Spring 2020 Speakers

The Spring 2020 Entrepreneurial Experience Lecture Series occurs in the Arts & Journalism Building room 175 from 11:00-12:15pm.

Aaron Prickel

January 16, 2020

Following his own advice, Aaron strives to lead by example and often arrives at the office before anyone else to take advantage of focused, productive time. Aaron emphasizes understanding the underlying cause of business performance problems: belief, behavior, or technique. A Lushin management consultant since 2007, Aaron acts as the glue that binds and strengthens the team’s collective talents. As a sales trainer and resource, he encourages clients to stay true to themselves and their missions, and adapts his training style to best serve each individual. He aims to teach sales training clients the simplicity of effective solutions. Winner of the 2015 Ball State Achievement Award from the Miller College of Business, Aaron spends his precious free time outdoors, usually cheering on his three kids in their respective sports competitions. 

Danielle Shockey

January 30, 2020

Danielle is the CEO of Girl Scouts of Central Indiana, which serves 29,000 girls in partnership with 12,000 adults across 45 counties in Indiana. A nationally recognized leader in the Girl Scout Movement, Danielle serves on multiple committees for Girl Scouts of the USA. Danielle was recently recognized as a Woman of Influence by the IBJ and received the Indiana Women of Achievement Award for Distinction in Innovation and Leadership for Young Women from Ball State University. She has a Bachelor’s degree from BSU and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Indiana University. Danielle brings 20 years’ experience in serving Indiana’s youth through positions as a college dean, deputy superintendent for the Indiana Department of Education, principal, and more.

Andy Spears

February 13, 2020

Andy is partner and financial advisor with C and C Wealth Advisors of Raymond James in Indianapolis, Indiana. Andy’s career is entrepreneurial in and of itself, and he believes every position in the workforce requires an entrepreneurial drive to be successful. It is Andy’s life-long obsession to overcome the odds and do what some would call impossible. Andy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Ball State and is a former Ball State football player. He has a beautiful wife named Kara and a very active three year old daughter named Adeline. Come hear Andy’s story and his unique point of view on what it takes to be successful in your career and in life. 

Felix Medina

March 29, 2020

Félix, born and raised in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México, graduated from the University of Ciudad Juarez with a Bachelor’s in Latin-American Literature and migrated to Indiana in 2007. Félix opened his own language agency after being an interpreter and fulfilling a dream of taking a year long back-packing trip around the world. VEDIA GLOBAL provides clients from all industries with interpretation, translation, and cultural consulting in 75+ foreign languages.His language career started as a freelance interpreter for hospitals, corporations, state/federal agencies, and more across the U.S. He holds many certifications and serves clients in the U.S., Mexico, and Brazil. Félix speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese fluently, and is learning Turkish and Italian. He enjoys rock climbing, hiking, traveling, writing poetry, coffee, meditating, & time with his daughter. 


Dee Parson

April 2, 2020

Dee is an award-nominated cartoonist and animator based in Indiana. His resume includes a syndicated newspaper comic strip titled “Life With Kurami,” published and Gylph-nominated comic book/animated series “Pen & Ink,” and published comic strip “Rosebuds.” All his works follow the theme of “love” in their own ways, as he tries to bring love to others with his characters. When he’s not creating, he’s teaching comic book workshops to children, teens, and adults at various schools, libraries, and art museums. He also collects too many Garfield books.

 

Mike Slocum

April 9, 2020

Mike is executive director of Indiana INTERNnet, the catalyst for expanding the creation and use of experiential learning opportunities as a key strategy in retaining Indiana’s top talent. Mike connects students, employers, and educational institutions with the vision of helping every Hoosier student who wants an internship to have one. Mike earned degrees in history and political science from BSU, a Master’s degree in adult & higher education from Grand Valley State University and is currently a doctoral candidate in BSU’s adult, higher, & community education program. Prior to Indiana INTERNnet, Mike worked in a variety of capacities at Ivy Tech, held roles in higher education, workforce development, and student success at Grand Valley State University and Ferris State University.

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.

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.