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The Final Coffee & DoughNets

Esther Smith
Esther Smith, 

Qorvis Communications

Esther Smith
Esther Smith is a well-known and highly respected technology community entrepreneur, having been founder and CEO of the company that was the predecessor to Post-Newsweek Business Information Inc. She is part of several key technology and Internet industry networks, with strong links to the finance community and business media. She is a founding partner of Qorvis Communications, a strategic communications firm based in McLean.
A leader in business, Esther founded the Washington Business Journal in 1982; she founded TechNews, Inc. in 1986, publisher of Washington Technology and the Washington Technology Almanac. Continually recognized as a leader in her field, she received the prestigious Earle Williams Award in 1999. She was honored as Washington Business Woman of the Year in 1997, and recognized by the Virginia Association of Female Executives as the recipient of the Award of Excellence. In 1995 she was "Champion" of Women in Technology and has been named to Washingtonian magazine’s list of Washington’s Most Powerful Women.  Esther was recently elected to the Washington Business Hall of Fame.


Rick Steele
Rick Steele,

Rick Steele
Rick is currently co-founder and CEO of NuRide, a new business that promotes ride sharing as a way to reduce traffic congestion and associated auto emissions. Rick developed the innovative business model that "pays people to commute" through trip sponsorships that are purchased by local businesses.  NuRide was launched in late October 2002 and is operating a pilot program for sluggers in Northern Virginia with over 50 businesses currently participating.  Before NuRide, Rick built, where he secured extensive financing and strategic relationships with America Online, FedEx and Kinko's, eventually selling the company to Kinko's, Inc, where the service now resides as was a spin off of Meetinghouse Technologies, an award-winning multimedia design and development company Rick established in 1994. Before founding Meetinghouse, Rick was with Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) for six years working on advanced technology and ship design projects.  Rick was also a founding employee at Automated Analysis Corporation, an engineering services firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Rick holds a BSE and MSE in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from The University of Michigan, where he also taught for two years and was awarded the outstanding faculty member from the Department of Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering in 1986.


George Pappas,
President & CEO,
George Pappas
George Pappas is President and CEO of Plesk, a market leader in automated Web hosting software, where he leads a senior management team responsible for worldwide marketing, sales, strategic alliances, product development, and services, as well as finance and administration. Prior, Pappas served as executive vice president of international and strategic development at CyberCash, Inc., responsible for International Operations including joint ventures in Japan, Germany, Hong Kong and strategic relationship with Barclays Bank in the UK. Before assuming that position at CyberCash, he was the company’s executive vice president, technology and strategic development, overseeing a 170-person global organization that focused on research and development, product management, and merger and acquisitions.
Preceding CyberCash, Pappas was president of Netguard, Inc. He launched North American operations for the Israeli-based Internet security and performance vendor. Within five months he had built a full organization that generated over $500,000 in revenue. Before NetGuard, Pappas was senior vice president of sales and marketing for Relay Technology, Inc., where he introduced new products and achieved significant channel revenue with existing product lines. He also held senior sales management positions with Implicit Software, Inc., Software Emancipation Technology, Inc. and Bachman Information Systems, Inc. Pappas received a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree from Boston University, where he also did graduate work in computer operating systems.


Amir Hudda
Amir Hudda, 
Amir Hudda 
Amir Hudda is CEO of Brickstream, a provider of analytical CRM software solutions. He has over a decade of experience providing innovative solutions for the software, networking and security industries. 
Before starting Brickstream, Amir served as the founder and CEO of Entevo Corporation. Entevo delivered software for managing corporate networks and counted numerous Fortune 500 companies among its customers. Amir ran Entevo from its inception in 1994 until its acquisition by Bindview Corporation, for $125 million, in January 2000.
Previously Amir held positions with other technology providers including S1 and Secureware. Amir holds an MS in Computer Science from Georgia Tech and a B.S. in computer engineering from PICT, University of Poona in India.
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