The People Behind
KARA A. DIPIETRO
FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT
The short list of our fearless leader: Small business owner, financier, strategist, consultant, community advocate, award-winning business person, and mother. We think Kara probably wears a cape when she is not at the office. If you are running at a million miles an hour, Kara is going a million-plus-one. She operates as her future self and always sees the world as full of untapped possibilities. She is constantly observing, researching, thinking, and planning. Kara will build it…better, faster, stronger than before. Inside-of-box? No thanks. Follow every rule? Not today. Limits? Can’t compute. We’re keep a close eye on this one…she is going places.
Named Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration
Recognized by Inc. 5000 as one of the Fastest-Growing Private Companies in America
Inducted into the SmartCEO Circle of Excellence
Honored by receiving The Greater Baltimore Committee's Bridging the Gap President's Award
Named Women's Business Enterprise of the Year by MWMCA
Holds the 4th Vice Chair National Officer position for The National Small Business Party
Owner and CEO of the Kinetic Capital family of Businesses; Kinetic Capital LLC, Kinetic Capital Products, Kinetic Capital Community Foundation and Holdings Management Company.
President's Advisory Board Member - Greater Baltimore Committee
Women's Business Enterprise National Council
WOSB Federal Certification Program
“How does one put together a democracy based on the concept of equality while running an economy with ever greater degrees of economic inequality?”
VICE PRESIDENT AND DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC DIRECTION
It’s kind of redundant to introduce you to John, because seemingly everyone already knows John, is a friend of John’s, has done business with John, has heard John speak or participates on a committee or project with John. This man has a network. If you think of the person highest ranking in your social or business circle, trust us – John probably knows them. John has built a stellar reputation as the person who gets things done. He is the task master, the people connector, the program engine, the plan administrator. You have the machine? John’s got all the parts, so just step aside. He is the ultimate go-to guy. Not impressed? Well…John’s success comes after serving over 30 years in prison (ten on death row) for a false conviction. Not. Even. Kidding. John’s personal response to being wrongfully convicted? He gives back to the incarcerated and re-entering population, with dedicated efforts in reform, social justice, work force re-entry and supporting marginalized communities in and around Baltimore. Just. Wow.
Recently overheard saying: “I know him/her...we were just at an event together!”
John is a member of the following organizations.
Board Member: Baltimore Fashion Alliance/Sharp Dressed Man
Board Member: PIVOT – Creating Pathways for Women from Prison to Purpose!
Committee Member: Greater Baltimore Committee's Coalition for a Second Chance
Committee Member: Maryland Chamber Foundation Second Chance Task Force
Committee Member: Mayor's Green Network Leadership Team
Committee Member: Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention Collateral Consequences Workgroup
Committee Member: Baltimore City Police Dept Community Collaborative Division Reentry Advisory Committee Member: DHCD’s Keep Maryland Beautiful Steering Committee
S5E6: John Huffington: Drug Deals, a Double Death Sentence, & over 3 Decades in Prison
John Huffington spent 32 years in the Maryland Prison System—10 of which were on death row—after being wrongfully convicted of a 1981 double murder.
Jason Flom is the founder of Lava Records; was previously the chairman of Atlantic Records and Virgin Records/Capitol Music Group.
He is also an advocate for those who have been wrongfully convicted.
His, Lava for Good™ Podcasts is developing new series dedicated to social justice and inspiring human stories, including Wrongful Conviction Presents hosted by renowned criminal justice advocates focused on specific themes and notable criminal cases. features interviews with men and women who have spent years in prison for crimes they did not commit – some of them having even been sentenced to death. These are their stories.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AND TREASURER
You can’t come up with a single thing that Josh won’t find fabulous. That’s just how he rolls.
Taxed with full workload (he’s the money guy – taxed – get it?) managing the finances for Kara’s four companies, he also runs his own company in his spare time.
Yet, we have never once heard Josh complain. He is the antithesis of a “nerdy numbers guy”. He is always the bright spot in the room.
Sure, he appreciates a good spreadsheet and a balanced checkbook, has already written the process for what you think you may want to do, and ensures we are always in the desired financial position; but more importantly, you just can’t not like Josh. Need a boost?
Josh will lift you up, cheer you on, and keep you smiling. We deeply appreciate the person who can always find the sun in the rain. New idea? Josh supports it. New outfit? Josh loves it. New plan?
Josh sees how it can work. Go find yourself a Josh and hang on.
Recently overheard saying: “That is so fabulous! I love it!”
FIRM AND FOUNDATION FACILITATOR
When you put together this level of successful, smart, accomplished people in one office, someone has to keep the ship afloat. That’s Melissa.
After nearly thirty years in corporate marketing, Melissa realized her biggest strength was making other people shine. So we grabbed her. And we are shining.
She’s the peanut butter to our jelly, the yin to our yang, the peas to our carrots. The glue, if you will. We try to come up with something Melissa is unwilling to do, but we haven’t found it yet. If she can’t do it, she will learn it; and if we don’t have it, she will get it.
In fact, she probably ordered it before you realized you needed it and has a spreadsheet auto-populated to prove it. We manage the business, and she manages us.
Plus, she has candy.Recently overheard saying:
“The answer is Yes. What was your question?”