NC VetBiz was formed to assist veterans, veteran professionals, and veteran business owners. As a member–operated association of veteran professionals and business owners, our intent is to develop and strengthen a veterans’ business network in North Carolina.
The Association is the voice in North Carolina for businesses owned by veterans and service–disabled veterans. By leveraging our collective, we are able to address business issues affecting our membership and work to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes for the business community and North Carolina. Strengthening veteran owned businesses enables them to contribute to North Carolina’s economic vibrancy and empowers them to hire other veterans.
The North Carolina Veteran's Business Association, doing business as NC VetBiz, is a 501 (c)(3) association headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.
What started as a casual conversation between two veterans about the challenges faced by veterans and as entrepreneurs in the workforce soon became the idea for a statewide 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated solely to veterans in business.
The North Carolina Veterans Business Association, Inc (d.b.a. NC VetBiz) was founded in April 2008, and incorporated the following month by Joe Marchesani, Chairman of the Board, John Wharton, Board Member, and John Kennedy, Board Member. The organization was originally headquartered in Charlotte, NC, and has grown to become the recognized private sector advocate and voice for veteran business owners and professionals.
- MEET THE BOARD -
Mark Haupt, Sr., MBA
Mark M. Haupt, a decorated U.S. Air Force veteran, owns and operates Converged Services, Inc., a Professional Services company, headquartered in Raleigh, NC. He served as a member of the NC Governor’s Advisory Council for Small and HUB Businesses. He co-founded the NC Veterans Business Association in Charlotte, NC and serves as a Trustee of a large corporate Voluntary Employee Benefits Association. He is past President of the North Carolina Veterans Business Association, served on the Tammy Lynn Foundation Board of Directors and the Research Triangle Park Federal Credit Union Board of Directors in North Carolina.
Mark founded Converged Services, Inc. in 2008 after thirty years in the corporate world delivering telecommunications, data, and information technology products and services around the world.
A seasoned executive leader of global business development, customer service, and operations organizations, Mark has more than 37 years of global and domestic Information Technology and Telecommunications industry experience. He has introduced products and services in 13+ countries and directed operations teams in Europe, Asia, and South and North America of up to 350 employees.
Mark holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration from Upper Iowa University, and an Associate Degree in Electronic Technology from the Community College of the U.S. Air Force.
Christian Kubista is a U.S. Army Veteran, having served ten years as an officer in the Army Reserve. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, with his deployment back 2004. As an Army officer, Christian served in various capacities in command, Division budget officer, as well as Chief of Vendor Services during his deployment. He separated from service back in 2005.
Christian has successfully built a career in the financial services industry over the past 25 years. He currently works with Wells Fargo Advisors in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he serves in the capacity as branch manager for the Private Client Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. He has been with the company for 20 years, having served in various capacities as Associate Market Manager, Productivity Manager, as well as Product Manager in various departments within the firm. Christian has a high passion for leading and developing people to pursue their goals and building successful careers, skills that he has learned and experienced having served in the U.S. Army. He is a graduate of the University of Richmond, where he earned a degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance. He resides in Raleigh with his wife and two children.
Anthony J. Scott is a U.S. Navy veteran and is a returning board member. He was the original Treasurer when NCVetbiz was established in 2008. Anthony currently works at Wells Fargo Bank as an Audit Manager in the Commercial Lending group.
Anthony is a Certified Public Accountant and has over 15 years of “Big 4” and industry experience, skilled in both internal and external audits, to include financial, compliance, and operational audits. He has knowledge in internal control testing over financial reporting as required by the Sarbanes Oxley Act (“SOX”) using COSO ERM Integrated framework. Additionally, he has a working knowledge in preparing GAAP financial statements as required by the SEC.
Anthony received a BS in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University
Member at Large
Don Carter is a U.S. Air Force veteran and currently, works as a 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 and business leaders to assess the financial climate and needs for small businesses 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 assess 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.
Don received a BS in Management and Marketing and an MBA from East Carolina University. He also earned a Computer Information Systems from Saint Leo University after retiring from the military. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Methodist University teaching Entrepreneurship.
Member at Large
Craig Gorham is a Retired Navy, Service-Disable Veteran Submariner, and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Creative Management Staffing Services DBA Creative Management Solutions, LLC established in 2013. His leadership and management skills have come from a rich career including two tours in the Navy as a Recruiter (Recruiter in Charge, Zone Supervisor), as well as Career Information Program Manager, Account Executive for NStar Global Services, and Corporate Recruiter/ Employment Representative with Duke University. After a decorated, 20-year career, Craig Gorham retired from the U.S. Navy in Aug 2002. Soon afterward, he purchased a franchise that he has successfully managed for ten years. He attended American Intercontinental University where obtained his Associate Degree in Business in 2007 and returned to school to complete his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Management at the University of Phoenix in May 2012.
Member at Large
Lindsay Hinger is an Air Force Veteran, entrepreneur, and advocate. She served in the Air Force as a Logistics Readiness Officer on the Hickam AFB Flightline in cargo and passenger operations. She is the Founder of MilSO Box LLC., as well as the Founder and CEO of Gifting With Valor LLC.; a custom gift box service for military-centric organizations and businesses.
Lindsay’s advocacy includes experience as an Air Force Sexual Assault Victim Advocate, a North Carolina Guardian Ad Litem, and a foster parent. Today, her advocacy focuses on military spouse and veteran-owned businesses as well as mental health. She is a mentor to military spouses through the American Corporate Partners (ACP) Mentoring program.
She has 17 years of military and civilian logistics experience including air, rail, ocean, over-the-road trucking, warehousing, distribution, and supply chain. A small business owner since 2016, Lindsay is also a Bunker Labs RDU Cohort Graduate and IVMF’s VWise Program Graduate.
Lindsay earned her Cultural Anthropology degree and graduated from the Air Force ROTC program at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2004.
Member at Large
Steve S. Rao, a native of Charleston, West Virginia, serves as a Council Member At Large and Former Mayor Pro Tem for the Town of Morrisville, recently ranked USA Today as one of the top Towns to live in the United States. He is a Senior Business Development Executive at Alphanumeric Systems, a global tech company headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Elected in 2011, Council Member Rao is serving in his third term as an At Large Council Member for the Town of Morrisville. He served as Mayor Pro Tem from 2015- 2017.
During his past eight years in office, he has lead efforts to start a growing Entrepreneurship Program in Morrisville, started an English as a Second Language program, has worked with his Council to aggressively with the bring over 200 million NCDOT investment to Morrisville in the next ten years. Recently, Mayor Pro Tem Rao serves as a Member to the New American Economy, a bipartisan coalition of Mayors and Business Leaders, Chaired by Former New York City Mayor, Mike Bloomberg, focused on comprehensive immigration reform in the United States. Council Member Rao is leading the Town of Morrisville Smart City Initiatives and is also working to develop a regional Smart City Strategy for Wake County and the Triangle Region.
Rao also co-chairs the Smart Growth and Water Resources Committee for Triangle J Council of Governments in addition to serving as a Delegate to the Triangle J Council Board of Delegates. He also Co-Chairs, the Mayors Against Bullying organization with Mayor Dick Sears. He also serves on the Board of the North Carolina Veteran Business Association and is Chair of the Pleasant Grove Foundation/Dream Academy.
Council Member Rao serves as a part-time political commentator on Spectrum News and is a radio host and commentator on Radio Mirchi, the Triangle Regions’ Largest South Asian Radio Station.
He received a BA from Emory University in Political Science where he played collegiate tennis and a JD from the West Virginia University College of Law and resides in Morrisville with his wife. Dr. Komal Parekh and children Sonia & Rayan.
Member at Large
Jameson Knight is the Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Novant Health in Charlotte, NC. Jameson holds a BS in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an Associate of Arts degree as well as an Associate Degree in Criminal Science from Central Piedmont Community College.
Jameson served as a Cavalry Scout in the US Army from 2007 to 2012. He currently serves on the board of directors at NC Vet Biz, Disability: IN-NC, Vet-Charlotte and serves on several Novant Health committees focusing on diversity, inclusion, and equity.
In his role as Supplier, Diversity, and Inclusion Manager, Jameson leads organization-wide initiatives for Novant that benefit underrepresented populations and works with his team to streamline the process for supplier diversity opportunities with veteran and diverse business enterprises. He also focuses on developing and sustaining community partnerships with supplier diversity trade groups and community organizations that represent underrepresented populations.
Member at Large
Raven Coleman is the Owner/Operator of 4C: Central Carolina Cleaning Company Inc. a specialized bioremediation company that focuses on crime scene/trauma cleanup, decontamination, and restoration services. She is also the owner of Final Passage Transport, an end-of-life body removal/mortuary transport service. Raven brings over 20 years of Criminal Justice and industry-related experience. A former EMT in the US Air Force, Raven possesses a Master’s Degree in Justice Administration and has hands-on work experience in forensic and death investigations. She also holds a certificate in OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) compliance. Raven Coleman started 4C as a way to use her knowledge and expertise in the fields of criminology and forensics to help the people of North Carolina. Help comes in many forms with 4C especially during the most difficult times for some, from the biohazard division to the transportation division which recently expanded into the pet industry as well as a new location in her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, she and her team of professionals are trained, dedicated, and not afraid to work hard and get their hands dirty. No job is too big or too small.
For the past 6 years until this past May, Raven was a full-time Lecturer at NC A&T State University where she taught future criminal justice professionals and forensics. Raven currently serves as the Commander of the only All-Female American Legion Post 540 in North Carolina (Cary, NC). Her passion for veterans both personally and amongst the business community is very strong. She uses her voice to advocate for those who have served and who are currently serving. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, eating good food, working out, listening to music, riding her motorcycle, and spending time with her 3-year-old fur kid Cane Corso Ruger and 11 y/o Boxer Mastiff Glock who crossed the rainbow bridge a few months ago.
Member at Large
George is from Jacksonville, Florida, but also calls Randolph, Virginia home. In 1969 he was drafted to serve in Vietnam in the 44th Med – 82nd Airborne, where he trained as a Special Forces Combat Medic. Upon his return, he pursued a Bachelor in Business Administration and Secondary Education in 1975 at Methodist College. George also taught High School History and Economics as well as coached Football. In 1978 George worked for Coca-Cola Consolidated, where he managed operations. And was Vice President of Marketing and Sales Development. In 1990 George and his wife Sidney, Founded Atlantic Documentation Centers, a Digital Print Services company that was sold in 2000 to a Publicly Traded Company out of Detroit. Today you can find George at Southport Graphics, the most current venture, where he founded with his wife in 2010, a second Digital Print Services Company.
Member at Large
Josh is a multi-faceted, strategic, and accomplished former U.S. Marine Corps, Sgt., global leader, and respected member of the international cyber security & IT communities. He has 24 years of "hands-on keyboard" technology experience coupled with direct CXO and Board transformation enablement skills. He has strong business acumen, extensive industry relationships, expert technical skills in several domains of IT and Security, and deep experience driving Information Security outcomes.
Mr. Nicholson has a proven history delivering on large scale global enterprise information security projects and programs. He has broad experience working and traveling internationally (U.K., EU, Middle East, Asia, Australia) maintaining and building strong customer relationships with key foreign executives and Chief Information Security Officers.
His strong technology and cyber engineering skills, coupled with a smooth and confident style of explaining highly technical terms in easy-to-understand business language, is a key attribute of his leadership style.