2018 Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship


2018 Sebo Series was a success!

robert seboE-Week is filled with a host of events including The Hatch, the Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Hall of Fame induction ceremony and the Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship. Throughout the week, alumni visit campus and speak to our students, providing unique learning and networking opportunities. The Paul J. Hooker Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership  is one of 20 centers worldwide recognized by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

About J. Robert Sebo '58, '13 (Hon.)   

Since its inception, the Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship has been generously sponsored by J. Robert Sebo who earned a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1958 from BGSU.  

Dr. Sebo is a successful business executive, and retired as the senior vice president of Paychex, Inc., a Rochester, New York-based payroll and human resources company. He is a longtime contributor to his alma mater and supports a variety of areas, including the Sebo Series in Entrepreneurship and football and jazz studies scholarships. The Sebo Athletic Center is named in his honor and recognizes his financial support to that facility. He served as a member of the university’s Board of Trustees from 2002 to 2011. BGSU granted an honorary degree to him in 2013. 

“Unleashing your company’s start-up energy”



Jim Stengel is president/CEO of The Jim Stengel Company. A prolific writer, speaker and advisor, Jim is the author of Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies, and Unleashing the Innovators: How Mature Companies Find New Life with Startups. Jim is widely known for leading innovation and for his commitment to building leading-edge marketing capabilities. In 2011, he was named to the first-ever Fortune® Executive Dream Team, has been named multiple times by Advertising Age as the number one “Power Player” in marketing, and is a 2017 American Marketing Association Hall of Fame inductee. Jim has served as Dean of the Young Marketers Academy at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity since 2011, and in 2013 pioneered the CMO Accelerator program at the Cannes Lions Festival.  Jim is the former global marketing officer of Procter & Gamble, and a former member of the board of directors for AOL and Motorola.

Thomas W. Carton, Jr. '70

Chairperson, National Economic Development Practice Group
McDonald Hopkins

Thomas W. Carton, Jr. is an accomplished attorney whose corporate experience includes Jones Day, Wendy's and Buckeye Entertainment Corporation. He is a successful intrapreneur, or internal entrepreneur; under his leadership, in just five years his Blockbuster Video franchises grew from three stores with annual sales of $2.2 million to 14 stores with annual sales in excess of $11.2 million.  

Carton's experience also includes the government sector, where he served as deputy director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, and later as director of the Ohio Department of Economic Development.


J. Scott Sanchez

Chief Innovation Officer

J. Scott Sanchez's experience focuses on product management and design, with a history of making simple, yet impactful products and experiences that delight users.

At Nationwide, he leads new business innovation and incubation, enterprise innovation and venture capital. Additionally, he is on the faculty of Emory University and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University. Beyond his teaching and corporate work, as a founder of Innovators Atlanta, he spends time with companies, schools, organizations and individuals throughout the southeast nurturing and unleashing innovators of all ages.

Mary Ellen Smith '82

Corporate Vice President 
Microsoft Business Operations

Mary Ellen Smith is Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Business Operations and a 1982 graduate of the Schmidthorst College of Business at BGSU. Known as a dynamic, high-impact, no-nonsense leader, Smith has unique leadership experience in all disciplines supporting factory management and broader end-to-end business operations across multiple industries and companies. In her current role, Smith leads digital transformation operational strategy, launch planning, execution, and order-to-cash capabilities supporting both physical and digital supply chain solutions for over $95B of Microsoft’s revenue. She has been recognized at Microsoft with the prestigious Chairman's Award for her personal leadership impact and has represented Microsoft at the United Nations, speaking and advising on Microsoft’s innovative inclusive hiring practices.


David Stickler '83

Big River Steel

David Stickler graduated from BGSU with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He has spent the past two decades building and operating some of the world’s most successful and profitable steel mills in the U.S., even as American steel producers have lost market share to other countries.

Currently Stickler is CEO of Big River Steel in Osceola, Arkansas. Unlike traditional steel producers that use iron ore, coal and coke to produce steel in environmentally challenged facilities, Big River Steel produces new steel using recycled steel from old cars, appliances, buildings, ships and bridges.

Big River Steel is a $1.6 billion FlexMill™, the first of its kind in the world. It is positioned to become the world’s leading steel producer in terms of range of product offering, energy efficiency and environmental cleanliness.




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Updated: 09/03/2020 11:40AM