Vanita Spaulding is Managing Partner of Cogent Valuation, a business valuation firm with offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Orange County, California. Since 1991, Cogent has provided independent valuations and financial opinions of business entities during thousands of mergers, acquisitions, and other business transactions. The firm has worked with companies of all industries and sizes, from closely held businesses and startups to corporations with billions of dollars in assets. Vanita has served clients in a financial advisory capacity since 1982, and has been involved in over 1,500 valuation engagements.
Denise O'Neill is the president of The Alternative Board, Baltimore-Washington Corridor (TAB-BWI). A branch of the global TAB network, TAB-BWI is a coalition of experienced business professionals who provide peer advisory services, one-on-one coaching, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs and business owners looking to grow their companies. Denise is the former Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Nabisco, and brings 16 years of leadership experience to the team. As a Strategic Business Leadership Coach and Facilitator for TAB, she specializes in sales, marketing, and logistics, as well as organizational development and strategic planning. In this Pinnacles interview, Denise spoke with Mike Mercurio about what sets TAB apart from other advisors, her entrepreneurial philosophy, her charitable endeavors, and more.
Donna Kolb Boesl is the CEO of Walter Electric, an electrical contractor serving the Greater Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area. Walter Electric's history dates back nearly a century, starting when Donna's grandfather, Walter G. Kolb, founded Kolb Electric in 1925. The company remained locally owned and family operated as it grew through the decades, with Donna eventually leading and opening a Baltimore office in 1993. Driven by the dream to run their own company, Donna and her husband Gus Boesl launched Walter Electric in 2015. In this Pinnacles interview, Donna spoke with Mike Mercurio about navigating family dynamics in business, her advice for entrepreneurs, Walter Electric's unique corporate culture, and more.
Ava Pipitone is the executive director of the Baltimore Transgender Alliance as well as the co-founder and CEO of HostHome Inc. Founded in 2014, following the murders of transgender Baltimore residents Mia Henderson and Kandy Hall, the Baltimore Transgender Alliance is a coalition of trans parents, business owners, activists, and artists that seeks to unify, reclaim, and empower the city's transgender and gender non-conforming communities. In 2017, Ava launched HostHome through the Johns Hopkins Social Innovation Lab. Described as a "donor-powered Airbnb," the company aims to provide peer-to-peer housing for homeless LGBTQ individuals and others.