The IRA Network, LLC, is a nationwide group of professionals specializing in business plan packaging, venture capital and other funding resources. Our goal has always been to provide comprehensive business and marketing plans that project our clients' needs in a way that investors understand and appreciate.
Our IRA team is a nation-wide network comprised of some of the brightest business consultants with combined backgrounds in marketing, finance, brokering, investment banking, law, business development, graphic arts and web site development. Our team also boasts certified and degreed specialists, as well as business and financial development consultants including MBA's, MFA's, CPA's, attorneys, graphic and marketing specialists and investment bankers. The team concept is observed in the development of your business's specific needs.
Our team of specialists works to develop solutions to maximize the immediate and long-term objectives of our clients. Our efforts lead to new standards of excellence in client service. Our job at Investors Resource Alliance, LLC is to work with your company as it evolves and to provide the financial solutions and advice that can help your company reach its objectives quickly and efficiently.
Drawing on a concrete base of business and fiscal acumen, strategic counseling sessions are conducted between yourself, our senior management, and other experienced IRA Affiliates to seek resolutions to your unique situation. The team applies this information, plus interviews and investigation, to compile recommendations, procedures and solutions which are applicable to your particular business and marketing plan.
We have numerous business and financial contacts and resource affiliates throughout the United States. The IRA Network team and their affiliates have been involved with numerous Fortune 500 companies and with the top hundred hospitality food and beverage manufacturing corporations and leisure time companies throughout North America, the Caribbean and South Central America.
Listed below are some of the members of the IRA Network, including backgrounds and fields of specialty:
Joel Levy, IRA, MFA & Managing Partner/CEO of the IRA Network, LLC
Joel heads the IRA Network Financial Services Group. He has 20+ years of hands-on experience in preparing business plans in diverse financial arenas. He has worked on major projects in both the private and public financial sectors. Joel served for several years as the President of Roth Young Personnel Services, a leading executive recruitment service, working with Fortune 500 companies in the hospitality, supermarket, pharmaceutical, retail and service industries. His experience with this prestigious national chain with 23 offices coast to coast (parent company, Dunn Hill, is listed on the stock exchange) afforded Joel the opportunity to become a leading personnel and marketing consultant for all types of businesses, corporations and entrepreneurs. Joel also co-founded and was technical and promotional advisor to, what became at the time, the largest retail and leasing specialty chain (Marine and Tropical Fish) in the country. Joel later served as Vice President and Operations Manager of Aquasciences International (water purifications products) in which he coordinated a highly successful multi-million dollar IPO. Over the last 10 years, Joel has served as a consultant to many national leading marketing companies and has participated in master planning strategies for many corporate start-ups and turnarounds.
Edward L. Wienecke IV, IRA, MFA & Executive Vice President and General Manager
Edward comes from a background in real estate investing and small to mid-size business consulting and management. He played an integral role in starting and establishing several small businesses and was responsible for significant growth and revenue generation in each. Edward has an extensive background in developing and implementing marketing plans as well as direct advertising campaigns. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree with a focus in Marketing from Villa Julie College.
Matthew Sochurek, IRA, MFA & Executive Vice President of Business Development
Matt is professionally trained in the fields of finance and management. His career started with 5 years experience managing sales teams at LendingTree.com and a successful run with the highly profitable New Day Financial. He received a Bachelor of Science from Salisbury University, Maryland in Business and Finance. Mr. Sochurek specializes in financial strategy and capital structure for start-ups, expansions, mergers and acquisitions. This knowledge combined with extensive experience in E-commerce and website marketing gives Matt the ability to create Internet Marketing Strategies that integrates with a client's non-internet marketing activities and overall Strategic Plan.
Peg Levy, IRA, - Manager Graphics Division
Peg heads the IRA Network's Graphics Division. Peg brings over 15 years of experience in media advertising, graphics, and sales and marketing presentations. Prior to joining the IRA Network, she was the Administrative Assistant to the Executive Vice President of Marketing at Aquasciences International, a public company. Margaret also served as the head graphic designer for a leading specialty advertising company. In this capacity, she was responsible for all aspects of ad design and production for 12 U.S. regional areas with over 50 sales reps.
Northeast Affiliate - Curtis Thompson, IRA, CPA, CMA, MFA
Curt is Executive Vice-President and CFO for Vidwrite, Inc. in Boston, MA. He has over 25 years of financial and general management experience in the publishing and media industries. Curt was a founding executive of Primedia, Inc., serving as its Vice President of Finance and Controller since its founding in 1989 and through 1998 until he assumed the role of President and CEO of PRIMEDIA INC.- $600 million business information segment. He was instrumental in the acquisition of over 100 publishing and media businesses and in the completion of numerous securities registrations and private placements for the company. Prior to Primedia, Curt was Executive Vice President and CFO for The Michie Company, a legal information publisher specializing in state statutes and legal treatises.
Southeast Affiliate - William (Bill) Whitfield, IRA
Bill is President of Whitfield Enterprises, Inc., a North American and International Consultative Practice, specializing in the hospitality, recreation, entertainment and leisure time industries. He is a highly recognized executive for his exceptional creative concepts, compatibility, reorganization/re-engineering strategies, brand management/strategic marketing prowess and diversified industry knowledge, encompassing both; the commercial and non-commercial food service industries, theme parks, hotels, resorts and the leisure, recreation and entertainment marketplace. Prior to initiating and developing Whitfield Enterprises, Inc., Bill was a senior consultant/strategist for several North American boutique consultative practices (Fessel International and Hospitality Consulting, LTD.), specializing in the hospitality and food service industries encompassing all operational channels within the retail and food service industries worldwide. His previous operational experience includes director and Vice-President positions within the hotel, resort, casual/theme restaurant and entertainment hospitality industries North America, Internationally).
Neil Lemelman, IRA, MFA
After graduation from The PRATT Institute with a degree in architecture, Neil founded a manufacturing company in the food industry, developing strategic ties in grocery distribution. Later, accepting an executive position with ERI as a computer system integrator, Neil was involved in strategic planning and equipment leasing, and was directly responsible for project management, purchasing, inventory control, floor planning, construction management, material logistics, computer maintenance, product life cycles, customer support and education services. While Neil was with ERI, the company grew from 6 employees occupying 1,100 square foot offices to 350 employees occupying a 100,000 square foot facility and 12 remote offices. In addition, the company evolved from a manufacturer's representative to a full computer system integrations company whose sales volume grew to over 100 million dollars. ERI was sold to EDS/General Motors.
Neil has continued as consultant within the computer integration industry, and pursues his hobby of collecting investment quality vintage photographs. Neil continues his entrepreneurial endeavors as a Master Financial Associate with the IRA Network in Huntington, New York.
Dennis Ward, MFA- Peloton Financial, L.P.
Dennis is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor's Degree in business management and began his career as an analyst with Dun and Bradstreet in Dallas, Texas. Dennis practiced public accounting for approximately 25 years with emphasis on taxation, auditing of "for profit" companies, and financial institutions. At one time, Dennis and his firm had over 20 financial institutions such as Banks, Savings & Loans, and Credit Unions which were offered a variety of income tax and auditing services. After a successful career in public accounting Dennis retired and sought challenges in the areas of executive compensation, employee benefit plans, and strategic wealth planning for higher net worth clients. Today, Dennis serves as Managing Partner for Peloton Financial, L.P. which offers commercial loan brokering and consulting through a network of more than 20 professionals in the Dallas Fort Worth Texas area. Peloton Financial has brought additional Real Estate lenders to the IRA network for both conforming and non-conforming commercial loans. Dennis is an avid golfer and with wife Charlotte enjoys spending time with their 7 grandchildren and traveling as their schedules permit.
Securities/Legal Specialist - Jack Halperin, Esq., IRA
Jack is the IRA's legal and securities expert, specializing in securities law. He has participated in and prepared numerous Private Placement Memorandums and Initial Public Offerings. Jack has been retained by many leading emerging companies in both private and public sectors. Education: Columbia University (A.B., summa cum laude, 1967) New York University (J.D., 1970) Phi Beta Kappa. Root-Tilden Scholar. Note and Comment Editor, New York University Law Review, 1969-1970. Author "Private Placement of Securities," John Wiley & Sons, 1984; "Tender Offers and Employee Stock Options," The Journal of Corporation Law, Winter 1981; Reviser, 2001, Chapter. 5, Exempt Issuer Transactions, Sowards Adelphi University Legal Assistants Program, 1976-1980. Co-Chairman, 1983-1984 and Chairman, 1983-1984, Practicing Law Institute Blue Sky Regulation Program. Member: American Bar Association; New York County Lawyers Association. Language: French. Practice Areas: Corporate Law; Securities.
Broker Specialist - Edward N. Weeks, Jr., IRA, MFA
Edward graduated from the State University of New York at New Paltz with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, concentration on Finance. Since graduating in 1992, he has worked as a financial professional with both; SBC Warburg Dillon Read (known today as UBS/Paine Webber) as an Asian Equities Liaison, and for MarkeTrend Securities, Ltd. as an Investment Executive and Executive Vice President / Partner / Director. He currently holds the NASD Series 7, Series 24, and Series 63 licenses. Edward has secured funding and acquisitions for numerous public and private companies in various sectors including entertainment, new media, semi-conductors, medical, real estate, and internet. Edward is currently the Financial Director of DH1.tv, an interactive cable television studio based in Hollywood, CA and a Board Member for G. Media, a start-up converging media firm in Los Angeles, CA. Since working with DH1.tv, he was responsible for the funding of over $20 million dollars and has been instrumental in three key acquisitions.
Seminar Director - Larry Burney, IRA, MBA, MFA
Larry is a business management specialist with 25 years of administrative background ranging from the military to the private business sector. Larry has participated in major joint venture operations in the range of tens of millions of dollars, as well as coordinating major reorganizational projects. Larry coordinates and teaches the IRA Street$mart™ special accredited business curriculum and business management courses at the major university level. Larry's private sector experience is in automotive, marine, and aviation projects and computer services, as well as real estate and Internet based business projects.
Joseph A. Lawn, IRA, MFA
As President of Lawn Brokerage, for 15 years, Joseph adds strong real estate sales, asset management and development skills to the IRA Network in our commercial real-estate division, negotiating over 2 BILLION DOLLARS in real estate offers in the last two years, with 54 million in closed sales funded. Joseph offers an aggressive and successful approach to structuring successful real estate deals for final funding.
After graduation from Parsons College, Joseph owned, managed and successfully franchised his company is the health spa industry, and proceeded into the real-estate arena as a managing owner of a large multi-family and office building operation. His further accomplishments in leasing, mall management, business consulting and ownership, have lead to numerous national awards in related fields.
Franchise Development Specialist - David A. Sweet, IRA
David is the President and CEO of Biz-Plan America. He has been involved with franchise development, training and sales consulting for several firms in the early stages of franchising. He was involved with developing and perfecting plans for the BizAmerica Associates Franchising System and the "Business Selling System™". To date, David has handled the sale of some 250 businesses valued at over $33,000,000.00. He was a major player for the Sir Speedy Printing Centers where he personally sold 33 centers with 9 re-sales.
Business Plan Analyst - Pamela Lankford, MBA
Pamela has been working with small businesses for the past fifteen years both in the start-up phase as well as the growth phases. She has worked with both sole proprietorship businesses as well as larger corporations. She has been involved with the Ohio Award for Excellence, which is modeled after the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, as an Examiner for five years. With this experience she was part of a team that developed a statewide business assessment tool for use within the Ohio Small Business Development Centers network.
She received her undergraduate degree from Marietta College with a double major of Entrepreneurship and Spanish and her MBA from Ohio University. As Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center at Marietta, she was named Director of the Year for 1999 and 2001 as well as Innovator of the Year for 2001. She has been proprietor of her own wedding consulting business as well as actively involved with two family-owned small businesses. She has an extensive background in reviewing business plans and assisting owners in obtaining financing for their businesses.
Business Plan Writer - Sharon Nilsen
Sharon Nilsen is a professional with proven success in organizational management. She has worked with clients providing both business and project management consultation since 1985. Her experience has been with large consulting organizations including international start up companies, government contractors and health delivery organizations. She provides guidance in the development of organizational design and business strategy. Experienced in systems design, she has written training and technical guides for product development and implementation. This includes organization preparation for change, data analysis, workflow evaluation and business image development. She also has successful experience with application interfaces with other systems, and technical fit in the local and expanded environments. Client relationship management (CRM) has been a key element in her expertise and she has led successful projects defining system governance, organization, and budget. Projects, budget preparation and QA procedures met and exceeded industry standards. During complex system implementations, her teams established policies and procedures governing project management, organizational development and audits which exceeded requirements. In the last five years, Ms Nilsen has focused on the following management aspects:
- Strategic Planning and Plan Management
- Project Management
- Corporate Application System Management
- Capital and Operational Budgets
- Information System Implementation
- Operational Analysis including Vendor Contracts
- Data and System Quality Assurance
Business Plan Writer - Michael Robbins
Michael Robbins has 20+ years experience in the financial services industry including hedge fund management, and increasing shareholder value as an investor relations (IR) account executive for public companies globally. On Wall Street, he learned what makes a robust business model and the questions critical investors ask. Mr. Robbins has composed over 300 business plans for companies that have raised hundreds of millions of dollars. He also specializes in offering documentation, valuation analysis and road show presentations. While pursuing a double degree in journalism and economics at the University of Colorado, he gained essential communication and research skills. He coded some of the first IR web sites in 1995, and acquired a deep understanding of technology; this background continues to benefit clients today. Mr. Robbins is an entrepreneur himself and he invented an ad model, ZeroKlix, used to stream half the online radio in Australia. He has vast experience with a large variety of projects, ranging from startups to world renowned entities.
Business Plan Writer – Douglas Weeks
Douglas Weeks spent more than 25 years working in the non-profit arena raising funds and overseeing the development of various projects. Over the last few years, working as an independent consultant he has assisted in obtaining more than $20 million dollars in donations and grants for non-profit, for-profit and governmental agencies. In addition to his experience in writing business plans, financial projections and grant proposals Mr. Weeks has also been working with Angel Investors to help secure start up funding.