Skip to Content
Session A

Navigating Growth in Challenging Times: Insights from Regional Business Leaders

Presented By: First National Bank

Join us for an inspiring kickoff keynote session featuring two CEOs and the CFO of three of Carolina's fastest-growing companies. Moderated by a veteran banker, you’ll gain invaluable insights into their remarkable journeys, how they access diverse capital sources, and key strategies for seizing growth opportunities despite rising interest rates, labor costs, and supply chain challenges. Learn how these regional business leaders overcome obstacles and chart a course for success in the evolving landscape, setting the tone for M&A excellence in 2024. Don't miss this compelling discussion with a trio of the Carolinas' top business leaders.


Mark DeMarcus
Regional Manager Business Banking
First National Bank

Mark DeMarcus is a Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Business Banking for First National Bank’s Charlotte Region. In this role, Mark leads the business unit in providing companies across a variety of industries with industry-leading suite of business products and services, such as tailored cash flow solutions, capital financing options, to support growth of mid-sized companies throughout the Greater Charlotte area.


Robert Maynard
Won Life Brands

Robert Maynard is the founder of Won Life, which includes brands as Famous Toastery, VaVia, Cartridge World, Big Burger Spot, and Flower Power, with combined annual revenues exceeding $100 million. Starting his career in corporate finance, Robert soon discovered his entrepreneurial spirit and began building a diverse and ever-expanding business portfolio. More than merely profits, Robert is driven by the positive impact he can make on people’s lives—providing career-defining opportunities to his partners and teams as well as unparalleled products and service to clients and customers. One of his central mantras for awakening greatness in himself and others? 'If not you, then who?’

Kyle Miller
Bamal Fastener Corp.



Denise Shields
Co-Founder & CEO
Nych Brands

Denise Shields is the co-founder and CEO of Nych Brands. Through persistence and reinvention, the company has seen almost 400% growth over the past few years. Denise’s biggest passion is cultivating a vibrant, healthy work culture. Nych has been on the Inc 5000 list of fastest growing companies four times, and in 2023 she was named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year Southeast.


Conference Location

4735 Carmel Road
Charlotte, North Carolina 28226
Tel: 704.945.9630