Our Advisors

Our team of business experts are here to help our members succeed and THRIVE!
Andrea Johnson

Andrea Johnson

Division Sales Director - Beyond

Andrea Johnson has 10 years’ experience in sales, small business management, and many successful years as a Merchant Services Specialist. She has served hundreds of clients across Virginia, and remains committed to being their trusted business partner for the long term, while now supporting Business Advocates to grow to their full potential in this industry.

Being native to Hampton Roads, Andrea has extensive family ties, lifelong friendships and a vast professional network in the area. She’s had the privileges and challenges associated with working in multiple family businesses, which helped shape her humble sense of gratitude, strong business acumen and passion for service to others.

Coupling her entrepreneurial drive with a strong sense of family and community, Andrea volunteers with local schools, churches and multiple business groups for bringing knowledge, and connecting people to resources to help those in need.

Beyond is a financial technology company that provides payment processing, POS solutions, payroll, lending and other business tools and services to small and mid-sized businesses. We are a rapidly growing company that offers the energy and enthusiasm of an entrepreneurial start-up combined with the confident leadership of well-respected industry veterans.

Our determination to transform the business world doesn’t stop at our commitment to complete transparency, flexible contract terms, and unparalleled customer service. When you help drive our success, you are also giving back… thanks to the philanthropic partnership at the heart of our company. Give Something Back is a part-owner and beneficiary of Beyond.

Courtney Buzzell

Courtney Buzzell

Owner - Proximo Marketing Strategies

Courtney Buzzell is the owner of Proximo Marketing Strategies, an international digital marketing firm based out of Yorktown, Virginia. Courtney also works as adjunct faculty at Thomas Nelson Community College, educating students on best practices for marketing in the 21st century.

In early 2017, Courtney launched her second company, Cowork Gloucester VA, a business incubator created for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses to work together in an environment that fosters community, productivity and creativity. Cowork members benefit from mentorship, education and exclusive resources, geared toward business growth.

In addition to these businesses, Courtney, a 31-year-old millennial, recently launched a new division of her firm, named RISE (after the notion that we rise by lifting others), which caters to start-ups, small businesses and struggling companies, offering a combination of low-cost and pro-bono marketing services to businesses in need. She hopes to empower other aspiring entrepreneurs to step into their purposes and do business with their hearts.

Courtney has a passion for connecting and empowering entrepreneurs and business owners on both a local and national level, and currently serves on the board of several organizations including Peninsula Women’s Network- the longest consecutive running women’s networking organization in the United States- as the President.

Recently named one of Hampton Roads’ “Top 40 Under 40” & “Hampton Roads’ 2016 Woman of Excellence,” Courtney is determined to change our world!

She is currently co-authoring a book titled, Brass Ovaries: Own Yours, which features a collection of interview- style stories from highly respected women of diverse generations, industries, and backgrounds, from across the U.S.

The book is inspired, like many of Courtney’s endeavors, by a passion to empower other professional women to “Own Their Brass,” and rise above the fears that hold them back from fulfilling their purposes.

She is the proud parent of a spunky social butterfly and attributes 110% of her personal and professional success to her faith in Christ.

DeAnna Kimrey

DeAnna Kimrey

Commercial Banker - Bayport Federal Credit Union.

DeAnna Kimrey was born in Doylestown PA but settled on the Peninsula in 1985 after living in several different states as a “Military Brat.” She graduated from Bethel High School and Thomas Nelson Community College with an Associate’s Degree in Science.

No fancy degrees here, just one from the school of life and the knowledge that hard work pays off. After working the restaurant circuit while putting herself through school, she entered the world of banking in 1999 as a teller for Crestar Bank in a commercial banking center. After the merger with a large national bank, she discovered the Credit Union way of life in 2006 and has been in love ever since.

She likes the idea of a Credit Union working to better the financial future of her members instead of a stockholder. “As a Commercial Banker for BayPort Credit Union, I have the opportunity to help businesses, no matter what size, plan their futures and help achieve their vision, and that is very important to me.” She is also responsible for creating awareness in the local community about BayPort Business Services and the support they can provide in the communities that they serve. With a high regard for quality of service and a strong ability to develop lasting relationships, DeAnna fits right in with the Credit Union way of life: “people helping people.” “I consider myself a connector; if I can’t find a way to help, I probably know someone who can.”

She has flourished in an environment of working for and giving back to the community and has become heavily involved in volunteering her time. She currently serves as: Committee Chair for the March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction, helping to raise almost $200k over the last eight years, the President-Elect for the Kiwanis Club of Toano, Treasurer for Peninsula Women’s Network and she is one of the founders of BLING (Business Ladies of Industry Networking Group). She always says that her passions are Business and Babies!

DeAnna lives on the Peninsula with her husband of 18 years and their teenage son. In her spare time (hahahaha) she enjoys spending time with her boys camping, going to the beach or on vacation anywhere.

James T. Carroll, III (Jim)

James T. Carroll, III (Jim)

Executive Director for the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center, Inc.

Born in Darby, Pennsylvania, Jim grew up in Lebanon, Pennsylvania where he attended Lebanon Catholic High School. His educational background also includes: Villanova University (BA, History); Salve Regina College (MA, Int’l Relations); US Naval War College (MA Nat’l Security Affairs and Strategic Studies/President’s Honor Graduate Award) and The Cass Business School, City University of London (MBA, Int’l Business). Graduated with the Class of 2001 of Leadership Hampton Roads.

Jim has lived in the Hampton Roads region on and off for over 20 years while serving in the Navy and permanently since 1995. He retired from the Navy after a 21-year career as a Commissioned Officer.

He qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer and earned subspecialties in communications and political-military affairs. Jim completed over 15 years of sea duty serving in a variety of ships and staffs stationed on both coasts as well as overseas. He participated in: Operation Urgent Fury in Grenada; Multinational Peacekeeping Force operations in Beirut, Lebanon; the rescue of the USS STARK after an Iraqi missile attack and the seizure of the Iranian navy ship “Iran Ajr” that was conducting mine laying operations in the Arabian Gulf.

While serving on COMSEVENTHFLT Staff, he participated in Non-Combatant Evacuation Operations (NEO) operations in support of the Philippine Government following an attempted military coup.

As the Assistant Chief of Staff for Communications for US Naval Forces Central Command, he coordinated and directed all communications for the navies of 18 nations, and coordinated all communications in support of NEO operations in Somalia during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He also served as an instructor at the Royal Naval Staff College in London and developed an MA curriculum in Defense Studies for the Royal Navy as a cooperative effort with Kings College, University of London.

Since 1996, Jim has served as a Professor at the US Naval War College’s College of Distance Education teaching a post-graduate level class in Joint Maritime Operations to mid and senior-grade officers and civilians.

Jim served as a member of the Board of Advisors for the Luter School of Business at Christopher Newport University and also on the Executive Advisory Board for Old Dominion University’s School of Business and Public Policy. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau and Tidewater Business Financing Corporation and also is a member of the Norfolk Boat Club.

He has provided speeches and presentations and written articles on small business matters for local, state and national audiences.

Since 1997, Jim has served as the Executive Director for the Hampton Roads Small Business Development Center, Inc. and Vice President for Small Business for the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce. The Center provides one-on-one counseling and training and education programs for small businesses in the 18 cities and counties in Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore.

He was formally recognized by the SBA in 1999 for his actions to support recovery efforts in Franklin in the aftermath of Hurricane Floyd and again in both 2008 and 2014 when his Center received the SBDC Excellence and Innovation Award as the best in the Commonwealth. He has been selected “State Star” for the VSBDC Network in 2000 and again in 2015. Since assuming the Director’s position he has led the Center’s staff in providing assistance to over 11,000 clients; helping them create over $339 million in economic impact and in their creating or saving over 7,000 jobs in the Hampton Roads region.

Kathleen Futrell

Kathleen Futrell

Senior Director of Market Intel/Bid Strategy for Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC)

Kathleen is the Senior Director of Market Intel/Bid Strategy for Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC), a Fortune 500 company headquartered in McLean, VA with annual revenue of $4.4B and 15,000 employees.

SAIC seeks to Redefine Ingenuity™ as a premier technology integrator by providing full life cycle services and solutions in the technical, engineering, intelligence and enterprise information technology markets, serving US federal government, state/local and commercial customers.

Kathleen has been with SAIC for the past 20 years, with experience in proposal development, pricing strategy, contract administration, market analysis, business case modeling, staff training, as well as providing mentor-protégé support to small businesses.

Prior to SAIC, she worked as a Contracts Manager for 10 years with the Bionetics Corporation and with the General Electric Company as an Employee Relations Analyst for 5 years.

She has served as the President of the National Contract Management Association (NCMA), Hampton Roads Chapter for several terms and founded the NCMA Student Chapter at Christopher Newport University.

She is married to Don Futrell, has three daughters and five grandchildren, and currently teleworks from her home in Gloucester.

Additional information is available on her LinkedIn profile.

Ken Cramer

Ken Cramer

Lead Pastor - Lighthouse Worship Center

Ken Cramer is the Lead Pastor of Lighthouse, a congregation he has served for 28 years in Gloucester, VA. He holds a B.S. in Bible, an M.A. in Christian Ministry, and a D.Min. in Leadership. He holds certifications in both Leadership and Congregational coaching. He has preached the gospel and taught organizational leadership in 26 different nations.

The life-giving communities under his leadership include Lighthouse, Little Lights Childcare Center, and, coming soon, Legacy Springs Senior Living Community.

Ken’s primary passions are his wife and family. He also loves entrepreneurism, leadership/networking, and fly-fishing.

He recently launched a coaching business called Honor Life Coaching to help leaders and small business owners discover their unique expression and leverage themselves for success and significance.

Kevin Haggerty

Kevin Haggerty

Owner/Operator - KR Graphix

Kevin Haggerty is the owner/operator of Gloucester, VA-based web and graphic design company, KR Graphix.

With over 17 years of experience in the field of digital marketing, Kevin has amassed a wealth of experience with a diverse audience of clients, and he has a passion for helping businesses tell their story.

Kevin was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Newport News, Virginia with his family in 1994. Kevin is the oldest of seven children, which has helped shaped his context of leadership, humility, and putting others first.

He graduated from Liberty University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Communications, specializing in Media Graphics.

In addition to Media Graphics, Kevin has a soft spot for helping people find their passion and chase their dream. He has spent much time refining this passion by being employed in the following fashions since the age of 14:

Construction Laborer, Landscaping/Grounds Crew, Basketball Referee, Pizza Delivery Driver, Lead Singer, Custodian, Door-to-Door Door Salesman, Radio Disc Jockey (DJ), Writer/Editor, Middle School/High School Teacher (Math, English, P.E./Health, Typing, Graphic Design, Creative Writing), Basketball Coach, Baseball Coach, Copy/Print Technician

Most recently, Kevin served in full-time vocational ministry at BridgePoint Church in Gloucester, where he held the positions of Communications Director, Creative Department Director, and, finally, as Executive Pastor, before eventually transitioning out of ministry after four years of service.

Serving in all of these various fields has given Kevin a unique insight into how he is wired and what his passions are, which allows him to not only pursue his own personal areas of strength but to also help others find their career and personal “sweet spot.”

In March of 2017, Kevin began laying the groundwork for Cowork Gloucester VA, as a way to reach out to and unite the many entrepreneurs and small businesses in Gloucester County (and nearby areas).

Kevin is married to Kim, his wife of almost eight years, and they are the proud parents of Aidan, Emily, and Lucy.

Kimberly Buzzell

Kimberly Buzzell

Business Owner & Consultant, Class-A General Contractor, Real Estate Broker, Legal study

Born in Winchester, Virginia, Kim has endeavored to incorporate her love of family and business entrepreneurship to build a better life for her family. Starting out in banking at a young age, Kim began her career as a teller working her way through positions including head teller, new accounts, mortgage servicing to assistant branch manager.

When she met the love of her life, her husband Steve, she joined him in the building and real estate business, working together for over thirty years, building and selling luxury homes. In doing so, in 1985, Kim became a real estate broker, owning her own business while continuing to support her husband.

In 1995, Kim became licensed as a Class-A General Contractor, following in her husband’s foot-steps. As real estate and contracting seem to fluctuate with the market, Kim has grown to trust God to see her family through the trials and tribulations this world inevitably dishes-out.

Kim contributes the success of her four millennial children to an inert strength and faith in God and ability to overcome obstacles.

Last, but surely not least, Kim has continued to build up her faith and knowledge through education. Kim has earned a Certification in Christian Studies from Rhema Bible School and is currently a Senior at Liberty University earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Paralegal Studies with a Minor in Criminal Justice.

Kim plans on continuing her educational endeavors, earning a Juris Master in American Legal Studies from Liberty University. Having over 30 years of experience in business, and almost sixty years of life, Kim believes she is a valuable resource in the business community. Kim believes her experiences are adventures to be shared with others so they too may build businesses and overcome obstacles.

Nany Gonzalez

Nany Gonzalez

Owner/Operator - MOR Consulting

Mildred A Gonzalez (better known as Nany) is a person that likes to see businesses move forward.

She gives thanks and credits to a former employer out of Norfolk for allowing her to embrace, learn and share knowledge related to all aspects of business.

After working in the Nonprofit world for a few years, she decided to launch on her own and share with others what she has learned along the way in the areas of business development, management, accounting, taxation, human resources and inventory systems.

Gonzalez holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Accounting, in addition to various professional certifications and accreditation.

She is fluently bilingual in English and Spanish, and a noted public speaker and presenter.

With over 20 years of experience in her field, she is very confident that she can relate to any business, especially since she too started from scratch.

Shelley D. Smith

Shelley D. Smith

Company Culture Analyst

An expert corporate culture analyst that analyses, curates and creates cultures for companies as they envisioned. Bar Rescue meets Under Cover Boss.

If you are battling turnover (the wrong kind), low engagement or less than desired engagement, retention concerns, lack of succession planning, sales slump, decline in profit or plateaued profit…then it’s probably your culture. Remember people create and drive culture.

Your website may list your mission, your vision and your values but do your client/customers and employees ‘see’ them, ‘feel’ them and ‘live’ them? If not, let’s talk about a #cultureinquiry.

She is an Author, Executive Business Coach, I.M.P.A.C.T.™ Leadership Model, Predictive Index Behavioral & Cognitive Senior Consultant and highly passionate about ensuring self and others make their full Connections. Shelley owns and operates Premier Rapport Incorporated, as well as serving on the board of Catholic Charities and Past President of the Peninsula Women’s Network. In 2017, Shelley became one the organizers for DisruptHR for Hampton Roads. Shelley has been a business professional for over three decades. During that time, she worked for Marriott International, transitioned into the hotel franchise sector and eventually opening her own business consulting firm in 2009 that provides services for both private companies as well as commercial and federal government agencies.

Shelley actively writes her blogs and video blogs on today’s hottest topics in business that leaders are talking about and researching. Her speaking engagements include VA-ACME annual conference, AFCEA Women In Defense Annual Symposium, various SHRM chapters as well as the VA-SHRM state conference and Tampa HR.

She has authored THE CONNECTION and an E-book on Employee Engagement and co-authored Brass Ovaries Own Yours: Master the Mindset, Change the Game. Her focus helps others turn passion to action and action into results.

Her mission is simple: she helps professionals and organizations connect to a more productive and profitable future. The I.M.P.A.C.T. Leadership model that she created helps her to provide talent development plans that maximize the return client companies receive from improved employee engagement and overall performance. This is accomplished through customizing programs targeted to meet the client’s most critical development needs.

Her business certifications are from Cornel University in Ithaca, New York. Before following her passions to help others develop their leadership skills, she began at an early age in her parent’s family owned business. Shelley has received numerous awards and recognitions throughout her professional career. Most recently featured as one of Coastal Virginia’s top Women In Business.

She currently resides in Newport News Virginia, an active member of her church, happily married and a proud mother of three.

Apply to be an advisor!


Do you have valuable business experience and a passion for helping entrepreneurs and dreamchasers? Apply today to join our awesome team!

(Note: Applying does not require or commit you to serve. It merely begins the conversation.)