PRESS RELEASE: Tech Founder and Big Tech Exec Join CED Board of Directors

MAY 9, 2022 RTP, NC – The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) is excited to announce the appointment of two critical resources for the organization. Tech Founder, Bill Spruill, Co-founder and President, Global Data Consortium (GDC) and Tech Executive, Carlos Pignataro CTO of CX, Cisco Systems.

“As CED evolves and positions itself to provide continued impact within the startup ecosystem,” says CED CEO, Kelly Rowell, “the appropriate mix of resources is critical in order to drive our vision for support forward.”

Bill Spruill, co-founder and President of GDC has a long tenure of support for the organization, a relationship that started in the 90s as a part-time intern, supporting startup programming. Spruill has stayed close with the organization over the decades and engagement has evolved from getting support to now giving support. 

“I’m thrilled to be rejoining the CED Board alongside some other phenomenal contributors to the Triangle entrepreneurial ecosystem. Founders build and after building a successful business, I want to refocus my energies on building a stronger Triangle ecosystem. I see CED as an integral part of the community both past, present and future.” says Spruill. “I expressly think that it is important for the local tech community to not forget the impact CED has had on the development of the majority of companies here. Whether directly or indirectly CED has always been a part of the storylines. I want to make sure we build a sustainable path to help the next generation of high-growth technology company founders achieve the same outcome we achieved at GDC.”

Spruill is playing a leading role in developing the future of CED alongside Rowell and her team. He has been acting in an advisory capacity for the last nine months alongside other local founders to design what support looks like for the ecosystem. Spruill has accepted a seat on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors.

“We are excited to welcome these new Board leaders who have a deep passion for supporting startups and the continued growth of our region,” says Board Chair, Sanjay Pal. “Carlos and Bill, thank you for your commitment, and welcome to the team!”

Carlos Pignataro, CTO of Customer and Partner Experience at Cisco, has joined CED with the motivation to get local executives immersed in the startup ecosystem not only to support early tech but learn from them as well. Pignataro, who increasingly focuses on sustainability, is entrepreneurial by nature and has demonstrated that ability by driving innovations and inventions to market and by being named Fast Company’s Innovative Leader and HITEC 100, both in 2021.

“I am inspired to learn from and contribute to the Triangle entrepreneurial ecosystem, and enthusiastic to join CED,” says Pignataro. “This is a growing and thriving region, and CED’s work to support new and emerging businesses will continue to be a catalyst for local innovation. All together, we can accelerate North Carolina’s position as a leader and hub for technology.”

Carlos has built a 20+ year career driven by a passion and curiosity for technology excellence, outside-in thinking, and elevating opportunities for professionals. He likes to think of innovation as a movement to improve people, communities, and the world, and he cares deeply about making an impact for his customers and the global community. He values a more diverse and inclusive community and is active in various Cisco RTP employee groups: the Innovation community, the Conexión LatinX community, Women in Science & Engineering, PRIDE, and now CED.

Pignataro is an advocate for CED and a model for corporate partnership. He has accepted a seat on CED’s Board of Directors.

About CED (Council for Entrepreneurial Development)

The Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) is a North Carolina non-profit organization dedicated to connecting high-growth startups with the resources they need to launch and build a  successful business. For more than 35 years, CED has partnered with a network of supporters, giving start-ups access to mentoring, capital, education, and other resources vital to a solid business.

For more information about the CED, visit the website. Media should contact Kelly Rowell, CEO at CED with any questions, krowell@cednc.org.

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