Speakers

Kim Steffan

Attorney

Ms. Steffan received her B.A. magna cum laude from Duke University in 1983, and her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law at Chapel Hill in 1986. She has been in general practice since 1986, most of that time in Hillsborough. Ms. Steffan serves on the Board of the Regional Advisory Board for UNC’s Small Business and Technology Development Center. She is a past president of the Orange County Bar Association. She serves on the District 15B Bar Mentoring Committee to assist young lawyers with professional development. She has spoken to various groups on estate planning, business law, family law, and other topics. From time to time, she serves as a volunteer guest faculty member at seminars and workshops at the UNC Law School. Ms. Steffan writes the monthly “Ask the Lawyer” legal column for the News of Orange County. She received the 2009 Work Life Balance Award presented by the N.C. Association of Women Attorneys.

Patrick Rodriguez
U.S. Small Business Administration

Rodriguez is based at Wake Tech’s western campus in Cary and serves as a resource for business owners, lenders and government contracting entities. He was recently appointed to the position, replacing Ivan Hankins, who retired. Rodriguez moved to Wake Forest after working more than six years in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Los Angeles district office as an economic development specialist, public information officer and veteran outreach coordinator.

Michael Beggan
SweetWater Ices

I started my career as a High School Social Studies Teacher in Farmingdale, New York. I was laid off after seven years of teaching, in 2011, due to the recession and failing school budgets. I was unable to get a teaching job and began driving a delivery truck into New York City with my now business partner for almost a year.

He and I decided to follow our friends and move down to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, to begin SweetWater Ices in June of 2012.  After five years of being in business, I am happy to say that it is one of the best things that I have been able to accomplish with my life so far.  I love it!

Jon Spinney
Malartu (crowdfunding)

Jon is the CEO and Co-founder at Malartu Funds.  Jon has a diverse background, with over a decade of management experience in small businesses and commercial real estate.  Over the past three years, he has focused on learning the intricacies of the new JOBS Act legislation and the various securities regulations that pertain to this new and exciting field while building Malartu Funds.  Jon specializes in financial analysis, portfolio management, compliance, and investor relations and has advised many startups in these areas. Jon has a BS in Economics and Entrepreneurship from the Poole College of Management at North Carolina State University.  Jon is a Series 65 candidate.

Malartu Funds is the first online investment platform to take advantage of Title II of the Federal JOBS Act in the Southeast.  Malartu currently serves accredited investors and has established a large network of industry professionals to assist companies during and post investment. Launching in 2015, Malartu has already invested close to $500,000 in 11 companies in North Carolina.  In 2016, Malartu is building the second iteration of the platform, with plans to expand into additional markets, regulations, and geographies.

Richard (Rich) McGivney
Accountant / Partner

Richard (Rich) McGivney, CPA, CGMA is a results-oriented financial executive with more than 30 years of public accounting, corporate finance, and leadership experience. He has a proven track record in building and managing high-growth research and technical services organizations, from entrepreneurial startups to companies with more than 1,000 employees. He has developed and executed strategic realignments of operations to improve profitability, performed multiple acquisitions and divestitures, and expanded finance operations overseas to support international growth. His Federal government contracting experience includes negotiating contracts and indirect cost rates, as well as managing operating and control systems, for organizations executing Federal contracts with the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency, and many others.

Prior to joining Rankin McKenzie, Mr. McGivney served as Chief Financial Officer at Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute (LRRI), a biomedical and clinical research organization with 1,100 employees. He also served as Chief Financial Officer Innovative Emergency Management (IEM), a management services company with 250 employees, Vice President of Finance and Corporate Controller at the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), an international research and technical services organization with over 100 distinct operating groups worldwide and was an Audit Partner with the accounting firm Nelson and Company PA. His accomplishments include managing significant investments in capital infrastructure and human talent that expanded critical competencies and markets; designing and implementing technology systems that reduced the costs of operations; successfully spinning out new technology companies and leading M&A activities; and managing Finance, Human Resource and Risk Management programs.

A licensed CPA and a designated Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA), Mr. McGivney received an M.S. in Accounting from Appalachian State University in North Carolina. He is a member of the North Carolina Board of Certified Public Accountants and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Heather Splawn
COO & VP Finance / Member of Board of Directors

Heather was awarded a Corporate Research Postdoctoral Fellowship for Engineers sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the American Society for Engineering Education just before she joined Kyma. She received her Ph.D. in EE from Duke University where she served as the President of the Engineering Graduate Student Council. In her undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina, she was the Founding President of USC’s Chapter of Upsilon Phi Epsilon, an International Honor Society for the Computing and Information Disciplines, and she served on the Executive Council of USC’s Phi Beta Kappa.