Board of Advisors
Dallas-Hamilton Center 2014-2015 Board of Advisors
This Board of Advisors consists of highly successful entrepreneurs who work closely with the Dallas-Hamilton Center director and the dean to promote the Center's programs and services to help others launch new business ventures.
- Bob is a serial entrepreneur, having founded, built and sold five companies for profit. He left his job with Libbey Glass in New York and, after traveling around the world for a year, embarked on his first entrepreneurial ventures in Hong Kong.
- His two companies there, were involved in the areas of apparel manufacturing and retailing, publishing and international trading. He sold the companies to Hutchison Whampoa, Ltd., a Hong Kong conglomerate.
- In the Philippines, his company started and operated 8 pizza restaurants in the Metro Manila area and sold them in 1975.
- After returning to the USA, he bought Snow Lion, a bankrupt manufacturer of high-end sleeping bags and tents in Berkeley, CA, brought it back to life and sold it.
- He founded Fettuccine Bros. in San Francisco, which manufactured and retailed fresh pasta and sauces, and sold it to Kraft Foods. Its products are now retailed under the brand name Di Giorno.
- He is the co-founder and CEO of One Legal LLC which provides outsourced legal support services to law firms nationwide.
- BS, Business Administration, 1960, Bowling Green State University
- Battaglia was inducted into the inaugural class of the Dallas-Hamilton Hall of Fame in 2008.
- In 2009 he was named a Significant Sig by the Sigma Chi Fraternity
- Seidman founded Seidman Fisher & Company, a private consulting firm located and he also serves as a consultant for a private equity investment firm based in Warsaw, Poland.
- Seidman is a retired managing director and principal of Emerging Ventures Limited with over thirty years of experience in investment management worldwide. His specialty is working with “middle market” companies in the US and Europe. Seidman’s primary European focus has been Poland.
- He also was an investment manager for Venture Capital Group, a subsidiary of Allstate Insurance Company and a management consultant for McKinsey & Company.
- From 1962-67 he worked for the Continental Illinois National Bank of Chicago.
- BS, Economics, 1960, Babson College
- MBA, Specialization in Finance, 1962 University of Chicago
- Has over forty years of experience in the premium alcoholic beverage industry.
- After graduating from BGSU, Fisch began his business career in the Management Trainee Program at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc., the world-wide leader in wine and spirits sales based in New York City.
- During his twenty-five year career with Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Fisch held various senior executive positions within Seagram's premium spirits and beverage divisions.
- Early in his career he became the company’s youngest Regional Vice President at the age of thirty, managing the Chicago-based Central Division of Seagram’s specialty import brands company: The General Wine & Spirits Company. Three years later, Fisch was elevated to the Seagram Corporation’s largest spirit unit, The Seagram Distillers Company, managing its most profitable Eastern Division based in New York.
- In 1989, Fisch was promoted to Senior Vice President Central Division based in Chicago of the newly created House of Seagram, which managed the corporation’s entire spirits portfolio. In this position, Fisch developed and oversaw aggressive growth and increased market share within the industry. In 1991 he returned to New York to oversee the House of Seagram’s most profitable spirits unit, the Atlantic-Pacific region.
- In 1993, Fisch was appointed to the title of President of the Seagram Beverage Company. During his tenure, he created and initiated a strategic plan to expand the company into the high-end craft and imported beer sectors, while at the same time, recreating the company’s flagship Seagram Cooler portfolio of brands.
- Fisch redefined Seagram’s corporate role within alcoholic beverages and the company’s competitive set. With the importation of Grolsch from Holland, (one of the leading Dutch beers nationally), and creating a joint venture with the Boston Beer Company (the maker of Samuel Adams), Fisch directed Seagram’s entry into the beer business.
- BS, Business Administration, specializing in marketing, 1971, Bowling Green State University
- Fisch was inducted into the Dallas-Hamilton Hall of Fame in 2013.
Brian Sokol has spent 30 years growing consumer products companies through product innovation, brand building and business integration.
After receiving his MBA from Bowling Green State University, Mr. Sokol joined Loctite and served in increasing marketing and sales management capacities over the next nine years. As Vice President of Marketing, Mr. Sokol was responsible for the commercialization of automotive aftermarket products in international markets ranging from Venezuela and Mexico to Japan and Europe.
In 1992, Mr. Sokol joined Blue Coral, a company in the privately held auto appearance products business. As president, through a combination of new consumer products and innovative direct response advertising, his management team grew the company from $33 million to $76 million in annual revenue culminating in a sale to Quaker State in 1996 for over $100 million.
As a corporate executive with Quaker State Oil Company, Mr. Sokol was responsible for the acquisition and merger of four consumer products businesses, which, along with targeted marketing initiatives, resulted in a growth of the enterprise to over $150 million in revenue. After Quaker State was sold in 1998 to Pennzoil Lubricants, Mr. Sokol was named president of the consumer products group, where he dramatically reduced costs by integrating supply chain logistics and creating a 350,000 square foot world class manufacturing/distribution facility for the specialty chemical consumer products business.
During this chapter of his career, Mr. Sokol invented or co-invented 6 patented appearance products, and his company received numerous Vendor of the Year awards from major retail partners such as Canadian Tire, Autozone, and Advance Auto.
After Shell Oil acquired Pennzoil in 2001, Mr. Sokol pursued the acquisition of Slazenger Golf, of which he was the CEO until 2003.
From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Sokol ran the Idea Institute, a consulting firm that conceptualized products for clients.
Mr. Sokol has served on the board of Slazenger Golf, Hinckley Lighting and The Motor Equipment Manufacturers Association and is past Chairman of The Automotive Chemical Manufacturers Council.
From 2005 to 2010, Mr. Sokol commercialized patented consumer products in conjunction with his investors at Consumer Innovation Partners and his development partners at Nottingham Spirk Design Associates. Within this investment group, Mr. Sokol founded Innovation Direct, a rapid transit commercialization company that creates product innovations for traditional and electronic retailers using world-class processes, and service providers.
Mr. Sokol is currently the CEO of Oasis Ventures. Mr. Sokol is one of inventors of the company's ARMS infectious disease prevention technology platform. The ARMS platform technology has gained worldwide recognition for its innovations in germ remediation and infectious disease control.
- Earle Malm is one of the pioneers of E-Commerce. As Vice Chairman and President of ValueClick, an online advertising company now known as Conversant, Earle was instrumental in defining business strategy, developing key management and successfully completing the company initial public offering in March 2000.
- Earle began his career with RCA where he held Senior Executive positions in Sales, Marketing and General Management. He was responsible for revitalizing RCA’s Consumer Services business, expanding RCA’s Commercial Television business and leading the development of new business ventures into communications and services businesses.
- Prior to joining ValueClick, Earle embarked in the investment industry with GT Capital Management, Inc. Initially he was responsible for developing GT Capital’s Institutional Business and later he assumed responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer for the GT Global Mutual Funds.
- After successfully completing the ValueClick IPO, Earle returned to the investment industry as President and CEO of HighMark Capital Management, Inc., a wholly-owned registered investment advisory firm of Union Bank located in San Francisco. During his tenure, Earle was Chairman of HighMark’s Board of Directors, President of HighMark Funds and a Trustee of the HighMark Funds Board. In addition, he was a member of HighMark’s Investment Policy Committee and a member of Union Bank’s Fiduciary Management Committee.
- Since retiring from an active senior executive role in 2012, Earle has been devoting his time to entrepreneurial, consulting and advisory activities through NVMLI, Inc., his private investment company. He serves as a member of the Service Marketing Institute Business Advisory Board for the College of Business Administration at Bowling Green State University (BGSU). He was one of five inaugural alumni investors in BGSU’s entrepreneurial program, “The Hatch”, a college version of the television show “Shark Tank”.
- BS, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1971 from Bowling Green State University. In 2008, he was honored as one of BGSU’S Accomplished Graduates from the College of Business. He has been named to Who’s Who in Finance and Industry.
- Chief Executive Officer of Skyline Financial Corp., which operates Skyline Home Loans, a full-‐service direct lender actively engaged in positively shaping the future of mortgage banking
- Founder and CEO of First Franklin, which grew to become one of the nation's largests residential lenders
- Served as Chairman of Interthinx, a risk management business that was sold to ISO/Verisk Analytic in April 2005
- Founder of Ownit Mortgage Solutions
- Founder and board member of Heritage Bank of Commerce, a $2 billion bank based in San Jose, and California Oaks State Bank, now California United Bank in Los Angeles
- Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, Bowling Green State University
- Juris Doctor, University of Santa Clara School of Law
- Mr. Dan Slifko is the Chief Operating Officer and Entrepreneur in Residence at Rocket Ventures, LLC. He was President and Director at the firm. Earlier he was a Director of Incubation and Client Services. He joined the firm in 2007, with responsibilities for sourcing qualified deal flow, mentoring start-up companies, and serving on the boards of his invested clients. Mr. Slifko brings a wealth of entrepreneurial experience to the firm.
- Earlier, he was Part-Owner, President, and General Manager of Alternative Services Inc. specializing in the Advanced and Alternative Energy field, Mr. Slifko is dedicated to helping companies with their strategic and business development plans. Retiring from Alternative Services in 2003, Mr. Slifko decided that he wanted to share his knowledge and passion for entrepreneurship through community service and business counseling.
- He is the past Chairman of the Board for Nextronex Energy Systems and currently serves on multiple boards of directors. Mr. Slifko has been a volunteer with SCORE for six years, and a Business Advisor and Judge for both the Ohio Statewide Graduate Student Competition and the Bowling Green State University Entrepreneur Program.
Bachelor of Science degree in Management and Marketing from Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, WV.