Ideas for a Better Future.                                                           

Our secret sauce: one-on-one mentoring

If the greatest athletes and most successful CEOs need coaches, a new business owner certainly could benefit from a mentor too. That's why participants in the Annual Business Plan Competition are matched with business owners who can help guide them and advise as they work on their business plans. Call it our secret sauce. It's an unique opportunity for participants to get valuable advice from other entrepreneurs and for business owners to share their unique experiences and passion for business.


Mentors who have served as volunteers to entrepreneurs include:

    • Laurence Aaronson, Professor Emeritus, CCBC

    • Eli Adams, General Manager, Residence Inn at Marriott

    • Bilal Bahar, Owner, Global Adventure Group

    • James Bryant, Associate Professor & Coordinator of Accounting, CCBC

    • Paul Coakley, Professor Emeritus, former Chair of Business Studies, CCBC

    • David Gnibus, Adjunct Faculty, Student Services, CCBC

    • Robert Frey, Vice President, The Columbia Bank

    • Jennifer Joyner, Assistant Professor & Coordinator of Economic, CCBC

    • Rafael E. Reyes, Technical Service Director, Toyota

    • Aleasha Lewis, Owner, EarthTouch Healing Arts

    • Dan & Maude Swearingen, Owners, Fully Promoted (formerly EmbroidMe-Catonsville)

    • Scott Vratarich, Assistant Professor, Business Studies, CCBC

    • Jay Whitelock, Associate Professor, Finance Department, CCBC

  • Nancy Zimmerman, Associate Professor, Business Studies, CCBC


Judges serving on the Business Plan Competition Panel include:

  • Danielle Alderson, owner and operator of Chick-fil-A Eastpoint restaurant
  • Henry Ahn, Program Manager Technology Funding Programs, TEDCO
  • Karen Getzke, Catonsville Chamber of Commerce
  • Linda Goldberg, HR Director at WPM Real Estate Management and CCBC Board Trustee
  • James Himel, former equity partner in a $25 million start-up, and currently serves as a CCBC-Catonsville Foundation Board Member
  • James D. Jones, Assistant Vice President, M&T Bank
  • David Lingelbach, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Baltimore
  • Richard Yaffee, President of the CCBC Foundation & Owner of Butler Medical Transport
  • Frank van Vliet, Executive-in-Residence at the University of Baltimore’s Marketing and Entrepreneurship Department
  • Ken Westary, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, CCBC

Want to get involved as a mentor?

The Center for Business Innovation is dedicated to serving CCBC students and alumni who are interested in learning how to turn their ideas for new products and services into sustainable businesses.


Thank you to our Sponsors:


CCBC Alumni Association


CCBC Foundation