THE CORE TEAMThe WorldWide Local Connect team is comprised of the brightest, most creative, and experienced minds augmented by experts from around the globe to help you grow or turnaround your startup or small business, through additional funding.
Marc Slafsky – CEO
Certified Insurance Councilor (CIC); Entrepreneur; Business Coach Insurance and Networking Specialist/ Startup Catalyst
Marc Slafsky has built an extensive book of clients throughout the East Coast by becoming a trusted business advisor and mentor. He has over thirty years of commercial insurance experience.
Prior to WWLC, Marc owned his own insurance agency and, later, worked for large regional insurance agencies. Marc now works for bank owned insurance agencies where he helps startups with their funding and insurance challenges.
Marc has a passion for networking & teaching, and a particular interest in helping startups thrive. In his spare time he is a business coach. March is writing a book on business networking.
Marc has multiple degrees from Bentley University.
Hans van Putten – CMO
Co-Founder WWLC – Owner 40ParkLane,llc – Digital Marketing| Web Design | Operational Mgt. – Startup and Small Business Quarterback.
Hans van Putten owned and ran operations of his food manufacturing company for 17+ years building the Carolyn’s Handmade brand under the umbrella of 40ParkLane,llc.
After the successful sale of the food business, he took advantage of the years of digital marketing, web design, operations management, photography and graphic design experience , to help startups and small businesses, and has been involved in a number of start-up ventures since.
Prior to founding 40parkLane,llc Hans worked for the Gillette Company for 10 years in various financial roles of increasingly bigger responsibility, culminating in his last position as Director of Business Planning for The International Group at Gillette HQ, Boston. Hans has an MBA (Marketing & International Business) from Aston University, and a BA in Business Administration from IHBO de Maere.
Peter Dragone – CFO
Co-Founder WWLC – Co-Founder – Keurig Inc. | Financial Planning | Fundraising
Mr. Dragone has spent the past fifteen plus years as an acting/consulting CFO for a number of start-ups in a wide range of industries.
Peter’s prior experience is that of a serial entrepreneur, managing various start-up and turnaround projects, including DB Thin Films, Sulzer Metaplas and Monsoon Kitchens. He was a co-founder of Keurig, Inc., now the multi-billion dollar Keurig/Green Mountain Inc. owned by JAB Holding Co.
Previously, Mr. Dragone was a senior financial/operational manager for Chiquita Brands International. He moved to Chiquita after working in international banking at BankBoston.
He has an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MA (in Spanish) from Middlebury College and a BA from Colby College.
Jaap Zandbergen – Go 2 Market Strategist – Europe Specialist
Owner RINT bv – Textiles / Design / Go2Market Strategy / Re- and Upcycling /
Entrepreneur in the Creative Industry / Scale -and Startups / Local to Local
Jaap Zandbergen worked his 25+ career in the Textile and Design Industry and was CEO in weaving mills and printing mills in interior textiles, the clothing industry and technical textiles for the (petro) chemical Industry. He has a huge background in working with different cultures because of his broad sales -and sourcing experiences within Japan, China, Asia, Europe and North America.
Recently Jaap works for EASME (European Small and Medium Enterprises) under the EU Program H2020, Phase I and Phase II in pure eco-innovative products. He has mentored several companies all over Europe during their scaling up and worked with plastic recycling companies, improving Go2Market for fashion and design companies preventing waste and minimizing design time and developing international strategies for upcycling companies in cellulosic waste and combining with algorithm for local to local production facilities.
During his career in textile Jaap was more than 10 years Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Design Academy Eindhoven. The DAE was named as the most important Design Institute in the world by the New York Times. Jaap has a BA in Business Administration from IHBO de Maere and followed entrepreneurial courses at Rotterdam Erasmus University. Jaap was elected Chairman of the International Mohair Association and CITA (an European Producers Organization to stop counterfeit in textiles and fashion)
Kelly Martin – Art Director
Kelly is an experienced creative with a history of projects completed on various platforms, including print, web design, signage, photography and video. With a variety of expertise, in education, retail and biotechnology, her well rounded knowledge of various industries, and platforms is an asset to any project. She has experience leading teams, recruiting and developing talent.
Photoshop, Illustrator, Web Design, Print Design, Photography, Video Editing
Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh 2001, Webmaster Certification, Moraine Park Technical College, 2002, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Digital Multi-media 2006
Jerlin Joseph – Senior Software Engineer
With over a decade of industrial experience as Software Engineer in Java and Oracle Technologies, Jerlin is experienced in all phases of development – from requirements to implementation. He has work experience with clients, as well as development teams. A natural leader, he is versed in mobile applications development, as well as web development . He also possesses a strong knowledge of Object Oriented Concepts. Well acquainted with SDLC and Agile methodology, he excels at problem solving and critical thinking. With the ability to learn new technologies quickly, and to use existing technologies at an optimal level, he is an asset to any team. With strong analytic and problem solving skills, no challenge is too great. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills round out his skillset.
Master of Computer Applications Jun 2003 — Dec 2006 Bachelor of Computer Applications Jun 2000 — May 2003 M.A College of Engineering B.P.C College Piravom
Cliff Watkin – Chief People Officer
Clifford Watkin has a stellar record of success helping companies implement human resources strategies that supplement growth, attract and retain talent, and embrace diversity.
Clifford has created comprehensive employee acquisition and retention strategies for private sector employers, professional services firms and non-profit organizations. His work covers the gamut of HR issues including legal compliance, performance management, on-boarding and creating effective corporate cultures.
His personal experience drives his passion to help bring about success for minority-owned businesses and corporate organizations. Assisting companies to develop and manage a diverse workforce brings together smart business practices and policies that improve top line revenue, bottom line growth and increased employee satisfaction. In South Africa, where Clifford grew up, he saw first-hand the difference it can make when people have equal access to capital, land, education and resources.
Clifford is a regular speaker at the Northeast Human Resources Association and Employee Benefits Council. Writing for the Boston Business Journal and Employee Benefits News, Clifford is a reliable human resources expert. Clifford is also an adjunct faculty member in Human Resources for Salem State University and SHRM certification instructor at North Shore Community College. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Boston University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from Northeastern University.
In 2017, Clifford was selected to be the HR strategic adviser for Eastern Bank’s Business Equity Initiative, a program developed to help accelerate the growth of Hispanic and African-American owned local enterprises.
Scott Bostley – Chief Benefit Strategy Officer
As a founding Member of Benefit Strategy Partners, Scott specializes in advising employers on group health, life and disability benefit funding methods, plan design, cost containment, flexible benefits, and state and federal compliance issues.
Scott began working for several national insurance carriers before working at a national brokerage firm and then starting BSP. With over 20 years of experience, Scott has a strong knowledge of the total delivery system and funding options that afford clients the most cost effective solutions for their employee benefit needs.
Scott has experience in all aspects of health and welfare plans. Scott has designed, underwritten, communicated and implemented managed care, HRA/HSA compatible and indemnity medical plans, dental plans, vision plans, prescription drug plans, short and long term disability plans, life and AD&D plans, flexible spending accounts (section 125), employee assistance programs (EAPs), business travel accident plans, stop loss, enrollment services and voluntary worksite benefit plans.
Scott is a Founder of People and Culture Consortium (P&CC), where Human Resources and Benefits professionals connect, share, discuss and network with their peers.
Scott is a current member of New England Employee Benefits Council (NEEBC), Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Massachusetts Association of Health Underwriters (MAHU), Human Resources Leadership Forum (HRLF) and USA500. He is also a Trustee of NanCamp. This is a non-profit organization that our family founded and sends children affected by cancer to summer camp. We’ve been doing this for 20+ years and have served over 400 children.