Keynote Speaker:

David Fann, President, Avadim Technologies

David Fann began working for Avadim LLC in October 2012 and became the President in July 2014. During his time with Avadim, Mr. Fann has been responsible for capital raises and new product development. Prior to joining Avadim LLC, Mr. Fann co-founded Solar Energy Initiatives, Inc. and served as its Chief Executive Officer from February 2009 to February 19, 2013. Prior to that Mr. Fann co-founded FNDS3000 Corp. and served as its President for 2 years and as its Vice President for a year beforehand. He served as the President of Global Axcess Corp. for 4 years where he was responsible for equity and debt financings totaling over $17 million and was also responsible for investor relations. Mr. Fann also served as Director for many of the organizations with whom he worked.

Scott Daugherty, State Director, SBTDC

Scott Daugherty has served as the SBTDC’s State Director since it was founded in 1984. He also serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Extension, Engagement and Economic Development at North Carolina State University.

Scott attended Wake Forest University, The University of Miami and The University of Florida. He has a law degree and has practiced as a corporate attorney in Florida, Mississippi and Washington, DC. He also has managed two large regional economic development organizations and organized and run a small business investment company. Just prior to joining The University of North Carolina system in 1984, Scott was a Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of a large quasi-public financing agency in Washington, DC.


Diane G. Dempsey, Director, Small Business Programs, BAE Systems

Ms Dempsey has enjoyed an extensive career in the field of procurement, subcontracts and supplier diversity. Currently she is the Director, Small Business Programs for BAE Systems Intelligence & Security Sector. Ms Dempsey has also been a small business advocate for several prime contractors in the DC Metropolitan area. She serves on multiple boards and committees as well as receiving many awards for her advocacy in the small business community.

She received her B.S. from Mary Washington College, Certificate in Contracts & Procurements, University of Virginia, and Master’s Certificate in Procurement & Supply Chain Management, MS and MBA from the University of Maryland. She is also a certified supplier diversity professional and instructor for the Alliance of Supplier Diversity Professionals.


Benny Sloan, State Contractor Utilization Engineer, NCDOT

Benny Sloan currently serves as the State Contractor Utilization Engineer in the Office of Civil Rights of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). On behalf of NCDOT, Sloan’s office manages the Unified Certification Program. Mr. Sloan manages this program for subcontractors seeking to obtain certifications as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), which also includes Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Women Business Enterprise (WBE). Mr. Sloan also manages the DBE Compliance Unit. This unit is responsible for ensuring that DBE subcontractors are performing a Commercial Useful Function (CUF) on federal and state funded projects.

The Unified Certification Program under Mr. Sloan’s management creates opportunities for small and disadvantaged firms to participate in highway, transit and aviation contracts involving federal and state funds. Other certifications in the program include Small Business Enterprise (SBE) and Small Professional Services Firms (SPSF).

Benny Sloan has worked for the NCDOT for 22 years. Sloan previously served as an Assistant District Engineer, a County Maintenance Engineer and an Assistant Resident Engineer.

Mr. Sloan obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro, NC. Outside of work, Benny serves on the Board of Directors for The Bridge Tech, located in Greenville, SC. The Bridge Tech is a non-profit agency seeking to bridge the technology gap in middle and high school students by helping to prepare them to compete in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) courses and careers. He serves as an Elder at Triad Christian Center Church of God in Christ Church in High Point, NC. However, the joy of his life is his family. He is married to Evangelist Sonja Sloan. They have been married for almost 22 years. He has three children, Benjamin, Isaac and Madison.


Richard Reber, Contract Specialist I, NC Division of Purchase & Contract

Richard Reber is a Contract Specialist I with NC Division of Purchase & Contract. He started his Public Procurement career in 2005 as a Purchasing Agent for Dare County, NC. After attending several of the UNC-School of Government’s Certified Local Government Purchasing Officer classes, Richard was able to move to Raleigh, NC and accept a position with Wake County Public School System as a Buyer. Subsequently, Richard was promoted to a Buyer II, while increasing his realm of responsibility during enormous growth that occurred in the school system. Richard brings over 15 years of public procurement experience to the Division of Purchase and Contract and is seen as a valuable asset to State Government.


Aregnaz Mooradian, Business Opportunity Specialist, SBA

Ms. Aregnaz “Ari” Mooradian is the new Lead Business Opportunity Specialist working with the U.S. Small Business Administration’s North Carolina District Office. The Lead Business Opportunity Specialist oversees the 8(a) Business Development Program in the state. Ari began with SBA as a Lender Relations Specialist in 2013 in the Arizona District Office. She then moved into the position of Business Opportunity Specialist. Prior to SBA, she worked with the Peace Corps in Uganda, East Africa, as a microfinance specialist. There she led change management initiatives for a local lender. Ari has worked with a Los Angeles based non-profit, where she was responsible for human capital and fund development.


Joe Ann Shaeffers, Business Opportunity Specialist, SBA

Joe Ann Shaeffers is a Business Opportunity Specialist at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) North Carolina District Office in Charlotte. She is responsible for the management and delivery of SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program. The 8(a) program assists socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners through federal certifications, education, technical assistance and other SBA programs and services. Her expertise includes assisting in contract certifications for Women-Owned, Service-Disabled Veterans and HUBZone eligible small businesses. Joe Ann’s responsibilities includes promoting SBA programs and services through outreach and marketing, as well as linking and matching the need of the organizations to the capabilities of small businesses. Joe Ann is a Vietnam-Era Veteran of the U.S. Army.


Richard Speights, Procurement Counselor, SBTDC PTAC

Richard Speights joined the North Carolina Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) as a Procurement Counselor in November. Rich provides PTAC services to the eight counties in the Piedmont area including the Metropolitan area of Charlotte. Rich retired from the US Navy after serving 26 ½ years in assignments both at sea and ashore. A qualified “Nuclear Submariner”, Rich served on two ballistic missile submarines and one attack submarine and was the senior logistics officer for an attack submarine squadron. He was also designated an “Acquisition Professional” by the Department of the Navy, holds a Master’s Degree in Acquisition and Contracting from the Naval Postgraduate School and served as the Director of Purchasing at the Naval Supply Center in Charleston, SC and the Supply Officer/Assistance Chief of Staff (Logistics) at the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Mississippi. Rich was also the former Director of the Mississippi Procurement Technical Assistance (PTAC) Program and a political appointee by the governor of the State of Mississippi as Director, Minority and Small Business Development. He retired from the Navy as a Commander.


Gregg Funkhouser, CPA, Partner, Dixon Hughes Goodman

Gregg has practiced in private industry and as a certified public accountant for over 30 years. Gregg specializes in serving the government contracting industry.

Gregg has authored numerous articles on government contracting, SBA and Tax issues. Under his direction, the firm issues news alerts, which addresses current financial, tax, compliance and management issues and economic trends affecting the government contracting industry. He also hosts the annual seminar “Government Contracting Update,” now in its seventeenth year, which provides an overview of the latest tax, accounting, legal, financial and compliance developments affecting the government contracting industry.


Robin Rourk, Deputy Director, Office of Small Business Programs, SPAWAR

Ms. Rourk is the Deputy Director, Office of Small Business Programs, at Space and Naval Warfare Center (SPAWAR) Systems Center (SSC) Atlantic. She is responsible for ensuring that small and small socio-economic business concerns receive a fair portion of command contract actions. While Ms. Rourk has been assigned as Deputy Director, Office of Small Business Programs at SSC Atlantic, the command has consistently surpassed contracting goals with Small Business Prime contractors, Small Disadvantaged Businesses, Women Owned Small Businesses, HUBZone Small Businesses and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Businesses. She also acts as the command liaison for industry partners.

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Ms. Rourk is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and later earned a Master of Business Administration from The Citadel. She is a member of the Acquisition Professional Community and maintains a level III DAWIA certification in Contracting. She is also a graduate of the leadership program at the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Hudson Oliveira, Director of Global Supply Chain Programs, RTI

Hudson Oliveira is RTI’s Director of Global Supply Chain Programs. He earned a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Marketing from Portland State University and earned a Master of Science with a concentration in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of South Florida. He has 26 years of experience in supply management including 16 years in supplier diversity and small business program management.



Kimber Craig, Procurement Director, SC State Fiscal Accountability Authority

Kimber Craig is the Procurement Director for the Procurement Services Division of South Carolina’s State Fiscal Accountability Authority. She oversees all operations of the State Procurement Office (SPO) and the Information Technology Management Office (ITMO). SPO is responsible for conducting and managing procurements for any type of acquisition for supplies or services, other than construction or information technology and ITMO is responsible for conducting and managing procurements for data processing, telecommunications, office systems, software, hardware, and related systems.

Kimber began her career with State of South Carolina as a Procurement Manager with the State Procurement Office in 2007. She has since served as a member to the State’s ERP implementation team and the Agency Procurement Director for the SC Budget & Control Board. She returned to the Procurement Services Division as Director in 2014. She also over 15 years private sector procurement experience prior to joining the State.

Kimber received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of South Carolina. In addition, she is a Certified Public Procurement Officer (CPPO).


Ron Conner, Procurement Manager, South Carolina Department of Transportation

Ron Conner is a Procurement Manager – Supervisor at the South Carolina Department of Transportation. With over 12+ years of state/local government purchasing experience, Ron has negotiated and awarded contracts for goods and services, as well as Information Technology software, hardware, and services.

Ron received his Bachelor of Business Degree in Computer Information Systems from Georgia Southern University and MBA from the University of Phoenix.


Lisa Leal, Principal Buyer and Certified Small Business Liaison Officer, Curtiss-Wright

Lisa Leal is a Principal Buyer and Certified Small Business Liaison Officer with Curtiss-Wright Sensors & Controls – Actuation Systems. Ms. Leal has served as an SBLO since 2005 and obtained a certification in Supplier Diversity through ASDP in 2015. Ms. Leal has been in procurement since 1984 and in aerospace since 1996. Ms. Leal has participated in many small business events across the United States and frequently serves as a panel speaker or subject matter expert in the area of Supplier Diversity. Lisa works closely with many Primes such as Lockheed-Martin to continue to strengthen the Diversity program in place at Curtiss-Wright and with Government resources to keep abreast of changes in governmental policy.