executive summaries.

His earlier consulting made use of his rare combination of technical know-how and excellent writing, speaking, and presentation skills, which provided clients with unprecedented service including:
• Turnkey marketing for a leading supplier of plant floor automation software. Projects included developing requirements and functional specifications, software manuals, and help files, writing press releases, brochures, sales tools.
• User’s manuals, and help files
• CAE training, documentation, and application development
• Systems consulting
• Project management
• Software project planning, software development and management
• Software training

William McPherson
McPherson Commercial Capital, LLC
Areas of Expertise: Finance, Sales, Strategy
Industry Experience: Financial Services

William McPherson is the Managing Director of McPherson Commercial Capital, LLC which he formed in June of 2002, in order to provide funding solutions, business planning and financial structuring assistance to a variety of businesses and investors in commercial real estate. He has assisted in arranging funding for start-ups, growth needs, restructuring situations and acquisitions of businesses. He also assists and advises in finding commercial mortgage financing for both owner occupied and investment properties.

Previously, having joined Captec Financial Group in 1982, Mr. McPherson held a variety of positions in which he managed and developed business in the areas of equipment finance and leasing, real estate mortgage and sale leaseback financing and the funding of acquisitions and growth thru loans based upon the cash flow value of the business being acquired. While there, he established lending and leasing relationships with a variety of franchisors and their franchisees. He also developed relationships with multi-unit chain restaurant operators whereby Captec funded acquisitions, new unit development and reimaging initiatives for its customers. Prior to joining Captec, Mr. McPherson was a Vice President-Commercial Loans for two banks where he managed loan portfolios and developed new commercial loan and deposit business. In his various positions, Mr. McPherson has been responsible for profitability and planning for the various profit centers he managed.

Mr. McPherson began his career at Detroit Bank and Trust. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan holding both BBA and MBA degrees. He is a member of the Michigan Business Brokers Association, the National Association of Equipment Lease Brokers and an associate member of the Michigan Commercial Board of Realtors. He is President and a director of the New Enterprise Forum, and actively participates on its coaching teams.

Stewart Nelson
MODG
Areas of Expertise: Technology
Industry Experience: Biomed/Biotech/Pharma, Information Technology, Nonprofit

Program Chair at NEF. Experienced business coach and angel investor. AMIC judge. Senior Risk Adviser at Kapnick Insurance Group. Former Captain Northwest Airlines retired. Retired Lt Col and Command Pilot USAFR.

Gerry Roston
Pair of Docs Consulting
Areas of Expertise: Management, Operations, Strategy, Technology
Industry Experience: Biomed/Biotech/Pharma, Cleantech / Energy, Manufacturing / Materials

Gerry is an experienced, small-business executive who has led companies and multimillion dollar projects. During the course of his career, he has successfully managed start-up businesses and teams within publicly-traded companies; pursued investment opportunities; and brought new products to the market.

Gerry's typical clients are the founders of technology-focused startups. The services he offers them include: providing executive management services, creating business development plans, formulating product development strategies, and identifying funding sources/partnerships. His experience ranges from the development of microscopic biological sensors to the redesign of diesel-electric locomotives.

Gerry also supports the local entrepreneurial business community through volunteer service, such as judging business plan competitions and mentoring university students and startups. He has served on the New Enterprise Forum Board of Directors the since 2006 and served as its president from 2010-2013. He also chaired the planning committee for the Annual Collaboration for Entrepreneurship from 2008-2011.

Stefan Sysko
Sysko Thinking LLC
Areas of Expertise: Management, Marketing, Sales, Strategy
Industry Experience: Medicine / Healthcare, Nonprofit

Stefan Sysko is an entrepreneur with a diverse background and 20+ years of experience, much of which has been spent advising small business owners on developing strategy and on executing at a high level. His career includes broad experience in strategic marketing planning, market development, new product and business development, and training.

Sysko has been a consultant, advisor and mentor to dozens of start-ups and hundreds of small businesses. He advises startups, emerging, and turnaround companies with launch, growth, and rebuilding strategies. He helps founders discover and effectively tell their story, develop their value proposition, identify and avoid – or tear down – roadblocks, and turn their ideas into focused, viable business plans.

Through a strategic partnership with metro Detroit-based Poco Labs, Sysko helps companies with concept development, consumer research and product design.

Sysko is a board member and coach at New Enterprise Forum, and will be coordinating the organization’s pitch pit. He is a mentor at Detroit Creative Corridor Center, and helped develop and currently runs the highly successful Retail Boot Camp for TechTown Detroit. He serves on the Marketing & Development Committee for Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.

Sysko holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wayne State University and an MBA from Eastern Michigan University.

Scott Trossen
Michigan HR Group
Areas of Expertise: Management
Industry Experience: Automotive, Biomed/Biotech/Pharma, Cleantech / Energy, Financial Services, Information Technology, Manufacturing / Materials, Medicine / Healthcare, Nonprofit

I founded the Michigan HR Group in 2007. We are an “HR department for small business” and HR consultancy for mid-size organizations with solutions to strengthen people, improve processes and manage risk. We tailor our services to teach you how to do effective and compliant HR, or become your ongoing, outsourced HR partner. http://www.mi-hr.com

Ken Wunderlich
Wunderlich Consulting, LLC
Areas of Expertise: Accounting, Finance, Strategy
Industry Experience: Biomed/Biotech/Pharma, Medicine / Healthcare

Ken is a financial executive with 33 years of experience in consumer products, pharmaceuticals, health care, environmental services, and medical devices. For 12 years, he was the CFO for EQ-The Environmental Quality Company in Wayne, MI. Prior to that, he worked in a variety of global assignments for Procter & Gamble, Hewlett-Packard, M&M/Mars, and the Stanford Research Institute. He is the founder of Wunderlich Consulting, LLC, providing strategy, value improvement, and transaction advisory services to small- and medium-sized firms. Ken is also a member of Cincinnati Consulting Consortium, which advises consumer products firms on strategic finance and marketing challenges.

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