2021 Speakers List

  • Bryan McGann  | Director and Professor of Law, Start-Up Ventures Clinic, Duke University
  • Vicky Ismail | Co-Founder of Carroll’s Kitchen
  • Laura Lunsford | Professor & Chair of Psychology, Campbell University
  • Mike Minter | Head Football Coach at Campbell University & CEO of Minter Enterprises
  • Allison Sikes |President & CEO, Strategy Performance Business Solutions
  • Melanie Wright | Founder of The Wright Village Co-Working Space
  • Katharine Jarman | Founder of  Social Gray Digital Marketing Company


  • Dr. Jenna Carpenter | Founding Dean and Professor of Engineering, Campbell University 
  • Sherri Yerk-Zwickl | Vice President for IT and CIO,  Campbell University
  • Sandy ConnollyVice President of Business of Business and CFO, Campbell University 
  • Faithe Beam | Vice President for Spiritual Life and Campus Minister, Campbell University 

image of Bryan McGann

Bryan McGann

Clinical Professor of Law & Director, Start-Up Ventures Clinic at Duke University

Bryan McGann is a clinical professor of law, director of the Start-Up Ventures Clinic, and faculty advisor to the Duke Law Coalition Against Gendered Violence. Prior to joining the Duke Law faculty in 2016, McGann had a broad career as a lawyer, entrepreneur, and commercial banker. He is of-counsel to the Smith Anderson firm in Raleigh, an entrepreneur in residence at the University of North Carolina, and a contributor to the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network.

McGann is the inventor and founder of the Pill Pockets® brand pet treats, the world’s leading medicine delivery aid for animals. After building and commercializing the brand, McGann’s company was acquired by Mars, Incorporated and today the Pill Pockets® brand is sold across the United States and around the world under various Mars’ divisions. He also co-owns Sundial Homes, a general contracting firm building lakefront, residential property, and McGann has recently been granted a U.S. patent on a medical brace to aid in the rehabilitation and recovery of orthopedic surgical patients. Prior to his practice of law, McGann was vice president of a regional commercial bank and is a graduate of the North Carolina School of Banking.

McGann received his LL.M. in Law and Entrepreneurship, magna cum laude, from Duke University, and his J.D., with Honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where he served as Chief Justice of the Holderness Moot Court Bench, graduated Order of Barristers, was the recipient of the James William Morrow, III Award, and is a member of the James E. and Carolyn B. Davis Society. McGann also holds Ph.D., M.B.A., and B.S. degrees, and is licensed to practice in all state courts of North Carolina, all federal courts seated in North Carolina, and is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. He is a member of the American, North Carolina, and Wake County Bar Associations.

McGann is active in the community coaching four youth sports teams and holding leadership positions with his church and the Annual Fund of Cardinal Gibbons High School where he is a member of both the Alumni and Athletic Halls of Fame.

More about Bryan

Katharine Jarman

Katharine Jarman

Founder of Social Gray 
Instructor of Business Administration and Marketing at Wayne Community College

Campbell alumna, Katharine Jarman, currently teaches in the Business and Accounting department for Wayne Community College and recently founded ‘Social Gray’ to help small businesses with digital marketing gray areas.  

While serving as a faculty member for WCC, Katharine designed a social media marketing course that she currently teaches and develops and instructs various seminars on digital marketing for the campus small business center and local entrepreneurs.  Her education and background in business, experience with digital marketing strategy, and desire to support small businesses are part of what led her to create ‘social gray’.  As a consultant, Katharine works with area business owners and helps them craft or modify social media marketing strategies in support of the company’s mission and objectives, develops comprehensive digital marketing plans, and assists in managing company social media pages. 

Katharine has a Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from Campbell University, and is currently working toward becoming a certified social media strategist.    

Vicky Ismail

Carroll’s Kitchen

Vicky Ismail is an entrepreneur that grew up in and around the family business of bakeries, commissaries, and restaurants in Miami.She was part owner in her first restaurant at age twenty-one and owned her second by age twenty-five with her husband.  After moving to Cary, NC she and her husband opened a breakfast and lunch café popular with the locals and won Top Pics with local magazines for over eighteen years.

She is founder and CEO of Highgrove Estate, a top-rated wedding venue that produces over one hundred events a year and co-founder of Carroll’s Kitchen, a non-profit restaurant that employs women recovering from crisis. She is an active member of FCCI, a national peer group of business leaders, and enjoys volunteering at her church and working with community partners to love the city of Raleigh.

She is a grandmother of four, mother of two, and married to her high school sweetheart for forty-four years.  She loves cooking and eating with family and friends, Spanish guitar, reading, paddle boarding, and chocolate that’s worth it. 

image of Laura LunsfordDr. Laura Lunsford

Professor & Chair of Psychology
Campbell University

Author, scholar, speaker, consultant and southerner, Laura Gail Lunsford is an expert in mentoring and leadership. She has written over 40 peer-reviewed articles, case studies, and chapters on leadership and mentoring. She wrote the Handbook for Managing Mentoring Programs, co-edited the Sage Handbook of Mentoring, and co-authored Faculty Development in Liberal Arts Colleges. Funny and engaging, she consults with organizations on effective mentoring and coaching. Presently, she professes psychology at Campbell University, a beautiful liberal arts college in rural NC. Laura enjoys her Japanese Zen Garden, cycling, kayaking, and karate (and holds a black belt in Shoto kan) in addition to eating her husband’s cooking. A Rotarian, she also volunteers with the American Red Cross.

Learn more about Dr. Lunsford

image of Mike MinterMike Minter

Campbell University Football Head Coach
CEO of Minter Enterprises

Mike Minter is the Head Coach of the Campbell Football team and is a former Carolina Panthers standout and Nebraska Hall of Famer. Minter has led the Camels through a successful transition to the Big South Conference in 2018, their first season as a scholarship program. Under Minter’s leadership over the last eight seasons, Campbell has reset nearly every record in the school’s books. Camels have been named first or second team all-conference 40 times, while 37 have been tabbed honorable mention all-league. Minter led the Camels to three consecutive winning seasons from 2017-19, a modern era program first (since 2008). With six wins in each of the last three years, the Camels tied an overall program record for victories in a season. During the team’s historic six-game winning streak in 2019, Campbell received top-25 votes for five straight weeks, another program first.

In addition to playing and coaching football, Minter is CEO of Minter Enterprises, a multi-faceted business-impacting real estate development, general contracting and construction, business consultation, publishing, public speaking engagements, and a non-profit organization focused on youth development.

Melanie Wright

Founder, The Wright Village

Melanie “Mel” Wright is no stranger to the entrepreneurial lifestyle. She has over 7 years of entrepreneurship experience. After 2.5 years of Mel’s attempt to of business # 2, Beau and Beauty, a resale clothing store, she had to make a choice. Loose her home or close the store. Spending tons of money to build a business she had no idea how to run, knew nothing about a target market, analytics or even the area. Mel decided to go back to school, where she attended North Carolina Central and graduated May 2020 with a BBA with a concentration in marketing. She knew that once she graduated she would be able to help other entrepreneurs along their journey not make the same mistakes she made.

Always having the passion for helping others, she wanted to become this small business liaison. In December of 2019 she started to look for an office for her Tax business and came upon the current location of The Wright Village and knew that a coworking/incubator space would be that perfect fit. Mel would be able to help others and also build a village of like-minded entrepreneurs looking to collaborate, build and grow their businesses with each other.

A big believer in Co-tivation, Mel supports collaborations and motivation between entrepreneurs. The Wright Village is a place for entrepreneurs to come and build their business while learning and helping others along the way. Providing the resources and the accountability that one would need to becoming successful, is what you will get by being a member of the TWV.  It takes a village, ”The Wright Village.”

Mel Wright is an Army veteran, a mother of a 19 yr. old son and the owner of two businesses. She has been appointed as 1 of 15 group leaders for the area community study of the Dix Edge project. Mel takes pride in The Wright Village coworking/incubator space and her tax business.

image of Allison SikesAllison Sikes

President & CEO, Strategy Performance Business Solutions

Campbell Alumni Allison Sikes has gained international recognition as a leading authority on the development of human potential as well as highly productive, customer-oriented workplaces.

Known as “The Accountability Coach”, Allison Sikes is a highly sought-after consultant, speaker, and executive coach. Three-time entrepreneur and Founder & CEO of Strategy Performance Business Solutions, she is the author of over 50 training programs and numerous resources in the areas of Leadership, Communication, Sales, Service, & Marketing.

Author & Creator of the SP School of Business, Avoiding WonderlandTM & Top Notch Career Development Training Programs, Allison is a Trusted Consultant & Executive Coach to corporate & business leaders and boards of directors. She is also the creator of SP Performance Mastery ProcessTM providing detailed Analysis, Alignment, Approach & Accountability in the seven key areas of organizational performance.


Dr. Jenna Carpenter

Dr. Jenna Carpenter 

Founding Dean of Engineering at Campbell University 

Dr. Jenna P. Carpenter is Founding Dean and Professor of Engineering at Campbell University. Prior to coming to Campbell, Carpenter was Wayne and Juanita Spinks Endowed Professor, associate dean for undergraduate studies and director of the Office for Women in Science and Engineering at Louisiana Tech University’s College of Engineering and Science. A Corsicana, Texas, native, Carpenter earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Louisiana Tech and her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from Louisiana State University, where she was an Alumni Federation Fellow. Her research focuses on integrated STEM curricula and improving the number and success of women in engineering, with over $4.3 million in funding to date.

Carpenter is a member of the U.S. Engineering Deans Council Executive Committee, where she co-chairs the Undergraduate Experience Committee. She is also a member of the Executive Committee for the Global Engineering Deans Council. She is chairing the Pilot Program Ad-Hoc Committee on the Gulf Scholars Program for the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine. Carpenter served for seven years as chair of the Steering Committee for the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program. She is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education and an Engineering Program Evaluator for ABET. She is a past president of the Women in Engineering ProActive Network, past Vice President of Professional Interest Councils for the American Society for Engineering Education, and past first vice-president of the Mathematical Association of America. She has a TEDx Talk entitled: “Engineering: Where are the Girls and Why aren’t They Here?” She was awarded the Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering from the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in 2019. In October 2015, Dreambox Learning named Carpenter one of its 10 Women in STEM Who Rock.

Sherri Yerk-Zwickl

Sherri Yerk-Zwickl

Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Campbell University

Sherri Yerk-Zwickl is the Associate Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Campbell University. In this role she is is designing and implementing the University’s first comprehensive strategy for leveraging information, data, and technology across eight schools and multiple campuses.

Responsibilities include oversight for the technological infrastructure of the University, including information security, academic/administrative computing, client support services, and infrastructure and operations.

She earned her master of science in educational technology from Lehigh University and her bachelor of science in business administration and information systems from Cedar Crest College.

Sandy Connolly

Sandy Connolly 

Vice President of Business of Business and Chief Financial Officer

Sandy Connolly leads the Business Office and financial operations at Campbell University. She has over 20 years of leadership, focusing on identifying strategies to benefit the organization and empower all stakeholders. With an eye on cost and operational efficiency, leading transformational initiatives, gaining buy-in on programs affecting sustainability, cost control, innovation, automation, and growth. 


Ms. Connolly holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, and a Master of Science in Management from North Carolina State University. She is also a certified public accountant.

Faithe Beam

Faithe Beam

Vice President for Spiritual Life and Campus Minister

Faithe Beam is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in Music Education. She received her Master of Divinity Degree from Campbell University Divinity School in 2003. She was the Director of Student Services at Campbell Divinity School before serving in Spiritual Life. Before coming to Campbell, Rev. Beam served as Minister of Music and Education at Zion Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina.

Rev. Beam serves as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Christian Studies teaching Introduction to Christianity courses. In addition, she teaches a freshman seminar course through the Office of the First Year Experience.