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Speakers 2020


Doc Hendley
Founder and President
Wine to Water
2009 CNN Hero
“I hereby proclaim November 5th, 2009 as Doc Hendley day.”
When these words were spoken by Dr. Jim Woodward, Chancellor of NC State University, thunderous applause echoed through the crowd and a humble, grateful smile flashed across Doc Hendley’s face.
Doc Hendley is the epitome of the individual who has made a difference. Tens of thousands of people around the world have clean drinking water they did not have before an idea popped into the head of this “tattooed keg-tapper” musician’s head. Hendley realized that just by using his ability to tend bar and create relationships with people, he might be able to help the problem.
At the bars where he worked, he started raising money to fight this water epidemic the best way he knew how, by pouring wine and playing music.  Hendley has taken personal risks to do the hard work of providing water and clean water education in far flung locations around the globe. He worked in dozens of refugee camps installing water systems for victims of Darfur’s government supported genocide. Often inside the United Nations' dangerous "no-go" zones, he distributed water or chlorine tablets to people with only plastic sheeting for shelter.
Hendley was named one of the Top 10 CNN Heroes for 2009 (chosen from over 9,000 applicants by a panel of judges including Gen. Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Turner and Sir Elton John).
Today Hendley’s Wine to Water foundation aims to help the 1.1 billion people worldwide who lack access to clean water. By using wine events to raise money and awareness about the lack of clean drinking water in the developing world, Doc Hendley has harnessed a powerful social force and multiplied the generosity of many. 
Doc is, in essence, turning wine to water for some of the neediest people on the planet for three simple reasons: 
  1. At least one in six people worldwide lack access to adequate amounts of safe water for drinking and hygiene, according to the UN. 
  2. Water borne illnesses kill far more children the HIV/AIDS and Malaria combined. 
  3. Unclean water contributes to diarrhea, the leading cause of illness and death, and translates to 1.5 million preventable deaths each year.
 Doc did not dream of dedicating his life to humanitarian efforts in developing countries. Far from it, in fact. He graduated from NC State University with a communications degree he wasn’t sure how to use. While bartending to pay the bills, he noticed the men and women sitting on the stools seemed to want to be part of something bigger. The 30-year-old Hendley got inspired behind the bar, and today his nonprofit group, Wine to Water, has dug, repaired and sanitized drinking wells for 25,000 people in five Third World countries. It's an idea that started with wine tastings and a humble donation jar.

Brett King
Founder and CEO of the world's first direct mobile-only bank - Movenbank. 
American Banker's Innovator of the Year 2012
Voted as American Banker's Innovator of the Year in 2012, Brett King is widely considered the foremost global expert on retail banking innovation and customer experience.

He is the CEO and founder of the break out retail bank Moven and has achieved widespread international recognition for his books Bank 2.0, Bank 3.0 and Branch Today – Gone Tomorrow – each topping the global bestseller lists around the world.

Brett King travels the globe speaking at events for some of the world’s most recognized and progressive organizations, including: Google, Microsoft, Oracle, The Economist, Forbes, American Banker, and the World Council of Credit Unions. Sharing his disruptive insights into innovation, customer experience, channel distribution strategy and the fundamental shifts in consumer behaviour, King has become known as a leading industry futurist and disruptor - frequently featured as a commentator on CNBC, Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Economist, Huffington Post and The Banker magazine.

Gen Merritt-Parikh
Allied Affiliated Funding
Gen, President of Allied Affiliated Funding, the factoring and ABL division of Axiom Bank, N.A., has been with Allied since 2009 and has over 25 years of experience in asset based lending, factoring and commercial banking. Gen has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Economics from the University of Texas at Dallas and is currently serving as a Subject Matter Expert for the IFA’s Certified Account Executive in Factoring Program. Gen is a member of Vistage and for ten years through 2018 has served on the board for the Finance Forum, co-chairing their annual golf tournament which benefits the Ft. Hood 1st Cavalry Division Association Scholarship Fund.

George Thorson
Executive Vice President
Triumph Business Capital
George joined Triumph Business Capital in 2007 and is currently serving as its executive vice president and chief operating officer. In May of 2012, he was also named executive vice president and chief credit officer of Triumph Commercial Finance. Mr. Thorson has more than 35 years of experience in the senior management and performance of asset based lending and factoring, business evaluations and underwriting, commercial lending operations, loan work out and field auditing. Prior to joining Advance Business Capital, Mr. Thorson served as executive vice president with Collateral Risk Management, Inc. and was responsible for business management, operations and major service engagements. He also served as a director with S.A. Credit Support International N.V., a multi-country joint venture providing support for cross border, asset based lending. He began his career with Collateral Financial Services, Inc., a national asset based lending and collateral management firm, rising to vice president, regional manager. Mr. Thorson has also served as an industry expert for events with the International Factoring Association, the National Association of Credit Managers and the Commercial Finance Association.

Jim Cretella, Esq.
Otterbourg, P.C.
Jim is a shareholder of the law firm Otterbourg P.C. He focuses his practice on the area of specialty finance and regularly advises a variety of factoring companies, institutional lenders, hedge funds and asset based lenders. Jim is widely recognized for the confidence he instills in clients and for his practical approach to the practice of law. Jim started his career as an associate in Otterbourg’s nationally recognized loan workout and restructuring practice, where he gained unique insight into many of the practical challenges faced by factoring companies and other secured creditors. Jim has served as counsel to the factor, administrative agent or lead lender in syndicated and non-syndicated factoring and other credit facilities. He has been involved with credit facilities covering a wide range of industries, including staffing, transportation, and oil and gas. He has also worked on the financing of various acquisitions, working closely with private equity groups and their counsel in representing the arrangers that provide the financing for such acquisitions. Jim has extensive experience in a variety of supply chain and other trade finance transactions, including off-balance sheet receivable purchase facilities.