Ravila Gupta, President and CEO
Ravila Gupta has over 15 years of experience in senior leadership roles, most recently as President of Umicore, USA. Ravila brings a passion for entrepreneurship to CED as she helps forge stronger connections, engage new partners, and set the strategic direction of the organization. Prior to CED, Ravila was with Umicore, USA for nine years, first as its Legal Counsel and then as its President, beginning in 2011. Ravila also worked as a process/environmental engineer at government agencies and companies that included Tyco Electronics and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. She began her career as an attorney at Ogletree Deakins, in Raleigh. A 26 year resident of North Carolina, Ravila is a member of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, serving on its Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016, and for a year on its Executive Committee. She is also a board member of the Nature Conservancy (NC Chapter), the National Association of CEOs, and the Duke University School of Nursing. Ravila has worked closely with entrepreneurial founders in the healthcare sector, providing guidance, mentorship, and business advice. Ravila graduated from McGill University with a Bachelors and Masters in Chemical Engineering and earned her Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University.
Miriam Wilson, Vice President, Investor Relations
Miriam Wilson has been working with North Carolina's entrepreneurs since joining the CED team in 2010. In her current position, Miriam is responsible for building key relationships with leading investors including venture funds, angel investors and strategics around the country. Previously, she was responsible for developing business and managing internal operations. Miriam came to CED from SCRA where she was integral to the creation of programs supporting entrepreneurs and the commercialization of technology from South Carolina’s research universities. Her responsibilities included raising funds to support the SCLaunch program, building a network of resources and funding for early stage companies, and participating on the due diligence team for grants/loans/equity investments. While in South Carolina, Miriam participated on many entrepreneurial support group boards. She currently serves on the SEBIO Board and was on the steering committee for USC’s Innovista project. Earlier in her career, she led the Education Division for a venture-backed software company in Charlotte, NC. In addition, she has served in leadership roles on several non–profit boards, including the Junior League of Raleigh, SAFEchild in Raleigh, NC, All Saints’ Episcopal Day School in Florence, SC, where she served as Board chair, and the Central Carolina Community Foundation in Columbia, SC. Miriam earned a B.S. in Mathematics and Business from Wake Forest University.
Jay Bigelow, Director of Entrepreneurship
Jay’s primary focus at CED is organizing the expertise of the network to provide guidance, mentorship, and capital to the approximately 1,600 entrepreneurial companies within the CED ecosystem. Jay has worked in two startups and 3 scale-ups where he launched new products, drove business development efforts and strategic planning. He earned his B.S in Business Administration from Drexel University.
Steve Hinkson, Director of Communication
As the Director of Communication at CED Steve develops and executes brand, messaging, and communications initiatives that forward CED’s strategic vision of making the Triangle a Top 5 national entrepreneurial hub. Steve joined CED from the Managed Funds Association, which represents the global hedge fund industry, where he worked as Director of Communications. Previously, Steve provided crisis communications counsel to corporate interests and high profile individuals at Dezenhall Resources. Steve was also Director of Political Communication for Luntz, Maslansky Strategic Research, where he advised The White House, Members of Congress, and international political candidates on messaging and communications strategy. Additionally, Steve served as a speechwriter for U.S. Senator Mike DeWine, and as a freelance speechwriter and consultant for corporate interests. Steve earned his B.A. in English from Denison University, and his M.A. in Communication from Wake Forest University.
Robin Costello, Director of Corporate Relations and Strategic Partnerships
Robin is responsible for building and cultivating relationships for CED across the corporate community. Growing strategic and business partnerships and fundraising is a major focus. Prior to CED, Robin was responsible for fundraising and leveraging business relationships statewide for the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, a business and economic development organization. Before that, she was Vice President and Director of Marketing for Piedmont Investment Advisors, a boutique investment management firm. She also served as Vice President of External Affairs at Action for Children North Carolina, the statewide policy and advocacy organization serving children’s issues. In this role, she grew organizational relationships among corporations, legislators, government officials and civic leaders throughout the state. Outside of CED, Robin serves on the UNCW Foundation Board, the Board of Directors for Wake Education Partnership and is a member of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce. She has been involved in several community organizations over the years. Robin is an alumnus of Leadership North Carolina. She received her B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill and her M.A. in Public Administration at Penn State University.
Vicki Schebell, Business Manager
With over 25 years of business and office management experience in small and medium size business, Vicki is responsible for the day-to-day accounting, finance and operations functions for CED. She ensures the successful completion of the annual audit, HR administration, facilities maintenance and internal technology issues. Vicki’s professional career includes the unique opportunity of working with a start-up software company for its entire lifespan from start-up, to acquiring VC funding to acquisition by a large corporation. Vicki joined CED in 2008 as a Staff Accountant and was promoted to Business Manager in 2012. Originally from California, she attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She has lived and worked in the Raleigh/Durham area for 29 years and enjoys calling North Carolina her home.
Emily McLoughlin, Communications Manager
At CED Emily manages internal communications, develops messaging and marketing plans, and creates marketing materials. She builds and implements strategic marketing plans for conferences and events, including the creation of conference marketing materials, collateral, and communications pieces. Working collaboratively with the CED staff, Emily plans, designs, and executes materials and communications used for internal and external audiences while also supplementing media outreach efforts and developing relationships with targeted media. Before joining the team at CED, Emily was part of the staff who opened the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC) and held various roles at the venue. In her last four years, she was the Director of Marketing for Concerts and Comedy, responsible for over 50 annual marketing campaigns. Emily has a B.S. in Business Administration from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. She is a proud native of Raleigh and has dedicated her career to serving the Triangle area.
Lindsay Burns, Member Relations Manager
Collaborating with the Entrepreneur Success, Investor Relations, and Programming teams, Lindsay focuses on connecting members to the variety of resources and benefits of membership, while working to build the CED network through outreach and engagement activities. Prior to joining the CED team, Lindsay served in marketing and development roles with a growth-stage software company and a venture law firm. She earned her B.A. in Public and Interpersonal Communication from North Carolina State University and volunteers in the Raleigh community, serving as a Young Ambassador for SAFEchild and a member of the Junior League of Raleigh.