Tag: entrepreneur

Management Information Session

Dr. Dana Johnson and Dr. Sonia Goltz will be hosting an information session tomorrow – Wednesday, March 29 at 4:30 p.m.  The session will focus on the school’s BS degrees in Management.  Come to learn more about

  • Management
  • Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship
  • Management with a concentration in Supply Chain and Operations Management

This session is open to everyone and will take place in the Academic Office Building (AOB) 101. Pizza and soda will be provided.

For more information email Dr. Dana Johnson or Sara Pingel.

Info Session on BS in Management and Concentrations March 2016

SBE Senior Opens Own Business

Scott Ramage has just a few months left until he graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Operations and Systems Management from the School of Business and Economics, but that didn’t stop him from celebrating the opening of his new business on February 5.  This unique venture is called 906 Vapor, and is an electronic cigarette lounge and vapor bar.

What is an electronic cigarette?  Often referred to as an e-cigarette, this personal vaporizer often looks much like an “old-fashioned” cigarette with an LED light on the end.  Using one of these satisfies nicotine cravings without most of the chemicals and carcinogens known to typical tobacco products.

Where did Scott find the inspiration to become an entrepreneur before even graduating?  He says that he owes some of his success to his dedicated personality, persistence, and of course, the classes he’s taken as part of his undergraduate career at Michigan Tech!  The idea for 906 Vapor originally began as a homework assignment for Scott’s Management of Technology and Innovation (MGT 4600) course.  His professor, Andre Laplume, encouraged him to keep thinking about ways to make the business into a reality.  Scott also drew inspiration from Michele Loughead’s business courses, as well as BUS 2300: Quantitative Problem Solving, taught by Roger Woods.

After graduation, Scott plans to continue his success with 906 Vapor while furthering his education.  Perhaps he may even be interested in pursuing his MBA through the School of Business and Economics!

For all of SBE’s young entrepreneurs, Scott offers some advice: “If you have an idea and you believe it will work, take the chance and give it all you have.  Even if you fail, keep trying.  The experience and knowledge gained can never be taken away from you.  It can only benefit you in your future endeavors.”

Do you have an idea for a new business venture?  Or have you recently started your own business?  Tell us all about it in the comments!

Michigan Tech Entrepreneur, Jess Tompkins, featured in UP’s Second Wave

Jess Tompkins, a fifth-year student in business management, was recently featured in the Upper Peninsula’s Second Wave. The publication tells the story of the new economy in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula — a narrative of creative people and businesses, new development, cool places to live, and the best places to work and play.

Tompkins was touted for her business Two Bows, which she started in 2010 under the tutelage of the late Professor of Practice in the School of Business and Economics Bob Mark. The article mentions:

To begin the networking process and get the ball rolling, Tompkins joined Tech’s entrepreneurship support center. During this time she incorporated her business plan, sketches and her prize money from the competition to get sample products made. She later joined the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance. Soon, her idea was starting to look a lot like a real company.

Read the complete article at UP’s Second Wave.

Marty Richardson ’79 – Marketing Maverick and Sailing Enthusiast

Marty Richardson '79

Anchors aweigh, steady as she goes, and full speed ahead! These have been the hallmarks of Martha (Marty) Kresnak Richardson’s career. An expert in marketing and a sailing enthusiast, Richardson’s connection with Michigan Tech came about in a less traditional way.“I was actually the first professional that Michigan Tech ever hired to serve in a marketing capacity,” recalls Richardson, who first arrived at Tech in 1976 with a bachelor’s in communication arts from Michigan State. Her commitment to Tech remains strong, now as chair of the Board of Control.

While employed by Tech, Richardson pursued a master’s degree in the School of Business and Economics with a specialty in marketing. “Most of the students were engineers wanting to get more of a business acumen. So, I was a bit different from the usual student at that time. I worked full time and still managed a pretty heavy course load.” After graduating, Richardson found that women with a master’s in business were rare commodities. She was offered a number of great opportunities and chose to work for the international accounting and consulting firm Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in the Detroit area.

This began a ten-year career with a variety of positions of ever-increasing responsibility. From marketing supervisor to marketing manager to marketing director, Richardson saw many different facets of the company. “I traveled across the country, working with top management for their ninety-eight offices. I really learned a lot—certainly a big expansion of my master’s education.”

While enjoying her work with Coopers & Lybrand, Richardson dreamed of starting her own business. The best advice she received was from another woman entrepreneur in New York where Richardson had an office at the time. Richardson recalls, “She said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? This is going to be the most difficult thing you’ve ever done.’ And she was right. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. But, I’m proud of it and really wouldn’t change a thing.”

Richardson’s business, founded in 1989, was Services Marketing Specialists (SMS), a consulting firm providing full-service marketing and communications support to professional service firms and business-to-business organizations. Ironically, her first client was Coopers & Lybrand. Her portfolio grew into several hundred clients across the US and Canada, including those specializing in accounting, architecture, engineering, law, and health care.

However, another dream was waiting in the wings, or rather at the dock, for Richardson and her husband, Jerry, a former engineering manager for General Motors. Since leaving Detroit in September 2007, the Richard sons have logged nearly 12,000 nautical miles on a fifty-two foot trawler they named Monarch. They have traveled up and down the Atlantic Coast, to the Florida Keys, and the Bahamas. “We named our boat Monarch because she goes from Ontario and northern Michigan all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico just like the monarch butterfly,” says Richardson.

According to Richardson, after college it is important to find the right job, save prudently, and never give up on your dreams. “It’s surprising we’ve become so successful with such simple advice. Although not always easy, you just have to keep your eye on your vision and persevere. I can look back and say, ‘If it hadn’t been for my company and the good salaries our employees made, where they would be now?’ It feels good to know we made a difference.”

Making a difference continues to be a part of Richardson’s life. She has been a board member or officer of numerous professional and community organizations, including the Greater Detroit Foreign Trade Zone, Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, Women’s Economic Club of Detroit, International Institute of Detroit, Leadership Detroit, and the National Association of Women Business Owners. In 2002, she was named to the Crain’s Detroit “Most Influential Women” list.

Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed her to the Michigan Tech Board of Control in 2005. In July 2010, she took over the leadership of the Board.

“It was a real honor to be appointed to the Board of Control, and serving on it is a wonderful experience,” says Richardson. “The board is populated by extraordinarily intelligent and savvy people. They are all so competent in their areas and have such a deep love for the University and commitment to its interests.”

Richardson is also enthusiastic about the new MBA programs, especially the Tech MBA Online. “Who among our alums would not want an MBA from Tech? And if you can do it online around your schedule, it’s a real draw. It’s great knowing you can take the program at a set cost that you can budget for. And the quality—well, that just can’t be beat!”

Richardson is positive about the current goals for Tech. “Having a University-wide strategic plan is key. And, the School of Business and Economics plays an important part in the accomplishment of a number of University goals. The Board and administration are always focusing on how we can provide a world view for the students. Not only how to invent the technology but how to apply it to bettering mankind. The business school provides the critical link between technology and real-world applications.”

This article was originally published in Impact, the Michigan Tech School of Business and Economics magazine.

Savvy Entrepreneur: Team Building

This Tuesday, November 9th starting at 5:30pm, Michigan Tech’s School of Business and Economics and the Office of Technology and Economic Development will resume its collaboration with the MIT Enterprise Forum to bring interactive Savvy Entrepreneur panel discussions of business topics to the Michigan Tech campus. A social gathering with refreshments will begin at 5:30 pm to be followed by the interactive panel discussion from 6 pm – 8 pm in the large conference room of the ATDC building at 1402 Sharon Avenue. All students and community members are welcome.  A RSVP sent to jfdiebel@mtu.edu is encouraged.

Topic: Team Building

This month’s topic of interest to all entrepreneurs how to attract a world class management team on limited resources. How often have you heard:  “We don’t invest in products, we invest in people!”, or “Who’s on the management team?” Time and again, history has shown that companies with ordinary products backed by extraordinary people succeed in the marketplace. Learn why this is the case.

But if your company is starting out, or one with limited resources, and can’t really afford a Fortune 500 pay package, what can you do to attract and retain the talent that you need to compete in this highly competitive world? Learn how to build awesome teams that match your current stage of business development and your current funding status.  Learn steps for supporting highly creative and innovative team environment. Bring your questions and thorniest challenges to this program to advance your technology entrepreneurship skill set.

Moderator — Dennis Nash

Dennis Nash is the VP of Global Business Development for Saphran Solutions, a global startup, delivering enterprise future profit planning software and growing 50%+ annual SaaS sales over 4 years and doubling its team members.  He is assisting early sales success at startup DataSpeaks, a life science IT company reinventing safer drug discovery and personal health care, and My Inch of the Earth, a Web 2.0 Non-Profit community building and virtual worlds tool to increase annuity donations and micro-donor relationships.  Dennis has helped many successful management and business development teams to accelerate commercial growth and create high customer value with companies like IBM, Oracle, Telxon, Proforma, and many others.   Dennis helps domain experts and passionate innovators via coaching and teaming to create complete solutions with compelling value for beach head markets.  Dennis also volunteers as founder and Chairman for MIT Enterprise Forum Great Lakes Chapter.

Guest Keynote Speaker and Panelist

Josh Linkner, Founder &  Chairman, ePrize

Author: Disciplined Dreaming: A Proven System to Drive Breakthrough Creativity

As the founder and CEO of ePrize, he has led a revolution by dislodging the old guard and dominating the industry through disruptive innovation and creativity. ePrize has produced over 5,000 industry-leading interactive promotions across 36 countries, for 74 of the Top 100 brands including Coca-Cola, at&t, The Gap, Procter&  Gamble, Disney, Dell, adidas, Citibank and Microsoft.  ePrize has won dozens of awards including Red Herring’s Top 100 Technology Firms in North America, Inc. 500 (five years in a row), #1 fastest-growing on PROMO 100, Fast Company’s Fast 50 Reader’s Choice, and 101 best places to work in Michigan.


Paul Glomski, is President, Therapy Staff, leading and growing Therapy Staff, LLC a private equity-backed healthcare staffing firm that places physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, and other rehabilitation clinicians into medical and scholastic settings.  He helped build a strong team and great staff that created opportunity to sell the company to a private equity firm.

Denise Demers Stein is the President and founder of Art of Leadership Advisors, an organization whose mission is to transform organizations of individuals into communities of people, realizing their life visions while pursuing the purpose of the enterprise.  With over 20 years in the management and leadership consulting field, Denise has worked with hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals, helping them to identify, engender, and achieve key corporate and individual goals.  “Building a focused and effective team is the key to success for any growing organization.  Whether you have 2 employees or 20,000, alignment on key goals, priorities, and strategies is imperative.”

The Savvy Entrepreneur series provides early to mid-stage technology entrepreneurs with guidance on key topics that all startups must navigate to realize success.  The panel discussion originates from Ann Arbor with participation from satellite sites throughout the state, including Houghton. The format provides an opportunity for entrepreneurs in Houghton to network with other entrepreneurs in the region and throughout Michigan.