RPCN recognizes Bob Lurz for his efforts in making the RPCN a success. Bob is a Past President of RPCN and he also facilitates the once-per-month Business Forum roundtable discussions for RPCN. Bob also holds an excellent Consulting Business “Boot Camp” every year designed to provide participants with startup tools, valuable contacts, and a clear vision of how to proceed as a consultant. In his business, Consultants Accelerator, Bob helps startup consultants launch and build independent consulting practices.
Ralph Kraft is a powerful supporter of networking and small businesses. He formed the Independent Entrepreneurs Council 10 years ago to help small business owners in technology-related fields improve their networking and provide mutual support and to provide a forum for small businesses to reach new audiences and clients. He “walks the walk” when it comes to networking and promoting other small businesses. He is also one of the world’s foremost experts on cleanrooms, having authored many articles on the subject and with clients worldwide.
When Linda Andreano started Planet Botanica in 2012, she already had a successful consulting business as a technical writer. She turned to the essential oils she now sells to create a healthy environment for her family. Andreano is also an active member of the Greece Chamber of Commerce, where she serves as an ambassador, and a fire commissioner for the North Greece Fire District. In 2016, she was sworn in as the first female fire commissioner chair of the town of Greece. Andreano also volunteers at her kids’ schools.
Dr. Leonard M. Brock, director of the Rochester-Monroe Anti-Poverty Initiative, is a certified leadership coach, scholar-practitioner, consultant, business owner and nonprofit executive. He has extensive experience in community service, starting as early as age 14 by working with inner-city youth and young adults in nonprofit, government and collegiate settings. A native of Rochester, he overcame firsthand experience of living in poverty, growing up in a single-parent household, and being surrounded by crime and drugs. He plans to change the outlook of life for inner-city residents of Rochester, across New York state and beyond.
Sebastian Maroundit, a Lost Boy from Sudan and co-founder of the charity Building Minds in South Sudan, was younger than 10 years old when war came to his village and separated him and his cousin from their families. They escaped to Ethiopia only to experience war again. In 1991, they escaped from Ethiopia and spent a year walking across the desert to a refugee camp in Kenya, where they were educated through the eighth grade. In 2001, they were selected to resettle in the United States. In 2007, they returned to their village and were dismayed to find no roads or clean water, and the school destroyed. Since then, they have been passionately committed to helping rebuild hope in their village by building a school. With one school complete, they have begun building a girls’ school; 1,000 girls have already signed up to attend when it opens.
Since joining RPCN in 2011, Michael Van der Gaag of Beyond the Interface has been president, immediate past president, program manager, instigator of RPCN’s website improvements and champion for a new RPCN website. He also serves on the 25th/26th Anniversary Committee and offers his time and services to promoting RPCN and its causes. He lines up interesting speakers for Friday meetings, and organizes and runs four “Surprise Thursday” events a year. He is always available to help with RPCN projects.
Jean Kase, executive director of The Entrepreneurs Network, has been a strong and vocal supporter of RPCN for a long time. She has been a speaker; involved in the Boot Camp both as an advisor to Bob Lurz when the program was being developed and as a reviewer; and a mentor to RPCN members. She frequently publicizes RPCN events and has brought new members into the organization through her recommendations. At TEN & PTAC, she provides services to entrepreneurs that are complementary to those of RPCN. She could be considered a one-woman RPCN.