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"Value of the Exit"Business Luncheon

May 22, 2019
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Sheraton Imperial Hotel RDU
4700 Emperor Blvd
Durham, NC 27703


An Investor Watch report “Who’s the boss?” by UBS Financial Services found that 41% business owners expect to exit their business in the next five years. Some are approaching traditional retirement age and ready to start a new chapter in their lives, and some simply believe current economic conditions will boost their chances of selling at a favorable price.  However, many small business owners don’t plan ahead to get their companies ready for sale. According to the UBS report, 58 %of owners have never had their business appraised and 48% have no formal exit strategy in place.

What will you hear that you can apply to your business? Women business owners often see their business as their identity, their passion and their contribution to the world. Stepping away can be heart-wrenching, but if planned well it can also be financially rewarding and liberating in many ways.

We'll talk about real situations—and real solutions. Learn from our panel about how they set goals that made sense for them to transition smoothly out of their businesses. Learn about the options from transitioning right away or phasing out over time, to transitioning a business to key executives or passing it along to the next generation.

Our Panelists

Jill Wells Heath is president of CALYX Engineers and Consultants, an NV5 company. As president, Jill sets the strategic direction for the firm, executes the company’s vision, and fosters a company culture that cultivates and expands business relationships and alliances.   Jill joined CALYX in 1993 as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) consultant and quickly rose through the ranks; named CFO in 2003, president in 2006, and CEO in 2008. Throughout her successful tenure with CALYX, Jill has held a number of leadership positions with the Triangle area’s professional and community organizations. She serves on the boards of the Wake Technical Community College Foundation, Triangle YMCA, and the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, of which she is the former Chair. Jill was invited to become a member of the prestigious organization, The 50 Group, and is currently the President of their Board of Directors. 

CALYX Engineers and Consultants has 225 employees and offices in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. For 26 years, CALYX has been shaping cities, towns, and neighborhoods across the Southeast through quality engineering and a commitment to excellence, specializing in transportation, land development, building structures, survey, subsurface utility engineering, traffic, environmental, and construction engineering and inspection services. CALYX is ranked as one of the nation’s top design firms according to Engineering News-Record (ENR) and was ranked #26 on the Zweig Group’s Hot 100 Firm list.

Carrie Peele, in the early 1990’s, newly divorced and two small children to support, started a Luxury Transportation Company with Three Credit Cards.  She walked into BBT Bank and got $15,000 in a brown paper bag and paid Cash for a 1985 Lincoln Stretch.  Carrie built Blue Diamond Worldwide Transportation into the Largest Woman-Owned Transportation Company in The Carolina’s sold it for cash in 2014.    

She is involved in giving back to her community through numerous charities, of which include Co-Chair of March of Dimes and Founder and Chair of Athena of the Triangle, a nonprofit 501c-3 helping women entrepreneurs of the Triangle with advisory panels for one year.  The women going through the program average a 41% increase in net business profit and 38% increase in personal wealth during her year.


 Darleen Johns has been a leader, pioneer, and visionary entrepreneur for the information technology industry in North Carolina for over four decades.  In the male-dominated field of IT, Darleen founded Alphanumeric Systems in 1979 as a provider of business solutions. For the next 30 years, she grew the company to over 500 employees and $100 million in revenue and was recognized by Working Woman Magazine as one of the top 300 women-owned firms in the country.  In 2009, after a distinguished career in both the public and private sectors, Darleen sold Alphanumeric and "retired" to enjoy travelling with her husband Larry and mentoring other women business owners.

Darleen has received numerous awards throughout her career including Ernest and Young's Technology Entrepreneur of the Year, the Governor's Distinguished Woman of North Carolina and Order of the Long Leaf Pine, Businesswoman of the Year sponsored by North Carolina Business Magazine, Tarheel of the Week sponsored by the News and Observer, Legacy Award and Lifetime Achievement Award from Triangle Business Journal and the Lifetime Achievement Award from North Carolina Technology Association.

Darleen is focused on improving the lives of many North Carolinians and has served as a founding Board member of Capital Bank, President of NAWBO, Chairwoman of the NC Technology Association and served on boards and executive committees of the NC Chamber and Raleigh Chamber of Commerce; Rex Healthcare; Hospice of Wake County, and the 1999 World Special Olympics.

Darleen's public service includes appointments by the Governor to the NC Economic Development Board; the Banking Commission; Legislative Joint Select Committee on Information Technology; Business Council for Business Reform; Education First Task Force; Historically Underutilized Business Council and numerous other positions representing small and woman-owned businesses.


Moderator: Shannon Madrid

Shannon Madrid has 30 years in the United States Air Force Reserve, currently Lieutenant Colonel, and is serving as a Medical Director of Operations for an Air Evacuation Squadron.  She is a seasoned Combat Veteran with 4 deployments to her name. She received her undergraduate degree in Health Science from New Mexico State University and her Master’s in Business from Central Michigan University.

She has over 24 years’ experience in business development and lending.  She is a retired SVP in banking and her enjoyment has always been making dreams a reality and guiding the business owner and prospective buyers through the challenges and opportunities of owning a business.  Currently, Shanon Madrid is the owner of Sunbelt Business Brokers serving North Carolina Triangle and Triad regions. 



$35.00 Member Registration

$50.00 Guest Registration

$400.00 Sponsor Table- Includes 8 tickets and Signage

$35.00 Member Registration

$50.00 Guest Registration