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Mentor Bios


Curt Bassett

Curt Bassett grew up in Georgia, North and South Carolina and Alabama. He joined the US Air Force (USAF) after college and became a communications and electronics officer. His first assignment was Base Communications Officer with a 120 person unit and this gave him many opportunities to grow his technical and interpersonal skills. He then became a pilot and had flying assignments all over the world. The Air Force sent him to numerous technical and professional schools, but the greatest education was the opportunity to live and learn among many interesting and diverse cultures. In an assignment in the Pentagon he learned how the Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition system works and used this knowledge and experience after he retired from the USAF and went to work for Northrop-Grumman. His understanding of the military and major Government procurements (from the Government side as well as the civil side) can be helpful to someone interested in a military career, in Government procurement or in industry marketing. 

“In my AF and civilian careers I had mentors, bosses and colleagues that helped me along the way. I hope I can, in turn, help someone achieve his or her goals.”


Jim Blankenheim

Jim Blankenheim is a seasoned consulting executive and a recently-retired partner and practice leader with CSC’s Management Consulting Group with over 35 years of experience in both the business management and information technology disciplines. The majority of his career was with the consulting practice at KPMG. He is a thought leader in Business Transformation and Portfolio Management has designed and implemented portfolio management frameworks and other business systems for large-scale public and private sector clients. As a practice leader, he has built a strong reputation as a developer of new talent.

Mr. Blankenheim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Marquette University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Graduate School at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.


Dan Bogan

Dan Bogan is currently a resident on Lake Oconee after 35 years with NCR in a variety of positions. He started in sales with NCR immediately following school with an undergraduate degree in Marketing, located in his home town of Fargo, ND. Over the next 16 years he held multiple positions in sales management and marketing management located in Phoenix, Az., Dayton, Ohio, and Los Angeles, Ca. The next 16 years he was located in Atlanta in a variety of management positions including Senior VP of Retail reporting to the CEO. The last 16 years he had responsibility for domestic and international markets and facilities overseas.

Mr. Bogan has been married for 36 years. He has three children all graduated from UGA and all working, and four grandchildren.


Rick Cogdell

Rick Cogdell graduated from Mercer University with a double major in economics and psychology. Later he obtained his CPA. He has had a variety of leadership positions in accounting, finance and administration for over 30 years in manufacturing, electric utilities, government and now the hospitality industry. He has been on the Advisory Board of the College of Business for 10 years.

“Mentoring gives me the opportunity to share my life experiences and hopefully I can positively affect the lives of a mentee in some small way. I have been involved in coaching young people for many years and I enjoy helping them tap the potential they all have within themselves and then watching them grow both personally and professionally.”


Reid P. Conklin

Mr. Reid Conklin earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Management from Florida State University in 1976 and his M.B.A., Florida Atlantic University in 1984. He attended Executive Banking School at the University of Houston and the University of Georgia. He worked with Glendale Federal Bank from 1976 to 1991 and with Charles Schwab Corporation from 1991 to 2003. Mr. Conklin is a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Licensed Arbitrator, a licensed real estate agent in Georgia and Florida, and a Certified Instructor in Professional Selling Skills and Professional Sales Coaching.

Mr. Conklin volunteers his time to Georgia College through the College of Business Mentor Program and the Leadership Forum. He is a Management and leadership development trainer and coach, as well as, a career and life skills mentor and coach. He is a Board member and Incoming President for Second Harvest, Inc. (food rescue and distribution to those in need) and is on the Board of Advisors for Reynolds Plantation.


Robert E. Lee

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, Bob began his 30-year marketing career as a Brand Manager at Carnation Company and then at General Mills. He also held the positions of Vice President of Marketing at Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Vice President of Branch Marketing at Fidelity Investments. From 1992 until his retirement in 2003, Bob was Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Prudential Financial where he held both domestic and international positions in the Retirement Services and International Investment divisions. Bob also served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.

Bob currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board for the J. Whitney Bunting College of Business. From 2004 until 2011, Bob was a part time instructor at Georgia College where he taught marketing, advertising, public relations, and business ethics. Bob holds B.S. and MBA degrees in Marketing from Northwestern University.

Bob and his wife, Debbie, live at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro.


Mike McCabe

Mike McCabe has worked in the financial services industry for the past 14 years. He currently works with Edward Jones, where he collaborates with individuals and small business owners and helps them reach their long term financial goals. He is also responsible for recruiting and training other financial advisors in Georgia.

Mr. McCabe grew up and has lived in the area for over thirty years and is a graduate of Georgia College. He and his wife have three school aged children and in his spare time, he enjoys sports, traveling, and spending time with family. 

He is looking forward to partnering with everyone and sharing some of his experiences, both personal and professional.


J. Patrick McNabb

J. Patrick McNabb currently works with Alexander Proudfoot Consulting as Executive Vice President, Business Development – Mid Market - Southeastern Region. He is responsible for delivering new business and existing client project revenue in Mid Atlantic and Southeastern markets. His product portfolio included operational improvement solutions focused on:

Leadership and Organizational alignment and effectiveness; Productivity; Throughput; Energy; Strategic Procurement; Supply Chain; Asset Utilization; Revenue Growth; Sales Effectiveness.

Developed relationships with CEO’s of organizations in broad range of industries. His responsibilities include managing inside sales team, co-ordination with marketing groups and consulting practice leaders to close opportunities. He has worked closely with client CEOs to identify opportunities for improvement, scope projects and develop necessary management buy in and financial justification for initiating projects.

Prior to coming to Alexander Proudfoot Consulting, Mr. McNabb worked with Maine Pointe Consulting, as Executive Vice President, Business Development Mid Market – Southeastern Region. He also worked with IBM Corporation as Director Emerging and Wireless Solution Sales, a National Sales Manager.  He is a proven sales leader with a record of exceptional and sustained performance throughout career.


Gerald A. (Jerry) Nicholson

Gerald Nicholson holds a Master’s degree from St Louis University and his most recent responsibilities included VP/GM of DRS-SSI, an operating unit of DRS Technologies - SSI Segment, a prime supplier to the Department of Defense. DRS Technologies purchased Engineered Support Systems, Inc. (ESSI) of St. Louis, MO. in January, 2006. ESSI stock traded on NASDAQ(EASI) and was one of the fastest growing stocks on the exchange. After the acquisition of ESSI, DRS-SSI was formed as an operating unit in May of 2006 by combining four previously autonomous ESSI business units into a single operating entity. DRS-SSI sales for fiscal 2008 will be about $275 million with an Operating Income of over 10 percent of revenues. Entered Orders will over $325 million for the same period. This was not the first time in my career I have managed multiple locations.

Prior to the purchase of ESSI by DRS Technologies, Nicholson held the position of President & CEO of Marlo Coil in High Ridge, Mo. In that position, he reported to the CEO of ESSI. While acting as President & CEO, we implemented Visual Flow Velocity and Lean in our manufacturing operations. Changing the culture to be more Cash Flow conscious was also a major initiative, which improved inventory turns from 4.0 turns per year to over 7.0 turns per year and reduced outstanding receivables in order to consistently deliver Cash Flow above Operating Income.

As Executive Vice President of Thermadyne, Nicholson was responsible for just over $140 million of revenue and reported to the Chairman and CEO. The responsibility was being the executive in charge of two separate business units. One company was a manufacturer of capital equipment located in Huntsville, Alabama with sales of just over $40 million. The other company was a manufacturer of welding equipment with a high level of repeat consumables business. This company was located in Wichita, Kansas. Sales for this company were between $95 million and $100 million.


Gary Strack

Gary Strack spent 23 years of a 40 year healthcare career as a CEO. After receiving an MBA from the University of Florida, he taught in their graduate school and was recognized for excellent teaching. He served as the CEO of Orlando Health, formerly the Orlando Regional Healthcare System, for 17 years where he was recognized nationally for his leadership in planning and building the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Women and the MD Anderson Cancer Center Orlando. More recently, he was CEO of Boca Raton Community Hospital for 6 years. His breadth and depth of experiences with strategic planning, board service, effective execution of managerial plans, senior leadership team building, mergers and acquisitions, effective governance, and developing standards of performance for executives enable him to be a unique resource.

Midcareer, Gary returned to academics and was awarded a Doctorate from the Medical University of South Carolina. His dissertation research on spirituality and effective leadership was described as first-rate by Barry Posner, co-author of The Leadership Challenge. Gary approaches leadership like practicing a form of mastery in martial arts or golf, something to be studied and practiced for a lifetime but never conquered. He is currently on the board of Student Leadership University. He also serves as a strategic advisor to the CEO and senior leadership of Paquin Healthcare, a leading retail healthcare organization.

He and his wife, Susan, live outside Atlanta and enjoy playing golf and spending time with their grandchildren.


Thomas G. Weglewski

Thomas G. Weglewski was born in Chicago, Illinois. He earned his Bachelor’s in Business Administration and his MBA from the University of Dayton and his JD from the University of Toledo. He is a licensed CPA in Ohio and a licensed attorney in Ohio and Penselvania. He has worked with Coopers & Lybrand in tax planning and compliance, and ARMCO, a US steel producer, in international tax planning. He also worked with ALCOA, world leader in aluminum, in finance/tax and retired as Tax Counsel. He has extensive work in mergers, acquisitions and dispositions of assets and companies mostly in the international context.


Larry Williams

Larry Williams grew up in Headland, Alabama, and attended Auburn University from 1965 to 1969. After receiving his B.S. in Chemical Engineering, he went to work as a Process Development Engineer with the Celanese Corporation, a producer of chemicals and synthetic fibers, in Greenville, SC. He progressed through positions in manufacturing technical, R&D, technical marketing, and customer service management at the company’s synthetic fibers plants in the Carolinas as well as its headquarters location and R&D center in Charlotte, NC. Shortly after beginning his career, he had a four year pause for military service, with posts in Florida and Iceland. Following the purchase of Celanese by the German chemical and pharmaceutical conglomerate Hoechst in 1988, Larry had the opportunity to become the first Celanese Fibers expatriate to the Hoechst headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany for three years, where he led a sales/technical marketing team to open tire reinforcement market opportunities for the company. Market development progressed in this period to the point where Hoechst Celanese entered into a joint venture agreement with a large Turkish company to build a $200MM greenfield industrial polyester manufacturing facility in Izmit, Turkey. Larry and his family returned to Charlotte in late 1991, where he was appointed head of sales/marketing for the company’s worldwide industrial polyester business to the tire market. With manufacturing locations in the USA, Mexico, Germany, and Turkey, and a global customer base mainly consisting of world scale tire producers Michelin, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Continental, and Pirelli, Larry learned many valuable lessons in cultural diversity, and he had the chance firsthand to observe many different business styles. Following the sale of the company to Koch Industries In 1998, Larry was given P&L responsibility as Business Director for the company’s low denier industrial polyester filament business, which primarily served the industrial sewing thread market. With rapid movement of both the customer base and supplier manufacturing to lowest cost Asian locations, Larry was tasked to work with Koch business development professionals to maximize value of the assets, which led to the sale in 2004 of the entire industrial fibers business to a competitor with a greater Asian presence. 

Although his zest for the challenges of working for a large multi-national company never diminished, Larry grabbed an opportunity in 2006 for a more balanced work/life environment, and completed his career with six years as a home based sales & marketing representative for a New Jersey based family owned industrial fiber manufacturer/broker. He fully retired in June 2012, and relocated to the Greensboro, Georgia area in July, 2013.

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