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Initial Sparks Mentors

We hare happy to introduce you to our initial Sparks Mentors!  We are expanding our roster of mentors quickly.  The Sparks Mentorship Program prioritizes recruiting mentors who not only possess a strong track record in nurturing talent but also bring valuable knowledge and experiences to the table. Our commitment to expanding our mentor base is underscored by a focus on diversity across multiple aspects, ensuring our students are well-represented. We aim to attract mentors from a wide spectrum of academic and professional fields, covering different educational qualifications and career trajectories.

Apply to be a mentor!

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Turk Akbay

Turk Akbay, a successful entrepreneur, an author, Tedx Speaker and decorated U.S. Air Force Veteran. Dedicated over 30 years to personal development and empowering others to self-actualize their own greatness. Turk is the creator of Subliminal Coaching, a patented system for reprogramming one's subconscious mind. His extensive background in entrepreneurship includes founding and co-founding multiple companies. Throughout his career, Turk has demonstrated his commitment to helping others achieve success and live their best lives. His unique blend of military experience, innovative thinking, and passion for personal development make him a true catalyst for greatness. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur or simply someone seeking personal growth, Turk Akbay is a powerful force for change and inspiration.
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Todd Mclean

Todd McLean earned his B.A. in Communication Theory from Temple University. His focus was to understand how and why people communicate the way they do. Since earning his degree, Todd has dedicated his career to assisting others in their pursuits of personal and professional success and joy. With over 13 years in the Talent Development space, Todd has learned how to identify the needs of others with ease, while providing them with solutions that surpass the expectations of a basic development plan. Being an ICF certified coach, he has used adult learning theory coupled with coaching methodologies to implement learning strategies across numerous Fortune 500 organizations on a global scale. Currently he holds the position of Talent Development Manager at Coca Cola Consolidated, where he supports teammate development, performance management, and leadership development. In his spare time, Todd enjoys traveling to new countries every year, going on challenging hikes with his dog, and supporting local businesses in his community.
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Ana Fernandez

Ana Fernandez is an environmental sustainability professional who lives in Charlotte. She has been working with Coca-Cola Consolidated since 2022, where she leads environmental affairs. Prior to moving to Charlotte, she worked in environmental affairs with Coca-Cola Enterprises in Atlanta for 10 years. She is passionate about traveling and spending time with family. She is originally from Miami, graduated from Florida International University with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and has an MBA from Georgia State University. She has served on several non-profit boards focused on the environment (NAEM) and the Atlanta professional theatre community (Suzie Bass Awards).
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Sharon Campbell

Bio forthcoming.
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Mike Bartlett

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Ted Bozarth

Ted embarked on his professional journey in the IT field, starting as a computer programming instructor at 16 and later establishing his own IT consultancy during his college years. His academic journey led him to earn a BA in Business from Michigan State University, paving the way for his second career as an internal management consultant. In this role, Ted collaborated with various Fortune 500 companies, focusing on business strategy and the execution of comprehensive business transformation projects. Ted has two college-educated children who live nearby in Charlotte, North Carolina. In his leisure time, he is passionate about photography, enjoys both flatwater and whitewater kayaking, hiking, and playing West African percussion with a percussion group he founded over 15 years go.
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Diana Barnett

Diana is currently a multi-industry consultant whose leadership skills include Corporate Training, Professional Coach, and DEI Champion. Additionally, she is engaged with various universities in the roles of Student Advisor, Adjunct, and Advisor on various committees. Diana recently retired from a leading manufacturer where she enjoyed over 30 years, leveraging her experience managing teams and execution in various roles of Supply Chain Management. Diana is the CEO and Founder of Barnett Leadership Group, LLC, since June 2023, she has been instrumental in providing impactful leadership development training, coaching, and business consulting. Diana has exemplified a profound dedication to empowering individuals and organizations to reach their full potential. Her blend of academic expertise, practical experience, and passion for fostering growth and innovation makes her a valuable resource as a mentor and advisor in the fields of leadership, education, and business management.
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Steve Westphal

With over 30 years in the consumer products industry, largely within the soft drink sector at Coca-Cola and 7-Up bottling systems in the U.S., Steve has held pivotal positions at Coca-Cola Consolidated, the nation's largest Coke bottler. There, he served in roles such as Executive VP of Supply Chain, Senior VP & CFO, and President of Red Classic Transportation, driving growth from $300 million to $1.5 billion in revenue through strategic acquisitions. Steve's contributions extend to board memberships at organizations like Southeastern Container and South Atlantic Canners, and significant supply chain projects across the U.S. Coca-Cola system. Beginning his career at Ernst & Young, Steve graduated from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce, equipping him with deep insights into effective leadership and organizational transformation.
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Rajen Raval

Rajen Raval's career began in a manufacturing facility, where he quickly developed a passion for supply chain management. This early experience led to roles in process building, data modeling, and systems integration, eventually propelling him into the consulting world and opportunities in the USA in the mid-90s. His significant career advancement came at Coca-Cola's IT organization, where he worked globally within the supply chain and manufacturing divisions, gaining exposure to diverse cultures and complex challenges. Rajen has led strategic initiatives in enterprise systems, manufacturing solutions, and supply chain optimization, significantly contributing to growth and profitability. A notable achievement was spearheading the digital transformation for Coca-Cola's North American and Canadian bottling partners, integrating systems onto a single platform to enhance efficiency and profitability. Currently, Rajen is focused on leveraging technology to empower individuals and organizations to achieve more efficiently, emphasizing responsible and innovative use of technology in all aspects of life.
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Reggie Bean

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Harry Ziff

Harry is a seasoned professional with over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing and distribution sectors, holding significant roles in supply chain, continuous improvement and transformation, and training and development for several notable private and public companies.    As the VP of Corporate Logistics at East Penn, a premier automotive and industrial battery manufacturer, he currently leads a shared services division, providing expertise and support in demand and supply planning, network and inventory optimization, and global trade management.    Outside the office, Harry contributes academically as an adjunct professor and board advisor at Kutztown University and mentors MBA students at Lehigh University.  A Haverford College and Penn State University alumnus, Harry lives in a Philadelphia suburb where he enjoys reading, playing tennis, watching Boston and Philly sports, and spending quality time with family and friends.
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Melanie Sabella

Melanie Sabella earned her mechanical engineering degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in her late twenties, having started at Queens University. Her career has been entrenched in manufacturing, initially as a packaging designer for printing firms, then shifting to engineering. She spent eight years at Philip Morris in Maintenance and Engineering, with a substantial part of her career at Consolidated. Melanie is dedicated to mentoring young people, helping them navigate their future opportunities and emphasizing the importance of patience and hard work. Personally, Melanie embraces a hippie lifestyle, with a passion for scrapbooking and card making as her main hobbies. She also enjoys fishing and activities related to the beach or water, showcasing her love for nature.
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