Joe Rotondi – Executive Director

Joe moved to Greensboro from Florida almost a decade ago. Starting as a bartender, he quickly became engaged in community activities in Greensboro. This led him to working with nonprofits to raise money through engaging event with a local outfit, Running with Horses. There, he helped develop races such as The Mudbug Run, The Running of the Balls, and the Zombie Run. He was also involved in the creation of the Greensboro City Market, which is what led him to the Forge. Starting as a member and volunteer, when he was asked to to work there, he couldn’t say no. Joe is also studying Social Entrepreneurship and Sculpture at UNCG.

Board of Directors

Joey Adams – President

Originally from Winston Salem, Joey settled in Greensboro in 2001. While he has always been interested in how things work, he has gravitated towards computers. This led him to a career in software development and operations at TCDI, a local eDiscovery software company. As an employee of TCDI, he earned a business degree from Greensboro College. He was the original founder of the Forge in 2013. In his spare time, he enjoys software development, amateur science, wood working, and forging ahead.

Mario Aldayuz – Vice President

Mario moved from DeForest, Wisconsin, to Shady Side, Maryland before graduating high school. He then joined the Marine Corps, where he learned leadership skills and studied electronics calibration, becoming a certified PMEL technician with a skill set in repair and calibration ranging from electronics to mechanics. After serving 5 years, he settled in Greensboro where he joined other founding members of the Forge to develop the organization. He has become a serial entrepreneur, largely due to his interactions with other members of the Forge.

Dr. Boyce E. Collins – Secretary

Boyce has been a research scientist at NC A&T State University since 2010 as a part of the Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials. There, he focuses on applying X-ray Computed Tomography to the study of natural and man-made objects. Dr. Collins received a Ph. D. in Inorganic Chemistry from UNC-Chapel Hill. During his postdoctoral at UCSD, he designed and tested porous biosensors and microstructures. Before landing at NC A&T, he spent 10 years in industry developing efficient design and manufacture of technological products.

Leslie Garner – Treasurer

Leslie, a graduate of Emory University’s Goizuetta Business School, is a wealth manager and financial planner working in the Piedmont. In the Forge’s early days, she helped develop our soft space and entrepreneurial activities by offering advice to other members, and conducting meetings and mixers in our cafe and conference spaces. Originally from New York, Leslie served in the Peace Corps, taught mathematics, and served on the board to establish The Boys and Girls Club in Chapel Hill. She regularly offers workshops and seminars on financial planning.

Greg Chabon

Greg provides legal counsel and advice on a variety of transactional, corporate, and commercial matters with Womble and Carlyle. Prior to practicing law, Greg spent eleven years as an engineer involved in the development of tactical missile systems for the U.S. Armed Forces, and dealt with getting state-of-the-art technology from the drawing board into production. He has served on several local boards, including the Nussbuam Center for Entrepreneurship, the Doherty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership at Elon University, and Launch Greensboro.

Stephen Klepper

Stephen has 20 years experience in procurement and product development in the Tobacco and Packaging Industries. He has been a Greensboro resident for 10 years, and is a father of twin five year old daughters, and a husband to their very patient mother. Stephen has been a member of the Forge for almost 3 years, focusing on 19th Century (and older) woodworking techniques and tools. You can find him in the Woodshop during his lunch break sharpening tools.

Steve Schneier

Steve is an accomplished senior executive with over 25 years of commercial management experience in pharmaceuticals. He has held executive and leadership positions in large, medium, and small companies. He is adept at building and growing departments and organizations. Currently, Steve consults to the healthcare industry and is an entrepreneur working on a health care related start-up. He has been a member of the Forge for almost two years. He enjoys 3D printing, laser engraving, and dabbling with metal works.

Laura Way

Laura is Executive Director of the GreenHill Center for NC Art, where she is responsible for its financial well being, leadership, and development of staff. Formerly, she was director of operations and finance at Penland School of Crafts and vice president of advancement at McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC. She brings over 17 years of financial, operational, development, and programmatic experience to her role as executive director. Laura received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from LeMoyne College and an MBA with concentration in Accounting from Syracuse University.

Ken Causey

Ken is a marketer, engineering consultant, entrepreneur, and motorcycle lover. He owns IM Werks, an 8-year old internet marketing company. He is involved in various startups, ranging from healthcare to commercial real estate to timber. An early member of the Forge, he was inspired along with other members and founders, to found HQ Greensboro, a sister coworking space to HQ Raleigh.

Cecilia Thompson

Currently serving as the Executive Director of Action Greensboro, an economic development nonprofit focused on improving quality of life in Greensboro. In her role, she works in a variety of efforts from attracting and retaining young professionals, managing Center City Park, collaborating with businesses and leading downtown enhancements efforts. Prior to her work with Action Greensboro, she served as the Executive Director of the Guilford Green Foundation and Communications Officer for the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. Cecilia holds a B.A. in Political Science, Public Administration, and Sociology from Elon University.

Bryan Toney

Bryan served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Economic Engagement at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). He joined UNCG in 2011 as Director of the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center. Previously, he served as Founding Director of Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship at Appalachian State. He began his career as the founder and CEO of information Management Inc., a high growth technology firm in Atlanta. Also serving as a co-chairman of Innovate GSO and chairman of the Global Opportunities Center, Bryan sees the Forge as a vital element in Greensboro’s entrepreneurial and economic growth.

Bob Niemczyk

Bob has been working in the heavy vehicle and automotive electronics field for 32 years. Before becoming a Senior Principal Engineer and Senior Technology Specialist in EE Architecture and Embedded Software at Volvo Advanced Technology and Research – Connected Technologies in Greensboro, he worked at  Motorola, Cummins Electronics, and Allison Transmission. Bob started “disassembling” things at a young age to see how they worked. As an early member of the Forge, he strongly believes in the community of makers.

Andy Zimmerman

A New Jersey native, Andy arrived in the Triad at age 18 to work for his father’s furniture manufacturing company and quickly became an adventure junkie and avid outdoorsman. In the ’80’s, he started what became one of the world’s largest manufacturers of kayaks and canoes before divesting himself of ownership on Confluence Watersports in 2001. Now, Andy has invested more than $1 million into downtown Greensboro as a developer on South Elm and West Lewis Street. His buildings are home to the Forge, HQ Greensboro, Boxcar, Downtown Greensboro, Inc., UNCG’s GPS, and several other businesses.