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!

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

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>

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.

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.

Jay Shah
Leelayan, Inc.
Areas of Expertise: Management
Industry Experience: Automotive, Cleantech / Energy, Manufacturing / Materials

<p>Jay Shah is an engineering management consultant. He is the founder President of Leelayan, Inc. whose core mission is to create Technology for Healthy Living. Leelayan&#39;s patented prime product is No Bend (Shoes bend so you don&#39;t have to!) Hands Free shoes. The shoes are engineered to operate with a remote or an App helping people with arthritis, diabetes, back surgery, etc. to wear them without bending. Leelayan is a start-up and soon will be seeking Stage-1 funding.</p>

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.

Bill Taylor
Areas of Expertise: Management, Marketing, Sales, Strategy, Technology
Industry Experience: Information Technology, Medicine / Healthcare

I am an experienced Marketing, Sales, and Strategy executive with over 35 years in innovative marketing, product management, sales, and strategic operations for technology companies in telecom, information technology, life science, and healthcare. With engineering providing a solid technical background, I’ve achieved a consistent track record of developing strategies that drive consistent and managed growth for high technology companies. I’ve been successful in companies ranging from a 30 person start up, through mid-sized public companies, all the way to a two year assignment as an IBM strategist. I’m a seasoned team builder, who has attracted, developed and retained high-performing marketing, sales and BD talent. My passion is helping technology companies achieve profitable, sustainable growth

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.