Board of Directors
Fairfax Ayres, Chair
Fax Ayres is a photographer, pilot, and entrepreneur. He the owner and President of Angerole Mounts, a niche manufacturer of device mounting solutions for aviation. Fax moved to Charlottesville in 2000, taking a job as the CFO at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation (Monticello). He and his wife opened Splendora’s, a gelato and espresso cafe, on the downtown mall in 2004, owning and operating that business until selling it to an employee in 2010. Fax has worked as a professional charter pilot and corporate pilot and currently works as a contract pilot for local aircraft owners. When he is not flying, Fax dedicates his time to fine art photography. Fax is married and has three children. He enjoys photography, flying, driving and talking about all of the above, and helping small businesses explore and capitalize on the opportunities they have identified.
Sara is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Charlottesville Ballet, Charlottesville's leading professional dance company and academy. In 2001 Sara completed her academic education at the Professional Children’s School in New York City and subsequently began to dance professionally with New York Theatre Ballet. She later moved to Richmond, Virginia to join the Richmond Ballet trainee program and the contemporary Starr Foster Dance Project. Sara retired from the stage in 2012 in order to devote her energies full-time to the growth of Charlottesville Ballet. Sara is passionate about health and wellness in life and in dance; she is a NASM-certified personal trainer and an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT National Training Curriculum. Sara is a 2013 graduate of the CIC workshop and a strong advocate for the program.
Lee Elberson, Treasurer
Lee Elberson is a former Marine who spent a decade in experimental physics discovering how to analyze systems and exploit vulnerabilities. He moved to Charlottesville in 2013 with the intention of starting his own company. After 5 years, a merger and acquisition of tutoring companies, Lee is now the owner and chief operating officer of Clayborne Education. Clayborne Education serves students of all ages but specializes in helping students get to college and graduate school. Lee’s passion for helping others covers not only education but also envelops entrepreneurship. A year after moving to Charlottesville, Lee took CIC’s entrepreneurship course and became immediately enthralled with the organization’s mission. Lee immediately became a workgroup leader where he led 4 consecutive workshops and taught many of the discussions on break even and cash flow analyses. He joined the board of directors in 2017 and was appointed to Treasurer in 2018. Lee inculcates entrepreneurship and you will find him meeting with CIC graduates encouraging their business development.
Molly has served as workgroup leader for four spring classes of CIC. Her entrepreneurial affections began with her first job in her mother’s catering business, continued through a variety of personal and professional experiences, and persists with her own small craft sewing business/Etsy shop and passion for helping entrepreneurs think critically and practically about their business. She has worked in small local business, for large corporate organizations, in internet start-ups, and now serves as the Director of Development for local nonprofit CHiP, the Children’s Health Improvement Program. She brings a broad range of business experience to her work with CIC from administration and customer service to communications, sales and marketing, and she considers it her great joy and privilege to simply accompany people on their journeys of discovery and realization of goals. Molly is the mother of three college and high school age children who she considers to be her very best work and contribution to the world.
Dana is a 13-year veteran of the Internet software industry with a focus on the e-commerce space. Eleven of those years spent in Silicon Valley companies and 2 in Seattle with Amazon.com. Dana’s experience ranges from raising $1 million in angel funding for a start-up founded by Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford professor and founder of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford, to joining a start-up inside Amazon.com responsible for forming e-commerce platform and distribution partnerships with major online retailers.
Laura is an online executive with a thirty-year career in the development and marketing of innovative information and technology products to professionals and consumers, at Fortune 500 companies and as a co-founder of a start up.
Todd Kennedy, Vice Chair
Todd is a Senior Vice President and 18 year veteran of Capital One Financial Services. Todd joined Capital One during its early days and has been a part of its historic rise from being part of a small regional bank to one of the top 7 largest banks in the United States. Todd began his career in marketing and business analysis within Capital One’s new business development team. Todd has held several leadership roles within Capital One including General Manager of their Healthcare Finance business, leading their Small Business Card unit and now leading its Upmarket Card business – one of Capital One’s largest business lines.
Shawn Pendleton, a Financial Advisor with Stifel, is also a partner within The Dickman Pendleton Wealth Management Group, located in the Stifel Charlottesville office. Before becoming a Stifel financial advisor, Shawn was the Senior Product Advisor for a nationally recognized leader in consumer electronics and consumer education. During Shawn’s 13 years there, he became the functional expert in a broad range of technology-related fields and was credited in magazine articles, television news programs, television commercials, and website tutorial videos.
In 2013, Shawn brought to the financial world his ability to explain complex and challenging subjects in ways that are easier to digest and understand. His professional experience includes investment planning, estate planning strategies, tax planning strategies, asset management, and investment portfolio design.
Charles was Founder and Managing Partner of Williams, Thacher & Rand, an actuarial and benefits consulting firm with over 200 employees and offices in six cities. For the past forty years, Charlie has been a volunteer instructor for the Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO), a non-profit that runs entrepreneurial training programs in communities and two prisons in and around New York City.
Jessica opened Estate Planning of Charlottesville in January of 2014. She serves the people of Charlottesville, Albemarle County, and the surrounding areas in her role as a Guardian ad litem for Incapacitated Adults and by helping individuals and families create wills, trusts, and other legal documents that put their wishes on paper and protections in place. She graduated from Norman A. Wiggins School of Law at Campbell University in 2012, where she earned honors in the Senior Law Clinic and volunteered with wills clinics for veterans, the elderly, and low-income families. Jessica is a graduate of the Spring 2015 CIC workshop and has served as a Work Group Leader in the program.
Elizabeth Willingham is the co-founder of Silverchair, a Charlottesville software development company serving the worldwide scholarly publishing industry. As an English major who became an “accidental” technology leader, Elizabeth and her partner bootstrapped Silverchair from a two-person publishing services firm headquartered in an apartment in 1993, to one of the nation’s leading providers of online product development and technology platform services to commercial and university publishers, professional societies and associations, and government. Elizabeth exited Silverchair ownership in 2015 but still serves on the company’s board of directors. She also serves on the board of directors for the Jefferson Area Children’s Health Improvement Program, is a member of Women United Together in Philanthropy, and volunteers for Meals on Wheels. She is an avid traveler, reader, and loyal fan of the basketball team of Duke University, her alma mater.