Lisa West, Founder of Confidence Covers, a patent-pending designer medical alert help button cover manufacturer, which transforms the ordinary help button into a decorative accessory like jewelry. The market is men and women ages 65 and older living independently and wanting to stay at home. It is also for the 45-65 year old women who is buying this as a gift for her loved one. Seniors or disabled people press a personal help button on a pendant, wristband, or belt clip and a response operator accesses the situation to send the appropriate assistance.
Panel Discussion moderated by Joe Thomas, Thomas Management Resources
Jennifer Schwall, Executive Director of the Cherrystone Angel Group, manages the angel group’s operations as well as serves on the Steering, Screening and Due Diligence Committees. She has experience in screening deals, determining valuation models and conducting market research for several verticals including pharmaceutical, medical devices, software, hardware and internet/mobile applications. She advises portfolio companies on fundraising strategies and works with the CEOs to keep investors updated. Jenn also serves as a representative of Cherrystone in the Boston and New York markets at various fundraising and networking events. Cherrystone specializes in the biopharma, medical device, consumer product and technology fields. Jenn previously worked with Betaspring, a startup accelerator in Providence, where she advised early stage tech companies with legal, accounting and fundraising efforts while also supporting the partners with fundraising and investor community management. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Bryant University with a B.S. in Finance and a minor in Legal Studies.
June Goguen, is a Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer for BayCoast Bank, responsible for developing new commercial loan business as well as managing existing commercial loan relationships. She has worked in banking for more than 22 years, the last 15 of them as a V.P. Commercial Loan Officer, most recently at Bridgewater Savings Bank and Eastern Bank. She served as a Project Manager for the Massachusetts Dept. of Economic Development’s Office of Business Development (MOBD). June holds a B.S. in Business Management and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, graduating first in her class. In 2012, she was awarded Massachusetts Women in Business Champion from the Small Business Administration. June has served on the board of the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, UMass Dartmouth ENACTUS, and UMass Dartmouth Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, Chair for the International Trade Assistance Center, New Bedford Art Museum and SEED Corporation, and been involved with Downtown New Bedford Inc., Junior Achievement, and Bristol Community College.
David Lawrence, Executive Vice President of Diamond Business Credit, has been involved in small business financing in the New England marketplace since 1990. His focus has always been on small, non-bankable businesses, a market historically overlooked by most lenders. He is also an entrepreneur who understands first-hand the challenges faced by small business owners. In 2006 when his employer was moving upstream and abandoning the small business market, David left that company to co-found Diamond Business Credit, where he continues his focus on helping struggling small businesses. David has a long-standing reputation for being responsive and creative in addressing the unique challenges faced by these businesses. He has financed several hundred businesses over his career. David holds a B.S. from Northeastern University with a dual concentration in finance and entrepreneurship. He is also an avid aviator holding Airline Transport Pilot and Certified Flight Instructors licenses.
Joe Thomas, Principal with Thomas Management Resources, has over 30 years of experience working with and as part of the senior management teams of small-to-mid-sized companies in the areas of operations, product development, project management, business development and strategic planning. He has also performed due diligence for acquisitions and implemented successful turnarounds.
In support of new business and product development initiatives, Joe has secured external funding through industry associations, private investors and strategic partners.
Joe serves as a Business Recovery Specialist with the New England Trade Advisory Assistance Center (NETAAC), where he has performed needs analyses / recovery plans for over 120 NETAAC funded companies. On behalf of lending institutions, Joe provides a broad range of management advisory services.
Previously, Joe has held senior level positions in operations, sales & marketing, new business development and business acquisitions with Chart Industries, ThermoElectron, Koch Industries , Helix Technology, Stone &Webster Engineering and Westinghouse Electric. His industry experience includes aerospace, automotive, building products, chemicals, coatings & finishing, contract manufacturing, electronics, furniture & home goods, HVAC, industrial products, injection molding, instrumentation, jewelry, LNG, marine, medical imaging systems, musical instruments, packaging, petrochemical, power generation, precision machining, printing, process systems, semiconductor, signage and sports apparel.
Joe was a co-founder of Chameleon Network Inc., a start-up Company which developed a secure, handheld electronic wallet system. Joe holds a BSME degree from WPI, with graduate work towards an MBA at Drexel. He is a registered Professional Engineer and is a past member of and program moderator for the WPI Venture Forum.