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Opportunities and Risks for Black Entrepreneurs: Black Entrepreneurship Summit

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Carlin Jackson
Theo. Wyes David, Ltd. | Content Status, Founder/Principal Consultant | Co-founder/CTO

Carlin D.T. Jackson is the Principal Consultant of Theo. Wyes David, Ltd., delivering general advisory, strategy, systems architecture, commercialization, and corporate finance services to numerous industries and clients across the country; the Co-founder & CTO of Content Status, a venture capital-backed eCommerce tech-startup; and a board member of the Case Alumni Association. In his role as a think[box] Founder at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) and through his engagement with numerous regional non-profits, he mentors students, community members, and entrepreneurs. He has previously held management and engineering roles at Explorys, the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, North Shore Energy, and within multiple R&D projects at CWRU.

Carlin received a MS Finance degree from the Weatherhead School of Management at CWRU (Corporate Finance track with focuses in both Entrepreneurial and Health Finance). As a Louis Stokes Scholar at CWRU, he received a BA Computer Science degree (minors in Finance, Management, and Mathematics).

Above all else, Carlin values his faith in God, parents Cedric Sr. and Linda, siblings, extended family, and friends.

Jay Williams
Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, President

Since July 2017, Jay Williams has served as president of the Hartford Foundation. He is currently leading the Foundation’s commitment to dismantle structural racism, achieve equity and improve social and economic mobility in our region, in partnership with nonprofit organizations and community stakeholders. In his role, Jay serves on the boards of the MetroHartford Alliance, AdvanceCT, and the CHEFA Community Development Corporation. In addition, he is a member of the Governor’s Workforce Council and the Community Foundation Opportunity Network Governing Council.

Prior to coming to the Foundation, Jay served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development where he led the federal economic development agenda for the United States. He also served as Deputy Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House where he was the principal liaison between the President of the United States and local elected officials. Previously, Jay served as the executive director of the federal Office of Recovery for Auto Communities and Workers. He arrived in Washington, DC after serving as Mayor of the City of Youngstown, Ohio where he helped lead regional economic development initiatives to improve the city’s global competitiveness. Prior to being elected Mayor, Williams led a Community Development Agency in Youngstown.

Anthony Gillespie
Keen Point Consulting, LLC, Founder
Mr. Anthony Gillespie is founder and President of Keen Point Consulting, LLC (KPC), a minority-owned, small business firm established in 2015 that offers technology-led strategic consulting and implementation services. Mr. Gillespie has more than 29 years of experience working in a variety of technology and business roles strategically applying technology to create value for non-profits, academia, government, and industry throughout the nation.                   

His consulting engagements for KPC has focused on technology- based economic development strategy and implementation projects in the State of New Hampshire and Ohio including co-author for the                                       “New Hampshire University Research and Industry Plan”, which outlines strategies for the state to capitalize on its advanced manufacturing, information systems and biosciences strengths to grow and accelerate the state’s innovation-led development. This plan played a key role in the NH higher education institutions (through NH EPSCoR1) receiving $20 million in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for bioscience-related research and talent development named NH BioMade. He is also currently a Senior Program Manager at the Ohio Aerospace Institute managing their small business assistance and technology-led economic development programs.

Prior to forming KPC, he managed the business operations of Battelle’s Technology Partnership Practice and helped to design and lead the implementation of technology-based economic development programs focused on innovation partnership strategies and technology commercialization for the following states – Connecticut, Louisiana, Mississippi, Utah, Arkansas, Tennessee, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Arizona.                   

His extensive technology experience has been obtained by working for over ten years as an engineer and MIS project manager at two major corporations, American Electric Power Company and PNC Financial Services. In the academic sector, Mr. Gillespie has served as a project manager in the technology transfer office at Carnegie Mellon University, which included responsibilities for commercializing research and supporting the formation of start-up companies from the College of Engineering, School of Computer Science, and the Data Storage Systems Engineering Research Center.                   

He holds a B.E.E. in electrical engineering from The University of Dayton and dual degrees from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management with an MBA specializing in entrepreneurship and an MS in Management of Information Systems (MS-MIS).



Rob Richardson
Disruption Now Media, Founder & Host

Rob Richardson is the host of Disruption Now Podcast and the owner of Disruption Now Media an interactive platform focused on connecting, empowering and funding black and brown entrepreneurs and leaders.

Disrupting is a personal mission for Rob. As an elementary and middle school student, Rob was enrolled in learning disability classes where he was told that he would never be capable of going to college. He not only proved the teacher wrong but has dedicated his life to empowering others who have been counted out. While attending the University of Cincinnati, Richardson established the first collegiate chapter of the NAACP in the tristate area.   In 2008, Rob was asked by Ohio Governor Ted Strickland to serve on UC’s Board of Trustees.

In 2016, Rob was elected as the youngest Chair in the history of the University of Cincinnati.  Rob had the responsibility of leading the search for the 30th President, Dr. Neville Pinto.  During his tenure, Rob established the UC Scholars Academy, a leadership development and academic preparedness program for students in Cincinnati Public Schools; raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for student scholarships including the largest corporate diversity scholarship at UC; established the 1819 innovation hub, and led the first ever Next Lives Here Innovation Summit.

In 2018, Rob ran statewide as the democratic nominee for Ohio Treasure championing his vision of economic equality and innovation, receiving over 2 million votes and raising over 2.5 million dollars. While he didn't win, he continues to disrupt and fight for others.

Rob graduated from Winton Woods High School and earned a BS in Electrical Engineering and a JD,  from the University of Cincinnati.

The entrepreneurship journey is different for everyone. What do the pitfalls and successes look like for black entrepreneurs in America?