Meet John Kirst, Founder and Managing Partner of My Wine Guide. John has been solving problems for businesses and consumers through the use of software-based technologies over a career that spans 30 plus years in Silicon Valley. My Wine Guide re-imagines and re-defines the in-restaurant wine experience for the benefit of both restaurant goers and restaurants.
Jon Millhausen, Owner of Wonderfly Arena in Baltimore, MD, contributes the start of his event planning career to his extra semester. From running around in a hamster ball to playing arrow tag, Jon believes Wonderfly Arena is the perfect place to book for your special event.
They say lightning doesn't strike twice but for Hysteria Co-Founders Rich Gue and Geoff Lopes, it did, literally. Back when Rich and Geoff were going through the painstaking, and expensive process of brewing their first batches of beer, they realized they did not have enough power to meet their production goals. Listen to hear how the lightning struck again when their opening day they sold out of all the beer they had brewed.
April Gomez is the founder and CEO of Charm City Rabbit Hole an immersive experience where a series of fantastical rooms created by artists play with size and perception. April is planning to grow Charm City Rabbit Hole to contain 15 explorable art installations and two types of exhibits to keep artists employed and visitors exploring!
Leaving the competitive sports world and jumping into the construction industry was a massive change for Britt Tegeler, Owner, and CEO of Britt Tegeler Construction & Supply in Baltimore, MD. Having no knowledge of construction, Britt began working at her uncle’s company, Grasmick lumber, where she soon fell in love with the industry and the many opportunities it offered. A new-found passion for construction pushed Britt to create her own company. The many connections and relationships she developed from working at her uncles’ company have crafted the successful business owner she is now. Britt prides herself on having a thriving female-owned company in a male-dominated industry that is devoted to customer service and satisfaction.
Crafting with a passion describes Brad Blackwell, founder, and distiller of Lost Ark Distilling in Columbia, MD. Brad has a serious passion for all things distilling. He comes across as quiet and shy but carries a hard-charging and passionate drive for success. He prides himself on being creative and relentless in any pursuit.
Julie Kernan is the president and CEO of Business Volunteers Maryland. For more than 15 years, Business Volunteers Maryland has forged lasting connections between local organizations and members of the community. The nonprofit helps businesses grow their community impact while improving brand awareness, employee recruitment and retention, professional development, and other key business goals.
Aida Keehner is the president and CEO of Atruent, a managed information technology solutions provider based in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Through a four-step process covering analysis, recommendation, implementation, and management, Atruent creates customized IT solutions for businesses of all kinds.
Marco Avila is the CEO and co-founder of The Healing Hands Foundation (THHF). He also serves as president and chairman of the board of the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MDHCC). Since 2007, THHF has provided vital services, including surgical procedures, medical treatment, dental care, and educational support, to children in under-resourced communities around the world. MDHCC helps Maryland-based, Hispanic-owned businesses grow, partner together, and thrive through support, advocacy, and networking. In both contexts, Marco draws on his diverse background as a project manager, supervising engineer, translator, connector, and leader.
Cory Perdue is the president and CEO of Datakwip. Headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, Datakwip "helps buildings help people"—by harnessing data to ensure buildings operate in an environmentally and financially responsible manner. The company's platform provides enterprise, cloud-based facility analytics to utilities, energy contractors, and organizations looking to optimize facility operation and efficiency.
Randy Marriner is the chairman and founder of Victoria Restaurant Group. Together with his wife Mary, and daughters Rachael and Tori, Randy runs a number of restaurants, including Victoria Gastropub, Manor Hill Brewing, and Food Plenty. For years, the Victoria Resturant Group has been a leader in Howard County's hospitality industry, serving traditional and innovative flavors, menus, and design elements—many of which connect directly to the family's personal histories and pursuits. Food Plenty, for instance, features ingredients sourced from the Marriners' working farm, Manor Hill Farm in Ellicott City. The family also operates MHF Productions, an event services company. In addition to his career as an entrepreneur and restaurateur, Randy is the chair of the Lottery Gaming and Control Commission for the State of Maryland.
Dan Medinger is the publisher and owner of The Business Monthly. For more than 25 years, "Biz Monthly" has been headquartered in Howard County and Anne Arundel County, Maryland. With articles written by and for members of the local business community, the newspaper has become a go-to source for news business, finance, government, real estate, technology, and economic development. Dan is also the owner and president of Advertising Media Plus, a Maryland-based communication, media, and marketing agency. He purchased Biz Monthly from its previous publishers and owners, Becky Mangus and Cathy Yost, last year.
Gary Garofalo is the president and CEO of Harkins Builders, a construction management and preconstruction firm headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. Founded in 1965, Harkins is an employee-owned company, with values rooted in integrity, service, and community. The firm specializes in multifamily, commercial, and government projects such as schools, apartments, armed forces facilities, senior living centers, and more. Gary has been with Harkins for nearly three decades, having first joined the company as a controller in 1991.
PJ Bellomo is the CEO of RocketDocs, a B2B enterprise, that serves companies who need to improve the speed and quality of their responses to consumers. The company’s goal is to help eliminate revenue decelerators, or as they call it: Information Chaos. Originally called Proposal Software, RocketDocs started during the early 2000s and worked to help companies automate RFPs. However, when their services became popular among large banking and financial institutions, they found their company was working to help automate other types of documentation issues. Proposal Software thus fell short in representing all the services they had to offer. Proposal Software was decidedly rebranded to RocketDocs. Their system combines SaaS technology with best practices to deliver improved speed and accuracy for a multitude of customer documentation requests. Their work helps to benefit customer-facing teams, including sales, sales operations, sales engineering, professional services, customer success, marketing, and technology. In 2018, they have launched a new program that works to improve document automation, enterprise content management, content sharing, and content enablement spaces.
Todd Marks is the CEO of Mindgrub Technologies and Mindgrub Robotics. Headquartered in Baltimore, Mindgrub is a pioneering technological innovation company that develops software applications, digital products, and marketing solutions—many of which leverage emerging tech, such as VR and AR, wearable devices, and mobile gaming. The company has worked for a number of prominent organizations and Fortune 500 companies, including NASA, Underarmour, The Smithsonian Institute, AOL, Wendy's, Dell, Sylvan Learning, and The Economist. Todd recently joined a group of Baltimore business owners on an Everest Base Camp trek, climbing to an altitude of over 17,500 feet. In this CEO Minutes interview, he describes what motivated him to take the trip to Everest, and how the journey has influenced his ongoing mission to push past his personal and professional limits.
Jeff Elkin is President of Advance Business Systems. Founded by Alan and Lois Elkin in 1964, Advance is committed to satisfying the business needs of its customers by providing office supplies, printers, scanners, and document management services. The company has recently evolved to provide managed IT services after listening to customers' needs and leveraging technological advances in the industry—a change brought about by Jeff, who recently took Advance over from his parents. CEOminutes sat down with Jeff to learn about the business, what Advance does for its clients, his vision for the future, and what's behind the company's catchy tagline: We live and breathe this stuff™.
Ryan Corey is the CEO and Co-Founder of Cybrary, a cybersecurity and information technology training platform. Founded in 2015, Cybrary seeks to democratize access to cybersecurity and IT education. Users gain access to a catalog of online courses, tools, and collaborative learning opportunities accessible anytime, anywhere, for free. The company was a Golden Bridge Startup of the Year winner in 2016, and has been named a "Best Cybersecurity Education Provider" in the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Cybersecurity Excellence Awards.
Corina Morga is the President and Owner of C.R. Services, a provider of competitive commercial and government cleaning services throughout the Baltimore and Washington, DC community. She is also the President of the Greater Baltimore Regional Chapter (GBRC) of the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MDHCC). Launched in 2017, the GRBC supported the MDHCC's mission by representing hispanic and latina-owned businesses, creating connections between them, and helping them form alliances with other business owners, community leaders, and elected officials.
Scott Kuhlman is the CEO of Heart to Beat LLC, a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), safety, and lifeguard certification company located in Phoenix, Maryland. A graduate of Loyola University's Business Management program, Scott has spent his life swimming, lifeguarding, and training others to become lifeguards. In 2016, Scott founded Heart to Beat as a way to formalize and expand his role as a teacher and trainer. The company's clients now include Under Armour Performance Center, The Jacksonville Volunteer Fire Company, Baltimore Fabrication, Roland Park Country School, St. Joseph's Fullerton, and more. To date, Heart to Beat has trained nearly 500 people through courses resulting in certification with the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, and the American Safety and Health Institute.
James Dulkerian is a doctor of physical therapy and the owner of Pioneer PT. Unlike traditional physical therapy clinics, Pioneer PT is a mobile operation: James runs his clinic from a blue van converted into a full physical therapy office. Instead of asking patients to come in, Pioneer PT takes its services directly to them, reducing the stress, time, and cost associated with physical therapy visits. Additionally, Pioneer PT differs in its holistic approach, which focuses on alleviating pain and promoting health without pills or surgeries
Braeden Bumpers is Co-Founder of McClintock Distillery in Frederick, MD and the keepsake of the “McClintock Young story,” from which the distillery was named.
McClintock Young was a renowned inventor in the 1800’s whose inspirations shaped history far beyond the borders of his hometown of Frederick. Born in 1836, McClintock moved to Frederick as a young man to follow his passion for innovation. His vision and influence on history were extraordinary, but their impact would have been lost to time had it not been for a fortuitous discovery a few years ago. Braeden sat down with the crew from CEOminutes to talk about how the legacy of the distillery's namesake has shaped the mission and innovative spirit of their small-batch limited-release products using some unconventional (and delicious) ingredients.
Leah Heise is Chief Experience Officer (CXO) of 4Front Ventures, a pioneering medical cannabis investment and management firm. She also serves as CXO for Mission™, 4Front's chain of medical cannabis dispensaries. Founded in 2011, 4Front is dedicated to developing the medical cannabis industry through a leadership model that emphasizes compassion, professionalism, and accountability. The firm's team leverages experience in finance, real estate, manufacturing, and retail management to help fledgling businesses take advantage of strategic opportunities in areas such as cultivation, distribution, production, technology, and more. Leah is a licensed attorney, and prior to joining 4Front and Mission, she spent several years in leadership positions at organizations such as Women Grow, Chesapeake Integrated Health Institute, and jCanna.