Meet our Team

Experienced Consultants Stand ready to help your Company Grow Great

Will Oden


For Will, it's all about relationships. In his consulting practice, Will looks to create value by getting to know each client, their business, and their employees.

In the world of Human Resources, Will has been certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) since 2008, and as a SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) since that designation first was available in January of 2015. A former President of the Lower Cape Fear Human Resources Association, and former NCSHRM Leadership Council Member, Will stays up to date on all human resources issues and trends.

Also bringing a safety and health focus to his consulting practice, Will has been certified by the Safety and Health Council of North Carolina and North Carolina Department of Labor as a Manager of Environmental Safety and Health Programs, and has earned his Advanced Safety Certificate from the National Safety Council. He is OSHA 30 trained.

In regard to staffing issues, Will is certified by the American Staffing Association as a Certified Staffing Professional (CSP), by the National Association of Personnel Services as a Certified Personnel Consultant (CPC). Will enjoys helping consulting clients develop and manage their staffing company relationships.

Will has a special interest in project management and process improvement. He has obtained his Lean Six Sigma yellow belt, and is working towards his green belt. He also has taken classes in project management.

Hank Harris

Director of Consulting

Hank Harris spent most of his career in a national management consulting and investment banking firm, specialized in working with privately held businesses.  He rose to become CEO and Chairman of that firm, where he still maintains an affiliation and many friendships.  His joining of the Ward and Smith Business Consulting team is somewhat of a "passion project," presenting an opportunity to help closely held business owners within his home state of North Carolina, and to do it with his friends at Ward and Smith, P.A.

Hank's background gives him a unique perspective.  He has seen the inner workings of literally hundreds of successful businesses, understands the mind of entrepreneurs, and has a deep understanding of the issues unique to privately held businesses.  CEOs call on Hank to be part of their strategic planning, help with succession planning, or consult on family business matters.

Over the years, Hank has published an extensive array of articles and written papers on business and management, and has also written three books on those subjects.  Hank has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Richmond and a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.  He is a certified management consultant, past member of the American Arbitration Association, and Association of Management Consulting firms.  He sits on the Board of Directors of several major companies, relishes the opportunity to engage private business.

Laura Hudson

Director of Communications

Laura helps our clients with crisis communications. When the trolls come out online; when people make news for unbecoming activity; when an accident happens; or when workplace conflict becomes the social media news of the day, she steps in. Our clients appreciate her ability to quickly understand the desired outcomes and facilitate them from concept through execution.

Laura’s background in communication stems from two decades as a law firm marketer, where she helped firm clients prior to our founding of the consultancy. She holds a Master’s in Communication from the University of Georgia and a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has served on several industry boards, most notably on the international board of the Legal Marketing Association ("LMA"), where she co-chaired the association's Governance Task Force and Governance Committees. Laura has a Yellow Belt certification in Legal Lean Sigma® and Project Management from the Legal Lean Sigma Institute, and is an appointed member of the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

William Martin

Business Development Specialist

William, a Wilmington native, is known for his passion for the area and his excitement to work with small business owners both locally and across the state. Graduating from North Carolina State University in 2020 with a degree in Business Administration, he commenced his career as a Sales Support Specialist at First Citizens Wealth Management in the Raleigh office. Subsequently, he secured a position as a Client Relationship Manager at a boutique firm in the vicinity. His tenure there proved invaluable, offering insights into the operations of small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit crucial for success. Anticipating the opportunity to reconnect with coastal acquaintances and establish new relationships, William eagerly looks forward to collaborating with Ward and Smith Business Consulting.

Ashley Thomason

Executive Assistant

Ashley is the glue that holds the rest of the team together. She effortlessly manages invoices, scheduling, and document management, ensuring the team runs smoothly.


Location Address:

Ward and Smith Business Consulting, LLC127 Racine DriveWilmington, NC 28403

Other Locations:

Asheville, Greenville, Raleigh, New Bern

Mailing address:

Post Office Box 7068Wilmington, NC 28406-7068

Call us:

Phone No: 252.672.4853

Online Payment