2nd Annual Forrest Firm Non-Profit Challenge: Meet the Judges, Part One

2nd Annual Forrest Firm Non-Profit Challenge: Meet the Judges, Part One

Earlier this month we announced the start of our 2nd Annual Non-Profit Challenge, a showcase for non-profits in North Carolina. This year’s challenge is for non-profits looking to get started as well as non-profits that are ready to go to the next level. We will accept submissions on our website until April 24, and then a new feature of the challenge kicks in.

Several friends of the firm have volunteered to serve as judges of the challenge, and will choose three winners to receive a package of services delivered pro bono by attorneys from the Forrest Firm, as well as a grand prize winner to receive a startup marketing consultation from digital marketing agency Walk West and trial co-working space at Durham’s hub for non-profit innovation, ReCity Network!  We also have one of our very own esteemed colleagues, who is also an entrepreneur, on the panel of judges.

Today, we’d like to introduce five of our judges and highlight their professional and community contributions to North Carolina.

Brian Onorio, Founder and CEO, Walk West (Raleigh)

Brian Onorio is founder and CEO of Walk West, a full-service digital marketing agency in Raleigh providing web design, development, and strategy. At the age of 24, Brian started O3 Creative—a handful of people designing websites—and has transformed it into what is now Walk West, with a team of more than 30. Walk West boasts services ranging from digital marketing to government affairs and video production for a growing roster of non-profit and for-profit enterprises alike.

Jes Averhart: Executive Director, Leadership Triangle (Durham)

Jesica Averhart is the Executive Director of Leadership Triangle, a non-profit organization established in 1992 to provide leadership training while promoting regionalism across the separate communities of the Triangle. Prior to working with Leadership Triangle, Jes was the Director of Corporate Partnerships for American Underground. Jes serves on the Board of Directors for Prevent Child Abuse NC, Youth Villages, Durham YMCA, and the Friends of the Nasher.

Keith Pigues, founder and CEO, Luminas Strategy (Research Triangle Park)

Keith Pigues is founder and CEO of Luminas Strategy, a management consultancy that assists companies in improving customer value propositions to accelerate profitable growth. Keith is a thought leader and widely sought-after speaker and advisor on company growth and strategic marketing. He has more than 25 years of experience in marketing, strategic planning, and sales leadership at firms ranging from the Fortune 100 to mid-market private equity backed firms in a range of industries. Keith serves on the board of directors of the non-profits Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight, Research Triangle Foundation and ATHENA International.  He also serves as an advisory board member for the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise.

Rob Shields, Executive Director, ReCity Network (Durham)

Rob Shields is Executive Director of ReCity Network, a place where Durham’s non-profits and mission-driven businesses gather to share space and share missions. ReCity means many things to many people: co-working, event space, conference rooms, and gathering spots, but also connected groups of people who transcend the network’s physical space with an impact that reaches throughout the Bull City and beyond. Rob was motivated to join the founding team behind ReCity after living and working among divided communities in southeast Raleigh. In less than a year, Rob and the team have grown ReCity to a network of nearly 40 non-profits and mission-driven organizations, helping like-minded people share resources and accelerate collaboration to maximize impact.

David Morris: Attorney, Forrest Firm (Durham)

David Morris is an attorney with the Forrest Firm. David is an accomplished legal and financial professional with direct experience providing M&A advisory services and investing in companies across the business life cycle.  As an attorney at the Forrest Firm, David focuses on commercial transactions/banking work, private equity, mergers and acquisitions, and estate/succession planning. David serves on multiple non-profit boards and initiatives, including board chair of the LIFE Skills Foundation, the Finance and Investment committee of the Triangle Land Conservancy, and as an ambassador with the Boys & Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties.

At the Forrest Firm, we enjoy collaborating with our clients in the business community to solve a variety of challenges they face as well as making an economic impact in the state of North Carolina. We are grateful to this group of people who are willing to transcend the traditional business relationship and help us accelerate non-profits through the Non-Profit Challenge.  Tune in next week to meet the remaining four judges for this year’s Non-Profit Challenge!