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Winder_KylwKyle Winder

President and Board Chair

Kyle Winder is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served for eight years as a C-130 Aircraft Commander, Combat Mission Commander, and Instructor Pilot. Having deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the Global War on Terror, Kyle separated from the service as a Captain in 2006.

Upon separation, Kyle embarked upon a career in stock and options trading before earning his Master’s degree in Trust and Wealth Management (MTWM) from Campbell University.  In 2011, Kyle accepted a position with The Fidelity Bank as Trust Operations Officer and later as the Managing Director of the Trust & Investment Management department, where he oversaw the financial management for some of North Carolina’s wealthiest families.

In early 2014, Kyle joined the Principal Financial Group; and most recently, in 2015, he founded Flight Plan Financial, a veteran owned small business (VOSB) specializing in financial risk management, group benefits, and retirement solutions, and exit planning strategies.

Kyle currently serves as the President and Board Chair of the North Carolina Veterans Business Association (NC VetBiz).  In May 2017, Kyle was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as the North Carolina Veteran Small Business Advocate of the Year.


AnnetteStevenson2013a-e1424361496540 Annette Hibbert Stevenson, CPSD, C.P.M. 

  Vice President

Annette Hibbert Stevenson, a U.S. Army Officer veteran, has over 30 years’ experience in the personnel/administrative management and procurement profession. Annette currently serves as the Supplier Diversity Manager at SAS Institute. Under her leadership, the program has grown significantly and has earned numerous accolades. In 2012 Annette was recognized by the Small Business Administration as North Carolina Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year. In addition to serving on the N.C. VetBiz Board of Directors, Annette serves on the boards of the N.C. M/WBE Coordinator’s Network and the Triangle Chapter, Institute of Supply Management-Carolinas Virginia Region.

In 2015 Annette was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Working Group for Veterans, Service Members, and their Families.  Most recently she was appointed to serve on the NC Governor’s Advisory Council on Small and Historically Underutilized Businesses.

A graduate of Methodist College, Annette holds a degree in Business Administration with a minor in Military Science. As a rising college senior, Annette received an early reserve officer commission as a Quartermaster Officer. Upon graduation from Methodist, she received a Regular Army commission in the Adjutant General Corps and served ten years on active duty in various leadership positions.  Annette earned the designation of Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) from the Institute of Supply Management and most recently achieved the designation of Certified Professional in Supplier Diversity (CPSD).


 Don C. Carter


Don Carter is a U.S. Air Force veteran and currently, works as the Principal/Senior Partner at The Interface Financial Group.  He is a seasoned small business owner operating an independent office of a multi-national corporation providing working capital to small and medium-sized businesses.  He routinely meets with banking, business, and government leaders to assess the financial climate and needs for small business in central and eastern North Carolina.

Don has an extensive background in operations, management, and training and has led diversified groups and emphasized team building to achieve common goals.  His extensive experience has enabled him to guide organizations through significant change and assessing effectiveness.  Don has participated in global operations, conducted strategic planning, maximized limited budgets from different funding sources, highlighted the continual professional development of staff, coordinated and teamed with external organizations, and successfully completed highly technical, complex tasks within timelines.                     

Don received a BS in Computer Information Systems from Saint Leo University from East Carolina University he earned a BS in Business Administration, Management and Marketing and an MBA.


Kate Taylor HeadshotKate Taylor


Kate Taylor, President of SEA Consulting Group, has more than 20 years of leadership experience building global brands and guiding top-tier organizations. An accomplished strategist and operational tactician, her vision and expertise in individual and organizational performance have driven notable enterprise growth in the science, technology, financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and government sectors. Her achievements have been nationally recognized by Training Magazine as a Top 100 Award Winner. Chief Learning Officer Magazine recruited her to be a member of their Business Intelligence Board for 2015, and again, for 2016.

In addition to her consulting, Kate has been a lecturer in the MBA program and Leadership Academy at North Carolina State University, Duke University’s Advanced Non-profit Leadership Certificate program. She also has instructed staff development at the University of North Carolina.

Kate is a former Air Force officer. She received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University and graduate degree from Duke University. Kate completed graduate studies in globalization and multicultural diversity. Her thesis topic was how implicit bias affects women’s success in science and technology.


Julie K. Dyer

Member at Large - Western Carolina 

Julie is a Navy Veteran with over 21 years’ of military experience. She retired as a Senior Chief (Air Warfare/ Surface Warfare). Julie is the President of Express Yourself Promotional Products/Commercial Printing headquartered in Hendersonville, NC.

Julie is an influential, multi-talented leader and facilitator with a standout record of achievement in Executive Administration and Career Services, specifically in the field of personnel management, education, training, transition services and resource management. Julie has professional expertise in the ability to collaboratively identify, analyze, plan and execute complex projects that require both strategic outlook and attention to detail.

Julie has a successful record of building and maintaining relationships with military and civilian organizations alike.  She has been recognized for her extraordinary ability to relate with culturally diverse populations across all age groups and sought out for her conflict resolution skills.

Julie earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Behavioral Science from the National University- San Diego.


Craig_Gorham Craig Gorham

 Member at Large

Craig Gorham is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Creative Management Staffing Services, since 2013; Craig Gorham joined the U.S. Navy in 1982 where he spent a majority of his career in the U.S. Naval Submarine Service, after a 20-year career, Craig Gorham retired from the U.S. Navy Aug 2002. Creative Management Staffing Services is a provider of staffing services and HR consultant solutions for small and mid-sized businesses where our main focus is to support disable veterans and other service veterans transitioning or retired from the military while offering a variety of staffing solutions from temporary employment, direct hire and career transition. Our goal is to work with clients from a temporary hiring solution for veterans while working as a temporary employee to gain future sustainable employment.

Creative Management Staffing Services is a member of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce since 2013. In December 2014 Creative Management Staffing Services was certified as a Veteran Owned Small Business by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Mr. Gorham belongs to various veteran organizations, Fleet Reserves Associations (FRA), American Legion, Submarine Naval League and the local Submarine Veterans Organization.  Mr. Gorham earned his Bachelor Degree in Business Administration/Management at University of Phoenix May 2012 and an Associate Degree from American Intercontinental University.


bill-houptBill Houpt

Member at Large - Charlotte

Bill Houpt is a graduate of The Citadel in Charleston, SC and a U.S. Army Veteran. Bill served for five years as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer and deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  After leaving the service in 2012 as a Captain, Bill worked for a defense contractor in Virginia and Afghanistan before moving to Charlotte in 2014.

Bill is currently employed as the Business Development Manager for ROVE, an IT Systems Integrator. ROVE is a Veteran owned business that has successfully maintained a workforce that is 30% Veterans.

In addition to being a board member for the North Carolina Veteran Business Association, Bill is active in other Veteran organizations in his local community that help Veterans receive access to needed resources. Bill, along with his wife Arielle, also volunteers with a local animal rescue by fostering dogs in need.



Timothy McNeill, JD, LLM, MHA   

Member At Large

Timothy McNeill is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran.  Tim earned his undergraduate degree in biology from the UNC -Pembroke, followed by a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration from the UNC at Chapel Hill. After earning his Juris Doctor degree from the University Of Iowa College Of Law, McNeill earned a Master of Laws (LLM) degree in Law and Entrepreneurship from Duke University School of Law.

Tim has spent his professional career guiding a variety of healthcare organizations and business owners through complex corporate and compliance challenges.  Over his career, Tim has represented hospitals, health plans, medical practices and life science entrepreneurs. In addition to his practice as a corporate attorney, worked as an attorney and administrator for hospitals and health plans across the country

In his role at the Forrest Firm, Mr. McNeill advises startup companies and mature businesses on issues that arise throughout the business life cycle.  His work also includes complex contractual matters and the protection of intellectual property.

Tim serves on the Boards of several North Carolina non-profit organizations, and as a Council Member of the NC Bar Association’s Health Law Section. Mr. McNeill is a member of the North Carolina Bar, the Iowa Bar and the American Health Lawyers Association.


Mark Mills

Member at Large - Western Carolina

Mark is a military veteran who served four years in the Ohio Army National Guard and nine years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force as a Combat Engineer.  Mark has extensive educational and training experience in leadership, business development, management, contracting (federal, state and local) and human relations.  He has held numerous positions in the nation-wide APTAC organization to include:  Region 4 Director, Education Committee Chair, President-Elect and President.

For the past nine years, Mark has served as the North Carolina PTAC Program Director. In this role, he serves as the primary point of contact and liaison between the SBTDC and the Defense Logistics Agency.  He has the lead responsibility for the SBTDC’s relationships with public and private entities, initiatives and projects related to contracting and government procurement activities.  Mark is also responsible for developing and enhancing government procurement award process initiatives and for identifying and procuring capital and human resources to support and expand current counseling, training, and research.                                        

Mark earned a Bachelor of Science in Management Studies at the University of Maryland and

From the University of Oklahoma, he earned a Masters of Adult and Higher Education and a Masters of Human Relations.


Markus T. Player

Member at Large 

Markus is a veteran of the US Navy and currently, works at Principal as a Financial/Risk Advisor.  Markus has in-depth knowledge and skills in the financial (audit) and technology networks.  He has successfully demonstrated strong leadership in working in the areas of risk management strategies and system architecture.

He is experienced in Network Configuration, new technology roll-out processes, audit management and business development procedures.  In his career, Markus has supervised and provided internal technology consulting which included the responsibilities of contractual compliance and multi-project delivery.

Markus earned an A.A.S., Degree Computer Science and Information Systems from ECPI College of Technology, a B.S. Degree in Accounting from North Carolina Wesleyan University and an M.B.A. Business Administration from Pfeiffer University.


Terence K. West, Sr.

Member at Large - Fayetteville

Terence West is a Retired Army Senior Noncommissioned Officer with 20 years of Honorable Service. Terrence currently works as a Career Transition Coach and the Chief Executive Officer of The West Business Group, LLC (WBG) since 2010. WBG is a consulting company that provides complimentary Franchise Coaching to Veterans and Entrepreneurs who desire to explore franchising as an option to employment or other forms of business ownership.

As a Career Transition Coach, Terence works to help individuals formulate and define personal goals.  For individuals seeking business ownership opportunities, he provides the introduction to a specific franchise and/or business model that may best suit an individual’s goals.  Terrence also provides guidance and coaching in the evaluation of those business options.  By working with a large variety of franchisors and various resales opportunities, Terrence is able to cover a broad and diverse spectrum of business models and can accommodate a wide range of investment levels, even for those with limited financial resources.  Terence is also a NC Real Estate Broker who assists individuals with buying and selling their homes.

Terrence received a BS in Business Administration and a Master of Human Resource Management Degree from Keller Graduate School of Management. He has been in the Fayetteville, NC community since Nov 2012 and is the proud Father of 3 and Grandfather of 4.