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!

Jennifer Laidlaw
TeamWerks LLC
Areas of Expertise: Marketing, Operations

Jen Laidlaw is the owner of TeamWerks Talent Development and Consulting where she thrives on helping people build confidence and skills to make their work lives more effective and enjoyable. She has spent the majority of her career working for a mid-sized digital agency, gaining experience in areas such as leadership development, communication, creating and maintaining a people-focused culture, sales development, project management, and workforce agility. Her training consistently engages participants for effective learning and has practical and meaningful outcomes for the businesses she supports.

Pete Long
Mitzel Law Group PLC
Areas of Expertise: Legal
David Maas
Brand Smart. Street Smart. LLC
Areas of Expertise: Management, Marketing, Operations, Strategy

David Maas is recognized as a brand smart marketing leader and a street smart general manager with his 20-plus years at the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency and five years at Federal-Mogul Motorparts.

Presently, teaching as a mentor and learning as an intern, he is helping to position, build and grow early-stage businesses for rapid scale-up and equity financing in the startup communities around Detroit and Ann Arbor.

David has won eight EFFIE Awards in recognition of business-building ideas that work in the marketplace and a team that works together. He has been an EFFIE judge and EFFIE moderator for both Round One and Final Round judging.

Jay Mahler
Mahler & Associates
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

Mark Malven
Dykema Gossett PLLC
Areas of Expertise: Legal
Industry Experience: Automotive, Biomed/Biotech/Pharma, Cleantech / Energy, Defense, Financial Services, Information Technology, Law, Manufacturing / Materials, Medicine / Healthcare, Nonprofit

Mark G. Malven is the leader of the Technology and Outsourcing Transactions practice at Dykema Gossett PLLC ,and the author of the treatise Technology Transactions: A Practical Guide to Drafting and Negotiating Commercial Agreements. He has over twenty years of experience representing both customers and technology vendors and, by rough count, has handled over a thousand technology transactions - involving licensing, development, outsourcing, consulting, distribution, sponsored university research, manufacturing, value-added reseller, e-commerce, acquisition, and joint venture relationships. Mark has served as a primary negotiator for some of the largest outsourcing transactions of their kind ever undertaken, involving billions of dollars in services. He is a licensed patent attorney, holds an AV® Preeminent™ Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, is regularly recognized by Michigan Super Lawyers in the areas of Information Technology and Outsourcing, and is a past Chair of the Information Technology Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan. Mark received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University and a J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School.

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

<p>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.</p>

Ravi Nigam
Law Offices of Ravi K. Nigam
Areas of Expertise: Legal
Industry Experience: Information Technology, Law

<p>Legal adviser and counselor for startups and small businesses assisting with company formation, business law, contracts, data privacy and security issues, immigration and business planning.</p>

Bob Ranger
Bob Ranger Consulting
Areas of Expertise: Management, Marketing, Sales, Strategy, Technology
Industry Experience: Automotive, Cleantech / Energy, Manufacturing / Materials

Bob Ranger left Dow Chemical in Midland after 35 years in new business development and relocated to Ann Arbor. He offers full-service consulting with start-ups and small businesses or can work in an EIR role. He can help you at what ever stage your company is at. Below are some examples:

1. Business Services: He can assist with your business model canvas (all 9 elements), ecosystem mapping, market research, customer discovery interviews, etc.
2. Due Diligence: Industry/market expert for market segment screening and assessment, product/market fit (interviewing), and business revenue forecasting in a new market, etc.
3. Entrepreneur in residence: EIR working short-term for a company as CEO, Business Development Manager, etc.

His industry knowledge, business expertise, and large Dow, Dow Corning, DuPont network would be very beneficial to SPARK or NEF clients. He just finished a NSF National I-Corps Coatings project and made a huge impact to the project. He would be happy to meet with anyone looking to assess, launch, or grow their business.

Market and network expertise… All Dow, Dow Corning, DuPont markets including: Advanced materials, Coatings, Packaging (food & industrial), Health & personal care, Water solutions, Bio-derived chemicals, Auto, Electronics, Clean tech (solar, wind, battery), etc.

He also guest lectures and mentors student project teams in the UM Chemical Engineering 488/89 Product Design and Commercialization course. He has a BSChE & MBA from UM and judges business model competitions.

David Rish
Global Trade Management
Areas of Expertise: Management, Operations, Sales, Strategy, Technology

David Rish is a strategic global operations executive with extensive global trade and supply chain leadership experience in service and manufacturing markets.

Most recently David served as President of a global trade management firm and was responsible for three lines of business; Global Trade Consulting, Managed Services and Trade Management Software. As an Executive Leadership Team member he was a party to the successful sale of the company to private equity. David’s experience has included ownership of a $300 Million net revenue P&L for several global supply chain companies with a focus on driving high productivity and profitability increases while improving customer service metrics.

David lives in Ann Arbor, MI and holds an MBA in International Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has also completed additional graduate studies at Seattle University and received an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Duke University. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. David holds a Customs Broker’s license issued by the Bureau of Customs and Border Security, Department of Homeland Security. David enjoys nonprofit volunteer activities focusing on homeless youth, student rights and international development. He is married with two children and the proud owner of a black Labrador Retriever named Johnny Cash.