There’s a problem that we all deal with. We want to connect with all the smartest people in our area, but sometimes the smartest and most capable people aren’t very visible to us.
A couple weeks ago I met 3 people that I didn’t even know existed and yet they were all amazing. How is that possible?
I decided to ask some of the smartest and best connected people I know who they feel is flying below the radar. We all know people who are amazing, but not well known.
Below is the list – in no particular order, it’s just the order in which people got back to me. I’ve made the list as easy as possible for you to connect with them.
Do you know someone who missing from the list? Let me know in the comments.
Quarry Integrated Communications and award winning home brewer!
Founder and Manager at Bagchi Law, a boutique law firm that serves as “virtual general counsel” to small and medium-sized emerging growth companies.
Company Spokesman & Senior Marketing Analyst at Coastal Federal Credit Union.
Founder & President of Agency Firebox, Speaker, Business Coach, and Volunteer Bartender on a 1930s Railroad Car.
Founder/CEO of The MAHARRIS Group.
“By far the best boss I ever had. She really understood the essential role of what a managers role should be – to support, develop and advance your people. I’ll never forget her once saying “My job is to have you make as money as possible” and she practiced that philosophy by fighting for her people – and in return we fought for her. One other gem was when Roadway was going through layoffs and how a long-time employee was given 1 hour to collect his things and go, all while an HR Rep watched his every move. Mattie gathered us together and among other words of reassurance said “Once in a while, take a look around your office and ask yourself ‘Could I pack up everything important to me in 30 minutes?’ If not, change it so that you can.” Her point was to never get too comfortable. Needless to say, Mattie had a huge impression on me in my young career.”
Chief Technology Officer, Causam Energy, Inc. SOA.
“I moved here from Cleveland as the 8th employee of Pinpoint Networks. It was a company founded by two School of Math & Science guys named Jud Bowman and Taylor Brockman. The former certainly has the higher profile and has been successful not only with Pinpoint (which became Motricity) but also his current venture Appia. But Taylor was the guy behind the scenes. The geek, if you will. Smart beyond his years and incredibly level-headed and thoughtful. I always said that I would take a bullet for Taylor. I’d tell Jud a bullet was coming his way. 😉 Taylor might be the smartest guy I know.”
Head of Relationships at Lesson.ly.
“I’m a big fan of Conner Burt of Lesson.ly. He works out of HQ Raleigh and runs their Sales team. Killer dude.”
Project Manager at Smashing Boxes, perpetual note taker, keeper of details, maker of lists, scheduler of meetings, coordinator of the smart people.
Philanthropy & Communications Liaison at The Nature Conservancy.
“Non-profit communications & award-winning cupcake baker!”
Experienced Energy Technology Entrepreneur, President & CEO at Phononic.
“Brilliant CEO with an amazing company.”
CEO & Founder of Retro M.
“Amber has a great up and coming content and communications company.”
Founder at AnyCloud.
“A brilliant CEO who has a very interesting cloud based company. I think they’re well positioned to get some scale as they move out of their MVP.”
Kerri is a technology enthusiast who strives in leveraging the best solutions to make life less complicated. She is currently kicking off Patterson Tech Solutions and My Family Cloud while a member of the founding team of Connected Women NC.
Leo Grodski de Barrera
Co-Owner at Cocoa Cinnamon & Independent Artist/Producer.
Senior Optimization Analyst at Brooks Bell.
“He’s more than an analyst, he knows how to code, knows databases… a true tech jack of all trades.”
Optimization Engineer at Brooks Bell.
“One of the smarter front-end developers I’ve met in a while.”
Automation Engineer at McClatchy Interactive.
“I always like the kind of tech stuff he posts. He knows a lot about a lot.”
Principal Software Engineer at Portfolio Decisions, LLC.
“Unbelievable talent in software development and all around nice guy!”
Wendy Gates Corbett
President at Refresher Training, LLC.
“Active in the community, entrepreneur, and genuine person.”
Bonni L. Baird
Manager – Training and Organizational Development at The LCMS.
“The ultimate connector, animal activist, unknown talent in the training industry”
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Manager for the City of Raleigh.
“He is one of the big contributors towards Raleigh’s startup boom.”
President of Loud & Proud Records.
“Tom is one of the most successful people in the music industry and a surprise to many, he lives and runs his new label out of Raleigh!”
IT Director at Atlantic Business Technologies.
“He is buried in ABT, but Matt knows his stuff in networking.”
Director Marketing Operations at Jerry’s Artarama.
“I thought the Jerry’s job might be too big for MM, but he proved me wrong by ROCKING it.”
Marketing Strategist at Centerline Digital.
“She’s smart, she’s creative and has a strong understanding of audience, technology and business goals.”
Interactive Designer at Centerline Digital.
“She’s a super talented content-minded designer….meaning she makes things that aren’t just beautiful, but she’s focused on the message and what users are trying to achieve.”
Content Strategist at Centerline Digital.
“She thinks through how audiences experience content across platforms. She’s also a superb party planner.”
President at the Pioneer Group and former Director of the MBA Program at NC Central University.
Founder of rAVe Publications and teaches two marketing courses at the University of North Carolina School of Media and Journalism.
Founded Em Grey Photography on the truth that every woman is extraordinary.
“She is a photographer, small business consultant, and just generally freaking awesome person.”
“Co-owner of King BMX Action Sports Stunt Show – she’s been in marketing for years, is super smart, really savvy, hard working, lives in Durham, is generally awesome.”
“Writer of The Small Things Blog, really well known blogger, lives in Cary. She’s awesome!”
John Paul “JP” Sherman
Enterprise Search & Findability Expert at Red Hat and former Archaeological Dig Team Leader.
Jerry’s Artarama and Independent Consultant.
Senior Web Developer at BCBSNC
Art Director & Designer.
“One of those people who makes you believe that design can change the world. He’s extremely skilled, but his talents become awe inspiring when he describes that reasons and thoughts that go into his work. He is also very active in AIGA and other social causes.”
“Hugely influential on Twitter when it comes to design, ux and iOS development. His observations are sharp and his opinions are spot on. If I could only follow one person on Twitter, it would be him.”
Founder Search Reps.
Sector Director: Energy & Technology at Duke University: The Fuqua School of Business
VP, Strategy and Special Programs at Ignite Social Media.
“She’s worked on more social media programs for giant brands than almost anyone alive. But she’s not well known.”
COO/Founder at Bronto Software, Inc.
“Super smart COO type who really gets business.”
“Played a huge role in the growth of Reverb Nation.”
Search Director at Coalmarch Productions.
“I hired Lee as an intern at Zencos and have watched him learn SEO/SEM, analytics and online marketing at an amazing clip while at El Torro Interactive and he just landed at Coalmarch where he should continue to do great work.”
VP Creative Services at BtB Marketing Communications.
“I first worked for Geoff 18 years ago and have kept in touch over the years. I’ve learned more from Geoff than any other professional in my career. Funny, intelligent and always honest, I cherish my conversations with him and appreciate the respect he’s shown me as well.”
Owner of Brewed For Her Ledger, LLC; Fractional CFO & Controller, Financial, AIS & Marketing Strategist, Writer, Speaker.
“I first met Audra when I joined the board of Triangle AMA. She was the treasurer and did a fantastic job of getting the financial situation of the chapter in top shape. To my surprise she was more than a typical accountant. Audra is one of the most creative people I’ve ever met and she constantly surprises me with what’s next.”
Vice President at John William Pope Foundation.
Strategy Director at Centerline Digital.
“A brilliant UX Designer and Content Strategist who’s flying under the radar. Very intuitive. Very positive.”
Project Manager at Centerline Digital.
“A project manager who seems to know what the clients are thinking before they think it. A pure doer&hellips; so focused on getting things done both to greater result and more efficiently than expected.”
Director of User Experience at Smashing Boxes.
“His talent is only matched by his quick-witted personality. Really smart and motivated and giving.”
Freelance Web Writer/Editor.
“One of the deepest thinkers in the Triangle. Always looking to up her game and help people achieve their goals. It doesn’t matter what your project is, it will be better with Rachel involved.”
CTO at Curagami.
“Philosopher trapped in a developers body. One of the few developers that focuses on solving the problem simply rather than with an earth-shattering function call.”
Principal Lead-Out Marketing, LLC.
VP Marketing at PrecisionLender.com and formerly engineered hybrid cars before they were cool and jumped out of airplanes.
“She wants to bring the cool, hip San Francisco vibe to the Triangle.”
Want to follow all of them on Twitter? Melissa Breau made this Twitter List: https://twitter.com/MelissaBreau/lists/triangle-people-to-know
I’d like to thank all of the people who took the time to send me the names, and sometimes a lot more, of people in the area who should get a little bit more of the spotlight on them for their particular brand of awesomeness.
Caitlin Vlastakis Smith