Josh Beck

Is the Business Partnership Director at Blue Water Growth LLC. He has worked in international project management throughout Asia, Europe and Africa for 13 years and is passionate about establishing profitable environments throughout Asia and successfully guiding clients past challenges associated with building trans-pacific business partnerships. Josh is a consistent and passionate international business manager with experience executing contracts totaling over $50,000,000. He is a resourceful leader with a successful track record directing business expansions, technical personnel, and cross-functional team communications. Josh is proactive in his approach and utilizes strong writing and oral communication skills to provide high level organization leadership trainings. Josh also currently provides business advisory services to international clients as a member of the Blue Water Growth team; a group of C-level executives with extensive international corporate experience who provide a complete array of M&A services along with strategic business expansion support.

Bill Besselman

Is part of the leadership team at Thread International, ATAS Industries. Thread’s mission is to solve poverty by transforming trash into dignified jobs in the poorest places on the planet. Thread believes they can do that by working with the world’s best brands to make the most connected apparel and footwear in history; linking buyers to the people who source and build the products we all love. Bill’s role is lead development of the overall brand, to enhance and further develop the storytelling capability, to build out the key sales channels/team, to create a bridge into our operations teams/partners, and to evolve and drive the overall strategy of the company.

Larry Diday

Joined the team at Holsinger in July 2015, after over eight years of public and corporate accounting experience with a focus on Start-Ups and Manufacturing Companies. Larry has developed expertise in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, service provider, healthcare and bio technology, construction, 401Ks and non-profit organizations. He is well versed in construction contract accounting, foreign currency / foreign subsidiary consolidations, hedging arrangements, mergers and acquisitions, due-diligence and internal control assessments. Larry is currently working to develop a core competency in the start-up community; finding ways to match Holsinger’s various product offerings to the unique needs of that space. As a senior associate, Larry has experience managing engagements, developing test work, preparing financial statements and mentoring staff. Due to his time in the corporate environment, Larry also brings a unique perspective to his clients.

Bill Forrest

Is the President and CEO of Motiledge Corporation where his current roles include being the Founder/President of an online education content provider, the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute mentor and a consultant for early – mid stage startup companies. Bill has over 30 years experience in technology based businesses where he has been a Company Founder (2 startup technology companies), CEO, entrepreneur, local/remote team manager, product/project manager, branding/marketing specialist and business mentor.

Nathan A. Kostelnik

Is an associate of Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C., and is a member of the firm’s Corporate Services Group and Commercial Law and Litigation Group. He concentrates his practice in the areas of general corporate law, commercial transactions, commercial litigation, Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), technology law, trademark law, intellectual property, and small business services. While in law school, he served as a teaching assistant to Professor James L. Flannery and completed an externship with the Honorable Donetta W. Ambrose of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Jim Margaria

Has extensive experience in Product Management, Business Partnerships/Fintechs, and Client Engagement. Jim drives new product solutions for global clients leveraging internal and/or external innovation, with an interest in forward looking technologies like the Blockchain. Prior to BNY Mellon, Jim drove the strategy and engineering efforts of products used by Fortune 500 companies in the supply chain. Earlier, Jim was responsible for the Business Intelligence and Software Development in several industries.

Don Morrison

Is a serial entrepreneur and visionary leader who has consistently leveraged technology to improve the customer experience and top and bottom-line results, in multi-channel consumer product companies. He has been involved in the growth and development of several businesses, including American Eagle Outfitters, from 1 to 165 stores (as President/CEO), Sundance Catalog Company (as Executive Director), and Bear Creek Corporation (as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing). His business experience includes Retail, Restaurant, Franchising, Manufacturing, Catalog and E-commerce. Mr. Morrison has been involved in several business start-ups, turnarounds, divestitures and acquisitions.

He is currently Chairman of Deal Flow for BlueTree Allied Angels, a Pittsburgh-PA based angel investment group. In addition to his roles at the LDC and BlueTree, Mr. Morrison is actively involved in mentoring and coaching numerous start-ups and early stage companies in the region through the Alpha Lab and Alpha Lab Gear accelerators, and The Thrill Mill incubator. He also serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh’s Innovation Institute. Mr. Morrison also serves on several Boards of Directors/Advisors including, Pittsburgh Green Building Alliance, The Forbes Fund Advisory Committee, Women-Drivers.com, Piecemaker and Sole Power. He is often an invited guest speaker on entrepreneurship and angel investing and volunteers time to participate in panel discussions and judging business competitions.

Jim Robertson

Is the Senior Advisor-Business Development at China Centric Associates (CCA) and the President MAR International Consulting. By leveraging CCA’s U.S. and China-based operations, experience and people, CCA assist’s clients in the cost effective development, risk-managed and rapid execution of new and existing business initiatives in China’s dynamic and growing markets. Jim established MAR International Consulting Inc.(MAR) in 2008 to use the experience and knowledge gained through-out his career to assist other companies grow their businesses organically and internationally. His mission is to assist small and medium size business clients in need of international logistical, technical, and business strategy services; companies that are interested in expanding their business internationally evaluate the potential for their products and/or source products to take to market through their current channels

Brian Slawin

Is the Regional Director and Portfolio Manager for the Ben Franklin Technology Partners / Central & Norther Pennsylvania and comes to northwestern Pennsylvania from St. Louis, MO after exiting a mobile startup company that he co-founded in 2006. With a passion for helping entrepreneurs turn their ideas into companies, he has broad experience leveraging technology and monetizing the flood of opportunity that comes with it. Throughout his career, Brian has helped build strong operating and sales teams, created, developed and managed technology products and brought them profitably to the market. In addition to running his own companies, Brian has been very involved in the startup ecosystem in St. Louis, leading educational programs, serving as a senior mentor to both startup and growth stage companies, raising capital and managing companies to exit. His broad entrepreneurial and profitable business experience will allow him to bring a unique perspective to the entrepreneurs coming to the eCenter.

Prior to his journey into entrepreneurism, Brian was a commercial pilot and flight instructor, graduating from Parks College of Saint Louis University after attending Penn State University – University Park in the mid-80s. He and his wife Sheri have two daughters, Kimberly (Levin) Pearse who is a medical administrator in St. Louis and Katherine Levin, BSN who is an orthopedic nurse in Colorado Springs.

Cathy von Birgelen

Is the Executive Director of the eMarketing Learning Center (eMLC) an initiative of the Ben Franklin Technology Partnership. The eMLC produces professional development programs and training on how-to use and apply digital media, marketing and ecommerce technologies. Sessions are targeted to individuals, businesses and nonprofits to help them learn how to compete in the digital marketplace.

Cathy’s expertise spans over 30 years of demonstrated business experience in all functions including planning, analysis, marketing and finance. Her focus in online business development and e-marketing efforts comes from over twenty-five years of hands-on marketing for both large enterprises and start-up companies. Cathy has consulted with many national and regional clients including: GE, Choice Hotels, Tide.com, Seaway Manufacturing, Howard Industries, Troyer Farms and Gannon University, Blair.com, Relish.com, reCAP Mason Jars, The Center for eBusiness (eBizITPA), Penn State University, and Knowledge Park at Penn State Erie.