Hon. Samuel Jordan Kirkwood (1813-1894), Unite...

Hon. Samuel Jordan Kirkwood (1813-1894), United States Senator, Governor from Iowa, Secretary of the Interior (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Listed here are  miniature biographies of our Presenters:



The picture at right is of The Honorable Samuel Jordan Kirkwood (1813-1897) United States Senator, Govenor from Iowa, Secretary of the Interior.

Jim BurnsJim is a Mentor for SCORE® East Central Iowa. Jim’s specialty is the development and execution of successful sales programs. He is an expert on how to get customers and grow sales. At Rockwell, Jim acted as senior marketing and sales manager. Jim is also a recurring instructor on the topic of sales and marketing for the SCORE® seminar “How to Really Start Your Own Business.” He has been there, knows how to do it and has done it well. He is a Navy veteran.  Jim Has a BS degree in Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy.


Jim GreenJim is a Mentor for SCORE® East Central Iowa. Jim completed 29 years in management roles at Rockwell Collins, primarily in program management and systems marketing. Jim now teaches business classes at Kirkwood Community College. Jim is anxious to assist with preparation of business plans. Jim holds both mechanical engineering and MBA degrees.


Vern JacksonVern is a Mentor and prior Vice Chairman of SCORE® East Central Iowa. Vern has 40 years of engineering and management experience at General Electric and Rockwell-Collins. The scope of his business responsibilities and expertise included market definition, requirements capture, business planning, design, development, production and support for nearly all modern aircraft systems. Vern served in a number of leadership roles, including Director of Boeing Programs at Rockwell.  Vern holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering from St. Louis University.


Chuck MurphyChuck has owned two businesses which he started and sold. The first was a franchise and we grew to the top 10 out of 1200 locations. The second was a business doing ACT and SAT seminars for high school students. Now in the process of developing an online business. My strengths are in helping new businesses get started and knowing how to successfuly grow a business in a business to business environment. Instructor in Automatic Flight Control Systems (Autopilot) in Air Force. Masters degree in Industrial and Management Engineering. Dale Carnegie Courses Numerous business development courses.


Greg ProbstGreg is a Mentor for SCORE® East Central Iowa. Greg’s expertise includes general management, business planning, software development, systems design and integration and information security. Greg is Owner of IC Designs, LLC, a software development firm in Iowa City, and the consumer web site He has over 25 years of systems and software engineering and management experience at RCA, MCI, Primus and various local early-stage companies.  Greg holds a BS in Computer Science (Purdue), an MS in Information Systems (Ball State) University and a graduate certificate in Information Assurance (Iowa State).


Greg TomsicGreg is a Mentor for SCORE® East Central and held the position of Chairman for the past two years. Greg has over 30 years of entrepreneurial experience. His specialty is envisioning, creating and growing businesses from scratch. Beginning as a research engineer, Greg has done stints as product manager, business developer and new venture manager. Greg created and was a general manager, vice president and/or president of several global high-tech businesses. He knows the recipe for success in any business–particularly high tech startups.Greg holds both electrical engineering (Ohio University) and MBA (Iowa) degrees.


Jim WilliamsJim is a Mentor for SCORE® East Central Iowa. Jim’s specialties include operations/cost control, finance/accounting, marketing, and general management. Jim began his career a systems analyst, graduating into the role of senior VP, Administration in an insurance firm. He also served as GM/Controller of a large local company involved in international trade. Jim is fluent in Russian and Japanese. As an entrepreneur, he has owned his own company. He is a CDP, a graduate of the National Defense Language Intititute, and has lectured at numerous locations.  He attended De Paul and holds a BA degree from the University of Illinois.


James (J.R.) WrightJ.R. is Mentor for SCORE® East Central Iowa.  J.R. specialty and training is in retail management, sales, organizational and marketing development. Having experience in both rural and large metropolitan operations J.R. feels well suited to share over thirty years of experience in the field. Jim has acted as facilitator and coordinator for the FBLA-SCORE® Joint Venture program from its beginning.  An abbreviated enrollment at the University of Kentucky.


Jerry Ziese  Jerry is a Mentor and Chairperson for SCORE® East Central Iowa. Jerry’s areas of expertise include retail, budgets, marketing, banking, real estate and food service. Jerry began his career in a retail store, became a mall developer for Younkers stores and finally assumed the position of men’s clothing buyer there. He then managed their stores over a 23 year period. He began his banking career with Merchant’s of Cedar Rapids as a private banking group loan officer and financial planner. He is now VP of Private Banking at Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust. In addition he is an U.S. Air Force veteran and serves on many non-profit boards. Jerry holds degrees in economics from Texas and the University of Nebraska.

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