Steve Lineberger President
Steve Lineberger is President of Winston Starts and a member of the Winston Starts Board of Directors. Steve is a veteran senior executive from Winston-Salem, NC, and holds BA and MBA degrees from Wake Forest University. Steve’s educational focus and early career achievements were in the area of strategic marketing, and his combination of leadership excellence and strategic acumen led him into his first division President position at the age of 33. His accomplishments and responsibilities have crossed multiple industries and enterprise sizes, and his executive posts have included : CEO, Sara Lee Casualwear and Footwear (now HanesBrands) where his corporate division won a Walmart Vendor of the Year Award and multiple retail industry awards; Krispy Kreme President of US Stores in which he helped turn around a troubled and struggling public company; President, ABT Power Management in which he helped a small private and founder-owned company prepare for scalability and sale; and Chief Operating Officer for First Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem. Steve now also serves as Academic Leader for the Wake Forest Summer Business and Entrepreneurship Institute; and CEO of Sneez, a startup mobile app that uses crowd-sourcing to track illness outbreaks. For the past 35 years, Steve has been at the helm for publicly held, privately held, startup, and non-profit enterprises with staffing from 2 people to 15,000 people, and knows the leadership challenges of building competent organizations and leveraging marketplace advantages in both small, thinly resourced environments and in large, highly resourced environments.
Betsy Brown Director
Betsy Brown is a skilled marketing professional and independent business owner/entrepreneur with retail, merchandising, management and operations experience. She holds a BA degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and MBA degree from Wake Forest University. Betsy’s work experience includes strategic marketing and sales management positions with General Mills in which she managed a large geographic territory in the Midwest, and Sara Lee Apparel (now HanesBrands) in which she managed the assimilation of, and subsequently ran a women’s bodywear acquisition. Moving to Nashville, TN and raising a family of 3 young children took Betsy out of the corporate scene for 4 years until she and her husband moved back to Winston-Salem to open two local Ace Hardware stores. Betsy oversaw the design and build out of both stores, created a retail boutique within each store providing a unique gift “store within a store” concept and oversees the buying and human resources. Betsy has a passion for helping children with learning difficulties in the area of reading and writing and is trained in both Wilson and the Orton Gillingham methodology to provide children a variety of techniques and skill to master the English language.
Filip Kricka Finance and Operations Administrator
Filip Kricka is in charge of maintaining financial records and managing day-to-day operations. Filip joined Winston Starts after a two-year venture into solopreneurship where he developed and operated an online mentoring platform that connected student-athletes with Alumni based on mutual career interest. During this period, Filip also spent time learning about the Winston-Salem entrepreneurial community by volunteering with Venture Café Winston Salem and New Venture Challenge Accelerator.
Prior to moving to Winston Salem in 2016, Filip worked as an assistant women’s tennis coach at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University for a total of six years. Filip holds a BS degree in Health Science from Stetson University and MBA degree from Drexel University. Filip is passionate about the world of entrepreneurship and innovation, specifically at the university level, and is currently working in his spare time to create a national collegiate startup competition. Filip also serves as a strategic advisor for Software Goldsmith Inc., a software development company in Holly Spring, NC, where he consults on development and design of new products.
Daniel R. Taylor Jr. Counsel in Residence
Dan Taylor has trial, appellate and arbitration experience representing plaintiffs and defendants in a broad range of business litigation matters involving securities, ERISA, corporate governance, business torts, shareholder rights, intellectual property, and complex contracts. He has tried cases throughout the United States and in each of the three federal districts within North Carolina. He has extensive experience with matters in the North Carolina Business Court.
A 1968 graduate of the United States Military Academy and Vietnam veteran, he attended Wake Forest University School of Law, graduating cum laude. Following law school, he served as Law Clerk to Chief Judge Hiram H. Ward, MDNC. Mr. Taylor has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation continuously since 2005, for Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions continuously since 2006, and for Litigation – Securities, Litigation – ERISA, Litigation – Intellectual Property, and Litigation – Banking and Finance continuously since 2007. He was named “Lawyer of the Year” for the Greensboro region in the area of Securities Litigation by The Best Lawyers in America® in 2012 and “Lawyer of the Year” for the Greensboro region in the area of Banking and Finance Litigation by The Best Lawyers in America® in 2016 and 2018. Dan has been continuously named to Business North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” list, recognized in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, and listed as a “Top 100 North Carolina Super Lawyer” from 2008 through 2015 and as a “North Carolina Super Lawyer” from 2016 through 2018 by Super Lawyers magazine. He was recommended by Legal 500 US for Trade Secrets Litigation in 2014, 2016 and 2017.
Mr. Taylor, an instrument rated private pilot, has handled a variety of complex litigation matters for prominent Fortune 500 companies including Lowe’s Companies, Inc., Reynolds American Inc., E.I. du Pont de Nemours, Lincoln Financial Media, Western Union Company, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation, Sara Lee Corporation, Branch Banking and Trust Company, Wachovia Bank, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, as well as for individuals and private entities.