Educational Speaker Series

Impact Angel Fund and JumpStart; Offering Equity Financing and Entreprenuerial Services

Featured Speakers

Jon Elsasser, Fund Chairman
Impact Angel Fund

Bill Nemeth, Director of Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program

Angie Kilgore, Senior Recruiter for Talent Services

Patricia Grospiron, Principal of Entrepreneurial Network

November 12, 2015
Kent State University at Stark, Conference Center
6000 Frank Ave NW, North Canton, OH
7:30 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. (includes light breakfast)

Jon Elsasser, fund chairman, will introduce to the community the Impact Angel Fund, an investment fund designed to help new, technology-based ventures in Stark County and surrounding areas.

Also featured will be three representatives from JumpStart, a nationally recognized organization committed to accelerating the success of entrepreneurs in Northeast Ohio:

Bill Nemeth, director of JumpStart’s Burton D. Morgan Mentoring Program, which connects a growing network of experts from a broad range of backgrounds with early-stage entrepreneurs who benefit from their advice and experience;

Angie Kilgore, senior recruiter for JumpStart’s talent services, which helps entrepreneurial-minded companies and organizations identify, attract and retain the right talent to help them grow; and,

Patricia Grospiron, principal of JumpStart’s Entrepreneurial Network, who manages the network’s day-to-day operation including the deal flow process, metrics and overall performance.

$10 for adults and $5 for students includes a light breakfast. Registration information is available at or call 330-244-3290.

3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping

Featured Speaker

Tim Seifert, President
Seifert Technologies, Inc.

May 19, 2015
Shady Hollow Country Club
4865 Wales Ave. NW, Massillon, OH
5:30 p.m. Refreshments
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Program and Demonstrations

Stark Entrepreneurship Alliance is pleased to announce a joint meeting with Canton Joint Engineering Council (CJEC) societies. The evening will consist of a brief overview of SEA and a presentation on 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping by Tim Seifert, President of Seifert Technologies, Inc. In addition, we will have live demonstrations showing the 3D printing process and stations displaying solid modeling software used in this industry.

3D printing is the ultimate just-in-time method of manufacturing. Shifting from the 2D world to physical parts accelerates product development and lowers cost. 3D parts that you can touch and feel improve design communication, so you can make better decisions faster. Applications include design visualization, prototyping/CAD, metal casting, architecture, education, geospatial, healthcare and entertainment/retail. Besides rapid prototyping, 3D printing is also used for rapid manufacturing. Rapid manufacturing is a new method where companies are using 3D printers for short run custom parts. In this way of manufacturing, the printed objects are not prototypes but the actual end-user product.

Co-founder of Seifert Technologies, Tim Seifert holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Technology from the University of Akron. Tim is registered in the State of Ohio as a Professional Mechanical Engineer. He has served on many advisory boards including the Massillon Development Foundation, Stark Development Board, Society of Manufacturing Engineers Canton Chapter (SME), Stark State College of Technology, and the Massillon Chamber of Commerce and is also a member of ASME and AIST

North Canton Networking Event

Featured Speaker

Matt Tucker, President
TrueBridge, Inc.

April 15, 2015
Walsh University-Barrette Business Center
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Matt Tucker is the President and Founder of TruBridge, Inc., a national health exchange located in North Canton, Ohio. Founded in 2008, TruBridge has grown into one of the most successful providers of health care plan enrollments in the nation. Currently TruBridge helps customers enroll into affordable health care plans in 46 states and employs 240 individuals at its North Canton, Ohio, location.

As a serial entrepreneur, Mr. Tucker will discuss how to handle the challenges every entrepreneur faces. He feels that there has never been a better time than right now to pursue the dreams of an entrepreneur.

Making Small Business Decisions Easier

Featured Speaker

Victor C. Pavona
Ohio Small Business Development Center

March 17, 2015
Kent State University at Stark, The Conference Center
7:30 a.m. Breakfast – Fruit, Bagels, Danish and Waffles
8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Making Small Business Decisions Easier is designed for businesses operating for more than a year. The presentation focuses on a managing model that forces discipline into the everyday decision making process. Specifics include managing with a short-term business plan constructed from readily available in-house data and by employing financial (working capital, breakeven points, cash flow) and marketing mix principles.

Mr. Pavona is the Director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC), Kent State University at Stark. Victor has 40 years of experience in all facets of business management at the corporate and small business ownership levels. He began his career at Westinghouse where he managed all phases of marketing and distribution. During his career, he has purchased distressed companies, returned them to health and sold them.

Along the way, he has participated in a White House Conference on Energy, a Harvard Business School Study on improving industry and consumer relations and a Michigan State University research project that established and published a guiding set of entrepreneurial principals. Also, a past president of The Advertising Federation of Akron, a recipient of the American Advertising Federation’s prestigious “Silver Medal Award” and he has earned several “Addy Awards.”

Victor has traveled worldwide, is a Canton native, Vietnam Veteran and Kent State University alumnus.

Canton Networking Event

Featured Speaker

Geoff Karcher
The Karcher Group

February 17, 2015
Kent State University at Stark, The Conference Center
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Geoff Karcher founded The Karcher Group in 1997. Since that time, he has launched TKG into a full service firm with a staff of more than 35. From the beginning, he has used innovation to stay at the forefront of the Web businesses. His favorite part of his job is working with clients to make the Web impact their business. In an industry notorious for chasing the latest (unproven) fads, Geoff has always taken a more long-term, measured approach to Web Development & Online Marketing based on sound business principles.

Accounting for CEO’s

Lisa Hilling, Bruner-Cox
Greg Blate, Veritas Solutions Group

January 20, 2015
Walsh University-Barrette Business Center
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Lisa joined Bruner-Cox LLP in 2005 with eight years of “Big Four” accounting experience. Lisa has more that 17 years experience working with not-for-profits, colleges and universities, and health care organizations.

Lisa is a member of the Firm’s Health Care Services Group and Not-For-Profit Services Group. She graduated from The University of Akron with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. She is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt.

Lisa is responsible for numerous audit engagements. She has assisted clients with financial statement audits and reviews, OMB circular A-133 audits including student financial aid, accounting consultation, agreed-upon procedures and lean consulting. Lisa is a member of The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants and The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She is president of the Northeast Ohio Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). Lisa is co-chair of concessions for the Bridgestone Invitational. She also serves on the Board of Access, Inc., as president and is a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Breakfast Committee for Heart to Heart Communications. She is a member of Leadership Akron’s Class 30 and is actively involved in numerous other community and civic organizations.

Greg partnered with Bruner-Cox LLP in 2012 and founded Veritas Solutions Group, LLC (Veritas). He has more than 20 years of “Big Four” public accounting experience in the areas of accounting and auditing, internal control assessments and implementations, and fraud investigations, holding various client service and management roles in Ohio, Michigan, New York and globally.

Greg has leveraged this experience into creating and managing Veritas, where he is responsible for the operations and growth of the organization, as well as providing service to clients responding to and preventing occupational fraud.

As a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Greg’s credentials denote proven expertise in fraud prevention, detection and deterrence. Veritas provides a full suite of services, including forensic accounting, employee theft and corporate fraud investigations, litigation support services, internal-control and fraud risk assessments, ethics and training.

Veritas also provides a fraud hotline service, internal-control software and internal-audit outsourcing services, employee background check and screening services, as well as security and surveillance services. Veritas works with board leaders to help them understand their fiduciary responsibilities and provide tools to ensure good corporate governance.

Greg is a member of The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and The Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants.

He is a board member and the audit committee chair of Amphora, Inc., the treasurer and trustee of the Monticello Community HOA, and volunteers his time to various local charitable organizations. He is also an adjunct professor at the Deville School of Business at Walsh University, where he graduated.

Jackson Township Networking Event

Featured Speaker

Dennis Nash, CEO
Kenan Advantage Group

December 11, 2014
Kenan Advantage Group
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Dennis Nash is CEO, Chairman and Founder of Kenan Advantage Group (KAG). KAG is North America’s largest tank transporter and logistics provider to the fuels, chemical, merchant gas and liquid food industries. KAG generates approximately $1.5 billion in revenue and employs 9,000 individuals in 42 states.

Prior to forming KAG’s predecessor company Advantage Tank Lines in 1991, Mr. Nash worked for Ohio–based Coastal Industrials and Leaseway Transportation, holding various senior management positions.

Along with serving on the Northwestern University Transportation Center Business Advisory Council, Mr. Nash serves on the National Tank Truck Carriers and the American Trucking Associations boards. Other professional affiliations include Ohio Governor John Kasich’s executive workforce board, on the Board of Trustees for the Stark Development Board, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Dedicated Transport and Mercy Medical Center.

Creating an IT Strategy

Jon Elsasser, Retired
Timken Company

November 12, 2014
Canton Regional Chamber
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Jon Elsasser, who has an MBA from Harvard Business School, is retired Vice President and CIO of The Timken Company. He previously served the company as Senior Vice President – Corporate Development and, prior to that, Group Vice President Bearings – Rail, Europe, Africa & West Asia. Elsasser has served as a start-up business board member and advisor for the following companies: Arkovi (venture funded), Tiffin Metal Products, Jarrett Logistics Systems and V2 Technology. He is an investor and member of East Central Ohio Tech Angel Fund.

Massillon Networking Event

Featured Speaker

Todd Hawkins, President
Tesla Nanocoatings, Inc.

October 14, 2014
Kozmo’s Grille
37 First Street SW
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Active entrepreneur and engineer, Todd Hawkins is the President and founder of Tesla NanoCoatings, Inc., North Canton, Ohio. For the past six years, he has guided the development and commercialization of the company’s innovative paint systems designed to inhibit the corrosion of steel in the aerospace/military, petrochemical, transportation and marine and industries. Focused on the global steel end-user markets, Hawkins’ marketing research, new business and product development efforts have most recently helped the firm earn several honors. These have included the 2013 FIATECH CETI AWARD, R&D 100 Award from R&D magazine, the 2012 NorTech Innovation Award from Crain's Cleveland Business and a $100,000 grant from The Innovation Fund.

Hawkins recently negotiated the lease of 1,500 square feet of space at Stark State College’s Advanced Technology Center to allow more room for research and development of its corrosion control coating. His plans are to expand the company and create more market solutions for his revolutionary product.

Prior to Tesla, Hawkins held the position of Chief Development Officer at Midwest Industrial Supply, where he specialized in the development of innovative soil stabilization chemicals for rapid deploy runway and helicopter landing zone construction for military engineers and expeditionary forces.

Hawkins holds an M.B.A. from the Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University and a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and Geology from Marietta College in Marietta, Ohio. A resident of Massillon, Ohio, he is an active member of the Society of American Military Engineers, NACE International and SSPC.

Positioning Your Company

Dick Maggiore, President & CEO
Innis Maggiore

September 23, 2014
Kent State, Stark University Center
8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

Dick Maggiore is Jack Trout’s most dedicated disciple. Trout is the “Father of Positioning” and Dick is the heir apparent. Inspired early in his career by Trout’s writings, Dick quickly came to appreciate that responsible advertising starts with positioning as its foundation. Dick’s steadfast commitment to the teachings of Trout has resulted in Innis Maggiore’s recognition today as the nation’s leading advertising agency in the practice of positioning. Jack Trout dedicated his recent book, In Search of the Obvious, to Dick Maggiore in recognition of the inspiration he provided.

A noted speaker on strategic positioning, Dick is not content to simply preside over the agency’s business. He rolls up his sleeves and practices what he preaches. He leads the agency’s team of positioning experts. He coined the term positionist® and brings that perspective to benefit the agency’s clients.

Dick is also a published author. His book entitled The CEO’s Number One Responsibility: Identifying Your Brand’s Position provides sound counsel for chief executive officers about building their brand through strategic positioning.

Dick is an ad industry “Hall of Famer” for pioneering dimensional outdoor advertising. In 1998, the Canton Chapter of the American Advertising Federation named him Ad Person of the Year. In 2003, Dick received the distinguished Community Salute Award from the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, Dick received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award and, in 2009, Kent State University’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award. He is a 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award® from Sales & Marketing Executives International.

He serves (or has served) on numerous boards of directors, Child Welfare League of America, Kent State University, Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Stark Development Board, American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s), Cleveland Council Board of Governors Chair, FirstMerit Bank, Canton Advertising Club, Players Guild Theatre of Canton, Pathway Caring for Children and more.

Dick holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from San Francisco State University and teaches marketing strategy at Akron, Walsh and Kent State Universities. He lives in North Canton with his wife Kathi. They have two grown sons, Jeffrey and Nathan.

Arts and Entrepreneurship

Eric Rausch

August 20, 2014
Joseph Saxton Gallery of Photography
520 Cleveland Ave. NW, 44702
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Eric Rausch is a ceramic artist and art administrator in Columbus, Ohio. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a BFA in Ceramics, Eric set up a studio and began his career as an artist. This led to organizing art events including gallery exhibitions, pop-up shows, street festivals and craft fairs—all of which finally led him to the Cultural Arts Center where he works as the Ceramic Studio Manager, Instructor, Exhibition and Workshop Coordinator. Eric sits on the Board of Trustees for Glass Axis, a non-profit glass art center, Green Columbus, a local sustainability non-profit and is on the Steering Committee for the Central Ohio Visual Arts Consortium. Rausch’s work is a mix of functional and fine art works ranging from pottery to sculpture and mixed media with a smattering of painting and other 2D work. Eric currently resides in Westerville with his wife Jen, who is also an artist and educator, and daughter Ruby.

How a new generation is remaking America

Morley Winograd

June 24, 2014
Kent State University at Stark, The University Center
7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Morley Winograd is a consultant, author, speaker and on-air pundit delivering candid, informed insights on engaging Millennials. His predictions and often pithy analyses have appeared in (or on) The New York Times, The Today Show, CNN, USA Today, PBS NewsHour, NPR, Barron’s, Forbes, Reuters and Univision.

Co-author with Michael Hais of three highly acclaimed books, Millennial Majority (2013), Millennial Momentum (2011) and Millennial Makeover (2008), Morley is a senior fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy. He also served as senior policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore in the second term of the Clinton administration.

Based in Los Angeles, he is a regular contributor to several national publications, including: The Christian Science Monitor, The National Journal, New Geography and PolicyMic.

Alliance Networking Event

Featured Speaker

Gerard P. Mastroianni, President
Alliance Ventures, Inc.

May 14, 2014
University of Mount Union, East Room of Campus Center
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Mastroianni is president of Alliance Ventures, Inc., Crestview Ventures LLC., and Louisville Ventures, LLC., all real estate and property management firms located in Alliance, Ohio, which he has managed since 1989. He also serves as a Director of Huntington Preferred Capital and is a past board member of the Huntington Bank. He is a University of Mount Union trustee and was past president and board member of the Alliance Area Chamber of Commerce. Gerard serves as Treasurer of Alliance for Families and Children, on the board of Alliance Area Development, the Stark Development Board and was president of the Buckeye Village Market for 22 years.

Leila Janah, CEO

April 11, 2014
Walsh University, Barrette Business Center
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

A Harvard graduate, Janah is CEO of Samasource, a world renowned non-profit that connects women and youth living in poverty to large corporations to perform computer-based tasks, build skills, and earn life-changing income. Samasource has financially impacted over 17,000 workers worldwide since launching in 2008. Samasource was awarded the U. S. Secretary's Innovation Award for Empowerment of Women and Girls in 2013. Janah has also launched a similar domestic program, SamaUSA. In 2011, Janah cofounded Samahope, a crowdfunding site for medical treatments in developing countries. Janah was featured on the cover of the January 2014 issue of Entrepreneur magazine as one of the “Most Powerful Women to Watch 2014.”

This event will also serve as the first event for a year-long speakers program by the Stark Entrepreneurship Alliance, of which Walsh University is a member.

Registration Information

The cost is $25 per person or $1,000 for Event Sponsorship which includes a table for 8 at the luncheon, special recognition in the event program and verbal recognition during the event. All proceeds benefit business scholarships. For more information, please contact Karen Khourey at or by phone at (330) 490-7111. You can register online at or see the list of events for the Entrepreneur’s Week at