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The vision of CEO is to change the world through allowing and supporting college students to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization informs, supports, and inspires college students to be entrepreneurial and seek opportunity through enterprise creation.

Welcome to the 2013 National CEO Conference! This event is filled with opportunities to motivate, inspire, and enlighten you, and we know that you will actively participate to get the most out of this experience! Share in the excitement and tweet #CEONat2013!

Over 80 speakers will be sharing real life experiences about what people can do when they have a dream and take action. You will be able to participate in breakout sessions, workshops and mentoring sessions that will provide you with valuable tips and resources. Chapter development and leadership sessions featuring student leaders from CEO Chapters throughout the nation will show you how to start and grow campus club membership, organize events, and sponsor meetings featuring local entrepreneurs. Ask questions, take notes, and share business cards! When you return to your campus, you will be amazed how many resources and connections you have. These contacts will be important as you pursue your entrepreneurial future. Keep in mind that who you know is just as important as what you know, so take the time to network with and meet the amazing speakers and your fellow students! CEO would like to thank Northwestern Mutual and all of our sponsors for their generous support in this year’s National CEO Conference. A sincere thank you goes out to all of the speakers, mentors, judges and volunteers who helped make this event possible. We also appreciate the involvement of the Coleman Fellows program. Thank you to David Pistrui, Tim Stearns and California State University-Fresno for their work with the National Elevator Pitch Competition. Thank you to Bradley University for their support. Thank you to SEA for supporting the CEO Conference and hosting strong arts sessions. We’d also like to thank the CEO Faculty Advisory Council and Student Advisory Council, and Business Advisory Council members for all of their ongoing support. Our sincere gratitude goes out to all the individuals, faculty, speakers, students, and organizations that continue to help make CEO and our Annual Conferences a success! We hope you have a fantastic entrepreneurial conference weekend! Please remember to complete the conference evaluations so that we can continue to bring you the very best entrepreneurship experience! With entrepreneurial spirit,

Gerald E. Hills CEO Co-Founder & Executive Director Bradley University

Katie Sowa Director of Operations

Michael Luchies National Growth & Programs Manager

3105 N. Ashland Avenue, Suite 228 | Chicago, IL 60657 | Ph: 773-236-2350 | |


Carry out the entrepreneurial spirit of the 2013 National CEO Conference! Use your new experience and contacts to start making a difference.

HOW CAN YOU KEEP IN CONTACT WITH CEO TO USE OUR RESOURCES TO BENEFIT YOU? CEO Chapter Help & Event Information Visit our website to get more information on CEO and to download the CEO Chapter Handbook or look at best practice videos from successful chapters to help with starting a chapter, improving engagement in your club, fundraising suggestions, and more.

Social Media Follow us for new announcements and to stay up-to-date with CEO activities!

@CEOORG #CEONAT2013 collegiateentrepreneurs organization pub/collegiateentrepreneurs-org/ 15/724/a41

Subscribe at CEOORG

Catch all the conference action at MAAPIT.ORG VOTE for your favorite pitch and decide who will win the People’s Choice Award and $500 cash! Go to to vote! 2

KEY: Special Interest Track Sessions ARTS ENTREPRENEURSHIP SESSIONS: Sessions, although particularly interesting to arts related entrepreneurs, address topics of broad interest. Hosted by Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA). CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS: Sessions for current, new and potential club leaders and faculty. FACULTY DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS: Sessions specifically address issues for entrepreneurship faculty. MENTOR ROOM: Walk in at any time to ask questions, get advice, and receive one-on-one or small group mentoring. ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS: Led by professionals in the field, these small group discussions allow for more of a conversational approach to the subject matter. These sessions will be held at round tables in the exhibit space. Each table will have a sign on it stating the topic of discussion. TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURSHIP SESSIONS: Sessions, although of special interest to technologically oriented entrepreneurs, are also of general interest to everyone.

CEO EXPO Located in the W375 Foyer



























THURS DAY AG E NDA 11:00 AM – 5:30 PM

REGISTRATION W375 Foyer in the McCormick Convention Center West Building

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

COLEMAN FELLOWS SESSION Hyatt Conference Center Rooms Prairie B, Clark AB, Jackson A & BCD

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

CEO LEADERSHIP & CHAPTER DEVELOPMENT SESSIONS Hyatt Conference Center Rooms Grant Park CD, Burnham A & BC, Adler A

5:00 PM – 5:45 PM

ELEVATOR PITCH WORKSHOP Hyatt Conference Center Room Burnham A

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

CEO NETWORKING KICK-OFF EVENT W375 Foyer in the McCormick Convention Center West Building

11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

EXHIBITOR SET-UP W375 Foyer in the McCormick Convention Center West Building

CEO LE ADE RSHIP & CHAP TE R DE V E LO P MENT S E S S IONS 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM in Conference Center Room Grant Park CD OPENING REMARKS Gerald E. Hills, Bradley University / Co-Founder of CEO, Bert Gervais, Empact / Success Mentor Education

CE O CO NCURRE NT S E S S ION I 1:25 PM – 2:10 PM A)

Love Them and Lead Them Jerome Love, Texas Black Expo, Inc. / GUGOGS Entrepreneurial Institute

Grant Park CD

Throw away misconceptions and nonsensical frameworks and the run of the mill teachings on leadership. While most leadership seminars would have you draft your personal vision, discuss your goals, your strengths, and other self-centered leadership agenda that leave you unequipped to be an effective and influential leader; very few, if any, will teach you the real truth about effective leadership. Leadership is not about you! Love Them and Lead Them is a bold new approach to leadership in business that centers on the true secret to leadership success, the people. Education, position, and power, which most think define a good leader alone are like a car without fuel. It may look good. But it is not going anywhere. So too is a “leader” with no followers. The people are the fuel effective leaders use to move the organization forward. Effective leaders know that leadership is about your ability to understand and influence others for the better, if you want to go anywhere. No gimmicks. No Games. Just powerful points on how to develop magnetic business yielding exponential immediate results! 7



Chapter Award Presentations: Best CEO Fundraising Idea / Event Chairs: Andrew Forster & Kaitlyn Caraway, The Launch Life

Adler A

Finalists in the Best Chapter Awards will be presenting to demonstrate why they deserve the title of the Best CEO Chapter Fundraising Idea or Event. The winner will be announced on Saturday, November 2 during the general keynote sessions.


Getting the Word Out: Successful Entrepreneurial Events Chair: Laura Mac Minn, Empact Eric Schipper, Davenport University Fedora Belizaire, University of Tampa Justin Zimpfer, Canisius College Kevin Walsh, Canisius College Paul Ogunlowo, Hofstra University Tim Mladenetz, Rowan University

Burnham A

How can you create, organize and host better events on your campus? Hear secrets to success from top chapters and find out what they are doing to design the best types of events and maximize engagement in their clubs and across-campus.


The E-Team: Creating an Awesome and Sustainable Entrepreneurship Organization Chair: William Dougan, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Dave Hudak, Rowan University Greg Heal, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Harris Roberts, Bryant University Jesse Henry, Florida State University

Burnham BC

A great club starts with the leadership team. Learn how you can create an engaged, active, and loyal team to lead your chapter. Also, find out from top chapters how you can create an impact and build sustainability for a lasting legacy in your organization over the years.


Chapter Award Presentations: Best CEO Chapter Business Chairs: Andrew Forster & Kaitlyn Caraway, The Launch Life

Adler A

Finalists in the Best Chapter Awards will be presenting to demonstrate why they deserve the title of the Best CEO Chapter Business. The winner will be announced on Saturday, November 2 during the general keynote sessions.




Burnham A Creating Connections: Ways to Interact Cross-Campus and Within Your Local Community Chair: Leonard Sholtis, Eastern Michigan University Courtney Kunzig, Bryant University Kathryn Turner, Canisius College Eric Schipper, Davenport University Max Bidna, Hofstra University Greg Heal, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Stephen Grimm, Canisius College Jon El Kordi-Hubbard, Hofstra University How can you expand the presence of entrepreneurship and your chapter across campus and even within your local community? Learn best practices to increase engagement and awareness of your club, including what can help with recruitment, larger event attendance, partnership development, and even more funding.


Burnham BC

Pitch Competitions on Your Campus Chair: Ji-Hee Kim, Canisius College Anthony Wohlrab, Rowan University Harris Roberts, Bryant University James Zebrowski, University of Tampa

Nobel Daniel, Canisius College Sam Garofano, Canisius College Zach Rosen, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Hosting a competition can create tons of excitement on your campus and can be the highlight of the year for your club and school! Learn how your chapter can organize and host a successful pitch, idea, or business plan competition to take your club to the next level!


Chapter Award Presentations: Best Overall CEO Chapter Chairs: Andrew Forster & Kaitlyn Caraway, The Launch Life

Adler A

Finalists in the Best Chapter Awards will be presenting to demonstrate why they deserve the title of the Best CEO Chapter Business. The winner will be announced on Saturday, November 3 during the general keynote sessions.


4:05 PM – 5:00 PM in Conference Center Room Grant Park CD KEYNOTE David Simnick, SoapBox Soaps, LLC


5:00 PM – 7:00 PM in McCormick Place W375A Registration Foyer / Expo Area







RE G IS TRATIO N 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM in the West Building 375 Foyer

WE LCO ME KEY NO TE S ES S IO N 8:30 AM – 10:30 AM in the West Ballroom – W375 Emcee: Bert Gervais, Success Mentor Education and Empact Speaker

OPENING REMARKS Gerald E. Hills, Bradley University / Co-Founder of CEO KEYNOTES Bert Gervais, Success Mentor Education and Empact Speaker Presented by: Jordan Van Horn, North Iowa Area Community College

Zoe Damacela, Zoё Damacela Apparel Presented by: Jason Sissing, Grand Valley State University


10:35 AM – 10:45 AM in W375 Foyer

BRE AKO UT S ES S IO N 1 10:45 AM – 11:35 AM


“Red Bulling” Your Network Amir Homayoun Rafizadeh, Momentum Strategic Advisors / 678 Partners LLC


Moderator: Mario Marroquin, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University How many connections do you currently have? How many of those are strategic and how many of those are known as Centers of Influence? How do you find them? How do you build relationships which result into strategic partnerships and ultimately turn into large revenue opportunities? This is a hands-on workshop intended to be very interactive! Learn to build your go-to-market strategy in reaching out to these strategic contacts.


BANGS Shoes: Influencing Sustainable Development through Socially-Conscious Retail Hannah Davis, BANGS Shoes


Moderator: Laura Rowland, RMIT University / Babson College BANGS Shoes was conceptualized in 2010 by 22-year-old Founder, Hannah Davis, who had no business, textile, or mass manufacturing background. With a strong passion and vision for impacting sustainable social change, BANGS was born. Come listen to Hannah’s personal account of navigating the launch of an internationally operated social enterprise. Learn tips and real world advice on how to launch a successful social enterprise!




Building a Solid Business Model and the Right Team Tom Gimbel, LaSalle Network


Moderator: Courtney Schmit, Texas Christian University According to the Small Business Association, more than 50% of new businesses fail within the first five years. To stay afloat and beat the overwhelming odds, emerging entrepreneurs need to consider the amount of time, energy, devotion and care it takes to develop a meaningful, successful organization. This session will highlight how to develop a strong business model, build the right team and develop a customer experience that will turn first-time clients into repeats.


Get Up, Get Out & Get Something: 3 Steps to Transform Tragedy to Triumph! Jerome Love, Texas Black Expo, Inc. / GUGOGS Entrepreneurial Institute


Moderator: Sabrina Lee, Texas State University If you are tired of the daily grind and have dreams of starting your own business or expanding an existing one, this is the workshop that will give you that proverbial shot in the arm. In this high energy presentation, learn easy to implement real-life business tips and strategies to put your business on the fast track to substantial profits! Love’s inspiring tale, Get Up, Get Out & Get Something, pulls no punches about what it really takes to succeed as the head of your own enterprise. Learn three time tested principles to help you build a peak performing organization, how you can create a money machine that keeps money flowing‌even when you stop working, how you can create a sales pitch that will have consumers begging to do business with you, how to turn your great idea into a thriving enterprise with little or no money, and much more!


Lessons in Leadership Adam Cox & Jim Kratochvil, Northwestern Mutual


Moderator: Kembia Munsanje, California University of Pennsylvania What does it take to be an impactful and successful leader? This session will help you evaluate yourself as a leader and learn how your leadership capabilities impact relationships and your overall success. Explore real world leadership tactics such as servant leadership, leading from the front, and how to evaluate your impact on others. Whether you are running a company, leading a student organization, or looking to make more of a difference in a group or team setting, this session will help you envision yourself as the leader you want to be!


Learn How to Get in Top Social Media Shape Mana Ionescu, Lightspan Digital TECHNOLOGY SESSION


Moderator: Raul Aldape, University of Texas-Pan American Getting in shape takes a plan, discipline and the willingness to change unhealthy patterns and replace them with activities that drive positive change. Getting your social media marketing in tip-top shape works exactly the same. This workshop will walk you through best-in-class practices to get social media fit. From the day-to-day routine to developing compelling story-lines to attract new customers, the session will guide you through strategy and planning basics, daily practices, trends, and audience and customer engagement.



My Life in Music Mike Veny, Mike Veny, Inc. Philip Brown, Brown Music Studio ARTS SESSION, HOSTED BY SEA Moderator: Jessica Graham, Iowa State University

Join musicians Mike Veny and Philip Brown as they discuss their careers in music. What does a typical day or week look like for them? How much time do they spend on "creating" versus the business aspects of their careers? What are their hours like? Do they have multiple streams of income? Does their work change throughout the year? This will be a great opportunity to learn about making a living with your music directly from two successful musicians.




CEO Elevator Pitch Competition Round 1: Group 1



CEO Elevator Pitch Competition Round 1: Group 2


Chairs: Dr. Timothy Stearns, University of California, Fresno Dr. David Pistrui, Fayetteville State University Group 1 Distinguished Judges David Simnick, SoapBox Soaps Jamie Pritscher, nuphoriq / That’s Caring Kapil Sharma, Tata Sons North America Stu Taylor, Taylor Associates, Inc.

Group 2 Distinguished Judges Dave Phillipson, CEO Space Erin Walter, nuphoriq John Pytel, Seth Braun, Indestructible Success Ltd.

Previously selected students were invited to participate in one of today’s 6 Competition Sessions. The top 3 winners from each will be invited to participate in Saturday’s Elimination Round. The top 6 chosen from the Elimination Round will be invited to participate in Saturday’s Final Round session. The top winners of the Final Round will be announced at the conclusion of the conference on Saturday. The competition presents students with a great opportunity to pitch their business venture or idea in an environment that promotes new venture creation and the spirit of entrepreneurship to a panel of judges. Students can showcase their talent and passion by pitching their idea or current company and can be awarded with cash prizes. Come listen in and then compete next year! VOTE for your favorite pitch and decide who will win the People’s Choice Award and $500 cash! Go to to vote.


11:35 AM – 11:50 AM in W375 Foyer

BRE AKO UT S ES S IO N 2 11:50 AM – 12:40 PM 2.1

Carpe Diem – Seizing the Opportunity in Business Stu Taylor, Taylor Associates, Inc.


Moderator: Cole Petrie, Texas Christian University Stu Taylor founded and operated the largest distributorship of commercial spin-off and movie-related fad merchandise in the US, including contributing to the success merchandising products including Batman, The Simpsons, Ninja Turtles, Saturday Night Fever and Power Rangers, which catapulted him to national prominence in his field. Now, this radio host and networking guru is sharing with you tips to essential basics in networking, sales, and negotiation. These keys to entering the real business world will arm you with proven strategies and tactics to be successful.


College Idea to Big Box Retail In One Year Ben VandenWymelenberg & Kevin Groenjes, Woodchuck


Moderator: Nate VanMaanen, South Dakota State University Ben and Kevin took their idea from a class project to a product on the shelves of big box stores across the U.S. in just 1 year of business, and in this session, learn how to take your idea or company to the next level! Discover what it takes to launch a company from the ground up, while in college, and do it when you are younger than most of the people in the industry. From manufacturing, to distribution, to marketing, every company system executes precisely, and they will show you how to put those gears in place and keep them running smoothly. Find the why, build the team, and turn obstacles into opportunities. Discover the secrets to successfully putting together a team and overcoming obstacles and learn how to establish and grow business relationships to create a successful retail brand.




From the Classroom to the Boardroom: How to Start Your First Company with the Lean Startup Methodology John Pytel,


Moderator: Anthony Wohlrab, Rowan University Two years ago, John was in your shoes. He had a burning desire to build his own company, but had no idea where to start. Luckily, he stumbled upon something called the Lean Startup Method, which he considers to be the closest thing you’ll ever find to a blueprint for how to start a company. The lean methodology will teach you how you can start a company as a 20-something, without a developer, investment, or business plan!


Startup Survival: 5 Pitfalls To Avoid and 3 Essentials to Achieve Indestructible Success Seth Braun, Indestructible Success Ltd.


Moderator: Joseph Neff, University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh In this interactive and fun workshop, you will learn about what to do and what to avoid to achieve success! Discover the two kinds of business plans and shortcuts to figuring out a target market, a foundation for dealing practically with money, the number one psychological trait of successful entrepreneurs, cultural trends effecting business, and the silent killer of countless dreams and how to beat it! This session will be interactive so you can understand how to relevantly apply the topics.



Digital Marketing on a Shoestring Jon Morris, Rise Interactive TECHNOLOGY SESSION Moderator: Michael Kurley, Grand Valley State University

One of the best channels for bootstrapped entrepreneurs is digital marketing. This session will show you how to focus your efforts on activities that do not require an extensive amount of cash, and how to do it right. Inc. contributor and digital marketing expert, Jon Morris, will share the secrets to success of different digital channels, including SEO, content development and syndication, social media and more!


Crowdfunding David Marlett, National Crowdfunding Association HOSTED BY SEA


Moderator: Rebecca Herwig, North Iowa Area Community College The buzz word of the age, “crowdfunding,” can do wonders for launching entrepreneurial endeavors. Deloitte, the international accounting firm, recently predicted that over $3 billion will be raised through crowdfunding in 2013, and about half of that will be for artistic endeavors (media, film, gaming, etc.). Come hear from one of the leaders in crowdfunding in America. This session will cover the basics of reward/donation based crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding (coming under the JOBS Act), as well as some hybrid types. Discuss international crowdfunding, the differences between crowdfunding and crowdsourcing, and what's coming in the fast-expanding universe of crowdfunding. Bring your questions!


W178B Learning From The Best: Top 25 Entrepreneurship Programs Share Their Secrets Brad Hancock, Texas Christian University Jerome Katz, Saint Louis University David Allen, Baylor University Terri Lonier, DePaul University Marc Compeau, Clarkson University FACULTY DEVELOPMENT SESSION Moderator: Doan Winkel, Illinois State University What does it take to be one of the top 25 entrepreneurship programs in the country? Find out during this panel with faculty and administrators from several of the top rated programs across the U.S. Bring your notebook and questions to this faculty panel session! 17



CEO Elevator Pitch Competition Round 1: Group 3



CEO Elevator Pitch Competition Round 1: Group 4


Chairs: Dr. Timothy Stearns, University of California, Fresno Dr. David Pistrui, Fayetteville State University Group 3 Distinguished Judges Bob Roitblat, Mainsail Consulting Group Courtney Oltman, Northwestern Mutual Derek Weber, goBRANDgo! Jerome Love, GUGOGS Entrepreneurial Institute

Group 4 Distinguished Judges David Simnick, SoapBox Soaps Lisa Halpern, Kiboo Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group Mike Veny, Mike Veny, Inc.

VOTE for your favorite pitch and decide who will win the People’s Choice Award and $500 cash! Go to to vote.



CEO Mentor Room: Legal Office Hours Northwestern Entrepreneurship Law Center

Where else can you sit down one-on-one with some of the conferences’ amazing entrepreneurs to get their honest advice and guidance on your business, idea or just to help with your emerging quest as an entrepreneur? No matter where your entrepreneurial career is headed, this is the place you need to be! The mentor room is an informal place to network, so come and go or stay as long as you’d like. Northwestern University law students will be answering your legal questions!


W375 Foyer, Exhibit Space

Round Table Discussions HOSTED BY SEA Business Plan Basics for Non-Business Majors led by Gary Vaughan Working with Galleries led by Eileen Braun Finding and Working with an Illustrator led by Marjorie Millyard Non-Profits for Artists led by Elaine Luther

LUNCHE O N KE Y NO TE S ES S IO N 12:45 PM – 2:30 PM in the West Ballroom – W375

CEO STARTUP SIMULATION CHALLENGE RECOGNITION 2013 Winner Recognition: University of South Florida St. Petersburg, Quinnipiac University, University of Northern Iowa

CEO HALL OF FAME Chris Heivly, The Startup Factory and Co-Founder of MapQuest Presented by: Kasey Smetana, Texas State University




2:30 PM – 2:45 PM in W375 Foyer

BRE AKO UT S ES S IO N 3 2:45 PM – 3:35 PM 3.1


Entrepreneurial Leadership Kevin Langley, Ellis Construction, Inc. Moderator: Daniel Pino, Texas Christian University

As a college student, you typically don’t spend time asking yourself the most important questions – how will you use your passions, strengths and resources to create meaning and a life of purpose? In this session, learn how to start establishing a life of purpose as an entrepreneur and leader.


The insiders cheat sheet on how to optimize your business' website to capture more leads, make more sales than ever before, and create a referral program that will blow your mind! Duane Spires, Kick It USA / World Class Fight League


Moderator: Evan Gilbert, Texas State University Serial entrepreneur Duane Spires will be sharing the secrets to his success to help you optimize your business website and make more sales than ever before! Learn new marketing strategies that work, including how to automate processes and capture leads 24/7! He’ll also tell you how to create the Ultimate Referral Program! Duane’s holding nothing back so you don’t want to miss it!


Choosing the Right People – How to Pick Business Partners & Employees Erin Walter, nuphoriq Jamie Pritscher, nuphoriq / That’s Caring


Moderator: Grecia Chapa, Texas State University Finding the right business partner and employees can add value to your growing enterprise. The wrong people can destroy your vision of wealth before it even starts. In this session, lifelong friends, Jamie and Erin, will share why they choose to work with each other, the importance of finding the right employees and tips on building a cohesive team to help your business flourish.


Technology and Startups – Leveraging It the Right Way Adriano Marques, crowdSPRING / Umit Project TECHNOLOGY SESSION


Moderator: Lamar McFall, California University of Pennsylvania What is common to all kinds of startups? Heavy reliance on technology. If you’re a $100 or a $100k technology focused startup, technology will be part of your daily business. Expect to learn about the common mistakes committed by technology startups, how to avoid them, and the hottest technologies for free or very cheap that could make a difference in the future of any startup.



Drum Circle Mike Veny, Mike Veny, Inc. SPONSORED BY SEA Moderator: Amy Rogers, SEA

Get in tune with your inner drummer in this hands-on workshop! Professional drummer Mike Veny will share benefits of drumming, introducing Developmental Community Music (DCM), and faciliate a drum circle. Lots of noise and music will be made with Toca Percussion instruments. Due to the highly interactive nature of this workshop, attendance is limited to the first 50 people.




CEO Elevator Pitch Competition Round 1: Group 5



CEO Elevator Pitch Competition Round 1: Group 6


Chairs: Dr. Timothy Stearns, University of California, Fresno Dr. David Pistrui, Fayetteville State University Group 5 Distinguished Judges Bob Roitblat, Mainsail Consulting Group Gary Rabine, Rabine Group Jay Sharman, TeamWorks Media Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.

Group 6 Distinguished Judges Dave Phillipson, CEO Space Derek Weber, goBRANDgo! Jenniffer Conell, Northwestern Mutual Marshall Haas, MetaLab

VOTE for your favorite pitch and decide who will win the People’s Choice Award and $500 cash! Go to to vote.



Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA)

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is a program of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). GSEA operates as an international series of competitions for student entrepreneurs who own a for-profit business, are principally responsible for its operation and have been generating revenue for a minimum of six consecutive months. Each GSEA student competitor will present their business and participate in a question-and-answer session. The winner will be announced during the CEO Hall of Fame Dinner. The GSEA winner of the regional competition held at the CEO National Conference will advance to the 2013 GSEA Global Finals in Washington, D.C. at the end of November.



CEO Mentor Room Darnyelle Jervey, Incredible One Enterprises, LLC Hannah Davis, BANGS Shoes Patrick Muffo, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP Stu Taylor, Taylor Associates, Inc. Tim Huntley, An Entrepreneurial Life

Where else can you sit down one-on-one with some of the conferences’ amazing entrepreneurs to get their honest advice and guidance on your business, idea or just to help with your emerging quest as an entrepreneur? No matter where your entrepreneurial career is headed, this is the place you need to be! The mentor room is an informal place to network, so come and go or stay as long as you’d like. Join these expert entrepreneurs in this mentor session to start the conversations that will lead to new relationships that can change your life.


3:35 PM – 3:50 PM in W375 Foyer

BRE AKO UT S ES S IO N 4 3:50 PM – 4:40 PM


Why don’t employers get the Millennial generation? Jay Sharman, TeamWorks Media


Moderator: Timothy Mladenetz, Rowan University Like it or not, many of the jobs you covet have people in positions of power (i.e. Baby Boomers) who don’t understand Millennials. This session will offer keen insights in to the mindset of Gen X and Baby Boomer CEOs and top level executives and reveal perceptions you need to know in order to gain their trust…and the job offer. Jay Sharman, CEO of TeamWorks Media will offer insights in to the generational mindset of the workforce, how they differ on communication styles and the key trigger points of how to align in order to position you for your career journey.




Serial Entrepreneurship 101: Managing Time, Money, Businesses, and Sanity Michael Mogill, Crisp Video Group


Moderator: Eric Schipper, Davenport University Serial entrepreneur Michael Mogill will share vital tips to be successful in balancing your work and personal life as an entrepreneur. Learn how to establish clear startup cultures and processes to maximize the financial capabilities of your business, while maintaining best practices to prioritize your time and stay sane! These are the realities of being an entrepreneur so prepare yourself!


Become a Brand in Demand Darnyelle Jervey, Incredible One Enterprises, LLC


Moderator: Justin Coaldrake, Iowa State University Everyone has a brand but not everyone has learned how to leverage their brand for ultimate levels of success. In this session, learn how to define your signature brand, build your brand expansion plan to leverage it online and offline. You will discover simple yet effective strategies to gain more visibility in order to stand out from the crowd and step into more opportunities to grow yourself, and more importantly, your business.


Build Your Business to Sell It, Even If You Don’t Plan to Sell Bob Roitblat, Mainsail Consulting Group


Moderator: Alec Tranel, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater By implementing 3 secrets to making your business more attractive to buyers, you make it more profitable now and easier to operate. During this session, explore these secrets and why designing your business to be sellable from the start is a best practice. Even if you never intend to sell “your baby,” if you run a business, or are thinking about starting one, this session is for you!


Do You Have What It Takes To Raise Money From Angel Investors? Tim Huntley, An Entrepreneurial Life


Moderator: James F. Connolly III, California University of Pennsylvania If you are ready to move beyond competition prizes and grants, then investments from angels may represent the next logical step in fundraising. These angels may be “friends and family” or they may be sophisticated and savvy startup investors. This session will cover the pros and cons in taking money from angels, what you need to be aware of when picking who you accept money from, and what makes for an appealing investment to an angel. Learn from Tim’s experience of both raising $10 million dollars for this company and being an active angel investor. Finding the right investors is more important than simply taking the first, or easiest money you can find, and this session will give you practical ‘how to’ make it happen tips based on how it works in the real world!



99 Problems But a Niche Ain't One – Entrepreneurship in Niche Industries Lisa Halpern, Kiboo TECHNOLOGY SESSION Moderator: William O'Loughlin, North Iowa Area Community College

Startups in niche industries like financial services, travel or healthcare can be extremely profitable, but entrepreneurs must first understand these industries’ unique challenges and opportunities in order to build a successful business. This session will cover how to make money, find the partners needed, navigate complex rules and regulations, and face the competition in a niche industry. Once entrepreneurs know how to navigate the niche minefield, there are huge opportunities for those with great ideas to build innovative, successful companies.





Intellectual Property Basics Elizabeth Russell, Russell Law HOSTED BY SEA Moderator: James Zebrowski, University of Tampa

Copyright. Trademark. Patent. Trade Secrets. These all are types of “intellectual property” and all serve very different purposes. This session will sort out what each protects and how entrepreneurs can best positions themselves to protect such assets. But it’s not all about protecting your own intellectual property: it’s also vitally important to avoid infringing on the assets of others. Defending a lawsuit can put you out of business. Discuss strategies and best practices for avoiding trouble. This session will conclude with the top five mistakes for new entrepreneurs to avoid. Note: this session will deliver basic, nuts and bolts information for those without an advanced understanding of intellectual property.


Lessons Learned from Becoming a Flipped Professor Raman Chadha, The Junto Institute FACULTY DEVELOPMENT SESSION


Moderator: Leonard Sholtis, Eastern Michigan University In this session, Raman Chadha will share recent experiences, successes, and failures in reinventing his role as an entrepreneurship professor. Gone are lesson plans, teaching, textbooks, lectures, facts and figures, research, case studies, consulting projects, business plans, assignments, financial projections, and papers. In their place are things that, in his opinion, work more effectively in entrepreneurship classrooms and better reflect the entrepreneurial experience: self-directed and immersion learning, lean startup and business model canvases, facilitation and mentoring, blogs and trade books, ambiguity and uncertainty, customer interviews and MVPs, self-assessments and emotional intelligence, shared experiences and clarifying questions.


Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA)


The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is a program of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). GSEA operates as an international series of competitions for student entrepreneurs who own a for-profit business, are principally responsible for its operation and have been generating revenue for a minimum of six consecutive months. Each GSEA student competitor will present their business and participate in a question-and-answer session. The winner will be announced during the CEO Hall of Fame Dinner. The GSEA winner of the regional competition held at the CEO National Conference will advance to the 2013 GSEA Global Finals in Washington, D.C. at the end of November.



CEO Mentor Room: Meet the Legends Dima Elissa, VisualMedia, Ltd. Norm Brodsky, 2013 CEO Lifetime Achievement Hall of Fame Inductee Parissa Behnia, 678 Partners Tom Walter, Tasty Catering Wayne Kostroski, Taste of the NFL

Where else can you sit down one-on-one with some of the conferences’ amazing entrepreneurs to get their honest advice and guidance on your business, idea or just to help with your emerging quest as an entrepreneur? No matter where your entrepreneurial career is headed, this is the place you need to be! The mentor room is an informal place to network, so come and go or stay as long as you’d like.


W375 Foyer, Exhibit Space

Round Table Discussions HOSTED BY SEA Pricing Your Art led by Eileen Braun Web Design led by Marjorie Millyard Business Plan Basics for Non-Business Majors led by Seth Braun Building an Arts Business Part-Time to start led by Elaine Luther Income through Private Instruction led by Philip Brown




4:40 PM – 4:55 PM in W375 Foyer

FE ATURE D LE G E NDS P ILLAR S E S S IO N 4:55 PM – 5:45 PM 5.1

21st Century Female and Minority Entrepreneurs Dima Elissa, VisualMedia, Ltd. Coco Meers, PrettyQuick Mahrinah von Schlegel, World Business Chicago Parissa Behnia, 678 Partners Shreena Amin, PrettyQuick


Moderator: Rae Hatfield, Johnson County Community College Join us in an interactive “Meet The Press” style of panel discussion featuring people pursuing their dreams of starting their own businesses and conducting business on their terms. This session will explore the dynamics of starting a business, including finding the right advisors, pitching to investors and managing through self-doubt. We’ll discuss unique observations on the triumphs and challenges of being a female and/or a minority founder. The panel will take questions from the audience to make this a truly organic discussion.


Giving is Good Business – Achieve Super Bowl Results with Your Business, Community and Yourself Wayne Kostroski, Taste of the NFL



Moderator: Jacqueline Hunt, Texas Christian University While you work toward and continue to grow in all areas of life, the focus should be on how you keep your personal, professional and community goals in balance and on track, in order to enjoy and achieve success and happiness for yourself, and those with whom you interact. Through stories, tangible examples, success and failure experiences and the ongoing pursuit to find a true passion and drive, Mr. Kostroski will inspire and energize your gathering to take the next steps towards tapping into and finding your passions. Explore how business ethics, philanthropy and entrepreneurship go hand-in-hand.



Finding Opportunities In Any Economy Evelyn Echols, Echols Consulting Ltd Moderator: Yinka Peter Akinwusi, Webster University

Evelyn Echols has built her career on a reputation for accomplishing the impossible. After becoming one of the first highly successful female entrepreneurs in the U.S. with her company, International Travel Training, she continued to break boundaries. Evelyn was the first woman to join Rotary International. As a 97 year old entrepreneur, Evelyn will share her experiences, thoughts and insight on what it takes to be a revolutionary entrepreneur.


The Formula that Results in a Successful Sustainable Entrepreneurial Organization Tom Walter, Tasty Catering


Moderator: Zach Klein, Quincy University Alum If you have yet to launch, what business model should you follow to achieve sustainable success? If you have launched your business, how do you sustain success? This session will illustrate a formula that was learned while starting 29 businesses, acquiring three, and failing in two. The failure provided the greatest learning opportunities. The formula presented in this session has led to 7 high performing startups that have proved to be sustainably successful.





Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA)

The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) is a program of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). GSEA student competitors will present their business and participate in a question-and-answer session. The winner will be announced during the CEO Hall of Fame Dinner. The GSEA winner of the regional competition held at the CEO National Conference will advance to the 2013 GSEA Global Finals in Washington, D.C. at the end of November.



CEO Mentor Room Bert Gervais, Success Mentor Education Duane Spires, Kick It USA / World Class Fight League Kevin Langley, Ellis Construction, Inc.

Where else can you sit down one-on-one with some of the conferences’ amazing entrepreneurs to get their honest advice and guidance on your business, idea or just to help with your emerging quest as an entrepreneur? The mentor room is an informal place to network, so come and go or stay as long as you’d like.


W375 Foyer, Exhibit Space

Round Table Discussions HOSTED BY SEA Entrepreneurship in the Media Arts led by David Marlett Building an Audience led by Mike Veny

HALL O F FAM E DINNE R CE RE MO NY 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM in the West Ballroom Foyer – W375 GLOBAL STUDENT ENTREPRNEUR AWARDS Michele Kehrer with Entrepreneurs’ Organization and GSEA STUDENT ENTREPRNEUR OF THE YEAR AWARDS Katie Sowa, Director of Operations of CEO Michael Luchies, National Growth and Programs Manager of CEO CEO HALL OF FAME INDUCTION CEREMONY Lifetime Achievement Award Norm Brodsky Inc. Magazine Senior Contributing Editor, Managing Partner of Black Gold Suites, Chairman of Kobeyaki Restaurant Group

FRIDAY NIG HT P ARTY 9:00 PM – 11:00 PM in the West Ballroom & Exhibit Foyer – W375 Party with DJ Rokn Ry for a fun Halloween Party! Costume contests, food, music, games, dancing and good times! 24






RE G IS TRATIO N 7:30 AM – 12:00 PM in the West Building 375 Foyer

MO RNING KE YNO TE S E SS IO N 8:30 AM – 10:20 AM in the West Ballroom – W375 Emcee: Bert Gervais, Success Mentor Education and Empact Speaker

OPENING REMARKS Gerald E. Hills, Bradley University / Co-Founder of CEO Bert Gervais, Success Mentor Education / Empact CHAPTER AWARDS PRESENTATION Katie Sowa, Director of Operations of CEO Michael Luchies, National Growth and Programs Manager of CEO KEYNOTES Michael Houlihan & Bonnie Harvey, Co-Founders of Barefoot Wine Gary Rabine, Rabine Group

Presented by: David Hudak, Rowan University

Presented by: Sam Kammermeier, Iowa State University


10:20 AM – 10:35 AM in W375 Foyer

BRE AKO UT S ES S IO N 6 10:35 AM – 11:25 AM 6.1


Generate 100 New Creative Ideas in a Week Dr. Michael Lehman, Lehigh University Moderator: Ben Jacobson, Iowa State University

“I am not feeling creative today!” “All of the ideas I come up with have already been done.” “I’ve reached a dead end.” As an aspiring entrepreneur, you innately demonstrate passion, drive and unbridled enthusiasm. However, even the best of us can hit a creativity roadblock trying to figure out how to come up with new ideas or build on existing ones. The good news is that coming up with an idea that may at first seem unfeasible or unlikely can quickly gain momentum and move ahead at lightning speed! In this interactive session, you will have the opportunity to explore creativity methods such as biomimicry, the melting pot, bisociation, trimming, painstorming, lateral benchmarking and the Kano model. You will be introduced to the inventor’s notebook and provided with guidelines on documenting the creativity process. Gain the tools to create 100 new ideas in a week!




PitchJam Katie Sowa & Mike Luchies, Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization / PitchJam


Moderator: Austin Kadulski, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater This session will teach you the basics to making an easy to remember pitch about yourself or your business as a way to start a conversation and intrigue interest. Once you know how to pitch, put it to practice as we do some fun, interactive speed networking activities. Not only will you create a great pitch you feel comfortable with, but you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people and network. Not your average session, it’ll pay to attend!



Teaching and Learning With Purpose Neal Sales-Griffin, The Starter League Moderator: Quyenanh Duong, Texas State University

Learn the strategies that Neal and his founding team have discovered at The Starter League to successfully teach beginners complex skills in web development and web design without the use grades, credentials, and other common incentives. He will share why strategies are transferable to many courses of study and classroom environments and how to tap into the motivation of yourself and others.


How to Grow Your Company From 2 to 50 Employees In One Year Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co.


Moderator: Brittni Fitzgerald, Chicago State University Starting a business is just the beginning. The true test is your ability to scale it. This session will discuss everything involved in scaling from building a team, putting processes in place, bringing on new clients and funding the growth.


How and Why to Invest in Commercial Real Estate Al Klairmont, Imperial Realty Company


Moderator: Taylor Thompson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln This session will teach you the keys to investing in commercial real estate. Learn the 3 ‘trump cards’ that make commercial real estate investment great and how to avoid failing with your investments. If you’re looking to become a real estate entrepreneur, this session is for you!


An I/Entrepreneur’s Guide to Designing and Evolving Business Models Bruce Starcher, Starcher Group llc


Moderator: Jesse Henry, Florida State University This session is intended to provide a short primer on business models for i/entrepreneurs. The goal is to raise awareness of what business models are, the role they play in the success of startup ventures, a getting started guide and guidance on where to find additional information.


Financial Management for Non-Business Majors David Marlett, BlueRun Media Gary Vaughan, Lawrence University / Guident Business Solutions Seth Braun, Indestructible Success Ltd. ARTS SESSION, HOSTED BY SEA


You know what you want to do, but aren't sure of the financial steps you need to take to get started. This session will touch on different funding options (formal vs. informal), for profits vs. nonprofit, and starting small with low overhead. It will also discuss different bookkeeping options to get your business off to the right start. Time permitting, the panel will discuss good financial management strategies to keep your business on the right path, including investing for growth, taking on debt for expansion, when and where to look for assistance and tips for surviving tough times.





CEO Elevator Pitch Competition Semi-Final Round Chairs: Dr. Timothy Stearns, University of California, Fresno Dr. David Pistrui, Fayetteville State University Distinguished Judges Amir Homayoun Rafizadeh, Momentum Strategic Advisors / 678 Partners LLC Bonnie Harvey, Barefoot Wine Duane Spires, Kick It USA / World Class Fight League Elizabeth Presson, Digi International / Working

The top six (6) chosen from the Semi-Final Elimination Round will be invited to participate in Saturday’s Final Round session. The top winners of the Final Round will be announced at the conclusion of the conference. The competition presents students with a great opportunity to pitch their business venture or idea in an environment that promotes new venture creation and the spirit of entrepreneurship to a panel of judges. The competition gives students a chance to showcase their talent and passion for entrepreneurship. Students will be awarded on the merits of presenting their idea with a chance to win cash prizes. Participants are students with an idea to start a company or who have started a company. Come listen in and then compete next year!



CEO Mentor Room: Financing and Pitching Andrew Forster, The Launch Life / Cguros Inc. Kaitlyn Caraway, The Launch Life Keith Fix, BlabFeed Seth Kravitz, Technori / Bow Truss

Where else can you sit down one-on-one with some of the conferences’ amazing entrepreneurs to get their honest advice and guidance on your business, idea or just to help with your emerging quest as an entrepreneur? No matter where your entrepreneurial career is headed, this is the place you need to be! The mentor room is an informal place to network, so come and go or stay as long as you’d like. Join these entrepreneurs who got their start while in college!


W375 Foyer, Exhibit Space

Round Table Discussions HOSTED BY SEA Producing and Recording Your Own Songs led by Greta Pope Public Art led by Sharon Bladholm Income through Private Instruction led by Philip Brown


11:25 AM – 11:40 AM in W375 Foyer

BRE AKO UT S ES S IO N 7 11:40 AM – 12:30 PM 7.1

Recognizing Opportunities: The Road to Entrepreneurial Success Elizabeth Presson, Digi International / Working


Moderator: Jolene Prahl, University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Every entrepreneur has a different path to success – some start their businesses at 17, while others work for the world’s most cherished leaders to gain experience. In creating your own path to entrepreneurial success, you should define your journey based on your personality type and goals. This session will help you identify the different types of opportunities and the pros and cons that go along with each: starting your business right away, working for a startup, working for a successful organization as an intrapreneur, and freelancing. Leave this session knowing where to start and the mix of experience that will yield the best results for your goals!




Stop Being a WANTrepreneur and Become an Entrepreneur Derek Weber, goBRANDgo!


Moderator: Melissa Schroth, Ohio Northern University Entrepreneurially-minded people all have one thing in common‌ideas, lots of ideas. In this session, you will learn how to identify which ideas are worth pursuing and how to turn that great concept into a great business. This will be an interactive workshop filled with whiteboards, experience-sharing, group discussion, and a workbook to get you well on your way. If you are ready to make the leap from student to entrepreneur, this is a can’t-miss session.



Life's a Pitch Mike Veny, Mike Veny, Inc. Moderator: Nicholas Piontek, University of Texas-Pan American

So you have your pitch, now what? This session will teach you what comes next. Learn and master the skills of relationship building, implementing and following up with a pitch, all essential pieces that need to come after a pitch. Your personal and business success depends on what you do after you've gained someone's attention with your pitch. Entrepreneurial genius and networking guru Mike Veny will share tips on how to use your pitch to your advantage, how to get in front of the right people to pitch to, and how to develop relationships that will make a meaningful impact.



When to Pivot and When to Persevere Seth Franz, Urban Brain and Body, LLC Moderator: Brady Christianson, North Iowa Area Community College

This session will discuss that point in every startup when things aren't moving quite as quickly as you'd like. Do you move forward with your original plan? Do you pivot and explore a different avenue in your product/service, marketing, customer, or company design? Each individual business is different; however, most of the time the pivot is clear if you are looking for the right opportunities. After this session, you will have a better understanding of how to recognize opportunities to positively affect the success of your business.



77 Interviews with Serial Entrepreneurs: The Realities of Being a Founder Seth Kravitz, Technori / Bow Truss Moderator: Katie Hansen, Iowa State University

Serial entrepreneur Seth Kravitz will share the realities of what it takes to not just be a founder, but to be a successful entrepreneur. A surprising set of commonalties and differences emerge when you begin to really look at who is a successful serial entrepreneur. Hear what these traits and qualities are and learn key advice to follow for your own business!


Applying Technical Knowledge as an Intra or Entrepreneur Ronald Hickland, Jr, Ebonite International TECHNOLOGY SESSION


Moderator: Ryan Francois, Iowa State University Since both fields are fueled by innovation and the constantly developing knowledge of those involved. These industries coexist and through constant collaboration, new products and the formation of new companies. This session will teach you how to effectively apply technological knowledge in an entrepreneurial setting, whether you are running your own company or working for one. Learn how to get your foot in the door in the tech industry and what skills are necessary to be successful.




How to Create and Present an Effective Portfolio Eileen Braun, Eileen Braun Lynn Anderson, Colordance Deisgn Marjorie Millyard, Millyard Design Associates LTD Sharon Bladholm, Opal Glass Studio ARTS SESSION, HOSTED BY SEA


Moderator: Amy Rogers, SEA Visual artists, graphic designers and photographers need a portfolio to promote their work. This session will take a look at what should be in the portfolio, how it should be laid out, and effective ways of presentation. We'll discuss the variations between the different types of portfolios as well as online portfolios.



Supporting Student Entrepreneurs Andrew Forster, The Launch Life / Cguros Inc. Kaitlyn Caraway, The Launch Life FACULTY DEVELOPMENT SESSION Moderator: William Dougan, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Student entrepreneurs can be found in all departments of the education system, whether they choose to study entrepreneurship or not. So what’s the best way to support them in their endeavors? How can you get them involved in your program? Join the owners of The Launch Life as they share their experience as student entrepreneurs and host an open panel discussion.



CEO Mentor Room Duane Spires, Kick It USA / World Class Fight League Kelsey Meyer, Influence & Co. Pamela Peterson, University of Nebraska at Omaha Pamela Shields, Soldes Partners, LLP

Where else can you sit down one-on-one with some of the conferences’ amazing entrepreneurs to get their honest advice and guidance on your business, idea or just to help with your emerging quest as an entrepreneur? No matter where your entrepreneurial career is headed, this is the place you need to be! The mentor room is an informal place to network, so come and go or stay as long as you’d like. Join these expert marketing, branding and media entrepreneurs in this mentor session!


W375 Foyer, Exhibit Space

Round Table Discussions HOSTED BY SEA Getting Started for Non-Business Majors led by Gary Vaughan Creating Partnerships led by Philip Brown Legal Q&A led by Elizabeth Russell



LUNCHE O N KE Y NO TE S ES S IO N 12:35 PM – 2:10 PM in the West Ballroom – W375

THANK YOU! RECOGNITION AND KEYNOTE PANEL Steven Stone, Steven M Stone Attorney-at-Law LLC Madolyn Johnson, Signature HomeStyles Kevin Langley, Ellis Construction, Inc. / Global Entrepreneurship Week Al Klairmont, Imperial Realty Company 2014 NATIONAL CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT The University of Tampa


2:10 PM – 2:25 PM in W375 Foyer

BRE AKO UT S ES S IO N 8 2:25 PM – 3:15 PM



Believing in Yourself and Your Vision Dave Alwan, Echo Valley Meats Moderator: Courtney Jordan, Texas Christian University

Being successful starts with a passion and enthusiasm for what you do in life. Dave comes from a family that has been in the retail and wholesale meat business for several generations. He has taken the business from a small, local meat shop and into a leader in the retail and wholesale meat business across the entire United States. Learn more about Echo Valley’s story, including Dave’s experience pitching to the sharks on ABC’s Shark Tank, and understand how your zeal and fervor are two of the key ingredients to achieving your goals.


The Important Things To Do In Your First 12 Months Rishi Shah, ContextMedia


Moderator: Greg Heal, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater In this session, serial entrepreneur Rishi Shah will cover what founders need to be focused on in the first 12 months of their venture. The majority of startups fail in the first year when a company must build a product, gain its first set of customers and raise capital. Shah will walk through how entrepreneurs should manage these priorities and their own time during these critical early days.


Mo Money Mo Opportunities – How to Build Sales Jeffry Harrison, RoverTown


Moderator: Shiv Patel, Bradley University Sales are the life blood of any organization. From Amazon to Zynga, every company is always selling something. Each company has their own unique approach to sales, but utilizes basic techniques. During this session, learn how to incorporate essential techniques into your own startup. These techniques include how to build leads, an inside sales force, and high retention rates of current clients. 34



Splitting the Pie: Startup Partnerships and Equity Distribution Domingo Meneses, CrowdNoize


Moderator: Alex Andrade, Iowa State University Startups are hard, there's no doubt about that. Choosing the right partner, setting clear road-maps, and creating the right structure from the beginning will give you the footing for success. This session will focus on real startup experiences in finding the right founding partners, incorporating your company and technical points on how to distribute equity. Come with questions!



Non-Profit Panel Carin Silkaitis, North Central College Jon Hennessy, The Hughes Foundation Ted Gonder, MoneyThink HOSTED BY SEA Moderator: Stacey Earnest, Ace Metal Refinishers, Inc.

This session will explore non-profits, whether you are looking to start one or get involved in one. Learn what is essential to a successful non-profit, including partnerships, fundraising and grant options, member engagement, and more. Bring your questions!


Feasibility Plans, Business Models, and the Other Things You Could Do in Your Entrepreneurship or Small Business Class Jerome Katz, Saint Louis University FACULTY DEVELOPMENT SESSION


McGraw-Hill author, Jerry Katz, Saint Louis University, will lead a discussion on using feasibility plans and business models in the classroom, and share popular projects endorsed by the Small Business Institute (SBI), and Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE, now Enactus), to lead a dynamic class and propel students to start their business.



CEO Mentor Room Bert Gervais, Success Mentor Education Gary Rabine, Rabine Group Seth Franz, Urban Brain and Body, LLC

Where else can you sit down one-on-one with some of the conferences’ amazing entrepreneurs to get their honest advice and guidance on your business, idea or just to help with your emerging quest as an entrepreneur? The mentor room is an informal place to network, so come and go or stay as long as you’d like.


W375 Foyer, Exhibit Space

Round Table Discussions HOSTED BY SEA My Life as a Ceramicist led by Eileen Braun My Life as a Graphic Artist led by Marjorie Millyard Web Design led by Lynn Anderson Art Retail led by Mike Veny Crowdfunding led by David Marlett



BRE AKO UT S ES S IO N 9 3:30 PM – 4:20 PM 9.1

Why Effective Selling is Critical to the Long-term Success of Your Startup Keith Fix, BlabFeed Pamela Peterson, University of Nebraska at Omaha Pamela Shields, Soldes Partners, LLP


Moderator: Silvia A. Solano, University of Texas-Pan American This interactive workshop is designed to address the challenges entrepreneurs face when selling the new product or service, which is critical to a new company’s success. How do you create market demand for an unknown product or reach a deep understanding of the needs and values of your prospective buyers? This session will give you a better understanding of why it is critical to focus on driving sales very early in the launch process and how to build a repeatable and scalable sales function. Gain more confidence in your ability to effectively sell!


Living The Launch Life: Where do I go from here? Andrew Forster, The Launch Life / Cguros Inc. Kaitlyn Caraway, The Launch Life


Moderator: Dieuwertje Boelen, North Iowa Area Community College We’ve learned so much this weekend with CEO, but where do we go from here!? Join the founders of The Launch Life and the Launch Life Pro authors as they discuss start up tips and tricks from their new book for young entrepreneurs. This panel will host a high-energy open discussion about the crazy, hectic, passionate, persistent, sleepless, idea-driven, and goal-oriented lifestyle that fellow student entrepreneurs live while launching a business.


Finding Your Power Mentors: How to Find the Mentors That Catapult Your Startup to Success Bert Gervais, Success Mentor Education


Moderator: Joe Moore, University of Nebraska-Lincoln In this powerful, personal, high-energy experience, you will discover the 3 types of mentors every entrepreneur needs in their startup and how to woo them. You’ll also hear touching and powerful personal stories that reveal the power of mentorships and how one small opportunity can change your life. Leave with easy to follow strategies for where to find these mentors and tips for developing mentorships within and beyond your college campus, making it a two way relationship, and taking ownership of the relationship. Plus, there will be autographed book giveaways!



My Life in the Visual Artists Sharon Bladholm, Opal Glass Studio ARTS SESSION, HOSTED BY SEA Moderator: SEA

Join visual artist Sharon Bladholm as she discusses her career. What does a typical day or week look like? How much time does she spend on "creating" versus the business aspects? What are her hours like? Does she have multiple streams of income? Does her work change throughout the year? This will be a great opportunity to learn about making a living with your art directly.




CEO Elevator Pitch Competition Final Round

General Ballroom W375

Chairs: Dr. Timothy Stearns, University of California, Fresno Dr. David Pistrui, Fayetteville State University Distinguished Judges Dave Alwan, Echo Valley Meats Kevin Langley, Ellis Construction, Inc. Michael Houlihan, Barefoot Wine Tim Huntley, An Entrepreneurial Life Trevor Owens, Lean Startup Machine



CEO Mentor Room Derek Weber, goBRANDgo! Domingo Meneses, CrowdNoize Jeffry Harrison, RoverTown Jose M. Romaguera, Author of The Entrepreneurial Spark ™

Where else can you sit down one-on-one with some of the conferences’ amazing entrepreneurs to get their honest advice and guidance on your business, idea or just to help with your emerging quest as an entrepreneur? The mentor room is an informal place to network, so come and go or stay as long as you’d like. These mentors have experience as and working with college student entrepreneurs!


W375 Foyer, Exhibit Space

Round Table Discussions HOSTED BY SEA Touring and Merchandising led by Greta Pope Graphic Arts Freelance led by Lynn Anderson Theater led by Carin Silkaitis Getting Started for Non-Business Majors led by Seth Braun



CLO S ING KE YNO TE S E SS IO N 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM in the West Ballroom – W375 CHAPTER AWARDS PRESENTATION Katie Sowa, Director of Operations of CEO Michael Luchies, National Growth and Programs Manager of CEO NATIONAL ELEVATOR PITCH AWARDS Chairs: Dr. Timothy Stearns, University of California, Fresno Dr. David Pistrui, Fayetteville State University KEYNOTE Trevor Owens, Lean Startup Machine

Presented by: Brendon Mullen, Texas Christian University

CLOSING REMARKS Gerald E. Hills, Bradley University / Co-Founder of CEO Bert Gervais, Success Mentor Education / Empact

**Please complete the conference evaluation and return it to CEO Staff before leaving.

NE TWO RKING MIX E R AT AME RICAN JUNKIE 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM at 15 W. Illinois Street, Chicago, IL 60654

Thanks to Network and Social, you have the opportunity to network and socialize at an exclusive event at American Junkie! Enjoy complimentary cocktails and appetizers in one of the most popular venues in Chicago! Admission is $15 at the door or $10 in advance at




SPEAKER, JUDGE, MENTOR BIOS Bios are listed alphabetical by first name.

ADAM COX, Northwestern Mutual


Adam Cox has been with Northwestern Mutual since 2005, which was his first job out of college after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Adam earned Rookie of the Year, followed by becoming a College Unit Director, then a Recruiting Field Director, and now he is the Managing Director of the Crystal Lake, Illinois office. Adam’s quick success is from having a vision, and staying dedicated on a daily basis to achieve that vision. His advice is to stay hungry, stay humble, and give it your all; “If you give everything in life all you got, you’ll never have any regrets.”



Adriano Marques is the founder of the Umit Project Open Source Organization, Lead Software Engineer at crowdSPRING, and dedicated husband and daddy. Adriano still finds time to cook, solve jigsaw puzzles, watch movies, work as a volunteer and read (or listen to) books while he's not sleeping or working. He graduated from the State University of Goias, in Brazil. Adriano was a mentor for Google Summer of Code program from 2007 to 2012 and has experience with several technology startups and their struggles.

ALFRED KLAIRMONT, Imperial Realty Company Alfred Klairmont joined Imperial Realty Company in 1978, a family business his father started in 1956. Today, Al oversees Imperial’s portfolio of more than 80 properties in the Chicagoland Metropolitan Area, having over ten million square feet of commercial real estate. Under his leadership Imperial Realty has grown to become one of Chicago’s Largest Real Estate Firms. With an established reputation of integrity and forward thinking and with a long-term viewpoint, Al is hands-on in the process of finding, buying, rehabbing, leasing, managing and maintaining Imperial’s commercial properties. Most acquisitions were purchased as distressed properties and have been subsequently guided to success through rehabilitation and repositioning to meet the needs of the respective marketplaces. In March 2007, Al was inducted into the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, which recognizes the innovators and leaders in the Chicago area.

AMIR HOMAYOUN RAFIZADEH, Momentum Strategic Advisors / 678 Partners LLC


Amir Homayoun Rafizadeh is the Director of Strategic Intelligence at Momentum Strategic Advisors and brings decades of advanced business development strategies and business intelligence techniques. His first entrepreneurial experience involved building a mid-sized financial services company (an actual multi-family office), which he sold to a large bank 4 years later. At Glaxo Wellcome he was one of the youngest sales directors to triple sales of an $80M sales division. After years of consulting family offices, RIA’s and private investors, he co-founded 678 Partners, an advanced business development and business intelligence consulting firm in Chicago. Amir holds a B.S. in computer science and an MBA in international business. A wide range of interests have captured Amir’s attention throughout life, including philanthropy, education and entrepreneurship. He has volunteered time for many organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club of Southern CA and Stedman Graham’s Athletes Against Drugs and the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization.

ANDREW FORSTER, Cguros Inc. / The Launch Life


Andrew Forster made his first splash in the entrepreneurial arena via success in the real estate industry, and now focuses on two new ventures. The first, Cguros, aims to expand the footprint of a cloud based healthcare solution designed around medical necessity and the progressive movement towards widespread EMR adoption. The second, The Launch Life, is a virtual community for young entrepreneurs focused on the lifestyle during small business startup with his business partner Kaitlyn Caraway.



Ben VandenWymelenberg’s entrepreneurial tale can be placed into the “came up with a business idea while supposed to be studying” category. Ben attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, graduating with the highest honors in Architecture and earning the US Oil scholarship three years in a row. One night while building a model for his college architecture class, then-22-year-old Ben placed a small slab of wood on top of his iPhone, just to see if it would fit. This little experiment sparked an idea that would change his life forever. With his college friend Kevin Groenjes, Ben launched Woodchuck, a company that manufactures real wood skins & cases for phones, tablets, laptops and headphones. They manufacture, print, and assemble Woodchuck cases in Minneapolis and remain committed to keeping Woodchuck American-made. Their passion for the product and stick-to-itiveness led to a deal with Mall of America. From that came, then Target. Ben and Kevin find energy and drive in the outdoors, which is why the company mission is "Putting nature back into people's lives."


BERT GERVAIS, Success Mentor Education / Empact


Bert Gervais has been recognized by USA Today and Fox News as one of the top young entrepreneurs in the country. Bert, a.k.a. “The Mentor Guy,” is the nation’s top expert on mentorship and authentic networking. Bert is an Empact speaker and a number one Amazon bestselling author and his company, Success Mentor Education, has touched over 40,000 people globally, with a client roster that includes Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Verizon, and Cornell University. Bert attended Binghamton University where he was selected the East Coast Entrepreneur of the Year and currently coaches startups at his alma mater on pitching business plans and securing startup funding.

BOB ROITBLAT, Mainsail Consulting Group


Bob Roitblat has innovated, nurtured, developed and sold more than a dozen businesses over the past three decades. He knows first-hand what it takes to excel throughout each phase of a business' life cycle. As the CEO of Mainsail Consulting Group, he uses his experience as a competitive sailor to draw parallels between building and leading a winning yacht racing team and building and leading a winning business. He helps business owners and managers develop business skills that are effective whether the seas are calm or storms are raging. "Yacht racing," he says, "is the perfect metaphor for business success. Businesses, like race boats, require leadership, teamwork and rapid decisionmaking to be successful. Miles from land, you have only those resources you brought with you and your knowledge of the environment and your competition to eke out as much advantage as you can in a dynamic environment."

BONNIE HARVEY, Barefoot Wine


Bonnie Harvey is the co-founder of Barefoot Cellars along with partner Michael Houlihan. She was Vice President and “The Original Foot” for 19 years. There she had a wide variety of duties, doing whatever was necessary to operate the business. While Michael’s role was “big picture visionary,” Bonnie translated his ideas into workable processes and displayed a genius for managing the millions of details that come with a start-up. She proved to possess a rare combination of creativity and business savvy that served Barefoot well. In the early days of the brand, Bonnie was responsible for bottling oversight, supply inventory and label design—in fact, the famous footprint is actually hers! Later as Barefoot grew, she focused on overview and direction of the business, setting company goals, and attending to Board of Director matters. She managed all financial aspects of the business, oversaw legal relations and compliance, and edited countless press materials, presentations, official manuals and other documents. Bonnie donates professional time to non-profits to help them improve their image, increase donations and achieve financial sustainability. She is co-author of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, a New York Times Bestselling Business Book.

BRUCE STARCHER, Starcher Group llc


Bruce Starcher is a creative problem solver with 25 years of experience in the technology sector working with senior managers across a broad set of business issues. Over the past 10 years, he has developed an expertise in Business Model Innovation and worked across a number of industries. Bruce has identified a cumulative $2.5B of value in projects ranging from $1M to $1B covering start-ups to mature businesses. He is currently Managing Director at Starcher Group llc, a consultancy specializing in business model innovation and using business model thinking to solve critical business issues.

CARIN SILKAITIS, North Central College Carin Silkaitis is the Department Chair of Art and Theatre at North Central College. Carin earned her B.A from Indiana University and M.F.A from The Theatre Conservatory at Roosevelt University. She has taught acting classes in the Chicagoland area for almost 20 years. Carin specializes in audition technique (for camera and stage) and monologue workshops. She has enjoyed her time in front of the camera, where she’s been featured in five films to date. She recently directed The Taming of the Shrew for North Central College and numerous productions for Music By The Lake, including Die Fledermaus, Madama Butterfly, and La Traviata. Carin’s favorite acting credits include Izzy in Rabbit Hole (u/s Goodman Theatre), Desiree in A Little Night Music, Queen Margaret in Richard III, and Adriana in A Comedy of Errors. Carin is the Artistic Director for the newly formed not-for-profit The Other Theatre Company, a Chicago-based company devoted to telling stories that examine and critique the process of ‘Othering’ on both the individual and group levels. Carin is represented by Paonessa Talent in Chicago.

CHRIS HEIVLY, The Startup Factory


Chris Heivly is an accomplished executive in the software sector with proven experience in marketing, sales, business development, investment finance and operations. Chris was one of the co-founders of MapQuest, which sold to AOL for $1.2B. He is the Managing Director of 77 Capital, a $25M Venture Fund. Chris has also been CEO, COO or President of several companies ranging in size from $200k to $20M in annual revenue. Chris is currently one of two Managing Directors of THE STARTUP FACTORY a seed-level investment fund making 10-14 new investments per year. In addition to TSF, Chris is the founder of the Big Top Job Fair and a national writer and speaker about startups and startup communities. You can hear more from Chris on his blog,


COCO MEERS, PrettyQuick


Coco Meers is a 10-year beauty industry veteran who has created, launched, and marketed global cosmetic innovations from L'Oreal's New York and Paris headquarters. As a L'Oreal Brand Manager, she helped billion dollar divisions including Maybelline and Garnier grow market share in fiercely competitive categories. She is completing her MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurship at University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, and holds a BA in English and French from Princeton University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude. She enjoys supporting the performing arts and serves on the Joffrey Ballet's Board of Directors.

COURTNEY OLTMAN, Northwestern Mutual


Courtney Oltman graduated from The University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign with a degree in Communications. Courtney jumped right into a career in Sales working for Marriott International. After two years of assisting customers, selling hotel space, and helping to prepare fantastic events, Courtney briefly spent time recruiting in Bio Pharmaceuticals, before she was swept up by The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago as the Student Employment Advisor for Career Services. Being able to combine her love for helping others with her passion for working with students led Courtney to Northwestern Mutual’s Campus Recruiter Role.

DARNYELLE JERVEY, Incredible One Enterprises, LLC


Darnyelle A. Jervey, MBA, CEC, CBC is an internationally recognized professional development mentor, executive coach, marketing and branding consultant, professional speaker and facilitator and the CEO of her own companies, Incredible One Enterprises, LLC and Your Corporate Incredible Factor, LLC. For more than 15 years, Darnyelle has used her vision and insight to help business leaders accelerate their brands at various levels. Her empowerment brand includes two companies – Incredible One Enterprises, LLC a company where she teaches authentic and compelling marketing and business/brand optimization strategies to entrepreneurs so that they build solid, thriving holistically successful businesses and Your Corporate Incredible Factor, LLC, a company where she teaches various stage business leaders how to build authentic personal brands that advance organizations without selling out, burning out or stressing out. Ms. Jervey has authored five books, and has been featured in O Magazine, Essence and Black Enterprise, among other media outlets.

DAVE ALWAN, Echo Valley Meats


Dave Alwan is third generation in the meat business and Owner of Echo Valley Meat, a retail / wholesale meat business specializing in that old fashion butcher shop quality. In 1998, Dave started his own company because he wanted to make the best hams and smoked sausages ever. He went to Germany & Denmark to get trained by the best. He believes in supporting and giving back to his local community. Dave appeared on Season 4 of ABC’s hit show Shark Tank and pitched Echo Valley Meats to the sharks.



Dave Phillipson has been a Business Trainer since 1987, working with such companies as Ford, AT&T, Remax, Century 21, Nordstrom and others, and while that may seem impressive in print, what really stands out is the results he gets for his clients. Dave has been a producer for the Wall St. Network, where he not only helped produce "The Three Minute Press Show" and the first contracted original content on Fox Business News, but he was a mentor to CEOs, CFOs and COOs, of numerous public companies. Yet his most valuable lessons in business came as a professional Umpire. He is now an advisor for CEO Space, which is an income acceleration, entrepreneurial training and world class business networking organization, providing MBA-level training and development and an immersion experience. CEO Space is the largest and oldest organization for CEOs, entrepreneurs, inventors and visionary investors; in the last year it generated over $3 billion in funding for its members. There is nothing that Dave love's more than helping entrepreneurs succeed! He is open to coaching you for free!



David Marlett has been an attorney, writer, photo-artist and filmmaker for more than 20 years. David has developed, financed and successfully launched new divisions and innovative concepts for companies and individuals with special emphasis in media companies and entrepreneurial artists, including his own entrepreneurial artistic endeavors. Currently he leads a 'first mover' in the film industry, BlueRun Crowdfund, a film crowdfunding management company which is soon to offer its first slate of curated film projects. David is the founder and executive director of the National Crowdfunding Association, the largest and fastest-growing crowdfunding organization in the world, and Chairman of the Board of the World Crowdfund Federation.




David Simnick is the CEO and Co-Founder of SoapBox, a company whose mission is to empower consumers with the chance to change the world through everyday, simple purchases. They started with donating bars of soap for every bar sold, and now sell a full range of products that have relevant social missions at their core. You can find SoapBox in Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Vitamin Shoppe, H-E-B, and other chain stores across the United States and beyond. As an Eagle Scout, Dave’s dream was to found for-profit companies with a social mission at its core. Since then, he has worked as either an intern or consultant to USAID, the U.S. Army, Michelle Rhee, the U.S. Senate, and was a Teach for America educator in Northern Philadelphia. Dave’s got a house full of notebooks; he doesn’t like to let ideas get away from him. Give him any concept, and Dave will start tinkering with it. He’s worked on various sides of the startup industry: helping companies expand, getting the ball rolling with funding and publicity, making connections, and putting ideas together from the ground up.



Derek Weber has transformed his college t-shirt business into one of the nation’s leading strategic branding and marketing firms for entrepreneurs over the past decade. Driven by the success of goBRANDgo! and its purpose “To be the Champion of the Every Day Entrepreneur”, Weber founded the go!-celerator, providing a free furnished apartment, office space, mentors, and $30k+ of services to young entrepreneurs. Derek lives his go! Statement, “To Inspire and Influence Positive Change” by sharing his story and the lessons learned with entrepreneurs across the country in hopes he can make their journey just a bit easier and even more impactful.

DIMA ELISSA, VisualMedia, Ltd.


Dima Elissa is a serial entrepreneur leading technology, human capital, healthcare, community and global conservation NGO’s. As CEO of VisualMedia, she devotes significant energy to women entrepreneurs and founders in technology, providing start-up expertise and mentoring. Dima currently teaches entrepreneurship and innovation for the Chicago Program of The Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM). In addition, she is on the board of a number of technology start-up initiatives and incubators. She served as COO of an interactive firm and nearly ten years in executive roles at NutraSweet, from International Marketing and General Manager, to Business Development and M&A. Dima holds a B.A. in Chemistry from Hanover College and an MBA from Texas A&M’s, May’s School of Business.



Domingo Meneses is a Chicago-based technology entrepreneur digitalizing the live event and branded entertainment industries through his startup CrowdNoize. A recent DePaul University graduate, Domingo's experience lies in business development, event production, brand marketing, sponsorship activation, equity deployment, small team development, and project management. This is his second entertainment venture and he's excited to continue growing his amazing team, shipping, and innovating in a fast-paced industry. Domingo's also involved in the non-profit sector through I Speak Chicago and Future Founders. If you're interested in social entrepreneurship, social gifting, non-profit fundraising or Chicago youth social causes - be sure to connect with him at the conference or prior at

DUANE SPIRES, Kick It USA / World Class Fight League


Duane Spires is a national motivational speaker, business coach, professional MMA ring announcer, and serial entrepreneur. Duane was the recipient of the 2011 Empact 100 award, where he was invited to speak at the White House in front of members of Congress and other important decision makers about the importance of teaching entrepreneurship to young adults. Duane started his first company, Extreme Youth Sports Inc., when he was 19 years old while attending the University of South Florida and has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, Fox news affiliates, and ABC news. Duane currently owns Kick It USA, a sports based after school program and summer camp business, as well as the World Class Fight League (WCFL), which is the largest MMA promotion in the state of Florida!

EILEEN BRAUN, Eileen Braun Eileen Braun was born in Boston Massachusetts, but spent much of her adult life in the Midwest and East coast. She received her B.A. in Sculpture and Art Education at Indiana University. After college and in the years following she worked as a Public School Educator, managed a Chicago Museum gift shop, and served as Executive Director of an art center in a suburb outside of New York City. Since relocating to Georgia nine years ago, studio ceramics has become the focus of her artistic practice. Her teapots have been included in numerous National Teapot Invitationals, the 500 Teapots II Lark publications, along with several acquisitions to the Sonny and Gloria Kamm Teapot Collection. Currently her work is part of E-merge: Contemporary Atlanta Artists, a curated exhibition of emerging artists at the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Terminal T.

ELAINE LUTHER, Studio 925 / All Things Metal Clay


Elaine Luther is an artist who has worked with metal since 1990 and with paper, glue and contact paper since she can remember. After 20 years of making jewelry, her newest passion is mixed media painting. In her paintings she uses image transfer, metal photographs, images she hunts down and thrift store finds. She has taught since 1992 at a number of art centers including Lillstreet Art Center and the Indianapolis Art Center. Her sculptures have been exhibited at those art centers, Gallery I/O in New Orleans and Womanmade Gallery in Chicago. 44

ELIZABETH PRESSON, Digi International / Working


Elizabeth Presson is an entrepreneur who uses community building, both internally and externally, to build better businesses. She was the founding employee of two digital media startups, including iConnect, a subsidiary of iContact, which sold to Vocus for $169m in 2012. She also co-founded a community management studio of her own. She’s worked with dozens of startups including Skillshare, The Domino Project, The Daily Muse, and others. Liz combines her work in the community with her passion for changing the world's perception of work as the creator of Her articles on community, work culture and technology have been published in Fast Company, Forbes, Mashable, Yahoo, The Daily Muse and others.



Elizabeth Russell helps businesses protect their most important assets by providing thoughtful, thorough counsel in the fields of copyright, trademark and internet law. She also maintains a vibrant arts and entertainment practice. Elizabeth is a frequent author and speaker and enjoys taking complicated issues and explaining them in understandable terms for non-lawyers. She is the author of the soon-to-bereleased Arts Law Conversations: A Surprisingly Readable Guide for Arts Entrepreneurs. Elizabeth's undergraduate degree is in music. She is admitted to practice law in the states of New York, Connecticut and Wisconsin, and is remarkably fluent in plain English.

ERIN WALTER, nuphoriq


Erin Walter has a lot of notches on her belt, often to the surprise of many who are unfamiliar with the incredible work ethic and determination that has found her success at a relatively young age. Erin is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of nuphoriq, a small business marketing company that chooses to remain small in stature but giant in talent, ability, and potential. In further affirmation to her credibility, Erin is a “double Demon,” graduating from DePaul University with a Bachelor’s in Management and Marketing and an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing Planning and Strategy. She played two seasons in the Women’s Professional Soccer league for the St. Louis Athletica, while simultaneously maintaining her position as Director of Marketing for Tasty Catering.

EVELYN ECHOLS, Echols Consulting Ltd Evelyn Echols became one of the first highly successful women entrepreneurs in the United States when she established International Travel Service. This was a commercial agency that within a year had already attracted several major accounts, including Pepsi-Cola, NBC, RCA, and Westinghouse. She sold the agency and established Echols International Travel and Hotel School, which became known as the best travel school in the United States operating in Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco with about 40,000 graduates. In the 1990s, both the New York Business Owners and Chicago Business Owners named Evelyn Entrepreneur of the Year. She is a member of the CEO Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, and has received awards from many foreign countries for her work in creating good will among nations through the medium of travel. In addition to having served on the boards of several organizations and having hosted a TV series, she wrote a book titled “They Said I Couldn’t Do It, But I Did.” She was the country's first woman to join Rotary International. At the age of 97, Evelyn is still going strong and has built her career on a reputation for accomplishing the impossible.

GARY RABINE, Rabine Group


Gary Rabine is the CEO and founder of the Rabine Group based in Schaumburg, IL, a group of small companies serving facilities managers across America, and delivering maintenance and construction services of parking lots and roofs. He started Rabine Paving in 1981 at 18 years old with a few thousand dollars and labor help from family and friends. Thirty years later, Rabine Paving America is one of the largest commercial paving companies in the U.S., building and maintaining parking lots in all 50 states. With over 2,000% growth since 2002, the Rabine Group was listed on the 2011 Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America. Gary founded The Rabine Group Foundation along with his wife, Cheryl, to support children, elderly and medical research. He is also a board member of Young President's Organization (YPO), Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA), Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), and Professional Retail Store Maintenance (PRSM).

GARY VAUGHAN, Lawrence University / Guident Business Solutions Gary Vaughan has a passion for helping business owners through his consulting firm where he specializes in financial sustainability and growth. He currently serves on several civic committees and nonprofit boards. He has also been a judge for the Wisconsin Governor's Business Plan Contest for the past several years. Vaughan is a lecturer of economics/entrepreneurship at Lawrence University.


GERALD E. HILLS, Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization / Bradley University Dr. Gerald Hills is a co-founder of CEO and is a pioneer in the development of the entrepreneurship discipline. He holds the endowed Turner Chair in Entrepreneurship at Bradley University. Prior to Bradley, he led the development of an entrepreneurship program at University of Illinois at Chicago that was consistently ranked in the top 10 nationally. He has written and edited more than 100 entrepreneurship articles and 25 books, was the co-founder and first president of the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and President of the International Council for Small Business. He chaired an advisory board of the U.S. SBA under President Reagan, and advanced entrepreneurship in Poland through a congressional commission project. Dr. Hills earned his bachelor’s degree from Rochester Institute of Technology and his master’s and doctorate from Indiana University.

GRETA POPE, Greta Pope Entertainment, Inc.


Greta Pope is an award-winning, internationally acclaimed entertainer. She has delighted audiences throughout Europe, the Far East, South America and the Caribbean, as well as the U.S. and Canada. Pope has been touted as one of the great voices of our time; she performs with ease all styles, from country to opera, and from rhythm and blues to Broadway. She has shared the stage with such well-known performers as Wynonna Judd, Dick Van Dyke, Stanley Clarke, Ramsey Lewis, Rich Little, Penn & Teller and many others. Her voice is featured on commercials and voice-overs, including those for McDonald's, Whirlpool, Allstate, Lexus, Estee Lauder and others.



Hannah Davis is the Founder & President of a social enterprise called BANGS Shoes. BANGS works to 1) raise awareness and funding for nonprofit partner organizations, and 2) educate individuals about the importance of sustainability and long-term change. Hannah graduated from Clemson University in 2009 with a degree in Political Science and a Minor in Mandarin. She taught colloquial English in China’s Eastern Jiangsu Province for one year before conceptualizing BANGS. In May 2010, BANGS was born and so started her personal journey to work side by side with the nonprofit community and inspire / urge a generation of leaders to start taking action today.

JAMIE PRITSCHER, That’s Caring / nuphoriq


Jamie Pritscher holds several prestigious positions in a variety of local Chicago companies, including Director of Communications at Tasty Catering, Co-Founder and CEO of the online eco-friendly gift company, That’s Caring, and Co-Founder and Chief Communications Officer of the creative marketing agency, nuphoriq. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with minors in Psychology and Visual Communication from Illinois State University, as well as a Master’s in Integrated Marketing Communication from Roosevelt University. Jamie has been presented with national awards for her green and leadership efforts, including holding a place as a finalist in 2010, in the “30 Under 30 for Sustainability,” and the “Top 100 Under 50 Emerging Leaders” by Diversity MBA magazine in 2011.

JAY SHARMAN, TeamWorks Media


Jay Sharman helped open the doors of TeamWorks Media in 2000, and was named CEO in 2006. With roots as an Emmy-winning television producer, he has built campaigns and initiatives that seamlessly combine inspiring visual storytelling with online engagement, public relations, social media, events and community outreach. Jay has a long-standing relationships with content distributors like PBS, ESPN, Fox Sports Net, Big Ten Network, Sports Illustrated and Warner Brothers, as well as blue-chip brands like Comcast, Old Spice, Converse, Big Ten Conference and Live Nation. Jay’s exceptional story sense, Rolodex and reputation were directly responsible for the development, execution, and cross-platform marketing campaigns around TeamWorks Media’s award-winning, critically-acclaimed documentaries The Street Stops Here (PBS, ESPN), The Harlem Globetrotters: The Team that Changed the World (PBS), Goose (ESPN 30 For 30), Disco Demolition: The Real Story (PBS) and The Demons Within (FSN). Jay is a Radio/TV/Film graduate of Northwestern University and serves on the Board of Directors for Chicago-based non-profits Girls In The Game and World Sport Chicago.



Jeffry Harrison is a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and co-founder and the Chief Operating Officer of RoverTown. Jeffry brings his knowledge and expertise in sales to the RoverTown sales team. His past Board experiences on the SIU Board of Trustees and Phi Kappa Phi National Board of Directors assist in RoverTown’s expansion to new college markets. Jeffry currently resides in St. Louis where you can find him on the golf course in his free time. Jeffry is a CEO alum!

JENNIFFER CONELL, Northwestern Mutual


Jenniffer Conell is a Recruiting and Internship Consultant for the Central Region with Northwestern Mutual. She joined the home office of Northestern Mutual after 2 years of recruiting field experience, where she helped create a solid selection process from start to finish, coach new financial representatives, and execute on their internship program. Beyond recruiting experience, her previous roles involved team and project management. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management with an emphasis in Management from Carroll University.


JEROME LOVE, Texas Black Expo, Inc. / GUGOGS Entrepreneurial Institute


Jerome Love has been voted Entrepreneur of the Year (National Black MBA Association, Houston Chapter), Pinnacle Award Finalist (Houston Citizens Chamber of Commerce), and Multi-Million Dollar Top Producer (Prudential Texas Realty). Throughout his 12 year career as an entrepreneur and professional speaker, Jerome has been consistently recognized as a well-respected and highly sought-after expert in sales and business development. The author of several books, his writings have been published nationally and are frequently quoted by industry experts. Jerome’s passions stem from the personal agony that he felt when he began his first business at the age of 19 with high hopes of prosperity; yet these hopes were dashed when he ended up in the hole more than $100,000 by the age of 25. However, Jerome’s relentless determination would not allow him to give up. Refusing to settle for life’s second best, he decided to Get Up, Get Out & Get Something. In 2002, he founded the Texas Black Expo, Inc. which now produces the largest African American tradeshow in Texas. He published his first book at age 30 and he is the broker of LHS Realty Group, a leading real estate firm headquartered in Houston, Texas.

JIM KRATOCHVIL, Northwestern Mutual


Jim Kratochvil began his career with Northwestern Mutual in 1999 as a college intern. After a successful internship, Jim began his full-time career upon graduating from Illinois State University where he earned a degree in Finance. Jim was a successful College Unit Director for three years and was appointed the Managing Director in Crystal Lake, Illinois in November 2004. Jim has a passion for recruiting and developing financial representatives. Jim’s office now has 14 full-time reps and 11 college interns this summer. He is also an MDRT producer. Jim is also the Chairman of the Board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County.

JON HENNESSY, The Hughes Foundation / VSOPProductions Jon Hennessy is the Director of the Hughes Foundation. The Hughes Foundation supports education with a focus on entrepreneurship, cancer care, and Chicago community support. Jon is also an independent investor and stand-alone trader. He co-founded VSOP Productions in association with VSOP Studios, which specializes in the production and recording of music, media and entertainment.



John Pytel is a recent graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in marketing. After a short stint at the Nielsen company in 2011, John left his position to pursue his own startup. John is now Co-Founder and CEO of, a software company which builds products that facilitate interaction between presenters and audiences. John’s company won the 2011 Chicago Lean Startup Challenge and their products have been used by over 100,000 people across 100 different countries.

JON MORRIS, Rise Interactive


Jon Morris is the Founder and CEO of Rise Interactive. Morris started Rise as a self-funded company with $10,000, transforming the agency into a multi-million dollar business in eight years. Under Morris’ leadership, Rise has experienced tremendous growth, receiving recognition from the City of Chicago, Inc. Magazine, Five Elms Capital, Built in Chicago, Fortune Magazine and The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. Before founding Rise, he managed the internet marketing department for Ketchum Directory Advertising where he received three industry excellence awards from the Yellow Pages Integrated Media Association. Before that, Morris founded Net Traffic, which was recognized by as one of the top interactive agencies in the U.S. Morris is also a regular columnist for In his column Rise Above It, he displays his thought leadership with articles covering business and digital marketing topics. He is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.



Kaitlyn Caraway began her adventure as an entrepreneur at the age of 13. She was later awarded the McKelvey Entrepreneurial Scholarship, and attended Ball State University’s Entrepreneurship Program. Throughout college she owned and operated an academic tutoring firm while also working in tech-transfer with the US Navy, and competing in 6 business plan and elevator pitch competitions with 360º Mobility, her partnered medical device startup. Kaitlyn is a published author and co-founder of her newest startup, The Launch Life, a virtual community for young entrepreneurs focused on the lifestyle during small business startup with her business partner Andrew Forster. Kaitlyn is a CEO alum!

KAPIL SHARMA, Tata Sons North America


Kapil Sharma manages the Tata Sons North America office, which is based in Washington, DC and serves as the chief representative for the Tata Group of companies in North America, assisting Group companies with representation before the government, media relations, business and brand development, and corporate social responsibility. Kapil previously served as the General Manager for Tata Services. Based in Mumbai, India, he focused on global branding and communications. Before that, Kapil was the Vice President for Madison Government Affairs – a boutique government relations firm – representing non-U.S. clients and U.S. public entities before the U.S. Congress, Administration, and federal agencies. Kapil also has extensive political and grassroots experience having consulted on numerous federal, state and local campaigns. He had managed an e-newsletter that provided daily coverage of US media on South Asia and South Asian Americans. Prior to leaving for India, Kapil served on several community advocacy and civil rights organizations, as well as student mentoring programs. 47

KATIE SOWA, Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization / PitchJam


Katie Sowa is the Director of Operations for the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO) and a co-founder of PitchJam. Katie has worked in and with many startups and small businesses, including her role as a financial and HR manager for a $6M online electronic refurbishing startup, as well as a consultant and research assistant for a technology commercialization incubation center. In addition to her work with entrepreneurship, she is a choreographer and dance teacher. Katie received her MBA from DePaul University and her Bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship from Bradley University.Katie is a CEO alum!

KEITH FIX, blabFeed


Keith Fix is a serial entrepreneur and marketing connoisseur. He managed to raise six-figures from private investors to start his 3rd company, blabfeed, while still in college at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He graduated in December 2012 with a BS degree in Marketing, Management, Entrepreneurship & Innovation. His work as a budding small business enthusiast across various tech ventures has been highlighted in Entrepreneur Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, articles on Yahoo, Omaha World Herald and more. Blabfeed, a Perfecta Media LLC, specializes in the procurement, installation, integration and design of digital signage solutions. The firm also assists clients in identifying digital out of home marketing opportunities. Since 2012, blabfeed has experienced 1551% revenue growth and national footprint with clients across the country. Keith is a CEO alum!

KELSEY MEYER, Influence & Co.


Kelsey Meyer is a former college entrepreneur turned Co-Founder of a successful startup. Kelsey is the co-founder of Influence & Co, an agency that assists experts in growing their influence by getting articles published into online publications. Influence & Co. is one of the leading providers of expert content to the world’s top publications. Kelsey led her team’s growth from two to fifty employees in one year. Kelsey has been an entrepreneur since age ten and at age twenty-three has been involved with three successful startups. She’s passionate about helping other college entrepreneurs and promoting women in entrepreneurship. Kelsey attended the CEO conference three years ago and is excited to return to share her experiences. Kelsey is a CEO alum!



Kevin Groenjes attended the University of Minnesota for Kinesiology. He entered the entrepreneurial world right after college, teaming up with friend Ben VandenWymelenberg to launch WOODCHUCK. As Vice President, he manages independent retail channels, social media presence, and non-profit partnerships. He enjoys the social connections and opportunities that grow from business development. His latest focus is cultivating a creative partnership with non-profit Outdoor Nation, whose mission is to engage the next generation to get outside and appreciate the outdoors.

KEVIN LANGLEY, Ellis Construction, Inc.


Kevin Langley has been an entrepreneur since his days as a student at Louisiana State University (LSU). Since then, he has successfully founded and grown two of the New Orleans area’s top 100 largest privately held businesses. Langley is currently the CEO and co-owner of Ellis Construction, Inc., a regional commercial contractor based in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. A serial entrepreneur, he also owns various other companies in construction, real estate, environmental technology and new media. Langley and his companies have received numerous awards, including Inc magazine’s Inner City 100, New Orleans’ City Business magazine’s Power Generation award, and the Junior Achievement’s Rising Star award. He is the former Chairman of the Global Board of Directors of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).



Lisa Halpern is the founder and CEO of Kiboo, a social banking platform that gives young people the power to easily spend, save and give smarter. Through online and mobile tools including Budgets, Goal setting, spending alerts, and a money and lifestyle blog, Kiboo provides everything needed to Know Your Money. Prior to becoming a full-time entrepreneur, Lisa practiced law specializing in tax and estate planning. It became clear to her that there was a need for people (especially young people) to have a real-world, engaging and relevant service to teach them about personal finance. Just like that, Kiboo was born.

LYNN ANDERSON, Colordance Design Lynn Anderson is co-founder of Colordance Design, a small graphic design firm located in Naperville that combines talents in computer science, graphic design and photography. They specialize in the creation of artistic, custom-coded websites for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Their services also include conceptual print and media promotional materials encompassing logo and identity design, PowerPoint templates and website videos.


MADOLYN JOHNSON, Signature HomeStyles


Madolyn Johnson founded Signature HomeStyles in 1971 with only $1,500 from her teacher’s retirement fund and $600 out of a shoebox from her friend and neighbor. Over the past 42 years, Madolyn has built an award-winning direct-selling company that has earned her the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and induction into the EOY Hall of Fame. She has received numerous Stevie Awards including a special award for Women Helping Women. Her numerous industry awards include the Vision for Tomorrow Award presented by the Direct Selling Association for her philanthropic work. Signature HomeStyles sells uniquely designed products that organize and stylize the home through a network of independent representatives that do personalized sales in the home as well as online. Madolyn has supported the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization as well as the Iowa State Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship.

MAHRINAH VON SCHLEGEL, World Business Chicago


Mahrinah von Schlegel is an Entrepreneur, Anthropologist and Sustainable Real Estate Developer with a diverse background in green development and policy, bio-fuels development, alternative energies, business development and strategy, music journalism, fine arts dance, and non-profit direction as the Founder of an inclusive technology incubator in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. An Economic Growth Fellow for World Business Chicago, she is working to support the Plan for Economic Growth and Jobs strategies on Neighborhoods and Innovation and Entrepreneurship. First-generation Spanish-American, born and raised in the South Pacific and Southern California, Mahrinah received her education at the University of Pennsylvania and Wharton School of Business. A Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Scholar who was named “America’s Promising Youth Leader” by Secretary of State Colin Powell, she has served on boards and committees for organizations such as the United States Greenbuild Council, Urban Land Institute, and American Planning Association - Latino, University of Chicago Collegiate Scholars - STEM education, and more.

MANA IONESCU, Lightspan Digital


Mana Ionescu believes in purpose and storytelling as the keys to digital marketing success. At Lightspan, Mana and her team focus on driving traffic to clients’ websites and building profitable connections through social media and content marketing. From Techweek to CES, from Social Media Week to MPI TechCon, from 312Digital to DePaul University, Mana took the stage over 40 times in the past 2 years, busting social media myths and showing measurable results are possible. She was born and raised in communist Romania by her grandparents and lived in Bulgaria before moving to the United States.

MARJORIE MILLYARD, Millyard Design Associates LTD Marjorie Millyard has been a senior designer at a leading firm in Boston and now president at her own firm. She has worked to develop long lasting relationships with clients, vendors and mentor young coworkers. Embracing new technology and keeping an eye to the fundamental principles of graphic design has allowed Marjorie to practice her profession for over 30 years for a broad spectrum of clients from non-profit to fashion/retail.



Marshall Haas is a Texas native who began in architecture but soon discovered entrepreneurship. He's been tinkering ever since. His last startup, Obsorb, took him through the inaugural classes of Startup Chile (Santiago, Chile) and Arch Grants (St. Louis, Missouri), until it was acquired by MetaLab. Currently, in addition to his role at MetaLab, he's a partner in Need/Want, the makers of SmartBedding and Draft Notebooks.



Michael Houlihan is the co-founder of Barefoot Cellars, along with partner Bonnie Harvey. Though his business card reads, “Head Stomper,” he officially served as president and CEO for 19 years. Starting with no money and no knowledge of the wine industry, he and Bonnie used out-of-the-box thinking coupled with solid business principles to build a leading national brand. They relied on “worthy cause marketing” instead of conventional advertising to grow a loyal following and promote their favorite causes. Barefoot Wines went on to win the industry’s top sales awards. They were selling well over a half a million cases annually when the E&J Gallo family purchased the brand in 2005. Since then, Michael has been a valued advisor to large and small corporations and start-ups, offering his real world experience to improve their profitability, grow their brands, and improve their culture. Sales, marketing, and performance-based compensation are his sweet spots. Michael is the co-author of The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand, a New York Times Bestselling Business Book.


MICHAEL LEHMAN, Lehigh University Dr. Michael Lehman is a professor of practice in Lehigh University’s Master's of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the faculty at Lehigh, Dr. Lehman developed and grew new entrepreneurship programs at the University of Pittsburgh, during which he also served as Director of PantherlabWorks, a consulting group designed to catalyze the commercialization of new technologies. Earlier in his career, Dr. Lehman served as the founding director of the Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. In addition to serving on the advisory board of a number of technical-based startups, Dr. Lehman’s work experience includes Johnson’s orthopedic company DePuy International in Leeds, England, and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA.

MICHAEL LUCHIES, Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization / PitchJam


National Growth and Programs Manager for the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization (CEO). Michael is co-founder of PitchJam, a freelance journalist, a micro-entrepreneur, and won $100,000 in cash and prizes in the 2010 Project Springboard Business Plan Competition at Bradley University. He graduated from Bradley University with a degree in entrepreneurship and is passionate about everything entrepreneurship. He has been covering entrepreneurship over the past 5 years and has been published on Under30CEO, Yahoo! and Yahoo! News, ThinkEntrepreneurship, PitchingGreatness, and other publications. Michael is a CEO alum!

MICHAEL MOGILL, Crisp Video Group


Michael Mogill, a modern renaissance man, consummate multitasker and entrepreneur, has been relentless in tackling new challenges and ventures, turning his passion for media into a diverse portfolio of businesses. On any given day he may be developing digital media solutions for clients of Crisp Video Group, coordinating his fleet of ATL Nightlife photographers, or working with artists on the Reboot Music label—all companies Mogill founded and continues to manage. Just a year old, Crisp has already produced video content for major international brands (such as CocaCola, Verizon, RedBull, Lexus, and Coldwell Banker) and has carved out a successful niche in the medical and dental industries. Mogill has massive ambitions for Crisp—and his other enterprises—but escapes as much as possible to spend time with his family and see the world.

MIKE VENY, Mike Veny, Inc.


Mike Veny is a drummer, entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, and he has been able to parlay his love of music, and of drumming in particular, into multiple successful career paths and charitable endeavors. Mike is the founder and owner of FastDrumSkills.Com, MusicLessonBusiness.Com, and SupportMusicEducation.Com. His entrepreneurial skills, leadership skills and people skills have made him an in-demand speaker and a consultant to some of the top businesses in the world. As for charitable endeavors, Mike is on the Board of Directors for the Fender Music Foundation and a member of the NAMM Foundation’s SupportMusic Coalition, which seeks to strengthen community commitment and support for quality music education in schools.

NEAL SALES-GRIFFIN, The Starter League


Neal Sales-Griffin is the co-founder and CEO of The Starter League, a beginner web design and development school in Chicago. Neal has worked and consulted with numerous startups and not-for-profits across multiple sectors. He has had the privilege of working with OCA Ventures and Sandbox Industries, two prominent venture firms in Chicago. Neal also serves as a board member of the Chicago chapter of International Game Developers Association.

NORMAN BRODSKY, Inc. Magazine Senior Contributing Editor, Managing Partner of Black Gold Suites, and Chairman of Kobeyaki Restaurant Group


Norman Brodsky is a smart, successful company builder in addition to being an accountant and an attorney. He is the founder of eight businesses including a company that was #40 on INC. magazine’s list of 100 fasting growing public companies. Another business, CitiStorage, is a three time INC. 500 company. Norm also writes “Street Smarts,” a monthly column since 1995 in INC. magazine and he has appeared on CNN, CNBC and Bloomberg TV. He is the author of The Knack- How Street Smart Entrepreneurs Learn How to Handle Whatever Comes Up. He has appeared on the cover of Fine Business Publications and also speaks throughout the world on bettering your life and those of your employees through business. Norm is also the winner of the 2006 Ernst and Young Entrepreneurs of the year award. Norm Brodsky began his journey at Rider College (now Rider University) by learning that numbers run a business. He began his professional career as an accountant, but the slow pace made him want to do something different. His first entrepreneurial endeavor was Perfect Courier, a messenger service and trucking company in Brooklyn, New York. When the rise of fax machines in the early 80s decreased the need for messengers decreased, Brodsky began looking for other options. A phone call from a customer asking about box storage prompted him to call storage facilities in the area. Recognizing that others were charging too much and the potential market was great, Brodsky began CitiStorage with the profits from his trucking company. The archival storage and retrieval company now holds more than 4,500,000 boxes and is one of the largest records storage centers in the US. Brodsky and his wife Elaine ran both CitiStorage and Perfect Courier from their Brooklyn office. That business was sold for $110 million in 2007. Currently, Brodsky started two new ventures. The first is a chain of fast casual restaurants in NYC called Kobeyaki, and the other is building hotels in ND called Black Gold Suites. 50

PAMELA PETERSON, University of Nebraska at Omaha Pamela Peterson is an Instructor at the University of Nebraska Omaha in the College of Business Administration where she teaches upper division courses in sales, marketing and management and serves as a Faculty Advisor to the their CEO Chapter. Pam has more than 25 years of diversified experience in sales and marketing at the national and global level with a proven track record of success. Her industry expertise includes professional service firms and industrial and durable goods manufacturers ranging in size from start-ups to Fortune 100 corporations including Accenture and Tyco. She specializes in defining and executing go-to-market strategy, identifying and capitalizing on new product and market opportunities, building brand equity and creating viable sales enablement tools. Most recently Pam launched Soldes Partners, a sales and marketing advisory and consulting firm where she serves as one of the three Managing Partners.

PAMELA SHIELDS, Soldes Partners, LLP Pamela Shields has over 30 years of experience leading and managing new business start-ups, driving growth in mature businesses and turnarounds of branded niche manufacturing companies. She most recently served as the General Manager of Menu Inspirations (MI), with responsibility for both the Hors D’oeuvres and Desserts portfolios of this $200M HJ Heinz subsidiary. She successfully designed and implemented the strategic turnaround of the business, led the development of new innovative products and implemented a segmented approach to the marketplace. Prior to joining Heinz, she served as General Manager for Pactiv’s EZ Foil Division, leading the Hefty brand disposable foil pan business for grocery, mass and club channels. Pam also previously spent five years as a Principal with Opportunity Management, Inc., a strategic consulting and marketing firm servicing multiple industries including foodservice, packaging, confectionery, professional services, office furniture and steel doors and frames.

PARISSA BEHNIA, 678 Partners


Parissa Behnia, the Idea Chef, helps companies whip up meals in strategy kitchens that sate customer appetites and make them come back for more. Parissa’s marketing education developed at American Express by pairing data and customer wants/needs while delivering profitable accounts. At Citi, Parissa developed her marketing expertise further by leading brand marketing, value proposition, product marketing and product development initiatives working with senior management. She was instrumental in improving top line and bottom line revenue performance. At RTC (a Wunderman agency), she cemented her strategic marketing and leadership expertise further by directing initiatives to grow a major financial services client’s business. Parissa is a proud Chicago Chapter Leader of 85 Broads, a global professional women’s organization. She holds a BA from Northwestern University and MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

PATRICK MUFFO, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP Patrick Muffo is a patent attorney for the Chicago office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, where he focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation and patent prosecution, specializing in obtaining patent protection for, among others, startup companies and young entrepreneurs. His litigation experience involves technology such as data storage techniques, selective laser sintering, digital display technology, consumer interfacing, and data encryption algorithms. Throughout his career, Mr. Muffo has worked on technologies such as software, hand and power tools, semiconductors, fuel cells, portable computers, barcode scanners, automotive devices, liquid crystal displays, organic light emitting diodes, sporting goods, business methods, xerographic technology, immersion lithography systems, and magnetic recording heads.

PHILIP BROWN, Brown Music Studios Philip Brown is a sought after trombonist and educator in the Chicago area. He has performed with many professional orchestras, including the South Bend Symphony, Rockford Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Salt Creek Ballet company. He also has performed with many jazz and jobbing bands in the area, including Rob Parton’s jazz tech big band and John Records Landecker. Because of his passion for educating musicians, he maintains one of the largest teaching studios in the country, teaching 70 private low brass students on a weekly basis in the Chicago suburbs. Many of his students are members of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, which has been recognized as one of the world’s most prestigious youth orchestras. Mr. Brown regularly judges Illinois Music Educator Association and Illinois High School Association events. Mr. Brown offers master-classes in brass performance and brass pedagogy.

RAMAN CHADHA, The Junto Institute


Raman Chadha is founder of The Junto Institute, a progressive school that makes scale-up founders smarter and better by developing their leadership capabilities, emotional intelligence, and management skills. In addition to being an education entrepreneur, Raman is an entrepreneurship educator. As a Clinical Professor at DePaul University, where he launched and led the Coleman Entrepreneurship Center for many years, Raman teaches Lean Startup Lab, Business Model Development, and Entrepreneurship Strategy. He is a frequent speaker and blogger, advisor to a number of startups, and a graduate of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and the University of Illinois.


RISHI SHAH, ContextMedia Inc.


Rishi Shah is the CEO and Founder of ContextMedia, whose products help patients with chronic conditions live healthier through contextually relevant media services. ContextMedia’s point-of-care and mobile media offerings are used by millions of patients monthly and count over half of the 20 largest pharmaceutical companies as clients. As a successful entrepreneur and investor, Rishi has received many accolades, including Crain's 40 under 40. He serves on the boards of many early stage companies and civic organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, the Institute for Student Business Education at Northwestern University and as a mentor at Chicago's start-up incubator Excelerate Labs.

RONALD HICKLAND JR., Ebonite International


Ronald Hickland found engineering to be his passion, and at the age of 15 under the influence of his father, he developed a keen interest in bowling. He soon took a job at a pro shop drilling bowling balls and studying their motion. Now with 11 years in the industry, Ron designs all performance bowling balls for Ebonite, Hammer, Columbia, and Track brands, which make up 60% of the world’s supply of bowling balls. His rare expertise has taken him around the globe to Canada, Europe, Mexico, Singapore, Korea, Japan, and across the United States to give insight on the technical aspects of bowling and share his passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Among the newest and youngest faces of the STEM industry, Ron landed the cover of the May 2012 issue of Black Enterprise Magazine. His television appearances on the technical aspects of bowling balls have included ESPN, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and Science Channel.

SETH BRUAN, Indestructible Success Ltd.


Seth Braun is the author of over fifteen books. His first book Healthy, Fast and Cheap surprised the publisher by selling 25,000 copies in the first year in Border’s books. Mr. Braun fuses training in the arts with 18 years of diverse business and entrepreneurial experience. This unique twist on business sparks innovation in marketing, management and product development with clients internationally. Seth delivers speaking, training and consulting to small, medium and Fortune 100 companies. Braun’s latest book Indestructible Success lays the foundation for productive achievement by outlining a fresh perspective on timeless principles. His biggest accomplishment is staying active as a father and husband, while achieving results in his creative and entrepreneurial endeavors.

SETH FRANZ, Urban Brain and Body, LLC


Seth Franz is the CEO of UBB Wellness Network, which he founded in January of 2013. Before launching UBB Wellness Network, Seth spent 6 years working in accounting and financing at Heitman Capital Management and Wells Fargo Bank. Marrying his accounting and finance background with his passion for wellness, Seth most recently founded Urban Brain & Body, a Chicago-based wellness center focused on strengthening the mind-body connection. In addition, he has co-founded Elliott Counseling, a mental health center in central Illinois, as well as ReachABA, an in-home autism counseling center located in Chicago.

SETH KRAVITZ, Technori / Bow Truss


Seth Kravitz is the co-founder of Technori (a publication that celebrates entrepreneurship) and Bow Truss (a premium coffee roasting company). After falling in love with the Chicago entrepreneur community Seth started mentoring at the Coleman Center at DePaul University, the Knapp Center at IIT, Excelerate Labs, and Code Academy. Seth started a web design firm out of his dorm room at Ohio State when he was 19 before co-founding in 2004. The company grew to a 65-person operation and reached number 24 on the Inc. 500 before being acquired by Bankrate (NYSE: RATE) in 2012.

SHARON BLADHOLM, Opal Glass Studio Sharon Bladholm has run Opal Glass Studios for over 30 years, originally focusing on glass art, but now encompassing much more. She has concurrently balanced running a studio with creating her own fine art, including sculptural works in bronze, glass, and ceramic, plus works on paper that are exhibited in galleries and museums. Sharon has been commissioned to create public art for the City of Chicago, Shedd Aquarium, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Openlands. She has also created art installations in the Modern Art Museum of Bordeaux, France, as well as locally in the Garfield and Lincoln Park Conservatories.



Shreena Amin is COO of PrettyQuick, a platform that offers premiere salon and spa appointments at exclusive prices. Shreena is an operations and analytics guru and has led organizational change and growth in both the private and public sectors. At Chicago Public Schools she managed the turnaround of two of the worst high schools in the city. Previously, she served as Director of Budget and Operations for the 2008 Barack Obama Presidential Campaign. She began her career in JPMorgan’s investment banking group. Shreena has an MBA from the University Of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Psychology from Northwestern University.


SONAL MANE, Microsoft


Sonal Mane is a Startup Portfolio Manager and is based in Chicago, IL leading Microsoft’s startup portfolio in the Midwest and Heartland region. She drives partnerships with incubators like TechStars Chicago and Catapult, co-lo facilities like 1871 and TechNexus, and other major Chicago-area institutions like Built In Chicago. She has been involved in US- and region-wide startup efforts like Startup weekend, Silicon Prairie News, TechCocktail and SxSW. Sonal has over eight years of experience in product development, leading cross-organization initiatives and managing multidisciplinary fast-paced teams, including seven years in Microsoft.

STEVEN STONE, Steven Stone Attorney-at-Law, LLC Steven Stone has been practicing law in Chicago since 1980. For 25 years he was a member of the Pedersen & Houpt, P.C, Chicago Loop law firm, and after that he practiced as Of Counsel to the P&H firm. He was a member of the firms Litigation and Dispute Resolution and its’ Corporate and Business Counseling Practice groups. He currently works directly for his own clients, via Steven Stone Attorney-at-Law, LLC, and sometimes works for mutual clients as a co-counsel with attorneys at the P&H firm. Mr. Stone has represented clients’ interests in regard to a wide variety of business relationships and operations, and in regard to the structuring and development of commercial entities & ventures. He has been an investor in numerous business enterprises and has served as the an officer/director of several nationally recognized not-forprofit organizations, including the Mid America Club, Delavan Lake Yacht Club, Inc., Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, his families’ foundation and more.

STU TAYLOR, Taylor Associates, Inc. Stu Taylor founded and operated the largest distributorship of commercial spin-off and movie-related fad merchandise in the US, including contributing to the success of merchandising products including Batman, The Simpsons, Ninja Turtles, Saturday Night Fever and Power Rangers, which catapulted him to national prominence in his field. Now, this radio host and networking guru is sharing with you tips on essential basics in networking, sales, and negotiation. These keys to entering the real business world will arm you with proven strategies and tactics to be successful.

TED GONDER, Moneythink


Ted is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Moneythink, the only youth movement restoring the economic health of America through financial education. In addition to Moneythink, Ted has served as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Department of Homeland Security, advising the Obama administration on immigration policy for foreign entrepreneurs. He has worked with the Kauffman Foundation and the Chilean government on transnational entrepreneurship initiatives, and has published research on the topic through MIT Press. Previously, Ted led a number of climate-change-related initiatives, most notably being appointed and serving as the student advisor to The Climate Project, an organization founded by Al Gore. He serves as the founding curator of the World Economic Forum's Chicago Global Shapers Hub, and in college he founded the University of Chicago Entrepreneurship Society.

TIM HUNTLEY, An Entrepreneurial Life


Tim Huntley is the former CEO of Ganymede Software, a venture-backed company that raised $10 million in equity financing, grew to 100 people, and was acquired by NetIQ. He is currently an Entrepreneur in Residence at Triangle Startup Factory where he mentors early-stage startups, and he is an active angel investor. Tim recently founded An Entrepreneurial Life, a website that provides news and feature stories about collegiate entrepreneurs and companies.

TOM GIMBEL, LaSalle Network


Tom Gimbel is the Founder & CEO of LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based $35+ million staffing firm. Founded in 1998, LaSalle has served thousands of clients and candidates, placing job seekers in temporary, temporary-to-permanent and permanent positions. At 26, he left his employer to create Chicago’s first Account & Finance staffing firm. Today, LaSalle has four offices and various business units, including: technology, administrative, call center, human resources, marketing and executive search. Tom was a 2009 Crain's Chicago Business “40 Under 40” honoree and inducted in the Chicago Area Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame in 2010. He holds a BA from the University of Colorado.

TOM WALTER, Tasty Catering


Tom Walter, CEO of Chicago-area Tasty Catering, has been a business owner for over forty years. During this time, he has started twentynine companies and acquired three. He remains a principal in nine of those companies, six of which were co-founded by his staff. Tasty Catering has won local, regional, and national awards for employee culture, engagement, and catering excellence. Tom is a member of the Chicago Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, Midwest Academy of Management and the Academy of Management. Tom is a co-author of a book on Employee Engagement, titled It’s My Company Too! Visit Tom’s website at


TREVOR OWENS, Lean Startup Machine


Trevor Owens is an entrepreneur and thought leader on Lean Startup methodologies. He's the Founder & CEO of Lean Startup Machine, an innovation education company that has helped thousands of startup founders and individuals from organizations including Google, Intuit, Salesforce, News Corp, and others, start hundreds of new businesses across six continents. In his upcoming book, "Build Measure Learn: How to Launch Disruptive Products the Lean Way," Trevor explains how he's applied Lean Startup methods with both entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs to save millions of dollars in wasted efforts. Trevor’s work has been featured in national media outlets including Forbes, Mashable, American Express OPEN Forum, and Business Insider, among others. He also volunteers as a coach for the White House's Innovation Fellows program and as a featured guest speaker at Princeton & Columbia University.



Wayne Kostroski, the 2010 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year, is founder of Taste of the NFL, a non-profit organization that raises awareness and dollars for hunger relief. Entering its 23rd year, Taste of the NFL has distributed in excess of $14 million for local and national food banks across America. Mr. Kostroski has been a successful restaurateur, entrepreneur and philanthropist for over 25 years. A wellknown Twin Cities’ restaurateur, Kostroski is co-owner of Cuisine Concepts, which includes Bar Abilene and Franklin Street Bakery. His entrée into the industry began in the late 1970s, and since then has played an instrumental role at several of the Twin Cities’ premier dining establishments, including, Tejas and Goodfellow’s.

ZOE DAMACELA, Zoё Damacela Apparel


Zoe Damacela, a Northwestern University Sophomore, has spent her life starting and maintaining entrepreneurial businesses with little assistance from parents or teachers. Her current business, Zoe Damacela Apparel, promises "Beautiful Clothes for Beautiful People", but Zoe’s true contribution to society seems to be her dedication and deep-rooted belief in the development of young talent, small business and the importance of grass-roots marketing. At age eight, she began her first business venture with homemade greeting cards. Thank you cards and invitations evolved into a general interest in art, and soon she was showing her work in small art shows in the city of Chicago. As she began her first year at Whitney Young High School in Chicago, she also launched her current apparel line using profits from previous business ventures. Although greatly supported by her mother, Zoe was encouraged from a young age that she would have to jumpstart and operate her businesses on her own. Zoe’s entrepreneurial spirit extends beyond the scope of her own business ventures to youth and innovation across the nation, as she has attended Bill Clinton's Global Initiative in New York City and has been a keynote speaker for President Barack Obama's Start Up America Initiative. Even Tyra Banks featured her on her talk show, "Tyra," when Zoe was 17. Zoe is also involved with the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship and speaks with students and uses her real world experience and success to encourage others to follow their passion for innovation and business.





Startup Level Sponsors CEO would like to thank all of our sponsors including these supporters of entrepreneurship.

REI – Royal Express Inc. WFU ‘04

TRU180.ORG MLM System

The Networking Diary


Prestige Scrap & Metal

Apply Now – We F*cking Love Art

The Launch Life

Alpha Kappa Lambda -GN


Startup Videos - BuzzVid.TV! Event Tools

Love Them and Lead Them By Jerome Love

The Entrepreneur Within You Book Empowering. Equipping. Inspiring.

Dolce Viten – THE Young Entrepreneur Exciting New Chocolatto®, Thick Dark Italian Hot Chocolate, Opportunity for Dynamic Entrepreneur! Lead Italy's Best Kept Secret New Trend!!! Our Dolce Viten program works like a franchise without the high capital! Contact Christina Summers at 917-50-DOCE or Visit: Apply Online at:




2014 National CEO Conference in

Hosted by

Orlando, FL October 30 th – November 1 st at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress

* * *

2014 Regional CEO Events For more info, go to

SESI Midwest Regional

February 14, 2014

Hosted by Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, MI

SEEC Southeast Regional

February 21-22, 2014

Hosted by the University of Tampa in Tampa, FL w w w .s e e c t am p a . o r g

BUNEEC Northeast Regional

February 21-22, 2014

Hosted by Bryant University in Smithsfield, RI c e o@ b r y an t . e d u

MWEC Midwest Regional

April 4-5, 2014

Hosted by the University of Nebraska at Omaha in Omaha, NE w w w . m w e c o m a h a . o rg 61







Just by talking to other people, you can win awesome prizes! What to do: Get each box on this sheet signed by people that fit the statements (each box must be a different person), and turn it into the CEO Registration Desk before 1pm on Saturday. Prizes will be raffled away throughout the weekend, so turn it in as soon as possible.





Works for CEO National!

Is an Artist

Student from an East Coast School

Received venture capital

Owns more than 1 company

Published Author

First time speaker at this conference

Sponsor of this Conference

Exhibitor at this Conference

Owns a revenue generating company

Student from a School in the Midwest

Has won a Business Plan or Elevator Pitch Competition

Student from a Southeast School

Has Attended a CEO National Conference Before

Speaker at this Conference

Has worked

Has spoken before at a CEO National Conference

Is a Student Moderator at this Conference

Is a CEO Alum

Student from a West Coast School

Exhibitor at this Conference

Has or Is

Lives more than 1,000 miles from Chicago

A Faculty Advisor from Another School

in a startup

Student from a School in the Southwest

Developing an App


1st Floor

3rd Floor

Hyatt Regency McCormick West Building Map

2013 CEO Conference E-Program  

2013 National CEO Conference Program October 31 - November 2, 2013 Chicago, IL #CEONat2013

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