ABOUT

Michael D. Nicastro, JD
Principal & CEO

Michael (Mike) Nicastro is the Chief Executive Officer and Principal of Coppermine Advisors, LLC a business advisory firm offering services such as strategic plan development, capital acquisition, succession planning and exit planning.

A veteran of FinTech, RegTech and BankTech, Mike just completed a highly successful strategic sale of Continuity a Financial Technology Report's Top 100 FinTech/RegTech company. After stepping into the role of CEO in 2017 Mike lead a transformative pivot of the company which included a strategic expansion of the product offering, adding enterprise risk management with the acquisition of TraceRisk in 2019.  During his time with Continuity Mike was named by the Financial Technology Report as one of the Top 25 RegTech CEOs and Top 50 FinTech CEOs in 2020 & 2021.

Earlier in his career, he retired as Senior Vice President & CMO of Open Solutions Inc. a company that he helped launch in 1994. Mike was responsible for OSI’s entire product & marketing strategy and was involved in every phase of the company’s growth, including 20+ acquisitions, a 2003 IPO and a private equity sale in 2007 valued at $1.4 billion. 

During his career, Mike also served as SVP/CMO of COCC, President/CEO of the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce, Product Manager with the Data Services Division of the NCR Corporation (recognized in 1992 with the “Chairman’s Customer Satisfaction Award) and worked in the banking industry with Bristol Savings Bank, as well as Citicorp.

Mike served on the board of the former Simsbury Bank & Trust (SBTB) and has served for 15 years as a member of the Governing Board and is the current Board Secretary of the Tony Award winning Hartford Stage Company. An Eagle Scout, he is a Trustee and Past Board President of the Connecticut Rivers Council, BSA. He also serves as a Director & Treasurer of The American Clock & Watch Museum.  Mike is a past member of the board of Charter Oak State College, as well as a past president and director of the Association for Financial Technology, a national financial technology trade association. 

Mike is Entrepreneur in Residence and a member of the faculty at the Central Connecticut State University, AA-CSB Accredited School of Business where he also serves as the Chair of the School of Business Advisory Council.  He has been a guest lecturer at Yale University, School of Management and a Moot Court Judge at Western New England University, School of Law.  He also serves on the CT Next Higher Education Advisory Committee.

Mike can be reached at:

Mobile - 860-202-0348

Email - mdnicastro@coppermineadv.com

Drew Harris, Ph.D.
Senior Managing Consultant

Dr. Drew Harris, brings expertise in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship, Marketing and Business Development, Quality Management, Breakthrough Team Performance, Organizational Effectiveness, and Strategic Planning to Coppermine Advisors.  Dr. Harris also leads the entrepreneurship program at Central Ct State University where he is a tenured, full-time professor in Management & Organization.

Drew began his consulting career at Arthur Young & Company (AY), now a part of Ernst & Young, where he was a leader in business development. During his tenure Drew created a consulting methodology for small and medium sized businesses that became a national standard for AY. Drew left AY to join venture capital backed Morris Decision Systems, Inc.as Director of Information Systems and Technology where he transformed back-office transaction processing systems into customer-supporting information systems, leading to improvements in sales and gross margins. From there, he formed and was CEO of HAAS Partners, Ltd, a consulting firm specializing in Information Systems design, acquisition, and implementation. Notable clients included Avon Products and New Line Cinema.

It was during the HAAS Partner years that Drew returned to graduate school and earned his MBA in Statistics and Operations Management and his Ph.D. in Management at the Stern School of Business at New York University. At NYU, Drew became a protégé of Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the master of quality. While a graduate student, Drew co-authored the book “Managing Quality: A Primer for Middle Managers” with Dr. Randall Schuler (a renowned expert in Human Resource Management). Dr. Harris’s dissertation focused on the organizing principles of high-quality, highly stable firms – “Companies No One Leaves: A Win-Win Management Paradigm.”

His first post-graduate academic position was at Fairleigh Dickinson University and through their Center for Human Resource Management he led consulting assignments for the HR Departments at AT&T (helping with elements of their historic “tri-vestiture”), Ricoh International (creating and analyzing an employee feedback system), Verizon (assisting in a cultural transformation project) and PSE&G (developing an HR strategy). He also hosted a quarterly round table for the senior HR executives from a group of Fortune 50 companies.

Drew has also worked with smaller firms, for example, coaching a four person advertising firm to double in size and revenue in two years and helping save and then turn around a packaging company after they lost a key client that had accounted for over 80% of their approximately $1M per year in revenue. His students have founded numerous firms and often seek his advice on leadership, funding and growth issues.

Part of Drew’s affinity for entrepreneurial firms comes from his early career when he started several businesses in the arts, construction, housing, and food. He later worked as an information systems specialist for several fast growing entrepreneurial firms. His experiences help him coach students and practicing entrepreneurs to make and win pitches, write winning business plans, and secure funds for their ventures.

Drew has served the Connecticut entrepreneurial ecosystem as professor and as the Chair of the Connecticut Consortia of Entrepreneurship Educators – a collaboration among professors across the state who organize and conduct a state-wide business plan competition and a mulita-institution course collaboration. He also serves on the Board of the Entrepreneurship Foundation. For three years, Dr. Harris served on the Board of Directors for Connecticut Innovations, Inc., Connecticut’s quasi-public agency that serves as a venture capital firm for the state. In that capacity he served on the Administration & Finance Committee and the Investment Committee.

Drew also serves or has served on the boards of several 501c3 organizations, often leading the Finance Committees and Executive Committees. Drew has published over a dozen articles in academic journals, presents regularly at academic and professional conferences and symposiums, and has participated in panels and given keynote addresses on a variety of topics from mathematics education to economic development.

Drew is also a musician and band leader having founded/co-founded seven bands, including his current band – The Harris Brothers Balkan Band. He has been a leader in introducing and promoting Balkan-Roma Brass Band Music to the United States.

 

Dew can be reached at:  

Mobile - 203-892-7644

Email - dharrisphd@coppermineadv.com

Alan Hurwitz, CPA
Senior Managing Consultant

Alan brings a solid foundation built on 25+ years of experience managing the financial affairs of mid-market and growth stage companies, most recently as CFO of Continuity, which provides regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions that automate compliance and risk management for financial institutions. Prior to that, Alan has led software, services and product-based businesses across multiple industries, including both privately-held and publicly-traded companies. Alan’s experience started with 8 years in public accounting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as Manager of World-Wide Internal Audit for Duracell where he developed strong financial and risk management systems to support growth.  A graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts, Alan is a CPA and co-founder of the CFO Knowledge Network™.