Are you a local industry professional with a passion to help aspiring entrepreneurs? Fill out our application to join the Start Peninsula Mentor Team!

Start Peninsula Mentors

Eddie Montero

Franchise Owner of two UPS Stores
Eddie Montero has been the franchise owner of two UPS Stores in Williamsburg and Gloucester over the last 5 years. He is a 27-year US Navy veteran with experience in Operations, Acquisition, Distribution, Training, and Customer Service. He has been a part of the Launchpad’s Start Peninsula environment for several years. He enjoys offering support to those in need of a hand up, not a handout! Eddie is eager to connect with others and discuss goals, achievements and connections. Eddie is very excited to return to the Start Peninsula environment.

Gary Plaag

CEO, Couragio Consulting
Gary Plaag is the CEO of Couragio Consulting – a communication and presentation skills coaching practice in Williamsburg, Virginia. Before coming to Williamsburg, Gary spent 8 years as an adjunct instructor at George Mason University where he led courses in: public speaking and business and professional communication. In addition to his teaching experiences at GMU, Gary also received his master’s degree in Communication from the University.

Erik J. Olson

CEO, Array Digital
Erik J. Olson is the Founder & CEO of Array Digital – a digital marketing agency in Virginia. He is the host of the Journey to $100 Million, a daily podcast and Amazon flash briefing, as well as the host of Marketers Anonymous, a monthly marketing meetup. Erik speaks often on the topics of entrepreneurialism and digital marketing. Find Erik online at

Rick Poeppelmeier

Franchise Owner of two UPS Stores
Rick Poeppelmeier, a native of Dayton, Ohio, graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Science-Finance in 1989. He received his Commission through the Navy ROTC program and served for over twenty-one years in a variety of overseas locations before retiring as a Commander. As a Supply Officer, he was part of a small community of personnel managing all logistics operations, including purchasing, pay, and inventory management, serving as the business professionals of the Navy.

Courtney Riley

President, Proximo Marketing Strategies
Courtney Riley is the owner of Proximo Marketing Strategies, an international digital marketing firm based out of Hampton Roads, Virginia. Courtney has also worked as adjunct faculty at Thomas Nelson Community College, educating students on best practices for marketing in the 21st century. Courtney serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations as well. She is the proud parent of two children and married to the love of her life. Courtney is passionate about empowering individuals to find balance between family and the entrepreneurial life and attributes her own personal and professional success to her faith in Christ!

Tim Ryan

President, Arcphor | Executive Director, StartWheel
Tim has extensive experience in business development, early-stage startups, entrepreneurism, marketing and information technology. Tim is the President of Arcphor, a locally based business that works with early-stage startups and small businesses. Tim also serves as the Executive Director of StartWheel, an organization focused on consolidating and coordinating the entrepreneurial efforts across Hampton Roads, Virginia. Tim was the former director of the Launchpad, an award-winning business incubator located in Greater Williamsburg, and a Lead Associate with Booz Allen Hamilton.

Aras Sadjadi

Owner, NBR Professionals
Aras Sadjadi is a multi-venture entrepreneur and consultant with a strong background in business finance and brick & mortar. He is the owner and lead consultant of NBR Professionals as well as the owner of Cryo 17, the only full-service Cryotherapy facility on the Virginia Peninsula. Aras comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. Following in his parents’ footsteps, Aras opened and operated multiple businesses while a student at Bridgewater College in VA, including a promotional marketing company and a pre-owned automotive dealership.