Fall 2019 Speakers

Jennifer Wiese

September 5, 2019

Jennifer Wiese Jennifer Wiese, founder and CEO of BeeFree Gluten Free Bakery does not have a PhD., but she did have a blast at Ball State and managed to get a degree in Fashion Merchandising.  She never imagined herself as an entrepreneur, but that's the push she's been on for 10 years now.  She has always believed in something bigger than herself and she's laser focused on making a difference.  She's a wife and mother of 4 college age sons and she uses pride, character and attitude as her guiding light.  She's had the distinct honor of making every mistake in the book and has the sass to turn every "no' into an opportunity.  She's just a small town girl with a small town family living out her best life.  Come and hear how doing something you're passionate about for someone you love can turn into a multi million dollar company.

 

Jennifer Williams & Alli Truttmann

September 12, 2019

Jennifer WilliamsJennifer Williams is an ex-actuary turned entrepreneur from Seattle, WA. She is the co-founder and COO/CFO of Cuddle Clones, an online pet company whose flagship product is a stuffed animal made to look exactly like your pet. Before Cuddle Clones, Jennifer spent 10 years as a benefits consulting actuary, primarily working on large defined benefit plans and stock-based compensation programs. She made the entrepreneurial leap in 2012 and quit PricewaterhouseCoopers to focus on Cuddle Clones full-time. She earned her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA and her MBA from the University of Louisville. Cuddle Clones was a school project-turned-real-business in the entrepreneurship-focused MBA program in Louisville. Jennifer has been in Louisville for 10 years and lives with her husband Danny and her two fur-children Izzy and Winnie. In her personal life, Jennifer enjoys golf and singing karaoke and is an avid Seattle Seahawks fan.

   Alli TruttmannAlli Truttmann, MA, CPT is the CEO and Founder of Wicked Sheets, an innovative sleep and bedding company that takes advanced fabric technology and incorporates it into the bedroom. Wicked Sheets began in 2008 in Truttmann’s one-bedroom Louisville apartment after being fed up waking to sweat-soaked bedding. After her collegiate career in soccer and Child Psychology, Alli attended the University of Louisville where she earned her master’s degree in Psychology and then returned to her undergraduate alma mater, Bellarmine University to become certified in Personal Training and Medical Fitness. Alli has raised over $1M in equity funding for Wicked Sheets and competed in both local and global pitch competitions, winning spots on QVC, as well as the Global Startup Grind Conference. Alli’s post collegiate career prior to starting Wicked Sheets was spent as a therapist for children diagnosed along the Autism Spectrum. Alli’s passion for education and entrepreneurism are demonstrated in her Board participation on the Bellarmine University Board of Overseers and the Louisville Venture Connectors Board of Directors.

Adam Weber

September 26, 2019

Adam Weber  Adam Weber is Co-founder of Emplify, a company that helps leaders measure, diagnose, and solve their employee engagement challenges. Previously, he served as Co-founder and VP of Sales of Bluebridge Digital where he successfully built and sold a mobile engagement platform focused on engaging the audience of Churches and Tourism organizations. Adam is a nationally-recognized expert and speaker on employee engagement, culture, team performance, leadership development. He has spoken at a number of events around the country for which he has been consistently rated as a top presenter. Adam holds a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in organizational communication from Ball State University, is a former musician, retired pastor, aspiring comedian, and currently lives in Zionsville, IN with his wife, two sons, dogs, and chickens.

Wes Crouch

October 31, 2019

Wes Crouch  Wesley is a 25-year old entrepreneur that created Tudr, the fast-growing tech startup that brings the sharing economy to the higher education space. After graduating from Ball State in 2016, Wes made the choice to start Tudr and began his entrepreneurial journey. Since then, despite the lack of venture capital for consumer brands in the Midwest ecosystem, he has managed to raise over $350,000 for the venture from various angel investors across the nation, and has created a team consisting of CFO with an MBA from NYU and formerly worked for AOL, a head UX/UI designer formerly at Uber, Tinder and Apple among others, and a 15yr aerospace engineer. Together, Wes and his team took Tudr to Boston for one of the world’s largest startup accelerators, MassChallenge, and named 1 of 200 most promising young startups in the world. Crouch is very involved with giving back to the entrepreneurial community, and serves as an advisor/mentor for aspiring students at Ball State and IUPUI. 

Ali Jafari

November 14, 2019

Ali Jafari Ali Jafari, founder and CEO of theCN.com, is a serial entrepreneur known for his research and entrepreneurship in IT, more specifically, on development of a series of Learning Management System(s). Dr. Jafari is a Professor of Computer and Information Technology at Purdue and Director of the CyberLab at IUPUI. He continues to bring innovation and new perspectives to the smart learning environment industry to make teaching and learning easier and more powerful. Dr. Jafari earned his BS in Business Administration from the University of Isfahan, Iran, before he moved to the United States to pursue a MS in Media Technology at the University of Wisconsin. He completed doctorate studies in Telecommunications/Mass Communication from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

David Proctor

November 21, 2019

David ProctorDavid is a dreamer, innovator, consultant, and creator of businesses spanning 20 years. After serving three years in the US Army, David earned a BA in Art/Art History, and later his MBA. While working his way through school, David discovered his ability to move people from idea to action, which he still excels in today in his consulting and coaching company, Proctor Group. While in the technology sector, David and a coworker bootstrapped Next Wave Logistics, a subscription software company enabling millions to operate their own business entirely online through direct selling, such as Pampered Chef, Amway, and others. As CEO, David led the company in creating a culture of innovation and creativity while having fun. The results were 60 quarters of growth, reaching over $25mm in annual sales. While raising a family and running his business, David also co-founded Votre Vu, an e-commerce subscription company growing to several million before he sold it to an investor group. Currently, David loves helping entrepreneurs realize their dreams and have fun getting there.  

 

Chris Quiocho

September 5, 2019

Chris Quiocho

Chris is a 4x entrepreneur in business aviation and a decorated combat veteran that flew UH60 Black Hawks in the Army. Having spent over a decade flying in the Army, Chris saw his biggest accomplishment commanding a MEDEVAC unit in Afghanistan in 2011. After returning home from combat, Chris went on to start his own aviation sales company, Solutions Aviation. Boasting sales of over $150M to date allowed another opportunity to take part in the purchase and ownership of a Part 135 charter operation, Solutions Air Charter. From there Chris has expanded his portfolio of aviation businesses with an ownership role in the only locally based air ambulance company in the Caribbean. His latest venture is Offland Media, a brand and digital media company specializing in the aviation industry and travel industry. Work has already included brands like Gulfstream, Bombardier, and Red Bull Air Races. Chris has contributed articles and been featured in outlets around the world including, Forbes, Inc., Business Insider, Huffington Post, Success, and Authority Magazine.

Kyle Armstrong

January 31, 2019

Kyle

Kyle has always been an entrepreneur at heart, starting by wheeling and dealing at the lemonade stand, and trading basketball cards with friends. After a brief stint as a golf professional after graduating from Ball State in 2008, he spent two years working in the corporate world and quickly discovered “corporate life” was not for him. Armed with a tremendous amount of passion and a solid idea, he got to work networking with talented people, which lead to him founding and incorporating his own business. Over the last seven years, building ZOOOM (www.zooomapp.com), a sports software company, he has learned the ins, outs, ups, and downs of business. From raising investment capital, to developing and selling a functional suite of products, he has directly participated in every stage of startup business. He has been fortunate to travel across the United States, build friendships with people and colleagues all over the world, and work alongside some of the brightest people in the sports and technology industries. From interacting with professional athletes, to pitching the  company to one of the largest professional sports organizations in Manhattan, to socializing with 50 of the most influential individuals in the world, the entrepreneur life has pushed him further beyond his limits than he could have ever imagined. 

Kelly Hartman

February 14, 2019

Kelly HartmanNamed Indy’s Best & Brightest Professional in Health & Life Sciences, and honored by the YWCA for being a Woman of Achievement, she is the founder, President & CEO of Insights Consulting, a company named to the Top Workplaces in Indianapolis for nine years, and Co-Founder and Emeritus Board member of Outside the Box, a not-for-profit.  In her nearly thirty-year career of supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities -- she has always maintained a focus on empowering all people to be the best version of themselves.  As a mentor to young professionals and a leader in her industry, she is known for her sense of humor and helping all people see things from a different perspective. Hartman is also the busy Mama to twin 14-year-old boys. In her spare time, she loves to cook, ride her bike and spend time on the water.

Gus Olympidis

March 21, 2019

Gus OlympidisGus, or Kosta Olympidis as some of the people close to him call him, began his career in the convenience store industry at the young age of 21. He often characterizes his journey in business as having been born out of “youthful indiscretion.” The company, that is approaching a half billion dollars in revenue today, is vertically integrated with a central distribution center, a central bakery and a sign manufacturing facility. Family Express operates 74 stores today with several in the pipeline. Family Express’s business model is characterized by a unique logistical system of daily distribution and a large portfolio of proprietary brands. FE assesses up to 50 prospects for each new hire in search of attributes such as friendliness, kindness and community sensitivity. The company’s mission statement uniquely addresses volunteerism as a stated corporate objective.

Tom Walter

April 4, 2019

Tom Walter

Tom Walter is a “serial entrepreneur,” author, speaker and a principal in numerous companies. He is best known as the Chief Culture Officer (CCO) of Chicago-area Tasty Catering, a suburban corporate caterer and event planner that was recently named a Forbes Best Small Company in America. Tom has more than 40 years of experience as an owner and operator in the service industry. He has participated in the startup of 32 companies, is currently active in 9 of those startups, has acquired three and—in a few cases—has terminated businesses in a broad spectrum of markets. Tasty Catering is a successful suburban Chicago-based catering and event planning company and has been in business for over 25 years.

Claudius Mbemba

April 11, 2019

Claudius MbembaA former Ohio State University football player, Claudius is currently CTO of Neu Inc, a marketplace providing automated hotel-grade turnovers for Airbnb/vacation rentals. He has been developing and testing enterprise software for several years. As a Software Development Engineer (SDE) inside several teams at Microsoft, including the Commercial Software Engineering and Emerging Devices Teams, he largely focused his time on DevOps, Mobile, Cloud, ML/AI, Bots, & Blockchain. He is extremely passionate about helping other entrepreneurs, networking, and diving head first into projects.

Chris Clemens

September 6, 2018

Chris ClemensChris Clemens graduated from Ball State and spent 6 years in the corporate world. Then in 2012 he quit his job, packed his gear, and hiked for 5 months along the Appalachian Trail, 2,184 miles from Georgia to Maine. He attempted to reenter the corporate world, working in retail sales, outdoor apparel, and big data technology before starting his own freelance marketing service for the bakery equipment industry. With freelance location independence he donated most of his possessions and started living in a van to travel full time while working. He’s driven to all 4 corners the U.S. and across the Trans-Canada Highway, backpacked Ecuador and Peru, bicycle toured Chile and Argentina, motorcycled through Vietnam and Myanmar, and chased summer in Australia and New Zealand. Today he lives in a pickup truck in North America and spends winters in the Southern Hemisphere, all while growing his freelance marketing business.

Learn more about Chris.

Jonathan Lamb

September 13, 2018

Jonathan LambJonathan is a millennial entrepreneur, economist, consultant, author, and visionary leader. He has degrees in Economics and Risk Management and was a hurdler on the BSU track team. Lamb spent 8 years on a trading floor as a spot electricity trader overseeing a portfolio with over $3 billion in assets, and has since started seven small businesses and earned an MBA from North Carolina State University. He has worked as a business developer for a commodity hedge fund, developed and owned commercial real-estate, and as a business owner he has owned, a construction company, a childcare franchise, a plumbing company, a wholesale distribution company, a textile company, and currently runs an economic consulting firm, and an agriculture and energy technology company.  Jonathan is a national best-selling author and was runner up for the nomination for US Congress of the Indiana 6th Congressional District. 

Learn more about Jonathan.

Kimberly Majeski

September 27, 2018

Kimberly MajeskiKimberly is a native of Nashville, Tennessee and brings a dose of Southern charm to her scholarship. She has served in many pastoral and leadership roles in local and national contexts; today, Kimberly serves as Associate Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Ministries at Anderson University and is a co-host for Viewpoint, a syndicated radio program for Christians Broadcasting Hope. Additionally, Kimberly is founder and CEO of Stripped Inc., a not for profit ministry empowering women in sex trade to walk out of fear and into love. strippedlove.org Kimberly is an ordained minister and has completed post graduate education at the University of Notre Dame and the Anderson School of Theology where she obtained her doctoral degree in 2009. Kimberly and her husband Kevin reside in Anderson, Indiana with their son Max and two black cats, Monkey and Henry.

Learn more about Kimberly and Stripped Love.

Kristian Andersen

November 1, 2018

Kristian AndersenKristian works with entrepreneurs and business leaders to design compelling brand experiences, create new business models, and innovate new products and services. Kristian founded Studio Science and is a Partner at High Alpha, a venture studio that conceives, operates, and scales enterprise cloud companies. 

Learn more about Kristian and his companies.



Jeb Banner

November 15, 2018

Jeb BannerJeb Banner is CEO and co-founder of Boardable, a board management software company serving nonprofits around the world. He was previously the CEO of SmallBox, a creative agency he co-founded in 2006. Jeb graduated Indiana University Bloomington in 1996 and is also the founder of Musical Family Tree, a nonprofit dedicated to spreading Indiana music. He is a co-founder and past chair of the Speak Easy, an entrepreneurial co-working non-profit located in Indianapolis. Along the way Jeb has co-founded or invested in a number of other Indianapolis based businesses. Jeb lives on the north side of Indianapolis with his wife Jenny and their three lovely daughters. In his spare time he collects vinyl records, records music, and cooks as much as possible.

Learn more about Boardable.

David Butcher

November 29, 2018

David ButcherDavid Butcher is a 21-year-old entrepreneur from Yellow Springs, Ohio and founder of Flyby BBQ: a modern fast-casual restaurant and food truck building delicious smoked meals with style and purpose. When David isn’t working, he is soaking up all he can about consumer psychology at The Ohio State University, traveling, or riding his bike. David has been recognized as a Top 25 Student Entrepreneur in the United States (2017 & 2018) by Entrepreneurs Organization.

Learn more about Flyby BBQ.