Fighting economic ignorance has been my passion for over 30 years. As a business owner and mortgage broker, I was shocked by the general public’s unawareness of basic economic principles. Upon further investigation, I learned that very few schools teach economic theory. I set out to make a difference. Education was always my focus when helping my clients. For over a decade (1983 – 2005), I served as the mortgage expert and a regular guest on Money Talk, a radio talk show in North Carolina that educated the public regarding financial matters.
My children’s high school did not offer economics, so I volunteered to teach micro and macroeconomics rather than withdraw them from the school. My passion grew, prompting me to teach there for nine years. Now, with the partnership of my daughter, I am taking my mission to the world through Higher Rock Education. It is indeed one of my greatest blessings to be able to work with my daughter in building a business to serve a need for which I have great passion. All of my efforts would be impossible without the continuous support and love of my wife, Sandra.
I have served our community by coaching the middle school and varsity golf team at Cresset Christian Academy in Durham, North Carolina. I have also served on the Board of Directors at the Durham Chamber of Commerce and as the chairperson of Fletcher’s Chapel United Methodist Church.
The Durham Chamber of Commerce recognized me as the Microbusiness Person of the Year in 1999 after being runner up in 1998. I look forward to making a difference in the lives of students beyond my local community.
Hi, my name is Hannah, and I am a Durham, North Carolina native who has a real love for people and education. I received my Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University (Go Wolfpack! ) in 2008. In May of 2009, I married my high school sweetheart, Tyler, and went to work at BASF doing agricultural research.
However, my long term goals were not to stay at a large corporation. After watching my dad successfully run his own mortgage company for almost 30 years, I developed a love for small business and a desire to one day pursue starting a company of my own. My dad was always an inspiration to me in the way he treated his customers and how he used his work as a means to give back to his community both inside and outside of the office. I too wanted the flexibility to be able to serve in that same capacity.
I was also taught at a very young age the importance of economic education, and was a benefactor of one of my dad’s courses taught at the private school that I attended. Along with my father, I recognized the need for quality economics education, and saw a solution in online learning. Together, we decided to build Higher Rock beginning in January of 2011. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Higher Rock, and am excited to be a part of something that I truly believe will enhance the lives of others.
My passions in life include loving and serving Jesus Christ, teaching 3-4 year olds at my church, riding horses, sewing and quilting, and hiking in the mountains of NC with my husband, Tyler, and my dog, Lila.
Ricky Mill was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1944. After graduating from high school, he entered the University of Georgia. He played basketball for Georgia and graduated with a bachelor's degree in Business. While a student, Ricky was part of a group of athletes that started Campus Crusade at Georgia. After graduating, he joined the staff of Campus Crusade and worked with college students on the campus of UC Berkely. After playing on the first Athletes in Action basketball team, he worked with students at UNC, NC State, and Duke. Ricky, along with several other staff members, started the Campus Crusade ministries on the campuses in North Carolina. He attended Dallas Theological Seminary and Briarwood Seminary in Birmingham, Alabama where he taught Church History. Ricky was ordained in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church and has served congregations in that denomination as well as in the Presbyterian Church in America and the Southern Baptist Church. He currently serves as a Pastoral Care pastor at Providence Baptist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ricky and his wife Annette have three adult children, a daughter-in-law, two grandsons and two granddaughters.
Ben Quinn is a certified business coach and public speaker who helps organizations generate more profits, hire, retain, and motivate excellent employees, and reduce the hours they have to work in their business. Ben began his career as a high school AP Biology teacher at a private Christ-centered college preparatory school in California.
As an entrepreneur Ben has launched and grown companies since 1997, through various sales, marketing, project management and finance roles. Ben has worked one on one with 75+ businesses throughout North Carolina in industries spanning retail, restaurant, professional services, professional trades, real estate, marketing/advertising, health & wellness, IT consulting, legal and financial services.
Ben Quinn is a graduate of Stanford University and is a Leadership Fellow & MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.
For more information see www.FarmBlue.com
Luke Russ is an insurance agent with Capital Insurance and Financial Services. As a broker, he represents over a dozen different insurance carriers specializing in Auto, Home, Life and Health Insurance products. As a former teacher, Luke prides himself on not only excellent service and individual counseling, but also on making insurance easier for all of his clients to understand. Luke has won numerous sales awards throughout his career, working with hundreds of individuals year after year. As their insurance needs change, Luke is continuously there to guide them in the right direction.
A graduate of the University of North Carolina, Luke now lives in Raleigh where he enjoys playing hockey and golf, and spending time with his loveable Great Dane, Blue.
Mike Sharples began his career in the financial industry in 1993, working for a national brokerage firm. Early on he recognized the need for complete, non-bias financial advice rather than just selling products. Pursuing that higher standard has driven Mike throughout his career. In 1996, Mike passed the board examination to qualify for the financial professional designation of CFP. With the attitude of a “problem solver” and strong belief in service excellence; Sharples became one of the top five percent of advisors with his former firm. Because of Mike’s success he was asked to train advisors at every level and to run one of the largest offices in the country, managing many hundreds of millions of dollars in assets.
Continuing to pursue excellence, independent advice, and a wider range of investment choices for clients led Mike to form his own firm in 2010. His firm; MKS Wealth Management is committed to finding superior strategies for his clients, and Mike has developed financial planning tools as well as a variety of investment platforms that can be tailored to fit each client.
Sharples holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degree from Michigan State University. Along with his CFP designation, Mike continues to pursue the pinnacle of financial education and expertise.
Higher Rock Education
1911 Hillandale Road
Durham, NC 27705
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