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The Hatch in 2014

The Hatch 2014 Recap

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At BGSU, students have the unique opportunity to launch a business with the assistance of a business incubation program called "The Hatch."  If selected as a Hatchling through an application process, students work on a business presentation with an alumni mentor for ten weeks. The aspiring entrepreneurs then face a panel of investors, along with a live audience, and pitch their ideas in hopes of obtaining funding to “hatch” their venture, similar to the television show "Shark Tank." read more

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Twelve Hatchlings were selected from the seventy-six students who submitted 100 business ideas to the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. These students are working with alumni mentors to develop their business presentations and pitch their ventures to investors on April 9 in front of a live audience.   

The following 12 students from various colleges throughout the University were selected to pitch their business ideas:


Loren Branch 
is a junior from Detroit, Michigan in the College of Education and Human Development specializing in sports management with a minor in marketing. His idea is a Detroit brand of clothing.

Mentor:  Bob Venzel, Venzel Communications

 

Voting has ended.

Loren Branch is also head manager/video coordinator for the men’s basketball team and secretary for the Sport Management Alliance. His career goals are to become a college basketball coach and entrepreneur. After graduation, he plans to pursue an MBA while working as a graduate assistant in a college basketball program.

Loren explains, “My idea is for a Detroit brand of clothing that will successfully strike the balance between producing fashionable clothing and a being a charitable brand. The brand will feature an exclusive line of pocketed t-shirts that will be designed with unique and creative artwork not available with any other brands. In addition, a percentage of the revenue earned will be donated to various Detroit-based charities and organizations in order to ‘reVITALize The D One Pocket at a Time."


Nicole Braxton is a senior from West Bloomfield, Michigan in the College of Business specializing in sales and service marketing with a minor in music. She is presenting an establishment incorporating international cuisine and entertainment. 

Mentor: John Meier, BGSU

Voting has ended.

Nicole Braxton's professional and personal experiences include internships, studying abroad and working in marketing and sales. She has interned at CACI-Inc. as a Buyer, worked as brand ambassador and marketing manager at Marketing Werks and studied cross-cultural business at Hong Kong Baptist University. Nicole has traveled around the world to places such as the Philippines and Beijing.

 “Through these new experiences, I yearned for a stronger relationship with God. During this time, I learned about the Sabbath day in depth. These findings, along with my experiences traveling abroad, inspired the idea for an internationally themed establishment, incorporating both international cuisine and entertainment. My concept is called Around the World in 7 Days!” comments Braxton.


Alan Eschweiler is a sophomore from Avon, Ohio in the College of Business specializing in finance. He is presenting a mobile application connecting customers to products based on their proximity to a retail location. 

Mentor: Bob Parent, State Farm Insurance Co.

Voting has ended.

Alan Eschweiler was in his dorm room watching CNBC one morning when they were discussing new Bluetooth technology that could sense distance within a few feet. 

Remembering his experience with text alerts for sales at stores he was no longer close to, he began to wonder if this new technology could be used to target customers that would actually be able to take advantage of the sales.  His Hatch idea was born.

“I am incredibly excited for the opportunity that the College of Business is providing me and the other eleven participants. The College of Business promised us opportunities that would set us apart from other business students around the country, and I believe they have delivered. Having this program to talk about during interviews has definitely set me apart from other applicants,” states Eschweiler. 

His goal is to run his business full-time after graduation; he is also interested in Wall Street and the Private Equity Sector.


Caitlin Flack is a fourth-year student from New Carlisle, Ohio in the College of Arts and Sciences specializing in public relations and minoring in marketing. She is presenting a shopping cart charger for your cell phone. 

Mentor: Jack Horney, Capital One

Voting has ended.

Caitlin Flack is multi-talented: a dean’s list student, marathon runner and student athlete. Caitlin has played key roles in several campus organizations including the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Public Relations Student Society of America and the National Society of Leadership and Success.

Caitlin’s Hatch idea is a device to charge a cell phone while shopping in grocery stores. “With a small device and the power of kinetic energy, you’ll be able to shop while charging your cell phone. Believe it or not, this idea came to me while I was running – let’s just say training for a marathon gives you a lot of time to think,” states Flack.


Taylor Frazer is a sophomore from Bryan, Ohio in the College of Business specializing in management. He is presenting an invisible highlighter to use in rented textbooks.

Mentors: Al Caperna and Craig Dixon, CMC Group, Inc.

Voting has ended.

Taylor Frazer came up with the idea when he was studying for an exam. He wanted to highlight his textbook, but since it was a rental he couldn’t mark it.

Taylor is very thankful for the opportunity to participate in The Hatch and can’t wait until the presentation in April.  He enjoys working out at the BGSU Student Recreation Center and hopes to start his own business after graduation.


Stefan Grdic is a senior from Belgrade, Serbia in the College of Health and Human Services specializing in healthcare administration and minoring in general business. He is presenting interchangeable gloves that attach to coats providing more insulation and warmth.

Mentor: Mariana Mitova, BGSU

Voting has ended.

Stefan Grdic moved to the U.S. in 1995. His family currently lives in Brunswick Hills, Ohio.  Stefan speaks fluent Serbian and also has several years of Spanish under his belt. He was the captain of the varsity swim team in high school and still enjoys swimming and other active sports like running and snowboarding.

Stefan says, “I’m very interested in business and aspire to own my own company where I hope to make a positive impact in the community.”  


Grant Kirkey is a freshman in the College of Business specializing in supply chain management and minoring in entrepreneurship. He is presenting a disposable plate also designed to hold a cup.

Mentor:  Ed White, BGSU

Voting has ended.

Grant Kirkey loves working on cars, gyros and spending time with friends and family--especially when food and tailgating is involved. This inspired his Hatch idea: a disposable plate that is designed to also hold a cup.

Grant is full of ideas and is passionate about renovating a product that has not reached its full potential and plans on pursuing a Masters of Business in addition to starting his own company.


Angela Lucarelli is a freshman from Avon, Ohio in the College of Business specializing in marketing and minoring in sales. She is presenting a professional clothing rental business for college students.

Mentor: Joe Prillmayer, ERDMAN

Voting has ended.

Angela Lucarelli is an enthusiastic and outgoing. Being a young entrepreneur who loves fashion and the corporate world, her idea to create a professional clothing rental business for college scholars seemed like the perfect idea.

Her vision is to make it easier for students to gain access to appropriate interview attire without having to pay the expensive store prices. Most college students are on tight budget and find it difficult to afford these clothes. This enterprise would provide undergraduates an inexpensive way to rent professional clothing as needed.  

She enjoys spending time with family and friends, working with children and helping out in her community.  She hopes to see her vision come to life while making enjoyable memories and life-long friends through the process.


Sara Scacchi is a freshman from Parma, Ohio in the College of Business specializing in marketing. She is presenting a lightweight, protective glove to prevent smudges with a refillable eraser for artists.

Mentor: Phil Weller, DLA Piper US LLP

Voting has ended.

Sara Scacchi enjoys being involved with her fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and playing basketball. After graduation, Sara hopes to have her own business started through the Hatch. Passionate about art, Sara’s Hatch idea is geared toward artists. 

“Every artist has this issue when drawing with graphite, pastel or other messy mediums and there is nothing on the market to put an end to it! I want to change that, I want to make my life and the lives of every other artist easier. That is also why I am including a detachable and refillable eraser. It will allow the artist to fix their mistakes without having to drop what they're doing. I came up with this idea just by doing what I love to do—draw!” comments Scacchi.


Morgan Smith is a freshman from Junction City, Ohio in the College of Business specializing in marketing. She is presenting a mobile application for residence hall students allowing them to check the availability of washers and dryers as well as set timers and notifications.

Mentor: Alicia Wagner, Heels Coaching and Linda Fayerweather, Changing Lanes

Voting has ended.

Morgan Smith has been riding horses before she was able to walk. She competes in barrel racing and pole bending.

Inspired by the frustration that is the guessing game of finding a free washing machine in her residence hall, she came up with a solution: a mobile application that would allow students to check the availability of washers and dryers in a laundry room and, if occupied, learn how much longer until they are free. 

She plans on having the application designed so it would allow students to set a timer and alert them when they need to switch their clothes from the washer to the dryer and when their clothes finish drying. 


Robert Striblen is a Veteran of the U.S. Navy and a senior from Manchester, Ohio attending BGSU Firelands and specializing in individualized business. He is presenting a quick release belt system to transport boxes and totes.

Mentor: Art Curtis, Curtis Club Advisors

Voting has ended.

Robert Striblen is an Armed Forces Veteran of the United States Navy where he served as a Satellite Intelligence Imagery Analyst. He fought in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan. 

Robert is passionate about his idea because its application is universal and original. The idea was born from the need to make the relocation or moving process more convenient and comfortable.

When Robert is not attending school and working, he enjoys spending time with his family, visiting museums and studying art history. Robert intends on becoming a corporate executive after graduation and hopes to develop leadership programs for businesses, corporations and the government.


Jerrod Witt is a junior from Sylvania, Ohio in the College of Business specializing in marketing and supply chain management and minoring in entrepreneurship. He is presenting an easy to use RFID location device for use by the visually impaired and as well as in the tourism industry.

Mentor: Paul Hooker, SFERRA

Voting has ended.

Jerrod Witt enjoys playing golf and spending time with family and friends. He plans on developing his device so that it can be used not only by the visually impaired but also in the tourism industry.

“With the RFID location device, I hope to improve the lives of many people that are less fortunate than myself. I came up with the idea after seeing multiple braille signs that were in obscure places and I thought to myself, ‘There has got to be something better,’” states Witt.

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Joseph J. Fisch, Jr. ’71, Founder, President and CEO of United States Beverage

Joseph Fisch, Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of United States Beverage, has over forty years of experience in the premium alcoholic beverage industry.

Mr. 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, Mr. Fisch held various senior executive positions within the premium spirits and beverage divisions.

Early in his career he became the company’s youngest Regional Vice President at the age of thirty. Three years later, Mr. 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, Mr. 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 where he 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, Mr. Fisch was appointed as 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.

In 1997, Mr. Fisch left the large corporate environment to follow his vision as market innovator in the premium high-end beer business. Mr. Fisch formed United States Beverage, LLC, a company whose strategic platform was to gain a leadership position within the growth end of the beer industry; crafts and imported brands.

U.S. Beverage reached $100 million in sales by the year 2004 and positioned itself among the leading independent beer companies in America. The company attained a well-respected reputation through the acquisition, repositioning, brand building and importation of premium brands.

Today, under Mr. Fisch’s leadership, U.S. Beverage has attained world-wide recognition as a top marketing and sales organization in the premium malt beverage industry. With a distribution network operating in fifty states, the US Beverage portfolio of premium brands has attained nationwide attention by providing the US consumer with a variety of premium imported beers as well as national and regional craft beer brands. With its financial partners, Grupo Damm of Barcelona, Spain, and business partners throughout the world, U.S. Beverage, LLC is entering its next phase of business expansion.

Mr. Fisch resides in New Canaan, Connecticut with his wife Gayle. Both are 1971 graduates of Bowling Green State University. They have three children; Justin, Director of Marketing and Sales Strategy at U.S. Beverage, Candace, Lauren, and two grandchildren.


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Mirjana R. Gearhart, President, Orion Consulting Ltd.

Mirjana Gearhart is the President of Orion Consulting Ltd., a Columbus, Ohio based consulting company, that provides business consultation services to companies and organizations designed to improve and enhance areas of marketing, sales, operations and operational excellence.

In addition, she is a founding member of X2 Angels, an angel-investing group formed to focus on companies in the United States with women in C-suite positions. Mirjana is also a members of both the Board of Managers of AMT Systems and the Tech Columbus Advisor/Mentor Team. She is an examiner for The Partnership for Excellence administering the Baldrige-based business assessment process for Ohio, Indiana and West Virginia. Prior to Orion Consulting, Mirjana spent 29 years at Eaton PLC in Dublin, Ireland where she was involved with plant operational excellence initiatives, business and operations and acquisition-integration.


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Benjamin Goff ’83,  Executive Vice President, Brown & Brown of Ohio

Benjamin Goff co-founded Great Lakes Risk Management in 1986.  This benefits-only brokerage firm served clients in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana.  In 2008, he sold the company to Brown & Brown and now oversees their Ohio office.  His responsibilities include leading the employee benefits practice as well as overseeing all aspects of the agency and its various departments.  Additionally, Ben is responsible for developing Brown & Brown’s presence in Ohio by growing the Perrysburg office and by seeking out acquisitions across the State.

Ben’s primary role relates to plan design, strategic planning, compliance and contract negotiations with clients.  He is instrumental in providing awareness and education about market trends and reform to both his clients and the community at large.  His clients represent a broad range of markets from small employers to large, multi-state organizations with more than 500 employees.

He graduated from Bowling Green State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, specializing in Insurance & Risk Management.

Ben has served as the Past Legislative Chairman for the Ohio Health Underwriters Association, Past President of the Northwest Ohio Better Business Bureau and numerous advisory positions to insurance carriers, medical providers and media groups.  Currently, Ben is a prominent health care reform educator in the Northwest Ohio area and serves as a regional Co-Chair on Brown & Brown’s National Employee Benefits Steering Committee.


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Earle Malm ’71, President and CEO, HighMark Capital Management (Retired)

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”.

Earle earned his 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.


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Brian Sokol ’82, CEO, Oasis Consumer HealthCare

Brian Sokol has spent more than 26 years growing consumer product companies through product innovation, brand building and business integration. In 2010, Brian and a group of partners from the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University acquired the Oasis Mouthwash business and formed Oasis Consumer HealthCare of which he is currently CEO. In 2001, Brian founded The Idea Institute, a business that created and commercialized new products for clients such as Kimberly Clark, Slazenger Golf and Activity Targeted Supplements.

Prior to this, Brian served as Vice President of Marketing at Loctite and was responsible for the commercialization of automotive aftermarket products in international markets. Brian also served as president of Blue Coral, a privately held auto appearance products business and was a corporate executive with Quaker State Oil Company where he oversaw the merger and acquisition of four consumer products businesses.

In his career, Brian invented or co-invented six patented appearance products. Brian earned an MBA from Bowling Green State University in 1982.


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Alicia Wagner, Owner and Founder, HEELS Coaching & Consulting

Alicia Wagner, CPCC, is a native of Wapakoneta, Ohio and graduated from The University of Toledo with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Alicia is the owner and founder of HEELS Coaching & Consulting, a life and business coaching firm dedicated to helping women in corporations grow to greater levels of responsibility. Alicia also works with female business owners to help them uncover greater areas of profitability within their business. Alicia is highly passionate about sales, marketing and business planning. Through this process Alicia helps align women with the tools and resources they need sooner in the launch of their business. Alicia Wagner is a certified coach, CPCC, through The Coaches Training Institute located in the San Francisco Bay area.

Alicia is also the Executive Director of WEN, Women's Entrepreneurial Network. WEN is a business networking community in Toledo that is dedicated toward helping more men and women find the support they need to run and maintain a successful business. 

Her career began at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals where Alicia won awards for her sales performance and was honored with opportunities to work at their training and development center their headquartered in New York City. Alicia's ongoing promotions at Pfizer allowed her the experience needed to eventually start her own business. 

Alicia also sits on the board of Leadership Toledo and is actively involved in many community nonprofit events. She is married to John Wagner and has a little girl, Alivea. Alicia's goal in life is to pave the way for greater female involvement in management and leadership roles within Corporate America.

Seventy-six BGSU students and 100 business ideas were submitted to the Dallas-Hamilton Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership for "The Hatch" on April 9. Twelve students were selected to present their business ideas to a group of investors.  In order to prepare their business presentations, the students were matched with a dozen highly success alumni mentors to work with them for ten weeks.

Let’s meet these mentors who are working hard to prepare our young student entrepreneurs.

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Albert J. (Al) Caperna ’76, CEO, Century Marketing Corporation Group

Al Caperna has founded and owned numerous companies since receiving his BA degree from Bowling Green State University in 1976.  His companies have produced a variety of patents, been elected into Inc.’s “500 honor roll” and have been recognized as some of the fastest growing private businesses in America.

Al currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Century Marketing Corporation Group, Bowling Green, Ohio, one of the largest tape, label and tag converter businesses in the United States. His companies manufacture a wide array of print and recycling materials and systems, including food date coding systems, a printing equipment supplier of thermal and laser printers, and print holograms.

Al serves on numerous boards, including New Hope Christian Community Foundation, Bowling Green Covenant Church, and the Juvenile Residential Center of Northwest Ohio. He is also currently a Dean’s Council representative and a member of the College of Business Alumni Advisory Board. He is an avid supporter of numerous community organizations, including Bowling Green Bobcat Hockey, and Adopt America Network.


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Art Curtis, Founder, CurtisClubAdvisors

Drawing on over 30 years of experience as CEO and Chief Operating Officer of several major club and spa companies, Art Curtis formed CurtisClubAdvisors LLC in 2011 to serve the global club industry by providing advisory services that help companies grow and improve profitability.

Over the years Art has led business turnarounds, successfully guided the acquisition of numerous companies, opened new clubs, developed and implemented new management systems and created multi-year reinvestment plans resulting in the deployment of several hundred million dollars of capital.


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Craig Dixon, CEO, CMC Group, Inc.

Craig Dixon is the CEO of CMC Group, Inc. Craig began his career with CMC Group, Inc. in 1990 as the Operations Manager for Century Marketing. He was promoted to Vice President of Operations in 1991 and President in 1994. Dixon holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science with an emphasis in business from Bowling Green State University. Prior to his service at CMC Group, Dixon worked for Marathon Oil in Findlay, Ohio, for 14 years.


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Linda Fayerweather, Changing Lanes


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Paul Hooker ’75, Owner and former CEO of SFERRA

In 1977, just two years after graduating from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Paul Hooker purchased the New York City based luxury household linen importer, SFERRA, from the last of two family members who started the firm in 1891, Enrico and Albert Sferra. Paul recognized the need to maintain the company's identity and encourage growth within the luxury market. With that in mind, he took SFERRA from a one-room office on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to a 35,000-square-foot distribution facility in Edison, New Jersey, plus a beautiful showroom just off of Madison Square Park in New York City. In the process, Paul grew annual sales from $250,000 when he bought the business in 1977 to over $30 million in 2011.

Paul's tireless focus to develop new business and his attention to details have established SFERRA's leadership position in the luxury linens industry and galvanized the company's emergence into the new global economy. Today SFERRA presents the most comprehensive range of luxury home textiles for the bed, bath and table worldwide.

Paul umpires varsity high school baseball and was the varsity baseball coach at Red Bank Catholic High School from 1974-2000. In 1990 Paul, along with his wife Margo, founded a not-for-profit sports program for children with disabilities he named Challenged Youth Sports. Today, CYS assists over 150 families with programs in basketball, soccer, Little League softball, golf, flag football and tennis. Paul is hoping to sell his business this year, as he wants to take CYS national, making his volunteer run program available to children with special needs nationwide.


Jack-Horney

Jack Horney, Founder, Driving Performance, LLC

Jack Horney is a seasoned sales and business executive with forty years of experience across financial services, training/consulting and Information technology. Most recently, Jack founded Driving Performance, LLC, a management consulting and training company helping banks and companies improve the effectiveness of their sales and sales management organization.  His experience and insight has improved management routines driving increased revenue and improved customer satisfaction.

Prior to launching his own company, Jack was a Senior Vice President for Capital One, responsible for developing the bank’s branch strategy for small business and investments.  Previously he was the Sales & Service Executive for the New York Metropolitan Market, responsible for the development and execution of strategic sales and service initiatives across 360 branches.

Prior to joining Capital One, Jack was a Senior Executive for Omega Performance, a consulting and training company focused on the banking industry. Here he helped banks develop and implement sales management routines and sales processes that delivered double digit improvement. Jack began his banking career with Chemical Bank responsible for developing a sales culture for the retail bank. During his career he led multiple organizations as Chemical Bank merged with Manufacturers Hanover and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Jack also enjoyed a seventeen-year career with the IBM Corporation where he held successive leadership positions across sales and staff organizations. Experience included new product launches, organization design, and sales leadership positions for new business sales teams and major account teams across financial services, insurance and medical industries.

Jack serves on the Board of Trustees as Treasurer for the Community Blood Center and its Foundation. He is also treasurer of Five Brothers Fraternity, an alumni organization supporting Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s undergrads.


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John F. Meier , CEO, Libbey, Inc. (Retired)

In 2011, John F. Meier retired as the Chairman & CEO of Libbey Inc., the largest manufacturer and marketer of glass tableware in the Western Hemisphere and the second largest in the world. Meier joined Libbey in 1970, with his early career assignments being in the field of marketing and sales management. He assumed leadership of the company in 1990. In 1993 he led Libbey’s IPO process, and was named Chairman and CEO.

John's experience includes a broad international exposure. From 1974 through 1979 he served in Belgium as the marketing and sales manager of a foreign subsidiary of the company. Since then he has been involved in a number of international initiatives including the acquisition and divestiture of Libbey Canada, as well as the creation of Libbey’s joint venture in Mexico in 1997. Additionally his acquisition and divestiture experience includes businesses in Belgium, Canada, England and Japan. He has served on the Boards of Directors of businesses in Belgium, Canada, Japan and Mexico.

He has had extensive interaction in Washington on international trade matters during his career; most notably concerning NAFTA, WTO, and GSP proceedings. Additionally he has had varied experiences with regulatory agencies including the FDA and the FTC.

In addition to his past duties as Chairman & CEO of Libbey Inc., he currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Applied Industrial Technologies, as a member of the Board of Directors of Cooper Tire and Rubber Co. and also is an emeritus Board member of his alma mater, Wittenberg University.

Meier is a 1969 graduate of Wittenberg University and holds an MBA from Bowling Green State University. Currently he serves as an adjunct professor in the MBA program of Bowling Green State University. He and his wife, Ann, have two grown children.


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Mariana A. Mitova, Lecturer, Apparel Merchandising and Product Development, BGSU

Mariana is a lecturer teaching in the Apparel Merchandising and Product Development (AMPD) program at BGSU. She is passionate about her work and the students she mentors.

Mariana is an MBA graduate of BGSU’s College of Business and currently is working on her Doctoral Degree in Leadership Studies in BGSU’s College of Education and Human Development. She also holds two Bachelor of Science Degrees, one in Finance from Southwest University, Bulgaria and the other in Apparel Merchandising and Product Development from BGSU’s Apparel Merchandising and Product Development.

Mariana’s entrepreneurship journey began in 2003 when her husband moved forward with his life-long dream to open a restaurant. On Black Friday of 2003, Naslada Bistro opened its doors in the food court of Woodland Mall. The business started on a shoe string.  Three years later, Mariana and Boby relocated the restaurant to their current location on 182 South Main Street, in Downtown, Bowling Green after they built the restaurant’s kitchen.

As the support person in the endeavor, she managed bookkeeping, financials, tax filing and payroll until the business grew large enough to support the expense of accounting service. She also worked with her husband to build the brand customers see today. Mariana and her husband Boby recently celebrated 10 years in business in a very competitive industry where only 3% of the businesses survive past the first two years.

Together Mariana and Boby have two young children.


Bob-Parent

Bob Parent ’85, Insurance Agent, State Farm Insurance

Bob Parent is a 1985 graduate of Bowling Green State University. He has been an agent with State Farm Insurance since 1994. Bob is also involved in real estate investing with both commercial and residential properties. He was President of Winston Salem Real Estate Association from 2008 to 2009 and currently coaches basketball in his free time. Bob and his wife, Martha, have two children, Austin 16 and Haley 14.


Joe---Prilmayer

Joe Prillmayer, Director of Business Development, ERDMAN

An acknowledged thought leader, author and innovator in the healthcare market with a heavy client-centric focus. A distinctive approach with clients that combines over 20 years of healthcare industry experience with a combination of health care consulting  including revenue cycle management, business development, real estate development, hospital growth strategy, mergers and acquisitions, post-merger integration (pMI), joint venture transaction experience, P&L operations oversight, hospital & physician revenue generation and a capital planning project background.


Bob-Venzel

Bob Venzel ’76, ‘78, Co-Owner, Venzel Communications, Inc.

Bob Venzel graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing from Bowling Green State University in 1976 and an MBA from BGSU in 1978. In 1991, he became the co-owner of Venzel Communications, Inc., an advertising and public relations agency, based in Perrysburg, Ohio. The company’s work encompasses a variety of non-profit and for-profit clients in a cross-section of industries including: business, manufacturing, education, health care and municipalities.


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Alicia Wagner, Owner and Founder, HEELS Coaching & Consulting

Alicia Wagner, CPCC, is a native of Wapakoneta, Ohio and graduated from The University of Toledo with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Alicia is the owner and founder of HEELS Coaching & Consulting, a life and business coaching firm dedicated to helping women in corporations grow to greater levels of responsibility. Alicia also works with female business owners to help them uncover greater areas of profitability within their business. Alicia is highly passionate about sales, marketing and business planning. Through this process Alicia helps align women with the tools and resources they need sooner in the launch of their business. Alicia Wagner is a certified coach, CPCC, through The Coaches Training Institute located in the San Francisco Bay area.

Alicia is also the Executive Director of WEN, Women's Entrepreneurial Network. WEN is a business networking community in Toledo that is dedicated toward helping more men and women find the support they need to run and maintain a successful business. 

Her career began at Pfizer Pharmaceuticals where Alicia won awards for her sales performance and was honored with opportunities to work at their training and development center their headquartered in New York City. Alicia's ongoing promotions at Pfizer allowed her the experience needed to eventually start her own business. 

Alicia also sits on the board of Leadership Toledo and is actively involved in many community nonprofit events. She is married to John Wagner and has a little girl, Alivea. Alicia's goal in life is to pave the way for greater female involvement in management and leadership roles within Corporate America.


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Phil Weller, Managing Partner, DLA Piper’s Dallas Office

Phil Weller, managing partner of DLA Piper's Dallas office, is a well known real estate practitioner in Texas who focuses on real estate acquisitions, dispositions, finance, development, general finance transactions and private equity transactions.

Since establishing his practice in 1975, he has been involved in structuring equity investments, forming REITs, financings, development, acquisitions anddispositions of office, retail, industrial, and multifamily properties, planned community development, project finance and mortgage finance.

Mr. Weller is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (ACREL) and is a past president. He is a past chair of the Texas State Bar Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law Section and was awarded the Distinguished Texas Real Estate Lifetime Achievement Award by that section in 2011. He is also a member of the American College of Mortgage Attorneys, the Anglo-American Real Property Institute and the Urban Land Institute.

Mr. Weller is recognized as the Go-To Lawyer in Real Estate Law in Texas Lawyer’s Go-To Guide 2012, is listed in The Best Lawyers in America for real estate and has been named the Best Lawyers' 2010 Dallas Real Estate Lawyer of the Year. Mr. Weller has repeatedly been named a Texas Super Lawyer. In 2007, Lawdragon named him among the Lawdragon 500 Dealmakers in America. He is cited in the Guide to the World's Leading Real Estate Lawyers, the International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers and the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers and Texas Monthly has named him one of the Top 100 Attorneys in Texas.


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Edward C. White, Executive-in-Residence, College of Business, BGSU

Ed White is Executive-in-Residence at the College of Business, Bowling Green State University.  In addition to teaching finance classes in the undergraduate and graduate business programs, Ed is a student mentor for the Falcon Hatchery entrepreneurial project.

Ed retired in 2012 as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Owens-Illinois, Inc. (NYSE: OI) after 38 years of service.  Ed started with O-I in 1973 and held a multitude of financial, manufacturing and marketing positions in many locations, including St. Louis, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago and Boston.  His international experience included various senior management positions in China, Finland, Poland, France and Switzerland.  Before joining O-I, White served as a Captain in the U.S. Army.

Ed is a director on the board of the NW Ohio American Red Cross. A native of Big Rapids, Mich., White holds a bachelor's degree from Indiana University and an MBA from the University of Hawaii.