Jim Wolfe (left in photo) and Jay Kerness (right) have been business partners for more than thirty years. Their consulting approach has merged Jim’s business and finance background with Jay’s marketing and advertising experience to advise more than 100 clients – from start-ups and non-profits, to governments and the Fortune 500.
Co-founder & CEO Jim Wolfe is a consultant, attorney and management executive with more than 30 years’ experience helping emerging growth firms. He has been a founder, director or consultant to more than 50 early stage firms in a wide range of industries both in the U.S. and abroad. Previously Jim served as an international consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tomatsu, and KPMG. One of the first Americans called to Eastern Europe after the fall of the Berlin Wall, he participated in the privatization of more than 3,000 industries throughout the region, and has consulted to the World Bank, USAID, the German government, and the U.S. government on foreign direct investments. He is a past director of the National Entrepreneurship Foundation, the National Business Incubation Association, and is a former Trustee of Indiana University. He began his career as an aide in the U.S. Senate. Currently Jim serves as Entrepreneur in Residence and Assistant Professor at George Mason University, where he teaches courses on entrepreneurship and innovation. He also serves as President of FirstGuard Technologies Corporation, a defense technology start-up founded through the consulting practice in 2010. Jim holds the J.D., M.B.A. and B.S. degrees, all from Indiana University.
Co-founder & President Jay Kerness has more than 30 years’ experience in marketing, branding and advertising for clients with household names such as General Motors, Keebler, MCI, Mobil Oil, and The University of Miami, as well as numerous nonprofit, technology and early stage firms. His previous advertising agency experience includes Leo Burnett, Arnold Communications and Rainmaker Interactive. Jay’s expertise is in marketing strategy, brand development and account management. He has developed and launched marketing campaigns incorporating broadcast, print, direct, internet and events for more than fifty leading American brands. A published author and former off-Broadway theater composer and producer, Jay is known for his creative and energetic style in conducting facilitated sessions and workshops. Jay serves as strategy lead for several clients with Grafik Communications in Alexandria Virginia including the U.S. Census Bureau and NIH, and partners with his long-time colleagues from Leo Burnett to run Account Services for Rise Advertising in Chicago. He also serves as Vice President of FirstGuard Technologies Corporation, a defense technology start-up founded through the consulting practice in 2010. Jay earned his B.A. degree in Fine Arts & Psychology from Brandeis University and his M.B.A. from Harvard University.