Meet our Fall Practicing with Purpose Judges

This fall, we are excited to be awarding $5,000 in pro bono legal services to two North Carolina start-up organizations! In addition, we are partnering with Durham-based accounting firm DMJ & Co., PLLC, who will be providing $1,500 in accounting services to our selected start-ups. We are incredibly grateful to have three exceptional leaders selecting this year’s Practicing with Purpose award recipients. 

Adam Klein is Director of American Underground and the American Tobacco Campus, a campus for entrepreneurs started by Capitol Broadcasting. The American Underground is home to more than 275 startup companies across 120,000 square feet of space. It has become a national model for how to transform a once-depressed downtown into a magnet for high-growth companies. Under Adam’s leadership, Google for Entrepreneurs designated The American Underground as one of only eight sites in the country to be part of its Tech Hub network. It has become a one-stop-shop for entrepreneurs, with a vibrant investor community and mentor organizations. Adam is passionate about seeing communities transformed through the deep and thoughtful engagement of a creative business community.

Sarah Elder is Chief Executive Officer of Kalisher and Soho Myriad, a dual brand art consultancy providing fine art products and services to commercial clients across multiple industries, including hospitality, multifamily, and healthcare. Sarah began her career with Kalisher in 2005 as the first official employee of co-founders Jesse and Helen Kalisher. Over the next 16 years, Sarah and the founders expanded the business to offer work from artists all over the globe to commercial designers, owners and developers. Sarah stepped up as CEO in July of 2020, and is leading what is now the largest Art Consulting Firm in the United States. Sarah is deeply passionate about helping others to reach their potential, and is a fervent supporter of female leaders and founders. In addition to her role as CEO, Sarah enjoys offering coaching and mentorship to female-identifying executives. 

Cary Smith is Chief Financial Officer of CloudFactory, an on-demand workforce platform that helps growing companies connect with overseas-based engineers and data workers to complete digital tasks. He has 30 years of experience in finance and accounting, and particularly enjoys fast-paced, high-growth, international technology companies. Prior to his role at CloudFactory, Cary was Chief Financial Officer at JBoss, a technology start-up with an international workforce. At JBoss, he grew the company from $1M USD in sales to $17M in 30 months, which culminated in an acquisition by Red hat for $370M. Cary is an explorer who enjoys finding adventure and creating it where it can’t be found. He is passionate about furthering CloudFactory’s mission to connect workers overseas with digital work, and to raise them out of poverty to become leaders in their own communities.

We invite start-up businesses to apply for Practicing with Purpose now through November 15. Find more information and apply here.