Meet Our Counselors

Our Counselors are local retired and employed, owners/executives who are committed to delivering quality advice to our clients; they have helped numerous businesses with financing, marketing, advertising, sales, use of the internet/social media.

Jac Cuddy

Jac has served as Executive Director of the MWV Economic Council for the past 13 years. Spent 17 years in the banking industry and previously was an educator in the Manchester, NH school district. Expertise includes Nonprofit Organization Management, Economic Development, Strategic Planning, Small Business Start-up, Business Financing and Marketing.


Richard Ficke, Chair

Retired career Air Force officer whose last assignments included faculty at the Naval War College and that of Deputy Base Commander in Germany.  Recently retired as V.P. and Director of Business Development after 18 years employment for a small business defense contractor.  Oversaw proposal preparation, forged strategic business alliances and implemented product diversification.  Particular expertise with proposal writing and Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) program.


Jim Hastings, Treasurer

Jim is a retired Chief Financial Officer most recently with Chick Packaging, Inc. (a multi-national, privately held industrial packaging company) and prior to that he was Vice President and Treasurer of Essex County Gas Company (a publicly held, state regulated, local gas distribution utility).  Before working in industry, Jim was a Certified Public Accountant with local public accounting firms.  Jim has worked extensively with small businesses in areas of accounting, budgeting, tax and finance.


Lauren Hawkins

With a BS degree in Marketing, Lauren possesses over eight years experience in the use of Social Media for marketing and advertising. Since 2008 she has been the Social Media Director for the annual Home Garden Show in Fryeburg, ME. Additionally she is Marketing Manager at Story Land in Glen, NH.


Dave Jensen

A Dartmouth College graduate and CEO for more than 25 years, Dave is one of three partners who founded a local manufacturing business making dog collars, leashes and harnesses. Since 1991, Lupine Pet sells to more than 6000 retailers in the US and abroad, as well as online. It currently employs 68 people in the Mount Washington Valley. During this period of time, Dave has served as President and CEO. His business expertise includes business operations, production (Lean Manufacturing), business strategy and planning, and marketing.


Valerie Jensen

With a Master’s Degree in International Trade as well as a MBA, Valerie is one of three partners who founded a local manufacturing business making dog collars, leashes and harnesses. Since 1991, LupinePet has supplied over 6000 retailers in the US and abroad. It currently employs 68 people in the Mount Washington Valley. During this period of time, Valerie has served as treasurer and personnel human resources manager. Her business expertise includes business operations and internal communications, business finance and accounting, business strategy and planning, and personnel human resources.


Rob Nadler

President and founder of Ragged Mountain Equipment in Intervale, a manufacturer and retailer of outdoor and sewn products. Currently serves as Albany’s representative to North Country Council, Mount Washington Valley Economic Council, Chairman of the Albany Conservation Commission. Former Albany Selectmen and Planning board member. Personal interests include landscaping, gardening, and outdoor activities.


Barbara Reilly

Possesses over ten years paralegal experience in both a local law firm and currently as managing business partner of Legal Eagles, LLC. Well experienced in court document preparation, case research, drafting legal correspondence, and judicial decision and precedent analyses in support of administrative law, civil litigation, and family law cases, she is well-versed in such areas as small claims, business debt collection, dispute resolution and legal transaction issues.


Anthony Ruddy

Anthony is an independent consultant in product design and assembly automation with ALM Automation, LLC. With a BSIE from the University of Rhode Island, he has developed products and equipment in a variety of industries, including electronic components, food packaging, oil/gas industry, and consumer products. Anthony left engineering management positions to become self-employed in 1999. His personal interests include his family, skiing, golf, and sports car racing.


Maureen Tessier

Over 30 years experience and expertise in the areas of not-for-profit accounting, state and federal contracting, budgeting and financial management. A member of senior management, CFO and Business Manager, responsible for the activities of the business office of a nonprofit mental health association with direct responsibility for a $4.6 million budget. Responsible for accounting, human resources, MIS, contract management, outpatient billing and support services. Fiscal Administrator for a non-profit educational startup. Developed cost proposals for Federal government, negotiated Federal contracts & grants with Department of Education and National Institute of Education.


Rick Woodring

Retired VP of Operations, Parker Hannifin Corporation Filtration Group. 40 years of industrial hydraulic control and filter products manufacturing leadership experience. Expertise includes new product design and development management, division general management (product development, production, marketing / sales and related back office functions), multi-division global strategic business planning and operations co-ordination and leadership. Experienced corporate management development mentor. Degrees include BS Electrical Engineering and MBA.


Robert Zakon

Robert is a technologist and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in innovating and applying emerging technologies across the intelligence, defense, health care, and scientific sectors. During 2016-2017, he served one year as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow in Washington, D.C., spanning two administrations. Robert heads up a high-tech consulting practice based here in the Valley covering all areas of Internet and Web technologies, as well as a software startup with a presence in over 100 countries. Prior to moving to the Valley from Northern Virginia in 2001, Robert founded and served as CTO of an early cloud service provider, managed R&D teams in a wide array of advanced and emerging technologies, and provided technology and policy guidance to the US government and its allies. For more information about his background, Robert encourages you to visit his personal Web site at