ReStart is a volunteer group of individuals and professionals of all ages from diverse industries and backgrounds.The goal of the organization is to reach out to individuals in the community with the love of Christ and provide the support and tools needed to be successful in their job search. ReStart was founded in 2011 and has since trained over 1800 individuals in multiple Career Conferences and Workshops, earning a 95% approval rating by participants. ReStart also offers Community Groups to provide ongoing support to conference participants and individuals needing support with additional tools for their job search.
The ReStart Career Development Community is a Christian partnership between Seacoast and East Cooper Baptist Churches committed to help people:
- Re-start life by teaching the best possible ways to find employment;
- Provide a framework for individuals to boldly step forward in a new career;
- Develop a broad network of engaged people to help find employment; and
- Join an ongoing network to assist others who may experience the trauma of job loss.
The objectives of the ReStart Career Development Community are to:
- Reach out to individuals in our community with the love of God;
- Provide a biblically based framework to boldly step forward in a new career;
- Provide tools to enhance an individual’s job search; and,
- Create a missional community in the context of these goals.
Our Leadership Team
Terry Melkus, Chair/Curriculum
Terry Melkus is the former Director of Training and Quality with First Data Resources. She started ADDIE Solutions in 2007 to help businesses increase performance by developing their people and processes. Terry also works with individuals to help them discover their strengths by leading to career development and overall job satisfaction. Terry is a Value-Added Associate of TTI Success Insights*, Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst, Certified Professional Motivators Analyst, Certified Professional TriMetrix HD Analyst.
**Based on a unique 55-factor analysis, TriMetrix HD helps companies discover superior talent, improve communication, reduce turnover, and increase overall productivity.
Stephanie Watson, Vice Chair/Curriculum
Stephanie is an Executive Advisor and Project Analyst for UC San Diego. She also is a consultant with her own business, Watson Consulting, where she partners with executives in strategizing on achieving organizational health and implementing solutions. As a Professional Behavioral Analyst, Stephanie coaches’ individuals and teams to effectively understand themselves and others, driving performance and productivity. She is known for building cohesive teams, improving business efficiency, communication and project success. Stephanie also is an invited speaker for numerous courses and programs at UC San Diego, speaking about behavioral styles and effective communication for leading high performing teams.
Elwyn Draper, ECBC Liaison & Registration Chair
Elwyn earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame and attended Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. For 38 years, he was the founder and principal of Trevcor Marketing, a manufacturers representative firm selling electrical, plumbing, and HVAC tools and products throughout Michigan and northern Indiana. He also established a light manufacturing and warehousing operation distributing electrical specialty tools in the Midwest. Elwyn has served in various leadership capacities at his church and several other non-profit organizations, and has experience in public speaking and seminar presentations, as well as teaching and sales training. He and his wife, Sandy, are active members of East Cooper Baptist Church.
Terry Gantenbein, Summerville Community Group Leader
Terry is the Lead Systems Engineer for the Mission Assurance Competency Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic in Charleston, South Carolina. Mr. Gantenbein has worked 7 years at NIWC Atlantic where he has also served as a supervisor of 30 software test personnel who test command and control, health, and business systems for the Navy, US Marine Corp, and the Defense Health Agency. Additionally, he has worked for SSC Atlantic for 5 years, for Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory as a Group Supervisor for 16 years, and for the U. S. Navy for 22 years as a General Submarine Officer. Terry has been a hiring manager of technical staff for both SSC Atlantic and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.
Ron McNutt, Seacoast & Finance
Ron has been in recruiting and coaching for over a decade. In 2007, Ron had the opportunity to start his own business, RMi Executive Search, providing executive coaching and recruiting. Before starting his own company, Ron spent nearly 20 years contributing to the success of public and private companies (from start-up to $100 Billion plus in revenue) in the commodity and healthcare industries. An extensive network of contacts comes from key positions held with McKesson Corporation, Per-Se Technologies, SGS Group, ProxyMed, LabLynx, and WorldWideTesting.com. A few years ago, Ron began looking for ways to give back while furthering and strengthening his faith. He feels blessed to join the great group at ReStart.
Matt Meltzer, West Ashley Community Group Leader
Matt graduated from Southern Methodist University (SMU) with his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and joined the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Atlantic in 2007 after speaking to their recruiters at a job fair. He began his career as a design engineer, later serving as a project lead, supervisor for 27 engineers, and now as an Integrated Product Team (IPT) Lead for enterprise software and hardware solutions enabling Marines to bring technology and infrastructure into environments that would otherwise limit their ability to communicate.
Deirdre D. Ragan, Ph.D., Community Group Chair & Volunteer Chair
Deirdre is the Director of The Citadel Honors Program and faculty in The Citadel Department of Mechanical Engineering. The opportunity to mentor, encourage, and educate is truly her passion. With a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, she previously worked at Los Alamos National Lab conducting research and at PPG Industries developing new products. She has numerous scientific publications and patents. In addition, Deirdre spent years involved in Early Childhood Education, focusing on kindergarten-readiness and designing engaging educational modules for preschoolers. Deirdre has also been passionately involved in literacy and STEM-focused volunteer opportunities since college.
Karen Sofge, Marketing
A native Floridian, Karen Sofge moved to Charleston in 2011. In 2013, she attended a Restart conference, which expedited her search for a fulfilling role in the field of Human Resources. Karen is now the HR Specialist at The GEL Group, Inc, a company that studies the natural world through surveying, sampling, and testing raw materials. She attends Seacoast Church and has served on the ReStart leadership team since 2016. She loves travel and the outdoors and is committed to helping people reach their full potential at both personal and professional levels.
Richard Sykora, Marketing Chair
Richard Sykora has been in customer service management for over 23 years. Richard developed successful support models in both national and global operations. He also has navigated through several large scale transformation projects resulting in significant cost savings throughout the support organization. Richard is Manager, Customer Support at Blackbaud, and Lean Practitioner Certified. Richard joined Restart 3 years ago as a volunteer and table leader for conferences and Mount Pleasant Community Group sessions, and joined the Restart Leadership team March, 2018.