We are entrepreneurs, change makers, visionaries and professionals

We’re on a mission to foster inclusive communities of entrepreneurs who create lasting economic and social impact. At HQ Raleigh, we’re creating an environment that will empower others to create purpose-driven businesses and to leave the world better than they found it, and we’re addressing two major challenges that entrepreneurs face: building a trusted support community and gaining access to flexible, affordable office space.

We support growth oriented, community minded, and impact driven entrepreneurs through tailored “Mind, Body, Business, and Community” resources such as workshops, expert mentorship, online healthcare services, wellness coaching, software and financial discounts, volunteer opportunities, networking, and more.

We also provide a thoughtfully-designed space that features 22 private suites, a large co-working space, two large conference rooms, six small meeting rooms, phone booths for private calls, a common room for classes, workshops, and events (including code immersion program, Tech Talent South), and a beautiful kitchen with a bar and specialty coffee equipment by Jubala Coffee.

Our core values

  • 1
    Be Authentic
  • 2
    Empower Others
  • 3
    Drive Forward
    with Purpose
  • 4
    Think Big!
  • 5
    Leave the World
    Better Than You
    Found It
  • 6
    Embrace Diversity

Meet the folks who make it happen

Jason Widen

Jason Widen is COO of Forward Impact whose mission is to unleash the impact potential of next generation entrepreneurial leaders. This work includes supporting community-based strategies to develop and scale high-impact entrepreneurs including HQ Raleigh, ThinkHouse, and Leadership exCHANGE.

Learn more About Jason
Liz Tracy

Liz brings international experience in community development and public outreach to her role as HQ Raleigh's Director. She ran a nationally-recognized jewelry business and arts-based learning camps for kids. Liz manages HQ Raleigh membership services and programming, and facilitates the Raleigh Innovators Program each fall.

Learn more About Liz
Jessica Porta

Jess manages every detail that keeps the HQ Raleigh space running smoothly. Outside of her role here, she's also the owner of Blue Dot Consulting and an anti-human trafficking activist and volunteer.

Learn more About Jess
Allyson Sutton

Allyson brings a background in journalism and advertising to her role at HQ. Prior to joining the team, she led marketing and business development for an independently-owned shop in Chapel Hill and for a globally-recognized startup in Raleigh. She oversees marketing for the HQ community across NC.

Learn more About Allyson
John Short

John is a former General Manager of a locally owned restaurant. After successfully assisting in opening the second location, he went back to school, getting a degree in Organizational Management and Economics. With his background in customer service and team leadership, he helps run the day-to- day operations at HQ

Learn more About John
Christie Quackenbush

Christie Quackenbush serves as the Executive Coordinator for the Forward Impact and HQ Community founders. She is passionate about supporting diverse groups of entrepreneurs and leaders through her work with the Triangle Business Diversity Council, ThinkHouse, and TeachHouse.  A mother of two beautiful girls by way of older child adoption, Christie strongly supports families from the adoption community throughout their journey as well.

Learn more About Christie
Christopher Gergen

Christopher is the CEO of Forward Impact, an adjunct faculty member at Duke University, and the co-author of Life Entrepreneurs: Ordinary People Creating Extraordinary Lives.

Learn more About Christopher
Brooks Bell

Brooks is the Founder and CEO of Brooks Bell Inc., a leading optimization firm in Raleigh. She has been named among “40 Under 40” by the Triangle Business Journal and in the “Top 50 Entrepreneurs” by Business Leader.

Learn more About Brooks
Jesse Lipson

Jesse founded ShareFile which he sold to Citrix in 2011. Jesse now serves as the VP & GM of Data Sharing at Citrix, where he is responsible for the vision, market direction and product strategy behind the company's data platform. A self-taught software programmer, Jesse has launched and led multiple cloud and e-commerce businesses since the age of 23.

Learn more About Jesse