Expert Coaches




We are thankful to the New Enterprise Forum (NEF) for supporting us with professional coaching in this program. Several NEF board members have graciously volunteered as coaches.

 Winston Benedict

Winston is an Executive Coach of New Enterprise Forum. He has CIO, CTO and Executive Leader with technology strategy and delivery experience across Advertising, Automotive, Pharma, Utilities, Aerospace, Professional Services and Transportation industries. He has deep experience establishing scalable enterprise architectures and leading transformational and turn around initiatives. Results delivered through developing people, leading large-scale lean process changes and intelligently leveraging emerging technologies (when appropriate) to shave costs, boost revenue and maintain competitive advantages.


Dennis Carmichael 

Dennis is co-founder and President of Cimulus, Inc., a custom software company in Ann Arbor. With a BS in Electrical Engineering and Coherent Optics from Kettering University, the common thread across all of Mr. Carmichael's careers - which range from machinist, concert roadie, real estate investor, tech entrepreneur and more - is using software to solve problems in creative and efficient ways. Outside of work, he can be found climbing at Planet Rock, running on Michigan's many trails, or working on his home in Dexter.


 Luke Donahue

Luke Donahue is a Senior Consulting Manager at J.D. Power, a leading Data and Analytics company in the automotive retail industry. He currently specializes in data-driven analytics solutions and price and portfolio consulting used by his OEM clients to maximize their profitability. Luke brings a unique understanding of the automotive industry to J.D. Power from his past experiences working for Stellantis (previously FCA) in retail sales operations in New York and for Tier 1 suppliers such as American Axle and Eaton on the product launches of light duty pickup trucks. A Michigan local, Luke earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Michigan.

 Gary Hessenaur

Gary Hessenaur, President and owner of Hessenaur Associates, C.P.A., P.C.. The firm provides a full range of accounting, tax, consulting and part time CFO services. The firm focuses on small to mid-size businesses with a specialty in start ups and technology businesses. Start up business clients have been funded through owner funds, grants, angel and VC investors. Gary is board member and business coach for the New Enterprise Forum, helps counsel businesses through various other business organizations and regular speaker at SPARK business start up programs. He is very well networked in the startup and financing community.

Ravi Nigam

Ravi is the owner of the Law Offices of Ravi K. Nigam. He is a legal adviser and counselor for startups and small businesses assisting with company formation, business law, contracts, data privacy and security issues, immigration and business planning.

Stefan Sysko

Stefan Sysko is an entrepreneur with a diverse background and 20+ years of experience, much of which has been spent advising small business owners on developing strategy and on executing at a high level. His career includes broad experience in strategic marketing planning, market development, new product and business development, and training. Sysko has been a consultant, advisor and mentor to dozens of start-ups and hundreds of small businesses. He advises startups, emerging, and turnaround companies with launch, growth, and rebuilding strategies. He helps founders discover and effectively tell their story, develop their value proposition, identify and avoid – or tear down – roadblocks, and turn their ideas into focused, viable business plans. Through a strategic partnership with metro Detroit-based Poco Labs, Sysko helps companies with concept development, consumer research and product design. He is a board member, past-president, and coach at New Enterprise Forum. Sysko holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Wayne State University and an MBA from Eastern Michigan University

Bill Taylor

Bill Taylor is an experienced Marketing, Sales, and Strategy executive with over 35 years in innovative marketing, product management, sales, and strategic operations for technology companies in telecom, information technology, life science, and healthcare. With engineering providing a solid technical background, he has achieved a consistent track record of developing strategies that drive consistent and managed growth for high technology companies. He has been successful in companies ranging from a 30 person start up, through mid-sized public companies, all the way to a two year assignment as an IBM strategist. He is a seasoned team builder, who has attracted, developed and retained high-performing marketing, sales and BD talent. His passion is helping technology companies achieve profitable, sustainable growth