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Small Business Counseling

Guest Counselors

Portrait of Kristen BaughamKristen Baughman

Counseling Areas– Marketing, Public Relations, Social Media, Google Business, Basic website design (using template-based website platforms), Branding, Basic videography, Events, Using Remote Working Tools, Restaurant consulting

Kristen is the founder of Tabletop Media Group, a full-service media agency specializing in the food, beverage, agriculture and lifestyle industries. She’s a North Carolina native and graduated from NC State, and worked at the NC Department of Agriculture after she graduated. A new role leading the PR and social campaigns for the now defunct Got To Be NC Competition Dining Series, spurred a career shift to focus on media. In 2016 she launched Tabletop Media Group, a successful and growing company based in North Carolina.

Kristen is adventurous and passionate and has traveled to more than 30 countries to explore different cultures and food around the world. In her free time, you can find her relaxing outside with her dogs Cheerwine and Doc or at one of the many Triangle breweries sipping on a North Carolina beer. She currently lives on a farm that she and her husband, Zayne, have in Warrenton, North Carolina.


Portrait of Linda Jordan
Linda Jordon

Counseling Areas – Diversity & Inclusion, Communications, People Management, Interviewing/Hiring/Downsizing, Organizational Change & Leadership skills, Operations Management

Linda is a leader in her community and a servant leader to all. She is a Certified Coach, Trainer and Teacher with the John Maxwell Leadership Team and is also a Certified Life Coach helping individuals balance work and life challenges. Linda has over 30 years of management, leadership development & training, coaching and business process improvement experience in the US and abroad. She is a motivational speaker, consultant, author and entrepreneur who motivates and inspires others to be their best every day.
Linda is a wife, mother, author, entrepreneur and breast cancer survivor who currently owns and operates five companies: Diamond Realty Investments, LLC, Jordon Rental Properties, LLC, JayLeo Homes, LLC, Grade A Property Solutions, LLC, LRJ Coaching & Business Solutions, LLC and Breast Cancer Angel Network, Inc., which is a non-profit organization providing assistance and resources to women dealing with the disease.
In addition, Linda is an instructor with Cornell University where she helps individuals across the country on the process and importance of being an entrepreneur and also facilitates Diversity & Inclusion courses.

Linda has worked with clients in the pharmaceutical industry, real estate community, individual leaders and non-profit organizations who were looking to identify and develop their team’s strengths and talents.

Portrait of Stephen Pearson

Stephen Pearson

Counseling Areas – Policy/Procedure Development, Cyber and Digital Security, Business Finance, Business Sustainability, Employee Maximization/Motivation, Business Intelligence, Systems Analysis and Design, Flow Systems Analysis and Design

Dr. Stephen Pearson has been involved in entrepreneurial endeavors throughout most of his life.  He has worked extensively in the personal computer industry, criminal investigations, law enforcement, computer investigations & fraud training course development and has written and advised on policies and procedures that are current in today’s world of computer crime investigation.  In 2003, after retiring from the US Army Stephen ran and supervised the computer crime lab at the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.

Stephen along with four partners founded a company called the High Tech Crime Institute Inc. (www.gohtci.com), a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.  He has been the Chief Executive Officer for the company for 17 years.  Stephen currently oversees three companies Total Forensic Solutions, Forensic Store, and HTCI Labs.  He spends most of his time with HTCI and his latest endeavor a coffee shop in Henderson NC.

Over the years Stephen has been a part-time adjunct instructor for universities, colleges, and technical colleges.  To give back to the community, Stephen developed the ground-breaking Cyber Squire Internet child safety program for the United States Army which has become a standard for child Internet safety programs used by school systems around the country.

For the past seven years Stephen has worked closely with NATO and US Special Operations Command to develop cyber training programs for agents and operators in tactical operations.  He designed and developed the Marine Corps Expeditionary Forces Exploitation Course, the Cellular Exploitation Course (CEC) and the Digital Media Exploitation Course (DMX).  Currently, Stephen is the lead research instructor for the development of NATO Cellular and Digital forensic training.  Stephen has developed processes and procedures that address time urgent evidence collection in digital triage.

Over the years Stephen has learned many hard lessons of leadership and running multiple companies.  It is this understanding of leadership along with the application of business basics that has allowed Stephen to overcome two major economic downturns and weather many attacks from competitors.   He understands the power of the team and how to leverage employees to seek their maximum potential and he understands the complex dynamics of business finance and how to apply business metrics that will keep a company running.


Portrait of Leslie Scott

Leslie Scott

Counseling AreasBusiness Planning, Market Research (Customer Demographics & Competitive Climate), Resource Referral

Leslie A. Scott is an entrepreneurship educator and connector and a longtime partner of the Small Business Center Network. Her work history includes RTI International, the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, and the N.C. Rural Center.

While at the Rural Center, Leslie designed and ran a program to help displaced workers become self-employed. Over a four-year period, in partnership with Small Business Centers, the program helped over 700 people start their own businesses based on their work skills and backgrounds. They started businesses in the arts, trades, health care, retail and even manufacturing.

In 2014 Leslie started her own firm called Entrepreneurial Places LLC, based in Durham, NC, to continue assisting entrepreneurs and rural communities. In 2019 she became a facilitator of the Ice House program, which emphasizes eight key mindsets for entrepreneurial success: choice, opportunity, action, knowledge, wealth, brand, community and persistence. These are now part of Leslie’s coaching.

Leslie has a bachelor’s in economics from Colgate University, a master’s in public administration from UNC-Chapel Hill, and national certificates from the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative and the Economic Development Institute.


Portrait of Zayne Taber

Zayne Taber

Counseling AreasBusiness development & Sales, Goal setting, Systems development, Budgeting, Refining a Sales Pitch, Skills Assessment, Cash Flow Management Strategies, Growth Planning

Zayne Taber is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience. His entrepreneurial endeavor began when he was in 8th grade and started flipping cars for profit to pay for his braces. The success of his first project as an entrepreneur fueled an intense passion for building businesses and investing. Native to St. Petersburg, Florida and now residing in North Carolina, he has worked with four startup companies over the last 15 years in Florida, California and New York, two of which were sold and are still thriving today.

Zayne is a United States Marine and served one tour in Iraq. He graduated first in his class in both of his M.O.S. training schools and received a meritorious promotion to Lance Corporal. After his first enlistment, the entrepreneurial itch returned and he made the tough choice to leave his beloved Marines and start his second business.

When Zayne isn’t reading or researching he can be found traveling, at a local car show or race track, and even racing cars himself. His passion for classic and race cars is almost as strong as it is for business.


tenbiz logo

tenBiz, Inc.

Counseling Areas – PPP Loan/EIDL (SBA) Loan Management & Compliance, Hiring, Accounting Assistance, Loan Packaging, Cash Flow, Quickbooks Training/Assistance Effective Communication Skills/Leadership, Effective Resource Management, Sales Techniques, Customer service, Motivating your team, Project Management,

tenBiz has a team of counseling resources offering what you need in one place.  They are a diversified and experienced team of doer’s and fixers with a reputation for getting things done. Their extensive knowledge of business across many backgrounds brings a unique and trusted set of capabilities, ready to help you with whatever you need, even in those times when you aren’t even sure what you need.

Your Small Business Center staff will talk with you about what you need and submit that information to tenBiz who will then assign you to the best team member to help you with those specific needs.