J. Bert Freeman is a positive direction expert, facilitator and speaker. He is the author of Taking Charge of Your Positive Direction, Your Positive Direction NOW and the Positive Direction ESP Performance Development Manuals. He is the Owner/Founder of T.A.L.K. Associates. As a result of his early signature work, his 30 plus years of experience evolved into providing the 21st Century Organization Development and Positive Direction Communication Skills that are essential for organizations and individuals to strategically streamline Organizational Unity, Leadership Consistency and Workplace Respect.
From 1998 to 2008, he was a designated Delaware Department of Education Distinguished Educator Consultant. Since then he continues to work with schools and districts to establish performance improvement strategies for student success. Much of his work also includes organization development and leadership consistency for organizational business segments, state and government agencies.
Bert is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a B.S. in Engineering and Golden Gate University with an M.S. in Human Relations. He was a Combat Engineer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a member of ATD, ISPI and Toastmasters International. He is also a Consistent Positive Direction Pinnacle. Bert also was a U.S. National Fencing Champion and member of the U.S. Olympic Fencing Team. He is joined by a team of resident facilitators. They are independent business, education and public professionals who are adept at incorporating Consistent Positive DirectionTM with their expertise.
Known as “The SMART Guy” – Success Means Acquiring Right Thoughts – Anthony DeNino is the Founder and President of CORe – Creating Our Reality, Inc. Working with both For-Profit companies and Non-Profit Organizations, his talks and training/workshops are targeted, interactive presentations, that are always customized to fit the specific needs of the client. Among his areas of expertise include:
* Customer Service
* Workplace Environment
* Effective Communication
Over the past 25 years, Chuck Cooper has been involved at the ownership level with a number of companies across several different industries. Of all his work-related accomplishments, one stands above the rest—Chuck loves partnering with companies to develop their HR strategies.
For him, the greatest reward is seeing clients achieve greater levels of success. Chuck’s passion for helping to create better companies led him to found WhiteWater Consulting in March of 2019. WhiteWater Consulting defines and designs custom HR solutions that allow companies to create a positive culture, manage their expenses, and maximize their revenues. Specifically, Chuck helps his clients take care of their people through recruiting and talent management, payroll and compliance, compensation management, group health programs, corporate wellness and financial wellness plans, and much more.
To Chuck, faith and family are everything. When he isn’t working with companies to develop their HR strategies, he enjoys spending time with his grandkids, reading, photography, and college football. He has been richly blessed and happily married to Debbie, his wife of 35 years, and has three children and soon to be eight
After completing design school in NY, I decided I wanted to learn to build as well as design. My first job was learning the proper end of a sledge hammer to break down brick walls. From there I learned every trade involved in homebuilding, hands on. My experience in the field also includes positions as superintendent, project manager
as well as Licensed General Contractor.
With over 30 years experience as a builder in the Charlotte area, I now focus my expertise and passion in providing designs for remodeling homes and as well as new construction. This level of experience gives me a deeper knowledge of all aspects of design as well as a 360° perspective that you won't find in any other designer. I am passionate about finding solutions for each of my clients.
My wife Debbie and I operate our business together from our home in South Charlotte. Together, we also homeschooled our two boys, Jake and Kaleb now 25 and 21.
An artist at heart with desire to make every space impactful while keeping in mind schedule and budget, Lacey has been designing spaces for 15 years. Her greatest strength is problem solving and the ability to leverage the valuable design insight gained from past projects. All her experience has brought her great joy and a legacy of making interiors beautiful. She feels very fortunate to be able to do what she loves every day.
Ms. Petty brings to board service the expertise of combining technology and her vast experience across global industries, finance and audit. As a trusted advisor to company presidents, especially those in highly regulated industries, she has managed their risk and audit functions and liabilities. Ms. Petty is known for her ability to build financial infrastructures and high performing teams that yielded audits without any proposed adjustments as well as improving productivity and reducing payroll costs. Her many successes include impacting a company’s bottom line favorably by $500K. In addition, she has led a successful division spinoff for a fortune 100 company as well as the integration of functions required when large financial firms are merged or acquisitioned. Her many achievements include issue free compliant auditing and dramatic reductions in payroll – upwards of 40% across all business sizes, structures and international footprints.
Experience has broadened Ms. Petty’s regulatory background beyond the U.S. She led the external audit activity for 13 entities under US GAAP rules, IFRS, and Mexican GAAP principles. Under her leadership, she reduced audit time 50% which led to $172K in audit cost savings for her company. Ms. Petty is fluent in English, Dutch, Spanish, Papiamento and has working experience in United States, Mexico, Panama, Dutch Caribbean and The Netherlands.
Ms. Petty is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), a Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) and holds the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. She graduated summa cum laude from St. John’s University with a Master’s in Business Administration in Finance and was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma honors society. She has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Accounting from Hofstra University.
She enjoys traveling, watching sports and facilitating marriage workshops with her husband.
As a Financial Advisor, I provide sound financial advice and value-added service to investors — always striving to build long-term relationships that are based on mutual trust and respect. Through a long-term investment approach, I help clients develop and implement strategies for building wealth and realizing their financial goals.
I graduated from The Citadel, in Charleston, S.C., with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Business. I served as an officer in the United States Army Reserves for eight years.
As a Financial Advisor with the Charlotte South Park office of Wells Fargo Advisors, I take pride in working for a firm that puts the client first. Because I believe that retirement is probably one of the most significant financial goals of my client’s lives, I obtained the designation of Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM ,CRPC®, by meeting rigorous professional standards and passing a comprehensive examination from the College for Financial Planning. This added designation improves my ability to serve my client’s needs.
Away from the office, I am active in the local community. I participate in many civic and community organizations, including the Porter Ridge Athletic Association, the Charlotte Area Citadel Club and volunteer at the annual Queens Cup Steeplechase event. I enjoy golf, reading and sporting events. My wife, Christina and I live in Indian Trail with our five children. My mission is to help each client plan for a financial future in a way that best meets their goals.
I look forward to extending my experience to you and your family. Together, we can discuss financial strategies designed to fit your unique situation.
Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. INVESTMENT AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NO BANK GUARANTEE/MAY LOSE VALUE.
John Natoli began his financial services career in 1997 as an advisor before
transitioning into sales management in 1999. John has qualified for numerous
Company and industry awards including MassMutual’s Manager of the Year
Seven times and MassMutual’s Management Council eight times. John has received numerous GAMA awards including being the recipient of GAMA’s inaugural Brian Early award for Frontline Leader excellence and the 2016 First in Class Award for First line leaders.
John has overseen recruiting, training and development for Mutual of Omaha Financial Advisors. As a General Manager in the Southern California agency of Mass Mutual, John helped guide the agency to over 10 million of FYC in 2015 and winning a Silver Bowl in 2012, and a Gold Bowl in 2013, 2014, 2015. As a General Agent in the NJ/NYC Agency of Mass Mutual in 2016, John helped guide the agency to a Gold Bowl.
John is a nationally published author; his articles have run in NAIFA’s Advisor Today, the GAMA International Journal, and National Underwriter. He is also a well-known speaker, having spoken at LAMP three times, at the Soaring Eagles Conference, at his local NAIFA chapter, and at various MassMutual events.
John is an active member of GAMA International, previously serving on its Board of Directors. John holds several industry licenses and designations.
Ace is a Strategy Advisor who provides business growth coaching, tax minimization and tax preparation services to deliver millions of dollars in benefits to our clients every year.
Ace has worked alongside CPA’s and business coaches who provide accounting, tax preparation and coaching services to our clients from Charlotte, NC to Hawaii.
Dabi's Daughter is a nonprofit that works with girls 15-18 teaching business etiquette, a skill that has been declining in the industry. These young ladies will have an opportunity to intern with major companies when they are certified through Dabi's Daughter.
Iyman Bradwell-El has been working with non-profits since 2010. During that time, she volunteered with the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System as a mentor and tutor for boys and girls. She has also worked with disenfranchised youths and the homeless.
Please contact us if you are interested in helping our community and women become more successful.
Are you willing to expose yourself to people and ideas that may not fit within the thoughts, customs, societal standards, and people in which you are accustomed?
Working for multi-billion-dollar companies and living around the world has expanded the walls and ruts of my youth. Exposure to various cultures and people has helped me develop an ability to speak to and feel comfortable with people of various socioeconomic, cultural, religious, and racial backgrounds. It’s my mission to help others do the same.
Now is the perfect time to embrace the uniqueness of our community and learn to genuinely communicate with our neighbors. Discomfort leads to growth. It matters not where you start. Let me help you get started.
Currently I am on the Board of STARS, a non profit to help underprivileged students in STEM and am Chair of the Fundraising Committee. Born in Chapel Hill, NC. Elementary school in Georgia. High School & College in Alabama. Lived in Michigan, Ecuador, Pennsylvania, New York. Studied in Guatemala, Cuba, Asia, Europe. Those experiences, amongst other international and domestic travel, have opened my mind and heart to new ideas, cultures, food, and people. Fortunate to say, I have friends with whom I regularly communicate on every continent—except Antarctica.
Insurance: Best to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
I am an insurance professional with 20 years of experience with a concentration in Property and Casualty for personal auto and home along with commercial insurance for businesses.
My goal is to educate the consumer and provide them with the proper insurance to meet their needs. One cannot properly insure their most valuable assets in 15 minutes or less. I pride myself on providing the details needed to make an informed decision for their auto, home, or small business.
Born in North Augusta, SC, I am a proud graduate of SC State University, home of the Bulldogs. I am a music and live jazz enthusiast along with being an avid Carolina Panther fan. My wife and I have lived in Charlotte with our 3 children.
My agency is licensed in NC, SC, and GA.
While growing up in Laos, as being the oldest child, I helped my parents raise my siblings after my father was unexpectedly taken by the communist from government corruption.
My mother struggled financially to raise nine children, so when I was old enough, I started working to make ends meet. Even with my additional income, we did not have much. But we now lived in the U.S.A, land of opportunity.
As a young, married adult, I got multiple credit cards. It was freedom from being poor. I had the power to buy things I never had. I now had all the stuff I wanted that I didn’t have growing up. Unknowingly, I also had debts with interest. I was not aware of how quickly interest compounded. My credit cards went into default very quickly and I had to take out a large line-of-credit to save my family from going into bankruptcy. I was juggling and struggling, and I vowed to learn how to get myself out of this situation and rebuild my credit.
And I did.
I also realized that I was not the only one who struggled with debt. It is a national issue—financial illiteracy. I decided to become a CFEI- Certified Financial Education Instruction and Life Insurance Producer to stop this madness cycle. As an Independent Marketing Office, Senior Marketing Director with First Financial Security, Inc. (FFS), a national brokerage agency that partners with some of the country’s leading insurance carriers; combined with my extensive 18 years Mortgage and Finance career background and passionate about helping people, I now spend 90% of my consultation time properly informing, educating and empowering my clients regarding their financial planning strategies. I use my former financial pain as a learning tool to illustrate solutions my clients didn’t even know were possible. My clients are individual, family and business owners who have now become financially literate and take proper steps to “live without worry”.
Hi there! We’re Paul and Kate Blanchette and we are normal, non-geeky folks who just like you, were at the mercy of the “computer guy.” You know THAT guy...unreliable, unprofessional, inconvenient, and hard to communicate with. And his invoice...WHEW...always rivaled the national debt.
Yep, we’ve been there.
So, when Paul was looking for a career change—desiring less travel—we found the NerdsToGo franchise opportunity. From our own stressful tech experiences, we knew that a reliable business and residential support source was definitely a needed service.
We loved the business model and company values so much, we became the proud owners of the FIRST NerdsToGo franchise in North Carolina as well as the FIRST in the Charlotte market.
Our ambition is to be Charlotte’s go-to partner for proactive IT Services without the “geek-speak”...you know, the overused acronyms and industry jargon utilized to intimidate customers. Yeah, that’s no fun.
We feel that IT Service providers can be nerdy, knowledgeable AND communicate in an approachable and respectful way. That’s WAY more fun!
Have a tech situation, issue or question?
We’ve got a Nerd for that!
When you become a Ballantyne Business Connections member, you get to be listed amongst these great businesses.
Come visit our monthly luncheon or our quarterly socials.
Here are a few of the following service categories we have open:
Most businesses are told the only need a logo, website, business card, social media, an offer and then wait for the Benjamin's to start flowing. Disappointment sets in when it doesn't happen and they question what more they need to do. Unknowingly, they have skipped the first 5 most important foundational steps that will make or break them.
In fact, a study found that 42% of businesses close because they cannot relate the problem they solve to an audience that will buy. (CB Insights, 2019)
Brand Positioning Strategist, Nora D. Richardson of Spot-On Branding, connects those dots with a proven, results-driven process which zeros in on The Relatability Factor that will speak to an audience's heart and unlock their wallets.
Nora has spoken to international audiences, been mentioned by the New York Times, worked with big brands like Kahlúa and The Olympics and continually helps her clients achieve 6-figure wins and beyond.
“When you build a business as unique as you are,
you create a brand people love-love-love,
which leads to big-figure wins.”
I use current Search Engine Optimization best practices when building company websites and e-commerce stores. I also build online Customer Account Portals which connect to Quick Books. Customer account portals empower your customers to log in, view invoices, pay their bills, change contact information and other functionality right from your company's website. It is also important that the transactions update in QuickBooks without the transactions requiring manual re-keying. This is convenient for your customers and saves time.
Customers expect to be able to self-serve online. Now there is an affordable way for companies to add this functionality to their website.
I also build exciting, engaging, SEO friendly websites that are mobile friendly. It is critical that websites work well on mobile devices now that more web traffic comes from mobile than traditional PCs and Macs. Have you visited your website from a phone?
I have the best team to build excellent websites with proven results. It starts with a great website and goes from there...
Mobile Friendly Websites • Search Engine Optimization • Search Engine Marketing
Industrial Manufacturers • Industrial Distributors • Trucking Companies
Medical Practices • Small and Medium size businesses of many types
As a dedicated mortgage professional with over 21+ year in the mortgage
banking industry I have served in numerous roles to include sales,
production management, home preservation and others which all have
provided me with the unique ability of understanding all aspects of my
client’s mortgage financing needs no matter their situation. I thoroughly
enjoy my role as a Certified Mortgage Loan Officer as it provides me with
the opportunity to build new relationships with my clients here in my
community while also providing the financial tools and products necessary
for each of my clients to achieve their dreams of home ownership. As a
father of six I know the wonderful impact a home can have on each of my
clients and their families so getting to be a part of that process is always
As a veteran of the USAF serving at the United States Air force Academy I
take great pride in having served our great country and have a special
appreciation for those who have served and currently serve. My wife Torie
and I currently reside in Waxhaw, NC with our six children and both serve
in several community roles to include coaching in our local sports clubs as
well as teaching/mentoring in our local church.
I look forward to serving you and your family by offering my mortgage
expertise in making your home ownership dreams a reality and building
relationships for the future.
As a Licensed and Registered Mortgage Loan Originator, I provide consultative
advice and value-added service to consumers and investors for purchase/home
mortgages, refinance, and residential / commercial real estate financing. I always
strive to build long-term relationships based on trust and respect. The goal is
to deliver a positive experience utilizing a streamline system—while empowering
I graduated from Appalachian State University, with a bachelor’s degree in
Communication, double minor in Marketing and Business. Away from the office, I
spend time with my wife and two little boys, family, and friends. I enjoy all forms of
competition, sports, and travel. Go Carolina Panthers!
As a Mortgage Loan Originator with Nexa Mortgage LLC; a national brokerage
firm, I take pride in working with a group that puts the client first. It would be a
pleasure to offer personalized mortgage solutions, fast customized quotes, great
rates, & service to you and your clients.
Amy Hawke has ranked in the top 5% of sales agents working for the world’s largest real estate franchise and awarded the top 10% of realtors nationwide (specializing in home luxury sales) by the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing (ILHM).
Amy's gift for over 30 years is matching clients with the perfect home. The thrill of matching buyers and sellers brings her joy. A solid work ethic, positive mindset, and open heart has become her trademark for serving her clients without reserve making the buying/selling experience smooth, efficient, and successful. Currently, Amy is focusing on homes ranging between $350,000-$2 Million in the South Charlotte neighborhoods of North Carolina.
Amy is a Real Estate Consultant, Real Estate Coach and Keynote Speaker. She is also an avid hiker and saltwater fishing fanatic. For 34+ years she has been married to Ted Hawke, Managing Director/Corporate Banker and has 3 adult sons, one daughter-in-law and 2 yellow labs.
With over 20 years of real estate marketing and sales experience, I bring a high level of professionalism and attention to detail to every transaction and every client. I am an Accredited Buyer Representative, Certified Relocation Specialist and Certified Military Residential Specialist and I pride myself in building strong relationships with fellow Realtors, clients and partners. As a Keller Williams "BOLD" graduate, I and my team of assistants & trusted vendors with Westervelt Property Group, LLC & Keller Williams Realty are experienced in negotiating foreclosures with Fannie Mae and other institutions as well as regular residential and commercial transactions and working with short sales. "We do what it takes to help in all aspects of real estate and treat everyone with the highest level of respect and appreciation."
Rhonda Westervelt is an avid dog-lover and truly believes in kindness and understanding "This business isn't rocket science. My goal is to help transactions be as stress-free as possible for our clients." Rhonda offers free consultations and can help clients move anywhere in the United States or abroad. With 90% of business coming from referrals, the greatest compliment is a referral from past clients, Realtors and networking partners.
Westervelt Property Group's areas of expertise lie in both residential and commercial properties in the Metro Charlotte area including Mecklenburg, Union, Cabarrus, Gaston, Lincoln, south Iredell and west Rowan Counties in NC & York and Lancaster Counties in SC.
I Help Make Dreams Come True...Let's Get Started on Yours Today
Dr. Alison received her Bachelor of Science at Monmouth University in New Jersey. Dr. Alison was scouted and received a track scholarship from Monmouth where she was a four-year D1 athlete. It was then when she decided that she wanted to take care of athletes since she received much support from her team chiropractor allowing her to be so successful in her sport. She completed her masters in sports chiropractic simultaneously with her Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Life University and graduated cum laude. While at Life she worked with national championship athletes as one of the team chiropractors for the athletics program. She works closely with our pregnant mothers and pediatric population, and is Webster Certified and is a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA). She also is a BirthFit Professional which aids women to find confidence in prenatal and post-partum time of their life.
Dr. Alison has been involved in MaxLiving through chiropractic school. While working with different MaxLiving offices in school, Dr. Alison was able to see first-hand the life transformations people were experiencing through the 5 Essentials. It was then that she grew a passion to educate the community on the truth on the body’s amazing ability to heal and improve function. She has taught at several corporations, businesses, and churches on varying health topics such as cancer prevention, brain health, stress reduction, nutrition, and many others. She has been trained in nutrition, advanced spinal correction, detoxification, and exercise.